Word of the day

February 27, 2012

Rudd – to put  personal ambition before party good; to be blinded by vanity; to miscalculate.


Air NZ looking to South America

February 27, 2012

Air New Zealand is trialling flights to South America with a charter flight for fans going to the first four nations Rugby Championship match between the All Blacks and Pumas in Argentina.

Radio NZ reports the company is watching developments in the region before scheduling regular flights.

. . . But the airline did announce its first foray into South America, with a flight in September using its black Boeing 777-300.

The charter flight will be aimed at All Blacks fans travelling to Buenos Aires for the team’s first game against Argentina in the expanded Four Nations competition.

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe says the airline is very interested in South America as a potential route in its global network.

He says the company hasn’t yet made a decision about its overall strategy for South America.

Mr Fyfe says the Brazilian airline TAM is about to go through a merger with Chile’s LAN and Air New Zealand wants to see which alliance the new airline LATAM ends up in before finalising its preferred strategy.

When we went to Argentina a couple of weeks ago there were no Star Alliance airlines flying to South America.

The options were a direct flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires with Aerolineas Argentina, Lan Chile which goes Auckland-Santiago-Buenos Aires, Qantas which would have necessitated flying east to Sydney before flying west or Emerites which is the long way round and required a two-day stop in Dubai en-route.

The Aerolineas flight is 11 1/2 hours there and 13 home which isn’t too bad but an Air New Zealand flight or a Star Alliance option would be even better.

Football is the most popular sport in Argentina but we met some rugby fans when we were there who were pleased the Pumas were joining the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies in the Rugby Championship.


Tough measures for tough times

February 27, 2012

John Armstrong thinks that ministers are in danger of looking uncaring.

He is mistaking the making of tough decisions for the absence of care.

But in politics, as in parenting, tough times require tough love.

The easy option would be for the government to carry on spending too much.

The right option requires significant belt-tightening. Unfortunately, as has been seen most recently in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, that usually means job losses.

But not taking the tough decisions now would lead to a bigger mess in the future as the people in Greece and wider European Union have discovered.

If ministers are looking uncaring, perhaps it’s not what they’re doing but the way what they’re doing is portrayed in the media that is part of the problem.

It’s very easy to write woe-is-them headlines about people losing jobs, it takes more time and effort to explain the need for the losses and also follow up to find out how many find other work.

Redundancy is tough but it doesn’t mean all those involved will be out of work for long, if at all.


Why not just print more money?

February 27, 2012

Bernard Hickey wants the government to print more money.

I don’t know which is more frightening, his suggestion or the number of comments supporting him, for example:

The NZ dollar needs to lose 40% of its value, and massive public works projects can be funded – workers employed, taxes paid, the mental state of the nation immensely improved. BUT sale of land, houses and public assets MUST be blocked or the foreign locusts will pounce aided by the devalued NZ dollar. It’s crucial that the two go together – devaluation and regulation of asset purchases by foreigners.

And:

By choice I would, by law, insist that all loans were replaced with local borrowing, and thereby remove our balance of payments burden at a stroke. In addition, the RB would have control over liquidity without having to rely on the OCR (which has little leverage).

And

All the Banks you mention, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand are controlled by the Rosthchild banking family, so you would have all New Zealanders pay more for products, fund the interest costs on this fake money and fall deeper into debt to the international Bankers?
 
If less of our hard earned “real money” was sent offshore to pay interest costs to these people we would all be better off.
Printing more money would devalue our currency which immediately makes the foreign debt we owe – as a country and individuals – higher.
The upside of a lower valued currency is that our exports would earn more but the downside is that imports would be more expensive. That doesn’t just mean luxuries, its basic food items like flour and fruit; vehicles, machinery, fuel; medicines . . .
The other consequence of printing money is inflation.
We were in Argentina a couple of weeks ago. The official inflation rate there is about 12% but several people told us it’s really around 24%. It’s less than 30 years since we had that sort of inflation rate here – it helped speculators but ruined savings and investment which is what we need to be encouraging.
The other argument against printing more money is that it doesn’t address the underlying problems in our economy – we’ve been spending too much and earning and saving too little.
The solution to that is not printing more money. It’s export-led growth, more savings, more investment and reducing the burden of the state.

Is there no-one else?

February 27, 2012

A majority of Australian  voters would prefer Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, however a majority of the Labor caucus prefer Julia Gillard as leader.

If the voters want the man who caucus can’t stomach and caucus wants the woman who polls show will lead the party to defeat, is there no-one else in the party who would be popular with both the caucus and the public?

P.S.

Does anyone know why there’s no u in the Labor Party although Australia generally follows the British English spelling for labour?


February 27 in history

February 27, 2012

1560 The Treaty of Berwick, which expelled the French from Scotland, was signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland.

1594 Henry IV was crowned King of France.

1617 Sweden and Russia signed the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.

1626 Yuan Chonghuan was appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians.

1700 William Dampier was the first European to discover the island of New Britain.

1797 The Bank of England issued the first one-pound and two-pound notes.

1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, was born  (d. 1882).

1812 Poet Lord Byron gave his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1844 The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti.

1900 British military leaders received an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronje at the Battle of Paardeberg.

1900 The British Labour Party was founded.

1902 John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1968).

1912 Lawrence Durrell, British writer, was born (d. 1990).

1921 The International Working Union of Socialist Parties was founded in Vienna.

1922 A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, was rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

1930 Joanne Woodward, American actress, was born.

1932  Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress, was born  (d.2011).

1933 Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin was set on fire.

1934 Ralph Nader, American author, activist and political figure, was born.

1939 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes violated property owners’ rights and were therefore illegal.

1940  Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14

1942 During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied strike force was defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea.

1943 The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, exploded, killing 74 men.

1943 – The Rosenstrasse protest started in Berlin.

1945 Lebanon declared Independence.

1951 The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, was ratified.

1951 Troops were sent on to Wellington and Auckland wharves to load and unload ships during the waterfront dispute.

Troops deployed in waterfront dispute

1961 The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation was inaugurated.

1963 The Dominican Republic got its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.

1964 The government of Italy asked for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

1967 Dominica gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1973  The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1974 – People magazine was published for the first time.

1976 The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declared independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

1986 The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.

1989 Venezuela was rocked by the Caracazo riots.

1991 Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced that “Kuwait is liberated”.

1999 Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria‘s first elected president since mid-1983.

2002 Ryanair Flight 296 caught fire at London Stansted Airport.

2002 – Godhra train burning: a Muslim mob killed 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya;

2003 Rowan Williams was enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

2004 A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines’ worst terrorist attack killed 116.

2007 The general strike against Lansana Conté in Guinea ended.

2007 – The Chinese Correction: the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 9%, the largest drop in 10 years.

2010 – Central Chile was struck by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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