Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Andrei Prayer

Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth.

Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace.

Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war.

Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom.

Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression.

Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise.

Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Andrei USA exports democracy

In 2008 President Bush gave Vladimir Putin a lesson on democracy


And now democracy Iraq style has come to Ukraine courtesy of the USA.


Its amazing that people get so upset that the Government they voted for has been replaced and their current "prime minister" actually got less than 7% of the vote at the ballot box last elections.

But the current Prime minister does have the approval of the American State Department, who engineered a coup to install him so they should just accept it.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fletch Woman Credits Dawkins' 'God Delusion' With Becoming Catholic

I read an interesting story today about a woman who says that reading atheist author Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion led her to becoming Catholic. I doubt that Dawkins would be very happy with that!
After she began reading the book, at the insistence of her daughter, she found that it contained "no cogent arguments" and afterward, read Pope benedict's book Jesus of Nazareth which led to her conversion.
Truthfully, I found the [The God Delusion] a waste of my time as it afforded me no cogent arguments concerning the existence or non-existence of God. In fact, not only was Dawkins disrespectful of opinions other than his own, I found his statements about Jesus to be so ill-informed (and, mind you, I was no fount of scholarly information myself) that I resolved to actually learn something about Jesus Christ.

Reading Dawkins challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone and honestly confront the issues holding me back from a full commitment to faith. My sense of The God Delusion is that it is written as a testimony to Dawkins’ belief system (which I call fundamentalist atheism) and that the author cherry picks convenient quotes to bolster his opinion that esteemed scientists (such as Einstein) couldn’t possibly be ignorant enough to actually believe in a supernatural God, no matter what they may have said to the contrary. In fact, anyone with any intelligence at all couldn’t possible believe in a supernatural God. Dawkins is preaching to his atheist choir and evidently they loved the book based on their many five-star recommendations of it.

[...]

I choose to believe in a supernatural God and his son, the Word, Jesus. I believe in miracles. I believe that, while science has many valuable insights to offer us, it is not the final word. I believe that some things are beyond our understanding, certainly now, and perhaps forever. I believe that God is great and that man, created in His image and with free will, has made wonderful discoveries about the natural world that we inhabit. I choose to believe in God and that he is no delusion, nor am I delusional.
Nice to know that reading Dawkins can have a positive effect :)

LINK

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fletch 'Noah' Movie Not Based On Bible At All?

I read a very good article on Darren Aronofsky’s new film 'Noah' that is in cinemas at the moment. From what I've read the film is weird - very weird; with walking 'fallen angels' covered in molten rock that help Noah build the Ark etc. In the article (which has gone viral and is stirring up much controversy), the author has an opinion that the film is not based on the Bible at all, rather a Gnostic version based on Kabbalah. In this tradition, basically The Creator is bad, and the snake (Sophia, or Wisdom) is good.

Except that when Gnostics speak about “The Creator” they are not talking about God. Oh, here in an affluent world living off the fruits of Christendom the term “Creator” generally denotes the true and living God. But here’s a little “Gnosticism 101” for you: the Creator of the material world is an ignorant, arrogant, jealous, exclusive, violent, low-level, bastard son of a low level deity. He’s responsible for creating the “unspiritual” world of flesh and matter, and he himself is so ignorant of the spiritual world he fancies himself the “only God” and demands absolute obedience.

This Creator tries to keep Adam and Eve from the true knowledge of the divine and, when they disobey, flies into a rage and boots them from the garden.

In other words, in case you’re losing the plot here: The serpent was right all along. This “god,” “The Creator,” whom they are worshiping is withholding something from them that the serpent will provide: divinity itself.

The world of Gnostic mysticism is bewildering with a myriad of varieties. But, generally speaking, they hold in common that the serpent is “Sophia,” “Mother,” or “Wisdom.” The serpent represents the true divine, and the claims of “The Creator” are false.

So is the serpent a major character in the film?

Let’s go back to the movie. The action opens when Lamech is about to bless his son, Noah. Lamech, rather strangely for a patriarch of a family that follows God, takes out a sacred relic, the skin of the serpent from the Garden of Eden. He wraps it around his arm, stretches out his hand to touch his son—except, just then, a band of marauders interrupts them and the ceremony isn’t completed. Lamech gets killed, and the “villain” of the film, Tubal-Cain, steals the snakeskin. Noah, in other words, doesn’t get whatever benefit the serpent’s skin was to bestow.
Worth reading the whole thing. Having heard and read about it, I think the movie is something that probably should be approached with caution.

LINK TO ARTICLE



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lucia Daylight Saving is ending in NZ on Sunday [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Daylight Saving officially ends at 3am on Sunday morning when the clocks go back to 2am, so the picture is not totally accurate, but, I liked it, so it's here with the post.
The end of Daylight Saving cannot come soon enough. As I have been posting every year now, Daylight Saving lasts too long on the tail end. Easily by two weeks, maybe more, but the last two weeks of it are physically painful.

This morning my body did not want to wake up. I was groggy and wooden, like when I wake up really early to go to the airport. Both my boys were the same, in that their internal body clocks refused to acknowledge the time that politicians have told us we have to live by until Sunday.

Unfortunately, every working person so far that I've mentioned the length of Daylight Saving to really enjoys the extra hour of sunlight in the evening. All women, without teenage boys at home who have trouble winding down at night because of the heat. Why not, on that basis, wind our time back another hour or two, so we all get up in very, very early morning and have several more hours of sun in the evening? Why not? Because there's only so much time denial that the human body can cope with.

Now, a recent study has found that heart attacks go up when the time changes into Daylight Saving, causing a little bit of consternation, to say the least:

The study, published online in Open Heart, found that Michigan hospitals attended to an average of 32 heart attack patients every Monday in a three year window - from 2010-2013. A curious pattern emerged: on the Mondays immediately following the start of Daylight Saving Time (when an hour is lost), the average number of heart attack patients went up by around eight.

Also, the number of heart attacks reduced after Daylight Saving ended:

Interestingly, the reverse was found when daylight savings came to an end for any given year, with heart attacks decreasing on the following Monday by 21 percent.

Which made me think - have there been studies on the general health effects of Daylight Saving on people? I know the change in NZ was pushed through because Peter Dunne presented a 40,000 signature petition to Parliament that was signed by mostly sports people who wanted that extra hour of sunlight in the evening in autumn to practice after school and work. There was no study backing up that extending Daylight Saving would be beneficial, just a desire that it be changed, and it was. I know from personal experience that the artificially long Daylight Saving is affecting my sleep and my children's sleep, which much be having a negative effect in general.

Daylight Saving never used to bother me as much as it does now, because it wasn't noticeable as a problem for me. Now it is.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Andrei What you can do with a black belt in judo....

Operation Urgent Fury: a 1983 United States-led invasion of Grenada, a Caribbean island nation with a population of about 91,000

Casualties USA19 killed
Grenada45 killed
Cuba25 killed
Civilians24 killed

Operation Just Cause: the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989

Casualties:USA23 killed
Panama205–314 killed
Civilians250-500 killed

Russian takeover of Crimea: the invasion of Crimea by the Russia in February 2014

Casualties: Russia 0 killed
Ukraine0 killed
Civilians0 killed

And when you recall what the costs of historical attempts to take this particular peninsular have been....

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lucia Scythian gold

From the Wall Street Journal, an ancient gold exhibit from Crimea that has travelled to Europe, now may not be returned to it's mueseum given that Crimea is no longer part of Ukraine. Here's some background:

The Scythians were nomads who inhabited much of modern-day Russia and Ukraine from about 600 B.C. to 300 A.D. They fought off their enemies from horseback with bows and arrows and interred their nobility in elaborate tombs, where they buried horses, gold and other treasured items alongside the dead. Higher-ranking Scythian warriors often had elaborate tattoos, according to Greek historian Herodotus, who described the Scythians as barbaric warriors at times prone to indulge in marijuana.

Alexander Blok wrote about them in 1918, months after the October Revolution, in his famous poem "The Scythians." Frustrated by Russia's dragging involvement in World War I, Blok lashed out at Europe. He presented the Scythians as a savage eastern streak lingering in Russia's blood, ready to pillage Europe should the Continent neglect to end the war and fail to embrace the socialist uprising.

"Would we be to blame if your skeleton cracks to bits in our heavy, tender paws?" Blok wrote in the poem, addressing Europe's powers.

Such ideas of Russia's special Eurasian destiny opposed to Western Europe have undergone a revival under President Vladimir Putin, who since his return to the Kremlin in 2012 has promoted Russia as an alternative to Europe with different values.

The controversy over the Amsterdam exhibit isn't the first time Scythian gold has emerged as a flare-up in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Russian media outlets recently accused Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of smuggling Scythian gold treasures from Ukraine's national gold reserve to the U.S. as a guarantee for Western loans ahead of a March meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington. Ukrainian authorities called the claim a fantasy of Russian spin-doctors.

Related link: Scythian Gold Caught in Ukraine Dispute

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lucia Some important stories on the recent invasion of Crimea by Russia

On a crack down on independent journalism that doesn't follow the pro-Russia line : Russophobia, a Pretext for a War on Information ~ The World Post

Self explanatory: Booting Russia from the G8 Ends 16 Years of Pretending Moscow Should Sit at the Big-Kids Table What a relief ~ New Republic

The Polish response to the Ukraine crisis is to not overreact: Poland Is the Boy Who Didn't Cry Wolf ~ Huffington Post

Very worrying developing on crackdown on religious freedom in Crimea - if you're not Orthodox, then you're a potential traitor: Priest: Ukrainian Catholics flee Crimea to escape threats of arrest ~ Catholic Herald, UK

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fletch Traditional Marriage Defended In Two Minutes



Fiona O'Reilly from Catholic Voices defends traditional marriage over same-sex marriage in two minutes on BBC News. Well said!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lucia Comparing Mein Kampf to the Holy Bible is offensive

On the blogs and even on the radio just now, I have been hearing that some people find the Bible as offensive as Hitler's Mein Kampf. Aside from the obvious differences between the two books, I consider making the comparison extremely offensive, even though it's said as some sort of justification for Dot Com owning a rare, signed copy of Mein Kampf.

Medieval Bulgarian Bible - Source: Wikipedia
Let's see. One is a book written by a man who then went on to attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish race and the other is the story of the Jewish people, culminating in their (and our) Messiah being born on earth. And people want to call both offensive? I'm detecting a bit of anti-Semitism coming through in the attempted downplaying of Dom Com owning his personally signed book by the man responsible for the Holocaust.

Related link: Dotcom admits owning Mein Kampf ~ NZ Herald

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Andrei Another triumph for feminism

The two girls stood for an hour in a busy shopping arcade
They were filmed as part of a social experiment for television
Astonishingly, only one person stopped to help them
Is it any wonder - if a man like me started to talk to two little girls, personally unknown to me there is a high possibility I'd end up in jail accused of all sorts of nastiness.

Hell in this day and age it could even be a police sting to identify pedophiles - they do this on the internet so why not in a mall.

And men will not be seated next to unaccompanied children on Air New Zealand flights - men are dangerous to children you see.

After fifty years of feminist harping men have gone from being the protectors of women and children and been transformed into predators1

(1) I used Ele's post because she is a very nice woman, as all agree, to show just how pervasive the men as predators meme has become.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lucia Dealing with English teachers

I had parent/teacher interviews for both my boys on Monday night, and after a semi-argument with my older son's English teacher about criteria for success in a recent assignment, I think English as a subject, has been knocked off the pedestal that it commanded in my mind for so long.

English seems to have been taken over by spinsters with a mission, a mission to find out what our children think and feel about things. I always thought that English was about learning to communicate clearly and showing that there is understanding of reading, but no, that doesn't seem to be how it is now.

The teacher that I have the problem with has been working for NZQA since the time of University Entrance. Coincidentally, I was in the last year of pupils that took those exams before that system disappeared forever, to be replaced at the time with the precursor to NCEA - Sixth Form Certificate (which I did as well because we were made to do both).

I think there has been a lot of experimentation directed towards children at school by bored teachers and curriculum movers and shakers in New Zealand. Stay tuned ....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Andrei Respecting the Dead

It is a mark of a humane and decent society that being respected is not just a matter of having a large bank account

And this applies to the dead as well as the living.

Katrina Shanks an ex National MP has noted that those who receive paupers funerals are cremated even though their wishes would be to be buried and is suggesting that we cater for their wishes.

Lindsay Mitchel isn't impressed.

But for Catholics (discouraged) , Orthodox (forbidden) , Muslims (Forbidden) and Jews (forbidden by strict adherents of Judaism) cremation is a touchy subject.

I personally have been to Orthodox Funerals of paupers, where the deceased was cremated and very disturbing it was.

The last time was for a man who through no fault of his own but after years of debilitating illness died penniless and cremation is what he got.

We should be able to do better


Monday, March 24, 2014

Andrei Now the Rusyns want out

Did you ever see the movie "The Deer Hunter"? The main characters in that movie were Rusyns (called Russian in the movie and sometimes derogatorily called Hunkys in the USA)- Orthodox Christian refugees from the Austro-Hungarian Empire originating from what are today parts Poland, Slovakia, Hungry and Ukraine who found a new home in the USA - back when it stood for something worthwhile.

In the past week Rusyn families have been fleeing Ukraine for Slovakia (how large this exodus? Who knows it is not being reported)

Anyway FYI
Open Letter to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation
Most Honourable President of the Russian Federation!

We appeal to you… the President of a Great Country… a country that has traditional ties with our country, which wasn’t and isn’t unmoved by our colonial subjugation by the Ukraine, which wishes for our recovery, stability, and unity. We always appreciated the very high level of civilisational values ​​(education, science, employment, stability, and social benefits for Rusyns) that the fraternal Russian people brought to Podkarpatskaya Rus starting in autumn 1944, which deteriorated and rotted under Ukraine rule over the past 22 years.

An illegal seizure of power by Galician nationalists in Zakarpatya Oblast motivates us to issue this urgent appeal to you. At present, the menace of lawless Galician nationalism hangs over Podkarpatskaya Rus, the farthest Western outpost of the Russian World. On 29 January 2014, the pro-Galician neo-Nazi Balogh pressured the Deputies of the Zakarpatya Oblast Soviet to overturn the legitimate government in the region. The official Ukrainian government and the Constitution of Ukraine ceased to exist in Podkarpatskaya Rus with this vote on 29 January 2014, which means that the timeless autonomous status of the region came back into force. It’s clear that outsiders seized power in our region, under the guise of “integrating democratic European values ​​and reforms”. This began a humanitarian catastrophe for the Rusyn people, indeed, for everyone living in Podkarpatskaya Rus, at the hands of Galician neo-Nazis and their local collaborators. Officially, the junta and its law enforcement agencies are subject to a so-called Zakarpatya People’s Rada, which is unconstitutional. It’s possible that a massive new persecution of Rusyn s will begin, as it did 100 years ago in 1914 in the Austrian death camps of TerezĂ­n and Talerhof, in 1939 in the Dumen camp near Rakhova. Today, Clan Balogh and its Galician stooges seized control of the energy transportation systems owned by the Russian Federation and the Ukraine throughout Podkarpatskaya Rus.

In this situation, the People’s Government of Podkarpatskaya Rus and all the Rusyn people ask the President of the Russian Federation, in the spirit of fraternal agreements with the Ukraine, (which is almost a nonentity today because of its destruction by Galician neo-Nazis), to undertake a peacekeeping operation for a brief period, to allow the resumption of the pre-Soviet Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus. The Ukrainian SSR renamed us Transcarpathian Ukraine on 26 November 1944. The results of the 1 December 1991 referendum show that our people desire the political restoration of the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus. We appeal to you, Mr President. We base our appeal on the decisions of the 2nd European National Congress of Podkarpatsky Rusyn s from 25 October 2008, the Act of Recreating the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus, the election of the national government of the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus, and the decisions of the First World Congress of Podkarpatsky Rusyn s on 25 April 2009 in Pardubice in Czechia.

The last international legal act of the will of our people in the USSR/Ukrainian SSR… legal under the “Law of the Ukrainian SSR on national and local referendums” passed in 1991… was a local referendum/plebiscite in Podkarpatskaya Rus held on 1 December 1991. That was 22 years ago, but this referendum and its results remain a legitimate and legal expression of the will of the people of Podkarpatskaya Rus. A majority of the people (76.8 percent) supported the legal stipulation, “Zakarpatya is a special self-governing territory, as a subject under international law not included in other territorial-administrative units”, that is, autonomy within the Ukraine. Today, those in the Rusyn lands don’t want to part of a Ukraine where Galician neo-Nazi rioters threaten Rusyn s with ethnic cleansing.

We, Rusyns, and all other residents of Podkarpatskaya Rus, have grounds under international law to appeal to you, Mr President, for the recognition of the restoration of the statehood of the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus, and to call upon you to mount a peacekeeping operation to neutralise Galician neo-Nazism in Podkarpatskaya Rus. The successful resolution of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Crisis clearly showed Russia’s peacekeeping ability in world affairs. We believe that a peacekeeping operation of the Russian Federation in the Ukraine would be successful and in the best interests of the country.

With respect,

Pyotr Getsko
Prime Minister of the Republic of Podkarpatskaya Rus, Coordinator of the Rusyn Network

Ukraine is going the way of Yugoslavia - Pray God it is far less bloody

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fletch [Update] God's Not Dead


[Update]

The film opened strongly this weekend in the U.S, making it the #3 highest grossing movie on Friday, and #5 for the whole weekend.

The low-budget PG-13 drama about a college student (Shane Harper) who sets out to prove God's existence raised eyebrows Friday when it brought in $2.8 million from just 780 theaters — an impressive $3,613 per-screen average. That was better than any movie in the market except for “Divergent” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” It was running third after Friday and will likely come in around $8 million for the three days. ~Source
The biggest surprise of the weekend is undoubtedly the success of God’s Not Dead, an inspirational drama about a college student who defends his belief in God against a non-believing professor.
Here’s how the top five played out:
1. Divergent – $56 million
2. Muppets Most Wanted – $16.5 million
3. Mr. Peabody and Sherman – $11.7 million
4. 300: Rise of an Empire – $8.7 million
5. God’s Not Dead – $8.6 million  ~ Entertainment Weekly
---


A new film is opening today in the U.S called God's Not Dead. It sounds very good.
The film is about a college freshman just starting to attend university who comes up against the professor of one of his classes who is virulently atheist (is there any other type these days?).

Here's a synopsis.

Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him?
I've done a search on flicks.co.nz and can see no mention of the film showing here in New Zealand now or in the future (is it any surprise?) You can see the trailer above, and if you're keen, there is a preaching/sermon 'pack' download on their website that lets you download video of Josh's Last Lecture, the denouement where he confronts the professor in a classroom debate.

I wish that it were possible for more professors to be confronted in this way, but they are usually the ones with the microphone up the front (which they wield like a big stick) and the power to pass or fail.