Word of the day


Kopophobia – fear of physical or mental exhaustion or fatigue.



Blush – a lowly 4/10 in the NZ Herald’s changing world quiz.

Another big aftershock


The earth moved  in North Otago at 1pm.

It was due to what Geonet recorded as a 5.5 aftershock 11 kilometres deep 10 kilometres east of Christchurch.

We hardly noticed the shaking but even the most stoic of Cantabrians must find their nerves overstretched by these continual reminders of February’s quake.

Update: The 2:20 quake was a 6, 9 km deep, 10kms south east of Christchurch.

Reference Number 3528839 [View event in Google Maps] [View Felt Reports in Google Maps]
Universal Time June 13 2011 at 2:20
NZ Standard Time Monday, June 13 2011 at 2:20 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.58°S, 172.74°E
Focal Depth 9 km
Richter magnitude 6.0
Region Canterbury
  • Within 5 km of Lyttelton
  • 10 km north of Diamond Harbour
  • 10 km south-east of Christchurch

What about Anran?


It’s always dangerous for someone who types faster than she spells and sometimes relies on an unreliable memory to cast aspersions on someone else’s writing. But I think this isn’t so much a typo or poor memory as a reflection on a gap in the writer’s/sub’s knowledge of political philosophy:

Sean Okay what about Anran?

John Yeah I’ve read Anran, but I’ve got my own philosophy of what I do and what I think has worked.

Anyone want to bet the sub isn’t a Libertarian?

If they can’t run the party . . .


Whaleoil’s release of Labour Party donations information will serve as a warning to any other organisation about the importance of securing customer information, especially when it’s held on computers.

As Inventory 2 says at Keeping Stock nothing is more important than protecting customers’ privacy and information.

So far the only information Whale has made public is that of Cactus Kate who blogs about her Labour donation shame.

Other donors will be at least as concerned about the lax attitude to their privacy which has enabled someone to access information so easily.

If they can’t handle other people’s money securely and run the party properly, voters won’t have much confidence in their ability to run the country.

The bad old days


Jamie Mackay introduced last Thursday’s Farming Show with a reminder it was the anniversary New Zealand’s bloodiest farming protest (from 4:31).

June 9, 1978 was the day 250 farmers frustrated by on-going strikes at the freezing works drove 1500 sheep into the main street of Invercargill and slaughtered them.

Those were the bad old days when unions ruled and the rest of us paid for it in frustration, inconvenience and lost productivity, wages and opportunity.

My father had retired by 1978 but he’d been a carpenter at the freezing works. As a tradesman he was usually able to continue working when the freezing workers struck but he used to come home with stories about the stupidity of many of the strikes, called for little on no reason, sometimes over an issue somewhere else.

They had a propensity to call strikes at the most inconvenient time when stock were prime or feed was short and delays were costly in both financial and animal welfare terms.

Repeated strikes weren’t peculiar to the freezing industry, but on the wharves, railways, ferries and anywhere else where unions held sway.

Changes to employment law in the 1990s by National curtailed much of the union silliness. Labour reversed some of the changes, giving more power to unions which isn’t always to the benefit of workers.

Unions aren’t all bad. Businesses with large workforces often prefer to deal with one bargaining agent than lots of individuals. Unions can often achieve more for workers collectively than they’d be able to get for themselves individually; they can be a strong advocate for a worker with a grievance and they can bring about improvements in workplace safety and conditions.

But their actions sometimes appear to be more about flexing union muscle than doing what’s in the best interests of their members. Prolonged strikes are an example of that when wages lost through time off end up costing more than the wage rise over which a strike is called.

National has moved the employment pendulum back towards the centre with improvements to the law since 2008 and is now intimating it will campaign on making more progress:

Prime Minister John Key has indicated National will campaign on further changes to labour laws – and will not rule out reinstating a youth minimum wage or changes to collective bargaining.

At the Seafood Industry Council conference yesterday, Mr Key said making the labour market more flexible was a priority as the economy began to grow and National intended to unveil further changes in the election campaign.

There is debate about youth rates but there is no doubt that youth unemployment has gone up much more than that for other ages since youth rates were removed.

Offsetting Behaviour has several posts on the issue including youth rates revisited with graphs which clearly show youth unemployment has been worse than general unemployment since the removal of youth rates. Check My Sources explians how young workers are being priced out of the labour market.

In an interview with Sean Plunket on The Nation yesterday John Key said:

We know that there are people that are 18 years of age on an unemployment benefit and I think as a country most of us would sit around and say that’s crazy, they should be in work, they should be in training, or they should be back at school.

It would be much easier for young people to get work if employers weren’t forced to pay them the same rates as they pay more mature workers.

A little more flexibility in labour relations which won’t be welcomed by unions but will be better for employers and their staff would also be welcome.

We’ve come a long way from the bad old days when unions held the country to ransom but there’s still room for improvement.

Boot not so funny on left foot


Remember the glee with which Labour greeted the leaking of Don Brash’s emails by Nicky Hager?

Remember similar hilarity when someone sneaked into a National Party cocktail party and recorded a conversation without the participants’ knowledge?

The laughter isn’t so loud, in fact they don’t think it’s funny at all now the leaking boot is on the left foot.

Cameron Slater has received a letter from the Labour Party warning him not to publish information which it says might contravene the Privacy Act.

June 13 in history


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.

1373 – Anglo-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 (d. 1969).

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.

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 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 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 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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