Did you see the one about . . .


Countdown employee-redfaced – Dim Post at his satirical best.

Devastating, just devastaing – Adolf at No Minister on the NZ Herald’s 7 deadly sins front page.

Life’s a Beach – A Little Whine and Cheese on a family day at the lake.

But the personal is political – In A Strange Land replies to one of the judges of the AIr NZ Best Blog Award.

Busted Blonde – BB’s last post at Roarprawn. I’ll miss her although Cat-astrophe on the BP oil spill shows Brunette has potential to be a worthy successor.

Quote of the Day – Anti Dismal on the absence of market forces in bureaucracy.

The taxing issue of burden – The Visible Hand has a different perspective on tax cuts.

Sylvia’s Mother


Happy birthday Dennis Locorriere, 61 today.

Sylvia’s Mother was one of my teenage favourites – but I’m not sure it’s stood the test of time.

It’s one of those days . . .


It was only 1.5 degrees at the bottom of Mount Iron late this morning but the view from the top was ample compensation for the cold.

It’s one of those days about which Katherine Mansfield said:

”It was one of those days so clear, so still, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.”

It’s about character


The glovebox in the stock agent’s car was full of petrol vouchers.

The friend who saw them there asked why so many. The agent without a blush said, he’d bought them on the company petrol card.

Misuse of cards isn’t confined to ministers and Michelle Boag has just made a very good point on Q&A – it comes down to character.

Some people are mean and will claim every cent to which they are entitled and more, others won’t claim anything, most will err on the side of caution when making legitimate claims.

Some people have left comments wondering about Helen Clark and Heather Simpson. Any regular reader will know that I am not a fan of either of them but I will be very surprised if there is anything untoward on their cards. Labour under Clark was very good at spending taxpayers’ money on policies to help other people who may or may not have needed it, but she was not personally extravagant.

The only thing that’s been commented on her card so far is a $19 pair of gumboots. That’s very cheap, the last pair I bought cost around $100.

People who misused their cards deserve the opprobrium being heaped on them but it wasn’t every minister who did and some of the expenses being queried are legitimate.

If people are running the country and travelling the world as part of their duties we can’t expect them to stay in backpackers and eat at street stalls.

I might also accept them putting everything on the minsiterial card and including a cheque for personal expenses when they sent receipts.

But given some can’t be trusted it would be better to leave them to pay on their own cards then claim back legitimate expenses.

What do they have in their wallets?


Of all the excuses given for mis-using ministerial credit cards, the one I find most difficult to believe is that it was the only one they had.

Everyone I know has several  in their wallet – one friend has 32 cards in his wallet among which are both personal and company credit cards.

If I’m going overseas I take out anything which is only useful in New Zealand but that would still leave  credit and EFTPOS cards.

Whether they’re at home or abroad some past ministers said they didn’t have their own cards to use for purchases – so what did they have in their wallets then and what do they do now they don’t have the ministerial cards to use?

June 13 in history


On June 13:

823 Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of the West Franks,was born (d. 877).


1249 – Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.

1373Anglo-Portuguese Alliance between England (succeeded by the United Kingdom) and Portugal – the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

Map indicating location of United Kingdom and Portugal

1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.


1584  Miyamoto Musashi, Legendary Samurai warrior, artist, and author of The Book of Five Rings, was born (d. 1645).

1625  King Charles I married French princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon.


1752 Fanny Burney, English novelist and diarist, was born (d. 1840).


1774  Rhode Island became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.

Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette.jpg

1798 Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

1805  Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sighted the Great Falls of the Missouri River.


 1863 Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, English fashion designer (d. 1935).

1865 William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1937).

1866 The Burgess Gang murdered five men on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson.
Murder on the Maungatapu track

1871  In Labrador, a hurricane killed 300 people.

1881 The USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.

USS Jeannette

1883 Henry George Lamond, Australian farmer and author was born.

1886  A fire devastatesd much of Vancouver.


1886 – King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich.

1893 Dorothy L. Sayers, English author, was born (d. 1957).


1893 Grover Cleveland underwent secret, successful surgery to remove a large, cancerous portion of his jaw; the operation wasn’t revealed to the public until 1917, nine years after the president’s death.


1898 Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.

1910 Mary Whitehouse, British campaigner, was born (d. 2001).

1910  The University of the Philippines College of Engineering was established.

Up diliman college of engineering.jpg

1917  World War I: the deadliest German air raid on London during World War I was carried out by Gotha G bombers and resulted in 162 deaths, including 46 children, and 432 injuries.

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh received a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York.


1934  Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met in Venice.

1942 The United States opened its Office of War Information.

1942 The United States established the Office of Strategic Services.

1944 Ban Ki-moon, South Korean United Nations Secretary-General, was born.


1944 World War II: Germany launched a counter attack on Carentan.

1944 – World War II: Germany launched a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England. Only four of the eleven bombs actually hit their targets.


1949 Dennis Locorriere, American singer and guitarist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show), was born.

1952  Catalina affair: a Swedish Douglas DC-3 was shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 fighter.


1953 Tim Allen, American comedian and actor, was born.

1955  Mir Mine, the first diamond mine in the USSR, was discovered.

Mir mine is located in Russia

1966 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.


1967  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.


1970 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Chris Cairns from side.jpg

1970  “The Long and Winding Road” became the Beatles’ last Number 1 song.

1971  Vietnam War: The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.

1978  Israeli Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon.

1981 At the Trooping the Colour ceremony a teenager, Marcus Sarjeant, fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.

1982  Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia on the death of his brother, Khalid.


1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif

1994  A jury in Anchorage blamed recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.

The Exxon Valdez

1995  French president Jacques Chirac announced the resumption of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

1996 The Montana Freemen surrendered after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.

1997 Uphaar cinema fire, in New Delhi, killed 59 people, and over 100 people injured.

1997 American fugitive Ira Einhorn was arrested in France for the murder of Holly Maddux after 16 years on the run.

2000  President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea met Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit.

2000  Italy pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

2002 The United States of America withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2005  A jury in Santa Maria, California acquitted pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.

A mid-twenties African American man wearing a sequined military jacket and dark sunglasses. He is walking while waving his right hand, which is adorned with a white glove. His left hand is bare.

2007  The Al Askari Mosque was bombed for a third time.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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