Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lucia Marriage Counselling vs Earth Hour

The Dumb Ox has a far better idea to save power than turning off all the lights for one hour once a year ...
Apparently Earth Hour managed to save the same amount of power that would be used by several average NZ households over a year, but I have a far better way of saving way more power than this – it’s called marriage counseling. You see, if you could save just ten NZ marriages, you would prevent ten NZ families from splitting up into 20 different households, and then using twenty different lots of resources and power, instead of only ten lots of resources and power.
Not sure the Greenies will take to it, though.

Related Link: I turned off all my lights, the planet has now been saved ~ Being Frank

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lucia Top 10 Christian Political Blogs

M&M have published a list of the top ten Christian blogs in NZ based on February's stats. It's nice to see another Catholic Blog (Being Frank) on that list.

NZ Conservative is number 1, but we have been dropping for a while in the Tumeke stats due to periods of inactivity. Not necessarily a bad thing, as we seem to have our die-hard readers that keep coming back no matter what.

There are at least 100 of you who visit daily, even when this blog is dead quiet. Last week we peaked at 300 unique visitors when things got busy.

Thanks to all our readers that have been visiting over the past two years since we started up in March 2007. We haven't run out of steam yet!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fletch 'Eating' Our Young

The picture to the left is a screen capture from the movie 'The Matrix'. I know that it has kind of lost it's shock value now and I'm telegraphing the comparisons I'm going to make to the movie by showing it, but the events of the last few months have brought the image to my mind again. In a quote from the movie, the character Morpheus says -

For the longest time, I wouldn't believe it...and then I saw [..] them liquefy the dead, so they could be fed intravenously to the living
So, what has happened over the last few months to bring this to my mind?

1. On March the 9th, President Obama signed an executive order opening up the restrictions on taxpayer funding for embryo-destroying stem cell research, just as he promised he would in his election campaign. And what is his reasoning for this? -
"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," said Obama. "In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research - and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
So, 'sound science' and moral values are not inconsistent? I'm sorry, President Obama, but I'm finding it hard to find the 'sound science' in using unborn fetus's for experimentation, and it's a specious argument to say that it's for the good of humanity.

So, what does the Catholic Catechism say about Faith vs. Science? Are they at odds? Certainly not -
"Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."[bold emphasis mine]

I think the above pretty much speaks for itself.

So, do we really need to experiment with unborn embryos? I don't think so - and that brings me to the second item I noticed in the news -

2. Kiwi doctors are preparing to insert stem cells into a dozen disabled NZ'ers in a bid to help them walk again. And the difference?

The procedure involves extracting nerve tissue from a volunteer's nose and inserting this into the injured area of the spinal cord.Ms Vallis said the procedure offered no controversy over the source of cells because it involved a transfer of the patient's own cells.

"It's similar to a skin graft, so there is no need for complex anti-rejection drugs," she said.

"While doctors in other countries have actually made a start with these procedures, we have made use of the delays here, to continue studying the behaviour of human cells in our lab," she said."We are probably ahead of other countries in this knowledge."

"I now believe it will be in my lifetime that people will go into hospital with a spinal injury and walk out a few months later just as though they'd experienced a broken leg,"' Spinal Cord Society chairwoman Noela Vallis said tonight.

I believe that we Kiwi's have every right to be proud of our scientists. While other countries have lagged behind in this research and taken a diversionary path to look at using the stem cells from the unborn fetus, we have made great strides in research using the stem cells from the patient's own nose which means there will be less chance of rejection. Why don't other countries pick up on this? Mr Obama? Are you reading this? This is all about your 'sound science' and 'moral values' - there is no conflict between the two here.

The third news report nearly made me gag. It seems scientists in the UK are near discovering how to create 'synthetic' blood. The thinking is that the blood will be clean, disease-free, and won't require blood donors. 'That is interesting', I thought, until they reported that to 'make' this synthetic blood, the stem cells of embryo's would again be used. Hence, the reason that the picture above came to my mind.
Someone on another blog has made reference to the fact that it's nearly like us humans eating our unborn young.

I think that is very close to the truth.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

ZenTiger Dirt Day.

Following on from the staggering success of Earth Hour, a yearly event where concerned citizens burn alternative sources of fuel to celebrate the fact that they have turned the lights out, I'm suddenly rather keen on the idea.

I say "staggering success" because like all devotees of Earth Hour, I know there is no need to check the newspapers to know this idea "just works".

The planet can now be saved, as people are now psychologically prepared to accept the tough prescriptions of "Environmental Experts" to set humankind back on the path of carbon neutrality.

Just the easy stuff at first, like one child per family and tax rates of 80%, moving up to banning breathing, until finally we all become part Amish, part Hippie and live on a commune. Told you the easy stuff came first.

Furthermore, after one hour of the lights on dim, sea levels will probably not rise by half a centimetre now for another few years, and the average polar bear has 70 centimetres less distance to swim from their melting iceberg. It's made a difference.

Therefore many of those folk will be very excited to hear my suggestion, building on the groundswell of success. Not "Earth Hour" once a year, but once a week.

And not for an hour - how about A WHOLE DAY.

The Phrase "Earth Hour" is already taken, so I'll have to call my idea "Dirt Day".

So, just what is my idea?

Let's save some electricity, and possibly help reduce nationwide environmental stupidity by turning off the television for A WHOLE DAY.

Participants can either read a book, or have a conversation in lieu of staring at their television screen.

Greenies can pretend that it's all about saving electricity.

They can even take the batteries out of the remote control for the day. Now that's affirmative action.

Home Paddock: Irony By Candlelight

M and M: M and M versus the Borg Collective

ZenTiger back in 2008: Save the Planet in One Hour and Other Ideas [Link repaired]

Lucia Earth Hour: Worshipping the Environment

I forgot to add The Environment when I listed the modern gods we sacrifice our unborn babies to.

While I won't be joining the anti-Earth hour protest (hattip M&M), I also will not turn anything off in order to join in with those who want to turn the lights off for the planet.

--ZenTiger Neighbourhood Message Insert--
Read about Dirt Day

M and M ask the tough questions: What are you doing to protest Earth Hour

Lucia Catholics in the Line of Succession

For the last 300 years, the British Monarchy has not allowed Catholics to be anywhere near the line of succession. But Gordon Brown is trying to change all that. On the surface, it looks to be a good move - get rid of religious discrimination against one group. However, not everything is as it seems. Catholics are getting more and more annoying* in Britain, and this could be one way to get them to settle down.
Gordon Brown's plan to amend the Act of Settlement is an attempt to pacify Catholic public opinion, which is increasingly horrified by the actions of the most anti-Catholic cabinet in living memory. That is not its only purpose: the Prime Minister is desperate to leave his mark on history in some shape or form, and constitutional change fits the bill. But, as a Scot who grew with a wily and well-organised Catholic political machine, he knows that Papists can cause trouble when they get their act together.
It's not a simple thing to change the Act of Settlement which bans Catholics from the throne. It affects the constitutions of every Commonwealth country, including NZ. And the proposed changes would only remove the impediment to marrying Catholics. The King or Queen would still have to be Protestant as they would be the head of the Church of England, with the title Defender of the Faith (ironically a title given to Henry VIII by the Pope of the time for defending the Catholic faith against Protestantism).

So, what will happen? It doesn't particularly bother me either way. And, the good thing about the act staying in place is a reminder of the persecution Catholics have faced in centuries past. Persecution never goes away - it just sleeps for a while.

Related Link: Brown's plan to amend the Act of Settlement is an attempt to neuter Catholics ~ Holy Smoke

* Annoying Catholics, getting up in arms over compulsory sex education for five-year-olds, the creation of hybrid embryos, the placing of children with gay couples, the attack on the selection procedures of Catholic schools...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lucia Friday night free for all

Maybe this is more the mood for tonight.

Lucia Helen Clark inflicted upon the world

New Zealand's ex-Prime Minister, Miss Helen Clark has landed a tax-free UN job. Quite a coup for a socialist whose government, while in power, raised taxes in this fair land numerous times. Not sure they were ever lowered. I think it only fair that Miss Clark donate 39% of her salary to the country that gave her the leg up to the world stage.

But more astounding than a failed Prime Minister getting a top UN post, is the sycophantic blathering from the many of the talking heads here in NZ. I can almost forgive John Key, maybe he'd say anything to be rid of her, but the rest of them? What's up with that?
Given Helen Clark's forthcoming appointment as Director of the UN Development Programme, New Zealand LGBT organisations need to take a stronger and more proactive stance against homophobia and transphobia overseas.

Related Links: LGBT Human Rights Blackspots ~ GayNZ
Tough job for Clark, ex-UN ambassador says ~ NZ Herald

Blog Opinions:
Helen Clark should be retired, not promoted ~ HalfDone
"Miss" Helen Clark confirmed as Head of United Nations Development Programme ~ M and M
Scum also rises ~ Crusader Rabbit

Lucia Bunny writing for the Dominon Post

Wednesday's Dominion Post Editorial demanded a response. As it is Friday, and my homeschooling schedule is more relaxed today, I finally have time to do one.

First, I have to wonder at the calibre of the editors the Dominion Post employs. Sometimes they are very perceptive, but occasionally some backroom bunny is given hold of the editorial space, with little or no oversight it seems.

The editorial is full of the opinions of a typical ignorant blog commenter (of the type we get here) that hates all things religious and cannot be reasoned with. A simple google search would have helped this person realise that there was far more to the typical church bashing talking points that meet the eye. But no, the purpose of the editor was not to opine on the truth, it was to prove the Church is stuck in the Middle Ages. A charge that was not proved in the slightest and has instead shown the writer in question is a moron.
If proof were needed that the Catholic Church is stuck in the Middle Ages, it has been provided.

First Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of an ultra-conservative British bishop who claims the Nazis did not use gas chambers. The Pope later said he was unaware that Bishop Richard Williamson was a holocaust denier.
And? The Church is not allowed to lift excommunications of people that deny the Holocaust? Though ultimately it doesn't matter because once the Pope understood Williamson's position, he asked him to publicly repudiate his position.

"Bishop Williamson, in order to claim admission to episcopal functions in the church, must distance himself in absolutely unequivocal and public fashion from his positions regarding the Shoah, which were not known by the Holy Father when the excommunication was lifted," the Vatican said, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

A prominent North American rabbi believes the media attacks on the Pope over the lifting of the excommunication is more about the rabid liberal fear of a mass influx of very conservative Catholics back into the Church, than about Williamson's views. Williamson was just a stick to beat the Pope with.

"At this point there has been a wonderfully strong renunciation of Bishop Williamson by the Vatican and therefore the Jewish community from their statements seems to be satisfied that things are going in the right way," he said. "This is just going to increase the frenzy of left wing Catholics, whether outside the Church or inside, because they now have to carry the ball in terms of keeping the attack on the Pope going."
Then a Brazilian bishop excommunicated the mother of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion after being raped by her stepfather and was bearing twins. For good measure, he also excommunicated the doctors who performed the abortion.
Wrong. By their own actions, the mother and the doctors involved in the abortion were automatically excommunicated. The Brazilian bishop was merely publicly informing them of the consequences of their actions. While the girl's pregnancy was tragic, it was not an automatic death sentence, while as the abortion for the twins was murder, pure and simple.
Then the Pope said condoms were not the answer to Africa's fight against HIV and Aids and might make the problem worse.
Backed up by a major researcher on AIDS, and numerous studies. I'll get to that.
Individually, the church's pronouncements show a lack of judgment and decency.
Right back at you!

The writer shows a lack of judgement and decency by attacking Catholicism with an armful of typical untruths and inaccuracies, thus using the power of the editorial space in order to pursue a personal hatred against the Church.
Collectively they demonstrate the antediluvian mindset of an organisation that still harbours the hope that Galileo will be proved wrong and the Earth will be shown to be the centre of the universe.
Opinion, not backed up by the evidence. Galileo was not prevented from teaching his theory, as at the time it could not be proved. However, he wanted to teach theory as fact, that's what got him into trouble. A distinction that we in the 21st century may not realise is important, given that so many teach theories as fact (ie man-made global warming).
The Pope might not have been aware of Bishop Williamson's views, but surely someone at the Vatican could have advised him that, in addition to denying the existence of Nazi gas chambers, the bishop also claimed the 9/11 attacks on the United States were carried out by the US military and that Jews were fighting for world domination.

"It is easier to condemn than to seek to understand," wrote Father James Lyon, parish priest at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington after Dominion Post columnist Rosemary McLeod condemned the excommunication of the Brazilian rape victim's mother and doctors. Isn't that exactly what Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho did when he decreed that a nine-year-old girl should bear her rapist's children? There is no evidence he made any attempt to understand the physical or psychological damage that giving birth would do to an already damaged child.
Ah yes, far better to leave her with memory that her two innocent unborn babies were murdered. Lovely.
If people were rational, the Pope's advocacy of abstinence as a prophylactic for Aids would make sense. But people are not rational.
I suppose the bunny should know ...
In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 22 million people are infected with the Aids virus. The church's teachings failed to protect them when they contracted the virus and, if the Pope's words are heeded, millions more will unnecessarily be put in danger.

Condoms inhibit the spread of Aids. Normalising their use is in everyone's interests. It is irresponsible of the Pope to argue otherwise.
It's amusing really, after lambasting the Vatican for not looking up Williamson's views before undoing the excommunication, the writer, supposedly a journalist, fails the most simple of information gathering techniques themselves. Here are a few of the articles that could have been referenced:

Commentary: The Pope's Comments on Condoms are Empirically Sound

Condoms, HIV, and Pope Benedict
Leading HIV researcher Edward C. Green says criticism of the pope 'unfair.'

Dr Green says : "There's no evidence at all that condoms have worked as a public health intervention intended to reduce HIV infections at the "level of population." This is a bit difficult to understand. It may well make sense for an individual to use condoms every time, or as often as possible, and he may well decrease his chances of catching HIV. But we are talking about programs, large efforts that either work or fail at the level of countries, or, as we say in public health, the level of population. Major articles published in Science, The Lancet, British Medical Journal, and even Studies in Family Planning have reported this finding since 2004. I first wrote about putting emphasis on fidelity instead of condoms in Africa in 1988."

And in a more recent article, which I suppose the bunny cannot be blamed for not reading, is one dated yesterday in the Ugandan Weekly Observer: The Pope is right, condoms are aiding AIDS.

After years of racking their brains about the high prevalence rate of AIDS in Africa, the most affected region in the world, which accounted for 72% of deaths from the disease in 2007, researchers are concluding that the reason is the widespread practice of “multiple concurrent partnerships.” Something that we have already learned in Uganda, where most new cases crop up among married people who have a mistress or boy-friend on the side.

In a highly-acclaimed 2007 book, The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight against AIDS, the medical journalist Helen Epstein admits that she had always attributed the epidemic to prostitution, poverty, discrimination against women and low condom use. But after observing that HIV rates were increasing despite high condom use, she realised that “multiple long-term partnerships”, which she referred to as the “superhighway of infections”, was the problem. Her conclusion: “a collective shift in sexual norms, especially partner reduction, is crucial.”

Dr. Green also pointed out that condoms “may even exacerbate HIV infection levels due to a phenomenon called risk compensation, or behavioural disinhibition. People take more sexual risks because they feel safer than is actually justified when using condoms.”

The experts are coming round to the conviction that the real, lasting solution is “partner reduction”, fidelity in marriage, something the Pope has been saying all along.

But the bunnies cannot get their heads around the concept of fidelity and monogamy, around saving yourself until marriage. Anathema, they cry! What do we want? SEX! When do we want it... NOW!
But the church's opposition to most forms of birth control does even more harm than that. The planet is overpopulated. There is not enough food to feed those who already live on it and, in our attempts to feed and clothe ourselves, not to mention fill our homes with flat-screen televisions and other luxuries, we are devouring scarce resources. Human activity is also contributing to global warming.
Oh, here we go. The Green credentials come out. Man-made global warming is considered a fact, not a theory. And what are the chances that the writer is of the type that believes the population ought to be halved? Or believes that more than two children per couple is irresponsible?
The planet needs fewer, not more, people. Given that so many Catholic priests have been unable to adhere to their own vows of celibacy, it is nonsensical for the church to argue that abstinence will protect the rest of the population.
Also, Catholic Priests take a lifelong vow of celibacy. True, a fair number have not lived up to these vows, but, most people are not being asked to be life-long celibates. They are just asked to keep it in their pants until marriage and then to be faithful to their spouse.
The church's leaders should enter the 21st century.

Related Link: Editorial: The flat earth church ~ Dominion Post

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ZenTiger Population needs to halve

UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt...Porritt is winning scientific backing. Professor Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, will use the OPT conference, to be held at the Royal Statistical Society, to warn that population growth could help derail attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the comments are just as entertaining.

About time somebody realised we are in this mess because of over population..........What a joke when say we need more houses, no we don't, we need less people, we are a blight, a parasite, a virus on this unfortunate planet and the creatures on it that don't want for anything other than to survive.

Bet he's not volunteering to be first.

Too many people, not enough abortion clinics.

Too many people, not enough euthanasia programs.

Too many people, not enough suicide booths.

Too many people, not enough genetic screening to weed out the Stephen Hawkings.

Too many people, not enough 'one child' policies.

But don't worry, another scientist will announce in 10 years time that the Gardasil Vaccine was actually designed to make women infertile, for the "good of the planet". Sounds far too crazy, doesn't it?

More likely scientists will perfect the 'contraceptive in the water' idea, with a drug available to the approved people to reverse the effects. Only to discover the reversal doesn't happen in an acceptable percentage of cases.

Hey, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country [JFK, via Bubba Ho-Tep].

That's another way of saying that we work for the Government, not the other way around.

It's a war of ideas, and over time the ideas we laugh at today might not sound so funny tomorrow. Although when ideas get too hard to discuss, wars tend to argue the point for us.

Hat tip: Contra Celsum and Hot Air

Related Link: Hercule Porrit clueless

ZenTiger The wool over our eyes

Negotiations to resume exports of live sheep for slaughter are continuing but Agriculture Minister David Carter says a ban will remain unless they meet the highest welfare standards

Ministry of Agriculture - For Immediate Release

The Ministry of Agriculture today announced a bold new initiative in livestock management. Sheep and Cows will be exported live, following a bulk berth deal with the P&O Cruise company.

P&O have guaranteed 50% of cabins will be available to livestock on all outbound trips, with stop overs in Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu before arriving in Malaysia for slaughter.

Under the deal, all ovis and bovine receive a full continental buffet breakfast. Cows, Bison and Buffalo are also provided a light lunch from the "all you can eat" salad bar.

David Carter announced that the mix of human and animal on the cruise ship should add to a general relaxed feeling and help create an atmosphere of fun and excitement, so important to animals facing slaughter.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few holiday romances arising on the voyage" he added, saying that contraception would be left as a personal matter to the parties involved, and any short term relationships would not be reason enough to escape the abattoir at the other end.

"We've been very up front about this condition, and we will consider chaperons if this gets out of hand. We'll look at keeping the Tasmanians off such cruises, just in case. "

Jeanette Fitzsimons, co-leader of the Green Party was against the move. "Early indications is that this is an extremely humane way of treating our livestock, but if we were all vegetarians then we wouldn't be having this conversation. We should be shipping them all off shore."

Phil Goff, leader of opposition said today the new measures did not go far enough. "Under Labour, we would be including a full meal and access to the casino and dance floor. It's shocking the shortcuts National are prepared to take when it comes to humane treatment of livestock. I've seen a report that suggests 2 cows to a single economy cabin. Those cabins are smaller than the average prison cell built when Labour was in power, and there's absolutely no under floor heating."

Rodney Hide, leader of the ACT Party was in favour of ramping up the capacity and encouraging a large ship building industry to spring up from this initiative.

"We could be building much bigger ocean liners than the current P&O fleet. I've calculated that if we can get another 10 million cows on the high seas our methane gas output falls and we'll be owed a carbon credit under Kyoto."

David Carter said that initial figures from Treasury agreed. "We are looking at a 3 month cruise for all milking stock. We'll use hot air balloons to deliver milk product back to shore. The net effect on our carbon and methane emissions would likely put us into credit."

The Ministry confirmed humane treatment of animals does not just extend to our sheep and cows. "We looked at booking battery chickens economy class to China for processing, but it turned out the economy seat space was smaller than their cages, so we've had to look for alternate transport."


Related Link: Like Lambs to the slaughter

Lucia Child sacrifice increasing in NZ

Like the pagans of old, we sacrifice babies to our gods here in NZ. But, rather than appeasing the sun god so he will rise in the morning or the god of the crops so that he will grant good harvests or the war god so he will grant victory over our enemies, we sacrifice our babies to the gods of money, convenience and lust.

These three gods are so vital to the citizens of this land that we will do anything to ensure that their gods do not deny them. And if a few women whose babies are sacrificed die along the way, well, that is a cost worth taking.

But gods who demand the blood of innocents are never satiated. They demand more as time goes on. Our blood soaked altars of death will now expand from the hospital into the home. Rather than being surgically torn apart by suction devices, tiny unborn babies will be delivered at home. Thus expanding the web of sacrificial altars all across the country.

Related Link: Garth George: Abortion idea sends chills up the spine ~ NZ Herald

ZenTiger Calling Elvis - Transmission Ends

Elvis isn't dead, he's in a rest home with some-one who thinks he's JFK. Between them, they have to stop a soul sucking Egyptian Mummy from killing the other rest home residents.

Which doesn't have much to do with building Transmission Gully, but then again, neither do the endless reports that come out periodically, usually after long studies into feasibility and cost which get nailed down and everyone thinks, "finally".

Transmission Gully ever built? You'd have more chance of seeing Elvis. And if you want to, I strongly recommend you do it by watching Bubba Ho-Tep. Brilliant. I liked the sound track too. It doesn't stand alone like say, The Crow, but it really suited the movie. It's B Grade, and all the better for it.

Speaking of B Grade and soul sucking mummies, I can only assume that anyone working to find Transmission Gully alternatives are victims of a similar curse. Look at the reasons they come up with in order not to build infrastructure:

1. More cars will travel into Wellington.

Well duh. Let's approach building New Zealand as if growth is a given. Let's assume our population will steadily increase and better quality (more lanes, divided centre lines, truck resistant) roads will improve fuel efficiency, remove huge wasteful traffic jams and provide more than one or two dodgy routes out of the capital city.

Furthermore, traffic can go both ways. Rather than worrying about how much extra traffic goes into Wellington City, we are free to think about how much traffic we can move out. An international airport up North? A couple of business districts with easy access? Start thinking 50 years ahead, not five.

2. It will cost more due to inflation.

Well duh. Actually, it will cost more due to inaction. We have been debating this for more than 60 years, ever since the US Army offered to build the bloody thing for free. Add up the cost of reports and studies, adjust for inflation and I wouldn't be surprised if we've spent more in "planning" than the current estimate of 1.3 billion.

3. The coastal route is cheaper and better

Maybe it is. Chances are we'll never know, because they will not do either of them. Besides, the last quote was $760 million, not much different from doing Transmission Gully, and then the DomPost publishes a "back of the envelope" estimate of only $100 million yesterday from some ex-expert. Why the discrepancy? Nothing like good reporting. This option though means we are left with one less way out of Wellington than if we kept the coastal road AND built the Gully.

4. It would take longer to repair after an earthquake

They have to be desperate to point this out. That's an unknown, as one decent rock-slide on the coast could cut off train and road after an earthquake. The point is we'd have an extra road out and in to Wellington, and therefore, a better probability of having some access after a big one.

Calling Elvis
The worse thing about all this is the narrow minded focus on just road. Any of these options should consider new rail track for high speed rail (or even just double tracking rail) and wide paths for bike and walking - all built as part of the same project.

The reporting in the DomPost was disappointing in it's lack of balance presenting "new" information that we've been through and countered repeatedly over the years. They may as well report an Elvis sighting. It has the same sense of the unreal as talking about transmission gully, but has more chance of being true.

I know, I saw Bubba Ho-Tep. One last plug: Bruce Campbell. Enough said.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

ZenTiger Air Con

Judging from an email, Ian Wishart's new book is days away from shipping. Couldn't see an advert on his Investigate Magazine home page though. Soon, perhaps?

I must admit, I'm curious about the contents. I'll be ordering a copy and having a read.

The conclusion seems to be on the cover page, and that alone will infuriate the AGW Gore-ites. No doubt, it will excuse them from having to even read the book.

I'm skeptical about AGW (especially the A part of that) but I'm of the opinion that mankind's score card on pollution control is pretty shoddy, and respecting the environment is simply sensible. And responsible.

I don't usually like to mention my opinion on environmental responsibility and AGW together though.

When talking to an AGW zealot, they might think I'm likely to automatically agree with any or all of their prescriptions to "save the planet". Forget Kyoto, for starters.

Saving the planet is all well and good. I'm interested to see Ian's take on the AGW industry. Forty years ago, we were decades away from an ice age. Acid Rain had apparently wiped out the North American and European forests. We were 5 years away from mass starvation, because (supposedly) the world couldn't handle three billion people.

Now the planet is warming, polar bears are drowning, snows are melting and the population is back to "exploding".

Your Global Footprint score is the modern sin-o-meter and End of Times Disaster Scenarios are marketed with compelling sophistication. They've learned from their past mistakes on how consumers react to over-hyping, and have refined their approach.

It's a bit like watching the evolution of TV programs. In the 60's, it was "Ironsides", then we progressed to the steely realism of "Hill Street Blues" and now shows like CSI seem more real than reality. At least to some people.

Is Ian's book going to be like a peek behind the scenes?

Related Link: Air Con

ZenTiger Child Mothers II

Recently, many of us thrashed out the issue of a 9 year old, pregnant by rape, having her 16 week pre-born twins aborted. My post on Child Mothers was probably about 20% of what I actually wrote about the topic. A bit more was over at M and M, and another big chunk of it here at the Hand Mirror. After a very long conversation on that thread, this is how Deborah summed up my argument:

Y'know, I'm not sure it's worth arguing with ZenTiger. [He] has a set worldview, that women are worth less than fetuses, and that's all there is to it.

Rubbish, of course. My reply is on that link.

Even worse was the "logic" by Natalia that if I was against abortion of a rape victim, then I *therefore* support forced impregnation (rape)...that deserves a full post in reply, but as I'm probably the only one who might care that I've been accused of being pro-rape, it can wait until mid winter when it's cold, it's dark, there's nothing worth watching on TV (is there ever?) and people are cruising the blogs prepared to read anything to alleviate their ennui. Hah!

Given Deborah had a turn at summing up my argument, I did the same at the end of that thread. Part of that summary:

I have attempted to argue on the basis that such a life is not worthless, and that if it is worth less, we must at least wonder if the mother herself thinks they are worth anything.

I was speaking of the twins of course, and wondering if the mother was ever asked what she felt about an abortion. That was never reported. It seemed to me such a thought a mother could want a child of rape, could acknowledge that this was another innocent life caught in the horror of the situation, was the last thing the folks on the Hand Mirror (and others) wanted to entertain. Rule One - a fetus cannot be acknowledged as having any right to live. Rule Two - The wishes of the mother would not differ from their own preferences.

But maybe I misunderstood, just as Deborah and others so clearly have misunderstood me?

So here's another chance to clear up any confusion. A 13 year old is pregnant by rape and abuse from her father. She doesn't want an abortion, but it may be forced upon her anyway. This time we are talking of pre-born at 20 weeks of development, not 16 weeks. The risks for a normal pregnancy at age 13 are unlikely to be much different from an older teen, with access to good medical care. At the least, it would be fair to say the risk factor must be greatly reduced compared to the risk factors the 9 year old faced. The lines are blurrier.

If a forced abortion goes ahead against the wishes of the mother, and the Doctors are Catholic, they will be automatically excommunicated as is the current Church doctrine. I hope the local Bishop is as vocal as the last in affirming this point, and it will be interesting to see how the media take it.

So far, it's been very, very, quiet.

So quiet, I'm unable to find much other than articles pointing back to life site news. It's like a media shutdown. Is the story bogus, or has some liberal ideological viewpoint been threatened?

And again, my thoughts are with the child mother. I hope things go well for her, now that she is free from ongoing abuse.

Related Link: Forced Abortions - What's the excuse now?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lucia Friday night free for all

It's Friday again and only 23 more days until Easter. I know this because my 8 year old's math programme demands that we fill in a "meeting strip" every day, and one of the entries is to count down days to something. We've chosen Easter this time, as his birthday has just been. Counting down to his birthday was fun - heaps of excitement there.

I think I'm officially wiped out today. A week of trying to get the homeschooling back on track after a week and a half of major disruption due to renovations has taken it's toll. It's either that, or sitting in the sun for a couple of hours watching the kids at the local outdoor swimming pool.

I am so glad an air conditioner... whoops, heat pump, was part of the renovations. It has cooled down my furnace of a west facing kitchen enormously.

Now for that second cup of tea ...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ZenTiger Obama the Sucker meets AIG the Vacuum

73 AIG executives - including 11 who no longer work for the company - were each last week given bonuses worth more than $1m [with total payouts at 165 million dollars].

Problem is AIG have already received 170 billion dollars in Federal money, and are due to receive another 30 billion. Obama has sucker written all over him even as AIG vacuums up billions.

So what's the spin on this? Well, instead of throwing AIG another 30 billion, they'll deduct a bit of money from that figure, and rush through some legislation to tax the bonuses at 100% or some some nonsense.

So basically, AIG symbolically pay back 165 million out of 200 BILLION, and the Democrats are happy?

The real nonsense is that Government money keeps the fat cats going, and we can argue all we like about how it may have been government policy that fueled this, or any number of other reasons, but the real issue is how much the State will use such events to interfere with business. It's the wrong way to "fix" things.

As an aside, those bonuses were effectively contracted retention payments. With AIG viable, can they simply break contracts because Obama didn't clarify how the money was to be spent?

If AIG had gone into receivership, these people would be lined up to receive 2 cents in every dollar over 5 years, as some sort of "generous" compensation scheme, like genuine investors are being offered in some of the spectacular finance company crashes here in New Zealand (and I doubt staff did that well either).

Here's the real challenge to Obama - check who still has loads of money at the end of your first term in office. They'll probably be the only people able to afford to contribute to your re-election campaign. Will you accept their money then, or insist they pay their taxes?

Related Link: US Government to force repayment

Related Link: An ideal time for bonuses is right before an election campaign, not right after one

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ZenTiger Famous Tree Dies

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, NC—The tree best known for portraying an eastern hemlock in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter passed away Monday morning on the steep, north-facing slope it called home.

After shooting to stardom in the late 1970s with its scene-stealing turn as a stately old-growth conifer in The Deer Hunter, the tree soon cemented its reputation as one of Hollywood's most dependable character actors.

According to its publicist, the woody plant and beloved fixture of nearly 40 feature films died of complications relating to adelgid beetles and lightning.

"It will be missed," Deer Hunter costar Robert De Niro said. "We took a shine to each other immediately. That tree taught me a lot about acting and about life."

Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees. So you'd think chopping a few down might help. But that would be cruel. What's that saying? Trees are people too. And all trees are equal, although some are more equal than others.

To read more about the life of this famous tree with movie star looks, and that certaine je ne sais quoi that fans pine for, follow this link to The Onion, gossip gateway to the stars.

To get the local angle, the link from Chainsaw Massacre has been repaired, so go grab the low hanging fruit and twig to Contra Celsum's arboreal apocalypse.

Related Link: Tree featured in 'The Deerhunter' dies

Contra Celsum: The roar of chainsaws

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lucia NZ's own Chainsaw Massacre

John Tertullian and Contra Celsum have outdone themselves with a superb piece of writing on the future massacre of trees once the restrictions to cut them down are removed.
Apparently there are caverns and bat caves beneath the civilised streets where lurk a feral breed of people. They are poisoned by a hatred of trees. They each have a chainsaw--which is the initiation requirement to be part of this community of primordial slime. Every now and then one of these hideous miscreants will start his murderous machine up, and the caverns will be rocked with the raucous sound of his instrument of death, while his comrades lick their lips and sway ghoulishly in the half-light.

There is excitement in the caves--not seen for years. Word has been received that the ignorant and cruel government is about to remove from local councils--those noble institutions which keep at bay the dark forces of a long banished past--the power to decree vast swathes of territory as "tree protection zones." Like orcs bred in the caverns of Isengard, the tree killers are poised to swarm up and out, ravaging the countryside with their axes and chainsaws, wreaking their savagery upon innocent trees.

Yes, I too am waiting with my own large saw-toothed pruning knife, waiting for the day when I can chop down every single tree in my backyard, making it a flat, grassy paradise ....


Read it all: The Roar of Chainsaws - An Apocalyptic Nightmare ~ Contra Celsum

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucia Improper use of Wellington Cathedral?

Something about charging money to watch a concert in a Catholic Cathedral strikes me as very wrong. Asking for donations would be one thing as the group in question is registered as a charity. Maybe it's the denying entrance to those who do not pay, when there should never be a door charge to enter a place of God. Then there's the questionable concept of using the sacred place for a concert when it ought to be a place of prayer. Yet the concert has a very religious theme that could create a prayerful atmosphere ...

I don't know, maybe someone can help here. The whole thing just strikes me as improper.

Related Link: Festival Singers Next Concert - Stabat Mater

Lucia Friday night free for all

Is it really Friday? I have to keep pinching myself as I have just endured more than a week and a half of renovations on our only bathroom, with EVERYTHING being ripped out (except for the floorboards and framing) and then rebuilt.

Just this afternoon I have continued the cleaning out of my pantry and dishes cupboard because my 8yo left the door to it open yesterday morning while the plasterer was sanding down all his work from the previous day in kitchen (there had been a cupboard in that wall, but it was reclaimed by the bathroom). Hence, a coating of fine dust on nearly all the dishes and food items!

There is a lot to be said for indoor toilets after having used a Porta-a-loo for this period. For the first several days I became severely sleep-deprived because I'd wake up in the night, need to go to the loo, try and talk myself out of it, until I was so awake that I'd have to go outside anyway (down the stairs to the lower back garden) and then be unable to fall back to sleep again for an hour or so.

And let's not mention the cat who would yowl at 4am to be let out so that she'd be long gone before the tradesmen arrived.

If anyone has noticed an increased grumpiness level lately, you'll now know why.

But, it's been worth it. When the lino is laid and the tiling is done, I'll post a picture of our work of art .. er, bathroom.

Lucia Bill Clinton thinks Embryos are not Fertilised!

Dear old Bill, getting a bit senile in his old age. Or, does he really, really believe that human embryos do not become little babies until they are fertilised? Because, if they were fertilised, it would be a bad thing to experiment on them. But "unfertilised" embryos - hey, that's ok!

Seen on WDTPRS & Creative Minority Report.

Lucia Polish War Hero in the news

It was perhaps the bravest act of espionage of the Second World War. After voluntarily being imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp for 2½ years, and smuggling out its darkest secrets to the Allies, Witold Pilecki overcame a guard and, with two comrades, escaped almost certain death.

Now new details have emerged of the extraordinary tale of the Polish officer who hatched a plot with the country's resistance to be rounded up by the occupying Germans in September 1940 and sent to the most notorious Nazi extermination centre.

At the time Auschwitz was predominantly a camp for captured resistance fighters, although Jews and anyone considered a threat to the Nazi regime were also being sent there.

Newly released documents from the Polish archives reveal how Mr Pilecki, going under the false name Tomasz Serafinski, went about setting up an underground resistance group in the camp, recruiting its members and organising it into a coherent movement.

KG of Crusader Rabbit, this morning sent me a link to an English article on a little known WW2 Polish war hero, Witold Pilecki.* It's great that articles are being written of such men as Pilecki. Especially since his life was ignominiously snuffed out by a cowardly execution by the Communists that were left in charge of Poland after WW2 ended for most of the world.

Witold Pilecki had gone back into Poland on a mission to search for more evidence of the Russians' involvement in the Katyn massacre of Polish officers that they had pinned on the Nazis. Unfortunately, this lead to his death, when he was caught by the Communists, tried for his "crimes" and executed. I always found his unjust death a horrible contrast to the voluntary sacrifice of his imprisonment in Auschwitz.

Related Link: Double life of Witold Pilecki, the Auschwitz volunteer who uncovered Holocaust secrets ~ Times Online (Jan 2015: access to the article now requires a login, here is a web archive copy)

*pronounced [ˈvitɔld piˈletski];

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ZenTiger White Dwarf

The seven dwarfs went off to work in the mine one day, while Snow White stayed at home to do the housework and cook their lunch.

However when she went to the mine to deliver their lunches, she found there had been a cave-in, and there was no sign of the dwarfs.

Tearfully she yelled in to the mine entrance:"hello - is anyone there. Can anyone hear me".

A voice floated up from the bowels of the mine:
"NASA will name a room in a space station after US comedian Stephen Colbert"

"Thank goodness" said Snow White "at least Dopey's still alive"

Actually, when I heard that joke, it was all about Australia winning the world cup. Why tempt fate, I thought.

What else is happening around the world anyway? Apart from Stephen Colbert manipulating NASA's online poll? Ah, doesn't matter. I've got work to do. A LOT of work to do. Might see you late Friday.

Related Link: Ground Control to Major Colbert

Actually, the funniest part of the article was that Colbert has already done this sort of thing before, and doing pretty well out of it. I think I might go vote for "Serenity". I liked the series Firefly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lucia Everyone against abortion raise your hand

Lucia Stem cell research ban "superstitious" (updated)

Dear Stephen,

I agree with a great many things you write on your blog (when I read them that is), but this opinion of yours on stem cell research astounds me.

The embryonic stem cell research federal funding ban that has been lifted by President Obama in the US now means that unborn children can be experimented on with American tax-payer funds. These are tiny children, of course, but still human no matter how small. To equate the opposition to stem cell research with superstition is beyond ridiculous as it is a scientific fact that at least one unique human being is created from the moment of conception. Scientific fact, not superstition.

Our regard for human life on this planet is already very low, and funny that you should mention the superstition of the Greens, as many of them believe that human beings are a scourge and should be reduced. The Greens, like you, will be applauding the lifting of this ban.

Government's role ought to be the protection of human life - not funding the destruction of it.

Constable Lucyna Maria
NZ Conservative (Religious Police)

Monday, March 9, 2009

ZenTiger The luck of the Irish

The luck of the Irish may have run out, with the recent shock murder of two soldiers and the wounding of four others, including a couple of innocent pizza delivery men who inadvertently provided opportunity for the gunmen to launch their attack.

This sort of event had been due for some time now, with several security threats registered on police forces over the last year, with only a bit of Irish luck and determination deflecting previous murder attempts. That luck has run out.

I hope and I pray this is not going to spiral back down to the level of violence we saw 30 years or so ago.

What happens next is going to be important. Let us hope wiser heads prevail and Ireland can pull back from the brink.

Related Link: Pizza delivery

ZenTiger North Korea Feeling Lucky

"We will retaliate any act of intercepting our satellite for peaceful purposes with prompt counter-strikes by the most powerful military means,"

North Korea says it has put its military on full combat alert as an annual military exercise by up to 50,000 US and South Korean forces begins. North Korea called the manoeuvres a dangerous provocation, as they prepare for a satellite launch that may be a long range missile test in disguise.

So do you feel lucky, punk?

Meanwhile over in Japan, exports in January dropped a record 46.3% from a year earlier. Tumbling exports have hit companies such as Toyota, which is expected to make its first annual loss in 70 years, Honda has had to cut production, and Sony is set to register its first annual loss in 14 years.

Oh what a feeling.

Related Link: Japanese exports down heaps - oh what a feeling
Related Link: North Korea ready for war.

ZenTiger Fritzl's lawyer holidays in Stockholm

I've made my feelings clear on the monster called Fritzl before. Of course, he denied being a monster. After months of trial preparation with his defense attorney, they too are now chanting the "not a monster" insult to any right thinking person.

Mr Myer says Fritzl was not a sex monster, but had loved his daughter in his own way.

Mr Myer needs to be locked in a dungeon for 24 years and repeatedly abused by this guy, so he could get the opportunity to clarify his thinking. It seems he hangs around with the wrong crowd, and is easily led astray. I'd check to see how often this guy holidays in Stockholm. Check his basement after the trial, in case he loves people in his own way too.

"Josef Fritzl is being portrayed as a horrific monster and sexual tyrant," Mayer says. "My job is to show him as a human being."

Shouldn't take long to prove he's not a dog, rodent, or penguin. After that, we can probably have to accept human beings are capable of great evil. Case in point, Fritzl. Right, with you so far.

Next step, fall down and plead guilty on all charges, and beg for mercy in front of the court.

Then again, you could stretch out the trial and leave his family penniless.

Maybe stir up the prosecution by trying to drag in the wife. She must have suspected something? Blame his domineering mother, or better yet - the absent father. (Parents take note - don't marry your daughter off to a boy with a fatherless upbringing and a multi level house. You could get John Key, but you might get Fritzl.)

On another note, Fritzl is becoming poster boy for all sorts of causes.

Unfortunately, not for manufacturers of electric chairs, who have yet to capitalize on a ready-to-be-tapped groundswell of public opinion, but rather other zealots who seek their own monsters.

You might be thinking, for example, that this is hardly the type of story to turn into a comedy. Hubsi Kramer, Austrian Director says you'd be wrong. The play has already sold out, mainly to foreign journalists. Given it supposedly lampoons the media over coverage of Fritzl, I'd say it's a performance piece that has just fulfilled it's purpose. I'd laugh if only it were funny.

And where would society be without the jokes? I'd laugh if only it were funny.

Speaking of funny, a number of anti-Christian blogs use this as proof God does not exist. God could end evil, blah blah blah. Add it to the list guys, and check how you scored when you are dead.

Some theorize that Fritzl is Roman Catholic, and wonder why Catholicism is not blamed for this, because if he were Muslim, they know Islam would be blamed.

Not a bad theory, but I think Islam has already cornered the market on honour killings, female circumcision, stoning people if they are gay, and requiring 4 witnesses to every rape.

Oh, you can add "Not tolerating any other religion", or am I confusing Muslims with Liberals?

Whatever. Point is we can probably leave this one for another stereotype.

How about being Austrian? Here's a blog that does the hard thinking for us:

The question is what is it about Austrian culture, genetics, schooling, and church teachings that generates monsters like Hitler and Mr. Fritzl.

Yep, 59% of Austrians are mad as cut snakes, and 41% are locked in dungeons. But to blame this on Austrians? Aren't Hitler and Fritzl pretty much unique cases?

Hitler and Fritzl are not unique or isolated cases.

Not unique? Given a world wide population of 6 billion? Pedantic sod aren't you? Well, can we use the word "rare" then? There can't be that many like Fritzl.

How many more Fritzls are doing more than what Fritzl got away with?

What, you want a door to door search on all Austrian homes? Any better reason than Fritzl and Hitler?

During WW2 the sexual fetishes of Austrians were vented on the gays, homeless, gypsies and the innocent citizens who happened to be Jewish.

Did some-one mention persecution of the Jews? Ah, but Josef is apparently Jewish. Many anti-zionists have already you-tubed the Star of David found on the dungeon wall, mentioned the Jewish names "Josef" and daughter "Eliza" and, well, proof that he is a zionist.

To complicate matters further, he's recently converted to Buddhism. I guess this makes all Buddhists evil too? Or only ones in this life time?

I suppose this all started because Fritzl admitted to growing up in "Nazi times"? I could see how that could create a degree of insanity in a Jewish Austrian going to a Christian school in the time of Hitler, beaten by a tough disciplinarian mother, and ignored by an absent father.

Well, Fritzl is definitely human. A human that, for whatever reason, has made choices that have made him a monster. Something even a lawyer should understand.

The trial is starting. It would be a good first step on the road back from monsterness to plead guilty to all charges and save his children any further distress.


NZC on Fritzl: The Monster Files

ZenTiger Airs and Graces and Secret Agendas

High Priestess of the Green Party, Jeanette Fitzsimmons decrees that titles such as Sir have no place in front of names such as Edmund.

Helen Clark is probably relieved she isn't up for an honorific. They would have to tighten the laws on slander and vulgar language.

Mr Cullen, oops Dr Cullen, recalls with fondness the time he handed out cash awards for excellence, rather than sticking a fancy title like "Dr" in front of anyone with a History Degree.

I'm also wondering if the same people, who step back and pay full respect to Maori honoring their rangatira with name and ceremony, suddenly spew forth the opinion that when it comes to our cultural heritage and tradition, they think such honours are divisive and cancerous. Peasants.

And I'm left quietly chuckling as John Key moves forward by looking back.


Another item of the secret agenda ticked off?

Keep it up good Sir.

Related Link: Dames and Knights - Arise!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lucia Prosecute the homophobes!

PARENTS who took their children out of school to prevent them being taught about lesbian, gay and transgender relationships are facing prosecution.

Around 30 pupils from an east London primary school were absent from a week of special lessons to highlight non-heterosexual partnerships.

To mark the event some students watched a special adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet retitled Romeo and Julian.

Stories covered in the lessons at George Tomlinson School included a fairytale about a prince who turns down three princesses before falling in love with one of their brothers and the tale of Roy and Silo - two male penguins who fall in love.

I'm so glad I homeschool. Not that anything remotely like this is happening (yet) in NZ, but, boy oh boy, the lunatics are running the asylum in England!

What's next, pornography education as an artform for 8 year olds?

Related Link: Parents face prosecution over 'gay' education class protest ~ Times Online

Lucia Sunday Thought for Lent

In the midst of craziness, nothing else matters but what you choose to do. The myth is that all choice can be taken away from you, but even then you can choose how to react.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

ZenTiger Cullen on track for top job

Michael Cullen is being tipped for a six-figure salary as chairman of one of the country's top state-owned enterprises.

How about instead we pay him $5,456.50 a year (six digits with a free decimal place) to run Kiwi Rail?

It seems the right thing to do.

ZenTiger Child Mothers

A quick Google finds recently in Idaho a 10 year old was raped and subsequently gave birth to a healthy baby. The same again in Idaho with a 9 year old who subsequently had a baby girl.

Hopefully, all will be given the care they require to grow up and lead happy and healthy lives. Do you think they deserve that chance? Or do you think the babies should be, err, 'terminated'?

As for the rapists, hell is probably the right place for them. Until then, life in a maximum security prison will have to do.

This story isn't just about child mothers of course. It's about the outrage people are expressing because a Catholic Priest is against abortion, even if it be for a 9 year old girl expecting twins.

Yes, giving birth at that age is risky, and we would hope that such a case would provide such media attention that the poor girl receive the best possible medical care. We would hope that the situation is closely monitored and Doctors intervene to save the mother or children only when there seems to be no other option.

Because whilst it is a risk for the girl, it was certain death for the babies now that they have been aborted.

By the way, the youngest girl on record to give birth is apparently 5 years old.

I understand that cases like this can generate fierce debate because the situation is terrible to begin with, and there will be a range of medical opinions on the viability of the pregnancy. I agree, maybe that point was reached. The Priest genuinely seems to think it had not been reached, and the Doctors were too hasty.

Putting that aside, what I don't agree with though is the logic that just because a Catholic Priest argues for the chance for life for the babies, the Catholic Church gets labelled "girl haters" or "Catholic Taliban".

This is the same church that works so hard to defend the lives of females aborted in China and India, because the parents prefer boys.

The Church defends the sanctity of human life, all human life, including the unborn. A quick flick through the liberal blogs, and the reaction to the is much the same - high degrees of vitriol and condescension for some-one praying all three lives would be safe and saved.

It's a sad indictment on today's world when people increasingly fail to at least respect such a position, even if they don't agree with it.

Brazil Abortion for 9 year old victim of rape

Update: And twins born to a 10 year old

And further discussion: Child Mothers II

ZenTiger Abortion - Contraception You Can Count On

Official [UK] figures show that more than 21,000 girls under 18 chose to have a termination in 2007, the first time the proportion has reached 50 per cent.

The overall rate for all girls under 18 rose for the first time since 2002.

It means that a Government target to halve the number of teenage pregnancies by next year now looks almost certain be missed despite intense efforts to promote contraception and more sex education in schools.

The figures come amid the furore over 13-year-old Alfie Patten, the schoolboy from Sussex who is said to be the father of his 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Stedman's daughter, Maisie Roxanne.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the charity the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the UK's largest abortion provider, said: "The fact that half of the teenagers in this position felt able to end their pregnancy in abortion is actually a positive sign."

She described the fact that there is less social stigma among young people about having an abortion as "an entirely good thing".

Abortion is entirely a good thing?
No social stigma?


So much for the act of last resort.

The Government responded by announcing an extra £20.5 million to promote contraception in skills including a £7 million media campaign.

After intense efforts, the government will spend more money to do the same thing. That's actually the definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

Related: Abortion, root of all evil, so to speak

Friday, March 6, 2009

ZenTiger The perils of social networking

Where better to read about the perils of social networking than on a blog? Stay away from them. They is bad. New Zealand Conservative links to a technology update that shows how social networking causes brain damage, jealousy, social ineptness and cancer:

ZenTiger Friday Night Free for All

Tis Friday!

A regular Friday. Not yet the "every second Friday" the government pays us to take a training day, or whatever that idea was. Just when TEC is shrinking, they think of another plan to replace those lost government jobs with new government jobs. Self improvement every two weeks? I'm in some form of training every day (in the general sense). Don't get any government assistance for it though. Not looking for any either.

Seems to me the blogs are picking up a bit. After a bit of a hiatus, the old issues are crawling out of the woodwork. ACC. Foreshore and Seabed. A new "Iwi Tax" as slippery as the eels they are taxing, via Fishers of Eels. Bill of Rights. Section 92A. New reasons for bludging. Labour moaning that they aren't in power....

This week, it's a bit of a moan at Phil Goff, their leader, the future Prime Minister and therefore heir apparent, apparently. But it's not really Phil that they are moaning about. They just miss the government benches.

Sure, they may feel better by putting him against the wall and shooting him, but it will not solve the basic issue. They miss the smell of a government press release in the morning. They miss being listened to.

That's why Maharey went back to school. Helen is courting the United Nations and Dr Cullen is stacking his cushions, ready for a new cushy job.

No problem, tomorrow is Saturday. Job Pages.

Lucia New Age Catholics

As some readers here know, I reverted back to the Catholic faith of my childhood a couple of years ago. Therefore, all of the shenanigans during the past 20 years or so that have been going on in Catholic churches in NZ have been somewhat of a huge surprise to me. The worst that I could really remember was the horrendous folk music that we sang, such as Kumaya and The Rivers of Babylon by Boney M, back in the days were I had no idea. Now, it's far worse.

When I first came back, I was asked to attend a woman's retreat where the Enneagram was to be taught to the participants by a pair of nuns. Sounded a bit off, to me, and yes, upon researching it, I found the Enneagram is a form of New Age spiritualism that many Catholics have taken on. Having dabbled quite a bit myself in the New Age prior to coming back to the Faith, I wondered to myself: Why be Catholic if you are gong to play around with the New Age? Why not just be honest with yourself and leave the Catholic Church? Because anyone who plays around with the Enneagram has already mostly left anyway. Just the shell, the label of "Catholic" remains.

But when the shell of "Catholic" infests the local official Catholic Diocesean paper, Welcom, published by the Wellington and Palmerston North Dioceses, and theoretically overseen by the region's two bishops (Dew and Cullinane), I have to wonder just how far up does the rot go.

Welcom is publicising another form of New Age spiritualism taken on by quasi-Catholics called "centering prayer" (CP). Even the name sends the hair on the back of my neck straight up, and the posture of the woman in the photo says it all. She's sitting with her legs crossed yoga style on a chair with arms. Not a comfortable position for such a chair and one that would require a bit of effort to get into and maintain. It would have been better for her to sit on the floor where she would most likely have been more comfortable. So the posture itself is making a statement, a physical and spiritual statement of "I'm not teaching anything Catholic, but let's pretend it's Catholic."

At least that is what I thought when I looked at the picture but, in fact the self-styled "Hermit" isn't even Catholic herself; she's an Episcopalian "Priest". So, the implication is that CP is Catholic and the woman herself is Catholic, but it isn't until a person investigates further that they discover that the impression and the reality are totally removed. Maybe that is why the talks she is giving aren't being hosted in Catholic venues. One small mercy, I suppose, that might give a potential participant pause before plunging in to learn CP.

So, what is wrong exactly with "centering prayer" (CP)? In short, CP seeks to turn the focus of the person from moving towards God to turning inwards towards the self and moving away from God under the guise of getting closer to God. Or the longer explanation:
CP devotees claim it to be a revival of ancient meditative practice, referring to it as a new version of the practice of ejaculatory mental prayer wherein contemplatives practiced the presence of God by repeating simple sacred words or sentences such as "Jesus, I love you".

Far from simple or sacred, CP is a codified technique which constructs a psychological and spiritual state of awareness designed to unleash unconscious forces and which typically encourages a narcissistic turning-inward and pre-occupation with self awareness, consciousness-raising and the achieving of preternatural experiences.
Totally New Age focused and not Catholic at all. I'm amazed that the article got into Welcom at all.

Related Links: Centering Prayer ~ Our Lady's Warriors

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ZenTiger NZ Dairy Board investigates latest technology

The NZ Dairy Board is reportedly investigating the latest advancement in milking technology.

Said industry representative Farmer Brown: "We've seen a 10 fold increase in milking capacity from our cows. We expect this figure to improve to yield 20 times the original amount within a few years."

This milking technology was based directly on the example of providing free physiotherapy via ACC.

"Let's milk the system for all it's worth, gentlemen."

Scientists are predicting that such excessive milking is likely to kill the sacred cow.

No Minister: No Turkeys for Christmas and Kiwiblog: Pruning ACC

ZenTiger Contract Killers

Dave at Big News points out abortionists are effectively paid on commission, putting the three top abortionists on the ultimate baby bonus scheme. Over $200 grand a year. Nice work if you can get it.

I always wondered why the waiting lists for abortion weren't at least 9 months, like some other medical issues. It's all in the funding.

ZenTiger Whistle while you work

Left wing blogger Idiot/Savant has called for teams of bum wipers to wipe bums for people not working (otherwise known as bums).

"The greatest obstacle to my freedom is that I have to brush my teeth, wash my clothes, and wipe my bum. These are all activities that severely impact on my time, and thus my freedom, and so the government needs to do something about it. Otherwise, I am not free."

Idiot was last seen negotiating with his mother to continue to wash his clothes and prepare his meals, but hadn't solved the bum wiping issue.

However, the Freedom Consulting Group, a group of beneficiaries on multiple benefits and various ACC compensation schemes video conferenced in from the third hole of the Western Pines Golf Club with some very good suggestions.

"Some of our members don't wash. This frees up a considerable amount of time, and keeps annoying social workers well away. In fact, one guy I knew used it to support a compensation claim that he suffered from incurable halitosis and a sweat disorder and can no longer engage in physical labour. It's a life time condition and leaves the field of recreational blogging wide open."

Idiot has demanded a bum wiping tax fund is established, where people that want to work, and earn high wages would pay a surcharge to employ professional bum wipers to enable his freedom.

"Of course I'm going to work, but it will be doing something I really enjoy. Quite frankly, I don't enjoy washing my clothes, brushing my teeth and wiping my bum. And if I did enjoy it, I certainly would expect to be paid a lot more money for such demeaning work. Some kind of Universal Benefit."

Sorry, Idiot. That was my immediate reaction to the general impression your post gives me. Let's see what you really said about work:

it's fundamentally about who is making the decisions: time spent doing what I want to do versus time spent doing what other people want me to do. And only during the former am I really free. Every moment I spend working to pay the rent is thus a very real intrusion on my liberty. Which is why they call it wage slavery...

and I/S adds:

and [as for paying rent], this is why most of us work. Yes, its nice if you love your job. But most of us are only in it for the money, and would much rather be doing something else.

and his solution:
Let's start with a 35-hour week. Beyond that, we should be moving to replace the benefit and pension system with a Universal Basic Income. A universal payment given to every adult regardless of circumstances. Not only would this give us time (in that people could choose to take that six months off, or even not to work if they were content to do without luxuries); it would also permanently remove the employers' boot from our neck.

Both Liberty Scott and MacDoctor debate the reality with the financial aspect of creating a society that can choose not to work and point out the differences between slaves and wage earners are far more substantial than the socialist slogans Idiot espouses. So there is little to add in that regard.

Just one brief point about Idiot's comment "Let's start with a 35 hour week": What cheek! No, that's not a start. That's a continuation. It reeks of "what ever have employers done for workers."

Last year the minimum amount of paid leave for workers rose one week to more than 5 weeks per year. That's four weeks annual leave and a swag of public holidays. Prior to that, additions to penalty rates for working on holidays added so much expense that some cafes don't bother opening on a public holiday. The ones that do typically have a service surcharge of 10 to 20%, and they are being abused for it. The minimum wage increases and abolition of the youth wage are seen as socialist victories.

So, it's not a start. The current situation is obviously not good enough for socialists, but they can at least pay heed to previous gains, because those gains are under very real threat as businesses may not survive the next year, which means jobs will not survive either. Then there will be many people on Idiot's Universal Benefit, and we will see how New Zealand prospers.

Getting distracted. Back to my main point. In this whole discussion about wage slavery is a general disdain for work, and a general belief that ones world will be better living in some kind of garden of Eden with nothing much to do, and more time on ones hands. And look where that got us.

Tied in with Socialism is a general disdain for a work ethic, and a failure to understand the redeeming value of work.

Instead of Idiot arguing to improve choice in terms of career and opportunity, he ends up arguing for freedom as being free not to work. That is not freedom. That is an enticement to sloth. It is the siren call of laziness and decadence. It is self destructive hedonism.

If we are to value people, we are to value the work they do, irrespective of the wage they earn and the fee they are paid. If we are to value ourselves, it is to undertake our duties and responsibilities in work more than in play.

Generally, the left and right wing have similar goals, just the means differ. Here is a good example of how this happens.

Liberty Scott on tax slavery
MacDoctor dishes out the medicine

Idiot/Savant: Time and Freedom

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ZenTiger The Clarke Files

If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear. If you have your DNA taken and stored by the Police, it's only so they can rule you out as a suspect on future issues. If you spend a few days in jail, it's for your safety and the safety of the public. So what's the problem? Maybe nothing. Or maybe Nanny has a Big Brother.

On one hand, the Police have to check out suspicious acts, and we never hear exactly why Clarke became a person of interest. Surely though, grabbing him and checking his phone for photos would have been enough? At least they didn't just shoot him like the last terror suspect. Small mercies and all that.

The police hypersensitivity is debatable, but Stephen Clarke raises a fair point. Not charged, so they should drop his DNA record.

I see the idea of managing everyone's DNA in New Zealand pop up fairly often, around the time Dr Kiro, nearly ex-Children's Commissioner, bangs on about getting a national database tracking every child. Dreary stuff.

And why is it police are good at arresting people who are probably guilty of loitering at the wrong time? Does anyone have any stories where video surveillance lead to the arrest and capture of violent thugs bashing some poor person? Do the muggings just move to different alley ways?

Related Link from Boing Boing: Sewer Police Grate on Citizen Rights

ZenTiger 300 plus irate Iranians and me

The film 300 portrays the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, in which 300 Spartans held off a huge Persian army at a mountain pass in Greece for three days. It angered many Iranians for the way Persians are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks.

If I remember the movie correctly, at least one of the Spartans was a conniving, backstabbing coward who lusted after the queen. A bunch of those in the political assembly were blind idiots who followed a good speech. So it wasn't all one way traffic.

The Iranians ignore that part of the movie and focus on the historical inaccuracies to do with King Xerxes and the Persians.

Comic book writing genius Frank Miller (Dark Knight, Sin City) and the producers of 300 have already gone on record saying they play loose with the facts. Anyway, we expect that from Hollywood and comic book writers. Especially if the movie ever starts with "based on a true story".

I'm not sure anyone would believe that the Iranians fit the Xerxes mold anyway? If anything, the stereotype is that they stone people to death if they are flamboyant and sexually decadent. And an Iranian couldn't possibly think of sexual relations with a 13 year old girl unless they were prepared to marry then first!

Persians also include Iraq. In fact I think that Xerxes may have come from Iraq. Hmm, Uday was Persian wasn't he? Maybe he was the troll personified in the film 300? I liked that particular battle scene.

I don't know how up to date this summary is on Iranian laws covering sex and marriage [link], but what is interesting is that Iran battles with sexual impropriety just as our society does. Their extreme approach to control human nature seems no more effective than our overly permissive approach in a society where sex is even used to sell consumer products.

Somewhere in the mix are the 'market signals' generated by the DPB and allowing fathers to walk away from their responsibilities too easily (I'm thinking more of how solo mothers expect full benefits and yet decline to establish paternity)

Ultimately, teaching sound ethics, fostering a culture based on personal responsibility and making self mastery an important aspect of personal development is going to trump the problems in both overly liberal societies and ones ruled by religious fundamentalism.

In writing that last paragraph, I'm reminded that my own levels of self-mastery are lower than I'd like (I'm working on it). If it weren't for the fact I'm slightly ahead on the ethics and personal responsibility scores, I'd probably be in a lot more trouble in my life :-). That's slightly off topic, but then maybe this is all about me?

The film 300 has been banned in Iran. I might just go watch it again. Those noble Spartans are rather inspiring.

Source Story: Iranian Irate: If I've told you once, I've told you 300 times

Related Link: The 300 Spartans

A worthwhile trip: Frank Miller and Warner Bros "300" web site

Bonus for Kiwiblog readers:

David Farrar as King Xerxes of Persia in 1962's 'The 300 Spartans'. He had a bit more hair back then.