Quotes of the month

January 31, 2020

Work without hope is as bad as hope without work. We need both the shovel and the inspiration. –Nikki Verbeet

At heart, both the excessive respect and disrespect for Nature are the products of sentimentality, a sentimentality that leads to a failure to make proper distinctions. Both the excessively respectful and the disrespectful suppose that Nature has intentions toward us, good or evil as the case may be. Excessive respect supposes that Nature is so benevolent that nothing in it can harm Man, provided only that he is worshipful toward it; disrespect supposes that Man knows best and can perfect not only himself but the universe. Theodore Dalrymple

But, on the Left, casting our adversaries as stupid bigots strikes me as obviously misguided. Likewise, our tendency to lord it over others with a hyper-abundance of certainty in our superior virtue is obnoxious; our refusal to contemplate the possibility of good faith among those with whom we disagree, alienating. Liberal condescension, paired with an unforgiving approach to ideological purity, risks sending perfectly well-meaning people into the arms of our adversaries or to retreat from politics altogether. – Phil Quinn

So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and fuck off.Ricky Gervais

It’s easy to understand how expensive gift bags and millions of dollars would make anyone feel qualified to lecture other people on public policy, private morality, global warming, or the complex geopolitical issues in the Middle East. – Bridget Phetasy

We are cautious around the bereaved, as though pain is contagious, as though keeping a distance will make the loss smaller. Yet again, I find the opposite to be true – the nearness of things, the nearness of others, is really all that matters for now. We move from numbness to the littleness of the everyday, knowing that this is life going on, that no grand gestures are needed, that compassion is in a nod, a wave, a smile, all the gentle tokens. I count my blessings. Suzanne Moore

Freedom of opinion is a very good thing, but so is freedom from opinion—since a very high proportion of opinions, especially among publicly funded academic intellectuals, do not even rise to the value of drunken barroom talk. Oh for a world free from opinion!—or at least freer from opinion.

Alas, the social media have provided an echo chamber for cranks, monomaniacs, extremists, psychotics, enthusiasts of every stripe, the unheard whose prior muteness was their greatest virtue and highest quality, the echo chamber being the whole world. – Theodore Dalrymple

There are a range of ways that have always been used to hold people to account. We’ve now added these extra dimension where some people actually want the total destruction of that person.Russell Blackford

Nevertheless there’s been no wars between nations this century. The last was in the 1990s between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed territory. Knowing each country I’d heavily back the Dannevirke rugby club against both their armies. – Sir Bob Jones

In other words: all knowledge has a hierarchy. Inversion of this hierarchy turns children who were ready to begin learning “into passive parrots able to recite – and unable to think.” Teaching conclusions about complex processes without the platform of knowledge to understand or assess how those conclusions were derived violates that hierarchy, rendering students able to repeat the propaganda those conclusions, but not able to understand how they were arrived at. They become simply Pavlovian puppets. Peter Cresswell 

There is an insidious crusade afoot aiming at controlling what the public sees, hears, thinks and believes. This project, which seeks hegemony in various Western cultures, is no less pervasive and thoroughgoing than previous attempts at thought control by totalitarian and theocratic regimes.

But since this campaign to control the narrative has no name, and does not promote an explicit ideology, its significance tends to be underestimated, even by those who oppose the many attempts to police language and thought. – Frank Furedi

The paradox is that while an increasing number of people reject the idea of the Christian God in favour of a range of secular belief systems, Christian values still underpin Western concepts of justice, freedom, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It’s no coincidence that the world’s freest, fairest and most prosperous countries all have Christian roots.

Granted, Christian teaching has been twisted and corrupted for reasons that have little to do with God and a lot to do with human vanity, greed and the desire to exercise power and control. But although no longer a Christian myself, I don’t think we should discount the possibility that our God-fearing forebears recognised transcendental truths that we, the best-educated generations in human history, are too myopic or conceited to see. – Karl du Fresne

For those New Zealanders not lucky enough to earn a politician’s salary, a five dollar note represents a meal, or the bus fare for a job interview. That small sheet of polypropylene can be the difference between hunger and happiness, poverty and opportunity. – Louis Houlbrooke

If climate change alarmism is the new religion, then scepticism – or denialism, to use the more damning term favoured by climate-change activists – is the new heresy.

There’s a disturbing whiff of totalitarianism in the way this secular religion permits no dissent. If you believe that it’s dangerous in a democracy to allow one view to hold complete and unchallenged sway, denialism starts to look like an honourable stance, purely on principle.Karl du Fresne

Environmental problems are certainly real, but alarmists do a disservice to the cause of tackling those challenges when they use cataclysmic language to describe the near future. . . . Environmental challenges should be taken seriously. And just as with so many other problems humanity has faced, environmental problems should be solvable given the right technology and spreading prosperity. The world will still exist a dozen years from now. – Chelsea Follett

Americans wrongly think the rest of the world is hurting us with unfair trade practices, but New Zealand really is hurt badly by the unfair trade practices of others (which protect farmers in rich countries.) – Scott Sumner

Sir, Simon Pegg states that he and other well-paid people should pay more tax (Thunderer, Jan 23). Fine and dandy, but he should do it first. Whether in the US or the UK, it is possible to pay more than the legal minimum in tax. Both countries will send thank-you letters. When Pegg shows us his, perhaps we’ll listen to his calls. Until then, I’m not bothering. –Tim Worstall

Who cares about being accurate. The point of being a journalist is to tell people what to do. But after twenty years of propaganda the punters are still not getting the message, so Faye Flam (her real name) thinks it’s time to stop using “climate change” and switch back to “global warming”. Apparently a five year old Yale Study suggests that it’s more scary, and Flam has discovered it just in time to wring a bit more propaganda value out of the Australian fires. “Lucky”. eh? –  Jo Nova (Hat Tip Not PC)

To make housing affordable, we need to liberalise our planning regime, incentivise councils for housing development and, if privately, fund new infrastructure. If we don’t implement these reforms, Demographia’s future reports will continue to document our housing crisis. – Oliver Hartwich

I knew what I wanted and I knew that you’ve got to do a bit of work to get there. – Paul Whakatutu 

So is it time to write Peters off?  Peters has cleverly played up his part as Labour’s handbrake, just as he once pitched himself as a bulwark against National’s extremes.  It’s how he has survived so long in politics – even after the “baubles of office'” fiasco, or Owen Glenn donations scandal.

But you can only play one side against the other for so long and it feels like Peters has played one too many hands. – Tracy Watkins

Rapidly expanding welfare is Labour’s record. It flies in the face of all of the posturing on well-being. Hard metrics don’t lie. Entrenching dependence and sapping the will to work by surrendering on sanctions and failing to enforce work-test obligations is simply indefensible. Mike Yardley

There is something speech restrictions can do; in fact, it’s the only thing they can do. They can help you win political arguments by limiting the parameters of discussion. That’s assuming the argument is able to take place at all.

Speech restrictions aren’t a solution to racism. What they are is an expression of reactionary tribal politics, and a solution to dissenting thought.  – Dane Giraud

Capitalism is the best system for creating wealth we’ve been able to find in the last 300 to 400 years, and we should want to create wealth. But it has no regard for how that wealth is created, so for instance it can be created by children going up chimneys and working in factories. Nor does it care how wealth is distributed. So we’ve always known that there needs to be other systems that deal with those two issues. – David Kirk


October 5 in history

October 5, 2018

869  The Fourth Council of Constantinople was convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople.

1143  King Alfonso VII of Leon recognised Portugal as a Kingdom.

1665 The University of Kiel was founded.

1789 French Revolution: Women of Paris marched to Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris.

1793 French Revolution: Christianity was disestablished in France.

1816 – Ursula Frayne, Irish-Australian nun and missionary, was born (d. 1885).

1829 – Chester A. Arthur, American general, lawyer, and politician, 21st President of the United States, was born (d. 1886).

1858 – Helen Churchill Candee, American journalist and author, was born (d. 1949).

1864 Louis Lumière, French film pioneer, was born (d. 1948).

1864 Calcutta was almost totally destroyed by a cyclone which killed  60,000 people.

1866 The Maungatapu murderers were hanged in Nelson.

Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

1869  The Saxby Gale devastated the Bay of Fundy region of Maritime Canada.

1877 Chief Joseph surrendered his Nez Perce band to General Nelson A. Miles.

1885  – Ida Rubinstein, Russian ballerina and actress, was born (d. 1960).

1895 The first individual time trial for racing cyclists was held on a 50-mile course north of London.

1903  Sir Samuel Griffith was appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O’Connor were appointed foundation justices.

1905 Wilbur Wright piloted Wright Flyer III in a flight of 24 miles in 39 minutes, a world record that stood until 1908.

1910  Revolution in Portugal, monarchy overthrown, a republic declared .

1914   World War I’s first aerial combat resulting in a kill.

1919 – Donald Pleasence, English actor, was born (d. 1995).

1930  British Airship R101 crashed in France en-route to India on its maiden voyage.

1932 – Neal Ascherson, Scottish journalist and author, was born.

1936  The Jarrow March set off for London.

1941 – Eduardo Duhalde, Argentinian lawyer and politician, 50th President of Argentina, was born.

1942 Richard Street, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1943 – Michael Morpurgo, English author, poet, and playwright, was born.

1943  Steve Miller, American musician (Steve Miller Band), was born.

1944 – Suffrage  was extended to women in France.

1945  Hollywood Black Friday: A six month strike by Hollywood set decorators turned into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers’ studios.

1947  The first televised White House address was given by President Harry S. Truman.

1948  The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake killed 110,000.

1951 Irish singer Bob Geldof was born.

1953 The first documented recovery meeting of Narcotics Anonymous was held.

1960 – David Kirk, All Black and businessman was born.

1962 – Dr. No, the first in the James Bond film series, was released.

1966  A partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration nuclear breeder reactor.

1968  Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry – considered to mark the beginning of The Troubles.

1969 The first episode of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC.

1970  The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded.

1970 British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped by members of the FLQ terrorist group.

1973  Signature of the European Patent Convention.

1974  Guildford pub bombings: bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed four British soldiers and one civilian.

1975  – Kate Winslet, English actress was born.

1984  Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space, aboard theSpace Shuttle Challenger.

1986  Israeli secret nuclear weapons were revealed. The British newspaperThe Sunday Times ran Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed — the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

1988  The Chilean opposition coalition Concertación (center-left) defeatedAugusto Pinochet in his re-election intentions.

1990 After one hundred and fifty years The Herald broadsheet newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, was published for the last time as a separate newspaper.

1991 An Indonesian military transport crashed after takeoff from Jakarta killing 137.

1991 – The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, was released.

1999  The Ladbroke Grove rail crash in west London killed 31 people.

2000  Mass demonstrations in Belgrade led to resignation of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević.

2001  Robert Stevens became the first victim in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

2011 – The MV Rena  ran aground on the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga,  resulting in an oil spill.

NZ Defence Force assistance to OP Rena.jpg

2011 – In the Mekong River massacre, two Chinese cargo boats were hijacked and 13 crew members murdered in the lawless Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia.

2014 – Jules Bianchi crashed into a crane at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, leading to his subsequent death on 17 July 2015.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 5 in history

October 5, 2017

869  The Fourth Council of Constantinople was convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople.

1143  King Alfonso VII of Leon recognised Portugal as a Kingdom.

1665 The University of Kiel was founded.

1789 French Revolution: Women of Paris marched to Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris.

1793 French Revolution: Christianity was disestablished in France.

1858 – Helen Churchill Candee, American journalist and author, was born (d. 1949).

1864 Louis Lumière, French film pioneer, was born (d. 1948).

1864 Calcutta was almost totally destroyed by a cyclone which killed  60,000 people.

1866 The Maungatapu murderers were hanged in Nelson.

Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

1869  The Saxby Gale devastated the Bay of Fundy region of Maritime Canada.

1877 Chief Joseph surrendered his Nez Perce band to General Nelson A. Miles.

1885  – Ida Rubinstein, Russian ballerina and actress, was born (d. 1960).

1895 The first individual time trial for racing cyclists was held on a 50-mile course north of London.

1903  Sir Samuel Griffith was appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O’Connor were appointed foundation justices.

1905 Wilbur Wright piloted Wright Flyer III in a flight of 24 miles in 39 minutes, a world record that stood until 1908.

1910  Revolution in Portugal, monarchy overthrown, a republic declared .

1914   World War I’s first aerial combat resulting in a kill.

1930  British Airship R101 crashed in France en-route to India on its maiden voyage.

1932 – Neal Ascherson, Scottish journalist and author, was born.

1936  The Jarrow March set off for London.

1942 Richard Street, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1943  Steve Miller, American musician (Steve Miller Band), was born.

1944 – Suffrage  was extended to women in France.

1945  Hollywood Black Friday: A six month strike by Hollywood set decorators turned into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers’ studios.

1947  The first televised White House address was given by PresidentHarry S. Truman.

1948  The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake killed 110,000.

1951 Irish singer Bob Geldof was born.

1953 The first documented recovery meeting of Narcotics Anonymouswas held.

1960 – David Kirk, All Black and businessman was born.

1962 – Dr. No, the first in the James Bond film series, was released.

1966  A partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration nuclear breeder reactor.

1968  Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry – considered to mark the beginning of The Troubles.

1969 The first episode of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC.

1970  The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded.

1970 British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped by members of the FLQ terrorist group.

1973  Signature of the European Patent Convention.

1974  Guildford pub bombings: bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed four British soldiers and one civilian.

1975  – Kate Winslet, English actress was born.

1984  Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space, aboard theSpace Shuttle Challenger.

1986  Israeli secret nuclear weapons were revealed. The British newspaperThe Sunday Times ran Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed — the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

1988  The Chilean opposition coalition Concertación (center-left) defeatedAugusto Pinochet in his re-election intentions.

1990 After one hundred and fifty years The Herald broadsheet newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, was published for the last time as a separate newspaper.

1991 An Indonesian military transport crashed after takeoff from Jakarta killing 137.

1991 – The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, was released.

1999  The Ladbroke Grove rail crash in west London killed 31 people.

2000  Mass demonstrations in Belgrade led to resignation of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević.

2001  Robert Stevens became the first victim in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

2011 – The MV Rena  ran aground on the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga,  resulting in an oil spill.

NZ Defence Force assistance to OP Rena.jpg

2011 – In the Mekong River massacre, two Chinese cargo boats were hijacked and 13 crew members murdered in the lawless Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia.

2014 – Jules Bianchi crashed into a crane at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, leading to his subsequent death on 17 July 2015.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quote of the day

October 5, 2016

You can’t just carry everyone else’s hopes and fears around in your backpack and expect to stand up straight.David Kirk *  who celebrates his 56th birthday today.

* The biography on the Brainy Quote page where I found this is that of the former All Black captain but the other quotes don’t sound like him so these words might have been said by another David Kirk.


October 5 in history

October 5, 2016

869  The Fourth Council of Constantinople was convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople.

1143  King Alfonso VII of Leon recognised Portugal as a Kingdom.

1665 The University of Kiel was founded.

1789 French Revolution: Women of Paris marched to Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris.

1793 French Revolution: Christianity was disestablished in France.

1858 – Helen Churchill Candee, American journalist and author, was born (d. 1949).

1864 Louis Lumière, French film pioneer, was born (d. 1948).

1864 Calcutta was almost totally destroyed by a cyclone which killed  60,000 people.

1866 The Maungatapu murderers were hanged in Nelson.

Maungatapu murderers hanged in Nelson

1869  A strong hurricane devastated the Bay of Fundy in Canada.

1877 Chief Joseph surrendered his Nez Perce band to General Nelson A. Miles.

1885  – Ida Rubinstein, Russian ballerina and actress, was born (d. 1960).

1895 The first individual time trial for racing cyclists was held on a 50-mile course north of London.

1903  Sir Samuel Griffith was appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O’Connor were appointed foundation justices.

1905 Wilbur Wright piloted Wright Flyer III in a flight of 24 miles in 39 minutes, a world record that stood until 1908.

1910  Revolution in Portugal, monarchy overthrown, a republic declared .

1914  World War I’s first aerial combat resulting in a kill.

1930  British Airship R101 crashed in France en-route to India on its maiden voyage.

1936  The Jarrow March set off for London.

1942 Richard Street, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1943  Steve Miller, American musician (Steve Miller Band), was born.

1944  Royal Canadian Air Force pilots shot down the first German jet fighter over France.

1944 – Suffrage was extended to women in France.

1945  Hollywood Black Friday: A six month strike by Hollywood set decorators turned into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers’ studios.

1947  The first televised White House address was given by PresidentHarry S. Truman.

1948  The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake killed 110,000.

1951 Irish singer Bob Geldof was born.

1953 The first documented recovery meeting of Narcotics Anonymouswas held.

1960 – David Kirk, All Black and businessman was born.

1962 – Dr. No, the first in the James Bond film series, was released.

1966  A partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration nuclear breeder reactor.

1968  Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry – considered to mark the beginning of The Troubles.

1969 The first episode of  Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC.

1970  The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded.

1970 British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped by members of the FLQ terrorist group.

1973  Signature of the European Patent Convention.

1974  Guildford pub bombings: bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed four British soldiers and one civilian.

1975  – Kate Winslet, English actress was born.

1984  Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space, aboard theSpace Shuttle Challenger.

1986  Israeli secret nuclear weapons were revealed. The British newspaperThe Sunday Times ran Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed — the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

1988  The Chilean opposition coalition Concertación (center-left) defeatedAugusto Pinochet in his re-election intentions.

1990 After one hundred and fifty years The Herald broadsheet newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, was published for the last time as a separate newspaper.

1991 An Indonesian military transport crashed after takeoff from Jakarta killing 137.

1991 – The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, was released.

1999  The Ladbroke Grove rail crash in west London killed 31 people.

2000  Mass demonstrations in Belgrade led to resignation of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević.

2001  Robert Stevens became the first victim in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

2011 – The MV Rena  ran aground on the Astrolabe reef near Tauranga,  resulting in an oil spill.

NZ Defence Force assistance to OP Rena.jpg

2011 – In the Mekong River massacre, two Chinese cargo boats were hijacked and 13 crew members murdered in the lawless Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia.

2014 – Jules Bianchi crashed into a crane at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, leading to his subsequent death on 17 July 2015.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 5 in history

October 5, 2009

On October 5:

1944 Suffrage was extended to women in France

1951 Irish singer Bob Geldof was born.

1953 The first documented recovery meeting of Narcotics Anonymous was held.

1961 Businessman & former All Black David Kirk was born.

1968 Police batoned civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland – this was considered to mark the beginning of The Troubles.

1969 The first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC.

CompleteFlyingCircusDVD.jpg
(DVD cover) – Monty Python members – left to right:
Back: Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Graham Chapman
Front row: Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle

Sourced from Wikipedia.


Getting the numbers

April 21, 2009

Commentators seem to be agreed that Melissa Lee is the favourite to win the National nomination for the Mount Albert by-election.

I have no inside knowledge of her, any other candidates or the views of members in the electorate.

But I do know the party rules and that some favourites have been overtaken in the past by nominees who had a better understanding of what was required –  support from more than 50% of members or voting delegates, in the electorate.

Progressive voting is used so if a nominee doesn’t get at least half the votes in the first ballot the name of the lowest polling nominee is removed and everyone votes again, and if necessary, again until someone crosses the 50% threashold.

Providing an electorate has more than 200 members, and I think  Mount Albert does, it is only the members from the electorate who vote.  The members decide at their AGM if voting will be by universal suffrage or if it’s to be done by delegates with one for every set number of members.

Some high flyers in previous selections have either not understood this or have understood but still failed to win over enough delegates and missed out. David Kirk didn’t get the selection for Tamaki after Rob Muldoon’s retirement because Clem Simich had the numbers

But it’s quite simple. Candidate selection in the National Party, unlike other parties which give at least some of the power to its hierachy,  is grass roots democracy. The winning nominee is the one who wins the support of at least half the members or voting delegates in the electorate and that’s done the old fashioned way by letting them get to know you and convincing them you have the skills and abilities to be a good electorate MP.

John Key has announced the by-election date. It’s June 13th which is also the date Simon and Garfunkel will be playing in Auckland and the All Blacks have a test match in Dunedin., not that either will be relevant becasue both will take past after polling closes.

UPDATE: Lou taylor at No Minister  has another perspective on the by-election


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