Romney gracious in defeat, Obama says work to do

November 7, 2012

Mitt Romney was gracious in defeat.

His concession speech is here.

A live stream of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech is here.

 


Obama wins second term

November 7, 2012

The votes aren’t all counted but after winning several key states it appears Barack Obama has won a second term as president of the USA:

Barack Obama, the post-partisan candidate of hope who became the first black U.S. president, won re-election today by overcoming four years of economic discontent with a mix of political populism and electoral math.

Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney, according to television network projections that show the president winning the electoral votes needed for re-election. . .

Huffington Post has an interactive map which currently shows Obama with 275 electoral votes and Romney with 203.


Word of the day

November 7, 2012

Horripilation – the bristling of the body hair; a temporary local change in the skin when it becomes rougher due to erection of little muscles, as from cold, fear, or excitement; goose bumps.


So much for consensus

November 7, 2012

Justice Minister Judith Collins has made it clear she wants to get consensus on any change to MMP as a result of recommendations from the electoral Commission.

The shameful ramming through of the Electoral Finance Act and its short life are a reminder of why any changes to electoral law should have more than a simple majority.

Labour obviously doesn’t care about that.

David Shearer said the party is going to introduce a Member’s Bill on MMP:

“Labour’s bill will deal with the most important recommendations made by the Commission. It will abolish the one electorate seat threshold for the allocation of list seats and lower the party vote threshold from 5% to 4%. It will also require the Electoral Commission to conduct a review after three general elections.

“This should not be a party-political issue. I will be writing to the Prime Minister offering to work with the Government to see these changes put in place.

It’s more than a little rich to talk about it not being a party-political issue when he’s writing off the government’s attempt to find common ground before it’s been given a chance.

So much for consensus.


Rural round-up

November 7, 2012

Fonterra man’s new international post - Caleb Allison:

Fonterra’s director of research, science and technology  has been elected president of the International Dairy Federation.

Dr Jeremy Hill, who replaces Richard Doyle, was elected yesterday at the IDF’s World Dairy Summit in South Africa.

The IDF bills itself as a “non-profit private sector organisation representing the interests of various stakeholders in dairying at the international level”. . .

Nugget from the Cavalcades:

Otago Daily Times agri-business editor Sally Rae and illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery teamed up to add a book to the already groaning New Zealand bookseller’s shelves. This is their story of how that happened.

One a writer, the other a photographer, and between us we have been on more than half of the 20 cavalcades, so co-producing a book on the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust’s horse and cart pilgrimages seemed to make sense.

We had an idea, a vision, a collection of many thousands of photographs and loads of potential subjects for compelling, highly entertaining stories. But before getting too serious, we had to find a publisher. . .

Make no excuses, just enter – Sally Rae:

Lorraine Johnson is ready to counter any excuses people may have for not entering the 2013 Otago regional competition of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

The awards will be launched at a function at the Cross Recreation Centre in Balclutha tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Mrs Johnson, who is regional convener, urged people to “come along and launch yourself and your career”. . .

Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme gets piping mandate:

A decision to pipe the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme will result in significant energy savings and improved water use efficiency.

The 234 shareholders in the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Limited (ALIL) have voted 82% in favour of piping over 200km of the scheme’s open water races.

ALIL’s chairman, John van Polanen, says the energy saved by piping the scheme is equivalent to the energy used by 2000 homes. . .

Sky farms are here – Misc-Science:

I’ve blogged before about sky farms, and how I think they’re a truly excellent idea. When last I wrote about it in 2009, it was a mad (yet extremely rational), science fictional solution to agriculture.

Now, as with so much of its ilk, it’s HERE.

I literally just threw my hands up in the air and shouted ‘F**k yeah!’ :)

Singapore has built the world’s first sky farm: it opened this year. And now, it’s begun selling its produce. . .

Global wine meetings in Auckland:

Two international wine meetings are being held in Auckland this week – the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum (November 5-6) and the World Wine Trade Group meeting (November 7-9).

The two-day APEC Wine Regulatory Forum will bring together 67 wine regulators and industry representatives from 15 APEC economies to discuss wine trade risk assessment and management as well as coordinating approaches to wine certification. Participants will also develop a set of recommendations for future APEC activities aimed at tackling unnecessary wine-related non-tariff barriers in the region. . .


Samsung Galaxy or iPhone?

November 7, 2012

My phone is due for an upgrade.

The options came down to a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone.

The Galaxy was slightly smaller and  was highly recommended but the iPhone has better service outside main centres which is important for me.

Is opting for the iPhone the right decision or is there another model which is better than both of these?


1.1% lift in GDT milk price

November 7, 2012

The trade weighted price increased 1.1% in this morning’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

That adds to a welcome trend above the long term average price.

The price of anhydrous milk fat lifted 5.3%; butter milk increased 7.3; cheddar was up 2.5%; lactose was up 1.%; milk protein concentrate increased .5%; rennet casein was up 9%; skim milk powder increased 3.9% and the only drop was whole milk powder which was down 2.5%.

 

 

 


What’s fair?

November 7, 2012

Todd suffered brain damage during his birth which left him with multiple disabilities.

Exactly one year later our son Dan was born with an undiagnosed condition which left him with multiple disabilities.

Neither boy passed any developmental milestones. They didn’t learn to smile, roll, crawl, walk or talk and both were functionally blind and deaf. They were unable to do anything more for themselves when they died, by coincidence within a few days of each other when they were aged six and five respectively, than they could the day they were born.

Todd and his family got a lot more help than we did because he was eligible for ACC and Dan was not.

You could say that wasn’t fair and people with similar disabilities should get similar assistance regardless of whether they’re caused by accident or illness.

Labour MP Andrew Little has suggested that and no doubt it will be an attractive idea to some.

But would that be fair?

ACC is a contributory scheme, fully funded by levies.

How fair would it be to impose on wages, salaries and taxpayers the huge increases in levies which would be needed to cover non-accidental incapacity?

If there’s ever a time to decrease take-home pay, it’s not now when so many budgets are over-stretched and we’re all being encouraged to save more.

It would be even more unfair in the future if Little’s other suggestion of moving from a fully-funded model was changed to a pay-as-you go which could impose even greater liabilities on future generations.

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes the government can do something about that but sometimes the cost is too high.


Obama or Romney?

November 7, 2012

The size of the United States is illustrated by the length of time it takes for everyone there to vote.

Their election day  is always the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. It began for people on the east coast last night our time and voting will finish in Hawaii this afternoon.

What is essentially a two-horse race between sitting president Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ought to be easy to understand in comparison with our system of MMP, but the electoral college system complicates matters.

All votes might be equal but those in some states appear to be more equal than others.

Lots of polls indicate a close result, but if I was betting I’d be putting my money on Obama.

The influence of the USA and the size of its economy makes the result of importance to the rest of the world.

If I was able to vote and thinking of New Zealand’s interests I’d be opting for the one most likely to get the economy back on track and to progress free trade, whoever that is.

However, Facebook reckons the Queen isn’t impressed with either candidate:

A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictio

nary.) Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

———————–

1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

————————

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’

——————-

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

—————–

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

———————-

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

———————-

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

——————–

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

——————-

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

——————-

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

———————

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

———————

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

———————

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

——————–

13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

—————–

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

—————

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!


November 7 in history

November 7, 2012

680 The Sixth Ecumenical Council commenced in Constantinople.

1492 The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, struck the earth in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, France.

1619 Elizabeth of Scotland and England was crowned Queen of Bohemia.

1665 The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, was first published.

1728 Captain James Cook, British naval officer, explorer, and cartographer, was born (d 1779).

1775 John Murray, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, started the first mass emancipation of slaves in North America by issuing Lord Dunmore’s Offer of Emancipation, which offered freedom to slaves who abandoned their colonial masters in order to fight with Murray and the British.

1786 The oldest musical organisation in the United States was founded as the Stoughton Musical Society.

1811 Tecumseh’s War: The Battle of Tippecanoe.

1837 Abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy was shot dead by a mob while attempting to protect his printing shop from being destroyed a third time.

1848 The paddle steamer Acheron arrived to being surveying New Zealand waters.

1861 American Civil War: Battle of Belmont: Forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant overran a Confederate camp but were forced to retreat when Confederate reinforcements arrive.

1867 Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Polish chemist and physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics and in chemistry, was born (d 1934).

1872 The ship Mary Celeste sailed from New York.

1874 A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly, was considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party.

1879 Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary, was born (d 1940).

1885 Construction ended on the Canadian Pacific Railway railway extending across Canada.

1893 Women in the U.S. state of Colorado were granted the right to vote.

1900 Battle of Leliefontein, a battle during which the Royal Canadian Dragoons won three Victoria Crosses.

1907 Jesús García saved the entire town of Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora by driving a burning train full of dynamitesix kilometers away before it could explode.

1908 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reportedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia.

1910 The first air freight shipment was undertaken by the Wright Brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse.

1912 The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opened in Berlin with a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

1913 Albert Camus, French writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d 1960).

1914 The first issue of The New Republic magazine was published.

1914 – The German colony of Kiaochow Bay and its centre at Tsingtao were captured by Japanese forces.

1916 Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States Congress.

1917 The Gregorian calendar date of the October Revolution, which got its name from the Julian calendar date of 25 October – the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace.

1917 World War I: Third Battle of Gaza ended: British forces captured Gaza from the Ottoman Empire.

1918 The 1918 influenza epidemic spread to Western Samoa, killing 7,542 (about 20% of the population) by the end of the year.

1918 Kurt Eisner overthrew the Wittelsbach dynasty in the Kingdom of Bavaria.

1918 Billy Graham, American evangelist was born.

1919 The first Palmer Raid was conducted on the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution. More than 10,000 suspected communists and anarchists were arrested in twenty-three different U.S. cities.

1920 Patriarch Tikhon issued a decree that lead to the formation of Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

1921 The Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF), National Fascist Party, comes into existence.

1926 Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian operatic soprano, was born (d 2010).

1929 The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened to the public.

1931 The Chinese Soviet Republic was proclaimed on the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

1940 The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in a windstorm, just four months after the bridge’s completion.

1941 Soviet hospital ship Armenia was sunk by German planes while evacuating refugees and wounded military and staff of several Crimea’s hospitals – killing more than 5,000 people.

1943 Joni Mitchell, Canadian musician, was born.

1944 A passenger train derailed in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico from excessive speed when descending a hill. 16 people were killed and 50 injured.

1944 Soviet spy Richard Sorge, a half-Russian, half-German World War I veteran, and 34 of his spy-ring, were hanged by his Japanese captors.

1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt elected for a record fourth term as President of the United States of America.

1963 Wunder von Lengede: Eleven miners were rescued from a collapsed mine after 14 days.

1967 Carl B. Stokes was elected as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the first African American mayor of a major American city.

1970 Long-haired Christchurch mountaineers John Glasgow and Peter Gough became the first to successfully scale the 2000-metre Caroline Face of Aoraki/Mt Cook, declaring it a ‘triumph for the hippies’.

Aoraki/Mt Cook route conquered by hippies

1975 In Bangladesh a joint force of people and soldiers took part in an uprising hailed as National Revolution and Solidarity Day, led by Col. Abu Taher that ousted and killed Brig. Khaled Mosharraf.

1983 United States Senate bombing: a bomb exploded inside the United States Capitol.

1987 In Tunisia, president Habib Bourguiba was overthrown and replaced by Prime Minister Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

1989 Douglas Wilder won the governor’s seat in Virginia, becoming the first elected African American governor in the United States.

1989 David Dinkins became the first African American mayor of New York City.

1989 – East German Prime Minister Willi Stoph and his cabinet were forced to resign after huge anti-government protests.

1990 Mary Robinson became the first woman to be elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

1991 Magic Johnson announced that he was infected with HIV and retired from the NBA.

1994 WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provided the world’s first internet radio broadcast.

1996 NASA launched the Mars Global Surveyor.

2000Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first former First Lady to win public office in the United States.

2000 – Controversial US presidential election that is later resolved in the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court Case.

2002 Iran baneds advertising of United States products.

2004 War in Iraq: The interim government of Iraq calls for a 60-day “state of emergency” as U.S. forces storm the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.

2006 Chicago O’Hare UFO sighting

2007 Jokela school shooting in Tuusula, Finland, resulted in the death of nine people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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