365 days of gratitude

12/11/2018

My first taste of asparagus was that sorry, soggy excuse for a vegetable that comes in tins.

It took fresh asparagus to convert me to a fan and this year we have our own to harvest.

We planted it two years ago and followed the instructions from a garden guru religiously – letting it grow and go to seed the first two season and only this, the third season have we harvested it.

We’re eating it in salads, roulades, by itself and as a side with lunch and dinner and it’s delicious.

Today I’m grateful for home-grown asparagus.


Word of the day

12/11/2018

Bothy – a small hut or cottage, especially one for housing farmhands or labourers, or for use as a mountain refuge; a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge.


Sowell says

12/11/2018


One unfortunate 61 incompetent

12/11/2018

Shane Jones has been forced to admit he failed to disclose 61 meetings:

Shane Jones has had to correct 20 answers to questions from the National Party after he failed to disclose meetings he had earlier this year. . . 

Mr Jones, the regional economic development minister, said he took full responsibility for the muck-up which he put down to a transcription error from his outlook diary. . . 

To misquote Lady Bracknell, one error might be regarded as unfortunate, 61 looks like incompetence.

National MP Paul Goldsmith uses weekly written parliamentary questions to ask Mr Jones who he meets with and what for.

He said this slip-up by the minister seriously concerned him, because it was not one or two meetings he missed, but 61.

And, he said, a number of those meetings were to do with the $3 billion of public money Mr Jones had responsibility for.

“What’s made me nervous, is that we regularly ask who he meets with and you can understand that a minister would make the occasional mistake. But what we saw here was 61 meetings which he hadn’t initially declared, which he is now declaring.” . . 

Clare Curran was sacked after making the same mistake over not disclosing meetings twice. What happens to a minister who makes the same mistake 61 times?

 

 


Rural round-up

12/11/2018

Fonterra hopes for collaboration in review of regulating law – Jeremy Rees:

Fonterra has welcomed the review of the law which governs it and urged farmers and shareholders to work with the government to get it right.

At its annual meeting, Fonterra chairman John Monaghan told the 360 farmers in the audience that the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA), which regulated the company was a complex piece of legislation but it was important to get any changes right.

“Let’s be clear. Fonterra’s performance, good or bad, is not driven by DIRA,” he said.

“But an updated DIRA can deliver our shared vision for the future of the New Zealand dairy industry.”

The government began in May a review of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 which sets the parameters for Fonterra, the co-operative dairy giant. . . 

Fonterra is under attack from all sides, and now from within, as it grapples with issues that date back to 2001. These restraints allow its competitors to pick away at its good bits. China holds a tariff lever over NZ policymakers – Guy Trafford:

A busy week for Fonterra with the appointment of the two new directors and one still to come. Later today comes the result of the asset review instigated after the poor results from last season.

One of the new directors, Leonie Guiney has made her position plain in September she was quoted saying she wants the company to shift its whole strategy away from investments, like Beingmate and China Farms, which she says are “beyond our capability”.

If Fonterra thought they may get an easier path in the future through a revamp of the DIRA, the indications coming out are any thing to go by they are going to be disappointed. In fact, some are suggesting that the goal posts have been moved further away with a 70% mark as the point which is more likely to trigger a freeing up of some of the constraints the Coop is required to operate under. . .

New directorate to run M bovis programme – Annette Scott:

The new Mycoplasma bovis Response Directorate will provide a more robust model for the ongoing response to the cattle disease.

The directorate has been established after the decision by the Government and industry to try to eradicate M bovis and in consultation with Ministry for Primary Industries staff.

MPI response and readiness director Geoff Gwyn has been appointed to lead the new body.

Gwyn has headed the M bovis response since the cattle disease was found in July 2017. . . .

Swarmstorm design to benefit beekeepers:

Hobby beekeepers could have an alternative product to recollect swarms and maintain bee reproduction rates thanks to the work of Massey University industrial design student Liam Brankin.

The 22 year-old has devised a prototype backpack he calls the Swarmstorm that uses a suction hose, similar to a household vacuum cleaner, to suck and capture bees into a cardboard container before they are transferred to hives to continue the reproduction and honey-producing process.

His design is part of the Exposure graduate exhibition of final year work by design, art, creative media and music students from the College of Creative Arts, which opens at the Wellington campus on Friday.  . . .

Commission authorises extending restrictions on infant formula marketing ;

The Commerce Commission has authorised members of the Infant Nutrition Council Limited to extend the advertising and marketing restrictions in their Code of Practice to cover infant formula products for children aged up to 12 months of age.

Currently, the restrictions only apply to infant formula products for children aged up to six months of age. The INC asked the Commission to authorise the extended advertising and marketing restrictions, as the extended restrictions may lessen competition. . .

Nursery industry congratulate Young Hort 2018 runner-up:

Runner up Young Horticulturalist of the year, Devin Westley, is an extraordinary young man with a huge passion for his work as a nurseryman and innovator in the industry.

His employer, Southern Woods Nursery and the NZ Plant Producers’ Industry are delighted with his placing in the New Zealand Young Horticulturalist 2018 competition.

Devin also took home awards for best practice, practical activities and best speech on the night at the award’s dinner in Auckland last night. . . 


Benefits of a bad lambing

12/11/2018

When then-Awarua MP Eric Roy was first in parliament he was asked what it was like.

He replied, there are too many people up there who hadn’t had a bad lambing.

That was back in 1993.  There are even more without that experience now:

About 10% of national politicians have had agribusiness careers but increasingly members of Parliament are being drawn from careers in the public or Parliamentary services.

A study by Wellington public relations company Blackland PR found 11 of Parliament’s 121 MPs have experience working in the agricultural sector, nine of them from National, one from Labour and one from New Zealand First.

No Green Party MPs have worked in the rural sector.

The company’s director Mark Blackham said 23% of MPs had worked in business or commerce and 19% in central government.

A quarter of Labour MPs and 20% of those from National worked in the public service or in Parliament before being elected.

A third of all MPs had no definable career but an increasing number were heavily involved in activism or worked for non-government organisations, especially among the Green Party ranks, before entering Parliament.

Agriculture is the one career that differentiates party roots.

“Agriculture is the only major economic sector where experience differs between political parties,” he said. . . 

Fewer MPs with an agribusiness or wider rural background is partly a result of MMP. Electorates are bigger in area and fewer in number. One rural MP now services an area that would have had at least two under FPP and list MPs are almost all based in cities.

It is also partly a result of fewer people with any business backgrounds and wider life experience entering parliament and more people whose experience is limited to employment by local or central government and/or in activism.

It’s not only farmers who face bad lambings in a figurative sense. But parliament now has more people with less, if any, experience, employing other people; more who have not had to make decisions which impact on their own and other people’s livelihoods and fewer who have run anything where their own money was at risk.

Parliament is generally more representative when it comes to gender and ethnicity but less representative of people with work and life experience in which they’ve not only faced bad lambings, whether literally or figuratively,  but learned from and become better people as a result of them.

MPs are supposed to represent people and a parliament that is representative of the population ought to do that better.

But MPs are also in parliament to make laws and I’d have more confidence in laws made by people who’ve been through bad lambings – literal or figurative –  than those whose work experience has been confined to bureaucracy or activism.


Quote of the day

12/11/2018

The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it.Grace Kelly (Princess Grace of Monaco) who was born on this day in 1929.


November 12 in history

12/11/2018

764 – Tibetan troops occupied Chang’an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

1028 – Future Byzantine empress Zoe married Romanus Argyrus.

1439 – Plymouth, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.

1555 – The English Parliament re-established Catholicism.

1651 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican mystic and author, was born  (d. 1695).

1729 Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer, was born (d. 1811).

1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined.

1840 Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, was born (d. 1917).

1847 – Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, was the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1866 Sun Yat-sen, the 1st President of the Republic of China was born  (d. 1925).

1892 – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional American football player on record.

1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line was signed between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan.

1889 – DeWitt Wallace, American publisher and philanthropist, co-founded Reader’s Digest, was born (d. 1981).

1905 – Norway held a referendum in favour of monarchy over republic.

1912 Striking worker Fred Evans was fatally injured in a clash with police and strike breakers during the bitter six-month-long dispute at the gold mining town of Waihi.

Striker fatally wounded at Waihi

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

1918 – Austria became a republic.

1920 – Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes signed the Treaty of Rapallo.

1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

1929 Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), was born  (d. 1982).

1933 – Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster.

1934 Charles Manson, American cult leader, was born

1936 – The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic.

1938 – Hermann Göring proposed plans to make Madagascar the “Jewish homeland”.

1941 – World War II: Temperatures around Moscow dropped to -12 ° C and the Soviet Union launched ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.

1941 – World War II: The Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina was destroyed during the Battle of Sevastopol.

1942 – World War II: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal began.

1943 Bjorn Waldegard, Swedish rally driver, was born.

1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force launched 29 Avro Lancaster bombers in one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of war and sinks the German battleship Tirpitz, with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs.

1944 Booker T. Jones, American musician and songwriter (Booker T and the MG’s), was born.

1945 Neil Young, Canadian singer and musician, was born.

1948 – An international war crimes tribunal sentenced seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo, to death for their roles in World War II.

1958 – A team of rock climbers led by Warren Harding completed the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

1962 Naomi Wolf, American author and feminist, was born.

1969 – Vietnam War: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hershbroke the My Lai story.

1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempted to destroy a rotting beached Sperm whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous“exploding whale” incident.

1970 – The 1970 Bhola cyclone makes landfall on the coast of East Pakistan becoming the deadliest tropical cyclone in history.

1978 – As Bishop of Rome Pope John Paul II took possession of his Cathedral Church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter ordered a halt to all petroleum imports into the United States from Iran.

1980 – The NASA space probe Voyager I made its closest approach toSaturn and takes the first images of its rings.

1981 – Mission STS-2, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marked the first time a manned spacecraft was launched into space twice.

1982 – Yuri Andropov became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee, succeeding Leonid I. Brezhnev.

1982 – Lech Wałęsa, was released from a Polish prison after eleven months.

1990 – Crown Prince Akihito was formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch.

1990 – Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.

1991 – Dili Massacre, Indonesian forces opened fire on a crowd of student protesters in Dili.

1996 – A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collided in mid-air near New Delhi, killing 349. The deadliest mid-air collision to date.

1997 – Ramzi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

1998 – Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto Protocol.

1998 – Daimler-Benz completed a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.

1999 – The Düzce earthquake struck Turkey with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale.

2001 – American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 en route to the Dominican Republic, crashed minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground.

2001 – War in Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandoned Kabul, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops.

2003 – Iraq War: In Nasiriyah, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, were killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.

2003 – Shanghai Transrapid set a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems, which remains the fastest for unmodified commercial rail vehicles.

2011 – Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister of Italy due, in large part, to the European sovereign debt crisis.

2014 – The Philae lander, deployed from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe, reached the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

2015 – Two suicide bombers detonated explosives in Bourj el-Barajneh, Beirut, killing 43 people and injuring over 200 others.

2017  – The 7.3 Mw Kermanshah earthquake shook he northern IranIraq border with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). At least 410 people were killed and over 7,000 were injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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