Another moment

19/09/2012

Valerie Adams was robbed of her moment on the Olympic podium by a drug cheat.

Nothing can bring that moment back.

But tonight she got another moment to cherish when Governor General Lt General Sir Jerry Mateparae presented her with her medal.


Word of the day

19/09/2012

Suffrage – the right to vote in political elections; the exercise of that right; franchise;  a vote cast in deciding a disputed question or in electing a person to office or trust; a series of intercessory prayers or petitions.


Questions to members

19/09/2012

Question time usually deals with questions from Members of Parliament to Ministers.

Today there are four from a Member to another Member:

QUESTIONS TO MEMBERS

1. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee: When will the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill be reported back to the House and approximately how many written submissions have been received on the Bill?

2. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: What is the intention of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill?

3. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: How will the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill help the Reserve Bank pursue a balanced macro-economic policy?

4. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill needed now?

At least three of those could be candidates for patsy question of the day.


For international Book Week

19/09/2012

A post on Facebook from the bloke behind Quote Unquote tells me it’s International Book Week and there’s a rule:

 Grab the book nearest you, turn to page 52nd post the 5th sentence as your status. Don’t post the title.

It’s such a good idea I thought I’d borrow it for this post.

The nearest book to me was The Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs  which doesn’t have sentences so I grabbed the closest one from the bookshelf in front of me instead.

The 5th sentence on the 52nd page was: Confession was not as easy for Georgie Wi as it was for the white people.

I look forward to reading yours.


Stop and pop

19/09/2012

Der spring is sprung
Der grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Der little boids is on der wing,
Ain’t dat absoid?
Der little wings is on de boid!

Among those birds are starlings which are building nests and too many choose under the hoods of tractors to do it with potentially disastrous results for the birds, the nests, the tractors and anything near-by.

FMG is reminding farmers to stop and pop the hood to check for nests before starting tractors.


Double standards in jobs and trade

19/09/2012

To send jobs off-shore or not?

That is the question that many companies face and it’s one to which there isn’t a simple answer.

 James Adonis gives the case for and against such a move:

Whenever an offshoring announcement is made, it’s usually followed by a  cacophony of predictable condemnation, much of it reminiscent of that classic  clip from South Park:They took our job!” It’s worth pondering, though, whether the offshoring of  jobs is really as bad as it seems.

First, the case in favour.

Proponents of offshoring point towards globalisation as a reason to support it. Part of doing business in an interconnected world means that, yes, we’ll lose some jobs overseas, but we’ll also gain others. Or, at the very least, the exporting of low-skilled jobs leaves Australians with more fulfilling high-skilled ones.

Offshoring’s advocates also suggest it provides economic benefits and positive PR in the beneficiary country, making that population more likely to buy Australian goods. It similarly increases Australians’ purchasing power because products are cheaper when they’re manufactured overseas.

Then there’s the profit motive. If offshoring enables Aussie firms to make more money, that creates a stronger Australian economy, greater shareholder returns, and healthier superannuation balances. There was a study released this year by Harvard, for example, which showed that a 10 per cent increase in foreign investment leads to a 2.6 per cent increase in investment back home.

And we haven’t even touched on the skills shortage yet. If companies can’t source the right workers in Australia, it makes sense to look elsewhere. To not do so would restrict economic growth.

That, in a nutshell, is the argument in favour of offshoring. In short, the most efficient allocation of resources is paramount. Even though it’s sad to see people lose their jobs, there’s a net advantage overall from a macroeconomic viewpoint.

But now for the downside.

Professor Greg Bamber from Monash University is a co-author of International and Comparative Employment Relations. He provided me with four compelling reasons to justify why Australia should reverse the offshoring movement:

  • “Offshoring tends to decrease employment in this country as jobs are exported.”
  • “Offshored customer-service staff in overseas call centres tend to annoy customers.”
  • “It may be more difficult for Australian enterprises to manage and motivate staff who are based in remote offshore locations.”
  • “Intermediaries … tend to exaggerate the benefits of offshoring and gloss over the costs and possible disadvantages.”

. . . For me, the crux of the offshoring debate is the ever-present but frequently ignored double standard.

We revolt whenever Australian jobs are sent elsewhere but we celebrate when they’re sent here. We complain about developing countries taking our jobs, but we’re not resentful of the technologies that do the same thing. And when small business owners use online services – such as Guru.com – to outsource projects to freelancers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, most of us don’t kick up a fuss.

It’s a complex debate – but also, at times, a hypocritical one.

The debate about sending jobs offshore is taking part on this side of the Tasman too and it’s not just jobs but goods and services where double standards can be found.

We need other countries to buy the goods and services we export yet there are calls  for the government to restrict imports or put tariffs on or subsidise them to give an advantage to local producers.

Free trade has to work both ways, whether its goods, services or jobs.


4th consecutive price rise in GDT auction

19/09/2012

Can four consecutive increases in the trade weighted index for milk in the GlobalDairyTrade auction be called a trend?

Today’s 2.4% increase in the TWI takes the price above the 10 year average again.

The price of anhydrous milk fat fell 9.8%; butter milk powder was down 2%; cheddar was up 1%; the price of milk protein concentrate decreased by 3.4%; rennet casein increased 4.2%; skim milk powder was up by 4.7% and the price of whole milk powder had a 2% lift.


119 years on

19/09/2012

Today is the 119th anniversary of the Electoral Act which gave women in New Zealand the right to vote.

On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections. . .

That achievement was the result of years of effort by suffrage campaigners, led by Kate Sheppard. In 1891, 1892 and 1893 they compiled a series of massive petitions calling on Parliament to grant the vote to women. . .

An engraving of the time, entitled The Summit At Last  shows a woman carrying a flag that reads ‘Perfect Political Equality’ being helped up to the ‘Parliamentary Heights’ by a man.

A hundred and nineteen years on 32% of MPs, six of 20 Cabinet Ministers and one of four Ministers outside Cabinet are women. Two of the seven parties in parliament have female co-leaders.

Some will argue that’s not enough.

But equality isn’t measured in raw numbers. It’s not how many do what but whether those who want to are able to and under the law, thanks to those people who fought to give women the vote, in New Zealand they are.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many women still face difficulties juggling parenting and careers that most men don’t. But that some women choose to put commitment to their families before paid work isn’t a sign of inequality.

Having the right to do something doesn’t preclude the choice to do something else.


September 19 in history

19/09/2012

335  Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

1356  In the Battle of Poitiers, the English defeated the French.

1676 Jamestown was burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1692 Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1777  First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis Heights.

1796 George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Iuka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeated a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris began.

1881 President James A. Garfield died of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting.

1882 Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1965).

1893 The Governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Women's suffrage day

1911 Sir William Golding, English writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1993).

1927 Nick Massi, American singer and guitarist (The Four Seasons), was born (d. 2000).

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor, was born.

1934 Brian Epstein, English musical group manager (The Beatles) (d. 1967).

1940 Bill Medley, American singer and songwriter (The Righteous Brothers), was born.

1940 Witold Pilecki was voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz in order to smuggle out information and start a resistance.

1940 – Paul Williams, American composer, was born.

1941 Mama Cass Elliot, American musician, was born (d. 1974).

1944  Armistice between Finland and Soviet Union was signed ending the Continuation War.

1945  Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) was sentenced to death in London.

1946 The Council of Europe was founded following a speech by Winston Churchill at the University of Zurich.

1949 Twiggy, English model, was born.

1952  The United States barred Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.

1957  First American underground nuclear bomb test.

1959  Nikita Khrushchev was barred from visiting Disneyland.

1961  Betty and Barney Hill claimed  they saw a mysterious craft in the sky and that it tried to abduct them.

1970  The first Glastonbury Festival was held at Michael Eavis’s farm.

1970  Kostas Georgakis, a Greek student of Geology, set himself ablaze in Matteotti Square in Genoa, as a protest against the dictatorial regime of Georgios Papadopoulos.

1971 Montagnard troops of South Vietnam revolted against the rule of Nguyen Khanh, killing 70 ethnic Vietnamese soldiers.

1972 Matt Cockbain, Australian rugby player, was born.

1972 A parcel bomb sent to Israeli Embassy in London killed one diplomat.

1973 Investiture of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

1976 Turkish Airlines Boeing 727 hit the Taurus Mountains killing all 155 passengers and crew.

1982 Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 😦 on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System.

1983  Saint Kitts and Nevis gained  independence.

1985 An earthquake killed thousands and destroyed about 400 buildings in Mexico City.

1985  Tipper Gore and other political wives formed the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testified at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

1989  A terrorist bomb exploded on UTA Flight 772 in mid-air above the Tùnùrù Desert, Niger, killing 171.

1991  Ötzi the Iceman was discovered by German tourists.

1995 The Washington Post and The New York Times published the Unabomber’s manifesto.

1997  Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria; 53 killed.

2006  Thai military staged a coup in Bangkok; the  Constitution was revoked and martial law declared.

2010 – The leaking oil well in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was sealed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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