Word of the day


Latitudinarian – holding or expressing broad and tolerant views, especially in religious matters; a person who is broadminded and tolerant, one who displays freedom of thinking.

Why do conservative men . . .


. . . know so much about promiscuous women?

And if New Zealand women are the most promiscuous what does it say about New Zealand men?

Colin Craig, who made the claim, does however make one sensible statement:

“When we are talking about responsibility, I think the ones who are ducking responsibility the most here are the fathers.”

It does take two to make a baby. One of the reasons the taxpayer is shouldering so great a burden for the children of sole parents, is that too often the fathers aren’t taking responsibility for their offspring.

NZ 4th best place for mothers but . . .


New Zealand is 4th best in Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mother’s report.

European countries – along with Australia and New Zealand – dominate the top positions while countries in sub-Saharan Africa dominate the lowest tier. The United States places 25th this year.

Most industrialized countries cluster tightly at the top of the  Index – with the majority of these countries performing well on all indicators – the highest ranking countries attain very high scores for mothers’ and children’s health, educational and economic status.

The 10 bottom-ranked countries in this year’s  Mother’s Index are a reverse image of the top 10, performing poorly on all indicators. Conditions for mothers and their children in these countries are devastating.

The top 10 places to be a mother are: Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands/ United Kingdon.

The worst 10 are: ( from 156 to 165) DR Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Eritrea, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Afghanistan and Niger.

 . . .The contrast between the top-ranked country, Norway, and the lowest ranked country, Niger, is striking. Skilled health personnel are present at virtually every birth in Norway, while only 1 in 3 births are attended in Niger.

In Norway, nearly 40 percent of parliamentary seats are held by women; in Niger only 13 percent are. A typical Norwegian girl can expect to receive 18 years of formal education and will live to be over 83 years old. Eighty-two percent of women are using some modern method of contraception, and only 1 mother in 175 is likely to lose a child before his or her fifth birthday. At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Niger, a typical girl receives only 4 years of education and lives to only 56. Only 5 percent of women are using modern contraception, and 1 child in 7 dies before his or her fifth birthday. This means that every mother in Niger is likely to suffer the loss of a child. . .

The report recommends increased funding to improve education for women and girls, provide access to maternal and child health and advance women’s economic opportunities.

It also recommends improving current research and conducting new studies that focus on mothers’ and children’s well-being and for governments and communities in developed countries to work together to improved education and health care for disadvantaged mothers and children.

Save the Children says simple measures could save lives:

In new research for the report, Save the Children found that the simple measure of supporting mothers to breastfeed could save one million children’s lives a year. Yet the report also shows that less than 40% of all infants in developing countries receive the full benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. This is due, in part, to countries lacking strong commitment and complimentary programs that enable mothers to breastfeed. When the two do combine, the report shows that it can have success even in low-income countries, as it has done in Malawi and Madagascar.

“Our research shows that a mother’s breast milk — one single nutrition intervention — can save a million children’s lives each year,” said Miles. “All mothers should have the support they need to choose to breastfeed if they want to. Breastfeeding is good for babies no matter where they live, but in developing countries, especially those without access to clean water, breastfeeding can be a matter of life or death.”

This pre-supposes the mother has sufficient nutrition to breast feed and sadly this will not always be the case in the worst performing countries.

There is no comparison between conditions for those at the bottom and those at the top of this list but there is no room for complacency here.

The release today of the coroner’s report on the death of a new born boy is a sad reminder of that.

Give the people of Epsom a break


Speculation of a by-election in Epsom is premature as is Colin Craig’s announcement he would contest it  should it happen.

Craig’s announcement is also presumptive.

His Conservative party did very well for a new one in the last election but was well short of winning an electorate.

National has been a victim of its own success and lacks potential coalition partners, but the people of Epsom have almost certainly had enough of saving small parties from electoral oblivion.

They have voted tactically in successive elections to ensure that Act has a presence in parliament.

Rodney Hide was a list MP when he targeted Epsom. He was active in the electorate and it’s possible he might have won the seat the first time without the nod and wink from National.

Whether he would have held it in successive elections without tactical votes is debatable. It is almost certain that his successor, John Banks, wouldn’t have won the seat without the very clear indication it would help National if he did.

But there is a limit to how many times voters can be expected to vote tactically, especially if the one they’re voting for isn’t a natural fit for the electorate.

It is impossible to know how many National voters held noses while splitting their votes in the past few elections but it’s time to give them a break.

If Craig wants to contest a seat and expects voters to split their votes for him, he needs to find another one and earn the support of the people in it.

Governments don’t grow economies


Quote of the day:

But I just want to clear up one misconception for the member: Governments do not grow economies; it is people and businesses who grow economies, and we want to make sure they can make positive decisions about new investment and new jobs. Bill English.

May 9 in history


1457 BC – Battle of Megiddo between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh – the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.

1012 BC – Solar Eclipse seen at Ugarit, 6:09–6:39 PM.

328  Athanasius was elected Patriarch bishop of Alexandria.

1092  Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated.

1450  ‘Abd al-Latif (Timurid monarch) was assassinated.

1502 Christopher Columbus left Spain for his fourth and final journey to the New World.

1671  Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempted to steal England’s Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

1726  Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap‘s molly house in London were executed at Tyburn.

1800 John Brown, American abolitionist was born (d. 1859).

1837 Adam Opel, German engineer and industrialist was born (d. 1895).

1860 – J. M. Barrie, Scottish author, was born (d. 1937).

1868 The city of Reno, Nevada, was founded.

1873 Der Krach: Vienna stock market crash heralded the Long Depression.

1874  The first horse-drawn bus made its début in the city of Mumbai, traveling two routes.

1877 Mihail Kogălniceanu read, in the Chamber of Deputies, the Declaration of Independence of Romania. This day became the Independence Day of Romania.

1887  Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opened in London.

1893 William Moulton Marston, American psychologist, writer, was born (co-creator, Wonder Woman) (d. 1947).

1901 Australia opened its first parliament in Melbourne.

1904 The steam locomotive City of Truro became the first steam engine in Europe to exceed 100mph.

1907 The first School Journal was published.

First School Journal published

1911 The works of Gabriele D’Annunzio placed by the Vatican in the Index of Forbidden Books.

1914 Hank Snow, American country music singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1999).

1915 – Anthony Wilding, New Zealand Wimbledon champion, was killed in battle.

1915 World War I: Second Battle of Artois between German and French forces.

1919  Arthur English, English actor and comedian, was born (d. 1995).

1920 Richard Adams, English author, was born.

1920 Polish-Soviet War: The Polish army under General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrated its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreschatyk.

1926 Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to have flown over the North Pole (later discovery of Byrd’s diary seemed to indicate that this did not happen).

1927  The Australian Parliament first convened in Canberra.

1929 Kay Dotrice, British actress, was born (d. 2007)

1930  Joan Sims, British actress, was born (d. 2001)

1932  Geraldine McEwan, English actress, was born.

1933  About 25,000 books were burned by the Nazis in Germany.

1933  Jessica Steele, English romance novelist, was born,

1934 – Alan Bennett, British author, was born.

1935 – Roger Hargreaves, English children’s author (Mr. Men) was born (d. 1988)

1936  Albert Finney, British actor was born.

1936 – Glenda Jackson, English actress and politician was born.

1936 Italy formally annexed Ethiopia.

1937 – Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy took to the airwaves becoming an overnight radio sensation.

1940  World War II: The German submarineU-9 sank the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.

1941  World War II: The German submarine U-110 was captured by the Royal Navy. On board was the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later used to break coded German messages.

1942 Holocaust: The SS murdered 588 Jewish residents of the Podolian town of Zinkiv (Khmelnytska oblast, Ukraine). The Zoludek Ghetto was destroyed and all its inhabitants murdered or deported.

1945  World War II: Ratification in Berlin-Karlshorst of the German unconditional surrender of May 8 in Rheims, France, with the signatures of Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet Union, and for the Western Headquarters Sir Arthur Tedder, British Air Marshal and Eisenhower’s deputy, and for the German side of Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff as the representative of the Luftwaffe, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as the Chief of Staff of OKW, and Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg as Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine.

1945 New Zealand celebrated victory in Europe.

NZ celebrates Victory in Europe

1945 – Steve Katz, American musician (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1946 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicated and was succeeded by Humbert II.

1946 –  Candice Bergen, American actress, was born.

1949 Rainier III became Prince of Monaco.

1949 Billy Joel, American musician, was born.

1950  Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations.

1950 – L. Ron Hubbard‘s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was released.

1955 Cold War: West Germany joined NATO.

1955 Sam and Friends debuted on a local United States television channel, marking the first television appearance of both Jim Henson and what would become Kermit the Frog and The Muppets.

1960  The FDA announced it would approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle’s Enovid, making Enovid the world’s first approved oral contraceptive pill.

1961  Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player in baseball history to hit grand slams in consecutive innings.

1962 David Gahan, English singer (Depeche Mode), was born.

1964 Ngo Dinh Can, de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother President Ngo Dinh Diem before the family’s toppling, was executed.

1969 – Carlos Lamarca led the first urban guerrilla action against the military dictatorship of Brazil in São Paulo, by robbing two banks.

1970 Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrated in front of the White House.

1971 – Paul McGuigan, English bassist (Oasis), was born.

1974  Watergate Scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.

1980 Liberian freighter MV Summit Venture collided with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, making a 1,400-ft. section of the southbound span collapse. 35 people in six cars and a Greyhound bus fell 150 ft. into the water.

1980 – In Norco, California, five masked gunman hold up a Security Pacific bank, leading to a violent shoot-out and one of the largest pursuits in California history. Two of the gunmen and one police officer were killed and thirty-three police and civilian vehicles destroyed in the chase.

1987 A Polish LOT Ilyushin IL-62M “Tadeusz Kościuszko” (SP-LBG) crashed after takeoff in Warsaw killing 183 people.

1988 The new Australian Parliament House opened in Canberra.

1992 Armenian forces captured Shusha, marking a major turning point in the Karabakh War.

2001   Accra Sports Stadium Disaster: 129 football fans died in a stampede (caused by the firing of teargas by police personnel at the stadium)that followed a controversial decision by the referee handling a crucial match between arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

2002  The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries.

2002 – In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130.

2004 Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov was killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny.

2006 Estonia ratified the European Constitution.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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