Word of the day

November 8, 2012

Serry – a crowd or massed bunch of people; to crowd closely together.


Rural round-up

November 8, 2012

Quantum leap in water management policies – Matt Harcombe:

The debate centering on water and agriculture is a tangled web of interlinked policies, on-farm actions, science, emotion, perception and economic and cultural factors affecting its use, availability and quality.

Some factors are well understood, others are not. The biggest issue in the public eye is quality. However, access to water and its use, irrigation and storage are also vital.

While the vast majority of farmers are working hard to adapt and evolve alongside changing public expectations of water quality, they are also trying to keep up with the demands of the Government and regional councils, while working out what it means to their farm. . .

Challenge to grow more food from less – Tim Cronshaw:

New Zealand stands to gain from farmers getting better at growing food in developing countries, says Methven farmer Craige Mackenzie.

Mackenzie became the first New Zealander to sit alongside selected farmers at last month’s Global Farmer Roundtable at Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States.

Contrary to the view that it might be in New Zealand’s best interest if developing countries struggled to supply their own food, he found there were advantages to farmers raising production.

Better-performing farmers could feed their families, change their diet and gain an income from selling surplus food to small towns, which could mean they and other people could afford better food, creating export opportunities for developed countries, he said. . .

Land use change focus of conference – Terri Russell:

Almost 400 farmers, scientists and agribusiness professionals will be in Gore this week to discuss land-use change and what it means for farmers.

The annual New Zealand Grassland Association conference is a chance for industry professionals to network and learn more about current farming issues.

The association’s local organising committee chairman, Nelson Hancox, said this year’s theme, Opportunities of Changing Land Use, was driven by a notable shift to dairy throughout the country. . .

Jim’s greens fit for royalty – Jessie Waite:

Feeding royalty is just another day at the office for Kakanui’s Jim O’Gorman.

The local produce grower will be supplying vegetables to Government House ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next week.

Prince Charles, who is a well-known advocate of organic produce, is arriving in New Zealand on Saturday to celebrate his 64th birthday. . .

The high frontier comes to meat and fibre:

Speech by Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & 2012 Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre council, Wellington

Good morning and welcome to Meat & Fibre 2012.

I would like to thank our wonderful policy advisor, David Burt and the Events Manager, Hannah Williamson, for putting together an excellent programme. To my Vice-chair, Tim Mackinosh and members of the Executive, thank you.

Above all, it is you, members of the Meat & Fibre council who deserve to be recognised by your peers. . .


Truth will (sell) out

November 8, 2012

Has any newspaper ever had better publicity than Truth in the last week?

The appointment of Cameron Slater as editor received coverage that money can’t buy and that has tranlated in sales.

The grapevine tells me it has sold out in several outlets in Auckland and that extra copies are being rushed to Wellington where, if Twitter is to be believed, it has also sold out:

#nz_truth sells out in downtown Wellington. Who are the nervous pollies?

If I’ve ever bought or read a copy before the experience has been buried deep in the recesses of my memory but I found one in a dairy in Oamaru today and out of curiousity bought it.

A quick thumb-through confirms I’m not the target audience. Politics yes, adult content, no thanks.

That said, and while you can’t judge an editor on a single issue, selling out and getting coverage in other media for content is a very good start.


Thursday’s quiz

November 8, 2012

1. Who said: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”?

2. What is the Angel’s share of whisky?

3. What are the main ingredients of whisky?

4.  It’s  boire in French, bere in Italian,  beber in Spanish and inu in Maori, what is it in English?

5. Water, whisky and/or wine?


Tight control on spending still essential

November 8, 2012

The latest quarterly crown accounts show that tight control on public spending is still essential:

Crown accounts issued today, showing core Crown spending and revenue slightly below forecast for the three months to 30 September, reinforce the need for careful financial management, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“The accounts confirm that the Government is keeping its spending under control, but that revenue can be affected by the uncertain global economic situation and its impact on New Zealand,” he says. “This effect will continue.

“As we work to reduce our deficits and meet our target of returning to surplus by 2014/15, we will need to remain prudent with new spending and ensure existing spending delivers better public services and good value for taxpayers.

“That’s important in a world where economic and financial market conditions remain difficult and unpredictable. We need to remain on top of the factors we can control, so we can minimise our debt and have a strong balance sheet.”

The accounts also show that the danger of opposition policies:

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We continue to perform at moderate levels, but nevertheless better than most other developed countries. In the first half of this year New Zealand grew by 1.6 percent, which is higher than growth rates in the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, and the euro area over the same period. Our quarterly growth rate is about the same as Australia’s. Policies that would put this at risk would include borrowing more, spending more, and printing money, which would fuel costs for households and businesses and put jobs at risk.

Most households and businesses have accepted the need to reduce debt. The government is leading by example with no net Budget increases and continuing emphasis on lowering costs and improving the efficiency of public services and with policies which help export led growth..

These good examples are lost on the opposition which labours under the misapprehension that you can decrease debt by borrowing more and printing money.


Don’t Panic! RIP Clive Dunn

November 8, 2012

Clive Dunn, OBE, the actor who played Lance-Corporal Jack Jones in Dad’s Army, has died.

He was 92.

Among the lines he was famous for, were Permission to speak, Sir and Don’t Panic!

There’s more at the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society.


Regional councils out of balance?

November 8, 2012

Local Body and Primary Industries Minister David Carter has criticised the analysis about the economic impact of the Horizons Regional Council’s One Plan:

. . . A case study for the Manawatu catchment indicates farm profits could fall by 22% to 43% as a result of land use changes needed to meet water quality targets in the plan.

Mr Carter said he will wait for the outcome of High Court appeals from farming and horticulture bodies against the Environment Court ruling, but he’s concerned about the restrictions proposed in the One Plan.

Federated Farmers says it will be challenge the regional council’s cost-benefit analysis under the Resource Management Act.

Chief executive Conor English says the impact would go well beyond farming, causing income cuts and job losses right through the supply chain.

Balancing economic and environmental concerns isn’t easy but the consequences  of getting it wrong  has serious consequences.

The One Plan has been greeted enthusiastically by some people but with serious concerns by others who think it has gone too far in the environmental direction without giving sufficient weight to the economic and social impact it would have.

Horizons isn’t the only council upsetting its constituents.

Farmers are concerned about the Southland and Otago Regional Councils too:

. . . There had been an alarming increase in effluent-related prosecutions over the last year relating to incidents which were mostly unintentional, extremely minor and fixed immediately by farmers, the letter said.

Farmers, who in most cases asked the councils for help, got no support and were instead prosecuted.

“Why is it not possible for farmers and the councils to work together to improve farming practices on a consultative basis without the need to resort to prosecutions for the first time or minor offences?” the letter said.

Inspectors have been seen taking photos and flying over properties “looking for any breach possible,” the letter said.

Local councils had moved from being a pragmatic, solutions-focused body to a vindictive, prosecutorial body, it said.

The farmers asked that the focus of local councils be shifted to help them comply, rather than be prosecuted. . .

This could be a consequence of having one body set and enforce rules and also collect the fines for those who breach them.

The object should be improved practices on farms and cleaner waterways. That is far more likely to be achieved by co-operation and eduction than prosecution.

Prosecution might be reasonable for people who deliberately offend and cause serious pollution. But there needs to be tolerance and advice for minor offences and accidents with the aim of compliance, rather than punishment.


If we were angels . . .

November 8, 2012

Quote of the day:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. – James Madison (1788)

Madison was the fourth president of the USA.

Hat tip: The Visible Hand in Economics.

 


November 8 in history

November 8, 2012

519 – Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezumawelcomed him with a great celebration

1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath began A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 peopl

1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent – The States-General of the Netherlands met and united to oppose Spanish occupation

1602 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public.

1620 The Battle of White Mountain ended in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.

1656 Edmond Halley, British astronomer and mathematician, was born (d. 1742).

1745 Charles Edward Stuart invaded England with an army of ~5000.

1793 – The French Revolutionary government opened the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1836 Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer, was born  (d. 1911).

1837 Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later became Mount Holyoke College.

1847 Bram Stoker, Irish novelist, was born  (d. 1912).

1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair” – The USS San Jacinto stopped the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrested two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.

1892 The New Orleans general strike began, uniting black and white trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray.

1900 Margaret Mitchell, American author, was born  (d. 1949).

1901 Bloody clashes in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek.

1917 The People’s Commissars gave authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.

1923 Beer Hall Putsch: Adolf Hitler led the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

1932 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.

1933 – Great Depression: New Deal – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration, an organisation designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.

1935 – A dozen labour leaders came together to announce the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).

1936 – New Zealanders Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers who marched into Madrid, bolstering the city’s defences against the assault of General Franco’s rebel armies.

NZers march into a besieged Madrid

1937 – The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (“The Eternal Jew”) opened in Munich.

1939 The Centennial exhibition opened in Wellington.

 NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British SIS agents were captured by the Germans.

1939 – Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.

1941 – The Albanian Communist Party was founded.

1942 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces landed in French North Africa. French resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralised Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrested several Vichyst generals.

1950 Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.

1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: Britain conducted its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.

1965 – The British Indian Ocean Territory was created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands.

1965 – The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.

1965 – The 173rd Airborne was ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong in Operation Hump while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1966 Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate.

1973 The right ear of John Paul Getty III was delivered to a newspaper with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay $US 2.9 million.

1977 Manolis Andronikos, discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina

1978 A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Thessaloniki killed 40 people.

1987 Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explode in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a Remembrance Day – killing 12 and wounding 63.

2002 Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.

2003 The Harris Theatere opened commencing a renaissance in the Chicago performing arts community.

2011 – The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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