366 days of gratitude

September 9, 2016

Some days I take the natural beauty which surrounds me for granted.

On others I look at it with fresh eyes and with the knowledge that skies so blue, grass so green, contrasting with the snow-clad mountains on the horizon are something for which I should be grateful, and I am.


Word of the day

September 9, 2016

Smatchet – a short, heavy fighting knife/sword;  a contemptible unmannerly person;  small, nasty or insignificant person.


Rural round-up

September 9, 2016

It’s a demographic time-bomb: dairy farms in crisis as youngsters shun milk because health professionals ‘treat it as an enemy’  – Dave Burke:

  • Consumption of dairy products has dropped among young people
  • A new ‘three-a-day’ campaign is due to be launched to promote the nutritional benefits of milk, butter and cheese
  • The warning was sounded by David Dobbin, chief executive of United Dairy Farmers
  • He said health professionals are largely to blame for the slump

Britain’s dairy farmers are facing a crisis due to falling demand – because health professionals are treating milk and dairy products ‘as the enemy’, an expert has warned.

David Dobbin, chief executive of United Dairy Farmers – a co-operative group of producers – said younger generations are drinking far less milk than their parents and grandparents did. . . 

Predator Free 2050 vision supported by DOC-Kiwibank partnership:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed a new partnership between DOC and Kiwibank which will contribute towards New Zealand’s goal of becoming predator free by 2050.

The partnership announced today focuses on DOC’s conservation dog programme and the remarkable canines using their unique noses to tackle predators and help our native species.

“Specially-trained dogs are truly one of conservation’s best friends, and they will play a crucial role in our plans to make New Zealand predator free by 2050,” Ms Barry says.

“My own North Shore electorate often sees the popular Pai and Piri, two terriers who are excellent ratters, working at our ferry terminals. . . 

Changes to commercial fishing limits:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced changes to management controls for 25 fish stocks as part of the regular twice yearly fisheries sustainability review.

“All these decisions make the best possible use of the latest scientific information to ensure sustainable stocks whilst maximising the benefits for all users – customary, recreational and commercial,” says Mr Guy.

A key change is a significant increase to the catch limit for Snapper 7 (covering the top and west coast of the South Island) with recreational catch increasing from 90 to 250 tonnes, and commercial from 200 to 250 tonnes. . . 

Environment Commissioner congratulates Minister on strong decision for longfin eels:

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has congratulated the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy, on his decision to make big reductions in the catch limits for longfin eels in the South Island.

“It’s great to see the Minister making this very positive move towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of the longfin eel,” said Dr Jan Wright.

New catch limits announced by the Minister today effectively amount to a suspension of commercial fishing for longfins in four of the six management areas in the South Island, and a reduction of the allowable catch in the remaining two. . . 

DWN joins forces with Deosan:

Dairy Women’s Network has signed on a new dairying partner in Waikato-based company Deosan this month.

Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Zelda de Villiers says the Network is thrilled to work alongside Deosan, a New Zealand owned business specialising in udder health, dairy hygiene and liquid mineral products, to offer its 9300 members market-leading advice and education in the space.

In the coming months, Deosan will be presenting a series of free educational workshops on udder health and mastitis prevention to DWN members in key regions throughout the country as part of their agreement with the Network. . .

Global experts set to share selenium wisdom:

New Zealand farmers, producers and animal health professionals (veterinarians, nutritionists, feed companies), are being urged to take advantage of a free one-day seminar to help boost animal health and productivity.

Focusing on the essential key mineral, selenium, the seminar presents world-renowned experts, Professor Peter Surai and Dr. Kevin Liu, sharing the latest global research and developments in selenium nutrition and supplementation.

Attendees will learn first-hand about the importance of selenium as an antioxidant in modern New Zealand intensive animal production.  . . 

Hamilton farm girl’s on-line search for love – Ryan Bridge:

If you’re looking for love but lead a busy life then you’ll be able to relate to Marcella Bakker.

Ms Bakker’s a farmer and all-round good sort from Hamilton who’s become quite famous online thanks to her search for a man.

She posted a message on the NZ Farming website asking for men to contact her if they were interested in a date and Story went to answer the call. . . 

‘Modern day farm chick’ puts face to agriculture – Ray Mueller:

“Don’t expect to change the world but at least change the world for one person.”

That’s the vision which inspires Annaliese Wegner, who has dubbed herself “modern day farm chick,” for her social media blogs in which she tries to counter and correct “the bad and false information” about dairying and agriculture that “consumers eat up.”

Wegner posts on Facebook, Instragram and Twitter and participates in the AgChat Foundation in order to “share our story.” That story is rooted in her experiences at the 550 Holstein cow herd near Ettrick in Trempealeau County, where she and her husband Tom and his parents Jeff and Betty Wegner are the partners in Wegnerlann Dairy LLC. The younger Wegners met when they were students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. . . 

Wool market subdued:

New Zealand Wool Services International Ltd’s C.E.O John Dawson reports that the South Island auction offering a wide range of microns and types, saw varied interest as a resurgent New Zealand dollar and limited overseas buying combined to undermine local price levels.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies lifted 2.69 percent compare to last week.

Of the 10454 bales on offer only 55 percent sold with many growers not prepared to accept current price levels.

Mr Dawson advises that compared to the last South Island offering on 25th August. . .

 


Friday’s answers

September 9, 2016

Andrei and Teletext posed the questions for which they get my thanks.

Should they have stumped us all they can claim a virtual batch of citrus slice by leaving the answers below.


Rise of middle income

September 9, 2016

The Opposition and other cheerleaders for the left keep telling us how poorly New Zealand is doing.

The overview of the Household Income Trends disproves that. (p 13):

  • The graph shows the net improvement at the top of each income decile from HES 2009 to HES 2015. This is from just before the GFC (calendar 2008 on average), through the recession, and then the recovery. The increases were reasonably even across the spectrum at around 8-10% in real terms (8-10% above inflation). The negative impact of the GFC and the associated recession was generally a little greater for lower income households, but the slightly greater gains since for lower income households offset that. . . 
  • New Zealand’s net gains from HES 2009 to HES 2015 are better overall than for many OECD countries – the negative impact was more muted here and the recovery has been stronger than for many:
    • the UK median fell through the GFC and has only just returned to its pre-GFC level
    • Italy, Spain, France and Germany were flat through the GFC and have remained so since
    • the US median in 2014 was much the same as in 2008 before the GFC, and was 4% lower than in 2000
    • in Australia incomes above the median have shown very little net growth since just before the GFC
    • New Zealand’s post-GFC gain of 12% at the median is more like that of the top performers such as Finland and Sweden (10-12%), though they did not have the fall in median during the GFC that New Zealand did (-3%).

The left also keep telling us inequality is growing but as Lindsay Mitchell says, the US 1% is not like us. And we see that on page 15 of the overview:

One of the reasons for the interest in what is happening with very high incomes is the fact that in the USA there has been considerable growth in the share of total income received by high income earners (see graph on previous page) , while at the same time there has been little or no income rise for the bulk of the “middle class”. Neither of these factors apply in New Zealand: the trends for the top 1% and 0.5% shares are flat for New Zealand, and “middle class” income growth has been solid over the 20 years to 2015. 

It’s not all good news, housing costs now take up a greater proportion of income and it’s worse for poorer households.

There’s plenty of scope to do better, but rather than listen to the left, cue Fred Dagg, because the stats show we don’t know how lucky we are.


Quote of the day

September 9, 2016

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy who was born on this day in 1828.

He also said:

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

And

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

And:

To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can’t eat it.

And:

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.

And:

The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.

And:

The law condemns and punishes only actions within certain definite and narrow limits; it thereby justifies, in a way, all similar actions that lie outside those limits.

And:

Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.

And

And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people.


September 9 in history

September 9, 2016

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”.

1585  – Cardinal Richelieu, French cardinal and politician, was born (d. 1642).

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.

1868  – Mary Hunter Austin, American author, poet, and critic, was born (d. 1934).

1885 – Miriam Licette, English soprano and educator (d. 1969), was born.

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

1890 – Colonel Sanders, American businessman, founded KFC, was born(d. 1980).

1911 – John Gorton, Australian lieutenant and politician, 19th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 2002).

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.

1974 – Gok Wan, English fashion stylist, author, and television host, was born.

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.

2009 – The Dubai Metro, the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula, was ceremonially inaugurated.

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

2012 – The Indian space agency put into orbit its heaviest foreign satellite yet, in a streak of 21 consecutive successful PLSV launches.

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

2015 – Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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