Word of the day


Philostorgy – natural affection such as parents have for their children.

Christmas on-line


Christmas on-line occupied my discussion on Critical Mass today.

Carols for Christmas in the Guardian chosen by Carol Ann Duffy (Hat tip: Beatties Book Blog).

The digital story of the nativity – the old story told through new media.

A social network Christmas:

And on Facebook with comments.

Gift duty ruling stuns North Pole resident at Imperator Fish

And I finished with a plea: my favourite carol is Te Harinui. There are now a few versions of it on youTube but none does it justice. I’m hoping an individual or group with both musical ability and whatever it takes to upload something to youTube will remedy that.

Why Do We Do What We Do?


This Tuesday’s poem is Why Do We Do What We Do by James Brown.

Sarah Jane Barnett who is this week’s editor paired the Tuesday Poets in a poetic version of  ”Secret Santa”  to post a poem or other offering by their ‘partner’ poet.

The results are linked in the sidebar and include:

How She Holds Her Head by Mary McCallum

Grapefruit by Clare Beynon

Cake With Fruit by Therese Clear

Christmas Baubles from Northland by Elizabeth Welsh

The Middle Ground by Belinda Hollyer

Elizabeth and Mary by Kathleen Jones

Kitchen Sonnets by Catherine Fitchett

Albedo by Harvey Malloy

Unnoticed by Harvey McQueen

countadowncountdownAuckland Countdown by Renee Liang

Xmas by Susan Landry

Christ in Aotearoa by Andrew Bell

Nerves by Sarah Jane Barnett

Burning With Joan of Arc by Helen Rickerby

Christmastide by Helen Lowe

Barksoup Winter by Jennifer Compton

O wad some Power the giftie gie us . . .


Another Wikileaks revelation:

“The Labour Party also tends to attract its membership from the ranks of academics, unions and government workers.

“National’s younger candidates, in contrast, typified the cross section of younger New Zealand professionals and middle class families – and were candidates who attracted important swing voters in urban centers where Labour traditionally had strong support,” she said.

Whether Labour could field a similar broad range of younger candidates among its traditional left-of-centre support base was in question.

“The party will also need to revamp its current parliamentary list, which is replete with tried, tested, and largely defeated Labour Party stalwarts.”

Political parties and politicians should acquaint themselves with the work of Robert Burns, paying particular attention to To A Louse from which comes: O wad some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!

Too many blind eyes – updated & updated again


Another child has joined the long list of victims of child abuse.

It is a list of shame and what is particularly shameful about this case is that other people must have known and turned blind eyes to her suffering.

She is a victim of her parents who have been charged wtth the abuse but she is also a victim of too many blind eyes.

Details made public so far suggest a failure of systems or people within CYFS.

But there must also have been people in the wider family and neighbourhood who saw something in the two years this poor child was being subject to horrific abuse but failed to get help.

Macdoctor says:

 It is not CYFS who are mostly at fault here (though I think there have been severe errors of judgement on their behalf), it is the family members that have let this little girl down. Their silence has allowed one of their own to be brutally tortured and severely psychologically scarred. The testimony of the family friend (who, at least, tried to do something about it) makes it very obvious that none of the immediate family could have been oblivious to this abuse – yet it continued for two years. . .

He calls for zero tolerance for child abuse and he is right.

Only when no-one turns a blind eye to abuse will children be safe.


Napier police are investigating the suspicious death of a five year old

Close family members were assisting police with their enquiries and police were not actively seeking anyone else in connection with her death, he said.

Another victim of too many blind eyes?


Emmerson’s cartoon in today’s Herald shows the parent test.

Social Development Minsiter Paula Bennett writes: New Zealand is letting its chidlren down.

December 21 in history


On December 21:

1118  Thomas Becket, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury was born  (d. 1170).

1598  Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflicted a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile.

1620 William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 The Landing of the Pilgrims., by Henry A. Bacon, 1877

1682 Calico Jack Rackham, English pirate, was born (d. 1720).


1804  Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1881).


1815  Thomas Couture French painter and teacher, was born (d. 1879).

1843 Thomas Bracken, Irish-born New Zealand, was born (d. 1898).

1844 – The Rochdale Pioneers commenced business at their cooperative in Rochdale, England, starting the Cooperative movement.

1861  Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

1872  HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth.

HMS Challenger Painting of Challenger by William Frederick Mitchell

1883 The first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army were formed: The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment.

RCD cap badge.jpg Royalcanadianregt.jpg

1892  Rebecca West, British writer, was born  (d. 1983).

Portrait of Rebecca West

1905  Anthony Powell, British author, was born (d. 2000).

1913 Arthur Wynne‘s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, was published in the New York World.

1917  Heinrich Böll, German writer and Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1985).

1937 – Jane Fonda, American actress, was born.

1937  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length animated film, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

1946 Carl Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born (d. 1998).

1958 Charles de Gaulle was elected President of France when his Union des Démocrates pour la République party gained 78.5% of the vote.

1962 – Rondane National Park was established as Norway‘s first national park.

1964 More than 170 years of New Zealand whaling history came to a close when J. A. Perano and Company caught its last whale off the coast near Kaikoura.

NZ whalers harpoon their last victim

1967  Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, died 18 days after the transplant.

1968 Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, was launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. At 2h:50m:37s Mission elapsed time (MES), the crew performed the first ever manned Trans Lunar Injection and became the first humans to leave Earth’s gravity.


1971 New Zealand Railways (NZR) launched a new tourist-oriented steam passenger venture, the Kingston Flyer.

Full steam ahead for Kingston Flyer

1979 Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia was signed in London by Lord Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.

 Bishop Abel Muzorewa signing the Lancaster House Agreement seated next to British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.

1988  A bomb exploded on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.

1992 – A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashed at Faro Airport, killing 56 people.

1994 – Mexican volcano Popocatepetl, dormant for 47 years, erupted.

1995 – The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

1999 – The Spanish Civil Guard intercepted a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid.

2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: