Fraction too much fiction

June 25, 2010

Happy birthday Tim Finn, 58 today.


You’re so vain

June 25, 2010

Happy birthday Carly Simon, 65 today.

Does anyone know who she ws singing about?


Alf’s office?

June 25, 2010

We took the long way home from the Wairarapa yesterday, going via Bulls.

En route, we passed through Eketahuna, home of Alf Grumble MP.

I didn’t spot him in town, perhaps he was busy in Wellington.

But I did see this sign which I presume points to his office:

If it does, I presume if people turn left they’ll be right.


Random impertinent questions about the Crafar farm sales

June 25, 2010

1.How would the public, which doesn’t like coprorate farming, react to the suggestion a private company that already owned 105 farms wanted to buy the 16 Crafar farms?

2. Would it make a difference if a company which didn’t already own farms but was foreign owned wanted to make a bid?

3. Would it make a difference if the company wanting to bid was Landcorp, an SOE?

4. If Landcorp buys the 16 Crafar farms should it sell some of the 105 farms it already owns?

5. How much land should Landcorp have?

6. Is Landcorp a good farmer?

7. Does it have expertise in farm development?

8. If so how does its record of development compare with that of private farmers or companies?

9. Should the taxpayer have $1668.7m tied up in farms?

10. Are dividends of $10m last year, $13m in 2007/08, $12m in 2006/07 and $3m in 2005/06  good returns on that investment?

11. Would there be bigger dividends for New Zealand agriculture – and all New Zealanders – if some or all of the $16668.7m was invested in irrigation, agricultural research and education or training instead?

12. Would New Zealand be better off if some of that money was invested in something other than agriculture – health or general research and education perhaps?

13. Why doesn’t Landcorp invest in processing and fertiliser co-operatives as most other farmers do?

14. Do they support NZ Inc?

15. Should the state be in farming?

16. Why can’t individual New Zealanders or private companies afford to buy the Crafar farms individually or as a group?

17. Can a corporate entity ever be as good at farming as individuals and families?

(A nod to Cactus Kate who’s so very good at asking random impertinent questions.)


Three draws, no losses makes them winners

June 25, 2010

Here I am, not knowing one end of a football from the other (though I do know they’re round and therefore don’t have ends), writing a third post on the World Cup.

The All Whites went to South Africa as underdogs and return with three draws. They didn’t lose a game and while they didn’t win any either, they finished ahead of last year’s champions and they won lots of hearts in doing so.

They did this because they defied expectations though, Cactus Kate is right that they were so close but nowhere near:

Anyone who thinks this is New Zealand’s greatest sporting achievement is either a soccer fanatic or clearly knows nothing about sports. Sure it was the heart-warming Disney moment in New Zealand sports in living memory, but the result is tomorrow they fly home.

The All Blacks can only wish they could get away with three draws in their World Cup and have acceptance from the nation.

But this wasn’t the All Blacks, Black Caps, the Silver Ferns or Black Ferns, our rowers, runners, sailors or even Black Sticks any or all of whom we expect – sometimes even demand – to win some of the time.

No-one expected the All Whites to win and few would have been surprised if they’d lost every game. They didn’t, they drew them, surpassing expectations, and in doing so they did a lot – for themselves, the team and the sport.

Lindsay Mitchell finds plenty to celebrate.

Keeping Stock has a song for the All Whites and says it was great while it lasted.

Adolf at No Minister says they are out but not down.

Monkeywith typewriter says well done All Whites.

Not PC thinks it was a great result.

And PM of NZ is underwhlemed and looking forward to a return to normality.

Update: Kiwiblog notes we never lost a game.


Is politics and parenting an impossible dream?

June 25, 2010

Australia’s new Prime Minister Julia Gillard said * she made a choice to go into politics rather than be a parent. 

She was once reported as saying a mother would never be Prime Minister but she says she was misquoted

“It is not what I said, not what I meant and not what I believe,” Gillard responds fervently, adding: “I look forward to a time when a mother is Prime Minister in this country.” 

For some time, when speaking publicly about the pressures in women’s lives, Gillard has rhetorically asked the question, “Could John Howard or Peter Costello have had quite the same careers if they were women?” The question is intended to be a humorous way of getting her audience thinking. 

The point she is making, she explains, is that it is easy for some men to look at women’s choices and offer a critical view without thinking for themselves what they would have done if faced with exactly the same choices. 

“I was trying to say we need to be talking about the pressures for women,” she continues. “Not just for politicians, but for women right across the nation who live the juggle of trying to put work and family together.” 

Gillard describes the stress she sees in the life of her friend Kirsten Livermore, the Federal Member for Capricornia. Livermore is the mother of two young children and her huge electorate is based in Rockhampton in North Queensland. She regularly brings her children to Canberra, but even with her husband’s support, Gillard says, “It’s unbelievably tough to work in a highly pressurised workplace and deal with family issues at the same time.” 

It appears to be even tougher for some people than others and more of those people happen to be women. 

Does that mean politics and parenting are mutually exclusive, or at least a lot harder  for women? 

Many men manage to combine the two roles but a lot fewer women do. 

That may be because fewer women who want to be mothers also want to enter politics; or that more women who enter politics don’t want to be mothers. 

But I suspect it is also because, in spite of the gains made in gender equality, women still find it harder than men to manage demanding careers and parenthood, and politics is a particularly demanding career. 

Jenny Shipley combined motherhood and politics, but her children were at secondary school by the time she reached cabinet and young adults when she was Prime Minister. 

Helen Clark chose not to have a family. 

Ruth Richardson had a young family but in her autobiography wrote of how difficult it was to juggle pregnancy, babies and politics. 

Katherine Rich often spoke of how family-unfriendly parliament and politics were and she decided to retire at the end of the last parliamentary term because she wanted to spend more time with her family

Lots of sitting MPs, here and in other countries, are parents; some of them are women. But fewer women than men reach the upper rungs of the political ladder. 

There will be lots of reasons for that, among which is that some – like some men –  may not have the desire or ability. 

But some don’t aim for the top because they put their families first, some do by choosing not to have children, few manage both parenting and the political heights. 

The Australian says Julia Gillard’s ascension fulfils feminist dream

But at least for now it appears that the feminist dream requires women to choose between politics and parenting and that  combining politics and parenting is still an impossible dream for most women. 

* Sky TV last night, not online.


June 25 in history

June 25, 2010

On June 25:

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

Fontenoy en puisaye.JPG

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

Reading of the Confessio Augustana by Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530

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.

Saint George Alaska aerial view.jpg

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.

G a custer.jpg

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.

Stanford White by George Cox ca. 1892.jpg

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).

Smurf1.gif

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

 

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

 

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

Tali-Ihantala.jpg

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

 
First edition.jpg

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.

Korean War Montage.jpg

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

 The Intelsat I nicknamed “Early Bird”, one of the satellites used

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

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

Microsoft wordmark.svg

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 collidedwith the Russian space station, Mir.

Progress M-52.jpg

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.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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