Word of the day


Ineptocracy – A system of Government where the least capable of leading are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog via  No Minister




Ineptocracy –  a system of government where people who are unqualified to do the job are elected by people without jobs, who are sustained by taxes collected from people who do have jobs.

Hat Tip NZ Conservative

Countering Food Bill critics


The Food Bill, designed to replace out-dated food safety legislation, passed through select committee scrutiny without much fuss.

It will return to parliament sometime this year but opponents have decided it will mean the end of bring and buy stalls and sausage sizzles and that we won’t be able to swap home-grown vegetables with our neighbours.

Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says that’s nonsense:

If it becomes law, the Bill will require those involved in the commercial trade of food to operate under one of three regulatory systems, depending on the level of food safety risk involved.

This means that a high-risk business, such as a restaurant or a baby food manufacturer, would need to meet more robust requirements and operate under a regulated “food control plan”.

Businesses categorised as presenting a medium risk, such as bakeries or pre-packaged food manufacturers, would be regulated under “national programmes”, which would take a more generic and flexible approach.

Those in the lowest risk category – including small traders such as those running roadside stalls or selling their own horticultural produce at markets, charity sausage sizzles and bake sales – would receive free “food-handler guidance” information, and incur no extra costs.

Food born illnesses resulted in an estimated $162m loss to the New Zealand economy last year.
We need to be able to be sure that food we buy is safe; people providing that food need to have simple legislation which enables them to comply without too much cost and not-for-profit groups must be able to continue their cake stalls and sausage sizzles.
The minister’s explanation makes it clear the legislation will do all of that without the draconian approach opponents said the Bill takes.

Faster not necessarily better


Another quote of the day:

. . . how is the common good of humankind (or indeed anyone) advanced by hearing about the death of a tragic derelict five minutes, half an hour or even half a day before it was on a radio news bulletin or news website? Karl du Fresne pointing out that faster news isn’t necessarily better.

Orchestra silenced for phone


Conductor Alan Gilbert stopped the New York Philharmonic during the final movement of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony until a ringing phone was silenced.

The sound of phones ringing, and worse still people  answering them and conversing,  in inappropriate places at inappropriate times is not uncommon.

Maybe if more of us were like the conductor people might remember mobile etiquette and turn their phones off or at least mute them more often.

Most welfare should be temporary


Quote of the day:

For too long in its history, Labour espoused universal social welfare supported by punitive tax rates. Some in the party seem still to favour that prescription, not because most people want it or need it but because it might render them more equal and dependent on the state. Labour should devise welfare programmes that are targeted to temporary need and help people become self-supporting. NZ Herald editorial

Welfare was aimed only at those in most need when it was first introduced, it has gradually got more generous.

A compassionate society should look after those in genuine need, and some of that need is permanent.

But most need is temporary and assistance from the state should recognise that with policies that recognise most welfare assistance should be temporary too.

Trapping people in welfare is not compassionate, it’s selfish. The real beneficiaries of such policy are not the recipients but the party or parties which bribe them with other people’s money.

Helping people who could and should help themselves  robs them of their self-reliance, makes them dependent and creates a range of social and economic problems.

The solution to that is not more welfare but better education, health care and other targeted assistance which addresses the causes not the symptoms.

Opposition nothing but nimbyism


I’d have a lot more respect for  people who don’t want any oil exploration near New Zealand if they didn’t use oil or its by-products.

Since they do the opposition appears to be nimbyism – they’re happy to use oil from somewhere else but greet the prospect of exploration here with a “not in my backyard”.

January 16 in history


27 BC  The title Augustus was bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.

1120 The Council of Nablus was held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1362 A storm tide in the North Sea destroyed the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.

1412 The Medici family was appointed official banker of the Papacy.

1492 The first grammar of the Spanish language, was presented to Queen Isabella I.

1547  Ivan IV of Russia (Ivan the Terrible) became Tsar of Russia.

1556  Philip II became King of Spain.

1581 The English Parliament outlawed Roman Catholicism.

1605 The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes was published in Madrid.

1707  The Scottish Parliament ratified the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.

1853 – Andre Michelin, French industrialist, was born (d. 1931).

1853  Gen Sir Ian Hamilton,  British military commander, was born  (d. 1947).

1874  Robert W. Service, Canadian poet, was born (d. 1958).

1883 The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, was passed.

1896  Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.

1900 The United States Senate accepted the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounced its claims to the Samoan islands.

1901 Frank Zamboni, American inventor, was born (d. 1988).

1902 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner, was born (d. 1945).

1903 William Grover-Williams, English-French racing driver and WWII resistance fighter, was born  (d. 1945).

1906  Diana Wynyard, British actress, was born (d. 1964).

1908 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer, was born (d. 1984).

1909 Ernest Shackleton‘s expedition found the magnetic South Pole.

1919  The United States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorising Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.

1941 The War Cabinet approved the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force to release more men for service overseas. Within 18 months a Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and Women’s Royal Naval Service had been created.

Women's Auxiliary Air Force founded

1942  Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.

1944 Jim Stafford, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1948 Dalvanius Prime, New Zealand entertainer, was born (d. 2002).

1952 – King Fuad II of Egypt, was born.

1959 Sade, Nigerian-born singer, was born.

1970  Buckminster Fuller received the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.

1979 The Shah of Iran fled Iran with his family and relocated in Egypt.

1986 First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.

1991  The United States went to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).

1992 El Salvador officials and rebel leaders signed the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending a 12-year civil war that claimed at least 75,000.

2001 – The First surviving wikipedia edit was made: UuU

2001  Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.

2001  US President Bill Clinton awarded former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.

2002 The UN Security Council unanimously established an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.

2003  The Space Shuttle Columbia t00k off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

2006 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia’s new presiden becoming Africa’s first female elected head of state.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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