Did you see the one about . . .


New Zealand and Uruguay as sporting equivalents – Pablo at Kiwipolitico compares one small country where sport and agriculture are important with another.

Don’t admit them to hospital then – Macdoctor on the smoking ban for prisoners.

Star the second – In A Strange Land has a star chart to help her stay dry for July.

What makes us happy? Rivetting Kate Taylor on what really matters.

Sparks in the universe – Stellar Cafe on the bright ideas that get away from you.

What determines productivity? – Anti-Dismal on attemts toa nswer the big question.

Biology isn’t destiny but it affects your saving throws – Offsetting Behaviour on nature vs nurutre.

Trio – Quote Unquote on tree planting and muttering and purring.

Mines railways or jobs – Liberty Scott on unintended consequences.

Happy Birthday to us – Gooner at No Minister on the blog’s third birthday.

TraeMe hints – Oswald Bastable knows something but he’s not telling much.

Farewell to the Independent – Liberation bids the paper goodbye with a parody of Chirs Trotter’s writing.

Apropos of which is The Independent 1992 – 2010 at Bowalley Road. He also discusses the redefinition of protest in Russel’s tussle.

Camptown Races


Stephen Foster was born ont his day in 1826.

He also composed “Oh! Susanna”, “Old Folks at Home” (“Swanee River”), “Hard Times Come Again No More”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Old Black Joe”, and “Beautiful Dreamer”.

Yellow Rose of Texas


Happy birthday Mitch Miller, 99 today.

The world needs more . . .


. . .  joyologists.

The Sunday Start Times writes about Pat Armitstead pulled herself up after her partner’s desertion and turned herself into a joyologist.

The story isn’t online but her website is here.

Independent body should set salaries and allowances


The triennial parliamentary appropriations review recommends an independent body be set MPs’ salaries and allowances.

They may not be keen to lose control of the process, but it would be better for them if they do.

Owners of private businesses may decide what they pay themselves but it would be most unusual in the private sector, or elsewhere in the public sector, to have salary earners determining their own pay and allowances.

No matter how transparent the process is, if MPs are in charge of what they get they’ll be accused of taking more than they ought to.

 The review also suggests an independent regulator set the amount of support individual MPs get or:

23. If an independent regulator is not given responsibility for determining the individual members’ support entitlement, that:

 a. a cross-party agreement on the appropriate funding regime be entered into;

b. the funding for the Maori/largest electorates be altered to $87,588; c. East Coast and Taranaki-King Country electorates be added to the Maori/large electorate tier of funding; and

 d. an additional intermediate tier, receiving $87,588 (but not an extra staff member), be established consisting of the Northland, Rangitikei and Wairarapa electorates and up to five electorates in the lowest socio-economic areas of the country.

 The coalition agreement with the Maori Party resulted in an increase in support for Maori eelctorates and the bigger general ones but East Coast King Country which covers 13,649 square kilometres and Taranaki-King Country (12,869 sq kms) which got nothing extra are bigger than Hauraki-Waikato (12, 580 sq kms) which did.

 It is both fair and reasonable that electorates which are more difficult to service get more support. This is at least as much for constituents as it is for MPs.

The review’s suggestion of an end to overseas travel rebates is sensible and it’s reasonable that there’s compensation for the loss of this perk in salaries, although that has, unfairly, been painted as a pay rise.

One recommendation I oppose is the suggestion that the class of  family members MPs can employ as support staff be broadened.

Kiwiblog, who has done his usual thorough examination of the  review here, says at the moment only spouses, partners and dependent children are excluded from working for MPs.

That’s reasonable but I see no need for that to be extended to other family members.

I know of only one sibling who works for an MP and she does far more work than she is paid for, providing very good value for the taxpayer and extra support for the MP.

Happy Independence Day


Happy Independence Day to the USA and the Phillipines.


July 4 in history


On July 4:

836  Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples.


993  Saint Ulrich of Augsburg was canonized.


1054  A supernova was observed by the Chinese  the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star Tauri.

1120  Jordan II of Capua was anointed as prince after his infant nephew’s death.

1187  The Crusades: Battle of Hattin – Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

Hattin Estoire d'Eracles.jpg

1253  Battle of West-Capelle: John I of Avesnes defeated Guy of Dampierre.


1456 The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) began.


1534 Christian III was elected King of Denmark and Norway.


1569  The King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sigismund II Augustus signed the document of union between Poland and Lithuania, creating new country known as Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1610  The Battle of Klushino between forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia during the Polish-Muscovite War.

Kłuszyn 1610.JPG

1744  The Treaty of Lancaster, in which the Iriquois ceded lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies, was signed.

1754 French and Indian War: George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French Capt. Louis Coulon de Villiers.

1774  Orangetown Resolutions adopted in the Province of New York, one of many protests against the British Parliament’s Coercive Acts

1776  American Revolution: the United States Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress.


1778 American Revolutionary War: Forces under George Clark captured Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.

1790 George Everest, Welsh surveyor, was born (d. 1866).

1802  At West Point, New York the United States Military Academy opened.

1810  The French occupied Amsterdam.

 1816  Hiram Walker, American grocer and distiller, was born (d. 1899).

1817 Construction on the Erie Canal began.


1826 Stephen Foster, American songwriter, was born (d. 1864).

1827  Slavery was abolished in New York State.

1837  Grand Junction Railway, the world’s first long-distance railway, opened between Birmingham and Liverpool.

1840 The Cunard Line’s 700 ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia left Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the first transatlantic crossing with a scheduled end.

RMS Britannia 1840 paddlewheel.jpg

1845 Thomas Barnardo, Irish humanitarian, was born (d. 1905).


1845  Henry David Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.

Walden Thoreau.jpg

1855  In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman’s book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, was published.


1862 Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell a story that grew into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.


1863 American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg – Vicksburg, Mississippi surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege.

Battle of Vicksburg, Kurz and Allison.png

1863 A Confederate Army was repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.

1865  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published.


1868 Te Kooti escaped from the Chatham Islands.

Te Kooti escapes from the Chathams

 1868  Henrietta Swan Leavitt, American astronomer, was born (d. 1921).

upper-body shot of woman wearing dress with large, lacy neck and shoulder cover, short hair and wearing barely a smirk of a smile

1872  Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, was born (d. 1933) .


1878 Thoroughbred horses Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarty ran a match race, immortalized in the song Molly and Tenbrooks.

1879  Anglo-Zulu War: the Zululand capital of Ulundi was captured by British troops and burnt to the ground, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee.


1881 In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opened.


1882 Louis B. Mayer, American film producer, was born (d. 1957).


1883 Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist, was born  (d. 1970).


1886 The people of France offered the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.

1886 – The first scheduled Canadian transcontinental train arrived in Port Moody, British Columbia.

1887 The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, joined Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam, Karachi.


1892  Western Samoa changed the International Date Line, so that year there were 367 days in this country, with two occurrences of Monday, July 4.

1894  The short-lived Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.

1898 Gertrude Lawrence, English-born actress, was born (d. 1952).

1902 The NZ Boxing Association was formed.

NZ Boxing Association formed at Christchurch

1903 Dorothy Levitt was reported as the first woman in the world to compete in a ‘motor race’.

1910 African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocked out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.

Jack Johnson1.jpg

1911 Mitch Miller, American musician, singer and record producer, was born.


1917 Manolete, Spanish bullfighter, was born (d. 1947).


1918 King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga was born (d. 2006).


 1918  Ann Landers, American advice columnist, was born (d. 2002).


1918 – Abigal Van Buren, American advice columnist, was born.

 1918 Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascended to the throne.

1918 – Bolsheviks killed Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).


1924 Eva Marie Saint, American actress, was born.

1927  Neil Simon, American playwright, was born.


1927  First flight of the Lockheed Vega.


1934 Leo Szilard patented the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.


1938 Bill Withers, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1939  Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considered himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” as he announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1941  Nazi Germans massacred Polish scientists and writers in the captured city of Lwów.


1946  After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States.

1947  The “Indian Independence Bill” was presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.

1950 The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe.


1959  The 49-star flag of the United States debuted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1969  The Ohio Fireworks Derecho killed 18 people and destroyed more than 100 boats on Lake Erie.

 Map and track of the Ohio Fireworks Derecho

1976  Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.

1982  Iranian diplomats kidnapping: four Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by Lebanese militia in Lebanon.

1987  In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the “Butcher of Lyon”) was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1993  Sumitomo Chemical‘s resin plant in Nihama exploded killing one worker and injuring three others.

1997  NASA‘s Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars.


2004 The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Freedom Tower New.jpg

2005  The Deep Impact collider hit the comet Tempel 1.

Deep Impact.jpg

2006  Space Shuttle program: STS-121 Mission – Space Shuttle Discovery launched.

Space Shuttle Discovery

2006  North Korea tested four short-range missiles, one medium-range missile, and a long-range Taepodong-2.

2008  Cross-strait charter direct flight between mainland China and Taiwan started.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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