Word of the day

February 8, 2013

Cheeky – impudent or irreverent, typically in an endearing or amusing way; slightly rude or showing no respect, but often in a funny way;impertinently bold.


Hakwesby tribute to Holmes

February 8, 2013

Newstalk ZB paid its final tribute to Sir Paul Holmes by broadcasting his funeral service live and commercial-free.

I was driving home from Christchurch and was moved by the tributes paid by his friends.

Among them was John Hawkesby. TV3 has the  video here.

TVNZ has extracts for that and other tributes here.

 


Labour/Green crocodile tears

February 8, 2013

It’s the Opposition’s job to oppose and the Labour and Green parties are particularly good at opposing any initiatives that will lead to investment, growth and jobs:

Once again the hypocrisy of the Labour-Greens opposition is exposed by their criticism today of the need to welcome new business investment in New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Both parties have made it clear that they oppose ‘hands-on’ decisions made by this Government to encourage both domestic and international investment for jobs in the New Zealand economy,” Mr Joyce says.

The list of areas where they have opposed investment separately or together is long and varied. It includes:

• Opposed law changes to allow the Hobbit movies to be produced here
• Opposed resource management law changes to speed up investment decisions
• Opposed the plans to build the Auckland Convention Centre
• Opposed oil & gas exploration on the East Coast
• Opposed hydraulic fracturing
• Opposed the investment by Haier in Fisher & Paykel Appliances
• Opposed speeding up Bathurst Resources consents at Denniston
• Opposed Chinese investment
• Opposed international investment generally
• Opposed tax changes to encourage productive investment
• Opposed increased irrigation and intensification of agriculture
• Opposed moves to lessen the ETS costs on trade-exposed businesses

“Every one of these Government moves, and others, are designed specifically to help grow more jobs in New Zealand for New Zealanders,” Mr Joyce says.

“If we want more jobs in New Zealand, we must be prepared to encourage more investment in this country by both domestic and international investors.

“The Prime Minister has made it clear New Zealand needs to become a magnet for new investment to grow jobs and incomes for New Zealand families. I invite opposition parties to join in with that aim.”

IF the Labour/Green opposition to progress which is only talk is bad, a Labour/Green government which could enact their tax and spend, anti-investment, anti-growth, anti-jobs policies would be far, far worse.


Friday’s answers

February 8, 2013

Thursday’s questions were here a an entertaining, educational and eclectic bunch they were.

Alwyn wins the electronic jam for stumping everyone.

That’s assuming the answers given to other questions were correct, if not, the poser can collect the jam by leaving the answer in the comments here.

Rob, whose question would go well on Matinee Idle/Idol is right. That Andrei deserves jam too, and a spot on QI.


No remorse

February 8, 2013

Lucy Lawless has declared her sentence for boarding a drilling ship a total victory.

She shows no remorse.

Perhaps the $650 fine and 120 hours community service, which is a pretty light sentence, just reinforces her apparent conviction that doing wrong is justified if you think you’re Regard regardless of the risks and costs to others.


Like bad old days

February 8, 2013

We’re now nearly three decades from the bad old days when farming was governed by subsidies.

Farmers in other parts of the world haven’t made the tough but necessary change to standing on their own feet.

Among them are the Welsh whose reliance on subsidies is behind their plea for Britain to stay in the European Union:

Welsh farming could be ruined if the UK leaves the European Union and its common market, warned Farmers’ Union of Wales president Emyr Jones.

Speaking at a FUW lunch at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday (30 January), Mr Jones said 80% of Welsh farm income was dependent on payment support from the European Union and access to EU markets, a sum worth up to half a billion pounds. . .

Market access from free trade among member states is one of the EU’s strengths but political union isn’t the only way to get rid of trade barriers.

The subsidies are one of its big weaknesses.

Subsidies encourage inefficient farming, add costs to both tax payers and consumers, and blind producers to market signals.

Farmers here used to be heavily subsidised. The abrupt introduction to the real world by the reforms of the 1980s was painful but necessary and no good farmer would want to go back to the bad old days.


Herstory of Waitangi

February 8, 2013

Trans Tasman has suggests the history of the Treaty of Waitangi might be being re-written as a herstory:

There’s a generation of school kids growing up under the impression the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Governor Hobson and Titewhai Harawira.

This is not so much an indictment on our school system: more on the way Harawira manages to plant herself at the epicentre of our annual national day.

It isn’t clear quite how this happened. True, she managed to make Helen Clark cry, and for some of us there’s always a hope Titewhai – who has become a sort of Kiwi version of a fierce Wodehousian aunt as imagined by one of the more bizarrely gothic Dutch painters – would have a similar impact one of Clark’s successors. There doesn’t seem much chance with the current lot.

If she were to try such a stunt today, John Key would either declare himself relaxed about it, or just have one of his memory lapses. Labour’s David Shearer probably would not notice, unless a staffer or his autocue told him about it. NZ First’s Winston Peters and Act’s John Banks would respond with inarticulate belligerence, and United Future’s Peter Dunne probably with a milder, if more articulate, form of same.

The only ones discombobulated would be Green co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei: they are more used to being part of protests than being on the receiving end of them.

So what does Waitangi Day, our national day, tell us about ourselves – you know, apart from the fact we are suckers for being bullied by stroppy old ladies?

Well, we’re still working on this treaty stuff, and we’re not very comfortable about the whole race issue. But also we’re not ignoring it and we’re kind of muddling our way through it all, if a little noisily and apologetically.

Apropos of understanding the history of the treaty, I have to confess that I went through school under the impression it ended the land wars.

It was only when I did a New Zealand history paper at university that I learned that wasn’t the case.


More jobs needs more investment

February 8, 2013

The reduction in the number of unemployed in the Household Labour Force Survey was welcome, although 6.9% is not something to celebrate.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says the labour market remains challenging:

This latest survey reflects the on-going impact of tough economic times globally,” Mr Joyce says. “It also demonstrates the volatility of the quarterly employment data which continues to move around.

“While our reported participation rate has fallen to 67.2 per cent, it remains higher than Australia at 65.1 per cent. Our employment rate is also higher than Australia. The data shows New Zealand’s unemployment rate remains better than most OECD countries which have an average unemployment rate of 8.0 per cent.

“The latest results reinforce the importance of the Government’s programme to attract new investment and jobs into the New Zealand economy.

“Through our Business Growth Agenda the Government is removing barriers and delays for companies seeking to make productive investments in this country.

“That includes oil and gas exploration, the expansion of intensive agriculture, the development of aquaculture, investment in hi-tech innovation, supporting our film industry, and progressing an international convention centre in Auckland.

“The reality is that if we are serious about creating more jobs in New Zealand then we need to encourage greater domestic and foreign investment. We need to be open to all our opportunities. Nothing creates jobs better than competitive businesses.

“The Government is also investing billions of dollars into the Christchurch rebuild and upgrading our infrastructure, including the rollout of ultra-fast broadband, investments in transport, and upgrading the electricity grid.”

Jobs don’t come out of thin air.

They come from increased investment and employers having sufficient confidence in their business to take on extra staff.

Which government is more likely to deliver policies which are most conducive to business confidence and investment – a National-led one which is focussed on what matters, or a Labour-Green led one with policies that would take the economy backwards, discourage investment and destroy confidence?


Certainty

February 8, 2013

“I like certainty,” he said. “You know where you are with it.”

“Knowing where you are has its good points,” she said. “But it’s no consolation if you don’t like being there.”


February 8 in history

February 8, 2013

1575  Universiteit Leiden was founded and given the motto “Praesidium Libertatis”.

1587  Mary, Queen of Scots was executed at suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

1612 Samuel Butler, English poet, was born (d. 1680).

1622 King James I disbanded the English Parliament.

1692 – A doctor in Salem Village suggeseds that two girls in the family of the village minister may be suffering from bewitchment, leading to the Salem witch trials.

1693  The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia was granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1726 The Supreme Privy Council was established in Russia.

1807 Battle of Eylau – Napoleon defeated Russians under General Benigssen.

1817  Juan Gregorio de las Heras crossed the Andes with an army to join San Martín and liberate Chile from Spain.

1828  Jules Verne, French author, was born (d. 1905).

1837 Richard Johnson became the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.

1849 New Roman Republic established.

1855  The Devil’s Footprints mysteriously appeared in southern Devon.

1856  Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei abolished slavery in Wallachia.

1865 Delaware voters rejected the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and voted to continue the practice of slavery.

1867 The Ausgleich resulted in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

1879 Sandford Fleming first proposed adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.

1882 Thomas Selfridge, first person to die in an aeroplane crash, was born (d. 1908).

1887 The Dawes Act authorised the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divided it into individual allotments.

1900 British troops were defeated by Boers at Ladysmith.

1904 Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise torpedo attack by the Japanese at Port Arthur, China started the Russo-Japanese War.

1910 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated by William D. Boyce.

1915 D.W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.

1922 President Warren G. Harding introduced the first radio in the White House.

1924 The first state execution using gas in the United States took place in Nevada.

1931 James Dean, American actor, was born (d. 1955).

1931 All three people on board  a Dominion Airline DeSoutter were killed in a crash near Wairoa. This was the first fatal air service accident in New Zealand.

 First fatalities on a scheduled air service in NZ
1932  John Williams, American composer and conductor, was born.
1941  Nick Nolte, American actor, was born.
1948  Ron Tyson, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

1952 Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of the UK.

1955 John Grisham, American writer, was born.

1955  The Government of Sindh abolished the Jagirdari system in the province. One million acres (4000 km²) of land thus acquired was to be distributed among the landless peasants.

1960 – Queen Elizabeth II issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants would take the name “Mountbatten-Windsor“.

1962 Charonne massacre: 9 trade unionists were killed by French police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police.

1963 Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian cricketer, was born.

1963 Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.

1968  The Orangeburg massacre, a mass killing in Orangeburg, South Carolina of black students from South Carolina State University who were protesting racial segregation at the town’s only bowling alley.

1969 Allende meteorite fell near Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico.

1971 The NASDAQ stock market index debuted.

1974 The crew of the first American space station Skylab returned to Earth after 84 days in space.

1974 – Military coup in Upper Volta.

1978  Proceedings of the United States Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time.

1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the Republic of the Congo.

1983  The Melbourne dust storm .The result of the worst drought on record and a day of severe weather conditions, the 320m deep dust cloud enveloped the city, turning day to night.

1989 An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashed into Santa Maria mountain in Azores Islands killing 144.

1996 The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.

1996 – The massive Internet collaboration “24 Hours in Cyberspace” took place.

2010 – A freak storm in the Hindukush mountains of Afghanistan triggered a series of at least 36 avalanches, burying over two miles of road, killing at least 172 people and trapping over 2,000 travelers.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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