Word of the day

March 27, 2019

Labeorphilist – a collector of beer bottles.


Thatcher thinks

March 27, 2019


Rural round-up

March 27, 2019

Westland’s biggest shareholders sit on the fence over Yili offer:

Westland Milk’s biggest shareholders — investment fund Southern Pastures and the state-owned Landcorp — are biding their time over Yili’s takeover offer.

Hokitika-based Westland said this week that it had signed a conditional agreement for the sale of the co-op, which will see the Chinese dairy giant pay farmer-suppliers $3.41 a share.

Westland will seek shareholder approval for the proposed transaction at a special shareholder meeting, expected to be held in early July.

Southern Pastures, which has former All Black Graeme Mourie as one of its principals, owns 5.5 per cent of the co-op, which would be worth $13.6 million under the offer.  . . 

Nait a difficult beast but NZ ‘had no chance’ against M. bovis without it – Esther Taunton:

Cattle on 150 farms have been checked against national animal tracing records as part of efforts to wipe out the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis but just one property passed muster.

Dr Alix Barclay, the Ministry for Primary Industries’ intelligence manager for the M. bovis response, said only one property had achieved a 100 per cent match with its National Animal Identification and Tracing (Nait) account.

The disappointing result highlighted the importance of making changes to the system, Barclay said. . . 

Hayward family cultivate success in South Canterbury by seizing the day – Samesh Mohanlall:

Farming operations flourish on hard work, seizing the chances that come your way and having people that are trustworthy around, the family of a successful South Canterbury venture say. 

Geoff Hayward and his wife Joy, who own and lease 1700 hectares of land for their sheep, beef and cropping operation across the Timaru district, told about 50 visitors to their Mt Horrible farm from the Beef + Lamb annual meeting on Thursday, that the key to their expansion is taking opportunities that come their way. . . 

Pitching in to protect mudfish:

They may be tiny, slimy and reclusive, but the Canterbury mudfish are well worth protecting. 

Kōwaro, as they’re named in te reo Māori, are a treasured species for local iwi Ngāi Tahu and having more of them around helps protect other freshwater natives such as kōura (crayfish) and kākahi (mussels).

Unfortunately, they’re also rare and endangered. 

Fonterra is providing funding to Environment Canterbury to help them implement innovative technology in what is the first project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. . . 

A2 names China CEO –  Gavin Evans:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co has appointed Li Xiao as chief executive of its greater China operations.

Li was previously president of the Kids Entertainment Division of Wanda Group, a Chinese multinational which owns the Hoyts cinema group. He starts in the A2 Milk role at the end of April, based in Shanghai, and will join A2’s senior leadership team. He will report to the firm’s Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Nathan and managing director Jayne Hrdlicka. . . 

Patience needed for Fonterra’s streamlining, says FNZC’s Dekker – Paul McBeth:

 (BusinessDesk) – Farmers and investors will need to be patient with Fonterra Cooperative Group’s overhaul of its business, which sometime-critic First NZ Capital analyst Arie Dekker says is moving in the right direction.

The cooperative’s board is working through a review of the business which has seen several assets put on the market to help cut the milk processor’s debt levels, and has signalled more divestments are coming. . . 

Miscanthus – the magic plant:

In a Rural Delivery television programme last year Prof Steve Wratten of Lincoln University described Miscanthus as a “magic plant”. Although there was a degree of poetic licence in that statement, it is very understandable why he described Miscanthus in that way. But there are no magicians involved. Miscanthus is a truly remarkable plant that has so many advantages and options for commercial use that people who hear about it tend to think “This is too good to be true!”.

So they ignore it. The phenomenal success of Miscanthus therefore actually detracts from securing serious interest in both growing and using it. Contrary to people’s initial reaction, what seems like hype, is in fact true. . . 

It’s time to strengthen trespass laws:

Activist trespassers are making a joke of our legal system – carrying out brazen invasions of private farms and walking away with a slap on the wrist, only to reoffend. It’s time for governments to act.

In recent months we’ve witnessed a spate of farm invasions by activists who think their opinions place them above the law.

These farm intruders are entering private premises, often in the dead of night, often while streaming live on the internet – all just a stones’ throw from where farmers and their families are sleeping.

Police and the court system have proven powerless to help, with those caught walking away with fines equivalent to a parking ticket. . . 


When does caution become censorship?

March 27, 2019

Chief Censor David Shank is defending his decision to classify the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto as objectionable :

. . .The Free Speech Coalition said the manifesto could be important for society to understand a dark part of New Zealand’s history.

“New Zealanders need to be able to understand the nature of evil and how it expresses itself,” coalition spokesperson and constitutional lawyer Stephen Franks said.

Free speech isn’t just about what we can express, it’s also about what we can hear and read.

Defending his decision, Chief Censor David Shanks told Morning Report a number of criteria were checked when assessing this sort of material.

“We look for exhortations to kill, exhortations to commit terrorism from someone who has influence and credibility in persuading others to do likewise,” he said.

These types of publications were not the place to go in search of reasons behind such events, because they were specifically aimed at a “vulnerable and susceptible “audience, “to incite them to do the same type of crime, he said.

“There is content in this publication that points to means by which you can conduct other terrorist atrocities … it could be seen as instructional.

“There is detail in there about potential targets for this type of atrocity and there are justifications for carrying out extreme acts of cruelty.”

Those who have the publication for legitimate purposes, such as reporters, researchers and academics to analyse and educate can apply for an exception. . .

I haven’t read the manifesto and have seen enough quotes from it to know I don’t want to but it wouldn’t be hard to find it online and the censor’s classification only applies to New Zealand.

It has already been widely distributed and will continue to be so.

Michael Reddell has been reading the Censorship Act and says:

. . . As many people have pointed out, by Shanks’s logic all manner of historical documents –  that are freely available –  would in fact be banned.   It serves the public good to be able to better understand Hitler or Mao or the Unabomber or the IRA, the PLO, or the Irgun Gang.  It won’t serve public confidence, or the public good more generally, to attempt to maintain some half-cocked ban on the Tarrant “manifesto”, in a world in which writings about it –  and quotes from it –  will be readily available in mainstream publications, serious and otherwise, internationally.  . . 

Meanwhile, Stuff has been reviewing its policy on on-line comments in light of the terror attacks and concluded:

. . . Too often, our comments section has allowed casual prejudice to seep in from the fringes.

Improvement begins with Stuff’s moderation rules and how we enforce them. Effective immediately, we’re making changes designed to cut out comment pollution. . . 

Comments made on-line, often under cover of a pseudonym, frequently fall well under the standard that would be accepted for a letter to the editor in print. A tightening up might be reasonable but Stuff’s new  rules include:

With rare exceptions, we will not usually enable comments on stories concerning:

  • 1080
  • allegations of criminality or misconduct
  • animal cruelty
  • beneficiaries
  • Christchurch mosque shootings of March 2019
  • court cases
  • domestic violence
  • fluoride
  • funerals
  • immigrants or refugees
  • Israel and Palestine
  • Kashmir
  • missing people
  • race
  • sexual orientation
  • suicide
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • transgender issues
  • vaccination
  • vulnerable children

That’s 20 topics on which few if any comments will be permitted.

All media have the right to rules on what they will and will not allow whether it’s in print or on-line but this list of topics on which no comments will be enabled appears to be well over the top and cross the line from caution into censorship.


A good use for PGF

March 27, 2019

Part of the West Coast is cut off again:

“Significant rain” has fallen overnight in the Westland District after flooding washed away the Waiho Bridge and slips closed roads.

A state of emergency is continuing after being declared last night after the bridge, south of Franz Josef, was swept away in wild weather. However the Hokitika River has held – a relief for locals.

A 350km stretch of road on SH6 is closed between Hokitika and Makarora, near Wanaka. . . 

I have criticised the Provincial Growth Fund and most of the projects to which it has been put.

But rebuilding the bridge and funding other repairs and future flood protection work would be a good use for it.

 


Quote of the day

March 27, 2019

Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough. Sir Henry Royce who was born on this day in 1863.


March 27 in history

March 27, 2019

196 BC  Ptolemy V ascended to the throne of Egypt.

1306 Robert The Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.

1309  Pope Clement V excommunicated Venice and all its population.

1329  Pope John XXII issued his In Agro Dominico condemning some writings of Meister Eckhart as heretical.

1613  The first English child born in Canada at Cuper’s Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.

1625  Charles I became King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

1724 – Jane Colden, American botanist and author, was born (d. 1766).

1734 – Lady Diana Beauclerk, English painter and illustrator (d. 1808)

1745 – Lindley Murray, American-English Quaker and grammarian (d. 1826)

1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1794 The United States Government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates.

1794 Denmark and Sweden formed a neutrality compact.

1814 War of 1812: Forces under General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

1814 – Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, anthologist, and author, was born(d. 1889)

1820 – Edward Augustus Inglefield, English admiral and explorer, was born (d. 1894)

1836 Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre – Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered the Mexican army to kill about 400 Texans at Goliad, Texas.

1836 Kirtland Temple in Ohio was dedicated in an 8 hour long service led by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

1839 – John Ballance, Irish-New Zealand journalist and politician, 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1893)

1846  Mexican-American War: Siege of Fort Texas.

1851 – First reported sighting of the Yosemite Valley by Europeans.

1852 – Jan van Beers, Belgian painter and illustrator, was born (d. 1927).

1854 Crimean War: The United Kingdom declared war on Russia.

1863 Sir Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer, was born (d. 1933).

1871 The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, was played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

1878 – Kathleen Scott, British sculptor, was born (d. 1947).

1879 – Sándor Garbai, Hungarian politician, 19th Prime Minister of Hungary, was born (d. 1947)

1883 English Salvation Army officers, Captain George Pollard and Lieutenant Edward Wright, arrived at Port Chalmers on a mission to establish a New Zealand branch of the quasi-military Christian evangelical movement, which had been founded in the slums of London’s East End in 1865.

The 'Sallies' come to New Zealand

1883 – Dimitrios Semsis, Greek violinist, was born (d. 1950).

1885  – Julio Lozano Díaz, Honduran accountant and politician, 40th President of Honduras, was born (d. 1957).

1886 Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrendered to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

1890 – Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton, Scottish admiral, was born (d. 1974).

1892 – Thorne Smith, American author, was born (d. 1934).

1899 Gloria Swanson, American actress, was born  (d. 1983).

1901 – Eisaku Satō, Japanese politician, 61st Prime Minister of Japan, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1975)

1901 – Kenneth Slessor, Australian journalist and poet, was born (d. 1971)

1906 The Alpine Club of Canada was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1910 A fire during a barn-dance in Ököritófülpös, Hungary, killed 312.

1912 James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 2005).

1917  Cyrus Vance, American politician, was born (d. 2002).

1918 Moldova and Bessarabia joined Romania.

1922 – Dick King-Smith, English author, was born (d. 2011).

1924 Sarah Vaughan, American singer, was born (d. 1990).

1931 David Janssen, American actor, was born (d. 1980).

1938  The Battle of Taierzhuang.

1941 Yugoslavian Air Force officers toppled the pro-axis government in a bloodless coup.

1943  Battle of the Komandorski Islands – In the Aleutian Islands battle started when United States Navy forces intercepted Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

1944 – Alan C. Gilmore, New Zealand astronomer and academic, was born.

1945 Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan’s ports and waterways began.

1950 Tony Banks, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1955 – Mariano Rajoy, Spanish lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of Spain, was born.

1958  Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union.

1959 Andrew Farriss, Australian musician (INXS), was born.

1963  Beeching axe: Dr. Richard Beeching issued a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom’s rail network.

1964  The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 struck South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

1969 Mariner 7 was launched.

1970 Concorde made its first supersonic flight.

1970  – Mariah Carey, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress, was born.

1975 – Andrew Blowers, New Zealand rugby player, All Black, was born.

1975 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System began.

1975  Fergie, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), was born.

1976 The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened.

1977 Tenerife disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). 61 survived on the Pan Am flight.

1980 The Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapsed in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.

1980 Silver Thursday: A steep fall in silver prices, resulting from the Hunt Brothers attempting to corner the market in silver, led to panic on commodity and futures exchanges.

1984 Ernie Abbott, the caretaker at Wellington’s Trades Hall, was killed instantly when he moved a booby-trapped suitcase.

Trades Hall bombing

1984 – Ben Franks, Australian-born New Zealand rugby player, All Black, was born.

1986 A car bomb exploded at Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, killing 1 police officer and injuring 21 people.

1990 The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba in an effort to bridge the information blackout imposed by the Castro regime.

1993  Jiang Zemin was appointed President of the People’s Republic of China.

1993 – Italian former minister and Christian Democracy leader Giulio Andreotti was accused of mafia allegiance by the tribunal of Palermo.

1994 – The Eurofighter took its first flight in Manching, Germany.

1998 The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

1999 An F-117 Nighthawk was shot down during the Kosovo War.

2002 – Passover massacre: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people partaking of the Passover meal in Netanya, Israel.

2004 HMS Scylla (F71), a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.

2009 – Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Indonesia, failed killing at least 99 people.

2009 – A suicide bomber killed at least 48 at a mosque in the Khyber Agency of Pakistan.

2013 – A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck near Taipei, Taiwan, injuring 97 people.

2013 – Canada became the first country to announce its intention to withdraw from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

2014 – Philippines signed a peace accord with the largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, ending decades of conflict.

2015 – Al-Shabab militants attacked and temporarily occupied a Mogadishu hotel leaving at least 20 people dead.

2016 – A suicide blast in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore claimed more than 70 lives and left almost 300 others injured. The target of the bombing were Christians celebrating Easter.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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