Disneyland Story

December 5, 2010

Walt Disney would have been 109 today.

We didn’t have TV until I was 14 but on Sunday evenings we were allowed to go to our neighbours and watch Disneyland.


Word of the day

December 5, 2010

Nelipot – barefooted person, one who walks without shoes.


Did you see the one about . . .

December 5, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day lesson in political philosophy – Jeff Keren guest posts at Not PC on individual effort vs collectivism.

TVNZ Whizzing through the years – Brian Edwards looks back with the help of YouTube.

Twelve Days of Christmas – Keeping Stock puts a price on the gifts and includes the Irish version of the song.

Movie Economics – Macdoctor and the difference between giving and not taking.

Political crystal ball – the Veteran and No Minister looks ahead to 2011.

And now for something completely different – Food court flashmob does the Hallelujah Chorus at Inquiring Mind.

Welcome to Commissioner Marshall – Stephen Franks on the Police COmmissioner to be.

Uesless information for you – Lindsay Mitcehll on who’s paid for what.

Dulce et decorum est – Monkey with Typewriter on miners.

And a couple I missed from Tuesday’s Poem:

Orphans by Michele Amas – Mary McCallum on losing parents.

Not A Tuesday Poem – Ballad for Molly – Cadence pays a musical tribute to her Scottish grandmother.


Rural round-up

December 5, 2010

MAF director-general plans to be visible – Neal Wallace interviews Wayne McNee:

The new director-general of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is looking forward to re-acquainting himself with those who he says work in “the engine room of the economy”.

Wayne McNee, who was raised on a North Otago farm, started his new position last Monday, and said he did not underestimate the importance of the role to New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy. . .

 Telford Polytech to be Lincoln run:

While it’s been described as a merger, the assets of Telford Polytechnic such as buildings, other improvements and staff contracts, will be transferred to Lincoln University without any cash changing hands.

The Telford brand will continue to be recognised, says Lincoln University vice-chancellor Professor Roger Field, with Telford becoming a division of the university and its 880 hectare Telford farm in South Otago remaining in trust ownership and management by the farm training institute. . .

Farm sales hit by doubt over OIO hurdles:

Uncertainty over foreign land deals is thought to be weighing heavily on efforts to sell a group of dairy farms in the central North Island.

Twenty-nine “designer” dairy farms created by Carter Holt Harvey around Tokoroa have been sitting on the market since early this year.

The company initially hoped to sell them for $224.5 million.

But a real estate agent involved in the marketing effort says interested parties are waiting for the outcome of the Crafar farms deal to set the tone on foreign farm ownership. . .

Wheat growers call in Comerce Commission:

New Zealand grain growers are appealing to the Commerce Commission and other government agencies amid fears large multinationals are achieving a dominant position in the local market and limiting access to markets for local produce.

“Our concerns are not solely regarding [Canadian company] Viterra but a general loss of transparency of grain markets and vertical integration across several multinationals operating in New Zealand,” said David Clark, chairman of the Mid Canterbury Grain and Seed Section of Federated Farmers. . .

Lamb stance comes up short: Jon Morgan writes:

When I asked two of the biggest meat companies, Silver Fern and Alliance, what effect they expected a 2.8 million plunge in lamb numbers to have on them, they said they were insouciant, which is a French word meaning they couldn’t care less.

I don’t believe this for one moment. Calling on my basic French again, they are talking merde du boeuf, or in patois (with appropriate gesticulation) – “conneries!”.

I don’t hold it against them. You would hardly expect them to reveal to their competitors their true concerns. But they must be at least a trifle uneasy. . .

It all bodes well for hazelnuts:

The seventh annual New Zealand Gourmet Oil Competition was held in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Association annual show. The competition, open to New Zealand-produced olive, walnut, avocado and hazelnut oil, attracted more than 40 entries, with the judges awarding 25 medals. . .


Bah! Humbug!

December 5, 2010

BP has given $230,000 to volunteer organisations through its Vouchers for Volunteers programme.

Doing good work often comes at a considerable cost for the people and organisations involved and fuel vouchers are a good way of showing appreciation of that.

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age but I wasn’t quite so sure about the story of  Whitcoulls and Borders joining forces with the Salvation Army to help struggling families at Christmas.

From now until Christmas, Whitcoulls and Borders will have specially marked boxes under their in-store trees and are asking customers to buy an additional book or gift to place it under the tree.

Helping the Sallies to help others is a worthy project. But there is nothing in the media release about the companies doing anything more than providing boxes for the collection of extra books or gifts purchased in their stores.

If they’re doing that, shouldn’t they be giving a little themselves either by discounting purchases given to the project or giving directly themselves? Otherwise it looks like an attempt to tug their customers’ consciences so they buy more.

Unless the companies are giving something too all they’re doing is taking the credit for their customers’ generosity while boosting their sales.

If that’s the case then it’s, as Scrooge would say: Bah! Humbug!


Fire may be better for beef plant in long run

December 5, 2010

The fire in Silver Fern Farms’ Te Aroha beef plant is devastating for the workers who may not have any work for the rest of the season.

If the plant specialised in sheep it probably would be abandoned because there is for more killing space than the meat industry needs.

But because it is a beef plant the company is much more likely to rebuild and if it does it will end up with a better plant which ought to give workers more job security in the long run.

A fire at Alliance’s Pukeuri works in North Otago was difficult for staff who lost work in the short term. But the plant was rebuilt to modern standards which makes it much less likely it will be near the top of the list if the company needs to reduce killing capacity.


Quote of the week

December 5, 2010

“Research has already shown that inequalities are important but if some people have to work less hard to receive the same income, there will be inequalities of effort – which is likely to be just as corrosive in terms of happiness (think labourers in the vineyard, Bible, Matthew chapter 20 verses 1-16).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – Jacqueline Rowarth in the NBR print edition.


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