Thursday, June 30, 2011

Andrei What - no quiz from Ele?

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.


Lucia New Vatican news website

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 on to our bottom right side bar.

Related link:

Andrei Self absorbed actress whines about facing prejudice

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.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Andrei A Phyric Victory for mindless sheep

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.

Lucia Poland set to give total protection to babies from conception

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 weeks or less were diagnosed with a “serious disease.”

Significantly, 76% of those aged 15 to 24-years-old wanted total protection for the unborn – the most of any age group. The lowest level of support came from the oldest age bracket, 55 to 70 years old, but still with 57% supporting total protection.

Abortion was not initially sold to the population as a human rights issue as it was to countries in the West.  No, it was imposed on Poland by the Nazis, and then continued by the State when Communism took control.

“This project is a chance to finally reject the heritage of Nazism and Communism which brought ‘legal abortion’ to Poland in the first place,” Jacek Sapa of the PRO Foundation told LifeSiteNews. “It was Hitler and Stalin who imposed it on Poles and it’s high time we clearly disassociate ourselves from those deadly ideologies.”


Now wait for the shit to hit the fan.

Related link: EXCLUSIVE: Poland to vote on historic bill banning all abortions after massive grassroots campaign ~ LifeSiteNews

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Andrei Watch out the book burners

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.

Andrei Stats show little difference between male and female sick days - really?

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 off last year and a male public servant who had had many days.

That's the thing about statistics they tell you nothing about individuals on an individual basis. But people fling them about with gay abandon if they advance their agendas - you know things like unnecessary and intrusive amendments to laws to address a supposed "gender gap" in salaries.

Andrei One of these things is not like the others

It's not that hard really, somebody needs to explain to the TSA how to go about it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Andrei Is this the most beautiful woman on Youtube?

So claimed the boy who sent me this. Well who am I to argue. This is magical music from Khakassia, Southern Siberia. It will totally surprise you if you haven't ever heard overtone singing before.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ZenTiger Living your life - Johann Landkroon

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 and decide for yourself who to vote for, and it might not be Johann. [Here's the candidate list] That's your decision of course. I'll just ask that you consider having a quick look and pressing the vote button somewhere along the line, because then companies like AMP will keep the dollars coming and fund future applicants.

It turns out Johann's performance will be a world first - he's a "special needs" student and has Down Syndrome and some other physical challenges, and he's been invited to attend to demonstrate his learning and show the benefits of TKD in its potential to help others with special needs.

The thing that appeals to me in his story is that he started Tae Kwon Do 4 years ago, and has made tremendous improvement in his personal capability both physically and mentally. He's been dealt a tough hand in life, but he's getting on and living a life worth living, and he seems to be surrounded by people that are helping him achieve this, and in turn, I'm sure they get something more out of life than can easily be measured. In essence, isn't this a big part of what life is about?

So if Johann makes it to the World Championships in September, with or without the boost from the AMP scholarship fund, he'll be in a position to send a strong message to any-one out there that striving to better yourself is one of life's more important lessons, one that delivers lasting satisfaction.

Johann - Vote page

Johann - Profile and Story

So, if you feel anyway inclined to support a good cause, then go click on Johann's vote button. Cheers, and good luck to the Gisborne TKD Club and Ben Evans, his trainer.

Andrei Let's see if I've got this straight

Sometime between the 6th and the 8th 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.

Andrei Satan's trojan horse

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 the countenances the mass murder of infants because their continued existence would interfere with the "fulfillment" of one or both of their parents or something.

The fact that the singularly most important thing that we will do with our lives is to bring forth the next generation to carry on where we leave off is totally lost in the effort to achieve temporal and temporary pleasure.

Which leads to a pointless and meaninglessness existence which afflicts many as the consumption of drugs, both legal and illegal only too well attests.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lucia Corpus Christi

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.

Fletch Geert Wilders Verdict - Not Guilty!

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 statements that were intentionally offensive to Muslims; incited hatred against Muslims; incited discrimination against Muslims; and incited hatred of non-Western immigrants.
The Islamic supremacists who initiated the case told the Dutch dhimmi judges that the things Wilders said had led to a rise in discrimination and violence against Muslims. They had no proof, of course, of anyone committing any act of violence against any Muslim, or discriminating against any Muslim, because of anything Geert Wilders said. They just wanted to compel the Netherlands to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws.

Andrei Celebrating ugliness

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.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Andrei Trainwreck

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.

Andrei Saying something isn't so don't make it not so

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 gender - try it and see and your first impression is almost always correct. Ambiguity is rare.

This world is a cruel, hard place, and much as we would like to and try to make it otherwise it is so. And we have to raise our kids to negotiate it and its sorrows as best they can with what the Good Lord or natural selection (depending on your bent) has endowed them with.

Which means boys need to be raised as boys to become men and girls raised as girls to become women. Because sadly the world is not going to conform to some idealized notion dreamed up by utopianists to suit those who cannot cope with the struggles and challenges life has confronted them with.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lucia Psalms teach us how to pray

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. This makes the Psalms “ultimately a book of praise.”

“Despite the diversity of their literary forms, the Psalms are generally marked by the two interconnected dimensions of humble petition and of praise addressed to a loving God who understands our human frailty,” he said.

But the Psalms are also quite different from the other books of the Old Testament, Pope Benedict noted. Instead of being narratives with a specific meaning or purpose, he explained, they “are given to the believer just as text for prayer.”

In fact, the Pope urged pilgrims to pray using the Psalms, suggesting that in “praying the Psalms we learn to pray. They are a school of prayer.” He explained himself by drawing an analogy with how children learn to express themselves.

A child initially “learns to express their feelings, emotions and needs with words that do not belong to him,” but instead “he learns innately from his parents and those who live around him.” Very quickly “the words become his words” and those feelings, emotions and needs of his are then duly expressed, said the Pope.

He concluded by suggesting that the Psalms ultimately point people towards Jesus.

“Many of the Psalms are attributed to David, the great King of Israel who, as the Lord’s Anointed, prefigured the Messiah. In Jesus Christ and in his paschal mystery the Psalms find their deepest meaning and prophetic fulfillment.”

“Christ himself prayed in their words. As we take up these inspired songs of praise, let us ask the Lord to teach us to pray, with him and in him, to our heavenly Father.”

Related link : The Psalms teach us to pray, Pope says

Andrei He shouldn't have said that

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 higher echelons of income they are also under represented in the lowest stratum of society ie the homeless which is a mostly male preserve.

As individuals we have to treat other people as individuals based upon their personal merit not pigeonhole them according to other peoples agendas.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Andrei The professor and his prostitutes

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.

Andrei If I get to the airport tomorrow to find they've cancelled my flight I'm gonna make this face >:-O

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 the best we can of what life throws at us.

Update: Well my little big girl just boarded the plane 4½ hours late but she is on her way. never the less. Watch out Melbourne she's on her way.

Update 2: Or not as the case may be, she's back in the airport for another 2 hours at least.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Andrei He calls his father Uncle George

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

Andrei This is just plain wrong

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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Andrei What now for dear old England?

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 inconsistent mess. A prime example of the woolly thinking that political correctness produces, the scary thing is that it is this type of thinking that rules in modern Britain.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Andrei The angel and the monster

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. Again, no substance whatsoever to any perceived similarity unless one sees branding in name shortening as something significant.

Then I get a little bit ‘unwell’:

Mother Teresa ministered to the poor and the sick: people “shunned by everyone”. Lady Gaga describes herself as “a freak, a maverick, a lost soul looking for peers”. She assures her fans that it is OK to be odd. This is a comforting message not only for gays but also for most teenagers.

Oh dear, now they are comparing Lady Gaga to Mother Theresa in this way? I missed the crossover here. Next comparison is hard work:

Hard work helped both women excel. Mother Teresa rose every day at 4.40am for mass. Lady Gaga “will take Christmas Day off—and spend it with her parents—but otherwise she works non-stop.
Well (a) join the club, and (b) pretty sure Mother Theresa didn’t have the options and resources available to Lady Gaga in order to progress her objectives (and Lady Gaga’s objectives are..?)

Now to communication:

Brilliant communication helped even more. Mother Teresa was a “PR machine” who, whether talking to a dying leper or a rich donor, “always left her imprint by communicating in a language the other person understood”. Lady Gaga is “one of the first pop stars to have truly built her career through the internet and social media.

Again the comparison is a long stretch…in fact not even that. I see no similarities in the methods. Apparently:

Lady Gaga has the “ability to build emotional commitment” in those she leads, says Mr Reckhenrich. This ability is increasingly valuable in today’s business world, he believes..
Yeah, not sure those in the business community are looking towards Lady Gaga for this particular inspiration….

And now the true colours become apparent in this off-topic comment:

Mother Teresa had her critics, too. Christopher Hitchens, a polemical atheist, called her “Hell’s Angel”. In his book, “The Missionary Position”, he berated her for spreading an extreme form of Catholicism and for accepting money from dodgy people such as “Papa Doc” Duvalier, the late dictator of Haiti.

They then waffle into an conflicting point about how neither are good for today’s managers

There is only so much a manager can learn from Genghis Khan—it is no longer practical to impale competitors on spikes. Likewise, sceptics may doubt that the secrets of Lady Gaga’s success, or Mother Teresa’s, can usefully be applied to, say, a company that makes ball-bearings.
...before an attempt at some saving grace when they point out that what they really mean is that charisma matters. So charisma is the secret to success in today’s leadership. Still not sure why they chose to compare Mother Theresa and Lady Gaga to illustrate this point as they failed spectacularly. It’s not as if they had plenty of other options to close from.

I agree charisma has a positive impact for today’s business leaders, but trying to illustrate this with some comparison between a pop star and the beatified Mother Theresa is truly bizarre. The Economist is normally of a higher standard. I can only assume the writer – Schumpeter – and his sub-editor were on drugs at the time. This is truly an off-colour article from this publication.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lucia Lack of marriage in New Zealand leading to societal breakdown UPDATE

"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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lucia Pius XII, the last years

Very moving.

Lucia Catholic schools and same-sex dates

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 the students from his school and therefore they would not allow boys from other colleges or old boys to attend.

"If the policy says that you may not take a boy to the dance who is one year out of school, but may take a girl who is one year out of school, then they are indirectly homophobic," the boys complained.

The policy, by its very design, created a de facto ban on the ability of homosexual students to bring a partner from outside of their own school, Keith said.

The boy has since decided to back off, as the firestorm caused by this issue has threatened to attack his school and his religion.  Good on him, in that respect, he's showing some maturity in not just thinking about himself.

However, this is a conversation that needs to be had.  Our Catholicism needs to be clearly articulated rather than hidden.  As such, our beliefs will clash with the increasingly secular society we have around us.  But then our beliefs clashed with Roman society from when the faith first burst out of Palestine.  But eventually that society was transformed, the Roman Empire became Catholic.  Compromise, obfuscation, cowardice does not transform, it merely ensures eventual extinction.

Related link: Ball row expands beyond Catholic school ~ GayNZ
Pupil backs down on school ball fight ~ Stuff

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lucia God disappears, man falls into idolatry

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 understandable and predictable,” the Pope observed.

In response to Israel’s divided allegiance to God, Elijah proposed a contest to be held on Mount Carmel. Two altars were built on top of the mountain and Elijah challenged the priests of Baal to bring down fire upon the prepared sacrifice. The rival priests resort to even spilling their own blood to convince Baal to send fire, but to no effect.

Elijah then ordered that the altar to God be drenched with water three times and asked him to accept the sacrifice. Fire fell from the sky, and Elijah prayed intently for rain to fall to end the famine.

“In response to Elijah’s prayer, God reveals his fidelity, mercy and saving power through the consuming fire sent down from heaven. He also enables the people to turn back to him and to reaffirm the covenant made with their fathers,” said the Pope.

The story of Elijah, he said, should also remind people to pray for the conversion of others.

“As we look to Elijah’s example, let us be ever more convinced of the power of intercessory prayer, so that we can help all people to know the one true God, to turn away from every form of idolatry, and to receive the grace offered to us on the wood of the Cross and in the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

Related link: Without God, man falls into idolatry, Pope warns ~ Catholic News Agency

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lucia Joy, Sanctity and Sex

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

Lucia Intercession of those who died for Christ in the concentration camps [UPDATE]

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 I can say, no evidence seems to be enough to show that the opposite was true** so blinded are they by what they want to believe.

I'm not going to argue any more, as it really doesn't bring out the best in me. It brings out the beast instead, the beast that lurks, waiting for a moment of weakness, waiting for that self-justification that many of us seek. For any one wanting to know the truth, please read Due Process, and maybe even order the book.

Meanwhile, the intercession of those who died for Christ in the concentration camps of WW2 is sorely needed.

Related links: Church beatifies Nazi-victim priest

* As pointed out by KG in the comments, the argument was not with him.
** There were exceptions, as there always are, such as Archbishop Stepinac of Croatia.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lucia Wasting your life

Another awesome talk by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

I could spend hours watching these.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lucia Friday night free for all

Chat time!

Fletch Sarah Palin is "Evil"? [Update]

[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 anything Palin has done that is genuinely "evil".
I suppose I really should have pity for the person writing something so painfully ignorant.

Lucia I bought a Kindle!

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.

At this point, after reading the first chapter of the book, I can definitely says it's been worth it. Especially since the second book I bought was only US$0.99, and to buy it in a paper version is much, much more expensive, and it's a Catholic classic that I've always wanted to read.

Lucia Catholic priest predicted suicide of Adolf Hitler UPDATE

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.

Lucia Ayn Rand and Satanism

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 Christians—be mobilizing to counter the malevolent force of this man on our culture and politics?

As you’ve probably guessed by this point, I’m not really talking about LaVey but about his mentor, Ayn Rand. The ascendency of LaVey and his embrace by “conservative” leaders would indeed cause paroxysms of indignation. Yet, while the two figures’ philosophies are nearly identical, Rand appears to have received a pass. Why is that?

Perhaps most are unaware of the connection, though LaVey wasn’t shy about admitting his debt to his inspiration. “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings,” he once told the Washington Post. On another occasion he acknowledged that his brand of Satanism was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” Indeed, the influence is so apparent that LaVey has been accused of plagiarizing part of his “Nine Satanic Statements” from the John Galt speech in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Devotees of Rand may object to my outlining the association between the two. They will say I am proposing “guilt by association,” a form of the ad hominem fallacy. But I am not attacking Rand for the overlap of her views with LaVey’s; I am saying that, at their core, they are the same philosophy. LeVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic.

Having flicked through some of Any Rand's books (my other half used to like reading them), I'm not surprised that more and more people are connecting her philosophy to Satanism. I can feel the cold seeping out of her books as I've read excerpts. They are designed to freeze the heart and focus the person only on themselves and what they can get.

Read more: The Fountainhead of Satanism

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lucia Rescuing Jesus

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 own, so it took me a while to realise that the noise wasn't going away, it was continuing. I turned around to look, and could see the middle-aged Asian Bo Peep struggling to hold onto her pitchfork while the devout man told her that he'd hold onto it for her and return it once she went to Communion. She was having none of that, and fortunately was happy to compromise, when a second man suggested that he would escort her in the line, holding the arm that clutched the pitchfork up to the priest. Surprisingly, rather than trying to skewer the priest with the toy implement from hell, she received Communion with great docility on the tongue (quite unusual here in NZ, most receive on the hands).

Princess Grace receives Holy Communion
Soon after, some young Asian girls were at the head of queue, and looked like they didn't know why they were there. The first was blessed by the Priest, when she didn't show any sign of wanting to receive the Host. The second took hold of the host and tried to walk away and was stopped by the priest, who told her she had to consume it there and then. I didn't see what happened with the third because my whole attention was fixed on the second. She looked confused, walked to one of the columns a few paces away, stood there for a few seconds, and then walked away looking like she was hiding the host in her hands.

Normally when someone does that, it's a mistake on the part of the viewer, - I thought, she can't really be holding the host in her hands. Yet, the posture remained as she walked all the way down to the back of the church. It's normally very bad manners to turn around in a church while the Mass in on to look at something - only young children (and non-Catholics) do it, and children are generally encouraged not to by their parents. So you can imagine that for me to do this, to watch someone walk to the back of the church would be very much against what I knew to be polite, at the very least.

I thought for a moment, turned around again and saw all three Asian girls right at the back of the church, standing, heads together and looking down at something, while the rest of the congregation was happily lost in the tranquil presence of Christ, having just received Him, and I thought, I have to go down there. Again, something that you just don't do, you just don't get up and wander around the church while a Mass is going on.

So I tell my husband I have to check something, genuflect, think to myself that I'm making a mistake, and then walk down the centre aisle to the back of the church to the three girls, now passing something from the one who appeared to hide the host in her hands, to one of the others who just got a blessing.

I walk around behind them, and the impression I get is that they don't know what to do with what they've got. The one on the right is holding the host, I see this clearly as I approach. They don't notice me until I am right there and have to touch one on the arm to get her attention. They turn around, and then I say, "If you don't want the host, I'll take Him."

The girl who is holding the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself, as a small white circle on the palm of her shaking hand, tips Him into mine. I have this awareness that even as non-Catholics who had no idea what they were doing as they joined the Communion line, that on some level they knew they were holding something heavenly, that's why the girl who accidentally received the host could not bring herself to eat Him.
Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.  (1 Corinthians 11:27)
While walking back to my seat, I decided to consume Jesus myself.  And then I found myself lost in the Divine Presence, a more intensified presence than I am normally aware of.

I am sad for those who love Christ, yet never get this close to Him.  They don't know what they are missing.

For more on Holy Communion / The Eucharist / The Real Presence, read:

Holy Communion
The Eucharist in Scripture
The Early Christians believed in the Real Presence
Eucharistic Miracles

And for a little on the chalice that Jesus most likely used in the Last Supper:
Scholars urge more research on Holy Grail
Pope Benedict and the Holy Grail, The Grail and Benedict
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass using what may be the Chalice Jesus used at the Last Supper
* * * * * *
I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in Him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate. They are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live forever. (John 6: 53-58)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fletch Friday Night Free For All

Goodness! It's Monday, and we haven't posted the Friday Free-for-all. Everyone must be on holiday. Hope you're all enjoying the long weekend, despite the weather!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Andrei Appeal Court judges have a right to life but babies don't

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lucia Pope Benedict XVI on being Christian

"Being Christian is not a kind of clothing to wear in private, or on special occasions, but is something living and fulfilling, able to take up everything that is good in modernity."