Word of the day

June 13, 2013

Inerrancy –  exemption from error; infallibility.


On pinning down Peters

June 13, 2013

Trans Tasman observes John Campbell’s attempt to pin down Winston Peters:

For those who have been around for a bit, Peters’ mix of belligerence and incoherence is getting more and more like 1970s-80s trade unionist Jim Knox. Certainly Campbell, whose mien is usually bubbly and engaging even with the most difficult subjects, gave an impression of a man in a wrestle with a particularly large and truculent molasses-coated rhinoceros. . .

My memories of Knox are mercifully dim, but I can recall enough to suspect Peters won’t be flattered by the comparison.

Over at Opposable Thumb, Denis Welsh also paints a word picture:

 . . . But the days are long gone when he seized on something really meaningful, and it’s a sign of how impregnable the National government has been to his usual tricks that all the old shark can do now is sink his increasingly blunt teeth into a fellow minor party. Shark bites minnow: this is news? The more Peters attacks Dunne, the more he shows how weakened he has become. And as it also grows clearer with every day that he has no more of substance to throw at his victim (admitting he hasn’t got all the dirt he needs would have been unthinkable once), so we witness the sad spectacle of a veteran showbiz star no longer able to wow the crowds in the same dazzling way. The old soft-shoe shuffle, so slick before, looks worn and creaky now. One is reminded irresistibly of John Osborne’s play/film The Entertainer, in which a faded music-hall performer past his prime keeps wheeling out the same tired old jokes and routines, to increasingly thin applause. Peters has so lost the plot this time, in fact, that he’s in serious danger of rousing public sympathy for Dunne. . .

A truculant molassess-coated rhinoceros; an old shark with increasingly blunt teeth; the old soft shoe-shuffle . . .  looks worn and creaky now.

These aren’t descriptions of a man on the way up and in politics if you’re not going up you’re going down.


Rural round-up

June 13, 2013

Fieldays: Ag’s productivity in question -Richard Rennie:

The high costs of owning and running New Zealand farms have blunted the sector’s productivity over the past decade, raising concerns over ongoing competitiveness.

The concerns come as Mystery Creek once again plays host to the National Fieldays showcasing the latest technology, aimed to drive more productivity into farm operations.

Phil Journeaux, a long-time analyst with Ministry for Primary Industries and now consultant with AgFirst, has voiced his concerns over the pastoral sector’s low total productivity gains. . . .

Global food in focus at Fieldays – James Ihaka:

Mystery Creek organisers hope to top last year’s attendance when 128,000 people came through the gates.

Kiwi farmers’ expertise could help solve the problem of how to feed the world’s rapidly growing population in the years ahead, says the boss of agriculture show Fieldays.

But for now, the organisers of this year’s event at Mystery Creek and its hundreds of exhibitors are hoping they will just show up and spend some cash when the gates open today.

“Getting down to business in the global economy” is the theme at this year’s Fieldays, which is the biggest agricultural show of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. . .

Our farming practices are lauded by communities half a world away but only seen by local councils as ‘milch

 cows – Bruce Wills:

Federated Farmers Vice-President, Dr William Rolleston, not only attended the Green Party’s mini-conference on climate change but returned with all of his limbs intact.

For all of the misreporting about agriculture and the Emissions Trading Scheme, we are in it as much as you are reading this.

From fuel to power and ‘number eight’ wire, farmers pay the ETS like everybody else.

The only difference is the treatment of farm biological emissions and even here there seems to be movement. . . .

Farmers have no problem taking responsibility when things go wrong but that should apply to bureaucrats too – Bruce Wills:

The proverb “for want of a nail” has been around for centuries and reminds us very small things can have very big consequences.

In 1918 a certain Adolph Hitler was injured in battle and for want of a few millimetres, our world may have been a very different one.

The proverb neatly sums up the fiasco that has been New Zealand’s handling of meat documentation for China. . .

More mental health support for drought affected communities:

Farmers affected by this year’s devastating drought are being offered more help, with workshops about how to recognise and cope with mental health problems, Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew announced today.

“Working in very stressful and difficult circumstances can have a significant effect on a person’s mental health and those in the rural community can be vulnerable after such a large-scale event,” says Mrs Goodhew.

The Ministry of Health is working with local rural organisations in the drought-declared rural communities to hold a short series of workshops teaching people to recognise the signs of mental health problems and know how to respond.  The dates and locations of the workshops will be announced shortly. . .

Aussie bachelor says he’s got the class to show up kiwis – Jame Ihaka:

Australian farmer Sam Trethewey says there is just one factor that separates him from a bunch of strapping New Zealand hopefuls all vying to win the Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year award.

“Class,” he said. “We don’t wear stubbies or beanies over there, mate, we do things with a bit of class.”

The 29-year-old who farms merino sheep, beef and various crops on a property near Bannockburn, southwest of Melbourne, is one of eight rural Romeos competing for a $20,000-plus prize pool in the popular Fieldays event that’s making a comeback after a year’s absence. . .

Cheesemaking bachelor-style – Jenna Lynch:

It would be fair to assume that our Fieldays Rural Bachelor boys know how to milk a cow, but how far do their skills stretch when comes to producing the end product?

In today’s heat 3 of the Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year competition the lads had their culinary skills pushed to the limit in a Masterchef style Cheese-off.

Each of the strapping young contenders was required to produce a hunk of haloumi from raw ingredients, after being schooled by a cheese maker from Over the Moon Cheese.  . .


Do the left really want to manage the dollar

June 13, 2013

The dollar is declining in value which makes it easier for exporters but increases the cost of imports:

. . . The kiwi has been retreating in the face of a strong US currency, and Dairy New Zealand chairman John Luxton says that’s good news for farmers.

Mr Luxton says every 1 cent fall in the US/New Zealand dollar cross rate increases dairy earnings by about 10 cents per kilogram of milk solids.

Consumers, though, will pay more for imported products like televisions, and the Automobile Association believes petrol costs will rise further. . .

A lower dollar decreases spending power.

Letting that happen as a result of market forces is one thing, actively intervening to force the value down is another.

Would the Opposition parties, which all criticise the government for not intervening in currency markets, really want to start playing with the dollar and be responsible for cutting people’s spending power by making the cost of imports rise?

That wouldn’t just affect luxuries, it would also affect necessities including fuel, health supplies and food.

How would they explain that to people who are already struggling to make ends meet?


Thursday’s quiz

June 13, 2013

1. Who said: Italians come to ruin most generally in three ways, women, gambling, and farming. My family chose the slowest one.?

2. Where are the Fieldays held?

3. It’s ferme in French; fattoria in Italian; granja in Spanish and whāma in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What’s the name for the farm implement consisting of a heavy frame with sharp teeth or upright disks, used to break up and even off plowed ground?

5. Is the rural-urban divide getting wider?


No peeling

June 13, 2013

“Potatoes – baked or wedges?” she said.

“Not mashed?” he said.

“No,” she said.

“No?” he said?

“Not unless you want to peel them,” she said.

“You don’t?” he said.

“No, if God had meant me to peel potatoes He’d have called them oranges.” she said.


Pork Industry stops raw imports

June 13, 2013

The Pork Industry Board has managed to get biosecurity clearance for raw pork revoked until the appeal in the Supreme Court is determined:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
SC 36/2013
[2013] NZSC 58

BETWEEN THE NEW ZEALAND PORK INDUSTRY BOARD
Appellant
AND THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE MINISTRY FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES
First Respondent
AND THE CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER AND BIOSECURITY NEW ZEALAND
Second Respondents

[…]

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

The order made on 31 May 2013 is revoked and in its place there is an order as follows:

The Ministry for Primary Industries, and any inspector acting on its behalf, is restrained from granting biosecurity clearances under ss 26–28 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 for any consumer ready cuts of raw pork product that may now be imported as a result of the Director-General’s decision to issue the following new import health standards:

• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from the European Union, MEAPORIC.EU dated 18 March 2011 (with the exception of products from Sweden and Finland).

• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from the Sonora State of Mexico, MEAPORIC.MEX dated 18 March 2011.
• Import Health Standard for Pig Meat and Pig Meat Products for Human Consumption from Canada and/or the United States of America, MEAPORIC.NAM dated 18 March 2011.

This order remains in force pending determination of the present appeal or further order of the Court.

The board has been fighting the imports on the grounds that the risk of importing disease which could threaten locally raised pigs is too great.


Govt losing patience with CCC

June 13, 2013

Dame Margaret Bazley described the Christchurch City Council as incompetent, the government obviously has a lot of sympathy with her view:

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the time has come for the Government to take urgent action to address the Christchurch City Council’s repeated inability to meet statutory timeframes for processing building consents.

This follows a letter dated 30 May from International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) to Christchurch City Council which gives the council till June 28 (16 days from today) to improve consenting processes or lose accreditation as a Building Consent Authority.

“This is to say the very least alarming and, in the circumstances of the massive rebuild we face in Christchurch, a crisis point,” Mr Brownlee says.

“For some time now we’ve had grave concerns about consenting processes at the Christchurch City Council.

“When I’ve asked for information about that in recent months I’ve been assured things were changing, and improving.

“Because of our concerns the Government has had the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly the Department of Building and Housing) involved on a number of occasions since 10 February 2010 in trying to assist Christchurch City Council to improve and speed up their building consent processes.

“We have provided considerable support and advice, but still the council has failed to adequately address its systems, resources and improve the culture of its consenting staff.

“As a result Government Ministers of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and Building and Construction are now working on a contingency plan for implementation ahead of the IANZ deadline of June 28 for a decision to be made on whether Christchurch City Council maintains its Building Consent Authority accreditation.

“I note from the agenda of the council’s Planning Committee meeting on June 5 that in March and April the council was receiving an average of 35 building applications a day, a workload which led council officers to report: ‘we have seen backlogs develop across all process steps – from pre-processing initial data entry through processing and into typing. The sheer volume exceeds capacity and applicants are expressing a significant level of concern at this.’

“The council knew this workload was coming and hasn’t adequately addressed it. We can’t let that continue and will be discussing the Government’s approach with councillors soon,” Mr Brownlee says.

The council is facing an unprecedented work load but if it’s not coping it needs to get help.

The rebuild is a priority not just for the city and its people but for the rest of the country.

We need the South Island’s biggest city to be back to normal as quickly as possible.

The letter to the council is here.


Labour only for some workers?

June 13, 2013

Labour is supposed to be the party of and for workers but Trevor Mallard’s performance yesterday showed scant regard for employment law and the role of a select committee.

Mallard abruptly left a select committee after an exchange of angry words with Police Minister Anne Tolley after he questioned the decision of Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush to speak at the funeral of former police officer Bruce Hutton. . .

After Mallard attempted to question Bush on the issue Government committee members objected that his questions were out of order.

But Mallard hit back and appeared to threaten Bush’s job.

“We’re deciding whether or not to continue his salary, that’s what we’re deciding now,” he said.

Mallard then got embroiled in an exchange with Tolley who said that was not his decision before Mallard abruptly left the committee. . .

Perhaps he doesn’t regard a senior police officer as a worker or maybe his party is only there for some workers.

Regardless of that, after all his years in parliament he should have some understanding of employment law and know it’s not a select committee’s role to hire and fire people or set their salaries.

His behaviour provides more evidence for my theory that Labour’s motivation for strict employment law is because they judge all employers by their own sorry standards.

 

 


June 13 in history

June 13, 2013

823 Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of the West Franks,was born (d. 877).

1249 – Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.

1373 – Anglo-Portuguese Alliance between England (succeeded by the United Kingdom) and Portugal – the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.

1584  Miyamoto Musashi, Legendary Samurai warrior, artist, and author of The Book of Five Rings, was born (d. 1645).

1625  King Charles I married French princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon.

1752 Fanny Burney, English novelist and diarist, was born (d. 1840).

1774  Rhode Island became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.

1798 Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded.

1805  Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sighted the Great Falls of the Missouri River.

1863 Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, English fashion designer, was born (d. 1935).

1865 William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1937).
1866 The Burgess Gang murdered five men on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson.
Murder on the Maungatapu track

1871  In Labrador, a hurricane killed 300 people.

1881 The USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.

1883 Henry George Lamond, Australian farmer and author was born (d. 1969).

1886  A fire devastatesd much of Vancouver.

1886 – King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich.

1893 Dorothy L. Sayers, English author, was born (d. 1957).

1893 Grover Cleveland underwent secret, successful surgery to remove a large, cancerous portion of his jaw; the operation wasn’t revealed to the public until 1917, nine years after the president’s death.

1898 Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.

1910 Mary Whitehouse, British campaigner, was born (d. 2001).

1910  The University of the Philippines College of Engineering was established.

1917  World War I: the deadliest German air raid on London during World War I was carried out by Gotha G bombers and resulted in 162 deaths, including 46 children, and 432 injuries.

1927 – Slim Dusty, Australian singer, was born (d. 2003)

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh received a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York.

1934  Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met in Venice.

1942 The United States opened its Office of War Information.

1942 The United States established the Office of Strategic Services.

1944 Ban Ki-Moon, South Korean United Nations Secretary-General, was born.

1944 World War II: Germany launched a counter attack on Carentan.

1944 – World War II: Germany launched a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England. Only four of the eleven bombs actually hit their targets.

1949 Dennis Locorriere, American singer and guitarist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show), was born.

1952  Catalina affair: a Swedish Douglas DC-3 was shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 fighter.

1953 Tim Allen, American comedian and actor, was born.

1955 Mir Mine, the first diamond mine in the USSR, was discovered.

1966 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

1967  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1970 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Chris Cairns from side.jpg

1970  ”The Long and Winding Road” became the Beatles’ last Number 1 song.

1971  Vietnam War: The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.

1978  Israeli Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon.

1981 At the Trooping the Colour ceremony a teenager, Marcus Sarjeant, fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.

1982  Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia on the death of his brother, Khalid.

1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

1994  A jury in Anchorage blamed recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.

1995  French president Jacques Chirac announced the resumption of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

1996 The Montana Freemen surrendered after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.

1997 Uphaar cinema fire, in New Delhi, killed 59 people, and over 100 people injured.

1997 American fugitive Ira Einhorn was arrested in France for the murder of Holly Maddux after 16 years on the run.

2000  President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea met Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit.

2000  Italy pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

2002 The United States of America withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2005  A jury in Santa Maria, California acquitted pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.

2007  The Al Askari Mosque was bombed for a third time.

2010 – A capsule of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, containing particles of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa, returned to Earth.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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