Word of the day

June 5, 2012

Confute – to prove to be wrong or in error; refute conclusively or decisively; overcome by argument; to confound.


Music ages me

June 5, 2012

Looking at the line-up of performers at last night’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert makes me feel my age.

Singers like Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richards and Elton John are no longer the young men I remember from my own youth.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the younger performers – many of whom I’ve never heard of – are young enough to be my children.


What’s unfair about fostering independence?

June 5, 2012

Green co-leader Metiria Turei has criticised  Social Development Minister Paula Bennett for unfairly targeting women and beneficiaries.

The Minister isn’t unfairly targeting anyone. She knows the difference between a hand-up which helps people become independent and hand-outs which entrench dependence and has developed policies to help those who need it most.

What’s unfair about fostering independence?

Helping people who are able to stand on their own two feet to do so by giving them the skills and incentives to do so is better for them and society.

Fostering a culture of dependence which is what the left loves to do is economic and social sabotage.


Greens give good reason to vote blue

June 5, 2012

The Greens don’t think they’ll be part of the next government unless  Labour ousts National in 2014.

That’s another good reason to vote blue and tick National twice.


Clean rivers everyone’s responsibility

June 5, 2012

The headline says Dirty dairying laid bare.

It’s only when you get well down the story that you find out:

The number of convictions fell from 51 in 2008-09 to 18 in the year to date. Abatement notices and infringement notices have also decreased, from 537 to 329 and 500 to 330. 

That’s still too high but it is still a small minority of the thousands of farms which are causing problems and as Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says farming isn’t the only source of water pollution:

Farmers wanted to do their fair share, but they were receiving the lion’s share of criticism when environmental degradation was more widespread, he said. 

“Farmers acknowledge our farming systems have an impact on the environment and there is no question about that. We want clean water too and we are happy to be part of the solution and be engaged fully. What needs to be more of this conversation is urban New Zealand also has an influence.” 

We drink this water so have a very real interest in ensuring it is potable.

He said sewage treatment plants flowing into urban towns and rural centres seemed to gain less attention than the effect of farming on the environment. 

    The treatment of human waste has come under more pressure as the population of New Zealand has increased 25 per cent with an extra 900,000 people over the past 20 years. 

    Wills said the Tukituki River in Hawke’s Bay was an example of the urban influence, with 50 per cent of the phosphorus coming from the oxidation ponds from nearby towns. 

    “We don’t hear about this conversation often. We hear about the bloody dairy farmers again and stock in the waterways. That has to change, but we just want the community to recognise it’s not just the rural community [contributing] to degraded water.” 

Bad practices with urban waste isn’t an excuse for farmers to get away with not complying with discharge conditions.

But let’s have a bit of balance – the responsibility for ensuring we have clean waterways doesn’t just lie with farmers.


Mighty River to yield 6%?

June 5, 2012

Financial advisor Martin Hawes thinks shares in Mighty River Power, which is the first state-owned energy company to be partially floated, should be a good buy.

In an email to investors he writes:

Quite a few people are saving their pennies at the moment knowing that Mighty River Power is coming up for partial sale soon. The word is that Government is very keen for this to be a success and although the shares will not be given away cheap (neither they should!), they should represent good buying.

I have heard from various people that the price will be at a level that will give a dividend yield of 6% and some have even said 7%. Given where interest rates are at the moment that would represent fairly good value. The company is not without risk (what is?) but a company that provides green, renewable energy should be in demand. It will depend on price but you should be ready to buy some shares …

A dividend yield of around 6%, would beat money in the bank at current rates and would be a far safer investment than finance companies.

 


June 5 in history

June 5, 2012

70  Titus and his Roman legions breached the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem.

1257  Kraków received city rights.

1305 – Raymond Bertrand de Got became Pope Clement V, succeeding Pope Benedict XI who died one year earlier.

1723 Adam Smith, Scottish economist, was born (d. 1790).

1798 The Battle of New Ross: The attempt to spread United Irish Rebellion into Munster was defeated.

1817 The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.

1829 HMS Pickle captured the armed slave ship Voladora off the coast of Cuba.

1832 The June Rebellion broke out in Paris in an attempt to overthrow the monarchy of Louis-Philippe.

1849 Denmark became a constitutional monarchy by the signing of a new constitution.

1851  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.

1862  As the Treaty of Saigon was signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Truong Dinh decided to defy Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Piedmont: Union forces under General David Hunter defeated a Confederate army at Piedmont, Virginia, taking nearly 1,000 prisoners.

1866  East Coast military leader and prophet, Te Kooti, was deported with Pai Marire prisoners to the Chatham Islands.

Te Kooti deported to Chathams

1878 Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, was born (d. 1923).

1879 Robert Mayer, German-born philanthropist, was born (d. 1985).

1883 John Maynard Keynes, English economist, was born (d. 1946).

1888 The Rio de la Plata Earthquake took place.

1898 Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet, lyricist and dramatist, was born  (d. 1936).

1900  Second Boer War: British soldiers took Pretoria.

1905 Jock Cameron, South African cricketer, Wisden COY 1936, was born (d. 1935).

1915  Denmark amended its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.

1917  World War I: Conscription began in the United States as “Army registration day”.

1932 Christy Brown, Irish author, was born (d. 1981).

1933  The U.S. Congress abrogated the United States’ use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1936 Connie Hines, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1939 Margaret Drabble, English novelist, was born.

1941  Four thousand people were asphyxiated in a bomb shelter during the Bombing of Chongqing.

1942  World War II: United States declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

1944  World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

1945  The Allied Control Council, the military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.

1946 Freddie Stone, American guitarist (Sly & the Family Stone), was born.

1946  A fire in the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois kills 61 people.

1947 Tom Evans, English musician (Badfinger), was born (d. 1983).

1947  Marshall Plan: In a speech at Harvard University, United States Secretary of State George Marshall called for economic aid to war-torn Europe.

1949 Ken Follett, Welsh author, was born.

1956  Elvis Presley introduced his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

1959  The first government of the State of Singapore was sworn in.

1963  British Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigned in a sex scandal known as the Profumo Affair.

1963 – Movement of 15 Khordad: Protest against arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini by Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In several cities, masses of angry demonstrators are confronted by tanks and paratroopers.

1964  DSV Alvin was commissioned.

1967 Six-Day War began: The Israeli air force launched simultaneous pre-emptive attacks on the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

1968  U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan.

1969  The International communist conference began in Moscow.

1975  The Suez Canal opened for the first time since the Six-Day War.

1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first and only country-wide referendum, on remaining in the European Economic Community (EEC).

1976  Collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho, United States.

1977 A coup took place in Seychelles.

1977 – The Apple II, the first practical personal computer, goes on sale.

1981  The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five people in Los Angeles, California have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what was the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1989 The Unknown Rebel halted the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

1995  The Bose-Einstein condensate was first created.

1998  A strike began at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants (the strike lasted seven weeks).

2001  U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party, which shifted control of the United States Senate from the Republicans to the Democratic Party.

2001  Tropical Storm Allison made  landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm caused $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

2003  A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reached its peak, as temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F) in the region.

2006  Serbia declared independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia.


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