Backing sterilisation will bring more blue votes (probably) than urging help for mum with a record

February 9, 2014

So how long will this go on for, and how many state-run children’s homes will be needed to cope with the consequences of Oriwa Kemp’s fecundity?

Oh – and by the way – will the aforementioned Oriwa Kemp ever get a chance to demonstrate that maybe she can bring up her children without the need for state intervention?

Those are among the lofty questions tackled over the Grumbles’ breakfast table this morning, while we ploughed our way through the Sunday newspapers.

Oriwa Kemp, if you don’t happen to know it, was banged up for a while for cruelty to Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie.

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He was meant to be Messiah, but a spoil-sport American judge has reduced his name to Martin

August 13, 2013

Muhammed has become the most popular name for baby boys in London for the first time.

But across the Atlantic, in Newport, Tennessee, a judge has changed a toddler’s name from Messiah to Martin, saying the religious name was earned by one person and “that one person is Jesus Christ.”

Funny old world, eh?

Alf learned from the Daily Mail (here) that combined spellings of the Islamic prophet’s name have made it the most popular name for newborn boys in England for three years in a row.

They rank higher than other favourites such as Harry and Jack in the top 100 names for boys from the Office for National Statistics.

Now, however, the single variant Muhammad has topped the list in the capital with 768 registered births last year, ahead of Daniel on 666.

When combined with Mohammed, the name was more than double any other with 1479 boys given the name.

Across England, a total of 7,032 babies were given the name using the spellings of Muhammad (18th), Mohammed (25th) and Mohammad (58th) – topping the 6,893 that were called Harry.

Harry and Amelia were the most popular baby names in 2012 for the second year running.

But names such as Hugo, Sonny and Seth for boys, and Ivy, Darcey, Tilly and Violet for girls are storming up the list.

Several modern names which had gained popularity in recent years – Alf is delighted to report – have dropped out of the top 100 altogether.

These include Ashton and Reece for boys and Nicole and Kayla for girls.

Lisa Penney, of the parenting club Bounty.com, believes that while celebrity-styled or unusual names may be fun, parents know their children will ‘probably have an easier ride in the playground if they choose a more traditional name’.

Damned right.

The judge in Tennessee who changed a seven-month-old boy’s name from Messiah to Martin is Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew.

Dunno if she would want to be called Lu, if she realised that this is remarkably similar to loo, which is another word for dunny Down Under.

Never mind. The fact is she ordered the name change last week, according to WBIR-TV .

The boy’s parents were in court because they could not agree on the child’s last name, but when the judge heard the boy’s first name, she ordered it changed, too.

“It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is,” Ballew said.

It was the first time she ordered a first name change, the judge said.

But hey. The report which brought this matter to the Grumbles’ attention said Messiah was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration’s annual list of popular baby names.

The judge seems to have been oblivious to that fact.

The judge in eastern Tennessee said the baby was to be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes both parents’ last name.

The boy’s mother, Jaleesa Martin, of Newport, said she will appeal. She says Messiah is unique and she liked how it sounded alongside the boy’s two siblings — Micah and Mason.

“Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else,” Martin said.

But Judge Ballew said the name Messiah could cause problems if the child grows up in Cocke County, which has a large Christian population.

“The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the judge said.

But the parents of this child don’t have to stick with Martin, surely.

And if they want to go for something Biblical, well, as you can learn here, there are some 200 names and titles of Christ found in the Bible.

The site lists some of the more prominent ones, organized in three sections relating to names that reflect the nature of Christ, His position in the tri-unity of God, and His work on earth on our behalf.

One of the listed names is Judge.

Wonder what Judge Bellew would make of that.


If you want to be smart, keep off the bottle and stay latched to your mum’s breast for as long as you can

July 30, 2013

When asked (as he often is) about his stupendously high intelligence, Alf has given the credit to his genes.

But perhaps another factor comes into considerations.

This possibility (if not likelihood) is raised by a study that suggests the longer a person is breastfed, the greater is his or her receptive language at 3 years of age and verbal and nonverbal intelligence at age 7 years.

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Kyle’s mum can take heart – there will be a place for her lad in a Trappist choir, if he remains mute

March 23, 2013

Alf was fascinated by a report in the Dom-Post today (see here) about a lad of almost five who has taken reticence to an extreme.

The lad’s name is Kyle Sell and he has never talked.

He does not know his own name and has only just moved from a cot to a bed.

And the medical profession is baffled.

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Parents who don’t normally treasure your kids, please pay attention: this weekend is for you

March 2, 2013

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Oh, Gawd. Alf had been preparing to take refuge in the Eketahuna Club while Children’s Day was celebrated tomorrow.

But he had better get moving now and take refuge today.

He knew Children’s Day is officially marked on Sunday 3 March. Forewarned was forearmed.

But his colleague and good friend , Paula Bennett, has just advised him (here) the entire weekend will see communities get together across the country to celebrate children and positive parenting.

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The case for scrapping namby-pamby child-rearing is reinforced – so bring back whacking now

May 21, 2012

Its bring-back-the-birch day for your hard-working MP.

Actually, every day is bring-back-the birch day for him, but three separate stories at Stuff highlight the need for parents to give up their molly-coddling approach to discipline.

The same goes for teachers.

The Bible Says:

“He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (Proverbs

We are ignoring this good advice: we are sparing the rod and spoiling the sprogs.

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Santa’s workload has been calculated – he has just two minutes to deliver presents to Kiwi kids

December 27, 2011


Alf has stumbled upon the answer to a question that has puzzled him for as long as he can remember.

The question is: what exactly is Santa’s Christmas Eve workload?

The job obviously is formidable.

There are 728,000 or so kids in this country alone.

Not only must Santa get around the world in 24 hours on a sleigh driven by reindeer, but he must scramble up and down millions of chimneys with a sackful of presents.

And he does his delivering in the dark.

But in the many pictures of him, have you ever seen soot on his suit?

And have you studied the size of his sleigh, then asked how many presents it could actually carry?

Philip Bump, at The Atlantic, obviously has been puzzled by these things, too.

He answers the question about the workload here.

He has considered the number of Christian children in the world and the geographic distribution of those children.

And he has come up with these findings:

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If you want your kids to be smarter – then try spacing them two years (or more) apart

November 19, 2011

But if you want to produce good-looking offspring, maybe you should try something else.

So you want your kids to be brighter than everybody else’s brats?

Don’t we all.

Or rather (in the case of the Grumbles) we once did – nowadays we are a bit past bringing new generations of Kiwis into the world.

So this post is for younger constituents.

If they are still in the business of breeding, and if they want their kids to be above average (like all the children at Lake Woebegone) , they could benefit from a new study (PDF here) by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles and graduate student Elizabeth Munnich.

In a nutshell, their research points to how to produce bright offsping.

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Clucky sheilas give up looking for Mr Right and simply go shopping on line for sperm donors

October 10, 2011

Can blokes like these be spawned from on-line sperm shopping?

Now we are finding what happens when we raise a generation of pansies. Young women want to go to bed with a real bloke.

At least, that’s what Pommy sheilas are doing, and Alf imagines much the same thing will happen here if it isn’t happening already.

When the British bints can’t find the bloke of their choice, they just sit down with their laptops, go on-line and order a load of sperm to put themselves in the Pudding Club.

Increasing numbers of women are turning to internet sperm donors to become mothers after failing to find the man of their dreams.

Scores of women in their early twenties are logging on to websites such as babydonor.com and co-parent-search.com to find fathers for their children.

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A welcome call for the stigmatisation of fathers who leave taxpayers to pay for their kids’ upbringing

June 19, 2011

We get good ballsy advice today from Britain’s PM, David Cameron, which is very relevant to ratbag fathers in this country.

He is launching a full-scale attack on fathers who abandon their families and calls for them to be “stigmatised” by society in the same way as drink-drivers are.

From a policy point of view, he wants to recognise marriage in the tax system “so as a country we show we value commitment.”

His robust ideas are contained in in an article for The Sunday Telegraph to mark Father’s Day.

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