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Showing posts from August, 2009

John Key - another interview on smacking after the previous one

This interview is with Mike Hosking on NewsTalkZB last Thursday morning, in response to the fallout from the Government's stance on smacking. Sorry, it took awhile, I was finding it really hard to keep going through it, hearing the same crap over and over again. Mike Hosking was pretty good, though. MH (15:18): So, wouldn't you know it, eh? The Government spent the first part of the week trying to hose down the public's upset over the lack of response to the smacking referendum when out of the old ballot box comes John's Boscawin's private member's bill on .... smacking! The glimmer of hope from supporters that National might have a bit of a look at it is squashed when John Key says that he won't be supporting it so it is dead in the water. Why? John Key is with us, good morning. JK: Good morning, Mike! MH (15:43): Were you even slightly tempted to give this a bit of support or not? JK: Ah, do you mean in terms of the smacking, ah ... MH: Yes.

Sex Education in NZ isn't working

Ozy Mandias suggests that it's time for a new approach with sex education in New Zealand. It seems government funding is piped into the Family Planning sex promotion business, which in turn improperly "advertises" sex to our youth. I'm not going to bother with a link to the euphemistic "Family Planning" web site, but here's a better one: Attitude Link: Ozy Mandias on Sex Ed: Time for a change

Exploiting the Loopholes

Sue Bradford's law was supposedly issued to prevent people who use unreasonable force on a child get off by arguing the force was reasonable. Her new law was supposed to prevent a mere handful of cases over 15 plus years from evading justice. The old law simply said a parent may only use reasonable force if disciplining their child. The law was clear, and the loophole (if one existed) was merely that a judge might not be able to understand what reasonable force was. Here's part of her new law: Section 59 - Parental control (1) Every parent of a child and every person in the place of a parent of the child is justified in using force if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances and is for the purpose of — (c) preventing the child from engaging or continuing to engage in offensive or disruptive behaviour; Surely, the loophole remains? Clearly then, the sole intent of her law was only to ban correction. Technically, subsection 2 makes any form of child discipline

Sue threatens 1.4 million people

Sue Bradford has reportedly likened parents who lightly smack their child to the same category as child abusers and child beaters. She has allegedly indicated that all parents who smack are either religious fundamentalists, or being directed by them. She first threatened to outlaw any form of smacking and to treat anyone guilty of this as law breakers, potentially placing good families under massive stress, and then later carried out her threat in spite of pleas for restraint and moderation from hundreds of thousands of parents.

Saul and Sue

You have to give it to Sue Bradford - she knows her Alinsky. For those of you who have come in late Saul Alinsky is the guru of "community organizers". He systematized the process of remaking society in the way you want by stomping your feet until you get what you want. One of Alinsky's favored techniques is demonization of your opponents. Now poor old Sue suffered a minor setback a week ago when a referendum overwhelmingly rejected her Social Engineering Act outlawing smacking. This was middle New Zealand speaking folks. And middle New Zealand is not in favor of political violence - it just wants to go about daily life without disruption and interference from intrusive busybodies. And Sue understands of course the way to get her way is to cast those who oppose her as wackos, which her opponents for the most part are not. Hence we have her little tantrum over a twitter message suggesting she might be a target for assassination. And her attempt to cast of S59 opp

Oh - the wonders of "non tactile" discipline made manifest

Well the elite are certain, smacking kids is not good for them. That's why we have a law that forbids it, whether we like it or not. But despite this law kids are getting more violent and harder to control, according to this article in this mornings Herald . Primary school pupils of all age groups are increasingly willing to resort to violence, worried teachers say. Auckland Primary Principals Association president Marilyn Gwilliam said school heads were becoming more concerned after noticing an increase in violent behaviour among the 5- to 10-year-olds. Figures show the number of stand-downs (set periods of time that children are not allowed to attend school) for assaults by 8-year-olds increased by 88 per cent from 2000 to last year.Seven-year-olds received 73 per cent more stand-downs last year than in 2000, 6-year-olds had 70 per cent more, and stand-downs of 5-year-olds increased by 33 per cent. Mrs Gwilliam said schools were struggling to handle the children. "They

The Press is still bashing Nixon after all these years

"You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." Richard Nixon - November 7, 1962 The media has always loathed Richard Nixon, an upstart Quaker from rural California who became a giant in American politics and world politics as well as President of the United States. Eventually the media succeeded in destroying his Presidency - quite possibly in their tiny minds their greatest triumph. And a great many readers will see Nixon as the epitome of corrupt and dirty politics, as if! But it is no great surprise to find the Media trotting out anti Nixon stories on the occasion of the death of Teddy Kennedy, that great icon of Liberalism. The contrast between the Kennedy's and Nixon could not be greater - the former were playboys born into a life of wealth and privilege whereas Nixon was born into an impoverished but strict quaker household. Two of Nixon's brothers died of tuberculosis one in childhood in the family

Friday night free for all

I'm having one of those days, made a lot more stressful by lack of sleep. Why is it that the night I actually manage to go to bed early, I get woken by a catfight outside my bedroom window, have trouble getting back to sleep because my fearless kitten is too scared to go back to sleep on the bed, THEN get woken by an earthquake, which was a bit of a shakeup, but nothing too scary. And then have the kitten wake up early at 5am to get fed, and rather than going outside she wants to play under the bed. Something happened an hour after that as well, whatever it was, it's lost to fog of half-asleepness. I didn't feel the aftershock at 4am, that's once small mercy. I wonder what will happen tonight if I try to go to sleep early?

Its all a game but with a guaranteed loser - you!

Have you heard about this BS going down with the ETS select committee. There was supposed to be a report tabled yesterday. Problem was that the Maori party had included a minority report from their viewpoint within the document and decided they wanted to withdraw it. So no report. And of course the usual suspects are going on about it: Govt runs roughshod over rules, stifles ETS debate But it is all posing and posturing. What the argument is really about is how much can be stolen from the productive sector and who will get spoils. And these pompous posing prats with their press releases are no different from a mafioso running a racket - no different at all except they do not use physical violence to accomplish their thievery. Instead they shelter behind the courts and the law and pretend they are civilized as they plot their latest extortion racket. And whats in the withdrawn report - I have no idea but you can count on it that the Maori party's game is to maximize ETS s

Grievance politics and gay marriage

Everybody has the right to live as they want to without interference from the authorities provided they don't interfere with anybody else's right along the way. Now here is a story from Russia about two Lesbians who believe it is their "right" to have a state sanctioned wedding. They were turned down, took it to court where their case was thrown out because they didn't appear. Ten minutes later they did turn up for a photo opportunity to whine to the world how hard done by they are. Well whining to the world's media is a right I support as is laughing at clowns who make utter fools of themselves while doing it.

What is wrong with John Key?

National is not going to support a private member's bill that in effect, gave John Key a face-saving way out of further infuriating the nation over the smacking issue. Either he's mad, totally stark raving bonkers, or something else is going on in the background, something that John Key doesn't want to tell us about. My guess is the latter, given the extreme discomfort in his voice when interviewed a couple of days ago. Related Link: National will not support Boscawen bill ~ NewsTalkZB

World conservative leader with vision to past, present and future

Rejection of God leaves society, and our very civilisation, weak and vulnerable. Far from secularism being the great liberator, it is the great enslaver, enslaving societies until their ultimate death or destruction. For that reason, Pope Benedict's vision of what is needed (the restoration of Christendom) is the only way out of this quagmire we've created. Conservatives are searching for a leader. Move over Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Pope Benedict XVI has emerged as the great conservative champion. In his recently issued and much anticipated third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Love in Truth"), the pope lays out a brilliant blueprint for addressing the seminal problems of our age. Contrary to headlines, the encyclical is not an anti-capitalist tract. The pope is not a red Tory who puts "social justice" and statist economics above free markets. He does not call for big-government liberalism. Instead, he upholds free market

Another Blow for the "no need to change the law brigade"

After a devastating result (for the Bradford Act supporters) in last weeks referendum and John Key's triangulation on not changing the law on smacking - guess which private members bill has been drawn in this weeks ballot. If you guessed John Boscawen's Crimes (Reasonable Parental Control and Correction) Amendment Bill you'ld be right. It will be introduced in Parliament at 2pm today. The timing's impeccable to create a lot of MP squirming.

Pushing the envelope

Laura Dekka is a thirteen year old Dutch girl. She was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a round the world trip undertaken by her now divorced Dutch father and German mother. And now her father, who has custody of her, has applied to the authorities in the Netherlands for a two year leave of absence from school so that she can undertake a solo round the world yachting venture. Now the child protection authorities in the Netherlands are seeking temporary custody of Laura to prevent this venture. According to the Herald this morning Laura's lawyer is seeking a New Zealand passport for her which would short circuit this making the New Zealand authorities responsible for her welfare of course. I can't see that one flying. Apart from anything else my understanding is that under New Zealand law you can not leave a child under fourteen unattended and you certainly cannot conceive as anything more unattended than a thirteen year old girl by herself the middl

Suicide Booths

Futurama Weeknights, 9p/8c Suicide Booth www.comedycentral.com Joke of the Day Stand-Up Comedy Free Online Games The joke here of course is that it will not be a mere 25 cents. There's bound to be a tax on it too. Anyway, forget the suicide booths for the moment. I think it's going to go much further than this. Once society embraces a culture of death, all sorts of opportunities will pop up for assisted suicide. How about criminals? Rather than put them in for life, I suspect one day we'll see them given the option for "voluntary execution". Maybe they spend a year in jail, with some approved luxuries in exchange, sorry, in respect of, their wish to be executed at the end of that year rather than face life imprisonment? Maybe it will become more popular when they factor in that the family outside has to meet a pay scale to cover imprisonment. Throw in organ donation bonuses, and it becomes a "noble option" to settle all debts on the way out.

John Key Lied Today

John Key lied today, as reported in this mornings DomPost. He said words to the effect that "smacking is legal". [Update: I've finally got to have a proper look at the article. I got it wrong, and owe Key an apology - he didn't quite lie, he just misdirected by avoiding the substance of the issue. I cover off here why his weasel words actually create a different problem with the smacking legislation.] Meanwhile, I reaffirm what Key is avoiding saying - that the law bans smacking for the purposes of correction or discipline. This is what the act says: (2) Nothing in subsection (1) or in any rule of common law justifies the use of force for the purpose of correction. How clearer could this possibly be? All forms of discipline (such as a smack) are technically illegal. Whether or not the police choose to prosecute is another matter. Actually, I would prefer the police prosecute all infringements of the law. We need to respect the laws, not be told to ignore

Marriage and Family - oh fie that is so twentieth Century

I am begining to wonder if the concept family is past its use by date. The Families commission has just released a report showing just how horrible and dangerous family life is . Especially for women, one in three will be assaulted by her "partner" But men don't escaped unscathed either, one in five will be assaulted by his "partner". We don't need families to perpetuate the species any more. With modern science we could set up a Ministry of Reproduction. This ministry would collect genetic profiles of all New Zealanders and determine the optimum genetic make up of the next generation. The Ministry boffins could match a particular female to a particular male, they wouldn't have to meet. A letter would be sent to the male first telling him to report to the closest Ministry clinic for sperm collection, likewise for the woman who would report to her local clinic for egg donation. After fertilization in a petrie dish, the egg would be implanted in

The Anti-Smacking Law - Why Parents are Criminals

Sue agrees : While it is true that [the] use of force for correction will technically be an offence, this does not mean that our already very stretched police force will be taking this kind of action. Any kind of force is illegal, but says Sue, the Police are overstretched and too busy to enforce it. John Key doesn't seem to care that smacking IS ILLEGAL. Furthermore, the referendum asked the question: SHOULD A SMACK BE A CRIMINAL OFFENCE? 87.6% of the million plus responses indicate most strongly that the only way of fixing the problem is to make this legal.

Transcript of interview this morning with John Key on smacking law

This is pass 2 of transcribing the interview with John Key on smacking derailing Parliament that I talked about yesterday. Still fixing it up. Updated 25 Aug, 2pm. MH: Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's with us, good morning! JK: Good morning MH: Are you going to ignore the 88%? JK: [Audible breath in] Ah, well, no, I think [obviously thrown before getting into the prepared speech] what I am going to do is take to Cabinet today a series of proposals I think can give parents an increased levels of confidence I've always said that if the law doesn't work then I would change it important that we make sure that we can understand clearly without bias whether the law is working or not so, you know, I think you can't ignore when such a large number of New Zealanders express their view didn't necessarily say they wanted the law changed and that they said quite clearly they thought that if they smacked a child in a minor or inconsequential way that should not be someth

Changing the smacking law would derail parliament!

On NewsTalkZB this morning, John Key said that if they changed the smacking law, it would "Derail Parliament." Derail Parliament??? Unbelievable! Key was definitely on the back foot this morning. The radio host really pressed him on why he couldn't change the law, saying he had the numbers, he could change the law by lunchtime. Ok then, by 3 o'clock. But this was an explosive issue, people opposed changing the law... Who? What people? John Key wouldn't say. The interview was priceless.

Another Referendum

The YES lobby were upset that Helen Clark and Labour wasted 9 million dollars by delaying the smacking referendum. The result justifies every dollar. Now John Key wants to do nothing, but will go through the motions of appearing to do something, anything, but make a change to the legislation. So lets get another 300,000 signatures (as if the 1 million plus last Friday wasn't enough!) and force another referendum. This time the question can be something like "does the law need to be changed so that a smack is not illegal?" When we have the 300,000 signatures we explain to John that he and parliament can stop stuffing around and actually do the job they were elected to do, or HE and NATIONAL waste another 9 million dollars. However, by the time the signatures have been presented to parliament, and they have dithered over it, it will be just about election time. Does he really want to risk revisiting this at election time? Just imagine the pressure a second refer

More Palm Oil hypocrisy

Look at this jungle. Look at those vines, the way they twine around the trees, swaIIowing everything. Nature's cruel, Staros. Lieutenant colonel Tall in The Thin Red Line A millennium ago North Western Europe was covered in forest. The ancestors of modern environmentalists cleared those forests and replaced them with pastures to graze sheep and cattle. and as a result Western Europe became wealthy. A result of wealth is that when it is no longer necessary to hard scrabble in the dirt just to survive societies can support artists, scientists and thinkers. So the societies of Western Europe prospered and grew wealthier. And as life became more secure they also became more humane along the way - because they could afford to be . Look at this story the SST this morning: Rainforest dies for your cattle feed, NZ farmers warned and its companion piece: Our destructive ways. It seems clear cut -no? We should not be buying Palm oil or its derivative products! Wrong

Anything Less Than Law Change Unacceptable

Yes, we won in the referendum, but what happens now? According to a comment from John Key this morning, he would take to Cabinet - "options which fall short of changing the law but will provide comfort for parents about this issue" This is not good enough. It falls into the same status as the unwritten idea that gives Police discretion in whether to prosecute in situations where a child has been smacked. There is a reason why we write down laws: it is so that everyone understands them; lawyers, judges, police and the public can refer to them; use them to prosecute or defend; determine whether laws have been broken or crimes committed. What is going to happen in 50 years when the "general understanding" around the issue has long passed from human memory? All that those in the future will have is what we have written down or prescribed in law - the law that must be obeyed and enforced. That provides little "comfort" for me, or for the parents and futu

YES, NO WON

YES! NO WON. Some of my initial thoughts: The referendum was non-binding. That means the government will only listen if it believes in democracy, not because it has to. Your call John. John Key thought the question was confusing. However, he's apparently good with numbers. 87.6% John. With 87.6% voting NO, it looks like the people too stupid to understand the question were the ones who would have voted YES :-) Any referendum achieving a greater than 50% turnout can be judged a success. We hit 54%, a solid result. Many people would not have voted because the referendum was non-binding and John Key had already signalled he wasn't interested in listening to the outcome. On that basis alone, a solid result. Bradford is apparently trying to count the abstaining votes as all belonging to the YES camp. Bradford is either deluded, or her nose will serve as a second harbour bridge by morning.

Friday Night Free for All

I've come up with a new definition of blogging: Blogging - the process of dumping all your really crazy and stupid ideas so that your brain contains only good stuff. So don't hold back tonight. Your brain will be sparkly and new by tomorrow morning. Just like mine :-)

Consensus Science

Note to the Global Warming camp: The science isn't settled when it relies on consensus . Settled science is backed by proof. Currently we have theories and counter theories. New information is produced almost daily that turns old information on its head. We've got a long way to go before the science behind Global Warming can be confirmed (proven) as being man-made. This does not mean I'm against sustainability and good management of our natural resources. Slightly different discussion. Hat tip: Investigate Magazine Sep? edition

The United Nations turns the screws on NZ

New Zealand’s highly conditional emissions reduction target of 10-20 per cent has been strongly criticised by the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Dr. Pachauri said a stronger commitment was required from New Zealand if the world was to have any chance of averting runaway climate change. Pachuri announced this from India, one of the world's biggest polluters. India is conveniently exempt from Kyoto targets because it has the status of "developing nation". The UN are firing a shot across the bows in public. What screws are they turning on NZ in private? We make our crust by exporting food. We will end up bearing the taxes on the food other countries eat. If the UN and the IPCC get their way, perhaps that will be the least of our problems.

Gender issues in sport

The 1936 Olympic games were held in Berlin. In Nazi Germany it was a matter of pride to show the superiority of the Germanic race and several scandals resulted. One of the lesser known scandals was that of Dora Ratjen who placed fourth in the women's high jump. Later on Dora Ratjen went on to set the women's high jump record in 1938 at the European Championships in Vienna. Shortly thereafter it was revealed that Dora Ratjen was in fact Hermann Ratjen, a male. So began the long saga of top female athletes being accused of being male. And some athletics careers have been cut short as a result. Gender testing was mandatory in the 1960s right through until the 1996 games when several competitors failed the tests but all were later ruled as female. Here is the latest Athletics gender controversy. South African runner Caster Semenya who cleaned up the field at the world athletic championships in Berlin last night has a very masculine appearance and athletics authorities have o

The right to scream at your wife

The smacking debate is truly tiresome. I will sum up a couple of key points, because a quick look around the blogs and I see many people are distracted with irrelevancies as far as this law is concerned. 1. The government has made all forms of correction technically illegal (s59.2). 2. The government has decided a smack, regardless of how soft, or how infrequent, or how preferable it is to say, being electrocuted (like when a child wants to stick objects into a power point), is a sign of bad parenting and made bad parenting (in this context) illegal. These two points are really the core of the issue. We can argue if a smack is really bad parenting or not. We can argue for better parenting techniques, and how they could be taught. We can discuss alternatives. We can reduce the frequency. We can educate and train. We can prosecute and lock up cases of real abuse. However, these points have nothing to do with the referendum question, which points out that "bad parenting&

Judges are not appointed to change society

Paul von Dadelszen Acting Principal Family Court Judge thinks that gay people should be allowed to adopt children . Society has changed he says using the Civil Unions Act as a justification for this assertion and that it is discrimination to not allow gay couples to adopt children. Bringing up children isn't a right! It is a duty and a heavy responsibility. The Liberal elite have done incredible damage to the family over the past thirty odd years and are we better off for it? No way - a lot of people have been severely damaged by these peoples noble experiments and odd notions of "rights" and no notion what-so-ever of "responsibilities". I have no idea why the Good Lord created men and women but whatever his reason it is apparent to all but liberals that it takes one of each to create a child and no activist judge can alter that fact. Children do best if they have in their lives strong adult role models, one of each gender and preferably both being

Sponsor a Child II

Earlier, I suggested sponsoring a child to direct your donation is a great idea, and it's a low cost way to really make a difference in the world. Some children can be sponsored for as little as $30 per month, and yet receive vital education and health resources that really give them a chance. It seems readers know of many such unfortunate children in need of love, attention and a a few bucks a month. At FFM's suggestion, here are a couple more: Roger Roger is a delightfully cheeky lad, who has had a troubled past. Many years ago, he was sponsored by a generous family who sent their monthly donation to him to supplement the meager earnings he made working two jobs in the sweat shops of the Rowling and Lange Factories, living on a diet of fish and chips . However, his benefactors eventually died and Roger was not able to face up to that loss. He still thinks they should be sending him the monthly cheque for the rest of his life , and that is why we need your donation.

The Crime Exchange

Police have backtracked on a decision to stop issuing information on drink-drivers because of privacy. What? Who are they kidding? Now that they've committed a crime in public, don't they realise Paula Bennett is going to publish all their private data anyway? It's certainly angered Police Minister Judith Collins who hit out at police : "Drink-drivers are potential killers and they should be treated as such" I don't think she was suggesting police therefore publish their potential names. Indeed, as far as Judith Collins is concerned all New Zealanders are potential criminals, and perhaps we should be treated as such? That certainly explains the thinking behind the anti-smacking laws. I've read the "name and shame" lists from time to time, and always failed to recognise a name. Not only do I have few friends, obviously they are either master criminals that can escape detection, or living saints. None, it seems, are able to meet the crit

Sponsor a Child

The concept of sponsoring a child to direct your donation is a great idea, and it's a low cost way to really make a difference in the world. Some children can be sponsored for as little as $30 per month, and yet receive vital education and health resources that really give them a chance. I urge all to sponsor a child today. Here's a sample list of worthy candidates. Remember, your donation can make a difference. Please consider. Bill Young Bill barely has a roof over his head. He holds refugee status, being separated from his homeland in the southern parts of wild and untamed New Zealand. Forced to relocate to a squat in Wellington, he finds it hard to make ends meet. Your 12.5% GST and 39% tax rate helps keep a roof over his head. He's managed to find a job which brings in a mere $276,000. Yes, it sounds a lot, but remember, that is in Kiwi dollars. His recent accommodation allowance has ended, and he has debts of over $12,000 to repay. If you could find a

Are Labour MPS really this clueless

The "greatest generation" fought World War 2. A significant number of them sacrificed their youth to that great struggle facing great hardship and deprivation as they did so. Of course there were many who gave more then their youth, the ones who didn't return. And when the battles were over those who had come through it began their lives, started their families and raised their children. They had lots of children and were encouraged to do so by the Governments of the day who saw the value of Children and the merits of creating the next generation to perpetuate the species. It was a period of great prosperity and the children of the greatest generation grew up in a world of privilege and opportunity beyond the wildest imaginations of their ancestors. And here is what the Greatest Generation produced. The baby boomers. A selfish and self absorbed hedonistic bunch. And for many of the boomers having families raising children was not a high priority. So they didn'

Baying mob increases third world poverty

In a triumph for the mindless, Cadbury has stopped using palm oil in its confectionarys. In recent years Palm oil has become the most prevalent vegetable oil on the market. The reasons why are economic, the African Oil Palm, Elaeis guineensis produces more vegetable oil per hectare than any other known species. This has been a boon to the poor of Indonesia and Malaysia, a cash crop with a huge international demand and an opportunity to earn an honest living. Needless to say over privileged westerners are none too pleased that the poor of these nations have an opportunity to better themselves and so begins a concerted campaign against Palm Oil. You will not be surprised to learn that the palm oil industry is apparently Greenhouse Gas emitter for example. Nor that it is responsible for the needless deaths of cuddly orangutans. The trouble is with these environmental noisemakers is that they have no concept of life on the margins, of going to bed hungry and watching your child

A proposal or a done deal?

The headline reads: Agency to rule on new cures And the lead paragraph says A powerful agency will decide which treatments to provide at public hospitals under a major revamp of the health system. The Government yesterday made public a long-awaited report on the health system after details of a Ministerial Review Group's recommendations were leaked to The Dominion Post last week. But by reading through to the bottom, if you have the stomach for it, reveals that this may not be a particularly popular idea amongst those who will actually make the final decisions. Health Minister Tony Ryall said the Government was not obliged to accept any of the report's 170 recommendations, and he would not support any that increased bureaucracy. The Cabinet is likely to consider the report in the next few months. So the whole story turns out to be a think tank piece which the Dominion has obtained and gone off the deep end with. And the headline and first paragraph are utter BS Update:

A Good Korea Move

Former US President Bill Clinton made a good "korea" move in negotiating the release of two US Journalists (Euna Lee and Laura Ling) held in prison in North Korea. They had serviced 4 months of a 12 year sentence for being caught engaged in hostile acts (being found near the border with film equipment). My first thoughts were "good on him" and I was glad he could do some good. Those thoughts remain, but my second thoughts were "what was the price?" When I read nauseating statements like: State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama’s gratitude. The report said the visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the United States. I wonder how much appeasement Obama is prepared to grant for "peace in his reign". And aside from those thoughts, my biggest reaction was actually about a peripheral issue. With the imprisonment of these two journalists, the world h

Clayton Weatherston Appeals

Clayton Weatherston has put in an early appeal, offering shocking new information that the judge agrees puts an entirely different perspective on the killing of Sophie Elliot. Said Clayton: "As everyone well knows, Sophie was a nice person. And yet I claimed she was not. The reason for this is clear. She was possessed by a devil and I tried to expunge the evil through a loving exorcism. Unfortunately, in spite of my best efforts, she died." Based on this startling new evidence, the judge was understood to be considering reducing the charge to manslaughter and letting Clayton off with a stern warning. "Enough damage has been done." This new defence strategy was the brain-child of Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, who remained unrepentant with this new line of defence. "Our justice system is an adversarial one, and it is my duty to use every trick in the book, no matter how distasteful. That is why this new line of defence is appropriate, especially now there is

Maori Dead Accorded More Respect

Two bored 9 year old boys vandalized a local cemetery. The picture in the paper showed a typical cemetery scene, with large traditional tombstones. One was around 5 feet high and in the shape of a cross. Some of the graves had wrought iron fences around them. As I said, a typical cemetery. Except to the reporter, this one was significantly different. Not just any dead people were buried there, but Maori dead people. So the whole tone of the story took on a new slant. "Boys smashed up a Maori Cemetery" ... "At first the boys, who are not Maori, did not seem to realise the full impact of their vandalism" ... "They did not understand the gravity of their actions. Maori take this very seriously." ... "The Maori families had starting repairing..." I'm astounded at the slant on this article. You think a European family would not be upset that a family member's grave stone had been vandalized? The use of the word "Maori&q

The passing of a legend

If you are a muso then the name Les Paul will be familiar to you. He is the innovator who set the stage for modern music with the invention of the solid body electric guitar as well multi track tape recording. He accomplished the later by adding extra heads to an existing tape machine. Mainstays of the modern music industry. Of course when he played his first version of the electric guitar in public way back in 1942 it didn't look like a guitar but a block of wood with six strings and he looked like a crazy man. But it sure caught on, especially after he made it look more guitar like. And after Gibson started manufacturing his guitars in 1952 the stage was set for rock and roll and all that has followed. Anyway news has just come in that Les Paul has just died aged 94. Memory Eternal

Honour Killing in the West

A 41-year-old Jordanian man was charged with premeditated murder after his raped teenage niece was shot dead on Tuesday to "cleanse" the family's honour, police said. "The man was arrested and charged after he shot the 16-year-old girl eight times in different parts of her body," a police source told AFP. "The suspect, who was arrested while carrying his gun, confessed to the crime, saying that he wanted to cleanse his family's honour after his niece was raped last year." Honour Killings such as this are met with understandable revulsion here in the West. Fancy murdering the women because she was raped. Murder a victim to restore honour? That does not make sense in the West. In the civilised world. But then again, we have our own version of honour killings. In the civilised world, many believe abortion is an acceptable way to resolve an ethical dilemma. Of course, aside from the small point that a life is forcibly terminated, there a

What to say about National?

They are just incredible. The other day I listened to Nick Smith talking about how NZ'ers weren't bludgers and that we would do our bit to prevent climate change, ie pay more for electricity and petrol. And then, was it yesterday? I listen to Jerry Brownlee say that NZ'ers were paying too much for electricity based on some commission or investigation of the electricity companies. Errr.... I thought paying too much for electricity was good. If I listen to the climate change spin. But then it's not good if that overpayment is not tax, ie paid to the UN or some other country who doesn't "pollute" as much as we do. I just have to thrown my hands up at the stark contrast to the two stories. Sorry, no links, just getting a quick post off before dinnner!

Un-fricken believable

The mayor of Porirua Litea Ah Hoi is gratified that St Johns Ambulance has admitted it erred in the case of baby Cherish who you might recall was bashed by her Grandmother and later died. Porirua Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoi, who spoke on behalf of Cherish's father, Nofosione Wright, said she was "really pleased" St John Ambulance had fronted up to its mistakes and was making changes. But she was astounded that a doctor and paramedics had to call for outside help to insert a breathing tube. " While it's too little too late for Cherish, Nofo is pleased it won't happen again, that another child's life could be saved, " she said. "I just hope the extra government funding also goes to training and retraining staff. And if that doctor, who is primarily accountable to St Johns, is not sure how to insert a breathing tube, that needs to be addressed as well. Meanwhile back in the New Zealand of 2009: Woman remanded in custody after toddler dies &#

Parenting and Smacking

Sue Bradford can set the scene for us: “it’s too soon in this country to criminalize parents who lightly smack their children.” ... “Repeal of s59 is only one small strand of what we need to do.” Smacking is violence: I have lost count of how many times I've heard the phrase 'it never did me any harm' — whether it was a light smack [or worse] ... so many of the victims of this violence seem determined to perpetuate it on future generations. Discipline is religious violence: There is no getting away from the fact that a huge part of the opposition to my bill has come from people who truly believe that bringing their children up with violence is not only their right but also their literally God-given duty. On fathers: This is the question of the connection between sexual perversion and the beating of children and young people. Very few of us want to acknowledge it up front, but in fact the more I've been immersed in this issue, and the more I've heard groups p

MP Perks protected under contract - hah!

Hands off our Perks! say 140 ex MPs, fighting to keep their lifetime entitlements. "Our conditions were set at the time for those members...and it's a contract between the Government and them which would be broken if it was changed by mutual agreement" Unfortunately for these MPs, this argument falls flat in so many ways. Let's play: Bankruptcy Auditors were called in today as John Key revealed the deficit was 8 billion dollars. Technically, the government is bankrupt and will have to be wound up. All previous contracts are null and void and we are expecting to pay out around 15 cents to each MP as compensation once other creditors have been paid. A new government will be formed once a new contract with the tax payers is established. Legislation Bill English today announced retrospective legislation, in the same style that the previous Labour Government used to ensure they were not found guilty of misspending. This retrospective legislation sets in pla