Tag Archives: American history

Examining Rehnquist's Legacy

By Michael Bobelian, Contributor

Only a few cases in American history have evolved into household names: Brown, Roe, Miranda stand atop the list.  They also happen to be among the most vilified Supreme Court rulings of the past century.  Critics viewed these decisions as the ultimate symbols of judicial overreach and legislating from the bench.  By the time William Rehnquist took over as Chief Justice in 1986, Brown had overcome decades of Southern defiance to emerge as the crowning achievement of the Court.  Roe and Miranda were another story, however. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

As Detroit Goes Bankrupt, Michigan's Senate Considers Adding Billions of Unfunded Liabilities to Its Medicaid Program

By Avik Roy, Contributor

Last week, the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. It’s a remarkable story, especially for natives of the state, like me, who have watched Detroit slowly decline for decades. But it’s even more remarkable, when you consider the fact that the Michigan state legislature is on the verge of adding billions in unfunded liabilities to the state’s Medicaid program, precisely at the time when Michigan’s politicians should be most acutely aware of the cost of fiscal irresponsibility. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

We the People

This is a troubled time in American history.

The recent election revealed the changing face and values of the electorate, as well as stark and deep divisions among the people. Citizens everywhere are considering vital questions:

  • Should we reform/abolish the current party system? Is a new political party a viable option?We the People
  • Does the Electoral College still work for America today?
  • Would non-partisan re-districting help create better balance at election time?
  • How should we adjust our policies with regard to immigration and our borders?
  • How can we become fiscally sound and remain within budgetary restraints?
  • As America re-examines the 2nd Amendment, how can we best preserve our gun/militia rights as written and intended by our Founding Fathers? Are we capable of keeping passion and anger from deciding this issue?
  • Should America adopt term limits?
  • Are the words in our founding documents still alive and inspirational? Should we be guided by them still today, or have they become irrelevant?

Many people today fear that our rights are being eroded, and some even say our country is “broken”. Perhaps we, as caretakers of this nation, can heal the break by finding common ground amongst ourselves.

This website has one purpose: to gather the opinions and suggestions of caring citizens, and then present them to our elected officials. Write as much or as little as you wish. Come back whenever you want to contribute. Above all, speak freely, whether you are….

  • Red or Blue
  • Left or Right
  • Tea Party or Occupy
  • 99% or 1%
  • Big government or Limited government
  • Employed or out-of-work
  • Young or Old

we want your input.

Kermit Gosnell Trial: Much Ado About Nothing

By Matt Barber

Abortion Protestor SC Kermit Gosnell trial: Much ado about nothing

What’s the big deal?

I mean, why are we surprised that an abortionist and his staff would, behind the walls of an always-lethal abortion clinic, commit one of the most horrific serial killings in American history? What did you think abortionists do, heal people?

Why are we taken aback that there was no oversight and no regulation, or that Planned Parenthoodthough privy to the clinic’s filthy, medieval conditions, refused to report it to the Department of Health? After all, Planned Parenthood, Barack Obama, and the DNC have vehemently opposed all laws – such as those in Virginia, Mississippi, and elsewhere – designed to prevent exactly the same kind of squalid conditions found in Gosnell’s clinic (and others), laws that simply direct abortion mills to meet the same minimal safety standards required of all other medical facilities.

You didn’t really buy that whole “women’s health” nonsense, did you?

Sucker.

Seriously, there are so few sociopathic doctors left willing to hack alive those inconvenient little buggers; so you anti-choice nuts need to just chill. Who cares about “blood smeared walls”; or babies left to drown in toilets; or snipped spinal cords; or dismembered body parts kept in jars; or screaming, crying newborns silenced by decapitation? What did you think women were “choosing” with abortion, some kind of medical treatment? We’re not removing a tumor here. You’ve got to kill a few babies to make a “reproductive freedom” omelette. Besides, there’s billions to be made in the death racket.

Let’s keep it real. The only difference between what happened in Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic and what happens every day in Planned Parenthoods across the country can be measured by a matter of inches – by the child’s proximity to her mother in the room. Whether the baby is in the womb or 12 inches removed, a dead baby is a dead baby, right? So why all the drama? Relax. You know, Roe v. Wade and all.

Besides, what’s an abortionist to do (wink, wink) if that resilient little pest does survive, if she’s born alive? I appreciate President Obama’s candor on the matter. Like he said, laws preventing abortionists like Gosnell from finishing her off are “really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.” Snippety-snip, eh, Barack? You know, choice and all.

Or, as Gosnell attorney Jack McMahon noted during the trial, it’s “ludicrous … to say a baby is born alive because it moves one time.” You anti-choice zealots don’t get to define the terms here. One man’s “alive” is another woman’s “unwanted pregnancy.” Potato, potahto.

And why are we stunned that the mainstream media have spiked a story with all the bloody and salacious newsworthy trappings that – had abortion not been involved – would have filled the news cycle 24/7?

You think some now-barren, 40-something copy editor who’s had five abortions wants to draw attention to its grisly reality? You think she wants to be reminded of her own string of dismembered little choices? No, better to sip

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Why Do I Have To Show ID When Obama Shows None?

By Tom Ballantyne Jr.

I just went through this in re-instating my architectural license in AZ. They wanted me to provide college transcripts, proof of registration in previous states, proof of passing the national licensing exam, and 30 year professional experience (work) history, proof of citizenship, proof of Social Security registration, and government-provided photo ID (not necessary to vote in every state won by Barack Obama in the recent election) – all of which I had to provide 8 years ago upon being licensed initially in the state, and ALL of which is in my file IN THEIR OFFICE. The forms which they send to be re-completed are all available on-line, but cannot be filled out electronically. They have to be printed, filled in by hand (or typewriter!), scanned, printed, and mailed. (I was stunned yesterday that they let me email an additional form they requested from another state!) Meanwhile, the “supervisor” was attending a “conference” in San Francisco, or was it San Diego?

By the Way, just try telling them that your birth certificate is posted on your MySpace page, and let me know how that works out for you. Oh yeah, your’re not the guy with the Connecticut Social Security Number (who couldn’t pass the Federal Government’s own E-Verify system last year), and whose Selective Service Registration is a clear forgery (both departments refusing to provide proof of original documentation, while scurrying to destroy past records – all such actions a matter of public record). Anyway, you’re not the guy walking around with the Nuclear Launch Codes (the Nuclear Football) within 20 feet of you at all times (or was it meters?), so no big deal. Oops! I got that backwards. It isn’t a big deal for HIM, but it is for those of us who hire and pay him, and to whom HE is to answer. But saying all of this only makes me a “racist” and “birther” according to the media elites in BOTH parties.

No, you and I are just people who believe that under the Rule of Law, we are all EQUAL, even if we’re not an impoverished, government-assisted, transgender “male” (or lesbian), Muslim, or, at least non-Christian or non-Jewish (yes, lots of contradictions there) person of color. Too bad about that “document of negative liberties”…but that apparently only applies to angry white Christian males…like those who wrote that dusty old document (found recently in a trash bin behind the Capitol!).

Tom Ballantyne – Author of Oh Really, O’Reilly! an expose of the greatest fraud and cover-up in American history, by none other than the political elites in the Republican Party and so-called “Conservative” establishment media. (Available at www.UncommonSenseNow.com.)

The Second Boston Massacre

By Peregrinus Pium

While we are all still numb with grief for our fellow Americans who were maimed or killed on Patriots Day (April 15, 2013), and before American history gets revised too much by the statists among us, it should be remembered that the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770 was one of the occurrences that incited the first American Revolutionary War. That was back in the day when British troops bullied their way onto the shores of America to enforce the heavy burden of the King of England’s new taxes. That was also back in the day when the full context of individual freedom was the nexus for our young country.

As the story goes, in 1770, five Bostonian colonists were murdered in cold blood when a British soldier fired into an angry crowd, which then caused something of a chain reaction of gunshots into the gathering of patriots. These new Americans were protesting what was seen as the overreach of King George III into the business of the men and women who had forged a new life free from the tyranny of Kings and Parliamentary rulers from afar.

Today, Americans don’t want to fight (we aren’t quite as hardy as our forebearers), but we still want to live free from the tyranny of Kings and rulers from afar.

It is tragic to see that our country, our way of life, and our futures are being challenged by the most despicable bullies imaginable – the terrorists. Pray that we find a way to remain free without another American revolution.

Photo Credit: aquadogs (Creative Commons)

From: http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-second-boston-massacre/

“Common Core” The Marxist Brainwashing Of America’s Schoolchildren

By Suzanne Eovaldi

Amnesty 1987 Ill Be Back SC Amnesty to include a 50 percent increase of legal immigrants if S744 passes

Vlad the Impaler must be dancing in his grave as the beast known as the Federal Education Department makes the United States into Transylvania West by turning our public school system into its own, blood-sucking, Communist training camp! Orwellian standards, end runs around local school boards, and ruination of states’ rights are all part of the Obama administration’s dangerous Common Core initiative to strip our land of freedom.  Dr. Alison Rampersad, a Co-Chair of Eye on U.S. Education, gave a Florida workshop a frightening heads up on what really is in Common Core, slated to be a done deal within this year.  And what is most frightening is that teachers, parents, educators, and legislators themselves don’t know what they are getting our children into.

Three huge stoppers Common Core is throwing up in front of our school children in this K-12 disaster include: 1. Dumbing down of all levels of America’s public school system;  2.  Taking away the rights of states to individually design, administer, and control their own schools;  3. Setting up a 400 point “Data Mining” paradigm that will encode for the federal government a tracking system for each child.  Such data will include parental income, babysitters, bus stops, and even political affiliations of Democrat or Republican/family voting patterns!

“This will change the way students and teachers interact in the classroom and how the education system works in America,” Rampersad warned Floridians.  A crazy re-do of the already new, fuzzy math will require students to count in tens, prompting one math expert to opine that this will never work.  Parents will not be allowed to enter the schools, read their child’s textbooks (which have to be left at school), and would not have any local school board to meet.  Technical manuals, especially relating to the R rating of attic insulations and the Ben Bernanke two step of rules governing our financial systems, will become 70% of what our students will be reading.  The beloved classics of literature that teach moral truths, right from wrong, responsible citizenship, and the value of liberty are already being deconstructed along with the canon of early American history and literature.

Stephanie Austin, an advocate of explaining the dangers of wireless radiation, called the workshop audience’s attention to what is known as commercial routers of the WiFi systems as each child must use a wireless tablet.  She handed out the public warning about WiFi in schools, issued by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine: “Safer technology, such as use of hard-wiring, is strongly recommended in schools.”

As the No Common Core workshop wore on, cries of Communism, Socialism, and Marxism could be heard from participants just learning about the underlying goals of the program.  Loyal United States citizens in every one of our 50 states are being urged to call their state legislators and governor to deny Common Core’s infestation of our public schools by the Federal Education Beast.

 

"42" and the Intangible Impact of Sports

By Brian Goff, Contributor

Baseball is life, or so the saying goes.  The release of “42” brings back to light a story that, among its many angles and nuances, turns that saying around — life is baseball.  Sports not only mirrors life but also acts as a vehicle to influence and change it.   Measured solely by revenues, sports rates a relatively minor player as industries go.  Summed together, professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey and auto racing generate only about $30 billion per year.  Even with the major football and basketball revenue producers among college teams lumped in, the total is well under $50 billion.  That’s nowhere near the $100 billion-plus figures for the heavyweights among individual companies, much less entire industries.  Yet, for enormous sales figures and cult-like following surrounding a company like , its ongoing buzz does not come close to sports.  Steve Job and Bill Gates have enjoyed about as much celebrity as any corporate figures, but the events involving Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, and the Brooklyn Dodgers took place over 75 years ago and continue to inspire.  Babe Ruth’s exploits in Major League Baseball will soon be 100 years old, but his name is still widely known.  After 100 years, I would expect very little public awareness of names like Jobs or Gates, unless it happens through the naming of some institution.  A reply might be, the Jackie Robinson episode lives on because it centers on an important period of American history — breaking down racial barriers.  Yes, but among all the individual stories that paralleled that of Robinson, it’s his that emerged into and has survived in the common public consciousness.  This kind of influence, however, goes beyond Robinson and race.  Sports is one of the few areas where revenues so radically understate the social impact and awareness of the business.  The very existence of substantial merchandising revenues for sports teams is a tell-tale indicator of this non-monetary interest.  ExxonMobil may generate $400 billion in revenue but hardly anyone walks around wearing caps, jackets, and shirts displaying their attachment as fans do for the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Crimson Tide, or Dale Jr.  In this respect, sports fits with movies, vacations, special romantic moments, and a few other activities where individuals relive, retell, and rehash memorable events over and over, making the initial “consumption value” very durable.  The involvement of thousands of other people in the initial enjoyment offers a relatively unique opportunity for social networking that long preceded the advent of the internet. It’s an interesting exercise to try to add up the non-revenue value of sports to fans.  The amount of time alone, whether at reliving the game in the break room or at home, reading newspapers, blogs, or other sources is not trivial.  Further, the time spent on fantasy sports ultimately derives its value from the sports themselves.  With even modest estimates the number of people involved in these activities along with the time spent and at average wage rates, it’s easy to double the revenue

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briangoff/2013/04/17/42-and-the-intangible-impact-of-sports/

Georgia Governor Refuses To Condemn Continuing Segregation In His State

By Rick Ungar, Contributor

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court ended school segregation via the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education—a decision holding that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Since that memorable turn in American history, not only have our nation’s schools become integrated but so too have the sports teams and other activities occurring within these places of education come to include all students, no matter their race or place of origin.

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/04/15/georgia-governor-refuses-to-condemn-continuing-segregation-in-his-state/

A Different USA

By Gene Daily

V12 Fiat 500

Over the course of the last few days, there have been many reports of teachers’ political bias in the classroom. Some may have had differing experiences than I; but in my youth, I experienced much the same from one teacher with a very different outcome.

What I am about to relate is a story from the 60′s, in a mountain mining town out west. Mining towns in American history have been known to be fairly rough towns, inhabited by men who were no strangers to drinks and fights. It was during a time in history when there was actually a written codified law stating that two men of roughly equal physical size and strength could mutually agree to combat; and as long as the peace of no other citizen was disturbed, their mutual combat was legal. This actually made for a rather peaceful society, as the worst thing you could be called in our town was a coward. So if you pushed something too far and were physically challenged to back it up and then refused to fight, you were labeled a coward and ignored or worse from that time on. I learned early, shall we say, to be a diplomatic conversationalist whenever possible. It is under these circumstances I relate the story.

During my sophomore year in high school, my history teacher was a huge supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In fact, my family were even supporters of him. I, however, took exception to the teachers’ constant emphasis of the wonderful programs his administration had used to revive the US economy during the 30′s. Being an avid reader of history, I learned that some programs such as the WPA had actually been started in Germany before they were used in the USA. This had helped to restart the German economy after it had been hit so hard under the Weimar Republic years. I had also learned that during the building of the Rockefeller Center in New York City, a mural had been included showing Mussolini courageously leading his people forward. I questioned the closeness of the leaders of that time and their common approach to problems. I also noted the anti-Jewish sentiment here in the USA at the time and the turning away of large numbers of Jews entering the USA prior to and during the War.

This ignited the history teacher as a match to tinder. After reading my paper, he came toward me in a menacing manner. He began to berate me. I simply told him that the assignment had been to compare historical figures of our choice and to relate our feelings and questions regarding them. He exploded and ask me if I had paid any attention at all to his lectures regarding FDR and all the “good” he had done for the country. I, as softly as I could, explained that while I recognize all the adulation many people had for FDR, I did not regard him as perfect. He then went somewhat mad and began screaming insults

From: http://www.westernjournalism.com/a-different-usa/

Is Barack Obama Mentally Unstable?

By Breaking News

Who is Barack Hussein Obama, the man in the White House? Without a doubt, Obama is the most unvetted, unaccomplished, unqualified person to ever to occupy the Oval Office in American history. Do we even know for sure that Obama mentally stable? Dr. Sam Vaknin, the world’s leading expert on narcissism and the author of “Malignant Self Love ,” has said that “Obama’s language, posture, and demeanor and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that Obama is a narcissist or he may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Narcissists have a grandiose, inflated, messiah like self image and cannot stand to be criticized. Obama’s Christ like view of himself is very clearly revealed in his Democratic nomination victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 3, 2008 in which he tells a worshipping audience, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Clearly, this is a delusional statement. At the end of Barack’s Super Tuesday speech in Chicago on February 5, 2008 Obama makes another ludicrous and insane pronouncement telling his followers “We are the ones that we have been waiting for.” This is narcissistic double speak; in translation what Obama is really saying is, “I am the one the world has been waiting for.”

Why is so much of Obama’s past shrouded in secrecy and why is there such a plethora of unanswered questions about Barack. For instance:

1) Why are all of Obama’s college records sealed?

2) Did Obama receive government aid as a foreign exchange student when he attended Occidental College?

3) Obama admits he traveled to Pakistan at age 20 in 1981. Well then, what passport did Obama use to fly to Pakistan since Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department’s no travel list at that time?

Read more at God Save USA. By Rock Peters.

Photo credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons)

From: http://www.westernjournalism.com/is-barack-obama-mentally-unstable/

The Left Would Hate Jackie Robinson Today…

By Dr. Kevin "Coach" Collins

Democrats don’t ever tell the truth about their shared history with African Americans. They will never admit that the Confederacy was formed by Democrats intent on keeping their ancestors locked on plantations as slaves. They will never admit that the Klu Klux Klan was formed and populated by Democrats who had been members of the Confederate Army.  They have lied about which Party was home to some of the worst bigots in American history.

Black conservative writer K. Carl Smith summed these lies up with: “When I grew up in Alabama, I thought George Wallace was a Republican. I thought Bull Connor was a Republican. I believed the people that bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., were part of the Republican Party…..  all of the things I believed to be true I found it was a lie.”

Last Friday, the new movie “42” referring to Jackie Robinson’s uniform number was released. It is apparently a stirring tale of how a black American named Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who had the skill and courage necessary to pull it off, broke the color barrier and played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

What is certain is that the Hollywood version of the Jackie Robinson story will not tell us about his life as a Republican activist after baseball. It will not touch on the strongly-held  Republican beliefs of Branch Rickey, the man who signed Robinson to play baseball for the  Dodgers, ironically played by leading Hollywood liberal Harrison Ford.  Nor will it mention that it was not until in 1959,  twelve years after Robinson was first at bat, that Boston (a bastion of phony liberalism) became the very last city to put a black man (Pumpsie Green) on its baseball field.

Jackie Robinson’s post-baseball years are just another story about black people the Democrats and their lap dog media ignore because it doesn’t fit the tapestry of lies they need their plantation hands to hear and believe.

The Democrats want the “truth” to be: “Yes Robinson had these wired un-politically correct conservative thoughts, but in 1960 when he saw Richard Nixon refuse to campaign in Harlem he was cleansed of them.” Nevertheless, Robinson’s autobiography strongly suggests otherwise. He was impressed with the enormous sums of money that white Republican Nelson Rockefeller’s family had given to support black colleges (Spellman College, which is today a leading anti-Republican nest, was founded by John D. Rockefeller and named for his mother.) Robinson liked a certain brand of Republicanism. He was a Rockefeller Republican, but a Republican nonetheless.

In order to campaign for Nelson Rockefeller in 1964, Robinson gave up a well- paying, very secure  job as a spokesman for Chock Full O’Nuts coffee company. Yet who could deny that if Jackie Robinson was alive today he would be mocked and reviled by the creeps at MSNBC because his political beliefs would not fit the plantation field-hand mentality they demand from blacks?  Number 42 would be just another Uncle Tom to them.

To read more about the Democrats’ lies to Blacks

From: http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-left-would-hate-jackie-robinson-today/

J.C. Penney's Been a Survivor Before

By Alex Planes, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

On this day in economic and business history …

James Cash Penney opened his first store, one of a chain known as “the Golden Rule,” in Kemmerer, Wyo., on April 13, 1902. Penney originally operated the store in partnership with two other entrepreneurs, but Penney proved the more dedicated of the three partners, and within five years the others had sold their interests and Penney was in sole control of three Golden Rule stores. Within a decade, there were nearly three dozen stores scattered across the Rocky Mountain states, and it was time for a new name for the business: J.C. Penney , named after the man who built it.

J.C. Penney grew rapidly throughout the western half of the United States and had more than 1,400 stores in 1929, just before the stock market meltdown. Unfortunately for James Penney, the crash of 1929 destroyed much of his wealth, and the economic effect of the Great Depression was such that he had to borrow against life insurance policies just to meet J.C. Penney’s payroll. Penney (the man and the company) survived the Depression and grew again, but it took a toll on the health of both. James Cash Penney wound up checking into the Battle Creek Sanitarium — the birthplace of Kellogg , where the highly religious Dr. John Harvey Kellogg attempted to cure his patients with boring food — to recover from the stress of nearly losing everything. That was the end of his corporate leadership, but James Penney remained chairman of the board until after World War II and would serve as an honorary chairman until his death in 1971.

J.C. Penney is also notable, beyond its leading role in American retail, for its formative imprint on Sam Walton. The Wal-Mart founder’s first job following his college graduation was as a management trainee in an Iowa J.C. Penney store. Penney’s focus on maximizing the value of customers’ visits and their purchases remain clear in Wal-Mart’s corporate focus to this day. By the time Walton opened his first Wal-Mart in 1962, J.C. Penney was already truly national — it had opened a store in Alaska that year, and its first Hawaiian location would open four years later. A decade later, J.C. Penney had more than 2,000 stores across the country. This was “Peak Penney,” and the company has never been quite as large, or quite as important to the American economy, since.

The roots of American insurance
A number of prominent Philadelphia citizens and businessmen came together on April 13, 1752, to form the Philadelphia Contributionship, the first property insurance company in the United States. As with many other important developments in early American history, this one owed its genesis to Benjamin Franklin, who had founded Philadelphia’s first volunteer fire brigade in 1736 and saw a clear benefit to insuring the properties that might eventually

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/13/jc-penneys-been-a-survivor-before/

GD Extensions and Mucking Fesses – Tax Blogging as a Literary Form – Case of The Wandering Tax Pro

By Peter J Reilly, Contributor

Thanks to years of browsing and seeing things that I can’t resist along with a reasonably tolerant covivant, portions of my living area have the feel of a library about them.  I think I’ve got a better American history section than most bookstores.  It  slows me down, as I often find myself picking up old friends and starting to read them again.  The most recent reacquantance was The Last Angry Man.  It is the intertwined stories of a 68 year old Jewish doctor in a tough neighborhood in Brooklyn and an “ad-man” nascent TV producer who, fictionally, hit on the idea of reality TV in the fifties. Dr. Sam Abelman is an irascible old man, who refuses to adapt.  His favorite phrase is “The bastards won’t let you live.”  I have not seen any observation to this effect but noting that The Last Angry Man was released in 1958 when the work of James Gould Cozzens was at its peak of popularity and controversy due to the release of By Love Possessed , the title must have been inspired by Cozzens 1935 The Last Adam.  Dr. Bull, the main character, is an irascible old man in a small town in Connecticut.  Will Rogers played him in the movie  , which I have yet to watch. I was reflecting that we don’t have fictional doctors like that anymore. Then I remembered House.

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2013/04/12/gd-extensions-and-mucking-fesses-tax-blogging-as-a-literary-form-case-of-the-wandering-tax-pro/

Remembering Roger Ebert

By Brian Richards, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for nearly half a century, and a game-changing television presenter, died Thursday at the age of 70.

Ebert had been in ill health for some time. He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and, through complications from that disease and subsequent surgeries, he lost his lower jaw, and with it, the ability to eat, drink, and talk. Yet he remained a prolific writer right up to the end.

Ebert will be remembered as a pioneering media figure — he won a Pulitzer, the first for a film critic, and co-hosted At the Movies, “one of the most powerful programs in television history,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

He’ll also be remembered as one of the best critics in American history. He was prolific, accessible, passionate, and honest. By all accounts (see the Deadspin.com article linked below), he was a nice guy and a mentor to a younger generation. He was a champion of the movies. But most of all, he was a hell of a writer.

At 22, I was an aspiring writer/journalist living in Chicago. I loved movies — still do — and was attending the same university Ebert did for a brief spell (he left a Ph.D. program to write for the Sun-Times). At that point in my life, I wanted to be like Roger Ebert.

When Night of the Living Dead was released in 1967, Ebert wrote a quasi-review of the film that, as a student years later, I read probably a dozen times; it spawned the idea for my own graduate thesis (analyzing the way audiences interact with horror movies, quite a ways from my current work today, but a lot of fun, nonetheless).

I’ve read hundreds of Ebert’s reviews, although I never personally interacted with him. However, Ebert and The Motley Fool crossed paths over the years. Before the 2002 Academy Awards, Fool co-founder Tom Gardner interviewed him for our radio show — you can listen to the audio in this clip. (Note his prescient “sell” call on Blockbuster back then.)

 

In the clip, Ebert talks about his admiration for the Danny DeVito quote about money from David Mamet‘s 2001 movie Heist. We liked that line so much that producer Mac Greer incorporated it into the intro to our current radio show, Motley Fool Money.

Tangential note: After Ebert lost his ability to speak, a company called CereProc spent a year constructing a text-to-speech voice that would resemble his own. Per Wikipedia:

In 2009, film critic Roger Ebert employed CereProc to create a synthetic version of his voice. Ebert has lost the power of speech following surgery to treat thyroid cancer. CereProc mined tapes and DVD commentaries featuring Ebert’s voice to create a text-to-speech voice that sounded more like his own. Roger Ebert used the voice in his March 2, 2010 appearance appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

As part of that process, we sent CereProc the interview linked above, in the hopes of helping him sound …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Steve Carell And James Gandolfini To Star As Paleontologists In HBO Movie ‘Bone Wars’

By The Huffington Post News Editors

The battle between Steve Carell and James Gandolfini will soon be coming to your TV.

According to Deadline, the former “Office” and “Sopranos” stars respectively are set to star and executive produce “Bone Wars.” The HBO project is set during what’s referred to in American history as the Bone Wars or the Great Dinosaur Rush when there was intense fossil speculation and discovery in the late 1800s.

The two paleontologists at the center of “Bone Wars” — Edward Drinker Cope (Carell) of Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences and Othniel Charles Marsh (Gandolfini) of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale — used underhanded methods to try to outdo one another and (spoiler alert) eventually, ruined their careers.

Read More…
More on Steve Carell

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

The AOL On Network and The Publishing Group of America to Form Strategic Partnership

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

Filed under:

The AOL On Network and The Publishing Group of America to Form Strategic Partnership

Dual-Syndication Agreement Gives Publishing Group of America Access to The AOL On Network’s Massive Video Library and Distributes Original PGOA to New Audiences Around the Web

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– AOL Inc. (NYS: AOL) today announced a strategic partnership with the leading multimedia publisher Publishing Group of America (PGOA). The dual-syndication agreement brings video content from PGOA‘s digital properties Relish.com, Moneyliving.com, Spryliving.com and Americanprofile.com to sites on The AOL On Network. It also gives PGOA access to content from The AOL On Network which will be displayed on its various digital properties through the AOL On video player.

The AOL On Network will benefit from new and engaging video content closely aligned with topics that matter most to its audience, including recipe and how-to cooking videos, tips on how to make better financial decisions, diet- and fitness-related videos, and inspirational American history and travel-related stories. The partnership allows PGOA to attract new and relevant audiences online through exposure to The AOL On Network’s audience of 35 million unique visitors per month,* and bolsters the existing video libraries on Relish.com, Moneyliving.com, Spryliving.com and Americanprofile.com with carefully curated, short-form videos from The AOL On Network.

“Over the last decade at Publishing Group of America, we’ve strived to really understand our audience’s needs and provide them with relevant and engaging content, and we attribute much of our success and fast growth to this upheld commitment,” said Matt Arceneaux, Vice President of Digital at Publishing Group of America. “Partnering with The AOL On Network allows us to build upon our success by complementing our current offering with even more high quality content, while also giving us the opportunity to further grow our viewer base.”

“It’s no secret that Publishing Group of America is a true pioneer in the publishing industry, as evidenced through their rapid growth and innovation,” said Ran Harnevo, SVP of Video, The AOL On Network. “And, now over the last year, we’ve seen them shift to the digital media and video space and make a strong mark there as well. Given the synergies between our two brands and our deep expertise in the video space, we’re confident we can help bring their video strategy to the next level with our premium content and exposure to a vast audience online.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Charleston Travel: Five Free Things To Do Chucktown

By The Huffington Post News Editors

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Charleston is awash in history and Southern charm and becoming widely known as a culinary town. Each year it hosts major events ranging from the Spoleto Festival USA to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament. But there are a lot of free things to do for visitors drawn to the city founded in 1670. Here are some suggestions:

THE HISTORIC DISTRICT

The Historic District is the main reason most folks visit Charleston and you don’t have to pay a dime to wander through. Start first by visiting the Charleston Visitor Reception and Transportation Center built in an old railroad warehouse a few blocks north of the Historic District. There you can see multimedia displays that provide an orientation to the city. Then you can catch a free shuttle bus from the visitor center that will take you downtown into the heart of the district that encompasses 4,800 historic structures. But Charleston is not a museum city. People live in the homes comprising the district which encompasses the city’s social and civil life. There are numerous guide books available for a price, but they are not absolutely necessary as many of the buildings in the district have small wall signs telling visitors a bit about the building’s history. Don’t forget to peer past wrought iron gates and into Charleston’s beautifully kept private gardens. Also be sure to wander through the peaceful church graveyards where many leaders who helped write the early chapters of American history are buried.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

One Industry Melts Down While Another Takes Flight

By Alex Planes, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

On this day in economic and financial history…

The worst nuclear accident in American history took place near Middletown, Penn., on March 28, 1979. That day, the problematic Three Mile Island nuclear plant reached partial meltdown, beginning in the morning after pumps for cooling water malfunctioned, which would not have been critical if a pressure relief valve had not also failed during the automatic shutdown process. The reactor core overheated, and plant operators — unaware of the failure — reduced coolant flow, exacerbating the overheating and causing a rupture in zirconium storage tubes.

The only saving grace in this disaster was the reactor’s containment walls, which limited catastrophe to the immediate area. However, the core meltdown’s chain reaction created unexpected radiation problems two days later, and Pennsylvania Governor Richard L. Thornburgh announced the evacuation of pregnant women and school-age children within five miles of the reactor. A radioactive hydrogen bubble in the pressure vessel’s dome brought the crisis to its final panicked apex before it was determined that it would not cause further harm. Cleanup proved to be a drawn-out process, as 40,000 gallons of radioactive waste released into the Susquehanna River would not be fully dealt with until 1993, at a cost of roughly $1 billion.

The incident led to a strengthening of nuclear regulations and nuclear plant design. It also led to a radical re-evaluation of the use of nuclear power in the United States. After the meltdown, 51 nuclear reactors proposed for construction were canceled in just five years, and no new plants were approved for construction until 2012. The meltdown effectively froze the American nuclear power industry at that point in time. The Three Mile Island reactor that melted down has been permanently decommissioned, but the other reactor — which has never had a safety incident — is still operated today by Exelon , the nation’s largest nuclear-power operator.

As the nation moves increasingly toward clean energy, Exelon is perfectly positioned to capitalize on having the largest nuclear fleet in North America. This strength, combined with an increased focus on balance sheet health and its recent merger with Constellation, places Exelon and its resized dividend on a short list of the top utilities. To determine whether Exelon is a good long-term fit for your portfolio, you’re invited to check out The Motley Fool’s premium research report on the company. Simply click here now for instant access.

Japanese merger mania
The Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi Bank, two of Japan‘s largest financial institutions, announced plans to merge on March 28, 1995. This combination would surpass Sumimoto Bank, also of Japan, as the world’s largest, with combined assets of $817 billion. The Japanese markets, then about five years into one of the worst long-term slides in financial history, were not kind to this merger. Five years after the announcement, the combined Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi had only $700 billion in assets …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

President Obama Establishes Five New National Monuments

By <a href="/author-detail/3699933">Megan Slack</a>

Today, President Obama signed proclamations establishing five new national monuments that celebrate our nation’s rich history and natural heritage. The monuments, located in Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio and Washington, help tell the story of significant people and extraordinary events in American history, and also help protect natural resources and supporting economic growth in local communities through tourism and outdoor recreation.

“These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country,” President Obama said. “By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House