Showing posts from June, 2011

Happy Feet: Is it Just Me?

I am all for the care of animals and conservation, ecology etc, but sometimes you have to wonder. So an Emperor Penguin washes up on a NZ beach, it begins to eat sand as if it is snow, and it looks like it will die. So, then a full scale salvation operation is on to save the penguin with surgery and then supposedly, on recovery, taken back to Antarctica. Now, forgive me but, is all this warranted in a nation where we have people in Christchurch suffering immensely, where the economic downturn still causes problems, and where we struggle to find money to recover the Pike River miners? Wouldn't this money better spent on reducing waiting lists for surgery? If we think globally, I can think of a billion better ways of spending the money – the poor. Doctors in our hospitals are making medical calls every day because money is limited and we are spending money on this – bizarre.  
Now, if an emperor penguin washes up on shore somewhere in NZ at this time of year, 3000 km from where it sh…

Alisdair Thompson – What To Make of Him?

I watched the news tonight and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Emma certainly wasn't laughing!

Alistair Thompson, the CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (would you believe it!), says that a women's monthly 'sick problem' and maternity leave etc, causes women to take more sick leave than men. Then he was interviewed on TV3 and I have to say, aside from Monty Python, it was the best comedy I have seen in the last twenty years, magnificent! Check it out at If I may say so, what a plonka, a plank, a twat! The interview is a classic, 'don't interrupt me!' Classic! What about the 'cut!' What an utter loon.

He also showed how to give an apology, not! He had the gall to claim that he believes in equal pay – that would make a good Tooheys ad. He said he didn't mean to upset anyone – even better! He then apologised saying he did n…

The Income of Ralph Norris

I heard on a news show the other day that Ralph Norris, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank in Australia earns a tidy $22m NZ. I thought I would check out whether that is indeed the case, because I was stunned. And it most certainly is, this link telling us he is the best paid CEO in this region, getting $16m Aus a year (
At one level we may think that this is an Australian issue, but it is not, as NZ banks are in the main owned overseas. So for example, the Australia New Zealand Bank (ANZ) owns the National Bank and the NZ ANZ, which are now merged. The National Australia Bank (NAB) owns the BNZ (Bank of NZ). According to Allan Bollard, now, 85% of NZ banks are owned by Australian banks ( The Commonwealth Bank owns the ASB, where Emma and I do our banking. So, what the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank ge…

A Guy Called Grant

Just met a guy today. He came around our house to install a cat door for our new moggy, 'Squid'. He was a nice guy, got about his work. His name is Grant, about my age, European around 50. He asked me if I had the day off, I said I was working from home. He asked what I did, and I said I was a lecturer. He asked where I worked, I said Laidlaw, and he asked what we teach. I said, theology, bible stuff, and he said, 'ah, I know about that.' He then asked me whether the earthquakes in Christchurch were the tribulation. Then, as you can imagine, a most interesting conversation ensued.
His story is this. He grew up in a strong Christian home with a mum who was full on. He said that he grew up 'shit-scared' of God, who was a wrathful God, 'hell, fire, and brimstone.' He hated it. He mentioned his distaste for the story of Lot's wife and Abraham being told by God to sacrifice his son (I mentioned that God didn't get him to follow through, but he still w…

Abu Bashir and Shappelle Corby

As is well known, in 2004, Shappelle Corby, a young Australian tourist, was arrested with 4.2kg of cannabis in her boogie board bag. She was sentenced in Bali to twenty years in Indonesian prison. She is due for release 12 April, 2024.

Today we hear that Abu Bashir, the Muslim cleric who was party to the Bali bombings has got 15 years for his role. In the Bali Bombings, 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians. This involved bags too, a bombs in the pack of a suicide bomber and two others. Several people have been executed for their roles in the bombing.

Now forgive me is I am wrong, but there seems to be something rather wrong here. How is it that a young Australian woman at the bottom of the drug 'food chain' gets 20 years for her role, whereas one of the masterminds behind Islamic extremist terrorism gets 15 years? That is nonsense and a travesty of justice. Need I say more?

What’s God Up To On Planet Earth: Author Interview

Listen here to a comprehensive interview on NZ's Radio Rhema with Mark J. Keown, author of the Book What's God Up To On Planet Earth: A No-Strings Attached Explanation of the Christian Message:
The book explains the Christian message to unbelievers clearly and based around an easy to remember structure of five R's: Relationship, Rupture, Restoration, Return, and Response. It is also a very useful tool for discipleship of young Christians. For those who want to be better equipped for evangelism, it is a very helpful resource. It is not too heavy, but gives a compelling vision of what God is up to in this world.
The book can be purchased in NZ from Castle Publishing: Or, you can request the book from a NZ Christian book shop like Manna.