Word of the day

June 28, 2011

Vapulate – to beat, flog, whip.


Flourishing romance noise and sex

June 28, 2011

The headline isn’t supposed to make sense as a sentence, it’s the topics covered in my discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today.

Umair Haque urges us to turn our back on oppulance and seek eudaemonia instead. He defines that as flourishing – the pursuit of fulfilment, inspiration, creation and accomplishment.

Romance novelists and readers defend romance fiction against the accusation that “women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books’ .

On a related topic, the Guardian has taken a paragraph  from 10 books and asks if you can tell the sex of the author. I scored only 6/10 and that came with an accusation of sloppy thinking.

Maybe the sloppy thinking is the result of too much noise – Alan Schwarz writes in the New York Times about pumping up the volume for fans at sports games.


Highlander hero

June 28, 2011

If you saw someone choking would you know what to do?

Highlanders captain, Jamie Mackintosh does:

Wendy Knight may have had a rib cracked courtesy of Jamie Mackintosh – but she credits the Highlanders skipper with saving her life. . .

Speaking from the Invercargill Lone Star last night, Mackintosh downplayed the incident as something anyone else would do. . .

At the time, he was having dinner with fellow Highlanders Tony Brown, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Smith and Jarrad Hoeata, when he saw Mrs Knight near them.

“We asked if she was OK and seeing she couldn’t talk, I got in behind her and it was like a great big grizzly bear mauling some kind of small animal.”

Mackintosh said he had never had any medical training, but knew what to do in the event of someone choking.

“I obviously buggered it up if I cracked her rib,” he said.

Under the Heimlich manoeuvre hands are clasped around the victim from the back and an abrupt pull backwards forces air in the lungs out the trachea.

Alive with an injury beats dead with all ribs intact.


Only some employees deserve a fair hearing?

June 28, 2011

Just as I was about to say I’d made a mistake with Friday’s post  using the calls for Alasdair Thompson’s resignation as an example of double-standards from the left  I read:

Labour list MP Carol Beaumont said it was clear Mr Thompson could not continue in his role, and the board should not need to deliberate so long about it.

“They are a large organisation representing companies that employ women workers and the attitude that Thompson displayed was unacceptable in 2011. I would have thought their decision was pretty clear-cut.”

The case does seem clear cut.

His initial mistake was not just what he said but how he said it without any evidence to back up his case.

But saying something stupid, being poorly prepared and expressing yourself badly is not a sackable offence.

However, Thompson then compounded the error in two interviews with TV3 which reflected very poorly on him and the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern)  he represents. I wrote on Friday that this still wasn’t a sackable offence but I was wrong.

A 21st century organisation cannot afford to have a CEO with antediluvian views who illustrates poor judgement and communication skills. 

But even if the case is clear cut the board still had to give its employee a fair hearing.

Workers rights are one of the left’s raison d’êtres. They risk undermining them if they think they apply to only some employees.


Question of the week

June 28, 2011

Genuine question: with a bit over 5000 votes in total, is Hone the electorate MP with the least number of votes in modern NZ history? Seriously, I cant think of any electorate MP with fewer votes.

From Simon Bridges on Facebook.

Update: Not just the MP with the fewest votes but probably the one with the most expensive votes.

Keeping Stock quotes Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper saying it cost about $600 a vote.


Vote for change to what?

June 28, 2011

The campaign against MMP has become more organised with the newly incorporated Vote for Change .

“Vote for Change asks the 40% of New Zealanders who have already realised that MMP doesn’t offer enough accountability, to join our group” says Wellington Lawyer and Vote for Change Spokesperson, Jordan Williams. “We want Kiwis to use their opportunity to have a better voting system. Only by voting ‘change’ in November can we ensure a proper debate on MMP’s merits. Only a vote for change will mean there is another vote, a run-off between MMP and one of the four alternatives at the 2014 election.”

“Vote for Change wants a system that restores more certainty, that allows voters to easily hold governments to account and kick rascals out of Parliament,” says Mr Williams. “The current system lets party bosses sneak MPs who have been dismissed by their local electorates back into Parliament on party lists.

“New Zealanders are tired of Lists that make MPs beholden to political party bosses instead of being accountable to constituents. We want politicians to have to think of the people they serve and not party list rankings when making tough decisions” says Mr Williams.

Although it is clear it does not support MMP, VfC has not yet decided which alternative it will advocate voting to change to.

Vote for Change has not endorsed a particular alternative to MMP. “We want New Zealanders who understand that MMP has not delivered, to go to our website, join us help determine what voting system is best for New Zealand,” says Mr Williams. “With a more substantial membership base we will work out what voting system we think is the fairest”.

The VfC website lists its founding members who include former Labour Party president and mayor Bob Harvey, former Labour cabinet minister Michael Basset, former National party MP Annabel Young and Business Round Table executive director Roger Kerr.

Some of the more strident supporters of MMP try to vilify anyone who isn’t happy with the system but as David Farrar points out all five electoral systems on offer are acceptable electoral systems:

 All of them are in use in various countries that are universally recognised as democratic. The moment someone tells you that only one system is acceptable, is the moment when you should stop listening to them.

There are of course degrees of acceptability, some systems are more so than others, although which is very much a matter of opinion.

I don’t like MMP but am unsure which of the alternatives would be both better and have a chance of winning a referendum when put up against MMP.


June 28 in history

June 28, 2011

1098  Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.

 

1389  Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

Battle of Kosovo 1389.PNG

1491 Henry VIII  was born  (d. 1547).

 

1519  Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).

 

1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.

1651  Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.

Bohun k.jpg

 1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).

 

1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1776  American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

 

1776  American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.

1778  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.

BattleofMonmouth.jpg

1807  Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.

 
Invasiones Inglesas.jpg

1838  The coronation of Queen Victoria.

A painting of a richly dressed young woman gazing at the painter. 

1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.

Giselle -Carlotta Grisi -1841 -2.jpg

1859  First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1865  The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.

Potomac Staff.jpg

1880  Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was  captured at Glenrowan.

1881 Secret treaty between Austria and Serbia.

1882  Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

1895  El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.

   

1896  An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.

1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).

1902  The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1904  The SS Norge ran aground and sank.

SS Norge

1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

 
Ambler - Passage of Arms.jpg

1914  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.

1919  The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.

Treaty of Versailles, English version.jpg

1922  The Irish Civil War began with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.

1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.

MelBrooksApr10.jpg

1928  Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.

 
Sir Harold Evans 6 Shankbone 2009 NYC.jpg

1936  The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.

1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.

1948  Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.

1948  Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1950  Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.

1954  A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.

1956  Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.

Poznan 1956.jpg

1964  Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

 

1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1969  Stonewall riots began in New York City.

A black and white photograph showing the backs of three uniformed police officers and a man with short-cropped hair in a suit pushing back a crowd of young men with longer hair dressed in jeans and contemporary clothing for the late 1960s, arguing and defying the police; other people in the background on a stoop are watching 

1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.

1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.

<img src="http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/files/images/hmnzs-otago.preview_0.jpg&quot; alt="HMNZS Otago sails for Mururoa test zone” />

1973  Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1976  The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1978  The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.

1981  A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.

1983  The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.

1986  ¡A Luchar! held its first congress in Bogotá.

1990  Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.

1992  The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.

1994  Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.

1996  The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.

1997 Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – Tyson was disqualified in the 3rd round for biting a piece from Holyfield’s ear.

Mike Tyson festival de Cannes.jpgEvander Holyfield.jpg

2004  Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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