365 days of gratitude

August 3, 2018

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. –  Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Tonight I’m grateful for friends who understand me and who trust me to understand them.


Word of the day

August 3, 2018

Choplogic – involved and often specious argumentation; sophistic or overly complicated argumentation; an absurdly argumentative person.


Rural round-up

August 3, 2018

Trump farm policy is pure socialism – Liam Dann:

How embarrassing for US farmers. How embarrassing for Republican believers in small government.

Donald Trump’s administration this week unveiled US$12 billion worth of farm subsidies.

In doing so it took a bold leap back to the days of socialist inefficiency that New Zealand has pushed back against for more than 30 years. . .

Feds: unfair to short-change South Canterbury on representation:

As Environment Canterbury’s largest constituency by far, covering an area with significant water quality and quantity issues, South Canterbury should not be short-changed on its number of councillors, Federated Farmers says.

South Canterbury deserves to be represented around the ECan table by two councillors not just one, the three Canterbury provinces of Federated Farmers have said in submissions on the ECan representation proposal.

“At more than 18,000 square kilometres, the South Canterbury is one third again the size of the two other rural constituencies,” Federated Farmers South Canterbury President Jason Grant says. . .

High calibre candidates for High Country Advisory Group

The Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) today announced the members of the new South Island High Country Advisory Group.

Andrew Crisp says he was delighted with the number of applications and was pleased at the value so many people saw in working together with government through the group.

“In just four weeks we had 33 applications, demonstrating how passionately people feel about this iconic area,” says Mr Crisp. . .

Warning over potentially infectious bacteria carried by cattle – Katie Doyle:

Taranaki District Health Board is urging rural communities to be on the alert for bacteria carried in by cattle that can be passed on to humans.

Verotoxin-producing E coli is a bacteria carried in the intestines of cattle, which when passed onto children can cause severe gastroenteritis.

DHB medical officer of health Jonathan Jarman said children on farms were at a high risk of catching the disease, with nearly half of cases ending up in hospital. . . 

Sustainability attributes set to play increasing role in Chinese food choices – NZ hort industry informed:

New Zealand’s horticultural sector will need to keep a close eye on the role sustainability attributes play in the purchasing decisions of Chinese consumers if it is to maximise returns from the rapidly-growing Chinese fruit and vegetable market, according to Rabobank’s senior horticultural analyst Hayden Higgins.

Speaking at the Horticulture New Zealand Conference in Christchurch last week, Mr Higgins said, while food safety, quality and nutrition credentials were currently the most significant factors influencing Chinese consumers’ food purchasing decisions, awareness of other product characteristics, including sustainability attributes, such as water usage and emissions, was growing. . .

 

OIO approves land sale near Arthur’s Pass to Czech businessman

The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of more than 40,000 hectares of South Island high country land to a Czech businessman, Lukas Travnicek, who has permanent New Zealand residence.

The land in question is Mount White Station, a 120-year-old sheep and beef station near Arthur’s Pass.

It includes 39,337 hectares of Crown pastoral lease and 678 hectares of freehold land in Bealey. . .

Craggy Range Vineyards gets green light to expand from OIO – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Craggy Range Vineyards has been given a green light to buy 132 hectares of land in the Wairarapa for $3.6 million.

The purchase will let the Australian-owned company expand its existing Martinborough vineyard, which is about a kilometre away, the Overseas Investment Office said. . .

Onerahi forest garden celebrates three years of feeding the community :

It started out as a messy bit of land behind Whangārei Airport.

Now the Wai Ariki Food Forest Onerahi-rahi, on the corner of Whimp Ave and Church St, Onerahi, has celebrated its third birthday after countless volunteer hours has it producing fruit and veges for the community.

Wendy Giffin, from the forest garden, said Saturday’s birthday celebrations were an indication of how far the garden has come in the three years since it started as a community vision. . .

Lewis Road cuts plastic production for milk bottles:

Premium dairy brand Lewis Road Creamery has announced it will move to recycled (rPET) bottles for its milk range from the end of August as part of its commitment to the New Zealand Packaging Declaration, committing to 100 percent of its packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 or earlier.

Lewis Road is the first milk producer in the country to change to rPET bottles which are made from entirely recycled plastic. This means no new plastic is created to produce the bottles, which can then be continuously recycled. . .

 

To feed the world sustainably, repair the soil – David R. Montgomery:

New technologies and genetically modified crops are usually invoked as the key to feeding the world’s growing population. But a widely overlooked opportunity lies in reversing the soil degradation that has already taken something like a third of global farmland out of production. Simple changes in conventional farming practices offer opportunities to advance humanity’s most neglected natural infrastructure project—returning health to the soil that grows our food.

It is critical we do so. In 2015, a U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization report concluded that ongoing soil degradation reduces global harvests by a third of a percent each year under conventional farming practices. In some parts of the U.S. I’ve visited, the rich black topsoil that settlers once plowed is gone, eroded away leaving farmers tilling anemic subsoil. . .


Free trade falters

August 3, 2018

Free trade is faltering:

The man who led the New Zealand team in key global trade negotiations says the world is seeing the worst rise in trade protectionism in 23 years.

Vangelis Vitalis, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, spoke to RNZ at a conference of the meat industry in Napier.

He said years of eased trade rules were in danger of being reversed, and this must be dealt with.

“We have seen 400 new protectionist measures to May have been put in place.

“We know that non-tariff barriers cost the wider agricultural sector of New Zealand up to $6 billion a year in restricted access. These have a profound impact.

“We are seeing the sharpest rise in protectionism since 1995, especially in the last six months.” . . 

This isn’t just a threat to exporters, it’s a threat to the whole economy.

Trade restrictions don’t just hurt businesses exporting to a country which imposes tariffs. They hurt businesses in the importing country trying to export to other countries which impose tariffs in response.

There’s no better illustration of that than this Trump Toon at Inquiring Mind.

By making it harder for businesses to sell their goods to the USA, Trump’s tariffs are making it harder for USA producers to export their goods.

Trump responded by giving subsidies which is a cost to taxpayers who are the consumers who are having to pay more for imported goods.

The inability to export will result in a glut in the domestic market which will depress prices. That might help consumers in the short-term but anything they gain in lower prices will come at their cost as taxpayers who pay for the subsidies.

I’m old enough to remember what it was like in New Zealand before we embraced free trade.

Tariffs were in effect a consumer subsidy for local industries which left consumers with less choice, often lower quality, and always higher prices on a whole range of goods from necessities to luxuries.

The whole system of tariffs, import and export licences, and subsidies was ripe for exploitation, manipulation and corruption.

It gave power to politicians, created work for bureaucrats and helped the favored few at the cost of the many.

The transition to an open economy wasn’t easy, but it has been worth it.

We are no longer producing low quality food in quantities too great to sell. Production is market led, aimed at what consumers want not political and bureaucratic whim.

There is little risk that New Zealand will close its borders again but we could be caught in the crossfire as trade wars between other countries escalates.


Quote of the day

August 3, 2018

 No occupation is more worthy of an intelligent and enlightened mind, than the study of Nature and natural objects; and whether we labour to investigate the structure and function of the human system, whether we direct our attention to the classification and habits of the animal kingdom, or prosecute our researches in the more pleasing and varied field of vegetable life, we shall constantly find some new object to attract our attention, some fresh beauties to excite our imagination, and some previously undiscovered source of gratification and delight.    – Joseph Paxton who was born on this day in 1803.


August 3 in history

August 3, 2018

8  Roman Empire general Tiberius defeated Dalmatians on the river Bathinus.

881  Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu: Louis III of France defeated the Vikings, an event celebrated in the poem Ludwigslied.

1492  Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

1527  First known letter was sent from North America by John Rut.

1645  Thirty Years’ War: Second Battle of Nördlingen (Battle of Allerheim).

1678  Robert LaSalle built the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1783  Mount Asama erupted in Japan, killing 35,000 people.

1801 Joseph Paxton, English gardener, was born (d. 1865).

1811 Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor, was born (d. 1861).

1811  First ascent of Jungfrau, third highest summit in the Bernese Alps.

1852 First Boat Race between Yale and Harvard, the first American intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard won.

1860 The Second Land War began in New Zealand.

Newzealandwarsmemorial.jpg

1860 W. K. Dickson, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1935).

1867 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1947).

1872 – Anthony Trollope, one of the Victorian era’s most famous novelists, landed at Bluff at the start of a two-month tour of New Zealand.

1887 Rupert Brooke, English poet, was born (d. 1915).

1900 The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded.

1913  Wheatland Hop Riot.

1914  – World War I: Germany declared war against France.

1916   Battle of Romani – Allied forces, under the command of Archibald Murray, defeated an attacking Ottoman army, under the command ofFriedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, securing the Suez Canal, and beginning the Ottoman retreat from t.e Sinai.

1920   P. D. James, English novelist, was born (d.2014).

1923 Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States following the death of Warren G. Harding the previous day.

1924 Leon Uris, American novelist, was born (d. 2003).

1926 Tony Bennett, American singer, was born.

1934  Adolf Hitler beaome the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.

1936  Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1938 Terry Wogan, Irish television presenter, was born.

1940  Italy began the invasion of British Somaliland.

1941 Five days after its arrival in Wellington, the four-masted barquePamir was seized in prize by the New Zealand government, which then regarded Finland as ‘territory in enemy occupation’.

Finnish barque Pamir seized as war prize

1941 Martha Stewart, American media personality, was born.

1949  The National Basketball Association was founded in the United States.

1958 The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travelled beneath the Arctic ice cap.

1960  Niger gained independence from France.

1972  The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1975 A privately chartered Boeing 707 crashed into the mountainside near Agadir, Morocco killing 188.

1981  Senegalese opposition parties, under the leadership of Mamadou Dia, launched the Antiimperialist Action Front-Suxxali Reew Mi.

1985 Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand rugby and league footballer, was born.

1997  Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria; 40-76 villagers killed.

2001  The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Ealing injuring seven people.

2005  President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup while attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

2007 Keeping Stock was launched.

2010 – Widespread rioting erupted in Karachi, Pakistan, after the assassination of a local politician, leaving at least 85 dead and at least 17 billion Pakistani rupees (US$200 million) in damage.

2014 – A 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least 617 people and injured more than 2,400 in Yunnan, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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