January 26, 2013 archive


Independent Development

On This Day In History January 26

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 26 is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 339 days remaining until the end of the year (340 in leap years).

On this day in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.

Australia Day (previously known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day) is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland.

Although it was not known as Australia Day until over a century later, records of celebrations on 26 January date back to 1808, with the first official celebration of the formation of New South Wales held in 1818. It is presently an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia and is marked by inductions into the Order of Australia and presentations of the Australian of the Year awards, along with an address from the governor-general and prime minister.

The date is controversial to some Australians, particularly those of Indigenous heritage, leading to the use of alternate names, such as Invasion Day and Survival Day. Proposals have been made to change the date of Australia Day, but these have failed to gain widespread public support.

Arrival of the First Fleet

On 13 May 1787, a fleet of 11 ships, which came to be known as the First Fleet, was sent by the British Admiralty from England to Australia. Under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, the fleet sought to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay on the coast of New South Wales, which had been explored and claimed by Captain James Cook in 1770. The settlement was seen as necessary because of the loss of the colonies in North America. The Fleet arrived between 18 and 20 January 1788, but it was immediately apparent that Botany Bay was unsuitable.

On 21 January, Philip and a few officers travelled to Port Jackson, 12 kilometres to the north, to see if it would be a better location for a settlement. They stayed there until 23 January; Philip named the site of their landing Sydney Cove, after the Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney. They also had some contact with the local aborigines.

They returned to Botany Bay on the evening of 23 January, when Philip gave orders to move the fleet to Sydney Cove the next morning, 24 January. That day, there was a huge gale blowing, making it impossible to leave Botany Bay, so they decided to wait till the next day, 25 January. However, during 24 January, they spotted the ships Astrolabe and Boussole, flying the French flag, at the entrance to Botany Bay; they were having as much trouble getting into the bay as the First Fleet was having getting out.

On 25 January, the gale was still blowing; the fleet tried to leave Botany Bay, but only the HMS Supply made it out, carrying Arthur Philip, Philip Gidley King, some marines and about 40 convicts; they anchored in Sydney Cove in the afternoon.

On 26 January, early in the morning, Philip along with a few dozen marines, officers and oarsmen, rowed ashore and took possession of the land in the name of King George III. The remainder of the ship’s company and the convicts watched from onboard the Supply.

Meanwhile, back at Botany Bay, Captain John Hunter of the HMS Sirius made contact with the French ships, and he and the commander, Captain de Clonard, exchanged greetings. Clonard advised Hunter that the fleet commander was Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de La Perouse. The Sirius successfully cleared Botany Bay, but the other ships were in great difficulty. The Charlotte was blown dangerously close to rocks; the Friendship and the Prince of Wales became entangled, both ship losing booms or sails; the Charlotte and the Friendship actually collided; and the Lady Penrhyn nearly ran aground. Despite these difficulties, all the remaining ships finally managed to clear Botany Bay and sail to Sydney Cove on 26 January. The last ship anchored there at about 3 pm.

Note that the formal establishment of the Colony of New South Wales did not occur on 26 January, as is commonly assumed. That did not occur until 7 February 1788, when the formal proclamation of the colony and of Arthur Phillip’s governorship were read out. The vesting of all land in the reigning monarch George III also dates from 7 February 1788.

Late Night Karaoke

A New Surrender To The Bankers, Mary Jo White to the SEC

When I was growing up my mother talked on one or more occasions about the war between the two leading cooked cereals in her tiny piece of the world of Astoria, OR.  I have no idea whether the war was limited to the tiny historical outpost, was regional or even .national but the entire market was split between two contenders.

Proponents on each side declared their cereal was better tasting, fresher, more nutritious, whatever.  Both were prepared in the same vat and poured into different boxes.

Like today’s Democrats and Republicans.

Oh sure, the Democrats have Alan Grayson in the House and Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkeley in the Senate.  Somehow I often forget [shame on me] Tom Harkin who says he told Obama before the inauguration that Obama might as well take a 4 year vacation if the Senate didn’t reform the filibuster rules.

The Republicans have no such people but the wagging tail is not the whole of a dog.

I wrote my usual despised whine largely about the highly lauded Mary Jo on a diseased stock board devoted to a battered stock


before reading David Sirota’s masterful dissection of the appointment with reference to a number of other dissenters:


For me, that column was a ray of sunshine on a very cold day.

We may have all the impact on the national conversation of grumbling in a dark alley that homeless people call home but at least we are not alone.

Best,  Terry

Transaction Tax: Three Cents on the Trade

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

While we have been distracted by the irrational exuberance of a second term for Barack Obama, Benghazi (again) and gun control, the European Union has come around to the realization that there is a need to do something about the economy. On Tuesday the the EU approved a financial transaction tax (FTT) for eleven nations:

Eleven countries won the EU’s backing for a financial transaction tax (FTT), with Germany, France, Italy and Spain adding their names to eurozone neighbours Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The UK, which already imposes a tax on share trades, could benefit from a shift in banking business if Germany and France tax foreign exchange or derivatives trading in Frankfurt and Paris.

The levy, which could raise as much as €35bn (£29.3bn) a year for the 11 countries, is designed to prevent a repeat of the conditions that stoked the credit crunch by reining in investment banks. Following the decision, the European Commission will put forward a new proposal for the tax, which if agreed on by those states involved, would mean the levy could be introduced within months. Although critics say such a tax cannot work properly unless applied worldwide or at least across Europe, countries such as France are already banking on the extra income from next year.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted:

Despite past unsuccessful attempts to introduce a FTT, two Democratic representatives, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), will reintroduce the FTT which would raise an estimated $352 billion over the next decade by imposing a 0.03 percent tax on trades. That translates to 3 dollars on every $100 in trades. Critics have said that it will have a detrimental effect on economic growth, one of the bill’s sponsors have stated that has already been proven to be false:

“For 50 years we had a tax that was about seven times larger than this when the country was seeing the greatest growth in its history, post-World War II,” he said. “So we’ve proven this will not have a detrimental impact on growth. In fact, it perhaps is beneficial to growth. It’s not necessarily beneficial to salaries of hedge fund managers on Wall Street.”

Complaints that an FTT would encourage businesses to move elsewhere are countered by the facts that 52 financial executives, including several former heads of mega-banks JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, endorsed the idea and forty countries around the world have already embraced a transactions tax.

Journalist Economist and author David Cay Johnston joined Ed Schultz on the The Ed Show what the FTT would mean for the American economy.

With the capitulation on filibuster reform and the feral children still running the asylum, there is little chance that something this sensible will even get out of committee. That is a very sad state of affairs for this country.

Correction: We received a very kind e-mail from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston noting that he is not an economist. He is a renowned investigative journalist who has written about economics and the US tax system.  

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Healthy Comforting Food: Warm Skillet Salads

Warm Wild Rice Broccoli and Walnut Salad

“Comforting” isn’t a word I usually associate with salads, but this week I put together five grain salads that fit that bill. Over the years I have developed a number of delicious whole grain salads that combine various grains with vegetables, herbs and often nuts, tossed in a tangy dressing. I have also married many a grain and vegetable in a pilaf. I decided to bring both concepts together in hearty salads that I’m calling “skillet salads;” each one is heated through in a skillet just before serving.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Skillet Wild Rice, Walnut and Broccoli Salad

Broccoli flowers catch the nutty, lemony dressing in this winter salad.

Skillet Soba, Baked Tofu and Green Bean Salad With Spicy Dressing

The nutty flavor of buckwheat soba noodles makes for a delicious salad.

Warm Millet, Carrot and Kale Salad With Curry-Scented Dressing

Millet can be tricky to cook, but if you are careful, you will be rewarded with a fluffy and delicious salad.

Skillet Beet and Farro Salad

This hearty winter salad can be a meal or a side dish, and warming it in the skillet makes it particularly comforting.

Skillet Brown Rice, Barley or Triticale Salad With Mushrooms and Endive

Triticale is a hybrid grain made from wheat and rye, but any hearty grain would work in this salad.

Random Japan

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Chinese Colonel Explains His Hatred of Japan With Weird Animal Metaphor

Chinese Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu must have just finished watching a nature documentary as he answered questions about China’s territorial disputes, attempting to convey his hatred of Japan through strange animal metaphors.

”America is the global tiger and Japan is Asia’s wolf and both are now madly biting China,” Colonel Liu said, ”Of all the animals, Chinese people hate the wolf the most.”

We’re pretty sure Chinese people don’t have some inexplicable national hatred of wolves. He most likely would have professed his countrymen’s abhorrence of baby pandas if they happened to represent Japan in the metaphor.

The Man-Woman Case: Convicted by the press

 photo falleni_zps52dacdc9.jpgI see there’s a new book due out soon by Mark Tedeschi QC that may be of some interest.  It’s title is Eugenia: A True Story of Adversity, Tragedy, Crime and Courage, which in true Guardian fashion offers offense from the first word of the title.  There is a web site for the book as well.

Tedeschi writes as a lawyer, not as a historian.  His purpose is to expose a miscarriage of justice.

Born Eugenia Falleni in 1875, the subject of this biography is a (female-to-male) transgender man who was more variously known as Eugene Falleni, Harry Leo Crawford, and Jean Ford.