365 days of gratitude

November 27, 2018

Anyone who farms on the east coast would be very wary about tempting fate by saying we’ve had too much rain.

But after more than a week of wet weather I think it’s okay to say we’ve had enough for now and to be grateful that the sun made an appearance today.


Word of the day

November 27, 2018

Katabasis – a march from the interior of a country to the coast, as that of the 10,000 Greeks after their defeat and the death of Cyrus the Younger at Cunaxa;  a retreat, especially a military retreat; a going or marching down or back; the sinking of the winds or sun; a descent from high to low; a journey to the underworld; a troparion sung after the two sides of the choir descend to the middle of the church at the end of each ode of the canon at matins in the Eastern Orthodox Church.


Sowell says

November 27, 2018


Rural round-up

November 27, 2018

Only two left for new Fonterra vote – Hugh Stringleman:

John Nicholls of Canterbury and Jamie Tuuta of Taranaki and Wellington will contest the rerun of the Fonterra director election to fill the one remaining vacancy.

One-term director Ashley Waugh has decided not to run again though he came within a whisker of being re-elected in the first round of voting.

Fonterra Shareholders’ Council chairman Duncan Coull sent an email to all farmer-shareholders explaining the rerun process and the council’s reasons for not opening it up to new candidates.

The rerun was necessary because only two of five candidates for three seats received the required 50% approval of farmers, Peter McBride at 80% and Leonie Guiney at 63%.

Waugh got 49%, Nicholls 44% and Tuuta 40%. . . 

Dairy-farm price per hectare plunges – Sally Rae:

Farm sales across the country for the year to October were down more than 10%, while dairy farm  per-hectare prices have pulled back almost 30% during the past year.

In Otago and Southland, there was strong activity in finishing, grazing and arable properties, but dairy farm purchases in both provinces were affected, with restricted supply of capital.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said for the three months to October there were 263 sales, just two more than a year ago.

Across the country for the year to October 1475 farms were sold, a 10.5% decline on the same period last year. Dairy farm sales were down 7.7%, grazing farms fell 5.6%, finishing was down 13.2% and there were 22.5% fewer arable farms. . . 

Genetic changes will allow merino sheep come down from the mountains – Heather Chalmers:

Synonymous with the South Island high country, merino sheep may be farmed more widely as farmers are lured by high fine wool prices and genetic improvements. 

Merino woolgrower Bill Sutherland, of Benmore Station near Omarama, said it was boom times for the New Zealand merino industry. 

“In a time when strong wool prices are at a historical low, the prices for merino wool have rarely been better,” he told the New Zealand Grassland Association conference in Twizel.  . . 

New boss hears farmers:

Farmers delivered a stern message to new director-general of primary industries Ray Smith at a meeting in Ashburton on Wednesday – they want to be top of his list.

He attended the meeting, facilitated by Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers in response to desperate calls for help from local farmers affected by the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovi, off his own bat.

Farming leaders from across the country including national dairy chairman Chris Lewis and meat and wool chairman Miles Anderson also attended the closed session.

“This meeting was organised so these national leaders could hear from affected farmers and get their stories straight from the horse’s mouth,” Mid Canterbury dairy chairman Chris Ford said. . . 

Interest in competition suggests promising future for agriculture – Sally Rae:

McKenzie Smith grasps every opportunity to learn new skills.

Mckenzie (17), a year 13 pupil at Southland Girls’ High School, is chairwoman of the school’s TeenAg club.

TeenAg — which comes under the umbrella of New Zealand Young Farmers — is aimed  at introducing and promoting a positive picture of agriculture and agricultural careers to pupils from an early age. The club has organised an AgriKidsNZ competition at Southland Girls’ High School on Thursday, for years 7-8 pupils, and team numbers have more than doubled from last year. . . 

Jersey cows eat differently – Abby Bauer:

Each dairy cattle breed has its perks and its quirks, and Jerseys are no exception. On our Hoard’s Dairyman Farm, we certainly notice differences in personality and behavior between our Jerseys and Guernseys.

These breed differences are what led the American Jersey Cattle Association and National All Jersey Inc. to partner with university and industry experts to create a webinar series focused on the Jersey breed. One of their webinar topics was feeding the lactating cow, and the presenters were Bill Weiss and Maurice Eastridge from The Ohio State University.

The pair of professors pointed out that much of the research in the field of nutrition has been done on Holsteins. While many of these recommendations can fit other breeds, there are a few ways that Jerseys are unique. . .

 


Farmer’s Voice – Mental Health

November 27, 2018

Farming can be a stressful and isolating job. Improving the mental health of farmers is paramount. Craig Wiggins explores options with three young farmers.

 


Why not less tax?

November 27, 2018

The Tax Working Group is trying to find out ways to make tax more fair.

Imposing not just a Capital Gains Tax but the costs of complying with it on individuals and business is anything but fair and, as Hamish Rutherford shows, the attempt by the group’s chair Sir Michael Cullen to shut down discussion in it makes it worse.

. . .After a critic raised concerns of the implications of proposals in the working group’s interim report, Cullen was dismissive.

Critics should wait for the tax working group’s final report in February, he said. The interim report may be the only thing the public has to work off, but Cullen said that the Tax Working Group’s own work had moved on and all the problems are being solved.

This Kafkaesque shutdown came after Wellington businessman Troy Bowker made alarming claims about the possible costs introducing a tax would have on small business, predicting the cost of compliance would be billions of dollars.

Bowker claimed the tax working group’s preferred method for introducing the tax – creating a “valuation day” after which all assets captured by a new tax would immediately be taxable – would create huge compliance costs, with all businesses needing to be professionally valued on a given day.

Valuing things like commercial property is as easy as valuing your home – just look up the rateable value. But valuing businesses, especially small businesses, can be much harder. Much is tied up in the knowledge and contacts of the key employees, which is tough to put a price on.

Although Bowker’s assessment of the possible costs was guesswork, the tax working group’s own interim report appears to back up his argument. . . 

While the exact cost might be debatable, that there will be a cost and it will be high is not and nor is who will pay it – everyone directly or indirectly.

Anything that adds to the cost of doing business and reduces profit, as a CGT will, decreases productivity. That in turn makes the businesses less able to expand and could lead it to contract, threatening jobs and the businesses’ viability. Should the businesses survive, the added cost will sooner or later be passed on, at least in part, to everyone who uses the goods or services that business provides.

Meanwhile, the question that ought to be asked, is what’s fair about more and higher taxes when the government is running a very healthy surplus?

The previous government took the quality of its spending very seriously aiming for better rather than more.

This government is sprinkling money here and there like fairy dust in the mistaken belief that quantity is better than quality.

There is a case for more spending in some areas where spending was too constrained but there is no case of profligacy with public money.

A government with money to waste is a government that’s taxing us too much.

More care about how and on what money is spent would reduce waste and allow us all to keep a bit more of the money we earn.

Instead of looking at ways to impose new and more tax, the TWG ought to be working out how to tax us less.

 


Quote of the day

November 27, 2018

Ah, mastery… what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills… and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing. – Gail Sheehy who celebrates her 81st birthday today.


November 27 in history

November 27, 2018

176 – Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted his son Commodus the rank ofImperator and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions.

1095 – Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

1295 – The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend  “The Model Parliament“.
1701 – Anders Celsius, Swedish astronomer, physicist, and mathematician was born (d. 1744).

1703 – The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703.

1815 – Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland.

1830 – St. Catherine Laboure experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin standing on a globe, crushing a serpent with her feet, and emanating rays of light from her hands.

1839 – The American Statistical Association was founded.

1849 – Te Rauparaha, the formidable Ngāti Toa leader who had dominated Te Moana-o-Raukawa – the Cook Strait region – from his base at Kapiti Island for nearly 20 years, died.

Death of Te Rauparaha

1856 – The Coup of 1856 led to Luxembourg’s unilateral adoption of a new, reactionary constitution.

1868 – Indian Wars: Battle of Washita River – United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an attack on Cheyenne living on reservation land.

1874 Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of Israel, was born.

1886 – German judge Emil Hartwich sustained fatal injuries in a duel, which became the background for “Effi Briest“, a classic work of German literature.

1894 – Katherine Milhous, American author and illustrator was born. (d. 1977).

1895 – Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize.

1901 – The U.S. Army War College was established.

1912 – Spain declared a protectorate over the north shore of Morocco.

1921  – Dora Dougherty Strother, American pilot and academic (d. 2013)

1924 – In New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.

1925 Ernie Wise, British comedian, was born (d. 1999).

1934 – Bank robber Baby Face Nelson died in a shoot-out with the FBI.

1935 – The first Labour government won power.

First Labour government wins power

1937 – Gail Sheehy, American journalist and author was born.

1940 – The 16,712-ton New Zealand Shipping Company liner MVRangitanewas sunk by two German ‘auxiliary cruisers’ (armed merchant raiders), the Orion and Komet, 300 nautical miles off East Cape.

Liner sunk by German raiders off East Cape

1940 – Romania’s ruling party Iron Guard arrested and executed over 60 of exiled King Carol II of Romania‘s aides, including former minister Nicolae Iorga.

1940 – World War II: At the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the Royal Navy engaged the Regia Marina.

1940  Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist, was born.

1940 – John Alderton, English actor and singer was born.

1942  Jimi Hendrix, American guitarist, was born (d. 1970).

1942 – World War II: At Toulon, the French navy scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.

1944 – World War II: An explosion at a Royal Air Force ammunition dump at Fauld, Staffordshire killed seventy people.

1951 –  Kathryn Bigelow, American director, producer, and screenwriter, was born.

1956 – John McCarthy – British journalist, broadcaster, author and hostage was born.

1963 – The Convention on the Unification of Certain Points of Substantive Law on Patents for Invention iwa signed at Strasbourg.

1964 – Cold War Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appealed to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would “save humanity from the ultimate disaster”.

1971 – The Soviet space programme’s Mars 2 orbiter released a descent module which malfunctioned and crashed, but was the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States Senate voted 92 to 3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.

1975 – The Provisional IRA assassinated Ross McWhirter, after a press conference in which McWhirter had announced a reward for the capture of those responsible for multiple bombings and shootings across England.

1978 –  San Francisco, mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.

1978 – The Kurdish party PKK was founded in the city of Riha (Urfa) in Turkey.

1983 – Avianca Flight 011, a Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid’s Barajas Airport, killing 181.

1984 – Under the Brussels Agreement signed between the governments of the United Kingdom and Spain, the former agreed to enter into discussions with Spain over Gibraltar, including sovereignty.

1989 – Avianca Flight 203, a Boeing 727, exploded in mid-air over Colombia, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground. The Medellín Cartel claimed responsibility for the attack.

1991 – The United Nations Security Council adopted Security Council Resolution 721, leading the way to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia.

1992 – For the second time in a year, military forces tried to overthrow president Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela.

1997 – Twenty-five were killed in the second Souhane massacre in Algeria.

1999 – The Labour Party took control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark, the country’s second female PM.

2001 – A hydrogen atmosphere was discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

2004 – Pope John Paul II returned the relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

2005 – The first partial human face transplant was completed in Amiens.

2006 – The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada.

2009 – A bomb exploded on the Nevsky Express train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, derailing it and causing 28 deaths and 96 injuries.

2015 – An active shooter inside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, shot at least four members of the Colorado Springs Police Department. One officer later dies. Two civilians were also killed, and six injured. The shooter later surrendered.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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