Home' Greymouth Star : May 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, May 2, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1519 - Artist Leonardo da Vinci dies at
1536 - England’s Queen Anne Boleyn is sent
to Tower of London, where she eventually is
1932 - Jack Benny’s first radio show makes its
debut in the US.
1945 - The Russian victory in the
Battle of Berlin signals the end of
World War Two in Europe.
1957 - Death of controversial US
Senator Joseph McCarthy.
1972 - Death of J Edgar Hoover,
director of the FBI for 48 years.
1982 - Argentine cruiser General Belgrano
is sunk by a British submarine, killing 368
1994 - Nelson Mandela and the ANC claim
victory in the first democratic election.
2011 - Osama bin Laden, the mastermind
behind the September 11 terror attacks, is
killed in his hideout in Pakistan in a firefight
with US forces.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
(1729-1796);Baron Manfred von Richthofen,
World War One German fighter ace (1892-
1918); Alan Marshall, Australian author
(1902-1984); Dr Benjamin Spock,
US author-activist (1903-1998);
Bing Crosby, US actor-singer
(1904-1977); Peggy Mount, British
actress (1916-2001); Engelbert
Humperdinck, British singer
(1936-); Bianca Jagger, Nicaraguan
actor and socialite (1945-); Leslie
Gore, US singer (1946-); Donatella
Versace, Italian fashion designer (1955-);
David Beckham, English footballer (1975-).
“ What experience and history teach is this:
That people and governments have never
learned anything from history. ”
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will
come again and will take you to Myself, so that
where I am, there you may be also.”
— ( John 14.3).
Shooters in many
parts of the West
Coast braved the
today to settle in mai mais for the start of the
duckshooting season. Not many reports were
available early but Greymouth sportsman Mr
J F Pegley speaking from Moana on Lake
Brunner said it was not a good opening.
“There were a few limit bags,” he said, “ but
there was too much water and it was too clear
— n o mist. However, I think all the shooters
got a few ducks, mainly grey but with a few
mallard and mallard-grey cross,” he added.
If the amount of shooting was any indication
of the number of ducks taken in some areas
there would have been some heavy bags taken
home. One person living in the vicinity of a
shooting spot described the discharging of
guns as “ like a small war.”
The death occurred yesterday of Mr Alfred
O’Brien, of Main Road, Dobson. Born at
Launceston, Tasmania, 79 years ago, Mr
O’Brien came to New Zealand in 1907,
settling in Gisborne and later moving to
Greymouth where he was employed in the
coalmining industry at the old Point Elizabeth
mine at Dunollie. He was later employed by
the old firm of Mark Sprott and Co, and of
more recent years he was on the Greymouth
waterfront, retiring seven years ago. He had
resided at Omoto for many years.
Mr O’Brien is sur vived by two sons, Bert
(Dobson) and Ern (Naenae); five daughters,
Elma (Mrs Wootton, Lower Hutt), Jess
(Mrs Orme, Motueka), Colleen (Mrs Talbot,
Naenae), Loraine (Mrs Rowlands, Dannevirke)
and Mrs Eileen Creagh (Dobson).
uFood for thought
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Keynesianism by other means. That is
what David Parker’s new monetary policy
offers voters — and they should take it.
The measures announced by Parker on
Tuesday morning constitute the long-
awaited framework upon which the
detail of Labour’s manifesto can now be
hung. Indeed, without Parker’s proposed
changes to the Reser ve Bank Act and
the Kiwisaver scheme, Labour’s promise
to resuscitate the manufacturing export
sector and create thousands of new
jobs would have been empty. But now
that Parker has provided the party with
an economic skeleton to articulate its
redistributive muscle, well: “Dem bones,
dem bones gonna walk around!”
It is all Parker’s doing. Political obser vers
have long dismissed the man behind
Labour’s economic programme as an
earnest, rather rumpled provincial lawyer
and “policy wonk”. There will be a lot less
of that now. For the first time in more than
40 years, Labour has developed a joined-up
economic policy that is all its own.
Parker confirmed this himself when
journalists demanded to know which other
countries were running their monetary
policy in the way he is suggesting. “No one,”
replied the shadow finance minister with
obvious pride. “ This is new.”
close study of the way the Singaporean
government has manipulated its
superannuation and public housing
schemes over recent decades might suggest
that Parker is not alone in recognising
the powerful monetary impact of raising
and lowering the level of compulsory
contributions to citizens’ savings funds.
What really sets Parker’s plan apart is the
way in which he has grafted what are, in
effect, Keynesian demand management
imperatives on to that most monetarist of
institutions — the Reser ve Bank of New
“ We propose an important new tool —
varying the employee contribution rate
for work based savings,” Parker informed
his breakfasting business audience. “ The
variable savings rate mechanism — or VSR
— wo uld allow the raising or lowering of
savings rates, rather than interest rates, to
reduce or boost local consumption.”
Not only is Parker’s scheme sound
economics (a judgment with which
even the business community, however
grudgingly, was forced to concur) but it is
also spectacularly good politics.
A lower exchange rate bodes well
for manufactured export and import
substitution industries alike and that, in
turn, points to job growth. Real job growth,
that is: the sort that generates full-time,
densely unionised, high-skill, high-wage
And Parker’s story just gets better with
By utilising the VSR, rather than the
official cash rate (OCR) to take the heat
out of the economy, the Reser ve Bank
governor will be able to protect mortgage-
holders from the sort of continuous
income-squeeze they are currently
undergoing. The VSR is unlikely to be
wheeled out every six weeks in the manner
of the OCR, and its wider application will
almost certainly reduce each individual’s
contribution. What is more, the money
being withdrawn from circulation will
remain in New Zealand. The average
New Zealander’s economic nationalist
nerve cannot help but be stimulated by
the knowledge that the big Aussie banks’
ability to turn New Zealand ’s misery
into Australia’s profit will be patriotically
The question now for Parker and his
boss, David Cunliffe, is how to bring the
good news from Labour’s “war-room”
to the party’s electoral base. Tuesday ’s
announcement has had the effect of
binding Labour’s message into a single,
coherent narrative — but it is not a story
that can be told in a 10-second sound-bite.
Social media can help in this respect, but
Facebook and You Tube can take this sort
of story only so far. Good news is best
delivered in person.
The ideal vector for this type of message
is the nationwide political tour. Cunliffe
painting the picture of a kinder, gentler,
more inclusive and economically productive
New Zealand, while Parker details precisely
how Labour proposes to take us from
problem to solution.
There would be an additional measure of
delicious political irony in such a road-
trip. Forty years ago Labour’s original
superannuation scheme was systematically
undermined by Rob Muldoon’s travelling
roadshow. From town to town and on into
the main centres the pint-sized “economic
wizard” advanced with his charts and
graphs and tables, and with every stop on
his exhaustive itinerary the crowds grew
larger and more convinced that Labour’s
scheme (which today would be worth $260
billion!) was a bad idea.
How satisfying it would be to reverse the
Chris Trotter is an independent left-
wing political commentator.
Keynesianism — Labour’s smart money plan
ecent actions by a
billionaire owner of a
Association team and a
supporter of a Spanish
soccer club have offered
the sporting world a stark reminder that
racism knows no borders.
From the Staples Centre hardwood
in Los Angeles to La Liga’s manicured
pitches, and everywhere sport is played at
the highest level, the murky undercurrents
of racism flow from the stands and suites
to the field of play.
On the same weekend a secretly-
recorded racist diatribe by Los Angeles
Clippers owner Donald Sterling sparked
a firestorm of outrage across the United
States, a Villarreal fan tossed a banana at
Barcelona’s Dani Alves as he lined up a
Alves responded to the taunt by taking a
bite of the fruit while the perpetrator was
eventually arrested and banned for life.
The 80-year-old Sterling was also
banned for life after his shocking remarks
showed there were elements of bigotry
even among owners of North American
professional sports teams.
“ We know that this exists,” John
Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard
Alliance Foundation, which monitors
diversity in the National Football League,
“This is why there are diversity inclusion
committees in sports.
“These things exist because that stigma
still stands throughout our culture,
throughout our country.
“That is why you have to continually
stand and fight and deal with it day after
day. You have to meet it on all fronts
because it comes from all areas.”
Gambling, drugs and homosexuality
have all been hot-button issues for North
America’s big four professional sports
leagues, but nothing has provoked more
debate and inflamed passions than the
suggestion of racism.
With sponsors fleeing and players
in open revolt over Sterling’s racist
comments, NBA commissioner Adam
Silver moved quickly to quell the uprising
by levying the harshest punishment
available under his power.
In addition to the life ban, Sterling was
also fined $2.5 million and told that he
would have to sell the team he has owned
for 30 years.
But while the NBA may rid itself of
Sterling, the wider problem of racism
exists, according to New York Times
columnist William C Rhoden, who often
writes on racism in sports.
“ We can focus on this, and they ’ll kill
Sterling and declare racism dead and we
can all go away,” Rhoden said.
“ We can say, ‘All good, the Wicked
Witch is dead. It ’s done. Racism is done.
Let ’s all go, let ’s watch the games.
“I think what this has really done is
taken the veil off it.”
From the gridiron to tennis courts,
racism has manifested in many forms,
both subtle and overt.
Despite protests, vigorous lobbying and
even inter vention from President Barack
Obama, Washington Redskins owner
Dan Snyder has vowed not to change the
name of his National Football League
team, considered offensive by many
Native American groups.
Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves
and Cleveland Indians have also refused
to bend to similar pressure.
Confederate flags, which to many
Americans is an unsettling symbol of
slavery and segregation, proudly flutter
from motor homes at Nascar races while
the NFL is expected to introduce a 15-
yard penalty for players who use racial
Serena and Venus Williams, two of
the biggest names in women’s tennis,
continue to boycott Indian Wells, one of
the biggest events on the sport’s calendar,
after their father claimed racial slurs were
directed at him during the 2001 edition
of the tournament.
Sport has often been on the frontlines
in the fight against racism, Jackie
Robinson breaking Major League
Baseball’s colour barrier in 1947 and
Willie O’Ree doing the same in the
National Hockey League in 1958.
But, despite decades of affirmative
action, many avenues to good jobs remain
blocked for minorities, forcing leagues
to put in place hiring and educational
With no minorities currently racing
at Nascar’s top level, the series has
developed a ‘Drive for Diversity’
programme while the NFL requires
teams to interview at least one minority
for head coaching and senior football
Each season Major League Baseball
celebrates Robinson’s legacy by having
players from every team wear his number
42 on Jackie Robinson Day with the
purpose of educating fans about the Hall
of Famer’s accomplishments.
After Sterling’s rant it was suggested on
social media and in newspaper columns
that if he wanted to avoid associating
with black people he should sell the
Clippers and buy a team in the NHL,
which has the smallest percentage of
African-Americans among the four major
professional leagues in the United States.
In an attempt to reach out to minorities,
the NHL developed a diversity
programme which is a major component
of the league’s Hockey is for Everyone
“Great, great things have been
accomplished but there is still much
work to be done,” Wooten, a former
NFL player with the Cleveland Browns
and Redskins said. “I think we have to
continue to work from that point.
“The whole thing about racism is lack
“I think NFL has done a mar vellous
job, baseball is doing better, I think what
Adam Silver did was outstanding just in
terms of taking a stand.
Racism undermining sport
Donald Sterling on the sideline at a Los Angeles Clippers game.
A tablet that turns off hunger is on the
horizon after scientists found how high-
fibre foods tell the body to stop eating.
The reason that people feel full when
eating fruit and vegetables is because fibre,
of which they are a good source, releases
acetate into the gut, scientists found. The
molecule then travels to the brain and
The scientists believe a pill derived from
acetate could help people cut how much
they eat without experiencing cravings.
One in four adults in England is obese
and that figure is expected to climb to six
in 10 men and one in two women by 2050.
Obesity and diabetes costs the NHS more
than £5 billion every year and that is likely
to rise to £50 billion.
Acetate is released in the gut when plants
and vegetables are digested.
The scientists tracked the molecule
and found that it ended up in the
hypothalamus region of the brain, which
Their study suggests that obesity may
have become an epidemic because the
healthy diet of the past has been replaced
with processed food, which does not
produce acetate when digested. As a result,
the brain does not receive a signal telling it
to stop eating.
The average modern diet in Europe
contains about 15g of fibre per day. In
Stone Age times it was about 100g.
“Unfortunately our digestive system has
not yet evolved to deal with this modern
diet,’’ professor Gary Frost, of Imperial
College London, said.
Although the scientists say their research
should encourage people to eat more fruit
and vegetables, they also believe it could
pave the way for new drugs to help dieters.
“The major challenge is to develop an
approach that will deliver the amount of
acetate needed to suppress appetite but
in a form that is acceptable and safe for
humans,” prof Frost said.
The study analysed the effects of a
dietary fibre called inulin which is found
in chicory and sugar beet and is added to
Experiments on mice found those fed on
a high-fat diet with added inulin ate less
and gained less weight than animals given
the same diet with no inulin. Researchers
noticed that the acetate released in
digestion accumulated in the brain where it
caused neurons to fire, suppressing hunger.
The study also showed that when acetate
was injected into the bloodstream, colon or
brain it reduced the amount of food eaten
by the mice.
Professor Jimmy Bell, of the Medical
Research Council’s clinical sciences
centre at Imperial, who collaborated in
the research, said: “ We have started to
really understand what lies behind fibre’s
natural ability to suppress our appetite
and identified acetate as essential to the
“In the context of the growing rates of
obesity in western countries, the findings
of the research could inform potential
methods to prevent weight gain.”
Acetate is only active for a short time in
the body so any pill would need to mimic
the chemical’s slow release during digestion
in the gut.
Prof David Lomas, chairman of the
MRC’s population and systems medicine
board, said it was becoming increasingly
clear that the interaction between the
gut and the brain played a key role in
controlling how much people eat.
“Being able to influence this relationship,
for example using acetate to suppress
appetite, may in future lead to new, non-
surgical treatments for obesity.”
— New Zealand Herald
Dieters offered hope of a pill to turn off hunger
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