365 days of gratitude

December 7, 2018

A second day of sunshine in a row – the lawns were dry enough to mow and the washing dried outside.

The forecast tells me next week will be wet again but I’m grateful for the sun while it lasts.


Word of the day

December 7, 2018

Gravamen – the grounds, essence or most serious part of a complaint or accusation; the part of a grievance or complaint that gives it weight or substance; the part of an accusation that weighs most heavily against the accused; a grievance.


Sowell says

December 7, 2018


Rural round-up

December 7, 2018

Maize crops sick, seeds failing:

 A major seed supplier is urgently investigating reports from farmers that some of their maize crops aren’t growing properly.

Genetic Technologies Limited is the New Zealand producer and distributor of the Pioneer seeds brand and sells more than 20 hybrid maize varieties.

The crop is grown in New Zealand for the production of animal feed, either in the form of grain maize or as maize silage.

This season some farmers say up to 30 percent of their maize seeds from Pioneer have failed and other seeds that have struck are looking sick.

A tale of two milk companies – one of them is being suckled by taxpayers – Point of Order:

The contrasting fortunes of Synlait Milk and Westland Milk Products were thrown into sharp relief last week. On the one hand Synlait won applause at its annual meeting from shareholders, impressed by its performance in virtually doubling profit ($74.6m against $39.4m) in its tenth year of operations. On the other hand Westland had the begging bowl out for a Provincial Growth Fund loan of $9.9m which will help the co-op in funding a $22m manufacturing plant aimed at converting milk to higher-value products.

The Westland dairy exporter, discussing a capital restructure in its 2018 annual report, said it had relatively high debt and limited financial flexibility. . . 

Sheep needed on hill country – Alan Williams:

Waikato farmer Alastair Reeves has taken umbrage at the Productivity Commission’s suggestion sheep should be cast aside to make way for trees. He reckons sheep have a great future if they are not threatened by people making decisions in isolation and ignoring the ramifications of being wrong. He’s even got a plan for wool involving the Duchess of Sussex, aka Meghan Markle.

Sheep should be at the forefront of sustainable farming on hill country rather than being tossed aside for massive tree-planting programmes, Waikato hill farmer Alastair Reeves says.

It is a disgrace for the Productivity Commission to suggest up to 2.8 million hectares of new forestry be planted as a means of achieving a low carbon-emissions economy.  . . 

Water storage essential for future resilience – as experts cite drought as a major risk to NZ:

IrrigationNZ says a recent expert discussion document on drought and climate change highlights that future national planning to improve water storage and look at a range of options to mitigate the effects of the more severe droughts forecast is urgently needed.

“More frequent droughts and more variable rainfall will affect both urban and rural communities and will mean that we will need to rethink how we manage water in the future.
For example with less rainfall forecast over summer in western areas of New Zealand, there will be more demand for water storage from both councils and farmers to provide a reliable water supply,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. . . 

Elitism of another kind – Clive Bibby:

I grew up on a farm just outside the small Central Hawkes Bay town of Waipawa.

My forebears had owned sizeable tracts of farming land that had been hacked out of the bush and scrub under the Ruahine Ranges.

I am very proud to be a descendant of such pioneering folk who understood what it means to build a business from nothing and see it grow into something that makes a reasonable contribution to the local economy. They also built the first trading general store in CHB. The building still stands.

It is perhaps ironic that much of the farm land in question was in the near vicinity of the catchment area for the now defunct Ruataniwha Fresh Water Dam proposal. . . 

New tool helps farmers gauge carbon footprint:

Meridian Energy and Westpac NZ are proud to support a new carbon calculator that gives farmers a guide to the size of their carbon footprint

The tool has been developed by Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) and Agrilink NZ, with financial assistance from Meridian Energy and Westpac NZ.

It is available at http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/carboncalculator. . . 

Horticulture growth retains momentum:

Horticulture growth retained momentum with a seven percent growth in export earnings since 2016, according to an updated report, with tariffs on exported produce down by 12 percent since 2012.

The New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority (HEA) and Horticulture New Zealand commission the report New Zealand Horticulture – Barriers to Our Export Trade every two years, with funding support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, and industry. . . 

International Boma NZ summit to help Aotearoa’s food:

A future-thinking agriculture summit will bring together global and local experts on future farming trends, exponential change, and new business models and product pathways. The summit, called Grow 2019, is designed to help Aotearoa’s food and fibre sector be more innovative, collaborative, sustainable and profitable now and into the future.

Organiser Kaila Colbin says the two-day summit is an opportunity to learn about the future trends that are impacting the agriculture sector, and what to do about them, in a practical way, from people on the ground. Grow 2019 will also connect groups of like-minded individuals and organisations so that together we can understand, adapt and grow in a future that looks nothing like today. . . 


Christian privilege?

December 7, 2018

Statistics New Zealand is copping criticism for playing ‘Check Your Privilege Bingo’ at a workshop:

The game had a five-by-five board, with squares including ‘white’, ‘Christian’, ‘able-bodied’, ‘no speech impediment’, ‘male’ and ‘heterosexual’.

“Officials at a Stats NZ technical workshop today spent an hour having participants singing, hand-clapping and playing ‘Check Your Privilege Bingo’,” said National finance spokesperson Amy Adams. . .

According to the event schedule the game only ran for 15 minutes. 

“Yet at the same time New Zealand continues to wait for the 2018 Census results after a shambolic process that resulted in significant data gaps and we’re yet to see anything on the last two years of child poverty statistics.”

I agree that this doesn’t seem to be good use of time and it is particularly galling when the census was a shambles but I was intrigued that being Christian makes you privileged.

When it’s okay to put a condom on a Catholic icon and call it art, when people are killed for mocking the prophet of one religion but Jesus and Christ are used as curses and the politically correct pussy foot round every other creed but Christianity, is it really a marker of privilege?


Give shareholders first option on Tip Top

December 7, 2018

Fonterra is considering selling its Tip Top ice cream brand:

Chairman John Monaghan said it was looking at its ongoing ownership of Tip Top and had appointed FNZC as an external advisor to consider a range of options.

“We want to see Tip Top remain a New Zealand based business and this is being factored into our options,” Monaghan said.

“While performing well, Tip Top is our only ice cream business and has reached maturity as an investment for us. To take it to its next phase successfully will require a level of investment beyond what we are willing to make.” . . 

Fonterra shareholder Matthew Herbert has started a petition opposing the sale:

Problem
Fonterra is looking at selling off it’s Tip Top ice cream brand.
Kiwi’s eat more ice cream per person than any other country on earth.
Tip Top ice cream is one of the biggest links between fresh New Zealand milk from Fonterra farmers, and people who live in our cities.

Solution
Sign the petition and help farmers save Tip Top from the chopping block!

Lets tell Fonterra to hold onto Tip Top and keep our delicious ice cream going from farm to freezer.
#SaveTipTop

 

I’m not opposed to the idea of selling the company.

Fonterra needs to reduce debt. If it can’t make the investment needed to take the company further then it is better to sell it to others who can, and sell it at the best price it can get.

But why not give Fonterra shareholders first option to buy Tip Top?


Quote of the day

December 7, 2018

It’s a serious matter, the pinkification of girls – Anne Fine who celebrates her 71st birthday today.


December 7 in history

December 7, 2018

521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born (d. 597).

43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

1732 – The Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden.

1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.

1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1947).

1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born  (d. 1914).

1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed  his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.

1873 – Willa Cather, American author and poet, was born (d. 1947).

1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born (d. 1957).

1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.

1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBSradio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1943 – Susan Isaacs, American author and screenwriter, was born.

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

1947 – Anne Fine, English author, was born.

1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders took place.
Bassett Road machine-gun murders

1963 – Instant Replay was used for the first time in an Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.

1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth.

1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.

1984 – The ‘Thank God it’s over’ concert at Auckland’s Aotea Centre ended in a riot.

Queen Street concert ends in riot

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss travelling on the flight, then shot both pilots and himself.

1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashed killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.

1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.

1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Fergusonmurdered six people and injured 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.

2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collided with the Very Large Crude Carrier,Hebei Spirit.

2015 – The JAXA probe Akatsuki successfully entered orbit around Venus five years after the first attempt.

2016  – Syrian army continued large-scale attack and controlled the revival (Sheikh Lutfi, Marja, Bab al-Nairab, Maadi, Al-Salhin) in the east of Aleppo backed by Russian Air Force and Iranian militias..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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