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Showing posts from September, 2011

Raw meat

Hmmmm Russian region bans ‘gay propaganda’ The country’s Arkhangelsk region has adopted a draft law banning all events promoting homosexuality, among them Gay Pride marches. The draft was put forward by local activists, intellectuals and religious groups. They hope the law will protect the moral well-being of Russian children and put an end to what they consider to be the popularizing of homosexuality among the under-aged. Russian authorities have always been strictly against Gay Pride parades. Gay rights activists have been applying for permission to hold a parade in Moscow for several years without success. The bans are warmly supported by the Russian Orthodox Church. “All priests know that the souls of those who suffered through sinful homosexual experience are empty and desperate,” said Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Russian Orthodox Church PR department. “And it is this insecurity in a minute-long pleasure that forces these spiritually unhealthy people to hold marches and o


An Australian court has moved to stop a 16 year old girl being sent to Lebanon against her will for an arranged marriage. The magistrate who heard the case has given the reasons for taking the steps he has He said there was a psychological risk to Ms Madley if he did not make orders preventing her being forced into marriage she did not want, which he described as "a principle that is contrary to all our legal processes hold dear and which would indeed, under Australian law, render the marriage void, as it is absent genuine consent." So far so good but then he says However, he said he was not criticising any culture that had arranged marriages. ''The arrangements proposed should not be judged or criticised from a Western perspective, but must be viewed through the eyes of those who live and appreciate that culture, he said. Multiculturalism is really confusing - even when you take a stand you have to apologize it seems. Source: Court acts to stop arranged wedlock

Has the "flying spaghetti monster" ever inspired anything to match this?

So over at the troll farm the endless debate about the existence or otherwise of God goes back and forth with the inevitable reference to Richard Dawkins most successful meme, apart from "meme" itself that is, the "flying spaghetti monster". It got me thinking and I realized how dreary Atheists have never come with worshipful things like that embedded below. If the tune seems familiar Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky used it as a major theme in his 1812 overture - for obvious reasons beyond its beauty. O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance! Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians* over their adversaries, and by virtue of Thy cross, preserve Thy habitation.

Photo of the day

I saw it here

Nato's Competance

Twenty thousand surface to air missiles have gone missing in Libya . These would be an ideal thing for bringing down an airliner - that would be one of those conveyances that old ladies are searched and relieved of their knitting needles before boarding because the desire of certain people to - well you know. It's not like a secret or anything that Mr Qaddafi had a stockpile of these things - you might have thought that securing them by destroying them would have been a smart move but apparently it was been overlooked while NATO jets flew over that sad country blowing other things up. But I expect they'll turn up sooner or later - I just wonder where and I hope that nobody I care for is on the plane they take down when they do.

Nudity For Dinner

If anyone tuned into Close Up on TVNZ last night, they would have seen a story about the "Nude Blacks", a team of guys who like to play rugby in the nude. Last night they had a young woman joining them as well, playing in the nude, while spectators cheered them on. Yes, the station did blur out the frontal genitalia, but plenty of bare bums were shown. The young lady thought it was a great thing to do. I'm not going to post a link here, but the video can be seen on TVNZ's site. I just have to ask - is this the way we want to be perceived by the rest of the world when NZ is trying to be an ambassador for the Rugby World Cup? My parents, both in their 70s, were horrified, and I didn't think very much of it either. My mother said she never thought she'd see something like this screened on the News, let alone at dinner time when children are sure to be watching. I don't consider myself a prude, but I think TVNZ, Close Up, and Mark have embarrassed our coun

The Oligarchs have their tournament - you're paying for their entertainment

I love rugby, its a great game but I have been disenchanted by this whole world cup thing from the get go. A lot of hype, party central, the eyes of the world are on us (they're not, you know) yadda yadda. I've watched a lot of one sided games where the issue is decided virtually at kick off. And I realized that the really big games are all being played in Auckland, with a few in Wellington. For the rest of the country it's er well the crumbs. Dunedin of course has its fancy new roofed stadium which the ratepayers will be forking out for for the next generation and beyond that perhaps, for what, to see the national team play and support them in their fancy new stadium? Not a chance. The National team does not cross Cook Strait in its campaign - no in the preliminary rounds it play(ed)s twice in Auckland, Tonga and France, Japan in Hamilton and Canada in Wellington. Wellington gets two quarter finals, the other two are guess where and from there on out all the a

Saving the planet by getting rid of unsustainable people

The New Forests Company is a UK-based sustainable and socially responsible forestry company with established, rapidly growing plantations and the prospect of a diversified product base for local and regional export markets which will deliver both attractive returns to investors and significant social and environmental benefits. The New Forests Company So what does all this blather on the left translate to in the real world with real people in it? Francis Longoli, a small farmer from Kiboga district of central Uganda, is tearful: "I remember my land, three acres of coffee, many trees – mangoes and avocados. I had five acres of bananas, 10 beehives, two beautiful permanent houses. My land gave me everything. People used to call me 'omataka' – someone who owns land. Now that is no more. I am one of the poorest now," he says. Longoli and his family of six lost everything last year when, with three months notice, the Ugandan government evicted him and thousands of ot

Clumsy ACT

So the Dr Brash thinks cannabis should be legalized. And John Banks doesn't . So is this an issue that will bring the voters into the polls to tick ACT's box? Or is the fact the good Doctor bought it up in the first place just another example of ACT's two left feet dancing? You decide - I already have.

Around the traps

Surfing more than hunting. Skimming more than reading. Storing more than considering. Never-the-less, these posts will bear some thinking in the slower cycles of the week. Stephen Franks raises some excellent points that bear further thought when considering inequality in society and how to improve it. We discussed the Spirit Level recently, and here's another example where declaring a solution (tax people until they are equal) without actually addressing the problem will not, ultimately resolve anything. The key word for me in these discussions at the moment though is something completely different: Robots. Have we considered what society will be like in 20 years when robots and computers are taking jobs. I'm seeing the Matrix meets Terminator about 5 years after Blade Runner. Either than or Logan's Run. Surely, it wont be that bad? The Macalope makes a few good points about Windows 8 and the marketing approach of Microsoft, and then a few good rebuttals

Whine whine whine

We need a gay All Black apparently as a role model for gay youth . What a load of bollocks. In this world a lot of people get a really raw deal in life - if a guy wants to have s sex with another guy well that's his business - I mean who the hell cares but it isn't a grievance, it isn't a raw deal. Not like being born deformed or just plain ugly in which case whatever your supposed "sexuality" is it probably irrelevant as such people get left out of just about everything. It is an indulgence to whine about your "sexuality" being the cause of your issues. Vanity.

A blast from the past

It's election silly season again, hey ho. A big deal is being made of how candidates and parties can get their message across while complying with our arcane Electoral Advertising Laws and when someone trips up off we go. Like I care - a hoarding goes up a day or two too early or the authorization statement is not according to spec, well it don't put food on my table either way. In any case I am reminded of this classic election ad from days of old - boy did this cause a tizz in its time. And the issue - it's with us still and remains, well, somewhat unresolved. I hope I haven't run afoul of said electoral advertising rules by posting this - really when it comes down to this years election I don't have a dog in that fight

Science or political agenda

Stuff carries the story: Single-sex schools rate poorly in study The article, published today in Science magazine by researchers from the American Council for CoEducational Schooling, says biological differences between the sexes have no significant effect on learning. It says there is no scientific support for single-sex education, and that separating boys and girls in school may increase gender stereotyping and sexism . But Education Ministry figures show pupils at New Zealand single-sex schools achieve better NCEA results than those at co-ed schools. And the reporters, to their credit, do what reporters should do and see how that stacks up in out local experience. The article's claims contrast with findings in a New Zealand study published in 2009, which studied the difference between co-ed and single-sex education over a 25-year period. "The New Zealand data very clearly shows boys do worse in co-ed schools, and there is no gender gap in single-sex schools," the N

Without justice the state is nothing more than a band of robbers [UPDATE]

Pope Benedict XVI is currently visiting Germany. Here is his speech to the German Parliament, where he talks about the necessity for justice in politics, else the State is nothing more than a band of robbers.

Censorship by major social media sites

In the news today is the problem of censorship in New Zealand, of a huge amount of disgusting material that is illegal to own in this country. Somehow, I'm not too bothered about this. However, what is far more concerning is the censorship of Christian content on the major social media network sites. The internet is having the same effect on the modern world that the old Roman roads had on the ancient - it is the means through which a common, civilised view of the world can be spread. In the realm of competing ideas, if one idea, the most important and vital idea is stifled, then the internet will not fulfil it's full potential. It becomes a road of dead-ends, hiding inaccessible cities of wonders. MANASSAS, VA, September 21, 2011 ( – A new study has found that Google and other major social media sites such as Facebook have “actively” censored Christian and conservative viewpoints. The first report, conducted by National Religious Broadcasters (NRB)

Jesus as an All Black

Some fans might think Dan Carter is a god – so isn't it only logical that Jesus would come back as an All Black? The icon-style image of Jesus as a New Zealand rugby great is now proudly on display at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, featuring Christ in the famous black jersey. "Central to Christian belief is the fact that God became a human being, he became a man," cathedral dean the Very Rev Frank Nelson said. "We often call New Zealanders God's own, so it would be completely logical that if Jesus did come back he would be an All Black. "It's painted in the very traditional Orthodox Christian style of painting, designed as an aid to prayer, so the idea is that it engages your attention but then takes you beyond the painting to God." While the painting had shocked some people, Mr Nelson said it had set him thinking about the very real possibility of Jesus being reborn. [!!!] "I think you could be offended by it, I think you could

Repulsive reporting

This is something I wasn't going to say anything about because I don't want to add any fuel to the fire. But this sort of reporting is wrong - plain wrong A right royal confrontation could be on the cards for Dunedin with Zara Phillips expected to fly into town to meet embattled husband Mike Tindall today. The Queen's children made botches of their marriages - it's a sad fact and when you see the way the media are treating her newly married grand-daughter and her spouse it is easy to see how hard it must have been for them.

Miracle of the blood occurs again

A Bishop, who was martyred in A.D. 305 for refusing to perform pagan worship has had his blood preserved in two glass vials. Normally they are just powdered blood, but three times a year they miraculously re-liquefy. When they don't, bad things happen such as plagues or earthquakes that kill many people. I'd never heard of this until now. It's pretty awesome. Read more here: San Gennaro miracle recurs ~ Sancte Pater

Got some tissues handy?

In this world there are good people who do some very good things From here

Another day negotiating a wicked world of hustlers

Apparently somebody has been trying to access the funds a Nigerian Bank is holding for me. It is probably the winnings from the lottery in the Netherlands that I won despite not knowing I had a ticket in it or perhaps it is my legacy from a rich Ivorian Coast relative I never knew that I had they are after. Who knows - I know a scam when I see it and have thus far avoided being taken except by one. I have been caught out - not because I'm foolish and greedy but because our Government in its wisdom passed the ETS and I have no choice but to hand my money over to the con artists and scammers behind this fraud. Sigh

Da Vinci Code mentality and the Nazis

Insight Scoop has put up a post on the types of people who are most likely to believe the conspiracy theories in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code novel. They are typically irreligious, New Agey types who feel the most anxiety about dying. The students most likely to believe the conspiracies in Brown's novel were those who enjoyed the book the most, expressed the most New Age beliefs, and felt the most anxiety about dying. People who were religious, knowledgeable about the Bible and desiring of social approval, on the other hand, tended not to buy into the Da Vinci conspiracy. Before I reconverted, I was a New Agey type, but I wasn't afraid of dying, so maybe that's why Dan Brown's books never attracted me.  In my early 20's I read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail on which the Da Vinci Code is supposedly based, but I never found it totally convincing.  However, I have come across a number of people that think what is in that book and the Da Vinci Code is absol

Let's look at sex education in Italy

As our previous story on the young girl who was taught at school that sex at her age was normal and is now pregnant shows, governments fool themselves into thinking that mandatory sex education is effective. All it does is increase teenage sexual behaviour, ensuring that more teenagers will become pregnant and either abort their babies (courtesy of the State) or become single mothers, dependant on the State for welfare. The bizarre thing is that those who believe in sex education cannot see this outcome as being directly caused by the sex education itself and instead call for more sex education at younger and younger ages, because that'll solve the problem, right?? Last month I came across a story on an Italian professor criticising the New York's mandatory sex education. This piece was published in the Vatican newspaper and contrasted the situation in Italy with those countries in West that believe sex education of children is vital. "It is not clear why public in

From the horses mouth

"I learned [at the age of 13] that sex was okay as long as you consented to it. I learned how to put on condoms, and we even got to 'taste test' the flavours of oral condoms." She said her class was also taught that anal sex was "perfectly fine" as long as condoms were used, that the morning-after pill wasn't always effective, and it was "okay" to abort. The Herald has followed up on yesterdays stories about sex education with an interview with a 14 year old mother to be . An it illustrates only too well the disconnect between the promoters of Sex Education as a way to prevent teen pregnancy etc and the real world. This is very sad. But it is also satanic - not only are children being taught things that will destroy their temporal lives but things that will imperil their immortal souls. One of the most offensive things about all of this is that the architects of these programs take it as axiomatic that our girls are sluts and will not

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the Devil

A woman bought an expensive dress, brought it home to the husband, showed him the bill. The husband said, when you tried it on, why didn't you say get behind me Satan, she said I did, and he said it looks so good from the back. Then another joke about a man who went down to Hell and got treated very well, until he decided he liked it so much he'd stay. But then the Devil put him into the hottest corner. When the man protested he said, before you were a tourist, now you're a resident. The point being we get treated very well now by the Devil, but when we are residents, it's a different story. As the theologians dropped the demonic, the psychiatrists picked it up. What is the diabolic from the purely psychiatric point of view? Diabolic comes Greek words to tear apart, anything that produces discord, tears apart, reduces unity, that is the diabolic. A psychiatrist who wrote about the diabolic analyses the way it works. He mentions three characteristics - love

Cardinal George Pell on 9/11 and the decline of the West

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is the outstanding religious leader in Britain today. Not surprisingly his small piece on the September 11 anniversary was thought provoking. He began by pointing out that some saw the 2001 terrorist attack as marking the end of an epoch. The Cold War with Communism was over and the new war with radical violent Islam had begun. Others believed that terrorist attacks don't change the bases of power, except perhaps by provoking an over-reaction. Robert McNamara, USA Secretary of Defence to President J.F. Kennedy, claimed that the first rule in politics is to understand the psychology of your enemy. Why then did al-Qa'ida attack the West? Sacks claims that Bin Laden believed the U.S.A. was past its prime, overripe and ready to fall off its tree. The collapse of the Communist world in 1989 was not due to free market economics or the superiority of liberal democracy, according to Bin Laden. He believed Russia collapsed because their humiliating retr

My girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris

"I have learned that my girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris. I really want to play with it. Is that okay?" The answer was: "Yes, if you ask her and she's okay with it." The most important thing for a human beings welfare and happiness is good quality relationships. And the most important adult relationship is that between a man and wife - it is a beautiful thing if it flourishes. But for it to flourish takes work and commitment. And what we should be teaching our children is how to develop that special, wonderful and lifelong relationship not how to put condoms on black plastic penises Have you ever noticed that the loudest proponents and Sex Education are usually repulsive and unattractive women? Do you think that "sex ed" might actually be their spiteful way of taking revenge on our innocent children?

Something the Government is really really good at

Yes folks Government officials do have a real talent. And that would be expanding mechanisms for extracting money from the long suffering citizenry. Exhibit: Speed camera tickets nearly double . Did the road toll halve? Or even go down in the period when this vast expansion of ticket sending out occurred? No, not in any significant sense. However this bold initiative is a success Superintendent Paula Rose, the national road policing manager, told Radio New Zealand the increase was due to the introduction of digital cameras, better deployment of resources and reducing speed tolerance during holiday periods. Better deployment of resources means placing cameras where even the most law abiding citizens are momentarily liable to exceed the limit while reduced tolerance during holiday periods means ever more are caught in the net.

Helping to keep Government in its place

It's no secret I have an anti authoritarian streak - Government is a necessary evil that has got way too big for its boots. It takes itself far too seriously and big Government types think that ever more rules and regulations enforced by fines and penalties will return mankind to some sort of Garden of Eden where nothing bad ever happens and perhaps we all will live happily ever after. (singing kumbayah d'ya suppose?) Aint going to happen friends - all that will happen, is happening, is that we will get ever more strangled by red tape and ruled over by petty officialdom growing ever more intrusive. So when I read of Amish standing up to authority, going to jail rather than put Government mandated orange reflectors on the back of their horse drawn buggies I know here my sympathies lie.

Oh, the poor little lambs

The law of unintended consequences or it hasn't been a good week for those who get too sentimental over animals. Close to 1000 lambs were set to run down Auckland’s Queen St as part of the Real New Zealand Festival on October 17, the Monday before the tournament final. But when the event was scrapped last month after the SPCA said it went against "humane principles", more than 350 lambs were immediately sent to the meatworks. I expect they will taste good though - nicely roasted with mint sauce, peas and potatoes.

The Magnificent Seven

Seven more ex-Parrots with the Department of Conservation's latest 1080 poison drop .  Back in 2008 [refer Dead Parrot Sketch ] they managed to knock off seven of the Nestor Notabilis , and another seven shuffle off their mortal coils again.  We only know about it because they were tagged.  Be interesting to see how the others are doing .  Perhaps the bigger question is, was the collateral damage worth it on the war against possum terror?  Still, perhaps it's better than being eaten by an Orca, as is the possible fate of Happy Feet .  Although I'm hoping the glue just wore off and Happy Feet is transponder free and fancy somewhere only slightly colder than Wellington today. Because Wellington today was fairly cold, with hail stones the size of rugby balls .  Well, small rugby balls.  They were thick enough and loud enough to quite possibly freak out the visiting Rugby teams from more tropical climes.  I can just imagine the squads talking about how hard Kiwis are, and N

Magical thinking

This from Stuff Sport-related economic activity could bring in $14 billion to New Zealand by the end of the decade, according to research on the global impact of Rugby World Cup 2011. The research, commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide, said the long term impacts would be achievable if New Zealand is able to capitalise on the hosting of RWC 2011 to attract future events. The findings were presented at the heart of the RWC 2011's party central. The Cloud, in Auckland this afternoon. The rub here is to attract future events . Alas the story does not reveal what potential future events might be attracted. The Tour de France? Wimbledon? The big one the Summer Olympics? or the perhaps the Winter Olympics? Realty check - in New Zealand we play and follow certain sports for which we have facilities. There are plenty of other sports, which have minority followings and for which the facilities are not so well developed. We are only be able to host events where there is signific

"We're paying $50,000 to rent a black penis in the Octagon? What's that all about?"

My goodness Town Councillors are good at spending public money, that would be other peoples money extracted from them for their own good apparently. The title is a quote from a Dunedin City Councillor, one Lee Vandervis who is out of step with the rest of the council over this monstrosity apparently. Probably not out of step with the ratepayers though would be my guess. Anyway I did a post on this the other day - here's the latest read it and weep . Thanks to Kowtow for the heads up

Efficiency over justice

At first and second glance, I find myself in agreement with No Right Turn .  And WhaleOil .  That can't happen often, surely?  So why are we all worried about significant changes to Law and Order in the NZ Justice system? For my part, I have little faith in legislators making good legislation, and when efficiency is the driver, I have even less faith.  And I'm usually a guy with a fair bit of faith. Just not in National . The biggest issues in this for me are the abolition of juries for being judged on any crime under 3 years (currently three months) and also that the changes to the presumption of innocence and right to silence are all part and parcel of a rushed bill with a very weird " compromise " that is looking and quacking like a duck, but I'd also accept that it's a dog. And we are all just slow cooked frogs.

Holy Father on killing in the name of God

Again and again the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has been categorically stating that we cannot and must not kill in the name of God. Just this weekend, he repeated this message in relation to the 9/11 attacks that were justified by Islamic terrorists in the name of Allah. “Once again, it must be unequivocally stated that no circumstances can ever justify acts terrorism,” [Pope Benedict XVI] said in a letter to New York’s archbishop, Timothy Dolan, who is also head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Recalling what he called the “brutal assault” on the United States, the pope said: “The tragedy of that day is compounded by the perpetrators’ claim to be acting in God’s name.” “Every human life is precious in God’s sight and no effort should be spared in the attempt to promote throughout the world a genuine respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals and peoples everywhere,” he said. Earlier this year, the Benedict's second book on Jesus was released

Rubbish obsessiveness in Wellington

A Wellington family narrowly avoided a $400 fine for putting glass in their recycling bin on the wrong week because of an offensive note written by one of the men who collects recycling. It sounds to me like recycling in Wellington is becoming more trouble than it's worth. If I lived there, I'd probably just start throwing all my recycling into my weekly bin rather than risking being fined for putting the wrong items out each week. Related link: Dodged a fine but upset by note ~ Stuff

Broke council pays to erect giant phallus in town center

My isn't Dunedin urbane and sophisticated The artwork, in the shape of a deodorant can of a brand connected to the All Blacks, also considered the "sexualisation" of Maori, and artist Rachael Rakena yesterday said it did have a phallic reference. It gets better The Haka Peep Show, a "towering black pou (post or pillar)", houses 3D video art works featuring four haka performed by prominent Maori that the public could view like a peepshow. Rakena said the performers were chosen because they were Maori leaders in different fields, who did haka "as part of their everyday lives". "The artwork considers the sexualisation and commodification of Maori and indigenous sportsmen through the use and exploitation of their masculinity and their culture , in the media." So if you watch the All Blacks you are exploiting "their masculinity and culture"? Really? I think I know where the exploitation is really coming from here - it might &qu

The person you are becoming

What you do shapes who you are and the person you are becoming. Keep swinging a golf club badly and you become a bad golfer, swing it well and you will become a good golfer. Every moral act produces two effects, the immediate consequences and in the long term every act helps to produce your character.

Politicians on the hustle

My friends the "rise sea in level" over the past 100 years is so small that it is virtually undetectable given the techniques used to quantify it that are available. And yet Pacific Islands Forum leaders have called for the urgent provision of international funds to help small countries at risk from climate change , saying the issue was the "single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific". If the freakin sea level rise is " single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific" then I'd say the peoples of the Pacific aint got that much to worry about.

Politicians Logic

Eh? Mr Barosso said the tax on aviation fuel was intended to curb climate change but he did not want it to put off travellers. "We are not thinking to impose any tax on the people coming to Europe. On the contrary, we are very open; we wish more people to come." The aviation fuel tax had been decided on, said Mr Barosso, but was non-discriminatory and applied to everyone. "We believe it’s a global effort to reduce emissions but that is not to prevent people from coming to Europe. For a politician increasing tax always makes sense but the only real way emissions from air travel can be reduced significantly is to reduce air travel and the best way to make that happen is to make it more expensive by adding new and novel taxes. Mind you this prick flies at the taxpayers expense so what does he care if he is party to ruining the economy of Europe by squeezing the life blood out of productivity and trade with ever more taxes .

Government lies to advance wowsers agenda

Outright blatant Lie: Alcohol contributes to quarter of child deaths - report Alcohol contributed to the deaths of one in four children and young people who died between 2005 and 2007, a new report has found. Of 357 deaths reviewed by the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee , alcohol contributed to or was the cause of death in 87 cases. Fact 1: This committee has the deaths of some people between 28 days old and 24 years old referred to them for analysis. When do people become adults? - at 25 according to the data used to produce this report - which is BS since 24 year olds and younger are indubitably adults . Fact 2: There were 1391 deaths of people within the target demographic excluded from this analysis - this number (assuming my addition is correct) comes from the report itself. Make no mistake this report and the shock horror press is not worth the paper it is printed on and the best use anybody could make of it is as toilet paper as its real purpose is

No - she didn't cut her own gorgeous head off

If like me you are fed up with grotty news about grotty people doing grotty things this might be just the thing lift your spirits. Enjoy or not as the case might be.

Boys being violated by other boys at Hutt Valley High

Why will no one call this what it is? A gang of six teens terrorised classmates in late 2007, chasing younger boys around the school, dragging them to the ground to remove their pants then violating them with a screwdriver, scissors, branches, pens, pencils and drills. Should be called "Homosexual kids reign of terror". Reference: Dominion Post, Front page, School bullies reign of terror.

How fantastically old fashioned - God be with them all

A 13-year-old is seeking a driver's licence so he can support his family as his father faces a terminal illness. Jedidiah Smith wants to take over his father Craig's morning delivery run of chilled goods to supermarkets in Feilding and Palmerston North. The eldest of his siblings still living in the family's Palmerston North home, Jedidiah wants to be able to provide for his mother and two younger sisters. A month ago his father was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour; doctors have told Mr Smith he has several weeks to live. "If I can't support my family, they will have to go on the dole. I don't want that," said Jedidiah, who is home schooled. "A friend of my father's has offered to give me intensive driver training. After he is done with me, I know I'll be competent enough to drive safely. If I did a test I know I'd pass it." Once upon a time this would have been a no brainer and an expected reaction. The Government

More meaningless whining

New Zealand Universities are loosing ground when compared to their international counterparts, I read this morning. And nor is a surprise on reading the article to find the reason, apparently, for this is " the low level of investment in the New Zealand university sector ". Cry me a river. Another significant story in this mornings news is: Hamilton council 'hiding gays away' And this grievance arises from the Hamilton city council refusing permission for the bedecking of bridge lamp posts with rainbow scarves during Gay Pride week. And the whiner in this story is a Professor, one Professor Lynda Johnston from Waikato University, pictured on the left. So out of curiosity I googled her to find out who she is Research Interests: In 1995 I completed a Masters thesis in which I argued that bodies and spaces of gymnasiums are gendered. In gym spaces female body builders resist, subvert and reassert normative understandings of gender. My doctoral thesis, a

It's official England is now a stalinist police state

If you are large and have large children the State can take them from you to raise as the State seems fit. Four obese children are on the brink of being permanently removed from their family by social workers after their parents failed to bring their weight under control. In the first case of its kind, their mother and father now face what they call the ‘unbearable’ likelihood of never seeing them again. Their three daughters, aged 11, seven and one, and five-year-old son, will either be ‘fostered without contact’ or adopted. "Fostered without contact or adopted"? With whom or to whom pray tell will these children go? Do we even want to contemplate who might want children such as these. Anyway read the story for yourself - England has gone, it is history - writhing in its death throes and crushing its poor citizens under the jackboot of over Government as it dies.

Down the rabbit hole

Life in New Zealand 2011. A doctor who drove an Auckland University medical student to tears through his "overbearing and overly aggressive" teaching style has been awarded $10,000 for hurt feelings. Would be lovely to have 10 grand for each time my feelings have been hurt. But that's an aside. During the School of Medicine tutorial lesson in October 2008, Conaglen played the role of a difficult patient and selected the shyest student to treat him. So the tutorial was about learning how to deal with difficult people , difficult people whom one might suppose the student is likely to encounter when in the real world outside the hallowed halls of academia. And who of course will have to be dealt with - even by shrinking violets who I suggest will not be given a pass. Indeed in my experience difficult and unpleasant people tend to single out and pick on shrinking violets, sad and unfair as this may be. Anyway complaints were laid, written admonitions issued, ordered

Headscarfs ok, but not the Crucifix! [UPDATED]

In Britain a Christian (most likely Catholic) nurse has been told to remove her Crucifix after 31 years of wearing it on a chain around her neck at work. While as Muslim women are able to wear their headscarfs to work. A Christian nurse was ‘ forced to choose between her job and her faith ’ after being ordered to remove her crucifix at a hospital where Muslim staff wore headscarves unchallenged , a tribunal heard yesterday. Shirley Chaplin, 54, said she had been wearing the religious symbol around her neck without complaint for 31 years before she was ordered to hide it away. But the grandmother claims that after refusing to comply and then pointing out that two women doctors were allowed to wear headscarves , she was moved to a desk job. Her case has caused uproar among Christian support groups,  who feel their beliefs are not being given the same respect as other faiths . At the weekend her case against the NHS was backed by seven senior Anglican bishops who issued a nati

Gender-free awards

Lady Gaga got the MTV award for best female video , and she accepted it whilst playing a male character, self-described alter ego Jo Calderone. So she's made some kind of point about genders and all, and now I'm almost convinced the MTV awards could be a lot better by being half as long.  Instead of all this "best male video" and "best female video" gender stereotyping (and how many best male videos don't have females in them anyway?) why don't MTV just have a "best video" and be done with it? And if everyone gets out of the awards twice as fast, we can turn our TV sets off much sooner.  Just think of all the carbon pollution we save the planet from! Parting thought - there has to be some cosmic irony that Lady Gaga wins the best female award, and Justin Bieber picks up best male video, and thanks God and Jesus in his acceptance speech.  And all the girls in the video were dressed!   What's that about?  If this isn't proof o

Vatican rebuttal to Irish Government attempt to deflect accountability

After the political posturing by Irish politicians denouncing the Holy See over the sex abuse crisis that occured in Ireland, the Holy See has come out with a fiery response. The Response, at some 11,000 words, is comprehensive, even tedious in its detail, and adopts an understated and humble tone. The message, though, is clear. The Holy See will not accept the role of scapegoat being offered to it by the current government of Ireland. Furthermore, having demonstrated true contrition and a firm purpose of amendment, the Holy See is forthrightly challenging what it sees as an attempt in Ireland to use the sexual abuse scandal for purposes other than that of protecting children. That purpose, it is absolutely clear, is to blacken the name of the Holy See and unjustly deflect accountability into Rome's lap. Related link: The Holy See’s Response to the Cloyne Report ~ First Things

Another self appointed spokesperson

She says the number of people coming from South Africa, England and the United States should be restricted, as they bring attitudes destructive to Maori. She says they bring an attitude of white supremacy. But Asian immigrants are acceptable to Maori apparently. Source: Maori academic wants cap on white migration

Did you hear the one about...

Did you hear the one about the judge who let a child sex abuser walk free? She did it for a laugh. No seriously, she did.  She dismissed without conviction because "he makes people laugh" She also decided to maintain the name suppression order, even though he was guilty. Maybe she thought it might make his jokes less funny. But only when he isn't kidding around. I guess there were extenuating circumstances.  Like the crime wasn't more than 50 years old, and name suppression is hardly the same as "covering things up". And the Judge's final word on child sex abuse: Judge Cunningham said the consequences of a conviction would outweigh the gravity of the offence. NZ Herald: Judges can be funny too My earlier post on Name Suppression: It's time we had a point scoring system Lucia wondering back in March if sex offending is not being taken seriously in NZ : Key Words: Comedian, Entertainer, Sex Abuse, Blame it on drinking, No Justic

Where to from here for science?

Dr Roy Spenser as he appears on the BBC website in a story concerning the resignation of a Scientific Journal Editor. An Editor who is resigning for an "error of judgement" in publishing a paper by Dr Roy Spenser. What is wrong with Dr Spenser's paper? It calls into question the IPCC's calculations of the earths "energy budget". If Dr Spenser is correct the IPCC is wildly wrong. It is an axiom of course that the IPCC is correct and there are many vested interests which depend upon the IPCC being correct. Which is why Dr Spenser needs to be shut down. And why his papers should not be published. It amuses me that in captioning his photograph the BBC feels the need to highlight Dr Spenser's religious affiliation - to their target audience this presumably suggests he is a wacko. This also amuses me The paper became a cause celebre in "sceptical" circles through its claim that mainstream climate models inflated temperature projections

Beyond the level

This you-tube clip does a good job in counter-pointing the new left wing bible: The Spirit Level. It's worth watching just for that. However, it's also worth watching the last six and a half minutes (wind to 39:00) to see the typical tactics used against the speaker in what was a fair and reasoned counter to the statistical analysis in The Spirit Level - a reflection on the many of the debates of our age.

Religious freedom in the world is decreasing

Pew Forum just released the results on their worldwide survey on religious freedom and it's not looking good. In just three short years since the last survey, restrictions on religious freedom have increased, the worst offender being that country that apparently heralded the "Arab Spring" - Egypt. It must be noted that the countries with the worst indicators include those with the largest Muslim populations: Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Bangladesh . . . Funny that, but Western countries such as Britain and France are represented as well. In summary, one out of four of the countries that in 2006 were already showing severe restrictions on religious freedom have further worsened their standards in the following years. But if one looks not at the individual countries, but at the number of inhabitants, the results of the survey are even more stunning: fully 59 percent of the world's population today lives with "high" or "very high" levels

Question of the Day

How many deaths of Aids sufferers around the world can be laid at the hands of the Catholic faith? The answer to this is of course - none . People who follow the Catholic Church's teaching have nothing to fear from any STD, nothing at all. The question is posed by a school teacher, head of personal, social and health education at Beal high school in Ilford, Essex, by day and a stripper come porn star by night. His moonlighting came to light when pupils from his school surfing the internet came upon videos of him in action. Anyway he got a telling off but is permitted to carry on teaching - spreading his poison to the young and impressionable at a time when their hormones are raging. This strikes me as evil but then what would I know. Anyway this creature seeks to justify himsel f in the Guardian who give him the platform and it is from his screed that the question which starts this post comes.

I'm a gander, not a goose

Democracy is only available to who we say it should be: I'm a gander, not a goose And if you are a wet liberal, we'll call you normal, everything else I don't agree with is just extremism, to be painted black: It's only democracy if we get our way I see a trend here.

Human Rights and Assisting Suicide

Here's an interesting story on the issue of human rights and suicide. A 16 year old monk sets himself alight and dies. The people that assisted in this process get sentenced for their part in this. Human Rights Watch, the bastion of human rights and supposedly a clear thinking and principled organisation, complains about the sentencing.   I think they can't see the wood for the trees. I'd argue that our declining morality sets up this contradiction in the issue of rights, and I can see its only going to get worse. On one hand: 1. A 16 year old is too young to consent to certain activities. 2. Suicide is wrong; Suicide was once seen as a mental problem. 3. Adults (such as the 46 year old uncle involved) are supposed to act as guardians to the young. 4. Life is precious 5. People that kill others, or help kill others should generally be punished On the other hand: 1. The right to kill one-self is a very important right to the new wave of humanists* 2. 16 year

Cultural cringe

New Zealand Fashion week and this apparently is an example of it. These women look malnourished and have the bodies of wizened old women. What is the designer trying to project here? What are we supposed to take from this? Grotesque!

Crazy atheist movie bombs

The Ledge, a new atheist movie, has bombed at the box office generating only $5,176 after costing $10 million to make. The director Matthew Chapman explicitly labeled it “the first overtly pro-atheist movie.” Essentially, the plot is a nice oppressed married Christian woman (we know she’s oppressed because she wears her top button done) meets a cool roguish atheist dude who unbuttons her top button, if you know what I mean. Enter big bad Christian patriarchal oppressor husband who then becomes not so nice and Christiany and threatens to kill his wife unless the atheist dude jumps off the ledge. Will the atheist sacrifice himself for another? Interesting that sacrifice comes into it. Read more: Atheist Brokeback Mountain Movie Bombs! ~ National Catholic Register