International Cat Speculators Since 2006

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So… who is it that really buys votes?

In case you’ve been living under a rock of some sort, you’ll have noticed a really silly “Internet Party” has been founded by one Kim “Dot Com”, convicted criminal awaiting extradition to the US.

Mr “Dot Com” is keen to avoid said extradition, and hence is using his money to buy his way into our parliament.

Now, clearly he’s been casting around for which political grouping might be most open to his ministrations. 

We now know the answer to his careful research. He has discovered that left-wing environmentalists are most easily bought

That’s not to say he’ll actually succeed in buying enough to get anywhere of course. But don’t let’s forget that supposed “anti-big money” principles are quickly forgotten on the left.

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Shooting yourself in the foot by quoting fake data

I mean, seriously. If conservatives are so evil, show some real data and stop making it up.

Because if you don’t have real data, not only does that say something about the people you’re trying to smear, it also says something about you.

Don’t trust a characterisation – especially from Dana Milbank

I’ve said many times, you should not trust a characterisation. Check the original source.

This is a classic example:

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who has an increasing reputation as a shill for the left wing, viciously attacked the Heritage Foundation in a column on Monday evening. The column, “Heritage’s ugly Benghazi panel” characterized the event as though it were a full-throated, Muslim-bashing hate-crime cleverly disguised as a public forum to discuss the Benghazi attack.

The video is in the post. Milbank’s characterisation is completely self-serving. 

For example, Brigitte Gabriel was talking about an attack on “our government” and then, by way of correcting herself, asked Ahmed if she was a US citizen. No big deal really.

But Millbank described that this way:

“Are you an American?” Gabriel demanded of Ahmed, after accusing her of taking “the limelight” and before informing her that her “political correctness” belongs “in the garbage.”

Not the inflammatory language – “demanded of”, while connecting it to a later statement about political correctness. 

This, my friends, is why people loathe journalists. They twist and turn and play gotcha games. Also, they make stuff up. A good editor in my past told me that he was always suspicious of reporters who rely on breaking up a quote multiple times and adding in their own words in between. It means they’re trying to force the speaker to say something. We can now call this the Milbank Rule. I mean, was everything quoted in his piece accurate? Absolutely. Were his words or description of what transpired accurate? Hell no.

The press has a lot to answer for these days. 

Anyway, go have a read, and watch the video.

US Anti-gun group lies (yes, again)

There are people in the US who think that their country has too many guns. They’re probably right in thinking this.

Problem is, when those people get together to try and change that fact, they invariably make fools of themselves.

Take the latest example. An anti-gun group created a list of 74 supposed school shootings in the last 18 months. Problem is, only 15 are actually what most people would call “school shootings”.

Oops.

Actually, the 15 is CNN’s number. Charles C. Johnson from the Daily Caller reckons it’s more like 7.

Reminder: all politicans play games

In recent days, there’s been a lot of fuss over National supposedly doing something evil by “gifting” Epsom to ACT.

It’s all incredibly idiotic, given… well let’s have Idiot/Savant take up the story.

It doesn’t help that there’s the usual enormous helping of hypocrisy from Labour on this. Despite their claims to have been “principled and consistent” on the issue, they quietly gifted Coromandel to the Greens in 1999; their opposition is more recent, and based entirely on a desire to rob National of potential coalition partners. And in order to do that, they’re willing to make our Parliament less representative and rob their fellow citizens of a democratic voice. 

Someone on the left changing the law to put a spoke through their opponent’s vote, even at the expense of their supposed principles? Say it isn’t so!

Oh, and that’s before we have Cunliffe refusing to rule out the internet party as a partner.

But seriously, the entire problem (as Idiot goes on to say) is the 5% threshold. It’s entire purpose was to keep radicals out of parliament. Yet, the entire current debate has been kicked off because of one Hone Harawira, a man who’s so radical that he’s perfectly happy to commit crimes to keep the poor out of houses – while taking their votes of course. 

But the silliest thing is that parties do not own votes. Voters do – and they’ll vote for whoever they want to.

Pay your tax, or the insulation gets it

It’s ever so wrong when the rich people who send their kids to private schools don’t pay their full tax due.

But, if we don’t offer them free insulation, then National is evil!

 

Principles

Looking though my saved links, I noticed this.

AT SLATE, WILL SALETAN WRITES ON Brendan Eich and the New Moral Majority. “It used to be social conservatives who stood for the idea that companies could and should fire employees based on the ‘values’ and ‘community standards’ of their “employees, business partners and customers.” Now it’s liberals. Or, rather, it’s people on the left who, in their exhilaration at finally wielding corporate power, have forgotten what liberalism is.”

I think, rather, that their view of liberalism is like Erdogan’s view of democracy — it’s a bus that you take until you get to your stop, at which point you get off.

Ties in rather well with my previous post.

It also reminds me of the reason I dislike 24 year old politicians and speakers who have never been in opposition – neither really appreciate the value of integrity.

Church Discipline

Ele of Homepaddock reminded me tonight of this story I saw today:

A 72-year old Southland woman has had her 30-year church membership revoked because she lives in a de facto relationship.

The Calvin Community Church, a presbyterian church in Gore, has revoked the membership of one of its long-term members because her relationship with a man she lives with was “at variance with what is expected of a member of Calvin Community Church”.

The woman said she was told “out of the blue” she had to either marry her long-term partner, leave him, or no longer be a church member.

She was still able to attend the church, but she has declined to do so because “they have discussed my private life around the table”.

“I was shocked. I was very upset at the way it was put to me, someone just phoned me out of the blue and I was told I had to either marry him or I can’t be a member of the church.”

“This is 2014, not the 1950s, times have changed.”

My thoughts:

1) Similar things to this have happened in churches I have been involved in – in fact one quite recently. The basic story – follow the rules if you want to keep your membership – is hardly anything exciting.

2) The most curious thing is the age of the woman. Usually such problems are had with much younger people. She has also been a church member for 30 years, yet it seems that she isn’t prepared to live her faith. Frankly, I find that bizarre. Why spend 30 years in a  (the) church if you don’t really believe it’s teachings? 

Actually, reading further it looks like she transferred to Gore in the last few years. In that case it sounds like she’s the “my parents did it” sort, who goes to church not because she believes it but because that’s just what you do.

3) If the process is as written in the article (“out of the blue”) it hasn’t been handled well at all. This sort of thing should go several steps, beginning with a sit down with the pastors and elders do discuss the sin that she has fallen into. What frequently happens is that the person under discipline rejects meetings and then you get the formal letter. But, given the letter is reported to state “You have said that your partner is not willing to marry you”, that suggests that this is not the first contact and that the “out of the blue” claim is untrue.

 

do know that church discipline is handled very badly in far too many churches. I heard of a case in a baptist church years ago which was extremely messy to my ears, yet I was also told it was regarded as the best handled in that church. Worse, it’s problem that feeds on itself – people who are not disciplined begin to act as though there are no standards to be upheld, and that appears to be the problem here.

4) I happen to know that this particular church has not been properly run in the past. My information is that decisions have not been taken by the session, but rather by a sub-group. It is possible that the new pastor is part of tidying this up, but possibly not.

5) This woman has been a church member for decades and is upset because “they have discussed my private life around the table”. Does she seriously think that the church takes no interest in it’s members? What does she think the leadership is there for? What does she think “spiritual shepherding” means?*

As I see it, she has several problems:

1) “This is 2014, not the 1950s, times have changed.” – She’s under the impression that the church should change to suit whatever sin is in vogue. Admittedly a common problem.

2) As a Christian, she said she would prefer to be married to align with her beliefs.”  - She sees avoiding sin as a preference, not a necessity.

3) “There is only one judge and that is God” – She rejects the authority of the leadership of the church. That alone is enough to have you removed from membership. Without looking it up, I’m quite certain that accepting the leadership and guidance of the elders is actually a big part of the oath of membership in our church. If you don’t accept the judgement of the leadership of a church, why on earth would you join it?

4) Why break up a happy relationship.” – Since when is sin something we avoid because it feels bad? If it felt bad, you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place, would you?

5) I’ve thought about it and prayed about it and I’m happy with my relationship.” – This comes back to the previous point, but also the one before that. She has prayed about her relationship, but not sought (or at least, taken) the guidance of her pastor. No one forced her to join the Calvin Community Church, or to put her under their disciple. Yet she has rejected their guidance when it has been given and is now complaining about it to the media no less.

(Personally, if I create a situation I prefer not to advertise it – but that’s just me.)

But the quote “I’ve prayed about it” sickens me. This isn’t some difficult ethical decision where either way may lead to the deaths of innocent people. This is personal pleasure vs. the clear teaching of scripture and the church. 

 

Overall, I’m actually reasonably impressed with the response of the church.

When rung by the Southland Times, pastor Keith Hooker, who has been at the church for 10 months, said he had written the letter on behalf of church elders.

In a written response to questions, Hooker said the woman remained welcome to worship at Calvin Community Church but church members agreed to lead a life consistent with their profession of faith as contained in the teaching of the Bible.

“No-one is ever turned away from our church. All are welcome to worship here.

This is an important point. This is not about her being welcome, it is about vows of membership.

But member or not, all are welcome at church. Period.

 

* Yes, I get that people who aren’t used to churches might find this irksome. But think about a rugby club – would you expect the coaches never to discuss player performance? Church is about live, elders and deacons end up working with members on a wide range of issues. 

Link

There is such a thing as thinking too much

There is such a thing as thinking too much

Update: There is also a thing called complete lack of self-awareness - aka, broken irony meter.

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