Word of the day

December 9, 2012

Casuistry  - specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalise or mislead; the determination of right and wrong in questions of conduct or conscience by analyzing cases that illustrate general ethical rules; resolving of specific cases of conscience, duty, or conduct through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine.


Lessons from Greece

December 9, 2012

This is why it’s so important to live within our means:

Greek economy shrank 6.9% in Q3.


5/10

December 9, 2012

5/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Not models for stellar career

December 9, 2012

Understatement of the week:

. . . This will probably only encourage Tamihere, who has been coming over like a cross between former Act MP David Garrett and former National MP Bob Clarkson. These are not really models for a stellar political career.

It came from Trans Tasman which was pointing out the peculiar silence from Labour Party MPs who twisted themselves in knots trying not to criticise Tamihere’s boorish comments on women and gays.


TPP – threat or opportunity?

December 9, 2012

Is the TPP a threat to democracy?:

Almost three quarters of a million people around the world have signed an online petition that brands the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement a “threat to democracy” and a “corporate takeover”. . . .

“Many hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have sent a blunt message to politicians and corporations who tout the TPPA as a model for the 21st century that it does not represent not their 21st century”, said Jane Kelsey, who has been asked to present the petition to the negotiators. . .

Or is it of seminal importance for jobs?:

The Trans Pacific Partnership is of seminal importance for developing job opportunities in New Zealand, says Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

But alongside our ongoing struggle to win access for our agricultural products we need a completely separate work stream dealing with intellectual property, Mr Campbell said.

“It is evident that in terms of the TPP, intellectual property is a complicated rat’s nest full of ambiguity and vested interests,” he said.

“Well-resourced groups have the capacity to subvert the TPP process if we are not most careful to ensure it is robust and enduring.

“Hence the need for caution and precision over the agreement’s terms and conditions.

“New Zealand business will be paying close attention to the details of this part of the agreement because tomorrow’s globally integrated business world will be driven by intellectual property.

“And we are 100 per cent committed to New Zealand negotiating a high quality TPP agreement for the job opportunities and economic growth prospects it can undoubtedly deliver.”

Business NZ sees the importance of the TPP for people:

The Trans Pacific Partnership will help build more successful communities, says BusinessNZ.

Speaking at the Trans Pacific Partnership Forum in Auckland today, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said the TPP has the potential to raise living standards around New Zealand.

“This trade agreement goes beyond the 20th Century approach of simply seeking to reduce tariffs and border restrictions.

“It recognises the fact that industry now relies on complex supply and value chains involving producers in many different locations and countries. New Zealand is deeply involved in many international value chains and the TPP will enable more New Zealand businesses to trade more effectively in more countries, and that means increased growth and more jobs for New Zealanders.

“The particular value of the Trans Pacific Partnership is that it involves many of the fastest growing economies on earth. Economic growth in the Asia Pacific region is surging and the TPP will help unlock that growth for New Zealand’s benefit.

“It’s appropriate that New Zealand’s negotiators are focused on protecting and advancing our interests including public health, intellectual property, the environment, and the Treaty of Waitangi, and success in these areas will mean a high-quality trade deal that is sustainable in the long term,” Mr O’Reilly said. . .

Both sides of this argument are right about the need for caution over some of the details.

But one side is anti-trade in general and using that bias to oppose the TPP in its entirety.

The other realises the importance of trade for maintaining and creating work opportunities here and earning the export income which will support the first world economy and society to which we aspire.


And that was Holmes

December 9, 2012

Paul Holmes burst onto prime time television in 2007  1989 with an interview from which Americas Cup skipper Denis Conner walked out.

I was so incensed by what I thought of poor journalism I wrote to Conner, who wrote back with a copy of his autobiography.

It all looks a lot less shocking by today’s standards.

That was a long time ago and Holmes has been a major figure on screen and the airwaves since then – as an interviewer and subject.

He was often controversial but also raised a lot of money for charity.

Now ill health has forced him to resign from broadcasting.

. . .Of work, Holmes said he played hard but straight. “I kept my word.” He made few if any enemies and is proud of that. He is friends with both Mike Williams, a former Labour Party president, and Michelle Boag, National’s former president, who together organised Holmes’ party.

Should anyone think to remember him, he said, “I would like to be remembered as a decent bloke.”

As the Herald prepared to leave, he told of a recent text from former colleague Cameron Bennett after TVNZ showed highlights from Holmes. “What great days those early days of Holmes were,” it said.

“They were,” said Holmes, “and I’m so grateful to have had them.”

And, in the words with which he ended the show, that was Holmes.


December 9 in history

December 9, 2012

536 – Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil: the Khazars annihilated an Umayyad army and killed its commander, al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah.

1425 – The Catholic University of Leuven was founded.

1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.

1608  John Milton, English poet, was born (d. 1674).

1787 John Dobson, English architect, was born  (d. 1865).

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster.

1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, ending the Peruvian War of Independence.

1851 – The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec.

1872 – In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback became the first serving African-American governor of a U.S. state.

1886 Clarence Birdseye, American frozen food manufacturer, was born (d. 1956).

1888 – Statistician Herman Hollerith installed his computing device at the United States War Department.

1897 Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde, in Paris.

1899 New Zealand troops fired their first shots in the South African war.

NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

1902  Margaret Hamilton, American actress, was born (d. 1985).

1905 In France, the law separating church and state was passed.

1916 – Kirk Douglas, American actor, was born.

1922  Gabriel Narutowicz was announced the first president of Poland.

1929  Bob Hawke, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1931 The Constituent Cortes approved the constitution which establishes the Second Spanish Republic.

1933  Ashleigh Brilliant, American writer (Pot-Shots), was born.

1934  Dame Judi Dench, English actress, was born.

1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor and muckraker, was killed in gangland murder.

1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launched an assault on Nanjing.

1940 – World War II: Operation Compass – British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Richard O’Connor attacked Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt.

1941 Beau Bridges, American actor, was born.

1946 – The “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials” began with the “Doctors’ Trial“, prosecuting doctors alleged to be involved in human experimentation.

1950  Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts-born English singer, was born.

1953 John Malkovich, American actor, was born.

1953 – Red Scare: General Electric announced that all communist employees would be discharged from the company.

1957 – Donny Osmond, American singer and actor, was born.

1958  Nick Seymour, Australian bassist (Crowded House), was born.

1960 The first episode of Britain’s longest running television soap opera Coronation Street was broadcast.

1961 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel ended with verdicts of guilty on 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

1961 Tanganyika became independent from Britain.

1962  The Petrified Forest National Park was established in Arizona.

1968 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) was publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

1979 The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

1988  The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland was officially opened.

1990  Lech Wałęsa became the first directly elected president of Poland.

2003 – A blast in the center of Moscow killed six people and wounds several more.

2006 – Moscow suffered its worst fire since 1977, killing 45 women in a drug rehabilitation center.

2008 – The Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich, was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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