International Cat Speculators Since 2006

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.

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. 

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.

This is the sort of comment which Labour apparently allows on David Cunliffe’s Facebook page.

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Not only swearing, but hateful attacks the Salvation Army. Would they allow people to talk like that about, say, Islam?

Then, I noticed this:

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I left that last one in there for irony.

It’s a shame that the Problem Gambling Foundation has lost it’s funding.

But it’s quite another to try and weave a conspiracy into a situation where there is none. Ele Ludemann has a good post pointing out how Labour has tried to do just that.

This is the sort of stunt which puts voters off. But I’ve noticed that Labour has never been too worried about keeping their stories straight. I wonder what that says about their voters?

Update: It seems that the real reason they are upset is because the PGF is much more closely aligned with the Labour and Green parties than the Salvation Army is.

Reminds me of the screaming over making student associations voluntary really.

Update 2: Reading further down Kiwiblog I see this:

UPDATE2: Also worth thinking about how the PGF has reacted to the news they lost the tender. They immediately contact Trevor Mallard (no doubt through their public health manager who is a Labour Party candidate) and claim it was due to their opposition to Sky City. There are dozens of organisations out there who lose tenders when better bids are put in. Most don’t go running to Trevor Mallard to try and turn it into a political story. The fact they did so, shows how deeply political they had become.

A very poor choice there by the PGF, very poor indeed.

Here’s something you never hear people talk when they talk about “Gender Equality“.

I’ve discussed at length how men should treat women. I’ve written about the lessons I plan to teach my son; lessons about how he should love, honor, respect, serve, and protect the women in his life. Indeed, men need to respect women, and we, as men, are far from perfect in that regard.

Those posts — the ones where I call on us men to improve the way we treat women — tend to be very popular. They’re popular when I write them or when anyone writes them. Proclaim that women, mothers, and wives should be respected, and a chorus will shout ‘amen.’ …

But I’ve noticed that the corollary – a message about the respect women must give men, a message challenging wives and encouraging husbands – isn’t quite so palatable for many people. Disrespect for men has become standard practice. That scene I witnessed was sad but unremarkable; we’ve all watched that kind of thing play out a thousand times over. Men are disrespected by their wives – they’re disrespected publicly, they’re disrespected privately, they’re disrespected and then told that they have no right to be upset about it because they aren’t worthy of respect in the first place.

He goes on.

Disrespect for men is a joke to us now. A little while ago I stopped on the way home from work to buy my wife some flowers. As she rang me up, the cashier quipped: “Uh-oh, what’d you do?” I wasn’t particularly amused, but I chuckled. She continued. “I don’t know if this will be enough to get you off the couch tonight!”

Ah, yes, the old “husband is punished by his wife and sent to the couch” meme. I’m not sure if this actually happens in real life, or if it’s an invention of 90′s “all men are fat, witless, oafs” sitcoms, but the popularity of the stereotype is telling. Is this how we see husbands now? A man gets “in trouble” with his wife, she scolds him and puts him in time-out on the couch. Now he has to placate his alpha-bride by showering her with flowers and jewelry.

Men are painted like children or dogs. They can be shooed off of their own beds by their wives and sent to cower in the living room until she permits him to return. This is only slightly less offensive than the cliché of the sadistic wife who punitively withholds sex from her husband. “You didn’t clean the garage like I told you. No sex for you, mister! Next time, follow my instructions!

It’s amazing that, while we’ve been so focused on the status of women, we’ve allowed the status of men to be derided so universally that it’s a casual joke.

And anyone who thinks this isn’t having negative effects on society is a fool.

 

Sometimes the left’s lack of self-awareness is just bizarre. Take this one from NRT:

We like to regard Australia as a natural ally, our sibling-country which shares our outlook on the world. But it turns out they’ve been working behind our back to undermine our disarmament efforts:

So much for natural allies.

Hm, let’s see. What possible reason might Australia have for opposing our lack-of-defence policy? I mean, it’s not like we’ve ever thrown a massive hissy-fit of idealism which resulted in the smashing of carefully fostered defence links, is it?

Frankly, I’d be amazed if they weren’t doing this. With Putin on the rise, one has to ask, why are we?

If you want a good laugh at liberal snobbery, I commend this story to you.

The problem with Whole Foods is their regular customers. They are, across the board, across the country, useless, ignorant, and miserable. They’re worse than miserable, they’re angry. They are quite literally the opposite of every Whole Foods employee I’ve ever encountered. Walk through any store any time of day—but especially 530pm on a weekday or Saturday afternoon during football season—and invariably you will encounter a sneering, disdainful horde of hipster Zombies and entitled 1%ers.

Go have a laugh, I dare you.

It turns out (and yes, many of us already knew this) that there is no “wage gap” – at least in the word of IT.

Silicon Valley has long suffered the reputation of being unwelcoming to women, from brogrammer attitudes to sexist apps to gender inclusivity, but whatever problems women may have with the tech industry, wage discrimination isn’t necessarily one of them. New research shows that there is no statistically significant difference in earnings between male and female engineers who have the same credentials and make the same choices regarding their career.

So where do people get their number from when they claim the gap exists?

In his 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama said it was “wrong” and “an embarrassment” that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, implying that the pay disparity is due to sexism and gender wage discrimination. His careful construction elides the fact that the 77% statistic does not refer to “equal work.” That number is a Census Bureau comparison of the annual wages of all workers, regardless of occupation.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics show that when measured hourly, not annually, the pay gap between men and women is 14% not 23%. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis prefers working with hourly wages, arguing “an incomplete picture” is cast with weekly earnings because women work fewer hours than men, “which would make a gap in weekly earnings between the two groups substantial even if their hourly wages are the same.”

So even across completely different roles, when you look at people’s hourly rates the gap isn’t as big as claimed. 

The magnitude and interpretation of the relationship between gender and wages remain in dispute. After adjusting for all the known factors, Corbett and Hill’s model showed an “unexplained” 6.6% difference in wages between men and women who are full-time workers. Conflicting data from the BLS shows that some women who work full-time have a wage premium, and earn 11% more than men. The tech industry is unique in its history of being “equal pay for equal work”: A longitudinal study of female engineers in the 1980s showed a wage penalty of “essentially zero” for younger cohorts and today, the two highest paying professions with wage equality are in technology (computer scientist and engineer).

Ok, so it’s not a completely simple picture.

But the idea that women generally get only paid at an hourly rate that’s 77% of that of a man with the same suitability (skills, experience etc) is complete and utter BS. We know this, and we’ve known it for some time. There are differences, but we know that they boil down to choices made by the individual employee, not the employer.

Ironic that those who have arguably won the fight are the ones who are so unable to admit they’ve won it. Maybe the real problem here is not employers at all, but rather people who’s politics won’t let them see people as free and rational, and able to make their own choices in life.

This is sort of funny.

 

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