Word of the day

October 29, 2011

Thanatopsis – meditation or reflection on, or contemplation of death.


0/10

October 29, 2011

0/10 – all guesses and all wrong for the Herald’s entertainment quiz.

I consider that a good reflection on my priorities – spoiled somewhat by continuing to waste my time on the quiz.


By-products boom boosts sheep prices

October 29, 2011

When sheep prices were in the doldrums most of the fingers were pointed at the meat industry.

But meat is only part of the value of sheep and lambs. Until the last couple of seasons it wasn’t just meat prices but returns for by-products like wool, pelts, lanolin which were also low.

In the last couple of years returns from sheep and lambs has been much better, partly because of the increased demand and consequently price of meat but also because of higher demand and prices for the by-products.

Among those is lanolin, the price of which has doubled  as sheep numbers have dropped.

New Zealand Wool Services International (WSI) – one of the country’s  two scour operators – says prices for that product have almost doubled
in the past two years.

WSI chairman Derek Kirke says like wool, the price surge has been  driven by a world supply shortage, due to the drop in sheep numbers.

Tailing hasn’t finished yet but early indications are this year’s lamb tally will be well up on last season’s which was hit by big losses after the September snow.

Not all of those will be sold this season, if feed supply allows it, farmers will hold some stock back to rebuild flocks.

Demand is still expected to remain high although there will be a ceiling to the price.

Lamb is already out of reach of the budget conscious and there will consumer resistance from those with more disposable income if the price gets too much higher.


If you can read this . . .

October 29, 2011

If you can read what follows have an electronic boquet:

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!

1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!

1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,

B3 PROUD!

0NLY C34R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

U m1gH7 R35P0ND 1F U C4N R35D 7H15


Roger Kerr has died

October 29, 2011

In announcing the death of Roger Kerr, Business Round table chief executive, the New Zealand Herald quotes Sir Douglas Myers who calls him a national treasure.

I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him but have long admired him through his writing.

He explained his views simply and backed up opinions with fact.

He made huge contributions to business and public policy.

His death is a loss to New Zealand.

It is an even greater loss to his family and friends to whom I offer my sympathy and this:

Turn Again To Life

 If I should die and leave you here awhile,

Be not like others sore undone who keep

Long vigil by the silent dust and weep.

For my sake, turn again to life and smile,

Renewing they heart and trembling hand to
do

That which will comfort other souls than
thine.

Complete these dear unfinished tasks of
mine,

And I perchance may therein comfort you.

                                                             Mary Lee Hall.

His wife, Catherine Isaac, will be carrying on his work should she get into parliament.

UPDATE: TV3 has republished a transcript of his last interview on The Nation.


Labour bargaining on economic naiveté, short memories

October 29, 2011

If you’re on the minimum wage, Labour’s promise to increase it to $15 would be appealing if you didn’t think too hard about it.

But as Trans-Tasman points out:

. . . this is counting on the economic naiveté of those who believe jobs and wages can be created by Govt.

The only way governments can create jobs and improve pay rates is by taking more money from taxpayers.

Sustainable job creation and wage increases come from private sector growth and increased productivity, not by decrees which make it more risky and expensive to employee people.

Labour is also bargaining on short memories, John Armstrong says:

After Tuesday’s fiscal update, Phil Goff claimed that had it not been for Labour’s previous “careful management” of the books, New Zealand might now be in the same precarious position as Greece, Europe’s economic basket case.

The facts are somewhat different. Having spent taxpayers’ money like a drunken sailor to stay in power, Labour left office in 2008 with surplus having turned to deficit through the combination of a domestic downturn and the global financial downturn.

National had barely got its feet under the Cabinet table before the Treasury further revised its forecasts and projected deficits of $6 billion-plus.

So much for “careful management”. Labour is relying on short memories to rewrite history, however. It won’t fool everybody. But in the heat of an election campaign, it is easy to spout fiction and difficult to establish fact.

Labour cannot be excused such distortions and mistruths. But it is in a desperate and parlous position.

Desperate and parlous indeed.

But if they’re trusting voters’ economic naiveté and short memories to let them get away with bad policy and rewriting history they’re also showing they can’t be trusted.


Goff entertains deal with Peters

October 29, 2011

Labour isn’t ruling out doing a deal with Winston Peters.

Have they forgotten or are they prepared to overlook how bad he’s been every time he’s been in government and how he can’t be trusted?

Or does Phil Goff lack the principles to say he’d rather stay out of government than be in it with Peters as John Key did?

Let’s hope voters can be trusted more than labour. Lindsay’s comment in the previous post shows, the prospect of a Labour, Green, Maori, Mana and New Zealand First coalition should help National and its potential coalition partners.


Could National be a victim of its own success?

October 29, 2011

It was rare for a party to get more than 50% of the vote under MMP FPP, it’s never happened under MMP.

While National has been polling above 50% it is not expected to get an absolute majority. It will need coalition partners, but will they get enough to from a government?

Act’s chances of gaining more than 5% of the vote are even more unlikely than National’s of getting more than 10 times that so hinge on John Banks winning Epsom.

That’s by no means certain. Even if he does he’s unlikely to bring in as many MPs as Act has in parliament now.

The Maori Party already has one less MP than it started with after the last election thanks to Hone Harawira’s defection and vote splitting between the Maori and Mana Parties could allow Labour to come through the middle in at least one of the Maori Party’s seat.

Peter Dunne will probably hold his electorate but is very unlikely to bring in another MP.

If potential coalition partners do worse, National will have to do better than 2008’s 46% to have a chance of leading the next government. If it doesn’t, Trans Tasman says:

. . .  in the scenario where National’s coalition partners fall by the wayside, and Labour’s numbers are bolstered by the Greens, NZ First and the Mana Party, the country could be left in limbo while one or other of the main parties seek to build a viable coalition.

It would be ironic if National was a victim of its own success, taking votes from Act and other potential coalition partners, but leaving it with too few MPs in support parties and of its own to govern.

Yet another reason to vote for change in the referendum on our electoral system.


October 29 in history

October 29, 2011

539 BC – Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon and detained Nabonidus.

437  Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor, married Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of his cousin Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople unifying the two branches of the House of Theodosius.

1268 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors, was executed with his companion Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily, a political rival and ally to the hostile Roman Catholic church.

1390  First trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.

1422 Charles VII of France became king.

1467 Battle of Brustem: Charles the Bold defeated Liege.

1618  Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I.

1658  Action of 29 October (Naval battle).

1665  Battle of Ambuila, Portuguese forces defeated the forces of the Kingdom of Kongo and decapitated king Antonio I of Kongo, also called Nvita a Nkanga.

1675  Leibniz made the first use of the long s (∫) as a symbol of the integral in calculus.

1740  James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson was born (d. 1795).

1787  Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni received its first performance in Prague.

1863  Eighteen countries meeting in Geneva agreed to form the International Red Cross.

1863   American Civil War: Battle of Wauhatchie – forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant warded off a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet.

1886 The first ticker-tape parade took place in New York City when office workers spontaneously threw ticker tape into the streets as the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.

1891 Fanny Brice, American singer (d. 1951), was born.

1894 SS Wairarapa was wrecked off Great Barrier Island.

<img src="http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/files/images/ss-wairarapa.preview_0.jpg&quot; alt="SS Wairarapa wrecked on Great Barrier Is” />
1897  Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, was born (d. 1945).

1918 The German High Seas Fleet was incapacitated when sailors mutinied on the night of the 29th-30th, an action which triggered the German revolution.

1921  The Link River Dam, a part of the Klamath Reclamation Project, was completed.

1922   Victor Emmanuel III, appointed Benito Mussolini Prime Minister.

1923  Turkey became a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

1929   The New York Stock Exchange crashed in the Crash of ’29 or “Black Tuesday”, ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.

1941  Holocaust: In the Kaunas Ghetto over 10,000 Jews were shot by German occupiers at the Ninth Fort, a massacre known as the “Great Action”.

1942  Holocaust: Leading British clergymen and political figures held a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews.

1944  Denny Laine, English musician (Moody Blues, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Wings), was born.

1944  The city of Breda in the Netherlands was liberated by 1st Polish Armoured Division.

1945 Getulio Vargas, president of Brazil, resigned.

1946  Peter Green, English guitarist (Fleetwood Mac)

1947 Richard Dreyfuss, American actor, was born.

1948  Safsaf massacre.

1953  BCPA Flight 304 DC-6 crashed near San Francisco, pianist William Kapell was among the 19 killed.

1955 The Soviet battleship Novorossiisk struck a World War II mine in the harbor at Sevastopol.

1956  Suez Crisis began: Israeli forces invaded the Sinai Peninsula and pushed Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.

1956 Tangier Protocol  signed: The international city Tangier was reintegrated into Morocco.

1956 Kafr Qasim massacre: Israeli Border Police (Magav) shoot and kill 48 Arab civilians for unknowingly disobeying curfue orders imposed by Israeli army in Kafr Qasim, an Arab village.

1957  Israel’s prime minister David Ben Gurion and five of his ministers were injured when a hand grenade was tossed into Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

1961  Syria left the United Arab Republic.

1964  Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the Republic of Tanzania.

1964 – A collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, was stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

1966 National Organization For Women was founded.

1967  London criminal Jack McVitie was murdered by the Kray twins, leading to their eventual imprisonment and downfall.

1967 Montreal’s World Fair, Expo 67, closed.

1969  The first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.

1969  US Supreme Court ruled that school districts must end segregation “now and hereafter”.

1980  Demonstration flight of a secretly modified C-130 for an Iran hostage crisis rescue attempt ended in crash landing  leading to cancellation of Operation Credible Sport.

1983  More than 500,000 people demonstrated against cruise missiles in The Hague.

1985  Major General Samuel K. Doe was announced the winner of the first multi-party election in Liberia.

1986  British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened the last stretch of the M25 motorway.

1991 The American Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.

1995 The Hoax film Forgotten Silver screened.

1998  Apartheid: In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its report, which condemned both sides for committing atrocities.

1998 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space.

1998 – ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States was inaugurated with the launch of STS-95 space shuttle mission.

1998 A Turkish Airline flight with a crew of 6 and 33 passengers was hijacked by a Kurdish militant who ordered the pilot to fly to Switzerland. The plane instead landed in Ankara after the pilot tricked the hijacker into thinking that he was landing in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to refuel.

1998 – Hurricane Mitch, the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history, made landfall in Honduras.

1998 The Gothenburg nightclub fire in Sweden claimed 63 lives and injures 200

1999  A large cyclone devastated Orissa, India.

2002  Ho Chi Minh City ITC Inferno, a fire destroyed a luxurious department store where 1500 people shopping. Over 60 people died.

2004  The Arabic news network Al Jazeera broadcast an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admitted direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and references the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

2004  In Rome, European heads of state signed the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution.

2005  Delhi bombings kill more than 60.

2008 Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline and reducing the number of US legacy carriers to 5.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikiepda


%d bloggers like this: