Perry Mason

May 21, 2010

Raymond Burr was born on this day in 1917.


I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

May 21, 2010

Fats Waller was born on this day in 1904.


Courage

May 21, 2010

It take great courage to speak at the funeral of your daughter.

What can you say about a young woman you loved with all your heart when you know that love wasn’t strong enough to save her from the addiction which led to her death by overdose?

At yesterday’s funeral this brave mother showed her love for her daughter by making a plea to those there to celebrate her life, blighted and ultimately cut short by drugs.

She said, learn from this, resist temptation for your own sake and for the sake of those who love you.

She knew it was too late for her daughter, but her message was to the others listening, the ones she knew  were at risk of following her.

Then a family friend read this poem, penned by a drug addict and found after she died:

My Name Is Addiction

I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that’s just the start.

I’m more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold, the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.

If you need me remeber, I’m easily found. I live all around you in school and in town.

I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street and maybe next door.

 

My power is awesome, if you try me you’ll see; but if you do, you may never break free.

If you try me once I won’t want to let go, if you try me twice I’ll own your soul.

When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie, you do what you have to just to get high.

The crimes you’ll commit for my narcotic charms won’t be worth the pain you’ll feel in your arms.

 

You’ll lie to your mother, you’ll steal from your dad, when you see their tears, you should feel sad.

But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised, I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.

I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from God and separate friends.

I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I’ll be with you always, right by your side.

 

You’ll give up everything, your family, your home; your friends and your money then you’ll be alone.

I’ll take and take till you have nothing more to give, when I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.

If you try me be warned, this is no game; if given the chance I’ll drive you insane.

I’ll ravish your body, I’ll control your mind, I’ll own you completely, your soul will be mine.

The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed, the voices you’ll hear from inside your head.

The seats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see, I want you to know these are all gifts from me.

But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart, that you are min and we’ll never part.

 

You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do; but you came to me, not I to you.

You knew this would happen, many times you were told, but you challenged my power and chose to be bold.

You could have said ‘no’ and just walked away, if you could live that day over, now what would you say?

I’ll be your master, you’ll be my slave. I’ll even go with you when you go to your grave.

Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or not? It’s up to you.

I can bring you more misery than words can tell, come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.


Taumarunui on the Main Trunk Line

May 21, 2010

Day 20 of New Zealand Music Month, the traditional version of Taumarunui on the Main Trunk Line, sung by Pat Rogers abd dedicated to PDM and Paul who weren’t so keen on Wednesday’s version.


What happened to the mid-term toughie?

May 21, 2010

Mid term Budgets are generally the tough ones.

It’s when tough medicine is delivered in the hope people will have forgotten, or at least got used to, the taste by the time they vote.

This Budget hasn’t done that.

There were a few positive surprises and while there are a few complaints, the general response is positive.

From south to north:

The Southland Times says it was Cautiously corrective:

The Budget was more a series of cautious, reasoned calculations, political as well as economic, following a pretty well-signposted path. . .

Disinclined though most people may feel towards outbursts of impassioned applause, some acknowledgment is due that Finance Minister Bill English delivered, on balance, more by way of tax cuts than had been expected. . .

//

Mr English is entitled to claim that New Zealand now has a fairer tax system.

This does not, necessarily, amount to a mission accomplished. Far bolder measures such as capital gains and land tax options were discarded, but the bottom-line issue is less whether the changes were correctional – they were – than whether they were too meek.

Mr English and Prime Minister John Key would be happy enough if the debate in future weeks were to be primarily whether they were cautious to a fault in how far they went down the right track.

But it won’t be. Neither life nor politics is that simple.

The ODT says it’s A Budget gamble:

What really matters, though, is whether the changes will stimulate investment in jobs and in product-creating industries (without which there cannot be lasting economic growth) or simply leave New Zealanders’ habitual spendthrift ways unchanged.

. . .   The Government deserves commendation for – at long last – tackling a few of the seriously detrimental distortions in the taxation system; but for the rest, a mark of “achieved with credit” is some way off.

In essence, the Government has judged its measures to be long term: a brave and necessary conclusion.

The Dominion Post sees Bold steps towards an economic recovery:

Finance Minister Bill English has not gone as far in his second Budget as he was advised to go by the high-powered Tax Working Group earlier this year. But he has been bolder than most pundits expected. And, wonder of wonders, the Budget is a coherent document that should encourage saving and investment and discourage consumption and speculative investment in property. . .

There is something else for the naysayers to consider. Even before the financial crisis struck, economic growth had stalled in New Zealand. Without changes to make it a more attractive destination for investment and skilled workers, New Zealand was facing a further slip down world economic tables. Mr English has made a promising start to arresting the trend.

The Taranaki Daily News writes Budgeting on widening the gap:

But the Government’s `surprise’ package for middle-class earners and its across-the-board tax changes cannot hide the fact that despite being touted as something for everyone, a significant portion of our community will still be getting substantially more than others.

The NZ Herald says Budget puts NZ on course for stability:

If National’s second Budget has done nothing else it has restored reasonable personal tax rates. . .

The Budget was upbeat on the economic recovery, forecasting growth of 3 per cent a year for four years, which would reduce unemployment to 4.5 per cent in four years and return the Government’s accounts to surplus in five years.

Most important, those forecasts enable the Treasury to plan debt reductions.

National Governments are never happier than when they can reduce taxes, and never more determined than when they can remove a welfare rort.

They managed to do both in this Budget, stopping those who minimise their assessable income from claiming income support from the state. . .

The Government has not forgotten that only half the country’s top earners have been paying the top rate, and that those who do pay it provide nearly half of the revenue extracted from personal incomes.

It has given the payers a more reasonable rate. If the rest in the highest bracket have been induced to contribute fully, the Budget will have been a success.

Keeping Stock has a round-up of views from commentators.


Budget reaction

May 21, 2010

Patrick Smellie sniffs an unusually successful Budget:

What makes the Budget particularly strong is the extraordinary state of the Crown accounts. If net Crown debt is to peak at less than 30% of GDP after the most wrenching debt crisis ever to hit the developed world, then we’re looking in reasonable shape.

If it weren’t for the fact that the Budget economic forecasts still have current account deficits at around 7% of GDP for the foreseeable future, there would be an argument that English could borrow a bit more and get the place really going.

Tax experts say it’s bold and radical:

“The property sector will understandably not welcome some aspects of this Budget,” said accounting firm KPMG’s chief executive, Jan Dawson. The surprise cut to 28% in the company tax rate from next April would help offset any negatives among a raft of changes removing or tightening property investment and other sources of tax deductibility.

The Budget was “the most radical in years”, said Deloitte chief executive Murray Jack, and represented “a big bet on the delivery of the required impetus for the government’s growth strategy.”

The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants pointed out that it was history repeating. The corporate tax rate was 28% in 1989, while the top tax rate only rose beyond 33% in 2001.

“Ever since then, the tax system has fallen into disarray as governments have tried to apply band-aid arrangements to avoid the 39% rate,” said NZICA’s Craig Macalister. “This is a welcome return to a simpler tax system, and it removes some of the incentives to structure for tax purposes rather than for commercial purposes.”

Chapman Tripp tax partner Casey Plunket said “no one should mourn the passing of the 38% top personal tax rate.”
“It was always a fraud, the cost of which was not borne by the wealthy but by those who earned … income which they could not shelter in companies or trusts,” Plunket said. “People with substantial assets, the real wealthy, were almost completely unaffected by it.”

. . . The New Zealand Property Council wasn’t happy with the investment property tax changes, but called it a “bold Budget” that was “good for New Zealand, at the property sector’s expense.”

Federated farmers applauds the tax incentives but wanted more for agriculture:

Federated Farmers is welcoming Budget 2010 with some misgivings about the ongoing growth of Government spending and the impact of higher Government charges, particularly the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), will have on inflation.

“The Government’s ambition to rebalance the economy in favour of the tradable sector is admirable,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers economics & commerce spokesperson.

“The Government’s emphasis on encouraging sustainable growth, based on productivity and competitiveness is strongly endorsed and we welcome a much improved economic and fiscal outlook. . .

. . . “Federated Farmers is very disappointed the Regulatory Responsibility Bill, something designed to introduce discipline to regulation, continues to languish. There’s actually no need for further consultation, as stated in the Minister’s Budget speech.  It’s a high quality well drafted Bill so let’s get on with it.

“All in all this is a Budget that looks good but it is very much work in progress with more needed to be done if we are to get the tradable sector led growth we all want,” concluded Mr York.

The Business Round table says there are sound steps but no step change:

“The government deserves credit for correcting some of the economic mistakes of its predecessor but is still well away from putting the economy on a strong and balanced growth path”, Roger Kerr, executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, said today.

Colin Espiner writes English sprinkles the  fairy dust:

Somehow, English has managed to please all of the people all of the time – at least, everyone except the unions, Labour, and Hone Harawira. And it’ll be a cold day in the Beehive before those three agrees with anything National does. . .

. . . Overall I reckon this is easily a better Budget than last year’s effort and probably trumps anything Labour came up with in the past nine years as well.  

And over at No Minister The Veteran discusses whose views can be disregarded and why.


May 21 in history

May 21, 2010

On May 21:

878  Syracuse, Italy was captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.

879 Pope John VIII gave blessings to Duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of Croatian state.

 
Dux Branimir of Croatia front.JPG

996 Sixteen-year-old Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1502  The island of Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova.

1527 King Philip II of Spain was born (d. 1598).

 

1554 A royal Charter was granted to Derby School.

Derbyschoolarms1906.jpg

1674  The nobility elect ed John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

1688  Alexander Pope, English poet, was born  (d. 1744).

 

1725 The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I.

1758 Mary Campbell was abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War.

 

1780 Elizabeth Fry, British social reformer, was born (d. 1845).

 

1809 The first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling between the Austrian army led by Archduke Charles and the French army led by Napoleon I of France.

Fernand Cormon 005.jpg

1840 Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over all of New Zealand: over the North Island on the basis of cession by the Treaty of Waitangi and the southern islands by right of discovery.

Hobson proclaims sovereignty over NZ

 1851  Slavery was abolished in Colombia.

1856  Lawrence, Kansas was captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.

1863  American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson – Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.

 

1864 Russia declared an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians were forced into exile. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning.

 

1871  French troops invaded the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of “Bloody Week” some 20,000 communards have been killed and 38,000 arrested.

 

1871  Opening of the first rack railway in Europe, the Rigi-Bahnen on Mount Rigi.

1879  War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbor of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battled two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique.

Iquique.jpg

1881  The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton.

 

1894  The Manchester Ship Canal in England was officially opened by Queen Victoria, who knighted its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.

 

1904 Fats Waller, American pianist, was born  (d. 1943).

1904 The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris.

 

1907 John C. Allen, American roller coaster designer, was born  (d. 1979).

1916 – Harold Robbins, American novelist (d. 1997).

 

1917 Raymond Burr, Canadian actor (d. 1993).

 

1917  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established through Royal Charter to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military forces.

1917  The Great Atlanta fire of 1917.

 

1924  Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a “thrill killing”.

 

1927 Charles Lindbergh touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

1930 Malcolm Fraser, 22nd Prime Minsiter of Australia, was born.

1932 Bad weather forced Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becme the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

1934 Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.

1936 Sada Abe was arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her hand.

1937  A Soviet station became the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.

1939 The National War Memorial (Canada) was unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.

War Memorial Guards Ottawa.jpg

1941 Ronald Isley, American singer (The Isley Brothers), was born.

1943 Hilton Valentine, British guitarist (The Animals), was born.

1944  Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, was born.

1946 Physicist Louis Slotin was fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 

1948 – Leo Sayer, English musician, was born.

1951 The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School.

1952 Mr. T, American actor, was born.

 

1958 United Kingdom Postmaster General Ernest Marples announced that from December,  subscriber trunk dialling will be introduced in the Bristol area.

1961  American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declared martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.

1966 The Ulster Volunteer Force declared  war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

 

1969 Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, known as Rosariazo, following the death of a 15-year-old student.

 

1972  Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica was damaged by a vandal,  Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.

 

1979 White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.

A line of people silhouetted against a building, with a plume of smoke rising behind the people.

1981 Irish Republican hunger strikers Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on hunger strike in Maze prison.

 

1990  Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agreed to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen.

1991  Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber near Madras.

 

1991  Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,  fled Ethiopia, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.

1994 Democratic Republic of Yemen unsuccessful attempts to secede from Republic of Yemen, war breaks out.

1996  The MV Bukoba sank in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1000.

1996  The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas were executed.

1998  In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics were hit by a butyric acid attacker.

1998   Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns.

2001  French Taubira law officially recognised the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.

2003  An earthquake hit northern Algeria killing more than 2,000 people.

2004  Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbed Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu’s record from the previous year.

 

2006  The Republic of Montenegro held a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Montenegrin people choose independence with a majority of 55%.

2006  The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor took gold in the World Championship, becoming the first nation to hold both the World and Olympic titles separately in the same year.

IIHF World Championship Gold Medal.JPG

2007  The clipper  Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire.

 

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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