Word of the day

May 23, 2012

Ostrobogulous – slightly risqué or indecent; bizarre,  interesting, unusual or weird.


Rural round-up

May 23, 2012

The message gets through to US milk producers – Xcheque:

A week ago we published this chart which shows the margin over feed cost for US class III milk. It is an ugly sight and is only going to get worse if you believe that the futures market is a guide.

Current margins are down to the critical lower limit of $5/cwt. Beyond this the short term futures for feed and milk price take us back to the depths of 2009 and no sign of a recovery anytime soon. . .

Fonterra Payout a Global Economy Reality Check:

The second payout revision downwards by Fonterra Cooperative Group in just over two months, is the reason why Federated Farmers warns farmers to budget conservatively.  It is estimated this revision will see around $500 million less come into the economy.

“When the last revision took place in March, we warned it might not be the final one before the end of the 2011/12 season.  Since then, international dairy prices have fallen to levels last seen in August 2009,”says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“While this is due to increased global milk supply, it also coincides with major uncertainties over the direction of the world’s economy.  We may be an island but economically we’re not.  . .

Meat industry faces challenges positively – Allan Barber:

This season is more of a challenge for the meat industry than last, although suppliers are still reasonably comfortable in spite of the lower lamb price which has now dipped below the $100 mark.

Good growing conditions in most of the country, especially the North Island, have removed the summer stress that always comes with drought and enabled suppliers to put a bit more weight on to compensate. But for processors the combination of extremely high procurement prices, over $6 a kilo for lamb until end March, the exchange rate and low plant throughputs has meant a very challenging first half year. . .

“Team Talk” the best farm amangement tool I’ve seen for decades – Pasture to Profit:

“TEAM TALK….I believe this on-farm staff/team communication system to be the most innovative development I’ve seen in Farm Business Management for decades”

TEAM TALK is a very exciting new on-farm computer communication system that is simple to use and empowers all staff members to take responsibility for their individual roles on the farm. It permanently records what has previously been keep on hundreds of bits of paper, whiteboards and shed notice boards. . .
Collectively Owned Māori Farms Much Larger than the Average New Zealand Farms:

At nearly 2,000 hectares (ha), the average collectively owned Māori farm is about eight times the size of the average New Zealand farm, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The figures come from a survey of farms owned by members of the Federation of Māori Authorities (the Federation), which are a sub-set of all farm and forestry land that is collectively owned by Māori.

“The 140 Federation members’ farms have a total of 272,200ha of farm and forestry plantation land that members directly own and manage. It’s an area that’s more than one and a half times the size of Stewart Island. Altogether these Federation members’ farms occupy nearly 2 percent of New Zealand’s total farming and forestry area,” agricultural statistics manager Hamish Hill said. . .

 Study suggests eating organic foods leads to moral depravity
Science can be a wonderfully vindictive thing, especially when it suggests that people who self-righteously purchase and consume organic foods are more likely to not help you jump your dead car battery, hold the door open for you, or volunteer to coach a community little league team. That’s right, everyone — organic foodies would sooner run a child down on her way to softball practice with their Schwinns than help that child learn how to catch a flyball, and that’s more or less a scientific fact.This is because, according to a new study published this week in Social Psychology & Personality Science, people who eat organic foods are more likely to think that eating those pesticide and hormone-free foods gives them the moral latitude to be super judgey about other peoples’ behavior and skimp on altruistic deeds . . . Hat Tip: Quote Unquote

Govt taking lead from NZers

May 23, 2012

Quote of the day:

 Yes, I did. Most New Zealanders actually have a pretty practical attitude about how to deal with these uncertain times. They are saving more, they are being careful about their spending, they are borrowing a good deal less in some cases than they were before, and, in fact, the Government is taking its lead from New Zealand households. It needs to do the same thing, which is to spend very carefully, borrow less, get our debt down, and be choosy about where we invest our capital. Bill English

It’s not a glamorous recipe but it’s an effective one.

We’ve been spending more than we earned for too long and are now having to take a much more Presbyterian approach to life – saving more and spending less.

That’s the way it was for most people when I was a child – you saved before you spent and if you wanted something you waited until you could afford it.

In those days, tariffs and import controls meant there was a lot less to buy than there is now and most things were relatively more expensive.

But having more choices and greater temptations doesn’t alter the fact that we’re in very uncertain times and it makes good sense  to save more and spend less.


Reducing reoffending

May 23, 2012

If prisons worked properly there would be no re-offending.

Making life inside so awful people would be too scared to reoffend is impossible without draconian measures a civilised society wouldn’t contemplate.

Addressing the causes of crime including alcohol and drug addiction and equipping inmates for life outside  as Corrections Minister Anne Tolley has announced is a much better idea.

A boost in alcohol and drug treatment, alongside increased education, skills training and employment programmes for prisoners, including remand prisoners, will lead to safer communities and better value for money for taxpayers.

From 2017, there will also be 600 fewer prisoners in jail than in 2011, and 4,000 fewer community offenders.

“It’s time to get serious about breaking this vicious cycle of prison and reoffending,” Mrs Tolley says.

“Offenders need to be made accountable for their crimes. But while they are in prison and upon their release, we must do more to rehabilitate, and then reintegrate, if they are to avoid a return to crime.”

People leaving prison still addicted or without the skills to earn a living are almost certain to return.

Treating addiction and addressing poor literacy and numeracy while people are in prison and giving more support to help them reintegrate are the best ways to reduce the chances of reoffending.

It is very expensive to keep someone in prison, it is better for prisoners, their families and wider society to spend money on preventative measures.


Where’s the Wally?

May 23, 2012

Labour list MP Andrew Little is cyring foul over the way he was served defamation papers.

It’s hard to have any sympathy when he and fellow MP Trevor Mallard who is also being sued were silly enough to say they wouldn’t co-operate:

The MPs said they wouldn’t cooperate because the proceeding were vexatious, politically motivated and lacked principle.

They are inviting Collins to employ ”thuggish characters” to serve proceedings on them.

That is conduct unbecoming of MPs. They’re supposed to be making laws, not providing examples of how to avoid it by playing a silly game of “where’s the wally?”.

Photo from WhaleOil


May 23 in history

May 23, 2012

1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.

1498 Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.

1533 The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.

1568 The Netherlands declared their independence from Spain.

1568  Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeated Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.

1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.

1701  After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged.

1706 Battle of Ramillies: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.

1810 Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist, was born  (d. 1850).

1813  Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

1820 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor, was born  (d. 1887).

1829 Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian.

1844  Declaration of the Báb: a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith, and Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.

1846 Mexican-American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.

1855 Isabella Ford, English socialist, feminist, trade unionist and writer, was born (d. 1924).

1863 Organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

1863  The Siege of Port Hudson.

1863  American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.

1873  The Canadian Parliament established the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1875 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors, was born  (d. 1966).

1907  The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.

1911 The New York Public Library was dedicated.

1915  World War I: Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1923  Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.

1928 Nigel Davenport, English actor, was born.

1929 The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid“, was released.

1933 Joan Collins, English actress, was born.

1934  American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.

1934 The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.

1939  The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank  during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.

1945 World War II:  Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committed suicide while in Allied custody.

1945  World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members are captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.

1949 Alan Garcia, President of Peru, was born.

1949  The Federal Republic of Germany was established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was proclaimed.

1951 Tibetans signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.

1956 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer, was born.

1958  Explorer 1 ceased transmission.

1966   Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the first Maori Queen,  was crowned.

Coronation of first Maori Queen

1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.

1995  Oklahoma City bombing: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were imploded.

1995  The first version of the Java programming language was released.

1998 The Good Friday Agreement was accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.

2002  The “55 parties ca;use”of the  Kyoto protocol was reached after its ratification by Iceland.

2004 Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.

2005 The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure.

2006  Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupted.

2008  The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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