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Showing posts from April, 2010

Friday night free for all

I am currently obsessed with apple trees and Latin courses. Early this week, I finally went into the garden centre and asked if they could get me Mother , Winter Banana and D’Estivale on dwarf rootstock. On Mother , they were sure they'd have no problem, but the other two they were a bit dubious on. So, I'll just have to wait and see. I've also set up wind direction monitors in my garden (ie plastic bags attached to sticks) to see just where most of my wind comes from. Surprisingly, most of it heads straight up from the beach. Even when the wind is a northerly, it comes through my yard from the west. I'm not quite sure how that works, but, it looks like I'm going need to plant more shrubs to try and slow it down as it whips through the yard. Which gets me onto my major annoyance with our local council, most of whom were elected because people around these parts would like to see the water that runs straight out to sea collected in some sort of dam. No pro

How Powerpoint is winning the war in Afghanistan

Click here to close What is this mess on the left I hear you ask? Believe it or not it is a Powerpoint slide to descibe the military situation in Afghanistan. On seeing it General Stanley McChrystal, the US and NATO force commander, was heard to remark 'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war .' You may click on the image to view it in all its glory but it will leave you none the wiser I'll posit Source: Mail Online

Did we really get rid of Labour last time? Well in name perhaps,

More nanny statism from the people who promised us less. Parliament is sitting under urgency to raise tobacco taxes by 10%. It will save lives the architect of this travesty, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia tries to tell us. BS - not a single life will be "saved" because everybody dies one way or another. To be sure some smokers lives are shortened by the habit, but then again so are some scuba divers lives shortened by their lifestyle choices and options. What is sure to shorten my life is the raise in my blood pressure caused by seeing sanctimonious politicians who eagerly sit under extreme urgency to pass laws raising taxes on the poor but are incapable of dealing with our ridiculous ETS under urgency or otherwise.

Is This Noah's Ark?

A team of archaeologists held a press conference three days ago to announce that they had found Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey. According to them, the wood samples have been dated to 4,800 years ago. A milestone was marked by one of the team members, Panda Lee, who went for a pioneer climb to witness the existence of a wood structure high above an altitude of 4,000m. He also surveyed the landscape, preparing for further search. Panda Lee said, “In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team. At an elevation of more than 4,000 metres, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails. We walked about 100 metres to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 metres long. I surveyed the landscape and found that the wooden structure was permanently covered by ice and volcanic rocks. Prior to my expedition, the

Who Said This?

Who said the following? The madness of the Government’s new carbon tax is that New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it. It will drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain. Answer after the jump...

John Key - First and Last

Richard Long comes to bat for John Key today over signing up to DRIP . He says that it was inevitable we (NZ) would sign because we would eventually be the only country in the world that hasn't signed, and he couldn't imagine John Key wanting to go it alone. In other news, it seems John Key wants to go it alone and be the only country in the world signing up for across the board punitive taxes on Carbon, and is ready to push the ETS through at all costs. With Australia pulling back from an ETS further and faster than we can bowl, what now John Key? Don't want to be last to sign DRIP but raring to be first to sign on to an ETS.

Traders and Warriors

NotPC presents two choices for us to consider: The evil warrior class and the peace creating trader class. Warriors bad, Traders good. Then he acknowledges that warriors are revered (for all the wrong reasons) and traders ignored (until there's a good sale on). That has an element of injustice to it, when we should be thanking traders for exchanging goods for money. I agree with half his argument. Trade is good for peace. A trading culture does bring massive benefits, but setting up a battle between good trader and evil warrior is a losing proposition to me. Here's why:

UK Foreign Office on diplomacy

This story is funny, ironic, insulting, surprising and unsurprising all in one. I'm speaking of the UK Foreign Office managing to create a fairly extensive document with suggestions for the upcoming Papal visit including activities like opening an abortion clinic, and then circulate it widely. What a bunch of idiots.

Are you a new Zealander?

With the government signing up to the UN Declaration of Rights for Indigenous People, it's time everyone who was born in this great country of ours (can I use the word "ours"?), who felt moved to complete the recent census by ensuring that our ancestral heritage was properly marked "New Zealander" making us indigenous to our country of birth, are properly recognised by our government (can I use the word "our"?). There might be some that would quibble over the degree of indigenuousness we possess, but you will probably be arguing this with either lefties or pseudo-liberals, both who are used to redefining words to suit their purpose and will just babble incoherently. Anyway, if we were born here, how on earth can we be considered alien? What planet are these people on defining us as aliens? So, fellow New Zealanders, when some of our fellow indigenous people line up in front of what they think is the gravy train, and is likely just a clapped out K

Hawking on Human Nature and Aliens

Professor Stephen Hawking argues that as alien as other life forms might be to us, they will share a common trait - human nature. They may be blue skinned and apparently peace loving, but if they show up, expect to be decimated and then cut down to a tenth of our population, and then decimated again. We could describe this as the "Hawking view of human nature", but it isn't unique to Hawking. If course, it's a fairly accurate view of human nature, but it's like watching all of The Fifth Element except for the last 10 minutes. Interestingly he suggests that, rather than actively trying to communicate with extra-terrestrials, humans should do everything possible to avoid contact. So, do we shut down SETI and start masking our radio transmissions? We either take the Professor seriously, or we outfit him with a complete set of Mary-Jane, Skipper, Gilligan and so forth. Hawking: It's life Jim, just as we know it

Perspex Car

Whoa. Huge job. Creating an entire Nissan 370Z out of perspex for the new Shell Helix campaign to show how oil moves through the engine.

Lest We Forget

Finlay MacDonald, atheist, lefty socialist muses on the whole concept of "lest we forget" in today's Sunday Star Times. He mentions historian Paul Moon has pointed out the inevitable toll time will take on commemoration of ANZAC day, and thinks it might not be here with us within the next 100 years. Which just goes to show the inability of a secular, left leaning society has to transfer its cultural memory and cherished values. Today, we remember the sacrifice and the shops are shut until lunch time. 50 years from now, April 25th, falling on a Sunday might be nothing more than a rostered day off, with shops open from 8am just like any other day. Get up, put on your gray suit and go to work. Christian values are no longer seen as such, but there is one enduring memory Christians have kept alive for 2000 years, in spite of every conceivable attack. 2000 years, Finlay. Makes you think, doesn't it? Let's hope we can retain the values that help us maintain

The Nazi Pedophile Priest Scare

“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light every day against a large number of members of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.” Does the above quote come from an editorial from a newspaper in 2010? No, it’s from a speech of May 28, 1937, by Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich. It was just after the Pope of the day had released an encyclical condemning the Nazi regime. A very interesting article. According to the article -

Friday night free for all

Friday again. This week has been hard work. I've just been getting over the flu (I'm now in the severe coughing stage), and then my youngest just got sick on Wednesday. Very disruptive when I'm trying to establish a good routine for the term. On the positive side, now that I theoretically know what I'm doing with homeschooling, it's been a lot easier than previous years getting started, even with the disruption of being sick. I also have been thinking about what apple trees to plant. I am so over buying apples from the supermarket that are not fresh. Right now it's alright, and most of the apples I buy I don't have to throw out, but seriously, some times of the year are really bad. So my plan is to grow my own apples. I once went to an apple orchard as part of a kindergarten outing a number of years back, and the apples straight off the trees were amazing (they let us pick three apples each, as we walked around). Ever since then I have kept that me

Praise for NZ Carbon Reduction Efforts

Praise has swept in from around the world for New Zealand's pro-active approach to managing energy to prevent further Climate Change. Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said Al Gore had sent a special note of congratulations, as had IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri. They were referring to the trial run of energy cutbacks executed in Wellington yesterday, which had gone exceedingly well . "A few people were stuck in elevators, which indicates the message of "take the stairs" has not been taken up by enough people, but we think continual rolling power cuts of 3 or 4 hours will soon train them to a healthier approach", said Metiria in a hand written note released during the power saving initiative by Transpower. It was estimated that the power outage lasting several hours saved a considerable amount of CO2 emissions and provided good training for the public when cuts are extended to a few days at a time. "This is a first world response to a critical is

Modern Warfare

Selling white poppies a week after ANZAC day? - An Act of Piggyback Marketing Selling white poppies on ANZAC day? - An Act of War Selling white poppies before ANZAC day - An Act of Terrorism For supposedly peaceful people, the mob that want to invade ANZAC day seem to have a distinct lack of empathy and respect for the feelings of others. They are also potentially taking away from fund raising efforts for the vets. An aggressor will tell you that "wars are never necessary", but that's only because, after attacking, they want you to roll over and die. If they want war, I suspect they will get war.

Garbage In, Gospel Out

A very interesting read on how temperature data transcription can generate errors, all of them generally leading to recording warmer temperatures, and the effects becoming more pronounced the closer the temperatures are recorded to the poles. Fascinating. The article is an in depth discussion looking at how the errors occur, and pretty much nails it. The only question now is were those errors frequent enough, and regular enough to doubt Climate Models relying on this data? It's looking that way. However, one of the amusing stand out quotes in the comments became the title for this post. I was familiar with the original GIGO acronym , but hadn't caught "version 2". I like it. It's also AGW's worst nightmare, and apparently, modus operandi: Garbage In, Gospel Out. Watts Up With That: Missing Minus Signs in Temperature Records Create False Positives

A Government of Secrecy and Irrelevant Laws

I'm not sure what to make of the latest news that the people of New Zealand have signed up to the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights. So what is wrong with the story? Well, firstly, it shows a certain level of immaturity, duplicity, and fear of the public to head off to New York in secrecy to sign up to something that, up until the signing New Zealand was officially against. Secondly, John Key had been recently asked if the official position on the declaration had changed. "Not at present" was his reply. Which was technically true, the stance hadn't changed officially, but unofficially the airfares had been booked and the deal done. That's basically lying. Thirdly,

New Scandal Rocks the Church

Archeologists have uncovered what appears to the world's oldest newspaper archive, and have damning evidence of problems in the Christian Ministry that go all the way to the top. A series of articles in what appears to be a daily rag called "The New Yid Times" (NYT) provide irrefutable evidence of a dysfunctional organisation. The papyrus and velum scrolls have been carbon dated to the time of Jesus and some of the extracts have been, for the first time, carefully translated and presented here as a public service: Monday Front Page Jesus seen in the company of prostitutes The leader of a religious sect was again seen associating with prostitutes and thieves in the back streets of the city. Rabbi Dawkins had called for an inquiry to question the morality of Jesus. "How can he preach a moral life when we find him in this company?" he demanded. "He has no visible income, has a dozen people working for him, associates with thieves, is involved in

Season with salt and freshly ground black people

Penguin Group Australia has ground up 7000 cookbooks after discovering a recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto called for an unusual garnish - ground black people. It's a misprint of course but one someone is sure to take umbrage over. Easier to junk the books and start all over despite the cost of doing so.

Porn For The Blind

Oh, I just can't believe this. Now a woman in Canada (no surprises there) is publishing pornography for the blind in a new tactile book because the blind are being left out. A Canadian photographer says the blind lack access to our "much sexualised" world, so she has decided to create a new kind of pornography, with tactile images, the first designed especially for the blind. "When I had the idea, I started looking around and I realised there were no nude books out there for the blind," the Canadian artist, Lisa Murphy, said. "We live in a society that is much sexualised - just look at advertising. "But if you can't see then you are probably not aware of how sexualised it is. "And I believe that vision-impaired people have been [wrongly] left out of the experience. "Or course, anyone can find it erotic, not just the vision-impaired."

Michael Laws on Lucy

Michael Laws devotes his SST column this week to his daughter, Lucy, and writes a moving and heartfelt article. Lucy has been battling cancer for over two years, and is now in remission, long may it last. Michael credits three things to her recovery: Lucy's indomitable spirit, the expertise and dedication of the medical team, and quite frankly, a miracle. I suspect he is right on all counts. Miracles may be few and far between, or they may be more abundant than we realise. We certainly don't get all the miracles we might like, but Michael and family got theirs. When science and reason hit their limits and are exhausted, and the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against you, I only see something positive in the human spirit when one falls to their knees and prays to God. We pray for miracles, we pray for strength and we pray out of love; and in praying, maybe we are given the grace to continue on. There was also something transformational for Michael Laws in the suf

How the Left deceives us

A brief guide to Stategies employed to impose Socialism on the masses despite its evident failings Classical Marxist revolution Wait for capitalism to collapse by itself and then take over Workers/Peasants revolution     If the workers wont rise up to bring about the revolution can intellectuals usher in the golden age of Socialism - whether we want it or not? Postmodernism Redefining Language   Multiculturalism Environmentalism   Rewrite Ethics     There you have a short and incomplete overview of some of the ways socialism is being imposed on us by stealth.   The Results select from the approaches on the left, that the left, has taken to bring about nirvana to see the consequences of that approach in the real world.   The Results select from the approaches on the left, that the left, has taken to bring about nirvana to see the consequences of that approach in the real world. Socialist Revolution This ha

Pope recommends penance

In spite of all the public statements; the apologies the Pope has made since he became Pope; the positive procedural changes he personally has instigated; the fact he was the first pope to meet with victims; , the media comes out with some slanted statements. The headline starts off the nonsense: Pope ends silence on explosive issue of abuse Silence? That's just rubbish. I cover just one event of several that indicate anything but silence on this matter - his visit to the USA in 2008 and his meeting with some of the victims of abuse from one of the worst diocese in this whole sorry affair - Boston. (No surprises it had a heavy Irish influence). Firstly though, the rest of the article said little to expand the point of the Pope's statement that the Church needs to do penance. Instead, it managed to find a couple of dissidents that make out the Pope has done nothing and should resign. Yawn.

The wave of the future

It's been mentioned that the Catholic Church has been reforming, and there have actually been several articles over the past few years (generally from a narrow band of Media sources) highlighting this. Here's a very recent one: DENVER — The action against the priest was swift and public. Within five days of receiving a decades-old child sex abuse allegation against the Rev. Melvin Thompson, Denver’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese investigated, alerted law enforcement and announced his suspension to parishioners and the public. The archdiocese says Thompson, 74, maintains his innocence. Some parishioners have complained the process was unfair and too fast. However Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput called prompt action “painful but necessary.” Is 5 days too fast or too slow? I think, at the least you have to establish the people involved have a credible story - that dates and times roughly match up and that the Priest at least served at that time at that location. The damag

Dom Post - righteous anger could do with some balance

The Dom Post's editorial today continues it's trend of attacking the Catholic Church by making sweeping accusations that indicate an unbalanced and biased position rather than measured commentary expected of an Editorial. OPINION: Former prime minister Helen Clark had a simple piece of advice for colleagues in difficulty: "If you're in a hole, stop digging." It is advice the Vatican would do well to heed. Firstly, when incorrect allegations are used as the foundation for a story, it's natural to want to present some of the facts that would balance the slander. However, if you don't have the media on your side, turning the other cheek doesn't necessarily work either, as the media then run stories crowing that "no denial means every baseless allegation is true".

Dwelling in the Past at Lake Alice

A former child patient of Lake Alice psychiatrist Selwyn Leeks says she is sick of reading the same stories complaining about him and the hospital in the 1970s. "It should finish now," the 52-year-old says. "I was there when I was 13, 14, 15, and Leeks was my doctor too." The woman acknowledges terrible things happened at Lake Alice and that the boys were treated more harshly than the few girls, but harking back to it all the time made recovery impossible, she says. This month police said they would not try to charge Dr Leeks, now aged about 80, based on the complaints of 40 former patients. Complainants say they have been denied a public inquiry of alleged mistreatment and abuse at the hospital near Marton [New Zealand].

Friday night free for all

It's the end of the school holidays. * Sigh * Oh well, I'll enjoy doing all the school work, when we get back into it on Monday. On the plus side, I've moved a number of plants around (this is equivalent to moving the furniture around), and now I'm beginning to have an idea of how I want the garden to be. Now, if I can just get the neighbours to top their giant Magnolia that is blocking my potential vegetable garden's sun ...

A song for Ele (Homepaddock)

Ele Ludeman is a farmers wife and a blogger . Sometimes we do quizzes on her blog or discuss history, films or literature, but it is often music where I connect over there. As a South Canterbury North Otago farmers wife rain or the lack of it is a subject never far from her mind and this concern is expressed in her posts from time to time. She has such a post up today: It rained . Put me in mind of this old song, which was conceived by Steve Earle while performing at a Farm Aid concert in Manor Texas to raise money to help keep family farmers on their land when times get tough.

Whitewash and disruption

CRU Scientific Malefeasance Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit. The whitewash report into the activities of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit is out . I do find it slightly ironic that we are putting a lot of effort into worrying about averting possible distruptions to our daily life a century hence due to the unstable nature the systems that govern the planet we live on when our lives today are subject to the unpredictablity of mother earth which continually throws us surprises which we have to cope with in the best way we can As you may have heard airline travel over much of Northern Europe and all of the United Kingdom is now at a standstill until further notice. Planes can't fly due to volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland. And nobody has a clue as to how long this state of affairs may last, Still we carry on as best we can - don

Real news roundup on attacks on the Chruch and Pope Benedict

MEDIA FRENZY The Pope and the New York Times - Wall Streeet Journal A few years later, when the CDF assumed authority over all abuse cases, Cardinal Ratzinger implemented changes that allowed for direct administrative action instead of trials that often took years. Roughly 60% of priests accused of sexual abuse were handled this way. The man who is now pope reopened cases that had been closed; did more than anyone to process cases and hold abusers accountable; and became the first pope to meet with victims. Isn't the more reasonable interpretation of all these events that Cardinal Ratzinger's experience with cases like Murphy's helped lead him to promote reforms that gave the church more effective tools for handling priestly abuse? Former NY Mayor Ed Koch Says 'Enough Already' with Anti-Catholicism in Media Many of those in the media who are pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight, and some with malice. The reason, I believe, for th

What a load of drivel

Dominion Post Headline: Kiwis worst in the world for bullying . One in five Kiwi workers suffer from workplace bullying, one of the worst rates in the world. The figures are revealed in a university survey released today. A joint university research team – from Auckland, Waikato, Massey and London – polled more than 1700 workers from the health, education, hospitality and travel sectors asking how frequently they were exposed to "negative acts" at work. What planet is the joint university research team from? Are New Zealand workplaces really more rugged than Asian sweatshops or African plantations? Get a grip! And what have been identified as the most worst workplace environments by these genii do you suppose? Higher rates of bullying were found in the education and health sectors and also in kitchen "hot spots" within the hospitality industry. Health and Education? The people who produced this are employed by the "Education sector" - no?

Child Voters

Voting in general elections should start at the age of 16, says the Electoral Reform Society. The society, which has monitored British elections for almost 120 years, has decided to back calls for the voting age to be lowered. People who are old enough to join the army are also old enough to vote on which politicians could send them to war. It argues 16-year-olds are seen as adults in a range of other ways and so should not be denied a role in democracy. ERS chief executive Ken Ritchie said: "There is a very valid debate in this country about what constitutes adulthood. "For tax purposes and in matters such as getting married or getting a job, 16-year-olds are viewed as adults. Said one 16 year old potential voter: " If I'm old enough to have sex, then I'm old enough to vote ". Well, I guess the reverse holds true: If a child is old enough to vote, then they are old enough to provide informed consent to sex. Ironically, that might mean all the repor

Environmentalist eats endangered species

Passers by saw Christopher Hemsley, an active environmentalist, eating an endangered crayfish in England's lake district. The Authorities were called and he was caught . It was a mistake,he said, he thought he was eating an introduce species of crayfish which competes with the endangered native species. He is £4000 poorer as a result of his mistake. Expensive meal huh.

An apple a day keeps the Aussies at Bay

The 90 year old trade war to sell Apples to the Aussies is over. "We won, you lost. Eat that" as Cullen might say. Except they still might not bother eating them. We now supposedly will be able to sell Apples to Aussies, but they might never get around to buying them. I wait to see if we are pipped at the post. And Ozy Mandias weighs in with a thoughtful post and highlights a new risk: I have had the pleasure of going to Aussie about 5 times and would have to say the average Australian is funny, friendly and generally a good bloke. Trouble is that during any of my visits there I have yet to find an average Aussie. Basically their country is like our big brother – loud, arrogant but there if we get into a little trouble. Deep down my real concern is that it won’t take them long to claim our apples as their own. As New Zealanders we are constantly being ripped off by our neighbours as year after year they take our best and claim it for themselves. From racehorses to foo

Cordial about abortion

In a letter to the editor of the Gisborne Herald, published yesterday, Margaret Sparrow decided to launch into a few pro-lifers who have taken the time to oppose the evil pro-abortion ideology that she is so totally committed to, and an article published on Semper Vita comes in for some special mention in her letter. The only problem is that [Margaret] misrepresented what we actually wrote in our original blog post, Drinking the Suicide Cordial with Margaret Sparrow . We didn’t really compare you to Jim Jones, instead we compared your tactics, to the tactics of Jim Jones, who did an astounding job of convincing all who would listen that they should drink the deadly suicide cordial he was offering because such an act was in their best interests. I thought the analogy was apt. I guess it would be more so if Abortionist Doctors could simply give pregnant women a nice glass of orange cool-aid laced with "baby-go"(TM).

Rumours

Now I'm not one for gossip, never have been - but some Labour MP's are prone to gossip and do. And one of them has started an interesting rumour Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx understanding with xxxxxx XX Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx Zzzzz Zzzzzz zzz zzzzzzzzzz zz understanding with zzzzzz ZZ Zzzzz Zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz Zzzzzz Ztyeeyuuyyuzzz Mmmmmzzz mmmzzz zmmmzzzzz mmg wmmmh zzzzmzz MN mmmzz Zzzzzz zmz ZzuKKKKKKKK David Farrar has established an understanding with Labour MP Clare Curran according to Trevor Mallard Far be it from me to spread gossip so it has been obsured, you will just have to wonder. or not as the case may be .

Media finds new target in clerical abuse hysteria

Seen on WDTPRS

Judge Jury and Executioner - it's called efficiency, not justice

The Government has developed a disturbing tendency to quickly review and change the law if it is not happy about how it is used. There's obviously a range of justifiable reasons for this, but equally, the triggers that generate this response seem a little disturbing to me. Labour infamously created it's retrospective legislation to shut down a High Court case against them over the illegal spending of election funds. Well, at least it was illegal until the retrospective legislation.

Blog Stats for March 2010

Whatever was keeping us busy Jan and Feb has fallen away and we have averaged out a bit.  Basically, post less and receive less visits.  But it's not all about numbers, surely it's the quality of our commenters!     The stats for March are

The Dawkins Delusion

Dawkins and Hitchens want to arrest the Pope for "crimes against humanity". For people that argue they are rational and "evidence based", they certainly seem not to let facts get in the way of their biases. Here's the story that they are using to argue the Pope was engaged in a cover-up: Latest Media Beat up . Please educate yourselves to the facts. Briefly: Dawkins will arrest Pope and a little more: The Dawkins Delusion

Internet Freedom and Copyright Issues

Here's an online petition that only has a couple of hours to run, so consider reading and signing. What's it about? ACTA is a controversial international treaty that impacts digital rights and is being negotiated in secret meetings. PublicACTA has been organised by InternetNZ so that the public can critique the known and likely content of ACTA proposals ahead of the next round in Wellington. Let's not continue the alarming trend of government signing on to international treaties that we don't get to voice an opinion over. Find out more: The Wellington Declaration

What is wrong with this story?

Here is a heartbreakingly sad story from Invervargill . A 43-year-old Invercargill schizophrenic died in a smelly, damp and mouldy city flat with rotting carpet despite being visited regularly by mental health workers, her family said . This happens all to frequently an ill unwanted person dies alone and often in appalling circumstances and who isn't found for some time - often nobody notices until the smell hits the streets. A clue to what I think is terribly wrong here lies in the words I have highlighted in the quote. Here is another quote from the story again with a key phrase highlighted A friend of the Mann family, Invercargill man Mike Batchelor, who entered the flat five days after her body was removed, yesterday said it was mouldy and the smell was "beyond disgusting". "There needs to be a big shake-up if people are allowed to live in these conditions. They need to find out how this happened and make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.

The Latest Papal 'Scandal' - The Facts

There is an excellent piece over at Catholic Culture regarding the latest co-called 'Papal Scandal' written by Phil Lawler. It's so good that I'm just going to paste it here. You can see that the old axiom of the facts not getting in the way of a good story is still true. These journalists should be ashamed. I know some Catholics depressed about the latest media releases concerning the Church, so it is good to have a run-down of the real facts.

Disaster and Tragedy for Poland

A terrible disaster and tragedy for the Polish people, with the death of the President, his wife and key government and military officials following a plane crash in Russia. Ironically, the entourage was there for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. The ramifications of this event are hard to fathom at this point, but I suspect they will be far reaching. My condolences to the people of Poland. More later. News video and links below break

Christopher Hitchens' Brother On Rediscovering God

Very interesting article HERE written by Peter Hitchens, the brother of well-known Atheist Christopher Hitchens (author of books such as God Is Not Great, 2007). He writes about falling away from his faith when he was younger, rediscovering it, and making peace with his brother. Hat tip: Ad Rem Salva Veritate

Lovelock on Climate Change

Hacked excerpts from the Guardian article: Lovelock – now into his 90s is the man who first developed the "Gaia theory" in the late 1960s: the still-challenging idea that Earth is one giant, self-regulating organism whose equilibrium is being very much disturbed by the actions of one species. Lovelock has been warning with increasing urgency that the survival of that species – Homo sapiens – is now gravely threatened by the "Revenge of Gaia", the title of one of his more recent bestselling books. He is billed as an Old Testament-style prophet for our times, predicting fire and brimstone for a damned generation if it does not urgently and radically change its polluting ways ... firing off verbal thunderbolts at the various "dumbos" with whom we have bestowed our collective fate: namely, "the politicians, scientists and lobbyists".

New York Times aka Hell's Bible

Seen on WDTPRS

Customary Rights

A Maori leader caught poaching trout from Lake Taupo says local iwi should be given customary rights to take fish. This has to be my favourite story of the week. Aside from the fact that he was using a net (bad form) to take an excessive amount of trout during spawning season and therefore threatening the restocking process necessary to stop trout going the way of the Moa last time Maori exercised their customary rights, the court of appeal has rightfully pointed out that it can hardly be considered a customary right given the trout was introduced by the British and European settlers. The broader issue here is of course that some Maori want to have a separate system and separate "rights" to the rest of New Zealanders. It's divisive and ultimately, unsustainable. If they get their way, then in 100 years our Pakeha ancestors will have legitimate grievances requiring the gifting of land and the allocation of our own "customary rights" that we were denied. O

Friday Night Free for All

Good evening folks. At the end of another week, and I've missed so many opportunities for blog posts, but real life continues to take precedence. That's sort of good but also sort of frustrating as I do enjoy the odd rant. No doubt fresh material will continue to arrive on my doorstep next week, so I'm not too worried. I'm looking at the window right now at the most amazing of sunsets, coming at the end of a perfect day on the Kapiti Coast weather-wise. I've spent the last day of my holiday time building a retaining wall and fence, and the progress has been slow, but steady. It's been a project with my 13 year old son helping, and he's done a great job and shown keen interest in the entire building process. Alas, I have little experience in this domain, so I could only share with him my ignorance, but have at least conveyed that determination and a little bit of thought can be a suitable enough justification to give the project a go, and the end resu

elbbarcs

Given the new generation communicates in text, thinks in advertising slogans and listens to crap music, sorry I meant rap music, the makers of scrabble have released new rules that allow brand names, proper nouns, words to be spelt backwards and possibly even txt phrases. Sacrilege, but the makers seem to think that people that cannot read might suddenly be attracted to scrabble if they can score on any letter combination. The assumption is that they can at least count. Raybon Kan sums this up best: Now I know how fundamentalists feel when liberals show up

Of course hes not going to change it

The ETS is an excellent new opportunity for the parasite classes to feed off the productive classes so why would you get rid of it? . The thing about parasites is that they weaken their hosts and it now just a question of how long before the productive just give up producing because the costs and risks involved in actually making something compared to the potential rewards pale into insignificance to the rewards taken by Wellington troughers. What a con!

Nanny State Thinking

The nanny state way of thinking is alive and well. Firstly, the department of Conservation seems to be reacting with the kind of political correctness that spends thousands of knee-jerk dollars to examine the safety regulations around bunk bed ladders after a boy slips off one at 1am in the morning and fractures or breaks his arm. If they think hard enough, the paths up to these wilderness cabins must be a little slippery at times, how about we concrete them and provide hand rails. For that matter, climbing Mount Cook can be dangerous. Install ladders, safety nets and rest stops every 10 metres. Maybe install elevators for those climbers that just like the climb to be in one direction. And the other story was a Google maps error has a suggested walk route through the Mount Victoria bus tunnel in Wellington. This story was put on the front page of the newspaper, and it did it's best to imply these directions were dangerous and we should shiver in our boots. The problem

As predictable as the Sun's rising in the East

Pope’s Easter message to the world ignores sex abuse scandal So reads the Times headline. The Popes Easter Address is here: "Urbi et Orbi" Message and Blessing . I'm sorry it was not to the Times taste and deemed by them unworthy of reporting. The fact that it talks about Christian stuff appropriate to Easter and is directed to Christians rather than Times reporters might have something to do with it. But it is inline with other Paschal addresses given by other major Christian Bishops Here is Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's 2010 Patriarchal Proclamation for Pascha linked here for purposes of both your edification and comparison with the Popes. And Patriarch Kirill of Moscow's Paschal Message is also edifying and demonstrates the appropriateness of the Pope's to the occasion. Now if the Time's Faith section was what it is purported to be all three of these would be carried in full on its pages along with the Archbishop of Canterbury

The ultimate Question

This post contains the answer to the ultimate question and it isn't 42. The answer is here for the taking, the question is will you find it? Update This post has had some bugs corrected and moved to a permanent home . That maker of sorrow, the old versions of IE mess up some formating, but life is too short to tweak around those. c'est la vie

Does NZ tolerate sexual abuse of minors?

I know I'm supposed to wait 30 years before raising such issues, but this story is worth adding to the blog archives. The short story is that an adult has repeated sex with an 11 year old. Gets her pregnant at age 13, and this finally comes to the attention of the police who decline to lay charges even though it is a criminal offense, with a penalty of 20 years. This was in New Zealand, in 2007. We (NZ society) appear to make very vocal statements that sex with minors is abhorrent and not to be tolerated. Yet, cases pop up with a degree of regularity that show we are tolerating it. The abortion numbers of girls under 16 are increasing. Given the law has obviously been broken, why not more investigations? How big is this problem we seemingly chose to ignore?

Joyous News

Joyous News - Christ is risen! And it is the custom, mostly lost now, to greet one another with this news during the Paschal season. No bland "Happy Easter", innocuous though it may be but essentially meaningless for us. The Paschal Greeting Greek Χριστός Ανέστη! Αληθώς Ανέστη! ( Christos Anesti! Aleithos Anesti! ) Russian Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе! (Khristos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese! ) Romanian Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat! Polish Chrystus Zmartwychwstał! Zaprawdę Zmartwychwstał! The Paschal greeting in many languages Rather it is the joyful cry of   "Christ is Risen!"   that we should use. And if greeted in this manner we should reply  "Truely he has risen! " And if you can meet someone for whom English is not his or her native tongue then it is good form to use their language if you can manage it for the universal greeting. I have provided some examples on the left and a link to many more

NotPC and his Easter Rant

Not PC is attacking Christians again because in a democratic society, we still allow laws he doesn't like, to exist. It would seem to me his problem should be entirely with the secular authorities that make and enforce the laws. The Christian lobby group is not as powerful as he imagines. He of course resents the feeling that Christians are in control: Because today is one day the religionists still have control over us. A day when flunkies carrying clipboards fan out around the country hoping to fine someone for the crime of selling someone else a pot plant, or a pint of milk. [Actually, it's legal to sell milk. Even the cafes are open.] Tradition and history - the enemies of freedom obviously. It's not religionists though going around fining people. Statistically, it would be rational atheists going around imposing fines in the name of the all powerful State. It's not the tithing bowl being filled, but the coffers of the secular state. The issue of f

God's time

Is this what Pascha (Easter) is all about? Chocolate eggs? I lifted this picture from Stuff, where it was used to illustrate an "Easter" story about not over indulging in chocolate over the holidays (holy days). I know the press has to fill up space but do we really need "experts" hectoring us on how many calories there are in chocolate bunnies and eggs? Give us a break! Some of us, are recalling the most significant event in human history this weekend - and to those of us who are the number of calories in a hot cross bun or the news that Anna Paquin is bisexual seems incredibly banal. Do you think either will matter very much 2000 days from now let alone 2000 years hence? It amuses the secular that different parts of the Christian Church celebrate this feast at different times, this year being unusual that all groups are celebrating on the same day. It irritates the secular ruling elite that the date on which the feast is celebrated moves from year to y

Friday Night Free for All

Well, it's Holy Friday. Retail shops were closed, which is almost sacrilegious to those that disdain the religious. However, many cafes and restaurants were open, surely a suitable compromise for the secular world? I paid a 10% surcharge for the kids Pizza and yet the Assyrian Kebab shop supplied me with Vegetable Iskanders at normal price. That also seems to be a suitable compromise. Compromise might be the wrong word, or it might be the right word. I see compromise as where everyone loses equally. Some people seek compromise, I personally see it as a last resort. I'm still young enough to have the youthful optimism of win-win, and old enough to give enemies no quarter. In this case though, secular society is not my enemy, and aside from the few that prefer winge-winge over win-win, Christian and atheist alike are quite capable of marking Easter as a time of deeper reflection, connection with family and friends, and perhaps in that path, find a connection with a deep

Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree

Fifteenth Antiphon from the Twelve Gospels Service - Matins for Great Friday Chanted by Archbishop Job (Archbishop of Chicago) of blessed memory Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree, (x3) He who is King of the Angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in mocking purple. He who freed Adam in the Jordan receives a blow on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance,. We worship your Sufferings, O Christ (x3) Show us also your glorious Resurrection.

April Fools

The Church day begins at sunset so Great and Holy Friday begins tonight after dark. And today is Holy Thursday and will remain so until the sun has set when Good Friday will begin in a Liturical sense. Today by conincidence today is April Fool's day, a day of jokes and merriment, the humor usually derived at some others expense. Holy Week has sombre tones unshared with the usual antics of April Fools day which do not, and are at times dischordant with the prevailing emotion of Holy Week. Indeed the lightness of posting on this blog in the past few days is perhaps an unconscious relection of this, for when contemplating Christ's crucifiction and Glorious Resurrection the affairs of the everyday world slide into insignificance and banality. This Hymn for Holy Wednesday was sung during the Matins service last night, after the sun had set and belongs with today Today Christ comes to the house of the Pharisee and a sinful woman draws near and flings herse