Sunday, October 31, 2010

Picture of the Day

What a grand Presidential baseball first pitch photograph. In the picture JFK, Everette Dirkson, Mike Mansfield, Larry O'Brien, Abraham Ribicoff, C. Douglas Dillion, Arthur Goldberg, and JFK Navy pal Paul B. Fay to his right in raincoat and hat (he was also Navy Secretary for brief time).

The Great Rally For Sanity

Picture of the Day

One of my favorite signs from the Stewart/Colbert Restore Sanity Rally. Another favorite, "My wife is a Muslim and not a terrorist, but I am still scared of her."

Stewart/Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity Was Brilliant

The John Stewart and Steven Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity in DC yesterday was very encouraging, very entertaining, and brilliant. I had many facebook friends in attendance. There are firsthand reports of the event all over facebook. The very creatively delivered message was one of turning our backs on hate and Americans working together to make the world a better place.

The crowd was estimated by CBS at an amazing 250,000. They estimated Beck's Restore Honor Rally at 87,000. This turn out, and the theme of the Stewart/Colbert rally, bodes very well for the future. The civil, light tone, and this among people passionate enough about our nation and it's direction to make the trip the DC, was reassuring.

Some of the highlights were SNL's Father Sarducci giving a light invocation, Cat Stevens performing "Peace Train", Kid Rock and Cheryl Crow doing a piece about changing the world, Tony Bennett doing "America the Beautiful", "Medal of Reasonableness" going to Tiger pitcher to Armando Gallerraga, "Fear Award" to Anderson Cooper's tight black t-tee shirt, and much more.

The posters were civil, light, and very entertaining. Some of the better ones, "I Fought Against Nazi and They Didn't Look Like Obama", "My wife thinks I'm hiking on the Appalachian Trail", "Death to Nobody", "I Hate Signs" "Jump Rope with a Muslim", Civility is Sexy", "You want your country back?...Its my country too, Can we share it?", "I've considered the fact that I might be wrong , have you?"

Kudos to Stewart and Colbert for their great effort to Restore Sanity. I am encouraged. As usual, I think the incivility and noise is among a minority. As Stewart said, these are tough times, but not end times. The majority of Americans will be up to the challenge of peacefully resolving our problems in a civil, cooperative fashion.

Above is Stewart's wrap-up and conclusion to the Rally. It's worth a listen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Above are nice images of the 32th President. At the top is a young FDR as Vice Presidential nominee in 1920, on the ticket with James Cox of Ohio. They lost to Warren G. Harding . The bottom is an image of Eleanor and Franklin as they pose for a Christmas 1941 photograph.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picture of the Day

In honor of the 2010 Baseball World Series beginning today between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants, above is a great baseball image from 1932, 78 years ago.

Baseball is one game that has changed very little. Here, at The Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, Saturday, September 17, 1932, Dick Bartell of the Phillies is trying for an inside-the-park home run, and Cubs' future Hall of Fame catcher, Gabby Harnett, is fixing to tag him out at home..

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Incredible Civil War Photographs

Above is photo of President Lincoln visiting with General McClellan after the Battle of Antiedam (Sharpsburg). Below is a link to the most incredible pictures of the Civil War you will ever see. It is amazing the condition they are in. Enjoy the history.

2001 Profiles In Courage Award

Great picture of Gerald Ford and John Lewis as co-recipients of the 2001 Profiles In Courage Award, presented annually by the Kennedy family. John Lewis, congressman from Atlanta and civil rights icon, was the first across the Edmund Pettis Bridge on the 1964 walk from Selma to Montgomery.

Picture of the Day

Tulip gardens in Keuhenhof, The Netherlands.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Picture of the Day

This is one of my favorite pictures, Barry Obama with his grandparents, who, upon the death of his mother, raised him and looked after him. All too typical a story in mid-to-late 20th century America.....a kid from an interracial marriage being raised by a single mother, then by grandparents.

What is not a typical American story is that of a multi-ethnic and bi-racial kid attending Columbia University, Harvard Law and becoming president of Harvard Law Review, teaching law at the University of Chicago, becoming a community organizer and civil rights attorney in southside Chicago, being elected State Senator at very young age, then United States Senator, and then President of the United States at age 47.

Quite an amazing story of human circumstance and human achievement.......only in America. By leaps and bounds, the most intriguing and capable American public servant and figure of my lifetime.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bizarre FoxNews Headline, "The Obama Experiment Has Failed".....What?

It amazes me to read headlines such as, "The Obama Experiment Has Failed." That is a headline on the FoxNews (surprise) website regarding Senator John Thume's response to Obama's Saturday radio address. In this era of mass, 24/7 cable and Internet technological communications, the war of communications is critical, vicious, and deceptive.

How could anyone buy the propaganda that the Obama anything has failed. He has been in office less that 24 months. He follows the worse economic and foreign policy Presidency of our lifetime.

TARP is a tremendous success. The banks are paying back, with interest, all the funds "fronted" them. The Recovery Act (Stimulus) is changing America and was a critical investment in getting America moving again. The investment in automotive companies has been repaid and millions of jobs (when you include the supply chain) were saved and an industry saved. Critical Health Care Reform is underway and the non-partisan scorekeeper, CBO, tells us it will reduce budget deficits going forward. We are basically out of Iraq, in terms of combat troops, and we are once again respected in the world community.

Yet the opposition party sadly tells uninformed, fearful, venerable citizens that the Obama "experiment" has failed. What does that mean? Their objective is, of course, to regain power for power's sake and to look after the interests of those who fund their return to power. It is just a sad and amazing commentary on the state of our system at this point. The only other objective they can articulate is to lower taxes and reduce government. What?

Our system is as broken as I can ever recall. Though important, thank goodness there is more to life than the emptiness and the craziness presented by our political process. Family, friends, hobbies, the great body of Christ and the opportunities afforded for missions and worship by the church, all thankfully give life meaning. The craziness, deception, the sheer ignorance and manipulation which accompanies the political process in 2010 is most discouraging and disturbing.

Picture of the Day

Great image of two great American borrow a contemporary phrase.......two "game changers."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jobs Created

It's official, more private sector jobs created in 2010 than during the entire Bush 8 years in office.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picture of the Day

Frank Sinatra and Ted Kennedy campaigning in the 1960 West Virginia primary for JFK.


God's Beauty Abounds in The Fall

Monday, October 18, 2010

Picture of the Day

Flanked by his wife Eleanor and son Elliott, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt casts his vote in the Presidential election in Hyde Park, NY, November 8, 1932.

(Photo compliments of Neal Robertson).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Picture of the Day

JFK campaigning in West Virginia in 1960.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Charles Evans Hughes

Here, women are campaigning on the back of a train for Charles Evans Hughes for President of the United States in 1916. He would go on to lose to Princeton University President Woodrow Wilson. Hughes would later become Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, succeeding William Howard Taft. Hughes also served as Governor of New York, and Secretary of State. He was a Republican and was renowned for his intellect and oratory skills.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great Historian Shelby Foote

It is such a joy to listen to Shelby Foote. There are few who knew more about the Civil War, and no one who could present it in a more compelling fashion than Shelby Foote.

Foote, an American novelist and noted historian of the Civil War, has geographic and cultural roots in the Mississippi Delta. He was born November 17, 1917 in Greenville, Mississippi and moved to Memphis in 1952. Foote is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Foote wrote a comprehensive three volume 3000-page Civil War history entitled, "The Civil War: A Narrative." In the late 1980s, Ken Burns used Foote to narrate much of his documentary, "The Civil War." Foote's deep southern drawl, and what seemed like his first hand accounts, made Foote and the documentary a tremendous hit.

Ken Burns also used Foote in his documentary "Baseball." Foote gave an account of his meeting with legendary Babe Ruth.

Above is a taste of Shelby Foote at his best, giving amazing, up close and seemingly personal , accounts of the Civil War. Foote died June 27, 2005 at age 88 at Baptist Hospital in Memphis.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Election Season Has Gotten Rather Quiet

As I see it, there does not appear to be much excitement or discussion on the upcoming mid-term election. Facebook is rather quiet. Letters to the editor are few. Candidate debates have become yawns.

There are some "off the wall", unconventional, fringe candidates who stir curiosity. That some of them might occupy seats in the esteemed United States Senate where giants such Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Everette Dirkson, Mike Mansfield, and Hubert Humphrey have served, is disturbing, to say the least, to a political junkie and history buff like me.

I think the reason for the lack of interest and excitement is simple. There has seldom been a time when the choice was more clear. This election is clearly a choice between old policies versus new directions which have been undertaken. This election is clearly about policies that got us into the dilemma we are in, both domestically and in foreign policy, verses those policies which have "picked us up" and gotten us moving down the road. It is about policies of the past, which put us "in the ditch", verses new policies which have gotten us going again. It is about about successful investment we have made in our nation in an effort to create a climate in which America is once again moving forward. Like the premise of this blog, it is rather simple.

TARP, the Recovery Act or Stimulus, the auto industry assistance, all took political courage. Finally tackling Health Care Reform in an environment of "no more new programs" took political courage. Using political capital to take on and reform Wall Street took political courage. Our much less arrogant attitude toward the rest of the world has moved us forward as we continue to regain lost influence with other nations of the world.

This mid-term election is clearly about the failed policies of the past versus new policies which have gotten American moving again. I hear it among employers with whom I meet. I hear it at industry meetings I attend. The choice is clear. The electorate doesn't appear moved to debate it. It is rather black and white. This is why it is rather quiet.

America is probably divided 50/50 on the question the "go back versus go forward". The problem is that so few participate in the electoral process. Of those who do participate, the question becomes..........will more of those who would have us go back, or will more of those who would have us go forward, turn out. I will let you know on Wednesday, November 3.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Picture of the Day

Nice photo of John F. Kennedy sitting under a congressional poster for one of his races for congress. He served the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U. S. House of Representatives from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953. Tip O'Neill took over that seat in the House in 1953, and Kennedy was elected to the U. S. Senate.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

North Carolina "Big Four" Coaches in the Late "40s

L to R: "Peahead" Walker - Wake Forest, Wallace Wade - Duke, Beattie Feathers - N. C. State, Carl Snavely - UNC.

These were the "Big 4" football coaches in NC in the '40s, "the Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice era."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Picture of the Day

Nice photo of General Eisenhower greeting John Kennedy, who succeeded Ike as President of the United States.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Picture of the Day

Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States, played center on the University of Michigan football team. He earned three varsity letters and was the Most Valuable Player on the 1934 team. Ford assumed the presidency upon the resignation of Richard Nixon. He was not reelected to office.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Political Memorabilia Collecting

I am pleased to display one of my many frames of historic political memorabilia. Below is a great quote by the legendary Arthur Schlesinger, which I borrow from my fellow collector John Clark of Tallahassee, Florida. "Historians owe more to collectors than we realize. Collectors are men of purpose and passion. They fall in love with a person, category, or theme. They pursue and accumulate books and papers and artifacts--the memorabilia that symbolize and illuminate the objects of their affection. In doing so, they enrich the historical record, and very often rescue evidence that might otherwise vanish down the memory hole. Collectors support, strengthen, and amplify scholarship." Arthur Schlesinger - Pulitzer Prize winning author, American historian, social critic, Democratic activist, Speechwriter for Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and George McGovern, Professor of History at Harvard, founder of Americans for Democratic Action, and contributing blogger to The HuffingtonPost until his death February 28, 2007...........a true American treasure.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Maybe the Greatest Movie of All Time

Casablanca, a 1942 American romantic drama set during World War II, ranks near the top on all lists of the all-time greatest films. It won three academy awards, including Best Picture. It starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The classic has only grown in popularity over the years.

Six legendary lines from Casablanca appear on the American Film Institute's top film lines of all- time, including, "Play it again, Sam....for old time sake. Play it, Sam, play, 'As Time Goes By'." "Here's to you, kid." "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mind."

No doubt, a gem of American film making.

The Truth About Health Care Reform

It amuses me how simplistically the general public views Health Care Reform, one of the most complex issues of our time. For so many, it boils down to catch phrases and sounds bites such as socialized medicine and death panels.

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are fixing to undergo major, revolutionary change in the delivery of health care in America. That does not come from me. It comes from Tim Rice, CEO - Moses Cone Health System (whom I hear speak often). It will either be revolutionary change, as prescribed by HCR and which is rapidly being undertaken by progressive health systems across America, or we will be in the midst of a one-payer, medicare-for-all government system before you know it (my words, not his).

Hospitals in America are not sustainable in the current environment and at the current reimbursement levels for care they provide, according to Rice. In the near future, you will see major hospital consolidation and numerous hospital closings. You will begin to see hospital reimbursement based on the concept of doing less, not more, and being paid more for doing less.

You will begin to see Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) made up of hospitals, doctors and insurers striving to be more efficient and effective. You will see Clinically Integrated Networks of providers electronically sharing information and better coordinating efforts. You will see Value Based Care and Evidence Based Medicine, where reimbursements will be based of performance, efficiency, and outcomes. This will, of course, be good for the patient, as well as the effective provider.

You will see the Medical Home concept using many more Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Why does an MD who spent 7 years in medical school see babies with ear aches and adults with sore throats?

You will see compensation for doctors more evenly distributed among specialities. You will see Primary Care Doctors more highly regarded, more widely recruited, and better reimbursed. You will see vastly more PA's and Nurse Practitioners. You will not see four open heart surgery centers within a 20 mile radius of each now exists in the Triad of North Carolina. You will see one Center of Excellence for open heart surgeries in the Triad doing them all.

I briefly describe only the tip of the iceberg. Health Care Reform is demanding a revolution in the delivery of health care in America. It is long overdue. People who have been working in the system at any level, in any of the ancillary industries, know this to be true. Keep on eye on it. If the revolution fails, our health care system will quickly evolve into a one-payer, medicare-for-all system. Only time will tell.

Who has EVER heard of an industry, being left uncontrolled in the free-marketplace, where the provider of the service or product 1) tells the consumer how much of the product or service they will purchase, 2) the length of time for which they will purchase it, and 3) what the price of the product or service will be? Please! It may be tweaked, but anyone how thinks HCR will be abandoned or repealed is misinformed. Tim Rice, and his likes, will not allow it, not to mention the fact that it would take two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override a Presidential veto of any repeal effort.

And, importantly, people should either drop the scare tactics/buzzword antics, such as death panels, socialized medicine, etc. or stay out of the discussion. Such trivia wastes valuable time and detracts. We do not have time to loose. The more informed will want to keep an eye on Wisconsin, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, states moving rapidly or who already have many HCR provisions in place, such as exchanges, to watch for progress or pitfalls.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Carolina Theater

These are beautiful images of the grand Carolina Theater (1927) in my hometown, Greensboro, NC. It was used as a movie theater when I was young, but it has undergone major renovation and has served mainly as a performing arts theater for the past few decades. It is an ornate, classic, early 20th century-style, grand piece of theater architecture.

(Photo from sminor's photostream)

Let's Demand a Federal Tax Receipt

Taxpayers have no idea where their money goes. The typical guy sitting in a bar is convinced that the majority of his hard earned tax dollars go the single crack-cocaine addicted mother of 4.

It's not his fault. For those who wish to know, the budget process and documents put out by government agencies are not user-friendly. At best, a motivated taxpayer can find a pie chart or two on the Internet about how their tax dollars have been distributed.

The public is very misinformed about where their money goes. And they have a right to know. In addition, an informed consumer who knows where his money is going is more likely to support investment in children, transportation, the environment, energy, housing, research, humanitarian assistance, etc. Consumers and taxpayers need to know the choices in the deficit debate. They need more "ownership" in the process.

The answer may lie in a detailed tax receipt. Above is what a typical receipt might look like for a typical earner in 2009 making $34,140. who paid $5.400 in federal tax and FICA. It would be easy to generate and very informative. It would straighten our the guy in the bar ranting and raving about the crack-cocaine Mom with hungry kids. Email your Congressman. Make him earn his $0.19 of the typical tax allocation (actually not an excessive amount).

(Source: - "A Tax Payer Receipt")

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