365 days of gratitude

November 22, 2018

Some people have mastered the art of walking in high, high heels.

I have not and I don’t even try.

It might mean I rarely achieve elegance but it does mean my feet are usually comfortable.

Tonight I’m grateful I’ve learned to put comfort first when it comes to footwear.


Word of the day

November 22, 2018

Centroclinal – dipping toward a common point or centre; an equidimensional basin characteristic of cratonic areas, in which the strata dip to a central low point; of, relating to, or designating a rock formation in which the strata slope down and in towards a central point or area.


Sowell says

November 22, 2018


Rural round-up

November 22, 2018

Will to live response pleasing -Sally Rae:

“Overwhelming” is how Elle Perriam describes the public response to the rural mental health awareness campaign Will to Live.

Targeting young rural men and women, it was launched following the death of Miss Perriam’s boyfriend, Will Gregory, in December last year.

Her target for a PledgeMe crowdfunding campaign to cover the expenses of a regional Speak Up tour in country pubs next year was $15,000.

But with a bit more than $18,000 raised through that, and more sponsors coming on board, she reckoned the amount  raised was now around $20,000. That meant  the number of events  throughout the country could be extended from 10 to 14. Financial contributions had also been matched by “kind affirmations” about the initiative. . . 

Virtual rural health school plan unaffected by Govt move – Mike Houlahan:

A week-old proposal by the University of Otago and other providers to create a virtual school for rural health remains very much alive despite the Government killing off an alternative school of rural medicine this week.

The lead article in last week’s edition of the New Zealand Medical Journal featured a proposal, driven by the University of Otago, University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology (AUT), for a virtual rural health campus.

On Wednesday, Health Minister David Clark announced the Government would not support a Waikato University initiative — which dated from the term of the previous National-led government — to establish a $300 million school of rural medicine. . . 

Shortage of vets cause of concern for rural and urban areas – Matthew Tso:

A national shortage of vets has New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar rural sector on high alert. 

Rural veterinary practices are finding it tough to fill vacant roles – and MPI says this could have an impact on biosecurity surveillance issues.

Miles Anderson, Federated Farmers meat and wool industry group chair, says the dairy, meat, and wool industries are dependent on healthy herds. . . 

Dunne in style:

It was once jokingly said that the next most-important job after the All Blacks coach is the head of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Joking aside, there is some truth in this because MPI plays a largely unsung, yet critical, role in the lives of every New Zealander.

With the prospect of a world war unlikely, the next most-serious threat to NZ is in biosecurity, food safety, trade and people’s perception of how the precious land we live on is farmed. . . 

Cavalier eyes anti-plastic trend :

Cavalier Corp says it is well-placed to take advantage of a growing consumer shift away from plastics.

That trend fits well with the carpet maker’s renewed focus on its high-quality wool products, particularly higher-margin, niche opportunities and the potential of major markets like the United States and United Kingdom, chief executive Paul Alston said.

“Investment in research and development and creating ranges that command a premium is a priority and critical for our success,” he said in notes for the company’s annual meeting. . . 

 

Quality over quantity: climate change affects volume, but not quality of aquaculture – Matt Brown:

Dairy farming would appear to have very little in common with farming mussels.

But now, a Netherlands-born Southland dairy farmer is taking the mussel capital by storm with his enthusiasm for the green-shelled bivalve molluscs.

Much like dairy farming, the Havelock-based business focused on their commodity product “with value add”.

Mills Bay Mussels owner Art Blom said their point of difference was the ‘raw-shuck’.. . 

Feds President spearheads delegation to Uruguay and Argentina:

Farmers, dairy product manufacturers and trade representatives in Uruguay and Argentina are hearing a New Zealand take on current agricultural issues this week.

Federated Farmers of NZ President Katie Milne is engaged in a busy schedule of speaking and meeting engagements in Montevideo and Buenos Aires in a programme put together by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and New Zealand’s Ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, Raylene Liufalani. . . 

Two new faces for Farmlands’ board:

Farmlands’ shareholders have voted two new Shareholder Directors on to the Farmlands Board.

Dawn Sangster and Gray Baldwin join re-elected Director Rob Hewett on the rural supplies and services co-operative’s Board of Directors.

Farmlands Chairman, Lachie Johnstone congratulated the new arrivals to the Board of Directors, as well as thanking the other candidates who put themselves forward for election. . .


Political meddling danger to super fund

November 22, 2018

The Suerannuation Fund is at risk from political meddling:

Now, Labour appears to be considering taking steps to require NZ Super to invest in a very specific way in a way no politician has tried to do before.

While no one from the Government is prepared to discuss the plans, it is understood that Economic Development Minister David Parker wants to carve off hundreds of millions of dollars of the Governments contributions to the Super Fund to be specifically invested into early stage companies.

This is often referred to as angel investment. . . 

Angel investment is fine for individuals or private businesses it’s not appropriate for the Super Fund at the directive of politicians.

Leaving aside whether there is a lack of money for early stage companies, a view which is not universally held in the industry, there are bigger issues at play. Having politicians direct the investments of NZ Super is dangerous territory.

Carving up the Government’s contributions to the fund, and earmarking parts for specific areas appears to be a subtle way to direct the Super Fund’s investments. It could easily become a political tool if politicians were able to use their influence to change investment decisions.

Once the door to political influence is opened, it will be difficult to close again, and each idea from Parliament is likely to be more questionable than the last. . .

This is very dangerous territory:

The security of New Zealanders’ pensions is at put at risk if Economic Development Minister David Parker opens up the Super Fund to political interference, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “For seventeen years, the Super Fund has been managed independently from the politicians, invested with the sole purpose of maximising returns for the Kiwi taxpayer. This independence has served the Fund well, and increased the security of our pensions.”

“The news that David Parker wants to fiddle with the Fund to skew investment towards particular types of companies should send a shiver down the spines of taxpayers.”

“If David Parker was some kind of investment guru, he’d be making millions in the private sector, not pursuing a career in politics. In fact, his investment decisions are guaranteed to be distorted by political motivations. This conflict of interest puts the security of our pensions at risk. The politicians need to stick to their core responsibilities and keep their grubby mitts off our Super!”

Putting money into the Super Fund instead of paying down debt is questionable.

But once it’s there, it needs to be invested wisely, not at political whim.

Having politicians direct where funds should be invested puts the Super Fund at risk and should not be countenanced.


Quote of the day

November 22, 2018

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. George Eliot who was born on this day in 1819.


November 22 in history

November 22, 2018

498 – Symmachus was elected Pope in the Lateran Palace, while Laurentiuswas elected Pope in Santa Maria Maggiore.

845 – The first King of all Brittany, Nominoe defeated the Frankish King Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon near Redon.

1307 – Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiaewhich instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.

1574 – Discovery of the Juan Fernández Islands off Chile.

1635 – Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launched a pacification campaignagainst native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island.

1718 –  British pirate Edward Teach ( “Blackbeard“) was killed in battle with a boarding party led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

1808  Thomas Cook, British travel entrepreneur, was born (d. 1892).

1812 – War of 1812: 17 Indiana Rangers were killed at the Battle of Wild Cat Creek.

1819  George Eliot, (Mary Ann Evans) British novelist, was born (d. 1880).

1830 – Charles Grey, (2nd Earl Grey), became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1837 – Canadian journalist and politician William Lyon Mackenzie called for a rebellion against Great Britain in his essay “To the People of Upper Canada”, published in his newspaper The Constitution.

1869 – In Dumbarton, Scotland, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving to this day.

1890 Charles de Gaulle, President of France  was born (d. 1970).

1899 Hoagy Carmichael, American composer, was born (d. 1981).

1908 – The Congress of Manastir established the Albanian alphabet.

1913 – Benjamin Britten, British composer, was born (d. 1976).

1917 Jon Cleary, Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1928 – The premier performance of Ravel’s Boléro in Paris.

1932 – Robert Vaughn, American actor, was born.

1935 – The China Clipper took off from Alameda, California for its first commercial flight, reaching its destination, Manila, a week later.

1939 General Bernard Freyburg took command  of the British Expeditionary Force.

Freyberg takes command of NZ expeditionary force

1940 –  Following the initial Italian invasion, Greek troops counterattack into Italian-occupied Albania and captured Korytsa.

1943  Billie Jean King, American tennis player, was born.

1943 – Lebanon gained independence from France.

1954 – The Humane Society of the United States was founded.

1958  Jamie Lee Curtis, American actress, was born.

1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy was killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally seriously wounded.

1963 – US Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.

1967 – UN Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted by the UN Security Council, establishing a set of the principles aimed at guiding negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.

1973 – The Italian Fascist organization Ordine Nuovo was disbanded.

1974 – The United Nations General Assembly granted the Palestine Liberation Organization observer status.

1975 –  Juan Carlos was declared King of Spain following the death of Francisco Franco.

1977 – British Airways started a regular London to New York City supersonic Concorde service.

1986 – Mike Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick to become youngest Heavyweight champion in boxing history.

1987 – Two Chicago television stations were hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.

1988 – The first prototype  B-2 Spirit stealth bomber was revealed.

1989 – In West Beirut, a bomb exploded near the motorcade of Lebanese President René Moawad, killing him.

1990 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher withdrew from theConservative Party leadership election, confirming the end of her premiership.

1995 – Toy Story was released as the first feature-length film created completely using computer-generated imagery.

2002 – In Nigeria, more than 100 people were killed at an attack aimed at the contestants of the Miss World contest.

2004 – The Orange Revolution began in Ukraine, resulting from the presidential elections.

2005 – Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany.

2012 – Cease-fire began between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israelafter eight days of violence and 150 deaths.

2015 – A landslide in Hpakant, Kachin State, northern Myanmar killed at least 116 people near a jade mine, with around 100 more missing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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