It shouldn’t matter much how a T-bone steak was produced, so long as it’s from a dead creature

December 21, 2014

not-quite-halal-300x202

The Poms can be a right bunch of prats.

Their latest foray into the domain of idiocy involves a Minister who is banging on about telling shoppers how their meat was killed.

The proposal comes from one George Eustice, an environment minister, who has given the clearest signal yet that the Government will introduce compulsory labelling of halal or kosher products.

The rationale is bizarre.

According to this report in The Telegraph:

There has been growing concern that consumers are unwittingly buying meat that was the result of religious ritual slaughter after it emerged that diners had been unknowingly served halal chicken in Pizza Express and other restaurants.

Why should someone who is about to tuck into a juicy T-bone steak give a monkey’s fuck about how the beast was slaughtered?

The nature of any prayers that were uttered will have no effect on the tenderness or flavour of the beef.

Nor will it be affected by the beast facing towards or away from Mecca.

Read the rest of this entry »


Another important use for plastic bags – they can help a bloke keep faith and avoid cemeteries

April 13, 2013

article-2307713-193E4E9B000005DC-456_634x632

Dunno what they will make of this it an airline like Somoa Air, which (see here) says it is keeping airfares fair, by charging its passengers only for what they weigh.

Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.

But weight isn’t the issue with this bloke.

The issue is that if the air crew have to make an emergency landing and bundle off all their passengers in a hurry, the poor bugger who sat on the inside of the tosser in the plastic bag is going to be somewhat impeded rushing to the exits.

So what’s up?

Read the rest of this entry »


Climbing Mt Cook seems to be okay, but hovering your chopper near its peak is a sacrilege

April 9, 2013

Beware, when travelling in the South Island.

Also known as The Mainland, its population includes the tribe known as Ngai Tahu, who are regarded by the United Nations and our Government as special people by virtue of being indigenous. They can be sensitive, too, and especially sensitive when it comes to things they hold sacred.

Our courts – you will find – are very anxious to protect these sacred objects. They are so anxious, in fact, that judges will bang on about sacrilege if you don’t treat a sacred object with proper respect, although Alf obviously wasn’t paying attention on the occasion when sacrilege was included in our law books as a crime.

Read the rest of this entry »


When the Martians ask to be taken to the Anglican or Maori Party leader – how many will they meet?

March 24, 2013

So what does the Anglican Church have in common with the Maori Party?

Lots of leaders.

Alf was reminded of the similarity between the church and the Maori Party after the Bishop of Taranaki, Philip Richardson, was elected Archbishop and became one of three men who jointly share leadership of the church in this country (see here).

Bishop Richardson will share leadership duties with the leader of the Maori arm of the church, Archbishop Brown Turei, and with Archbishop Winston Halapua who is Bishop of Polynesia.

Sharing leadership is something the Green Party likes to do, too.

Read the rest of this entry »


When a missionary’s position becomes a matter of mystery, maybe we should avoid the Manawatu

November 22, 2012

Livingstone didn’t stay missing for ever.

The Grumbles will be changing their shopping habits henceforth and giving Palmerston North a miss.

Yeah, Alf and his missus know it’s a jungle out there.

But the Manawatu is not the sort of jungle in which missionaries go missing, surely.

How wrong can you be.

Stuff reports (here) the grim news –

Missionary missing in Palmerston North

Alf doesn’t doubt it can be a tough life, being a missionary.

Read the rest of this entry »


Give ’em hell – or put the fear of God into the wicked to reduce the crime rate

June 21, 2012


There’s the usual crop of crime stories in the media today, an index of the lawless – and godless – society we have become.

Rather than more cops and more judges, we need more preachers.

Especially preachers with a knack for spreading the word about hellfire and brimstone.

In short, the wicked among us (and there are far too many of the buggers) need reminding that

. . . on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

—Luke 17:29–30

And for good measure (as you will find later in this post) a fear of hell is good for the economy.

It will boost our GDP growth.

Before you dismiss your long-serving, much-admired member as a fundamentalist loony, wait.

Check out some academic stuff on the subject of religion and crime here.

The nub of it is that a University of Oregon psychologist has found the specific religious beliefs one holds is the determining factor when it comes to predicting criminal behavior.

The study, appearing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, found that criminal activity is lower in societies where people’s religious beliefs contain a strong punitive component than in places where religious beliefs are more benevolent.

A country where many more people believe in heaven than in hell, for example, is likely to have a much higher crime rate than one where these beliefs are about equal.

This upholds Alf’s view that something is sadly missing from our society on a day when he has been reading about the discovery of a prostitute’s body on a beach, the proceedings of a few murder trials, a few cases of drunken driving, and a sheila who stole a doctor’s handbag while her child was being treated…

The offenders in these cases are likely to fear nothing worse than being tossed into a prison cell and live off the taxpayer for a while.

They forget that they will be judged again in the hereafter.

Let’s check out what the psychology professor has to tell us about his study.

‘The key finding is that, controlling for each other, a nation’s rate of belief in hell predicts lower crime rates, but the nation’s rate of belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, and these are strong effects,’ said Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the Culture and Morality Lab at the UO.

‘I think it’s an important clue about the differential effects of supernatural punishment and supernatural benevolence. The finding is consistent with controlled research we’ve done in the lab, but here shows a powerful ‘real world’ effect on something that really affects people – crime.’

The professor has been studying this sort of thing for a while.

Last year, in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Shariff reported that undergraduate students were more likely to cheat when they believe in a forgiving God than a punishing God.

It’s bound to be true, similarly, that criminals are more likely to break the law when they believe they ahve a fair chance of coming up against a namby-pamby judge who will send them away with a fine that they will never pay or some other soft-pap sentence.

But let’s throw the fear of hell fire and brimstone into the mix.

The professor says his new findings fit into a growing body of evidence that supernatural punishment has emerged as a very effective cultural innovation to get people to act more ethically with each other.

In 2003, he said, Harvard University researchers Robert J. Barro and Rachel M. McCleary had found that gross domestic product was higher in developed countries when people believed in hell more than they did in heaven.

That’s got to worth exploring.

A copy of this post – you can be sure – will be sent to Bill English.

Alf also intends try to repopularise this ditty by popular American hymn writer Isaac Watts (1674-1748), which got Christians’ feet tapping back in his day.

What bliss will fill the ransomed souls,

When they in glory dwell,

To see the sinner as he rolls,

In quenchless flames of hell.

Just one thing: don’t expect the spread of of a greater fear of hell to be a cure-all.

It it was 100% effective in reducing crime, Graham John Capill would not have been banged up for a few years for sex offences against girls under 12 years of age.


Which will come first – Armageddon, or the world population hitting the 7 billion mark?

October 16, 2011

They got it wrong that time - but what about next Friday?

The world is becoming increasingly crowded – its human population looks set to smash through the seven billion barrier in the next few days, according to the United Nations.

This will be just 12 years since the total reached six billion.

Should we be worried?

Yep – on two fronts.

First, experts say the pace of growth – which has seen the number of people on the planet triple since 1940 – poses an increasing danger to citizens.

With more people to feed, house and provide medical care for, the experts they say the world’s resources look set to come under more strain than ever before.

But we should worry, too, that this will never happen because – bugger me – the end of the world is nigh again.

Read the rest of this entry »