Socialism kills more than war

December 24, 2018

Bad economic policies kill more children than war:

Recent reports that infants now die at a higher rate in Venezuela than in war-torn Syria were, sadly, unsurprising—the results of socialist economics are predictable. Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.

But it’s not all bad news.

The big picture, fortunately, is happier. The global infant mortality rate has plummeted. Even Syria and Venezuela, despite the impact of war and failed policies, saw improvements up to as recently as last year. From 1960 to 2015, Syria’s infant mortality rate fell by 91% and Venezuela’s by 78%. This year (not reflected in the graph above or below), Syria’s rate rose from 11.1 per 1,000 live births to 15.4, while Venezuela’s shot up from 12.9 to 18.6. Meanwhile, infant mortality rates have continued to fall practically everywhere else, and have declined even faster in countries that enjoy more freedom and stability. Consider Chile.

Chile’s infant mortality rate in 1960 was actually above that of both Venezuela and Syria. It managed to outperform Syria by the mid-1960s, but was still woefully behind its richer northern cousin, Venezuela.  In the early 1970s, Chile’s progress slowed to a crawl as its elite flirted with socialist policies. Once its government abandoned socialism and began economic reforms in the mid-1970s, the pace of progress sped up again, and soon Chile’s infants were safer than Venezuela’s. Today, Chile’s infant mortality rate is similar to that of the United States.

There is a lesson to be learned from these data points: economic policy matters. While Venezuela’s socialism has managed to kill more infants than a full-blown war in Syria, Chile’s incredible success story shows us that by implementing the right policies, humanity can make rapid progress and better protect the youngest, most vulnerable members of society. Today it is hard to believe that infants in Chile were once more likely to die within a year than their contemporaries in Venezuela and Syria. . . 

New Zealand is in no danger of following Venezuela’s downwards trajectory to complete disaster, but it is concerning that economic growth has slowed:

The economy appears to be slowing with today’s GDP figures showing economic growth in the past three months is the lowest in five years, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Economic growth in the past three months of 0.3 per cent doesn’t even compensate for population growth. Economic growth per person, which reflects population growth, actually declined in dollar terms over the past three months.

“Despite all the Government’s talk of wellbeing, that means New Zealanders are becoming worse off.

“While quarterly numbers can be volatile and need to be read with caution, these latest figures do suggest a general slowdown from the economy the Government inherited from National.

“These results will cause embarrassment to the Minister of Finance after he was too quick to boast about the previous quarter’s result, which now appears to be an outlier.

“Despite the economy slowing, the Labour-led Government is projected to take an extra $17.7 billion in tax from New Zealand families over the next four years than was projected under National. That amounts to $10,000 less in the back pockets of the average household.

The announcement of another increase to the minimum wage without a change to tax thresholds will mean even more tax taken.

Any families on low wages will be little if any better off because any gain in their pay will be offset by abatements to Working for Families top-ups. It is better to earn more and be less dependent on government support but that will be cold comfort to people who are struggling.

“National believes New Zealanders deserve to keep more of what they earn. Unlike the Labour-led Government, we know that as a country we can’t tax our way to prosperity.

“New Zealand needs sensible and consistent economic policies that promote growth and reward hard work, as well as wise spending of taxpayer money.” 

Venezuela is an extreme case but the lesson is clear – tax and spend economic policies are no substitute for ones which promote economic growth and lessen the burden of the state.

Good economic policy is the necessary foundation for sustainable social progress.


Can’t afford to go from institution with failings to failed institution

October 2, 2015

Prime Minister John Key focused on a call for action in Syria and other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in his address to  the UN General Assembly.

The Prime Minister said the UN was the only organisation capable of focusing the world’s attention on the most pressing issues and finding ways to resolve them.

This was the reason New Zealand had fought so hard for a seat on the UN Security Council but Mr Key said real action was too often blocked by internal divisions.

“We cannot afford to let the Council go from an institution with failings to a failed institution,” Mr Key said.

While acknowledging the recent success of the Council in some areas such as the Iran deal, he also criticised some of its working methods, including the use of the veto by the five Permanent Members, saying it too often led to inaction.

Mr Key stressed the importance of Council action on the Syrian conflict.

“More than 160 leaders have shown up in New York this week to mark the enduring importance of the United Nations over the past 70 years,” Mr Key said.

“Yet we do so against the backdrop of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

“It’s time for the Council to do its duty to those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, and for the millions who have been displaced.”

Mr Key pointed to the long list of other conflicts around the globe including in Yemen and South Sudan, and to the stalled Middle East Peace Process as other areas where the Council needed to lead.

New Zealand would continue to play an active role to try and address such issues for the duration of its time on the Council.

The Prime Minister also praised the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including the agreement to better protect the world’s oceans and fisheries.

The full speech is here.


Muddle East mess

September 3, 2013

The Middle East is really the west from our point of view.

But which ever direction you look at it from, it’s not easy to understand.

What could more accurately be called the Muddle East is still a mess, and sadly too often literally a bloody one at that.

The politics are difficult to understand but the result is not – it’s  human misery, death and destruction of lives, businesses, homes, communities and eocnomies.

The scene and players change but the plot remains the same and it’s always a tragedy.

The Washington Post has nine questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask  and a map that shows why it’s so complicated.

That’s just one country, others in the area are equally complex.

Who supports or hates whom and why is not easy to explain, but this idiots guide from blogger Big Pharaoh might help:

bigpharaohchart

Hat tip: Not PC.


April 26 in history

April 26, 2010

On April 26:

570 Muhammed, founder of Islam, was born according to the Shi’a sect. Other sources suggest April 20.

 

1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended  Mont Ventoux.

1478 The Pazzi attacked Lorenzo de’ Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.

Portrait by Agnolo Bronzino

1564 Birthday of William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (based on date of his baptism) (d. 1616).

1607  English colonists of the Jamestown settlement made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

 

1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about 1,000 of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

Three-quarter length depiction of Bonaparte, with black tunic and leather gloves, holding a standard and sword, turning backwards to look at his troops 

1805 United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli, under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon.

PresleyOBannon.jpg

1856 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1930), was born.

1865  American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.

Joseph Johnston.jpgWilliam-Tecumseh-Sherman.jpg

1865 Union cavalry troopers cornered and shot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln.

1879 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1959).

1888 Anita Loos, American writer was born, (d. 1981).

1889 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1951).

1894 Rudolf Hess, Nazi official was born (d. 1987).

1900 Charles Richter, American geophysicist was born (d. 1985).

1916 Morris West, Australian writer was born  (d. 1999).

1925  Paul von Hindenburg defeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.

1933 Carol Burnett, American comedian, was born.

1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.

1937  Spanish Civil War: Guernica, was bombed by German Luftwaffe.

 

1943 The Union Steam Ship Company freighter Limerick was topedoed in the Tasman.

  NZ ship torpedoed in Tasman

1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.

GedenksteinBautzen.jpg

1946 Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.

1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began.

 

1956 First container ship left Port Newark,  for Houston.

 

1956 Koo Stark, American actress, was born.

1960 Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1962 NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed into the Moon.

Ranger 4

1963 Amendments to the constitution transformed Libya into one national unity and allowed for female participation in elections.

1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.

1966  An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroys Tashkent.

1966  A new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.

1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force

1982 57 people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

1982 Jon Lee, British singer (S Club), was born.

1986 A nuclear reactor accident occured at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

 

1991 Seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States.

1994 – A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing all but seven passengers, with a death toll amounting to 264. See also China Airlines flight 140.

1994  Physicists announced first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle.

Top antitop quark event.svg

2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.

 

2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.

2005 Civil unions came into effect in New Zealand.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


April 16 in history

April 16, 2010

On April 16:

1178 BC; The calculated date of the Greek king Odysseus‘s return home from the Trojan War.

 

73 Masada, a Jewish fortress, fell to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.

Dovecote at Masada, where ashes were probably stored — the openings have been shown to be too small for pigeons to fit.

1071 Bari faell to Robert Guiscard, ending Byzantine rule in Italy.

 

1346 The Serbian Empire was proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of the Balkans.

1521 Martin Luther‘s first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.

 

1582 Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founded the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

1682 John Hadley, British inventor, was born.

1728 Joseph Black, Scottish chemist, was born.

1746 The Battle of Culloden was fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the Hanoverian British Government.

The Battle of Culloden.jpg

1780 The University of Münster was founded.

1799 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor – Napoleon drove Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.

Bataille du mont-thabor.jpg

1853 The first passenger rail opened in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.

1862 American Civil War: The Battle at Lee’s Mills in Virginia.

1862 American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

1863 American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg – ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter moved through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Battle of Vicksburg, Kurz and Allison.png

1865 Henry George Chauvel, Australian general (, was born.

Painting of Man in khaki uniform wearing Sam Browne belt, two rows of ribbons and red tabs. Holding a slouch hat with emu feathers in one had, and a swagger tucked under the left arm.

1867 Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer (, was born.

1889 Charlie Chaplin, English actor, writer, songwriter, composer, and film producer, was born.

1892 The New Zealand Rugby Football Union was founded.

Rugby Union founded

1910 The University of Queensland was founded, with the names of the members of the first Senate published in the Queensland Government Gazette.

UQlogo.svg

1912  Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly an aeroplane across the English Channel.

1917 Lenin returnedto Petrograd from exile in Switzerland.

1918 Spike Milligan, Irish comedian, was born.

180

1919 – Gandhi organised a day of “prayer and fasting” in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British.

1921 Peter Ustinov, English actor, was born.

 

1922  Kingsley Amis, English author, was born.

1922 The Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which Germany and the Soviet Union re-established diplomatic relations, was signed.

 

1924 Henry Mancini, American composer, was born.

1925 The St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia – 150 people were killed and 500 were wounded.

 

1924 Rudy Pompilli, American musician (Bill Haley & His Comets), was born.

 

1927 Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger., was born.

Pope, 13 march 2007.jpg
 

1939 Dusty Springfield, English singer, was born.

1941 World War II: The Italian convoy Duisburg, was attacked and destroyed by British ships.

1941 – Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

1943 Ruth Madoc, British actress, was born.

HideHi.jpg

1943  Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD.

1945 The Red Army began the final assault on German forces around Berlin.

1945 The United States Army liberated Nazi Sonderlager (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).

 

1945 – More than 7,000 died when the German refugee ship Goya was sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.

1946 Syria gained independence.

1947  Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port caused the city of Texas City to catch fire, killing almost 600.

 One of Grandcamp’s anchors Texas City Memorial Park

1947 Bernard Baruch coined the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

 

1953 Queen Elizabeth II launched the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia.

HMY Britannia.jpg

1963Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

1963 Jimmy Osmond, American pop singer (The Osmonds), was born.

 

1972 Apollo programme: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Apollo-16-LOGO.png

1987 British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appeared at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court charged with gross indecency.

1990 The “Doctor of Death”, Jack Kevorkian, went through with his first assisted suicide.

1992 The Katina P. ran aground off Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spilt into the ocean.

2003 The Treaty of Accession was signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.

 

2004 – The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first trans-Atlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.

2007 Virginia Tech massacreSeung-Hui Cho, killed 32 and injured 23 before committing suicide.

Students gather to mourn after the shooting.

2008 Democratic senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama participated in the final Democratic primary debate of 2008.

  Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


April 7 in history

April 7, 2010

On April 7:

529 First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) was issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.

 

1348 Charles University was founded in Prague.

1506  Saint Francis Xavier, Spanish co-founder of the Society of Jesus, was born.

1521  Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.

1541 Francis Xavier left Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.

1718 Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters, was born.

 

1770 William Wordsworth, English poet, was born.

1776 Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captured the Edward.

USS Lexington

1788 American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.

 

1795 France adopted the metre as the basic measure of length.

1803 Flora Tristan, French feminist and socialist philosopher, was born.

 

1827 John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

 

1856 New Zealand’s first state secondary school, Nelson College, opened.

First state secondary school opens in Nelson

1860 Will Keith Kellogg, American cereal manufacturer, was born.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ended – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates.

Battle of Shiloh Thulstrup.jpg

1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation was assassinated.

1890 Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.

 

1908 Percy Faith, Canadian composer and musician, was born.

1906  Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated Naples.

 

1906 – The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco.

1908 H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1915 Billie Holiday, American singer, was born.

1922 Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leased Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.

 

1927 First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

1933 Prohibition  in the USA was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

1934 Ian Richardson, Scottish actor (, was born.

Francis Urquhart.jpg

1938 Spencer Dryden, American drummer (Jefferson Airplane), was born.

1939  World War II: Italy invaded Albania.

1939   Francis Ford Coppola, American film director, was born.

1939  Sir David Frost, English broadcaster and TV host, was born.

1940 Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

 

1941 Gorden Kaye, British actor, was born.

 

1943 Germans ordered 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they were shot dead and buried in ditches.

1944 Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1945 World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

Yamato sinking from the aft

1945 – World War II: Visoko was liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

1946 Syria‘s independence from France was officially recognised.

1948 The World Health Organisation was established by the United Nations.

Flag of WHO.svg

1948 A Buddhist monastery burned in Shanghai, leaving twenty monks dead.

1951 Janis Ian, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.

 

1954 Jackie Chan, Chinese actor, director, producer, and martial artist., was born.

1956 Spain relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.

1963 Yugoslavia was proclaimed to be a Socialist republic and Josip Broz Tito was named President for life.

1964  IBM announcedthe System/360.

 

1964 Russell Crowe, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.

 

1971 U.S. President Richard Nixon announced his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

1977 German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.

 

1978 Development of the neutron bomb was canceled by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

1983 During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space shuttle spacewalk.

Sts-6-crew.jpg
L-R Peterson, Weitz, Musgrave, Bobko

1985 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

1989  Soviet submarine Komsomolets sank in the Barents Sea killing 42 sailors.

K-278 Komsomolets

1990 John Poindexter was found guilty of five charges for his part in the Iran Contra Affiar (the conviction was later reversed on appeal).

1992 Republika Srpska announced its independence.

Flag Seal

1994  Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

1999 The World Trade Organisation ruled in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

2001 Mars Odyssey wass launched.

2001 mars odyssey wizja.jpg

2003 U.S. troops captured Baghdad.

2009 Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


March 8 in history

March 8, 2010

On March 8:

1126 Alfonso VII was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon, after the death of his mother Urraca.

1495 John of God, Portuguese-born friar and saint, was born.

1655 John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in what became the United States.

1702 Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, became Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

1722 The Safavid Empire of Iran was defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.

1775 Thomas Paine’s “African Slavery in America,” the first article in the U.S. calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery was published.

1777 Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth, sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, mutinied in the town of Ochsenfurt.

1782 Gnadenhütten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity were killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

 

1817 The New York Stock Exchange was founded.

NYSE Logo

1844 King Oscar I ascended to the throne of Sweden-Norway.

1856 Bramwell Booth, the 2nd General of The Salvation Army, was born.

1859 Kenneth Grahame, English author, was born.

1911 International Women’s Day was launched in Copenhagen by Clara Zetkin, leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.

 

1917 The U.S. Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

1921 Spanish Premier Eduardo Dato Iradier was assassinated.

1924 The Castle Gate mine disaster killed 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.

1929 Frank Borzage’s Street Angel, a silent picture with a recorded musical soundtrack, screened at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre – before this silent movies had been accompained by live music.

First 'talkie' draws huge crowds in Wellington

1936 Daytona Beach Road Course holds their first oval stock car race.

 
N041946.jpg

1937 Juvénal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda, was born.

 

1942 The Dutch surrender to Japanese forces on Java.

1943 Lynn Redgrave, English actress, was born.

1945 Micky Dolenz, American musician (The Monkees), was born.

1946 Randy Meisner, American musician (The Eagles)

 

1947 Mike Allsup, American musician (Three Dog Night), was born.

1957 Egypt re-opened the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.

1963 The Ba’ath Party came to power in Syria in a Coup d’état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

1966 – A bomb planted by young Irish protesters destroyed Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin.

1974 Charles de Gaulle Airport opened in Paris.

Aeroports de Paris logo.svg

1978 The first-ever radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

1979 – Philips demonstrated the Compact Disc publicly for the first time.

Compact disc.svg

1980 The first festival of rock music kicked off in the Soviet Union.

1985 A failed assassination attempt on Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut killed at least 45 and injured 175 others.

2004  A new constitution was signed by Iraq’s Governing Council.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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