No Thursday quiz today . There was mention of a deadline for a column or something the other day, that's probably why. So for all you quiz junkies out there here is my New Zealand Political trivia Quiz by way of compensation. Enjoy
Finally, the Vatican has it's own internet news website .. in English! It's so important, especially when being constantly misrepresented in the media, for any organisation to have it's own media outlet to the world. If only to tell their side of the story. I've added an RSS feed for News.va on to our bottom right side bar. Related link: News.va
New Zealand-raised actress Anna Paquin says she faces a lot of "prejudice" because she's bisexual. Actually nobody really cares, most people are to busy getting on with their all too real non glitzy lives to even notice Anna Paquin's bisexuality. And the only reason it would ever come to their attention is because Anna Paquin herself chooses to blather about it publically this taking the form of an " oh poor me whine " about being prejudiced against. Phhht
It has not been a good week for free speech, not a good week at all. Shout down mode has been the predominant form of public discourse. The adult equivalent of a child sticking his or her fingers in his or her ears - " nya nya nya can't hear you ". Well if it works why not. So it's no real surprise to learn that the Warehouse and Paper Plus have announced that they will not be stocking Ian Wishart's new book . Jubilation in some quarters over this, the tail has wagged the dog. But when it comes down to it what the would be book boycotters have accomplished is a bit of an own goal. The publicity boost for the book has been enormous. I doubt sales will be harmed very much, just the converse in fact, especially since most book sales these days are on-line. Keep your cynicism in check here boy - what you are thinking might have happened probably didn't. Be hilarious if it had though.
The Catholic country of Poland is set to give universal protection to unborn babies from conception after a massive grass roots campaign gathered support for such a measure. They've kept the news from the English-speaking world until now, because the Poles were worried they would be flooded with pro-abort money to oppose their efforts. Now this part is amazing, and goes to show how deeply people in Poland feel about babies being killed: To bring the abortion ban before Parliament under Poland’s political system, the sponsors needed to collect 100,000 signatures within three months. They got 600,000 in two weeks. That's what I mean by massive, 600,000 signatures within 2 weeks! And it's not a fluke, the large majority of Polish people are totally against abortion. A June 3rd survey showed 65% of Poles agreeing that the law “should unconditionally protect the life of all children since conception.” Only 23% supported abortions in cases where unborn children of 24
You may have heard Ian Wishart has written a book about the Kahui case with input from Macsyna King, the twins mother. This has got some anonymous group all worked up "Somebody like this should not be allowed to profit from preaching her perverted view of the horrific events which led to the deaths of the only two children who hadn't already been taken from her by CYF's" according to a facebook site set up to urge a boycott of the book. Just why Macsyna King shouldn't be allowed to put her story into the public domain in this manner is unclear to me. If you are interested in hearing her point of view please feel free to buy the book, if you are not particularly interested - spend your money on something else. It's as simple as that. If you are interested in the point of view of book boycott urgers go read their facebook page . If you think they are probably a dreary bunch (you would be correct) don't bother clicking my link.
In June 2010 the New Zealand public Service had 44,554 employees (full time equivalents). Of these 18,938 were male, 25,605 were female and there was 1 of unknown gender (only one - my we are backward). According to the PSA there is " little difference " in statistics between male and females in terms of sick days. That being 6.8 sick days on average for males per annum compared to 8.4 days for females. Therefore, stay with me here, there would have been 6.8* 18,938=128,778 days lost through male ill health in the public service last year or 352 man years of lost productivity. And for females there would have been 8.6*25,605= 220,203 days lost through female ill health or 603 women years of lost productivity. As an exercise for the reader we leave the calculation of how much smaller the Public Service could be if it only employed males. Aint numbers fun. Postscript : I'm sure it would be ridiculously easy to find a female public servant who had had no time
I have a special interest in anything Tae Kwon Do (TKD), having spent many, many, many hours in my younger days involved in both TKD as a sport and as a martial art. So when an email arrived in my in-box with the story of Johann Landkroon (aged 19) and his desire to get to the ITF World Championships in September, I thought I'd check it out. The email was discussing an AMP scholarship that is up for grabs (AMP - Doing Your Thing ), and the applicants that have been put forward all have made a case for winning a scholarship for various reasons. This email asked for our blog, or a blog author, to endorse Johann and encourage people to vote for him, as he's pretty close to the lead at the moment and there's only about 3 weeks left for a vote to be registered. Now, I personally am going to give Johann my vote, and I'm going to explain why, but I haven't had a good look at the full range of applicants, and their stories and maybe you might want to check them out
Sometime between the 6 th and the 8 th of October 2009 at McCormick & Schmick's restaurant in Washington DC, Alasdair Thompson made "lewd comments" about Helen Kelly's relationship with John Key presumably implying their relationship consisted of something more than just a working relationship. Apparently these comments were directed at Helen Kelly herself but overheard by Maryann Street and the person who told the Herald, I assume, an unnamed " influential business leader, who witnessed the confrontation at a high-powered dinner in Washington DC," and who said last night that she would make a formal complaint to the board of the EMA ." Oh dear, you piss the sisterhood off at your peril .
New York State is the latest to succumb to the absurdity of so called "Gay Marriage ". Of course "Gay Marriage" is an oxymoron, the institution of marriage came about because of the way humans reproduce and the benefits that accrue from the partnership of both parents, one male, the other female in raising the offspring produced from their pairing. The benefits that societies bestowed upon married couples were never a "right". Rather they were a recognition of the fundamental importance of raising the next generation to continue after the present generation has gone and encouragement of the same. Of course the great deceiver Satan hates human fulfillment and happiness and wishes to degrade humanity as much as possible, drag us down into the cesspit and keep us there, perhaps for eternity. He has fooled many, particularly the elites, who unwittingly go along with his agenda as they have in New York State. Still what can we do, we live in a society
Tomorrow in NZ, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ). Normally it would be on a Thursday, but as with many of our important feast days, it has been moved to Sunday. In some countries of the world, such a procession as shown above in Rome would be impossible to do. Therefore, I consider it a great sign of hope that the city of St. Petersburg in Russia will allow the first Corpus Christi procession to take place there since the Russian Revolution.
Image by Bosch Fawstin A great day for freedom today (and freedom of speech). Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been cleared of all charges against him. In case you've been living in a cave, Wilders is the leader of the third largest political party (I believe) in the Netherlands. He has been very critical of Islam and the Islamization of Europe, even to the point of making a short film 'Fitna' that describes what the Koran actually says (quoting exact passages) and quotes by prominent Muslim extremists. He was brought up on charges of hate speech and could have been jailed if found guilty. “I am delighted with this ruling,” Wilders said. “It is a victory, not only for me but for all the Dutch people. Today is a victory for freedom of speech. The Dutch are still allowed to speak critically about islam, and resistance against islamisation is not a crime. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak.” The charges against Geert Wilders were that he had made state
The face of modern feminity taken during a " slut walk march " in Scotland. Attractive aint she? Today New Zealand's gender warriors are about to inflict this travesty upon us . Now if I or rather if a male public figure of some stature were to use the word " slut ", an ugly word, the howls of outrage from these self same gender warriors would reverberate for days - you know it's so. This is left wing in your faceism, both banal and hideously ugly, conceived to promote division and upset within the community. Do you really think that this sort of event really " raises awareness " of anything beyond the vapidity of modern life? I don't.
The mob is circling, they smell blood, they want Alasdair Thompson's head on a pike. They will quite possibly get it . I heard him on the radio yesterday, heard what he said and knew then that a perfect storm would follow. And it has, his interviews on TV3 last night were disastrous. They were edited of course to make him look as bad as possible but he did loose his cool, a huge mistake in this age of soundbites and twitter. It's all a game really, a little more civilized than it was in medieval times when he would have been pelted with rotten cabbages before possibly being dispatched in gruesome matter but much the same in principle - those who would rule stir up the mob and the mob responds to do their will. I don't suppose it will ever change, human nature being what it is, but I wont play along. This is all about trying to get a piece of left wing grievance legislation passed and if blood must be spilled (metaphorically speaking) along the way so be it.
Liberal lunacy from NPR questioning whether we are seeing the end of gender, a merging of the sexes if you will. What bollocks, almost invariably one of the first things you notice about someone is their gender, the second their age. When my boy was about three we encountered a transgendered female in the mall. "Why is that man dressed like a lady" he said loudly. We were embarrassed of course - " shh shh " we said our faces glowing reddishly. But the truth of the matter lies there, it is almost impossible to hide either your gender or your age. Sure you can disguise it a bit but the middle aged woman dressed as a teenager is instantly recognizable as such. " Mutton dressed as lamb " we used to say disparagingly in my youth. We are acutely good at making these judgments - its inbuilt. Driving in your car if you see a pedestrian walking along the footpath, without thinking you know both their approximate age (within a decade or less) and their gen
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2011 / 12:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Book of Psalms can teach people how to pray and is the “prayer book ‘par excellence,’” Pope Benedict XVI said in his June 22 audience with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. “These inspired songs teach us how to speak to God, expressing ourselves and the whole range of our human experience with words that God himself has given us.” The book of psalms consists of 150 prayers traditionally ascribed to the authorship of King David. The Pope explained that a whole range of human emotions are found in the Pslams, ranging from “joy and suffering” to the “fullness of life to fear of dying.” “In these prayers, the Psalms are manifestations of the soul and faith, in which everyone can recognize and communicate the experience of a special closeness to God to which every man is called,” observed the Pope. The Pope said it was significant that Jewish tradition refers to the Psalter as “Tehillim,” which means “praise” in Hebrew. T
Women get paid less than men because they need to take monthly "sick days" and extra leave, an employers association boss says . Predictable outrage ensues . It'a all a numbers game really, there are plenty of highly paid women in New Zealand, on salaries that would make the average working stiff's eyes water. Take any two groups of people defined however it suits you and compare their average incomes (or any other parameter for that matter) and they will almost certainly differ. So if it suits your agenda to claim that group A is discriminated against and group A's average salary is lower than group B's you are home. We could play the same game for Catholics/Protestants, Atheists/Christians, Brunettes/Blonds and so forth. Whatever takes your fancy - if you wish to agitate a particular group is discriminated against. A sad fact of life is that it is unfair and people are not equal nor treated equally and while women maybe under represented in the hig
A physics professor from Manhatten has been arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Busted for running a prostitution web site. It was just a hobby he claims. Well everybody needs a hobby you just have to choose one that doesn't run you afoul of the law. The police spent six months tracking this fellow down. You might think they have better things to do with their time than spend it hunting down professorial sleazeballs. But then again you might think that physics professors have better thing to engage their minds with than helping johns set themselves up with hookers. Strange old world .
Poor N. She's in Perth and has had a rough week and now a long planned break to visit her sister in Melbourne today is in jeopardy due to a Chilean volcano. Her facebook post about her concerns is my title. It all goes to show how puny we really are in the face of nature. And yet according to the doomsayers it is humanity that is destroying the world - the Herald has an article this a.m. on how we are wrecking the ocean. Doom and Gloom boilerplate, it is worse than we thought and the end is nigh . I reckon life is a challenge for us as individuals and for us as a species. And it throws curveballs, like earthquakes, tornados, volcanic eruptions and personal illness which mess up our plans and which we have to negotiate as best we can. Is the ocean really dieing? I doubt it, nature mocks us and our efforts to tame it. We like to think we are all powerful and in control (and if you are of a certain mindset evil destroyers) but really we are storm tossed and making th
A singularly depressing read from the NYT about a modern family, a three year old boy, his late middle aged single mom and his sperm donor dad. And his dad is involved in his life but finds it wearisome and a chore, takes no joy from his son whatsoever and who calls him "Uncle George" rather than dad or one of its synonyms. A choice quote from the article “Some of the strictures that were used to organize society don’t fit human change and growth,” said Ann Schranz, chairwoman of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, a 10-year-old organization. “What matters to us is the health of relationships, not the form of relationships.” Well call me old fashioned but the relationships described in this article, particularly the Father/Son one which it highlights are not indicative of "health of relationship" to coin a phrase. Anyway here is the article, read it and feel your mood drop: Baby Makes Four, and Complications
Two little girls involved in a kick boxing match. One is seven, the other eight. This is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin but my question is don't we really value femininity anymore? Anyway if you read the story you will find that the eight year old, at least, wasn't that enamoured by the experience and was pushed into it by her kick boxing father. It's all very sad: Fury as girls, aged 7 and 8, fight it out in kick-boxing bout for £70 prize money in Australia .
And did those feet in ancient time. Walk upon England's mountains green: And was the holy Lamb of God, On Englands pleasant pastures seen! William Blake One Trevor Phillips who is Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in England reckons English Christians practice a faith " incompatible with modern society " . He also said "Muslim communities in this country are doing their damnedest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they're doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy. "The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian." He goes on to accuse Christians of picking fights over homosexuality for politcal ends . As reported his interview with the Telegraph seems to be a muddled inconsist
In this misguided The Economist article , they attempt to equate the similarities between Mother Theresa and Lady Gaga in the sense of leadership. They start off with a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the obvious differences. This took them one paragraph. Then they made their comparisons over the similarities. And no sooner had they started than they tripped up. Yet the differences between the two women may matter less than their similarities. Both are venerated. Mother Teresa built her Missionaries of Charity from nothing into a global operation with fingers in over 100 countries. Lady Gaga is forecast to earn over $100m in 2011 and may soon outstrip supergroups like U2. Hmmm, methinks they are taking much liberty with the adjective “venerated”. One built a charity organisation for others; the other made a lot of money for herself. Not sure this is much of a similarity. They then continue to say that both are role models for corporate leaders as both have books written about them. Ag
"Is marriage over?" asks today's front page of the Dominion Post. Followed by an article detailing a record low number of marriages last year, and a justification of why people don't need to get married. "Marriage is thought of a lot like having kids these days. People think long and hard about whether they want to be tied down by it all. A lot of people put marriage in the 'too hard' basket." Indeed. Many children in classrooms across the country only have a mother at home to look after them. Child raising used to be the domain of two committed married parents, now it's increasingly done by single women, supported by the taxpayer. Lack of commitment leads to increases in family break up, yet how many realise that? And now a beautiful message from Pope Benedict XVI to families: Related link: Number of weddings falls to all-time low
Some things are just naturally explosive. A Catholic school boy is upset that he can't take his older male friend as a date to the St Patrick's school ball. He writes about it on his Facebook page, and then quick as a flash, the story makes it to the Dominion Post on Wednesday, took over NewsTalk ZB's Wellington talk-back in the morning, and was taken up by Gay NZ, who saw this as a means to force Catholic schools to bend on their religious obligations to the students who attend. One of the problems here is that the Catholic school is not strongly putting forward the Catholic position on same-sex dating. Their reasons for not allowing an older boy to attend seem to obscure the issue at hand. The debate began when Malcolm was told by St Pat's Rector Father Paul Martin that if he wanted to attend, he had to bring a girl, which Malcolm and Keith saw as a homophobic school policy. St Pat's Fr Martin denied homophobic intentions and said that the ball was for th
Vatican City, Jun 15, 2011 / 01:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- “When God disappears, man falls into the slavery of idolatry,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the June 15 General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. This phenomenon, he said, is clearly “shown by the totalitarian regimes of our time and with various forms of nihilism, which make man dependent on idols and idolatry, which enslave.” The Pope said that this “seduction” of “the illusion of being able to ‘serve two masters’” has been a “constant temptation to believers” throughout salvation history. To make his case, Pope Benedict drew upon the Old Testament story of the prophet Elijah. He lived in the kingdom of Israel in the 9th century B.C. , during a time of famine. As a result, King Ahab and most people worshiped both God and the idol Baal who, they believed, brought life and fertility to both humanity and nature. “While claiming to follow the Lord, God, invisible and mysterious, people also sought safety in a god who was understa
Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self. The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself. Everyone wants pleasure. More deeply, everyone wants happiness. Most deeply, everyone wants joy. Freud says that spiritual joy is a substitute for physical pleasure. People become saints out of sexual frustrations. This is exactly the opposite of the truth. St. Thomas Aquinas says, "No man can live without joy. That is why one deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures." Sanctity is never a substitute for sex, but sex is often a substitute for sanctity. Read more: Joy - PETER KREEFT
Sunday morning, the feast of Pentecost, after the recitation of the Regina Caeli from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI entrusted the cause of world peace to the intercession of those who "gave their lives in the name of Christ in concentration camps. " He did so by recalling the testimony of the young priest and German martyr Alois Andritzki, who was killed by the Nazis in 1943 in the Dachau concentration camp, and who is to be declared Blessed tomorrow in Dresden. "May the Holy Spirit inspire courageous resolutions for peace," Prayed Pope Benedict, "and support the work to continue, so that dialogue may prevail over arms and respect for human dignity over partisan interests... In the last week or so, I've been having an argument over at Crusader Rabbit's* on the Church's role in WW2. Believe or not, there people that believe that the Church teamed up with the Nazis to exterminate the Jews. Nothing
[Update] The last sentence seems to have been removed from below the image now. Thanks to whoever listened to my complaint. That's right; according to whoever writes the copy over at Yahoo! New Zealand, Sarah Palin is "evil". The screenshot is from an article that appeared today that shows photos of movie stars who resemble each other. In the comment under Sarah Palin (and Tina Fey, who resembles Palin and plays her on Saturday Night Live), it says - Poor Tina - there's something painful about resembling someone so evil Since when has Sarah Palin been "evil"? Perhaps the liberal writer is referring to the stitch-up by the Leftist media in the US who tried to blame the shooting of politician Gabrielle Giffords on Palin, because, well.. they could. They made a story up out of whole cloth based on the flimsiest of reasons, and they still do to this day. They can't stand Palin because they're afraid of her. I'd like someone to point out any
After years of buying paper books from Amazon, and paying about US$6 per book for delivery on top of the cost of the book, I finally decided that being able to read the at a slightly lower cost on an electronic book reading device was a good idea. So I bought a Kindle. Ordered it on Saturday, it arrived yesterday. I thought I'd go with the Wi-Fi Kindle as it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the 3G. The International version of the Kindle ships without the mains charger, but you do get a connector to your PC and it charges from there. After transferring a number of PDFs from my computer onto it yesterday (it acts just like a harddrive), I bought two Kindle books from Amazon. Fatima for Today was also a big part of the inspiration to buy the Kindle. I'd read a few interviews with the author and realised that I was handicapping myself by not being able to get hold of these sorts of books easily. It would be far better to read more books than have the paper copies.
As reported in the New York Times in 1942, Mgr Fulton Sheen publicly predicted the death of Adolf Hitler by suicide, three years before the event. In 1942, Fulton Sheen Predicted the Suicide of Adolf Hitler Fulton Sheen eventually became an Archbishop, has since died and the cause for his recognition of sainthood was presented to the Vatican last month . Here's Fulton Sheen talking about the war between the flesh and the spirit, as he appeared on American TV in 1957. Awesome, awesome talk.
Over the past few years, Anton LaVey and his book The Satanic Bible has grown increasingly popular, selling thousands of new copies. His impact has been especially pronounced in our nation’s capital. One U.S. senator has publicly confessed to being a fan of the The Satanic Bible while another calls it his “foundation book.” On the other side of Congress, a representative speaks highly of LaVey and recommends that his staffers read the book. A leading radio host called LaVey “brilliant” and quotations from the The Satanic Bible can be glimpsed on placards at political rallies. More recently, a respected theologian dared to criticize the founder of the Church of Satan in the pages of a religious and cultural journal and was roundly criticized by dozens of fellow Christians. Surprisingly little concern, much less outrage, has erupted over this phenomenon. Shouldn’t we be appalled by the ascendancy of this evangelist of anti-Christian philosophy? Shouldn’t we all—especially we Christia
Two Sundays ago, I had to rescue Jesus. The readings were Acts 8: 5 – 8, 14 – 1, Psalms 66: 1 – 7, 16, 20, 7, 1 Peter 3: 15 – 18 and John 14: 15 – 21. The last two in particular were about reverencing Jesus and about if we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. Not specifically about needing to rescue Him, more about love of Him and what we are to do. This love of the Lord really struck me more forcefully that Sunday, especially after my retreat of the weekend before. A strange thing happened during Holy Communion time. A woman dressed in a Little Bo Peep costume tried to enter the line while holding a toy devil's pitchfork. One man (I know him to be a very devout and old-fashioned Catholic) took it upon himself to prevent this woman from moving up the line while holding this pitchfork. She took exception to him grabbing her toy and protested in a very loud voice. I had just received Communion myself, but as can quite often happen, I was off in a little world of my
Sad - by a two to one majority the Court of Appeal has ruled the unborn do not have a right to life. Unborn have no right to life, Court of Appeal rules . The leftist's holiest sacrament devoted to death is safe for now.