Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fletch Project Makes Reading On Internet Enjoyable.

I found this awesome web project today that makes reading stuff on the internet more enjoyable.
Just visit THIS LINK, choose three settings for the text size and such and drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar.

Now go to a blog site, or a news site like NZ Herald or any site with text you want to read, click on a post/story and then click the Readability bookmark that you put on your bookmarks bar.

It turns the story/post into lovely big formatted text and takes away all the ads and other clutter.

Beautiful! No more squinting at tiny text.

Andrei The six powerful women - revealed

The six women below, whose photographs I posted here with the query as to who they might be produced some interesting responses.

Only one full name was produced, plus one Christian name, unsurprising really since these women are not household names here and for the most part do not have names that trip easily off the Kiwi tongue.

Nevertheless these women all hold important positions in their homelands and are well known there. I strongly doubt that Helen Clark or John Key would be recognized in the Nations these women come from

You can place your cursor over each woman's photo to find out who she is, where she comes from and the position she holds.

Doris Leuthard
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Jadranka Kosor Croatia
Mary McAleese Ireland

Andrei 200 misplaced tanks?

Andrei The poet, the cook, the tycoon and oarsman

The Sunday Star Times nail their flag to the mast with a "story" supporting Keith Locke's Bill to turn New Zealand into a republic.

No compelling argument is put forward for this change, non what-so-ever just "stars" dragged out to voice their opinion that they support it.

The stars being Bob Jones, Peta Mathias, CK Stead and Rob Hamill.

Well whoop de doo - is this really a good reason to change our Nations constitutional set up? Just because these four support it along with Keith Locke?

The fact that Zimbabwe is a now republic does not fill me with confidence that this is a good move, on the contrary in fact.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Andrei The great condom hoax

You probably read about how the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research supplied the Winter Olympics with 100,000 condoms, possibly guffawed when you figured out or read thats 14 condoms per Athlete and Official.

And they have all gone apparently so the Canadian Aids Research people have organized an emergency shipment.

Well there is no way in the universe that these condoms have been put to use, for this number to have been used by this amount of people would have required 28 couplings per individual, work it out. Absurd.

No the whole thing is a publicity stunt designed to promote condoms and cheapen sex.

Condoms are somewhat repellent items which reduce intimacy, and degrade sex into a mechanical action.

This is why they are promoted so vigourously I am sure.

Anyway all those Olympic condoms will have been souvenired most likely - so it goes.

Andrei Six Powerful Women

Below are photographs of six powerful women

How many of them can you identify?

Doris Leuthard

Jadranka Kosor 

Mary McAleese 


Friday, February 26, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

And cake-baking time for me tonight. February is the month for both my children's birthdays, so when I've just recovered from one party, there's another one to organise. Ah well, it's all good. After tomorrow, both parties will be out of the way until next year.

Lucia NZ Bishop going to Medjugorje

I've noticed in a couple of parish newsletters around NZ this week, that a pilgrimage to Medjugorje with Bishop Denis Browne of Hamilton is being advertised. As far as I know, the Vatican ban on official pilgrimages to Medjugorje is still in place. Considering that this is being advertised in parish bulletins and a bishop is leading the pilgrimage, I'd say that would count as being official. Not a good look.

For more on Medjugorje, see Medjugorje, hit for six at last ~ NZ Conservative

Fletch Studies Shows What Common Sense Should Already Tell Us

Well, according to a report on TVNZ One News this afternoon, a new study shows that children exposed to adult oriented programming are more likely to be sexualized at an earlier age. It's reported here in the Times Colonist as well.

Watching adult-oriented TV shows and movies might prompt children to start having sex at an earlier age, according to a new study released by Children's Hospital Boston.

The research suggests that early onset of sexual activity among teens might relate to the amount of adult content they watched as children.

"Children have neither the life experience nor the brain development to fully differentiate between a reality they are moving toward and a fiction meant solely to entertain," said David Bickham, a co-author of the study. "Children learn from media, and when they watch media with sexual references and innuendoes, our research suggests, they are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier in life."

Andrei Facebook Follies

What's with this Facebook thing - it is apparently the second most visited site in the world.

In our household we went through the virtual farm thing a while ago, the virtual farms are presumably covered in virtual weeds by now since that fad burned out a while ago.

But I suppose it is inevitable that it attracts scum.

I could list story after story of all sorts of low life - doing things like posting garbage on tribute pages for young murder victims, a suicide after naked pictures of the victim were posted and so forth. You've seen some of the stories I'm sure.

Is humanity really so depraved? It makes you wonder, really wonder.

Anyway Greenpeace is having a go at Facebook for moving its servers to Oregon where they will use electricity generated by coal and it is using Facebook to do it.

Most odd.

Andrei Australian Judge: Celibacy 'cruel and archaic'

A Sydney priest has got himself into strife, masturbating on a webcam for the benefit of what he thought was a thirteen year old girl but what was in reality a burly NSW policeman. sigh.

The Judge in sentencing him to prison had a go at celibacy.
"I'm not a Catholic," Judge Fuller said. "I do not regard (that) celibacy (should be) imposed on people. That is because it is a suppression of human instinct. It must be agonising. I don't know why they (the church) don't change their rules. It is archaic. It's cruel, cruel."

I don't get it - if there really are thirteen year old girls out there who want to watch lonely middle aged men masturbate on web cams its not through sexual desire, it surely would be only to mock.

But I suspect that there are more hairy legged policemen posing as thirteen year old girls than the real deal inhabiting this seamy side of the of the internet, there for the purpose of entrapment.

How any mature man could fall for this is a mystery to me, as is why he would want to in the first place, celibate or not.

There is another grim tale in the news along these lines - a Wisconsin youth who posed as a girl on face book to trick his schoolmates into providing revealing pictures of themselves - pictures he then used to blackmail them into sex with him. This fellow has been imprisoned for 15 years.

The internet can most surely be a very sordid place at times.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Andrei Gosh

From the Times
You may not have noticed, but today is a very important day for US politics, world economic prospects and even for the global balance of power between Western democracy and benign dictatorship along Chinese lines. Why? Because today marks either the beginning of the end of Barack Obama’ presidency, or the end of the beginning.
I didn't realize we were on the cusp of history today and what is so important that the future of Western civilization stands or falls upon do you suppose?

The US Health care system apparently. Reading on
If nothing is done to change the US healthcare system, it can be stated with mathematical certainty that the US Government and many leading US companies will be driven into bankruptcy, a fate that befell General Motors and Chrysler largely because of their inability to meet retired workers’ contractually guaranteed medical costs.
The odd thing is in the same issue of the Times is a story about a NHS Hospital, the headline reads: Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’. And cynic that I am, I immediately ask is this the system the writer would impose on the USA and is the British economy flourishing as a result of having such a system?


Andrei Google executives convicted in Italy

Here's a strange thing, three Google employees, Peter Fleischer, David Drummond and George De Los Reyes, received suspended six-month sentences, while a fourth defendant, product manager Arvind Desikan, was acquitted of violating Italy's privacy laws.

Their crime, a youtube video, incidentally uploaded before Google acquired youtube, which showed an autistic schoolboy being bullied. None of these people had anything to do with the offending video of course.

Google pulled the video and provided the authorities with the uploaders details which led to the culprits identification.

But they were still prosecuted and convicted.

The free flow of information on the internet makes the authorities uncomfortable at times but overall it is a good thing - no?

Google is intending to appeal.

Andrei Drama

This morning details of ministerial and MPs’ expenses of all MPs have been released for the last three months of last year.

This morning John Key who was in Christchurch cancelled all his appointments in that city and began to wing his way back to Wellington.

This morning Phil Heatley called a press conference in his office and announced he was resigning his portfolios.

What comes next?


Phil Heatley states
"Furthermore, I have submitted my accounts to the office of the Auditor-General to conduct an independent inquiry and I expect those results to be made public in due course.

"I have no desire to become the focus of distraction for this Government."
This is personal responsibility and accountability on display in my view.

Pity we haven't seen more of it in recent times.

Andrei Political posturing 101: the empty apology

What is it with politicians pompously apologizing for things they didn't have anything to do with.

It makes me gag.

Here is Gordon Brown apologizing for the Empire Settlement Act of 1922, passed nearly fifty years before he was born under which homeless and orphaned children were resettled in the colonies, including New Zealand.

And for some of them it worked out fine, for others life remained hard. Would it be any different if they had remained in Britain?

Reality check, no government can provide an idyllic childhood for every child and life is unfair. Very Unfair!

Political posturing at its worst.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Andrei Vietnam vet one, lowlife thug zero

Picture this, a sixty seven year old, Vietnam veteran on an Oakland Bus getting into a slanging match with a much younger thug.

Eventually he moves to another seat but the thug follows and takes a swing at him

Big mistake, Thomas Bruso the veteran deals to him.

The video is here, not embedded due to graphic language and violence, view at your own discretion.

Its very sad really, Thomas Bruso the star of this video is clearly a man wrestling inner demons and struggling in the world, but you can't help cheering him on as he deals to a public transport pest.

Andrei From the bayous of the Czech Republic

Things have got a bit tense around here - maybe its time to take a deep breath, lay back and have a bit of harmless fun

Andrei A whale of a problem for the anti-whaling activists

Over the Tasman Kevin Rudd has been posturing about taking Japan to court over its whaling activities.

On this side of the divide Murray McCully has been making ambivalent noises rolling out phrases like "finding diplomatic solutions".

All the while the International Whaling Commission have been working on a plan to overturn the ban on commercial whaling and establishing a quota system for the whaling nations and it looks like by the end of the year this will be in place.

But will this end the shenanigans in the Antarctic?

I somehow doubt it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Andrei The raising of the Stars and Stripes sixty-five years ago

Five days into the battle for Iwo Jima, on the 23rd of February 1945, the flag was raised on Mount Suribachi by the US Marine Corps.

A few hours later a replacement flag raised by another group of marines.

This second Flag raising was photographed by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal who captured one of the most celebrated images of the Twentieth Century.

A Marine Corps cinematographer was filming beside him - below is that clip.

There were six Flag raisers, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, and Michael Strank who died during the battle and the three survivors John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes who were returned to the United States and sent on a War Bond drive.

Their story is told in the Clint Eastwood film Flags of Our Fathers derived from a book of the same name written by James Bradley, a son of John Bradley, one of the Flag raisers.

Andrei Life in New Zealand 2010

More depressing stuff from NZPA - Pregnant woman beaten for bearing girl.

The fifties were before our time, for most of us anyway, but back then over 90% of the adults were married, and back then divorce was hard to get and rare.

And back then people had lots of children, we are them in many cases, the so called boomers.

We have been led to believe that society was oppressive in the 1950s, that women were trapped in oppressive marriages, often of the so called "shotgun" variety since unwedded motherhood was frowned upon.

But in this so called oppressive society where the constraints upon behavior were culturally imposed in a semi mono-cultural society, one which immigrants apparently adapted to our ways or returned to from whence they came, also had about three murders per annum - we are achieving that per week in our liberated multicultural paradise.

Anyway the gentleman who took to his wife for conceiving a daughter is not from around these parts by the sound of his name, nor is he his wife's first partner, indeed he has stepdaughters, also casualties in this sorry episode.

And you have to wonder if the so called oppressive culture of the fifties was in fact - liberating.

Andrei Sick - is this a new low

There are times when reading the news can be bad for your mental health.

Andrei Air guns are for shooting pests

Do boy racers doing donuts outside your house at 2am count?

To be fair the matter of whether the defendant used an air rifle or a .22 LR caliber is in dispute.

But what this is really about is people sticking up for themselves instead of sitting back meekly and leaving it to the authorities to sort out.

Which they wont.

Verdict: Not Guilty

Andrei Flogging a dead horse

In a Washington Post editorial.

But the junkets important discussions continue with Climate Change Treaty conferences scheduled in Bali, Bonn and Cancún over the next nine months.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Andrei Paul Henry's "unnatural" remark

The BSA has just ruled that Paul Henry was not being discriminatory when he said "Homosexuality is unnatural".

Complainant Ken Cage said
Henry's comments were offensive and the message conveyed justified "bullying others on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation".

I can't quite see that myself - we live in a society where we let people live as they want and I for one wouldn't want it any other way.

The thing is of course the Gay lobby have succeeded in casting their particular issue as equivalent to a civil rights issue where people are discriminated on the basis of religion or skin color and that is something I have never bought into.

Where my issue with all of this lies is the promotion of homosexual relationships as being equivalent to heterosexual ones, which I don't believe they are.

The thing is we need children and New Zealanders as a whole are barely producing enough to maintain our population and like it or not it takes one man and one woman to create a child and the best way of raising that child is with both parents working together to do it - and that is both natural and desirable for the sake of our Country's future.

And that is what we should be promoting, the nuclear family, mum, dad and the kids - not Gay Marriage, contraception and abortion, none of which are natural.

Andrei Priorities

Let's get precious with the Japanese over coke ads and think about taking them to court for whaling, all the while remaining silent on real horrors from barbaric regimes.

Andrei D'ya reckon the Sir Humphrey would call a bullying helpline?

Christine Pratt who runs the National bullying helpline reckons Number 10 staff have.

Its all part of the fuss surrounding the way Gordon Brown supposedly runs Number 10.

Andrei Open season on the police and the Tongan cat

Tonga's Cat

Two teenagers were recently sentenced to thirteen years in prison plus six lashes from it.

That sentence is under appeal.

Gee - three cops hospitalized by thugs in as many days.

The first trying to break up a fight between teen aged girls.

Number two in Whangerai, where a drunk driver stopped at a checkpoint bit off a police officers lip .

And the third in Oamaru in similar circumstances, in this case the occupants of the car attacked the officer when he arrested the driver for drink driving.

Inevitably tougher penalties will be called for but I doubt that penalties, no matter how tough, would have much deterrent affect on the low life who are responsible for these assaults.

Not even this ancient one recently revived in Tonga.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lucia Titahi Bay fire just north of Wellington

On our drive home tonight from Wellington, we noticed what looked like a huge rain cloud as we approached Mana (at about 8:50pm). But rather than being a rain cloud, we realised very quickly it was smoke we were travelling through. And then on our left we saw the fire as the traffic slowed down to a crawl.

As we watched, what looked like a small fire from our side on top of the hill, raced south along the top. It was really spectacular, but quite shocking to see. I've not seen anything like it since I lived in Sydney.

And wouldn't you know it, the reason the traffic was crawling along all the way to Mana, was a series of road work cones directing the traffic into a single lane. Not a road crew in sight.

Related link: Many evacuated after blaze north of Wgtn ~ TVNZ

Andrei Fat, smelly people in confined spaces

We have all read of large people being kicked off aeroplanes or having to pay for two seats.

And after all an aeroplane is a confined space with a lot people crammed into it for long periods. And whether your travelling companions are agreeable or not can be the luck of the draw.

So you can see where Jazz Air, a Canadian regional airline may have been coming from when they made a similar call over a passenger with BO.

Who's next, the compulsive chatterer?

Andrei She really said that?

The yuk factor invoked and a thought crime committed by New Hampshire Representative Nancy Elliott in seeking to repeal New Hampshire's Gay Marriage laws.

Andrei So I was wrong

On my previous post I suggested that the only official photographs taken of an American President with the Dalai Lama were of George Bush.

But now it appears that President Obama has followed his lead as the picture at the right shows.

Perhaps I was slightly mislead by this mischievous AFP picture which appears to show the Dalai Lama exiting the White House via the servants entrance (it doesn't by the way).

The questions raised in that post remain.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Andrei Would Obama meet with him if it didn't annoy the Chinese

Tibet fascinates most people and the Dalai Lama, its exiled ruler is some sort of secular Buddhist saint in many peoples eyes.

But realistically he is the exiled leader of a remote undeveloped country that was, to put it bluntly more or less feudal, when he held the reins of power.

Anyway whenever he goes to the USA he is received at the White House by whoever the President of the day is, I believe he has had an audience with every sitting President since he met with George H W Bush in 1991 and the Chinese squeal every time.

Another curiosity about all of this is that although the Presidents will meet with him they have not allowed themselves to be photographed with him, with one exception whose photo is used to illustrate this post.

And much as the Chinese attempts to dictate to foreign leaders who they may or may not meet fills me with disgust, it also seems to me that if the Dalai Lama came from Burkina Faso, say, he would not receive a presidential audience.

Perhaps if the Chinese didn't squawk so loudly - he wouldn't.

Andrei Browser Wars

Here's an interesting thing that probably means little in practice.

After the European Competition Commission got onto Microsoft's case over shipping Internet Explorer with its software, Microsoft has agreed to ship an update which offers users of IE the option of choosing another browser.

On offer Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. All good browsers.

The roll out has begun but on reading the post it seems this update will be confined to the EU.

Internet Explorer in its previous incarnations was a pain because of its idiosyncrasies, some of which were deliberately engineered, I understand, to constrain users to remain with IE.

However IE8 when it isn't running in "compatibility mode" which maintains the old IE oddities is a leading edge browser.

In my opinion it might be Firefox which is the browser looking tired and overdue for a revamp in 2010. It is certainly the one that has caused grief on this site in recent days.

Which just goes to show, in this world you cannot afford to rest on your laurels

Andrei Whoops

This image appeared in an Indian spelling book, published by a company in New Delhi, to illustrate the letter I for Idol.

It was picked up in a convent school in Meghalaya State, India where the 72% of the population is Christian.

The State Government acted immediately and has started seizing all copies of the book.

And the publishers of the book are now almost certainly out of the school textbook business.

The thing is of course it is entirely possible the people who produced the book lifted the image from the internet, blissfully unaware of its significance.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

It's the first Friday in Lent with six to go. But that shouldn't stop the chattering on the thread. How's everyone been this week?

Andrei Elton, mate, you are no John Lennon

His take on Christianity

"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead."
Elton John is one of those celebrities that loves the limelight and here am I giving him some by highlighting the quote at the left.

A quote taken from this interview in Parade magazine

Its utterly clichéd to point out the consequences of making this comparison to another religious figure would not be so benign as just a bit of press and blog attention.

But if Elton John had wanted to be really edgy particularly with respect to Middle Eastern lesbians that is exactly what he would have done.

Andrei It all seems incredibly elitist to me

This Radio New Zealand brouhaha carries on with Helen Clark entering the fray
"I'm a great believer in public radio," Helen Clark said in a brief visit to Wellington yesterday.

"I say that as someone who probably got quite a lot of my information from various public radio interview shows where subjects could be tackled in much more depth than they can be when they have to be constantly interrupted by ads."
Well anything is degraded by being "constantly interrupted by ads". Movies often become unwatchable with interruption at the most intense moments with messages about soap powder and sunscreen.

Why should the shows Ms Clark deem worthy be exempt, especially given that ultimately the exemption will be funded by those who might not give a toss for those shows.

Also pontificating is the President of the Society of Authors Tony Simpson
"Radio New Zealand does a whole lot of stuff now that most of the radio stations, not all but most other radio stations don't do. They broadcast New Zealand literature, they do a lot of cultural interviewing and so on."

Mr Simpson says Radio NZ is not only a major employer for those in the arts, it is also one of its greatest promoters. He says any cuts will further limit the opportunities for New Zealanders to hear their own on air.
If New Zealanders want to "hear their own on air" they will fund it without compulsion - it will stand or fall on its own merits. Indeed New Zealand Literature may well be improved by having to stand on its own two feet as most things are.

What makes something stand above the usual fare of ephemeral trash culture cannot be defined, not even by the so called cultural elites, but whatever it is cannot be conjured up by taxpayers dollars.

All that leads to is material created to appeal to whoever controls the purse strings, which usually results in fairly dreary fare.

Lucia Coffee Personalities

I love coffee, but really have to be careful as to how much I drink as it can give me migraines. So, I've been inspired to make myself a plunger coffee after reading Crusader Rabbit's post linking to coffee personality types.

It was with great trepidation that I clicked on the link to see what it said of cappuccino drinkers; cappuccino being my coffee of choice when at a cafe. Thankfully the description wasn't too bad:
THE CAPPUCCINO DRINKER - What's not to like about the extroverted, optimistic cappuccino drinker? Like their drink, cappuccino drinkers are all froth and bubble, bored by detail and liking - but not obsessed with - material objects. "Freud would have a field day here," write James and Moore. "Cappuccino froth gives the tongue the mother of all workouts and is all to do with the physicality of the experience rather than the basic consumption of the beverage." The cappuccino drinker enjoys sex but is easily bored by an unimaginative partner.
Related Link: Crusader Rabbit
What your coffee says about you ~ Stuff
(article copied overleaf in it's entirety, for prosperity's sake due to Stuff deleting articles after a while)

Andrei Pro-life doctors in the crosshairs of the progressives

New Zealand doctors who oppose abortion on ethical grounds are going to court to challenge new Medical Council guidelines on how to deal with pregnant patients unhappy with their situation.

In particular this proposed new clause
While the council recognises that you are entitled to hold your own beliefs, it remains your responsibility to ensure that a pregnant woman who comes to you for medical care and expresses doubt about continuing with the pregnancy is provided with or is offered access to objective information or assistance to enable her to make informed decisions on all available options for her pregnancy, including termination."
And given the nature of the liberal mind, if this is adopted it will only be a matter of time before a prominent pro-life doctor finds him or herself dragged before the council for violating it.

Indeed such a situation is bound to arise in short order.

The question I have is why is baby murder so sacred to the "progressives"?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lucia Responses to James Valliant on Christianity

Last week the Not PC blog published a post by James Valliant, Gimme That Old Time Religion. The stated purpose of the post was to prove that Christianity did not underpin Western Civilisation. I don't know if James Valliant considered that to be the main thrust of his post, but Peter Cresswell certainly thought the post succeeded in that apparent aim.

After having read the post, I thought that if James Valliant did want to "puncture the myth" that "Western Civilisation is underpinned by Christianity", he failed miserably. It seemed more like a diatribe against everything Christian than any sort of myth buster.

Matthew Flannagan has written a very good two part counter of Valliant's post, the most recent part being put up this morning. See Part i and Part ii. I think he neatly demolishes many of Valliant's points in the original post.

The only criticism I can make from my kitchen chair is that the supposed intention of Valliant's post to destroy the myth of Christianity underpinning Western Civilisation is not addressed. Valliant does a great job of spraying points everywhere, but what they seem to do is distract the reader from realising that he's not even attempted to make his case.

Though, apparently, according to Lindsay Perigo, "The Flannagans should pause to consider that James has forgotten more about The Religion of Fagot-Lighting than they will ever know." This is, I presume, an attempt to get Matthew to cease and desist, least Perigo's hero fall.

Perigo offers as proof of Valliant's mental prowess in this arena a two hour long interview with himself and Valiant. I've started listening to it, and boy, Valiant certainly knows alot. But, in amongst his great knowledge are little doozies such as the accusation that Christianity was made up by the Romans as propaganda. How can you take someone like that seriously? I've learned that the best lies are those inserted into mostly true statements.

I think I'll use the interview as training material for apologetics. My eldest son was incredulous that someone would think that Jewish Christians could not exist in Rome 10 years after the Crucifixion. Travel within the Roman Empire was pretty damn easy due to the Roman propensity to build roads and ensure easy troop and supply access to captured lands, so to say that the early Christians couldn't travel to Rome within 10 years is somewhat idiotic.

The only people that will be taken in by Valliant's version of history are those that themselves don't know much. Unfortunately, they seem to be quite numerous, so Matthew taking the time to address some of the more obvious point spraying is much appreciated by those of us watching from the sidelines.

Andrei The hammer and sickle over the Reichstag

If you have seen the movie "Flags of our Fathers" you will know the story of the iconic photograph of the Raising of the Flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle for Iwo Jima.

Less than three months after that famous picture was captured the Photograph on the left was taken and in its time it was equally iconic. The reason for posting it today is that Abdulkhakim Ismailov the last survivor of the Red Army soldiers in this picture died on Tuesday at his home in Dagestan.

Makes you think, old glory as raised on Mount Suribachi has gained two more stars since that day but remains essentially unchanged.

While the flag that flew over the Reichstag that day in May in 1945 and which symbolized the end of World War 2 in Europe has been replaced by the Russian Tricolor, White, Blue and Red, which is a return to pre-revolutionary Russian Flag.

And there are those amongst us who would change our flag, the flag which draped the coffins of those who gave their lives in that epic struggle in an attempt to restart our history.

I wonder if they succeed if we will eventually see the need return to our own historical flag?

Lucia Forward in Faith Anglicans in Australia Unanimously Vote to Become Catholic

It's happening. Traditional Anglicans who can no longer remain in the Anglican Communion and desire to become Catholic are coming home. Having done this myself (though as an individual not part of a group), I know what this feels like.

Lucia The new conservatism will be Catholic, or at least Christian, or not at all

This blog exists because I believe real conservatism to be rooted in all that is good and true, and could therefore only come from those who are authentically Catholic. And now it looks like I am not the only one that thinks this way.
“This year will mark a great opportunity for conservatives,” said the voice over the radio, by which he meant that one style of politician wholly committed to the cramped secular vision of man would triumph over another style of politician committed to the same thing. Which caused me to consider that any new conservatism in America will be Catholic, or Christian at least, in both its looking forward to the kingdom of God and its gratitude for the gifts of the past, or it will not be at all.
For more on what this new conservatism will look like, read : A new conservatism? ~ Catholic World Report

Andrei The next "civil rights" battle - gay divorce

The gay marriage debacle continues.

In Texas two women who rushed off to Massachusetts to get married and then adopted a little boy now want a divorce in Texas.

The judge granted it but the Lone Star State's Attorney General has intervened saying that Texas law states marriage is between one man and one woman.

The thing these bold pioneers don't get is the hostility to surrendering marriage to breve new interpretations arises from the fundamental concept that the family is about the procreation and raising of children, something best done by their biological parents.

Now if you wish to raise a family surely the best thing to do is to find a like minded partner of the opposite sex and set to it in the time honored manner.

No need for petri dishes, surrogate mothers and complex legal squabbles that go along with "non traditional" families.

And if marrying an opposite sex partner is too abhorrent - well perhaps family life involving children is not for you, its not for everyone, there are prices to be paid and compromises to be made.

Biologically we are made a certain way and human institutions such as marriage until very recently were based upon this.

And while you can change laws you cannot change biology.

Lucia Lent 2010. Pope Benedict's Ash Wednesday

His torment is the disappearance of faith. His program is to lead men to God. His preferred instrument is teaching. But the Vatican curia doesn't help him much. And sometimes it harms him.

A poignant post by Sandro Magister.

Andrei Doom and gloom: Todays environment is "obesogenic"

Within ten years 80% of Englishmen and 70% of English women will be overweight with 41% of men being obese. The cause
“We are being overwhelmed by the effects of today’s ‘obesogenic’ environment, with its abundance of energy-dense food and sedentary lifestyles.”
The solution
The Government needs to redouble its efforts to tackle obesity."
But rest assured the NHS is already onto it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andrei Tony Abbots near thing

Tony Abbott was visiting a notorious accident spot in Winchelsea, Victoria earlier today and nearly got wiped out by a Semi Trailer in the process.

Andrei This could result in gravel rash in places seldom seen

Why is this man in trouble?

Hold your mouse over the image to find out.

You can read his tale of woe here

Andrei "Anger" because the government wont bail out idiot

What a load of pompous posturing from the Sea Shepherd people dutifully carried by the New Zealand Herald: Anger at inaction on whale activist.

These people throw acid into Japanese Sailors faces, try and foul their propellers and then this prat sneaks aboard their ship at night.

If they hung him from the mast it would be justified in my view.

But to expect the New Zealand taxpayer to rescue him?

NO WAY - let him face the consequences of what he did, they will be mild compared to what he deserves.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lucia Christians are EVIL!!!

So, says Lindsay Perigo.
In the case of the good guys like Aristotle and Jefferson, their lapses contradicted their essential goodness. In the case of Christianity, persecution, torture and bigotry went with the territory (and still would if the fagot-lighters had political dominance)[ie, Christians are EVIL!!!]. They who believe absurdities (such as your lonely goblin story) commit atrocities. [See, see, EVIL!!!!] They who are capable of believing in the justice of eternal torture are not going to have any qualms about inflicting temporary torture [Oh, except for not wanting to end up there themselves, but we'll ignore that ... Christians are EVIL!!!!].
That was Lindsay's attempt to justify his position after Matthew pointed out that:
What your answers show is simply that objectivist attacks on Christianity are arbitrary. When its writers like Rand or Aristotle, or Jefferson, one should accept certain qualifications, take into account such things as historical context etc. When its Christian writers however one does not.
Enjoying the slinging match, guys. Though, it does seem to be a little one sided as Matthew is carving Lindsay up and eating him for breakfast, and all Lindsay can come up with is that Christians are EVIL, so there.

I would have put this on the M&M blog, but it's not accepting my comments for some reason.

Related Link: Gimme that old time religion ~ Solo

Andrei Should Al Gore be stripped of his Nobel Prize?

Donald Trump thinks so.

Meanwhile the Huffington Post thinks Bill Gates might trump Trump on account of he has more money or something.

Andrei Doctor Who didn't like Mrs Thatcher - say it isn't so

Get this BBC caricature of Margaret Thatcher created by the makers of Dr Who just after Mrs Thatcher's third election victory in 1987.

Sylvester McCoy who played the Doctor and Andrew Cartmel, the script editor in the eighties have admitted they hired left wing writers to create anti Thatcher propaganda.

And Helen A, the wide-eyed tyrannical ruler of a human colony on the planet Terra Alpha was born.

The good Doctor persuaded the drones who manned her factories to down tools and revolt.

What a hoot.

Of course the funniest thing of all was the show's ratings plummeted under these peoples tender hands.

Andrei Premature aging and feminist demography?

According to Professor Natalie Jackson of Waikato University feminist demography
views the family as an entity producing the future labour force and taxpayers.
This comes from a story in Stuff this morning: New Zealand hit by premature ageing which discusses the upcoming bulge in the elderly coupled with the loss of working aged people through migration.

Now it has been obvious for many years that we as a people have not been having enough children. New Zealand barely produces enough to replenish its population and most western countries are not even accomplishing that. The shortfalls are being made up by immigration from more fecund but poorer regions.

We have a cultural problem here - the raising of children is a time consuming, expensive proposition and one which might seem to get in the way of an individuals personal aspirations.

And child rearing is something we as a society have lost the taste for which is why we face this issue.

Which is something Feminism has to answer for if you ask me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Andrei Its called clutching at straws

Did you know there is an International Indigenous Problem Gambling Symposium going on in Rotorua.

Tariana Turia gave the opening speech and noted
Maori were about four times more likely to be problem gamblers than the rest of the population.
She claims that
"The most economically deprived areas have a far higher number of non-casino gaming machines, lotteries and TAB outlets than in lower deprivation areas.

"Subsequently, people living in more socio-economically deprived areas are significantly more likely to be problem gamblers than other people - half of all problem gamblers live in the most deprived areas."
Who knows if that is correct or not, or how it is backed up. A problem gambler is definitional, a more well heeled person can wager sums that to a poor person would be certainly be problematical. Are there poor people whose only hope is a windfall and who stake all on that? That might be the implication of what Tariana Turia is saying - and it sounds feasible.

I assume the people who run such games of chance site them to maximize profit, which with gambling of course is entirely dependent on turnover which may or may not be higher in socially deprived areas.

I'm not a fan of the gambling industry myself, it preys upon the gullible and adds little to nothing of value to the world - it creates nothing just transfers wealth.

But I'm not sure discussing it in racial terms though will progress things very much.

ZenTiger When motivation seems too optimistic

Lucia John Key and Big Gay Out

If my husband spent a couple of hours on Sunday posing with a man dressed as a woman and gave him that sort of look, I'd be putting my foot down. But, then that's me.

I'm really wondering what type of message this sort of galavanting around is supposed to send.

Related link: John Key's Big Gay Out ~ Stuff

Andrei From the department of who cares

TVNZ claims John Key has stepped "into a political minefield" because of a Guyon Espiner gotcha during Q + A interview yesterday.

Mr Espiner asked Mr Key about some Australian mining shares he owns and asked whether this presented a conflict of interest since, as we know, John Key wants to expand mining acivities in this country.

Then he dropped his bombshell
Okay so that's not something you've looked into because it looks like that Jackson Company has significant interests in mining uranium in Australia and Argentina, in the new guise of the company which is called Cauldron. I mean is that something that you - as the leader of a nuclear free country would be concerned about, or is this not something you've looked into?

It turns out John Key has a few shares in a company that mines Uranium, a useful metal. So what?

Why didn't Colin Espiner ask John Key about something that really matters, like the Emissions trading scheme for example?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Andrei My kind of woman, my kind of man

In honor of St Valentines day Homepaddock posted her top ten love songs, well eleven really.

But what was conspicuous by its absence was a duet, so here's a great one with sweet harmonies in 3/4 time.

Andrei The ultimate meaning of life?

Richard Dawkins will be speaking in Wellington on March 10th.

That should be fun.

There are some choice quotes in the NZPA release announcing this
"All educated religious people accept the fact of evolution," Richard Dawkins says matter-of-factly.

That statement should offend only "uneducated religious people", the evolutionary biologist and critic of creationism says.
Evolution is not a "fact" it is a theory and as such no matter how good a fit it may or may not be with what actually occurred and is occurring in the natural world it will be modified and adjusted in years to come.

It is almost certain "evolution" as preached 100 years hence will not be anything like the version espoused by Richard Dawkins and his disciples today.

At the end of the piece Mr Dawkins alludes to the real issues that his philosophical outlook raises
"[Because] there's no ultimate point to your existence, that doesn't mean that you should regard your existence as futile and feel you shouldn't get up in the morning or something.

"The ultimate meaning of life is life is about the perpetuation of DNA, but that doesn't really help you to decide how to live your life, nor should it," he says.
And that is it in a nutshell - if the only we are here is to propagate of our genes and everything we are and do is for that end, there is no point really.

All our struggles and trials are for nothing, mean nothing. It would be depressing if it were true, but it isn't.

Because no matter how much Richard Dawkins twists in the wind his hollow theory cannot account for Mother Theresa, Beethoven's 9th symphony nor the Sistine Chapel.

All of which demonstrate humanities capacity to look beyond themselves and see something greater than mere scrambling in the muck to just to leave more offspring than their fellows and win the evolutionary race for their genetic complement.

Andrei No kidding Professor

The BBC actually uses "Climategate" in a headline and states
Phil Jones, the professor behind the "Climategate" affair, has admitted some of his decades-old weather data was not well enough organised. He said this contributed to his refusal to share raw data with critics - a decision he says he regretted.
(H)e agreed that two periods in recent times had experienced similar warming. And he agreed that the debate had not been settled over whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period.
Somebody please tell Nick Smith.

Andrei Forgiveness Sunday

This is the last of my posts on the Triodion, where I have shared with you the four Sundays that the Eastern Church use to prepare the faithful for Lent

This Sunday is called Forgiveness Sunday, also known as cheesefare Sunday, since dairy products may be eaten but meat may not.

Today the Church recalls Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden and how God commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree, a commandment disobeyed and thus Adam and Eve and their descendants, us, became subject to death and corruption

Todays Gospel, Matthew 6:14-21 contains wisdom on both forgiveness and fasting. And following on from the theme of forgivness we forgive one another, before entering the fast of Great Lent which for the Eastern Church begins tommorrow a day we call "clean Monday".

Western Christians, of course, begin Lent on Wednesday but for all of us the preparation for Easter is beginning in earnest

May you have a blessed, peaceful, and spiritually beneficial Great Lent, leading you to the Bright Pascha of the Lord!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Andrei What do you know - a gay judge presiding over a landmark gay marriage trial

Twice the voters of California have said that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.

And in using the usual tactics of the progressives the will of the people is being tested in the courts.

And a circus it has been of course but now the San Fransisco Chronicle has let slip an open secret - the judge presiding over this trial where it is the voters will that is on trial is himself gay.

Is democracy just a joke to these people?

Andrei Whatever will they call for banning next?

I don't like campervans - they are slow, awkward to pass, not the least because the drivers usually have, oh, about four hours total experience of driving an oversize, unstable vehicle.

And they never use their mirrors so seem blissfully unaware of the convoy of frustration gathering behind them as they slowly weave their way down our highways.

Still banning them?

A bit of an over reaction I'd say.

Andrei The $600,000 "sound science" junket

$600,000 is the ball park figure for what was spent sending a delegation of 32 to the Copenhagen farce.

Nick Smith thinks he understands why the taxpayers who funded this expedition might be a little sour.
"It's disappointing for the taxpayer to have expenditure of $600,000 and we didn't make much progress."
The man is so out of touch, the whole climate change scam is unraveling on a daily basis, the supposed "sound science" upon which it is based is anything but. The European Emissions Trading Scheme is riddled with fraud and is costing jobs in the EU.

And while the Government makes noises about "catching up with Australia" Nick Smith is still hell bent on introducing our own Emissions Trading Scheme to further hamstring growth and productivity. An ETS is of course a bullet that Australia has dodged.

He still seems to think the science is sound
Dr Smith says the errors would "inevitably" have an effect on New Zealand's climate change policy, but that the Government would take a cautious approach to any changes made.

"I've had calls from people who want us to abandon or defer the Emissions Trading Scheme," he said. "That's not what the Government is going to do."
The unanswered question is, is this man digging a hole for his political career, ordinary New Zealanders or both?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

Friday again. It's the end of week two of term one.

After a couple of good starts and then stops (due to a birthday party, a cousin staying over and almost no sleep and then a cat gone missing and almost no sleep), I think we are heading into good homeschooling year. I'm almost beginning to think I know what I'm doing!

Lucia Here's an argument for legalising drugs

It'll make the nation easier to control. A country full of mind-addled addicts isn't going to care too much what the government does. Though, it will mean that our productivity will plummet, so, I suppose a government needs to tread a fine line here.

Good call, Simon Power. Don't soften up on illegal drugs. The cost will be too high.

Andrei Irony is lost on Chris Carter

This morning DPF posted on a little mishap Chris Carter had last night when he got on the wrong ferry and ended up in the wrong place.

Chris Carter wants to give his point of view and that is how it should be.

But he has never posted a comment on Kiwi Blog before so his comment went into moderation, which it would for any first time commenter. And has since been released.

Outraged he put up a post on Red Alert "Fairness and Mr Farrar" and said
At 11.03am I responded to David, however so far he is refusing to post what I have said. From 11.23am several posters’ comments have gone online, so I am assuming David doesn’t intend to give me a right of reply.
The thing is of course comments, especially from first timers go into moderation all the time on Red Alert.

Not only that but comments not to the taste of the moderators are deleted and commenters banned on a regular basis, including one so far on his own post.

Of course Chris Carter has shot himself in the foot, after posting this the media took an interest, including rehashing incidents which if commented upon on Red Alert would see your comment deleted.

Hey ho

Andrei Indifference

This is too sad.

A seventeen year old boy has been sentenced to eight months home detention for helping his friend hang himself in a Christchurch park.

The boy who died had been expressing suicidal intentions for weeks before this occurred and had unsuccessfully tried to kill himself the previous night.

And in this sad story it is reported that there were a group of boys present on both occasions all of whom appear to have known that the suicide attempts were going to take place although they don't seem to have hung around for the actual end.

But what I don't get is why none of these boys did anything to try and prevent this tragedy, even if it was just telling a responsible adult of what was going on.

Andrei The Flag Debate: Oh for goodness sake

The Herald is still harping on about changing the flag despite there being little interest from the hoi polloi for doing so.

Today they have dragged up a World War Two veteran to voice his support.

And they have canvased new immigrants for their view
Nearly half of a sample of immigrants spoken to by the Herald want the New Zealand flag changed.

The new Kiwis say the current design does not represent them or the ethnic diversity of New Zealand today.

Nearly Half? That means less than half. Have people who have immigrated here have not taken our flag into consideration when making the choice to uproot themselves?

Is it a hardship to put up with our flag and are we being intolerant to impose it upon them?

Oh the Liberal mind is stuck on banalities - there are far more pressing issues than the Flag which represents the history of this nation, which despite all the noise, is actually one of tolerance and acceptance of all.

Compare how the British set up New Zealand with how the Belgians ran the Congo and you will see how it could have been but wasn't.

And that should be treasured but rewriting the past to gain advantage in the present is one of the less endearing features of liberalism and one that should be resisted at all costs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Andrei This name suppression just business gets stranger and stranger

If you have been following the news you will have read of the missing woman, Vanessa Pickering and the man who abducted her and her daughter.

Two updates, the first is it seems likely the police have found her body.

The second the gentleman believed to be responsible for all of this appeared in court today, his name is ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ but that has been suppressed in the interim.

The silly thing is though that when this story broke and the police were searching for him and Vanessa Pickering both his name and photograph were given to the media to assist in the search.

And now there are plenty of ways of find both name and photo, not the least checking out yesterdays newspaper.

My questions are why bother to suppress his name?

And are any media outlets which have archived stories online containing this name in breach of the order.

And what about Google cache?

Andrei It was thirty-one years ago today

That the Shah was swept from power by the Iranian revolution.

And how are the people in Tehran celebrating? By the Government confirming death sentences and by being cut off from the outside world as the government confiscates satellite dishes and kills Google MAIL. Indeed the government is promising its own replacement for Google mail, a move that will inspire confidence I'm sure.

And that is how the revolution is being celebrated.


Lucia John Key's GST Blunder

Raising taxes and putting in new ones is never a good look for any party that campaigns on lowering tax before they get into power. Especially when subjected to the added scrutiny that only the Blogosphere can give.

After stating on Wednesday that GST will most likely be raised to 15% this year (from 12%), here's John Key in 2008 stating that GST will not be raised if National does a good job in Government.

Mmmmmm.... Begs the question, really. Does this mean that National doesn't think they are doing a good job? Could a good excuse now that the proverbial fan has been splattered. John Key could come out and say that National are a bit green, and now they realise that they aren't doing a good job and the only way to dig themselves out of the hole they've made, is to raise GST.

Ok, that wouldn't go down well, either.

In my opinion, GST is one of those hot button issues that affects EVERYONE, that should have been looked at as a last resort exercise.

Saying that those on benefits will be compensated for any GST increase is the height of stupidity - it just makes all of us who are paying the taxes get really annoyed that we are going to be hit twice, once for our spending and again for those who live on benefits.

What I can't understand is why some election promises are considered sancrostant, to the point that JK will resign if he raises retirement age, while as others are not thought of as important. Surely the promise to reduces taxes would affect more of the population therefore ought to be more important? What about interest-free student loans and Working for Families, why are they untouchable?

The GST increase doesn't actually bother me too much. I can affort a 2.5% increase. What gets me is that it is yet another tax increase on top of an ETS, which will increase taxes on top of keeping in place very expensive Labour policies that ought to be scrapped first.

Until National gets it's priorities right, it will continue to blunder around. And the longer this continues, the worse they will come out of it.

Related Links: Read my lips, National will not raise GST ~ Not PC

Andrei Civil rights for uncivil people

Paul Quinn's Electoral (Disqualification of Convicted Prisoners) Amendment Bill, has been drawn form the ballot and will go to Parliament for consideration.

Its effect would be to strip the right to vote from all those serving a term of imprisonment. the prisoner would be re-enfranchised upon release.

Rethinking Crime and Punishment director Kim Workman is against it - he suggests
"Because a disproportionate number of prisoners live in communities such as Otara, Flaxmere, Cannons Creek and so on, those communities lose a significant number of voters.

"I am sure that Paul Quinn didn't intend it, but the Opposition will be quick to note that a huge proportion of the 8500 prisoner votes lost as a result of this bill, will be in Labour and Maori Party strongholds."

I suspect that the prisoner vote, restored to them in 1993 would have little real impact on who gets to govern.

The way I see it is getting to vote isn't a "right" its a responsibility and that is something that have to be earned.

Andrei Peter Sharples' vision: a brave new country

Imagine this - a new name for New Zealand,to go along with a new flag and a new national anthem, composed by Peter Sharples.

We wouldn't recognize ourselves.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Andrei Hone Harawira - a loose cannon

This is too funny - Today Hone Harawira put forward a private members bill seeking to entrench the Maori seats.

Unfortunately the under the deal the Maori Party has with National no such initiative will be undertaken during the current Parliamentary term.

And it appears the leadership of the Maori Party were oblivious to the fact that he was doing so until informed by the media.

But once the leadership became aware the bill was withdrawn - entering it into the ballot was a mistake apparently.

Andrei Does this man look like a serial killer?

On the left is Colonel Russel Williams, commander of Canada's largest air force base and a rising star in the armed forces.

And it has all come to a shocking end. Canadian police working on a missing persons case believe he is responsible for two murders and two very serious and nasty sexual assaults. They suspect there may be others, perhaps going back years.

One of the murdered women was a subordinate, a corporal on the base he commanded.

You will be relieved to hear he has been relieved of his command.

And we are all left to wonder why?

Andrei An apology from the Archbishop of Canterbury

The BBC, who love apologies, breathlessly report
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has opened the General Synod with a speech calling for an end to infighting over the ordination of gay clergy in the United States and women bishops in England.
During his speech Dr Williams apologised for appearing to undervalue the contribution of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people) to the Anglican Church in the UK.
The thing is, of course, it takes special qualities to be a Bishop. Qualities that few have.

And having "openly" gay bishops in order to somehow "relate" to the GLBT members of the flock is not a necessary thing at all.

Indeed it does all a disservice. The Christian life is one of struggle - struggle against the pitfalls and snares of this world and there are many, unbridled sexuality being just one.

And our best defense against all of these things is to put Christ first and foremost in everything.

And when the Church forgets this and slides into activism to promote whatever the cause de jour may be it looses its way and puts its people in jeopardy.

Everybody is welcome in Church but they should come there to heal their souls not to be hectored about whatever fad the leadership is espousing this year.

Last Sunday I posted of the Last Judgement and the separation of the Sheep from the Goats.

Well in Church we are all numbered amongst the goats, we are there to be transformed into sheep and that is the real task of the leadership from the most humble of deacons through to most exalted bishops.

And this can only be accomplished by helping us to focus on Christ and what he wants of us.

Lucia Underwhelmed

I really wish government would fund tax cuts by reducing the scope and size of itself rather than just shuffling things around. Only governments have the captive market that allows them to do insanely expensive and stupid things (such as interest free student loans) and then when the money runs out, just raise more taxes.

I would have loved to have seen a raise in the retirement age as part of John Key's speech, even if he had to fire himself afterward. He would go down in NZ political history as a martyr, doing the right thing no matter what the personal consequences to himself.

I voted for National. Not because of their "promises", which amount to very little as they are picking and choosing which "promises" they are going to keep. I voted for them so that Labour wouldn't get another term. I'd say a fair chunk of voters, also really tired with Labour, voted for National for the same reasons. So, getting more of the type of governance when we voted for a different party is really annoying, to say the least.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Andrei D'ya miss Dubya yet?

This billboard has appeared at the side of the I-35 in Wyoming Minnesota.

Dubya has been out of office for just thirteen months now but he is starting to become a mythological figure - something I suspected might happen.

And no, it is not a photoshop.

Lucia International Planned Parenthood must be run by pedophiles

A new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation is advocating that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education, including an awareness of sex’s pleasures.

The report, "Stand and Deliver," charges that religious groups, specifically Catholics and Muslims, deny their young access to comprehensive sexual programs and education.

"Young people’s sexuality is still contentious for many religious institutions. Fundamentalist and other religious groups — the Catholic Church and madrasas (Islamic Schools) for example — have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly, from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction. Currently, many religious teachings deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex." the report states.
Anyone who wants to teach children as young as 10 how pleasurable sex can be must be a pedophile, there's no other explanation. What is wrong with waiting? Why should a 10 year old, who is still playing with toys and is too young to even be considered anywhere near adulthood, be taught about sex? Is IPPF looking to expand their abortion services by encouraging younger and younger children to engage in sexual behaviour they are not ready for?


Hattip: Fr Z.

Related Link: Stand and Deliver: Sex, Health and Young People in the 21st Century ~ Fox News

Andrei Trust us - we have your best interests at heart

Did you notice how the general take on Waitangi day was how peaceful and "harmonious" it was?

The tino rangatiratanga flag flew alongside the New Zealand flag on government buildings and all was well with the world.

And Hone Harawira's latest take on the foreshore and seabed act was given the thumbs up by a "treaty expert" and Surfing New Zealand chief executive Greg Townsend.

And now John Key is negotiating with Maori groups over this very issue behind closed doors and no detail of these discussions will enter the public domain until its a done deal.

Why do I get the sick feeling we are all about to be shafted?

Andrei This is not the ACCs core business

We all pay compulsory accident insurance premiums. And we do not have a choice of who provides cover or what we will have covered.

The whole thing is a mess. As an example, I know one company that employs sheet metal workers, they used to be boilermakers but sheet metal workers attract less of a levy than boilermakers apparently, so it goes.

But news out this morning tells of us the Accident Compensation Corporation is hiring out old police radars to people who want to slow down traffic in their area.

Whatever the merits of this as an idea the question I have is why does the ACC have any involvement - they should be concentrating on getting their acturial questions right balancing premiums against payouts.

And given the ACC "blowout" its something they haven't actually got a handle on.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lucia Death and Eternal Life and Faith

Today my book on Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life arrived from Amazon. I look forward to reading it, and hope I don't get too distracted by The Catholic Church Through the Ages, which looks seriously good as well.

I mention these books, in light of those who may be waiting patiently for the conversation on Hell and eternal suffering to move forward in due course.

I will eventually write something, but I do need to do a bit more reading first. To be more convincing, I suppose, as I am already convinced that eternal suffering in Hell is true. I am convinced, because the Church (ie the Magisterium of the Church) tells me so. I was converted back to the Faith by a conversion to the Church. Most specifically my realisation that if the Catholic Church was not true, nothing was. Absolutely nothing.

So, for anyone that wants to convince me that eternal suffering in Hell is not true, then you must first convince me that the Catholic Chruch is false, and if you succeed in that you will destroy my faith in everthing. (Not much chance of that happening, but I thought laying the whole thing out was worthwhile).

So, onto the book ...

Andrei Wait for the whine - no waiting required

So whats wrong with this ad? If you need some context - go here. Well in the Chicago Tribune, one Amy Laura Hall, a Duke University theologian and expert on theological and biomedical ethics says this
A more effective advertising message would have emphasized the difficulty and rewards of raising a child with special needs.

"Parents of children with disabilities know that work is difficult, often isolating. Many would say it's a blessing even in the midst of pain," she said. Sending the message that "you could win the lottery cheapens the loving and difficult work of caring for children with special needs."

"Touting life by way of a super success story seems, at the very least, silly," she said. " It may even be cruel.”
Too funny - I wonder what they will come up with next.

ZenTiger Waste Not, Want Not

From CNET - Turn your office expense reports into toilet paper.

Andrei Things that go bump

The Antarctic farce continues.

Murray McCully tuts
"The situation is very serious. There is a chance it will get more serious. Lives are at stake here."
but remains non committal.

And the war of the videos has begun, the ship bumpers have got theirs out already.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Andrei The most politically incorrect song ever?

This song was first recorded around about 1950. The video is from the mid seventies. But do you think it could be recorded today with our modern sensibilities?

My understanding though is the terms negresse and negre were used as terms of endearment in the Cajun French dialect. However I don't think that would save it in an era when even the word niggardly has gotten people into trouble.

Andrei Like this will convince anybody

"I love cats. I love all animals big time. Anyone who knows me knows I love animals,"

Even more surprising to me is this
Gisborne senior constable Pam Mankelow is related to the accused through her ex-husband.

She told Sunday News she couldn't excuse her relative's actions but she could see the incident "from many different sides".

"People that don't live in the area, or don't know the people etc, etc, they all have very different concepts of the whole story," she said.
Well I don't live in the area but I can't imagine very many people, where ever they might live being anything other than appalled by this story.

ZenTiger Marriage can be anything you want it to be

[Please read the whole post, or none of it. The ideas I begin with are not those I end with.]

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counter-intuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

The only evolution happening here is a continuation of easy divorce - the ongoing destruction of the family, a focus on the partners and not the children.

The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners...“With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

It might be great that you can decide "unto death do us part" and yet skip the bit on vowing faithfulness, monogamy and fidelity. When there aren't children involved, there can be a lot more latitude in a relationship. Children involve focusing on something much bigger than your own desires.  They involve something bigger than self-love, a love that puts yourself second and yet is one freely given.  They involve responsibility.

Andrei Judgement Sunday

For the past two Sundays I have been discussing the Sundays of the Triodion, that is the Sundays leading up to Lent and the particular lessons the Eastern Church has for these Sundays

Today is called Judgement Sunday and it is about something that we might prefer not to think about and that is that we all will face the Final Judgement some day

We read of the Judgement in todays Gospel Matthew 25:31-46, of the seperation of the sheep from the goats and we earnestly pray that we might be amongst the sheep

I have been asked by Western Christians from time to time "are you saved?". For me the answer is "I hope to be" for unlike those who ask that question I do not believe that salvation is a given thing that you can assume, rather it is a life long process with stumbles as falls along the way.

We are given a key to acheiving salvation in today's Gospel however

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

And the hymn we will sing turns our minds to the Judgement

When You, O God, shall come to earth with glory,
All things shall tremble
And the river of fire shall flow before Your judgment seat;
The books shall be opened and the hidden things disclosed!
Then deliver me from the unquenchable fire,
And make me worthy to stand at Your right hand, righteous Judge!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

ZenTiger Bang Bang Bang

I did three essential piano pieces the other day, and I think I'll continue the triple feature theme. It's a tradition. In my later teenage years I would go to the movies most Saturday nights, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, for I had few friends with the same level of, shall we say, "fortitude"? I'd head down to the Chinese sector of Ottawa and watch a Kung Fu triple feature. That was three movies for about the price of one movie, and a long evening. All movies were in Chinese. Some movies had subtitles. They would inspire me for the rest of the week, which featured a couple of hours a day training at the dojang.

I must have seen hundreds of B grade martial arts films in my life. No regrets there, but I will not inflict this on you tonight. Instead, three martial art films to ponder over. The first from the Lone Wolf and Cub series, would have to be one of the 10 best martial art movies ever. The western mainstream version "Shogun Assassin" is actually a dubbed and reedited blend of the first two Lone Wolf movies, and yet remains masterful. Great cinematography, and absolutely compelling storytelling, being narrated by his young son.

The intro gives a small flavour to the movie and if you want to see more (blood, that is) then try the link after that.