Word of the day


Vocifierate – to bawl; to cry out loudly and vehemently, especially in protest; to shout, complain or argue loudly.

Bother wasn’t bad enough


Three bankers, our accountant, two staff, my farmer and I were meeting this morning.

I was in charge of lunch for the eight of us when the meeting finished and had done all the preparations before it began.

All I had to do was mix the beaten egg whites with the rest of the roulade mixture and cook it as the meeting was coming to an end.

It would have worked too had I not knocked the bowl with the mixture off the bench.

Sometimes bother isn’t bad enough and this was definitely one of those times.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Which author lived at 56 Eden St, Oamaru?

2. What is a Prunus persica var. nucipersica?

3. Who said: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”?

4. How many general electorates are there in New Zealand?

5. Which cheese is usually coated in red wax?

Points for answers:

David got two right and I’m giving him #5 because those baby cheeses are covered in red wax and I should have specified a Dutch cheese; plus he gest a bonus for reasoning.

Gravedodger got three right, a nearly for the peach and a bonus for the anecdote.

Ray gets an electronic box of nectarines for five right (ignoring Gouda which is usually covered in yellow wax).

Adam got four right and a nearly for Twain and Shaw because he’s right they are good for stand bys.

PDM got two right and a bonus for wit.

Bearhunter got four right and 1/2 for #4 – he’s right there are 70 electorates including the Maori ones but the question was seekign the number of general seats.

Answers follow the break:

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Failed policies of noughties didn’t help children


The United Nation’s report on the state of children in New Zealand says they – the children – don’t have enough rights.

On the contrary, the problem isn’t a lack of rights for children but a lack of responsibility from some parents.

This was alluded to by Children’s Commissioner, John Angus, who told Breakfast (not yet on line) that one of the best things for children would be getting their parents off benefits and into paid work.

This is not an attack on the people who require temporary assistance. It is an indictment on those long term beneficiaries who expect hand outs without taking any responsibility in return, the one’s Macdoctor describes as the sub-culture of feral parents.

The hand wringers say the problem is that children are marginalised, they don’t have a voice and they can’t vote.


Their parents, grandparents, teachers, health professionals and anyone else charged with caring and protecting them have loud voices and they all vote.

We also have a Families Commission and if the report does anything good it will be to show that the commission is a waste of money.

Even if it doesn’t do that, the report is an indictment on the failed policies of the noughties – the ones which bought votes by giving money to people in want rather than in genuine need.

These high tax and redistribute policies didn’t help children. They saddled them with a legacy of debt which is constraining the economy and will reduce opportunities for them as they grow up.

If no one’s at fault someone’s responsible


Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennet has ordered an independent inquiry into the serious abuse of a nine year-old girl.

She is to be congratulated for this urgent response to a report from Child, Youth and Family’s Chief Social Worker that found no single glaring failure on the part of any of the agencies involved with the child’s family.

That 12 agencies were involved shows there were serious problems in the family. That no-one from one of those 12 agencies was able to prevent or at least identify and stop the serious abuse is a symptom of an even more serious problem.

If there was no single glaring failure on the part of the agencies it might be argued that no-one in those agencies is at fault. But that shows there is something seriously wrong with their systems and procedures and somebody must be responsible for them.

Paula has given former Ombudsman Mel Smith who will lead the inquiry plenty of scope to determine what went wrong, why and what needs to change to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

1. Whether the multiple agencies and individuals involved in the family in the lead-up to her abuse took all appropriate actions to ensure her safety

2. If these individuals and agencies were sufficiently child-centred in their actions and approach to this case

3. Whether all these individuals and agencies collaborated effectively

4. Whether the individuals and agencies involved in the case shared information effectively or not? If not, why not? And did the individuals have a clear understanding of the law around information sharing?

5. If any changes to the processes and legislative framework are required to ensure open and appropriate information sharing about children judged to be at risk of child abuse or neglect.

6. Any other matters you might identify that you believe should be brought to my attention.

The most important of these might be number 6: any other matters that should be brought to the Minister’s attention.

This inquiry must ensure that even if no-one’s at fault for what happened in this case, someone is responsible to ensure no more children are let down by those in a position to help them.

January 21 in history


On January 21:

1189 – Philip II of France and Richard I of England began to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.

Siege of Acre.jpg

1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptised each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.

1643 Abel Tasman was the first European to reach Tonga.

Fragment of “Portrait of Abel Tasman, his wife and daughter” attributed to Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp,

1749 – The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destroyed by fire.

1789 The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, was printed in Boston, Massachusetts.

1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France was executed by guillotine.

1824   Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American, Confederate army general was born.

Stonewall Jackson.jpg 

1864 – The Tauranga Campaign started during the New Zealand Land Wars.

1887 – Brisbane received a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.

1893 – The Tati Concessions Land, formerly part of Matabeleland, was formally annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate, which is now Botswana.

1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.

Opel logo.svg

1905 Christian Dior, French fashion designer, was born.

Christian Dior - book cover.jpg

1908 – New York City passed the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, but the measure was vetoed by the mayor.

1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally.

1915 – Kiwanis International  was founded in Detroit, Michigan.


1919 – Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin. Sinn Féin adopted Ireland’s first constitution. The first engagement of Irish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.

1921 The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.

1924 Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer, was born (d. 1992).

1925  Albania declared itself a republic.

1938 Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor, was born(d. 1995).

1940  Jack Nicklaus, American golfer, was born.


1941 Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor, was born.


1942,  Mac Davis, American musician, was born.

1944 New Zealand & Australia signed the Canberra Pact, which was an undertaking by both countries to co-operate on international matters, especially in the Pacific.

NZ and Australia sign the Canberra Pact

1950 Billy Ocean, West Indian musician, was born.

 1953 Paul Allen, American entrepreneur, co-founder of Microsoft, was born.

1954 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), was launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, the First Lady of the United States.

1958 – The last Fokker C.X in military service, the Finnish Air Force FK-111 target tower, crashed, killing the pilot and winch-operator.

1960 – Miss Sam, a female rhesus monkey, lifted off from Wallops Island, Virginia, aboard Little Joe 1B – an unmanned test of the Mercury spacecraft.


1968 Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicised and controversial battles of the Vietnam War began.

1974 Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian, was born.

1976 – Commercial service of Concorde began with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.

1976 Emma Bunton, English singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders.

1981 – Tehran released United States hostages after 444 days.

1997 – Newt Gingrich became the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct.

1999 – War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepted a ship with over 4,300 kg (9,500 lb) of cocaine on board.

2002 – The Canadian Dollar set all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).

2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks dropped as much as 15%.

Sourced from NZ hisotry Online & Wikipedia.

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