Thursday, September 30, 2010

ZenTiger CYFS responsible for more than the second tragedy

A few months ago we were treated to the story of Child Youth Family Services returning a baby to a depressed mother. Two days later, the baby drowned in the bathtub having been left unattended by the mother.

CYFS apologised for returning the child, saying that they were over-worked and junior staff made a bad call. That explains part of the issue (and that in itself is not really a valid excuse, even if it is understandable).

The chilling point in this whole affair is finding information we normally wouldn't be privy to, and this underscores the point I made on the previous post about the smacking laws.

The chilling point I refer to is that the Mother had rightfully demanded return of her two children, even though she was unable to cope.

Why was that? Because her 5 year old child had been sexually assaulted whilst in the care of CYFS.

Lucia Anti-smacking law review - still trying to convince us

I've been listening to the talking heads on NewsTalkZB telling us that the anti-smacking law is working, that the doom and gloom sayers were wrong, that parents aren't being rounded up and prosecuted en masse for smacking, that there has only been one prosecution (in the last six months, bringing the total to three to date), so it's all good. And that one prosecution was discharged without conviction. The police are saying the way the law is working is proof that they are able to exercise discretion.

I would have thought that one prosecution for smacking was was one prosecution too much.

Last year John Key said, "I've laid out the way I want to approach this, I think if the law doesn't work, in other words if the law starts taking criminal cases and criminalises parents for lightly smacking their children, I'll change the law."

I do find it interesting that there is no detail given in the news item on the one smacking case that was prosecuted in this current period.

Was the smacking light? A discharge without conviction would indicate so. Ah, but does a discharge without conviction "criminalise"? I would say it would, but legally speaking I don't know if this is the case.

No information is given of all the cases the police investigated and decided not to go any further. What were all these families put through? Obviously not important.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ZenTiger Thank you Tonga

Tonga, one of the Pacific's poorest nations, has raised a massive T$833,867 (NZ$705,000) for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Fund. Raised in a single Saturday radio-thon, it is the equivalent of every Tongan giving T$8.33. If every New Zealander gave the same amount, the Earthquake Fund would get NZ$31 million. [Reference]

Lucia Ann Coulter at HomoCon

Ann Coulter was invited to speak at HomoCon, a conservative homosexual fund-raising event for GOProud. Many thought that accepting the invitation signalled that Coulter was capitulating to supporting gay marriage as a number of conservatives have already done. But no.

Talking Points Memo reported that Coulter explained to the crowd that she supports marriage as the union of a man and a woman, because the institution is fundamentally about the procreation of children.

Coulter then stated frankly that keeping marriage defined and restricted to heterosexual couples does not violate homosexuals’ civil rights. She also said that same-sex “marriage” was “foisted on Americans by the courts."

Marriage, she said, “is not a civil right — you’re not black.”

Coulter wryly commented that the well-moneyed homosexual community hardly looked like an oppressed group – especially when compared to other minorities that have had a long history of social oppression.

"Blacks must be looking at the gays saying, 'Why can't we be oppressed like that?'" said Coulter.

Related link: Ann Coulter Rocks HomoCon, Blasts Same-Sex “Marriage” ~ LifeSiteNews

Lucia Another rebuttal defending the Pope from the latest attack by CNN

The CNN documentary hatchet job on Pope Benedict XVI screened recently in America has been responded to in a vigorous way by William Donohue in the linked article.  Every assertion made by the show has been countered and goes to show that truth,when it comes to the Holy Father is not the goal.
From top to bottom, what CNN did was the televised version of what the New York Times did in print form earlier in the year. The goal was to tarnish the image of Pope Benedict XVI, making him out to be a co-conspirator in the scandal. Though it came up empty handed with proof of his culpability, there was enough innuendo to convict Snow White.
As an example:

ZenTiger Goff on capital punishment

Goff's comprehensive tax policy is his first plank on building the bridge back to power. I'm writing of course about his suggestion to exempt fruit and vegetables from GST. He'd be better off exempting fruits and veges from his cabinet, but that is another story. He has quickly offered a variety of fresh reasons for this bold and unexpected turnabout (given the repeated calls for this in the nine years Labour ruled), and one of them is the inevitable "other countries do it". Well, ask MP Williamson if other countries stone adulterers to death. Ask America if they stone murderers to death (albeit, using drugs, but drug users can die stoned). There's a new law and order platform for Goff. Now that ACT MP Garrett has gone, I open the paper and an alleged murderer, with 175 previous convictions, many for violence, may be getting a stiff warning strike for this one. RIP Garrett. But that's another story.

I have a better suggestion for Goff's GST tax platform: Stop taxing government services. It's a tax on tax. No tax on rates, no tax on building consents, no tax on ACC levies, no tax on car registration. It may well have the interesting incentive that even socialists decide privatization of some monopoly services might not be a bad thing. If only to gather GST revenue.

Nothing so clever from Goff. Instead, he suggests that increasing tobacco tax might do the trick. Problem is that the tobacco tax has already been increased massively, and will hit another increase in the new year. At the rate its going, the only people able to afford smokes will be those prepared to steal or murder for them. Hmm, it seems my mixing of Goff's proposed GST exemptions with a story on capital punishment begins to make sense.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lucia What saved Western Civilisation in the Dark Ages

For the historically ignorant: Medieval Monasticism as Preserver of Western Civilization

Lucia Weak families essential for the growth of government

Governments are not self-limiting. By some law of nature they seem to exist mainly to grow, and when a government's natural enemy is weak, it grows faster. Strong families keep government power and growth in check, therefore in order to grow, governments will naturally seek to weaken the family.

LifeSiteNews has recently interviewed Dr. Stephen Baskerville, author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family who argues this very case:
... that government "is engaged in a direct assault on the family" that is causing its breakdown - which in turn allows government to reach into yet more areas of civil society under the pretext of solving the problems that the breakdown of the family creates..

You'd think encouraging family breakdown would be counter-productive.  You'd think that because broken families cost the tax-payer an extraordinary amount of money (estimated at £40bn per year in Britain), that government would naturally do all they could to limit divorce and break-up, to encourage committment and long-term relationships.  That would be the sensible thing to do.  But no, because to do so threatens government itself, and government is nothing except self-interested first and foremost.

Related links: No-Fault Divorce a Greater threat to Marriage than Gay 'Marriage': Expert
Full Interview with Dr. Baskerville: Government-Caused Family Breakdown Expands Government
Broken homes cost taxpayers £40bn ~

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Andrei Bloggers Spam Filter

We didn't know it but Blogger has introduced a spam filter for comments - which is all fine and dandy except that it is not very smart.

Some of our favorite commenter's have had comments end up treated as spam including Lucia Maria an author of this blog.

We don't delete comments as a rule and if we do we say why so if in recent times your comments have disappeared now you know why and so do we.

Apologies for any confusion that may have arisen.

Lucia Attacks on the Holy Father still going

You'd think an old story that had been totally debunked would have been dead and buried. But no, it's been resurrected, probably as a means of ensuring negative press, even if that press is false, stays out there in the public mind against the Holy Father. I would add that the purpose of naming Benedict XVI as a defendant would also serve the same purpose.

Related links: CNN's appalling attack on the Pope ~ Catholic Culture
CNN Rehashes Old Charges in Attack on Pope Benedict ~ Christian News Wire
Pope Named in Lawsuit by Clergy Sex Abuse Victim ~ Politics Daily

Lucia Paul Bennett UPDATED

I've made a mistake with Paul Bennett. He isn't who I thought he was. He's emailed me with his private details and I believe him.

His latest comments (which were deleted) are below:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

What a wild, stormy night tonight!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Andrei Garrett goes while Carter stays

David Garrett has quit Parliament - no real surprise there, and I assume Hilary Calvert who is next on the list will take up his seat.

On the other hand: I'm still a Labour MP, says Carter.

Which says something about the differing takes on personal responsibility for ones actions displayed amongst individuals from the left as opposed to those on the right perhaps.

Andrei Embarrassing

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ZenTiger Passing Thoughts

I think blog tradition heads these sorts of posts up as "random thoughts", but why would I ever follow tradition? Is it because I post at a blog called "NZ Conservative"? How easily you fall into the stereotypical traps.

With the advent of GST upon us I realised that all the prices go up on 1 October but I don't get paid on the new tax rates until the end of the month. That puts me a month behind automatically. That's rank.

I see also full page adverts by IRD explaining all of the anomalies that a rate change causes in the middle of a financial period, and in the middle of a GST return period for some businesses. The cost of change will of course be borne stoically by many businesses, but don't forget that there is a lot of extra cost going into compliance, with no productive benefit. My commiserations to NZ businesses as much as the consumers.

I see Goff is launching the new Labour policy for GST - to keep it the same rate as National. Wow, there's a point of differentiation. I'm partly joking. They've identified their target market well. Idealists, stupid people, accountants and people that hate direct costs but blithely accept indirect costs as a fact of life. I'm talking about the idea of exempting fruit and vegetables from GST. It will complicate matters and raise indirect costs but everyone will think they are on to a winner with cheaper food.

I rang my boss today and said I'd take two months off on sick leave with full pay please, and anything beyond that I'd send in $50 per week in cash to ensure I continued to receive full pay. I thought I'd use the time off to rail against cushy pay packages for unwanted MPs but my boss said "no".

I'd quit with a response like that, but I'm worried it might inspire changes to the 90 day rule law. Perhaps I'd not be allowed to quit even if I wanted to. Just imagine if that law was implemented: You cannot quit a job in the first 90 days, even if you want to or need to. The politicians could push it through on the basis that employers were entitled to get their money's worth given the cost of recruitment. Even better, you've got to work in the same place for life? No promotion, but you can look forward to a gold watch with 50 years of service. Is that how they ran the public service in Greece? Every government worker happy right up to the collapse?

Will the Commonwealth Games go ahead, and will terrorists attack? They might be important questions in hindsight, but right now the main issue seems to be having clean sheets and polished chrome fittings for the visiting teams. Maybe they can add cleaning services, housekeeping, linen washing and bed making as Gold medal events?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lucia Mapping Internet Sensation - Stereotypes

This is my favourite - the one from Bulgaria's perspective

Go have a look at the others, the USA and German perspectives are truly funny.

Related links:
Mapping Stereotypes - The geography of prejudice

'Smelly people, 'commies' and 'dirty porn': Europe mapped by national stereotypes ~

Lucia Holy Father's visit to Britain a massive success

And how did the British people, millions of whom followed the papal events on the BBC’s live feed on the internet and on television, react to the pope? “They listened,” said Fr. Hugh Allan, the superior of a community of priests, called Norbertine canons, in Chelmsford, Essex, who attended some of the events.

“They really wanted to hear him, and that is going to make the difference. I’ve heard it from so many people.”

On the phone today, Fr. Allan confirmed that the anti-pope crowd have badly lost the argument, and the sympathy of the British public with their months of shrill, fever-pitch attacks. The British people, he said, wanted to hear what the pope had to say.

“One of the most beautiful things has been to see an eighty-three year old man completely taking the wind out of the sails of the Peter Tatchells and the rest of the crowd,” Fr. Allan said.

The pope’s addresses, delivered barely above a whisper, made his detractors look “ridiculous, like children throwing their toys out of the pram because they couldn’t have their own way.” And today the pope’s opponents are left with little to say. “They’re nonplussed and confused” Fr. Allan said, “astonished.” “They didn’t expect people to respond as they have done.”

One of the biggest toy throwing fits was the atheist's pique at having atheism linked to Nazism by Pope Benedict. Yet the Pope grew up with Nazism in his country. He was there. He would know their underlying belief systems. While as Dawkins and his ilk have just read about them, yet apparently they know better.

Related links: We Told You So: Britain Gobsmacked by Pope Benedict ~ LifeSite News

Monday, September 20, 2010

ZenTiger The Lockerbian Libyan Lives

The Lockerbie Bomber, since his return to Libya, can now apparently get out of bed and walk around. Doctors in the UK gave him three months to live, but that was a year ago. With diagnostic skills that good, I can see them working in a Euthanasia Clinic in the next few years. "You've got 3 months tops. Better take the Nembutal."

Perhaps they will setup business in Australia? Euthanasia for non terminal situations is on the upsurge, with 27 suspected suicides using the drugs.
Dr Nitschke said that while young people and those with mental illnesses could access Exit's instructions on the internet, the risks of this had to be weighed against the benefits for many others.

''There will be some casualties … but this has to be balanced with the growing pool of older people who feel immense wellbeing from having access to this information,'' he said.
I wonder what Nitschke thought of the risks of advertising his suicide service where it might attract the attention of more than just the terminally ill?

Hattip: Lindsay Mitchell

Lucia The End of the British Empire - The Holy Father in Westminster Hall

Damian Thompson of Holy Smoke blogs, with commentary in red from Fr Z of WDTPRS:

How odd that it should be the Guardian that grasped the magnitude of what happened yesterday. Andrew Brown, religion editor of Comment is Free, and the possessor of an intellect as mighty and muddled as that of Rowan Williams, writes:
This was the end of the British Empire. [!] In all the four centuries from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II, England has been defined as a Protestant nation. The Catholics were the Other; sometimes violent terrorists and rebels, sometimes merely dirty immigrants. The sense that this was a nation specially blessed by God arose from a deeply anti-Catholic reading of the Bible. Yet it was central to English self-understanding when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1952 [sic], and swore to uphold the Protestant religion by law established.
For all of those 400 or so years it would have been unthinkable that a pope should stand in Westminster Hall and praise Sir Thomas More, who died to defend the pope’s sovereignty against the king’s. Rebellion against the pope was the foundational act of English power. And now the power is gone, and perhaps the rebellion has gone, too. [!]
This was indeed a day of unthinkable events. Many Protestants will have been disturbed to see Pope Benedict XVI in Westminster Hall praising St Thomas More (who incidentally died to defend what he saw as the sovereignty of God). I don’t agree, [I don’t know as much about it, but I think Damian is right, and I said as much in my piece.] however, that rebellion against the Pope was the “foundational act of English power”.


Even Catholics who would never be so crude as to say “the Abbey belongs to us, not to you” sensed that history was being re-balanced in some way. [Indeed they would] They realised that the Pope had as much right to sit in that sanctuary as the Archbishop of Canterbury (who, to be fair, showed the Holy Father a degree of respect that implied that he, at least, recognises the spiritual primacy of the See of Peter even if he rejects some of its teachings).  [Williams recognizes Benedict’s "Spiritual primacy"?  I wonder about that.]

Protestant anti-Catholics, in contrast [to secular humanists to are anti-Catholic], don’t have mates in the media or useful allies in the Church of England. All they can do is watch in horror as the Pope of Rome processes into the church where Protestant monarchs are crowned, declares unambigously that he is the successor of St Peter with responsibility for the unity of Christendom, and then walks out again – to hearty applause.  [And I suspect quite a few of them would also applaud… and will, given time.]
To be honest, I’m still not quite sure what to make of it all myself. Benedict XVI’s speeches are worth reading several times; they often turn out to be more radical than they first appear. But one thing is for sure. Despite the unassuming courtesy of the Pope’s manner, he didn’t give an inch. [Exactly.]

The ramifications of this are still yet to be seen...

Related links: Damian Thompson’s take on the Pope at Westminster ~ WDTPRS
The Pope in Parliament and Westminster Abbey: a day that shook the foundations of Britain's Protestant myth ~ Holy Smoke

Saturday, September 18, 2010

ZenTiger Saturday at the Movies


But I don't mean this:

Lucia Assassination plans against the Holy Father in Britain

It had to be in Britain. Pope Benedict XVI has travelled to a number of different countries and apart from a woman trying to tackle him on two separate occasions, this is the first assassination plot that I've heard of against him.

Police earlier arrested five suspected Islamist terrorists, working as street cleaners in London, during raids at 5.45am at a rubbish depot in central London based on an intelligence tip-off received overnight.

The suspects, aged 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50 were arrested by officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

They are said to be from a variety of nationalities including a number of Algerian origin.

The sixth man, aged 29, was arrested at 1.45pm at a house in north London. Police said they were searching eight homes in north and east London and two businesses in central London.

Related link: Pope's visit: Six held by counter-terror police hours before historic address ~
Pope visit: sixth man arrested over alleged assassination plot ~

ZenTiger A Real Strike 1 offence

This is what David Garrett fought for. We aren't talking about a punch up in a nightclub where you defend yourself from a bully, and we aren't talking about forging a passport:
Matthew John McLennan, 18, admitted in Masterton District Court yesterday that he abducted a 14-year-old Carterton schoolgirl with the intention of sexual connection and attempted to abduct an 11-year-old girl.

He told police that when he saw the 14-year-old, he became aroused and wanted to take her to a quiet place for sex – so he grabbed her and forced her into his car. The girl screamed, repeatedly pleading with McLennan to let her go, but he refused to stop the car.

In desperation, the kidnapped girl leapt from the moving vehicle, tumbling on to the road. She broke her wrist, was left covered in bruises and needed seven stitches in her head.

McLennan also admitted that he attempted to abduct an 11-year-old girl in Carterton last April.
This is clearly a first strike offence, and the strike is well deserved. It indicates that he would again lapse into this behaviour and we can foresee the consequences. Indeed, merely leaving it that is inadequate and he needs serious treatment.

I can see no hypocrisy in Garrett taking a hard line on these more serious offences, which seems to be one of the main lines of criticism in the media. I would think though that there would have to be some degree of empathy for the possibility of rehabilitation in all but the worst repeat cases.

However, it seems the public in general don't believe in second chances on matters this grave. The baying for blood is loud, because a fair portion of it is generated by people more against the political views of the man than the crime.

However, the issue is not clear cut even on the partisan side of the fence, because politics is a realm that attempts to justify the irrational with rationalisations. Or perhaps that's human behaviour in general?

So I am not sure on the viability of Garrett remaining in the ACT Party at this stage - a two week break and reflection seems sensible, and it gives journalists the opportunity to reprint their Chris Carter story with a quick search-and-replace. If they are paid by the word, surely a bonus?

Which makes me wonder what happened to Chris Carter?

Friday, September 17, 2010

ZenTiger It was a dark and stormy night.

It is a dark and stormy night, seriously stormy. I wonder if there's a society of born losers that picked tonight to stage their protest march?

Lucia Jewish Day of Atonement

Seems quite fitting, what with the physical storm swirling around NZ right now and the political storm swirling around one person.

I came across the blog Shameless Popery a few days ago, and I like it so much, I've added it to our sidebar under International Catholic Blogs.

Yom Kippur for Christians
~ Shameless Popery

Lucia Friday night free for all

What a storm today!

Where I am, just north of Wellington, the day kept alternating between calm and sunny followed by the skies being covered over and hard pelting rain. Followed by hail and thunderstorms in the afternoon. It's calmed down to a light drizzle right now, but who knows when the wind will start up again.

In the political area, I have to say that I am revolted at the vitriol hurled at ACT MP David Garret. I've been listening to talk back in the afternoon and noticed the frenzy was being whipped up by Danny Watson of NewsTalkZB who wouldn't hear a word in the man's defence, and set himself up to re-educate anyone that tried.

Is there no such thing as forgiveness in NZ? Is there no such thing as a sense of proportion? After all, this was 26 years ago, he's not guilty of pressuring his girlfriend to have an abortion, he hasn't raped anyone, he just used the identity of a dead baby to forge a passport. And I say "just", because the baby was already dead, he had no hand in the baby's death.

What is it with this country? We murder babies in our hospitals with impunity and yet all our rage is directed to the most superficial things. As if there is some sort of collective guilt that is misdirected.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Fortunately we have talkback for people to vent their anger on, that way they don't take to the streets with their pitchforks and demand a lynching.

Lucia Holy Father's visit to Britain has started UPDATED

On the plane, Pope Benedict XVI was asked by journalists whether he hopes “to make the Church as an institution, more credible and attractive” in a country where secularism is becoming the standard. The Holy Father immediately made it clear that he does not set his course according to approval ratings:

"A Church that sought above all to be attractive would already be on the wrong path."

And he immediately explained why:

"Because the Church does not work for itself, it does not work to increase its own numbers, its own power. The Church is at the service of an Other. It serves not for itself, to be a strong body, but to make accessible the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the great truths, the great powers of love and reconciliation that have appeared in him."

It is on this basis, he continued, that real ecumenism is achieved:

"If both Anglicans and Catholics see that they do not serve for themselves, but are instruments for Christ, they are no longer competitors, but are united in the effort for the truth of Christ in this world, and thus they also find themselves reciprocally in a true and fruitful ecumenism."

Related links: Mission Britannia. The Sun Shines in Glasgow ~ Chiesa
Pope visit: Benedict XV on first UK state visit (automatic video) ~
The Church Does Not Need to “Be Attractive” but to Proclaim the Truth: Pope to Journalists ~ LifeSiteNews
Pope Benedict XVI visit: 65,000 Catholics enjoy a day in the sun ~

Found the You-Tube clip on the Liturgy blog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Andrei Divided Christendom

Lucyna Emailed me last night about an address Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave to the Nicean Club in Lambeth Palace (the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was there and the Metropolitan spoke bluntly.

He talked of the contemporary rift within the Church between the conservatives and the liberals, the former being the Orthodox and Catholics, along with some protestants and the later being protestant.

He spoke via examples of how liberal Christianity has adopted the ideals of secularism and how secularism threatens European culture and civilization.

The rift to which the Metropolitan refers runs right through the Anglican communion of course and is tearing it apart and the bullet points that those who have reported on this have highlighted are those of women priests and gay clergy.

But the Metropolitans concerns ranged beyond these to divorce, contraception and abortion the whole moral order - a moral order the Metropolitan believes is essential to European survival.

As does Pope Benedict. Indeed Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict have openly discussed an alliance to preserve Europe's Christian heritage - something Metropolitan Hilarion said he hoped would occur on the occasion of the Popes election.

This is not the first time an Orthodox Priest has spoken bluntly at a protestant forum - early this year Fr Siarhei Hardun of Belarus who was invited to address the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the USA had hard things to say about innovations under debate within that body, remarks that received by loud applause from some and stunned silence from others.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ZenTiger They work for us

Proposed Kapiti Olympic Aquatic Centre - Scaled back slightly
Where do I start? Front page on my local rag - Kapiti News - states that the Olympic Sized swimming pool that has been years in the planning might actually start soon, BUT (you must have known there was a BUT coming), BUT the plans are being scaled down.

It seems that the 50m Standard Sized Olympic Pool will be only 25m long, and 2 feet deep (see note). Now last time I checked, 25m is only about half way there, and 2 feet deep* is great for hilarious running races but not quite good enough for swimming. There are other cut backs too, such as only one water slide instead of two (the common sense approach of having one that can handle much smaller kids than the big scary one has gone down the drain) and no doubt, the showers will be cold to save the expense of buying taps with a red dot.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ZenTiger Give that man a Cuban Cigar

Radical changes are afoot in Cuba. It seems Communism is turning to private enterprise for a solution to their economic woes. Fidel's brother, President Raul Castro has said the state's role in the economy must shrink! In a country where to work for a living is to work for the government, all that is about to change. Give that man a Cuban Cigar.

Viva la revolution.

ZenTiger When the guilty are called victims

Here's the situation:

Forty-five people have been convicted of a serious violent offences since the "three strikes" legislation came into effect this year.

Under the new law, which came into effect on June 1, 40 [types of] violent offences attract a strike upon conviction. After a third strike, a maximum sentence with no parole will be handed down. Police Minister Judith Collins said today that 45 people had been convicted of a first-strike offence, of whom five had been sentenced.

There had been no convictions for second-or third-strike offences.

So 45 people found guilty in a court of law of a violent offence, and this is the headline:

'Three strikes' law claims first victims

Victims? I wonder if they can get compo for that? More to the point, what an abuse of the word victim. I'm traumatised following the vicious assault that the New Zealand Herald has inflicted upon me. If they continue to beat me over the head with mis-used words I will have to lay a complaint of assault with the police, and maybe this will count as a first strike against them.

Meanwhile, the media are also trying to do a beat up an ACT MP David Garrett with a conviction for assault. They say this is news worthy because he is the instigator of the three strikes law. They suspect this makes him a hypocrite, a very bad crime indeed. However, it does the opposite. Wouldn't a test of reasonableness over the law be strengthened if the proponent of it was guilty of a crime he says he is innocent of? Doesn't this highlight that if anyone can empathize with the dangers of misusing this law, it would be one who has been impacted by it in this way? It's all in the spin, and the spin shows the level of bias against ACT that defies rationalism.

Monday, September 13, 2010

ZenTiger Atheist Buffalo Hunter

A self proclaimed atheist from Australia has burned the bible and the Koran, and posted the event on you-tube.

Mr Stewart is a commercial contracts lawyer at Queensland University of Technology. This morning he refused to answer phone calls. The assistant organiser of Brisbane Atheists wrote on the group's website last night "do you think I am in trouble????"

He says people offended by the experiment are taking it "too seriously".

"It's just a book, who cares," Mr Stewart says.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

ZenTiger Koran Burning Off - Flag Burning On

The American Pastor who was planning to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has been roundly condemned by assorted Americans from the President down, so he's called it off. Isn't it great that asking nicely still works on some people?

Meanwhile, a UK Muslim is planning to burn the American Flag in protest, and is urging others to do the same. From Reuters: Choudary said the date of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington had become symbolic of "the conflict between Islam and the enemy of Muslims, nowadays represented by the American regime, and manifest in their occupation of Muslim lands".

Most of what I wanted to say on the matter is on a thread at No Minister, which I should transpose here just to serve as a record....maybe later.

Freedom is not absolute .... and neither is the slippery slope we place it on.

[A bit later]
OK, here's some of it:

So when do we arrest Trey Parker and co, and lock them up until after we move out of Afghanistan on the off chance they offend some less moderate Muslims?

And what if Jay Leno makes a wise crack that sets them off? Let's keep him off air, or at least check every script prior to screening.

And what if Hollywood's A-list don't run with an anti-war protest fast enough to please Taleban? That could send the wrong signal.

And maybe we shouldn't interfere in local Iranian judicial issues and let the stoning of that adulterous women go ahead for fear we overstep our mark?

Most of all, we need to shut down the ENTIRE USA Media, because had they not broadcast the story of the Koran burning plans, we could breathe a sigh of relief that freedom is safe.

Just as during WW2 when members of the British Union of Fascists were interned under Regulation 18B as posing a danger to the war effort.

Yep, and if we stay in a state of war for the next 100 years, all of my above suggestions become even more reasonable.

On the other hand, the fact that this book burning pastor has brought condemnation upon himself from a huge swathe of Americans from the President down, plus the condemnation of many Westerners around the world will send a strong signal to the Taleban that not all people are that stupid or intolerant.

And I'm sure being the reasonable people you wish them to be, they will take that into account.

Because if they don't take that into account, I fear that no amount of capitulation will suffice. And with our most potent peacekeeping capability thus disarmed, where would that leave us?

And here's another bit, which I think (other than asking nicely not to do it) would be a better solution than invoking provisions of war to let the Government lock up anyone who seemed troublesome

Another tangent to take this discussion in is the changing of the law to make the desecration of a flag or religious icon or artifact illegal (ANY, not just the Koran). I think it was in the USA in 2006 an amendment was put forward to "protect" the American flag in this way, but it didn't get the vote. If it had, then it still wouldn't have "protected" the Koran but it would probably have focused the debate in getting calls for it "just like the flag".

Given that neither are so protected, I think that leaves us accepting the principles of freedom include putting up with nutters, and an expectation Muslims and others can make a loud but peaceful protest. Because violence and threats in response should not be tolerated, excused or shied away from.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fletch Charging For Beach Access?

Yahoo!Xtra Poll, 11 September 2010

Well, we knew it was coming didn't we. The ACT party, despite protests from Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, is saying that Maori will be able to charge for access to beaches if they gain customary title.
The ACT Party says Maori will be able to charge for access to beaches if they gain customary title under new legislation, despite Attorney-General Chris Finlayson telling Parliament yesterday that wouldn't be possible. Mr Finlayson has introduced the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill to Parliament, which will replace the existing Foreshore and Seabed Act. It will allow iwi to seek customary title to parts of the coastline, if they can prove continuous use and occupation since 1840.
The money-quote is below -
Mr Garrett today accused Mr Finlayson of misleading Parliament about whether iwi would be allowed to charge for access to beaches. "The current legislation specifically prohibits Maori rights holders from being able to charge the public an access fee on areas that they control," he said. "This clause has been specifically removed from National's proposed legislation. "It's time National admitted that the proposed legislation will rob New Zealanders of their right to enjoy our most popular beaches."

Friday, September 10, 2010

ZenTiger Ground Zero Mosque Trumped

Donald Trump has come in with an offer to buy the controversial Ground Zero Mosque from the so-called Islamic moderate who desires nothing more than to build a moderately gigantic mosque near you know where.

Trump is offering 25% more than the purchase price, a tidy profit in exchange for the prophet centre. Only one small catch, any subsequent mosque building activity needs to be a further 5 blocks back from this site, so that it is out of sight from ground zero. I guess we'll see if the financier of the Mosque, Elzanaty is actually moderate, or if he turns out to be totally extreme. As in extremely keen to build the mosque regardless.

The first comment off the block on the article was a bit of a hoot:

ZenTiger Friday Night Free For All

Many years ago I sold a house. It was during the time of high interest rates and low sales, so I didn't do great, but I did OK. But recently, I was checking out how other property sales went at that time, and I'm thinking maybe I could have done a bit better. I now need to track down the buyer, and redress the previous wrongs incurred when I accepted the offer on the table. I think that owner added a deck to the place, and that escalated the value considerably. I was going to add a deck - certainly the house design allowed for it. I reckon I deserve a share of that capital gain too. It's all about justice and fairness, isn't it?

Do you reckon I'm leading too early with this satire?

It was just a passing thought, and passing thoughts are de rigeur for Friday. That's de rigeur in the English usage, meaning according to fashion; the usual. The stricter French interpretation would be, err, stricter, if you get my drift. Another passing thought, but I'll leave foreign phrases for another post. Right now it's the weekly Pizza and Kebab run. This is a weird household.

Still, all of this chatter was just to distract us from the Christchurch quakes, because maybe our Christchurch friends are a little tired of having it kept uppermost in their minds. Still (if I can use that word), with ongoing aftershocks, it's probably impossible à faire . Oops there's another one of those phrases. Saying impossible à faire is saying "impossible to do" but switch it around to faire l'impossible and suddenly we are doing one's utmost. I like the French language, must learn it properly one day. Given the quake, are other people thinking about what things might be a little more important to get done, or does that come after getting things back to normal?

Drop a line and share a thought. It's Friday. I raise my glass and offer a toast to our blog readers good health!

Andrei Vladikavkaz

Suicide bombings are not unknown in this city, capital of North Ossetia-Alania - most famous for its football team which is very good and also for its resistance to the Germans in World War 2 who famously tried to take it but failed.

It is primarily a Christian city with a majority Ossetian population but also a significant Russian minority.

As well as the occasional suicide bombing the city has had two mayors assassinated in recent years.

The most famous atrocity committed in North Ossetia-Alania in recent times is of course the Beslan school massacre of six years ago which we remembered last week.

We barely notice here the suicide bombings that take place there - mostly involving the murder of border policemen at checkpoints - checkpoints made necessary for the pathology that enters North Ossetia-Alania from the neighboring republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya.

An Islamic insurgency - which has once again cut short the lives of the innocent going about their daily business

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fletch Smacking Law Change Shot Down

Well, we didn't hear anything about it in the mainstream media; it was swept under the rug. I'm sure the major parties wish it would go away. What happened Wednesday night?? John Boscawen put forward a bill, sponsored by David Garrett - both of them Act MPs, that would have allowed a light smack for purposes of correcting children.
The bill was defeated 115 votes to five. Only the ACT MPs voted for it. The win was accompanied by the usual drivel spouted by no-nothing liberal MPs about "pro smackers" and "child beaters". Current Green co-leader Metiria Turei on Twitter wrote, "David Garrett's child beating bill (went down in flames)".

‘It is time the pro-hitting lobby accepts that their point of view is unacceptable today and will never again be enshrined in New Zealand legislation," wrote Deborah Morris-Travers of Every Child Counts.
Where do they get these idiot women from? Don't they realize the harm they are doing to this country? THE LAW HASN'T WORKED. Children are still being killed, and what's worse, parents now have less control over them than they used to and children know it: they can't be touched at school or at home. We're going to have a generation of kids growing up selfish; expecting that the world will give them everything their way, and when they don't get it they will have no self control. We're already seeing it in Sweden, which has had the law for longest and hasn't worked.These bleeding-heart liberals make me sick to my stomach.

And what do the public think? There really isn't question there. All the polls and the referendum have constantly given the result that the public do not agree with the law, but no, the idiots in power think they know better. Just today, the Yahoo!Xtra poll asked the question - "Is a Light Smack Acceptable"?
The results?

So, who are these politicians to tell 94% of kiwis (and I think the official referendum was 87%) that they are wrong? Do they seriously think that that many New Zealanders want the right to be able to beat their children? If they do, then there's something wrong with them. They need to use their heads and do some actual thinking, "you know, no one wants to hurt their kids - at least not the majority of kiwis that seem to support smacking; I might just have the wrong idea about what smacking is". That's what they'd reason if they had the ability.

If it sounds like I'm mad, I damn well am. I voted for Key and National, so which National MP is standing up for my will? Representing me? NONE of them. Useless lot...

ZenTiger Broken Windows

So why doesn't John Key ask the Mongrel Mob or perhaps vast quantities of drunken Uni students to trash 10% of the homes in every region of New Zealand to inject a much needed economic stimulus that will pull us out the recession?

Whilst they are at it, perhaps they could beat a few people up in order to make them healthier?

Andrei Silly little man

Why is anybody paying this character any attention. He's a nobody but people are "reaching out to him" to ask him to desist from his plan to burn the Koran.

The media shouldn't have given him any oxygen but now they have of course and he is basking in his notoriety - his fifteen minutes of fame.

Fools like this should be ignored by everybody but the narrative is just too attractive to the banal mass media - a wacko Christian showing his intolerance and stirring up a segment of society with a grievance mentality.

In a rational world he would have his little bonfire and everybody would ignore it realizing he is just a nutter.

But the world is far from rational so he will have his moment of glory and help turn the solemn remembrance of the dead of 9/11 into a circus with the media as an accessory.

ZenTiger Earthquake Insurance

I'd be surprised if it hasn't been said yet, but it's obvious that Earthquake Insurance is a necessity for New Zealand. Currently, a levy is added to an insurance policy and that is a flawed approach. Already, the are people of Christchurch stepping forward hoping for a hand out because they haven't any insurance. I find it hard to believe that a homeowner wouldn't insure their home, and I'd expect it to be a condition of a mortgage, but there will always be a few that escape the net. It would be interesting to know the numbers.

So if uninsured property owners receive compensation or assistance, it's not particularly fair on those that have paid the premium and the levy. On the other hand, it's going to be unduly hard on the uninsured. There lies an interesting debate on how much assistance will be provided, perhaps with a loan or a fee attached to the aid equivalent at the least to many years of Earthquake Levies.

I also have a fairly simple solution going forward. Apply the Earthquake Levy to the Rates bill, based on the capital value of the buildings attracting rates (not necessarily the land value). This would ultimately mean that every building has a levy contribution. If a building rating system is introduced, then the levy could potentially reflect the damage risk to a building too.

Either that, or let uninsured homes suffer the full consequences. But does the New Zealand government have the stomach for that approach?

With regard to uninsured contents, well, that's where the consequences certainly do need to fall, in my opinion. The Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul type op shops come to the rescue here, not to mention relatives and friends. If New Zealanders make donations of blankets, pots and pans, toasters and vacuum cleaners and clothes and furniture, then the uninsured can go down market and put clothes on their back with a sense of gratitude and humility. Tax payers don't need to step in to provide a new TV and Playstation.

ZenTiger Christchurch Still Shaking

That injuries were so light in the wake of such strong earthquakes is a miracle in itself.

I've now managed to catch up with my relatives in Christchurch, or hear from third parties that they are all doing OK. However, the continual aftershocks and new quakes (new epicentres) are taking their toll, and on some more than others. My cousin runs a motel, and a house maid has fled Christchurch, not able to handle the aftershocks and lack of sleep. My cousin has had the majority of his bookings cancelled, but has filled them currently with out of town helpers and workers. Silver lining I guess.

I haven't been reading the news in detail, nor watched the news due to my current schedule. So I was surprised when he mentioned sulfurous smells being reported, hinting of volcanic activity perhaps? Wild speculation of course, it could be sewerage leaks and time will tell. On the bright side, a new thermal area in the south island could be a good tourist attraction :-)

Which reminds me of a great story in the paper. A family down south had to flee the wild winds, with huge trees around their home being toppled. One crashed through their house, thankfully away from the family. Said mum bravely at the end of the article "Well, we were running short of firewood, so that problem is solved"

Love the spirit!

That is the spirit needed for Christchurch right now, and we are seeing plenty of it. It will be important for Christchurch to find a whole lot of reasons over the next 12 months to keep tourists coming and business activity strong. It's one thing to rebuild what was there, it is quite another to fill empty homes, empty hotels, empty cafes once the building stops.

Kia Kaha Christchurch and God Bless.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Andrei Smoking and Drinking is socially responsible

At least it is according to Russia's finance minister Alexei Kudrin.
'“Smoke a packet of cigarettes, and you make more resources to tackle social problems: it supports the demographic situation, develops other social services,” said Kudrin at a plenary session of the Finance Ministry’s Tax Academy.

The government’s economic chief was promoting amendments to the Russian tax code that would significantly increase “sin taxes” from 2011.

The cost of sin

If the proposal is accepted, cigarette manufacturers will have to pay 360 roubles ($12) per thousand cigarettes plus 7.5 percent of their production cost – approximately 280 roubles ($9). And from 2012 this sum will be increased a further 100 roubles ($3.30), according to the finance ministry’s website.

“Kudrin is following international practice,” said Martin Gilman, a professor at the Higher School of Economics. “If you look at countries in Europe or North America, what you’ll find is that their taxation on alcohol and cigarettes are significantly higher than in Russia. Even if Russia is not going to be moving all the way to Western European levels of taxation, it is certainly on the way.”

And here is a truthful politician because if the truth be known hammering peoples pleasures is has never been about public health but about raising revenue using which always gets the support of the neo-puritans

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lucia Why only men can become Catholic priests

Found on Holy Smoke, hattiped to New Liturgical Movement

Lucia Conservatives who back same-sex marriage are confused and ignorant

Conservatives who back same-sex marriage are confused and ignorant. Confused about conservatism and ignorant about what is essential to keeping a civilisation going. Civilisations rise or fall depending upon the morality of their citizens. It's no accident that the West came to dominate the world. It wasn't our guns that lead us to do this, it was our religion which underpinned our morality. And now we are losing our religion. Our families are falling apart. And single parenting is fast becoming the norm. How much longer will the West last?

From Open letter to conservatives who back same-sex marriage:
When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. (Prager is talking about men and women here.)

It is not overstated to say that the Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism, and later carried forward by Christianity.

The revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.

By contrast, throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society. Human sexuality, especially male sexuality, is utterly wild. Men have had sex with women and with men; with little girls and young boys; with a single partner and in large groups; with total strangers and immediate family members; and with a variety of domesticated animals. There is little, animate or inanimate, that has not excited some men sexually. …
So those that support same-sex marriage, support devaluing marriage, support temporary marriage for pleasure only, support reducing the status of women and support the destruction of civilisation as we know it.  Not overtly, because these people are too ignorant for that.  But when has ignorance ever stopped anyone?

Andrei Women's Sport

The Black Ferns won the Women's Rugby World Cup over England this morning for which congratulations are due.

The thing is I'm not all that sure about women and rugby and I wonder why.

What I do know is none of my daughters were ever inspired to play the game - never had any desire whatsoever but the great Alina Kabaeva was inspirational, to the eldest in particular.

Indeed she pulled the performance below up on youtube just the other night to show me. The question I ask here is are we turning girls off sport and physical culture in general by emphasizing masculine sports and ignoring the more feminine pursuits?

Alina Kabaeva, a great athlete who didn't have to surrender her femininity to reach the top.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lucia Undeservedly, Wellington is protected from damaging earthquakes

"I am the Immaculate Conception."

A couple of days ago, Christchurch, one of our larger cities was hit with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.  There was widespread structural damage, but so far no loss of life.  As John Key says, a miracle.

It got me thinking about why earthquake prone Wellington hasn't had a major earthquake for a very, long time.  I grew up in Wellington and I've experienced some pretty full on earthquakes, but they've never caused damage.  Then I remembered.

On December 8, each year, the Bishop of Wellington consecrates the city to The Blessed Ever Virgin Mary under her title of Immaculate Conception, asking her to protect us from earthquakes which have devastated this region in the past.  Consequently we are still waiting for the "Big One"*.

Of course, pointing this out to some of the denizens of Kiwiblog causes laughter and derison, which led me to think why Wellington even deserves this protection from Our Lady. 

But then, what greater sign of God's love for undeserving humanity that this?

Related links: I am the Immaculate Conception ~ Catholic Pilgrims

* During WW2, the Bishop forgot to reconsecrate the city, and so in 1942 Wellington was affected by a large earthquake. After that, the Bishop hasn't forgotten.

Lucia No Minister and Porn

I'm going to give No Minister a miss for several days until the porn scrolls off their main page.

Lucia Happy Father's Day Michael Laws UPDATE

Why should a father, who didn't consent to a child being born, end up with the financial responsibility?

That would have to be the silliest combination of a statement/question that Michael Laws has made to date. But then, can I blame him, as a great number of men in NZ think this way.

Let me help you with this, Michael. The outcome of sex is babies. If you have sex with a woman, you are consenting to any babies that come of the union. Very, very simple. So if men don't want the financial responsibility of a child - don't have sex with women! Forget about contraception, it's not guaranteed to work. Don't want children, don't have sex.

UPDATE 9:06pm: Link to article online has been added.

Related link: Breaking up is hard to do ... but legislation is harder still, Sunday Star Times, page A20

Saturday, September 4, 2010

ZenTiger First Quakes, Then Winds and Flooding, Then What?

As the people of Christchurch and surrounds pick up the pieces, warnings of strong winds coming in at the tail end of news reports.

Strong winds are forecast to increase with gusts of up to 130kmh possible and rain on the way. Buildings, other structures and trees already weakened by the quake and flooding could be put at risk.

My recommendation? Buy around 30 cans of Raid and Mortein for Monday.

Lucia The attacks on the Pope

The Catholic Church is at a massive cross roads right now. The Holy Father has been working very hard on reforming Her and it's been incredibly hard. I just pray for him every day, and I hope anyone reading this post will do so as well.

ZenTiger Canterbury collapse becomes physical

After South Canterbury Finance had its walls come tumbling down, the manifestation has become physical with a seriously strong earthquake causing massive damage to some buildings and infrastructure across Christchurch.

The earthquake woke me at 4:35am in my home at Kapiti, north of Wellington and a long way from the epicentre. It was strong enough for me to get up to be ready to get the kids should a stronger shake occur.

From a glance at the news item, it seems fortunate the quake happened at night, because if people had been at work and in the streets, I suspect there would have been deaths and injuries. So far, I haven't heard of any. Let's hope the mainlanders get through with their lives.

South Island Rocked by 7.0 quake

State of emergency - and quake revised to 7.1

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lucia Friday night free for all

Hi all, it's Friday again.

Not a lot of posting from me this week, however I am involved in two conversations on Catholicism on other sites (Being Frank, Liturgy).

I've had a busy week, what with home-schooling, house-work, after-school sports activities and meetings with my own personal groups. I'm trying to really focus on what is most important, without getting too side-tracked.

Especially after watching Seasons 1 and 2 of the Rome tv programme which my brother kindly bought me for my birthday. But my eyes have been seared by various sex scenes I did not want to see! So apart from the sex scenes (which I tried not to watch as soon as they appeared), it was very good. Certainly helped bring that period of history to life.

So, how is everyone else?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lucia Charity Status now being used as a Weapon in NZ

The Charities Commission in NZ is now using charitable status as a weapon against those charities it doesn't agree with. First it was Greenpeace which was deemed to be too political, a decision I admit I wasn't too disturbed about at the time. Then it was the Sensible Sentencing Trust, a decision that did worry me. But now the commission has ruled against an international organisation that helps those who struggle with same-sex attraction leave the homosexual lifestyle.
In defending its own charitable status, Exodus Ministries Trust Board told the Charities Commission that, as a Christian organization that offers "non-judgmental support and advice to anyone wishing to leave the homosexual lifestyle ... We believe the activities (and purposes) of Exodus are exclusively charitable."

The organization pointed out that “no one receives any pecuniary benefit of any kind from its activities which are religious, educational and beneficial to the community."

The Charities Commission countered, however, that in its view Exodus is not performing any activity of public benefit. It also noted that the American Psychological Association (APA) had deleted homosexuality from its listing of mental disorders and has stated that homosexual reorientation therapy might be harmful to homosexuals.

I've seen this come up again and again, the idea that if someone disapproves of a person's choice to be this, that or the other, then it harms that person. Except, it only seems to apply to homosexuality. A heck of a whole lot of people disapprove of me being Catholic, but rather than their disapproval harming me, it just helps me be more resolved to be a better Catholic. So I don't understand this thinking at all.

The Charities Commission stated in its decision that Exodus did not meet the criteria for a charitable group based on its own descriptions of its work: "The Applicant [Exodus] has a main purpose of promoting a particular point of view," including the claims that "homosexuality is morally wrong, that people can change from homosexuality to heterosexuality, and that people are not born homosexual."

"In light of the above, the Commission considers that it is not able to determine whether the Applicant will, or will not, provide a benefit to the public that will outweigh any harm caused by the Applicant’s purposes."

Wouldn't the benefit be that those who want help with same-sex attraction, are able to get that help? That decision surely would have to be left to the individual, not to the commission to determine. That the commission sees itself as the arbitor of what is and isn't helpful to the person and to society must mean that the NZ Government officially endorses that individuals feel they are trapped in a harmful lifestyle should stay there.

Related links: Charitable Status Revoked from New Zealand Homosexual Reorientation Group ~ LifeSiteNews

Charity rejection splits Sensible Sentencing Trust ~ Stuff

Team NZ among charity casualties ~ NZ Herald

Exodus International Stories

Andrei Saving the planet, for whom pray

There's an ongoing hostage crisis at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel.

According to the Washington Post
A note posted online July 18 issues a list of demands to the Discovery Channel, saying the station "MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet." It lists 11 demands about airing shows that would promote curbing the plant's population growth, finding solutions for global warming and dismantling "the dangerous US world economy."

"All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions," it reads. "In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it."

In the Western world the birth rate has suffered a disastrous decline the consequences of which are only just becoming apparent.

But just imagine if the people haters got their wish and there were no more people to "wreck" the planet.

Who would be around to appreciate the now pristine wilderness?

Seems kind of pointless.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Andrei Well that didn't take long

Wikipedia entry for Bugojno

Fletch Where's The Funny?

I like to think that I have a good sense of humour. I guess everyone likes to think they do. Mine can be a bit off-the-wall sometimes, I do admit, but I've wondered lately and have to ask: do people find the comedy shows on TV now actually, well ... funny?

I've tried to watch a couple lately and have seen the ads on TV for Two And A Half Men, Gary Unmarried,  and their ilk. American comedy seems to be very unfunny these days and almost totally based on sexual innuendo. Why is that? As kids we used to laugh at things to do with bodily functions, but shouldn't we have grown out of that by now? It's just LAME to me watching Charlie Sheen trying to score with all the women he can and making sexual retorts about it to a young kid.

So, I thought I'd try cartoons. The Simpsons always used to be good for a laugh, but what about Family Guy, American Dad, and the rest of C4's animated lineup? I tried to watch some Family Guy, but again, it seemed very unfunny. And as for local comedians like Jono .. er, no...

Even the modern British shows like Gimme Gimme Gimme, and The Catherine Tate Show don't do it for me. And Black Books is positively unfunny. Where is the quality of the old Brit humour like It Ain't Half Hot Mum, The Two Ronnies, Open All Hours, Blackadder, etc.

I caught an old episode of Everyone Loves Raymond on the weekend. Where are all the shows like that, that are based on everyday life and family personalities etc. Is there ever going to be another M*A*S*H?

The best chuckle I have these days is over Walter in the show Fringe, which isn't even a comedy.

What do you consider funny?