I didn't see the game, because I'd figured the Chiefs' chances of winning were minimal, and having two small children means only the biggest games get a look in.
The Chiefs played well all year, and it's nice to see their captain also get the All Black role while McCaw is sidelined.
I'm more excited by the prospect of Shane Bond returning to the Black Caps. Whether he's fit enough to play test cricket is another matter. Even in his prime he was prone to regular breakdowns. How will he cope now? He's almost 34 years old and hasn't played test cricket since late 2007.
So how about that Mr Laws then? Every week I seem to write something about him. It's probably becoming boring to read. But this week's topic? Cats.
I like cats. He hates them. I've always despised Laws' polemic style of writing, but his revelation has given me an insight into his soul. I now understand why he writes such monstrous things.
Most people who follow the NZ blogosphere knows about Whaleoil. The man behind the Whaleoil blogsite, Cameron Slater, is a noteworthy lowlife who would have remained a largely anonymous potty-mouthed right-wing racist misogynist, but for the fact that Daddy is President of Citizens and Ratepayers, the party that currently dominates Auckland City Council. Because he likes to roll in the muck his Dad's mates like to use him to smear their opponents. To quote John Banks:
I leave this to Whaleoil
David Farrar often uses him as a source for the material on his own blogsite, Kiwiblog. Though Farrar's commentary on Kiwiblog is usually relatively sane (though still well to the right), the majority of posters on his site appear to be either certifiable lunatics, fascists, or angry men with serious personal problems (I can't keep using the word "misogynists" after all, in case the word loses its power). So the two blogsites have much in common.
Here's an example of Slater's utter foulness. He writes about the recent death of Mike Tyson's baby daughter, Exodus:
This silly fool thinks it was the treadmill that killed. WRONG! it was her silly first name.
How anyone can joke about the death of a child is beyond me.
Slater's site has a Trophy Wall (which I won't link to, because it merely gives him more traffic), which the cretin uses to claim credit for exposing various "scandals". So in a similar spirit I'm adding Slater to the Imperator Fish Hall of Shame.
Freedom of religious expression is a hallmark of any civilised society. I'm not remotely religious, but I respect the right of people to worship freely whoever and whatever they choose - so long as they don't come proselytising near me or my family. But religious freedom must also go hand in hand with freedom of speech. Many religious people don't like this idea, because they believe anyone who disagrees with them is dangerous and must be silenced.
So it is with some joy that I read of the recent blows to the Church (or should that be Cult?) of Scientology. The Scientologists are masters at shutting down dissent, and of going to extraordinary levels to silence anyone who tries to criticise them.
In France, however, it seems only Christians are allowed to practise religious intolerance. Muslim girls have been forced to lift their veils while at school. And now the Scientologists are under legal attack in France for targeting the vulnerable for commercial gain.
Scientology's claim to be a religion is dubious. It has all the hallmarks of a cult. It was founded by a science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard in 1953, and its belief system does read like a bad sci-fi novel. How anyone would fall for it is beyond my comprehension, and yet people do. To most people it would have remained just a wacky cult, but for the efforts made by the Scientologists to silence those who dare to criticise or question its teachings. Those efforts have been numerous and well-documented.
Now even Wikipedia is fed up by the Scientologists' distortions and manipulations. It has banned the Church of Scientology from making online edits to what is posted about Scientology on Wikipedia. This is what Wikipedia has on the Church of Scientology.
No doubt the cult will fight back. It has plenty of cash, and a horde of overpaid Hollywood celebrities to bankroll its legal efforts. But this is the internet age, and the cult's efforts to control information about it seem ultimately doomed.