366 days of gratitude

April 18, 2016

As we were eating dinner this evening my farmer observed our plates were lacking in greens.

They were, but they had plenty of yellows, oranges and reds – courgettes, carrots and tomatoes, all of which had come from out garden and tasting all the better for that, for which I’m grateful.


Word of the day

April 18, 2016
Amative –  strongly moved by love and especially  sexual love;  indicative of or displaying love;: of, relating or inclined towards love.

Rural round-up

April 18, 2016

Peninsula Farmers Win Supreme Title In 2016 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Portobello sheep and beef farmers Brendon and Paula Cross have been named Supreme winners of the 2016 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

At a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 15 (2016), the couple also collected the Otago Regional Council Quality Water Management Award, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. . . 

Dairy Woman of the Year Finalists:

Three finalists for the prestigious Dairy Woman of the Year have been announced by the Dairy Women’s Network.

They are Westport based Landcorp business manager Rebecca Keoghan, Central West Coast dairy farmer Renee Rooney and Waihi based LIC farm solution manager Michelle Wilson.

Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Zelda de Villiers said judges had a hard time selecting the finalists for the fifth annual awards.

“Our nominees personify all that is good about the many and varied roles women play in the dairy sector up and down the country,” de Villiers said. . . .

A good yarn – Peter McDonald:

I had the opportunity to attend “A Good Yarn” – a workshop run by the Southland Rural Support Trust.

We delved into the topic of farmer’s mental health.

Financial pressures and on farm conditions both have been converging to ramp up the stress in our southern farming communities of late.

As I sat and listened, I started to realise that I ticked a few of these boxes.

For example stress can manifest itself in losing one’s temper at the most minor on farm “hiccups” .

I just thought that was normal. . . 

My genetically modified crops are everything an environmentalist should want – Bob Bartley:

I have been a farmer for more than 40 years and I have grown genetically enhanced (GE) crops since 1996. We grow corn, soybeans and canola, all of which are GE, as well as other crops that are not GE. I have seen many benefits to this technology through the years, but what is in it for the consumer? Safe, affordable food that’s better for the environment.

I really don’t consider the crops I grow to be ready-to-eat food, like apples, carrots or potatoes, but more like ingredients to make food products such as margarine, flour and feed for livestock. Government regulators and scientists wanted to be sure of the safety of GE crops right from the beginning. As a result, these crops have undergone testing far beyond that required for other new crop varieties. There have been about 2,000 published studies on GE crop safety. The results say that the GE crops grown today are as safe as any others. Some reports say they’re even safer. There have also been several studies that show how they reduce food prices, too — a direct result of higher farm yields. GE crops are one reason why North American consumers have the safest, highest quality and most affordable food in the world. . . 

English on the money – Rural Contractors:

Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) president Steve Levet says comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English in relation to the suitability and work ethic of some young New Zealanders is, unfortunately, correct.

Mr Levet was commenting on Mr English’s recent remarks to a Federated Farmers meeting, saying there’s a proportion of the work force that won’t work and are “pretty damn hopeless”.

“Bill English is right when he says that some younger New Zealanders, when offered the chance for work, won’t take it, can’t pass drug tests, or don’t have an appropriate drivers licence. . .

Otago’s merino wool could head to Norway – Brook Hobson:

Two companies with histories dating back more than 120 years could soon be partnering in an international merino wool deal.

Armidale Merino Stud, based in Otago, has been in the Paterson family since 1880 and Simon Paterson is the fifth generation to run the farm.

Devold of Norway, a company founded in 1853, is looking to partner with the stud to use its merino wool. . . 

Young farmer in to win national competition:

When Logan Wallace first joined Young Farmers, one of his goals was to reach the grand final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest.

Eight years later, his dream has been realised following his recent victory in the Otago-Southland regional final in Wyndham.

A member of Clinton-South Otago Young Farmers Club, Mr Wallace (26) will now line up against the six other regional final winners in the grand final in Timaru in July. . . 

Awards night soon:

It’s nearly time for the New Zealand Century Farm and Station Awards.

The function for the latest awards will be held in Lawrence next month, with 34 families being formally recognised for farming on their land for 100 or more years.

Chairman Symon Howard was delighted with this year’s result, saying it was great to see that, after 11 years, high numbers of new applications were still consistently being received. . . 

New forestry leader:

Peter Clark, the chief executive officer of PF Olsen Ltd, has been elected president of the Forest Owners Association (FOA).

He replaces retiring president Paul Nicholls. George Asher, chief executive officer of the Lake Taupo Forest Trust, has been elected vice-president.

The association’s members own the majority of New Zealand’s plantation forests. It works closely with the Farm Forestry Association and is administrator for the Forest Levy Trust Board, which represents the interests of all forest owners. . . 

Bennett supported by forest owners at New York signing:

Forest owners say the formal adoption of the Paris climate change agreement in New York Friday [22 April] will potentially have great benefits for both plantation and natural forests world-wide.

Climate change minister Paula Bennett will be in New York to sign the agreement along with representatives from 130 other countries.

Forest Owners Association president Peter Clark says getting signatures on the agreement is yet another step in a long journey. The agreement will come into force once it has been ratified by 55 countries – representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions. . . 

Ngāi Tahu Seafood opens new processing plant:

Ngāi Tahu Seafood officially opened a new purpose-built facility in Bluff today – 15 April.

This new facility represents a significant investment in the local community and wider Southland district and it is expected to provide new employment opportunities.

Ngai Tahu Seafood Ltd has operated in Bluff since 1992 in a number of used facilities (three in total). In 2013 the decision was made to build a new purpose-built facility which would be future proofed to enable for expansion for all species and formats such as live fish, crustaceans and shellfish and / or fresh chilled and frozen products. . . 

 


Inflation is theft

April 18, 2016

Low inflation is boosting household spending power:

Low inflation is helping New Zealand households get ahead, with wages on average continuing to rise faster than the cost of living, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Inflation was only 0.4 per cent for the year to March 2016, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand today. Inflation for the March quarter was 0.2 per cent. 

Much of quarterly increase was driven by cigarettes and tobacco, which rose 9.4 per cent following increase in excise duty in January. Food prices were up 1.2 per cent in the quarter, but were down 0.4 per cent over the whole year.

Lower oil prices contributed to the low cost of living increase. Petrol prices fell 7.7 per cent in the first three months of 2016, following a 5.7 per cent fall the previous quarter.

“We are in the unusual situation of having solid economic growth, more jobs and rising wages at the same time as very low interest rates and inflation,” Mr English says. “This is helping New Zealand families get ahead.

“Households with mortgages have the double benefit of low cost of living rises and lower mortgage servicing costs, which will be particularly welcome in regions with increasing house prices.

“Since the start of 2012 the average annual wage has increased by more than 10 per cent to $57,800, considerably faster than inflation which has been only 3.1 per cent.”

An additional 175,000 jobs have been created over the last three years, with a further 173,000 expected by 2020.

“Overall, New Zealand is doing well and New Zealanders are reaping the benefit of a growing economy.”

When Don Brash was governor of the Reserve Bank he called inflation theft and it is, eroding the real value of money and investments.

Now, wage-rises outpacing inflation combined with low interest rates are giving households more spending power.

When people seek government help it usually requires more spending.

The government’s concentration on keeping a tight rein on its finances doesn’t usually get much credit but it is one way it can influence inflation and in doing so it protects and enhances the value of what people earn, invest and save.


Quote of the day

April 18, 2016

There is a good deal of talk just now about what they are going to do after the war with the women: Must they be made to return to the home? Are they going to take them out of the factory, the office, off the land? 

To me, this sort of discussion is very disquieting. It makes me think we’ve already forgotten the reasons why we’re fighting this war. Aren’t we fighting for liberty, for democracy and to eradicate fascism and Nazism in every form? Surely we don’t mean liberty and democracy for men only? Indeed, I hope women will enjoy the liberty which they have helped to win and be permitted to choose what they want to do.

Do you remember that one of the first things the Nazis did when they came to power was to put women out of the professions, out of the factories? They barred the doors of the universities to all but a few women and they severely limited women’s opportunities for 
any kind of higher education; by these methods the Nazis forced women back to the home – back to the kitchen. I can’t help thinking that if any attempt is made here after the war to force women back to the home, it will be proof that facism still has strong roots in Australia. 

Women should not be forced to return to the home, but they should be free to return there if they wish to. I don’t like what’s implied in the suggestion that women will have to he forced back into the home – that’s a slight not only on home life, but also on the work of bearing and rearing children, don’t you agree? The greatest happiness for many women is to care for a home and to raise a family. The trouble in the past has been that society has failed to make it possible for all the women who wanted to have homes and raise families to do so. 

And while we’re on the subject of women in the home, I think that this life could be made attractive to many more women by developing amenities and customs that render home less of a prison than it is to many women with young families. Just think of the prospects of family life, as lived under present conditions, to a clever, energetic, bright young girl. Soon after marriage there will be a baby, and from then on she cannot move unencumbered. The more babies, the harder she has to work and the greater her restrictions.

If we want more women to choose home life, we must make home life less hard. But how can we do this? Well, we can have crèches and kindergartens and supervised playgrounds where children can be left in safe surroundings. Then we must change many of our conventions. Why should a woman do all the work in the home? Why can’t we, for example, have community kitchens and laundries? If a woman wants 
to work outside the home, why shouldn’t she? Let her be free to choose. There’s just as much and more reason to believe that the best interests of her family and of society will be served by giving a woman a free choice than by expecting her to adhere to a lot of 
worn-out conventions. 

Anyway, the contribution that women can make to public life through the professions or in industry is important. Women in the past have been very much hampered by their inexperience in these spheres. They haven’t had the opportunity to qualify for 
representative positions or positions of control and direction. In other words, because of the lack of opportunity to gain experience they’re denied the opportunity of exerting any influence in framing policies or directing public affairs. 

I am pretty sure that many women will remain in industry after the war, for we shall be in need of more skilled hands rather than less. Remember, we couldn’t exert a full war effort until women were absorbed into industry; therefore, how can we exert a full peace programme without making use of their services?

Everyone knows how short we are of houses and hospitals and offices, of furniture, of bathroom and kitchen fittings, of curtains, wallpaper, clothing, foodstuffs, in fact, hundreds of commodities. Can you imagine the tremendous amount of work that will be required? Not only have we to make up the deficiency of the war years, but we must provide all these amenities on a much larger scale after the war.

There were large numbers of people before the war who had no homes, not even enough to eat; hospital accommodation was inadequate, and so on. Although all these could have been provided for a few million pounds, we believed we could not afford to better these conditions. It took a total war to show us what we could do with our own resources. If we can raise money for war we can raise it for peace, surely. It would be inexcusable in the future to condemn people to live under the conditions so many endured before the war. 

Why is there so much opposition to women remaining in industry? The secret isn’t far to seek. It’s simply that they got paid less – they are cheap labour, certainly not, as so many have alleged, because they’re weaker or less efficient. Unfortunately, because their labour is cheaper, women not only threaten the wage standards of men workers, but they also threaten the standard of living of all workers. The obvious and just way to avoid this is to give equal pay to men and women. 

To put this in a nutshell, I believe that in a democratic, free society women should be at liberty to choose whether they will take up home life or work outside the home; that men and women should receive equal pay and equal opportunity; that home life should be made less of a tie and the burden of raising a family be lightened. If we can face these peacetime problems with the spirit of determination and conciliation with which we’re facing our war problems, we may hope to solve them.  – Jessie Street who was born on this day in 1889.

 


April 18 in history

April 18, 2016

1025 Bolesław Chrobry was crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

1480 Lucrezia Borgia, Florentine ruler and daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was born  (d. 1519) .

1506 The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica was laid.

1518  Bona Sforza was crowned as queen consort of Poland.

1738 Real Academia de la Historia (“Royal Academy of History”) founded in Madrid.

1775  American Revolution: The British advancement by sea began; Paul Revere and other riders warned the countryside of the troop movements.

1783 Fighting ceased in the American Revolution, eight years to the day since it began.

1797 The Battle of Neuwied – French victory against the Austrians.

1831 The University of Alabama was founded.

1847 A Maori raid on the Gilfillan farm at Matarawa, near Wanganui, left four family members dead.

Gilfillan killings near Wanganui

1848 American victory at the battle of Cerro Gordo opened the way for invasion of Mexico.

1880 An F4 tornado struck Marshfield, Missouri, killing 99 people and injuring 100.

1881  Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County jail.

1889 Jessie Street, Australian suffragette, feminist, and human rights activist, was born (d. 1970) .

1899 The St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria.

1902  Quetzaltenango, second largest city of Guatemala, was destroyed by Earthquake.

1906 The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed much of San Francisco.

1906 – The Los Angeles Times story on the Azusa Street Revival launched Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement.

1909 Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.

1912  The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brought 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.

1915 Joy Gresham Lewis, American writer, wife of C. S. Lewis, was born (d. 1960) .

1915 French pilot Roland Garros was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines.

1923 Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built,” opened.

1924 Simon & Schuster published the first Crossword puzzle book.

1930 BBC Radio infamously announced that there was no news on that day.

1930 Clive Revill, New Zealand born actor, was born.

1940 Mike Vickers, British guitarist and saxophonist was born.

1942 World War II: The Doolittle Raid – Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagoya bombed.

1942 – Pierre Laval became Prime Minister of Vichy France.

1943 World War II: Operation Vengeance, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed when his aircraft was shot down by U.S. fighters over Bougainville Island.

1945 More than 1,000 bombers attacked the small island of Heligoland, Germany.

1946 Hayley Mills, English actress, was born.

1946 The League of Nations was dissolved.

1949  The Republic of Ireland Act came into force.

1954 Gamal Abdal Nasser seized power in Egypt.

1955 Twenty-nine nations met at Bandung, Indonesia, for the first Asian-African Conference.

1958 A United States federal court ruled that poet Ezra Pound was to be released from an insane asylum.

1961 CONCP was founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portuguese colonial rule.

1971 David Tennant, Scottish actor, was born

1974 The prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto inaugurated Lahore Dry port.

1980 – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) came into being, with Canaan Banana as the first President.

1983 – A suicide bomber destroyed the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1988 The United States launched Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.

1992 – General Abdul Rashid Dostum revolted against PresidentMohammad Najibullah of Afghanistan and allied with Ahmed Shah Massoud to capture Kabul.

1993 – President of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National Assembly and dismissed the Cabinet.

1996 In Lebanon, at least 106 civilians are killed when the Israel Defence Forces shelled the UN compound at Quana where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.

2007  The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-4 decision.

2007 – A series of bombings, two of them suicides,  in Baghdad, killed 198 and injured 251.

2013 – A suicide bombing in a Baghdad cafe killed 27 people and injured another 65.

2014 – 16 people were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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