Word of the day

26/04/2013

Apotheosis – elevation to divine rank or stature or to a pre-eminent or transcendent position; deification; an exalted or glorified example; a model of excellence or perfection of a kind; the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.


Less here, more there

26/04/2013

The LabourGreen power policy is supposed to save households money but will less there compensate for having to pay more elsewhere?

. . . Though much of the commentary on the Labour-Green policy see it as a game-changer, with most households struggling with winter power bills, voters may be more ambivalent when they absorb the fact the tighter emissions trading scheme both Labour and the Greens have said they will enforce (including agriculture for example) will force prices higher across the household spectrum than the savings they project from their power price scheme.

There are doubts about whether the LabourGreen power plan will save as much as promised, if any at all.

But there’s no question about higher costs and it won’t just be as a result of the emissions trading scheme.

Their socialist policies with higher spending will require higher taxes and result in higher inflation and interest rates.

That in turn will lead to lower growth, if not recession.

All of that will more than cancel out the $300 a year less for power bills, which is a promise unlikely to be fulfilled anyway.


Friday’s answers

26/04/2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. What did General Bernard Freyberg reply to a British General who complained that New Zealand soldiers weren’t very good at saluting?

2. Anzac troops were at Gallipoli in an effort to control which strategic waterway?

3. When was Anzac Day first observed?

4.About how many New Zealanders died at Gallipoli?

5. How did you mark Anzac Day?

Answers follow the break.

Points for answers:

PDM gets four – your sentiment for # 4 was correct even if you didn’t give a number.

Andrei got four with a bonus for extra information and sympathy for the bereavement.

Gravedodger wins an electronic batch with five right and bonus for extra information.

Grant gets four. NZ History Online says 1916 but doesn’t mention the prayer service in 1915.

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Where’s the context?

26/04/2013

Critics of Margaret Thatcher and her policies have long lists of what she did wrong and those who were worse off as a consequence.

But few of the criticisms I’ve come across in the wake of her death have put what she did in context.

The British economy was in a parlous state and the country was hostage to militant unions which led regular and prolonged strikes.

Something had to be done and Thatcher did it.

Whether she did the right things in the right way can be argued, but that she needed to act is beyond dispute.

Critics of “failed” policies of the 80s and 90s in New Zealand and their architects Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson take a similarly blinkered view.

They too have a list of what was wrong without even a nod as to why it was needed. The dire economic situation in which New Zealand found itself after years of over generous public funding, Budget deficits and protectionism required urgent action.

There might have been other ways in which to tackle the problems  but had they had to be tackled and more of what caused them would not have provided a cure.

The policies which caused the problems won’t work now either but the LabourGreen lurch to the left threatens to impose them on us again.


Grosser misses WTO job

26/04/2013

Trade Minister Tim Groser is out of contention for the Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

Only two candidates, Mexico’s Herminio Blanco and Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo, remain in the running to replace outgoing Director General Pascal Lamy after two of three election rounds, Reuters reports.

Groser was well qualified for the position and a determined advocate for free trade.

He will continue to put his talents into working for New Zealand’s interests in trade.


Maori seats don’t give representation

26/04/2013

Maori are being canvassed to register on either the general or Maori roll.

If they’re in Te Tai Tokerau and want decent representation they should be opting for the general roll because their MP, Hone Harawira, is a rare sight in parliament.

Mana Party leader has been absent for 49 of the 120 sitting days since the 2011 election.

Mana leader Hone Harawira described himself as going “to battle for those without a voice in Parliament” at his party’s conference this month but he has been a rare sight in Parliament this year. . . .

Speaker David Carter said a formal attendance record for MPs was no longer kept, but Mr Harawira had been given 49 days of leave since the 2011 election, during which Parliament has sat for about 120 days. Party leaders have more responsibilities than other MPs, but most, including Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Shearer, attend on two of the three sitting days. . .

Most Maori seats are considerably bigger than the average general seat which means even a very good MP would struggle to service the electorate well.

However, Harawira has the second smallest Maori seat so can’t use electorate size as an excuse.

Te Tai Tokerau  at 16,370 square kilometres is less than half the size of the three biggest general seats, Clutha Southland, West Coast Tasman and Waitaki,  and a fraction the size of Te Tai Tonga which covers an area of 161, 433 square kilometres.

Te Tai Hauauru covers 35, 825 square kilometres, Ikaroa Rawhiti is  30,952 square kilometres in area, the general seat of Kaikoura covers 23,706 square kilometres, and Waiariki covers 19,212 square kilometres.

A party leader does have other duties but if the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition generally make it to two of the three sitting days each week, Harawira can’t use that as an excuse either.

Although he is costing us more than any other MP who isn’t a minister:

Despite the cutback in travel to Wellington, Mr Harawira’s travel expenses for the first three months of the year were still higher than any other non-ministerial MP, including Mr Shearer.

Tariana Turia said Maori seats didn’t give Maori a voice,   Harawira certainly isn’t giving his constituents a voice in parliament but he’s still racking up a very large travel bill.


Weeds

26/04/2013

“If weeds are just plants in the wrong place,” she said, “Where’s the right place?”

“I’d like to think it’s someone else’s garden,” he said, “but that doesn’t keep them away from mine.”

 


April 26 in history

26/04/2013

570 Muhammed, founder of Islam, was born according to the Shi’a sect. Other sources suggest April 20; (d. 632) .

1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended  Mont Ventoux.

1478 The Pazzi attacked Lorenzo de’ Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.

1607  English colonists of the Jamestown settlement made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about 1,000 of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

1805 United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli, under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon.

1856 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand  was born  (d. 1930), .

1865  American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.

1865 Union cavalry troopers cornered and shot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln.

1879 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1959).

1888 Anita Loos, American writer was born, (d. 1981).

1889 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1951).

1894 Rudolf Hess, Nazi official was born (d. 1987).

1900 Charles Richter, American geophysicist was born (d. 1985).

1916 Morris West, Australian writer was born  (d. 1999).

1925  Paul von Hindenburg defeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.

1933 Carol Burnett, American comedian, was born.

1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.

1937  Spanish Civil War: Guernica, was bombed by German Luftwaffe.

1943 The Union Steam Ship Company freighter Limerick was torpedoed in the Tasman.

NZ ship torpedoed in Tasman

1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.

1946 Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.

1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began.

1956 First container ship left Port Newark,  for Houston.

1956 Koo Stark, American actress, was born.

1960 Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1962 NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed into the Moon.

1963 Amendments to the constitution transformed Libya into one national unity and allowed for female participation in elections.

1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.

1966  An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroyed Tashkent.

1966  A new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.

1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force

1982 57 people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

1982 Jon Lee, British singer (S Club), was born.

1986 A nuclear reactor accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

1991 Seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States.

1994 – A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing all but seven passengers, with a death toll amounting to 264. See also China Airlines flight 140.

1994  Physicists announced first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle.

2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.

2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.

2005 Civil unions came into effect in New Zealand.

Civil unions come into effect

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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