Word of the day

April 20, 2011

Receptary – accepted as fact but unproved; generally or popularly admitted or received.


Just wondering . . .

April 20, 2011

. . . why someone who can carry dirty plates and cutlery to a bench can’t take them a few centimetres further to the dishwasher below it.


How do we bring power to the people?

April 20, 2011

Environment Minister Nick Smith has released the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation under the Resource Management Act to encourage investment in wind, geothermal, hydro, and tidal power.

This National Policy Statement is about Government recognising the importance of renewable energy and will help New Zealand meet its targets of 90% renewable electricity by 2025 and 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Dr Smith said.

“New Zealand’s electricity emissions have increased 122% since 1990 despite a Kyoto commitment to stabilise them at 1990 levels. Policy failed badly during the last decade when coal-generated power doubled and the Labour Government intervened to build new gas and diesel plants. The NPS on Renewable Electricity Generation is part of a plan to reverse this negative trend.

“The NPS requires local authorities to recognise the importance of new renewable generation for New Zealand in their resource management plans and consent decisions. The result will be more consistent and pragmatic rules that will encourage investment in renewable energy.

“The Government is determined that New Zealand better utilises its extensive wind, geothermal, hydro and tidal energy resources. In our first year we streamlined the consent process. In our second year we introduced the amended Emissions Trading Scheme that provides a clear price signal and competitive advantage for renewables. Our third step this year is the National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation. I am confident these policy changes will stimulate a new era of investment in renewable electricity generation in New Zealand.”

Renewable energy is usually regarded as good in theory but it attracts strong opposition when plans to generate it are unveiled.

It’s not just nimbyism. A lot of people aren’t keen on new hydro, wind or tidal generation in their own backyards or anywhere else in the country. If none of them is acceptable then how do we bring power to the people and industry?

Bill Ralston looks at this in the latest Listener and asks:

“If we can’t have tidal turbines, wind turbines, more hydro-electric or nuclear power, how are we to produce enough energy to drive an expanding economy?”

No-one is seriously suggesting nuclear generation. We shouldn’t need it when we’ve got water and wind to provide renewable energy but that requires building generators in someone’s backyard.

You have to break eggs to make an omelette. You’ve also got to cook it and we won’t have the power to do that unless we produce more.

If we don’t want to use non-renewable energy, we’re going to have to accept dams, wind turbines and/or tidal generators. They’ll all have to be in someone’s backyard and every protest against them adds to the costs which will eventually be passed on to the consumers.


Milk prices up a wee bit

April 20, 2011

Milk prices went up a wee bit in this morning’s globalDairyTrade auction. A tiny wee bit in fact –  the trade weighted index increased just .1% after falling in the last two sales.

The price of anhydrous milk fat dropped .8%; skim milk powder went down .6%; and whole milk prices increased .8%.


Businesses like party but not all policies

April 20, 2011

The latest MYOB Business Monitor special report show considerably more business people favour National than the total of all other parties but they’re less enthusiastic about some policies:

The survey of the policy and voting preferences of over 1000 business owners from around the country found that, if the election was held today, 62% of business owners would vote National, 10% Labour and 3% Act, 2% for the Greens and 1% for the Maori Party, with 21% undecided.

Support for the Government is slightly higher among female business owners (63%), and the owners of larger and more established businesses, although the ACT Party enjoys considerable favour with the owners of medium sized businesses (20 – 199 employees), garnering 8% of the vote with this group. Labour found the strongest support among younger business owners, aged between 18 – 39 years, with 17% likely to vote for the party, 54% for National and 3% for the Maori Party – although a larger number of young business voters are undecided, at 24%.

Support for National is slightly weaker in Wellington (57%) and support for Labour slightly stronger (13%) compared with other areas in New Zealand.

The Government is most popular with business owners in the finance and insurance sector (75% National, 4% Labour, 10% Act) and the Agriculture sector (71% National, 8% Labour, 3% Maori), while Labour enjoys the most favour with business voters in the retail and hospitality sector (17% Labour, 62% National, 4% Greens) and the transport industry (11% Labour, 58% National, 2% Greens).

What on earth has Labour done to get 8% support from agricultural businesses and why would anyone in the transport industry vote Green?

The 17% support for Labour in retail and hospitality also astounds me. They generally have low margins and should have benefitted from policies which make it easier to employ staff.

MYOB general manager Julian Smith says, based on the performance of all parties over the last six months, businesses are firmly in favour of the Government being returned at the next election.

“National is the clear choice for Kiwi business, according to this survey, which looks both at policy and party preferences of New Zealand business owners,” says Julian Smith.

“However, several of the key policies likely to be in contention in the next election, may well see National lose some votes.”

The survey found 44% of business owners would vote against state asset sales, while only 27% would vote for the policy.

That surprises me too – you’d think people who ran their own businesses would appreciate the need to reduce debt and the added accountability there would be at governance level if some assets were partially floated.

Julian Smith says what businesses are looking for – from any party – is a way to cut red tape and the cost of compliance.

“The number one policy that would win support of Kiwi business owners is the simplification of provisional tax rules and processes to make it easier for businesses to meet tax obligations, which 76% would vote for,” says Julian Smith.

Other policies popular with business owners are additional tax cuts, which 63% would vote for, Government-sponsored initiatives to reward innovation and success (61% support) and the creation of a single flat personal and company tax (53% support).

“Interestingly, businesses are also focused on policies that would benefit their employees and the broader community,” says Julian Smith.

Removing GST from selected essential goods and services, such as fresh food and doctors’ visits, would be supported by 57% of the business community, with just 23% voting against. Business owners also supported Mondayising public holidays (45% vote for, 22% against), and the introduction of compulsory Kiwisaver, provided at least 50% are invested in New Zealand (41% vote for, 25% against).

How can they reconcile the desire for less red tape, lower compliance costs and simplified tax with the wish to complicate GST?

How do they think they could get more tax cuts and a single flat personal and company tax as well as a reduction in GST?

It’s often assumed that all business people support the National Party. Unfortunately in my – admittedly biased – opinion, as this survey shows they don’t.

I didn’t expect unanimous support for National and all its policies but I am surprised about the apparent confusion over policies. I’d have thought business people would have a better understanding of economics than the results indicate.


April 20 in history

April 20, 2011

April 20 in history:

1303 The University of Rome La Sapienza was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

Logo Sapienza 2006 - 3D.jpg

1453 The last naval battle in Byzantine history when three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fought their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1494 Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer was born (d. 1566) .

 

1534  Jacques Cartier began the voyage during which he discovered Canada and Labrador.

1535 The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

 

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament.

 

1657 Admiral Robert Blake destroyed a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Robert Blake.jpg

1657  Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 The former King James II of England,  then deposed, lay siege to Derry.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston began.

SiegeBoston.jpg

1792 France declared war on Austria, beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

Varoux.jpg
 

1809 Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

Abensberg .jpg

1810 The Governor of Caracas declared independence from Spain.

1828 René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

 

1861 American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

Robert Edward Lee.jpg

1862 Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the first pasteurisation tests.

 

1871 The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

1884 Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum Genus.

Leo XIII..jpg

1889 Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator, was born  (d. 1945) .

1893 Joan Miró, Spanish painter, was born  (d. 1983).

1902 Pierre and Marie Curie refined radium chloride.

    

1914 Forty-five men, women, and children died in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.

 

1918 Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

Mvrredbaron.jpg

1926 Western Electric and Warner Bros. announced Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

 

1939  Billie Holiday recorded the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1941  Ryan O’Neal, American actor, was born.

1945  World War II: US troops captured Leipzig, Germany.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler made his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

HJemblem3.svg

1948 Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger), was born.

1949  Jessica Lange, American actress, was born.

 

1953 Sebastian Faulks, British novelist, was born.

CharlotteGray.jpg

1958  The first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern Hemisphere opened in Hamilton.

Mormon temple opens in Hamilton 

1961 Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964  BBC Two launched with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

On a teal background, the letters "BBC" in solid white squares above larger "TWO" in white capitals letters.

1968  Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972 Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

Apollo-16-LOGO.png

1978  Korean Air Flight 902 was shot down by Soviets.

1980 Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists were arrested.

1985 ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.

1986 Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director, was born.

1986 Professional basketball player Michael Jordan set a record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998 German terrorist group Red Army Faction announcesd their dissolution after 28 years.

 
RAF-Logo.svg

1999 Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

 

2007 Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricaded himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion killed 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010.jpg

Sourced from Nz History Online and Wikipedia


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