On the topic of off-topic

September 9, 2014

Until recently I had deleted very few comments and, from memory, that was either because they were defamatory or personal attacks.

However, continual spamming and off-topic comments by one commenter persuaded me to get tougher and delete comments which were off-topic.

Robert continued to post such comments so often I am holding them for moderation.

I still allow most of them through, even the ones full of bile and erroneous opinions masquerading as facts.

Every now and then he leaves a comment complaining about that the last two are these:

Ele – on a personal level – can you see how far you have fallen? You are DELETING comments that are OFF TOPIC.
Think about that.
Not comments that are lies, actionable or disgusting, but “Off topic”.
That’s how desperate you have become.
This is very sad, on a personal level. You are blocking comments that are “other” than what you want. Are you aware of how wrong your thinking has become?
“off topic” ids now your measure of comments that must be deleted?
You have fallen very far, Ele.
THINK ABOUT THIS!
“Off topic” is not your measure for deletion.
Sad.
Sick.
Worrying.
DELETING.
CENSORING.
What have you become????

 

And:

“the only proof that’s needed is my judgement. Ele”

The reasoning of a dictator. Ele. Think! What have you become???

I don’t need to think about this. This is my blog and I make the rules.

It is public in that anyone can read it and leave a comment but it is up to me to accept or reject any or all comments as I see fit.

Saturday and Sunday soap boxes allow people to discuss almost anything and I am generally lenient about discussions which take a few diversions on other posts.

But I am not going to accept spam and comments which have nothing to do with the post under which they are made.

 


Word of the day

September 9, 2014

Agnoiology – the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data; the study of the nature of ignorance or of what it is impossible to know; a particular theory concerning this;  theory of ignorance.


Rural round-up

September 9, 2014

Getting wools’ act together –  Rick Powdrell:

I am so tempted to email Dr Russel Norman, the Green’s co-leader, a link to Weird Al” Yankovic’s version of Lorde’s Royals; called Foil.  It is a sendup of conspiracies and Dr Norman’s repeated use of ‘dairy corporations,’ on TV3’s The Nation, brought it to mind.  

According to Dr Norman ‘dairy corporations’ are behind bad water quality and they’re masterminding economic planning too.  Of course he has the answer; clean green 100% pure branded success.  It’s big on sound bite but low on detail.  I also suspect it involves breaking up these ‘dairy corporations,’ which are mostly farmer cooperatives.  

Being a sheep and beef farmer that’s a scary thought given we must be next, being New Zealand’s number two export and chock full of ‘meat and fibre corporations.’ . . .

No bees no food, no people:

Without the incredible honeybee, two-thirds of the food we take for granted would almost vanish, making life as we know it impossible.

“The reality is that no bees mean no food and no people. That’s no joke because bees make civilisation possible,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers Bees Chairperson and a Christchurch based exporter of bee products.

“If we don’t look after all natural pollinators and the honeybee especially, we could see economic and social collapse.  We are truly tiptoeing around the edge of a global chasm.

“One-third of the food all humans eat is directly pollinated by honeybees.  Nothing comes close to matching nature’s super pollinator.  It is why the honeybee is most indispensable animal to modern society. . . .

Master status conferred on four for shearing skill

Two machine shearers, a woolhandler and a blades shearer have been accorded master status by Shearing Sports New Zealand.

Rakaia machine shearer Tony Coster, Christchurch blades shearer Brian Thomson, Invercargill machine shearer Nathan Stratford and Gisborne woolhandler Joel Henare earned the honour.

The organisation said Coster and Stratford were among New Zealand’s top multibreeds shearers, having each won the PGG Wrightson national series final in Masterton and the New Zealand shears circuit final in Te Kuiti. Coster won the national three times and Stratford won the title earlier this year.

Thomson has shorn in the individual and teams finals at three consecutive world championships. . . .

The beef lifecycle from farm to fork:

The beef lifecycle is perhaps one of the most unique and complex lifecycles of any food. It takes anywhere from 2-3 years to bring beef from farm to fork. Unlike other animal protein production chains, such as chicken or pork, the beef community is not vertically integrated, meaning that an animal will change owners or caretakers an average of 2-3 times during its lifetime. Each caretaker along the way specializes in a key area of a cow’s life, providing the proper care, nutrition and animal health plans that the animal needs at that specific point in its life.

The farmers and ranchers at each stage of the beef lifecycle utilize diverse resources available in their geographic area, such as local feedstuffs, land that can’t be used to raise crops, or grass that might grow all year around. The entire beef community focuses on proper animal care, such as Beef Quality Assurance, in order to raise high-quality beef for millions of people around the world to enjoy. . .

Policy makers turn to small holder farmers as partners in development – Food Tank:

Partners in the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) share a deep commitment to meeting the development needs of resource-poor farmers. Development workers are seeking ways to better align and cross-link humanitarian aid and development agendas to enable growth out of crises and build agricultural systems that are more resilient to shocks. More than 800 experts and participants from across a wide range of sectors and 75 countries recently convened at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2020 Conference to strategize how to promote food and nutrition security by increasing smallholder resilience.

The conference is part of a two-year global consultative process that will help development agencies ensure that smallholders have the resources they need to endure and rebound from local and global economic, political, and environmental crises. The need for knowledge and innovation to achieve greater resilience among smallholder farmers was also discussed extensively at the International Encounters on Family Farming and Research, which was held in Montpellier, France and organized by Agropolis International, GFAR, World Rural Forum (WRF), CGIAR, and the French government. . .

                                    * * * * *

 


How English are you?

September 9, 2014

How English are you?

You are 19% English! That makes you “Not English in the Least Bit.”

You are as English as Napoleon Bonaparte was tall. That’s all I have to say about that.          

Blame it on all the tartan genes but I was hoping I’d get that sort of answer.


How much will people pay?

September 9, 2014

A correspondent to the Otago Daily Times, rev Steve O’Connor, (not online) asks:

Is it stupid to try to clean up our rivers and lakes inside a generation? Is it stupid to aspire to having all rivers and lakes swimmable, fishable and suitable for food gathering? Is it stupid to have regulatory safeguards and charge a little bit for large water takes for irrigation? . . .

We don’t have to choose between a thriving primary industry and clean water. We can have both. . .

To which Ian Mackenzie, a Federated Farmers board member responds:

The question Rev Steve O’Connor should be asking is how much he is prepared to pay in extra rates to clean up the Leith to swimming standards? that is to the standards of Moana Pool.

At the moment, run-off from the streets of Dunedin contaminates the Leith to about four times the acceptable level of E. Coli for safe swimming.

That has nothing to do with farming but it is he and the greater population of North Dunedin who are responsible.

I can now swim safely in the creek that flows through my farm because for years we have been investing in stock exclusion and riparian planting to ensure good water quality .

What did the rev O’Connor’s boss say about ‘he who is without sin’?

It is possible to have a thriving primary industry and clean water.

It is also possible to have clean water in urban areas but it will take time and money to achieve the high standard required for food gathering and swimming in many places.

How do the urban people so keen to have farmers – who by and large are already doing their bit to clean up the waterways they border – pay more, feel about paying to clean up waterways in their towns and cities?


Stay on course

September 9, 2014

National’s clear economic plan and careful financial management is taking New Zealand in the right direction. ntnl.org.nz/1lQaKiR #Working4NZ

We can stay on course for continued growth and the economic, environmental and social dividends that supports or go off course, lose momentum, and the opportunities sustainable growth provides.


Not as blue as polls paint it

September 9, 2014

Successive polls are showing National at around 50%.

That ought to be good news, but a Facebook friend looked at polls and elections results and found:

. . . In the final month of polling in 2011, we averaged 52.1%. On election day, we got 47.31% – a drop of about 4.8%.

In the final month of polling in 2008, we averaged 47.1%. On election day? 44.93% – a drop of about 2.2%.

In the polls currently taken in the month before E Day, we are averaging 48.91%. The polls that dragged the mean down in the final month of polling in the previous two elections (the ones taken in the final two weeks), have not been taken yet.

What does this mean?

The polls may go down. We may lose support. E Day could be worse.

If we expect previous trends to repeat themselves, we are on track for an MMP, nail-biting, screaming-at-the-tv, 1 seat majority, hum-dinger. . .

The election result is very, very unlikely to be as blue as the polls are painting it.

An outright majority was very rare under First Past the Post. It hasn’t happened yet under MMP and is very unlikely to this year.

The trend for Labour is downwards but if National’s vote drops much below the polls, we might not get a John Key- led government and it could be possible for David Cunliffe to cobble together a coalition with the collection of mis-matched parties on the far left.


Feed not weed

September 9, 2014

Tempers are fraying within the Internet Mana Party:

Emails obtained by 3 News show Mana leader Hone Harawira lashing out over the Internet Party’s pro-cannabis policy with one of his trademark expletive-laden rants, blocking an advertising campaign and saying he is “sick of all this s**t about weed”.

The ad includes a pitch to decriminalise cannabis with the words “police no longer wasted on weed”.

Mr Harawira has said he does not support cannabis for personal use, however the Internet Party wants to see it decriminalised.

When it comes to marijuana the Mana and Internet Party leaders are diametrically opposed. Mr Harawira hates it, but for Internet Party leader Laila Harre, cannabis reform is a personal priority.

She said she has made a personal pledge to champion the issue if she is elected.

An email chain leaked to 3 News shows Mr Harawira’s irate response when the Internet Party sought permission from the leaders to use the cannabis ad.

One of his emails reads: “Why am I seeing all this shit about WEED and so f****n little about FEED as in FEED THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Mr Harawira refused to talk to 3 News, and Ms Harre denied any division.

“We don’t always see eye-to-eye on every issue that’s not an Internet Mana issue; it is par for the course in a campaign,” she said.

In the emails, Mr Harawira has a crack at the Internet Party’s cashed-up campaigns: “Just because it’s keen on the WEED deal and got all the money to spend on all this flash advertising s**t.”

Then in bold letters he writes: “I will NOT be approving this WEED campaign.

“Pull it now or I’ll go public saying how disappointed I am our money’s being spent on WEED not FEED.”

He ends in bold, capitals and a bigger font size: “GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT FOLKS!”

It appears the marriage of convenience is starting to rupture. Mana candidate Georgina Beyer attacked Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom last week, saying he was pulling the strings and was in politics for all the wrong reasons – including revenge. . .

On the cannabis issue, Ms Harre said there really was “no difference of opinion between Hone and I”.

Internet Mana has been denying rifts over cannabis and continues to do so, but the emails show Mr Harawira is clearly furious.

The Internet Party’s stance has been publicly humiliating for him – the fact it wanted to go a step further and advertise just rubs his nose in it.

I wonder how the Internet Mana puppet master Kim Dotcom feels about this email leak?

It’s not just what it says but what the leak says about dissent in the ranks that is telling.

IMP has a self-destruct clause which can be actioned six weeks after the election. The email leaks suggest at least some of the parties to the agreement would be keen to push it sooner.


A little more or a lot less

September 9, 2014

National will continue with the economic plan that’s working if voters back it:

A re-elected National Government will return to surplus this financial year and stay there so we can reduce debt, reduce ACC levies on households and businesses and start modestly reducing income taxes, Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“National’s clear economic plan is working for New Zealand by successfully supporting higher wages and more jobs, and ensuring government spending is invested wisely to deliver better results,” he said when issuing National’s Finance Policy today.

“National is working hard to ensure the economy grows sustainably into the future, supported by more savings, productive investment and exports. This will provide opportunities for Kiwi families to get ahead here in New Zealand.”

As set out in the Budget, a National-led Government will restrict average Budget allowances for discretionary new spending and revenue measures to $1.5 billion a year over the next three years. Within this allowance National will:

• Allow around $1 billion a year for new spending, including between $600 million and $700 million a year more for health and education. This total new spending is consistent with the level of new spending in our last two Budgets and it’s well below the $2 billion to $3 billion spending increases under the last Labour government, which had little to show for them. 


September 9 in history

September 9, 2014

9 –  Arminius’ alliance of six Germanic tribes ambushed and annihilated three Roman legions of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

1000 Battle of Svolder.

1379  Treaty of Neuberg, split Austrian Habsburg lands between the Habsburg Dukes Albert III and Leopold III.

1493 Battle of Krbava field, a decisive defeat of Croats in the fight against the invasion by the Ottoman Empire.

1513  James IV of Scotland was defeated and died in the Battle of Flodden Field, ending Scotland’s involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai.

1543 Mary Stuart, at nine months old, was crowned “Queen of Scots”.

1739 Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising in Britain’s mainland North American colonies prior to the American Revolution, started.

1754 William Bligh, British naval officer, was born (d. 1817).

1776 The Continental Congress officially named its new union of sovereign states the United States.

1791  Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, was named after President George Washington.

1828 Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist, was born (d. 1910).

1839 John Herschel took the first glass plate photograph.

1850 – The Compromise of 1850 stripped Texas of a third of its claimed territory in return for the U.S. federal government assuming $10 million of Texas’s pre-annexation debt.

1886 The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was finalised.

1914  World War I: The creation of the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, the first fully mechanized unit in the British Army.

1922 Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922 ended with Turkish victory over the Greeks.

1922 Hoyt Curtin, American songwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1923  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the Republican People’s Party.

1924 Hanapepe Massacre on Kauai, Hawaii.

1926 – The U.S. National Broadcasting Company was formed.

1940 George Stibitz pioneered the first remote operation of a computer.

1941 Otis Redding, American singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1967).

1942  World War II: A Japanese floatplane dropped incendiary bombs on Oregon.

1944  World War II: The Fatherland Front took power in Bulgaria through a military coup in the capital and armed rebellion in the country establishing anew pro-Soviet government.

1945  Second Sino-Japanese War: Japan formally surrendered to China.

1945 First  case of a computer bug being found: a moth lodged in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at Harvard University.

1948 Republic Day of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

1951 Alexander Downer, Australian politician, was born.

1952 David A. Stewart, English musician (Eurythmics), was born.

1956 Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.

1960 Hugh Grant, English actor, was born.

1965 – Hurricane Betsy made its second landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, leaving 76 dead and $1.42 billion ($10–12 billion in 2005 dollars) in damages.

1966 Adam Sandler, American actor and comedian, was born.

1969  Rachel Hunter, New Zealand model and actress, was born.

1969  Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 DC-9 collided in flight with a Piper PA-28 and crashed near Fairland, Indiana.

1971  The four-day Attica Prison riot began.

1976 The Wanganui Computer Act established the New Zealand government’s first centralised electronic database.

Wanganui Computer legislation passed

1990  1990 Batticaloa massacre, massacre of 184 minority Tamil civilians by Sri Lankan Army.

1991 Tajikstan gains independence from the Soviet Union.

1993  The Palestine Liberation Organization officially recognised Israel as a legitimate state.

2000 Victoria Federica de Marichalar y de Borbón, granddaughter of king Juan Carlos I of Spain, was born.

2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, was assassinated in Afghanistan.

2001 – Pärnu methanol tragedy  in Pärnu County,  Estonia.

2004  –  2004 Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta killed 10 people.

2009 – Vladikavkaz bombing:  a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives at the Central market in Vladikavkaz killing at least 17 and injuring more than 160.

2010 – A natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, created a “wall of fire” more than 1,000 feet (300 m) high.

2012 – A wave of attacks killed more than 108 people and injure 351 others in Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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