365 days of gratitude

May 18, 2018

The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. – Joseph B Wirthlin

Tonight I’m grateful for the things I see so often, and the reminder not to see them less.


Word of the day

May 18, 2018

Contubernal occupying the same tent; living in close proximity; cohabitation; intimate; familiar.


365 days of gratitude

May 18, 2018

I’ve just found Wednesday’s gratitude post in drafts so here it is, late but none the less relevant for that.

Earth laughs in flowers. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Autumn is making it’s mark in my garden but there’s still plenty of colour: roses are blooming, naked ladies (Belladonna Amaryllis), are flowering and self-sown cornflowers are flourishing.

Today I’m grateful for evidence than the earth is still laughing in my garden.


Rural round-up

May 18, 2018

Wild West meat market – Ruby Nyika:

Complaints about food being sold illegally on social media and Trade Me have almost doubled over the past three years.

Illegal online meat sales alone nearly tripled, the Ministry for Primary Industries says. 

It’s a way to offload excess home kill and for buyers to shave dollars off meat costs, Tauwhare Home Kills owner Trevor Brunton said. 

But selling unlicensed meat – raw or cooked – online is illegal, and home-kill meat is particularly risky. . . 

Changes may lead to unforeseen problems – Pam Tipa:

Imposing changes on farming without considering wider issues such as economic and community impacts could cause unforeseen problems out ahead, says Robyn Dynes, science impact leader, AgResearch.

He was referring to Minister for the Environment David Parker saying nutrient limits may be used to reduce cow numbers.

Dynes says requirements or targets for reducing nutrient losses on farms are nothing new in many regions; most farmers are already moving that way. . . 

Good surge in strong wool prices heartening – Alan WIlliams:

Wool prices made a major advance at Thursday’s Christchurch wool sale, on large volume.

Prices remain at a low ebb but the move was heartening following gradual recent improvement, PGG Wrightson’s South Island sale manager Dave Burridge said.

The wool pipeline was moving through international markets without any stockpiles building up and a weaker NZ dollar, just below US$0.70, helped underpin the solid demand from a full gallery of buyers. . .

Farmers are suffering – Peter Burke:

Farmers and farm staff are overworked and some are facing chronic exhaustion.

That’s the view of Joyce Brown who runs StayWell – volunteer nurses who attend farm events to offer health checks to farmers.

Brown says this problem stems partly from the average age of a dairy farmer being about 58 and a drystock farm about 68. 

But it’s not only older people who are affected, she says.  . . 

New marketing initiatives – getting social :

New Zealand Winegrowers’ marketing team have launched a number of new initiatives to help promote the story of New Zealand wine.

Global Marketing Director Chris Yorke tells Tessa Nicholson about them.

Utilising digital and social media 

For many this is a strange new world of marketing yet it is one of the most important tools in the box for New Zealand Winegrowers and wineries alike. Which is why, Chris Yorke says, they are undertaking tests across all the major NZW activities in an effort to help the industry. . .

The future of food – Shan Lynch:

Today’s technology is rushing into one of the last traditional industries: agriculture.

A field largely still unaffected by the technological revolution, farming is ripe for change as need couples with opportunity.

“We’ve seen a wave of technology impact our information industries,” says Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Haim Mendelson. “Now we see another big wave of technology reshaping our traditional industries, and certainly agriculture is one of the most basic ones.” . . 


Friday’s answers

May 18, 2018

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds, . .

2. What are the four Cs by which diamonds are measured?

3. It’s novio in Spanish and marena hou in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who sang I’m getting Married in the Morning and in which musical?

5. The royal wedding is  . . . ?

Alwyn wins a virtual wedding cake for answering them all. You’re right that novio has several meanings, but in the context of the other questions I was looking for bridegroom. I used Google Translate for the Maori, am willing to accept your suggestion.

Answers follow the break

Read the rest of this entry »


Our money not theirs

May 18, 2018

Taxpayers’ Union chair Barrie Saunders calls it a classic Labour Budget:

Robertson’s first budget was written in extraordinarily benign circumstances. The economy is growing at a sustainable rate of around 3%, tax revenues for the June 2018 year will exceed Budget 2017 estimates, unemployment is down to 4.5%, employment levels are very high at 73.1%, and public debt at 21.7% of GDP is low and trending downwards. 

The economy is in vastly better shape than any new Government has inherited since 1972. That year Labour leader Norman Kirk won with a thumping majority and an inexperienced team. Labour lost to National’s Rob Muldoon, with a similar majority in 1975, and no more clues as to how to manage structural problems with the economy, which led to the economic crisis of 1984 and the Lange/Douglas reforms. 

Prime Ministers Bolger, Clark and Key would have been over the moon if they could have assumed office with today’s economic fundamentals.

The TU notes two wins for taxpayers.

  1. Fiscal responsibility

It is very encouraging that the Government is remaining within the pre-election ‘Budgetary Responsibility Rules’.  We think Steven Joyce’s allegations that Labour had an $11.7 billion hole (which Labour vehemently denied) had also been helpful in keeping the Government restrained in the face of criticism from some on the left who say they should borrow more. 

  1. Independent election policy costing office

Budget 2018 announced that “public consultation will be launched in August on establishing an independent body to better inform public debate in our democracy.”   This is something the Taxpayers’ Union has been pushing for since 2014 – for transparency and accountability of what political party policies will cost taxpayers.

For decades political parties during election campaigns have made allegations about expenditure policies of others.  That’s why we worked so hard last year with our election “Bribe-O-Meter”.  . .

National left the economy in very good shape and the government has at least budgeted to retain surpluses.

But let’s not forget it’s our money not theirs and that a surplus means it’s taking more in tax than it needs.

Had National still been in power all of us would have been able to keep a little more of what we earn.

This red-green-black government couldn’t even increase tax thresholds to address bracket creep which Treasury predicts will put average taxpayers into the top tax category by 2022.

. . .Taxpayers’ Union Economist Joe Ascroft says “This is the eighth successive Budget that has not delivered income tax relief. While most New Zealanders expect only the most well off should pay the top rate of tax, if the current trend continues, even the average taxpayer will be paying the top rate.”

“In fact, much of the wage growth over the last eight years has actually just been keeping up with inflation, so while many families don’t feel much better off, they are paying more in tax than ever before. Inflation will similarly push families into the top tax bracket over the next four years.” . .

The only tax cuts in this business were for hot horses.

In terms of tax relief, unless you breed horses you are out of luck. Winston Peters has announced $4.8 million in tax reductions for ‘high quality’ horses (defined in the media release as being based on bloodlines, looks, and racing potential!).

 


Quote of the day

May 18, 2018

A hair divides what is false and true – Omar Khayyám who was born on this day in 1048.


May 18 in history

May 18, 2018

1048 Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher, was born (d. 1131).

1152  Henry II of England married Eleanor of Aquitaine.

1268  The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, fell to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.

1302 Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.

1498 Vasco da Gama reached the port of Calicut, India.

1593  Playwright Thomas Kyd‘s accusations of heresy led to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.

1652 Rhode Island passed the first law in North America making slavery illegal.

1763  Fire destroyed a large part of Montreal.

1783  First United Empire Loyalists reached Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States.

1803  Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revoked the Treaty of Amiensand declared war on France.

1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

1811  Battle of Las Piedras: The first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay led by Jose Artigas.

1812  John Bellingham was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.

1843  The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland.

1848  Opening of the first German National Assembly(Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt.

1860  Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination over William H. Seward.

1863  American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg began.

1868 – Nicholas II of Russia, was born (d. 1918).

1872 – Bertrand Russell, Welsh mathematician, historian, and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate was born (d. 1970).

1896  The United States Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Fergusonthatseparate but equal is constitutional.

1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of  Tsar Nicholas II resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.

1897  Dracula,  by Irish author Bram Stoker was published.

1897  Frank Capra, American film producer, director, and writer, was born  (d. 1991).

1900  The United Kingdom proclaimed a protectorate over Tonga.

1910  The Earth passed through the tail of Comet Halley.

1912 – Perry Como, American singer, was born (d. 2001).

1917 World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 was passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.

1919  – Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer, was born  (d. 1991).

1920 Pope John Paul II was born (d. 2005).

1926 Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while visiting a Venice, California beach.

1927  The Bath School Disaster: Forty-five people were killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.

1933 New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act creating theTennessee Valley Authority.

1937 New Zealand nurses René Shadbolt, Isobel Dodds, and Millicent Sharples were detained at Auckland police station before leaving for the Spanish Civil War as recruits for the Spanish Medical Aid Committee.

NZ nurses detained on way to Spanish Civil War

1944  World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino – Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) evacuated Monte Cassino.

1944  Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union  government.

1948  The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convened in Nanking.

1949 Rick Wakeman, English composer and musician (Yes) was born.

1949 – Bill Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who) was born.

1953  Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1955  Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War, ended.

1956 First  ascent of Lhotse 8,516 metres, by a Swiss team.

1958 An F-104 Starfighter set a world speed record of 2,259.82 km/h (1,404.19 mph).

1959 Launching of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.

1966 Koroki Te Rata Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero, the fifth Maori monarch heading the Kingitanga movement, died.

Death of Maori King Koroki

1969  Apollo 10 was launched.

1974 Nuclear test: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.

1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time.

1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens: killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.

1980 Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea began demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms.

1983  In Ireland, the government launched a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova  put off the air.

1990 In France, a modified TGV train achieved a new rail world speed record of 515.3km/h (320.2 mph).

1991 Northern Somalia declared independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is unrecognised by the international community.

1993  EU-riots in Nørrebro, Copenhagen caused by the approval of the four Danish exceptions in the Maastricht Treaty referendum. Police opened fire against civilians for the first time since World War II and injured 11 demonstrators.

1998 United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states filed an antitrust case against Microsoft.

2006 The post Loktantra Andolan government passed a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.

2009  Sri Lankan Civil War: The LTTE were defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.

2011 – 22 people were killed when Sol Líneas Aéreas Flight 5428 crashed in southern Argentina.

2012 – Facebook, Inc. began selling stock to the public and trading on theNASDAQ.

2015 – At least 78 people died in a landslides caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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