365 days of gratitude

December 11, 2018

Our cabbage trees are blooming profusely which some believe forecasts a hot summer.

Given how unsummery the last few weeks have been, and that they have given us enough rain to withstand some heat, that will be welcome.

As I look at the blooms through yet more drizzle, I’m grateful for the promise of the hot summer to come.

 


Word of the day

December 11, 2018

Phototropism – the orientation of a plant or other organism in response to light, either towards the source of light ( positive phototropism ) or away from it ( negative phototropism ); the growth of an organism which responds to a light stimulus; yearning for the sun; turning to light.


Sowell says

December 11, 2018


Rural round-up

December 11, 2018

Plant a tree grow a community – Luke Chivers:

Matawai farmers Eugene and Pania King are dedicated to sustainability but it isn’t just about the environment. Luke Chivers reports.

Sheep and beef farmers Eugene and Pania King from Kiriroa Station at Matawai are combining their passion for the land with hard work and whanau support.

The couple have a longstanding connection with their family, their environment and their local community.

“We both grew up in rural New Zealand and a career in agriculture was inevitable,” Pania says.  . . 

 

Wee dog helps child farm safety – Alan Williams:

A serious little dachshund and a devil-may-care miniature fox terrier are the heroes in a new book aimed at making children safer on farms.

Ted the foxy races round doing silly things but Poppy is always close by teaching him to put his think-safe brain on.

“They’re both very small and they highlight just how small a child also is on a farm and through them being out and about I’m trying to help children understand about making good decisions,” author Harriet Bremner said. . . 

Farm safety story book launched in wake of tragedy:

A woman who lost her partner in a farm incident has launched a book to keep children safe on the farm.

Harriet Bremner’s partner James died in a farm machinery incident in Hakataramea Valley in January 2017. Now, her new book, Be Safe, Be Seen, sees her miniature dachshund Poppy take on the challenges of keeping safe on the farm as a little dog.

Primary School teacher Harriet hopes that kids will heed the safety messages in the book and that families reading the book to their children will be reminded to make safe choices at work every day. . . 

Fonterra’s strategic reset interacts with new Board dynamics – Keith Woodford:

Fonterra’s December update shows that the strategic reset is under way, albeit at an early stage.

Key indicators include that the Beingmate JV is being unwound and that Fonterra’s China Farms are under heightened scrutiny. The big shock is that Tip Top is on the market. The ownership of Soprole in Chile must also be under scrutiny, although little has been said publicly.

I will return to those issues within this article, but first it is necessary to understand something of the dynamics within the new Fonterra Board. . .

A2 rings in more executive changes under new CEO Hrdlicka – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka’s executive team is going through more changes as two senior managers depart – one for early retirement and one to pursue another opportunity.

Long-serving executive Simon Hennessy, who is currently general manager international development, will take early retirement. Relative newcomer Michael Bracka, who heads business development in emerging markets, will leave this month to pursue another opportunity, the company said. . . 

Major breakthrough for Mānuka farming initiative:

A ground-breaking milestone could see more Hawke’s Bay farmers producing high-grade mānuka honey worth millions to the New Zealand economy.

Scientifically-bred mānuka cultivars planted on a 130 hectare trial site at Tūtira, Hawke’s Bay between 2011 and 2013 have produced their first crop of mānuka honey with an average Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF®) value of 7. One sample reached medical grade by exceeding UMF® 10. . . 

Dairy and meat products lead manufacturing fall:

A fall in dairy and meat products pushed overall manufacturing sales down for the September 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

After adjusting for seasonal effects, the volume of total manufacturing sales fell 1.6 percent in the September 2018 quarter. This fall was led by a 6.7 percent decrease in meat and dairy product manufacturing.

“Most meat and dairy products in New Zealand are exported and occasionally, the timing of exports, price changes, and exchange rates can affect manufacturing sales,” manufacturing statistics manager Sue Chapman said. . . 


Nasty and stupid

December 11, 2018

How could this happen – Stuff has a story about what people are saying about Simon Bridges and Jacinda Ardern?

It comes from Labour’s pollsters so it’s no surprise the former’s word cloud is almost entirely negative and the latter’s is almost entirely positive.

David Farrar, who is quoted in the story, says this is dirty politics:

. . . I don’t think anyone should doubt Labour explicitly approved the release of this data. The fact they refuse to deny it speaks volumes.

The reality is that research data doesn’t belong to the polling company. It belongs to the client. The client is the only entity that can approve something being released. Only if the polling company is its own’s client, do they get to decide.

So what we have is that in the middle of the allegations from Jamie-Lee, they polled people on what they thought of the National Party Leader, and then released the data as a way to damage him.

This is not something we have seen before. 

It is not a long way removed from a political party releasing an advertisement that said something like “We asked 1,000 people what they thought of xxxxx and 72% said they think he is a liar”. That sort of ad is seen as the most negative type of advertising you can do. Labour have basically done this, by way of releasing their polling data knowing it would get to the media.

Now contrast that with the Labour Party Leader who maintains she believes in gentler, kinder politics. Well her party just launched a classic  strike against her main opponent. So that should tell you something about how genuine her stance is.

It actually a perverse compliment to Bridges. Labour wouldn’t bother with this sort of nastiness if they didn’t see him as a threat.

It could also backfire.

Only political tragics are interested in the minutiae of politics but most voters believe in giving people a fair go and this is anything but fair.

It’s political strategy without moral principles, personally abusive and to use that much over-used word, it’s bullying.

Muck sticks to the hand that throws it. Labour has sullied itself by this move and tarnished its leader’s star dust. Given how much its support depends on her appeal, the strategy’s not only nasty, it’s stupid.

 

 

 

 


More law less trust

December 11, 2018

The ODT”s Weekend Mix  had a profile of Otago University law Professor, Mark Henaghan. It’s not online but concluded with this:

The law tends to reflect society’s values, Prof Henaghan replies.

“There’s a wonderful saying by an American philosopher, ‘In hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be duly enforced.’

“Because in a way the more law you have the less you have to trust people.

The less you trust people, the more distrustful they become and so the more law you need in order to trust them. “

A good society would not have too much law, because people would do the right thing he says.

But in New Zealand we have a lot of law.

More law less trust, less trust more law, more law, less trust  . . .

Sad but true and even more so if read with this morning’s quote of the day from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

When people don’t recognise the voice of their own conscience they don’t recognise the voice of justice and we have less trust and we need more law and then we get less trust. . .

 

 

 

 

 


Quote of the day

December 11, 2018

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who was born on this day in 1918.


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