22 Oct: Daily Homily and Tweets

Things are not looking good in New Zealand. We’ve finally got a government, but the only people it’s ideal for are Winston Peters and his voters. The weather is gloomy after several days of lovely sunshine. And, worst of all, the All Blacks LOST! There are, of course, lots of tweets about both the rugby and the government in the Twitterverse in New Zealand.

The All Blacks losig is a guaranteed way of sending the country into doom and gloom, even if most of them weren’t already unhappy about Winnie (Winston Peters of the NZ First political party).

I had a short debate with reader Ken about our government in the comments here, It didn’t go that well because I was so grumpy about the whole thing I was, quite unfairly, not very nice to him. So I think it’s probably better if I stay off the topic for now.

As for the rugby. Woe is me! I’m just glad I didn’t watch the whole game. It didn’t start until after 10 pm NZ Time because it was in Melbourne, so I went to bed at half time. It sounds like a frustrating match from a NZ point of view.

Here’s All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett talking about the game shortly afterwards.


Political Tweets

Trump tells is he’s a genius …


Trump has no insight, and will do his best to make anything fit his agenda.



This is the sort of thing that will keep happening because of the stupidity of Trump.


And this is the sort of person enough people is Georgia voted for that she’s a state representative!
(Via Ann German.)


One of the few things that is good about New Zealand’s new government is that we get a referendum on the legalisation of marijuana. So, this tweet piqued my interest.


I wanted to show you this tweet and the comment it includes, but the person who posted it is someone who only lets certain people see their tweets. Thus, I’ve copied the tweet and blocked their name. You won’t be able to open the tweet yourself.



Human Rights Tweets

A Richard Spencer supporter in the video in the link in the tweet (that’s like describing a family relationship!) says:

Our founding fathers were white nationalists. Now, I’m not saying that means you have to be a white nationalist, but understanding that it’s okay and it doesn’t make you a racist. It doesn’t mean that you hate other races …


Donald Trump seems determined to destroy the lives of as many as possible of those he looks down on.


Religion Tweets

One of mine from yesterday.


I could put this in the Human Rights Tweets section, but that’s glossing over the reason for the prejudice just like this video does. The problem is religion. LGBT+ people all over the world suffer like this because of the teachings of RELIGION.

Environmental Tweets

I posted this cartoon:


To which I got this excellent article in response:


Space Tweets

I don’t usually tweet small dogs because they’re not real dogs. Yappy little creatures. But I admit this is cute and cool! (And I don’t have to sully the Dog Tweets section!)

Architecture Tweets

Get your head around this!


Art Tweets

I want one!


Food Tweets

Art works made out of chocolate!


Scenic Tweets

Cool bridge in Canada.


A(nother) lovely part of China.


Magical landscape in Finland.


There be dragons!

Comedy Tweets

This really happened! A man invited strippers into his home. They stole sixteen guns. “Don’t invite strippers into your home,” he says! I love the way that magazine is positioned. Reminds us just what guns are a replacement for in many men.
(Via Ann German.)


I had to post this. It’s called determinism! Otherwise, no comment!


Entertainment Tweets

I know a man who did what the mutant in this clip did. He was out the back of the farm and his tractor rolled on him and his hand got trapped. So he cut it off. Then put a tourniquet on it and walked several miles back to the farmhouse, where he alerted a neighbour to collect him to take him to hospital. It was the only way to get out of the situation. It’s not just superheroes who are brave.


Other Animals Tweets

What a sweetie!


Another sweetie!!


Bird Tweets

Fluffy flamingo!

A series of tweets from Dr Andrew Digby on Kakapo chicks.

Dog Tweets

Oh dear!
(Via Ann German.)


I think this is really sad. It’s like waiting for your name to be called when they pick teams!


Awww …


Another way to view life – like a dog!

Cat Tweets

Gorgeous animals!
(Via Ann German.)


Are you looking today Diana McPherson? This one’s for you!


Nearly the same …


More siblings …


Two more …

Siblings in spirit?

Poor kitteh looks terrified! What’s he looking at?


There are more comfortable parts of a bed, but each to their own I suppose.


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74 Responses to “22 Oct: Daily Homily and Tweets”

  1. Ken says:

    Thanks, Heather, no biggie. The second half of the AB game was quite good, I thought, ignoring the result of course. Another trademark SBW offload leading to a great Ioane finish was the high point. And it came down to the wire, so we had our chances and it was an entertaining game. Can’t win them all! I loved this tweet from Perfect Mike Hoskings: “Under this Labour government the All Blacks have LOST 100% of test matches played. Fact.”

    • Ha ha. Well, you can’t deny he’s right! There’s someone I often watch ABs games with who’s always criticizing SBW, so, like Steve Hansen, I was pleased to be able to say, “I told you so!”

  2. Jenny Haniver says:

    The kitty with the bow tie isn’t terrified, it’s positively mortified that some human with a sick sense of humor has put a giant bow around its neck, and it’s trying to figure out the best way to shake it off before the other cats see it in such an undignified state. I think anybody who’s ever put clothes on a cat, knows that look. I sure do.

    • Ha good point. My bad. You’re right!

      • Jenny Haniver says:

        Upon reflection, I think there’s terror, too, at least for an instant — until they realize they’re not going to be physically hurt, just humiliated for a biped’s momentary mirth. When I was a kid, I put bonnets and dolls’ clothes and very stupid things on my cats, and laughed till I cried, watching them try to walk around as if nothing were amiss, while at the same time trying to walk and shake themselves out of the silly stuff. My mother would say, Dear, you know better, please don’t do that. Don’t tease poor (name inserted); but she couldn’t help laughing, too.

  3. j.a.m. says:

    Show me someone who thinks they need to be saved “from” God, and I’ll show you someone who thinks they ARE God.

    Better to be imperfect but forgiven, than to be so thoroughly convinced of one’s own infallibility.

    • Ken says:

      Heather misspoke. People don’t need to be saved from god, which there’s no reason to believe exists. They need to be saved from those who would encourage or impose the false concept of a god, particularly one that requires untrue and unhealthy beliefs like original sin.

      • j.a.m. says:

        @Ken: Okay, thanks for mansplaining. Quite right, we can’t blame God for bad theology, as I have pointed out and will continue to do.

        • Ken says:

          You could have said that, but you didn’t. So you reject original sin, or is this just more bullshit? That’s what the cartoon is about after all.

          • j.a.m. says:

            @Ken: I don’t know where you get the idea that the cartoon is about original sin. In fact it explicitly contradicts the doctrine of original sin by saying we enter the world innocent.

            However one theologizes original sin, I don’t see how one can deny our fallen nature. It’s a challenge to avoid wrongdoing, and even more of a trial to do the right thing in difficult circumstances. Reconciliation with God and neighbor does not come cheap. One can be cleansed of the stain of original sin in baptism, but that does not confer infallibility.

    • Linda Calhoun says:

      “Better to be imperfect but forgiven, than to be so thoroughly convinced of one’s own infallibility.”

      False dichotomy. Not everyone, or even most people, are “convinced of (their) own infallibility. It’s not one or the other. There’s plenty of geography in between.

      Plus, “imperfect but forgiven” describes many people I’ve encountered. Go to church on Sunday, get forgiven, and then do whatever you f-ing want to the rest of the time. “Hey, man, we’re forgiven. Responsibility? What’s that?”


      • Mark R. says:


        What kind of life is it that you constantly need forgiveness because you’re afraid of pissing off the sky-god and being sent by said sky-god into eternal damnation? I sometimes feel sorry for people imprisoned by their superstitions; but usually I don’t since so many are smug and censorious while inhabiting their mind prisons.

        • j.a.m. says:

          @MarkR: Mind prison? That sounds more like atheism, wouldn’t you agree?

          • Mark R. says:

            I’ve been in both camps, so I speak from someone with experience. Atheism is freedom of mind and thought, religion is the restraint of mind and thought. I remember my mind-set as a “born-again”; it was not healthy and not free. You are probably too indoctrinated by now (I was able to escape during high school because I was fortunate to accidentally find, a couple good atheist friends) but someday perhaps you will also set yourself free; it really is a personal choice that can’t be made for you. Unfortunately religion is usually the opposite- not a personal choice but something forced upon the young as a “matter-of-fact”. Luckily my parents weren’t religious until I was 7 or 8, so the real deep indoctrinating couldn’t take hold. I am very thankful I wasn’t one of the poor children who had to start learning the bible before they could even read.

          • j.a.m. says:

            @MarkR: You’re right, it’s a personal choice, and I respect your right as an adult to make a choice. Of course, by your own account, you did not make a choice as an adult, since at the time you had only the experience and understanding and intellectual development of an adolescent. Respectfully, have you really learned anything since? You purport to be free, but at least on this subject you seem to be stuck in a time warp.

          • Mark R. says:

            why do you continue to try? You are a bit of a lost cause and respectfully, that’s what you are trying to be. Troll is the common term. Sad is my term.

      • We had I head master (when they were still called that) whose names was Mr Roley. The chant went like this:

        Mr Roley is very holy
        He goes to Church on Sundays
        He prays to God to give him strength
        To whack the kids on Mondays

      • j.a.m. says:

        @L: No disrespect, but frankly that strikes me as something a truculent adolescent might say. There is no absolution without sincere contrition and firm purpose of amendment.

    • Atheists don’t think they are infallible. And when we’re wrong we take responsibility for our mistakes instead of blaming a devil getting into us and announcing we’ve been forgiven by an imaginary entity which allows us to be free from any guilt.

      What about, for example, all those LGBT+ people that your god has supposedly condemned to hellfire? Because of religion they have a suicide rate far higher than the rest of the population. They need to be saved from God and told there’s nothing wrong with them. I could go on at length of course, but you’re not stupid. You know that on balance religion does a lot more harm than good.

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        I had a good friend from high school who killed himself because he was gay.

        He was smart, kind, funny and talented, and a great bridge player, which was one of my favorite pastimes when I was younger.

        He was talented enough in many ways to have made a contribution to society. What a waste! Multiply him times many others like him, and really, an enormous waste.

        Religion has a lot to answer for.


      • j.a.m. says:

        @HH: Taking responsibility is the first step in seeking forgiveness, not a alternative to doing that.

        Your original post was about God, not religion. It’s impossible to define either term, but they are not the same thing. It’s absurd to make generalizations about “religion”, but for discussion’s sake let’s stipulate that all religion is rotten. That tells me nothing about whether I’m better off being saved (a) “by” God or (b) “from” God.

        And although you dispute this, it seems pretty clear that anyone who thinks they don’t need forgiveness regards themselves as infallible.

        • Steven in Tokyo says:

          Who said anything about not needing or seeking forgiveness? Or about taking responsibility being an alternative to seeking forgiveness, for that matter? Please stop putting words in people’s mouths.
          When I have wronged someone, I try to take responsibility for it, and do my best to apologize and ask for his/her forgiveness. But I don’t need forgiveness from some entity whose existence has yet to be demonstrated.

        • Michiel says:

          That does not seem clear to me at all. It just means the person doesn’t think there is anyone in any position to forgive him/her. Your statement only works for someone who does believe in an all powerful god with the power to forgive and still don’t believe they need forgiveness. If you don’t believe in god, who’s there to forgive you (but yourself?).

        • But we’re not talking about forgiveness for doing something wrong are we? The cartoon is talking about the need to seek forgiveness from original sin just for being alive. I suppose it fits really – forgiveness for imaginary sins by an imaginary being.

          But if you have done something bad, it’s not an imaginary friend you should be looking for forgiveness from. It is whoever you hurt by your actions. Forgiveness from a god is really just you forgiving yourself. That may be appropriate in some circumstances. However, oftentimes what you’re seeking forgiveness for isn’t actually wrong, it’s a sin invented by religion to control people. Like being gay. No one should ever be seeking forgiveness for that, but multiple religions destroy lives over it.

          • j.a.m. says:

            @HH: I wouldn’t say any deep thought went into that cartoon, but I don’t know where you get the idea that it’s about original sin. In fact it explicitly contradicts the doctrine of original sin by saying we enter the world innocent. It then implicitly acknowledges that God is the source of our conscience. (Finally, in so many words it says that the “most natural state of humanity” — i.e., the prehistoric state of endless war, without benefit of civilization, culture, philosophy or morality — is atheistic.)

            Of course you are right, we should not look for forgiveness from an imaginary friend or “a god”, but the imaginary friend or “god” is a figment of your imagination, not mine. And of course you are right, we cannot be reconciled to God without first being reconciled to our neighbor.

            A mature conscience doesn’t simply scold you for doing the wrong thing; it goads you to do the right thing when it is difficult and unpleasant and the last thing you want to do. In my experience, developing a mature conscience is an arduous and never-finished undertaking. I don’t buy the idea that one can do it on their own, without the support of a community, tradition and intellectual foundation.

          • Of course we can’t develop a conscience on our own. We need the things you said. What we don’t need is a god.

            I’m not quite sure how something imaginary can be a figment of my imagination. Until you prove the existence of your God or any other god, it’s a figment of your imagination. You choose to believe God is real. The evidence tells me there’s no such thing as gods.

          • j.a.m. says:

            As you know, you and I are in complete accord that there’s no such thing as “gods”. By choosing to believe that God is “a god”, you cling to the fiction that God is not real, rather than consider that nothing is more real.

          • I do not understand what you are saying here. It makes no sense to me. I need clarification of what you believe because I don’t get it.

          • j.a.m. says:

            God creates and sustains the reality that we experience. Reality proceeds from God, and not the other way around. God is not a “god” or a “friend” or any kind of entity. Nothing is more “real” or more “true”.

            The natural stirrings of conscience in every person’s heart are the most vivid signs of divine life in us. Of course we’re free to choose not to listen to our heart, but then we are less alive, less able to pursue truth and do good.

          • Sorry j.a.m., but you need to learn some physics. We weren’t created and there’s no such thing as free will, just the illusion of it. It is perfectly possible to feel wonder at our universe and all the other feelings you mention without the need to attribute them to God or a god. People who understand reality do it every day. Personally, I’ve found the world more wondrous since I stopped thinking God had anything to do with it.

          • j.a.m. says:

            @HH: Sorry, but I could just as well reply that you need to learn some philosophy. Physics has nothing to do with it. The natural sciences deal with nature, not reality. (It may be your passionate belief that they’re the same, but that is merely an opinion, with no more weight than any other fervent but unwarranted opinion.)

            The natural sciences produce information, not wisdom. They proceed by discovering, explaining and predicting patterns in data. This methodology in itself can’t tell you what’s real — in fact it doesn’t care what’s real as long as the patterns fit. Patterns are of no use when it comes to what is ultimately unique and unrepeatable — e.g., you, me, loved ones, neighbors, God.

            I respect the sincerity of your beliefs. But the question remains, what is gained by choosing to avoid God? There’s a lot more at stake than just some nebulous feeling of “wonder at our universe”. What matters is the wisdom to understand ourselves, our relationships, and how we are to live our lives. Encountering God leads to a better life; running away does the opposite.

          • You clearly don’t understand how the brain works. This is a scientific question. We do not have free will. That is fact, not opinion.

            And I’m not “avoiding” God. How can I avoid something that doesn’t exist? Get back to me when you have proof of God’s existence. Until then, all you have is your opinion. The burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim.

          • j.a.m. says:

            How the brain works is a scientific question. How a brain relates to a person is a philosophical question. How the physical world works is a scientific question. How it relates to reality is a philosophical question.

            You avoid God by assiduously avoiding any serious thought about God. (Which of course you are perfectly free to choose to do.) You also dodge the question as to what one hopes to gain by avoiding God.

          • That’s the thing you don’t get.
            1. I am NOT free to choose. There is no such thing as free choice. Our brains give the impression that we are free to choice, but we are not. Until you understand that basic FACT we aren’t going to get far.
            2. As we’ve all said to you over and over again, you need to prove that God exists before we can go any further with that too. Whether God is real is your belief. It is an opinion, It is NOT a fact. Berating me for avoiding or denying God is like berating me for avoiding/denying unicorns, fairies, or Yetis.

          • j.a.m. says:

            I don’t feel that I berated anyone, but apologies if I am mistaken.

            I’m not responsible for the validity of your convictions. (I gather that you’re not really responsible either: You believe you’re at the mercy of mysterious forces, and powerless to make up your own mind. In that case I’m puzzled what would be the point of any dialog.)

            Anyway, it’s not up to me to convince you of anything. If you (or the forces controlling you) are not interested in having sound convictions, there’s not much I can do about it.

            But if you are willing to examine your own opinions, you might start by asking yourself just what you mean by “proof” of God’s “existence”, and why you suppose you’re unable to learn anything at all about God without this particular “proof”. (You might also ask the forces why they put words in your mouth about unicorns and fairies That’s just silly.)

          • Look up determinism, then get back to me. You clearly have no understanding of this fact.

          • j.a.m. says:

            Okay, so long as you promise in the meantime to examine your own mistaken opinions.

          • j.a.m. says:

            Per the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “In both of these general areas there is no agreement over whether determinism is true (or even whether it can be known true or false), and what the import for human agency would be in either case.”

            Not precisely what I’d deem an established “fact”.


    • Federico BΓ€r says:

      Can someone who does not even believe there is a god, really think they ARE God? Leads me to suppose that you don’t know what the word “a-theist” means. Many on-line dictionaries are waiting to help you find that out.

      • j.a.m. says:

        @Fed: A good working definition of atheist would be, someone who thinks they’re God.

        • Linda Calhoun says:

          Um, you’re repeating yourself.

          No matter how many times you allege the false dichotomy that either you’re a humble religious person or you’re an atheist who “thinks they’re God”, it’s still a false dichotomy.

          It’s not either/or. We get it that you think it is, so you don’t need to keep saying it.


        • Mark R. says:

          I think that’s a good working definition for the current POTUS. Can’t tell if he’s an atheist or not though.

  4. Steven in Tokyo says:

    More mess on the floor, Heather!

  5. Linda Calhoun says:

    That first religion tweet reminded me of a question that popped into my mind after the discussion on the previous thread of religious people getting exemptions from child abuse laws.

    If they need exemptions, isn’t that a tacit admission that they ARE violent? If you’re not abusive of your kids, why would you even need an exemption?


  6. Lee Knuth says:

    I feel for you, Heather. Here in NY we have Trump for a president and for those who are Yankee baseball fans they lost their chance to be in the World Series. Thank goodness for those kitten posts to lift spirits.

  7. nicky says:

    I suggest the 17 year old sends the bills for food and diapers to Mr Trump?
    It really is unconscionable to bar those who need it most from an abortion.
    I’m fracking right now.

    • Not just those. Everything the child needs for the rest of its life – which will cost hundreds of thousands.

      • j.a.m. says:

        Taxpayers will be footing the bill for sure, as we already do for countless illegals. That does not justify intentionally taking an innocent life.

        • nicky says:

          Are you vegetarian? We regularly take scientient life to feed on. an embryo or foetus is not even scientient.

          • j.a.m. says:

            I enjoy eating tasty animals, but I’m not a cannibal. Animals are not people, and (contrary to what the village atheist may tell you) people are not animals.

        • Linda Calhoun says:

          That “taking an innocent life” meme is just bullshit. It’s a way of deflecting your position that women are not people. In your view, we are livestock. That “innocent life” baloney just sounds better.

          In your belief system, that “innocent life” is transformed into “miserable sinner” the second it takes its first breath, at which point you can’t get away fast enough. You obviously don’t think “taxpayers” should be “footing the bill” for anything, and if you had your way, the mother you forced into motherhood, AND THE KID, should just fend for themselves.


          • j.a.m. says:

            @L: I don’t recognize any of that as based on anything I actually have said. And I could just as well reply that it is the village atheist who thinks that people are no more than livestock.

        • But it’s okay to destroy the innocent life of a pregnant girl. Someone who already has hopes and dreams and is suffering.

  8. Mark R. says:

    I remember seeing a post on WEIT about the lack of identical twin cats…those here sure look identical to me. I guess you’d have to do a DNA test to be sure.

    It looks like the Kakapos will have a good future thanks to NZ’s excellent conservation efforts. Kudos Kiwis!

    I also want a dragon bench…or a dragon sculpture climbing a wall…or both please. Speaking of GoT, I saw that the new X-Men clip stars Maisie Williams, aka Arya Stark. cool.

  9. Diana MacPherson says:

    And there is a kerfuffle because Taika Waititi said that NZ had issues with polluted rivers so he has been labelled a traitor.

    • We’re not allowed to admit to certain things in public overseas. There are some polluted rivers. The point is though that the levels are checked regularly so we know exactly how polluted (or not) they are and big efforts are being made to fix those that need it. There’s a policy to make every river in the country swimmable and most drinkable. One problem is tourists, who come here for the scenery, outdoors etc, who then use the rivers as a toilet.

      • nicky says:

        Do you think tourists are worse than others in that respect? I do not just mean in NZ, but generally. Are there any data on that?

        When tourists are blamed (yes, they probably often are to blame) I’m always reminded of a Frenchman who gave me a lift (in France) complaining about tourists leaving trash, tossing his cigarette butt out of his car window.

      • Ken says:

        Heather I’m sorry, but at the risk of starting another political debate you won’t appreciate, I have to take issue with almost all of this. Most of our once swimmable rivers are polluted. There is one overwhelming reason and it isn’t naughty tourists. It is the cows that have increased past the carrying capacity of the land the’re on in some places to the point that drinking water in some Canterbury towns has been affected. At least I can blame both Labour and National for neglect here, as it’s been increasing as fast as our lax standards would let it for decades. There were actually no quality standards under Labour. National introduced standards that would make most rivers wadeable, not swimmable, about the same quality as the Yangtse in China. There are nowhere near big enough efforts to address the problem, nor does adequate measurement take place in most areas. Fonterra have a 4% milk production growth target per year with no end, which is simply unsustainable and will make increasing water quality impossible if we don’t get real about the problem. Eventually, tourism income will take a hit too, but instead we shoot the messengers, as John Key did a few years ago when a water scientist was interviewed on TV in the UK.

        • j.a.m. says:

          Ken seems to be an expert on the matter at hand (and that’s the least surprising news all week).

        • I’m not saying there’s not an issue, because there is. It wasn’t until National started measuring the problem we knew where we stood and what we had to do. Before that it was anecdotes, not data.

          The issue is being worked on. I agree we could go faster, but I suspect nothing less than overnight is going to be good enough for some people.

          It’s also not as bad as some make out. I’m not trying to minimize the problem. It’s just that it pi$$€$ me off that some only use the rivers that suit them when calculating their percentages and making it sound like they’re referring to all rivers.

          Most farmers are responsible. My sister and brother-in-law are dairy farmers. Several members of my extended family are farmers. I worked for MAF for several years. I live in a rural community. The farming community is very different from what a lot of politicians believe. They care about the land and their animals. It’s better for them to do so financially. Like every group, there are bad apples, but it’s not reality. Convincing some Greens of that is like trying to convince Pamela Geller and her mates that not all Muslims are terrorists.

  10. Federico BΓ€r says:

    Can someone who does not even believe there is a god, really think they ARE God? Leads me to suppose that you don’t know what the word “a-theist” means. Many on-line dictionaries are waiting to help you find that out.

    • nicky says:

      God (capital G) is substrateless, a substrateless mind. One does not have to pinch or punch oneself to realise one is not. A mind is function of matter, and highly organised, evolved matter at that.
      I think that ‘material gods’, with an actual material body, such as Zeus, Odin or Ganesha are slightly, very slightly, less inconceivable, which is still pretty much inconceivable in view of their supernatural powers*. I’ve never met an atheist that thinks (s)he has supernatural powers.

      *[unless they are extremely advanced ET’s, see Michael Shermer for that] πŸ˜†

  11. nwalsh says:

    Heather, we had two very fine JRT’s in the past and I’m sure they would have been saddened to hear they were “not real dogs” πŸ™‚

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