John Cleese on extremism

03/11/2021


Quotes of the month

01/05/2021

No other new government in the last half century has been as ham-fisted as this one. Fancy initially announcing a policy that had been the subject of no research! Then spending to start that research, and then establishing a new unit to consult the public, look at options and produce costings. – Michael Basset

Light rail comes on top of Kiwibuild, ending child poverty, and housing the homeless. This government is nothing more than a collection of willful children blundering about clutching the taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ credit cards, shifting from one cow pat to another. – Michael Basset

One of the economic lessons we are determined not to learn is that government cannot regulate prosperity. Each generation must learn, from scratch, this lesson. Helpfully, we already know the script.

A successful economy is, over time, corroded by a growing layer of restrictions. Each set of regulations imposes an unintended and unanticipated cost or outcome. This necessitates further rules and government oversight. Eventually the entire system becomes so overwhelmed that it either grinds to a halt or there is a sudden and dramatic economic liberalisation – Damien Grant

The businesses, entrepreneurs, financiers and investors who are essential to maintaining our quality of life will all react to the new restrictive environment. Some changes will be large, some firms will fail. Other developments will be incremental: investments will not be made, staff not employed and opportunities lost.

Few of these will be notable, but the collective impact is that we will be a poorer nation as a result, our economy will underperform and, over time, we will slide further away from our potential until, at some point, we will begin to resemble a Polish shipyard. – Damien Grant

The first rule for a government minister put in charge of a New Zealand industry should be: “don’t break it”. Even a small sector has thousands of actors, most of whom have been living and breathing their industry for years and will likely know much more than the minister. And as a small country with relatively thin markets, breaking a sector is easier than you might think.

The second rule is: when designing a policy, have a clear idea what the objective is, and then look for levers that will help you get there. Think through the effect each lever will have, or you might fall foul of the law of unintended consequences.

Unfortunately, quite a few ministers in the current Government seem to be unaware of these important rules of thumb. In industries as diverse as housing, energy, tourism, international education and broadcasting, ministers are being highly interventionist in ways which will depress investment and generally make a bigger mess. Messes that will thwart their objectives and which we will all end up paying for. – Steven Joyce

The Government’s stated objective in the energy sector is to reduce carbon emissions, which is a laudable public policy goal. However the levers it is pulling to achieve that outcome are both expensive and delivering results that counter its objective. – Steven Joyce

Simply put, Onslow is the wrong solution in the wrong place. It will chill other renewable electricity investments and either force up our already rapidly rising electricity prices or leave a massive bill for taxpayers. – Steven Joyce

Ministers need to more carefully think through the consequences of their actions. Right across the economy, poorly thought-through interventions risk damaging industries, discouraging investment and providing poor outcomes for kiwis. Its almost like Muldoonism and the command economy never went away. – Steven Joyce

But even in a crisis you have to lift your head above the parapet and start mapping out a path for the future, and the first step along that path must inevitably involve gradually reopening our borders. – Tracy Watkins

Vaccines work and they’re critically important, and when my turn comes, I’ll get mine with enthusiasm. – Dr Shane Reti

The Ardern Government has decided to avoid awkward questions about its pathetic record for per capita income growth by trying to focus attention instead on “well-being”, as if well-being can be improved in a sustainable way while per capita income growth is negligible. The new head of the Productivity Commisson’s definition – “Productivity = applying our taonga to deliver wellbeing” – says it all. – Don Brash

Road congestion is of course a very real problem, as tens of thousands of motorists understand only too well almost every day – the result of underinvestment in road networks over decades. But why not adopt a modern form of congestion pricing? Such systems work brilliantly in cities like Stockholm and Singapore and, according to surveys by the Automobile Association, are popular among motorists. To make them even more popular, the revenue from congestion pricing could be used to reduce the excise tax on fuel – cheaper fuel and less congestion – what is there not to like? – Don Brash

Investing huge sums of our limited capital in low-yielding vanity projects is what got us into this hole in the first place.  – Don Brash

Advised by impressively credentialled and highly experienced public servants, today’s Labour MPs feel obliged – by the meritocratic principles central to their personal identities – to do exactly what they’re told. And if they discover subsequently their advisers have lied to them, well, they must have had a very good reason for doing so. A reason they simply aren’t qualified to understand – or challenge. Not when the only alternative is allowing the people to decide. Because, seriously, what do they know? – Chris Trotter

The gods of political correctness are jealous gods: they will not have any other gods before them. Unfortunately for worshippers, however, there is a whole pantheon of them, and their demands may conflict. – Theodore Dalrymple

These days, professional politicians are so avid for office, and so much in the public eye, that all their activities must be interpreted politically, from their musical preferences to their diet to their visits to churches and other institutions.Theodore Dalrymple

“Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” (false in one thing, false in all) used to be a legal dictum applied to witnesses in court who had once told a lie on oath; it is no longer applied in most jurisdictions, but now, in our intolerant age, we hold it true with regard to opinions. One bad opinion makes a man bad in all other respects, unfrequentable by the decent person in fact. – Theodore Dalrymple

The ultimate object of the monomaniacs is not only to make certain things unsayable, but—because they are never said—unthinkable. As the good totalitarians they are, they want everybody to think alike. – Theodore Dalrymple

The fact the government is now prepared to face the potential emotional backlash involved in turning citizens away from the country’s border suggests to me that matters may really be turning pretty dire, and so a temporary removal of the right to enter is justified. Or, at least, I hope and trust that is the case. Because if the government has gotten this one wrong, it’s a betrayal of everything that citizenship is meant to promise. – Andrew Geddis

The worst form of racism perpetrated against Maori is that “they all think the same way.”Lindsay Mitchell

New Zealand has tended to pride itself over many years about the incorruptibility of public life. Unfortunately, we have seen too many cases over the last few decades that suggest this is more folk myth than reality, although clearly there are many places worse than us. But “many places worse than us” is simply not an acceptable standard; rather it expresses a degree of complacency that allows standards to keep slipping a little more each time, with excuses being made (“not really that big a deal”), especially for those who happen to be in favour at the time. But those sorts of cases, those sorts of people, are precisely where a fuss should be made, where mistakes or rule breaches should not be treated lightly. Integrity – and perceived integrity and incorruptibility – really matter at the top, and if there is one set of accommodations for those at the top, and another (more demanding) standard for those at the bottom it simply feeds cynicism about the political system and about our society. – Michael Reddell

It’s partly an art – you’ve got to have good technique, you’ve got to persist, you’ve got to train hard. If you’re going to write anything, there’s only one way to do it – you do it.Brian Turner

How does a man cope with that? You get a grip, mate! You just get on with it! – Brian Turner

 At the heart of their weaknesses is that they are a government of designers. They are effective at the stuff they can do with a “stroke of the pen”. – Bruce Cotterill

Increasing taxes, eliminating interest deductions and extending the brightline test (or capital gains tax) for property owners are a function of the same activity. Design. A stroke of the pen. A series of proposals that become rules that others will abide by. Design. A stroke of the pen.

And like much design, the outcome will not solve the problem it was invented for. The reality is that, if we have a housing crisis, it will be resolved by a simplified resource management process, more land becoming available and new houses getting built. In other words, engineering and execution. Instead, these new policies will see rents increase and property developers and owners spending their time restructuring their affairs to minimise their now heightened tax obligations and not much more. – Bruce Cotterill

When we look for engineering and execution, there seems to be an extensive array of failed promises. These breakdowns are in the initiatives that require more than a stroke of the pen. They require governments and their numerous personnel, having changed the rules, to actually do something. To make it happen.

There are now a number of major policy areas where outstanding public relations campaigns have trumpeted design, planning and vision while the delivery teams have completely failed with the engineering and execution. – Bruce Cotterill

There are times when good design alone, is enough. However, in most cases, good design of everything from grand visions to workable solutions needs to be accompanied by good engineering and ability to execute.

As we approach the three-quarter mark on this Government’s current six-year term, it would seem that the designer will ultimately fail due to its inability as an engineer.  – Bruce

Paternalism is an ugly concept we’ve long decried, having witnessed the damage it did throughout the British Empire, when colonisers treated indigenous peoples like naive children who needed instructing.

But paternalism is what is unfolding here: one group imposing restrictions on another, against their will, stemming from an attitude of superiority. We think we know what’s best for them. We might not.

The Cook Island’s Prime Minister is an adult, elected by his country to run his country. He must weigh up the risk of Covid-19 against the risk to his economy. He must decide if the country is equipped to mop up any outbreaks. It’s not our place to question his capacity to make those calls. – Heather du Plessis-Allan

Our healthcare system is gaslighting us. This arrogant culture contributes to misdiagnosis, long wait times, and lower survival rates for illnesses. And just as we’ve been brushing off women’s symptoms, we continue to ignore the gender imbalance at the doctor’s surgery. – Andrea Vance

Constantly blaming racism for the problems faced by Māori is wrong. We can’t move forward as a nation if that is our only response. Rather than using such divisive language, our Government should be uniting New Zealanders behind good ideas that lift everyone up.Karen Chhour

That leads into the second problem with Mythical Plan Chart B: It appears to be completely made up. When Bishop asked Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins for the data underlying the chart, so that the Opposition and media can better hold the Government’s rollout to account against its own aspirational targets, he said there were no numbers behind it. Instead, he said that Mythical Plan Chart B “is intended to be illustrative and approximate”. – Marc Daalder

A proper plan would be built around targets that are not merely achievable but aspirational. It should be epidemiologically informed, not based simply on Ministry of Health bean-counters adding up vaccine supply, expected demand and workforce availability.Marc Daalder

The Ministry of Health won’t give out daily vaccine data, ministers and officials can’t say what percentage of the frontline border workforce meant to be vaccinated by early March has actually been immunised and now an unvaccinated border worker has tested positive for Covid-19 and no one has any clue why. Making it up on the fly has failed us – it’s time for the Government to give us a plan. – Marc Daalder

How do we best manage our renewable water for environment and human use? Thinking will help turn luck into a valuable resource. It’s what Kiwis have done in the past and can do again – as long as regulations enable innovation. Jacqueline Rowarth

The cold, hard irrefutable fact is that in all human activities the private sector always outperforms the state. The state’s prime role is as a rule setter and it should only supply services which are necessary but unprofitable, such as our railways, police and so on. Bob Jones

My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate. His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved.Princess Anne

Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” – essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and have minimal unintended consequences. Judged by those criteria, the New Zealand government’s recently announced package of housing policy instruments is a long way from optimal. You might even call it a shambles. – Norman Gemmell

Science is a method for inquiry—guided by intellectual humility, skepticism, careful observation, questioning, hypothesis formulation, prediction, and experimentation—that is open to everyone, that aims to advance knowledge and improve the lives of all. While indigenous epistemologies are certainly worthy of study, and valuable in their own right, such epistemologies should not be promoted as superior to, or as a replacement for, Enlightenment epistemologies. – Samantha Jones

I do know how important it is to have a husband—a partner—who is a source of strength and a rock in times of trouble. – Theresa May

 Of course, if we don’t celebrate physically blocking trade, we shouldn’t celebrate any other means of blocking it. Like the gambler’s fallacy, the fallacies of protectionism, can be exploded with just a bit of logical thinking.Tom Palmer

The desire to compensate people for the historical wrongs done to their ancestors isn’t an altogether dishonorable one (except that the desire is usually to be fulfilled at the expense of someone else). – Theodore Dalrymple

The doctrine that is indoctrinated doesn’t have to be true to have real psychological effects, only to have emotional resonance. Every totalitarian, or would-be totalitarian, knows this.Theodore Dalrymple

A child who has spent all or most of their life dependent on their parent’s benefit is very likely to migrate onto their own benefit as a young adult. In my experience as a volunteer it wasn’t uncommon to find the parent encouraging this event as it upped the household income. – Lindsay Mitchell

The people of New Zealand, businesses under dire strain and families desperate to reunite across the Tasman have every reason to feel angry and upset.

We have been let down again. Surprisingly, however, the public and much of the media seem relatively blase. It is as if we think we will again get away with the mistakes, the slackness, the false assurances. After all, we have mostly in the past.ODT

But we yet again have a Government, full of high-sounding words, that struggles to perform. All border workers should have been vaccinated with the first dose or removed from the front line before now.

We again have a director-general of health who reassures us all is well and under control. But we again find some of those reassurances are false. – ODT

After the stinging criticisms from the Simpson-Roche and Kitteridge reports (both kept from the public for many months), we must have doubts about both the wider vaccine roll-out and about the extent of Government obfuscation.ODT

So it seems fair to ask what would be the bigger lie: an individual signing a false declaration about testing. Or the New Zealand public being told that testing was already mandatory and occurring. – Duncan Grieve

 Increasingly it looks as if the Government wants safer borders in the same way that I want to lose weight every New Year’s Day. That is, we would both be delighted if it happened, somehow, but there’s no real link between our goals and our subsequent actions. – Ben Thomas

We’re not looking after babies until we look after their mothers, and the story reminded me I am just one of countless women who have a tale of trauma about our maternity system; a system firmly based on the belief that baby-care is an innate female skill. Virginia Fallon

WHEN GOVERNMENTS EXTEND the state’s power to monitor their citizens’ ideas and activities, we should all be on our guard. Even when such extensions are introduced in response to a terrorist atrocity, we need to ask ourselves: would these new powers have prevented it – Chris Trotter

The state can punish Lone Wolves, but it cannot stop them. In attempting to minimise the terrorist threat, however, the state can eliminate our freedoms.Chris Trotter

Because people aren’t dying, it is tempting to confer retrospective competence upon a bureaucracy which, in the months since the decisive battle against Covid in March and April of 2020, has demonstrated almost unbelievable ineptitude. The government’s response to these repeated failures has been insufficiently forceful to prevent their recurrence. What’s more, in the absence of bold measures to reconfigure and reinvigorate them, our public institutions’ disturbing propensity to fuck things up may finally overwhelm Godzone’s good luck. – Chris Trotter

It’s good to know the Government and Health Ministry can still surprise us, even as a growing number of us thought the levels of ineptitude couldn’t possibly get any worse. – Mike Hosking

This is just sheer dumb luck that you can mess it up, know as little as they do, refuse to improve the way they have, and still be moderately unscathed. It’s little short of a miracle.  –

Surely in your quiet moments, you have to be wondering to yourself just how it is they can be this useless and still be in work.

They literally can’t deliver a thing. Not a house, not light rail, not a shovel-ready project, not a mental health programme, not a flu jab rollout, not a PPE rollout, not a Covid vaccine rollout, not a comprehensive secure border rollout. – Mike Hosking

This incompetence is absolutely outstanding. The stonewalling and obfuscating from the Government is appalling.

I think it is just there to prevent the world from seeing they haven’t got a bloody clue, and I maintain, looking at this record from the past year, that it is dumb pure luck. – Kerre McIvor

We need to be treading carefully when legislating against people’s thoughts. It shouldn’t be the Government’s role to dictate what people can and can’t say. – Simon Bridges

Including political belief in hate speech laws is a grave threat to free speech. There may be a case for laws against vilifying someone for immutable characteristics such as sex and age and disability but to extend that to religious and political belief is just staggering. – David Farrar

Much of the business community is keeping its head down and playing a wait and see game on new investments as they worry which sector is going to be the next to be negatively impacted by a government decision. Last week it was freedom campers and Air New Zealand. This week it’s livestock exporters. Next week? – Steven Joyce

A big part of this sense of drift is the growing realisation that the current Government, while good at stopping things, is having a real problem actually making anything happen. – Steven Joyce

Let’s be blunt. In the last nearly four years since the change of government, almost nothing of substance has been built. There have been announcements up the wazoo, some funding has been allocated, but there’s been precious little action. – Steven Joyce

Another part of the problem is that the obsessive anti-car lobby always carries outsize influence in Labour governments relative to their constituency. These are the people who believe a lane on the Harbour Bridge should be given over to cycling, or that all road-building induces more traffic. Which it sort of does, along with economic growth and jobs and houses and useful stuff like that. – Steven Joyce

But as Australia and other places accelerate faster than us out of this pandemic we wouldn’t want the view to take hold again that New Zealand is a place you leave in order to succeed. Over the last decade or so our country has built a reputation as a more vibrant well-connected happening place. We don’t want to lose that. – Steven Joyce

When the history of New Zealand’s management of Covid-19 comes to be written, it will record that almost every government action to protect the country happened too late, and then only after politicians and officials were forced into action because a sceptical journalist (there are still a handful, thank God) or alert opposition MP (not a lot of them either) exposed glaring deficiencies in their performance or flagrant porkies in what the country was being told. – Karl du Fresne

What matters, especially to a Government that seems to have lost its way and is treading water on more pressing issues, is that banning live exports will make a lot more people happy than it annoys, and the people who do get annoyed by the ban probably weren’t going to vote for them in the first place. – Craig Hickman

Activities that we farmers undertake without second thought may in fact be very large risks to our industry, and the live export of animals was one such risk. If enough people object to a farming practice, regardless of the facts of the situation, we slowly begin to lose our social license to operate. We lose public support, and it becomes increasingly more attractive for the Government of the day to take action. –  Craig Hickman

New Zealand figures other democracies can do the fighting. New Zealand can meanwhile sweet talk China and clean up businesswise. But it may be worse than that. I think woke culture is also to blame. “New Zealand’s foreign minister is dizzy with her new age earth worship and old nature gods. For her, China is an ally in the fight against global warming, which seems to her far more important than the danger of war. China would be laughing.Andrew

In general, the lifestyle leftist values autonomy and self-realisation more than tradition and community. He finds traditional values such as performance, diligence and effort uncool. This is especially true of the younger generation, who were so gently guided into life by caring, mostly well-off helicopter parents that they never got to know existential social anxieties and the pressures that arise from them. Dad’s small fortune and mum’s relationships at least provide so much security that even longer unpaid internships or professional failures can be bridged.

Since the lifestyle left has hardly come into personal contact with social issues, they are usually only marginally interested in them. So, they do want a fair and discrimination-free society, but the path to it no longer leads via the stodgy old topics from social economics, i.e. wages, pensions, taxes or unemployment insurance, but above all via symbolism and language. – Sahra Wagenknecht

A society in which people must affirm political doctrines in order to maintain employment and respectability is no better than one in which atheists must pretend to accept religion to get by.Spencer Case

When a particular expression is expected from everyone, refusing to go along is automatically a countermessage. There’s no possibility of opting out of significant political communication altogether. We’re in danger of ending up in a society like this. – Spencer Case

Politics has its place, but that place shouldn’t be everywhere, all the time. When politics is pervasive, it is worse. There must be space for political neutrality, and this means that we must be able to remain silent on political matters in most contexts without (too many) adverse social consequences.Spencer Case

Sadly, as society increasingly politicizes, political silence becomes harder to maintain. And there’s reason to worry that what we say can and will be used against us in a different sort of court. – Spencer Case

Even if it were possible to measure the strength of a man’s beliefs or fears on a valid and reproducible scale, the fact is that none of us either does or can spend his life examining the evidence for all that he believes or fears. At best, we can do so only intermittently and in bursts. We are obliged to take much on trust or according to our prejudices.Theodore Dalrymple

The fear of immunization against Covid-19 seems to me exaggerated and irrational. The fact that none of us can be fully rational does not obviate the need for us to try to be as rational as possible. – Theodore Dalrymple

If we were to take notice of a 1 in 936,364 chance of dying from something, all human activity whatsoever would cease. Even if half the cases were missed, the figure would still be 1 in 468,182. To adapt Dr. Johnson slightly, nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible dangers must first be avoided – Theodore Dalrymple

Child poverty stats are a joke. If grown-ups get collectively poorer, children get richer (relatively).  – Lindsay Mitchell

There is so much documented evidence, here and internationally, that shows benefit dependence – especially long-term – is detrimental to children’s outcomes.  Benefits erode family cohesion and they discourage work. – Lindsay Mitchell

Societies have always comprised collectives of minority groups and ALL members of ANY society can claim to be in a minority-be it age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender (yes, males are now a minority in New Zealand), sexual orientation, socio-economic status, the list is endless. We can all claim to be a member of a minority-which is actually and factually, at the base of governmental problems. – Henry Armstrong

Yet, the Ardern government has deliberately opted for diversity over merit (skills, experience, competencies, and management ability), so is it any wonder they are floundering around achieving almost nothing-except of course, keeping Ardern in front of the cameras, giving her trademark, almost daily, theatrical performances?

 Representational politics based on minority interest groups, can only result in ignoring the needs of the majority, ie everyone else-but then majoritarian democracy is long dead in New Zealand under MMP. So, is this government acting in the best interests of ALL New Zealanders? – Henry Armstrong

On any of the well-accepted criteria of good governance, the Ardern government has to be described as an abject failure. Attempts to portray our shared history as being based on oppression, is ostensibly untrue. Attempts to portray “old white men” as being responsible for all of the issues which beset New Zealand society, are not only insulting, they are deeply offensive and divisive.

The treaty offered us all an opportunity to progress which, by and large, as citizens of New Zealand, of every ethnicity and creed, we have achieved. This government seems to be, through its total incompetence, determined to divide us.Henry Armstrong

However, we also need to talk about them because our language is falling victim to the ‘righteous’ indignation of those who confuse offence with harm and take it upon themselves to be offended on behalf of others. – Gavin Ellis

I believe it was the result of our language becoming sterilised, as more and more develop what I might call idiomatic mysophobia or a pathological fear of the use of certain contaminating words in case someone might have their feelings hurt.

Saying ‘man’ or ‘woman’ does not amount to a harmful failure to acknowledge those who nominate another gender identity. Frankly there are far more serious forms of discrimination against those groups and individuals that should concern us.Gavin Ellis

You’re either startlingly arrogant or thick or quite possibly in this case both, that you can stitch up something as shonky as this, not ask a single legal mind a single question, slip it out at Christmas, and then assume nothing is going to come back to bite you.  Add it to the list of stuff they’ve cocked up and we’ve paid for. If National and ACT are taking notes, they’re going to have an astonishing list set to go by 2023. – Mike Hosking

Instead of a system that refuses to tolerate their destructiveness, we get a system which rewards them with no-strings-attached cash and plenty of excuses for their defection from the rest of society. Nobody has explained to them that the social security system was born out of shared values, shared compassion for genuine need, and shared commitment to fund it. – Lindsay Mitchell

Someone needs to get – and someone needs to give – the correct message: you can’t keep biting the hand that feeds you. Don’t hold your breath for that someone to be the person in charge though. – Lindsay Mitchell

I don’t want any racist tirades about this issue, I want some reasoned discussion. And for me, it comes back to this. I believe in the concept that all people are equal, that in this country everybody’s vote is as important as everybody else’s. We are all New Zealanders. – Peter Williams

At the heart of our Judeo-Christian heritage are two words. Human dignity. Everything else flows from this. Seeing the inherent dignity of all human beings is the foundation of morality. It makes us more capable of love and compassion, of selflessness and forgiveness.

Because if you see the dignity and worth of another person, another human being, the beating heart in front of you, you’re less likely to disrespect them, insult or show contempt or hatred for them, or seek to cancel them, as is becoming the fashion these days. You’re less likely to be indifferent to their lives, and callous towards their feelings. – Scott Morrison

Appreciating human dignity also fosters our sense of shared humanity.This means that because we are conscious of our own failings and vulnerabilities, we can be more accepting and understanding of the failings and vulnerabilities of others.

True faith and religion is about confronting your own frailties. It’s about understanding your own and our humanity. The result of that is a humble heart, not a pious or judgemental one. – Scott Morrison

Human dignity is foundational to our freedom. It restrains government, it restrains our own actions and our own behaviour because we act for others and not ourselves, as you indeed do here this evening. That is the essence of morality. – Scott Morrison

Liberty is not borne of the state but rests with the individual, for whom morality must be a personal responsibility. – Scott Morrison

Freedom therefore rests on us taking personal responsibility for how we treat each other, based on our respect for, and appreciation of, human dignity. This is not about state power. This is not about market power. This is about morality and personal responsibility.

Now, morality is also then the foundation of true community. The place where we are valued; where we are unique; where we respect one another and contribute to and share one another’s lives. Where we pledge faithfulness to do together what we cannot achieve alone. – Scott Morrison

The determination to step up and play a role and to contribute as you are indeed doing this evening as part of this amazing organisation. Not leaving it to someone else, to another. That is the moral responsibility and covenant, I would argue, of citizenship. Not to think we can leave it to someone else. 

But there are warnings. Where we once understood our rights in terms of our protections from the state, now it seems these rights are increasingly defined by what we expect from the state. As citizens, we cannot allow what we think we are entitled to, to become more important than what we are responsible for as citizens. – Scott Morrison

Now together and individually we are each responsible for building and sustaining community, and we each have something unique to bring. Because community begins with the individual, not the state, not the marketplace. It begins with an appreciation of the unique dignity of each human being. It recognises that each individual has something to offer and that failure to appreciate and realise this, as a community, means our community is poorer and it is weaker.

In short, to realise true community we must first appreciate each individual human being matters. You matter. You, individually.

And in this context I would also argue we must protect against those forces that would undermine that in community, and I don’t just mean, as I’ve recently remarked, the social and moral corrosion caused by the misuse of social media, and the abuse that occurs there. But I would say it also includes the growing tendency to commodify human beings through identity politics.

We must never surrender the truth that the experience and value of every human being is unique and personal. You are more, we are more, individually, more than the things others try to identify us by, you by, in this age of identity politics. You are more than your gender, you are more than your race, you are more than your sexuality, you are more than your ethnicity, you are more than your religion, your language group, your age.

All of these of course contribute to who we may be and the incredible diversity of our society, particularly in this country, and our place in the world. But of themselves they are not the essence of our humanity.

When we reduce ourselves to a collection of attributes, or divide ourselves, even worse, on this basis, we can lose sight of who we actually are as individual human beings – in all our complexity, in all our wholeness and in all our wonder.

We then define each other if we go down that other path by the boxes we tick or don’t tick, rather than our qualities, skills and character. And we fail to see the value that other people hold as individuals, with real agency and responsibility. – Scott Morrison

So my message is simple: you matter, you make the difference, you make community. And together with family and marriage and the associations of clubs and community groups, faith networks, indeed the organisations we’re here celebrating tonight, and so much more, they are the further building blocks of community on that individual, providing the stability and the sinews of society that bind us one to another.

And upon that moral foundation of community we build our institutions of state. Within that moral context we operate our market place. – Scott Morrison

You matter. Community matters. In a democracy, it matters especially. It’s a tremendous source of strength and it’s why foreign actors seek to sow discord online, in many other ways, inflaming angers and hatreds and spreading lies and disinformation.

Of course, the right to disagree peacefully is at the heart of democracy, I’m not referring to that. But democracy is a shared endeavour, and the civility, trust and generosity, they are the currency that mediates our differences. – Scott Morrison 

Farmers need the best tools and technological solutions to grow enough crops – using fewer natural resources to produce sufficient high-quality food, respect the environment, safeguard consumers and support themselves.  Allowing them to use the right tools at the right time for the right crops will assist them do this.  Helping farmers build a stronger and more resilient agricultural economy, requires an open and transparent dialogue and collaboration between scientists, academia, innovators, politicians, regulators, NGOs and all along the food value chain from farmers to consumers.Mark Ross


Beekeeping

08/08/2020


Saturday soapbox

30/05/2020

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy – John Cleese


October 29 in history

27/10/2018

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1854 – William Alexander Smith, Scottish religious leader, founded the Boys’ Brigade, was born (d. 1914).

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1872 – Emily Post, American author, founded The Emily Post Institute, was born (d. 1960).

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

 

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which launched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome

2011 – The Royal Australian Navy announced that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE.

2011 – Michael D. Higgins was chosen in the Irish presidential election as the ninth President of Ireland by the biggest vote in Irish history.

2014  – Britain withdrew from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick which started on June 20, 2002 after 12 years four months and seven days.

2017 – Catalonia declared independence from Spain.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 27 in history

27/10/2017

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1854 – William Alexander Smith, Scottish religious leader, founded the Boys’ Brigade, was born (d. 1914).

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1872 – Emily Post, American author, founded The Emily Post Institute, was born (d. 1960).

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpgquotes

 

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which launched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Fourprotest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome

2011 – The Royal Australian Navy announced that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE.

2011 – Michael D. Higgins was chosen in the Irish presidential election as the ninth President of Ireland by the biggest vote in Irish history.

2014  – Britain withdrew from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick which started on June 20, 2002 after 12 years four months and seven days.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quotes of the year

30/12/2016

When you work in the media, you realise men and women age differently. Male hosts and presenters age chronologically – when they’re 40, they’re 40. Women hosts and presenters age in time and a half – when they’re 40, they’re really 60 and obviously unemployable. – Kerre McIvor

All these observations have led me to build up a profile of the typical litterer.

Their most blindingly obvious characteristic is that they have no taste. No surprises there: people who drink Lion Red or eat Chicken McBites are unlikely to be sensitive to aesthetic concerns about the urban environment. . .  – Karl du Fresne

“I think it’s more important that New Zealand has a policy on these things that is based on principle and for us it’s got to mean as a small country we support strong international institutions and we support international law.” – Murray McCully

A strong, growing economy encourages businesses to boost investment in new products and markets, hire more staff and pay good wages.

It means New Zealanders can be rewarded for their enterprise and hard work.

And a strong economy supports better healthcare, education and other public services New Zealanders need.

We frequently hear Opposition parties calling for the Government to magic up more jobs, to increase wages or to spend more on any number of things.

Actually, governments can’t do any of those things without a strong, confident economy.

The Government’s role is creating an environment that gives businesses the confidence to invest and grow.

And to do that in the knowledge they’ll be backed by clear and sensible government policies.  – John Key

I’ve been warned recently, don’t go to most university campuses because the political correctness has been taken from being a good idea—which is, let’s not be mean particularly to people who are not able to look after themselves very well, that’s a good idea—to the point where any kind of criticism of any individual or group can be labelled cruel. And the whole point about humor, the whole point about comedy—and believe you me, I’ve thought about it—is that all comedy is critical. Even if you make a very inclusive joke—like, How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans—that’s about the human condition, it’s not excluding anyone, it’s saying we all have all these plans that probably won’t come and isn’t it funny that we still believe they’re going to happen. So that’s a very inclusive joke, but it’s still critical. All humor is critical. If we start saying, oh, we musn’t criticize or offend them, then humor is gone, and with humor goes a sense of proportion, and then, as far as I’m concerned, you’re living in 1984. –  John Cleese

“The electorate will either come to believe that Labour has given no serious thought to how its promises are to be paid for – which makes it fiscally incompetent. Or, that Labour knows very well how its promises will be paid for, but is unwilling to say so before it has been safely elected – which makes it politically dishonest. Chris Trotter

I miss Clark. She knew how to bribe voters.

Each election was a fresh and exciting promise with other people’s money. You did your voting, and you got your money. It seemed somehow more honest. – Rodney Hide.

“Unfortunately all Tai Tokerau (Northland) tribes are tainted by the Te Tii Marae circus. Their decision that the PM could go on the Marae but not talk makes a mockery of Marae culture.

What were they thinking, that the leader of the nation would stand and hum Pokarekare ana? – Shane Jones

. . . And I still don’t get it. I never get it when people use the word rape loosely, to cover any insult or transgression, when the reality is by no means imprecise, is often violent, and is always intensely, revoltingly invasive. . .

There is a difference, and it’s important. We shouldn’t undermine the serious criminality of rape by accusing people of it every time they annoy us. And another thing: if you’re going to protest, make your message clear. . .  – Rosemary McLeod

What bandwagon won’t politicians use our money to jump on? Here is a fantastic grassroots initiative, rightfully earning praise and the support from tens of thousands of New Zealanders, and Andrew Little comes along and wants in on the action. If politicians want to be associated with the campaign they should be digging into their own pockets, not forking out what comes from other people’s.”

“Being prudent with taxpayers’ money means not saying yes to every good cause that comes along. Is this beach really the most pressing need for extra Government cash right now? – Jordan Williams

Before any politician commits taxpayer’s money to any project they should think beyond the kudos of the publicity and be sure it is the most beneficial – and hence responsible  – way to spend the next million of other people’s (i.e.; taxpayer’s) money.

It is the norm before any public money is spent for the Treasury to give advice on the value for money that the spend offers. To let politicians to just spray taxpayers’ property around like confetti is a recipe for disaster. While running on their gut political instincts is their natural predisposition, any politician who expects tenure needs to be a bit above that. – Gareth Morgan

We all know DOC has plenty of land in its portfolio and can’t look after the estate it has already. The true conservation dividend it can earn comes from killing stuff – eliminating predators so that our native species can flourish. It does not come from buying more hectares that it can’t protect. Predator free zones are our best investment in conservation. – Gareth Morgan

He should be generous with his time but prudent with his money, quick on the rugby field but slow to criticise his mother-in-law.

He should also prefer to hold an articulate conversation rather than be hunched over a phone wasting time on social media. – Jane Smith on what makes the perfect Southern man.

. . . Against all this, our national day is almost rational. 

It marks the anniversary of the signing of an agreement – or rather a couple of differently worded agreements in different languages – which we have been arguing over pretty much ever since.

We’re kind of good at that. 

But we’re not breaking each other’s heads over it, despite the bad-tempered stirrers on both sides. We do tend to yell a lot. But we don’t ignore the issues any more.  . . Rob Hosking

“I’m the sort of guy who wants to give everything a crack.

“When you’re an old man sitting back and reflecting… Whether you achieved it or not, at least you gave it a crack, and that’s what I want to be thinking.” – Richie McCaw

Outside the membership of the ALP and the Greens, few Australians are interested in the politics of income redistribution.

And why should they be? After 24 years of continuous economic growth – a rising tide of national prosperity and wealth creation – the objective of government policy should be to float all boats, not to sink the biggest yachts in the flotilla in the vain hope that somehow this might help everybody else … – Mark Latham

One of the best parts of my job is the number of public servants and services providers I get to meet.

Overwhelmingly I find we’re all driven by the same thing – getting better results for New Zealanders, and doing our best for the most vulnerable.

Whether it’s social housing, health, education, welfare or justice, the goal is the same.

It is not enough to simply service misery with welfare payments or social houses or urgent health services. We want to help people make the changes they need to become independent.

This ensures people lead better lives, but also saves taxpayer money in the long run.

This Government is focussed not on spending for the sake of it, but on getting tangible results for people from that investment. . . Bill English

“We want to reduce misery, rather than service it and that requires a deep understanding of the drivers of social dysfunction.”Bill English

The first six weeks of the year has seen the left-wing parties talking about subjects of great interest to left-wing voters – the TPPA, free tertiary education, should John Key go to Waitangi? But, as with the last seven years, they’ve said and done nothing to cause soft National voters to question the competence or credibility of the government to run the country, and consider an alternative.

That’s really the game, now. Opposition MPs talking about values and visionary aspirations and compromised sovereignty and the future of work and what a jerk they all think John Key is is all very well, but if Key’s government is seen to be doing a good job in delivering the core government services that voters value, they’re not going to change their votes. And they shouldn’t! – Danyl Mclauchlan

“Of course I love the Union Jack, it’s my favourite flag and does things to my heart, but you guys are New Zealand.”  – Dawn French

I think the vans are plain nasty. Their slogans reinforce the misogyny that seems to have pervaded our society in recent years and imply that men are simply walking penises with only one thing on their mind and women are only useful as receptacles for sperm.

They demean both sexes and reduce men and women to their most base. – Kerre McIvor

There’s a classic clash of rights here: the right to protest versus the right of people to go about their lawful business unobstructed (or to use the classic phrase, “without let or hindrance”).

Freedom of movement, like freedom of speech, is a fundamental part of our rights. No one has the right to impede it just to make a political point, no matter how righteous they feel about their cause. . .

Now here’s the point. We live in one of the world’s freest and most open societies. People are entitled to shout and wave placards.

Protesters are indulged to the extent that authorities routinely allow them to conduct street marches that inconvenience other people.  In much of the world this would be unthinkable.

But protesters too often interpret this tolerance as a general licence to disrupt, which is where they get it wrong. Generally speaking, the right to protest ends at the point where it obstructs the rights of others.

When protesters become so pumped up with self-righteousness that they believe they’re entitled – indeed, have a moral duty – to interfere with the rights of others, public sympathy for their cause rapidly evaporates.Karl du Fresne

. . . This no doubt explained the Labour Party’s petulant stance, which itself raises the issue of how far we can trust a party that promoted a change of flag in its 2014 election policy and was fully represented on the cross-party committee that gave its blessing to the referendum process, but changed its mind. . .

The referendum may have resulted in no change, but for reasons so complex, confused and contradictory that it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions about why people voted the way they did. There were many ironies, including anti-TPPA protesters voting for the ultimate symbol of corporate greed ­sanctioned by the Empire.

Support for a new flag hasn’t been snuffed out. Rather, its momentum has been temporarily slowed. As we go on with the task of explaining to the rest of the world the difference between our flag and that of Australia – the Aussie flag depicts the Southern Cross more accurately – New Zealanders have at least engaged in a passionate, if frustratingly inconclusive, debate about what our flag should say about us. In the process, we may have learnt something about ourselves. That should leave us better prepared when the issue comes up again – as it will. The Listener

Admittedly humour is subjective, but Wicked’s misogynistic brand of wit is hardly worth dying on the barricades for. It’s a smart-arse, advertising-agency type of humour that appeals chiefly to sniggering schoolboys.

In fact one of the striking things about the Wicked controversy is that the company’s supposed humour has managed to offend almost everyone, liberals as well as conservatives.   – Karl du Fresne

We measure success by results, rather than the level of spending – Bill English.

. . . no one should be verbally attacked and denigrated because they believe in democracy and the right to make their own unsolicited political choice on who they want to give a donation to. – Lani Hagaman.

I would like to thank the dairy industry for pulling this country out of the recession in 2008, when the milk price generated the revenue, paid the tax, helped us stave off the pressure on the government’s books and, in particular, lifted the general confidence in regional New Zealand,” said Mr English. “It’s something of an untold story. –  Bill English

It is a common misconception that socialism is about helping poor people. Actually, what socialism does is create poor people, and keep them poor. And that’s not by accident.

Under capitalism, rich people become powerful. But under socialism, powerful people become rich.Glenn Reynolds

Real beauty is being able to laugh out loud and to make others laugh — not at ourselves, but at the absurdities of the lives that we’ve been told we should live. –  Gina Barreca

. . . Look, if we weren’t giving out the first, second and third place ribbons and the day was just about having fun and being outdoors, great! Let’s go on an Oprah Christmas special ribbon giving spree: “You get a ribbon, and you get a ribbon and you get a ribbon, riiiibonnnnnn!”

However WE DO give out the first, second and third place awards, so what message are we sending them? “Hey kids it doesn’t matter if you win but if you do win you get a special prize and accolade, but it doesn’t matter, but it does, and the rest of the kids get a generic thing because they’re not special like the kids who won, who aren’t special, but they are …”

Confusing huh? Imagine being a kid then!

After my highly scientific research at the track I’m now of the opinion that we don’t need to bother with participation awards.

For three reasons:

1. The kid’s don’t want them. They’re well on to us, the jig is up mates.

2. It’s OK to fail! Don’t be afraid to let your kids feel the sting of defeat. Let their little hearts get a ding or two, help them identify what they can learn from it and then they will grow and be better next time.

3. Don’t reward them for just showing up. It makes them grow up feeling entitled. You’re not doing them any favours — want and need create drive. . . Em Rusciano

We have tried everything and all we have created is a culture of dependence, entitlement, helplessness and irresponsibility. – Martin van Beynen

Food is essential to a stable functioning society and we must look at irrigation as essential public infrastructure. We must consider its benefits in terms of regional development and food production, urban water supply and recreation use, not simply in terms of economics and income generation.  . .

We need to start looking at water storeage and land use intensification as part of the s0lution and manage the environmental issues appropriately. It’s as simple as that.- Peter Graham

The Swiss decide not to steal from each other, launder the loot through a government bureaucracy and then give what’s left back to each other. Note this comment from a voter who favored the idea: “For me it would be a great opportunity to put my focus on my passion and not go to work just for a living.” Translation: “I would like others to work harder and pay taxes so I can work less and have fun.” – Lawrence Reed On the Swiss referendum where the majority rejected the proposal for a guaranteed basic income.

When female narcissism translates as empowerment I am both amused and confused. Whose gaze are such women courting when they expose so much pampered, surgically enhanced flesh if not males? If their intention is to attract female attention their only possible purpose could be to annoy, and cause older women to wonder how they deal with going to the bathroom, let alone cold weather. Blue goose-bumped skin has yet to take off as a fashion trend, but they could yet make that fashionable I guess.

These new-style feminists are not displaying ordinary, imperfect bodies, but bodies that conform to traditional pin-ups from men’s magazines, small-waisted, big-breasted, with rounded buttocks and flawless legs, in Kim’s case an old-fashioned hourglass figure that formerly called for a tight corset.Rosemary McLeod

So when an individual attempts to keep more of what he has created there is less anger than when someone tries to take what he hasn’t. That is why society has greater tolerance (and exhibits it through the courts) for tax evasion than welfare fraud. – Lindsay Mitchell

Every day starts with me not being dead, and what a fantastic way to start each day. . . There’s no excuse to not appreciate life fully. You owe it to the people who are unable to. Jake Bailey

It’s not easy being left wing in New Zealand at the moment. We’re currently focusing most of our efforts on cyber bullying John Key’s kids: it’s pretty bleak.

Labour and the Greens joining forces should be something I guess, if you add two parties together you can create a larger and more cohesive losing unit for 2017. The one bright spot is that after a solid eight years in opposition the Labour party have put together a comprehensive plan of what not to do. – Guy Williams 

My observation is that idiot posters from the hard Left tend to be plain nasty whereas their idiot colleagues from the far Right tend to be defined by their stupidity.    One of my PolSci lecturers used to put it this way … that there’s really no difference between the far Right and and the far Left … they are joined at the hip.  Both are authoritarian; both are dismissive of dissenting opinion to the point of violence. –  The Veteran

“When you’re a farmer who isn’t working your farm it can be pretty hard. We are farmers because we love the lifestyle, but over the last couple of years the fun has completely been taken out of it.

“Day in and day out all you think and talk about is the weather. It can be pretty depressing.

“There isn’t much you can do about it. You can’t buy the rain.” – Nick Hamilton

At 100, like many centenarians, this country’s Labour Party is looking confused and befuddled. It appears to have forgotten what it stood for when it was young and vibrant.

Under Little, this party that once stood against unthinking imperialism has campaigned to keep the Union Jack on New Zealand’s flag – perhaps keen to safeguard that Royal telegram! This party that once stood for workers making new lives in a new land, now wishes to stop immigrants investing in property in New Zealand; this party that once stood for diversity now makes overseas investment policy by tallying up “Chinese-sounding names”. Little is busy battling defamation claims, rather than fighting for Labour principles. – Jonathan Milne

News editors need to insist their journalists call out falsehoods in press conferences. Both Shorten and his Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen have previously advocated corporate tax cuts. They went to the election with higher deficits, higher spending and higher borrowing. How can reporters all last week have allowed Labor MPs to warn of imminent budget blocking tactics when only a week earlier Labor accepted $30 billion of so-called zombie cuts? Will reporters now let Labor get away with blocking savings it counted in its own election costings?

Do reporters know the Medicare rebate freeze Shorten claims is the basis for his Medicare scare was introduced by Labor in its 2013 budget? Are reporters going to let Labor continue to claim the government, which has presided over the highest bulk-billing rates in the history of Medicare, has cut $57bn from health when Labor ­itself only committed $2bn more to health than the Coalition?

Labor lost the election. Its primary vote, at 35.2 per cent, is its second lowest since World War II. Not only did it need a lie to save its primary, in truth it owes much of its position to Kevin Rudd, who in 2013 saved at least 15 seats that would have fallen under Julia ­Gillard. – Chris Mitchell

A complex and difficult social problem with many levels to it is being reduced to inane, empty slogans (just build 100,000 “more bloody houses” to quote the elegant language of the rather crude Leader of the Opposition) without any regard to how all that might be achieved. – Peter Dunne

There is no healing in pretending this bizarre violent stuff is not going on, and that there is some cute bumper sticker silver lining. (It is fine if you believe this, but for the love of God, PLEASE keep it to yourself. it will just tense us all up.) What is true is that the world has always been this way, people have always been this way, grace always bats last, it just does–and finally, when all is said and done, and the dust settles, which it does, Love is sovereign here. Ann Lamott

Seumas Milne remains on the staff of the Guardian and Observer while Labour pays him to work as its director of strategy. As a colleague on leave, he has the right to be treated with a gentleness journalists would not usually extend to spin doctors who do not enjoy his advantages. I therefore write with the caution of a good corporate man and the cheeriness of a co-worker when I say Milne could not do a better job of keeping the Tories in power if rogue MI5 agents had groomed him at Winchester College, signed him up at Oxford University and instructed him to infiltrate and destroy the Labour party.Nick Cohen

“If students can’t learn the way we’re teaching then we need to teach the way they learn.  Teaching is like any job, complacency is the enemy. So to ensure the success of students the teacher has to actually care.” – Matarahi Skipper 

. . . I would also like to think in Queenstown that we embrace culture instead of judging race and we celebrate our differences while not letting ourselves be defined by them.

We exist united by our similarities, not divided by petty differences.

We are, for the most part, grateful we have the opportunity to live in paradise, safe, happy and free.

If only this attitude could be spread as easily as fear and intolerance.Mark Wilson

I recognise that politicians don’t create jobs. Politicians create the environment in which business people create jobs. My job is to create the right the right environment for them to flourish and thrive.” – Sadiq Khan

The man is a psychopathic narcissist and that’s not just my opinion, that is the opinion of a whole range of people who are currently sitting in the Parliament. Come on, folks. I can think of 12 Australians off the top of my head who would be a better Secretary-General and one of them’s my Labrador. – Kristina Keneally

It isn’t so much saying Empress Helen has no clothes: It is just that she hasn’t quite earned the halo other people are all too enthusiastic about crowning her with. – Rob Hosking

Labour needs to move away from leftist anti-trade and anti-growth populism and try to make an actual difference to people’s lives rather than keeping its bloggers happy. – Greg Loveridge

Whatever shorter-term measures that government might take to contain spending, in the longer term the ideal way to reduce or contain government spending is to have less need for it.  . .

Much of Government spending is dealing with past failure, with poor decisions with programmes that claimed a lot and didn’t work.

We are creating a whole new set of tools that enable us to be much more discriminating about where spending is effective because where it is effective, it is worth spending a lot. – Bill English

In whichever direction you look, the autocrats, the dictators, the terrorists and the corrupt and cynical opportunists are fighting back. They are demonstrating daily that the lazy assumption of western triumph may be mistaken. Accordingly, it is time to relearn the lessons of history: that free societies do generally triumph in the end, but they need constant vigilance to protect them, and they often need a mixture of strong leadership, determined unity and a good measure of low cunning to help them along. – William Hague

The combination of John Key as PM and Bill English as Finance Minister has achieved an increasingly rare feat in any advanced economy. It includes returning a budget to surplus while managing better growth along with substantive social, economic and taxation reform.All within a political framework of relative popularity, especially a track record good enough to be re-elected with stronger voter endorsement for its programme. Better outcomes in health and education, fewer people on welfare and a return to surplus – not bad. – Australian Financial Review via Trans Tasman.

The principle of free speech can sometimes be used to defend the indefensible but it certainly shouldn’t be curtailed to avoid hurting the feelings of over-sensitive people whose views are often as unreasonable and entrenched as those of the very people they despise. – Martin van Beynen

Urban Kiwis are fewer generations away from the paddocks than are their American counterparts, and that helps maintain a certain egalitarianism of respect, but that won’t last forever. We already are seeing strong pushes to legislate and regulate against the lifestyle choices of those outside of the urban elite. You hear it in trendy Wellington cafes, where well dressed rich folks drinking high calorie mochaccinos speak with disdain about how others drink Coke or eat at McDonalds. It’s an inequality of respect.

Poverty is real and important. When it comes to inequality, I think we need a renewed egalitarianism of respect for the choices others make about what is best for them. The more cocooned we are in bubbles away from those who make different choices than we do, the more hesitant we should be to cast judgement. – Eric Crampton

Just remember that Hamish and I came out of a boat that failed.Eric Murray

Maybe it’s time to stop looking for someone or something to blame. The truth is: I am the only one who can give myself permission to be a badass. So here you go, sister. Turning 49 is not the moment to turn into a wilting sissy; it is not the time to be faint-hearted: it is time to prevail. In your own way, whatever that entails, since both the slavish adherence to rules and the utter abhorrence of them are reactions that need to be examined.

It is also time to stop making excuses because you have nothing to excuse.  – Deborah Hill-Cone

“I went down, and I was like, ‘What’s happening? Why am I on the ground?’ Then suddenly this hand on my shoulder, like ‘Get up, get up, we have to finish this,’ and I was like, ‘Yup, yup, you’re right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.”

“When you’re at this level you know how hard it is to get here. There’s just a mutual understanding of how much everyone puts into it. I’m never going to forget that moment. When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years’ time, that’s my story.”

“I’m so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me. That girl is the Olympic spirit right there. I’ve never met her before, like I’ve never met this girl before, and isn’t that just so amazing? Such an amazing woman. . . . – Nikki Hamblin

I hate to break it to you, but there is a right to insult. The way to deal with a racist is to shame him with reason, not to jail him. Freedom of expression includes the right to say offensive things. It doesn’t include a right never to be offended.

There is certainly a right to say things that will be construed as insults by those intent on being insulted even though they’re not intended to be. – Lindsay Perigo

One thing we seem to have no shortage of is activists who claim Labour and National have devastated our country with successive “neoliberal” governments in the past 30 years. But the alternative to neoliberalism isn’t Norway, Denmark or Sweden. It’s Cuba, Zimbabwe and Venezuela. I know where I would rather live. – Liam Hehir

. . . silliness is part of sanity.
Looseness is an antidote to being uptight all the time.
Being able to play is essential to mental health.
If you don’t still sometimes do things that are foolish, or wacky, or a little loony then you will lose contact with your inner child, and miss the simple delight that comes with doing something just for the higgledy-piggledy hell of it. –  Robert Fulghum

It’s actually really important for us to be welcoming immigrants. We have to get over this xenophobic idea that we’re doing them a favour. At worst, it’s this completely mutually beneficial thing. So they get to live in a pretty nice country, and we get to live with people who are skilled and smart and clever and who are doing things that build our economy.  – Nigel Latta

In fact, being a parent is valuable precisely because it is so unlike goal-directed productive work. Caring for a child involves a deep recognition of the individuality and autonomy, the irreducible complexity and value of another unique, irreplaceable human being. That makes it worthwhile all by itself. – Alison Gopnik

There are some principled, genuinely compassionate in there who really want to make a difference. And then I think there are people that are the complete opposite.

They are, after all, just people like all of us. Like all organisations they have great people, and some not so great.

For us though, as voters, I’m hoping we can learn to demand more than coverage of the trivial, or the endless inane controversies, and instead expect a higher quality of debate. We should also, just by the by, lift our own game.

We might like to think they don’t of what we want, but the sad thing is a lot of the time they do exactly what we want. Maybe we need to want different things?Nigel Latta

There will always be a place for career politicians in Government since, if nothing else, a lifetime in politics can be assumed to impart knowledge about how the system actually works. But an effective Government should also include people who have experience with how things are in the real economy.  . .

That’s why I think government could do with more people like Alfred Ngaro. In addition to the skills he will have picked up in his as a pastor and a backbench MP, the five years he spent as a self-employed tradesman will give him an insight into the world so many of us live in. This is the world of GST returns, uneven cash-flows, customer complaints, hard to manage work-flows, provisional tax payments, accounting and legal fees, red tape, health, bad debtors and health and safety compliance costs. It is world with which fewer and fewer lawmakers have much, if any, familiarity.

Not everyone in politics needs to have this kind of background – but some of them should. –  Liam Hehir

Hongi’s name lives on in Hongi’s Track, the place his men dragged their canoes through the forest between lakes Rotoehu and Rotoiti, thence onto Lake Rotorua. He slaughtered and ate and enslaved many of my Te Arawa ancestors. But that’s all right, Hongi. It’s what went down in your day. Are we not, each generation, of the times we live in? –  Alan Duff

There were indeed many aspects of our past that were neither “good” nor “beautiful”; I’m sure that our descendants will find just as many things to condemn in our own age.  But we can never move forward as a nation by spitting on the legacy of the men and women (however imperfect) who helped to build it. – Jonathan Tracy

Domestically the big winner in all this is Key, who got to demonstrate to a couple hundred thousand female swing-voters what a progressive, balanced women-leader-supporting, generally great guy he is. It’s conventional wisdom on the left that Key et al are morons, and the left is morally and intellectually superior, and I’m not sure how this squares with Key and his party constantly doing very smart things, and the left’s parties and leaders mostly, consistently being pretty dumb. – Danyl Mclauchlan

I always encourage particularly young people, don’t be a job snob. Take the job which is there and which is available. Because you take that job, and even if it’s not the perfect one, you do it for six months or so (and) you’ll be much better positioned to take another job down the track which is much more to your liking.

The longer you are on welfare, the steeper the road back to employment is. – Alan Tudge

Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public,” Mrs May will say. “They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. They find the fact that more than seventeen million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.Theresa May

A change has got to come. It’s time to remember the good that government can do. Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good; that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot; and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people. – Theresa May

The Labour Party is not just divided, but divisive. Determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that doesn’t unite people but pulls them further apart… So let’s have no more of Labour’s absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion. Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority. – Theresa May

I’m no fan of the burqa. It’s subjugation. A woman whose face is covered, is like a document with all the words blacked out.

A woman in a burqa has been redacted from society. A burqa says, don’t look. Nothing to see here. Her identity is unimportant.

Her smile, her frown, all her expressions, are on the cutting-room floor. . .

The burqa is medieval. And like medieval plumbing and medieval medicine, it’s out of date. Like women not owning property, not going to school, or not leaving home without male guardians, the burqa contradicts basic human rights.

Of course, basic human rights, is a recent concept. But air travel and YouTube have given us time travel. Medieval people are time-travelling into the 21st century, leap-frogging centuries of liberal progress, and they find our ways shocking.

The burqa isn’t some post-feminist freedom from a bad hair day. It’s a mistake we made to get here. –  Raybon Kan

If you consider appearing on the side of a cereal box a qualification for being a role model then you need help. – Jim Kayes

. . . politics is not telling everyone what you think; it’s everyone telling you what they think. – Rodney Hide

And we shouldn’t just be critical of fake news or wary of falling for satire. We should be critical of what we read from any source.

Ask yourself: how does this journalist know what he or she published? How did they gather that information? Where did they cut corners? Why have they paraphrased here instead of a direct quote? Who did they talk to? Have they done their due diligence to verify the facts?

Not asking these questions of our real news is what leads to us not asking them of our fake news. – Ben Uffindell

It is not the business of journalists to tell their readers, listeners and viewers what to think; but to place before them any and every matter that a free people might reasonably be expected to have an interest in thinking about. – Chris Trotter

Whether or not the National Party retains its ascendancy next year, Mr Key must go down as one of New Zealand’s most successful leaders. And New Zealand, under his stewardship, can claim to be one of the most successful countries in the world. – The Economist

It has been an enormous privilege to be Prime Minister of New Zealand, and these last eight years have been an incredible experience. Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love.

Bronagh has made a significant sacrifice during my time in politics, and now is the right time for me to take a step back in my career and spend more time at home. . .

“I do not believe that if I was asked to commit to serving out a full fourth term I could look the public in the eye and say yes.

“And more than anything else in my time here, I have tried to be straight and true with New Zealanders. – John Key

I’d been telling my kids for years that if they get knocked down they should get up so, in a very public event, I kind of had to do it myself. I had to do it myself to demonstrate integrity to them. That was a big motivator. – Bill English

. . . you learn more from losing than you do from winning. – Bill English

I am having that moment, and I know it sounds cliched, but the 17-year-old solo mum and now I’m standing on the cusp of hopefully a positive Monday vote. . . 

It’s exciting and I just hope there are some solo mothers out there and think ‘actually your future is not pre-determined. Hard work, energy and self-belief can get you a long way in New Zealand. – Paula Bennett

I’ve never been in a community where there isn’t someone with the vision and energy to change how it works  . . . The Government isn’t the answer to everything, most of our answers are in our own families and communities. Sometimes Government gets in the way of that. This is a Government that will be focussed on understanding, at a very individual level, what is going to work with people and then supporting them to achieve it.    Bill English

It’s not your driving you have got to worry about all of the time, it’s other people out there too and some of them can make really bad choices. – Sergeant Pat Duffy

Like the recently departed former prime minister, Mr English and Ms Bennett can also be grateful each day for the idiocy of their enemies in the Labour-Green axis and the shallowness of the WLME, who are not only obsessed with identity politics themselves but really seem to think that the secret to ending National’s political hegemony is through attacking how others choose to personally identify. – Matthew Hooton

A country where the populace is obsessed with politics, and with who sits where around the cabinet table, is a country of angry dullards. – Rob Hosking

That’s stirring stuff. It’s just a pity the movement doesn’t grasp that “equality, empowerment and freedom” are less about what you can do and more about the respect you must show others. – Rodney Hide

But to be inspirational you don’t have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.

They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’. – Queen Elizabeth


October 27 in history

27/10/2016

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1854 – William Alexander Smith, Scottish religious leader, founded the Boys’ Brigade, was born (d. 1914).

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1872 – Emily Post, American author, founded The Emily Post Institute, was born (d. 1960).

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.
1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which launched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Fourprotest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome

2011 – The Royal Australian Navy announced that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE.

2011 – Michael D. Higgins was chosen in the Irish presidential election as the ninth President of Ireland by the biggest vote in Irish history.

2014  – Britain withdrew from Afghanistan after the end of Operation Herrick which started on June 20, 2002 after 12 years four months and seven days.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Monty Python Flying Circus will fly again

20/11/2013

More than 30 years after its last show, Monty Python is coming back:

The original members of Monty Python will reunite more than 30 years after the comedy troupe last worked together.

John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin will officially announce their reformation at a London press conference on Thursday. The five surviving members have reportedly been in months of secret talks about getting the Flying Circus back on the road. . . .

Could it be as good in reprise as it was in retrospect?

Clicking on the link above will take you to a link to the show’s five best sketches.

 

 

 

 

The surviving members of Monty Python, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin have agreed to reunite for a new stage show


October 27 in history

27/10/2013

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which luanched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
2011 – The Royal Australian Navy announced that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 27 in history

27/10/2012

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which luanched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
2011 – The Royal Australian Navy announced that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 27 in history

27/10/2011

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies cleared Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was borhn.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which luanched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994 Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


October 27 in history

27/10/2010

On October 27:

312  Constantine the Great was said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

939 Edmund I succeeded Athelstan as King of England.

1275  Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.

1466 Erasmus, Dutch humanist and theologian, was born (d. 1536).

1524 Italian Wars: The French troops laid siege to Pavia.

Battle of Pavia, oil on panel.jpg

1553  Condemned as a heretic, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

 

1644  Second Battle of Newbury in the English Civil War.

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born (d. 1779).

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which established the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born (d. 1875).

1838  Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

1858  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th USA President, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1919).

1870 Marshal François Achille Bazaine with 140,000 French soldiers surrendered to Prussian forces at Metz in one of the biggest French defeats of the Franco-Prussian War.

Bazaine.jpeg

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened.

1914  Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born (d. 1953).

 

1914   The British super-dreadnought battleship HMS Audacious (23,400 tons), was sunk off Tory Island by a minefield laid by the armed German merchant-cruiser Berlin.

HMS Audacious LOC 17766.jpg

1916  Battle of Segale: Negus Mikael, marching on the Ethiopian capital in support of his son Emperor Iyasus V, was defeated by Fitawrari abte Giyorgis, securing the throne for Empress Zauditu.

1922  A referendum in Rhodesia rejected the country’s annexation to the South African Union.

1924  The Uzbek SSR was founded in the Soviet Union.

Flag of Uzbek SSR.svg Coat of arms of Uzbek SSR.png

1932  Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born (d. 1963).

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

John Cleese 2008 cropped.jpg

1943  New Zealanders from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

NZ troops make first opposed landing since Gallipoli

1945  Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, was born.

1948  Léopold Sédar Senghor founded the Senegalese Democratic Bloc.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was borhn.

1953  British nuclear test Totem 2 was carried out at Emu Field, South Australia.

1954  Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.

Benjamindavis.jpg

1958  Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1958  Iskander Mirza, the first President of Pakistan, was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état by General Ayub Khan, who had been appointed the enforcer of martial law by Mirza 20 days earlier.

1961  NASA launched the first Saturn I rocket in Mission Saturn-Apollo 1.

The first Saturn I was launched October 27, 1961

1962  Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

Maj. Rudolf Anderson

1964  Ronald Reagan delivered a speech “A Time for Choosing” which luanched his political career.

1967  Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the Baltimore Four protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

1970  Alama Ieremia, All Black, was born.

1971  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was renamed Zaire.

1973  The Cañon City meteorite, a 1.4 kg chondrite type meteorite, struck in Fremont County, Colorado.

1981 The Soviet submarine U 137 ran aground on the east coast of Sweden.

1986  The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event referred to as the Big Bang.

1988   Ronald Reagan decided to tear down the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow because of Soviet listening devices in the building structure.

1991 Turkmenistan achieved independence from the Soviet Union.

1992  United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. was murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay.

Allen schindler.jpg

1994  The U.S. prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

1994  Gliese 229B was the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

Brown Dwarf Gliese 229B.jpg

1997 October 27, 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crashed because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  fell 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated its “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

1999  Gunmen opened fire in the Armenian Parliament, killing Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, Parliament Chair Karen Demirchyan, and 6 other members.

2005 Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Muslim teenagers.

2005 The SSETI Express micro-satellite was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Beekeeping

06/01/2010

Happy birthday Rowan Atkinson.


October 27 in history

27/10/2009

On October 27:

1466 Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus, Dutch humanist and theologian, was born.


Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born.

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which establishes the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born.

1854 Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys’ Brigade, was born.

1858 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was born.

1873 Emily Post, American etiquette author, was born.

1914 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born.


1932 Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born.

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

John Cleese 2008 cropped.jpg

1943  New Zealand troops made their first opposed land since Gallipoli when soldiers from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

1945 Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1958 Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1970 Alama Ieremia, Samoan born All Black, was born.

1986 The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event now referred to as Big Bang.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


¿Qué?

07/05/2009

The cast of Fawlty Towers have met for the first time in more than 30 years to promote a couple of documentaries about the series.

John Cleese took the opportunity to give his views on modern televions:

If you go back to television in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s we did have the least bad television in the world. That’s quite a claim,” said Cleese.

“I don’t think it’s true any more. The main problem now is it’s run on the basis of money and the audience is too broken up. Ultimately it does take a bit of money, not a lot, but a bit, and they don’t want to pay writers and that’s what it’s down to. They don’t want to pay writers. . .

There were only 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers and all were a lot better than less bad. The series was so good it’s still being screened and several lines have become part of the language, among them: Don’t mention the war; ¿Qué? and He’s from Barcelona.

Although, while Manuel was from Barcelona, the actor who played him wasn’t even from Spain. Andrew Sachs was born in Germany and moved to Britain with his family when he was eight.

It’s difficult to pick a favourite episode,  but even had I not encountered the difficulties of an English speaker grappling with Spanish, this scene would still make me laugh:


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