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Showing posts from April, 2011

What a bunch of self serving creeps

The ACT Party is becoming more repulsive by the minute. In particular the move to relieve Rodney Hyde of his Ministerial portfolios is particularly repellent. Every single ACT MP, with the exception of one, is not there because they were able to win a seat on their own merits. Rather they owe their place in Parliament due to the arcane rules of our system of MMP and rode into Parliament on Rodney Hide's coat tails. The owe their place at the trough seat to Rodney Hide's winning of Epsom. And now to further their own ambition they have dumped on him in a most unseemly fashion. What this pitiful bunch don't get is there is a lot more to running a country than just economics. It's important for sure but it's not the be all and end all. Not that I trust this bunch of clowns to get the economics right, given their current behavior I wouldn't trust them with anything. If I were John Key I'd put as much distance as possible between National and ACT as I

Friday night free for all

Feeling up Miss USA

Was I at my gynecologist’s office? No! This was crazy! Life in the United States of Barack Obama. Instead of targeting the real threats to Airline Security, that is primarily young men of Middle Eastern and North African descent, they do "enhanced patdowns" of little old old ladies and children. In plain speech as opposed to bureaucratise this means body searches. And now they are getting overly intimate with beauty queens .

From the department of how absurd

Simon Ledger, an English pub singer found himself on the wrong side of the Law for singing the perennial old disco favorite "Kung Fu Fighting" in a bar. Well fair enough, I hear you say, that's a dreadful old song that should have been put out of its misery years ago. It's an affront to the ears. But hold your horses, just a second, the reason why Simon Ledger found himself being grilled by the police is that a passing Chinese gentleman took offense believing the song to be a racial taunt directed at his person. And the police instead of sending the complainant away with a flea in his ear about wasting police time and hardening up and the like arrested Simon Ledger. You'll be pleased to know according to the BBC Hampshire Police said Mr Ledger was questioned on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress, but released because there was not enough evidence to prove a criminal offence had been committed Not enough evidence prove a criminal offenc

How to engender trust in politics

I've just been listening to the interviews on NewsTalkZB, first with ousted leader of ACT, Rodney Hide and then the ouster, his "friend", Don Brash. I could hear in Larry Williams' voice a difficulty in believing Don Brash that he didn't regret anything in the way he took over his friend's job. Why would I, asked Don? What is going on in the background, it looks to me like a game of chess is in play, and the results need to be sold to the country. We are now going to forget how Don Brash became leader of ACT, how he betrayed his friend, and vote for him as the best man to "give National a spine".

Anglicans in Oz have gone over to the dark side

Anglicans lead the way back in the 1930's in removing Christian objections to contraception, now they are hopping onto the population growth bogeyman. God's commands to be fruitful and multiply is well truly being thrown out. The church's key advisory group wants the Gillard Government to get rid of incentives that increase the birth rate and also called for a cut to immigration. In a submission to a federal population inquiry, the General Synod's public affairs commission described population growth as a taboo subject and the "elephant in the room". The commission wanted a halt to "any policy that provides an incentive to increase population , notably the baby bonus". Besides wanting the Australian population to stop growing and immigration to drop, the Anglicans also would like the Aussie Government to increase their refugee intake. Probably of the type of people who have multiple wives, very large families and need to be supported by the

When in rome

"Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi" Literal translation: "If you are in Rome, live in the Roman way; if you are elsewhere, live as they do there" St Ambrose said this to St Augustine, when the latter questioned him about the differences in religious practices between Milan, where St Ambrose was Bishop, and Rome. St Augustine of course was North African and was eventually baptized by St Ambrose. In any case Stargazer at the Hand Mirror takes exception to the modern paraphrase of this ancient saying - "When in Rome do as the Romans do" and transforms it to: when in rome... do whatever you damn well please! Of course most of us conform to other peoples customs when visiting them, it is a matter of common courtesy - even for Prime Ministers.

Will this end the silliness?

To your left you will see the famous long form of Barack Obama's birth certificate as released by the man himself. You may click on the image to go to the White House's PDF of this document. There is only one mystery here, why didn't the man release this years ago? The only thing I can think of is that it faux issue that has provided a distraction from the very real issues that surround President Obama's Presidency. Could he be that cunning? Anyway now that it is out, will the birthers move on to something else? I eagerly await the next exciting installment.

Interview with George W. Bush where he says he saw God in the Pope's eyes

I've been finding how various world leaders react to the Pope a real test of their character.

Human beings are very easily led astray

What have the Tea Party and the Church of Satan got in common? Answer: the sinister Ayn Rand I do find it odd that Tea Partiers are getting into Rand, a woman who is so obviously immoral and destructive that it would be better to run, run, run far away from her writings than to read them for inspiration. But then it just goes to show that human beings, left to their own devices, are very easily led astray.

Middle Eastern Flash Mob

Not a pretty picture

This was taken in England at a football game on Monday. If you follow this link there are more of the same incident. What is amazing about this is that the Football player, Bury goalkeeper Cameron Belford, did not retaliate. He got an unprovoked smack in the head and kept his cool. And you would have to wonder how and why? It's highly probable that Mr Belford could have put this young thug on the deck, leaving him the worse for wear, if he chose to do so and yet he didn't. Is this because in PC-ified Britain if he had done so it would have rebounded upon him in a negative way? Or is this a case of turning the other cheek?

Leave your religion at the door, please

Dmitry Medvedev and Svetlana Medvedeva with Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Putina during Easter Vigil at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Easter 2011 Here's a mighty fine picture, taken over the weekend. The irony is, of course that for a large part of my life no Russian or Eastern European leader would allow him or herself to be in anyway associated with the Church. Now they all do. Here is an article from Serbia lamenting: They go to church only when cameras are there . The English is poor but the cynicism of the writer comes through. Politicians are the same the world over - no, when a photo opportunity presents..... But what else it shows is the Church is an institution that still has a place in public discourse. In places where it was suppressed for many years it is now important to show your support, unlike here, where it is almost completely marginalized. Whether that is a good thing or not is in the eyes of the beholder I suppose.

Yesterday's Man

Don Brash had his chance and he blew it. End of story. I reckon this leadership bid of his is the nail in the coffin for Act whichever way it goes. Perhaps that was the game plan all along. I could be wrong of course but I just can't take Act seriously anymore.

Names on a wall

It is or was Anzac day today, being as it is a half holiday I'm not sure whether it still is. When I was little Anzac days were subject to disruptors. On the TV news, Anzac Day ceremonies would lead and the noisemakers would get a lot of focus. They didn't honor the dead and it disturbed me then, and it still does now. Ironically some of these loud people later became establishment figures, Members of Parliament and even cabinet minsters. By then of course they wouldn't be disrupting Anzac Day services anymore but attend with serious faces wearing the obligatory poppy. Luckily for these characters the internet wayback machine doesn't go that far back so they are safe from embarrassing exposure, unlike the upcoming facebook generation who will never escape the sins of their mis-spent youth. In any case Homepaddock has a post. " They also served " about ten nurses who died in 1915 when their ship was torpedoed. A post that remembers some of the dead.

Strange, funny and cringeworthy all at the same time

Subtext: we don't like what you're doing, but we love you and are going to vote for you anyway (and give you our dollars for your campaign to tell you this.)

Good Friday Night Free For All

For those who need to chat. I spent this afternoon watching The Passion of the Christ - to the end this time. I'm very squeamish and can't handle watching anyone get tortured, so the first time around was watched in bits, but only to the start of the climb up to Golgotha. Last year, I managed to watch it all at once, but only to both hands being nailed. By the time it got to the feet, I couldn't bear it any more. This time, I just didn't look at that bit, and got through it. For me, that movie is a real journey with Christ. Every time I learn a lot through watching it as well. For instance, today I was struck very strongly by the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus saying to love those who hate you. It is only ever possible to do that freely, not out of obligation. Because if it's out of obligation, then there is no love. So it requires a step beyond wanting to do what is right to do good, to wanting to love for love's sake. To do the latter is the t

Don't let us lose our faith

<p><p><p><p><p><a href="">VIDEO: Pope warns of falling faith in West</a></p></p&amp

The humorless left

Conservative students at the University of Iowa decided to have a "Conservative coming out week". They wrote I know at times it feels like you are the only person that disagrees with this liberal town, but you are not alone! We are asking all Republicans, Independents leaning right, or just anyone slightly frustrated with the current one party controlling every level of Johnson County, and some levels of Iowa and U.S. government to STAND UP! Conservative Coming Out Week will be April 18th - April 22nd. Here is the schedule of events that will be going on throughout the week. Amongst the events planned for this week Thursday: Red vs Blue games! Beat the UDems in kickball and flag football from 4-6 in Hubbard Park. Wear your respective political parties color! Stick around for a Animal Rights BBQ at 6 p.m. Anyway a Professor, one Ellen Lewin, at the University went of the deep end and fired off an offensive response - storm in a teacup stuff so far. She later responde

Too depressing for words

I guess you have all heard about that lady from Wellington now languishing in a Buenos Aires jail. If not you can catch up with her tale of woe here . It truly is a wicked world out there - and there is no shortage of parasites to prey upon the vulnerable, and that is what appears to have happened in this case. Why are people so trusting of people they have never met in person? Beats me - sometimes it is greed that draws people in the chance for an easy buck. And they end up being suckered, caught out by their willingness to engage in something morally or legally dubious in order to make easy dollars. Victims of their own avarice. But for this lady it sounds like it was a desperate loneliness that blinded her to the obvious. And that makes me feel incredibly sad.

Gravitational forces and God

I love reading anything written by Pope Benedict XVI. My favourite book is Jesus of Nazarath written by him a couple of years back. I remember after reading it for the first time a couple of years back, how harsh other books seemed in comparison. During all my years outside of the Church, the few times I really felt the Divine calling me back was in the way the Holy Father brings up in his Palm Sunday sermon. God uses the subtlety of gravity to guide the lost sheep back into the fold. His touch is light, but persistent if we listen to it. The Fathers of the Church maintained that human beings stand at the point of intersection between two gravitational fields. First, there is the force of gravity which pulls us down – towards selfishness, falsehood and evil; the gravity which diminishes us and distances us from the heights of God. On the other hand there is the gravitational force of God’s love: the fact that we are loved by God and respond in love attracts us upwards. Man find

What is it with teens attacking younger kids?

Yesterday's story of a larger group of older teenagers attacking 12-13 year olds at a Hamilton movie theatre, while staff did nothing, horrifies me. A group of 12- and 13-year-olds were left bloody, bruised and shaken after an unprovoked attack inside a Hastings cinema earlier this month. A group of eight Hastings Intermediate children were at Reading Cinemas on Heretaunga St when about a dozen older teens, believed to be aged between 15 and 17, attacked them - breaking one girl's nose and leaving others with black eyes and bruised faces. The cinema staff couldn't even keep the older teens from running off, as they were long gone by the time the police got there. ... security footage of the attack was "disturbing". "One girl had been really badly punched and thrown on the ground and kicked and kicked. "Then they left but actually ran back to kick her again," ... I don't know what to say. Related link: Girl's nose broken in cin

They are going to do what to these children?

A: They are going to block the onset of puberty starting at the age of twelve. Q: But why? A: These children have a rare disorder called Gender Identity Disorder or GID. This means that their body is a different sex from what they think it should be. Q: But why delay puberty? A: Apparently maturing as the wrong gender is traumatic and there will be less to cut off if they decide to have a sex change when they are old enough to legally have one. Q: Is this for real? A: I'm afraid so .

You might think they would have better things to worry about

From the city that got itself all snarled up over a missing H comes another storm in a teacup . This time it is new Mayor Annette Main questioning whether it is appropriate to mention GOD in the Council's opening prayer and whether it should be ended with an AMEN. It would seem that once upon a time the city with the missing H started each council meeting with the Lord's Prayer, a venerable tradition in many places. But since some sensitive souls found this reference to Christian culture offensive this new prayer was adopted Eternal God, source of all wisdom; As we reflect upon all those good things that we enjoy in this city and district, help us to make and keep our community a good place to be for all who live and work here. Grant that through our deliberations and decisions we will provide wise and positive leadership, seeking to solve problems effectively and justly, so that with courage and compassion, vision and energy, we may instil in our community aroha and


First Monday of the school holidays and immediately a cold, wet snap right on cue. But it is also Great and Holy Monday, we are in Holy week, with all its traditions. As mentioned in my previous post, one of those traditions 1 are news stories and documentaries with "new discoveries" which might appear to cast doubt upon the traditional Easter Narrative. Was it last year that the tomb of Jesus, complete with body was discovered or was it the year before? It's hard to keep track at times - but whenever it was in the cold light of day the story fell apart quite soon after Easter had past probably before Pentecost. Yesterday Palm Sundays Gospel 2 reading was John 12:1-18 . This reading contains this passage 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, w

TVNZ plays the game

Palm Sunday today, and Holy week to follow leading up the the Greatest of Christian Feasts Pascha or Easter. And every year at this time there is a plethora of finds and documentaries casting "doubt" upon the events celebrated at this time. One such documentary is " Jesus: The Cold Case " funded by New Zealand on Air and made by Kiwi documentary maker Bryan Bruce. Now TVNZ in their wisdom will not be screening this program at the optimum time according to Mr Bruce's agenda, this would be Good Friday of course. They have decided to sit on it until later in the year. Whether this is a matter of respecting Christian sensitivities or just a matter of programming schedules (as claimed) is ambiguous but it is a good move on TVNZ's behalf. The film will be shown but not at a time when it could cause the greatest offense. Mr Bruce will be livestreaming it on the internet on Good Friday but this stream will not be available in New Zealand, not that that


The Culture Vulture has a very cool clip of a great guitar solo in the style of Trance music. I thought I'd return the favour of great guitar solos with this absolute experience by Tommy Emmanuel - an aboriginal story of a boy's journey to manhood, as told from white fella to black fella. If it's not your thing, try to hang in there for at least 4 minutes. If you thought it was worth it, please leave a comment. I've seen Tommy Emmanuel perform this live twice, and both times were simply incredible. I still remember with clarity the time I first saw this performance, and was gob-smacked. It was a clear sky, perfect kind of day that Sydney is used to, and I was with friends at an open air concert in the Sydney botanical gardens, and life was very good. In amongst the relaxed crowds doing their thing, with half an ear to the talent, this! I can't give you that atmosphere, but here's a strong hint. Enjoy, and in the words of Tommy - "Don't be s

The faces of modern femininity and parental conservatism

A few months ago a senior Russian Priest, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, made the comment that there should a national dress code for that nation. Here is the BBC's sniffy (and inaccurate) take on what he said. This is not the post for fisking that - that you know it exists is enough for now A few days ago our friend David Farrar ran a post lamenting that the State Duma in the Russian Federation (the lower house) has introduced dress standards banning amongst other things mini skirts for members and employees of that august body. You can read that post Nooooooooo here. Now DPF of course has no children, let alone daughters, I on the other hand have three daughters and like everyone with experience with daughters I have said, or my wife has said at some time or other "you can't go out looking like that"! Indeed the level where this phrase is likely to be employed by myself is substantially lower than that of my wife. Win some loose some I guess. But femininity

Sexual union is an image of union with God

In short, by God's design in creating us, we are hardwired for the spiritual marriage, for becoming one with God; that's why we are so thrilled at becoming one with each other, as the images of God. As we are images of God, the sexual union is an image of union with God. It is an appetizer of Heaven, a faint image of the Beatific Vision. Sex is close to religion because the ultimate end and center and point of all true religion is a spiritual marriage to God. That's what we are designed for, that's the only thing that will keep us in unbored ecstasy for ever. That's what the Bible says. The last event in human history, at the end of the Apocalypse, is the marriage between the Lamb and His bride, Christ and His Church, God and man. That's the end, point, purpose, highest value, greatest good, meaning, consummation and perfection of human life. Why is sex such a thrill? Because it's one of the few things in life that's like that. It's literally a

Earth Day Network tells Catholic Priests to preach about Earth Day on Easter Sunday

In the US, the Earth Day Network, backed by people such as Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio, have sent letters to American Catholic priests suggesting that they devote Easter Sunday to preaching about Earth Day. The presenter of the following You-Tube clip, Michael Voris, is outraged and calls it a "paganising of the Faith". Michael Voris does get a little extreme in demanding that Catholics leave their parishes if the priest preaches a such a sermon on Easter Sunday. For some of us, there would be nowhere else to go if we did this. I have had my Sunday Mass paganised by my Archbishop just recently, by having Maori spiritual elements included. Fortunately, he was only visiting, and we are back to the minor abuses that are somewhat bearable. And when I've prayed directly to Our Lord about them, the immediate response was to forgive them, for they know not what they do. So, my suggestion is that each person talk to or write a letter to their priest instead.  If y

New Guinea comes to New Plymouth

Is that a silver bogie? Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look to your left you will see a fine example of New Zealand femininity on display. Lovely aint she? Apparently this look is now acceptable at New Plymouth Girls' High School . Well there's an advance in civilization for you, our adoption and acceptance of the bodily mutilations common amongst New Guinea tribesman savages. I originally wrote some very harsh things here but the silly little girl in the picture is just that - a silly little girl and we were all young and foolish once. Of course in those days we had adults to help steer us in the right direction, parents, school teachers, priests and so forth. Something that is clearly lacking in these enlightened times.

Pulling the plug on the internet

Can this Government get any worse? Probably. A bill that could see internet users have their access cut off if they repeatedly share copyright material has been passed by Parliament. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which aims to stamp out internet piracy, passed by 111 votes to 11 this morning. It was supported by all parties except the Greens and independent MPs Chris Carter and Hone Harawira. It makes me wonder if malicious targeting of problematic individuals to the Government could occur by simply pointing out that what I've posted above is a breach of copyright. Very, very worrying. Related link: Controversial internet file sharing law passed

The man who did more to damage the environment than anybody before or since

Do you know how the man on the right was? No? He is not a household name. But according to environmental historian J.R. McNeil he had a greater impact on the environment than any other single organism in world history, he means this in a bad way. The man's name is Thomas Midgley, Jr and he was one of the most celebrated Chemists of the early 20 th century, winning many prizes and awards for his work. It was Thomas Midgley, Jr working for General Motors in 1921 who discovered the addition of Tetra-ethyl lead to petrol prevent engine knocking, a great advance which improved engine performance and wear. American Chemical Society awarded Midgley the 1923 Nichols Medal for this. And of course until comparatively recently lead was added to petrol and most cars required it. Of course this added lead to the environment (bad) and we have moved on from this. In the late 1920s Thomas Midgley, Jr turned his attention to refrigerants. At that time some fairly nasty chemicals such

Those with real Catholic beliefs in Parliament need to step up

[...] the idea that the “separation of Church and state” should force us to exclude our religious beliefs from guiding our political behavior makes no sense at all, even superficially. If we don’t remain true in our public actions to what we claim to believe in our personal lives, then we only deceive ourselves. Because God certainly isn’t fooled. He sees who and what we are. God sees that our duplicity is really a kind of cowardice, and our lack of courage does a lot more damage than simply wounding our own integrity. It also saps the courage of other good people who really do try to publicly witness what they believe. And that compounds a sin of dishonesty with a sin of injustice. Related link: Politics and the Devil ~ Public Discourse

Burqa ban in France is a backward step

In an effort to reign in Islam in France, the French have made burqa wearing in public illegal. Burqa wearing women have been arrested. No burqa wearing men have been likewise taken back to the station, because men don't wear the burqa. Not unless they are pretending to be a woman in order to blow stuff up, that is. But I digress. I think this sort of law is typical of impotent modern western governments. They don't actually go after the real problem, they instead go after the easy fringe of the of problem. Women are easy targets. The burqa wearers are immediately identifiable. In Islamic countries, women are very much restricted from being able to move around freely. The same will most likely happen in France to the burqa wearing women. They just won't go out and therefore will become trapped in their homes. A far more serious problem in France is the takeover of the streets by men Islamic men praying. There is no requirement in Islam for the prayer to be p

I wonder what our grandparents would have made of this?

Justice Minister Simon Power is fast tracking new legislation creating some new offenses through Parliament. The changes were originally intended to fall under a wider reform of the Crimes Act, but Power said he did not want to wait . Why? One of the new offenses is to sexually groom a constable posing as a young person Can you imagine trying to explain what this offense is to a world war 2 veteran just back from overseas? And when he had digested why this law was deemed necessary he may have thought,"is this the really world I was helping to create as I fought my way up through the mud of Italian Peninsula". Actually I am a tad uncomfortable with this new offense - I know there are scuzzbags who use social media to try and seduce young people but having constables posing as a young person in order to catch these scuzzbags smells of entrapment. My guess is most young people are way too smart to be taken in by these creeps and most of the conversations are creep t

So how many "openly" Catholic MPs are there?

I can think of three current Catholic MPs, one of whom has voted against the Churches teaching in recent times. There may be others even more circumspect in this aspect of their lives. If so do they do they consider their Catholcism a political liability? None of them are particularly overt in displaying their Catholic identity in public life, there is no Catholic Caucus as far as I know and yet around about 12.5% of the population identify as Catholic, how deeply varies of course from the Traditionals for whom Catholicism is the central feature of theirs and their family lives, through to the nominal, seen in Church at Christmas and Easter and in some cases not even then, with all shades between Perhaps those MPs who are Catholic need to stand up and be counted and "come out of the closet" to coin a phrase. And not only the Catholics, practicing Christians of all stripes should do the same. Not only would this be beneficial for those of us choosing how to cast our v

Mandarin and Latin

Remember John Key proclaiming that more NZ pupils are learning Mandarin than Latin ? Well, this whole push for Mandarin seems to be occurring in Britain as well, causing a push-back from those of us who believe that Latin is far more important. The latest article to highlight why learning Latin is essential for English language speakers digs up a study that shows how children's English skills increase after a year of learning Latin. For chapter and verse on this, I recommend a 1979 paper by an educationalist called Nancy Mavrogenes that appeared in the academic journal Phi Delta Kappan. Summarising one influential American study carried out in the state of Iowa, she writes: “In 1971, more than 4,000 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade pupils of all backgrounds and abilities received 15 to 20 minutes of daily Latin instruction. The performance of the fifth-grade Latin pupils on the vocabulary test of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills was one full year higher than the performance of co

Wall to wall white males versus a gaggle of gays

In the 1950s and 1960s and even into the 1970s when it siphoned many wage-workers off Labour National proclaimed itself, with cause, the national party. Labour, it said, was captive to the unions and therefore sectional. Now it is National which looks sectional: wall to wall white. Last year, out of 600 conference delegates, only about 15 were non-white. Labour's conference, by contrast, is a United Nations of colour and ethnicity. Women and gays are there in numbers and influence. It even has space nowadays for out-of-the-closet, practising Christians. --Colin James, on Labour and National, 2008 . Well, Labour still has its unionists and gaggle of gays, according to one of its less diverse members , Damian O'Connor. The LGBT Community has apparently taken great offense this description. Yet we seem inured to phrases such as "wall to wall whites" and National being described as a party full of middle aged white men, or ... if O'Connor and Nash want to

Just what the Labour Party needs right now

Quote DAMIEN O'CONNOR: "Frankly, I didn't trust the system to give a straight-shooter a fair deal ... It is dominated by self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays." Of course this is what MMP delivers, the party hierarchies decide who gets into parliament rather than the voters. Which is why I'll be voting to get rid of it next November. Update: pop over to Homepaddock and read Ele Ludemann's analysis of this, particularly her observations on the representation heartland New Zealand currently has in Parliament.

Police Action

The police seem to be in the news and making the news at the moment. Firstly, a surprising arrest in the Scott Guy case . No real information on what evidence they are basing the arrest on, and huge downsides if they prove to be mistaken. I don't know what to think, other than the obvious - this is going to be really hard on the Guy family and the family of the accused.  (The accused is the brother-in-law of Scott Guy.) And in the Sunday Star Times today, a poor piece of spin control on the "Cougar" advertisement that was sensibly pulled a while ago, after being not so sensibly shown in the first place. It was an appalling advertisement, and the "article" today followed up with the same level of epic fail. The first mistake was to use the "ends justifies the means" excuse, claiming that the advertising campaign was wildly successful because the Police website got lots of hits. Here's a clue for you Inspector Clouseau - Website hits don&

Saturday Night

I haven't really been feeling chatty until tonight. Probably something to do with a full-on week and just trying to survive it, literally. That day when it was raining quite hard and there were a number of weather related crashes in Wellington, I nearly had a car back into me at my son's high school car park. It was one of those surreal moments when my mind finally comprehended that the car in front of me that was rapidly backing and turning as it went just didn't see me, and the only thing I could do was to put my hands on the horn and keep them there. It took what seemed a very long time to respond to all my honking, so by the time it stopped, it was half a foot away from crashing into my car. My son, who was on the passenger side, and who I stopped from getting out of our car when the car in front accelerated backwards really felt like it was going to crash into his door. It just made me wonder if the driver was young and on a restricted license and didn't k

When Holy days clash

Free Blog Poll On Friday 22 nd of April 2011 two major religious holy days coincide. The first being the ancient Christian holy day - Good Friday. The second being the modern (since 1970) celebration of Gaia - Earth Day. We all have to live through this day and choose how we intend to negotiate it. For Christians at least this is a solemn day of worship and reflection. I'm unsure what the appropriate mood, ritual and ceremony for Earth Day is, not having ever had much to do with it. Perhaps readers can enlighten us in the comments. How will it be for you? Choose your best answer from the poll at the left.

Friday Night Free For All

Another Friday to mark the end of the standard work week. A new financial year for some, so bean counting and reporting back to the government is consuming some people's lives. It is very important to provide the government with a complete picture of all your financial affairs so they can decide if they will give or take a little more tax in payment for services they wish to rend and render. Over where I live, the Council has decided the easiest way to count the drops of water that fall from the sky is to install water meters in every house. At the bargain price of only $7M up front and project blowouts in arrears (all charged back to us), we can help the Council figure out if they can charge even more money. They dress this up as "water saving measures" and "making things fair" and I'm sure soon it will be natural to pay the library only according to the number of words you actually read of a book (after the base lending fee). Very democratic. It&#

What planet are these people from?

A nutty editorial in the Christchurch press from a Canterbury University historian. A natural break from our colonial past On February 22, the city's founding father, John Robert Godley, director of the Canterbury Association, was shaken off his pedestal after 143 years standing in Cathedral Square. A statue of early provincial superintendent William Rolleston fell backwards off its plinth to lie beheaded by the forces of nature. British imperial adventurer Captain Robert Falcon Scott's likeness was also knocked over and is in need of repair. These damaged statues are symbolic of the end of a colonial era in Christchurch. In getting back up, regrouping and rebuilding after the earthquakes, it is important to recognise that the city has literally broken free from the past once and for all. February 22 is our postcolonial moment. And so forth until we arrive at this piece of purple prose The felled Christchurch works of art evoke images of statues of former leaders such as Sa

Oh no Jimmy, no

The world according to Jimmy Carter Former President Jimmy Carter says much of the discrimination and abuse suffered by women around the world is attributable to a belief "that women are inferior in the eyes of God." Carter said such teachings by " leaders in Christianity , Islam and other religions" allow men to beat their wives and deny women their fundamental rights as human beings. So Pope Benedict, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and the Archbishop of Canterbury are all going around promoting ideas that support wife beating and denying women their fundamental rights? I don't think so.

World Health Day - Abortion and the issue of choice

So the blogswarm by pro-choice people want to make abortion a health care issue . Many counter posts have done a good job explaining why choosing an abortion isn't really a question of health care [see links below], and whilst there are cases where a mother's life is at risk from giving birth, those are thankfully quite rare. Actually, giving birth remains a serious health care issue in third world countries but abortion isn't a good "cure" for that sort of issue. The argument for abortion often rests on the idea that it should be a women's choice over what happens with her body. This is a powerful argument, especially in our society which is founded on the notion the individual is the most important unit of society. Indeed, it's the only unit that counts. The family, the community, friends and relations are merely facets of an individual's life in our society, which in turn erodes values such as loyalty, fidelity, tolerance and self-giving.

Culture of Death Blog Swarm v posts for life

There is a blog swarmy thing going on today. Organized by the usual suspects, it is on the topic " Abortion is a health issue not a crime ". Well they are right about the first part - Abortion is a health issue , the most immediate health issue is to the baby, the baby indeed dies ! Abortion the is clearly not good for the babies health and no amount of sophistry such as using the term "fetus" in place of "baby" will obliviate this fact. Did you ever hear an expectant mother say "the fetus is kicking"? You did not. It is always the baby that does the kicking, And indeed each unborn develops his/her own recognizable personality. And abortion is not so good for the mothers health either, in extreme cases she may loose her life, become sterile or become seriously ill. It is only in extremely rare cases the mothers health may benefit from an abortion, Few and far between. And of course many, not all, women who have undergone abortions lat

A Claytons defense

I wasn't going to blog on this, I know more about this case than I can let on but some things need said. Clayton Weatherston is appealing his conviction and claiming he didn't get a fair trial because the defense he used "Provocation" was coming under attack in the media during the time of his trial. If he didn't get a fair trial it was down to his lawyers allowing him to use this defense. What they seemed oblivious to was how outraged the general public (and presumably the jurors) where becoming with Mr Weatherston's attempts to shift the blame for his actions onto his victim. And it should have been obvious to his council that this would be the net result of taking this tack. He is now one of the most loathed people in this country and the defense of provocation is no longer available - it should be in my view. There are factors of the victims behaviour prior to the crime that may be highly relevant to the defense. In fact Clayton Weatherston'

Have photoshop will fiddle

I don't know about you but whenever I get my photo taken for a passport or drivers licence the result is not usually flattering. Usually it comes out like a mug shot, I look like some desperado finally caught with no way out. The other perhaps related effect is the startled rabbit look, a characteristic of my current passport photo. Anyway for school photos some photographers have taken matters into their own hands. Students at Box Hill’s Our Lady of Sion College received their school photos yesterday and to their amazement their photographs had been photoshopped. Some girls had different hairstyles from those they wore the day the pictures were taken, some had had had their ear studs removed and one girl at least had an entirely new pair of ears. The girls and their parents are none too pleased . Just why this happened is a mystery.

Liberals are (unintentionally) funny

You may have heard some "1st century Christian codices" have turned up, supposedly found in Jordan and smuggled to Israel some years ago. It is causing great excitement in the media , less excitement amongst scholars, who having not examined them in detail remain skeptical and in some cases suspect forgery . In any case the Guardian this morning indulges in some speculation and flights of fancy as to what they might contain and the implications for Christianity if so. Of course reading this article reveals a lot about the author and his world view and reveals absolutely nothing about these codices, fake or real.

In Honor of Scam Awareness Week

The Government is promoting Scam Awareness Week ( see post below ). I guess didn't take it too seriously in my last post, well perhaps semi-seriously. To atone for this I would like to alert readers to what is probably the biggest scam being perpetrated on unwitting New Zealanders today. A huge rort on a scale which beggars belief and one we all would do well to be aware of. The greatest confidence trick of our time.

It's scam awareness week

Hey ho - it is another Awareness week. Is there any week that isn't a something Awareness week? Anyway this one is called Scam Awareness Week and it is a Government initiative . People are being urged to be on the lookout for consumer ruses during Scam Awareness Week, which began today. "According to research commissioned by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, New Zealanders greatly underestimate the cost of scams," Consumer Affairs Minister John Boscawen said. "Of 1000 people surveyed, 90 percent believed New Zealanders lose under $300 million a year -- but the cost is closer to $450 million per year." But there is one scam virtually all of us have been subject to and probably isn't included in the list of scams the Government is keen to see shut down. Click here to see what it is Click anywhere on the image to close it

It's an outrage

The concept of developing New Zealand's energy resources , that is. Well only if you listen to Coal Action Network Aotearoa , where do they get these Monty Pythonesque names? Of course those of us with children and a stake in the future actually think developing New Zealand's energy resources is a jolly good idea. It means increased income for the country which means more money for education, housing, roads and health care and so forth, not forgetting gainful employment for more people. All in all a better future for all, if it can be done.

Haven't we learned?

Here's a story that should send shock waves through society, and also a lesson on the need to have principals with principles. A teacher accused of abusing and confining preschoolers has negotiated an exit that does not let her school tell prospective employers about the allegations. The head teacher of the school said she has been in tears after being forced to write in glowing terms about a woman whom she thinks should not be a teacher. So, suddenly, its all right to hide child abusers when it is a State institution? Is this really about justice? Secondly, the head teacher has been told to lie, to perjure herself and participate in a cover-up. Surely, this is where you simply say "I will not lie" and if you get fired for failing to lie, you go to the highest court in the land and lets all find out just how corrupt the government is prepared to be.

Some people are never satisfied

Last week I reported on a whine by one Robyn Toomath about KFC's latest offering. Well she's back at it again, this time because KFC have added grilled chicken to the menu, thus reducing fat content. She should be pleased - but no Fight the Obesity Epidemic spokeswoman Dr Robyn Toomath said, while she applauded the food industry whenever they replaced unhealthy options, she questioned whether KFC was really motivated by offering healthy options to customers. "What they're doing is attracting a bigger market share so that they've got the same number of people eating the unhealthy option plus a new cohort of customers who wouldn't be previously attracted to the restaurant - that's counter-productive." Counter-productive? No - any business in the real world, needs to keep and preferably expand its customer base in order to survive. If they don't then their employees loose their jobs and go to bed hungry. And that is what motivates them. I

Strange (troublesome) news from Afghanistan

I hadn't heard this before now but apparently that loony tunes pastor from Florida who was threatening a bonfire of Korans a few months ago actually burnt one a couple of weeks ago. My guess is the reason why I hadn't heard about it until now is that the news media very sensibly did not give the matter much attention if any. In any case news of this event did somehow find its way to Afghanistan with the consequence four Gurkhas, a Norwegian, a Swede and a Romainian, all working for the UN have lost their lives . What any of these people had to do with nutty Floridian Pastors is a mystery to all. But then logic has never been a strong point of mobs.

Friday night free for all

The Sun has just gone down behind the hill. It is strange to think that this time next week it will have been dark for over an hour. I guess that's just how it is when you let Governments fiddle with the clocks as winter comes on. Anyway chat time - go for it.

Is St Columban's College in Caboolture really Catholic?

I don't think so. A Catholic school at Caboolture has banned a Christian group from holding a meeting at its hall after learning it would feature a US speaker 'set free from homosexuality'. St Columban's College said it had immediately withdrawn permission for the 'Miracle Christian Center' to hold the meeting, saying it was not in line with the 'Catholic Christian ethos of our community'. Very weird. Related link: School bans gay 'delivery' meeting ~ Brisbane Times