Saturday, December 31, 2011

ZenTiger Melissa Johnson and Easy Money

Melissa Johnson from Paraparaumu never thought that she would work online, until curiosity got the best of her and she filled out a simple online form. Before she knew it, she discovered her secret to beating the recession, and being able to provide for her family while at home with her three children. I read Melissa's blog last month and decided to feature her story in our weekly consumer report. In our phone interview she told me her amazing story. "I actually make about NZD $8,000-$9,000 a month working from home. It's enough to comfortably replace my old jobs' income, especially considering I only work about 15-18 hours a week from home.
Melissa Johnson is a very common name I suppose, so it might be hard to verify if the story is actually real or not. The advert even has a bunch of selected comments saying how wonderful and genuine the offer is, but you scroll down to the end and get to see that "comments are closed" now that the required comments have been entered.   Furthermore, the website purports to be a company called "Career Journal Australia" which does not come up when I search the Australian Company Name Search hosted by ASIC.  The webpage is designed to look like an independent review, but all page elements click through to the sign-up page.

It seems like a total con to me, so any subsequent offer of money would also be treated with suspicion. I've seen the advert appearing off reputable sites - such as the Sydney Morning Herald, which offers "AUD 8,000 a month" using a NZ testimonial, but a little snooping quickly uncovered another Melissa Johnson advertisement, but who works and lives in New York and who also makes the same amount of money as Melissa from Paraparaumu. And they both receive the same "check" from Wells Fargo Bank. Not that you could easily deposit such a cheque, sorry, check, in New Zealand. The clincher though is that these two cheques are both made out to Melissa a year apart and yet have the same "Check Number" and the greyed out address block looks to be in USA format, not NZ format.

Maybe the scheme is legit, but using faked testimonials speaks of a company with no ethics.

Caveat Emptor.

Update at 10 January 2012: Melissa now lives in Karori! Good on her. She's obviously made so much money she could move to a better place, although every year she loses her job: Melissa Johnson from Karori is a regular mum who lost her job last year, and after an unsuccessful job hunt, she started working online. I interviewed her about her amazing story and she revealed her steps for success.

The Advert: Work From Home Special Report

Another site [Email and Internet Scams] that seems to have correlated further evidence of doctored testimonials: Is Melissa Johnson real?  Look through the whole site to see the endless variety of patently obvious scams are thrust upon unsuspecting people.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Andrei Word of the Day

Agape - I'm not going to define it, you can see it for yourself in the video below

ZenTiger Green is another word for immature

If you can Vote When You're Senile...

That was the title of a recent Green Blog post about the need to grant the vote to 16 year olds.

I have explored the general arguments made about  lowering the vote in a previous post - "Emancipating Youth". As I said then, this can be seen as a push by parties of the left to perform gerrymandering by demographics rather than geography.  I also said this issue would continue to be pushed by the left every few years until it finally takes hold.  Thus, time to fisk this recent Green Vote post to say much the same things in a different way.

If I wanted to suggest that maybe a lack of maturity was one of the reasons for denying the vote to 16 year olds, then I'd have to look no further than the title of the post: "If you can vote when you're senile...".

It also gives me permission to be equally as flippant in my response post. Yes, totally uncalled for, but it is meant in the spirit of "talking at the same level" and making a blog post slightly more interesting than this topic might otherwise be.

So, here we go:
Our communities tell young people that they need to "take responsibility", that they need to "get involved", that they have unfulfilled civic responsibilities towards their schools, their cities and their country. Those same communities then go on to insist that youth cannot be trusted to vote, that such a right can only be afforded to "full members" of society - that us young people just aren't up to the task. Clearly, something is messed up.

What if the communities are not telling, but "inviting" young people to get involved? And do those communities really go on to insist youth cannot be trusted? It's overly emotive to make this an issue of trust. It might simply be that the age of majority is considered to be 18, just like it is 18 to borrow money from a bank, buy a lottery ticket, own an airgun and be appointed a company director. But 18 isn't a one-stop shop age. The age of consensual sex is 16, as is leaving school and applying for a name change. But at 10 you can take out insurance in your own name. Driving a tractor on a farm can happen at 12 and you need to be 14 to legally babysit others. Age 14 also gets you into youth court for most crimes. It's not really about trust.

The Young Greens believe that the current disenfranchisement of 16 and 17 year old young adults is wrong: we see a society that irrationally discriminates against its most vulnerable as fundamentally flawed. The current system insults the legitimacy of our democracy, marginalises young people, and leads to a systematic political bias against youth. That's why, since 2010, we've consistently advocated to lower the voting age to 16.

Irrationally discriminates against it's most vulnerable? Cry me a river. The most irrational discrimination we face in this society is over the unborn. The most vulnerable after that would have to be babies and toddlers. The so-called discrimination is not irrational, it's based on the premise of maturity. If you are going to claim this is irrational, explain why it is rational to discriminate against 15 year olds? Or 14 year olds? Or 9 year olds? Or 3 year olds? We'll soon find a line that you will rationalize, but that would only prove my point - the 18 year old line in the sand is not irrational. Please, come up with a stronger argument.

ZenTiger Liberal Fanaticism

Every now and then the secular blogs like to pick up a generic story highlighting the evils of religious fundamentalism and open the chat threads for a bit of religion bashing. Kiwiblog has one going at the moment (Religious Fanaticism), and the Standard kicked one off recently that kind of backfired: Peter Jackson - Satan's Little Helper. By pointing out how some presumably extremist religious group had identified Sir Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit movie as a sell out to the deep and distinctly Christian themes running through the original Tolkien LOTR books, it should have been fair game. But being a left wing blog, Christian bashing had to take a back seat to Jackson's supposed capitalist, anti-union, commercial sell-out motivations.

Kiwiblog, on the other hand, has used a story of ultra orthodox Jews acting like the Taleban with regard to the treatment of an 8 year old girl for dressing "immodestly". This has provided an entree for atheists to declare how equal all religions are, how bad the one in question is, and then by a process of deduction, how they are therefore all equally bad.  Whilst there is a little bit of Jew bashing on the side, for the most part they stay on topic.

It's tempting therefore to wonder if our own society, increasingly secular and increasingly atheist, bears some responsibility for the increase in sexual violence from youth.  In a kind of reverse Taleban, is Liberal Fanaticism an equal kind of danger? Perhaps the steady diet of soft porn on TV, the easy access to hard core porn via the internet and the general objectification of women through advertising, the destruction of the family and general liberalization is generating a new form of Liberal Fanaticism that requires everything else to be blamed, but itself? Is it Fanatical Liberalism that is pushing resolutely onwards for greater freedom with less responsibility?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ZenTiger The Social Barometer

Despite the historical belief that sexual offending during adolescence was “experimentation”, data would indicate otherwise. A random community sample of adult women reported that 25% of the sexual abuse reported by 500 women was perpetrated by adolescents aged 18 years and younger. Similarly, Mullen et al (1991:2) state that: “teenage offenders were a large and often quite violent group, who carried out one quarter of the offences”. New Zealand Police statistics indicate that for the years 2000 to 2005, youth under the age of 17 years committed on average 15% of all sexual offences in New Zealand (Statistics New Zealand 2005).
[p10, Getting It Right, August 2007]

ZenTiger Society is to blame

Earlier, the detective leading the investigation into the attack said New Zealand society "needs to have another good look at itself".
I've already discussed this at length: If it's my problem, give me the power to fix it.

The people of NZ, when this incident came to light have poured in messages of condolences and support, along with donations. Let's not disregard that as the various hand-wringers who wish to blame every-one but the actual perpetrator ask for more government intervention and raising the minimum wage by $3/hr to cure this evil.

If society itself needs to take a look at itself, lets start by shining the light very brightly on the animal evil person that inflicted this horror.

If we really must go one level deeper, then look at his upbringing. I suspect easy access to porn and violent movies from a young age might figure largely in his history. Possibly also a life of some level of abuse. Whatever the case, this should not deter us from punishing this person for his heinous actions, and it would seem likely that we need to protect others from such indifferent evil. Equally though, those that helped shaped this person must be held accountable for their actions. It is quite possible that such an accounting might find them innocent, and that finding made public would be a small mercy for the shame they must now feel for this crime. I am puzzled though why the police had to "negotiate" with the family to get the youth into Court.

And when the debate moves to the general, and we agree that our society is losing its moral core, then you can turn to this blog for further conversations on that topic.

Finally, my deep condolences to the victim and her family. The clock cannot be turned back, but as a society we can take steps to ensure that justice is given and others are protected from this monster. When we fail to do even that, then yes, society is to blame.

Fletch Conservative Journalist Leaves Herald

Well, it had to happen sooner or later: Garth George is leaving the NZ Herald. His last column is today, and he says-
The editors decided back in October that this column does not fit in with their future plans for the opinion pages. And while I shall miss penning my weekly opinions, and have to adapt to a painful drop in income, I hold no rancour.
One can only wonder who the Herald intends in their "future plans" for opinion columnists. Perhaps someone like Pam Corkery or her ilk?
It will be sad to see George go. He is a conservative and a Catholic, and as such perhaps didn't fit in with the liberal opinions and tastes of those who helm the Herald. I didn't always agree with everything he wrote, but I did so more often than not.

He will continue to write his columns for in the Bay of Plenty Times in Tauranga, and the Daily Post in Roturua.

It's interesting to read that he is actually a Member of the New Zealand order of Merit (see photo above)

ZenTiger All we want is clean water

Garth George talks about how the Greens support abortion and euthanasia. Putting opinions about these issues aside for one moment, I note a comment on the thread by a Mr Ian Findlay:  

I never heard the NZ Greens campaign or mention any of the issues Garth discusses. I did hear them campaign on clean waterways, the state of the ocean, climate change and stopping asset sales. That's why they got my vote.

I'm quite surprised that this might be a genuine opinion of the Greens. Surely, they are just as well known for their social policy as their desire to have a pristine environment? The Greens are clearly pro-abortion, even when they say they are anti-abortion. As Nandor once said: "I put it clearly on the record that I am anti-abortion....but I am also very strongly pro-choice" and then goes on to support abortion. He's one of the milder in the Green Party on this issue, but he's gone now. You'll find other Green Party MP's are more strongly pro-abortion.

The Greens can also be counted upon to support Bills with names such as "Death With Dignity". Mike Ward, back in 2003 was keen on a review, and the committment has only become stronger. The Greens have held policy discussions from time to time to thrash this out, and there are numerous statements and press releases discussing how difficult a decision this is, but...and always coming down on the side of assisted suicide and other forms of euthanasia. To be fair though, this is pretty much the way National and Labour are going as well: The sooner the better

And when you look at the Green's population policy, it isn't hard to guess how they will vote on these sorts of issues.

Here's the Greens Population Policy Principles:
  1. Maori, as tangata whenua, have a partnership role in determining the population policy.
  2. A self-sustaining population cannot be increased beyond the carrying capacity of useable land available.
  3. The population cannot be increased beyond its capacity to offset its greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. The population must not be increased beyond the capacity of the local environment to provide essential ecosystem services such as clean water, air and soil.
  5. The uneven regional distribution of the population will be addressed through regional economic development measures.
  6. Informed decisions about family size and spacing will be made by the parents concerned.
  7. A stable population is desirable to minimise negative impacts on infrastructure and resources.

As with all such "principles" the debate is how they are enforced, and what the triggers are. Some in the Green Party might suggest that 2 million people in NZ is still too many. Others suggest we can only take one or two million people more. On that basis, the population of Sydney and Singapore might need to be trimmed to about the size of Dunedin, and Auckland only needs trains taking passengers in one direction - out of Auckland. With the Greens flexing new political muscle and John Key keen to be a man who can bridge the political divide between the centre-left National and far left Greens, expect to see and hear more on Green policy.

If you want to read something truly bizarre, try reading about the Church of Euthanasia, to which I credit the graphic.

Andrei A pointless exercise but amusing

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Andrei A picture of life in the 21st century EU

I love the solar panels and the satellite dish - and I bet you they were paid for by some Government program initiated in Brussels.

Andrei The Rape of the Sabines

The Rape of the Sabines - Pietro Da Cortona, 1629

In the days when being educated meant you actually knew and understood things rather than just being credentialed everybody with an education would know the meaning of this picture.

I wonder how many do now?

It tells of the early Romans who needed women if what they had built was to persist. Without children their legacy would be nothing.

They asked their neighbours, the Sabines, if they could marry their daughters - the Sabines refused.

So the Romans took the women by force - you can check out the whole story if don't know it and feel inspired.

Whoever heard of the Sabines - where are they now?

But the Romans legacy is huge. Right or wrong doesn't come into it (according to the story the Sabine women preferred to stay with their Roman Husbands anyway). It is what it is.

And that's the point, unless a culture finds a way of reproducing itself and transmitting itself to the next generation, who do the same - it dies.

Our culture is dying, it is in its death throes

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ZenTiger Sweet Dreams

Somewhen in the distant future, perhaps as distant as the year 2014, sugar is an illegal substance, and possession of such is almost a capital crime. So it was portrayed by Judge Dredd, of 2000AD comic fame in "The Line" and other Judge Dredd stories written back in the 80's.

Tony Falkenstein thinks starting with a 20% tax on the wicked white powder is the way to go. MacDoctor explains in more rational terms why it is a bad idea: Sugar Sickness.

Why do so many (progressives*?) think that there isn't a problem that cannot be solved by a new tax and the strong arm of government?

Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

*Maybe Tony can drop in and explain his political stance to satisfy my curiosity on why people reach for the IRD when they see trouble. And perhaps explain why a mere 20% tax on some foods will sort out the obese. One wonders if Tony also needs to consider taxing too much TV watching, and taxing lack of exercise and perhaps even taxing poor life decisions? It's the combo of work-life-family-leisure imbalance surely?

Andrei Christmas Goodies for the kids

Of course all of this was made in the third world, some of it by children working long hours for subsistence wages.

It was bought by wealthy people in the first world who manufacture exactly nothing and who paid for it all with borrowed money.

What happens when you can't borrow anymore?

We are about to find out, my friends.

ZenTiger Heart of Darkness

I'm not ideologically opposed to partial privatization of state owned assets. So that makes my current opposition to the sale of Mighty River Power one based on pragmatism (we'll get a low price) and lack of trust in the National Party.

I just don't buy into their story. First, I recall them talking about how much money they could unlock to help reduce the debt. Then later, they say they will use it not to reduce debt, but "invest" in infrastructure.

Looking at the world economy, now seems hardly the time to make a killing floating shares. And what will the impact be to open up these places to foreign investment? On one hand we have National saying that it will never be more than 49%, and on the other hand...we have the classic misdirection technique of the magician. What if the percentage doesn't actually matter? What if the mere act of floating the companies changes the governance structure so that the ultra rich can skim profits in ways that we can only imagine. Unless we stop for a second and look back at how profits have been skimmed by the large investment firms responsible for the Global Financial Crisis.

Also, once the structure of the business has been changed, what's the bet that the 51% government share is up for Treaty Settlement? 26% government, 25% assorted Iwi. Now that's an asset sell-off no-one saw coming.

The National Party won the election, but it was for a myriad of reasons, and they certainly cannot claim a mandate for asset sales with a clear conscience. Selling off the assets in order to reduce debt will not happen - the money will be frittered away on other things. The bigger worry to me is that National haven't articulated great reasons for the sale, which only makes me more suspicious that their motives are not pure.

From the Congo to the Waikato, the natives remain restless.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Andrei This woman is most definitely not the equal of a man

And anyone who thinks she is is a fool.

No she is something much much better than that and she has done something that no man could ever do.

Why feminism has sought to and largely succeeded in debasing women, is a mystery, a real mystery.

And of course the only real achievement of the women's movement has been the degradation of our culture and thousands of women living in poverty while bringing up their fatherless children.

Which hardly seem an advance in human rights, whatever that may really mean in practical real world terms.

Andrei At eighty-five Her Majesty can still hit it out of the park

Our liberal elites are not that fussed on either tradition or God - there is plenty of both in this. Whether or not this was played on TV last night I wouldn't know but it doesn't seem to be getting much attention in the local media this morning.

And it is really good, worth giving up 7 minutes of your time for.

Fletch Merry Christmas

I saw the image today on another site and it kind of sums up what Christmas is, or should be about.
Many - especially in the secular world - forget that Santa Claus is actually Saint Nicholas, an actual Saint and a Christian who worshipped God (and of course, Jesus).

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
You can read more about him in the Saint Nicholas Center. 
I am sure the real Saint Nicholas would be horrified by the way secular society pays homage to him instead of to Jesus - his love for the Lord being the reason Nicholas carried out his acts of charity.

Andrei So how's that "Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men" thing going then?

The "day" is over for us for another year - all that remains is the debris of wrapping paper string and the wine bottles that contain just the dregs of yesterday's joy.

You can put away your CDs of syrupy songs for another year, now and go clean up the mess.

Bigger mess in Nigeria though where celebrating Christmas by going to mass can get you blown up and killed.

BBC: Nigeria churches hit by blasts during Christmas prayers.

However this is not the biggest human rights issue in Africa, no, both Hillary Clinton and David Cameron have slammed Nigeria and threatened her with reduction in AID in recent days if they don't mend their ways.

BBC: Gay rights: Africa, the new frontier

Nigeria in particular has received a lot of focus in this because they have legislation before their parliament that would enshrine Marriage as only being between and man and a woman.

Quelle horreur!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lucia Merry Christmas!

And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.

Et dixit illis angelus : Nolite timere : ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum, quod erit omni populo: quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator, qui est Christus Dominus, in civitate David.
Luke 2:10-11

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Andrei Christmas weirdity

Man tries to shoot mouse but hits friend in chest... then cops arrive and find girl, 13, locked in closet and arrest roommate on child sex abuse charges

Andrei Christmas Eve fare - : Number of Christians in UK is down 10% in just five years

I don't particularly like this time of year to be frank - the whole thing seems both bogus and saccharine - it's way off skew.

Christmas is a Christian feast - but its hard to see it among the other dross that this time of year throws up.

Anyway the Daily Mail on the sorry state of English Christianity and it might be worse here.

Last night on TV One they showed a "Vicar of Dibley" Christmas special. Never seen that show before but if that is an accurate portrayal of Church of England clergyperson - well is it any wonder nobody goes to Church there anymore.

A female vicar fantasying about being a lesbian and lesbian sex served up as Christmas fare? Sheer genius and very seasonal, I'm sure you will agree.

No wonder people don't bother with Church anymore - the BBC has pooped all over Christmas by making this and TV One has by showing it.

Cultural barbarians

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lucia Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem was most likely the planet Jupiter. In the years 3 & 2 B.C, Jupiter did some pretty weird and amazing things from the perspective of an observer on Earth, but fully understandable if you consider that both Jupiter and Earth are moving in their own orbits. The Magi who came to see the God of the Universe born here on Earth would have followed Jupiter's weird and wonderful movements of this time.  Jupiter came to a complete stop on December 25, 2 B.C. over Bethlehem, coincidentally the date we celebrate Christmas every year.

There seem to be a few theories of when the Star appeared, but of them all I find this one the most compelling as among other things, it references the corrected date (1 B.C.) of Herod's death.

For a complete explanation of what I've just said, read The Nine Points of Christ's Star and The Starry Dance ~ BethlehemStar

Andrei Soccer

The idiot attacks the goalie, the goalie floors him, the goalie gets red carded, the goalies team walk off in protest.

Best way of stopping idiots interfering in games is to let them get dealt to, you would have thought - not in these enlightened times.

Andrei Another milestone in the cultural suicide of the west

No doubt the oblivious will see this as a significant advance in the mankind's progress - the US Navies first Lesbian homecoming kiss.

But like every decaying and decadent culture that has fallen before it there is a brief moment where vapid self indulgence rules the roost.

The problem is when the barbarians come it takes self sacrifice and courage to beat them off.

And of course if you are going to sacrifice everything to preserve your culture and heritage against barbarians it has to be worth preserving - and ours no longer is.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Andrei Liberal disconnect

Awful lot of hand wringing over this horror: Mum is girl's worst nightmare.

Yes - the usual fix, more money for more Government intervention.

We live in a culture that doesn't value children - Liberals will never see the contradiction between their hand wringing over murdered babies and their total commitment to abortion whereby 17,000 babies die in this country every year.

Liberals hate the concept of motherhood - that's why the Virgin Mary receives such stick actually. She is the epitome of MOTHERHOOD, the perfect ideal MOTHER - they hate that.

They hate the concept of a stay at home mother raising her children. To be a housewife was a title of respect not so long ago - it was a good thing to be. Now it's associated with being a looser.

The word has gone replaced by homemaker where it cannot be avoided.

So now we bring up girls to have careers, family that's a nice to have one day maybe with a male or female partner according to sexual preference but an optional extra in life - and instead of wasting their lives raising lots of their own children they can now get a social work degree and tell the underclass how to raise theirs, the underclass. being about the only people who are actually producing children in great numbers.

So how many children has the mum in the story produced - I believe it is five.

All this social progress is not working out all that well but what the heck.

Lucia Pope Benedict XVI on the Meaning of Christmas

It's so easy to forget what Christmas is really about - the birth of God made man, our Saviour. In a country where so many people treat Christmas as the day that they set out on their holiday and jam up the roads, a reminder of what we celebrate on that day is necessary.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Christmas approaches, I offer prayerful good wishes to you and your families for a spiritually fruitful celebration of the Lord’s birth.

At Midnight Mass, we sing: “Today a Saviour is born for us”. This “Today” evokes an eternal present, for the mystery of Christ’s coming transcends time and permeates all history. “Today” – every day - we are invited to discover the presence of God’s saving love in our midst.

In the birth of Jesus, God comes to us and asks us to receive him, so that he can be born in our lives and transform them, and our world, by the power of his love.

The Christmas liturgy also invites us to contemplate Christ’s birth against the backdrop of his paschal mystery. Christmas points beyond itself, to the redemption won for us on the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection.

May this Christmas fill you with joy in the knowledge that God has drawn near to us and is with us at every moment of our lives.

I greet all the English-speaking visitors present, including the pilgrimage groups from Singapore and the United States.

My special greetings and good wishes go to the Tenth World Congress of the International Association of Maternal and Neonatal Health. My greeting also goes to the primary school children from Korea. I welcome the alumni of the Pontifical North American College who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary of ordination, and the students of Holy Spirit Seminary in Brisbane, Australia. Upon all of you and your families I invoke God’s abundant blessings. Merry Christmas!

Andrei There is nothing more that needs to be said

This says it all: Ex-President Carter sends condolences to Kim Jong-un

ZenTiger Barrel Roll

This is getting a bit old now, but for those who haven't tried it, go to Google and try this search and see what you come up with:
do a barrel roll

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lucia Publishers of fiction distorting history

I was in the mall today, waiting to get my hair cut. As I do when I'm hanging around a mall, I browse. I love books, but hardly ever spend much time looking at the bookshops here, because they are typically full of cook books and crap fiction. It's so much easier to hone in on what I want online and order it.

But today, since I had a bit of time I wandered into Whitcoulls where a new book by Philippa Gregory caught my eye. I opened up the jacket cover and read the following:

The Lady of the Rivers is #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory’s remarkable story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the Wars of the Roses.

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.

Standing there in that bookshop, I was furious! Joan of Arc was not a practitioner of witchcraft! Philippa Gregory was maligning her by writing as if she were. She would never have had anything to do with Tarot cards, except maybe to burn them if she came across them. She was a devout Catholic woman who went to daily Mass and had a profound air of holiness around her. So much so that the men who went to war with her treated her with total respect and absolute awe. To invent a false Joan who was actually a witch just like Gregory's character in the book is to do violence to history.

Philippa Gregory should know better. She has gained a reputation as being historically accurate.  She's even a real historian.  Check this out where she talks about the book.

"[Witchcraft is] a very interesting way that women express their power in this period.  The women have no political power whatsoever but when they lock themselves into this other world, they use their intuition.  If they use their herbal skills or their healing skills, they have access to a power that nobody can control, that nobody understands.  So for women's history, I think, witchcraft and spirituality are very, very important qualities."
She has a very strange way of looking at the women in Medieval times. Yet, this is typical of our age. Untold lies are printed about the past in fiction and few have the knowledge to realise that they are being lied to.  What Philippa Gregory said above is what a friend of mine who reads historical fiction believes of the past.   But it seems the only way she could have come to such a conclusion is that she's been lied to in many of the books she's read, and even though they are fiction, the use of real historical characters and events lends an authority to the book that is believed.  If these people existed and this and that happened, then this idea must be true.

This makes me so angry as few things do.  For I was an avid reader as a child and teenager, and I loved historical fiction.  I also read non-fiction, so I had a pretty good idea, I thought, of what was likely to be true and what wasn't.  Yet writers such as Philippa Gregory fooled me about the late Medieval times and the Crusaders and I discarded my Faith as a result.

So what to do? 

The only way to counter such books is for more and more writers to start writing more truly without pandering to the prejudices and fancies of our time. A false world view could do battle with what is good and true. However, one of my favourite Catholic authors, Micheal D. O'Brien wrote in an article on his website that when he tried to get his first book published, no publisher would touch it unless he rewrote the story in a more contemporary fashion:

For two decades I collected a stack of rejection letters from mainline Canadian publishers, most of whom said something like the following: “We like your writing very much, and it’s a great story. However, the reading public is no longer interested in this worldview. If you would resubmit your manuscript with the appropriate revisions, expressing a more contemporary vision of life, we would be happy to publish you.” By my worldview they meant the orthodox Catholicism, the inheritance of two millennia of civilization, integrally woven into the tale. In other words, if you wish to fulfill your artistic calling in this land, we invite you to tear out your heart and soul, forget your true story, and contribute to the emerging brave new world. You will be richly rewarded if you do so.

No wonder there has been such a dearth of good fiction out there, it has been blocked by the publishers themselves! Either thinking the public is not interested in any alternatives or actively seeking to prevent anything that varies from the acceptable worldview - the result is the same. Publishers have turned into gatekeepers. The medium of the story as a way of presenting some truth is no longer allowed. Only fake truths need apply.

Maybe the only way around this will be the Internet, yet again. Whereby blogs are now known to be openly challenging the mainstream newsmedia and have changed the way the news is reported, ebooks will be the only way to get alternative stories out there. They're just going to need some damn good writers.

Related link: Cankultur at the End of an Age ~ Michael D. O'Brien

Andrei The joys of Christmas

Carrying on from yesterdays Joy to the world post I present

Christmas tree fires


Christmas ham accidents

I'd better be careful, Government nannies may be reading and get ideas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Andrei Just wait 'til you see the cake!

The bride wore white, as a symbol of her virginity.

Her two daughters, by different men made wonderful bridesmaids, while her son, whose father was a different man again looked so cute in his page boy outfit.

The groom's children sat with their grandfather, who watched stony faced as the female celebrant bound his son to his second wife, for as long as it may last I guess, in a wedding venue decorated in the height of modern wedding kitsch.

I wasn't there, thank God, but some close to me were.

Here's the thing my friends getting married is (was?) a rite of passage. It did once mean that the participants were now ready to undertake the adult responsibilities of raising a family. Conception outside marriage was frowned upon - with good reason. Marriage was protective of both women and children. And it was good for men too - it gave them a reason to grow up and a purpose in life beyond satisfying their own immediate desires.

We live in a world where its meaning has been degraded down to meaninglessness, where two men or two women can essentially undergo the same or similar rituals in an exercise of sheer pointlessness.

It was once an undertaking of seriousness and marked with ceremony and decorum, though joyful, in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion.

Now it lasts just as long as one or other of the participants doesn't get bored and walk away.

And the consequences are dire - people who never grow up, hundreds of thousands of fatherless children, an epidemic of child abuse along with ever increasing numbers of prescriptions written out for anti-depressants.

To be sure this social upheaval has benefited some, well some perhaps, Jacinda Ardern, an immature 31 year old woman no doubt feels satisfied with her number four position on the Labour front bench - but she is a big nothing, an empty vessel, a woman-child.

Anyway for every "successful" upper middle class woman there are hundreds of lonely poor women struggling with sole parenthood. And there are also hundreds of lost and confused men whose role has been reduced to being "sperm donors" and checkbooks.

But they are the price that has to be price paid for the upper middle class to indulge in its whimsys I guess.

What's new the poor have always paid the cost for the sins of the rich.

Andrei Joy to the world

T'was five days before Christmas and all through the land the Christmas traditions of yore were on display.

The booze bus round up - a seasonal favourite

Church Billboards go up some proclaimed via press release to ensure as wide an audience as possible,

Catholic Bashing

People collecting in Public Bars for charity

Office Christmas parties are always good for a laugh

Christmas Kittens

And perhaps the most important question we ask ourselves in the lead up to Christmas - Plastic or pine

Monday, December 19, 2011

Andrei Women wonderful, men mean

More rubbish from the herald: 'Why are men so mean?' Christmas grinches revealed.

This is true because a charity collector told the herald it's so - and it's backed up by a psychologist from South Auckland.

Is the Herald good for anything? - I can get two rolls of toilet paper for the price of one copy of the Herald and it is lot softer besides.

Fletch Thousands Rally to Save Nativity Scene

It's about time.
I think Christians and Conservatives are getting sick of Liberal Politically Correct rubbish and aren't taking it lying down any more: case in point - an Atheist group complained that someone in a Texas town had been offended by that town's nativity scene and wanted it taken down. Around 5000 people turned up to support the nativity, and the Texan Attorney General also talked tough, saying that they wouldn't bow to pressure from such Atheist groups. 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Wisconsin, sent a letter to Henderson County explaining that a local resident had complained and they wanted the Nativity removed from the courthouse lawn.
The FFRF alleged that the Nativity sent a message of intimidation and exclusion to non-Christians.
But their attack prompted a tremendous outcry not just in Henderson County, but across the nation.
The Texas Attorney General offered to defend the county in the event the atheists sued, arguing that the county has no legal obligation to remove the Nativity scene from the courthouse grounds.
“Our message to the atheists is don’t mess with Texas and our Nativity scenes or the Ten Commandments,” Attorney General Greg Abbott told Fox News & Commentary. “I want the Freedom From Religion Foundation to know that our office has a history of defending religious displays in this state.”
Attorney General Abbott said the organization is trying to “bully local governmental bodies” and he said he wanted to make sure Henderson County knows “there is a person, a lawyer and an organization in this state that has their back, that has the law, that has the muscle and firepower to go toe-to-toe with these organizations that come from out of state trying to bully governmental bodies into tearing down things like Nativity scenes.”

Andrei The most toxic substance known to mankind

It isn't plutonium which is positively benign when compared to SECOND-HAND SMOKE.

Is it any wonder New Zealand's life expectancy is so low at a mere 78.4 years for males and 82.4 years for females with all that SECOND-HAND SMOKE about.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Andrei I wish they hadn't done this, I really do

Glynn Cardy basking in his glory - he's got another bite at the cherry because his billboard has been vandalized.

Does he mind, that it has been damaged, that people who he has upset have reacted?

Of course not, this is exactly what he wants. He is an attention whore and he is getting it. The people who did this are playing into his hands.

The pompous little man knows full well that by taking a dump on Christians at Christmas and Easter will attract the media to him like flies to shit and he can preen in front of the cameras in his dog collar and blather on about "starting conversations", "making people think" and "Christian intolerance" yadda yadda.

He knows full well that there are many many people, myself and all my co-bloggers included(1) who are hurt by this - just as virtually everybody would be if their own mother were insulted and publicly degraded.

But it's best not to react, not to give his infantile attention seeking, attention.

And that is what we should to do - ignore this silly prat.

And not give him the attention he craves.

(1) I think it is fairly safe to say that their feelings are pretty much in line with mine in this respect. I wouldn't normally presume to speak for them.

Andrei What a surprise - The Government does not a very good husband make

Marriage as a social structure came into being to ensure that a women with children would be cared for and the best way of achieving that was to have the father of her children take a stake in their upbringing and to provide for their needs. Of course for a man his place in this arrangement provides a huge motivator to succeed and so as to provide.

It really works - the most prosperous, successful and peaceful societies ever seen have all placed monogamous family relationships front and center.

For some reason progressives have spent the last forty years undermining this family structure, even holding it in contempt.

And the result is a plethora of solo mothers who are not exactly the happiest of campers: Single parents need help or life's 'a hole'

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lucia When did it all change from women being valued as mothers?

Society no longer encourages women to be mothers. Motherhood is almost a dirty word unless you are a gay male who wants to adopt a child, and then it's all about getting access to that wanted child and the mother discarded. But we used to value children, didn't we? I don't know what it was like in New Zealand, but in the United States they were considered a child-centred society after WWII.
By the late 1950s however, women who saw motherhood as service to society and who dreamed of scores of little kids to nurture, were suddenly caught in the crosshairs.

A new wind had blown in from academe. Chic "mental health" professionals were suddenly sneering at homemakers, even part-time working moms, accusing them of "momism" and "smother love," that was producing weak sons and aggressive daughters.

I had been ignoring the sneering columns in the press and ladies magazines about motherhood being parasitical and wasting women's talent. I had four great daughters and worked part time as a songwriter and television performer. Wherever my "little women" and I wandered, we were greeted by admiring glances and benevolent looks. That changed so suddenly I can remember the day I saw motherhood mutate from reverence to resentment.

It was August 1963. I had dismissed the doomsday warnings in the press that overpopulation was going to cause starvation and famine. As I walked down a grassy slope holding my littlest child's hand, an irate voice behind me shouted, "Don't you know how to prevent that?" I turned and knew those glaring eyes and spiteful words were meant for me. I should have "prevented" one, or all of my four daughters. Almost overnight I started to hear censure of my reproductive behavior. Even the public body language subtly changed. Few folks smiled upon my happy little troupe any longer.

Long before the child sexual abuse pandemic caused men and women to fear speaking to or touching children, the kindly head pats were over. What had corrupted the hospitable American view of children as a joy, a blessing, in such a short time?

Yes - more screwy science and screwier scientists. After Kinsey's sex blitzkrieg and pornographer Hefner's 1953 bunny launch, the public was hit with Margaret Sanger's "overpopulation" hysteria in 1957. By 1961 the fear of childbirth was so real that the National Council of Churches publicly endorsed birth control to avoid "illegitimacy" and "overpopulation."

By the mid 1960s, the prediction that babies meant world starvation was blighting the bliss of stoned sexual freedom breeders who were making much love, not war. Here was a natural activist cadre to battle for a cause, abortion on demand.

Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich galvanized such activists in a December 1967 interview when he forecast world famine between 1970 and 1985 caused by babies. In his 1968 best-selling book, "Zero Population Growth," he predicted that each year in 1970 "a minimum of 10 million people will starve to death." Moreover, by "1984 the United States will quite literally be dying of thirst."
Is it any wonder that families are told today to have no more children than they can afford, and every year it gets harder to afford to have any?

Related link: Bad science vs. beautiful babies ~ Judith Reisman

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lucia Should women wear bikinis

When viewing a woman wearing a bikini, the part of a man's brain associated with "tool use" lights up.

Andrei Girls if you want a Prince Charming you really do need to be a princess

More pap in the New Zealand Herald: Sorry ladies, the perfect man doesn't exist.

Well no kidding Trev.

We get this sort of thing on a regular basis now - like women approaching forty and wondering why they cannot find a suitable mate - As in this
Today I am 39, with too many ex-boyfriends to count and, I am told, two grim-seeming options to face down: either stay single or settle for a "good enough" mate. At this point, certainly, falling in love and getting married may be less a matter of choice than a stroke of wild great luck.

A decade ago, luck didn't even cross my mind. I'd been in love before, and I'd be in love again. This wasn't hubris so much as naivety; I'd had serious, long-term boyfriends since my freshman year of high school, and simply couldn't envision my life any differently.

A reality check too late perhaps - people do not stay young forever, lady you made your bed and quite frankly at thirty nine who'd want you - you've been around the block a few times and you aint no fairy tale princess.

I've got a son, as you may know, and I wonder who he will marry. Right now it's not on his agenda - I think it should be but it isn't.

But be that as it may, he is surrounded by a bunch of self absorbed scatty females - some of whom are barbaric creatures covered in tattoos and facial piercings, slut marchers etc and many of whom wouldn't think twice about murdering an unborn infant if it stood in the way of their "self fulfillment". There are to be fair some exceptions, real gems hidden in a box of paste jewelry. May he find such a one.

But "self fulfillment" for many, in the fullness of time, will be revealed to have been elusive.Probably about the time of their fortieth birthday - and that is a real tragedy.

Andrei What attracts attention and what doesn't

An American blog (Byzantine Texas) I read has two consecutive posts featuring New Zealand.

The Theotokos and a pregnancy test

Immediately preceded by

Kursk Root icon flown over Auckland, NZ

You no doubt are fully aware of the former but it is unlikely that you have heard anything of the later.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lucia When your whole life is about dragging other people down

As a person made in the image and likeness of God, I hope and pray that Trevor Rupe had a final change of heart before he died. But given the things he did to his body and the societal changes he campaigned for, this change of heart would be most unlikely.

I'm reminded of a young woman who set out on a career where she would be flaunting her body to all and sundry, who experienced standing before God  at the end of her life with the last thing that she had done and finding that it didn't amount to much that was worth anything when it came to what was really important. She realised that God had given her gifts and talents and that she had been using them for herself and to bring other people down. The experience shocked her into amending her life.

Related link: Flamboyant NZ drag queen Carmen dies

Andrei Do we really need to spend taxpayers money on telling us what we should eat?

It gets right up my nose that there a bureaucrats who think they know better than me what I should and should not be eating.

They don't.

We are all individuals with individual dietary needs and requirements and what silly people in Wellington and Canberra think is appropriate for themselves is not appropriate for me and probably not for you either.

Do Government issue dietary guidelines serve any purpose?

Related: Tough Aussie food guidelines may be used here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Andrei Because I felt like it

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos,
Mary full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.

Богорóдице дѣво,
ра́дѹйсѧ, Благода́тнаѧ Марїе,
Госпóдь съ тобóю:
благослове́на Ты въ жена́хъ,
и благослове́нъ плóдъ чрéва Твоегω;
ıа́ко Спа́са родилà есѝ дѹшъ на́шихъ.

Bogoróditse Dyévo,
rádouisya, Blagodátnaya Maríe,
Gospód s tobóyu:
Blagoslovéna Ty v zhenáh,
i blagoslovén plód chréva Tvoegò;
iako Spása rodilà iesí doúsh náshih.

Andrei In a display of utter cluelessness

St Matthews in the City's Christmas Billboard "celebrates" the Annunciation - which of course everybody else celebrated on March the 25th.

Lucia We lose our soul, we lose our future

On Monday 12 December, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks met with Pope Benedict XVI before going on to deliver a talk at the Pontifical Gregorian University on the European crisis around the Euro, focusing on if Europe has lost it's soul.

What I hope to show in this lecture, is first, the religious roots of the market economy and of democratic capitalism. They were produced by a culture saturated in the values of the Judaeo-Christian heritage, and market economics was originally intended to advance those values.

Second, the market never reaches stable equilibrium. Instead the market itself tends to undermine the very values that gave rise to it in the first place through the process of “creative destruction.”

Third, the future health of Europe, politically, economically and culturally, has a spiritual dimension. Lose that and we will lose much else besides. To paraphrase a famous Christian text: what will it profit Europe if it gains the whole world yet loses its soul? Europe is in danger of losing its soul.


For the task ahead of us is not between Jews and Catholics, or even Jews and Christians in general, but between Jews and Christians on the one hand, and the increasingly, even aggressively secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith.

If Europe loses the Judaeo-Christian heritage that gave it its historic identity and its greatest achievements in literature, art, music, education, politics, and as we will see, economics, it will lose its identity and its greatness, not immediately, but before this century reaches its end.

When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we – Jews and Christians, side-by-side – must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe recover its soul.


That is by way of introduction. Let me begin with a striking passage from Niall Ferguson's recent book, Civilizatation. In it he tells of how the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was given the task of discovering how the West, having lagged behind China for centuries, eventually overtook it and established itself in a position of world pre-eminence. At first, said the scholar, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we concluded it was because you had the best political system. Then we realised it was your economic system. "But in the past 20 years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don't have any doubt about this.”

It was precisely the breakdown of trust that caused the banking crisis in the first place. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the market is a shrine to materialism, forgetting that its keywords are deeply spiritual. “Credit” comes from the Latin “credo” meaning “I believe.” “Confidence” comes from the Latin meaning “shared faith.” “Trust” is a word that has deeply religious resonance. Try running a bank, a business or an economy in the absence of confidence and trust and you will know it can’t be done. In the end we do not put our faith in systems but in the people responsible for those systems, and without morality, responsibility, transparency, accountability, honesty and integrity, the system will fail. And as it happens, the system did fail.

With this we come to perhaps the most profound truth of the Judeo-Christian ethic. That ethic, based on justice, compassion and respect for human dignity, took moral restraint from “out there” to “in here.” Good conduct was not dependent on governments, laws, police, inspectorates, regulatory bodies, civil courts and legal penalties. It was dependent on the still, small voice of God within the human heart. It became part of character, virtue and an internalised sense of obligation. Jews and Christians devoted immense energies to training the young in the ways of goodness and righteousness. A moral vision, a clear sense of right and wrong, was present in the stories they told, the texts they read, the rituals they performed, the prayers they said and the standards the community expected of its members.

In one of the fastest secularising countries in West, we here in New Zealand need to take notice of what Lord Sacks is saying. The New Zealand of the future will no longer exist if we too lose our faith at the rate we have been. We will be unrecognisable and not in a good way.

Read the whole speech: Lord Sacks: "Has Europe Lost its Soul?" ~ Cranmer

Andrei A rare gem from a cultural wasteland

I present two videos for your consideration and comparison

The first I find groteseque and frankly ugly - it is of course a parody and what it parodies is a little better - but not much.

On the other hand the beauty, style and grace these Caucasian kids in New Jersey display is nothing other than sublime, despite an error or two in execution it is perfection itself.

You might choose to full screen this, it is gorgeous!

Beats me why we choose to wallow in the muck, it really does.

Andrei Face of the day

A few men like this wouldn't go amiss either

Posted in response to Whaleoil

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucia What did the medievals do about welfare?

How many know what an impact the Reformation had on the way the poor were looked after?

It occurred to me while on my retreat that the modern welfare system could learn a lot from the abbeys. Until the Reformation, the monastery offered alms to the poor and somewhere for people fleeing tyranny to hide. Post Reformation, the safety net was undone and people threw themselves on the charity of the local lay community. With the coming of the industrial era, the state started to take up the burden of poor relief.

Related link: The modern welfare state could learn a lot from the Medieval monastery ~ Timothy Stanley, History and Politics

Andrei Manning up

There has been some crows of delight across the blogosphere that an eighteen year old boy from Milton is to have his car crushed - this is deemed good thing - the march of progress.

But I cringe - "boy racers", a term of derision, are a pain in the you know where, that I'll I agree to some extent but then a lot of people I happen share the planet with also fit that category.

The thing is what does 21st century New Zealand have to offer an eighteen year old boy from Milton? Chances are this fellows father was driven from his home and possibly out of his life altogether years ago.

His only responsibility for his son financial and that collected through the IRD and then at a level which probably kept his Dad in poverty.

And lets face it the triumph of Feminism is not that 2/3 of those lawyers admitted to the bar are female but that New Zealand has produced a nation of sluts - which pleases DPF to some extent.

So even if he aspired to marriage and raising a family it is a big ask for a New Zealand male to find a women worth raising a family with, who wants to marry a women that has expletive deleted all his mates. In any case chances are if he did take the risk and hook up with a modern New Zealand miss he be out in a few years with all the liabilities but none of the joys of fatherhood.

Another triumph of feminism is the capture of education whereby any boy who has a molecule of testosterone and displays it is deemed have ADHD and spends his schools days medicated, hey ho so it goes.

And we are so wrapped in cotton wool that young men at an age where they should be raising families are playing video games or the more adventurous engaged in drift triking - moronic beyond belief, but an outlet for males cotton wooled to near oblivion and an activity that gets the tut tutters tut tutting.

See for a boy from Milton there is diddly on offer except to have his balls and spirit broken by bossy britches harridans and that does not bode well for the future for anyone.

Andrei Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn

Shearer confirmed as Labour Party leader

Andrei Please Mr - can we have our drone back

The kids next door are nice kids - I hear them playing sometimes, the sweet music of happy children playing in their yard.

In recent days, the oldest a girl about 12 years old has been sitting on their deck tootling out Christmas carols on her recorder - while aesthetically not the most pleasing it has a charm of its own - never the less.

Any way not long after they moved next door there was a knock on my door - "please Mr we were playing with our ball and it has gone into your yard - can we get it back".

I smiled and told them if it happens again to feel free to just come and get it and not to worry about it.

But I'm not so sure the Iranians are going to be so sanguine about stray American drones.
President Obama said on Monday that the United States had asked Iran to return an American surveillance drone that the Iranians say they captured on Dec. 4. It was Mr. Obama’s first public comment about the remote controlled aircraft, which has elevated American tensions with Iran.

We have asked for it back — we’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Mr. Obama said of the vehicle in a short question-and-answer session with reporters at the White House.
Source: Obama Says U.S. Has Asked Iran to Return Drone

Lucia Governments control schools when they are a psychological control mechinism

The biggest problem in education is government control. Government control of the curriculum and government control of who is allow to teach that curriculum. The only way at present in New Zealand to escape this control is to home-school, where there is no requirement that the teacher be registered nor that they follow the NZ curriculum.

A number of people in the Blogosphere that think that the problem with education is leftism infecting the schools. Seriously, leftism is a minor issue. It's only piggy-backed onto a system that was already in place for the purpose of indoctrination of children. If all the leftists were removed from schooling tomorrow, the system that allows the government of the day to indoctrinate would still be in place.

Very few today can imagine a world without compulsory schooling unless they think of some backward, third world country. So I offer the following quote from 19th Century America to show that people back in those times recognised that school controlled by the government based on a system of education imported from Prussia was the real danger.

In 1839, thirteen years before the first successful school compulsion law was passed in the United States, a perpetual critic of Boston Whig (Mann’s own party) leadership charged that pro-posals to erect German-style teacher seminaries in this country were a thinly disguised attack on local and popular autonomy. The critic Brownson allowed that state regulation of teaching licenses was a necessary preliminary only if school were intended to serve as a psychological control mechanism for the state and as a screen for a controlled economy. If that was the game truly afoot, said Brownson, it should be reckoned an act of treason.

"Where the whole tendency of education is to create obedience," Brownson said, "all teachers must be pliant tools of government. Such a system of education is not inconsistent with the theory of Prussian society but the thing is wholly inadmissible here." He further argued that "according to our theory the people are wiser than the government. Here the people do not look to the government for light, for instruction, but the government looks to the people. The people give law to the government." He concluded that "to entrust government with the power of determining education which our children shall receive is entrusting our servant with the power of the master. The fundamental difference between the United States and Prussia has been overlooked by the board of education and its supporters."

Related link: Chapter 7: The Prussian Connection (The Underground History of American Education

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lucia State Controlled Consciousness

The purpose of mass institutional schooling.

An interview with the writer of An Underground History of American Education* and Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling and Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

* Can be read online by following the link.

Andrei Lessons in democracy

Russian Elections have led to the biggest protests seen in years in Moscow. The BBC is on the case, sure that democracy thing has not worked too well in Russia. Mind you it is not going that well in Greece or Italy right now either.

And DPF evokes the Arab spring in his post on the matter - I'm not entirely sure the outcome of that is all that positive.

I was reminded of the time George Bush gave Vladimir Putin a lecture on the workings of Democracy

In any case the protesters in Moscow did their thing and may do it some more, perhaps not always entirely sure what it is they seek.

One summed up his reason for protesting thus
I didn't vote for those bastards, I voted for some other bastards
And those are sentiments that many living in democracies whose functionality perhaps lies in they eye of the beholder can relate to.

Andrei Human degradation cannot be cured by Government fiat

A picture that is both repulsive and sad. Degraded humanity.

A bit of a tiz over a survey which purports to show 56 per cent of people are behind an increase in the price of cheap alcohol. This would be a survey commissioned by the Health Sponsorship Council, a government body whose purpose is? Well to commission surveys and write reports I guess.

And those who wring their hands over sights like those portrayed above are claiming that Peter Dunn suppressed the results of the survey. It is hard to come up with a reason why he would, a motivation for doing so if you will.

But anyone with half a brain knows that pricing alcohol out of the range of the poor will fix nothing.

The gentlemen in the photo above have not secured cosy sinecures in obscure Government bodies filling their days commissioning surveys and writing reports that nobody will read, then going home to their comfy abodes to bask in the glow of their accomplishments.

No - for whatever reason there is no place for them at the table and all shreds of human dignity have fled. And if a cheap bottle of plonk is denied then something will give in order to buy a more expensive one, food most likely. And failing that some other substance, more harmful will be resorted to to blot out the agony of their daily existence.

And understanding this is the first step in fixing it - although how I am not quite sure.

But it begins with teaching people to value their dignity and making sure that as many people as possible have a stake in our society and that happens in families.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Andrei The New Zealand Herald wades into the depths of depravity

When Lesbian couples have a child, obviously some man has provided the sperm. It's wrong I know but it happens that way.

But the Herald on Sunday has built a story (actually three stories) by finding a sperm donor's wife who didn't know he had sired three, maybe six kids in the past year and telling her all about it.

"Merry Christmas and did you know your husband has been spreading his seed around - what do you think about that?"

I feel sick to the stomach.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Andrei Fiddling while Rome Burns

As the financial catastrophe that threatens to lead the whole world into depression and quite possibly engulf it in war comes ever closer the elites of Europe continue on their merry way

The item that caugtht my eye
22. Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure access to high-quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, information and supplies; takes the view that this should cover, inter alia, confidential and voluntary counselling, testing and treatment for HIV and all sexually transmitted infections; prevention of unintended pregnancies; equitable and affordable access to contraceptives, including access to emergency contraception; safe and legal abortion, including post-abortion care; and care and treatment to prevent vertical transmission of HIV, including to partners and children;
Just how killing the unborn will prevent transmission of AIDS a rare disease primarily found in homosexual males will lower its incidence remains a mystery.

Is child sacrifice now part of the armory of modern European medicine?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Andrei This might be a bullet dodged

The current President of Serbia, Boris Tadic, is a fan of Serbia becoming a fully fledged member of the EU.

Not all his compatriots are so sure that this is a good move - it might well see him removed via the ballot box next year.
EU leaders may postpone a decision on whether Serbia can become an official candidate for membership until their next summit in the spring, diplomats said Thursday.

The European Commission has recommended granting Serbia candidate status. But Germany is opposed, saying recent clashes at Kosovo’s border between Serb nationalists and NATO troops showed that Serbia still wasn’t ready.
I suspect that Serbs in general are not a good fit with today's EU zeitgeist.1

And I suspect there are many Italians, Greeks along with others, who in days to come will come to envy the Serbs good fortune in not sharing in their catastrophe.

Source: Diplomats: EU may postpone decision on Serbia’s candidacy

(1) This is was an exercise imposed upon the Serbia by Brussels and who complied to show what good Europeans they really are but one that they have declined to repeat

Andrei Spontaneous community action called for

You know doubt have heard about the poor woman in Invercargill who finds herself living next door to the man who raped her some years ago and has been harassing her ever since it seems.

Others have blogged on this repulsive individual and the impotence of the authorities to deal with the situation.

Of course we have allowed ourselves to become a nation of sheep to look to authorities to protect us and the authorities have increased their hold over us by sanctioning people who stand up for themselves on occasion.

The way to fix this scuzz bag is to make him a pariah - publish his name, picture and what he has done in the paper - every day. Refuse him service in stores and give him the cold shoulder, people should give him the middle finger when they see him in the street and so forth. Make his life a misery and he'll soon move on.

Why are we so prissy?

Source: Rape victim 'harassed' for years

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Andrei Whoops

Andrei A good lesson for kids in what lowering your carbon footprint actually means

Kids shivering in classrooms where the temperature is 1°C doesn't seem like an optimum learning environment - unless the lesson to be learnt from this is cutting your carbon foot print means increased in hardship.

Children left to freeze in the classrooms after head turns off heating on coldest day of year 'to show how school can be eco-friendly'

I'd call this one an own goal by the school myself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Andrei When it is good to have a dog that bites

Dog bites woman's attacker
A woman who was stabbed at a Lower Hutt school believes her attacker has wounds from a dog bite, police say.

The woman was walking through the school's grounds about 9.30pm on Monday when a man confronted her asking for money, said Detective Sergeant Nina Pedersen.

When she refused he attacked her with a knife, stabbing her in the upper arm.

The woman's dog then bit the man, before he fled.

The incident could have been a lot more serious had the woman not had the dog with her, Pedersen said.

The woman was taken to Hutt Hospital with a cut to her arm which needed stitches.
Hopefully there will be no calls for the dog's destruction though in this day and age anything is possible.

Andrei Mortality

OK so this vehicle belongs to Hells Pizza, who as you know, advertise by pushing the boundaries of taste. Not that using an ancient hearse for advertising purposes is particularly offensive. In any case in the modern age hearses might be designed to blend in with the other vehicles with which they share the road.

In other words to be discreet.

The one that carried my mother to her resting place was painted a light shade of grey, not black. It looked like a vehicle that might belong to a well heeled family man not a hearse in the traditional sense.

Time was when a funeral procession passed, passers by would stop and if a man had a hat on his head he'd remove it - I don't think we even have funeral processions anymore.

Death itself is treated as an anomaly - if an 84 year old man dies of lung cancer it is counted as a "premature death due to smoking". And there is a whole industry, primarily taxpayer funded, which tells us that we are killing ourselves by eating to much fat, to much salt and so forth.

In a culture that celebrates perpetual youth, where people in their thirties are still behaving as an eighteen year old student might, one where war hasn't been seen for generations and famine for longer still death has become the ultimate obscenity and something we keep out of sight as much as possible.

We don't want reminders of our own mortality imposed upon us as we go about our daily business so hearses are discreet.

And when contemplating mortality does become unavoidable - well maybe we can hand it over to politicians to lead us in our collective expressions of grief

Related: The Banality of Everything

via Crusader Rabbit

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Post Election Interview with the Conservative Party’s Colin Craig

I thought, having covered the Conservative Party launch BBQ, that I would do a post-election interview with the party leader Colin Craig. I did this and found him to be very pleased with the election result. Sure the party would have liked to make it into parliament, but they showed that they have far more support than four of the parties who did make it in.

Craig stated, “with our result we passed the creditably hurdle,” and for a party that was only four months old they did have something to prove. Where other minor parties were created and headed by ex-MPs from already established parties the Conservative party lacked such a pedigree, which lead to many seeing them as a wasted vote. Yet now, although they did not get in this time, some political commentators have said post-election there is a voter base and room for the Conservatives on the right. With the seeming decline of the ACT party the Conservatives might be a rising power in New Zealand politics.

Discussing the points of the 2011 election Craig highlighted that it was an interesting election. The Rugby World Cup added an extra dimension of “interesting” effectively taking 2 months off the traditional 3-month campaign period. According to Craig the party knew it was going to be a quick and shallow election.

I discussed with Craig the Horizon Polls giving the Conservatives 5.2%, which the party championed but which most commentators rubbished. Given the promotional value of this figure one could forgive the Conservative party for talking up its chances. And although it proved inaccurate once you look at all the polls they all missed the final result of 2.8% by quite a margin. Ipredict reported 1.7%, Digipoll 1.3%, and Roy Morgan and Fairfax failed to rate them at all.

Without such inaccurate poll results, neglect from the media or fear mongering that National might not garner enough support, one has to wonder if an additional 2.2%+ might have voted Conservative. However many may have been afraid of wasting their vote so went for National, ACT or NZ First. One has to wonder if the Horizon poll was in fact a good indicator of the Conservative Party’s true support.

The Future

Our discussion turned to the future of the Conservative Party and what’s install for the next 3 years. “Look what we did in three months, imagine what we can do in three years” stated Craig. “With all the craziness of the election we did not have time to process all the membership forms, we stopped counting after 2000.” He went on to say the party estimates the figure is closer to 3000 and they are on track to replace the Greens as the third largest political party in terms of membership.

“Over the next 3 years we will be focusing on building the party in terms of organisation, structure, members and support” said Craig. He said the Party expects next time round they will take votes off National and ACT, although I asked do they believe they can cut into Labour voters? “Oh yes, many working families that support Labour are socially conservative and would be attracted to the Conservative Party”. I asked if this especially included Pacific Island voters who opposed the legalisation of prostitution, civil unions, anti-smacking etc, which Labour passed. “Yes and no,” he said highlighting that support was mainly likely to come from young Pacific Islanders who are “up and coming educated professionals” rather than older ones who would be set in their ways politically.

Although the Conservatives identify as Centre-Right on the political spectrum, they are the only party on the right who might be able to tap into Labour’s base. The Conservatives are big on family issues, especially family support. Perhaps that’s enough to draw support from socially conservative working class families?

I asked whether there were plans for a youth wing, to which I received the reply “Yes eventually. Many of our young members have called for it although we have no immediate plans.”

Regarding the party’s future and the review of MMP I asked whether the party would be seeking to get the 5% threshold changed. “Yes we will”, although he believed they could still make it if the threshold remains unchanged. Craig pointed out that when MMP was being introduced the Royal Commission proposed a 4% threshold. The major parties raising it to 5% has had a massive effect on New Zealand politics. The Christian Coalition in 1996 and NZ First in 2008 both got over 4% but failed to reach the 5% required to get into parliament. “If the Royal Commission suggested 4%, that’s what they should have gone with.” I then asked should there be a threshold at all? Indeed if a party gets enough for a single seat should that not be enough? In Craig’s personal opinion the threshold should be 2% as that allows for more small parties but would prevent fringe parties getting in and being disruptive to the political process. “Look how hard it was for some parties to get 1%.”
A pressing question I had was that as many political parties support or co-sponsor political parties in local body elections, would the Conservative party be venturing into local government? The answer was they are definitely looking to, but first only in Auckland. This is because Craig has a profile in Auckland since the mayoral election, the party believes the split focus between running a nationwide campaign and an electoral seat hurt the Rodney campaign, and in my opinion at this point in time they don’t want to spread themselves too thin trying to co-ordinate a nationwide effort. But perhaps most significantly Auckland has taken on a newfound strategic importance politically since the Christchurch earthquake. Although Auckland is the financial capital of New Zealand, Christchurch was the second biggest city with the economic strategic role as gateway to the South Island. With Christchurch devastated and looking at a long road to recovery only Wellington’s status as the political capital holds a candle to Auckland (although in the recent listing of most liveable cities in the world Auckland came 3rd and Wellington came 13th).

The next Auckland Supercity elections and the 2014 national election will be vitally important in these turbulent times for the long term stability of the nation and its economy in the middle of a global economic crisis.

Some wondered if the Conservative party would survive the 2011 election, or if they would just fizzle out and die. Quite the opposite with the party now gearing up for political battles which will help set the nations course into an uncertain future.

The fact is that things on the rightwing of New Zealand politics are getting stale. National actually lost support this election. ACT has lost its base with their youth wing looking at defecting to a new Liberal Party and United Future and New Zealand First rely on their respective leaders who might not be there next election. Perhaps the Conservatives will inject the new blood needed in New Zealand politics.