Saturday, February 27, 2010
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan:
"And then as winter comes in, that warm air cools full of water, and you
get heavier precipitation on a more regular basis. In fact, you could
argue these storms are not evidence of a lack of global warming, but are evidence of global warming - thus the 26 inches of snowfall in the DC area and the second giant storm this year."
George Washington Page
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
("The Porthole Portrait" by Rembrandt Peale)
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. - Circular to the States, May 9, 1753
Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
It is better to be alone than in bad company.
It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. - from a letter to Washington's niece dated October 30, 1791
I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country.
I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
(Pic: "The Lansdowne Portrait" by Gilbert Stuart, 1796)
Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
A free people ought to be armed. -Jan 14 1790, Boston Independent Chronicle.
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species...and to disperse the families I have an aversion. - letter to Robert Lewis, August 18, 1799
Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.
'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world. - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country. - letter to Benedict Arnold, September 14, 1775
The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!
A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything. - letter to Benjamin Harrison, October 10, 1784
Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favours and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. - Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity. - letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham, January 9, 1790
Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country. - upon fumbling for his glasses before delivering the Newburgh Address, March 15, 1783
Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life. - Address to Congress on Resigning his Commission, December 23, 1783
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
James Madison in response to George Washington's first Inaugural address, May 18, 1789:
If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice.
James Madison Page
James Madison was our 4th President, a close friend to Thomas Jefferson, helped push through, amongst other things, religious freedom statues.
Madison's draft of the "Virginia Plan" and his revolutionary idea of three branches of federal government were the basis of the Constitution.
To promote ratification of the Constitution Madison wrote the Federalist papers with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. (Source and Pic Wikipedia & et al.)
A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.
Our country abounds in the necessaries, the arts and the comforts of life - March 13, 1813
Conscience is the most sacred of all property. - Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. - Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
Equal laws protecting equal rights — the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country. - letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820
A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the
government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of
auxiliary precautions. - Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the
exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But
I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one
department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in
marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments. - speech in the Congress of the United States, June 17, 1789
I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which
the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense
alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide
in expounding it, there may be no security. - letter to Henry Lee, June 25, 1824
(Pic to right: Portrait by Gilbert Stuart)
If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money,
and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a
limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one,
subject to particular exceptions. - letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792
I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it
as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive
and impolitic — it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are
left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those
objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and
direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could
point out. - speech to the Congress, April 9, 1789
Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man
who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may
cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be
able to set a due value on the means of preserving it. - Federalist No. 41, January 1788
Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they
pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution
which has no parallel in the annals of human society. - Federalist No. 14, November 20, 1787
He was certainly one of the most learned men of the age. It may be said
of him as has been said of others that he was a "walking Library," and
what can be said of but few such prodigies, that the Genius of
Philosophy ever walked hand in hand with him. - on Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Harrison Smith, November 4, 1826
which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another
species. - Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of
Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the
- Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of
acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps
both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to
be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which
- letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of
representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the
cure for which we are seeking.
- letter to William Hunter, March 11, 1790
A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events,
which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary
philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.
- essay in the National Gazette, February 2, 1792
All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
- speech at the Constitutional Convention, July 11, 1787
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man
must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may
be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary
to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the
greatest of all reflections on human nature?
- Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier,
exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America
disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.
- Federalist No. 14, November 30, 1787
How could a readiness for war in time of peace be safely prohibited,
unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and
establishments of every hostile nation?
- Federalist No. 41, January 1788
Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United
States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every
religious sect. - letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820
Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union,
none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to
break and control the violence of faction.
- Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to
look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to
enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the
necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice.
- in response to George Washington's first Inaugural address, May 18, 1789
An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one
in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced
among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend
their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by
the others. - Federalist No. 58, 1788
An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one
which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the
powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several
bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal
limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.- Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788
As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally
said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power
prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his
opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. - National Gazette Essay, March 27, 1792
As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty
to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the
connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions
and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other. - Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over
the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate
governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia
officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of
ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any
form can admit of. - Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority
of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single
State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general
alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal
government to such an extremity. - Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and
permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as
well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for
immediate and immoderate gain. - Federalist No. 42, January 22, 1788
Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign
body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own
voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if
established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution. - Federalist No. 39, January 1788
Energy in government is essential to that security against external and
internal danger and to that prompt and salutary execution of the laws
which enter into the very definition of good government. Stability in
government is essential to national character and to the advantages
annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of
the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society. - Federalist No. 37, January 11, 1788
As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain
degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in
human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.
Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a
higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been
drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses
of the human character, the inference would be that there is not
sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less
than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and
devouring one another. - Federalist No. 55, February 15, 1788
For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be
unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the
members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves
too much to local objects. - Federalist No. 47, February 1, 1788
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well
that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the
term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that
alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man
whatever is his own. - Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob. - Federalist No. 55, February 15, 1788
As the cool and deliberate sense of the community ought in all
governments, and actually will in all free governments ultimately
prevail over the views of its rulers; so there are particular moments
in public affairs, when the people stimulated by some irregular
passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful
misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they
themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In
these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some
temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the
misguided career, and to suspend the blow mediated by the people
against themselves, until reason, justice and truth, can regain their
authority over the public mind? - Federalist No. 63, 1788
Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue; or in any manner
affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a
new harvest to those who watch the change and can trace its
consequences; a harvest reared not by themselves but by the toils and
cares of the great body of their fellow citizens. This is a state of
things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for
the few not for the many. - Federalist No. 62, 1788
1. Cut costs by preventing runaway malpractice lawsuits.
2. Cut costs by allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines.
3. Cut costs by allowing lower premiums for healthier lifestyles.
4. Increase access to health insurance by ending the unfair tax on the uninsured (and self-insured), giving them a tax-break similar to that which is already available to those with employer-provided insurance.
5. Provide further help for those who are uninsured and have expensive preexisting conditions, by increasing federal support for state-run or state-organized high-risk pools.
6. Convert some federal funds into block grants to states, and reallocate the savings resulting from reducing the number of uninsured.
7. Implement additional reforms from the House Republican health bill.
"I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country." - George Washington
To me, our first President executed the office of Commander and Chief with strength, humility and grace. No President since has balanced strong leadership against government intrusion better than Washington. Without George Washington would we have been victorious in the Revolutionary War? Would the Constitutional Convention been a success without Washington's leadership?
I seriously doubt it.
February 22 marks the anniversary of his birth in 1732, the beginning of a life's legacy still admired today.
"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
George Washington struggled to balance the tensions between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson and their respective ideas for governing our fledgling country. Washington had to govern the Hamiltonian Federalists side by side the Jeffersonian Republicans while today our President must govern the likes of John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.
Many of Washington's critics often site slave ownership as his biggest fault, but Washington claimed:
"I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery."
Washington granted his slaves rights that most did not receive. Most importantly, he added a provision in his will freeing the slaves upon the passing of his wife.
His actions certainly met his words and there was no greater voice for freedom:
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
"A free people ought to be armed." -Jan 14 1790, Boston Independent Chronicle.
We often don't acknowledge Washington's firm but magnanimous leadership. One example was his suppression of the Pennsylvanian Whiskey Rebellion without firing a single shot.
Washington, himself, led 13,000 handpicked troops to face those opposed to the taxation. It was his reputation and even handedness that disbanded the settlers with pardons and amnesty instead of force or violence.
Rejecting calls for him to be King, Washington notably avoided praise, even by Benjamin Franklin. His actions were so noble, selfless and pious.
"The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!"
I dare say George Washington was not just our first President, he was the greatest.
After his death in 1799, Washington was famously eulogized by
Congress: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his
Pic: Wikipedia -- 1795 Gilbert Stuart portrait, 1796 portrait "Landsdowne"
The old phrase "As California goes, so goes the nation" will spell disaster for America. Orange County alone is shackled with the burden an millions and millions illegal aliens and a verdict is pending to possible overturn the voice of the people on Prop 8.
57,000 individuals would disagree with me right from the onset as a federal judge has ordered the State of California, the "Golden State", to release these thousands of prisoners to ease the burden on the budget.
"This order, the latest intrusion by the federal
judiciary into California's prison system, is a blunt instrument that
does not recognize the imperatives of public safety, nor the challenges
of incarcerating criminals, many of whom are deeply disturbed." - Attorney General Jerry Brown
From an article by Guy Adams: "Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent redundancy notices to 20,000 government
employees and shut down California’s last remaining public works
projects yesterday, as state politicians failed to pass a budget that
will prevent his administration from running out of money."
The solution in the California State Senate is raise taxes.
In the middle of the worse recession in modern times and their cure (for the $12 billion deficit this year alone) is more taxes. Income tax revenues are in decline -- translation to Liberals: then there's room to tax them more; translation to a Conservative: more tax yields less activity so lower the taxes.
Meanwhile, across the state, Prop 8, the official amendment blocking recognition of gay marriage, is under siege. Similarly, the judicial system can overturn millions of voters, cost the state billions and ignore the constitution entirely.
Californians ignore the constitution, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility.
There is now increasing cries for a "bailout" for California. A state cannot officially declare "bankruptcy" and President Obama (and Congress) have proved that 49 states can be required to carry the burden of one (see Nebraska's Medicaid clause in the proposed health care bill.)
"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax
revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the
long run is to cut the rates now ... Cutting taxes now is not to incur
a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy
which can bring a budget surplus." - John F. Kennedy, 1962
California, we hope you wake up. We don't follow you or have any desire to emulate your politics. I will push, protest, call and write any and every member of Congress: DO NOT BAILOUT CALIFORNIA!
California you have a few objectives that you need to wake up to: first, illegal aliens are just that: here illegally. They are an anchor around the budget and tax liability of the people. Start by sending them back through immigration to gain legal citizenship.
Next, acknowledge and obey the state Constitution. You can vote on measures, be unhappy with the outcome and then try backdoor, backhanded means to achieve the results you want. This is tyrannical and we all hope you can see that at some point. If you want gay marriage, then write another amendment and go do it properly.
Lastly, less government -- California, your state is proof to the rest of us that none of this "microtaxation" on cigarettes, soda, plastic bags, a ridiculous gas tax, etc...is the solution to anything.
I quoted JFK for a reason, maybe you'll see that.
Judge over release of 57,000 prisoners: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5190CB20090210
Stop 8 Pic: http://queertoday.ning.com/
Recently I joked that I was really, really wrong about President Obama, I never expected him to fix global warming so quickly.
Unfortunately Republicans, Conservatives, and talking heads are all falling into the same trap as the global warming alarmists. We shouldn't look at the local weather or recent snow storms to evaluate the climate shifts of the earth.
Al Gore became the poster boy of these anecdotal claims such as escalated hurricane activity and general outbreaks of disease which were all attributed to the earth's rising temperature. Scotish sheep, cougar attacks, kidney stones, squirrel gene mutations and even the crash of Air France Flight 447 have at one time or another been linked by alarmists to global warming.
Al Gore's declaration "The debate is settled" was embraced and this new scientific arrogance highjacked environmentalism.
Meanwhile, Phil Jones, Michael Mann and many of the top scientists have been turned on their head with faulty data, manipulated research papers and emails disclosing their "cover-up."
Recently Jones discussed how there has been NO WARMING since 1995 and he finally acknowledged Medieval Warm Period. Additionally, the IPCC is under attack for the countless flaws with their preposterous 2007 claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away, completely disappear, in 25 years.
From an article by Dana Milbank at the Washington Post: "Skip the hurricanes and Himalayan glaciers and keep the argument on the hundreds of billions of dollars spent annually on foreign oil, some of that going to terrorists rahter than to domestic job creation."
So now we're at the crux of problem.
Politics and science are horrible bedfellows and the global warming agenda is just that, an agenda to manipulate finances and lifestyles to benefit individuals NOT connected to fossil fuels.
There's no "skipping" the credibility of science and the assault on polluters.
I've yet to meet that arrogant, nasty polluter who shamelessly wants humans to disregard everything and destroy the planet. No, the mainstream stance is simple: we need to be good stewards of the planet without a hysterical, Chicken Little global warming reaction.
In contrast to Mr. Gore, the debate is never over. We should never abandon scientific scrutiny.
I wish both sides could be mindful that snow in Florida does NOT disprove global warming any more or less than the July heat wave in Philadelphia.
I've always question the validity science that ignores solar flare activity while proclaiming to measure the earth's temperatures from hundreds and hundreds of years ago.
No more anecdotal science and knee jerk reactions.
Fifteen years ago, February 18, 1995, a Tampa icon passed away. Dick Bennick's Saturday horror host persona, Dr. Paul Bearer, transcended local pop culture making him one of the iconic figures in the bay area.
Follow "State of the Nation" at Desk of Brian -- Original posting:
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Kevin Smith used Twitter to rail on Southwest Airlines after being "offloaded" for being too fat.
Smith said: "I’m way fat, but I’m not there just yet. If you look like me, you may be ejected from Southwest Air... I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk’... I saw someone bigger than me on THAT flight"
The Southwest reply is entitled: "Not So Silent Bob" discusses how Smith changed his flight plans and was flying Stand-By and could't fit in the available seat.
"Our pilots are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our Employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith on a later flight, and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher for his inconvenience."
This is probably the most publicity the director has received in years.
"You [messed] with the wrong sedentary processed-foods eater!" Smith announced.
So step back for a second and take note that Smith's new film "Cop Out" is released on Friday....so, translation: publicity stunt.
Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan star in "Cop Out", Smith's follow up to the box office bomb(see below) "Zack and Miri Make a Porno", and Smith will do anything (in my opinion) to break beyond his niche audience.
Let me be clear, ViewAskew-niverse drones would flock to a dog show if Kevin Smith graced the marquee. After ditching the "Private Dicks" or "A Couple of Dicks" titles, Smith publicized his martyrdom leading to a headline: "Kevin Smith takes a pay cut to get Cop Out an R-rating" -- enticed yet?
Typical Kevin Smith: overhyped, overrated and a self promotion whore.
See, Smith's failures are catching up with him as his "weird fucking dark little seventies horror movie" entitled "Red State" can't find funding so he's starting a fundraising campaign on the internet to get the project off of the ground.
The only thing REALLY fat is Smith's wallet and his ego. I'm confident his ego couldn't squeeze in those two seats, but thanks to Southwest, he'll be able to stroke it all the way to his next project.
Southwest statement: Not So Silent Bob
Terence of Crazed Fanboy asserts that Smith's "Zack and Miri" film was not a "bomb" and I'll concede it made $31.5 million (from a $24 million budget) hardly a blockbuster or considered a success by Hollywood standards.
"Clerks 2" prior to "Zack and Miri" made $24 million at the box office on a $5 million budget. Previously the Smith films "Jersey Girl" only made $25 million at the box office with a $35 million budget, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" $22M budget - $30M box office, "Dogma" $10M budget - $30.6M box office, "Chasing Amy" $250,000 budget - $12M box office, "Mallrats" 6.1M budget - $2.1 box office, "Clerks" $250,000 budget after post production of the original $27,000 to yield a $3.1 box office.
Bomb? Maybe a little harsh adjective for "Zack and Miri" but hardly a Hollywood success. Smith will tout that it made more money that any of his other films, but others had a better profit margin.
All data from www.imdb.com
by Laura Jones and Desk of Brian's Brandon Jones
Fraud always creates a problem for retailers and consumers alike. As a cost savings, many vendors issue coupons on-line to increase availability beyond the scope of newspaper subscribers.
Unfortunately, as technology has improved, so have the thieves to take advantage of these opportunities. With a struggling economy, everyone is searching for ways to earn more money and save a few bucks also.
This battle may be marching into a head-on-head confrontation.
1-800-Flowers issued $20 off coupons on Harry London candy boxes, but many coupons were simply peeled away, sold on the internet and circumvented the intent of the promotion.
These are the guidelines for selling coupons on eBay(edited for space, see below for link to entire policy):
Selling coupons eBay may be lucrative, but greed still corrupts.
From the report on Consumerist.com:
"1-800-Flowers canceled a string of orders made with the coupon codes
that appeared fraudulent. Those customers should receive an e-mail, [a
company spokesman] said, asking them to call the company and go through
the procedure again."
Then there's the issue of fraud.
If you think this fraudulent is not a serious problem, let me point you to this story Daily Chronicle in Illinois in which two young men forged and use over $700 in fake coupons. They are now facing two Class 3 Felony charges.
These stories are everywhere. From overseas arrests (read here), or in
Dehli to ebay itself (arrest of Glenn and Joanna Schwartz)
For now Wal-Mart will accept Internet Coupons:
"Internet coupons should be legible and say "Manufacturer Coupon." There
should be a valid remit address for the manufacturer and a scannable
bar code." (Read Wal-Mart coupon policy)
Publix carries the most money saving coupon policy but store managers have hinted that there are changes ahead. Read full Publix coupon policy here.
Read Complete eBay coupon selling guidelines here
Follow "State of the Nation" by Brandon Jones on Desk of Brian here
Laura's coupon page on Facebook "Share your Savings" can be found here
A Special Happy President's Day Happy Birthday to Presidents Lincoln and Washington.
For various reasons a President's legacy is defined and ranked in the minds of historians and the American public. Below is a short list of the "Most Overrated" Presidents in our history and why I put them on this list.
Abraham Lincoln: Concerned more with secession and the economy than ending slavery, Lincoln violations of habeus corpus is ignored. Lincoln could not afford to lose the Tariffs from the South and gets to much credit for repairing the damage of James Buchanan and Pierce.
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the
institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have
no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." - 1860
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not
either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without
freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some
and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery,
and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." - Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862
Lincoln is always mentioned in the Top Five Presidents of all-time mostly as a savior of civil rights which was an afterthought - he was certainly no advocate for blacks or ending slavery.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The icon to leftists, socialist, and Democrats get credit for surviving the Great Depression and turning the country around.
In fact, it was his endless spending, government intrusive programs and massive national debts that prolonged the Great Depression. Calvin Coolidge faced a similar collapse and used a less taxes and smaller government to lead the country to recovery in months.
FDR's legacy was salvaged with World War II as we should realize that we are still paying the price for many of these bankrupt government programs and agencies today.
Ronald Reagan: A hero to modern Republicans and self-proclaimed Conservatives, Reagan's speeches were far superior than his actions and the results.
Compared to liberals that preceded his administration and those that followed, Reagan appears very conservative. Unfortunately, he hardly deserves his iconic reputation.
Reagan raised the national debt, carrying massive deficits, started the ineffective War on Drugs and has an overrated credit for the fall of the Soviet Union.
A selective memory has given modern conservatives a celebrity of their own.
Barak Obama: A Peace Prize and ranking as a contender to have his face added to Mt. Rushmore - all within months of inauguration. The celebrity, rock star meteoric rise as masked the escalating debt, rising unemployment, apologetic and contradicting foreign policy.
Many historians and Democrats would already put Obama in the top five of all-time -- absurd considering his tenure to date.
I believe Obama's race will garner favoritism and loyalty from many supporters who already hold him elevated asteem.
Obama still has plenty of time to rise to the hype and expectations after the failures of his predecessor; however, he's continued most of those mistakes and avoids responsibility on his lack of success to date.
Theodore Roosevelt: Many credit Teddy with shaping the modern persona of the Presidency and I criticize him for it. The arrogance that led to the formation of the Progressive movement and acquisition of land for the "national good" illustrate the origins of the celebrity nature of our commander in chief.
Liberals ignore the Filipino-American War, Roosevelt's steps to exercise international power (particularly on small countries) and has ill-defined the term monopoly for generations to come.
Teddy's role in "Night of the Museum" will likely perpetuate his likable personality without acknowledging his love of war and big government.
These are hardly our worst Presidents, but they all have reputations and legacies that far outweigh all of the facts.
You could easily include John F. Kennedy, whose assassination and incredibly motivating speeches, lends him unfair positive bias a mediocre presidency.
Likewise, the humanitarian reputation of Jimmy Carter to Democrats masks a term full of countless blunders and tragic decisions or Harry Truman for simply "dropping the bomb."
These men would still be in the Top Tier of "Best Presidents" list (well mostly) but we should challenge ourselves, and more importantly, the next generation to scrutinize facts to better learn from our mistakes.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana
"All history becomes subjective; in other words
there is properly no history, only biography." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
All pictures from Wikipedia:
Emancipation Proclamation painting, 1862
FDR and Hoover: 1933
Reagan and Gorbachev signing INF treaty, 1987
Obama giving his acceptance speech, 2008
Teddy - around turn of century
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Desk of Brian
Pull the Valentine Bears from Target.
The AP reported that Target will pull the pink bears which the CEH, The Center for Environmental Health has discovered contain eight times the federal limit of lead on the inflated letters on its chest.
The CEH is NOT a government agency, but a non-profit "watchdog" acting as the "Lead Police" asserting that children will (I theorize) chew on the "XO" from the bear and suffer a lead poisoned demise.
Whether it's purses or lunchboxes, the CEH has repeatedly patrolled the lead components of various products and I'm not contending that this is a horrible thing.
After Sarah Palin stumbled over her own by writing shallow talking points on her hand to survive a post Tea Party Q&A, our Press Secretary decided to lower the standards even further.
A former Governor, VP candidate, who just spoke on these issues, should NOT need "Budget Cuts"...ugh, sorry, "Tax Cuts" scribbled on her hand to answer ANY question.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Original post: http://sites.google.com/site/thedeskofbrian/pop-culture-other-topics/duggarsstillunderattack-nowfornumber19
The Duggars didn't quietly wander into the mainstream of America, it was a stampede as their family was profiled on a TLC reality show. Their family, as you may or may not know, stands now with 19 children.
The arrival of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar's new daughter Josie, who was born 15 weeks premature at 2 pounds 4 ounces, brought a surprising and arrogant magazine headline from People magazine: "How Many Kids Are Too Many?"
In the article, Michelle confesses her desire to possible have another, leaving God in charge of their destiny.
"When I say we would love more children, we open ourselves up for
attack," says Michelle, 43. But, she adds, people shouldn’t be so quick
to judge. "Only one person can live the life that I live, and that is
me," she says. (People magazine1)
After citing the health risks for women over forty, People decided to quote an "expert": "I think that’s too many kids," says Dr. Douglas Downey, a general surgeon based in Florida, in People. "From a family resource perspective, there is no way you can give the
emotional and financial resources you would need to support that many
It's amazing how the normalcy of people's lives is inconceivable for so many. These same individuals race to judgment and criticisms leading them to conclude that they know what's best for these folks and their children.
People Magazine should be ashamed for blatantly seeking out this perspective and trying to give it credibility under the guise of a physician's diagnosis.
God Bless the Duggars and I hope the Lord comforts and guides them beyond the scope of this television show. Lord knows they may need it.
1. Confirmed transcript of the article in People magazine
2. CNN: Duggar boys help save little girl's life