Friday, January 31, 2014

Lucia New search and seizure rules in schools will encourage more theft

When I started school as a five year old many years ago in the 1970's, I had a really interesting a cool pencil sharpener that a boy in my class coveted. During the day, this boy tried to steal it from me a number of times, until at the end of the day he finally succeeded. I told my teacher, Sister Joan that Michael had taken my pencil sharpener, having no proof as such, since I hadn't seen him do it, but thought it must have been him given his earlier attempts on the sharpener that  I was aware of.   So, my teacher, Sister Joan proceeded to search him and his belongings until she found the stolen item, which she returned to me. As I was leaving to go home, I glanced back into the school cloakroom to see Sister Joan administering punishment to the boy by washing his mouth out with soap, thus preventing what may have been the beginning of a life of crime for a child who instead grew up to be a model citizen.

On the front page of the Dominion Post yesterday, there was story about school principals complaining that new search and seizure rules that will be in effect this year will prevent them from being able to search for stolen items that school pupils may have hidden in their school bags.

Principals say they are being hamstrung by new search and seizure rules allowing them to look in a student's bag but not to search it.

With the rules set to kick in as schools restart for the year, principals say they do little to guarantee student safety.

The reality for schools is that weapons, including knives and screwdrivers, are being brought on to school grounds but the guidelines still do not ensure such items will be found, because the guidelines limit the extent to which searches can be carried out.

Teachers can look inside bags but not search for buried contraband and, if dangerous equipment such as scalpels goes missing, a class cannot be searched.

Electronics seized in suspected cyber-bullying cases could also not be checked for content.

Former Secondary Principals' Association president Patrick Walsh said schools had been back and forth to the Ministry of Education 10 times in an effort to redraft the rules, but some principals would remain unhappy with them.

The ministry said the legislation came into force on January 1 and the guidelines for principals would be signed off in the next week.

Association president Tom Parsons said it would be terrible if, after 10 redrafts, the guidelines were not workable.

"When you seize a phone and trawl through it you may see stuff that is arguably private, but that's nonsense to then not do it, because the reason you're looking for the stuff is out of good intentions."

He said principals and teachers did not use search and seizure powers unless there was a reason to suspect wrongdoing.

"Surely the privacy factor is a small price to pay for the greater safety of all students."

The article is written from the point of view of safety, but think of all the Michaels out there who will be able to start stealing from a young age, with the teachers not being allowed to search for contraband because of "privacy". Who knows what would have happened to the 5 year old boy who stole my pencil sharpener were he not thwarted by a determined school teacher who was also able to punish him for what he did?  Maybe he'd be in prison now rather than leading a normal life.

A few years back my oldest boy participated in a Philosophy class as a Year 9 subject for a couple of terms. It was truly scary, what he was being taught in that class (it was full on utilitarian philosophy), but more so the attitudes of his classmates that inidicated a terrible loss of morals over the last few decades. When asked what they would do if they had the power of invisibility, every single girl in my son's class said they would steal clothes, and every single boy (excluding my son) said they would steal money. They all wanted to steal if given the power of invisibility, presumably because they thought that such a power would allow them to steal and get away with it.

These new search and seizure rules which schools principals are rightly complaining of will make stealing at school so much easier if bags can only be looked in and not searched. All the child has to do is hide the stolen item and they are safe, and I think this will encourage more stealing among the young, as it increases the chances of being able to steal and not be found out.

It's such a different world from the one in which I grew up in, and I'm not that old, and this stupid obsession with privacy when it's not appropriate is not helping.

Related link: Safety rules too weak, say schools ~ Dominion Post, Stuff

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fletch Punk Rocker Returns To Catholic Faith

Terry Chimes (second from Left) with Punk-rock band, The Clash
The Catholic Herald has a great article about Terry Chimes, erstwhile drummer for The Clash and other bands, who describe his return to Catholicism.

In his autobiography, The Strange Case of Doctor Terry and Mr Chimes, baptised Catholic Terry Chimes, who drummed on The Clash’s eponymous debut album and toured with the band in the early 1980s, writes about his journey back to the Catholic faith.

Chimes describes stumbling across a copy of CS Lewis’s book Mere Christianity at a car boot sale in 1998 and reading about Lewis’s analysis of the sin of pride.

Chimes said: “There was a chapter entitled The Great Sin. The great sin is pride, the tendency we all have to think we are better than someone else. I had always known that pride existed but wondered why it’s referred to as the great sin. That was until I realised the significance of pride as an obstacle to spiritual growth.

“The problem with pride is that those who have the most see it the least. CS Lewis said that if you have done some good works, read some spiritual books, perhaps practiced meditation or given up drinking and you take pride in that, thinking that you are more spiritual than someone else, then Satan will rub his hands with glee, because he will have caught you in a spiritual trap from which escape is very difficult.”

He continued: “As I read those words I had the chilling awareness that I have been in just such a trap for twenty years. I put the book down and went to sit on the sofa. I was reeling from the realisation that I’d been in a trap for all of that time. Within minutes I was having the most extraordinary experience of my life.”

Fletch Great New Catholic Audio Bible App

A new application called Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible has been released for multiple platforms (including iPhone/iPad, Android, and Kindle), which includes an audio version of the Bible that is fully dramatized with parts by actors such as Neal McDonough, Kristen Bell, Sean Astin, Michael York, Blair Underwood, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach, Brian Cox, Julia Ormond, John Rhys-Davies and many more

The book of Mark is free to listen to and the other books can be purchased through the app (although I believe the whole Bible written text is free) Also available is the Ignatius study Bible with notes by Scott Hahn.

Endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican and includes a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI.

I've had a listen and it's very good. Well worth getting I think.

You can listen online through your desktop computer to Mark as well to get a taste of what it is like -

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fletch Gay Marriage and Civil Rights

You will frequently hear the proponents of gay marriage compare their 'struggle' for 'equality' with that of Martin Luther King, Jr and the Civil Rights protests that took place in America in the 1960s.

 I do not believe that gay marriage is a "civil right", especially for the reason of "equality".

For “equality”, the two things being compared must be equal, or “the same” with regard to the unique attributes or innate characteristics that define what those things are.  Thus, marriage has always been defined as being between a man and a woman - this is not “the same” or “equal to” two women or two men.

Are a male/female couple the same as a male/male couple or a female/female couple? No, they are not. There are differences. For a start, two men or two women can’t have sexual intercourse (coitus).
Some might argue that this argument falls apart when we compare it to racial equality - that in the past people have argued that a black man and a white man aren't "the same" or "equal" either and used that inequality as a basis for segregation; however, in this case the color of a man is not an attribute that defines what a man is or what makes him equal to another man. The color is a secondary characteristic, much like an apple is an apple, no matter if the skin is red or green.
As far as equality, a red apple has as much apple-ness as a green apple. They are the same and thus, equal as pertaining to the characteristics or properties that make an apple, an apple.
We can differentiate people by nationality (this is an “Indian” man or a “Chinese” man) , or apples by variety (a Granny Smith or a Braeburn) but, again, these are secondary characteristics and do not define what it means to be a man or an apple.
Marriage, also, has characteristics that define it. The color of the couple are secondary. The color(s) of one or both of the couple is not something that defines what marriage is. The nature of marriage is not dependant on it. I believe that marriage is dependant, however, on the couple being a man and a woman. Marriage is based on the complementarity of the couple based on gender. Because of this complementarity, their union is not only spiritual but bodily. So, one of the things that define marriage is sexual intercourse, which gay couples cannot have.
Proof that the union of a man and a woman is natural or normal is that there are resultant offspring or children. This is not a man-made convention, but something that occurs naturally and something that is good. It is something that only happens between a man and a woman and is proof of the ‘rightness’ or correctness of male/female relations and the goodness of the family. 
Gay proponents could argue that they want something equivalent to marriage. Equivalent means having the same value, worth or significance; the same in some aspect, but not necessarily all aspects.I believe they already have that in Civil Unions.
Again, the thing is, you can't force things that aren't equal to be equal by force of law. It has nothing to do with civil rights. 
Apples and oranges...

Fletch Grammy's Gay Marriage Stunt

Lorde or no Lorde, I won't be watching the Grammy Awards in protest of a stunt that is happening during the programme which is designed to push the gay marriage agenda in the U.S.

A group, Macklemore, had a hit last year in the charts with a song called "Same Love" which pushed for the equality of same-sex couples in gay marriage. The New York Times writes -

But the producers behind the program, which is to be broadcast live by CBS at 8 p.m., are hoping that the biggest show-stopper of the night will be a much more solemn event: an on-air wedding of 34 couples — gay, straight, old, young, of many races and many colors. The ceremony will be part of the hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s performance of their Grammy-nominated song “Same Love,” which became a marriage-equality anthem last year just as that issue was drawing intense national attention.

Mr. Lewis, the group’s producer, said that the weddings “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”

[Ken Ehrlich, the longtime producer of the Grammy], who learned of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s onstage proposals from his daughter, who is gay, said that the segment reflected his own personal beliefs. “But,” he was quick to add, “I would not want to make a broad statement that it represents the views of the academy or the CBS television network.”

Some of the lyrics to the song the group will be singing -

The right wing conservatives think it's a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go

America the brave still fears what we don't know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten

But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago

I don't know
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself

And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up... sex
The same tired canard, that all 'love' should be licit and legal. Not everything is licit, just because somebody wants or desires it. 'Desire', 'want', or misplaced 'love' is not reason enough to make something legal. Of course we want everybody to be happy but not every impulse people have is good for society.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lucia Powhiri in Government show we have a primary state religion, and it's not Anglicanism

We have two state religions operating here in New Zealand. The first is the Anglican religion, which by virtue of the Queen being our Head of State, is the State Religion of New Zealand. Not that it is really taken that much notice of. The official welcoming ceremony at the conference referred to below, was not an Anglican service presided over by an Anglican clergyman (or woman), but instead it was a Maori religious ceremony, performed under the guise of being a cultural welcoming ceremony.

A senior Australian politician has brushed off her minor breach of Maori protocol at the opening of a conference at Parliament, where she was placed in a male-only section.

Women do not usually sit in the paepae (front row) for Maori ceremonies. But at the opening of the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth yesterday, Australian Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop was accidentally placed among the men at the front during the powhiri.

The senior politician in Tony Abbott's Liberal Party said she was not bothered by the faux pas.

"I am a member of the Standing Committee and I was told that that was where I was to sit and I did. I'll simply say that I was a good guest and sat where I was told."

Ms Bishop was not moved from her seat.

Last year, Labour MPs Annette King and Maryan Street were asked to move from the paepae during a powhiri, an incident that prompted Speaker David Carter to call for a review and more modern kawa (protocols).

Mr Carter's review has proved divisive, with Wellington iwi Te Atiawa and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia staunchly opposing a change.

Others believed that the protocols undermined women's rights and needed to be modernised.

The whole argument around where women sit during these things is irrelevant in my mind. What is more important, I think, that they be called what they are - religious ceremonies. Religious ceremonies that are even in the school system, that are incredibly difficult to those of a different religious persuasion, to extricate their son or daughter from because of cultural sensitivity. That it be important that women sit in particular locations during the ceremony shows that there is a religious component to them, otherwise it would be no big deal.

Related link: Front row faux pas at powhiri ~ NZ Herald

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lucia John Key wants to let voters know that National can work with the Conservatives, but are they really conservative?

Just listening to John Key on NewsTalkZB, and the thing that stood out was that John Key wanted to let people know that National could work with the Conservatives. The interviewer was much more interested in talking about the change to potentially being able to work with Winston Peters and New Zealand First, than anything else.

Colin Craig has said that the "smacking law" would be one of the things that would influence negotiations were he and his party ever in a position where their support was necessary for a government to form. This article from Stuff calls it a bottom line, and then says the opposite when it quotes what Craig has said about it, leading me to believe that overturning the law will not end up being a condition of support, it will be just used as a means to garner votes.  Probably why John Key is indicating now he can work with the Conservatives.

Craig said he was not calling it a bottom-line at this stage because the election had not yet happened and he was not in a position to call the shots.

But if he found himself in that position come election time, it would "absolutely" be on the table for review.

"People have got to vote for us yet, we haven't had the election. But if we get there with the numbers where it's essential that we're part of Government, then yes we want it to be there for review and for a change back to law that will actually work for New Zealand."

Already, Craig has said the law is silly and many parents ignore it and he himself smacks his daughter, which according to the law, if done for correction is criminal, yet the police do not want to prosecute.  I know why they don't want to prosecute, or set CYFS onto Craig, because Craig is high profile and it will open up a political storm that no one wants.  One that a too fervent nurse might have set off with Michael Laws, but that will most likely end quietly as well.

I predict that if the Conservatives get voted in, and if their support is necessary for Government, and if the smacking law is put on the table for review, then something trivial will be worked out along the lines of what we have seen before such as John Key saying that if good parents are criminalised for light smacking, he'd change the law. Parents have been investigated and some have been charged, with charges being consequently dropped, but technically that's not "being criminalised".

Colin Craig won't push the issue, because he'll appear to have done what he promised - put the law up for review - and he doesn't seem to have a strong enough grasp of conservative principals to know that this isn't just a "silly law", or a law that most who voted in the referendum were against. Instead it's a dangerous, insidious law that allows government into the family home to control the raising of children. It breaks the boundaries between state and family, which is part of the power struggle that the state is engaged in in many parts of the world where it seeks to control the greatest obstacles to it's expansion- the family and religion.

I do find it interesting that not long after Tony Abbott refused to bow down to UN pressure to change the law in Australia, that Colin Craig has come out strongly against smacking. No one is making that connection or making much of it, I suspect, because it's more damaging to John Key that it is to Colin Craig.

My reasoning for suspecting that Craig doesn't have a grasp of conservative principles is based on what I've seen that he's said in the media, so without talking the man, I admit I could be wrong about him.  Yet, Colin Craig's rationale that smacking should be overturned because of the smacking referendum, but not the laws on same-sex "marriage" or prostitution, because there haven't been referendums on those two issues indicate that I'm probably correct:

Colin Craig says the Conservative Party won't be pushing for the repeal of the gay marriage law or legalised prostitution after next year's election, but would try to get the anti-smacking law overturned.

The party's position is that such issues should be decided by referendum. The smacking issue had been put to a referendum but the gay marriage issue and legalising prostitution had not.

"Until we have had referendums on those other two, I can't see how we can overrule the conscience vote in Parliament.

"The real mandate to change those things has to come from the people," Mr Craig told the Herald.
Conservatism is not populism.  A virtuous population will make clearer decisions about what laws should and should not exist that a populace that is enslaved to it's passions.  Conservatives should be aware of that fact, as the ancients certainly were  (see The politics of porn).

Being against prostitution, despite there being no referendum about the issue, should be a no-brainer for a conservative.  While virtue cannot be legislated for due to free will and all that, the activity of prostitution can be made illegal.  No person should be able to sell their body for sex and and no person should be able to buy it.  Sex is not just recreational, it is the giving of one to another, and the selling of the self in this way, is just one step away from the degradation of being taken by force.

Likewise same-sex "marriage", which is not marriage at all but a destruction of marriage in law.  Real conservatives know that true marriage law is vital for strong families which underpin a strong society.  So many people in the West are losing their understanding of what marriage is and what it is for, so it astounds me that any conservative that is calling themselves conservative would say that a recent law that was passed could not be overturned without a referendum.

So, the question is, if we vote for Colin Craig and his Conservative party, are we going to get conservative representation in Parliament?  I hope so, but I suspect not, and for that reason I did not vote for the Conservative Party last election.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

ZenTiger Shine on me

Torch Song : Shine on me. Needs a good sound system.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

ZenTiger Jargon Jihad

This has nothing to do with jargon
Chris Finlayson, MP,* is getting intense on language:

"I have always preferred the understatement," Mr Finlayson admitted.

"People use passionate when they mean like, or unique when they mean vaguely fashionable.

"It's like what happened in Rome when classical Roman broke down into vulgar Latin. The more intensive adjective or verb was always used over the classical one. And I have this objection to that happening to the English language. It's just my little jihad."

"Just my little jihad", Chris?

Own goal methinks.

* had to throw in a couple of pack hunting commas. Read the article to appreciate the joke.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

ZenTiger The good oil on ethical investments

Jinty McTavish
An interesting post on the blog "Your NZ" on ethical investment.

Dunedin City Councillor Jinty MacTavish does not like the idea of Dunedin City Council investing in oil companies.
Working to attract unethical industry to our city (and expending ratepayers’ resource to do so) feels to me a highly dubious activity for Council to be engaged in. I would very much hope we wouldn’t do it for cigarettes or munitions – what’s the difference with oil and gas, when science tells us the fruits of that industry will also erode the livelihoods of, and cause misery for, millions of people?
Presumably, when choosing NOT to invest in cigarettes or munitions, you'd also choose not to USE cigarettes or weapons, or support the use of them. So will this councilor be ceasing her use of oil and gas, and recommending the Council cease using the very substances destroying the world? Every time she fills her tank, is she not helping that unethical industry profit? I'm not sure Jinty McTavish is quite that ethical, and I'm not trying to attack her personally, as this is quite likely the general approach most people are taking.

It's therefore an interesting challenge to today's AGW believers. Should they really be using the very substances destroying the world, or because every-one does it, they can do it too. I said on another blog the other day (comment still in moderation so I wont link to it):
I’ll start believing [Man-made Global Warming] is urgent when over 20,000 people ... DONT fly to a climate change conference to discuss banning flying.

The amount of paper used at Copenhagen was a sizable forest.  [...] even those that believe the world is about to end can’t give up their use of flying and printing. Hypocritical wimps.

The problem with this approach of declaring the world will end unless flying is banned, etc and then immediately getting on an airplane, is you then need to explain why your trip is so much more important than the survival of the world. Like the Green Party MP that flew around Europe recently to find out how to stop other people* destroying the environment, they must be assuming that they are somehow exempt from their own morality.

Turning to a list of only ethical investments is one last consideration: ensuring that the chosen investments are not high risk or yield poor returns, given this investment is using OPM (Other People's Money). If so, some might consider that slightly more unethical than investing in oil production.

ZenTiger Hitting back at the MSM slanderous opinion pieces

Reading from the playbook

I am writing in response to the slanderous hit-piece you published on Cory Bernardi on 10 January 2014 (False Conservatives Mask Right-Wing Misfits”. As a member of the fourth estate I accept that you can have no conception, no understanding of Conservatism. I further understand you write for Fairfax and it’s your job to shill for the ALP and Greens. Normally, I would give the diatribes written by you and your ilk the attention they deserve (so do most people, it seems, given how Fairfax’s circulation seems to be falling at a pace commensurate with its leftist bias), but in this case I feel your lies, half-truths and misrepresentations require answer.

Yep, rather than report the news objectively, the newspaper is merely a vehicle for opinions.  Far too often, these are ill-informed and biased opinions. Clear encroachment on the domain of the blog. Equally, the blog is seen increasingly as a useful counter-point to some of the drivel we are feed from the lame stream media.

The counter-point to the print media's opinion is worth a read, even if you haven't been tracking the media storm that such journalists have attempted to whip up.

Crusader Rabbit: Open Letter to Nick Dyrenfurth

The slanderous hit piece which provoked the above response is actually quite funny, revealing some major mental disconnects that will only help strengthen the Conservative movement.

Things like not quite understanding abortion is a death industry (hello, is life forcibly terminated or is it not? Euphemisms don't change that particular fact).

Or not accepting the academic literature that children from traditional two parent families generally have better outcomes in life over other family structures. Hello? You really think single parenting or the inevitable stresses created from divorce and the complexities of blended families aren't going to have an impact, statistically speaking?

The supposed "intellectualism" of the liberal progressive is eventually going to unravel. Moments like this only reinforce this thought.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

ZenTiger Time Travel - I did it tomorrow and I'm telling you now

Robert Nemiroff and his graduate student Teresa Wilson of the Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, conducted a search for evidence of time travelers using the Internet. They claim it is the first approach of this nature and one of the most comprehensive experimental searches of its kind to date.

They recently submitted their work to the scientific paper repository arXiv and presented a poster discussing their work Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society near Washington D.C.

Using Twitter and Google Trends, the two researchers looked for any anachronistic mention or search query for Comet ISON before it was first discovered along its suicidal mission toward the Sun on September 21, 2012 and for Pope Francis before his election on March 13, 2013. They also looked for mentions of Comet ISON on Nemiroff's Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Their search for posts and queries reached as far back as January 2006.

The authors argue that if detected, the terms would suggest that a time traveler from the future had traveled to a time before either of these events, and deliberately or accidentally posted or searched for the information. Both terms were unique enough to prevent confusion with similar references and important enough to, in theory, persist into future pop culture.

Link to the version of the article from 19 hours ago: Here

Anyone notice the obvious flaw(s) in the study above?

How about this: Having published the study, with the findings, proving time travel, why wouldn't the time traveler go back in time, using the results of the study to correct each mistake, and then when the study was done, they would find nothing? Or maybe, there are time cops (police historians) that keep the records straight.

There are other issues with the above article. Why don't you list them for me, so I can fix them and then remove your comments, by winding this back to today. Thanks.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lucia St Philomena's church in New Plymouth burned down - any connection to the movie that is playing in cinemas right now? [UPDATE]

This afternoon, St Philomena's Catholic church in New Plymouth burned down.

I was particularly struck by the coincidence in names, as my neighbour was telling me earlier in the afternoon that after seeing the movie, Philomena, that is currently playing in the cinemas in New Zealand, she was left very angry at what the Catholic Church. Both of us were nowhere near New Plymouth at the time of the fire, so I'm not implying that she went and set fire to the church to vent her anger, but I am wondering if some one in New Plymouth did.

I haven't seen the film, myself, but I have read that it is emotionally manipulative and very anti-Catholic movie, so much so that an atheist film reviewer, Kyle Smith, gave it a slam in the New York Post:

With “Philomena,” British producer-writer-star Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears hit double blackjack, finding a true-life tale that would enable them to simultaneously attack Catholics and Republicans.

There’s no other purpose to the movie, so if 90 minutes of organized hate brings you joy, go and buy your ticket now.

For the rest of us, the film is a witless bore about a ninny and a jerk having one of those dire, heavily staged, only-in-movies odd-couple road trips. Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith, a disgraced ex-government flack, journalist and pompous intellectual who, after getting fired, learns at a party about a human-interest story that might jump-start his career. It’s the woeful tale of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), a woman of about 70 who, 50 years ago in Catholic Ireland, gave up for adoption a son born out of wedlock.

Frears (the director of “The Queen”) and Coogan revel in the details. When Lee, then 18, started to gain weight after a sweet evening with a boy at a carnival, she didn’t even know the term “pregnant.” She was sent off to an abbey to give birth in secrecy and shame, with the son, at age 3, given up for adoption. The film can’t quite decide whether the young mother was forced to give up her son Anthony; it makes as look as though she was, but also includes a scene in which contemporary Philomena adamantly denies coercion.

The film doesn’t mention that in 1952 Ireland, both mother and child’s life would have been utterly ruined by an out-of-wedlock birth and that the nuns are actually giving both a chance at a fresh start that both indeed, in real life, enjoyed. No, this is a diabolical-Catholics film, straight up.

The review created quite a bit of reaction, culminating in a full page ad taken out in the New York Times, denying that it was anti-Catholic, and including a letter from the real Philomena to the negative reviewer, Kyle Smith.  Here's that full page ad:

Kyle fought back with another article:

[The real Philomena's] rebuttal is essentially that the film can’t be anti-Catholic because it’s about her, and she remains a woman of faith. “ ‘Philomena’ is meant to be a testament to good things, not an attack,” she wrote in her open letter. Then she forgave me for “not taking the time to understand my story.”


Let’s look at effect rather than intent. One refreshingly forthright reviewer, James Killough of Pure Film, writes, ‘Phenomenal ‘Philomena’ Serves It up to Those ‘F – - – ing Catholics,’ ” adding, “If you don’t agree with Steve Coogan’s exasperated exclamation about Catholicism in reference to its abuse of, well, just about everyone in the history of its existence, then you’re likely a member of the Catholic clergy, or as terrorized by this most dangerous and egregious of Christian sects as Philomena herself.”

My inbox is full of e-mail from fans of the film saying “a) how dare you ding it for being anti-Catholic when b) the Catholic Church is so transparently evil?”


The film gives the false impression that Philomena’s son was (as Sixsmith put it in an article he wrote for, yes, The Daily Mail, “Stolen from his mother — and sold to the highest bidder”). It also claims the nuns burned all records to cover up what they’d done.

Dench even says, in an introduction to the book the film is based on, that you, Philomena, were “forced” to give up your child. Dench has already forgotten her line in the film, “No one coerced me. I signed of my own free will.” The audience will forget she said that too, since the rest of “Philomena” creates the strong impression that you, Philomena, were coerced into giving your son up for adoption.

As for the “sold to the highest bidder” claim, Sister Julie Rose, assistant congregation leader for the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Roscrea, Ireland, has replied (in the magazine The Tablet) that no money was accepted for adoptions and the order didn’t destroy any records.

My neighbour was also very angry about the supposed forced adoption and the money being taken for the adoption and the records being destroyed, none of which actually happened in real life.

I wonder if anyone else was even angrier and decided to send a message to the Church by burning down St Philomena's in New Plymouth. Somehow, I won't be surprised if that turns out to be what happened.

Related links: Fire extensively damages New Plymouth church ~ NZ Herald

UPDATE: Church blaze suspicious ~ Taranaki Daily News, Stuff

More reading: 'Philomena' Draws Catholic Backlash ~ US News

Saturday, January 4, 2014

ZenTiger The Green Party and Executive Action

The Whistleblower: UN Scandal
Ironically, after doing my previous post on the United Nations and their grab for power, money and more money, I came across a post on Frog Blog that talked about much the same thing.

What might be important before you read this post, is some context of an earlier post of mine pointing out many of the times the UN IPCC and associated warmists have indicated the end of the world as we know it before the year 2013. Assuming you get the gist, here's an extract from the Green Party Post for you readers to ponder:

A Global Climate Policy
by Kennedy Graham

These past five weeks, I have visited Europe studying climate policy. I attended the UN’s 19th climate conference, UNFCCC COP-19, in Warsaw. After Poland, I visited Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom and European Union (Brussels). And I retraced my UN steps to the Middle East (Jordan) and spoke with leaders there as well.

There are thousands of Greenies like Kennedy Graham burning up the carbon in their quest for reducing other people's travel miles. Do they really think taxes will solve the problem, or will only Green Party members be allowed to use air travel in the future?

The international negotiations that are the UNFCCC reflect a well-intentioned effort of the 18th to 20th-century Westphalian system to solve a 21st global problem. If we had 50 to 100 years for the negotiations to run their course, we might get there. But the scientists say we have 5 years for global emissions to peak if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.

Let me translate this bit for you - it's important.  The Westphalian system is a fancy way of saying that States (such as New Zealand) have sovereign power, and that sovereignty is respected in the international sphere.

We then go on to assert we only have 5 years left (remember, all the previous years where I link to stories where we only have 2,5,10 years left? We are officially dead right now, but assuming your reality persists, please read on).

The only recourse is to look for global executive action to supplement the wallowing international negotiations. As noted in previous blog-posts, the Security Council is the only body, however flawed, with existing legal capacity and institutional capability to undertake global executive action.

The only recourse is to circumvent any individual state's sovereignty and start using the United Nations Security Council as a bludgeon, to enact a World Governance Structure that will brook no disagreement, nor dissent. And note that all other options have run out. We are up to The Only Recourse.

This was my reply (below) on Frog Blog (currently under moderation, link may not work):

ZenTiger The UN and global taxation under urgency

Or alternatively, see my quote at the end of the post
Here is an extract of minutes of a United Nations meeting held in 2008 on the topic of Climate Change

General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-second General Assembly Informal Meeting on Climate Change and Most Vulnerable Countries (AM)

Unless a “war footing” was adopted in action to battle climate change, the world would miss the Millennium Development Goals and see existing gains unravel, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today as the General Assembly held a follow-up to its February thematic debate on the subject under the theme “Climate change and the most vulnerable countries: the imperative to act”.

There are existing gains, and they would unravel without action.

Voicing deep worry about a potential roll-back of development gains due to climate change, she said the subject also raised questions of equity and fairness, because climate change was being driven by emissions that, in nearly all cases, could be traced back to industrialized countries. To a lesser extent, middle-income and emerging economies were also responsible, yet the biggest burden was borne by the poorest nations, where as many as 2.6 billion people risked being condemned to a future of diminished opportunity.

Climate change is being driven by rich, industralised countries.

She said the ripple effects of climate change would extend far beyond the localities of those most immediately affected, quite possibly leading to mass migration and refugee flows. That, in turn, might lead to wider insecurity. As a start, international assistance should focus on enhancing the adaptive capacity of poorer societies and reducing their vulnerability to climate-related disasters, for which international donors should provide funding. Current official development assistance levels did not take into account the added costs of climate change, which would run into the tens of billions of dollars each year.

The developed countries do pour billions into these countries, and they respond in emergencies. The problem with many of the investments though is that they are notoriously corrupt. Dams in Pakistan that were given billions to build never got built, and the floods in the 90's that were to be averted in the 2000's were not - in spite of the money. Millions in Earthquake disaster relief never got there either. People like Gaddafi dies a billionaire, whilst his Palestinian people sent hundreds of rockets every year into their "rich" Jewish neighbour's yards. The skimming of UN funds is rife. Asking for a few billion more is just going to make a lot of corrupt leaders richer.

Friday, January 3, 2014

ZenTiger Gordon Campbell - Pathetic

Gordon helps improve relative blog quality
What an appalling interviewer is Gordon Campbell (in this case). He wears his bias on his sleeve, and makes a definite contribution to the low quality journalism that continues to ensure my opinion of the "professional" media don't consider objectivity an important attribute in journalism.

I came across an interview he did with Colin Craig.

Before I go into a couple of examples of his poor interviewing manner, I guess I've firstly got to declare that I currently have no connection with Craig or the Conservative Party, and haven't decided if I'm voting for them as yet.

Here's a couple of comments that came out in the interview worth highlighting:

Campbell: Going back to that point about the social liberalism of John Key: what was the point of principle when it became apparent to you that there had been a parting of the ways between you and him?

Craig: When he refused to be guided by the referendum on the anti-smacking law. That was a very clear point for me. He had the mandate from the people. Overwhelmingly so, yet he refused to take action. You have to see that in one of two lights. Both were a factor. First of all, there was a certain inherent arrogance in it that I didn’t like. It said: I’m cleverer than the people of the country.

Campbell: Or that there may be more important issues in play here, that single-issue zealots simply do not comprehend?

A disgusting response that reveals Campbell doesn't think much about democracy. So it must be very hard to comprehend that an 88% vote, with a more than 56% turnout is important and the fact that John Key ignored it is a very valid reason to think National has lost its way. It was also a turning point for me, when that level of response, in spite of all the campaigning and media support for the other view still lost so badly, and to see National and John Key brush it off like Campbell does here reveals a very big problem - the inability to understand other points of view. Campbell's loose comment, rather rude and actually irrelvant to Craig's response is arrogance of the highest order. A good interviewer may have, rather than criticising the position, seek to uncover more about what was described as a pivotal moment to actually bring something new to the table. Git.

Campbell: "But here’s the thing, Colin. If you truly are a new force in politics, surely you should win your right to represent people on your own merit, and do so against all comers. Agreed?"

Oh, how clever to try to make winning a seat an issue of personal merit. Say nothing of the default position of the media which is using and abusing it's power to ridicule and misrepresent much of what Craig says. Furthermore, entry of a new political party is extremely difficult. There is no electoral funding (that the established parties get) and it takes time to develop the resources and coherency that the incumbent parties have by virtue of being around for so long.

"Campbell: Why not act on that faith? "

Another stupid, condescending and deliberately stereotypical thing to say. Firstly, to go with the big bogeyman - "what if this candidate has CHRISTIAN VALUES"? Heck, that sounds scary. Why is it scary to have Christian values? What is so scary about the fact that Colin Craig used to go to church as a kid. Was the story of the Good Samaritan so scary to the anti-christian bigots out there, or is it that they secretly fantasize about crucifying good people, and don't want to blow the gig. Or is it that they don't like the idea that adultery, dishonesty, murder and envy of the neighbour should be considered a sin? But he challenge to "act on that faith" was a clumsy attempt to try to have Colin declare he shouldn't actually do anything to win a seat, other than pray. It was a clumsy attempt to set up some kind of hypocritical catch-out. This is not what faith is about, and faith doesn't become a replacement for action. Colin Craig missed an opportunity to call him an idiot (or warmonger) for making that kind of statement.

I wont bother with the rest of the piece. Suffice to say that Gordon Campbell's questions as outlined above were pathetic and disrespectful and somewhat arrogant. Fine for blogs and blogging, not so fine for "professional journalism".

Gordon Campbell - The nonobjective media

And just for balance, here's where I said something nice about him.  It was April 16, 2009: Bula Gordon Campbell

Thursday, January 2, 2014

ZenTiger The Trained Assassin - Derren Brown

Just watched an interesting program: Derren Brown - The Experiments. The first part was interesting as he correctly predicted choices a person made. The second part was sickening. He had an audience choose good or bad situations for an unsuspecting person, progressively making them worse. It included entering his apartment and going through his personal belongings, smashing his TV and so on. The experiment was supposedly just as much about the mob decision making, as many options were having something good happen (win $10,000) or something bad (smash TV) and the audience seemed to always choose the bad option.

I really hate "practical jokes" like this and found it ultimately disgusting. Although having a look around the internet, seems he makes programs of lots of similar psychological experiments. Just found another one where he hypnotised several people and suggested they throw acid into a person's face. They did. He then moves on to train him to assassinate some-one.

It's painful to watch.

ZenTiger Escape from summer ice

Many blogs have covered the story that some scientists were caught in summer ice down in the Antarctic. They've been stuck since Christmas. Two rescue vessels (both icebreakers) have failed to reach them so now they are resorting to a helicopter lift out, happening around now.

The weather is getting worse though, not better, so it would be very foolish to continue. It does seem like the reality is sinking in:

The long-awaited rescue came after days of failed attempts to get the passengers off the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which got stuck on Christmas Eve. Blinding snow, strong winds, fog and thick sea ice forced rescuers to turn back time and again.

The scientific team on board had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's 1911 to 1913 voyage to Antarctica. Turney had hoped to continue the trip if an icebreaker managed to free the ship.

They will be disappointed. Aside from recreating the trip, early tweets and reports had seen this as a huge opportunity to bring awareness to the world of the rapidly disappearing ice and the threat from man-made global warming. Mother nature hasn't been reading the papers though.

An inconvenient berg

UPDATE: Maybe they need to drop them off in South Australia, currently recording temperatures of up to 49C. That's not warming, that's boiling! Those temperatures are up in the Northern end, and the record was over 50C in 1960, so it could beat that record yet. Down south, in Adelaide, it was somewhere in the twenties.

ZenTiger Sugar Tax

A new cigarette tax came into force 1 January, building on the progressive taxes already imposed. That makes cigarettes $22 a pack (per 25). Smoking is now an addiction presumably only the rich and the criminal can contemplate.

Perhaps smokers are considering swapping to P or Heroin or crack cocaine. They may well be a more economical addiction, and help take the mind of the craving for smokes.

Who knows? Meanwhile, flushed with the success of the smoking tax, the call for a tax on sugar is looking sweeter each day.

In the 2000AD comic series, the cities of the future were regulated by Judges with the power to convict on the spot.  I remember a scene where Judge Dredd breaks into an apartment to find an elderly couple having a cup of tea. It all looked pretty normal, until Dredd tasted the contents of the sugar bowl. Was the evil white substance cocaine? Nope, sugar. But sugar was a banned substance in the future, so the couple were hauled off for a stretch in the iso-cubes.  Those writers were pretty much spot on.

I link to an article which continues the theme of fighting obesity with taxes. Lots of taxes.

It may work, or it may spawn a whole new set of products that use artificial sweeteners -the type that don't cause obesity, just bowel cancer and ruined taste buds.  I hate the stuff - it leaves a bad after taste.

It also leaves me wondering if old people wanting a cup of tea with a spoonful of sugar will likely opt for euthanasia instead.  It's probably the one thing that wont be taxed.

Sugar Tax: Miracle Cure

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lucia Happy New Year in this Year of Our Lord, 2014

Approximately 2014 years ago, something so momentous happened that it literally split history in half. That momentous even was the birth of God as a human being, and not even alternate religious systems (Islam) or political systems (French Revolution and Communism) could erase the numbering of our years from the birth of Christ.

It is A.D. 2014, which is Anno Domini 2014, which is in English, in the Year of Our Lord 2014. Even the atheistic Common Era that attempted to replace Anno Domini cannot erase the fact that we number our years based on when Jesus Christ was born.

Nor can the Muslims get away from this as well, try as they might to ban New Year celebrations, as they did in Indonesia this time around.

Happy New Year, everyone!

ZenTiger Brain washed Chinese condemn man for having children

"Even as China is softening its one-child policy, one if its most renowned film directors is finding himself in trouble for violating the nation's infamous family planning law."

Yes indeed. He fathered three children. This has caused outrage amongst the brainwashed population:

"Zhang's breach of the policy has set off a firestorm, especially among netizens who resent how the rich and famous in China flout rules and policies. JinqiuT wrote on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging service: Celebrities should abide laws and rules as common people."

When the government subjects its citizens to a constant diet of its own propaganda, the population eventually come to believe that justice is reached by obeying the law, not flouting it. This is why their society accepts millions of forced abortions every year. Or maybe they are not all forced. Maybe there are huge queues of women asking for their babies to be terminated? Certainly, in India, the quickest way of being killed is for the Doctor to reveal that your unborn baby is female.

It must be terrible to be so brainwashed that deliberate infanticide and forced abortions have become so accepted. What kind of society is truly healthy with those attitudes?

That could never happen in our society, of course.