Word of the day


Chthonic – about, belonging to or inhabiting the underworld; dwelling in or under the earth.

Word of the day


Repine – to feel or express discontent; be in low spirits; fret; yearn after something.

Thursday’s quiz


1. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first concert were you aware of it at the time?

2. Who were the members of the band then?

3. What’s your favourite Rolling Stones’ song?

4. Beatles, Rolling Stones or . . . .?

5. Do they still make music like that?

Good farmers prefer market to politicians


European dairy farmers installed a milk lake in front of the European parliament in protest at falling milk prices.

The European Milk Board (EMB), which represents 100,000 dairy farmers across the EU, is calling for a programme of voluntary reductions in production which would allow producers to cut milk output by up to 25% of their quota.

Under their proposals, there would also be financial compensation for the value of the production lost. . .

Hundreds of EMB members travelled to Brussels from countries including Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands to join in the protest against the mismanagement of the milk market.

The group said overproduction on the European milk market is leading to a drastic fall in milk prices and leading directly to the next milk crisis.

EMB said the surplus of milk in the market was pushing prices to the floor and the survival of farms could not be guaranteed this way.

Under CAP reform, European dairy farmers are calling for the introduction of a voluntary supply constraint and the setting up of a European Monitoring Agency, to restore the balance between supply and demand.

EMB president Romuald Schaber said: “The only way to alleviate the situation is to reduce production, preferably by a voluntary supply constraint in the short term.”

The root of the problem is quotas and subsidies not the balance between supply and demand.

When we were in Europe last month we met dairy farmers who wanted to increase production but would have to buy quota which would make it very expensive.

We got the impression good farmers were looking forward to the end of the quotas and subsidies? Then they would be farming to produce what the market wanted rather than being dictated to by bureaucrats and politicians.

The transition to a free market will be painful for some, as it was in New Zealand. But it will be better in the long run for both producers and consumers when the market sorts out supply and demand.

Here are the jobs


The opposition and its supporters keep asking where are the jobs?

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has an answer:

The minister said jobs will be created in mining, and the only question is whether Northland wants to go on sending families to western Australia – or have them employed at home.

He said those objecting to mining in the north also bemoan high unemployment and poverty levels.

Mr Joyce said the challenge is to allow mining and create jobs in New Zealand, while still protecting the environment.

Mining brings benefits and it has costs, including the impact on the environment.

I can’t think of any benefits of unemployment but it has very high costs – financial, personal and social.

The resource consent process should ensure that costs of mining are minimised and mitigated and are therefore outweighed by the benefits which include employment opportunities.

What’s in it for members?


One person, one vote is a concept Labour doesn’t apply to itself.

Unions already have influence over policy and selection, soon they will have a vote on the party’s  leadership.

The privilege of voting for the leader will also go to registered supporters and interest groups within the party and members.

“Caucus will be one proportion of the votes cast,” Shearer said.

It is understood MPs are likely to retain 40 to 50 per cent of the votes, but it is not clear if they will be cast as a bloc or by individual MPs. Members will probably have about 40 per cent of the vote, with affiliates – such as unions, Maori, and the youth and rainbow wings – making up the rest of the vote.

Two or 3 per cent would be set aside for registered supporters who are not members.

This begs the question: if unions and registered supporters have these privileges, what does the party offer to make it worth people joining as ordinary members?

July 12 in history


1191  Saladin’s garrison surrendered to Conrad of Montferrat, ending the two-year siege of Acre.

1543 King Henry VIII married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr at Hampton Court Palace.

1562 Fray Diego de Landa, acting Bishop of Yucatan, burned the sacred books of the Maya.

1580 Ostrog Bible, the first printed Bible in a Slavic language, was published.

1690  Battle of the Boyne (Gregorian calendar) – The armies of William III defeated those of the former James II.

1691  Battle of Aughrim (Julian calendar) – The decisive victory of William’s forces in Ireland.

1730 Josiah Wedgwood, English potter, was born  (d. 1795).

1790  The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed in France by the National Constituent Assembly.

1804  Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton died after being shot in a duel.

1806  Sixteen German imperial states left the Holy Roman Empire and formed the Confederation of the Rhine.

1812  War of 1812: The United States invaded Canada at Windsor, Ontario.

1817 Henry David Thoreau, American writer and philosopher, was bron (d. 1862).

1854 George Eastman, American inventor, was born  (d. 1932).

1862 The Medal of Honor iwa authorised by the United States Congress.

1863 – Lieutenant-General Cameron’s force crossed the Mangatawhiri stream in the first act of war in the Waikato campaign,

1895 Buckminster Fuller, American architect, was born  (d. 1983).

1895 Oscar Hammerstein II, American lyricist, was born (d. 1960).

1917 Andrew Wyeth, American artist, was born (d. 2009).

1917  The Bisbee Deportation –  vigilantes kidnapped and deported nearly 1,300 striking miners and others from Bisbee, Arizona.

1918  The Japanese Imperial Navy battle ship Kawachi blew up at Shunan, killing at least 621.

1920   The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty was signed. Soviet Russia recognized independent Lithuania.

1932  Hedley Verity established a first-class record by taking all ten wickets for only ten runs against Nottinghamshire on a pitch affected by a storm.

1933 Donald E. Westlake, American author, was born (d. 2008).

1943   World War II: Battle of Prokhorovka – German and Soviet  forces engaged in largest tank engagement of all time.

1937 Bill Cosby, American comedian and actor, was born.

1943 Christine McVie, British singer, musician, and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947 Gareth Edwards, Welsh rugby union footballer, was born.

1950 Eric Carr, American drummer (Kiss), was born  (d. 1991).

1951 Cheryl Ladd, American actress, was born.

1960  Orlyonok, the main Young Pioneer camp of the Russian SFSR, was founded.

1961  Pune floodseddue to failure of Khadakvasala and Panshet dams. Half of Pune was submerged. More than 100,000 families dislocated and death tally exceeded 2000.

1962  The Rolling Stones performed their first ever concert, at the Marquee Club in London.

1967 The Newark riots began in Newark, New Jersey.

1975 São Tomé and Príncipe declared independence from Portugal.

1979  The island nation of Kiribati became independent from Great Britain.

1979  Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park Chicago.

2006  Hezbollah initiated Operation True Promise.

Sourced from Wikipedia & NZ History Online

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