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Showing posts from July, 2010

Saturday at the Movies

The Princess Bride was a great movie. It would be somewhere in my top 100 list of movies, and quite possibly very high up in that list. It's very hard to pick a favourite scene, inconceivable that I would be required to choose. So here's one randomly found. Surely, you've all seen this movie, and this is just to jog the memory? Enjoy

The Big Calcium Scare

A story in today's news says that according to a new study, those that take calcium supplements could be 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack. Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported. These tiny tablets which carry concentrated doses of calcium were also associated with higher incidences of stroke and death, but they were not statistically significant. What researchers don't seem to realize is that this is old news. According to someone I know who is into the whole supplement and nutrition thing, Calcium must be taken together with Magnesium. The magnesium directs the calcium as to where it should go to in the body, to prevent the calcium settling in the arteries. I admit that I am no expert on supplements and/or vitamins (so do not depend upon my info to inform any of your decisions), but it seems as though the medical community is only slowly ca

Anne Rice has quit Christianity

Anne Rice has quit being a Christian.  I'm not surprised. Twelve years after she converted to Christianity from atheism, bestselling author Anne Rice has "quit being a Christian" because of the religion's attitude to birth control, homosexuality and science. In a message posted on her Facebook page, Rice said she was "out". "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen," the author wrote. An atheist for decades, Rice returned to her childhood faith of Catholicism in 1998. The author of a series of bestselling books about the vampire Lestat – brought to the screen by Tom Cruise in the film Interview with the Vampire – her conversion caused consternation among her old fans, while

Two unrelated things

Polanski accused of another rape . BILLIONAIRE brothers Sam Wyly and Charles Wyly have been charged by the US securities watchdog with hiding $US550 million in profits , relying on insider trading and hiding behind offshore entities to rake in millions. What's the bet both of these crimes go unpunished? Or will the crime over money be brought to justice?

Goff supports the 90 day law

Phil Goff today offered full support for National's law to allow dismissal of staff for any reason within 90 days. "Technically, when Chris Carter was demoted off the front bench back in June, he entered a new role in our organisation. And well within the 90 day limit, it is clear to me that he just isn't working out. I'm invoking John Key's new dismissal laws, and quite frankly, they are bloody excellent", said Goff from Parliament earlier today. This is what Chris Carter said back in June : "I pledge hard work and commitment to my electorate and to the New Zealand Labour Party, and I wish to put this matter behind me." Now it becomes obvious only in hindsight that loyalty to the party does not mean loyalty to the party leader. With Gillard as his inspiration, Chris tried to unseat Goff as if Goff were Rudd. Who needs a secret letter to read Carter's lips? Hatip for the video: Kiwiblog See also Keeping Stock for the letter th

Friday Night Free for All

Well, a bad week for Labour and a good week for Goff. Chris Carter displays an uncanny knack of getting negative press for Labour every-time they should instead be capitalizing on National-related political events. And how far back do his strings go? All the way to the United Nations perhaps? Ironically, Goff looked like a real leader at last by firing Chris. Chris might feel liberated, but Gillard he aint. I suspect there will be a play for the Labour leadership, but only when the leftier factions are ready to roll. Oh, Little do we know of that coming day, but maybe it will be Clare to all when it happens. The wiki-leaks are another serious issue. Serious if you are an enemy of the Taleban that is. I note the orchestrator of the leaks seems to want to blame everyone else for the danger he has put those people in. Maybe our side of the war isn't perfect, but when your "helpful criticism" helps the enemy in a significant, game changing way, leading to the de

When is a red herring not a red herring

Has Chris Carter really just returned from a jaunt to Tibet ? And on the Taxpayers dime? He was asked that question on the radio this morning. His response "I'm not going to discuss international issues, you're just throwing this in as a red herring . That's neither here nor there," Forget conspiracy theories involving Helen Clark what we are seeing is hubris or insanity or both. You have to have sympathy for Phil Goff over this. Update: Clueless

There be Dragons

New major motion film reflects on the life of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá View a trailer at Hollywood, CA, July 28— Academy Award nominated director Roland Joffé returns to Hollywood with an epic film that explores the nature of humanity in his latest movie “There Be Dragons.” The famed director of the deeply Catholic film “The Mission” returns to a spiritual plot in his latest film, a powerful story of forgiveness and reconciliation woven around the figure of St. Josemaría Escrivá during the Spanish republic and Civil War in the mid 1930s. The film combines action, adventure, passion and romance with the extraordinary drama of human tragedy and Divine redemption. Recently, more than 68 million Catholics in the United States and more than1 billion around the world marked the feast day of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. Without question, this controversial religious organization and the entire Catholic Church have been the s

Sigh - another sex predator in a Church School

A fourteen year old child groomed for sex by a school councillor in a Church School. Where are the Bishops on this? And where is CNN? They should be all over this, they would be if this happened in a Catholic School in Bohemia fifty years ago. But it happened in an Episcopalian school in Louisiana this year. You know that up to date Church with Lesbian Bishops and now with Lesbian sex scandals .

A Pathological crime in a pathological society

It's Déjà vu - another infant living in appalling circumstances beaten to death . We sigh and if we are honest deep down think that perhaps for this child death is a mercy, For surely he had no future from the moment he was born. And the hand wringing starts - empty solutions are proposed. Lindsay Mitchel thinks the DPB is implicated . She is correct to an extent but really the DPB is another symptom of our malaise. In truth the most important thing we are tasked with in this life is to raise the generation to succeed us. You wouldn't know this from popular culture. Nor are the attitudes and skills required a major part of our educational curricular. Indeed our children are taught more about avoiding conception in a manner where pregnancy is almost portrayed as a disease, akin to genital warts rather than a blessing. And both curable by minor surgical intervention. And we are led to believe that children will get in the way of our aspirations, particularly so if y

When is a bribe not a bribe?

When it's a preparation grant apparently. The problem English speakers face in the post modern world is words can mean anything you want but on reading this story the candidate countries for the Commonwealth Games who offered the biggest preparation grants got the nod. It's all very confusing.

Democracy in decay

Here's a different view (dare I say clearer?) of looking at a left/right political spectrum, where far left is big government and far right is no government - a state of anarchy. So where does democracy fit in this picture? And why was America a "republic"? Any why did I say "was"? Discuss.

The Blogosphere Prevails

This is my one thousandth post at NZC and I thought I'd reflect on a post I made in my early days of blogging. So I've dug up an old post I made in December 2005 on my old blog, where I argued that the blogosphere does have merit, and we bloggers across the spectrum of bloggers were making a difference. It was really a response to a common meme that the blogosphere was nothing more than an exercise of shouting into the wind, or individual blogs were simply echo chambers for the same opinion. However, I have noted an impact in the antique media - there is no question the journalists read the blogs and some of the points made in posts and in the comments find their way into those articles. Sometimes, a very odd turn of phrase matches the same turn of phrase used by a blogger - I saw that with one of Lucia's post a few years ago. Fran O'Sullivan obviously had a good read of Antarctic Lemur's investigation into the Doonegate saga back in 2005, and increasingly,

This wikileaks thing

During the Vietnam War Daniel Ellsberg took it upon himself to release to the Washington Post and then the New York Times a Defense Department Analysis of American Policy in SE Asia. These Documents became known as the Pentagon Papers and seriously undermined American policy in that part of the world. The Whitehouse's efforts in containing the damage also was a significant element in Nixon's downfall. Daniel Ellsberg is a hero in some circles but he was really a traitor and his actions cost many many lives mostly SE Asians in SE Asia. And today we have another significant leak of classified documents pertaining to a war as that war continues. The usual suspects are in throws of orgasmic ecstasy and charges of war crimes are already flying around. War is terrible my friends and innocent people who have the misfortune to get caught up in one, get hurt and killed. The best thing is to avoid war altogether but if you can't you fight to win . Now Julian Assange, found

Is Maori a literary Language

Apparently not yet . You cannot just conjure up a Maori Shakespeare, a Maori Tolstoy. "My vision for the future is to see Te Reo fiction in every bookshop in the country," Mr Diamond said. "Let's see Te Reo 'chick-lit', Te Reo mystery series and thrillers. It would be great to also see Te Reo cookbooks, histories, biographies and more." For that to happen people will have to write books that people want to read. Far from easy but not impossible but trying to force the issue will only lead to elitist pap that only the most earnest will even attempt to wade their way through in either Maori or English translation.

The Top-Down Fire

Image from "" - link below Thought I'd do a little post on this method of lighting a fire since I have been using it successfully for a couple of weeks. My folks saw this talked about on Breakfast and decided to try it. Basically, you build the fire from the bottom up (or "top down"), which means putting all the heavy wood on the bottom, going smaller as you go higher and ending with the kindling on top. I know, I know, it doesn't sound like it would work, but it does! In fact, after you light it, you can basically leave it for 3 - 5 hours without putting any wood on it at all. I light mine about 6pm and it can last until 10pm or later with no tending (although I may give it a poke at the later stages). I can usually have both flu controls on the stove set to half. This method can take a little more to get going (throwing the paper on top) depending on your kindling, but is worth it I think. Instructions HERE and a different site

Its scandalous I tell you, scandalous

In a rare example of rationality ( cf   the kneejerk ) the Government has kicked the idea of lowering the alcohol limit into touch . Of course having done so the wail has gone up and the media dutifully trot out "experts" who are given a forum to spew forth their hyperbole. "I think the most important thing has been missed. [The Government] is saying that people are allowed to drink to over the level of intoxication and then drive. It's scandalous when you look at the international evidence," he said. Although the Government had said it would spend another two years looking into whether to lower the limit, Sellman said, researchers agreed doing it now would save lives . Well some "researchers" might well agree it would save lives but that don't make it so. Indeed "researchers" for the most part don't even agree that the current level is a level that induces measurable impairment. In the real world a driver aged 25 has signi

In the clear light of day

Isn't it funny that after a car chase accident there are post mortems conducted by Sunday morning quarterbacks. A fourteen year old boy driving a stolen Commodore is a recipe for disaster, no matter how you slice and dice it. Anyway the boy was killed and a report has been written , with criticisms and recommendations. And next time there is someone killed by a driver the police have in their sights there will be another one - with criticisms and recommendations.. But in the real world regardless of what the reports say, if a driver doesn't stop for the police and has a crash - it is not the fault of the police. It is that drivers responsibility

Temptations in the Blogosphere

I came across the following passages just recently, and find that I need them here as a reminder for myself of just what we are facing and where a great many of the temptations lie for those of us engaging in the blogosphere in a political way. In the nineteenth century, Cardinal Newman warned that naïve Catholics would fall into "mass apostasy" through lack of preparedness in spiritual combat: " Do you think (the Prince of Lies) is so unskillful in his craft, as to ask you openly and plainly to join him in his warfare against the Truth? No; he offers you baits to tempt you. He promises you civil liberty; he promises you equality; he promises you trade and wealth; he promises you a remission of taxes; he promises you reform. This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors; he does so himself, and induces you to imitate him; or he promises you illumination, -- he offers yo

Making the 90 day rule work - or your money back

The unions are worried that in particular markets, callous employers will hire workers for essentially short term contracts, firing them on day 89. On the other hand, businesses are saying they are more likely to give someone a go, knowing that if the newbie doesn't work out, they can let him go without it costing the company a fortune. Both arguments have merit, so it would seem a simple solution is in order. How about placing a cap, or a stepped penalty payment on the number of 90 day job terminations, relative to the size of the organisation and perhaps the industry? So if a company is hiring then firing a high proportion of it's new hires, then perhaps they pay increasing amounts of redundancy. The redundancy fees might even be shared by all people fired to that point, over a moving 12 month period. Any business churning through an excessive amount of new hires is either gaming the system or needs to improve their candidate screening process. Either way, the a

Analysis of a knee jerk (with example)

An example of the kneejerk in operation: Govt announces air gun crackdown

Without love

Behold the face of tragedy, a child, a convicted murderess glaring balefully at the camera. A soul in torment for whom life has nothing to offer and for whom it never has and probably never will. What is her story? That I can't tell because I don't know it beyond what this article tells me . And it tells me she was in "care" before she committed the crime that she plead guilty to. And that social workers did their best We and a team of experienced professionals had put every resource available into trying to help Tonya lead a normal life. We tried to give her guidance, allow her some freedoms and equip her with the skills she needed to live successfully in the community. But can social workers give her what everybody needs and that is love? Because I'll bet nobody ever sat this child on their knee and read her Dr Seuss books, or took her to ballet lessons. Or tucked her snuggly into her bed and said her prayers with her. Some might look at that phot

Friday night free for all

First week back at school for the 3rd term of the year, and I think it's harder to get into that the last one. Might have something to do with the fact that it's the middle of winter. But on the positive side, each day that passes now gets a little bit longer!

What a coincidence?

I often come across those particular moments of synchronicity which generate amazing coincidences. Sometimes, they are not as amazing as first thought though. Consider the classic urban myth that circulates from time to time: Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946. Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960. The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

No to No GST

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. - Ronald Reagan The Maori Party would like to have GST exemptions on healthy food. They think they've figured out what is healthy and what isn't. Lean meat is healthy, but fatty meat isn't. Tax one and not the other. See, simple. When differential rates of GST were introduced in other countries, it lead to all sorts of complications and the occasional example of stupidity. After many years of trying to sort out a system, the Australians think they have cracked it with a special database and rules and regulations. That's called bureaucracy, and having a database of products doesn't necessarily make it easy for retailers. It might make it easier than the previous system for handling anomalies, but it's still harder than not having to check every food against the database. It's not a question of companies not be

Euthanasia rears it's ugly head again

The euthanasia debate rears it's ugly head again. This time with a terminally ill doctor wished to escape his inevitable death . His emotive arguments seek to engage our compassion for his plight because he does not want to face the death that he is told might be in store for him. He said if he was "lucky enough to have a quick death" it could come in the form of a stroke or pneumonia.  "Unfortunately what can happen is you can get a really prolonged death." However, in trying to pave the way for his own quick and relatively painless death, this man and others like him will give doctors the power to kill. Thus turning the healer into a reaper. How will you know which person the doctor will be when you go to him or her for help? The euthanasia argument starts with the cry that every person should have the right to end their own suffering, or have someone do it for them.  It doesn't end there, though.  Once you give a person free reign to kill others,

What a load of bollocks

Women and high earners feel pinch Women, middle-aged people and high-income households are under more financial stress than other New Zealanders, a survey has shown. Its actually a story about credit card use but the people struggling to obtain the basic necessities of life are feeling the pinch far more than Remuera housewives and that's a reality.

Waiting for the wails

This story has it all - its in the headline: Gay coach sacked from Christchurch Christian school . Apparently the principal told him that homosexuality is a sin. Liberal Heresy!!! The body of the story itself has little to add beyond that. But I imagine it will grow. Update: The herald now has the original story , as noted by KG who also notes this from the Heralds report. A prestigious Christian school's Board of Trustees have been told to attend a human rights awareness course after sacking a netball coach because he was gay, the Christchurch Star has reported today. Christian's sent for re-education in 21st century New Zealand - who'd of thunk it forty years ago when we were criticizing the Soviets for so doing. Troubling times.

New Zealand is a world leader

In the great war of 1914-18 a small country, the Kingdom of Serbia, lost a whopping 16.1% of her population. Russia lost well over 3 million before the civil war that took them out of that conflict and into another broke out. And this country gave up 18,050 young lives in the four year course of the war. This monstrous waste of life is universally considered to be a tragedy. And yet just over 72,000 young lives have been lost in this country in the past four years and this goes virtually unnoticed. To make this comparison is to invite outrage. We shouldn't point out that nearly one in four conceptions ends in abortion, a casualty rate far higher than the casualty rate of the hardest hit country of the Great War, the Kingdom of Serbia. Regardless there is an excellent opinion piece in todays Dominion on this matter A reminder that the administration of the abortion law is a travesty Maybe the tide is turning.

Mining, Indigenous Peoples, and the Foreshore

I see that the National Government has, according to Guyon Espiner, done a huge back down on the issue of mining in New Zealand, but is it just a diversionary tactic? Hide the pea under the other shell while they distract you with something else. In this case could the mining backdown could be seen as the magician's "beautiful girl assistant" (I say that because of a scene I remember from TV show 'The Mentalist') Patrick Jane: I was thinking: why do magicians have beautiful girl assistants?  Dr. Linus Wagner: Why?  Patrick Jane: Because they're reliable distracters of attention. People will look at a beautiful girl for a long time before they look where they should be looking if they want to see how the trick really works.

The new dark ages

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely Throughout history the Church has stood in opposition to the secular world although most people don't realize this. And the secular world has fought back and sought to weaken the influence of the Church through out time. St John Chrysostom was twice banished for preaching against offenses in high places - he died on the way to his place of exile in the Caucasus on the second occasion. And when the Church refused to comply with Henry the VIII's wishes he created the Anglican Church and placed himself at the head. Many of those who opposed this lost their lives in gruesome manner for so doing. Civil authorities today cannot be as ruthless as Henry was, for which we can thank God, nor can they rid themselves of troublesome preachers the way the Empress Eudoxia did St John Chrysostom but they are in opposition to the influence of the Church just the same. They don't mind the Church when it agrees with their age

A Poison Tree

The separation of Church and State is one of the principles contained in the American Constitution that modern secular society admires. The wall of separation is often seen by atheists as every reason for the religious elements to stay out of political affairs. Equally however, it is clear that the argument cuts both ways, with secular government constrained from interfering in the affairs of conscience and man's individual religious beliefs. In the case of the American Constitution, it is also clear that Christianity was both protected from the State, and yet enjoyed preferred cooperation with the State. The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first 10 Amendments are known. The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance

Of Mice and Men and Dirty Rats

Minto, McCarten and the Bradford spoke from under the armpit of a giant rat at their protest on Sunday. That's a great look for the Unionists.  I think the rat fits in well and is probably a valued team member. I hope it gets above minimum wage, and a good health plan. According to the Unite Union, the giant rat is the national rallying symbol against greedy employers in New Zealand, and first featured in protests against SkyTower back in 2008, where it twitched its whiskers against the big cheese of SkyCity, CEO Nigel Morrision. "Nigel - don't be a rat and treat his your staff decently," was the message from Unite back then. It was back again on the week-end to put a plague on the house of National. There's no particular point to this post, I just liked the rat.


I don't know why the Herald used this image to illustrate the story about the changing face of New Zealand households but they did. The headline: NZ's most common family? Couples without children , The story itself doesn't invoke sterile same sex marriage but rather an aging population. A generation which has failed to produce enough children. And that is clear. Liberals hate children and that is clear also - why else the importance to them of abortion which kills them in the womb. Why else the obsession with condoms and gay sex a fruitless and ultimately useless pursuit? In days past the value of children was recognized and infertility was considered a curse but today it is fertility that is considered a curse and infertility is deliberately induced. Civilizations that don't reproduce decline and fail - its what happened to the Western Roman empire. The elites imported Germanic people to make up the slack and the Germanic peoples took over. And a long dar

Sue Bradford Turns Up The Heat

Warranty Void Where Prohibited Sue Bradford laid a complaint today with the Consumer's Association. Seems her two bar heater broke in the first month of use, and she was hoping to get a refund or replacement from the manufacturer. However, they explained that that was a stupid concept, and once she purchased the two bar heater, it was hers for life, irrespective of the performance. What was worse, is that whilst it gave out no heat, it seemed to be consuming high amounts of electricity. "This is pushing my power bill up, and I'm getting nothing for it", she complained. "What's more, the plug seems to be stuck in the wall. It just wont leave the socket." "The manufacturer suggested that I just buy another one, but I don't really have time to shop around for a good deal. I don't really understand it - the packaging was excellent and the brochure was first class. Perhaps I'll just try another one of these. They can't all b

Mad Science

PH = √ (e 2 + ve 2 )(d2) + (cg + dr) 2 + π {(4<s>2)(4<p>2)} 2 + (vi + t + te) 2 + {(4<c>2)(4 2)} 2 (e) is eye contact (1=none; 5=direct) 5; (ve) is verbal greeting (1=totally inappropriate; 5=totally appropriate) 5; (d) is Duchenne smile - smiling in eyes and mouth, plus symmetry on both sides of face, and slower offset (1=totally non-Duchenne smile (false smile); 5=totally Duchenne) 5; (cg) completeness of grip (1=very incomplete; 5=full) 5; (dr) is dryness of hand (1=damp; 5=dry) 4; (s) is strength (1= weak; 5=strong) 3; (p) is position of hand (1=back towards own body; 5=other person's bodily zone) 3; (vi) is vigour (1=too low/too high; 5=mid) 3; (t) is temperature of hands (1=too cold/too hot; 5=mid) 3; (te) is texture of hands (5=mid; 1=too rough/too smooth) 3; (c) is control (1=low; 5=high) 3; (du) is duration (1= brief; 5=long) 3. Can you guess what this is? No - Stuff has the story (Sans formula) here. Do you think in the real world this has

Feudal Society Bradford and assorted left wing peasants stormed the Sky Tower today, site of the National Party Conference. I say peasants, because they themselves claim to be revolting. Said Union Leader Matt McCarten: Government's changes were about restoring power to employers and they amounted to a return to the Feudal System. Speaking under a giant rat ( no seriously, he was ) They want to make us slaves in our own country and they know where they can stick that," Mr McCarten said. And as they tried to break into private property and disrupt proceedings in a most uncivil and undemocratic way, unionist Maxine Gay declared: the issue was about "who owns the workplace". Seems they feel they need to right to walk in unannounced into a place of business, rather than phoning beforehand to arrange a suitable time, which is all that particular law change is about.   Access cannot be unreaso

Individualism that leads to destruction

Peter Cresswell has posted an excerpt from Joseph Campbell, in his 1971 book Myths to Live By , where Campbell rails against our belief in the Hebrew's God. He would rather we be like an ancient Greek playwright of the same period as Job of the Old Testament who rejects his god as he wants us to reject ours. ...Prometheus—who was also being tormented by a god that could ‘draw Leviathan out with a fishhook, play with him as a bird, and fill his skin with harpoons’—the following stunning words: ‘He is a monster … I care less than nothing for Zeus. Let him do as he likes.’ And so say [all we Westerners] today in our hearts, even though our tongues may have been taught to babble with Job. Yet the rejections of Zeus with God are not equivalent. One is a rejection of a false God who has been invented by man in his own image and the other is the true God who created man in His own Image. And despite our many failings, which Job recognises, He still loves us and would do anything f

Saturday at the Movies

A double piece tonight, related in the way everything is connected. One of my favorite pieces of music (on a long list) and a great movie back in 1981: Chariots of Fire . The main theme is actually called "Titles", and is of course by Vangelis . He also did the soundtrack for Blade Runner, and worked with band Yes briefly, and then later teamed up with Yes lead singer Jon Anderson. Which is my connection to the Yes hit of 1983/1984 (and a slightly new sound for them) of "Owner of a lonely heart"

An Interview with Andy Haden

Andy Haden spoke his mind, and lost his job. I wonder what he feels about that? There were mixed reactions to what he said, and how he said it. Right or wrong, blamed or blameless, he suffered the consequences. It's completely up to you if you see that punishment as just or excessive. I decided to interview Andy to get his perspective. So here it is: [satire]

Homophobia, Hate Speech, The Church, and Natural Law

Andrei's post below about the firing of a teacher because of "hate speech" and Lucia's post made me decide to post a few thoughts I'd had on this subject for a while. I hope I can put forth my ideas here without offending anyone, but it may happen, unfortunately (which is why I have had this post sitting in draft form for the last couple of days). So, anyway, let me kick off with what is sure to be a controversial statement: Homosexuals can't have sex together . I mean this in the strictest sense of COITUS . Yes, they can do all kinds of 'things' but life-giving genital intercourse is not one of them. I am not saying that a homosexual couple do not have feelings of love for each other, or desire to show that love to each other; however, it is this physical conduct that the Church frowns upon (not the persons) because it goes against Natural Law. I am not an expert on Natural Law, but it basically comes down to "functioning according to nature

Conservatism is not compatible with gay rights

With David Cameron's blessing, Nick Herbert is off to Poland to try and convince the Polish to be more accepting of gay rights. Nick Herbert, Britain's most senior gay minister, will tomorrow attend Europe's largest gay pride celebration in Warsaw in an attempt by the Tories to encourage their eastern European allies to abandon homophobic views. A gay pride parade (yes, I've been to them) will do the opposite. Anyone who is not well-disposed to full on out there homosexuality will be more entrenched in that view by watching a gay pride parade in which mostly men flaunt themselves in a gratuitous way to the general public.  Rather than the Polish abandoning their views, it will further reinforce them. The policing minister, who told US Republicans in Washington in February that gay rights are compatible with conservatism, said last night he hoped the centre right in eastern Europe would follow the Tories' modernising example. This it the bit that made me decide

I'm off to the Maldives

I'm not actually - I am enduring the New Zealand winter and higher power charges. But International Climate Change Negotiations Minister Tim Groser is. He is at the second meeting of the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action, whatever that is, where he will be seeking a middle ground and consensus on climate change. If that doesn't enlighten you seeking a middle ground and consensus means looking for practical and pragmatic solutions to addressing climate change. Mr Gosser expands "I'm going to be talking about the importance of using carbon markets to make the biggest possible impact on reducing emissions. That means reducing emissions where you get the biggest effect and spending money on what really works to help countries where the need is greatest." How do you get a job in the BS industry? Its pretty cold down here this morning and I could go a dip in the Indian Ocean on the taxpayers dime.

Friday night free for all

It's the end of the school holidays, so my increased activity on the blogs will go back to a sleepy sort of look-in. Next term, I'll doing alot of work with my 13 year old on a Classical Writing Curriculum, and who knows, it may help me with the writer's block I typically experience, and therefore result in more posts during the school term. I blame my normal writer's block on 17 years of computer programming, where the goal was to do just enough to make the code work. Anything too fancy could be too hard to read or debug later! Over the last two whole weeks, I've kept up my goal of praying a decade of the Rosary for everyone that visits this blog. My only blip was on Wednesday night, so Thursday coverage wasn't there for everyone. Sorry about that.

What do you do with an unwanted 3rd child in NZ?

This letter was published in today's Dominion Post. The woman, whose name has been withheld, is "highly disappointed" that the Dominion Post published "two anti-choice letters" without an opposing point of view. So disappointed in fact, that she thought she'd write in and give her story. She's a mother of two who became pregnant with "an unwanted third child".  So she and her partner decided that this unwanted child had to be killed, as it would be best for all the members of their family. She admits it was the hardest decision she ever made, and it was "extremely unpleasant", but it was for the best.  After all, she has a right to self-determination for her own body, so I suppose allowing the baby to be born alive and giving it away was out of the question. The effect; chilling. Let's hope that more women like this write in and give their equally callous stories.

Bus Lane Rip Off

The NZ Herald has a front page story about drivers being fined for using a bus lane. Motorists have been stung $4.2 million in fines in one year for using bus lanes in Auckland City - even though they have no indication when they can enter lanes to turn left. Traffic defence lawyer Steve Cullen says the lack of signage is disgraceful. Under nationwide Transport Agency rules, motorists can drive on bus lanes to turn left if they are within 50m of an intersection. But Auckland motorists are liable for a $150 fine if they switch too soon. City council officers often place cameras at the 50m mark to record infringements, but there are no road signs to indicate when motorists can enter a bus lane to turn left. Councils have been flooded with complaints from ticketed motorists claiming they were within the 50m space. I know, because it happened to my folks, who had to go into the City and aren't used to driving there. They got a bit lost until my mother finally recognized where they w

Liberals fool themselves again

The media is crowing, in seventh heaven - Argentina has according to them " Legalized Gay Marriage ". They are wrong of course Marriage is a Sacrament- a holy mystery given to us by God and it is a something that is between exactly one man and one women. And being God given it is something Governments cannot bestow. They can fool the foolish though and this is what they have done. What has been legalized in Argentina is a pretendy thing they have called "Gay Marriage" but in the real world it means nothing important at all. It is a sterile sham, an absurdity, that cannot produce children, the purpose for which Marriage was ordained in the first place. But in the mentally disordered world of Liberals this is a triumph. Meanwhile the population of the Western world is crashing as the fruits of Liberal insanity bear their deadly fruit. Let the foolish Libbies celebrate their triumph - they will be crying soon enough

A good life, well lived

The woman in the video below came to my mind in response to a post on HomePaddock celebrating Linda Linda Ronstadt's birthday yesterday . Her name is Wanda Jackson and one of the honors that has been bestowed upon her is a place in the Rock and Roll hall of fame. I was struck by the fact that Ele (Homepaddock) was unfamiliar with her but this seems to be common in this part of the world. Anyway check out this treasure of a film from before most of us were born, 1958 and see a real star at work. So what happened to her, do you suppose? Well she continued to tour, perform and record and still does. But the arc of her story does not match that of a Rock and Roll legend but is quite blessed actually and I wondered if that is why you may not have heard of her - in the last 50+ years she has never provided grist for the Entertainment pages of our newspapers. Ironically she was here in New Zealand not three weeks ago and was she was interviewed by Kim Hill whose questions ar

Awesome find in Jerusalem

A fragment of what is said to be the oldest written document was unearthed recently by Hebrew University. The fragment, which measures only 2cm by 2.8cm, and appears to have been part of a larger tablet, has been dated to the 14th Century BC contains Akkadian words written in ancient cuneiform symbols. Researchers say the ancient fragment testifies to Jerusalem’s importance as a major city late in the Bronze Age, long before it was conquered by King David. ... while the symbols appear to be insignificant, containing simply the words “you,” “you were,” “them,” “to do,” and “later,” the high quality of the writing indicates that it was written by a highly skilled scribe. Such a revelation would mean that the piece was likely written for tablets that were part of a royal household. Related link: Oldest written document ever found in J'lem ~ The Jerusalem Post

Thermally damaged?

What's with this? Wellington Regional Hospital has issued an alert that up to 16,000 patients may have received faulty tetanus shots. Capital and Coast District Health Board said there had been a possible fault with a refrigerator in the emergency department at Wellington Regional Hospital. CCDHB spokesman Andrew Simpson said some patients who visited the ED have received a tetanus injection that "may not have been effective as it was thermally damaged ." So far so good that bit I understand. Here's where it goes a bit off the rails The hospital said it could not guarantee that the refrigerator had always been within the right temperature range and therefore up to 16,000 tetanus boosters may have been affected in the past 10 years . Now the usual incubation period for tetanus is eight days although it can be longer a few months maybe at most. And indeed the story tells us there have been exactly two cases of Tetanus in the Wellington region during the decade of

Monty Pythonesque headline of the day

  Shopping centre bosses approve 'Asian squat toilets' following cultural awareness course From next week, shoppers in Rochdale who push open the cubicle door expecting the reassuring sight of a modern, clean lavatory could instead be faced with little more than a hole in the ground. Bosses of the Greater Manchester town's Exchange mall have installed two as part of an upgrade costing several thousand pounds after attending a cultural awareness course run by a local Muslim community activist. A familiar sight in parts of the Middle East, and still sometimes seen in France and Italy, the toilets require users to squat above them, rather than sitting. With one in ten of Rochdale's population of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, centre managers say they have been told some members of the local Asian community prefer them for cultural reasons. Apparently this innovation has something to do with " cultural understanding and community cohesion " though how

Polanski and Gibson

Well, the Swiss can no longer been seen as neutral. Using logic with holes in their reasoning bigger than the holes in Swiss cheese, the Swiss have failed to hand over convicted child rapist Polanski to the American authorities for sentencing. That was not a neutral act. They have taken their Swiss Army knife to the extradition documents and cut, corkscrewed, filed, snipped and canned them to shreds. Maybe Polanski has a healthy balance in his Swiss Bank account? Maybe the Swiss don't have many 13 year old daughters? Maybe the original crime was so old, that it was in betamax and the Swiss couldn't be bothered converting the format?

Government Spending Still An Issue

Gordon Campbell on a scoop blog suggests government is not spending enough or growing large enough. His logic? We are only $4.7 Billion in debt for an 11 month period. You see, he expected we'd be sitting at nearly 6 billion in debt, so onward! government spending. Any reason to show prudence at this stage, says Gordon would be an issue of ideology, rather than the "state of the economy".

Catholic Professor fired for teaching Catholic doctrine in a course on Catholicism

The world is nuts that's all I can say Howell taught classes on Catholicism. He was fired at the end of the spring semester after a class discussion of the Catholic prohibition of homosexual sex. Howell has told students that, as a Catholic, he agrees with it and says he's always been open with students about his beliefs. A friend of an unidentified student complained in a May 13 e-mail to Robert McKim, head of the religion department, that Howell's stance amounted to "hate speech." The e-mail led to Howell's firing. Still nothing should surprise us in a world where the Dean the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts is the Rev Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, of " abortion is a blessing fame. " 1 Timothy 4 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot ir

Merciful wrath

Sometimes we just need to hear this, summarised as "Be not afraid," as Pope John Paul used to say. Timidity disguised as charity can do more harm than anger. Jesus did not appoint the brothers James and John apostles in spite of their temper but because of it. These "Bonaerges" (Sons of Thunder) had wanted to bring fire down on the rude Samaritans. Jesus knew that such anger, if harnessed, could become "righteous." There is a difference between using temper and losing temper, as there is between oil for energy and the Gulf oil spill. Anger rightly used and not lost becomes strength. James became the first apostle to offer his life serenely for the Lord, and John in his maturity wrote, "Little children love one another." The risen Christ converted St. Paul's destructive wrath on the Damascus road. Later, the Apostle would warn the Galatians that their uncontrolled temper is a "work of the flesh." St. Jerome's letters to St.

Countering a Religious Argument for Abortion

Ironically, pro-abortionists decry any suggestion of a religious argument, but will happily use them in support of abortion. In this case using the belief of reincarnation to bolster the idea that nothing is really lost through abortion, it's just delayed for a better time. Spontaneous or deliberate termination have the same moral status in Japan and there is a religious ritual called Mizuko Jizo which provides a way for women to acknowledge these, if they want to. Parents who are unable to have a child because of miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth will often visit a temple to visit the Mizuko Jizo (pictured above) and will write a letter to the child that cannot be born now but will be born at a later time . Many women or couples in Japan who have terminated a pregnancy, suffered a miscarriage, or had a stillborn baby choose to honour the soul of this child through a practice called mizuko jizo. Mizuko means ‘child of the water’ and is used to refer to the soul of a child w

Question for today

Why are Anglicans moving away from mainstream Christianity , alienating a large percentage of their own membership and building barriers to ecumenism and the eventual reunification of the Church in the process? If you want my opinion this is an example of following secular thought in a pitiful attempt to be relevant "modern" world by pandering to it - a modern world that actually hates the Church. And all the Anglican innovations of the past thirty years have accomplished is empty pews and closed parishes. Which is no doubt pleasing to the secularists.

Senseless Violence

"Dear old Agatha Christie had 'A' murder 'B' because 'A' was having an affair, and thought 'B' would tell. Now, of course, people write about their affairs in the Sunday newspapers." -- Crime writer P D James on the problems of coming up with motives for murder in the 21st century How about senseless violence for no apparent reason ? My heart goes out to Scott Guy's pregnant wife, his child, and his other family members. Also today, two police officers down and a police dog killed in the line of duty. Apparently, over a cannabis find? A grim reminder of the realities of policing, and a terrible day for the families. I feel for the dog handler too who will be crushed with the death of his dog, Gage. I wonder if we will learn if a taser could have helped in this situation?

Looking beyond the grime

There was a comment on Lucia's post, the one below this, that was filled with ugliness and hatred. Its deleted now, I don't know if I would have deleted it personally but it Lucia's post and her call so its gone and no loss, no loss at all. Anyway it depressed me, it seems we are living in the muck, absorbed by sordid stories that bring no credit upon anybody involved and mired in unpleasantness. Clearly, to me anyway, the source of all of this is Satan himself and his purpose is to sow despair, to turn us away from God, his works, and his intentions for us, which is not to be engaged in gender wars or to kill our young for surely in all of this, even non-believers must be aware, human unhappiness can only be the consequence. So as a reminder of that mankind is not all squalor, a hymn, the Paschal Troparion , a thing of beauty offered up to remind us of what is really important and that there is Hope. Glory to you our God Glory to you

On Protectors, Predators - and Prey

Today's feminists, when repeating the mantra "My body, my choice", would do well to also meditate upon this ultimate truth: "When women draw attention to their bodies, they are asking to be defined by their bodies, and at some point, they will find themselves treated as if they were nothing more than a body." Do they want themselves and other women to be seen as a "mysterious gift from heaven with hopes, joys, sorrows, talents, thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes, and a precious personality all her own," or do they prefer the prey mentality? Because in the conversation on how a woman is to protect herself from rape, the immediate reaction is to jump on that as apologising for rape , while as feminism's own role in enabling rape is ignored.

Load of Lard

This picture illustrates a hyperbolic story with a hyperbolic headline: Govt criticised for lack of action on obesity . Phtttt According to the story "New Zealand as the third most obese nation in the world, with an obesity rate of 26.5 per cent" . More than a quarter of New Zealanders are obese? And the consequences according to the story are dire for our economy. Experts believed obesity was the biggest health problem facing the nation, with a cost to the health system estimated at $500 million a year. Numbers plucked out of the air by "experts" who are experts at, well, plucking numbers out of that part of the anatomy used to illustrate this story and post. Look at this from one of the "experts" cited in this story. Fight the Obesity Epidemic spokeswoman Dr Robyn Toomath said the Government had barely acknowledged obesity as an issue. It had increased funding for Kiwisport in schools, but there was no evidence that participation in sport

Feminist "Rights"

Men and women are different. There, I've said it. It's been mentioned a couple of times in other posts on this blog as well. But different doesn't mean 'not equal in value'. Men and women are complementary; each has talents or skills (or a lack of them) that are complemented by those of their partner. I also find it interesting that males are often referred to as 'chauvinist' or 'misogynist' but there doesn't seem to be a male version of the word "feminist" - a word describing male rights or a similar movement. Perhaps there hasn't needed to be one in the past; I do agree that women haven't always had the same legal rights as men, and that needed to be addressed and I think largely has been (apart from pay equity, which I'm not really sure about). In some respects, it isn't that men feel they are better than women - we don't think about it at all actually - it's that feminists seem to have an inferiority compl

Men and Women are Different

An amazing post from Adoro te Devote on Fundamental Differences : Several years ago, (many, in fact....too many...) just after my graduation from college while I was still a young, naive and gung-ho-feminist-gonna-be-cop with an attitude, I had the undeserved grace to work with a couple of guys who weren't afraid to be men. I didn't realize at the time that they spoke a very solid, theological truth to me; after all, what an unlikely source! As I came to learn, though, they served to prove that God designed men and women very differently from each other, and to recognize those differences is not demeaning; rather, it glorifies God and sanctifies us all with the dignity God intended us to have. That's just the introduction, you have to read the post to get the rest .

Dopey argument going up in smoke?

So the argument goes "dope should be legal because tobacco is". I don't know if you've been paying attention over the last few years, and in particular under National recently, but I think that argument might have a time limit on it. If we put GST up to 17.5% they could ban smoking overnight. Oops, there I go giving the government ideas again. Sorry, my bad. I was just joking.

Chris Trotter is in trouble with the feminists

On Friday, the Dominion Post published an opinion piece by Chris Trotter that has the pro-abort feminists in a frenzy. So, what did Chris actually say? The first question I'd like to ask Labour list MP Steve Chadwick is: "Why now?" What's convinced her that the time is right to reopen the abortion debate? What ill-omened denizen of the current political environment has told her that this is the moment to introduce a members bill permitting abortion-on-demand up to the 24th week of pregnancy? I would really, really like to know who it was. Because, try as I may, I'm finding it really difficult to make the cost/benefit analysis come out in Ms Chadwick's, her party's, or even her gender's favour.

Flushing the living down the toilet

A woman gave birth in the bathroom of an airplane mid-flight and then tried to flush the baby down the toilet, police and doctors said on Thursday. The baby was rescued and is in critical condition. The mother and her family refuse to see the baby, perhaps at the risk of feeling some empathy for the child. This act would count as infanticide, and is potentially punishable by jail. The initial reports imply this is a cultural thing. Is it though? New Zealand, being a civilised nation, has MP Steve Chadwick advocating for this to be legal if done a few weeks earlier. Obviously, to many on one side of the debate, it's all in the timing and I struggle to see the difference a few weeks make at that point. Go back far enough though, say 9 weeks, and the situation is different. I'll address that in an upcoming post by drawing from Dr Who. Who knew the current series was a commentary on abortion? Delayed Abortion Slightly different topic: Flushing the dead down the t

Funeral for a fish

And while the EU is considering whether it is appropriate to dispose of humans in the sewerage system here in New Zealand we are gearing up for a funeral for a fish 1 . Which would be harmless enough I suppose except for some of out most wretched poor do not get the courtesy in life or death that this dolphin is now receiving. Its a matter of priorities I suppose.   1 Yes I know pedants, a dolphin is a mammal not a fish