Word of the day


Politpopper – politically correct and correctly dressed, (German, literally a square politician).



The Tuesday poets have celebrated the first birthday of the Tuesday Poem blog with an unfolding communal poem for a birthday.

The poets explian:

We’re celebrating with a communal poem that will skip backwards and forwards across the world and between time zones over the coming week (NZ, Australia, UK, US), with the finished poem posted next Tuesday.
Our tag team of Tuesday Poets who live in the land of the sidebar (eyes right!) will add their lines to the unfolding poem at the rate of four or five entries a day until Sunday, and then the full poem will be up for a week.
The poets have also found time to publish other poems which are linked in the side bar.
Among them are:
Tuesday Afternoon in the Domain by Renee Liang.
Winning the Day by Catherine Bateson.
Us by James K Baxter.
Fresh Bread by Catherine Fitchett.
Spring is Here by Eileen Moeller.
Indian Summer by Ross Gillett.
The Second Wife by Chris Tse.
You Have to Walk Before You Can Fly by Helen Rickerby.
Indian Summer by

NBR blocks cut and paste


The NBR has introduced a system that stops readers cutting and pasting anything behind its pay wall.

The internet makes it too easy to copy and paste whole articles into emails or blogs which means a single subscription could give access to the world.

I’ve never copied and pasted large chunks of subscriber-only content but I have been guilty of referring to it and then cut pasted the odd paragraph.

I thought that came under fair use and the taste might be enough to persuade a reader to subscribe.

However, I understand the NBR’s desire to protect its paid content. It’s a business, it provides a product – and a high quality one. It’s not unreasonable to expect people to pay for it and to restrict paid content to those who subscribe.

Oil’s okay if it helps the protest?


How did the people protesting against oil exploration by Petrobras off the East Cape get out to the survey ship?

Did they walk, cycle or ride horses to the beach then row, sail or swim from the shore?

Thought not.

That sends the somewhat confused message that using oil is okay if it helps the protest against finding more.

Only National wants the provinces


The 2005 election resulted in a blue-wash through the provinces.

The only general seat outside the main centres which stayed red was Palmerston North.

If the attention being paid to provincial and rural seats in the south by political parties is anything to go by it seems the only one interested in them is National.

That’s par for the course for the wee parties which only turn up for photo ops between elections and have token candidates, if any, standing in electorates but only interested in the party vote.

But you’d expect Labour to at least look as if it was interested, if only to give some heart to its supporters but they don’t appear to be even trying.

The party’s 2005 candidate for Waitaki conceded defeat to National’s Jacqui Dean a couple of weeks before the election much to the disgust of the local party people. It doesn’t seem to have done him any harm with the hierarchy though, he’s number 4 on the 2011 list.

This year’s candidate for Waitaki is number 64, the candidate for neighbouring Rangitata is 56 and the Clutha Southland candidate is 54.

The Invercargill candidate, former MP Lesley Soper isn’t on the list. That’s not surprising when the party couldn’t even find an MP willing to support her at the electorate AGM.

List MP Damien O’Connor who lost he West Coast Tasman seat in 2005 isn’t on the list either because:

“I wouldn’t trust them. Between a gaggle of gays and some self-serving unionists, I’m not sure that a straight shooter such as myself would be given a fair deal.”

Labour leader Phil Goff said he had “scolded” Mr O’Connor about the comments, which the MP had told him about, “although … it will probably help him no end on the Coast. He’s a pretty straight talker and he used West Coast language.”

West Coast language?  Why doesn’t he just call them feral as his predecessor did? The coasters I know don’t talk like that but perhaps I know a more tolerant and pleasant sample of the people than he does.

O’Connor also said:

. . . he was disappointed the system did not deliver better results for rural and provincial candidates, such as himself, who were outside the party’s power blocs.

It’s not just Labour’s system which short-changes the provinces, it’s MMP.

Electorates are far too big and rural or provincial don’t feature among the categories which are supposed to make parliament more representative.

Spot the fresh faces


The Labour Party has used its list for the 2011 election to introduce an element of play to the political scene.

They’ve come up with a game called Spot the Fresh Faces.

If you look really hard at the list you’ll find the odd one but Kiwiblog’s worked out the vote needed before they enter parliament.

Former president Andrew Little at 15 on the list would enter parliament if Labour gets 22% of the vote and Deborah Mahuta-Coyle at 26 would become an MP if the party gains 30% of the vote.

Six places further down is Michael Wood who would gain a list seat if the party gets 32% of the vote which is around where its been polling for months.

That is assuming Labour holds the electorates it has and doesn’t win any more.

The various factions which hold sway in Labour make ranking the list a bit more complicated than with other parties. But part of the blame for the stale look to the list rests with some of the longer serving MPs who haven’t recognised they’ve passed their best-by dates.

Unless the party manages to do a lot better than it has in the polls (even last night’s  One News Culmar Brunton poll which showed a small gain) there won’t be many fresh faces to spot in caucus after the election.

April 11 in history


On April 11:

491 Flavius Anastasius became Byzantine Emperor, with the name of Anastasius I.

Semissis-Anastasius I-sb0007.jpg

1079 Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow was executed by order of Bolesław II of Poland.

1241 Batu Khan defeated Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi.


1512 War of the League of Cambrai: French forces led by Gaston de Foix won the Battle of Ravenna.

The Death of Gaston de Foix in the Battle of Ravenna.jpg

1689 William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.


1713  War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War): Treaty of Utrecht was signed.

First edition of the Treaty of Utrecht

1775 The last execution for witchcraft in Germany took place.

1814 The Treaty of Fontainebleau ended the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time.

1828  Foundation of Bahia Blanca.

1856 Battle of Rivas: Juan Santamaria burned down the hostel where William Walker’s filibusters were holed up.

1865 President Abraham Lincoln made his last public speech.


1868 The Shogunate was abolished in Japan.

1873 Edward Lawson, Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born  (d. 1955).


1876  The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organised.


1888 The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was inaugurated.


1899 Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States.

1907 Ivor Spencer-Thomas, English farmer and entrepreneur, was born (d. 2001).

1908 Jane Bolin, first African-American woman judge, was born (d. 2007).


1908 Masaru Ibuka, Japanese industrialist (Sony), was born (d. 1997).


1919 Soldiers’ votes over turned initial results of a referendum which had shown a majority of 13,000 favouring prohibition.

Soldiers' votes derail prohibition campaign

1919 The International Labour Organisation was founded.

ILO logo.svg

1921 The Emirate of Transjordan was created.

1945 World War II: American forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp.


1951  Korean War: President Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.

MacArthur Manila.jpg

1951 The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, was found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey.


1952 The Battle of Nanri Island took place.

1953 Guy Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium, was born.

1955 The Air India Kashmir Princess was bombed and crashed in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by the Kuomintang.

1957 Britain agreed to Singaporean self-rule.

1960 Jeremy Clarkson, British journalist, was born.


1961  The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem.


1963 Billy Bowden, New Zealand umpire, was born.

Billy Bowden.jpg

1965 The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people.

1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.


1970 Apollo 13 was launched.


1976 The Apple I was created.

Apple I computer

1979 Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed.

 Caricature by Edmund S. Valtman

1981 A massive riot in Brixton, South London, resulted in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries.

1986 The FBI Miami shootout between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and two heavily-armed and well-trained gunmen.


1987 The London Agreement was secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan.

1990 Customs officers in Middlesbrough,  said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun on a ship bound for Iraq.

1993 450 prisoners rioted at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, and continued to do so for ten days, citing grievances related to prison conditions, as well as the forced vaccination of Nation of Islam prisoners (for tuberculosis) against their religious beliefs.

2001 The crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that landed in Hainan, China after a collision with an J-8 fighter was released.

2002 The Ghriba synagogue bombing by Al Qaeda killed 21 in Tunisia.


2002 – An attempted coup d’état in Venezuela against President Hugo Chávez took place.

2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully enriched uranium.

Two hands in brown gloves holding a gray disk with a number 2068 hand-written on it

2007  2007 Algiers bombings: Two bombings in the Algerian capital of Algiers, killed 33 people and wounded a further 222 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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