Word of the day

June 20, 2019

Splatherdab – a chatterer or scandal monger; a gossip.


Sowell says

June 20, 2019


Rural round-up

June 20, 2019

Resilient farmer moves on to new fields:

Doug Avery, author of The Resilient Farmer, has launched a new workshop to help farmers improve their mental health and their businesses.

Avery is changing direction in his life, hitting the third age with a new venture.

Over two decades, Avery took his family farm – Bonavaree, near Lake Grassmere in southern Marlborough – from a 206ha struggle to a 2600ha multi-million venture thanks to “God’s own plant” lucerne. . . 

Fully automated milking several decades away – Dairy NZ – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Industry body Dairy NZ sees fully automated milking as a major opportunity to lift on-farm productivity, but doesn’t expect it to be commonplace for several decades.

About 44 percent of the country’s dairy herd are milked in more efficient rotary dairy sheds, despite the style accounting for just over a quarter of the nation’s sheds. About 72 percent of the country’s dairy sheds are the less efficient herringbone style.

In its submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the impact of technology on the future of work, Dairy NZ said rotary dairy sheds have the highest uptake of automation, with 77 percent using automated technology. However, out of New Zealand’s 12,000 or so dairy farmers, there are just 25 fully robotic dairy sheds. . .

More sheep with facial eczema amid prolonged Autumn conditions:

Prolonged, mild weather in Autumn appears to have caused high rates of facial eczema in sheep in some parts of the North Island.

The disease is caused by toxin in a fungus that grows in grass. The toxin affects cattle, sheep, goats and deer and can result in liver and skin damage and weight loss, which can stop animals from falling pregnant and in some cases result in death.

It is estimated that production losses caused by the disease are around $200 million annually in New Zealand. . .

Awards call for biosecurity champions:

Entries are now open for the 2019 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. These Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions to protecting our country against pests and diseases.

The Awards acknowledge people and organisations across New Zealand who are contributing to biosecurity – in our communities, businesses, iwi and hapū, government, in the bush, our oceans and waterways, and in our backyards.

“Some New Zealander’s don’t understand that the work they’re doing is part of our biosecurity system – from trapping, to pest and disease management in our forests, rivers and oceans, these are all biosecurity actions,” Roger Smith, Head of Biosecurity New Zealand said. . .

Primary ITO gains fresh recognition:

Primary ITO has received the Minister of Education’s seal of approval to continue its work as an industry training organisation.

Under the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act, ITOs apply for “recognition” every five years, undergoing a thorough check by central agencies and requiring them to seek indications of support from relevant sectors.

“It is great news that the Minister has approved Primary ITO’s ongoing coverage of our agriculture, horticulture, processing and services sectors,” says Primary ITO chief executive Linda Sissons. . . .

Pastoral sector poised to cope with gas limits:

As the government’s rules on managing green-house gases becomes clearer, New Zealand’s pastoral sector is well positioned to handle the changes that the rules will bring to it.

Announced in early May, the Zero Carbon Bill aims to differentiate between carbon dioxide release and methane losses from livestock, and has set separate targets for each.

Farmers are required to reduce methane losses from livestock by 10% by 2030 and 24-47% by 2050, while the economy’s entire carbon dioxide emissions have to drop to zero by 2050. . .

Land O’Lakes CEO: Farmers are in crisis—and America isn’t paying attention – Beth Ford:

Imagine, if you can, a computer virus that cut the productivity of AppleGoogle, and Facebook in half. Or try to imagine Wall Street’s investment bankers seeing a season’s worth of deals washed away. Such calamities would dominate our nation’s news and drive swift political action. Yet that is precisely what America’s farmers face right now. And, as a country, we aren’t paying nearly enough attention.

Farmers are generally too proud and humble to speak out, but the truth is we are living through an extremely difficult period of market turmoil and natural disasters. Due largely to sustained low commodity prices, average farm income in 2017 was $43,000, while the median farm income for 2018 was negative$1,500. In 2018, Chapter 12 bankruptcies in the farm states across the Midwest that are responsible for nearly half of all sales of U.S farm products rose to the highest level in a decade. . . 


Whoops

June 20, 2019

Whoops:


Priorities

June 20, 2019

Last month’s Budget was supposed to be focussed on wellbeing, but some of its priorities suggest otherwise:

Hon Amy Adams: Why, when Budget 2019 allocated $15.2 billion of new operating spending over four years, couldn’t he find enough funding in the Budget to ensure that Pharmac’s funding at least kept pace with inflation?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: As has been traversed in the House last week, Pharmac did receive an increase in funding. In this Budget, in the health area, based on the evidence, mental health received a massive injection of funding after being neglected for many, many years. The overall health budget has received a significant increase. On this side of the House—as I said in answer to the last question—we can’t make up for nine years of neglect in one year or even two years, but we’re making a good start.

Hon Amy Adams: How can he say that he’s used “evidence and expert advice to tell us where we could make the greatest difference to the well-being of New Zealanders”, when the Government has chosen to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into fees-free tertiary at the expense of giving Pharmac enough money to keep pace with inflation?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: The premise of that member’s question is incorrect. Money that supports education, money that supports health, and money that supports housing are all part of the Budget; one is not at the expense of the other. What we’re doing is actually making up for the enormous under-investment of the previous Government.

Money spent in one area is not at the expense of money that can’t be spent in another?

It can only be spent once.

Even if you look at different categories, you can question priorities.

Extra resources for children who get to school without the necessary pre-learning skills and for those at school and failing are only two areas of much greater need, and that would make a far greater contribution to wellbeing, than fee-free tertiary education for all students, whether or not they need that assistance.

Hon Amy Adams: How does he think the refusal to even keep Pharmac funding in line with population growth has affected the well-being of New Zealanders like 14-year-old Stella Beswick, two-year-old Otis Porter, or Bella Guybay’s four-year-old daughter, who are all waiting desperately for the funding of lifesaving medicines that are funded in almost every other OECD country?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: As the member well knows, and as with the time she was in Government, Pharmac make those decisions. We now spend nearly a billion dollars on the Pharmac budget, and we will continue to invest in that. But we will also continue to invest in the areas which the last Government completely ignored—such as mental health—because that is what New Zealanders asked us to do.

Hon Amy Adams: How does he respond, then, to Troy Elliott, whose wife is suffering from serious breast cancer, and has said that New Zealand’s medicines funding is starting to make us look like a Third World country and that “this Government has to wake up; we’re going backwards.”?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I understand that for any family that is going through a situation where they have a family member with cancer, that is traumatic. What we know in this country is that Pharmac makes the decisions about what drugs it invests in. . . 

Pharmac makes the decisions but the government allocates the funds which determine how much, or little, it can do.

Health inflation is many times greater than general inflation and this year’s Budget funding for Pharmac isn’t even keeping up with general inflation.

 

 

 


Quote of the day

June 20, 2019

Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design Adam Ferguson who was born on this day in 1723.


June 20 in history

June 20, 2019

451  Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius battled Attila the Hun. After the battle, which was inconclusive, Attila retreated, causing the Romans to interpret it as a victory.

1005 Ali az-Zahir, caliph, was born (d. 1036).

1214 The University of Oxford received its charter.

1631  The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore was attacked by Algerian pirates.

1652  Tarhoncu Ahmet Paşa appointed grand vezir of the Ottoman Empire, served until 21 March 1653.

1685  Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1723 Adam Ferguson, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born  (d. 1816).

1756  A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1782  The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.

1787  Oliver Ellsworth moved at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States.

1789  Deputies of the French Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath.

1791  King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family began the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution.

1819 Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer, was born  (d. 1880).

1819  The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrived  at Liverpool, United Kingdom – the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey was made under sail.

1837  Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

1840  Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph.

1862   Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, was assassinated.

1863 American Civil WarWest Virginia was admitted as the 35th U.S. state.

1877  Alexander Graham Bell installed the world’s first commercialtelephone service in Hamilton, Ontario.

1893  Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother.

1909 Errol Flynn, Australian actor, was born (d. 1959).

1919  – 150 died at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

1924  Chet Atkins, American guitar player and producer, was born  (d. 2001).

1929 – Jay Blakeney  English journalist and author, who wrote under the pseudonyms Anne Weale and Andrea Blake, was born (d. 2007).

1934 Wendy Craig, English actress, was born.

1942 Brian Wilson, American musician (The Beach Boys), was born.

1943 – Ten United States Navy personnel were drowned off the Paekākāriki coast near Wellington during a beach landing exercise.

US Navy tragedy at Paekākāriki

1944 World War II: The Battle of the Philippine Sea concluded with a decisive U.S. naval victory. The lopsided naval air battle is also known as the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”.

1944  Continuation war: Soviet Union demanded an unconditional surrender from Finland during the beginning of partially successful Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

1945  Anne Murray, Canadian singer, was born.

1946 Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor, was born.

1948 Ludwig Scotty, President of Nauru, was born.

1948 Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, made its television debut.

1949  Lionel Richie, American musician (The Commodores) , was born.

1949  Alan Longmuir, Scottish bass guitarist (Bay City Rollers), was born.

1950  Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, was born.

1951 – Sheila McLean, Scottish scholar and academic, was born.

1952 – Vikram Seth, Indian author and poet, was born.

1954 Michael Anthony, American musician (Van Halen), was born.

1956  A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey, killing 74 people.

1959  A rare June hurricane struck Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35.

1960 John Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1960  Independence of Mali and Senegal.

1963  The so-called “red telephone“ was established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile crisis.

1967 Nicole Kidman, American-born Australian actress, was born.

1970 – Josh Kronfeld, New Zealander rugby union footballer, was born.

1973  Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires  Snipers fired on left-wing Peronists. At least 13 were killed and more than 300 injured.

1979 ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder was caught on tape and sparked international outcry of the regime.

1987 The All Blacks won the inaugural rugby World Cup.

All Blacks win the first World Cup

1990  Asteroid Eureka was discovered.

1991  The German parliament decided to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

2003 The WikiMedia Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida.

2009 – During the Iranian election protests, the death of Neda Agha-Soltan was captured on video and spreads virally on the Internet, making it “probably the most widely witnessed death in human history”.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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