Word of the day

January 27, 2014

Hadiwist – the awareness that, if only one had known, one must have acted otherwise; a vain regret, or the heedlessness or loss of opportunity which leads to it.  Also had-i-wist, literally, if I had known.


Ah, it’s social democracy

January 27, 2014

Wondering why families earning well above the average wage need welfare?

Here’s an answer:

Quite how that works, remains moot.

 


Lorde’s a winner – tiwce

January 27, 2014

Lorde’s a winner:

Kiwi singer Lorde appeared shocked and overwhlemed as she accepted the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

The 17-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore was up against established superstars Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Bruno Mars in the category.

Lorde had performed her smash hit Royals earlier in the ceremony, and it was that song which secured her the award. . .

This probably isn’t the appropriate place for a confession – I’ve heard snatches of Royals, but haven’t knowingly listened to it, or any of her other songs, in full.

I have enjoyed what I’ve heard and intend to listen properly soon.

Update:

Lorde has now won a second Grammy:

Lorde has won her second Grammy for Song of the Year, after earlier winning the award for best pop solo performance.

She and producer/co-writer Joel Little – joint winners of the prize – took to the stage to say their thanks to their families, managers and record labels.

“Thanks to everyone who let this song explode,” she said. . . .


Rural round-up

January 27, 2014

Three horses expected to sell for $½m at Karaka:

About 14,00 horses are for sale there this week.

Three horses are tipped to pass the $500,000 mark on Monday at the annual Karaka yearling sales.

About 14,00 horses are for sale there this week.

New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook says the price for each animal is expected to average about 70,000 , but three yearlings are likely to sell on Monday afternoon for at least $500,000. . . .

Niche dog food that’s delivered – Sally Rae:

Mighty Mix dog food has come a long way from being whipped up in a high-country kitchen.

A woman’s concern for the health of her working dogs during extreme weather conditions more than 20 years ago led to the development of a business which now sells products throughout New Zealand.

In June last year, Mighty Mix’s head office opened in Oamaru, the home of newly-appointed general manager John Walker, who has spent 35 years in the food manufacturing industry, most recently as site manager for Rainbow Confectionery. . .

It’s late – Milk Maid Marian:

The story of Cliffy Young has just finished on the tele but Wayne is still slogging through his own ultra-marathon at the dairy. It’s 10pm and it’s been a tough day that started at 5am.

As I was rattling the kids around the house in readiness for Nippers this morning, Wayne was having some youngster trouble of his own. A freshly-calved heifer simply sat down on the milking platform behind her neighbour. Now, if you’ve worked in or watched a herringbone dairy in action, you’ll say that doesn’t happen.

It did.

The cows are lined up at right angles to the pit we stand in to position the cups, with their buttocks against a “bum rail” that’s designed to guide them into position for milking and prevent a cow from falling onto a milk maid.

It didn’t. . . .

Bark on vines being trialled:

A DRIVE towards more sustainability has led to a new initiative at Eastland Port’s debarker and Gisborne growers could benefit.

The debarker is a machine which removes the bark from logs at Eastland Port’s log yard on Kaiti Beach Road and has just had a new addition to further break down the bark.

Eastland Debarking operations manager Steve O’Dwyer says there it has been a limited market for the large bark pieces, a by-product of the debarker.

“I thought there would be a market for these fines (smaller pieces of bark that are usually 20mm and under),” says Mr O’Dwyer.

So he set about to do some trials and Gisborne grape grower John Rafferty agreed to test the bark fines on 1.7 hectares of new plants. . .

MicroFarm concept a ‘sandpit’ for cropping:

“WHAT WE have here is like a big sandpit – a place where people can get together to play to try and achieve great outcomes.”

That’s how LandWise’s Dan Bloomer describes the MicroFarm, a 4ha property on the Heretaunga Plains, near Hastings.

“We’ve got paddocks that are big enough to have real toys in so we are doing work on a farm-sized scale. A high percentage of paddocks are headlands but between these we have paddocks just like a real farm,” he told an open day in December. . .

Expression of genetic growth potential underpinned by feed allowance:

Recent research by a group of scientists, Dr Long Cheng , Mr Chris Logan , Professor  Grant Edwards and Dr Huitong Zhou from the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Lincoln University, is helping to unravel a long-standing puzzle in the farming world.

“Traditional wisdom among farmers is that sheep with the genetic potential to grow faster will be more efficient at converting their feed into weight gain (known as higher feed conversion efficiency) than sheep without this genetic potential,” said Dr Cheng, the lead researcher.

“Work in this field has, however, been restricted by the inability to make accurate measurements of the intake of individual animals.” 

Dr Cheng discovered to his surprise, after analysing the results of measurements taken during the trial, that the expectation that sheep with the potential to grow faster would be more efficient was only true when the sheep were well feed (170 % of maintenance metabolisable energy requirement, in this case). . .


Labour wants more welfare for wealthy

January 27, 2014

One of the worst aspects of Labour’s failed policies of the noughties under Helen Clark was extending welfare to the wealthy.

Policies announced today by the current leader, David Cunliffe,  show they haven’t learned from that welfare should be targeted at those in need, not greed.

. . . I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start investment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life.

The payment will go to all families with a combined income of $150,000 or less, and will give them more choices around how they juggle the pressure of work and care for their baby. . .

Since when have people on incomes anywhere near $150,000 been in need of government assistance to help with the costs of a new baby?

This is bribing people with their own and other people’s money.

Welfare is supposed to help people in need to pay for necessities.

It is neither sensible nor sustainable to extend it to people who aren’t in need to pay for luxuries.

People earning well above the average income who can’t cope with the expenses of a baby don’t need welfare, they need budget advice.


Labour divided in Invercargill?

January 27, 2014

When Invercargill MP Eric Roy announced he was retiring from politics at this year’s election, Lesley Soper who has contested the electorate for Labour in the past confirmed she will be the Labour candidate for Invercargill.

That was just a couple of weeks ago but the grapevine tells me that Labour has re-opened selection for the electorate.

Is that right and if so does it mean there’s division in Labour’s ranks in Invercargill, or between the locals and head office/unions which have a big influence in the party’s candidate selections?

National hasn’t opened selection yet but its candidate will start with a very strong foundation thanks to the hard work done by the sitting MP who even his opponents admit is one of the most likeable men in parliament.

UPDATE:

This advertisement on Keeping Stock confirms what came through the grapevine:

invercargill


Has anyone seen summer?

January 27, 2014

There’s nothing unusual about water skiing in January – but there is something unusual and unseasonal about snow skiing.

Avid skiers are heading to Canterbury’s mountains this morning after an unexpected dumping of snow overnight.

Staff at the region’s biggest ski field, Mt Hutt, say the dumping has left around 20cm of snow on some parts of the mountain.

“In the base area, we’ve got around 10cm on the balcony,” ski area manager James McKenzie says. “We think there’s probably a little bit more up high, we’re just heading up there on the snowmobile now.”

There was fresh snow on the mountains around Wanaka when I was there last week.

We had heavy rain at home yesterday and the autumnal feel in the air when I walked round the farm this morning had more than a little to do with the fresh snow on the Kakanui mountains.

Day after day of warm sunny weather we enjoyed last summer is a distant memory.

If anyone’s seen summer, please send it this way.


Free trade for ‘green’ goods

January 27, 2014

Freer trade could be one of the measures used to counter climate change:

The world’s biggest trading powers have unveiled a joint initiative to achieve global free trade in environment-related goods, as part of the fight against climate change.

The United States, European Union, China, Japan and several other developed economies said in a joint statement that the agreement would take effect once there is participation by a critical mass of members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The WTO estimates that the global market in green goods, technologies and services – ranging from solar panels to wind turbines and water recycling plants – at some $US1.4 trillion annually.

The initiative gets round the WTO’s requirement for unanimity on trade deals, and is in line with new WTO chief Roberto Azevedo’s drive to break a decade-old deadlock in world trade negotiations by first tackling the most promising areas for agreement. . .

Any progress on freer trade should be welcome but will the definition of green goods be based on science?

Will it favour goods with a lower carbon footprint over those with a higher one, such as New Zealand meat?

If the proposal is ever put into practice will it make a positive difference to trade and the environment or just be another triumph for bureaucracy and politics which consumers and producers will pay for?


Free enterprise best anti-poverty measure

January 27, 2014

Dr. Mark J. Perry provides the chart of the century:
wordpoverty2-600x387

 

. . . the chart above could perhaps qualify as the “chart of the century” because it illustrates one of the most remarkable achievements in human history: the 80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years, from 26.8% of the world’s population living on $1 or less (in 1987 dollars) in 1970 to only 5.4% in 2006. (Source: The 2009 NBER working paper “Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income,” by economists Maxim Pinkovskiy (MIT) and Xavier Sala-i-Martin (Columbia University).

What accounts for this great achievement that you never hear about? AEI president Arthur Brooks explains in the video below, summarized here:

It turns out that between 1970 and 2010 the worst poverty in the world – people who live on one dollar a day or less – that has decreased by 80 percent (see chart above). You never hear about that.

It’s the greatest achievement in human history, and you never hear about it.

80 percent of the world’s worst poverty has been eradicated in less than 40 years. That has never, ever happened before.

So what did that? What accounts for that? United Nations? US foreign aid? The International Monetary Fund? Central planning? No.

It was globalization, free trade, the boom in international entrepreneurship. In short, it was the free enterprise system, American style, which is our gift to the world.

I will state, assert and defend the statement that if you love the poor, if you are a good Samaritan, you must stand for the free enterprise system, and you must defend it, not just for ourselves but for people around the world. It is the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.

Politicians on the left like to think they are the champions of the poor.

Yet they fight tooth and nail against free trade, denounce globalisation and promote policies which would get in the way of free enterprise.

Rather than policies which assist free enterprise they proffer ones which get in the way of it, favouring redistribution rather than growth.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Things to talk about this afternoon

January 27, 2014

What will people be talking about this afternoon?

It’s not a difficult choice – there’s Lorde at the Grammys or another speech by David, um, which one is leader just now?


Green policy radical red

January 27, 2014

Labour’s former leader David Shearer has realised the faults in his proposal for free breakfasts in school:

. . . Is it right to impose a one-size-fits-all solution on to every low-decile school in the form of a food hand-out?

There’s an old saying: give someone a fish and it will feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and it will feed them for a lifetime.

Of course, we all agree that no child should be hungry at school. But what’s missing is a programme that will not only fix that but also improve nutrition and ensure self-reliance.

Before coming into politics I ran huge feeding programmes for starving kids, including one for 30,000 children in Somalia.

Without that food, those children would have died. But the programme was always designed to be temporary. As soon as the crisis passed, the families moved on, relying on themselves.

My fear is that we will institutionalise dependence through relying solely on a feeding programme. We need to be far more forward-looking. . .

Unfortunately Labour’s potential coalition partner hasn’t seen the light.

The party’s policy announced yesterday is to provide:

. . . 1.     A dedicated School Hub Coordinator ($28.5 million per annum)
The Hubs Coordinator will work for the school to recruit adult and community educators, early childhood, social and health services and explore other opportunities to develop a unique hub in conjunction with the school and its community.
 
2.     Free afterschool and holiday care programmes ($10 million per annum)
We’ll provide free after-school care and holiday programmes for every child at decile 1 to 4 schools, and we will expand access to Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) low income subsidies to children at decile 5-10 schools.
 
3.     A national school lunch fund ($40 million per annum)
The Fund will make lunch available at all decile 1 to 4 primary and intermediate schools, but will be available to other schools based on need.
 
4.     Dedicated school nurses in decile 1-4 schools ($11.6 million per annum)
School nurses will deliver primary health care to children and their families in the school environment where they are known and trusted. . .

 Not only have the Greens not taken note of Shearer’s concerns, they haven’t done their homework on what support is already available:

Education Minister Hekia Parata says the Green Party appeared to be completely unaware of what happens every day in schools up and down the country when it wrote its latest policy ideas.

“We already have around 300 nurses working with virtually every school in the country and with a particular focus on low decile-schools.

“We already provide social workers for every decile 1 to 3 primary school in the country, under the Social Workers in Schools scheme.

“There are already a number of schools operating as community hubs, so it’s not a new idea, but it’s also not a concept that should be forced on every school.

“With Fonterra and Sanitarium we already provide a breakfast in schools programme five mornings a week to any school that wants it.

“We have increased our funding to KidsCan who provide services like raincoats and shoes for children and provide school lunch packs from donations.

“We already subsidise after-school care and holiday care for about 50,000 children, with assistance targeted at low-income families.

“We are already investing $1.5 billion in early childhood education, up from $860 million in 2007/08. Participation in early childhood education has risen to almost 96 per cent and we are focusing on improving participation amongst the most vulnerable groups.

“The Greens should do their homework. They are clearly unaware of all the things the Government is doing in this area, and they are also clearly in denial that the biggest influence on children’s achievement is quality teaching, says Ms Parata. 

“Quality teaching raises achievement for kids from all schools, no matter what their decile ranking, which is why we announced our big new investment on Thursday to raise teaching practice and strengthen school leadership.

“If the Greens really cared about getting better results in education they would back that policy instead of opposing it, and they would do the work to understand what is already happening in terms of providing additional support for children in school.”

Steven Joyce put it more succinctly:

Free milk and breakfasts (paid for by Fonterra and Sanitarium) are given to any schools which want it – and not all do.

Among those which don’t are some decile 1 -4 schools who will have publicly funded lunches foisted upon them.

Other support already provided is targeted at those in need.

In spite of the danger Shearer has seen, the Green Party will use public money to fund policies which institutionalise dependence, waste money where it’s not needed, foist food on schools that don’t want it and treat some of the symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying causes of the problems.


January 27 in history

January 27, 2014

1186 Henry VI, the son and heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, married Constance of Sicily.

1343 Pope Clement VI issued the Bull Unigenitus.

1606  Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators began, ending with their execution on January 31.

1695 Mustafa II became the Ottoman sultan on the death of Ahmed II. Mustafa rules until his abdication in 1703.

1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer was born  (d. 1791).

1785 The University of Georgia was founded, the first public university in the United States.

1825 The U.S. Congress approved Indian Territory clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears“.

1832  Lewis Carroll, English author, was born (d. 1898).
 
1888 The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C..

1908 William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate, was born (d. 1993).

1921 Donna Reed, American actress, was born (d. 1986).

1933  Mohamed Al-Fayed, Egyptian billionaire businessman, was born.

1939 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

1941 Beatrice Tinsley, New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist , was born  (d. 1981).

1944  Nick Mason, English drummer (Pink Floyd),was born.

1944 The 900-day Siege of Leningrad was lifted.

1945 – World War II: The Red Army liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

1951 Brian Downey, Irish musician (Thin Lizzy), was born.

1951 Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a one-kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat.

1962 Peter Snell broke the world mile record  on grass at Cook’s Garden, Wanganui, in a time of 3 mins 53.4 secs.

Peter Snell breaks world mile record

1967 Apollo 1Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire during a test of the spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Centre.

1967 – More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space.

1968 Mike Patton, American singer (Faith No More), was born.

1973 Paris Peace Accords officially ended the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde was killed in action becoming the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.

1974 The Brisbane River flooded causing the largest flood to affect Brisbane City in the 20th Century.

1979 Daniel Vettori, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

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1981 Tony Woodcock, New Zealand rugby union player, was born.

1983 Pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world’s longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshū and Hokkaidō, broke through.

1984 Pop singer Michael Jackson suffered second and third degree burn on his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in the Shrine Auditorium.

1996 Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposed the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane, in a military coup.

1996 Germany first observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

2006 Western Union discontinued its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

2010 – The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis ended when Porfirio Lobo Sosa became the new President.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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