Saturday, October 31, 2009

Corzine Wants Toll Hikes

It turns out Jon Corzine's admission Friday that he would revisit his failed toll hike plan is not the first time in the last year he has bullheadedly suggested a return to this failed plan.
During an interview with the Star Ledger in December 2008, Governor Corzine "left open the possibility" that he would reconsider toll hikes despite the public outcry.
Even though New Jerseyans loudly rejected Corzine's original 800 percent toll hikes, the Governor is desperate for ways to cover his $8 billion deficit and looking to pass the burden for his irresponsibility onto taxpayers.
Jon Corzine has made it clear that he will raise taxes and tolls on New Jerseyans and we simply cannot afford it. It is time to send Jon Corzine and his out-of-touch, out-of control taxes packing.

"The prospect of higher tolls also stoked growing fears about the economy, he said, calling it "not the most user-friendly time" to introduce a dramatic long-term plan. 'I will say that I -- like many -- did not see the depth of the current economic slowdown,' he said. He said paying down state debt -- now about $32 billion - 'still has to be done,' and left open the possibility he would attack it again.

"'Some format. Some governor -- maybe this one -- will still have to take that issue of debt on, and it's clear that that should be done during periods when we have economic strength, not economic weakness,' he said." (John Appezzato, "Corzine sees economy as major hurdle in his 2009 re-election bid," Star Ledger, 12/21/08)

To view the full Star Ledger article, please click here.

Truly, Truly Scary!


You Can Have Halloween

There is so much Halloween 'junk' for sale in the stores and so much Halloween stuff adorning homes that's the trend is truly scary. When Halloween begins to rival Christmas as a holiday you know we've got a problem. And it is rivaling Christmas.
As I wrote not very long ago in the Philadelphia Daily News:
Halloween is now so big that Americans spend almost as much on this faux-holiday as they do on Christmas. And Halloween is now the third largest party occasion, after New Year's and The Super Bowl. More candy is sold on Halloween than on Valentine's Day and people will actually send each other 28 million Halloween cards.
I don’t know about you but I’m not longing to receive a Halloween card from anyone. And it’s been decades since I’ve been out trick or treating.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for children enjoying the day dressed as ghosts, goblins and super-heroes and I’m happy to greet them. . . .
For children Halloween is a way of gently dealing with fright and fear while having some old-fashioned fun.
But grownups seem to have forgotten this and they’ve now set about stealing Halloween from the kids. Today, huge numbers of adults celebrate Halloween and at least half of them spend more than $100 each doing so. To me there’s nothing more awkward than a grownup trying to trick, astound, frighten or repulse somebody by wearing a Halloween costume. Most costumed adults look just plain dumb. Let’s face it, many of these people don’t need costumes to begin with and some of them are downright frightening no matter what time of the year it is.
But people will find countless ways to make fools of themselves and so the costume stores now start appearing in early August. When I see some costumed lackey trying to wave me into one of those huge, tacky Halloween stores I run in the opposite direction.
Still, I’m starting to feel like I’m the only one not costumed for Halloween. Even dogs have gotten into the act. Where did this dreadful trend start? Who was it that first thought: “Hey, let’s strip our beagle of whatever bit of doggy dignity it may have had by forcing it to wear a tiara and a tutu.” Dogs in costume look totally bewildered, and rightfully so. Dressing them up and parading them around on Halloween is just this side of cruel.
In fact, the whole Halloween situation is out of proportion. Haunted houses are a good example. Isn’t the world frightening enough without paying to visit a haunted house or participating in some other type of contrived horror? Why would you spend your money this way?
And why would you decorate your house in orange lights? When you think of it, orange is a pretty garish color to begin with. It should be used sparingly, if at all. Its time on the scene should be mercifully limited. But now we’re awash in a virtual sea of orange from mid September onward. Ugh!
To me, natural, seasonal adornments are fine. But now driving through suburbia I’m assaulted by Halloween lawn decorations included animated witches, skeletons and ghouls. And the strangest custom of all involves people who put tombstones on their front lawn. Think about it: Why would you turn your front lawn into a cemetery? Why would you welcome death itself to your door?
I pose this question because when you think about it Halloween is all about death. Its ancient origins are said to lie in Celtic traditions observing the night when the Celts believed the dead returned to earth. With the coming of Christianity, this festival was turned into Halloween – the eve of All Saints and All Souls days. But the observance is still rooted in death.
When an observance that celebrates death begins to rival Christmas as one of our biggest holidays we’ve got a problem. My solution: put a few pumpkins out, sip some cider, enjoy the fall foliage and let the dead rest in peace.

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Corzine Toll Hikes?

Today, New Jersey Assemblyman Jon Bramnick released the following statement in reaction to Jon Corzine's comments to The New York Times that he is again more than willing to raise tolls on already overtaxed New Jerseyans.
"Jon Corzine can't be trusted to handle our economy or look out for taxpayers. Governor Corzine has proven over and over that his first, last and only option is to take more tax dollars from our families. After increasing taxes, tolls, and fees, Governor Corzine now wants to revive his failed toll increase plan and raise the gas tax.
"Enough is enough. New Jerseyans are overtaxed, out of work and in need of relief. Chris Christie will cut taxes, lower spending and restore the property tax rebates."

Corzine Eyes Toll Hikes, Again!

Yesterday, Chris Christie released the following statement in reaction to Jon Corzine's comments to The New York Times that he is rethinking his monetization plan and is more than willing to raise tolls on already overtaxed New Jerseyans.
"Just today, Governor Corzine has admitted to The New York Times that he plans to revisit his ludicrous and misguided 800 percent toll hike plan even though New Jerseyans soundly rejected it the first time around.
"As if $9 billion in new taxes, the highest tax burden in the country and the highest property taxes in the nation isn't enough, Jon Corzine wants to pay off the debt he's created by making suffocating New Jerseyans pay even more in the form of an 800 percent toll hike.
"Let's face it, Jon Corzine likes raising taxes and he's never going to stop doing it."

Twilight Saga Live At Cherry Hill

The Twilight Saga is coming to the Cherry Hill Mall, live!
Get ready to meet cast members Charlie Bewley "Demetri" & Daniel Cudmore "Felix" also see a performance by Hurricane Bells - a new band featured on the movie sound track. Come to Cherry Hill Mall's Hot Topic at 8:00AM on October 31st, 2009, and purchase a commemorative The Twilight Saga: New Moon T-shirt.
The first 500 fans to purchase the T-shirt for $30 (plus tax) will receive a wrist band for access to the cast appearance event at Cherry Hill Mall 's Hot Topic location on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. Cast members and event times will be announced soon. One wrist band per person. Visit for more details.
Also, on October 31, Nordstrom invites Twilight fans to take advantage of a special opportunity to meet select cast members of The Twilight Saga: New Moon at select Nordstrom stores. Nordstrom launched an exclusive clothing and jewelry collection inspired by the mood and spirit of the film in early October. Nordstrom at Cherry Hill Mall will host a brief cast appearance on November 10th, and will be distributing 75 shopping passes for their 8am opening on October 31, 2009.
Shopping pass holders must redeem their same day receipts for $75 in BP merchandise and the shopping pass to receive a VIP pass for the November 10th event. One VIP pass per customer.
This VIP Pass gives guests admittance into the store’s BP department on Tuesday, November 10th, to get a professional photograph taken with New Moon cast members. Professional photos may then be obtained on November 20th, in the BP department. No additional photos are to be taken. Please call Nordstrom directly for more details at 856-773-5600. or visit
Following the cast appearances at Nordstrom and Hot Topic the cast members will make an appearance in the Grand Court for a brief Question and Answer program.

Pre-Sale Event
Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hot Topic and Nordstrom will open at 8am on Saturday, October 31.

Mall doors will open at 7am. The line for the Hot Topic pre-sale event will be staged at the entrance by The Gap store near the parking deck. Cherry Hill Mall will permit fans for both the Hot Topic and Nordstrom pre-sale events to line-up overnight in the parking deck starting at 10pm on Friday, October 30th. Hot Topic customers will line up on the lower level of the parking deck.

Nordstrom shoppers will line up at the lower level parking deck mall entrance.

There will be mall security overnight monitoring the line; however no one under the age of 18 years old will permitted to wait in line without a parent or chaperone 18 years or older.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Haunting Batsto Village Captivates

It had been years since we'd been to Batsto Village in the Jersey pines near Hammonton.
But we recently returned as part of a tour with the South Jersey Tourism Corporation and we were delighted with what we saw.
The beautiful Wharton Mansion in the center of the village has been completely restored and beautifully furnished and you can now tour the Mansion's rooms as well as the old general store and other village attractions.
The entire village looks great and effectively turns back the clock to a time when Batsto produced iron and charcoal. In fact, a good deal of iron that was used for ammunition in the Revolutionary War was produced right here in Batsto.
Batsto is nationally recognized for its historical significance and beauty. The roots of Batsto Village can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop.
After the iron producing years ended Joseph Wharton, a Philadelphia businessman, purchased Batsto in 1876 at a Masters Sale. Wharton continued to purchase property in the area surrounding Batsto. He made improvements on the mansion, and on many of the village buildings. He was also involved in a variety of forestry and agricultural endeavors.
Joseph Wharton died in 1909. From his death until 1954, the Wharton properties in the Pine Barrens were managed by the Girard Trust Company in Philadelphia. BTW: The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania takes its name from Joseph Wharton. And Wharton State Forest in the pines is also named for him.
In the mid 1950s Batsto became the property of the State of New Jersey.
Many events are held for visitors to Batsto throughout the year.
The Batsto Village Visitors Center is the large building adjacent to the parking area. The Visitors Center is the starting point for visiting Batsto Village. It is here that you can pick up a brochure about the site, purchase tickets for a Mansion tour, and find out what special events are happening within the Village. The Visitor Center is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily.
For more information call 609-704-1964.

Real Change For New Jersey

To help Chris Christie visit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chris Bus Tour Live

Today, the Christie-Guadagno campaign re-launched its website,, as an integrated social media live blogging site for the last week of the campaign. Chris Christie and Sheriff Kim Guadagno will directly engage with New Jerseyans and provide live updates from the Countdown to Change Bus Tour.
The homepage will act as a social media portal incorporating all of the candidates' and campaign's social networking, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, into one livestream. Voters from across the state will be able to read up-to-the-minute news from the road and provide feedback and commentary to Chris and Kim as they Countdown to Change, providing an innovative, fresh avenue for New Jerseyans to connect with the candidates and share their ideas and support.
Spokesperson Maria Comella said: "Throughout the race, our campaign has continually sought new and different ways to connect with voters. From announcing our Lieutenant Governor via social networking sites to launching to give New Jerseyans a voice in our campaign, Chris and Kim are directly engaging New Jerseyans in a way no politician in the Garden State has done. The people of New Jersey are frustrated and ready for change, and voters are counting down the days until Chris and Kim change Trenton."

Visit Christie-Guadagno Sites:
· Christie-Guadagno Website:
· Christie Twitter:
· Christie-Guadagno Facebook:
· Christie-Guadagno Flickr:

Beautiful Jersey Cranberries!

Yeah, you've heard the jokes about Joisey. Go ahead and snicker.
Because New Jersey invariably has the last laugh.
And this truly is the Garden State -- not just for tomatoes and corn and dandelion and blueberries but for cranberries as well.
And this year New Jersey's bogs are reaping a bumper crop of cranberries.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects 54 million pounds of cranberries from New Jersey this year, up 5 percent. And that makes our state a very significant producer of cranberries. The sandy, acidic soil of the Jersey pines is just perfect for this crop.
A ride into the Jersey pines this time of year will take you right into cranberry country.
Last week, thanks to the South Jersey Tourism Corporation we went to historic Whitesbog in the pines and found ourselves thisclose to fresh harvested cranberries. And we quickly snapped these photos just for you.
The vivid color of the berries will make you glad to be alive. Yes, watching these beauties getting ready to come to market is an absolute joy to behold.
But hurry, because cranberry season is quickly coming to a close.
So, take a turn off Route 70, 38, 206 or the White Horse Pike and head into the pines toward Whitesbog or Chatsworth or Batsto and you're bound to find the bogs and the berries.
And think of these berries this year when you prepare your Thanksgiving turkey.
Mmmmm . . . that's Joisey, baby!

Who Will Cut NJ Taxes?

To find out how you can help elect Chris Christie click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

NJ: Unique Appeal, Rare Opportunity

Let's get this clear: I think New Jersey is a very special place.
Yes, I do poke fun at Joisey from time to time.
But I've lived here all my life and, generally speaking, I like the state and its people.
Now, over the next week, I'm gonna tell you about some unique South Jersey landmarks that you won't want to miss this fall. We'll visit the Pine Barons and savor some historic, authentic, and delicious attractions that are only found in New Jersey.
Yes, the Garden State has a lot goin for it.
But our state is in trouble. Indeed, right now New Jersey is broken.
We suffer from the highest tax burden in the nation. Runaway state spending and state regulations are driving businesses out of the state. Our unemployment rate exceeds that of every other state in the region and it's still soaring. And corruption is rampant with a record number of public officials either in jail or indicted.
Time is running out for New Jersey.
And this upcoming election may be our last chance to set things right.
So, let's not be too distracted by the World Series and the Iggles and the Giants or Dancing With The Stars or American Idol.
We've got to focus on New Jersey. And we've got to do it now.
We need a Governor who understands our state -- a smart, tough, dedicated Jersey Guy who will fight corruption, cut state spending, lower taxes and put people back to work.
Chris Christie is that guy.
If you care about New Jersey (as I do) I urge you to tell your friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers to vote for Chris Christie for Governor next Tuesday.
A vote for Christie is the only real way to break away from the destructive tax-spend-and-borrow policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
Be certain of this: I have one interest and one interest only in this election; I want to see what's best for our state.
And what's best for New Jersey is New Jersey's own Chris Christie.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Guadagno Blasts Corzine Hypocrisy

Today, Sheriff Kim Guadagno released the following statement regarding the Corzine campaign's baseless and hypocritical attacks on Chris Christie's health insurance plan:
"Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg should be ashamed of themselves.
"For months, their campaign has wrongly accused Chris Christie of using mandate-free policies to deny women vital health care services, blatantly lying about his plan.
"Now we learn that they are attacking the very concept Loretta Weinberg clearly supports considering she went as far as to sponsor legislation to offer mandate-free policies.
"Governor Corzine and Senator Weinberg should apologize immediately for their misleading, and false attacks. Attacking the very policies that Ms. Weinberg supports is the very definition of hypocrisy."

Love Those Singin Animals!

I just love the animals on the Frontier Airlines tails and this commercial with the singing animals proclaiming that Frontier is "Still the One."
I'm happy that Frontier has emerged from bankruptcy. I've flown Frontier and have enjoyed every moment - good planes, efficient service, great prices, courteous staff.
Bravo, Frontier!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Daggett's Scary Tax Schemes

Gas Taxes and Tolls
“We have a circumstance now where the trust fund is broken and it needs to be filled. The only way we are going to be able to do realistically is probably deal with it through additional gas taxes or possibly putting additional tolls on our roads or increasing the tolls...”
(Daggett, Gubernatorial Debate, 10/1/2009, 00:10:28)

Gas Taxes, New Toll Booths, Increasing Tolls
“The funding for this program will be debated vigorously, however, we must honestly and forthrightly assess the true costs of future transportation needs and puts potential user-based funding sources up for consideration, including but not limited to: the motor fuels tax; conversion to a sales tax on fuel; adding tolls to existing non-toll roads; local option; voter approved dedicated sales tax; and public private ventures that preserve public control but attract new sources of funding to meet the challenges of these times.” (Transportation,, Accessed: 10/12/09)

Massive, $3.9 Billion Expansion Of The Sales Tax
“Daggett’s tax reform plan would extend the existing 7 percent sales tax to a wide range of personal, professional and household services, including services provided to individuals by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and architects. The sales tax extension would not include business-to-business services. The expansion would add $3.9 billion in tax revenue.” (Tax Reform,, Accessed: 10/12/09)

$205 Million Shore Tax
“The $3.9 billion sales tax expansion includes a $205 million extension of the 7 percent sales tax to vacation home and condominium rentals to establish a stable source of funding for open space preservation and related uses. Only 19 percent of the tax would be paid by New Jersey residents, and it makes taxation of private rentals comparable to hotels and motels, as most states with shore tourism economies, including North Carolina and Florida, already do.” (Tax Reform,, Accessed: 10/12/09)

Christie's Tax Cutting Plan

New Jersey has the highest tax burden in the country and it’s getting worse - the latest Corzine budget just raised taxes by another $1.2 billion.
We’re also burdened with the highest property taxes in the country, but that didn't stop Jon Corzine from taking away property tax rebates from 1.2 million New Jerseyans in this year’s budget.
In fact, Jon Corzine and Jim McGreevey have raised taxes on the average New Jersey family by more than $10,000 since 2002 – over $22 billion in taxes, the highest in the nation.
In all, Corzine and Governor McGreevey have raised over 100 taxes on New Jersey’s hard-working families.

This will change in a Christie Administration. New Jersey’s hard-working middle-class families can no longer handle the weight of these out of control taxes. The first step to reversing New Jersey's declining economic climate and giving New Jerseyans a little relief is by cutting taxes.

Highlights from Chris’ plan to cut our taxes:

  • Provide Property Tax Relief
  • Reduce New Jersey's Income Tax
    • Across the board cut for all taxpayers
    • Additional cut or credit for NJ-based small businesses
  • Reduce the Corporate Business Tax Rate
  • Eliminate the double taxation on New Jersey's S-Corporations

Read the full plan here >

Corzine Must Release Data

New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber called on Governor Corzine to fully disclose his foundation's contributions, including all gifts and contributions given in 2009:
"Governor Corzine's disclosure of his foundation's gifts and donations must be complete, fully transparent, and without exception.
"In addition to his 2008 foundation records, Governor Corzine must also release a list of the entities his foundation has given gifts or contributions to in 2009. This is not a difficult task. "Release of this year's records would demonstrate that the Governor's disclosure on this issue is more than a reluctant and incomplete gesture to avoid criticism.
"Chris Christie has already provided full disclosure - Governor Corzine must match Chris' high standard of transparency by releasing his foundation's records from 2009 immediately."

Obamacare Equals Cost Hikes

A new report from government economic experts concluded that the nation's medical costs will keep spiraling upward even faster than they are now under leading health reform legislation pending in the House.
The report found that the nation's health care tab, now at about $2.5 trillion annually, is projected to approach $4.7 trillion in 2019 without the legislation. With the legislation, national health care spending would be nearly $4.8 trillion in 2019.
Administration officials quickly rejected the report's findings, claiming that it is out of date due to changes when it is merged with other House legislation and a Senate bill.
But to us, it just sounds to us like "someone" isn't happy about hearing the truth....
Learn more about the report's findings and tell us what you think about this numbers game on

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conviction Reflects On Corzine

New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber today issued the following statement in response to the conviction of former Bergen County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Ferriero on corruption and mail fraud charges:
"For New Jersey, today's verdict is as much about Jon Corzine as Joseph Ferriero. Ferriero's conviction is a disturbing refection on Governor Corzine, who has been a significant financier of corrupt party bosses and machines, including Ferriero.
"Corzine and his family donated over $440,000 to accounts controlled by Ferriero and disgraced former Senator Joseph Coniglio, also convicted of corruption.
"While Governor Corzine pays lip service to ethics reform, today's conviction reminds us that, as on so many issues, Governor Corzine's record doesn't match his rhetoric."

Justinians Honor Justice Alito

Here are some additional photos from the Justinian Society's gala luncheon Tuesday honoring United State Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
From the top: Philadelphia Bar Associaton Chancellor Sayde Ladov and the Bar Association's Executive Director Ken Shear; former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Carl Primavera and his beautiful wife, Tina; Philadelphia Bar Association Vice-Chancellor Rudy Garcia, Justinian Chancellor Gina Furia Rubel and former Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Gabe Bevilacqua and the Justinian Board of Directors along with Phillies Senior Vice President Michael Stiles (far right) and Justice Alito (center).
It was a grand day as the Justinians kicked off a year long celebration of their 75th Anniversary.

US Job Losses Continue Climb

Forty Nine states and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since the Obama Stimulus Bill was enacted.
Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus.
While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Justice Alito Likes Phillies

Who's that man in the Phillies cap?
Why, it's United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Justice Alito was at the Union League in Philadelphia yesterday to kick off the 75th anniversary of the Justinian Society of Italian American lawyers. He was welcomed by the radiant Justinian Chancellor, Gina Furia Rubel. And of course the Justice spoke proudly of his Italian heritage.
But he also talked about his commitment to and pride in the Phillies.
Both Gina and the Justice wore their Phillies red and the Justice (who's from nearby Trenton) talked of growing up with the Phillies.
"When I was growing up we were able to get reception from New York and Philadelphia TV stations in Trenton. So, we could watch the Yankees or the Phillies," the Justice recounted.
"But I always watched the Phillies. I took a liking to them from an early age," he added.
And Justice Alito remains an avid Phillies fan.
Mike Stiles, Phillies Senior Vice President for Administration and Operations presented the Justice with a Phillies jacket and a cap signed by coach Charlie Manuel and members of the Phillies management team (the Justice already has a cap signed by the players).
So, Justice Alito promptly donned his Phillies cap and reaffirmed his allegiance to Our Town and Our Team!
There are many, many reasons why we like Sam Alito. But this is one of the sweetest reasons.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Save New Jersey Business

Independent Business Owners endorse Chris Christie for Governor.
The ONE way to save the economy and save New Jersey is to support Chris Christie for Governor.
The sure way to play into the hands of the failed Corzine Administration is to support Chris Daggett. Don't be fooled!

A Great New Blog Milestone!

Once again we've reached
a great new blog
milestone thanks to you.
75,000 VISITORS!
Keep watching.
Keep visiting.
Keep telling others.
We've only just begun.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Corzine Hides Contributions

Today, Christie-Guadagno Campaign Chairman Senator Joe Kyrillos released the following statement on Governor Jon Corzine's refusal to disclose his foundation's political contributions:
"For the past ten years, Jon Corzine has used his personal wealth to influence elections and voters across our state and, now, it appears he is using contributions from his charitable foundation to continue this excessive influence.
"Governor Corzine must adhere to the standards of good governance and transparency he has frequently spoken of, but seldom employed as evidenced by his flat-out refusal to make his foundation's contributions public.
"Instead of using loopholes to avoid transparency, he must fully disclose the scope of his foundation's gifts and influence."

Skip Coen's 'Serious Man'

Last night I saw the new Coen brothers film, A Serious Man.
This film isn't merely serious; it's grim.
It's a dark comedy without the comedy.
And if the Coens mean for us to take it seriously, I feel they've miscalculated.
I agree with Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal.
Here's some of what he said about this ultimately senseless film:
"A Serious Man," written and directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, asks the most serious of questions—what does God want of us? I would add a question that isn't so serious, though it isn't frivolous either. What do the Coen brothers want of us? More specifically, what do they want us to think of the repellent people in this pitilessly bleak movie?
The time is the mid-1960s, the place is an unnamed suburb in the Midwest, where the brothers grew up, and the milieu, like the one that nurtured them, is middle-class Jewish. The hero, a high-school physics teacher named Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), fills his blackboard with calculations that could pass for explications of Kabbalah. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, he declares, "means we can never know what's going on." . . .
As in so many of their earlier films, the Coen brothers create comic caricatures with broad performances, grotesque traits—Larry's brother has a sebaceous cyst that never stops draining—and leering, wide-angle shots that invade their characters' personal space. (I've often felt they're invading my space too.) This time, though, there are differences. Their movie is strongly, if not literally, autobiographical, and their caricatures range from dislikable through despicable, with not a smidgeon of humanity to redeem them. Are we meant to loathe these people too, or did the filmmakers fall victim to their customary technique? If the latter, what a miscalculation. If the former—if "A Serious Man" reflects the brothers' feelings about their roots as well as their god—then some of those earlier films may have been more misanthropic than we knew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finian's Rainbow Captivates Broadway

Finian's Rainbow was written the year after I was born.
And while I've seen many, many Broadway shows -- including many classics -- this is one show that I never caught up with.
Yes, over the years I've heard many of the show's songs (If This Isn't Love, Look To The Rainbow, How Are Things In Glocca Morra) and I found them to be richly melodic and even enthralling. But I knew virtually nothing about the story.
Still, because the music of the show so intrigued me I promised myself that when I did see it I would see it as a full Broadway production in a Broadway house.
That meant I had to wait and wait and wait for Finian's Rainbow to come back to Broadway.
Yesterday, my wait ended.
And all I can say is: OhhhhhhMY! Was it certainly worth the wait!
The big, new production of this beguiling Broadway charmer features a first-rate cast, high production values and all of that great Burton Lane/Yip Harburg music. I'm not gonna tell you very much about the story except to say that it remains remarkably relevant
But I will say that this is the best Broadway revival I've seen since South Pacific.
Starring Jim Norton, Kate Baldwin, Christopher Fitzgerald and Broadway's newest and most promising leading man, Cheyenne Jackson, this show is a joy to behold. When Jackson and Baldwin sing Old Devil Moon you understand the meaning of romance. And when Fitzgerald performs When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love the old-fashioned idea of comedy in song is reawakened.
In a word, Finian's Rainbow is exuberant -- a flight of pure fancy that does your heart good.
And the voices are incredible, right on through the entire cast including gusto performances from Terri White and Chuck Cooper that kept our Saturday night audience whoopin and hollerin for more.
My advice: Look to the Rainbow. Get your tickets for this one ASAP.
This is why Broadway was born.

Daggett's Tax Raising Scheme

Don't be fooled by Chris Daggett's "independent" disguise this Halloween.
Vaguely serious and semingly humorless, Chris Daggett offers no treats -- and lots more tricks -- for New Jersey residents.
And Daggett's dramatic "new idea" is nothing but more of the same: more fees, more taxes, more money out of your pocket.
In fact, Daggett wants to expand the state's already monstrous sales tax to a whole bunch of new items.

Here's a list of some of the new things Daggett wants to tax as enumerated by the Save Jersey blog:
  • Seasonal Rentals: Daggett plans to tax seasonal rentals. That new tax would hurt the tenants and the landlords at both ends of the transaction, as well as all of the other tourism-related industries in Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth counties. The Shore tourism industry is already hurting. A new 7% sales tax wouldn't help!
  • Lawyers: Need a lawyer to draft a will, get a traffic ticket thrown out of court or help you set up an "L.L.C." for your small business? These services will get much more expensive under Daggett's plan.
  • Accountants: Everybody hates paying taxes, and the complexity of the federal tax code makes accountants a near necessity for most taxpayers. Get ready to pay the State of New Jersey more every time you visit the tax accountant if Chris Daggett gets his way.
  • Maids: This is a classic "let's soak the rich" maneuver. Of course, increased taxes for domestic services will lead to lower pay and less work for domestic employees. Tip your maid, Save Jerseyans. Chris Daggett is coming for their paycheck!
  • Laundries: Taxes attached to dirty laundry? What are Trenton politicians supposed to do?
  • Hair Stylists: Everyone gets their hair cut. Some people cut hair. There's no way this tax won't hurt New Jerseyans in the pocket.
Just like Corzine, Daggett seems to have never met a tax he doesn't love.
No wonder Daggett demurs when it comes to criticizing Corzine.
The secret is out: "It's love!"

From Laura To Michelle

Do you miss Laura Bush as much as I do?

Courier News, Post Like Christie

Isn't it interesting that two real New Jersey newspapers have endorsed Chris Christie for Governor while two phony, out-of-state interlopers have endorsed Corzine?
Yes. it's interesting and telling.
First, let's get to the hometown newspapers -- the papers that ordinary New Jerseyans actually read.
Right in the heart of the state, the Courier News wisely notes that Chris Christie really has presented a detailed, sensible plan to cut state spending, eliminate waste and trim taxes. Here's what the newspaper says:
"Fact is, Christie has offered many specific ideas on how to cut government spending, mirroring much of Gannett New Jersey's own 20-point plan to ease New Jersey's tax crush. Pension reforms, requirements for public employees to contribute more toward their benefits, a two-thirds legislative supermajority for all tax increases — they've all been proposed by Christie, along with many other initiatives."
And closer to home South Jersey's largest newspaper, the Courier Post has also endorsed Christie and lambasted both Corzine and Daggett. From the Courier Post:
"Corzine's record is clear, and as a result he shouldn't even be in the discussion as a gubernatorial preference. His first term in office has been a total failure." "Taxes have continued to skyrocket, and any attempts at spending reforms have been minimal and to negligible effect.
"Christie has offered many specific ideas on how to cut government spending . . . Pension reforms, requirements for public employees to contribute more toward their benefits, a two-thirds legislative supermajority for all tax increases - they've all been proposed by Christie, along with many other initiatives.
"If voters genuinely want to change the reckless, unethical culture of Trenton, Daggett's not the way to go. And another four years of Corzine certainly won't do it. Chris Christie should be the clear choice as the only candidate exhibiting the courage to meaningfully talk about what the state can't afford.
And those other two phony across-the-river newspapers?
Right now I'd rather not even mention them.
Let's just call them what they are: A couple of whiny old ladies well into their dottage who are either teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or well into life-threatening debt.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hiding Behind Photo Ops

Today, Governor Corzine's running mate, Senator Loretta Weinberg, makes a stop at New Jersey's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce luncheon for a photo-op to distract from Governor Corzine's failed economic record - including 9.8% state unemployment and at least 11.5% unemployment among Hispanics. New Jerseyans face the highest property taxes and highest overall tax burden in the nation, and Weinberg herself has admitted that our taxes are too high. Will Weinberg take the time today to explain how Governor Corzine's plans to raise taxes on gasoline and income even higher will help businesses in the state?
"Senator Weinberg said it herself - taxes on New Jerseyans are too high. In fact, our business tax climate is the worst in the nation. This Governor's tax increases have forced businesses, jobs and families out of the state," said New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber. "These failed policies have hurt Hispanic New Jerseyans especially. Our Hispanic communities, like everyone else in our state, need the tax cuts Chris Christie will deliver."

Hispanic Unemployment In New Jersey Is At 11.5%
(Algernon Austin, "Unequal Unemployment," Economic Policy Institute Issue Brief, 7/21/09)

Loretta Weinberg: "I agree, taxes are too high."

(News12/101.5 Debate, 10/08/09)

More Liberal Media Hypocrisy

So, I'm reading a story in Forbes about the 25 Most Influential Liberal Commentators and, guess what?
Nearly all of these super-liberal, super-influentials are old white men.
Yeah -- 19 of the 25 are white men and most of them are middle aged or older.
We're talkin some really old, cranky liberals here -- people like Bill Moyers and Michael Pollan and Paul Krugman. What's more, those who aren't old already look old.
And get this: There are only four women on the list and only one African-American. And the one black person is Oprah Winfrey. You heard me right - Oprah Winfrey as a national liberal commentator right up there with editors from the Washington Post and The Nation and the New York Times. Were they that desperate to find a black person to put on the list?
And one of the top choices on the list is Arianna Huffington. Hey, I don't know how old she is but I do know that she's a reconstructed (in more ways than one) conservative.
This list is a damned disgrace.
For all the hot air that liberals spew about diversity, the people leading the charge are almost entirely old white men.
Is anybody really surprised?
Diversity is for you.
But when it comes to their own family (or their own neighborhood) liberals could actually care less about diversity. They're elitist attitude screams: "That's for you; not for us."

Christie Scores In Evesham

Everywhere that Chris Christie goes, Jon Corzine's high property taxes follow him.
Last night we joined Carl Cameron and Fox News at a VFW hall in Evesham (Burlington County) where a overflow crowd on New Jersey residents came to hear Chris talk about his plan to trim New Jersey's wasteful, overblown state budget and deliver tax cuts to the highest-taxed state in America.
Yes, Chris is attracting national TV coverage because his message is resonating here in blue Jersey. He knows how to bring people together.
And standing in front of a huge American flag, Christie hit his stride last night.
The residents of Evesham have suffered from a 16.7% property tax increase under Jon Corzine. If Jon Corzine kept our property tax rebate in place the average Evesham resident would have received $1,066 to help ease the pain Corzine has inflicted on their pocketbooks this year. But Corzine eliminated rebates and still raised taxes and fees.
Chris has already detailed 88 ways that he will fix New Jersey including 21 ways to cut expenses and make every dollar count and five taxes he would cut. Chris went over many of these points last night and explained how immediate measures could begin to cut the state's expenses and pass the savings on to taxpayers.
Chris Christie was in a feisty mood last night -- decidedly upbeat, but still pugnacious. And he had the crowd riled up as he enumerated the reckless big-spending ways of New Jersey's eight disastrous years under McGreevey and Corzine.
"Now, what do we have to show for it?" Christie asked. "Not only do we have the highest unemployment rate in 33 years but, if things continue as they are now, at the end of this decade we will have a net loss of private sector jobs in New Jersey. That would be the first time that a decade ended that way in New Jersey since the 1930s."
Chris lamented the flight of New Jersey residents to others states and other parts of the country and noted that the runaway growth of government is suffocating the state residents who are left. "Under McGreevey and Corzine, five government jobs were created for every one job in the private sector," he commented. "We cannot continue down this path."
Noting that Corzine has spent tens of millions of dollars of his fortune on this campaign alone (not to mention more than $100 million on other campaigns) Christie said: "We all know how Corzine spends his own money. What we've got to do is get him to stop spending your money the same way. The way to do that is to give him his unemployment slip on November 3. We want to do what his colleagues at Goldman Sachs did. We want to fire him."
And Chris didn't mince words when it came to Chris Daggett either.
He called Daggett's sales tax hike plan "more of the same."
Chris said Daggett "wants to take a lot of money out of your right pocket, keep most of it and then put a little bit of it into your left pocket. In his mind, he's doing you a favor. That's what he calls a tax adjustment. You know he must hold a doctorate in education when he calls a tax hike an 'adjustment,'" Christie added. "But you and I know what it is - more of the same."
Christie reminded the crowd that Corzine also hiked the sales tax and promised it would be used for property tax reform. "That lasted two years. Then the property tax relief disappeared," Christie said.
"Hope can be real," Chris explained. "And the way to change Trenton is to change governors."
Christie told the crowd that the election "will be close and we will need every vote."
"But I know that if you and I do what we have to do, we will win."
Christie's stellar success as a prosecutor and a trial lawyer was on ample display last night.
Without a note, he smoothly and engagingly detailed his plans.
With personal references, humorous asides, cogent facts and figures and poignant stories and anecdotes, Chris held the floor in a masterful fashion and he seemed to relish every moment of it. This man is a hugely accomplished public speaker. He rarely flubs a word or backtracks.
At the same time, however he does not come across as slick.
In fact, he comes across as remarkably candid and retains the ability to relate to ordinary people in a manner that would be just this side of charming if it weren't so Joisey direct and ultimately authentic.
Only two other leaders that I know of have this same ability and both happen to be successful lawyers and prosecutors. Their names are Rudy Giuliani and Ed Rendell. And I count them both as very able and adept leaders.
What an incredible opportunity New Jersey has in our own native son, Chris Christie.
Go to Christie for NJ right now and get involved.
It's time for us to have a Governor who accomplishes great things. Let's help make it happen!
Photos by Dan Cirucci

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Corzine & Dagett: Tax Twins!

Voters Say 'No Dagett Win'

According to the just-released Qunnipiac Poll three out of every four voters say Chris Daggett can't be elected Governor of New Jersey.
Three our of four say he can't win.
In fact, the figure is even a bit higher than that. Nearly 80% of all voters say Daggett can't win.
Has this sunk in yet?
Daggett CAN'T WIN.
Daggett says people just have to get over the hurdle of thinking that he can't win.
But when eight in ten people feel this way, that's quite a high hurdle to overcome. And many observers feel it's only gonna get worse for Daggett.
Matt Friedman at PolitickerNJ reports: "Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll . . . said that Daggett’s obstacles will likely mount as election day approaches. The common wisdom is that support for independents trails off closer to the election. Not to mention, Carroll said, that “you’d need a guide dog to find him over on the right side of the ballot.”
On top of all this Daggett is hopelessly short on funds.
Again, PolitickerNJ reports that he man who wants to extend your sales tax to a whole bunch of added goods and services (effectively raising the tax) is not paying payroll taxes on his own staff and is not providing his staffers with health insurance either. Daggett says he can't afford it.
If he can't run a top-notch campaign, how's he gonna run the state?
If he can't win, why vote for him?
Isn't the election too important to waste your vote on someone who can't win?

NCC's Dazzling Diana Exhibit

Since the beginning of American history, our nation has had a complicated relationship with British royalty, and an unending fascination with the government we overthrew in 1776.
This fascination continues into the present day and it is reflected in our continuing interest in the royal family of England and the late Princess Diana.
Known to many as “The People’s Princess,” Princess Diana won the hearts of millions, on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world.
Now through December 31, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia presents the international traveling exhibition, Diana: A Celebration, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the life and work of the Princess of Wales.
We recently viewed the exhibition and we can report that it is nothing less than dazzling.
Making its East Coast debut, and returning to the United States for the first time since 2007, the award-winning exhibition explores Diana's childhood, her engagement to HRH Prince Charles, their royal wedding, their children, and Diana's life and work as a global humanitarian.
Diana: A Celebration is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer Family’s 500-year-old ancestral home in England.
I can't say that I was ever one of those people who was enthralled with Diana. I didn't follow her every move but I wasn't disinterested in her either.
Still, I found myself drawn into this exhibit with its many artifacts from the life of Diana including her wedding gown with its eleborate train, her diamond tiara, toys, books and writings from her childhood, personal letters and notes and a significant collection of designer outfits fashioned specifically for Diana.
We highly recommend this exhibition which will give you a rare and strikingly personal glimpse into the life of a legendary member of the royal family. As you might expect, the final portion of the exhibition is deeply moving. But overall, it remains what it says it is: A Celebration.
Diana: A Celebration is produced by Arts and Exhibitions International, in association with the Althorp Estate, Cultural Networks International Inc.
The exhibition is presented locally by Macy's. CBS 3 and The CW Philly are the official media partners.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Corzine Jobless Rate Soaring

New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber today issued the following statement concerning the latest unemployment data from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
"Unemployment in our state has skyrocketed to 9.8%, 12,000 people lost their jobs last month alone, and all the Governor wants to do is raise taxes on us again next year. That's like having the captain of the Titantic ask for more ice. The Governor just doesn't understand that what's put us in this mess are his tax hikes and spending sprees. They have to stop, and Chris Christie will be the one to stop them."

Let's face it: New Jersey won't be EMployed until Cozine is UNemployed.
Call your friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers, anyone and everyone you know in New Jersey and tell them to vote for Chris Christie for Governor!

Sestak, Specter Lean Left

Yesterday, the Senate Democrats in the Finance Committee passed an $829 billion health care bill that does not contain a government-run component.
But Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak, are so out of touch with the people of Pennsylvania, they are aligning themselves with the extreme left-wing of their party who are pushing for a government takeover of health care.
Watch the video here.
“Congressmen Sestak and Senator Specter are so liberal that they won’t even accept Senate Democrats’ big-government health care bill,” said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. “With Congressman Sestak, that’s to be expected, as he has threatened to reject all health care reforms that do not include a government takeover, and he voted for a House health care bill that would allow states to ban non-government health insurance altogether. With Senator Specter, this is the culmination of a breathtaking switch in positions, even for him. In April he was adamantly opposed to the so-called ‘public option.’ Now, he is demanding it. Any guesses as to where Senator Specter will be on health care next year?”

Corzine Admits: No New Jobs

"We are asking all departments to come up with an event or two or three that show job creation or economic development in the private sector. I know that it might be a stretch..." -Mark Matzen, Deputy Chief of Staff to Jon Corzine, 10/05/09
Jon Corzine's own office knows that the governor's economic policies have failed to create any meaningful jobs in New Jersey. With the state lurching towards a 10% unemployment rate, Jon Corzine's office is scrambling to put together political events in an attempt to orchestrate the appearance of job growth where there is none.
In an email to department commissioners sent earlier this week, Governor Corzine's Deputy Chief of Staff Mark Matzen acknowledged finding job creation was a "stretch," but begged them to "be creative" in making up events to put the Governor in a favorable light. Matzen stated: "Many programs might not [have] created jobs, they do have some connection to job creation either through training, giving money to sustain employment or create demand for workers."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Corzine Ducks Questions, Again!

New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber today responded to Governor Corzine's failure to appear at a joint editorial board hosted by Gannett New Jersey:
"Once again, the ‘hold me accountable' Governor is ducking responsibility, avoiding questions and running away from his record.
"Governor Corzine owes it to the voters to explain why, while we suffer under the highest property taxes in the nation, the highest overall tax burden, an ongoing foreclosure crisis and the worst unemployment in 33 years, his only solutions are to squeeze more tax dollars out of struggling New Jerseyans.
"In skipping today's editorial board with Gannett New Jersey, Governor Corzine confirmed that his record is indefensible - he has failed to provide property tax relief, promised to raise taxes and failed to explain his position on Gannett's 20 point plan to provide property tax relief.
"In his 88 Ways To Fix New Jersey, Chris Christie has already addressed many of the proposals laid out by Gannett. Governor Corzine needs to immediately tell New Jerseyans where he stands on each of these proposals."

I Hate The Dodgers

So, the Phillies will now face the Dodgers for the National League championship -- the pennant.
I don't even know why, but I hate the Dodgers.
Let me repeat this: I hate the Dodgers.
Ain't it a shame?
But as I think of it, I do hvae my reasons.
Well, to begin with they have a dumb name. What the hell is a "dodger"?
The dictionary defines a dodger as "a shifty person, especially one who persistently evades a responsibility, as specified. And it gives examples: a tax dodger or a draft dodger.
That's a dodger.
Ain't it awful?
Why would you want to be a dodger?
And then there's the matter of the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn way back when and heading for LA. Hey, they really were dodgers. They really did evade responsibility. They were shifty. They snuck outa town like thieves. Thieves! It was disgraceful.
Then, there's the whole issue of all those phony movie stars and celebrities sucking up to the Dodgers. Hollywood types. Buncha showoffs!
And on top of all that the Dodgers have always been the nemesis of the Phillies. They've always been the fly in the soup, the needlers -- always waiting, lurking. Ugh!
So, there.
I hate the Dodgers.
And I want the Phillies to wipe them out.
Go, Phillies!

Obama Prize Called 'Farce'

Liz Cheney nails it. The outspoken conservative said on FOX news Sunday that Obama traveling to Norway to accept the Peace Prize just adds to the farce.
True. After last week's stunner 58% of Americans say that politics plays a roll in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize. This is up 18 percentage points from last year. Only 21% say politics does not play a role.
Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit

Corzine's NJ Forclosure Crisis

Yesterday's report on the foreclosure crisis from the Courier Post highlights the continued havoc the foreclosure crisis is wreaking on our state. Governor Corzine has failed to keep struggling New Jerseyans in their homes, and has worsened their problems by squeezing homeowners with billions in tax and fee increases. New Jersey can't afford another four years of Governor Corzine.
"Unemployment is at a 33 year high, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, property taxes in New Jersey remain the highest in the nation and the foreclosure crisis persists," said New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Jay Webber.
"That is the undeniable result of four years of Jon Corzine's failed policies and the reality that struggling families in our state continue to suffer. Rather than provide relief to New Jerseyans who are losing their jobs and their homes, the Governor promises to raise our taxes. After hiking taxes and fees by $9 billion in his first term, Governor Corzine now wants at least $1 billion more to fund his wasteful and reckless spending. Raising taxes seems to be the only thing we can count on Jon Corzine to do. Unfortunately, that won't help New Jerseyans stay in their homes."

Foreclosure Crisis Persists In New Jersey - "Foreclosure notices filed with the Superior Court statewide and regionally increased from January to July compared to the same period in 2008, according to statistics from the state Administrative Office of the Courts." (Carol Comegno, "Foreclosure Bites South Jersey Hard," Courier Post, 10/12/09)

"The highest number of monthly foreclosures ever filed against property owners in New Jersey -- 6,133 -- occurred in June and then fell to 5,813 by July, which was still more than in July 2008." (Carol Comegno, "Foreclosure Bites South Jersey Hard," Courier Post, 10/12/09)

Gov. Corzine's Running Mate, Sen. Loretta Weinberg: "I Agree, Taxes Are Too High." (News 12/101.5 Debate, 10/8/09)

Gov. Corzine's Plan Includes Tax Increases Of Over $1 Billion -- Star-Ledger: Okay, and then you mentioned possible extension of income tax surcharge or some other taxes. Corzine: Well, you know, I think it's a billion, a little over a billion. (Star-Ledger, Editorial Board Interview, 9/8/09)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Christie's Property Tax Tour

In the final 22 days of the campaign, Chris Christie and Sheriff Kim Guadagno will travel across New Jersey discussing the struggles New Jerseyans face because of Jon Corzine's high taxes and failed economic policies. Chris and Kim will hold Jon Corzine accountable by highlighting the property tax increases our communities are facing because of Corzine's tax hikes and irresponsible spending.
In 2005, Jon Corzine promised 40% property tax relief in 4 years and despite his bold campaign pledge, New Jersey continues to have the highest property taxes in the nation, with the average property tax bill going up by $1,000 over the past four years. New Jersey ranks as the state with the highest tax burden in the country and yet Jon Corzine and his campaign still believe New Jerseyans are NOT overtaxed.
The numbers are clear - New Jerseyans' property taxes are not only unbearable but they have gotten progressively worse under Jon Corzine.
"It's simple. If Jon Corzine had kept his promise to the people of New Jersey and lowered property taxes by cutting wasteful spending and controlling the bloated state government, the people of our state would have more money in their pockets to help deal with these difficult economic times," said Christie-Guadagno Campaign Manager Bill Stepien. "As Chris travels across the state, we will highlight Jon Corzine's increases on property taxes because Wall Street Millions cannot hide his broken promises and failed policies."

All Hail Columbus!

Why Celebrate Columbus Day?

Why We Should Celebrate Columbus Day:

• Columbus Day recognizes the achievements of a great Renaissance explorer who founded the
first permanent European settlement in the New World. The arrival of Columbus in 1492
marks the beginning of recorded history in America.
• Columbus Day celebrates the beginning of cultural exchange between America and Europe.
After Columbus, came millions of European immigrants who brought their art, music,
science, medicine, philosophy and religious principles to America. These contributions have
helped shape the United States and include Greek democracy, Roman law, Judeo-Christian
ethics and the tenet that all men are created equal.
• Columbus Day is one of America s oldest holidays. The tradition of observing Columbus
Day dates back to the 18th century. It was first celebrated on October 12, 1792, when the
New York Society of Tammany honored Columbus on the 300th anniversary of his first
• Columbus Day is a patriotic holiday. In fact, the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 in
honor of the 400th anniversary of his first voyage. That year, President Benjamin Harrison
declared Columbus Day a legal holiday.
• The United States has long admired Columbus. America has more monuments to Columbus
than any nation in the world, according to the Christopher Columbus Encyclopedia. These
include a Columbus statue in Providence, R.I., cast by Frederic Auguste Bertholdi, who
created the Statue of Liberty, and one in New York City, created by one of the six Italian
American brothers who carved the Lincoln Memorial.
• The United States has a significant collection of Columbus memorabilia, including his desk,
papers, and the cross he used to claim the New World for Spain. These are in the Columbus
Chapel in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.
• In 1971 Columbus Day became a federal holiday in all 50 states after Congress passed a law
declaring the second Monday in October Columbus Day.
• Columbus Day also commemorates the arrival on these shores of more than 5 million Italians
a century ago. Today, their children and grandchildren constitute the nation s fifth largest
ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
• Columbus Day is the only day on which the nation recognizes the heritage of an estimated 26
million Italian Americans.

Prepared by: The Order Sons of Italy in America in Washington, D.C.
Telephone: 202/547-2900

The Story Of Columbus!

Why Columbus Matters

The current fascination with multi-culturalism makes Columbus and his holiday more necessary than ever before in our history.
Columbus matters because after him came millions of other Europeans who brought their art, music, science, medicine, philosophy and religious principles to America.
Columbus matters because Greek democracy, Roman law, Judeo-Christian ethics and the tenet
that all men are created equal are all European contributions that have made the United States what it is today.
Columbus matters because his holiday recognizes not only the achievements of a great
Renaissance explorer, but the success of the millions of immigrants from all over the world, including Europe, who followed him, seeking religious freedom, political stability and the chance to give their children a better tomorrow.

Columbus Day is a reminder that from its earliest beginnings, the struggling American republic
found its inspiration in the figure of Columbus. In fact, October 12th is one of America’s oldest holidays, first celebrated in 1792 on the 300th anniversary of his first voyage.
In the early years of the American republic, Columbus was an American icon, admired as much as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The nation’s capital was named for him and his image is captured in paintings and statues throughout the Capitol Building, the very seat of American government.
By the 19th century, Columbus had become a symbol of American patriotism.
The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of his first voyage. Also that year, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day a legal holiday and Columbus was hailed as the symbol of America’s achievements and progress and even as a saint, led by God to the New World.

Columbus is an icon to most Italian Americans for another reason. His holiday commemorates the arrival on these shores of more than 5 million of their ancestors more than a century ago. Today, their children and grandchildren constitute the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group, but despite their numbers and sterling record of achievement, Italian Americans are routinely stereotyped in this nation as goons and/or buffoons.
Columbus Day is the only holiday on which the nation officially recognizes the presence if not the contributions of an estimated 16 to 26 million Italian Americans. For that reasons, organizations like the Sons of Italy, lobbied for years to make it a federal holiday. They succeeded in 1971 when Congress passed a law declaring the second Monday in October Columbus Day in all 50 states.

From Why Columbus Matters by Dona DeSanctis

The Accomplishments Of Columbus

What Columbus Accomplished

• Columbus proved that it was possible to cross the Atlantic Ocean and back.
• Columbus founded the first permanent European settlement in the Western Hemisphere,
Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
• Columbus was the first to open relations between Europe and the Western Hemisphere. His
voyages mark the beginning of more than 500 years of cultural, economic and political relations between Europe and the Americas.
• The recorded history of the Western Hemisphere begins with Columbus. There was no written history about these vast continents before his arrival in 1492.

• Columbus was the first European to realize the full importance of the Atlantic wind pattern
called the prevailing Westerlies, which blew steadily west to east. This convinced him it was
possible to sail west with the Trade Winds to the New World and return to Europe with the
• During his four transatlantic voyages, Columbus chartered the route for what today are the
islands of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles and the coasts of Panama, Honduras and Venezuela.
• Columbus’s trans-Atlantic route lay the foundation for future navigation in the region. His maps were used by Amerigo Vespucci (after whom the American continent takes its name),
whose maps were used by later explorers of South America. Columbus’s maps also helped
Magellan follow the coasts of South America during his voyage around the world.
• The route across the Atlantic Ocean that Columbus charted in the 15th century is still used by
sailors today.
• Columbus introduced the principle of compass variation (the variation at any point on the Earth’s surface between the direction to magnetic and geographic north) and observed the
rotation of the Pole star.

Information derived from Columbus Studies, Order Sons of Italy in America.

Happy Columbus Day!

In fourteen hundred ninety two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

If George W. Bush . . .

A friend sent the following along and, well -- we just find it intriguing, that's all.
If George W Bush was an idiot . .. . .
If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?
If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?
If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?
If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as proof of what a dunce he is?
If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?
If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?
If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?
If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?
If George W Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?
So tell us again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive?
Can't think of anything? Don't worry.
He's done all this in 9 months -- so you'll have three years and three months to come up with an answer.