Saturday soapbox

September 15, 2018

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

We are pragmatists. We don’t stick to any ideology. Does it work? Let’s try it, and if it does work, fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one. We are not enamored with any ideology. Lee Kuan Yew who was born on this day in 1923.


September 16 in history

September 16, 2017

1386 King Henry V of England, was born (d. 1422).

1400  Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales by his followers.

1701 James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the “Old Pretender”, became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.

1776 American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

1795  The first occupation by United Kingdom of Cape Colony, South Africa with the Battle of Hout Bay.

1810  With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo began Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.

1812  Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight.

1858 Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1923)

1863  Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1875 James C. Penney, American department store founder, was born (d. 1971).

1893 Settlers race in Oklahoma for prime land in the Cherokee Strip.

1898 H.A. Rey, American children’s author, creator of “Curious George”, was born (d. 1977).

1905 New Zealand’s first fully representative rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Originals, started the All Black tradition including the haka and the ‘All Black’ name.

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1908 General Motors was founded.

1919  The American Legion was incorporated.

1920 The Wall Street bombing: a bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City – 38  killed and 400 injured.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, was born.

1924 – Lauren Bacall,  American actress, was born  (d. 2014).

1925 – B. B. King, American musician, was born.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born (d. 2006).

1926 – Eric Gross, Austrian-Australian composer was born (d. 2011).

1928 – Lady Gwen Thompson, English author and educator, was born (d. 1986).

1930 Anne Francis, American actress, was born (d. 2011).

1931 Hanging of Omar Mukhtar.

1941 – Joe Butler, American vocalist and drummer, was born (The Lovin’ Spoonful).

1942 Bernie Calvert, British musician (The Hollies), was born.

1942 – Dennis Conner, American sailor, was born.

1945  World War II: Surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong, presided over by British Admiral Cecil Harcourt.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hit Saitama, Tokyo and Tone Rivr area, at least 1,930 killed.

1948 Kenney Jones, English musician (The Small Faces; Faces; The Who), was born.

1955  Juan Perón was deposed in Argentina.

1956 David Copperfield, American magician, was born.

1963  Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966  The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s opera, Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule following the hijacking of four civilian airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which resulted in the formation of the Black SeptemberPalestinianparamilitary unit.

1975  Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.

1975  The first prototype of the MiG-31 interceptor made its maiden flight.

1976  Shavarsh Karapetyan saved 20 people from a trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir.

1976 – Tina Barrett, English singer-songwriter and actress (S Club), was born.

1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.

1982  Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

1987  The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

1990  A rail link between China and Kazakhstan was completed at Dostyk, adding an important connection to the Eurasian Land Bridge.

1991  The trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega began in the United States.

1992  Black Wednesday: the Pound Sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and forced to devalue against the Deutschmark.

2005  Camorra boss Paolo Di Lauro was arrested in Naples.

2007  One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashed in Thailand killing 89 people.

2007 – Mercenaries working for Blackwater Worldwide allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad; all criminal charges against them are later dismissed, sparking outrage in the Arab world.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat,Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

2013 – A gunman killed twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched its Kobane offensive against Syrian–Kurdish forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Quote of the day

September 16, 2016

But we either believe in democracy or we don’t. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought, and no excuse, whether of security, should allow a government to be deterred from doing what it knows to be right, and what it must know to be right…– Lee Kuan Yew who was born on this day in 1923.

He also said:

If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?… If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.

And

Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.

And

Let us get down to fundamentals. Is this an open, or is this a closed society? Is it a society where men can preach ideas – novel, unorthodox, heresies, to established churches and established governments – where there is a constant contest for men’s hearts and minds on the basis of what is right, of what is just, of what is in the national interests, or is it a closed society where the mass media – the newspapers, the journals, publications, TV, radio – either bound by sound or by sight, or both sound and sight, men’s minds are fed with a constant drone of sycophantic support for a particular orthodox political philosophy? I am talking of the principle of the open society, the open debate, ideas, not intimidation, persuasion not coercion…

And

If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society… So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.

And

Equal employment opportunities, yes, but we shouldn’t get our women into jobs where they cannot, at the same time, be mothers…our most valuable asset is in the ability of our people, yet we are frittering away this asset through the unintended consequences of changes in our education policy and equal opportunities for women. This has affected their traditional role … as mothers, the creators and protectors of the next generation.

And

With few exceptions, democracy has not brought good government to new developing countries…What Asians value may not necessarily be what Americans or Europeans value. Westerners value the freedoms and liberties of the individual. As an Asian of Chinese cultural backround, my values are for a government which is honest, effective and efficient.

And

Ministers who deal with billions of dollars cannot be paid low salaries without risking a system malfunction. Low salaries will not attract able men who are or can be successful in their professions or business. Low salaries will draw in the hypocrites who sweet talk their way into power in the name of public services, but once in charge will show their true colour, and ruin the country. This has happened in many countries.


September 16 in history

September 16, 2016

1386 King Henry V of England, was born (d. 1422).

1400  Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales by his followers.

1701 James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the “Old Pretender”, became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.

1776 American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

1795  The first occupation by United Kingdom of Cape Colony, South Africa with the Battle of Hout Bay.

1810  With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo began Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.

1812  Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight.

1858 Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1923)

1863  Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1875 James C. Penney, American department store founder, was born (d. 1971).

1893 Settlers race in Oklahoma for prime land in the Cherokee Strip.

1898 H.A. Rey, American children’s author, creator of “Curious George”, was born (d. 1977).

1905 New Zealand’s first fully representative rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Originals, started the All Black tradition including the haka and the ‘All Black’ name.

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1908 General Motors was founded.

1919  The American Legion was incorporated.

1920 The Wall Street bombing: a bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City – 38  killed and 400 injured.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, was born.

1924 – Lauren Bacall,  American actress, was born  (d. 2014).

1925 – B. B. King, American musician, was born.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born (d. 2006).

1926 – Eric Gross, Austrian-Australian composer was born (d. 2011).

1928 – Lady Gwen Thompson, English author and educator, was born (d. 1986).

1930 Anne Francis, American actress, was born (d. 2011).

1931 Hanging of Omar Mukhtar.

1941 – Joe Butler, American vocalist and drummer, was born (The Lovin’ Spoonful).

1942 Bernie Calvert, British musician (The Hollies), was born.

1942 – Dennis Conner, American sailor, was born.

1945  World War II: Surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong, presided over by British Admiral Cecil Harcourt.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hit Saitama, Tokyo and Tone Rivr area, at least 1,930 killed.

1948 Kenney Jones, English musician (The Small Faces; Faces; The Who), was born.

1955  Juan Perón was deposed in Argentina.

1956 David Copperfield, American magician, was born.

1963  Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966  The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s opera, Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule following the hijacking of four civilian airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which resulted in the formation of the Black SeptemberPalestinianparamilitary unit.

1975  Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.

1975  The first prototype of the MiG-31 interceptor made its maiden flight.

1976  Shavarsh Karapetyan saved 20 people from a trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir.

1976 – Tina Barrett, English singer-songwriter and actress (S Club), was born.

1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.

1982  Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

1987  The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

1990  A rail link between China and Kazakhstan was completed at Dostyk, adding an important connection to the Eurasian Land Bridge.

1991  The trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega began in the United States.

1992  Black Wednesday: the Pound Sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and forced to devalue against the Deutschmark.

2005  Camorra boss Paolo Di Lauro was arrested in Naples.

2007  One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashed in Thailand killing 89 people.

2007 – Mercenaries working for Blackwater Worldwide allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad; all criminal charges against them are later dismissed, sparking outrage in the Arab world.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat,Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

2013 – A gunman killed twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched its Kobane offensive against Syrian–Kurdish forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


September 16 in history

September 16, 2015

1386 King Henry V of England, was born (d. 1422).

1400  Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales by his followers.

1701 James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the “Old Pretender”, became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.

1776 American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

1795  The first occupation by United Kingdom of Cape Colony, South Africa with the Battle of Hout Bay.

1810  With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo began Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.

1812  Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight.

1858 Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1923)

1863  Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1875 James C. Penney, American department store founder, was born (d. 1971).

1893 Settlers race in Oklahoma for prime land in the Cherokee Strip.

1898 H.A. Rey, American children’s author, creator of “Curious George”, was born (d. 1977).

1905 New Zealand’s first fully representative rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Originals, started the All Black tradition including the haka and the ‘All Black’ name.

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1908 General Motors was founded.

1919  The American Legion was incorporated.

1920 The Wall Street bombing: a bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City – 38  killed and 400 injured.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, was born.

1924 – Lauren Bacall,  American actress, was born  (d. 2014).

1925 – B. B. King, American musician, was born.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born (d. 2006).

1926 – Eric Gross, Austrian-Australian composer was born (d. 2011).

1928 – Lady Gwen Thompson, English author and educator, was born (d. 1986).

1930 Anne Francis, American actress, was born (d. 2011).

1931 Hanging of Omar Mukhtar.

1941 – Joe Butler, American vocalist and drummer, was born (The Lovin’ Spoonful).

1942 Bernie Calvert, British musician (The Hollies), was born.

1942 – Dennis Conner, American sailor, was born.

1945  World War II: Surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong, presided over by British Admiral Cecil Harcourt.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hit Saitama, Tokyo and Tone Rivr area, at least 1,930 killed.

1948 Kenney Jones, English musician (The Small Faces; Faces; The Who), was born.

1955  Juan Perón was deposed in Argentina.

1956 David Copperfield, American magician, was born.

1963  Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966  The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s opera, Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule following the hijacking of four civilian airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which resulted in the formation of the Black September Palestinianparamilitary unit.

1975  Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.

1975  The first prototype of the MiG-31 interceptor made its maiden flight.

1976  Shavarsh Karapetyan saved 20 people from a trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir.

1976 – Tina Barrett, English singer-songwriter and actress (S Club), was born.

1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.

1982  Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

1987  The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

1990  A rail link between China and Kazakhstan was completed at Dostyk, adding an important connection to the Eurasian Land Bridge.

1991  The trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega began in the United States.

1992  Black Wednesday: the Pound Sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and forced to devalue against the Deutschmark.

2005  Camorra boss Paolo Di Lauro was arrested in Naples.

2007  One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashed in Thailand killing 89 people.

2007 – Mercenaries working for Blackwater Worldwide allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad; all criminal charges against them are later dismissed, sparking outrage in the Arab world.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat,Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

2013 – A gunman killed twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

2014 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched its Kobane offensive against Syrian–Kurdish forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Lee Kuan Yew 16.9.23 – 23.3.15

March 23, 2015

Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew has died.

Lee Kuan Yew, the statesman who transformed Singapore from a small port city into a wealthy global hub, has died at the age of 91.

Mr Lee served as the city-state’s prime minister for 31 years, and continued to work in government until 2011.

Highly respected as the architect of Singapore’s prosperity, Mr Lee was also criticised for his iron grip on power.

Under him freedom of speech was tightly restricted and political opponents were targeted by the courts. . .

A charismatic and unapologetic figure, Mr Lee co-founded the People’s Action Party, which has governed Singapore since 1959, and was its first prime minister.

The Cambridge-educated lawyer led Singapore through merger with, and then separation from, Malaysia – something that he described as a “moment of anguish”.

Speaking at a press conference after the split in 1965, he pledged to build a meritocratic, multi-racial nation.

But tiny Singapore – with no natural resources – needed a new economic model.

“We knew that if we were just like our neighbours, we would die,” Mr Lee told the New York Times in 2007.

“Because we’ve got nothing to offer against what they have to offer. So we had to produce something which is different and better than what they have.”

Tight controls

Through investment in schooling, Mr Lee set about creating a highly-educated work force fluent in English.

He reached out to foreign investors to turn Singapore into a manufacturing hub, introducing incentives to attract foreign firms.

The city-state grew wealthy and later developed into a major financial centre. But building a nation came with tight controls – and one of Mr Lee’s legacies was a clampdown on the press.

These restrictions remain today. . .

The investment in education and welcome to foreign investment both paid big dividends.

His methods can be questioned but there is no doubt that he transformed Singapore, taking it from a poor island with few resources to an economic powerhouse.


September 16 in history

September 16, 2014

1386 King Henry V of England, was born (d. 1422).

1400  Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales by his followers.

1701 James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the “Old Pretender”, became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.

1776 American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

1795  The first occupation by United Kingdom of Cape Colony, South Africa with the Battle of Hout Bay.

1810  With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo began Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.

1812  Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight.

1858 Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1923)

1863  Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1875 James C. Penney, American department store founder, was born (d. 1971).

1893 Settlers race in Oklahoma for prime land in the Cherokee Strip.

1898 H.A. Rey, American children’s author, creator of “Curious George”, was born (d. 1977).

1905 New Zealand’s first fully representative rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Originals, started the All Black tradition including the haka and the ‘All Black’ name.

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1908 General Motors was founded.

1919  The American Legion was incorporated.

1920 The Wall Street bombing: a bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City – 38  killed and 400 injured.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, was born.

1924 – Lauren Bacall,  American actress, was born  (d. 2014).

1925 – B. B. King, American musician, was born.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born (d. 2006).

1926 – Eric Gross, Austrian-Australian composer was born (d. 2011).

1928 – Lady Gwen Thompson, English author and educator, was born (d. 1986).

1930 Anne Francis, American actress, was born (d. 2011).

1931 Hanging of Omar Mukhtar.

1941 – Joe Butler, American vocalist and drummer, was born (The Lovin’ Spoonful).

1942 Bernie Calvert, British musician (The Hollies), was born.

1942 – Dennis Conner, American sailor, was born.

1945  World War II: Surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong, presided over by British Admiral Cecil Harcourt.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hit Saitama, Tokyo and Tone Rivr area, at least 1,930 killed.

1948 Kenney Jones, English musician (The Small Faces; Faces; The Who), was born.

1955  Juan Perón was deposed in Argentina.

1956 David Copperfield, American magician, was born.

1963  Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966  The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s opera, Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule following the hijacking of four civilian airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which resulted in the formation of the Black September Palestinian paramilitary unit.

1975  Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.

1975  The first prototype of the MiG-31 interceptor made its maiden flight.

1976  Shavarsh Karapetyan saved 20 people from a trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir.

1976 – Tina Barrett, English singer-songwriter and actress (S Club), was born.

1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.

1982  Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

1987  The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

1990  A rail link between China and Kazakhstan was completed at Dostyk, adding an important connection to the Eurasian Land Bridge.

1991  The trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega began in the United States.

1992  Black Wednesday: the Pound Sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and forced to devalue against the Deutschmark.

2005  Camorra boss Paolo Di Lauro was arrested in Naples.

2007  One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashed in Thailand killing 89 people.

2007 – Mercenaries working for Blackwater Worldwide allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad; all criminal charges against them are later dismissed, sparking outrage in the Arab world.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

2013 – A gunman killed twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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