Word of the day

June 24, 2019

Sunwade –  a haze of cloud around the sun.


Sowell says

June 24, 2019


Rural round-up

June 24, 2019

The race to future-proof our farms – Tracy Watkins, Paul Mitchell and Piers Fuller:

Fielding farmer Ian Strahan was at the dairy buying milk when he picked up the Sunday Star Times and read about Hollywood heavyweight James Cameron calling for a meatless future to save the environment.

A frustrated Strahan felt like once again farmers were being used as the whipping boys.

Cameron told TVNZ’s Sunday programme we weren’t living up to our image as clean, green New Zealand and had harsh words for our reliance on meat and diary.

Strahan got angry, then he decided to take action. He wrote to the Star Times and asked why no one had bothered to investigate the huge change and innovation already well underway in the agriculture sector. . . 

Veteran environmentalist tells farmers to brace themselves for change – Gerald Piddock:

Change is coming and farmers can either take it by the hand or it will grab them by the throat.

The magnitude of this change meant farmers have to begin planning to avoid future pain, environmentalist Guy Salmon told dairy farmers at the Waikato Small Milk and Supply Herds group conference at Lake Karapiro.

“If we don’t, it’s going to be much more difficult to make those changes.” . . 

Machinery sales steady, challenges loom

Sales of tractors and farm machinery so far in 2019 are steady versus 2018 but challenges loom, says Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) president John Tulloch.

TAMA’s year to date figures to April 30 show 1104 sales across all sectors vs 1111 in 2018. North Island sales fell by 4.7% to 713 (2018 – 748). South Island sales rose by 7.4% to 390 units delivered (2018 – 363). April 2019 sales figures are down 11.7% on April 2018, says Tulloch.

This is partly due to 10% fewer sales of smaller (20 – 50hp) machines typically used by small commercial operators and lifestyle block owners. . .

 

Dealing with the on-going complexities of wool – Brent Mountfort:

Wool has so much potential yet we do not seem to be making any progress, writes Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Meat & Wool Chairman Brent Mountfort.

Many of the issues farmers in the Bay were facing last year are still exactly the same a year on.

Wool is still in the doldrums. Beef and lamb/mutton returns in the main are still good.

Plenty of regulations and uncertainty surrounding these different regulations are ongoing. Most meat and wool farmers will most probably agree this past season has had its challenges due to the lack of rain at different stages of the year. . . 

Strong plea to Westland farmers – Hugh Stringleman:

Westland dairy farmers have been urged to very carefully consider the costs as well as the benefits of selling the co-operative.

Shareholders will vote on July 4 on a proposal to sell to the Chinese Government-owned Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group for $588 million.

A group of shareholders extremely disappointed at the lack of any viable alternative to Yili’s purchase read a powerful statement to six pre-vote meetings of Westland farmers.

The meetings followed distribution to all shareholders of the notice of meeting, scheme booklet and an independent evaluation by Grant Samuel.

Westland chairman Pete Morrison said the documents will not be made public. . . 

Why I ditched manicures for life with Thrusty the randy ram! Farmer’s wife who left an office job to live on her husband’s farm reveals what a year in rural Britain is really like – Helen Brown:

When Sally Urwin married a farmer, she had visions of ‘harvest picnics in our stubble fields in lovely sunshine, with apple-cheeked children wearing tasteful Boden clothes . . . eating wholesome homemade sausage rolls with lashings of ginger beer’.

When an August picnic eventually materialises, she realises that ‘the fields are prickly, the kids are arguing over who last went on the iPad and they hate my homemade sandwiches’. 

Urwin’s account of a year on High House Farm, with its mix of arable land and 200 sheep in windswept Northumbria, is no rural idyll. But it’s full of passion for the realities of life lived knee-deep in the countryside. . . 

 


More than half way

June 24, 2019

This government is more than half way through its term and what has it achieved?

Duncan Garner says it’s the least effective government in 25 years.

It’s flagship KiwiBuild policy has flopped and the flop looks even worse now we know how it began:

. . .Senior MP and shadow housing minister Annette King had just the ticket.

King, who declined to comment for this story, had been in a car on the way to an event with Salvation Army head Campbell Roberts and Housing Foundation head Brian Donnelly in the months before the conference, chatting about the emerging problems in housing. Donnelly’s agency had a scheme where affordable homes were built and sold, and the capital immediately recycled to build more. King liked the idea.

“We said there was a supply problem, and there was a need for there to be an increase of supply of affordable entry-level housing. But the emphasis was on the affordable,” Roberts told Stuff.

“To tell you the truth, I was a bit concerned with the speed at which they grabbed it. I don’t think there was pretty much more than our conversation – which was in the car going to something – it was a not a sitdown meeting, and the next thing they were introducing it,” Roberts said.

And then  it grew:

. . .KiwiBuild is an unmitigated disaster. Dreamed up by Annette King in the back seat of a car, she latched on to it and set the original target of 50,000 houses because it sounded good in her head. A wish-list, not a policy.

Legend has it the close breathing of David Cunliffe down David Shearer’s neck was precisely what prompted the last-minute decision to blurt out 100,000 homes on the day of the announcement. . . 

It wasn’t a carefully thought-out and costed policy. It was an idea prompted by a conversation and a number blurted out.

And what else has the government done?

  • Wasted millions on fee-free education for tertiary students, many of whom would have enrolled anyway.
  • Got soft on beneficiaries – ending the requirement to be looking for work and for solo mothers to name their children’s fathers.
  • Wasted millions prolonging the grief of those mourning the lives lost in the Pyke River mine.
  • Wasted millions on good looking race horses.
  • Incentivised overseas purchases of farmland for conversion to forestry.
  • Virtue-signalled on the environment while ignoring the science provided by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
  • Wailed about the road toll while refusing to do anything to deter drug driving.
  • Done nothing about the risk to mothers and babies with the lack of maternity centres in Central Otago and Southland.
  • Failed to increase funding to Pharmac to keep up with inflation.
  • Contributed to a slowing economy and a drop in confidence. . .

And while it’s spending more on doing less, it’s taking more money from us to do it:

Kiwi households will be $1750 a year worse off on average because of the taxes being piled on by the Labour-led Government, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“This Government has increased fuel taxes three times since it came into power, it’s added on a regional fuel tax in Auckland, introduced ring fencing of losses, an Amazon Tax, GST on overseas roaming, extended the bright-line test, increased Worksafe levies and cancelled tax relief.

“When you add all of these taxes together and take into consideration the cancelled tax relief, Kiwi families are looking at $7000 out of their pockets over four years. That does nothing to increase the wellbeing of an average family.

“The economy is continuing to weaken because of this Government’s poor policy decisions. The cost of living is increasing, rents are up an average of $50 a week, petrol and electricity are increasing.

“New Zealanders can’t afford this Government.

“You can’t trust Labour when it comes to tax. National will index tax thresholds to the cost of living and will not introduce any new taxes in our first term. National believes New Zealanders should keep more of what they earn.”

A lot of the commentariat are taking it for granted that this government will have another term.

But it has less than half a term left to earn a second one.

It will have to do a lot more effective in the next few months than it has been in the last 19 if it’s going to translate its warm words about wellbeing into making a positive difference to the country and its people.


Quote of the day

June 24, 2019

We’re all like children. We may think we grow up, but to me, being grown up is death, stopping thinking, trying to find out things, going on learning. – Mary Wesley who was born on this day in 1912.


June 24 in history

June 24, 2019

972 Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces.

1128  Battle of São Mamede, near Guimarães:Portuguese forces led by Alfonso I defeated his mother D. Teresa and D. Fernão Peres de Trava.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory of the Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not recognise Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.

1340  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Sluys: The French fleet was almost destroyed by the English Fleet commanded in person by Edward III of England.

1374  A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and began to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1441  King Henry VI founded Eton College.

1497  John Cabot landed in North America at Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.

1497  Cornish rebels Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank were executed at Tyburn, London.

1509  Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England.

1535  The Anabaptist state of Münster was conquered and disbanded.

1542  St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, was born (d. 1591).

1571  Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

1597  The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reached Bantam (on Java).

1604  Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1662  The Dutch attempted but failed to capture Macau.

1664  The colony of New Jersey was founded.

1692 Kingston, Jamaica was founded.

1717  The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), was founded in London.

1748  John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley opened the Kingswood School in Bristol.

1771 – Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, French chemist and businessman, founded DuPont, was born (d. 1834).

1793 The first Republican constitution in France was adopted.

1794 Bowdoin College was founded.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River beginning his invasion of Russia.

1813 Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer, was born  (d. 1887).

1813  Battle of Beaver Dams : A British and Indian combined force defeat the U.S Army.

1821  The Battle of Carabobo took place – the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.

1850 – Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Irish field marshal and politician, Governor-General of Sudan, was born (d. 1916).

1859  Battle of Solferino: (Battle of the Three Sovereigns). Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.

1866  Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.

1867 – Ruth Randall Edström, American educator and activist, was born (d. 1944).

1880  First performance of O Canada, the song that became the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.

1893 Roy O. Disney, a founder of the Walt Disney Company, was born  (d. 1971).

1894  Marie Francois Sadi Carnot was assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1901  First exhibition of Pablo Picasso‘s work opened.

1902 King Edward VII developed  appendicitis, delaying his coronation.

1905 NZ Truth was launched.

New Zealand Truth hits the newstands

1912 – Mary Wesley, English author , was born (d. 2002).

1914 – Pearl Witherington, French secret agent, was born (d. 2008).

1915 – Fred Hoyle, English astronomer and author, was born (d. 2001).

1916  Mary Pickford became the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.

1916  World War I: The Battle of the Somme began with a week long artillery bombardment on the German Line.

1918  First airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto.

1918 – Mildred Ladner Thompson, American journalist and author, was born (d. 2013).

1922  The American Professional Football Association formally changed its name to the National Football League.

1923 – Margaret Olley, Australian painter and philanthropist, was born (d. 2011).

1928  With declining business, the International Railway (New York – Ontario) began using one-person crews on trolley operations in Canada.

1932  A bloodless Revolution instigated by the People’s Party ended the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (Thailand).

1938  Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.

1939  Siam was renamed to Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the third Prime Minister.

1944 Jeff Beck, English musician (The Yardbirds).

1945  The Moscow Victory Parade took place.

1947 – Clarissa Dickson Wright, English chef, author, and academic was born (d. 2014).

1947  Mick Fleetwood, English musician (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947  Kenneth Arnold made the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1947 – Patrick Moraz, Swiss keyboard player (Yes) was born.

1948  Start of the Berlin Blockade. The Soviet Union makes overland travel between the West with West Berlin impossible.

1949 John Illsley, English bassist (Dire Straits) was born.

1949  The first Television Western, Hopalong Cassidy, was aired on NBC starring William Boyd.

1951 – Raelene Boyle, Australian sprinter, was born.

1957  In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment .

1961 – Iain Glen, Scottish actor, was born.

1961 Curt Smith, English musician and songwriter (Tears for Fears), was born.

1963  The United Kingdom granted Zanzibar internal self-government.

1975  An Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashed at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. 113 people died.

1981  The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

1982  British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to as “the Jakarta incident”, flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.

1985  STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission.

1993  Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter lost the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand after receiving a mailbomb from the Unabomber.

1994  A United States Air Force B-52 aircraft crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing all four members of its crew.

2002  The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania killed 281, the worst train accident in African history.

2004  In New York state, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2007  The Angora Fire started near South Lake Tahoe, California destroying 200+ structures in its first 48 hours.

2010 – John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

2012 – The last known individual of Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise, died, making the species extinct.

2013  – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was found guiltyof abusing his power and having sex with an underage prostitute, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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