Villwock Presidency Effort Falls Short

first_img Villwock Presidency Effort Falls Short Home Indiana Agriculture News Villwock Presidency Effort Falls Short Facebook Twitter By Andy Eubank – Jan 12, 2016 Previous articleUSDA Report Sparks Market RallyNext articleMorning Outlook Andy Eubank SHARE Villwock falls shortZippy Duvall of Georgia is the new president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Tuesday’s election at the conclusion of the annual meeting in Orlando also means the end of the road for Don Villwock from Knox County, Indiana, who was defeated on the third and final ballot.“Of course I’m disappointed,” he told HAT. “A lot of my friends and all the Indiana delegation, they did a great job. I just feel like I let them down. But life goes on and Zippy’s a great Christian man. I’m very glad that he is elected. He’ll do extremely well and I’ll try to help him any way I can.”The election brings to a close a long and very successful career in Farm Bureau but Villwock will remain a member as he returns to life on the farm.“I sure will and I truly believe in Farm Bureau. I think every farmer in Indiana needs to be a member. They need someone fighting for them at the courthouse or the statehouse or Washington DC, because if they become members we get more things accomplished that make a difference. It’s a pretty good deal for $32.50.Villwock said there is a distinct positive that comes from not winning.“I’ll be able to watch my grandchildren grow up and that’s a pretty important job.”Joining Duvall is AFBF’s new vice president Scott VanderWal of South Dakota. He won that three man race on the first ballot. SHARE Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Putting history on trial

first_imgWhat can historians learn by being expert witnesses in court? They can learn to cooperate, to state the facts, and to leave their opinions and academic squabbles in the library.“There’s no room for academic blather,” said Caroline Elkins, a Harvard history professor who studies colonial rule in East Africa. In court, she said in a recent lecture, the judge is the “teacher” and the academics — famous for squabbling — have to give up their “sandbox.”In 2008, Elkins was named the first of three “expert witnesses,” historians who were called upon to provide evidence to the High Court of Justice in London. (She and the others are advisers to the British law firm Leigh Day.) At issue is a coming trial that gives aging Kenyan Mau Mau insurgents and sympathizers the opportunity to prove claims of rape, torture, murder, and other crimes that they allege happened in the waning days of British colonial rule in the East African country.The Mau Mau led a 1952-1960 rebellion that British officials at the time called “the Emergency.” In that era, 32 white civilians were killed. At least 11,000 — and perhaps as many as 50,000 — black Kenyans died, half of them children. About 80,000 were imprisoned, and up to 1.5 million were displaced and shuttled into what Elkins called a “pipeline” of prisons and forced settlements.Elkins is author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya” (2005). This month, she will send the third installment of her testimony to the court, a 75-page document. The two British historians who recently joined her as expert witnesses, are David Anderson, whose book about Kenya, “Histories of the Hanged,” also appeared in 2005, and young defense studies scholar Huw C. Bennett.Elkins studies the civil side of the conflict: the Mau Mau era’s camps and prisons. Anderson studies capital cases from a time when due process was suspended and 800 insurgents were sent to the gallows. Bennett studies the role of the British Army in putting down the rebellion, including controversial interrogation and intelligence-gathering methods.“We each have our own specialties,” said Elkins during a Jan. 25 lecture, the first in a weekly spring colloquium series sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. But all of them are “revisionists” who challenge traditional interpretations of the war, including the usual assumption that British colonial abuses in Kenya were the exception and not the rule.Collectively, said Elkins during her Thompson Room lecture, their scholarship provides what she called in a recent article an “alchemy of evidence,” a portrait of “systematic violence over time” by colonial authorities against the Mau Mau.On a screen behind her, she showed a chart of how the punitive British pipeline worked, circa 1954. “I had to reconstruct the logic of the pipeline itself,” she said, a task that took her five years in British and Kenyan archives. “This case rests on historical evidence,” said Elkins. Without it, Mau Mau plaintiffs never would have won the right to trial.Contact with the courtroom offers a cautionary tale, she said. The intellectual tumult of historical debate in journals and in the press reveals fault lines, and scholars consider a little battering the price of doing business. (Elkins called such paper battles “a nerd-off.”) But the particulars of such scholarly debates will be used in court. If a book review criticized one of the historians on methodology, for instance, that contention becomes grist for a defense lawyer and is open to legal scrutiny. That’s what makes this case novel, said Elkins. “History is on trial.”Her own use of African oral histories in “Imperial Reckoning” led some reviewers to call the book speculative and lightweight, she said, as if it were “some kind of fictive account of Mau Mau memory.” But if you look at the book carefully, Elkins said, there are 600 footnotes and fewer than 300 citations from oral histories.At the same time, having to send documents to court gave historians lessons in compression. For her first expert testimony, Elkins said, she boiled down her book into a 100-page document. It contained just the facts, without shading, asides, or opinions. After all, objective reasoning is at the core of the legal system, said Elkins. But there can be a culture clash between the law and humanistic scholarship. In the law, she said, “there is none of the kind of indeterminacy that we like.”From 2006 to 2009, critics waged a war of opinion over revised histories of the Mau Mau era. But in the end, the collective evidence of the case “is overwhelming,” said Elkins, and points to systematized British abuse of Kenyan civilians. “Like most things in the British Empire, this was very well thought out.”Last year, more evidence came to light, when 300 boxes of British documents from the Mau Mau era (1,500 files) turned up in a secret repository in a village in Southeast England. It was a rare find. (Elkins estimated that from 1958 to 1963, up to 3.5 tons of documents were destroyed by the British in Kenya.)The new papers are being digitized and assessed by what Elkins called her “Team Mau Mau” at Harvard, as well as by a team at the University of Oxford. The files reveal fresh evidence of torture and cover-up, and detail more than 450 cases of abuse.Her role in the civil court case has shown that history can be a “complementary knowledge set” useful in litigation. At the same time, her involvement with the law provided a rare sort of satisfaction. “There’s nothing more satisfying,” said Elkins, “than doing this kind of work and having it matter.”[vimeo 32749559 w=560 h=315]last_img read more

Notre Dame remembers Dan Kim

first_imgWei Lin | The Observer Friday night, the northernmost edge of the Grotto glowed with the light of a single three-letter word. Fifty-five candles spelled out “Dan,” a tribute to sophomore Daniel Kim, whose friends had gathered to remember the former business student and fencer.Kim, 21, died at his off-campus residence and was found early Friday afternoon, according to a Notre Dame press release. The South Bend Tribune reported that an autopsy was conducted Friday, but authorities will have to wait for toxicology results to determine exactly how Kim died. Deputy county coroner Michael O’Connell said Kim’s death was not a homicide or a suicide, according to the Tribune.Tonight, a memorial Mass for Kim will take place at 9 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. University President Fr. John Jenkins will be the celebrant and Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Pete McCormick will be the homilist.‘Just a great guy’Junior Paul Grima lived in Kim’s section of Keough Hall their freshman year and said Kim “had a very close, tight-knit group of friends,” though he maintained relationships with other students, like Grima, outside his best friends and fellow business majors.Kim’s FIFA video game prowess and outgoing friendliness made him a well-known figure in their freshman-year section of Keough, junior Dayton Flannery said.“If you wanted to call yourself the best FIFA player in the section, you had to go through Dan Kim first,” Flannery said.Though the majority of their interactions were “lighthearted,” Kim showed a particular interest in philosophy, even trying to take majors-only classes, Grima said.Junior Will Fields, who met Kim through mutual friends in Keough, said Kim’s sense of humor stands out in his memory.“He was just a really funny dude,” Fields said. “When we hung out, he was always funny. … All around, just a great guy. And he was brilliant. Always really smart. All-around great.”McCormick, Kim’s former rector in Keough, said he noted his resident’s confidence and genuine friendliness, particularly with his second-floor section mates, who were “always around the hall.”“Daniel was a young man that had good friends,” McCormick said. “Not only that, but they genuinely cared about him. And he was loyal to them.”McCormick said Kim impressed him in conversations with his openness, humility and authenticity.“What I always appreciated about Daniel is whenever we would have a conversation, he would be willing to own up to his own shortcomings and frailties, and I always genuinely appreciated that,” McCormick said. “Sometimes people are not as willing to own up to what their shortcomings were and what they needed to work on.”“He had a real sense of who he is, and he owned that,” McCormick said.‘A true competitor’Kim joined the fencing team in fall 2012, his freshman year at Notre Dame, after growing up with the sport in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, freshman fencer Claudia Kulmacz said. Kulmacz is also from Upper Saddle River.“Back in the club, he was really good,” she said. “He’d always kick butt, always give us a run for our money. I used to travel to World Cups with him, and he was great. He was a true competitor.”News of Kim’s death reached the team Friday afternoon, just before the DeCicco Duals were held Saturday at Castellan Family Fencing Center, fencing coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said after the match.“I think [the team members] were devastated, and they were crushed,” he said. “All their emotions were flowing. … The reaction was to rally around each other and truly give a tribute to someone we really loved. That was in the backs of our minds today and was truly difficult.”Kulmacz said the team “fenced for Dan” on Saturday.“It was a tough day, but you got to do what you got to do,” she said.Freshman fencer Paul Cepak, who trained at the same fencing club in New Jersey as Kim and Kulmacz, said he traveled to Latvia over one summer break with Kim, whom he called “a really genuine guy.” He said members of the team stood in a circle to offer prayers and share memories at the Grotto on Friday, and though they “came to terms,” the loss weighed on the team during Saturday’s competition.“I guess a lot of people … kind of had Dan in their heart,” Cepak said. “Today, I had a little trouble fencing just thinking about all the things going on, but I think Dan would like to see people move on, do great things and move on from what happened and try to live out part of his life through working hard and making friends and all kinds of different stuff.”Kim, a native of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, blazed the trail for Cepak by coming to Notre Dame as a fencer, Cepak said.“I guess I followed in his shadow,” he said. “[Kim] wasn’t exactly expecting to get in, and neither was I, and we both got in. So it’s kind of hard, but definitely one of the reasons I came here was to be with my friend.”‘Dealing with other demons’Kim struggled emotionally at Notre Dame, making friends but also at times keeping his distance from dorm mates, according to Keough residents.“He was a very good kid,” Grima said. “Most people only saw the troubled side of him, but he was a very good thoughtful person underneath it.“He really was a kind, thoughtful person,” Grima said. “I know I’m using pretty clichéd words, but he really was both of them. The trouble was that he was dealing with other demons. And most people only saw that because he wasn’t going outside in the section lounge talking about philosophy with most people. That’s not something you typically do.”“I would say overall, he was troubled, and that took up a large portion of his life, but it wasn’t malicious trouble,” Grima said. “He never took it out on other people, ever.”Kim’s parents asked “for continuing prayers for strength in this time,” McCormick said.“It means a lot to them that we’re going to celebrate this Mass,” McCormick said. “… At this point, celebrate him. Celebrate who he was at his core.”Associate Sports Editor Greg Hadley and Editor-in-Chief Ann Marie Jakubowski contributed to this report.Tags: Daniel Kim, Remembrance, Student deathlast_img read more

UK public funds pump money into alternatives

first_imgUK public sector pension schemes increased their overall exposure to alternative assets by nearly two-thirds in the three years to the end of 2016, according to State Street.At the end of the year the 105 public pension funds in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland had collectively invested £16.6bn (€19.1bn) in asset classes including infrastructure, real estate, and private equity, according to State Street’s research. This amounts to roughly 6.6% of the total assets in the local government pension scheme (LGPS).Andy Todd, head of UK pensions and banks at State Street, said the rise was “significant”, although the starting point was low.“Pension funds do want to investigate these asset classes – some of them, maybe, for the first time,” he said. “When you look at alternatives they tend to be long term asset classes,” Todd added. “Ultimately, the LGPS funds are open defined benefit schemes, so they have an investment time horizon that is arguably infinite.”The UK government has tasked LGPS funds in England and Wales to pool their assets to save costs and give more scale to invest in infrastructure projects in the country. Some have begun scaling up their resources in alternatives already: the London Pension Funds Authority and Greater Manchester Pension Fund have created a joint infrastructure fund, and were joined last year by the Berkshire Pension Fund.The £35bn Northern pool – involving the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund, and Merseyside Pension Fund – has said it wants a long-term allocation of 15% to infrastructure, increasing by 10 percentage points the combined funds’ current allocation to the asset class.State Street’s research also found that, in the three years to the end of 2016, LGPS funds’ total exposure to UK equities declined by 5% to £37.9bn (15% of total assets).In contrast, the allocation to emerging markets equities rose by a third – albeit from a low base. LGPS funds had £446.5m invested in emerging market equities at the end of 2016, State Street reported, accounting for just 0.2% of overall assets.Todd said of the overall results: “This research highlights how these pension funds are becoming increasingly comfortable navigating complex asset classes such as alternatives as well as emerging market equities. These changes to the investment landscape are systematic, so we will likely see a continued trend toward such investments.”last_img read more