Home' Greymouth Star : March 2nd 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, March 2, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1776 - US Marines fight first battle,
capturing British fort in Bahamas in
1791 - Death of John Wesley, English
theologian and founder of Methodism.
1836 - Texas declares its independence from
1882 - Roderick Maclean makes an
unsuccessful attempt to assassinate
Queen Victoria at Windsor; he is
later declared insane.
1923 - Time magazine makes its
1930 - Death of English novelist
D H Lawrence, author of Sons and
Lovers, Women In Love and Lady Chatterley ’s
1933 - Motion picture King Kong, starring
Fay Wray, has its world premiere in New York.
1943 - Battle of the Bismark Sea begins.
Twelve Japanese ships carrying reinforcements
to New Guinea are sunk by Allied planes, killing
1949 - Captain James Gallagher completes the
first non-stop round the world flight.
1958 - Dr Vivian Fuchs completes the first
land crossing of Antarctica by land.
2003 - Alinghi, the boat representing
Switzerland, wins the America’s Cup.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958); Desi
Arnaz, Cuban-born television
producer (1917-1986); Mikhail
Gorbachev, former Soviet president
(1931-); Tom Wolfe, US author
(1931-); Lou Reed, US singer
(1942-2013); Jeff Kennett, former
Victorian premier (1948-); Karen
Carpenter, US singer (1950-1983);
Jay Osmond, US singer (1955-); Jon Bon Jovi,
US rock singer (1962-); Daniel Craig, English
actor (1968-); Chris Martin, British singer,
Coldplay (1977-); Rebel Wilson, Australian
“Every one can master a grief but he that has
it.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
“ You must be born from above.” — ( John 3:7).
during trials, Cleone,
owned by Mr I Fawcett of Runanga, arrived in
port last Monday. Built in Nelson under Mr
Fawcett ’s design, the 39ft boat is unusual in
that it has a very full bow allowing for a larger
capacity. “Despite its fullness there is no drag
upfront,” said Mr Fawcett this morning.
The boat will carry echo sounder equipment
and new fishing apparatus designed by Mr
Fawcett. The nets were also made by him.
Another new addition to the fleet is Pegasus
Wake, a Lyttelton boat purchased by Mr G
Stewart of Hokitika. Pegasus has a self-baling
cockpit and is 40ft long. The addition of these
two craft brings the Greymouth fishing fleet to
an impressive 18.
A West Coast samoyed Blue River Raja was
one of few dogs at the Timaru Kennel Club
show last weekend to impress American judge
Mr J Leity. The dogs came from all over New
Zealand and Raja was in a strong class of male
samoyeds including champions.
The Coast dog was placed first. It now has six
challenge points and needs just two more to
become a champion. The judge described Raja
as a correct type with a fine bone structure. The
dog is owned by Mrs C King, of Greymouth.
The Denniston incline, used for delivering
coal from the hilltop mines to the railhead at
Conn’s Creek and on to Waimangaroa and
Westport, will go out of commission soon.
The Mines Department is preparing tenders
for cartage of such coal by road transport and
they will be advertised later this month.
uFood for thought
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It is hard not to feel just a little bit proud
of New Zealand-born businessman, Chris
Liddell. To have a New Zealander in the
West Wing of the White House — as
director of strategic initiatives, no less — is
a pretty big deal.
Another New Zealander making waves
in Donald Trump’s America is a lot harder
In her coverage of the recent
Conser vative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) held in Washington DC, Rolling
Stone journalist Sarah Posner name-
checked our very own Trevor Loudon.
Describing the Christchurch-born
anti-communist as “a conspiracy theorist
who appeared on a panel moderated by
Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court
Justice Clarence Thomas”, Posner offered
Loudon’s outlandish conspiracism as proof
of the Republican Party’s “willingness
to look the other way as the movement
mutates from 20th century conser vatism
to a Trump-alt-right-white-nationalism.”
What caught Posner’s attention were
the startling claims contained in Loudon’s
23-minute video America Under Siege:
Civil War 2017. Decrying the very idea
the Russians inter vened in last year’s
United States presidential election on
Trump’s behalf, Loudon advances the
novel theory that Vladimir Putin is, in
fact, the principal funder and director of
Donald Trump’s enemies.
New Zealand leftists of a certain age,
especially those who belonged to the
gaggle of tiny communist groups that
once c lung like limpets to the broader
labour movement, will have little difficulty
recalling Loudon. I certainly remember
his New Zeal blog and its ferocious
dedication to tracking down
and monitoring the membership and
minutiae of every Marxist-Leninist group
that ever published a pamphlet or stood
on a picket line. Verily, wherever three or
more of them were gathered in Mar x’s
name, it seemed that Trevor was with
To be honest, I felt sorry for him. Like so
many others who found themselves swept
up in revolutionary politics in the 1980s
and 1990s, Loudon was born too late.
How much happier and more gainfully
employed he would have been had he been
able to peddle his anti-communist wares
back in the days of Joseph McCarthy and
his local franchisee, National’s first prime
minister, Sid Holland. At least back then
there was a market for left-wing names,
addresses and meticulously-recorded red
But Loudon’s influence, both here and
in his spiritual home, the US, grew out of
the internet. There is considerable irony
here, because by the time New Zealanders
started connecting themselves to the
internet and starting up blogs, Loudon’s
great fountainhead of subversion and
sedition, the Soviet Union, had suddenly
and irrevocably blipped-off history’s
Not that Loudon was about to let a
little thing like the fall of the Berlin Wall
and the demise of what used to be called
“actually existing socialism” get in the
way of his Manichean conviction that the
future of the entire world turned upon the
never-ending twilight struggle between
the children of darkness and the children
Nevertheless, the collapse of the Soviet
Union in August 1991, did leave Loudon
prey to the same deadening realisation
that had demoralised its loyal disciples
all over the world. Without so much as
a bang, indeed, with barely a whimper,
all the patiently collected literature and
memorabilia of Soviet-style communism
— along with all the bulging files detailing
its collectors’ every move — were reduced
to piles of worthless junk. Like those
Russian warehouses filled with unwanted
busts of Lenin and Stalin, Loudon’s vast
archive of red subversion in Godzone no
longer had any serious buyers.
Luckily for Loudon, the US remains
the one place where comically unserious
people can still be taken very seriously
indeed. While their more adaptable
comrades made the necessary Manicheist
transition from the evils of Soviet
Communism to the evils of radical Islam
(assisted admirably by the terrorism of
Osama Bin Laden) dyed-in-the-wool
anti-communists like Loudon (now based
in the US) doggedly insisted that the red
menace was still very much alive.
Putin and his “puppet masters”, says
Loudon, have been “guiding the chaos
unfolding on America’s streets”. Still
inspired by the doctrines of Joseph Stalin
and Mao Zedong, these shadowy string-
pullers have been “organising protests and
riots in the US from the Vietnam War to
Ferguson, Missouri. ”
The CPAC crowd lapped up Loudon’s
Cold War retro paranoia like gravy. From
Trump’s alleged friend, Putin was, very
helpfully, being recast as America’s old
As strategic initiatives go it is a beauty.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
Loudon rebooting the red menace
otearoa is known for
“sociability and being
Iceland ’s population
has a tendancy towards
marijuana smoking and
gender equality, according to a new index
published by the Daily Telegraph UK.
The list shows what different countries
around the world are No 1 in — India
has the most vegetarians, while meat
rules surpreme in the United States —
with some surprising results.
If you are looking for a cheap deal at
the Golden Arches, you will need to
travel a fair distance — Big Macs are
the cheapest in Egypt, where hungry
travellers can buy three for less than the
price of one burger in the United States.
Eating meat, owning guns and
The US tops countless tables. It eats the
most meat (120kg per person, per year,
putting it clear of Kuwait, Australia, The
Bahamas and Luxembourg), own the
most guns (112.6 for every 100 residents;
Serbia comes next with 75.6), and has the
most airports (13,513),
flight departures (9,553,214 in
2014), roads (6,586,610km), railways
(224,792km), billionaires (540), and
Cheap petrol and Miss World winners
Thanks to a policy of heavy
subsidisation, petrol costs just $0.01 a
litre in Venezuela, according to the fuel
analyst website globalpetrolprices.com .
That ’s just 1% of the global average,
$0.97, and well ahead of second placed
Saudi Arabia ($0.24).
The country has produced six Miss
World winners, putting it ahead of the
United Kingdom (five), India (five) and
the US (three).
It also has more protected land, as a
percentage of total land area, than any
other nation, having designated 53.9% of
its territory as such. Slovenia comes next
Smoking weed and gender equality
An estimated 18.3% of Iceland’s
population smokes marijuana, according
to the United Nations Office on Drugs
and Crime, putting it ahead of the US
(16.2%) and Nigeria (14.3%).
It is top of the pops for gender equality
too, beating the likes of Nor way, Finland
and Sweden in the most recent World
Economic Forum report.
Iceland also consumes the most
electricity per capita, pipping Norway
and Bahrain. High electricity
consumption does not necessarily mean
high C02 production: some of the biggest
consumers of electricity are also some of
the biggest producers of green energy.
Take Iceland, for example, which, as
well as being a voracious consumer of
electricity, is also one of the world’s
leading producers of geothermal energy,
meaning much of its electricity comes
from renewable sources.
Costa Rica is the most cheerful country
on Earth according to the annual Happy
Planet Index. Released last summer, it
ranks 140 destinations according to “what
matters most — sustainable wellbeing
for all”. GDP takes a back seat; instead
it is all about judging “how well nations
are doing at achieving long, happy,
It means that Switzerland, Denmark
and Australia, traditionally considered
among the best places in which to live,
are down in 24th, 32nd and 105th,
respectively, while Costa Rica takes the
top spot for the second year running —
ahead of Mexico and Colombia.
Michelin stars and tourism
More people visit France (84.5 million
in 2015) than any other country on
Earth (the US comes next, followed by
Spain, China and Italy).
Why? It’s got everything, including
mountains for skiing and hiking, beaches
to flop on, chateaux and cultured cities
to explore, and more Michelin-starred
restaurants than any other nation.
CO2 emissions and safety
Qatar belches out more CO2 per
capita than anywhere else (35.73 tonnes
annually). It is followed by Curacao
and Latvia (the planet ’s most polluted
country, however, is Pakistan).
It is also the country on Earth where
a natural disaster is least likely to strike.
The most dangerous? Vanuatu, followed
by Tonga and the Philippines.
Ironically, given that it is so popular
with honeymooners, the Maldives
has a divorce rate of 10.97, earning it
recognition in the Guinness Book of
Records. The UN even estimates that
the average Maldivian woman, by
the age of 30, has been divorced three
Why is the rate so high in the
Maldives? Various reasons have been
cited. Perhaps the most compelling is
that, as in other Muslim societies, where
pre-marital sex is taboo, many marry
young, but, under the country’s mixed
Sharia and common law system, they
can then secure a divorce relatively easily
when things do not work out. Others
have blamed a lack of childcare facilities
combined with a rise in women entering
San Marino is the safest place in the
world to drive, with 0 deaths per 100,000
inhabitants according to the World
Health Organisation’s figures. The most
dangerous? Eritrea, with 48.4 .
The tiny nation is also one of four with
no forest whatsoever, according to World
Bank’s definition. The others are Qatar,
Oman and Greenland.
It also has no protected land and is one
of the world’s 45 landlocked states.
Internet speed and 4G coverage
Internet addicts should head to
South Korea. It has the highest average
connection speed (ahead of Ireland,
Hong Kong and Sweden), as recorded by
Akamai — the content delivery network
(CDN) responsible for ser ving between
15 and 30% of all web traffic, and the
best 4G availability, according to the
website Open Signal (ahead of Japan and
Vegetarians, cheap living and
India and its neighbour Bangladesh
eat less meat than anywhere else on the
planet (just 4.4kg and 4kg per person,
India is also the cheapest country in the
world according to a Numbeo sur vey of
around 50 items, including a wide variety
of accommodation, food and drink from
both supermarkets and restaurants,
clothing, taxi fares, leisure activities,
utility, internet and mobile phone bills.
And it has more bank holidays (18)
than anywhere else.
The hardest working country of all?
Contrary to what Jeremy Clarkson would
have you believe, it is Mexico, according
to the OECD. The average citizen of
the Central American country works
2246 hours a year, or 43.2 hours a week
— m ore than any other. In second place
is Costa Rica; South Korea, Greece and
Chile complete the top five.
Furthermore, Mexico observes fewer
bank holidays (just seven) than any other
A Big Mac might taste the same the
world over — but the price varies wildly.
Head to the source — America — and
you will pay a shade over $5. But get
your meat fix in Egypt and you could get
three Big Macs (that ’s six individual meat
patties and 1650 calories!) for just $4.38.
The most expensive nation in which to
sample the gourmet delight is (surprise,
surprise) Switzerland, where it costs a
Sociability and being beautiful
The Legatum Prosperity Index, which,
as part of its annual stocktake of global
prosperity, gives a “social capital” score
to the world’s nations, ranking them out
of 100 in categories such as strength of
personal relationships, civic participation
and social network support. The index
claims Australasia is the most sociable
corner of the globe with New Zealand
topping the table, followed by Australia.
Canada, on the other side of the world,
was ranked third.
New Zealand has also been named the
world’s best country in our annual Travel
Awards sur vey (voted for by more than
70,000 readers) — for four years on the
Wine consumption and mountains
The proud title of most fervent vino
guzzler goes to Andorra. According
to the Wine Institute, the country
consumed 3,936,000 litres of wine in
2014 (the most recent year for which
comprehensive statistics are available).
Given that just 69,165 people call the
Pyrenean principality home, according to
the UN, that ’s an impressive 56.9 litres
per head. Or the equivalent of 76 bottles.
Minors, we can only assume, are not
contributing to that figure. So it is fair
to suggest that the average Andorran
adult consumes even more. However, the
figure may also be bolstered by visitors
to the country. Andorra is a popular ski
destination and tax haven. A good deal of
that consumption could be in the form of
aprÃ̈s -ski and duty-free shopping.
Booze and ciggies
The most sozzled state is Belarus,
where 17.5 litres of pure alcohol per year
are consumed annually by the average
citizen. Next up is Moldova, followed by
Lithuania and Russia.
In terms of cigarette consumption, it is
actually second overall. Montenegro tops
that particular table.
Myanmar (Burma) was named the
world’s most generous country, pipping
the US and Australia, in Charities
Aid Foundation’s 2016 World Giving
Index. According to its research, 91% of
Myanmar residents gave money to charity
in the past year, 62% said they had helped
a stranger, and 55% claimed they had
volunteered. “ The high scores are likely
to be a result of Theravada Buddhism
practiced by a large proportion of the
population in Myanmar, whereby followers
donate to support those living a monastic
lifestyle — a practice known as Sangha
Dana,” the report states.
The country with the highest percentage
of forest area, according to World Bank,
is Suriname, 95% of which is covered
in trees. The top five is completed by
Micronesia, Seychelles, American Samoa
(the most obese place on Earth) and Palau.
Rounded to the nearest decimal place,
the population density of Greenland is
officially 0.0. The world’s largest island is
home to around 56,000 people, meaning
that a population around the size of west
Devon (an area of 1161.0917 square
kms) inhabits an area of 2166084 sq km.
This vast land, which has been inhabited
for around 4500 years, has mountainous
shorelines, long summer days and jewel-
blue fjords. Try visiting the Arctic ghost
town of Skoldungen, abandoned for more
accessible settlements in 1961.
A typical Dutchman is 1.838m tall,
while its ladies average 1.699m, making
it the tallest nation on the planet.
Montenegro, Denmark and Nor way come
The shortest? Indonesia.
Best of the rest
The world’s highest country is Bhutan
The world’s most elderly country is
Monaco (Niger is the youngest)
The Japanese live longest (those in
Sierra Leone die youngest)
Hong Kong is the most urbanised
country (Ethiopia is the least)
China has the fewest English
Italy has the most World Heritage
Canada has the most coastline
Bermuda is the most expensive place
on the planet
The Faroe Islands has produced the
most Nobel Prize winners per capita.
— New Zealand Herald
Every country No 1
New Zealand is No 1 for sociability and being beautiful.
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