Word of the day


Cacoethes  – bad habit; insaitable urge; uncontrolled desire; mania.

What about the yolks?


A tip from Jo Seagar: egg whites can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to three weeks.

You can use them for pavlovas or meingues but my problem isn’t excess whites, it’s excess yolks.

I tend to make meringues and pavlova in bulk which leaves me with multiple yolks.

You can put a few extra in a quiche, but what about the rest?

I usually give them to our dog. Pepper enjoys them and has a very shiny coat but the repeated waste-not-want-not exhortation from my parents when I was growing up is still ingrained and makes me feel there might be a better use for them.

Adding value


Quote of the day:

 When I was appointed marketing manager of a national sporting organisation, a wise old hand gave me a bit of advice I have always applied to any sales or marketing job.

That advice was that I had to raise enough to pay for my salary and overheads as well as all the other programmes and people.  If I didn’t pay for myself (through funding and revenue opportunities), then my role was an impost on the organisation and I wouldn’t last very long.  Nothing like that sort of incentive to keep your job. –  Credo Quia Absurdum Est

Different not better or worse


David Farrar said it first:

“John Key and David Shearer both left New Zealand for 20 years to work overseas. John Key worked on Wall Street to make himself $50 million dollars, while David Shearer worked to help save 50 million lives in some of the most dangerous and impoverished countries on earth.”

David Shearer, knowingly or not, paraphrased it:

The difference between us was that he came back having made money; I came back having saved lives.

On the face of it, humanitarian work does seem more worthwhile than international finance.

But Shearer wasn’t living the impoverished life of a Mother Theresa. He was earning more than he does as an MP.

And remember Margaret Thatcher’s observation, “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if  he’d only had good intentions. He had money too.”

No-one can dispute Shearer’s accomplishments, but the work he did was funded by  money earned through other people’s hard work.  And while the sort of work Key did wouldn’t have saved lives directly, the money he earned and tax he paid would have done so indirectly.

Shearer and Key have very different backgrounds but that’s what they are, not better nor worse, just different.

In praise of capitalism


Letter of the week in The Press:

Remember every time you enjoy a latte … you are lucky to have the benefits of capitalism,” writes The Press’s letter writer of the week.

In answer to Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie (“Reviving the values of an egalitarian society,” Perspective, Nov 21), I’m for business, technology and the highest wages I can generate . . .

The countries that have experienced the flow-down from the Industrial Revolution are immeasurably better off than those that haven’t. . .

Please don’t tell me that you won’t permit me to have my washing machine, my automobile, my iPhone or the wages I earn.

You can live in any way you choose (I will not interfere) and spend your money the way you choose on the priorities you value.

Remember, every time you enjoy a latte or an organic salad, you are lucky to have the benefits of capitalism at your beck and call, and it not only saves and extends your life, but enhances your life beyond measure.

I’m against your egalitarianism, your environmentalism, and every other anti-man dogma you can invent. You can keep your redistribution of rewards according to your primitive outlook. I’m for laissez-faire! – D. McFarland.

Capitalism isn’t perfect  but no-one has yet come up with a sustainable alternative.

No change where it matters


National was very clear in its campaign message that return to surplus is a priority for government.

The only sustainable way to do that is through economic growth.

Labour’s message was less clear.

For all it said it was important to return to surplus, its policies were going to require more borrowing and add to the cost and burden of government.

The proposal for a capital gains tax was a good example of this. Had it been comprehensive and designed to replace other taxes so it was at least cost neutral it might have had merit.

But Labour ‘s plan wasn’t to reduce  the overall burden of taxation it was to add to it.

Has anything changed?

It’s early days yet but there’s nothing in statements form either of the party’s aspiring leaders to give any hope that they understand that the burden of government is part of the problem nor that they resile from campaign policy:

On the Nation, David Cunliffe said:

I think Capital Gains Tax is a must do. I think getting our savings rate up sharply by a universal Kiwi Saver is a must do. I think there are some elements of the GST tax issues and the tax free zone that we could look at again.

And David Shearer said:

. . . we therefore made some very bold decisions in our policy, and I was comfortable with those.

The really bold decisions would require a reduction in tax and the burden of government and neither of these two have shown any inclination to do that.

Labour will change its leader but there’s no indication that either of the candidates will lead the party to change policy where it matters.

December 4 in history


306 – Martyrdom of Saint Barbara.

771 – Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the complete Frankish Kingdom.

1110 – First Crusade: The Crusaders sacked Sidon.

1259 – Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1563 – The final session of the Council of Trent was held (it opened on December 13, 1545).

1619 – 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God (this is considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas).

1676 –  Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark engaged the Swedish army commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt.

1745  Charles Edward Stuart’s army reached Derby, its furthest point during the second Jacobite rising.

1791 The first edition of The Observer, the world’s first Sunday newspaper, was published.

1795  Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian, was born (d. 1881) .

1835  Samuel Butler, English writer, was born (d. 1902).

1867 – Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founded the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange).

1872 The crewless American ship Mary Celeste was found by the British brig Dei Gratia (the ship had been abandoned for 9 days but was only slightly damaged)

1881 The first edition of the Los Angeles Times was published.

1892  Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain, was born (d. 1975).

1918  U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sailed for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.

1930 Ronnie Corbett, Scottish actor, was born.

1939 –  HMS Nelson was struck by a mine (laid by U-31) off the Scottish coast.

1942 – In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization.

1942 – Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign ended.

1943 – World War II: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaimed a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.

1943 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.

1945 – By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approved United States participation in the United Nations

1949 Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born actress, was born.

1952 Great Smog of 1952: A cold fog descended upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the following months.

1954 The first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida.

1958 – Dahomey (present-day Benin) became a self-governing country within the French Community.

1966 – The state monopoly on commercial radio broadcasting was challenged by the pirate station Radio Hauraki’s first scheduled transmission from the vessel Tiri in the Colville Channel.

1971 The Montreux Casino was set ablaze by someone wielding a flare gun during a Frank Zappa concert; the incident would be noted in the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water“.

1971 – McGurk’s Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb kills 15 civilians and wounds 17 in Belfast.

1977 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is hijacked and crashed in Tanjong Kupang, Johor, killing 100.

1978  Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco, California’s first female mayor.

1980   Led Zeppelin officially disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th.

1991 Journalist Terry A. Anderson was released after 7 years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut.

1991 Captain Mark Pyle piloted Clipper Goodwill, a Pan American World Airways Boeing 727-221ADV, to Miami International Airport ending 64 years of Pan Am operations.

1993 – A truce was concluded between the government of Angola and UNITA rebels.

1998 – The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, was launched.

2005 – Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested for democracy and call on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage.

2006 – An adult giant squid was caught on video for the first time by Tsunemi Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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