Quotes of the month

January 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quotes of the Year

December 31, 2019

You can volunteer to take life seriously but it is gonna get you, they are going to win over you, it is harsh, but you can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is or have a go at it and survive. I think that is the basis of it all. – Billy Connolly

Working for Families is a policy that satisfies few on the Left or the Right. Compromises rarely do. They are imperfect by their nature. They are necessary, however, because people are imperfect and always will be. If things were otherwise, we wouldn’t need government at all. – Liam Hehir

The greatest threats to our native wildlife – and our rural economy – may yet be science denial and conspiracy belief. – Dave Hansford

Those elected to positions of authority need to understand that the human condition rarely engages in deceit and halftruths as much as when rehearsing or inventing the science behind their personal environmental concerns.Gerrard Eckhoff

When our total emissions account for 0.17 per cent of total global emissions, leadership isn’t being first, fast and famous. Leadership is taking what we already do well, food production, and doing it even better over time by investing in innovation and technology.  Todd Muller

People have a choice with how they respond to adversity in their life. Creating a positive attitude gives you more control over your circumstances. By staying positive, it means you can make the most out of your life no matter what gets thrown in your direction. – Emma Barker

Being part of a baying mob, for that is what much of our modern commentary has been reduced to, isn’t brave and nor is it radical.

Standing up to them is. – Damien Grant

It is stupid and dangerous. But, we are on private property and we’re just having a bit of fun.

No-one has got too hurt yet … we are not stupid about it. – Patrick Ens

The first challenge is that urban New Zealand does not understand the extent to which our national wealth depends on the two pillars of dairy and tourism.  Yes, there are other important industries such as kiwifruit and wine, and yes, forestry, lamb and beef are also very important. But rightly or wrongly, our population has been growing rapidly, and the export economy also has to keep growing. There is a need for some big pillars.

Somehow, we have to create the exports to pay for all of the machinery, the computers, the electronics, the planes, the cars, the fuel and the pharmaceuticals on which we all depend. . . Keith Woodford

Believe passionately enough in something and you’ll be shouting at the younger generation well into your eighties. – AnnaJones

We realise that Pharmac has a budget, but there seems to be a never ending open budget for welfare. New Zealand surely isn’t so broke that we have to pick and choose who we let live and who we let die. But that is currently where we find ourselves.Allyson Lock

The problem with numbers is that they don’t fudge.They’re definite. Exact. Numbers don’t lie. But people lie.People fudge. People lie about numbers. People fudge numbers. But numbers are the truth.  . .

I think there’s a political lesson here for this government. Watch the numbers or your number’s up. – Andrew Dickens

My take away from all this is that referendums do have a place, even binding ones. But it is best to call on these when the issues are clear and easily understood by everyone in the community. Brexit or not might have seemed clear at the time, driven as it was mainly by fears of uncontrollable immigration across the Channel. But it was not of this genre. As Oscar Wilde remarks: ‘The truth is rarely pure and never simple’. In such cases, perhaps best leave it to parliaments. That way we’ll know who to blame it if all goes wrong.Professor Roger Bowden

All kinds of wild ideas that are untested and are demonstrably bad for them and demonstrably wrong – these ideas can spread like wildfire so long as they are emotionally appealing. Social media and other innovations have cut the lines that previously would have tethered the balloon to Earth, and the balloon has taken off. – Jonathon Haidt

Pettiness is on the increase, too, in the constant calling-out of sometimes-casual language that was never intended to offend or harass, and even may have been written or uttered with well-meaning intent. – Joanne Black

Why then did I leave Greenpeace after 15 years in the leadership? When Greenpeace began we had a strong humanitarian orientation, to save civilization from destruction by all-out nuclear war. Over the years the “peace” in Greenpeace was gradually lost and my organization, along with much of the environmental movement, drifted into a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth. I believe in a humanitarian environmentalism because we are part of nature, not separate from it. The first principle of ecology is that we are all part of the same ecosystem, as Barbara Ward put it, “One human family on spaceship Earth”, and to preach otherwise teaches that the world would be better off without us. Patrick Moore

There were rituals, prayer every night, communal eating, some adults staying at home looking after children while others went to work.

Looking back, it was one of the sweetest memories for me. It was a very secure, loving home with lots of uncles and aunts, and no shortage of cousins to play with. There wasn’t a lot of money, but an abundance of aspiration. – Agnes Loheni

We need to be 90 per cent women. Not 46 per cent women. – Jill Emberson  (speaking on the inequity of funding research for ovarian cancer)

These messages of envy and hopelessness—messages that lead to an insidious victim mentality and that are perpetuated by those who say they care more and are genuinely concerned for the communities I grew up in—lead to an outcome that is infinitely worse than any hard bigot or racist could ever hope to achieve. To take hopes and dreams away from a child through good intentions conflicts with the messages of aspiration, resilience, and compassion that I and my Pasefika community were exposed to as we grew up. That soft bigotry of low expectation is the road to hell laid brick by brick with good intentions.

Hope, resilience, compassion—these are the only messages that have any chance of succeeding and changing our course toward a better New Zealand. These values are not exclusive to my migrant parents; they are New Zealand’s values. They fit hand-in-glove with our Kiwi belief in hard work, enterprise, and personal responsibility. Agnes Loheni

Politics is an odd kind of game that sometimes requires a ruthless self-interest and at others altruistic self-sacrifice. It’s a patchwork of ideals and deals, virtue and vice, gamble and calculation. – Tim  Watkin

Small business would pay the costs, large business would spend thousands avoiding the costs and tax advisors and valuers would have a field day. AndrewHoggard

 There are limits, even to the immodesty of the self-proclaimed First Citizen of the Provinces, the wandering bard with the bag of pūtea, bestowing largesse on the forgotten hamlets of Aotearoa. – Guyon Espiner

Once we recover from our grief, do we slide back into being passively a “good” country? To simply “not be racist” when what is required of us is to be outspoken “anti-racists”? I don’t want thoughts and prayers. What I want to see is bold leadership, standing up and uniting in this message: that hate will not be allowed to take root and triumph here. And to then act on that message. I need us all to be courageous and really look inwards at the fears, judgment and complacence we may have allowed into our hearts, and look outward to demand a change in the conversation. And to be that change. Saziah Bashir

Words matter because when we isolate groups of people who don’t make up the majority of those we see, we turn them into “others”. And when we turn them into others we dehumanise them and make it easier to commit harm against them. – David Cormack

Being right wing to me means believing in free market ideals, open immigration where skills are needed, free trade and access to international markets, as little government intervention as possible and having the best people in your country to help your country become better. It means more opportunity for hard working immigrants. Quite often we ARE those bloody immigrants!

It’s not about closed borders. It’s not about denying people opportunity to build their businesses if they’re hard working and wish to contribute to a country. It’s not about wounding and killing people in places of prayer or on the streets. – Cactus Kate

New Zealand can never succeed, on any measure, by cowering behind a wall. Not just our economic destiny but our national identity depends on us maintaining the sense of adventure that brought us all here and extending manaakitanga to those who want to join us, visit us, do business with us, or take a holiday or study here.

Those of us who believe in these things should no longer reject the term neo-liberal, so often used as abuse, but reclaim it. What is the alternative: to be old conservatives? The political right needs to get back on track. – Matthew Hooton

We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken. We are alive, we are together, we are determined to not let anyone divide us.

To the families of the victims your loved ones did not die in vain, their blood has watered the seeds of hope. – Gamal Fouda

We like to tell our food story and we have terms like market research and consumer behaviour that help us as we pick what to produce and how. Put simply, what we’re really doing is asking what does that person want and how can we make them happy? We’re seeking understanding. We’re listening to people we don’t know as much about. We could use more of that in our everyday lives right now. – Bryan Gibson

Wise politicians pick no unnecessary fights that focus people on differences instead of on values they share.StephenFranks

The way I’ve looked at married life is this – You make your bed, you lay in it.

“You get married and you think everything is a long tar-sealed road that is beautiful.

“And after a few years, you get a few potholes. And if you don’t fix the potholes, they get bigger.

“You have to keep fixing them. – Jack van Zanten

NZ First feels like the stumbling, drunk boyfriend that the cool girl brought to the party. She’s too good for him, and everyone can suddenly see it.  – Heather du Plessis-Allan:

 It was never clear to me whether anyone was doing anything useful or just pretending to do stuff to feel better about ourselves. How do you actually make the world a better place? – Danyl Mclauchlan

Social media and the changed nature of other media have obscured the capacity and need for real conversation. Ideas are not contested civilly, rather people are attacked, falsehoods multiply. Our evolution as social animals required mechanisms for group consensus and group rules. Democracy is a manifestation of that social dynamic and works best when publics are informed not manipulated,and can have a civil contest of worldviews, values and ideas informed by robust evidence. –  Sir Peter Gluckman

I worry there is a drive to sanitise life. When the end gets difficult, we are saying, right, that’s enough, let’s cut it short. There are alternatives. There are other choices to ameliorate suffering of all types. Assisted death is not necessary.

How we die says a lot about our society. Having held a few hands of the dying, I know that those moments are sacred. I didn’t swear the oath of first doing no harm, to then participate in an activity with multiple harmful effects to both the living and the dying.  – Hinemoa Elder

Reasoned communication is the way across the divide of difference. It requires leaving the past and its animosities behind. But this is very difficult. The past gives us a sense of security and belonging. The institutions of modern society which unite us don’t have the same pulling power as the rallying cries of the isms. No wonder ethnic nationalisms, nativisms, and populisms with their ‘us not you’ and ‘our culture not yours’ are winning out. Unexamined belief is more satisfying than reason – and its easier.  – Elizabeth Rata 

People’s wellbeing, even their lives, are at risk while well-meaning people make statements based on inappropriate and flawed research. – Jacqueline Rowarth

Only around 20 per cent of the population lives in the countryside, and decisions are being made about them and for them by predominantly urban people, many of whom have little understanding or empathy for their rural neighbours. – Dr Margaret Brown

Such is the far left’s belief in their own moral superiority that, while they point the finger of blame at others with alacrity, they appear to lack the self-awareness and self-reflection that would lead them to at least wonder whether they themselves are complicit in contributing to a divisive and hateful society. – Juliet Moses

I want to turn to our Māori people, because I believe it is time to switch your political allegiance back to yourself, to your own tino rakatirataka. The political tribalism of saying we only vote for the party is not doing us any favours. You must demand on every politician that walks across your marae ātea that they show you the proof of their commitment to working hard for you before you give them your vote, because talk is cheap, whānau. Actions, ringa raupā—the callused hands—those are what spoke loudly to our conservative tīpuna, and it is time to demand politicians show you their calloused hands, their ringa raupā, as evidence of what they have achieved for you. – Nuk Korako

However, the real danger to meddling in our sound and proven speech laws is that institutions, agencies and interest groups with their own social and political agendas will likely have a disproportionate influence that is not in the national interest. There will be some whose sole intent is to undermine the free speech we already enjoy. – Joss Miller 

It’s easy to take it for granted that we are mostly led by politicians who are motivated to do their best by us; one look around the world today shows us how easily it could be different.

Politics in New Zealand has undoubtedly become more tribal since I started but beneath the rhetoric the differences are really not so great.

I leave here firmly believing there are no good guys or bad guys; the various parties may have different solutions to the same problems but fundamentally there is the same will to solve the problems. – Tracy Watkins

I realised two things that day. I would never, ever, let anyone I cared for enter a life of politics – and that politicians bleed, just like the rest of us. In the years since, I’ve tried to remember the power of words to hurt. – Tracy Watkins

My clear thrust in politics has been around … actually what we’ve just seen in Australia, what ScoMo called the ‘quiet Australians’, they’re here in New Zealand too. All they really want from a government is a strong economy, good public services and for us to get out of the way, and let them get on with their families, and that’s what drives me – Simon Bridges

I don’t think we do anyone any favours by pretending it’s easy, because it isn’t. I don’t think you can have everything all at once. – Linda Clark

It is the private sector that will do the heavy lifting. Nothing will happen unless and until the owners of companies take the decision to invest more, hire more people, and take a risk on economic opportunitySteven Joyce

The more you pay people, the fewer people you can afford to pay. Unless of course you sell more, and you only sell more if people feel good about buying. – Mike Hosking

I am living the way my forefathers lived, who left the footprint for me. It was good enough for my people, for my parents, my grandparents, who bought the house in 1887 – it is a tribute to them. – Margaret Gallagher

If I won the lottery, I would still live here. I am a rural rooted spinster. – Margaret Gallagher

Preachers of tolerance and inclusion must no longer seek to silence and condemn those with opinions that make them uncomfortable but are nevertheless opinions based on another person’s own beliefs and values systems. While we need to stay vigilant and investigate people who post offensive material online, we need to be equally concerned about any move in this House to restrict freedom of speech, a move which has all too often been used by those in power to silence those with differing opinions or ideas. This doctrine, peddled by those who pretend to be progressive, asserts that the mere expression of ideas itself is a limitation on the rights of others. This is preposterous. We must always run the risk of being offended in the effort to afford each citizen their freedom of expression, their freedom to be wrong, and, yes, unfortunately, even nasty. We must let the punishment of those with hateful messages be their own undoing.  Paulo Garcia

 It’s a blunt instrument that doesn’t always work, but parents love and understand their children. They are uniquely placed to make them see sense and not rush off with some jezebel or fall pregnant to some ageing lothario.

Welfare is a merino-covered sledge hammer that smashes these traditional bonds. Teenagers are freed from the financial constraints of their family and can turn to a new parent, the state, who will not judge, lecture, or express disappointment in their life decisions. . .

When you design a system that disenfranchises parents and undermines families you are rewarded with a cohort of lost children and will, in a few short years, find yourself taking babies off teenagers who are unfit to be parents. Damien Grant

Pasture-based New Zealand dairy production is the most carbon efficient dairy farming system in the world. In fact, you can ship a glass of New Zealand milk to the next most efficient country (Ireland) and drink it there and it still has a lower carbon footprint than an equivalent Irish glass of milk. – Nathan Penny

Kids are kids. PARENTING has changed. SOCIETY has changed. The kids are just the innocent victims of that. Parents are working crazy hours, consumed by their devices, leaving kids in unstable parenting/co-parenting situations, terrible media influences … and we are going to give the excuse that the KIDS have changed? What did we expect them to do? Kids behave in undesirable ways in the environment they feel safest.

They test the water in the environment that they know their mistakes and behaviours will be treated with kindness and compassion. For those “well-behaved” kids – they’re throwing normal kid tantrums at home because it’s safe. The kids flipping tables at school? They don’t have a safe place at home. Our classrooms are the first place they’ve ever heard ‘no’, been given boundaries, shown love through respect. – Jessica Gentry

In a nation like ours, immigration is a kind of oxygen, each fresh wave reenergizing the body as a whole. As a society, when we offer immigrants the gift of opportunity, we receive in return vital fuel for our shared future. – L. Rafael Reif

We should be very wary of underplaying the progress and successes we’ve already made as food producers and custodians of the land.  If we pay too much attention to the critics, it saps motivation and puts more stress on the shoulders of farmers and their families. – Katie Milne

The opportunities in the agri-food sector are endless, even if you live in the city. You just have to be passionate – James Robertson

The choice really is clear. Do we want to be remembered in the future for being the generation that overreacted and spent a fortune feeling good about ourselves but doing very little, subsidising inefficient solar panels and promising slight carbon cuts — or do we want to be remembered for fundamentally helping to fix both climate and all the other challenges facing the world? – Bjorn Lomborg

My starting point for this with public health is very simple, I do not plan to be the moral police, and will not tell people how to live their lives, but I intend to help people get information that forms the basis for making choices. – Sylvi Listhaug

Pastoral agriculture is a pretty simple and slick system. We turn a natural resource that we can’t eat (grass) into something we can eat (meat and milk) with grazing animals. The land we (the world) use to do this is, by and large, not suitable for the production of sugar or the other 40 ingredients needed for cultured meat. Or, for the ingredients required in the less-terrifying, but no-less-processed plant-based “meats”.

Some people can’t stand the thought of an animal being killed for their food. So be it. Let them eat cake… or felafel. But, when it comes to meat, there is no substitute for the simplicity and safety of the real deal. – Nicola Dennis

But at times like this the public more than ever look to the media for impartial coverage. Is it too much to expect that journalists set aside their personal views and concentrate instead on giving people the information they need to properly weigh the conflicting arguments and form their own conclusions? –Karl du Fresne

Governments who are put in place by voters to help those that have been missing out enact policies that ensure those people keep missing out.

And those same Governments store up economic imbalances that bring real risks for our collective future security. All for the sake of short-term policies that appear popular in the here and now. – Steven Joyce

The whole idea of tearing the heart out of a nation’s economy to reduce methane emissions from livestock is an unbelievable display of scientific, technological and economic ignorance. It goes far beyond simply not knowing or being mistaken.  It is profound ignorance compounded by understanding so little it is not even possible to recognise one’s own ignorance which is then made malignant by thinking it must be imposed on everyone else for their own good. – Walter Starck

Everyone that’s being fired and publicly embarrassed about a misdemeanor and being called a Nazi — there are real Nazis who are getting away with it. This must be amazing for real racists to be out there, and going, “It’s all right, everyone’s a racist now, this is a great smokescreen, we’ve got people out there calling people who aren’t Nazis, Nazis. . . . They don’t know the real Nazis from people who said the  wrong thing once!” . . . It plays into the hands of the genuinely bad people. – Ricky Gervais

I get the equality movement – it’s valid and important. But I also know the dangers, firsthand, that mindset can play if we encourage everyone to see themselves as the same, instead of embrace the differences God intentionally created us with.

I have been more successful as a professional, a wife and a friend once I learned to embrace myself as different, not equal.  – Kate Lambert

The creation of wealth should not be confused with the creation of money and the amount of money in circulation at any given point. – Henry Armstrong

For me, it was South Island farmer Sean Portegys who articulated best what so many farmers are feeling – he told me that in a drought, you don’t despair because it’s always going to rain. In a snowstorm, the sun will come out eventually. When prices are bad, and he said they’d just gone through a rough patch a few years ago, it’s always going to come right eventually. The problem is now, he said, the situation that farmers are facing is a lack of hope. He says he just doesn’t see a future in what he’s doing. And if farmers don’t see a future, then the future of New Zealand Inc looks bleak. –  Kerre McIvor

The problem is, if you propose a set of rules that are unachievable you don’t get community buy-in and if you don’t get community buy-in, you don’t actually make any progress,- David Clark

There are no perfect human societies or human systems or human beings.  But that shouldn’t stop us celebrating our past, our heritage, our culture –  the things that, by opening to the world, made this country, for all its faults and failings and relative economic decline in recent decades, one of the more prosperous and safe countries on earth. – Michael Reddell

The productivity commission says – in a much nicer way than this – that most councillors are a bunch of useless numpties with no understanding of governance of finance, and so really aren’t capable of handling the big stuff. – Tina Nixon

If you cannot even state an opponent’s position in order to illustrate the benefit of arguing with that opponent, then free speech is over. Because no dialogue then is possible. Professor Jim Flynn

Freedom of speech is important because it is a contest of ideas.

When you forbid certain ideas, the only way you can be effective is by being more powerful. So it becomes a contest of strength. If you shut ’em up, not only does that make it a matter of `might makes right’, you haven’t proved that your views are more defensible, you’ve just proved that you are stronger. Further, that must be the worst formula for finding truth that’s ever been invented. It’s either a contest of ideas or a contest of strength. Professor Jim Flynn

 A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. And a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, coercing, cancelling or blacklisting their own neighbours. Professor Jim Flynn

People have to grow up. Being educated is getting used to hearing ideas that upset you. – Professor Jim Flynn

I see precautionary investment against climate change as equivalent in political decision-making, to expenditure on defence. Both require spending for highly uncertain benefit. No one can know whether we genuinely have an enemy who will attack. No one can know if our precautions will be effective. Hopefully the investment will be untested. We can’t know until afterwards whether it is wasted. Yet it is rational to try, because the catastrophe could be so overwhelming if the risk matures without resilience or mitigation precautions.

But such investment remains foolish if it is unlikely reduce CO2 levels materially, or to improve New Zealand’s ability to cope if change happens nevertheless. Given NZ’s inability to affect the first, an insurance investment should focus primarily on resilience. The Zero Carbon Bill does neither. So my government is wasting the elite political consensus that ‘something must be done”. Instead they’re conspicuously trumpeting their “belief” in climate change, and their intentions to act. If the law is enforced it will likely increase emissions overseas, and not influence foreign governments to mitigate the risk, who can affect the outcome. – Stephen Franks

The brute facts of New Zealand history suggest that if it’s blame Maori and Pakeha are looking for, then there’s plenty to go around. Rather than apportion guilt, would it not be wiser to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and can never be again – the Maori who inhabited these islands before Cook’s arrival. Would it not, therefore, be wiser to accept, finally, that both peoples are victims of historical forces too vast for blame, too permanent for guilt?Chris Trotter

As I have gone through my horrible journey, I have realised why ovarian cancer support doesn’t gain the kind of traction that breast cancer does. It is because we are small in number, and we die really quickly, so we don’t have the capacity to build up an army of advocates. With breast cancer, there is a lot more women who get it, therefore they can build and build their army of advocates and they are able to raise more money, get more research, and get better outcomes, so they live longer. We need the support of breast cancer survivors. We need them to link arms with us to grow our army for ovarian cancer, which will then help us get more funding fairness. Funding leads to research, and research leads to longer lives. – Jill  Emberson

This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re politically woke, and all that stuff — you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting with may love their kids and share certain things with you. – Barack Obama

I can’t make people not afraid of black people. But maybe if I show up every day as a human, a good human, maybe that work will pick away at the scabs of your discrimination. –Michelle Obama

In South Africa, pressure is not having a job or if one of your close relatives is murdered. In South Africa there are a lot of problems, which is pressure. – Rassie Erasmus

We shouldn’t subsidise the smelter.  Rather we should stop forcing Southlanders to subsidise Aucklanders.  We should also revert to a more gradual water plan that gives farmers time to adapt, and we should let Southland retain control of SIT.  Then we should get out of the way and let the sensible practical Southlanders get on with making a success of their province. – Steven Joyce

All of us face trials and tribulations. No-one always wins, in the end we all lose. We lose friends, marriages, money, get anxious, our bodies break down, our minds go, and then we die. Isn’t life great?

But actually, isn’t living also a lot of highs? Births, marriages, beaches, trips abroad, friends, sporting victories, pets, pay increases, leaves sprouting in spring, fish and chips on a sunny day. – Kevin Norquay

You’ve got to come up with some kind of middle ground where you do reasonable things to mitigate the risk and try at the same time to lift people out of poverty and make them more resilient. We shouldn’t be forced to choose between lifting people out of poverty and doing something for the climate. Kerry Emanuel

Knowledge in long-term memory is not a nice-to-have. Rather, it is an integral part of mental processing without which our working memories (which can hold only about four items at a time) become quickly overloaded. – Briar Lipson

None of it convinces me from my position that there is no “I” in meat but if you look closely you will find the words me and eat.  That should be good enough to convince tree huggers and hippies that they should be switching back to natural. – Cactus Kate

It [managerialism] undermines the ability of state services to help citizens, but empowers it to infantilise us.

We’re discouraged from acting on our own, and forced to bow to experts. Yet systems and fancy talk prevent experts taking substantive action for fear of career, safety, or arbitrary consequences for taking the “wrong” action. In these environments, there are no career prospects for heroes.  Mark Blackham

It used to be that people joined the Labour Party to make their lives better off. Now they join to make someone else’s life better off. – Josie Pagani

If all the new Tory voters wanted was more from the state and more lecturing on how to live their lives, they would have voted for Labour. These voters want a hand up, not a handout. If you give people things and make them reliant upon the state then next time they will vote for those who will give them more things. – Matthew Lesh

. . .It matters because the still-cherished principles of secular humanism, which continue to inspire the multitude of moral arbiters who police social media, come with provenance papers tracing them all the way back to a peculiar collection of Jews and Gentiles living and writing in the Roman Empire of 2,000 years ago. Ordinary human-beings who gathered to hear and repeat the words of a carpenter’s son: the Galilean rabbi, Yeshua Ben-Joseph. Words that still constitute the core of the what remains the world’s largest religious faith –  Christianity.

It matters, also, because, to paraphrase Robert Harris, writing in his latest, terrifying, novel The Second Sleep: when morality loses its power, power loses its morality. Chris Trotter

Whatever the reasons, it saddens me that the spiritual dimension of Christmas has withered as it has. Because the nativity story literally marks the beginning of a faith which, whatever the woke folk may say, is a core piece of our heritage and the foundation of our morals, manners and laws. For that reason alone, it has a place on Christmas DayJim Hopkins


June 25 in history

June 25, 2019

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architectStanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2003 – The New Zealand parliament voted for prostitution reform.

Parliament votes for prostitution reform

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

2017 – The World Health Organization estimated that Yemen had more than 200,000 cases of cholera.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

June 25, 2018

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant ColonelGeorge Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architectStanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2003 – The New Zealand parliament voted for prostitution reform.

Parliament votes for prostitution reform

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

June 25, 2016

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant ColonelGeorge Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architectStanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quote of the day

November 16, 2015

We need a corrective on who is a genuine artist. I’m an opportunist. I have no talent. That’s true of 99 per cent of people in the British media. Ricky Gervais or Graham and Arthur who wrote Father Ted or Armando Iannucci are God-like as they have talent. Everyone else is a drone. Griff Rhys Jones who turns 62 today.


June 25 in history

June 25, 2015

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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