Word of the day


Grok –  understand  through intuition or empathy;   empathise or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport.

Bother isn’t strong enough


The oven time dinged.

I checked the Christmas cakes.

They weren’t ready.

I took the paper off the top of them and reset the timer.

The timer dinged.

The cakes still weren’t ready.

I reset the timer.

It dinged.

The cakes were nearly ready.

I reset the timer.

It dinged just as the phone rang.

I answered the phone.

The call went on.

I hung up and checked the cakes.

Bother isn’t strong enough for moments like that.



7/10 in NZ History Online’s weekly quiz.

Supporters and supported


Apropos of the posts on pot holes and  income gap:

Socialists never bother to ask where the money comes from; they are interested only in spending it. But consider this: New Zealand in 1972 had 26 working people for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is down to 7 to 1 (in fact 3 to 1, if you include superannuitants). Karl du Fresne

This  is why those who could support themselves must be encouraged and helped to do so.

Milk price up 2.6% in gDT auction


The trade weighted price of milk increased by 2.6% in this morning’s globalDairyTrade auction.

Whole milk powder increased 2%; skim milk powder was up 2.6%; anhydrous milk fat was up 12%;  butter milk powder was up 14.4%; rennet casein increased 3.6%; milk protein concentrate was up .5% and the price of cheese increased 2.1%.

Fonterra is keeping a wary eye on the strike at the Port of Auckland from which a lot of the company’s product is exported.


It’s floor not gap or ceiling that matters


The news that the gap between the rich and poor in New Zealand has widened again has led to inevitable calls for  action.

That action usually means taking more from the wealthy.

Dragging the top down would certainly narrow the gap but it wouldn’t necessarily help the poor.

The problem isn’t the ceiling or the gap between it and the floor, it’s the health and wellbeing of people on the floor.

A compassionate society has a role in looking after the vulnerable. That includes providing or assisting with necessities such as shelter, food, education and healthcare.

It means helping people get to a position where they can help themselves.

The question a compassionate society should be asking is not, how much do the poor have in relation to the rich, but do the poor have enough?

Enough, if someone else is paying, is sufficient for necessities , not luxuries.

The best assistance for the poor is a growing economy which provides more, better paid jobs, not higher taxes and more redistribution.


If you keep on doing . . .


A pot hole appeared in the road, again.

Some blokes from the council sealed over it, as they’d done when it had appeared several times before.

The next time it rained the pot hole reappeared.

The blokes from the council came back and patched it again.

It’s a very graphic illustration that if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.

It applies just as much to politics as pot holes.

December 7 in history


521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born.

43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

1732 – The Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden.

1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.

1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1947).

1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born  (d. 1914).

1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed  his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.

1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born (d. 1957).

1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.

1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders took place.

Bassett Road machine-gun murders
1963 – Instant Replay was used for the first time in an Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.
1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth.

1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss travelling on the flight, then shot both pilots and himself.

1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashed killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.

1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.

1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murdered six people and injured 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.


2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.

2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collided with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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