10 Dec 2017 Homily: Living in New Zealand (plus Tweets)

I began this tweets post yesterday, but (obviously) didn’t finish it. Now, I’ve just got back from lunch at the lovely Lauren’s Lavender Farm (the pic is one I took in January) and I don’t feel much like writing. However, I don’t want to waste yesterday’s efforts.

It’s my birthday, and even more things than usual are crap right now, so I hope you’ll forgive me.

It’s not all bad of course. I’ve had some very nice birthday wishes, and lovely gifts. Various family members and friends have phoned, texted, and emailed, so I’m not forgotten or anything awful like that.

Besides, I live in New Zealand! There’s no violence in my life, and there’s not likely to be. If anything went wrong, the cops are trustworthy and I’ve got family I can turn to.

There’s virtually no corruption – even our politicians usually keep their promises. Like every New Zealand citizen, I don’t have to worry about the cost or availability of quality healthcare. I’m unlikely to ever have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, and even if I end up homeless, my family will take me in until I find somewhere.

There are millions around the world who would feel lucky to have my problems.


Political Tweets

So it started like this …
(Via Ann German.)


And this … (This is a cartoon I’ve tweeted myself in the past. I like it!)
(Via Ann German.)


But this is the sort of thing that is happening in the GOP. Apparently this person thinks that, “standing up for what is right” is the wrong thing to do. Their thought seems to be that, “sticking by your political party no matter what” is a good principle. Politics is like an extremist religion for many in the US. Instead of, “Lying for Jesus,” they’re “Lying for Trump,” or Moore, or whoever else suits the occasion. And it works too. Trump is president, Neil Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, and the latest polls have Moore looking like he will win in Alabama on Tuesday.
(Via Ann German.)


An appropriate response to the above tweet.
(Via Ann German.)


Another one.
(Via Ann German.)


Mueller Time Tweets

Well, that’s not what the Trump administration said …
(Via Ann German.)


As we all know (or should do) it’s beyond doubt that the Russians interfered in the US elections to try and get Trump elected and also to further their primary goal of undermining the idea of democracy. What we aren’t sure of is whether the Trump campaign knowingly colluded. There have been indications they did, but no smoking gun. That might be about to change …
(Via Ann German.)


Human Rights Tweets

Great news from Australia!!! Following the success of the campaign for same-sex marriage, and the high number of people voting “Yes”, parliament basically had no option but to introduce legislation to that effect. That was done the day the result of the vote was known, and not it’s gone through the process. Same-sex marriage is finally legal is Australia!!!

In Australia, couples have to give six weeks notice of their intention to marry, so the first same-sex weddings will be in January. (I always thought the six-week thing was funny because to the Kiwi ear, when an Aussie says “six” it sounds like “sex”.)


Of course, the “No” campaigners are still trying to make a noise. But they’re getting their come-uppance on Twitter and elsewhere. For example, this tweet:


Got this response:


And this one:


Other News Tweets

I love Trevor Noah, so I made a section just so I could put this in! This has got stuff about gun control, the California wildfires, and racism.


Religion Tweets

Oh FFS! Blame physics for me including this!


Sports Tweets

When I was eighteen, indoor hockey started in Gisborne (the town I grew up in). A group of primary school rep hockey players (including my youngest sister) wanted to play, but no one would have them. Most were 11-12, but one was only eight. So I took them on. Everyone underestimated us because we were young and small. But those kids had amazing skills, and their size was an advantage indoors. We won almost every game over the season, and eventually the whole competition!

This great kid reminds me of those kids. He’ll go far.


Architecture Tweets

Beautiful house. They don’t build them like this anymore! 🙂


Science Tweets

This stuff is beyond me, but I know a few of you understand it. I get that it’s a cool innovation though!


Marine Tweets

What fantastic filming! I was on the edge of my seat watching this. I felt the same way I do in the scary parts of horror movies. Wonderful!


What a great guy this is! It just goes to show what a difference one person can make in their corner of the world.


Bird Tweets

It’s enjoying it a bit too much!


Dog Tweets

These dogs are caterwauling!


Cat Tweets

I think this one was made for me!



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27 Responses to “10 Dec 2017 Homily: Living in New Zealand (plus Tweets)”

  1. Claudia Baker says:

    Happy Birthday Heather!

  2. j.a.m. says:

    A bedrock principle of democracy is that the losers accept the result and move on. Clinging to lunatic conspiracy theories 13 months post-election can only further fray the losers’ already fragile mental health.

    Candidate Trump was rightly criticized after a debate in which he seemed to leave open the possibility of challenging the election results. Now that the shoe’s on the other foot, we see who the real sore losers are, and how fickle (or hypocritical) they can be! Many of them had banged on about Leader McConnell’s comment about making sure Obama was one-and-done. At least he was focused on the next election, rather than fantasizing about the last one.

    Putting country over party means supporting the candidate more likely to enact policies that are in the country’s long-term best interest. Unfortunately, that generally precludes supporting a candidate who signs on to the national Democrat ideology. If one wonders why we don’t get better candidates, or for that matter why Democrats never seem to get past the 1930s, that’s a whole other debate.

    • There’s something even more important than enacting the policies you think are best, and that’s principles. There are too many things about Roy Moore that make him an unacceptable political leader. In some ways, his shenanigans with teenagers are the least of it because he appears to have stopped that behaviour. It is worrying that he denies even knowing the girls though. It would be better to be honest, admit he was wrong, and ask forgiveness. He could invoke God’s help, which would go down well in Alabama and wouldn’t be out of character.

      However, his racism, being twice sacked as a judge, having his fellow Alabama judges declare his statements under oath lies and not credible, and acting in opposition to the constitution are major issues.

      He thinks Muslims shouldn’t be able to be representatives, which means he thinks there should be a religious test for office. His issue with Muslims is he thinks they will put Sharia before the constitution. However, that’s exactly what he’s done on multiple occasions – put his religious beliefs before the constitution.

      His views on LGBT people are also offensive. I don’t expect him to accept something against his religion. I do expect him to treat people with common decency and equally under the law. He has a history of not doing that.

      Moore is not a suitable person to be a candidate for public office in any capacity, for any party.

      • j.a.m. says:

        So for instance, you’d back Pence over Franken.

        • Steven in Tokyo says:

          You know very well from what Heather has written in the past that that would be 100% wrong. Incendiary and rude as well.

          • j.a.m. says:

            We’re actually having a serious discussion about how one balances conflicting principles and values in real life. Thank you for your perspective.

          • nicky says:

            j.a.m., does the following ring a bell? “I’m a Christian, a Conservative and a Republican, in that order”, repeated ad nauseam. He says himself that his Christianity takes precedence over anything else. Heather’s reservations are spot on.

        • No. There is a lot in Pence’s background that I consider makes him unfit for public office too. For a start, he’s another that puts his religion before the constitution.

          • j.a.m. says:

            If by that you mean to suggest that the vice-president ever has, or ever would, violate his oath to support and defend the Constitution and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same”, that’s an ugly and completely baseless aspersion. No one, regardless of religious affiliation, can or should place civil authority above her own conscience. Our Bill of Rights guarantees the primacy of conscience. Under the rule of law, a conscientious objector, whether a citizen or an officeholder, may face consequences but cannot be made to violate her conscience.

            In any case, your choice illustrates my point.

          • nicky says:

            And note that Heather’s main objection against Mr Moore in office were not his deplorable shenanigans, but his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible above the US constitution. There is a principled consistency there.

          • nicky says:

            If your conscience grossely conflicts with the constitution, it might be an idea not to go for office.

  3. rickflick says:

    Happy birthday, and thanks for the posts.

  4. Yakaru says:

    Happy birthday, Heather! And thanks for posting…

    The Republican Party for the most part seems even less aware of what just hit them than the Democrats.

  5. Mike Brogan says:

    Happy Birthday Heather, hope pou have a great day.

  6. Lee Knuth says:

    Wishing you a very happy birthday, Heather, and hoping you find a great place to live. The only good thing about Trump is how the comics have risen to show all his foibles. Look forward to your next post.

  7. Jenny Haniver says:

    Another Happy Birthday! wish to you, though because of time differences and the fact that I’m reading this post on Sun, Dec. 10 here in the States and I’m kinda groggy, I’m confused as to whether I’m offering belated best wishes. In any event, Happy Birthday and I hope that you’ll weather this disruption and somehow find an even better place to live (maybe even someplace that has a view of a lavender field), and where you won’t have to worry about being displaced.

    I learn that Google is going to have a “street view” of the annual crab migration on Christmas Island in Australia How exciting!

    The pope has a point, but what a waste of one’s brain cells, worrying about the wording of the Lord’s Prayer.

  8. Federico Bär says:

    Caution Heather! This greeting goes with a burning candle. After hearing for a second our Happy Birthday song, blow it out and cut a piece of the, equally imaginary, cake. Hope you can put your troubles away for a couple of hours and enjoy this day (yesterday when you will be reading this). Remember that birthdays qre good for you. The more you celebrate, the longer you live. Best wishes!

  9. Mark R. says:

    Happy Birthday Heather! Though I think it might be past now. It’s been a busy day.

  10. Thanks you very much everybody for your birthday wishes. It’s very kind of you all.

    Yesterday afternoon (when it was still my birthday in NZ) I had a nice surprise. I opened the front door and a cat came rushing over to great me. I found some cat treats and gave it a few, and it spent the next hour of so exploring the house.

    Lest anyone suspect divine intervention to cheer me up when I’m feeling bad, new neighbours moved in the day before, and it’s their cat. So there’s no mystery. 🙂

  11. nicky says:

    On a different note, the All Black Sevens won the Cape Town tournament. Birthday present? at least, the elimination of the ”Blitsbokke’ should be a nice revenge for their defeat against them in the Dubai final a fortnight ago.
    The Blitsbokke did not stick to their game-plan this time and lost. Note, the All Blacks were excellent in the 2nd half. The Blitsbokke traditionally do badly inCT , I think they only won the tournament once at home . Since NZ reached the final in Dubai, and SA only third in CT, the AB sevens are leading the table for now, but there are only 2 tournaments played, and still 8 to go. Sidney is next.
    From what I’ve seen, the main four contenders are SA, NZ, Fiji and England. I strongly doubt the Ozzies, Jaguares and Canada are really in the running (yet?) .

    • Yeah, that was nice. After dominating the 7s for years, the ABs haven’t won a tournament for at least a year, but they have been getting better again. It’s good to see them back on top. 😀

      • nicky says:

        They did not win the series since 2013-14, three years. I didn’t realise they hadn’t won a tournament last year, they still ended 4th, their lowest ranking since 2008-9.
        They still have won most series by far:12, compared to 3 for Fiji and 2 for South Africa. South Africa are the most prolific runners up: 7 times, one of the reasons I hope the Blitzbokke wiĺ win again this year. The only other team that has won a sevens series is Samoa in 2009-10.
        In the World 7’s rankings (I’m not sure how that is weighed with regard to older results) the AB’s are still ranked no 1 (136 pts), the BB’s 2 (129 pts), Fiji 3 (112 pts) and England 4 (104 pts).
        The more I watch Sevens Rugby, the more I like it: fast, furious and technical, and there is room for individual excellence too.

  12. Steven in Tokyo says:

    @j.a.m You know very well what Heather has written about Pence in the past. And your snide remark is far from any sort of serious discussion. And yes, I do find almost all of your comments rude to our host. What little improvement we see occasionally is always obliterated by these snide remarks.

  13. nicky says:

    And Mr Moore lost, how’s that for a belated small birthday present?

  14. nicky says:

    Re your small hockey players. I saw that in my son’s (the All Black supporter) rugby team. They are grade one, but the grade four and five teams underestimate them. Sorry to brag a bit, but my 7 year old is the most fearless tackler I know, he tackles 11 and 12 year olds, twice his weight, with gusto, and successfully. The AB’s inspire him, I guess. They also have 2 remarkably, extremely fast little boys in their team (‘Noah’ and ‘Gift’, talk €about names!), that rarely get caught once on the run. These older teams regularly bite the dust.

    • I can feel the love and pride when you write about your kids, and it’s nice – nothing to apologize for!. And good on him! If you’ve got the right technique, you can tackle bigger guys, and he’s clearly worked it out. No one can run if you grab them around the legs and hold on. It takes a lot of courage to do it to start with, but it works every time.

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