D-Day landing sites then and now

June 8, 2014

The Huffington Post has several photos of D-Day landing spots mixing then and now.

And From Twitter:

 

 

 


Politics Daily

June 8, 2014

While I link to a range of news stories, the blogs I link to are usually from the centre to the bluer end of the political spectrum or the more reasonable or witty bits of the pink to red end.

You’re welcome to leave links to other news and blogs in comments.

John Banks

Colin Espiner @ Sunday Star Times – Banks’ public fall from grace

Southland Times – The plank must look pretty good

Grant Shimmin @ Timaru Herald – Banks situation a right mess

Dominion Post – Hard lessons for all in Banks verdict

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Tweet of the Day – 8 June 2014

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Geddis on Banks

Michael Cummings @ Manawatu Standard – Stench of corruption may affect election

Rodney  Hide @ NZ Herald – They’re all winners more or less

Kerre McIvor @ NZ Herald – Shame sticks to both sides of this episode

Sunday star Times – Laughing all the way to the Banks

Labour Party

Chris Trotter @ Bowalley Road – The right divide

Election

Jon Sergeant @ Taranaki Daily News – Bad pre-election policy from Left

TV3 – Lisa Owen interviews Epsom candidates

Mike Williams @ NZ Herald – Higher voter turnout could topple Nats

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Mark or Mike? Doesn’t really matter the missing million isn’t really a million or missing

Cameron Slater @ Wahle Oil – Labour’s former general secretary isn’t hopeful for Labour

Economic Development

TV3 –  Lisa Owen interviews Steven Joyce

IMP

John Weekes @ NZ Herald – Dotcom to stand for parliament in 2017

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog – Dotcom wants citizenship so he can then become an MP

Inventory 2 @ Keeping Stock – Citizen Kim – yeah right

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Never going to happen

Other

Andrea Vance @ Sunday Star Times – What’s the real deal on the theories

Beehive – New Akaroa Marine Reserve opened
Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, opened our newest marine reserve in Akaroa Harbour today. https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2014/06/08/new-akaroa-marine-reserve-opened
Matthew Beveridge – Leaving on a plane

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – Nashy’s pimped poor person makes the news, is a Mob associate and owns a pitbull

Steve Braunias @ Sunday Star Times – Secret diary of . . .  Julian Assange

David Farrar – Kiwiblog – Adult Community Education

TV1 – ACT Campaign Manager Richard Prebble on TV1’s Q+A


Banks resigning

June 8, 2014

A media release from John Banks:

“Further to the of the decision of the High Court at Auckland last Thursday,  I will  resign the seat of Epsom effective from 5pm this Friday the 13th of  June 2014” Mr Banks said.

“I will write to the Speaker tomorrow advising him of my resignation, said Mr Banks.

“This timeframe allows a number of constituency, administrative and staffing matters in Epsom and Wellington to be dealt with over the next few days.

“I have been privileged to serve the people of Epsom and New Zealand at both a local level and in Wellington. 

“I have given my heart and soul over four decades to making a worthwhile contribution to this country.  I have always endeavoured to do the right thing.  Consequently I am deeply saddened at this turn of events.

“As the matter is still before the Court I will be making no further comment” said Mr Banks.

This is a sad end to decades of public service motivated by the desire to balance the family ledger.

It is however, the honourable thing to do.


Word of the day

June 8, 2014

Prospero – someone who is capable of influencing others’ behavior or perceptions without their being aware of it.


Kim Dotcan’t be citizen

June 8, 2014

Kim Dotcom wants to become a New Zealand citizen and contest the 2017 election.

One of the requirements before citizenship is granted is good character:

How is the requirement assessed?
To determine whether you are of good character the Minister will consider the answers you have given in your application. We will also complete background checks with the New Zealand Police and other agencies. Things that are taken into account include:

  • criminal convictions;
  • infringements;
  • having an active protection order against you;
  • any other information received from other agencies.

Convictions
Except in very rare circumstances, you will be disqualified from meeting the good character requirement if:

  • you have been in prison for five years or more; or
  • you have been sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment capable of running for five years or more; or
  • within the previous seven years you were subject to a sentence of imprisonment of less than five years; or
  • within the previous three years you were convicted of an offence but did not receive a sentence of imprisonment.

Pending charges
If you have committed any offence against the law of New Zealand or another country for which you have not yet been sentenced in court you may not meet the good character requirement. . .

He was granted residency in spite of not meeting the good character condition:

Billionaire Kim Dotcom was convicted on eight business charges in a Hong Kong court just a month after being granted conditional residency in New Zealand, it has been revealed.

Dotcom, 38, was granted New Zealand residency in November 2010 despite a string of foreign convictions and being considered persona non grata in Thailand.

He applied under the Investor Plus category after investing $10 million in government bonds, and was given a special direction which allowed him to gain residency despite not meeting the good character requirements. . . .

His convictions include:

Computer hacking in 1994 in Germany for which he received a two-year suspended sentence and was treated as a juvenile.

Insider trading and breach of trust in 2003 in Germany for which he received a one year and eight month suspended sentence and paid a 100,000 fine. (He now has a clean German police record because of the clean slate legislation.)

Minor traffic infringements before 2003.

Eight charges relating to the purchase of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010. He was fined HK$8000.

Surely the convictions Dotcom already has and the charges pending in the USA would disqualify him from citizenship.

If not, does buying a political party and several of its minions count as good character?


Rural round-up

June 8, 2014

Feds top job too good to pass up – Andrea Fox:

New Federated Farmers chief executive Graham Smith is the first to admit his previous employer is upset over his quick exit from a new job, but says the federation role is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity he could not resist.

Smith will leave not-for-profit new technology company incubator Soda, where he has been chief executive for less than two months, to head the federation late next month. . .

Minister launches primary industries capability report:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today launched The Future capability needs for the primary industries in New Zealand – a report that forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary sector.

“The report highlights that employment in the primary industries is expected to increase by 50,000 by 2025 to reach the Government’s goal of an export double. Over half of these workers will need a Tertiary or Level 4 Qualification,” says Mr Guy.

“New Zealand has a proud tradition in the primary industries – it’s an innovative sector that requires our best and brightest across a range of skills. As international markets become more sophisticated and competitive, it is crucial New Zealand’s primary industries keep pace. . .

We’re working with primary industries to make sure they keep innovating and keep growing. http://ntnl.org.nz/1hilnZ8

High country conference discusses neighbourliness:

What it means to be a ”good neighbour” was discussed at Federated Farmers’ high country conference in Queenstown yesterday.

The conference was examining how neighbours could look after each other in regard to water and nutrient management and pest control, Federated Farmers high country chairman Chas Todhunter said.

”We need to communicate with each other to understand each other’s differences and work towards mutually acceptable outcomes,” he said. . .

Innovation pitch finalists chosen:

After two days of intensive workshops nine innovators have been chosen to pitch their ideas at the National Fieldays Innovation Den on Thursday.

The chosen innovations include LiquidStrip, a filtration system designed to efficiently separate liquid and solid from waste effluent to allow for superior disposal options; Ice Cycle, a snap milk chiller capable of chilling milk from the cow at 34C to 4C in under three seconds, and Patrick Roskram with his Gudgeon Pro 5-in-1 fencing tool that is used to quickly and accurately hang gates. . . .

 ‘Black List’ proposed for ecological invaders:

A new scheme to rank invading species according to their environmental impact has been developed by a global team of leading experts in ecology and conservation.

The scheme, described in the journal PLOS Biology and co-authored by Lincoln University Professor of Plant Biosecurity, Philip Hulme, proposes a standardised approach for ranking alien species relative to their negative environmental impact. In so doing, globally recognised ‘Black Lists’ of unwanted species can be produced. . . .

Lifting farmgate returns the solution:

AUSTRALIA’S share of the global dairy market has been slipping gradually and turning the industry around is going to be a huge challenge, Murray Goulburn chairman Phillip Tracy says.

At the same time the company is cutting jobs across Victoria.

The co-operative’s commitment to lift farmgate returns by $1 a kilogram of milksolids by 2017 was the type of price rise needed to turn the industry around, Tracy said. . .

Foreign investment’s tough wrap – Jenna Cairney:

THERE’S no “foreign takeover” of our agricultural land and while a debate on foreign investment is worthwhile, any blows have to be above the belt.

At a packed NSW Farm Writers lunch last week John Corbett, the director of the often camera-shy Qatari government’s agricultural arm Hassad, dispelled some of the foreign direct investment (FDI) misnomers, in particular via sovereign wealth and institutional funds.

Hassad was created in response to the 1997 grain shortages and now owns more than 250,000 hectares of farmland in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, with the aim of producing 165,000 tonnes of grain and 100,000 lambs annually. . .

 A ‘turnip’ for the canola books – Gregor Heard:

MOST broadacre croppers would say they are happy to leave turnip and cabbage crops to their horticultural cousins.

However, researchers at the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) are using the two vegetable crops to make valuable discoveries about canola.

The relatively recently developed canola plant has a mixed heritage of both turnip and cabbage genetics. . . .


Being bigger

June 8, 2014

Open large picture

Being Bigger ©2014 Brian Andreas – published with permission.
You can sign up to get a daily dose of whimsy like this on the link above.

Rape is never right

June 8, 2014

An Indian Minister said, rape is “sometimes right, sometimes wrong”.

He’s wrong.

Rape is sexual intercourse without consent.

It doesn’t matter who does it to whom, how or why.

It is always a crime.

It can never be right.

 


Penalising efficiency

June 8, 2014

Federate Farmers President Bruce Wills:

. . .  The Green’s Gareth Hughes was using a verbal concealer since their plan to ditch the world’s most stringent Emissions Trading Scheme for a carbon tax wasn’t mentioned.

Not mentioning the tax to a farming audience. Was he too scared to do that or did he know he couldn’t answer the questions that would follow?

With Labour scratching the immigration sore ahead of the general election, the Greens are seemingly hitting their farming button. This may reflect the pressure they’re facing from the Mana-Internet hookup. Stranger bedfellows I have never seen but it is hellishly clever branding. Just as the word Green provides a cuddly cloak, covering up less than cuddly policies, the Mana-Internet Party is even more left wing but in the smart dress down clothes of a programmer.

All will be fine until Internet Party’s leader and spin doctor are publicly put on the spot with a highly technical question, like the relative merits of Dual stack, 6rd, DS light, 4RD, MAP-T, MAP-E. That’s when the cynical branding will be revealed for what it is.

And what is it? Not so much a marriage of convenience as a temporary odd coupling for electoral advantage in the hope the funder, Kim Dotcom will be able to escape extradition.

Meanwhile, the Greens’ rhetoric around agriculture maintains the illusion that agriculture is not in the ETS when we most definitely are.

From fuel to electricity to the famous number eight wire, all farming inputs are covered by the current ETS. While surrender obligations for farm biological emissions have been deferred, what Victoria University’s Professor Martin Manning told the Science Media Centre should be noted: “Agricultural emissions increased over 2009 – 2012 due to more export of dairy products. However, the longer term trend shows our CO2 emissions are increasing by more than those of methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture . . . substantial reductions in CO2 emissions are more important than changes in the other greenhouse gases.”

While biological emissions account for half of our emissions, that “more export” means we send offshore some 90 per cent of the food we produce.

There’s no free lunch because any carbon tax price would likely find its way into the retail price of milk among other staples. The targeting of farming also denies the reality that New Zealand agriculture has been cutting emissions in each unit of agricultural output by 1.3 per cent each year.

We’re also world leaders in agricultural greenhouse gas research. This makes a strange combination of the Greens’ view of farming as both fall-guy and cash cow.

Penalising our farmers for being the world’s most carbon efficient will not only reduce production and jobs but push production offshore to more carbon heavy farmers. Now where’s the global or local benefit in that?

While the Greens say sheep and beef biological emissions will be initially excluded, that’s an all-too obvious sweetener. In a carbon tax, sheep and beef farmers would still pay what they are paying now under the ETS and making them pay later for biological emissions is as simple as turning the regulatory knob.

Yet the reference to the cost of this economy of drought will stick in the craw of farmers who have been stung by Green Party opposition to rainwater storage. That includes the sheep and beef sector who are looking to water storage to reduce climate risk and improve business and farming models.

The differential tax treatment for biological emissions they propose may reflect that the Greens are starting to understand our farming system is world-leading in low carbon protein production. It is a pity they’re not yet ready to admit it.

 

The policy appears to be predicated on the stupid premise we must do our bit even though we are doing what we can through research and efficient production.

Our emissions are a tiny portion of the world’s. Adding costs and/or reducing production here will encourage our far less efficient competitors to increase it.

That would result in both environmental and economic losses.

 

 

 


Real problem is public funding

June 8, 2014

The Taxpayers’ Union is understandably aghast that the Electoral Commission is giving The Civilian Party $33,000 for election broadcasts.

David Farrar has a table showing the amount allocated to the main parties, and comparing it to their party vote last time, and the average in the public polls since the election (up until when the Commission met).

. . . These are not the only two criteria, but it is interesting to look at the results. Based on vote at the last elections National and Conservatives get a $1 per vote. Labour, Greens and NZ First $1.36 to $1.62 and the smaller parties $3 to $5. This is pretty standard that the smaller parties get proportionally a bit more.

In terms of dollars per average % in the polls, National gets $23,000 per %, Labour $28,000, Greens $33,000, Conservatives $38,000 and NZ First 38,000.

That doesn’t seem entirely fair.

However, my main concern is not who gets who much, but that political parties get any public money for campaigning at all.

They’re voluntary organisations and should fund their own broadcasts.


Sunday soapbox

June 8, 2014

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse.
A.A. Milne—melting hearts one word at a time. #words


June 8 in history

June 8, 2014

68  The Roman Senate accepted emperor Galba.

793 Vikings raided the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of the Scandinavian invasion of England.

1191 Richard I arrived in Acre thus beginning his crusade.

1405  Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk, were executed in York on Henry IV’s orders.

1671 Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer, was born (d. 1751).

1690  Siddi general Yadi Sakat, razed the Mazagon Fort in Mumbai.

1776  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Trois-Rivières – American  attackers were driven back at Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

1783 Laki, in Iceland, began an eight-month eruption which killed over 9,000 people and started a seven-year famine.

1789  James Madison introduced 12 proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in the United States House of Representatives, 10 of which were ratified by the state legislatures and become the Bill of Rights.

1810 Robert Schumann, German composer, was born (d. 1856).

1856 The community of Pitcairn Islands and descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty consisting of 194 people arrived on the Morayshire at Norfolk Island commencing the Third Settlement of the Island.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys – Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson saved the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan.

1867  Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, was born (d. 1959).

1887  Herman Hollerith received a patent for his punched card calculator.

1906  Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, authorising the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.

1912  Carl Laemmle incorporated  Universal Pictures.

1916 Francis Crick, English molecular biologist; Nobel laureate, was born (d. 2004).

1928 Second Northern Expedition: The National Revolutionary Army captured Peking, (Beijing).

1933 Joan Rivers, American comedian and author, was born.

1934 Millicent Martin, English singer and actress, was born.

1940 Nancy Sinatra, American singer, was born.

1941 World War II: Allies invaded  Syria and Lebanon.

1942 Chuck Negron, American singer (Three Dog Night), was born.

1942  World War II: Japanese imperial submarines I-21 and I-24 shelled the Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle.

1948 Milton Berle hosted the debut of Texaco Star Theater.

1949 Celebrities Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson were named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.

1950 Sir Thomas Blamey became the only Australian-born Field Marshal in Australian history.

1953   A tornado hit Flint, Michigan, and killed 115.

1953  The United States Supreme Court ruled that Washington, D..C. restaurants could not refuse to serve black patrons.

1959  The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempted the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.

1962 Nick Rhodes, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1966 One of the XB-70 Valkyrie prototypes was destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and United States Air Force test pilot Carl Cross were  killed.

1966  Topeka, Kansas was devastated by a tornado that registers as an “F5″ on the Fujita Scale: the first to exceed US$100 million in damages. Sixteen people were killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.

1967  Six-Day War: The USS Liberty incident occurred , killing 34 and wounding 171.

1968  James Earl Ray was arrested for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1968 – The body of assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1974  An F4 tornado struck  Emporia, Kansas,  killing six.

1979 Adine Wilson, New Zealand netball player, was born.

1982 Falklands War: Up to 50 British servicemen were killed in an Argentine air attack on two supply ships – RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram.

1984 Homosexuality was declared legal in New South Wales.

1984 An F5 tornado struck  Barneveld, Wisconsin, killing 9 and injuring 200; 90% of the homes, seventeen out of the eighteen businesses, and the three churches are destroyed.

1986  Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, was elected president of Austria.

1987  The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act was passed into law, establishing this country as a nuclear and biological weapon-free zone.

New Zealand becomes nuclear free

1992 The first World Ocean Day was celebrated.

1995 Downed U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was rescued by U.S. Marines in Bosnia.

1995  The first release of the PHP programming language was released by Rasmus Lerdorf.

2001  Mamoru Takuma stabbed 8 elementary school pupils to death during the Osaka school massacre.

2007 Newcastle, New South Wales, was hit by the State’s worst storms and flooding in 30 years resulting in the death of nine people and the grounding of trade ship, the MV Pasha Bulker.

2008 The Akihabara massacre: Tomohiro Katō drove a two-ton truck into a crowded pedestrianised area before leaving the truck and attacking people with a knife, killing seven and injuring ten.

2009 – Two American journalists wre found guilty of illegally entering North Korea and sentenced to 12 years of penal labour.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: