Saturday, July 4, 2015

IN CONGRESS JULY 4, 1776: The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

[See, related, Isaac Spaceman's "A Word From Your Editor" (July 4, 2008) here. And set your DVRs -- 1776 airs on TCM at 3pm today. In the meantime, enjoy "The Lees of Old Virginia" as performed by the My Little Pony troupe, and read John Adams' letter to Abigail Adams of July 3, 1776 ("It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.")]

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

SURELY, YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS:  Today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Airplane!  Make sure not to have the fish, OK?
A WICKED PISSAH:  Among the terms now added to the Oxford English Dictionary are crowdfund,  hot mess, half-ass, stank, shizzle, uncanny valley, tramp stamp, and Masshole.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WHERE WALLACE IS:  Creed, first trailer. Although, as Dan McQuade notes:

I CAN'T HELP BUT THINK HE WILL DO A GOOD JOB:  I cannot tell you how delighted I am that JK Simmons will be doing the voice work for Stan Pines' twin brother in Gravity Falls.
ALL THE CHILDREN REMAIN ABOVE AVERAGE:  Garrison Keillor intends to step down as regular host of A Prarie Home Companion at the end of the 2015-2016 season, to be replaced on a full time basis by Chris Thile, and an increased focus on music rather than comedy sketches and storytelling.
NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH DESK:  Happy Canada Day, everyone!  There is, of course, only one way to celebrate.
HAPPY BOBBY BONILLA PAY DAY!  Because in 2000, Bonilla agreed to waive his $5.9M option in exchange for $1,193,248.20 annually from 2011-2035, which may not have been unreasonable at the time. As the WSJ summarized in 2010
In fact, according to Mr. Gilbert [Bonilla's financial planner], the only real sticking point in the deal was the interest rate. The two sides eventually agreed on 8 percent. In January 2000, the U.S. Prime Rate was 8.5 percent, according to 
Years earlier, Mr. Gilbert had negotiated with former Mets general manager Al Harazin a similar deal for Bret Saberhagen, who pitched for the team from 1992 to 1995. For 25 years starting in 2004, Mr. Saberhagen receives annual deferred payments of $250,000. So when the Mets decided to buy out Mr. Bonilla's contract, they had precedent and a template already in place for such an agreement. 
By postponing their payments to Mr. Bonilla for 11 years, the Mets freed enough money to trade for starting pitcher Mike Hampton and outfielder Derek Bell and sign first baseman Todd Zeile. Those three players earned a combined $15.1 million in 2000, and the Mets reached the World Series that year for the first time since 1986.