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Showing posts from October, 2009

Friday night free for all

It's certainly been quiet around here, lately. My Fridays are now a little different. Last term, we'd end our school day around 3:30pm. I'd do a bit of housework, but more often than not, I'd collapse at the kitchen table to do hardly anything much until dinner time, which would be takeaways. So, always time to put in an appropriately timed FNFFA, if I could beat ZenTiger to it. However, this term my oldest son has had his swimming times increased. Fridays are no longer lazy, but instead much like most other school days where we end about 3:30pm, I run around getting the washing into the drier, tidy something up, sit down for a cup of tea and then it's time to take the kids to the pool. Afterwards, it's FNFFA time, but I'm not able to get to my computer, because it's off to get dinner straight after swimming and pick up hubbie from the train station. What you've all got now, is the after-dinner Friday Night Free For All. I haven't eaten fin

Sterilisation an answer to Immorality

Michael Laws has put forward the suggestion that if NZ gave $10,000 to "certain people" in order for that person to consent to voluntary sterilisation, then there would "be less dead children and less social problems." This is a typical liberal response to what comes down to a problem NZ has with immorality, which this insane sanctification of short term relationships by calling the individuals "partners". Not only "certain people" live like this, it's just that "certain people" cause more problems for society than other people. Marriage as an institution was created to protect women and children. As marriage unravels, as it is doing in NZ, then there will be increasing problems with single women raising children and having short-term relationships with undesirable men, and having children to those undesirable men. It's far easier to call for sterilisation of "certain people" than to ask everyone in society to lift t

The Forces of Darkness are gathering

The following article, written by Richard Dawkins and published in the Washington Post is probably the most aggressive so far of all the attacks upon the Roman Catholic Church over the door being opened for Anglicans . What major institution most deserves the title of greatest force for evil in the world? In a field of stiff competition, the Roman Catholic Church is surely up there among the leaders. The Anglican church has at least a few shreds of decency, traces of kindness and humanity with which Jesus himself might have connected, however tenuously: a generosity of spirit, of respect for women, and of Christ-like compassion for the less fortunate. The Anglican church does not cleave to the dotty idea that a priest, by blessing bread and wine, can transform it literally into a cannibal feast; nor to the nastier idea that possession of testicles is an essential qualification to perform the rite. It does not send its missionaries out to tell deliberate lies to AIDS-weakened Africans,

Marx has not been rehabilitated!

Last week, after all the excitement of the Pope's Anglican announcements , a news item of interest seems to have slipped past into the secular world without much a reaction from the Catholic blogs who have bigger things on their minds. However, as an avowed enemy of Communism, I have not allowed myself to forget this particular news item, as it implies a rehabilitation of Marx by the Roman Catholic Church when no such thing has happened. So, it looks like refuting a major error is up to me. On the 23rd October, the Dominion Post published a cut-down version of the The Times article Vatican thumbs up for Karl Marx after Galileo, Darwin and Oscar Wilde . The Dominion Post titled this cut-down version, "Church revises hatred of Marx" . The problem is that both The Times and The Dominion Post misunderstand the significance of an article published in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano , written by Georg Sans, a professor at the pontifical Gregorian Uni

The Anglican Experiment is Over

A senior Anglican Archbishop in England has said he is ready to convert to Catholicism, now that the Pope has opened the door for Anglicans to convert enmasse. Bishop Hind said he would be "happy" to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church . He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers. In a further blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s hopes of preventing the Anglican Communion from disintegrating , other bishops have cast doubt over its survival . The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that "the Anglican experiment is over" . He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops. [Because they caved in to the world.] For more, with commentary in red, s

New Zealand to turn into a Surveillance State

National in government is looking worse and worse. As Berend said on Kiwiblog , that photo of John Key as Mussolini posted by Chris Carter (and since taken down) isn't looking far wrong right now. What do I say about a Government that is considering giving various non-Police Government Departments the power to snoop on citizens without a warrant, and to stop and search them? Just unbelievable really. Related Link: Surveillance bill goes too far, committee told ~ Stuff

Pope Makes Offer To Accept Anglicans Into Catholic Church

It seems that the Pope has made an offer of full communion in the Catholic Church to Anglicans, many of whom do not like the ordination of women or homosexuals. According to one report, a group of 400,000 Anglicans looks likely to shift right now - 400,000 Anglicans to Accept Pope Benedict's Offer After Benedict XVI made one of the most startling moves since the reformation, 400,000 members of the Anglican church who are in schism over the ordination of homosexuals seek to accept the pope's offer of full communion with the roman church. Archbishop John Hepworth, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, said he would ask the members of his group to immediately accept the pope's offer. Anglican's will retain some of their identity under the pope's offer. In 1992, when the Church of England first accepted the ordination of women, 440 clergymen left the church, many fear the offer of a new home will encourage many of the 77 million members to leave the Church

Five year olds too young to start school

A while back I posted on the shock, horror many here in NZ felt over many five year olds not be able to hold a pencil when they started school . For in NZ, you see, they start school right on their fifth birthday, and holding a pencil is surely something that pre-schools ought to be teaching. In these enlightened days of turning children into little adults, much is expected of them by the time they are five. Now, Cambridge University has released a study in Britain that shows not only is there no benefit to five years olds starting formal schooling, but that starting at five could actually be detrimental to long term learning. LONDON, October 21, 2009 ( - A study of primary education by Cambridge University recommends that formal schooling of children should begin at the age of six, a year later than the present norm in the UK. The 608-page Cambridge Primary Review, which was based on 28 surveys and 1,052 written submissions by 14 authors, 66 research consultants and

Gay panic causes suicide

The Dominion Post has a small article in today's paper on page A6 titled "Fear of rape 'led to prison death'. They could have just as easily used my blog post title, but I suppose drawing attention to the homosexual nature of the rape feared is a big no, no in New Zealand. A prisoner who was raped by another inmate killed himself after learning that his attacker was being brought back to the same jail, prison sources say. Maybe there's something to that "gay panic" myth after all?

Redefining Sin

Mankind is a fallen creature as a quick glance at the headlines of any newspaper will quickly confirm. And sober reflection on my life reveals my fallen nature and I strongly doubt that you gentle reader are any different. Now none of us like to have our imperfections pointed out and it seems to the unenlightened that is what the Church does, look for peoples flaws and threaten damnation to those who fail to fix them. Under that scenario of course we would all be damned and we are not. As every Christian knows salvation is possible but achieving it is a life long process, with many many stumbles along the way. What we all would like of course is to be told our sins, whatever they may be, are not sins and we can do whatever pleases us whenever we like. Now the fashionable sins of our age are sexual ones and the ethos of our age is if if feels good it must be good so do it and ergo it is not sin. Some elements of the Church have gone along with this. And those of us who haven't

Nazism vs Communism in New Zealand

School boys who photographed themselves bowing to a Nazi symbol have been made to apologise to the Auckland museum and spend some time teaching visitors how evil the Nazis were. But, has anything happened to Bob Brockie, who confessed last month to his father potentially helping Soviet soldiers with their dysentry problem in 1940 ? The year my Dad, when he was a child, was transported to Siberia in a cattle rail car in the dead of winter by Soviet soldiers with his entire family - their only "crime" being enemies of Communism. That same year where up to 21,857 Polish officers were taken in groups out to the forests to be shot and buried in mass graves by Soviet soldiers, so that the problem of Polish leadership in a invaded country would be dealt with (ie the Katyn Massacre ). A little something the Soviets learned from the Nazis. No apology in the paper, no having to educate readers on the evils of Communism. Nothing, not even a mention. You'd think it was a crime in

New Study Shows Downside of Being Gay Student

As reported in the NZ Herald - Gay and bisexual students show elevated rates of alcohol and drug use, sexually transmitted infections and mental health issues, an Auckland University report says. The study, to be released tomorrow, used data from Youth 07 - a survey of 8002 secondary school students which quizzed respondents on sexual attraction, health and wellbeing. It showed that over the past 12 months more than a third of gay and bisexual students had seriously contemplated suicide, while about half had harmed themselves, the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) - who are backing tomorrow's release - said. NZAF said the report also revealed several positive developments when compared to a similar survey done nine years ago. These included students forming rewarding friendships with peers and decreased rates of smoking. "The improvements are wonderful. However it's very clear that the rates of bullying and isolation that (gay and bisexual) youth reported have real and s

Gay Thought Police

Looks like NZ's Gay Thought Police have leapt onto the condemnation bandwagon of a writer who dared to question the circumstances around Boyszone's Stephen Gately's death. "It's like gazing through a horrid little window into an awesome universe of pure blockheaded spite. Spiralling galaxies of ignorance roll majestically against a backdrop of what looks like dark prejudice, dotted hither and thither with winking stars of snide innuendo." Not a direct quote from Gay NZ, but by including it in their article, a point of view that could easily be ascribed to them. Of course, if they don't feel that way, I'll happily retract. But honestly, two men in a civil union taking a 3rd male home, to then have one of the men dead on the couch - um, surely questions should be asked. Questions were asked about Michael Jackson's death. I doubt there are many calling for the head of journos who asked anything unpalatable of his death. But in the case of a gay i

We on the brink of doom!

The sky is falling, the sky is falling! Remember Chicken Little ? Gordon Brown will warn today that the world is on the brink of a "catastrophic" future of killer heatwaves, floods and droughts unless governments speed up negotiations on climate change before vital talks in Copenhagen in December. More to the point, if Copenhagen fails, then the chances that governments will be able to put in the crippling taxes needed to satisfy the socialist desire for a fully funded world government will also fail, because the population is getting increasingly sceptical that paying taxes will do anything to alleviate a "catastrophic future". Related Link: Copenhagen climate talks are last chance, says Gordon Brown ~ Guardian, UK

That's got to help race relations

"Why are we fighting whakapapa against whakapapa? There's so much enemy that is not brown." -- Pita Sharples, to Gang Members . Where does one go with a statement like that? It's possibly worse when one understands the context. Perhaps I'll change the subject then. In the brown camp, you have beer, kahlua and a dark malt whiskey. I guess white enemies might be P, cocaine and crack. The greens (Grass and tobacco) are reasonably dangerous, but in a mild and long term way. Only thing is, can Pita Sharples sort these colored types out? I guess it depends on who he meant the "enemy" were. Hat tip: Dim Post And related but not related: Your worst nightmare about to be released

Friday night free for all

Hello all. I have blogger's writer's block. I think it's because the world as I know it, no longer makes any sort of sense to me. So blogging is just trying to make sense out of the senseless to the few that can actually understand what I am talking about. To the rest, anything I write is just gibberish. After a number of years, that starts to really wear away at you. Not to mention that in real life, I have seen first hand the insanity that inhabits the Catholic Church in Wellington. It's not just here and there - it's everywhere. Trying to write a post about that has completely silenced my blog voice.

The Cult of Insincerity

There is in the article a moral exhibitionism, which is generosity of spirit at other people’s expense. This, I think, is one of the sicknesses of our age, the desire to appear more-compassionate-than-thou. I suspect that, in his heart of hearts, the author does not believe a word of what he says: a common thing among intellectuals. -- Theodore Dalrymple An interesting statement all on its own. However, it's the closing paragraph of a broader article, one which attacks what is becoming an increasingly popular concept amongst the liberal avant-garde - the abolition of prisons. He writes about France, but we have our own such people that are looking so hard at one aspect, I think they manage to ignore all others. I'll quote Theodore once more in reply to this idea: There is no recognition whatsoever in the article that the purpose of the criminal law is to protect the population from criminals, not to make criminals better people. Of course, it would be nice if they became be

Your Life Is Boring - Watch TV

Has anyone else seen the latest TVNZ 'On Demand' advertisement on TV? It's basically asking that at the end of your life when your whole life flashes before your eyes, would you rather see your own boring life or would you rather see yourself surrounded by famous people and actors (because you've been watching TV) as this will somehow be more satisfying to you when 'the end' finally comes. As ad campaigns go, I find it rather ineffective; perhaps it will get more people to stop watching though and actually go and enjoy life, which is a good thing. The idea of having better memories at the end of your life because you'll see the people in the TV shows you've watched is rather cynical though; it reminded me of the video wall in Ray Bradbury's excellent novel Fahrenheit 451 in which people interact with a soap opera that constantly runs and nothing ever happens; it keeps the people sedate. In a case of life imitating art, TVNZ has just started a web-onl

Is Global Warming Theory Cooling?

There does seem to be scatterings of fresh data making it into the papers showing that the vaunted Global Warming models might not be correct. At the least, we might get a better discussion than simple "consensus" statements that preclude such unscientific thoughts as debating the data, the models, the methodology and so forth. All beyond me, so I continue to focus on the response to AGW in terms of what taxes and financial controls are being suggested to manage the weather. Here's a report that discusses both of these topics: This week, the doomsters were embarrassed to learn, once again, that the planet was not in grave peril. Antarctica, their greatest candidate for catastrophe, was not melting at an ever-faster rate, according to a report in Geophysical Research Letters, but at the slowest rate in 30 years....The red faces aren’t all caused by Nature’s refusal to cooperate in Earth’s demise. The clean carbon folks have recently discovered that they’ve been in bed wi

ACT show some life

NZ Doomed To Status Quo [Found on Scoop ] It's good to see the ACT Party speaking out against John Key. Key apparently has dismissed the idea of flat tax out of hand. That action simply reinforces my point - there is no serious consideration of tax reform, this will end up as just another exercise to broaden the tax base with the introduction of new taxes and superficial fiddling of the rates. That is my main concern about the tax review - any serious discussion of options like Flat Tax and other tax systems (such as the USA Fair Tax proposal) would usually be welcome, but only when we have open minds at the table. John Key has ruled out any such options out of hand, thus prompting Sir Roger Douglas to inject some passion into a debate National do not want to bother with. About time! ACT New Zealand Finance spokesman Sir Roger Douglas today urged Prime Minister John Key to consider a flat tax, following his decision to blindly dismiss the work Treasury was doing. “If John Key

Flat tax option blindingly obvious

Treasury was considering a flat tax rate to help close the income gap between New Zealand and Australia. Finance Minister Bill English had a unique opportunity to reform the tax system, Treasury said. This opening section of the article has gained several favourable comments for the on-line NBR story . Some think flat tax is a blindingly obvious move, and I can see the merits of this. However, blinding might be the key word. Here's the sting in the tail that need to be right at the top of the article: GST, land tax and capital gains tax would be increased to fund the changes. This isn't a reformation of the tax system, it's solely about broadening the tax base. There's no serious look at the tax system, as I have seen very few ideas around the tax system I'd expect to see mentioned let alone discussed in depth. There is no discussion on any restraints on government spending (living within a budget, rather than expanding it), nor mechanisms to prevent tax rate

Time for a second opinion

Are ACC accident prone? Two years ago, they managed to blow 2.4 billion dollars, last years figures show another 4.8 billion net losses. That's over 7 billion bucks in 2 years. There are only 4 million or so people in NZ, and a big chunk of them, plus businesses, car registration fees and probably several other sources all have mandatory contributions to ACC to fund its costs. 7 billion lost in 2 years seems a bit dodgy to me. Actually, the more I think about it, the less likely this was an accident. Will that stop them from claiming more from the tax payer? Unfortunately not . Whilst the hole continues to be dug deeper, ACC levies are going to be shooting up across the board. That means more taxes. I think it's time for a second opinion.

Greens Buy Back Integrity

The Green MPs’ superannuation fund will sell its two properties to give the public maximum clarity about the use of Parliamentary housing allowances, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei announced today. What an over-reaction ! Selling the homes is apparently to achieve transparency, and reclaim their integrity , even though they are "doing nothing wrong". Selling their property does not reclaim integrity. This practice of purchasing property and renting to themselves using tax payer money to pay the rent is something all the MP’s are doing, and I include their offices in this. Labour has a 20 million dollar property portfolio for goodness sake (and cried poor when paying back their election over-spending) Not that any of that is likely to be illegal (except the bit where the Greens claimed twice on the same place. Not a mistake any other normal people renting a property together would be likely to make). In this regard, you don't just pay back money, you have to pay pe

NASA Bombs the Moon

I happened to watch NASA bomb the moon last night through a live feed. Although, with Obama winning the Nobel Peace prize , attacking the moon with rockets is a great way to celebrate I guess. Apparently, NASA are trying to discover water on the moon . Perhaps the thinking is that the moon is totally uninhabitable, has no atmosphere and nothing to breathe it could still be a place to live if it has water. That's presuming that the earth is left totally uninhabitable, having no atmosphere and nothing to breathe, so we'd suddenly find the moon attractive. That might not sound much different, but currently the moon is a tax haven and no councils are charging rates. The views are spectacular too.

The Obama Speeches sure deliver

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To Obama Obama, after 37 weeks as President has picked up the Nobel Peace Prize . Obviously, the Nobel Committee has taken into account the 12 months of campaign speeches prior to this to provide the basis for this award. The criteria for winning a Peace Prize seems to be merely pretty speeches, or making an award winning movie . I therefore have no chance to win this prize. I'm speechless and out of film. Oh, congratulations Obama. PS: Gee, I really thought Ahmadinjad would have scooped this prize for his drive to bring peace to the middle east and clear up slight errors of historical fact. Or perhaps Kim Jong-il had a shot given his efforts to revolutionize long range communications and experiment with more efficient forms of energy? Maybe next year. Adam at the Inquiring Mind has also seen this: Is it April?

Friday Night Free for All

The last Friday of the school holidays. I took this week off from work, so I could work on other things. However, the weather and my motivation were not conducive for completing anything of any scale. Some new blinds hung up, the lawns mowed, and the purchase of an electric sander called "The Mouse". Now that is a name for a sander! At this point I'm supposed to mention it's a Black and Decker. Blogging is all about product placement. Note how I've pumped the product but not commented on how good it is? Well, geez, it's not even out of the box yet. And I'm holding back until Black & Decker contact me and offer to donate money to my favourite charity for a favourable review...not that I can be bought like that. I wonder what their power saw is like? On the radio, the Greens are selling the house involved in the "double dipping" scandal. Apparently, recycling the homes is the Green way for hiding evidence. This move comes to remove

Maori Warrior

Given my defence of boxing , one might mistakenly think I'd embrace a culture of violence. I do not. That was about competition and self-mastery. So I'm not particularly impressed with the plans to build an 8m giant Maori Bronze Statue that will apparently " stir Kiwi pride ". It's an implicit celebration of the violent aspect of culture, so it doesn't stir any pride. It's a display of Maori culture rather than bringing together something all New Zealanders can relate to, and already Maori are complaining they were not properly consulted. It's also a 2 million dollar waste of Rate Payer funds (unless some is bolstered by private money?) Aside from that, I probably would have yawned and moved on except for the unfortunate opening paragraph: It will not rival the Statue of Liberty or come close to the Eiffel Tower, but it will be bigger than Paeroa's L&P bottle and Te Kuiti's shearing statue. This is sad and funny on several levels. The

The pills cultural consequences

Get this theory - according to this article in the mail the contraceptive pill has turned women off of masculine men. I don't know if this particular theory is correct or not, probably not in my view, but it is clear that over the past forty years our society has become overly feminized. But this story in the Guardian points to a real cultural consequence arising from the use of the pill by western women and the feminization of the west. And if that doesn't worry you, it should.

Key vs Clark - The Race

There's some rather weak comparisons being made between reports of John Key's motorcade speeding through Samoa, and the infamous incident of Helen Clark speeding up to Christchurch to make a flight to get to the rugby in Wellington. Very weak comparisons, so I thought I'd set the record straight, by comparing 8 key factors in the events, scoring a point against Clark and/or Key against each question to arrive at an "Outrage Index" score. The higher the final score, the more we can be justifiably outraged at either incident. But first, to get you into the mood for the Race, listen to this: 1. Helen Clark's car was traveling at a top speed of 170kph, whereas John Key achieved a top speed of only 120kph. That's a significantly slower speed, and ranked as "almost legal" whereas Helen's speed is clearly moving towards "World's Fastest Indian" level and immediate loss of license. Score Helen 1 outrage point, John 0 2. On

What is in the water?

What is in the water? The recent boxing match between Tua and Cameron have brought out comments from all degrees of the political spectrum railing against contact sports, and in particular boxing. Some of these comments spring forth from the blogs of commenters I like and respect, so I respectfully offer a counter-argument. Some want to redefine sport to exclude the martial arts, others link boxing to the sideline raves of the spectators , who can get more carried away than the participants. I worry the underlying theme of denigrating the physical brutality that accompanies such sports is an idea absorbed by the osmotic pressure of living in liberal left societies . Some ideas are like cancers, creeping in and corrupting a cell at a time until the damage is noticed, and then perhaps it is all too late. The liberal left promise to end all forms of "violence", from a smack in discipline, to the brutality of rugby and the barbarism of boxing. All sorts of justifications ari

Taito Phillip Field

There are two sides to every story, and the papers have run the side of the prosecution pretty hard. I'm no expert on the full details of his crimes, but I'm not entirely ignorant either. So without going into detail, I just thought I'd drop an opinion. Six years jail seems far too harsh for me, given the crime. Because ultimately, he was trying to help people in his own way. When I think of the rorts and legalized scandals other MP's get away with - declaring something a mistake and quickly paying back the money when pushed - such as the Green double-dipping on rental properties; Labour's Election spending in the 2005 elections; Bill English arranging his affairs to get maximum perks; Winston Peters and NZ First lack of transparency over their donations; the list goes on and on, and Field's crimes seem no worse. He just didn't back-pedal. It is the mark of the man that he has accepted the verdict of the court in good grace, and not continued to argue

Oh dear - not a good look

According to this NZPA article more invoices for Chris Carter's overseas jaunts have turned up - apparently a trip with Peter Kaiser and Staff member to Chile and Peru was missed when the initial revelations about his globe trotting ways appeared. From the figures given in the article this particular junket would have appeared to cost a cool $48,241. As you will undoubtedly be aware Mr Carter has just been in Samoa in his capacity as shadow ethnic affairs minister showing the flag in the wake of the tsunami disaster that struck there last week. So Mr Carter within the space of a year has visited Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Spain, the UK, Chile, Peru, Australia and Samoa. Hot damn, shadow ethnic affairs seems like a darn good job to have how does one apply?

What makes a masterpiece?

More than thirty years ago now Michael Cimino set out to create a cinematic masterpiece, a movie called Heaven's gate. What happened next is legendary, he spent a fortune, getting the finest details down on film, the New York Times critics hated the final result and the studio panicked re-cutting the movie which then went on to bomb at at the box office. United Artists, a studio founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D W Griffiths was financially ruined. But in Europe where the original cut was shown the movie was received far more favorably and today most modern film critics also view it far more kindly, perhaps "flawed masterpiece" is the consensus view. The scene in the clip was one particularly picked out for opprobrium by the original critics, a scene which I hate to think what it cost to film and one that shows the attention to detail that made this movie notorious at the time it was made. But perhaps it is that attention to detail w

Education is free by law!

I had to laugh this morning, when I read the Sunday Star Times' Editorial, titled Charging for a free education has to stop . Apparently a number of schools has been illegally charging parents for their children's education. Two dozen schools, 20 state and four integrated, have been caught since the beginining of 2008 charging for services that should legally be free. The Education Act is clear on the matter: state schooling is free until a child is 19. That's what free education means. State or state-integrated schools cannot make donations compulsory or charge parents for anything used to deliver the curriculum [...] The law says state schooling is to be free yet some schools feel they must charge for schooling, presumably because the funding from the State is inadequete. Money doesn't just grow on trees - I'm sure that in the curriculum somewhere. Or if it isn't it should be. But what I had a chuckle at this morning was the righteous position taken by t

Blog Stats for September 2009

The stats for September. Page Loads : 11094 (13615, 9171, 9800) Average per day - 370 (439, 296, 327) Unique Visitors : 6413 (6819, 5182, 5982) Average per day - 214 (220, 167, 199) Posts : 68 (79, 64, 47) Comments : 331 (621, 391, 429) Most comments for one post: 32 (60, 43, 36) Technorati Authority : 21 (22, 20, 35) Alexa Ranking : 383672 (364270, 344000, 302376) NZ Alexa Ranking : 721 (622, 610, 593) Here's my calculation for the Tumeke NZ Blogosphere Statistics based on the following formula: + 214 (Daily Unique visitor traffic from Statcounter) + 21 (Technorati Authority) + 16 (Posts: 68/30*7) + 27 (Comments: (32+26+26+22) /4)* = 278 (304, 230, 278)

Capital Punishment in NZ

It was a blogger who said "In New Zealand, the only thing certain in life is death by taxes." Actually, it was said back in 2009, on this blog and in this post. Back then, (being now if you read this blog frequently) I might have had no idea how prophetic that statement would be. Or maybe I did? Time will tell. Even though NZ already has a tax of Capital Gains, it doesn't officially have a Capital Gains Tax . Apparently, the entire civilised world has one of these. It's purpose, we are told is to stop inflated property prices and consequent property crashes. Except of course, countries with a CGT still experienced the same problems in their housing market a CGT will protect us from here in NZ. So let's cut the crap excuses, and admit it's just another excuse for a tax. The point of this post though is to discuss what kind of form a new tax might take. This is not as cut and dried as one might think. There is the standard expected CGT form of "tax

Tony Blair most likely to become EU President

Tony Blair is apparently a shoe-in for the presidency of the EU, the only catch being that the Irish have to vote YES on the Lisbon Treaty. If once you don't succeed, try, try again! The EU has taken that ancient saying to heart, for having the Irish already vote NO on the Lisbon Treaty already, hasn't stopped the EU from repeating the whole process until success. I don't know what the likelihood for the YES vote gaining traction in Ireland, for a big part of the original NO vote was attributed to a fear on imposed abortion on demand if the country took on the Lisbon Treaty. But all of that is background to what I really wanted to say in this post. Tony Blair, when he left office as Prime Minister of Britain, took the opportunity to convert to Catholicism. Something he had apparently been practising for 25 years with his Catholic wife and children. Rather than jumping up and down with glee that we got another world leader, many observant, politically astute Catholics were

Friday Night Free for All

I've finally made it back to the lair and see that the blog is silent. Well, might get a few stray comments yet, the midnight oil has yet to be burned. It's been a strange week, the school holidays change the rhythm of life. The tsunami in Samoa was tragic news, and seems like another has struck Indonesia. Lives lost and others irrevocably changed in the blink of an eye. We all have a finite life, and we generally do not know how many days we have before us, so every day behind us is hopefully part of the journey that sees us become the best people we can possibly be. Some are on this journey to save their souls, others to spend them. Others still may not realise life is not a spectator sport. Even those who think they are on the sidelines are in the game. I'm straying into one of those philosophical musings that make it appropriate to discuss three items of wisdom from around the traps: * It was Henry Ford who said “Whether you think you can or can’t…you are right.”

Tsunami warning - not really [UPDATED]

On Wednesday morning, when my radio woke me up, there were a couple of news items about an earthquake in Samoa and a tsunami in the local area. As the morning progressed, I heard about the possibility of a "one metre wave hitting NZ" and that the areas most likely to be affected would be the east coast, but Wellington was being warned as well. What was not mentioned at all was when this "one metre wave" was supposed to hit. The impression I got was some time during the morning. We live right next to the beach, only a few metres above sea level, so naturally I was very interested in the "wave" that may or may not be coming. As my youngest son had a 9:30 swimming class, with the swimming pool being right next to the beach, I needed to know whether or not be worried. In the end, I decided that because we were on the west coast, a number of kilometres north of Wellington, that a "one metre wave" posed little danger, and we continued on to the swim

The Outrageous Opinion of Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum has joined the liberal elite by coming to the defence of Roman Polanski. Her article: The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski . A prize winning journalist, and usually capable of a thoughtful and reasoned article, she seems to wade in with only a few facts, and outlines the reasons to ignore statutory rape of a 13 year old . That in itself clearly defines the debate going on around the world. Her position on this matter is called into question when it transpires her husband (Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski) is actively campaigning on Roman Polanski's behalf to get him back into Poland safe from the clutches of the Californian courts. Roman Polanski was found guilty of rape. He pleaded guilty, which is a bit of a giveaway. All that awaits is the sentencing. The original "deal" struck said it was going to be a mere 90 days in jail. He fled when he thought that the deal might be off. Thankfully, that means the sentencing need not involve the victim, wh

Vatican City and Age of Consent

Twice this week I've seen the comment "The age of consent in the Vatican City is 12, it's the lowest in the world". It's always dropped as a factoid that supposedly confirms the sexual depravity of the Catholic Church. It's a bit of a nonsense really, on several counts, so I thought I'd document these reasons in a post to save myself from repeating this in future comments. How big is the Vatican City? The Vatican City is an area within the city of Rome, Italy. It can be described as a City-State. It is around 110 acres in area (approx 0.44 square kilometres) and has a population of around 800, making it the smallest country in the world in terms of land size and population. No schools. No families. No children. The Vatican is not a traditional "country" with families and schools and children growing up. It's a small area of land not even half a square kilometer serving as the central government of the Catholic Church, with tou