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John O "peacemover" RSS Feed (Philadelphia, PA United States)
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A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
DVD
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless Us Every One!, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The George C. Scott version of "A Christmas Carol," released as a made-for-television movie in 1984, is my favorite, best acted, best adapted version of the Dickens classic out of the half dozen or so that I have seen. Scott brings his surly cantankerousness to Ebeneezer Scrooge in a way that really breathes new life into that role. David Warner also does a stellar job as Bob Cratchit as do the other key characters, played faithfully by an all-star cast of mostly British actors. Nothing compares to actually reading the Dickens classic, but as far as film adaptations go, this version is one of the best- highly recommended!


Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Air (Blacktop / Gravel)
Belkin Slim Style Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2 and iPad Air (Blacktop / Gravel)
Price: $69.99
33 used & new from $27.00

2.0 out of 5 stars ... came off after two weeks of moderate use with good care., November 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Difficult to pair and one of the keys already came off after two weeks of moderate use with good care.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2014 9:03 PM PST


MYBAT MOTXT894LCDSCPRTW LCD Screen Protector for Motorola Droid 4 XT894 - Retail Packaging - Twin Pack
MYBAT MOTXT894LCDSCPRTW LCD Screen Protector for Motorola Droid 4 XT894 - Retail Packaging - Twin Pack
Offered by Globalprice
Price: $0.99
12 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary., April 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you exercise reasonable care of your phone (don't drop it, get it wet, smash it or otherwise abuse it), you don't need one of these screen covers or a case for that matter. Take good care of your smartphone, keep it in a safe place and it will last.


Spiegelau Beer Classics Gift Box Stemmed Pilsner Glasses, Set of 2
Spiegelau Beer Classics Gift Box Stemmed Pilsner Glasses, Set of 2
Offered by Our Pampered Home
Price: $26.49
5 used & new from $19.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These are very nice tulip glasses, though I use them more for Belgian-inspired ales., February 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These Spiegelau tulip-shaped glasses are great for Belgian-inspired ales. I prefer the taller, thinner fluted glasses for pilsners. These glasses, like many craft beer glasses are thinner, and this more vulnerable to cracking or breaking. One of mine was cracked when it arrived. With reasonable care and hand-washing with warm water, they should be fine. Enjoy!


Spiegelau Set of 2 Beer Classics Lager Glasses
Spiegelau Set of 2 Beer Classics Lager Glasses
Price: $19.99
30 used & new from $15.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Great lager glassware for craft beer enthusiasts!, February 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Before buying this set of Spiegelau classic lager glasses I had most often drank lagers and other session beers either directly out of the bottle or from a standard pint glass. These lager glasses really significantly improve the taste and visual experience of lagers, however. Significantly. They are shaped in such a way and taller so as to allow a large, foamy head to form when filled with a session-worthy lager. As I understand it, proper head formation is one of the keys to fully experiencing the beer as it was intended by the brewers. Letting a foamy head build gives lagers a clean, crisp, robust taste unlike any I have experienced. I have used it with classic lagers like Yuengling and Heineken, along with a craft brew dunkel lager and others. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy beer as an experience for all the senses.


Spiegelau 2-Pack Beer Classics IPA Glass, 19-Ounce
Spiegelau 2-Pack Beer Classics IPA Glass, 19-Ounce
Offered by Wine Reserve Inc.
Price: $19.70
28 used & new from $14.85

5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate IPA glass for craft beer lovers, February 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Spiegelau makes the best glassware for craft beer I have seen or experienced. These specially designed IPA glasses are excellent. The rings at the bottom and fluted top of the glass are designed to really bring out the hop flavor of IPAs and other pale ales that emphasize hoppiness. These glasses are thin, which some mention as a complaint, but they are thin for a very good reason- to help preserve the proper cool temperature of the beer and maximize the taste and visual experience of the beer. Highly recommended!


Susquehanna Glass Brandy Snifter Glasses, 12-Ounce, Set of 4
Susquehanna Glass Brandy Snifter Glasses, 12-Ounce, Set of 4
Price: $23.60
12 used & new from $20.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Good snifter set for a very affordable price, February 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this set of four brandy snifters as part of my craft beer glassware collection- particularly for barley wines and certain Belgian-style ales. They are sturdy and attractive snifters and a bargain for the price. Highly recommended!


Sound City [HD]
Sound City [HD]
DVD
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music documentary about a Legendary Recording Studio, February 4, 2014
"Sound City" tells the story of the legendary recording studio in California that, in the late 1960s through mid 1980s was the site where some of the most iconic rock and pop albums of the era were recorded. Housed in a warehouse-like former amplifier factory, Sound City was known for its austere decor, yet the acoustics of the space, along with the one-of-a-kind mixing board custom designed by brilliant sound engineer Rupert Neve delivered rich sonic character in the albums recorded there. The management and staff were highly personable and knew how to work with the artists and groups who had sessions there to produce some amazing albums by artists like Tom Petty, Rick Springfield and many more. Multi-talented Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters narrates and hosts this excellent film. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of rock music and the art of sound recording.


The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons (US Release)
The Very Best Of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons (US Release)
Price: $12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of classic songs!, January 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This compilation truly is the very best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons- the prolific crooners who are now the subject of the hit musical "Jersey Boys." This collection includes:

Sherry, Candy Girl, Let's Hang On, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man, Working my Way Back to You, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You, December 1963 (Oh What a Night!), and a lot of other great tunes.

Part of what I love about these songs is they are memorable and get you singing along. They also have an infectious optimism that lifts your spirits. Great collection from a legendary vocal group.


JFK, Conservative
JFK, Conservative
by Ira Stoll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $2.86
104 used & new from $1.28

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent JFK bio, leans heavily on other accounts and cherry picks policy to suit author's conservative agenda, December 27, 2013
This review is from: JFK, Conservative (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I selected "JFK: Conservative," by Ira Stoll, I was hoping for a fresh perspective on the 35th president of the United States and his political legacy. Stoll does a decent job of recapping much of JFK's political life and rise to the presidency. He sets the scene for Kennedy's political rise by beginning with his July 4, 1946 speech at Fanueil Hall in Boston in which JFK, on the Independence Day after the ending of World War II framed American freedom as having a "deep religious sense," and warned of American secularism, perhaps, foreshadowing the Communist Red scare of the 1950's.

Stoll then begins to tell a selectively redacted version of JFK's political views emphasizing centrist statements he made in the 1950's like "I am not a liberal" when describing certain aspects of his views on the economy or taxes or foreign policy, for instance. Stoll gives cursory treatment of some other JFK biographers like Garry Wills, and Robert Dallek and Robert Bradlee then leans heavily on memoirs of two Kennedy administration officials, Ted Sorenson and Arthur Schleisinger, Jr., both of whom authored acclaimed biographies of Kennedy.

Stoll's re-telling of the PT-109 story and JFK's heroism is stirring and deeply moving. Stoll's observation of how Kennedy used this story to advance his political ambitions as well as how most of his political appointees served in the military during WWII are both apt and well articulated. He breaks little new ground in this account, however, primarily rehashing earlier accounts about JFK's political rise, while selectively cherry-picking quotes and facts to support his agenda of claiming JFK's legacy, at least in part, for conservatives.

A prime example of this sort of cherry-picking would be his selectively quoting Ted Sorenson when he supports his cause, then trashing him later when he does not. Early in the book, Stoll quotes Sorenson's response to JFK's "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," that iconic line from his inaugural address, suggesting JFK included that line because it had resonated with conservatives "who were weary of government handouts."

Stoll also, conveniently finds the Sorenson and Schleisinger accounts useful when they mention other conservative aspects of JFK's policy, like his tax policy, opposition to corruption in organized labor, or military expansionism, as well as leaning heavily on them for telling the story of JFK's political life. Yet, on matters Kennedy's policy stances and views that were arguably more liberal, like his "New Frontier" initiative to address the space race, poverty and prejudice, he dismisses and even patronizingly insults Sorenson and Schleisinger's accounts as "specious" in their seemingly blind advocacy for their "liberal agenda." Of Sorenson Stoll writes later in the book that in his memoir, he "rewrote the president's story in a way consonant with Sorenson's own dovish views" on matters of the military interventionism and international policy. Stoll also, oddly, ascribes great importance to the order Sorenson and Schleisinger recount JFK's famous Berlin and American University speeches writing that "reversing the chronology of the Berlin and American University speeches" was "...a specious way of advancing the liberal interpretive line being put forth by the presidential aides-turned-authors."

Stoll also offers a deeply flawed, arguably deliberately misleading portrayal of JFK's tax policy. Yes, John F. Kennedy was a strong proponent of cutting taxes and fought for tax cuts throughout his administration. What Stoll fails to accurately portray, however is the political backdrop and tax policy in Washington in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When Kennedy took office in 1961, Democrats had a 65-35 majority in the U.S. Senate, and 264-173 majority in the House of Representatives. Tax rates at that time were very high, particularly for the top income bracket, which, at the time, had a top marginal tax rate of 91%. JFK proposed cutting that top rate to 65%, as part of a tax reform package from which the bottom 85% of wage earners received 59% of the tax breaks. The highest marginal income tax rate in 2012 was 37.9%. These are all important contextual details which Stoll fails to even mention. Stoll would seem to rather go along with the misleading claims of conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly who try to claim the Kennedy tax cuts as an example of conservatism for stimulating economic growth through cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans. This position is simply not borne out by the facts of history or economics.

Perhaps the most poignant and moving section in Stoll's biography of JFK is his treatment of the civil rights struggle. He recounts how Kennedy had called Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was in jail to express his support, and how later he had hosted the family of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers at the White House. Yet he also mentions JFK's opposition to the Freedom Riders' mission, disdain for March on Washington organizer Bayard Rustin, and even the possibility that the Kennedy administration supported CIA involvement with the South African apartheid government in capturing and imprisioning Nelson Mandela.

He then, interestingly, contrasts Kennedy's administration and policies with Nixon, pointing out that Nixon was more liberal than JFK and most other presidents since him on environmental regulation, public housing, healthcare and social security, which have since become the anathema of Republicans. Stoll then goes on to draw comparisons and similarities between the JFK and Reagan presidencies, emphasizing fiscal policy, military interventionism and taxes. Stoll selectively overlooks a lot of crucial differences between Reagan and JFK, however. JFK's tax cuts primarily benefited the American middle class.

Following Reagan's 1981 tax cut unemployment rose to 9.2% and the economy continued to languish for many months. Reagan also raised taxes 11 times and raised the debt ceiling 18 times. Civil rights is another big difference between them- JFK was concerned about keeping up appearances with white voters but he supported the black civil rights cause, and his efforts arguably were a major contributing factor leading to the civil rights act of 1964. Reagan, on the other hand, chose race baiting by advancing racially motivated stereotypes like his infamous "Welfare Queen" in order to stir up support from white middle class voters.

In the final section addressing JFK's legacy, even Stoll admits JFK was a centrist and pragmatist, writing that "one might suggest that the fact Kennedy has been claimed by both Republican and Democratic presidents...shows he was a centrist rather than a conservative." A better, more accurate title for this book would be "JFK: Centrist," but Stoll, instead chooses to give a very uncritical endorsement to some dubious claims about JFK's legacy by the conservative establishment, while disparaging acclaimed biographers and contemporaries of JFK as "specious" and of "advancing the liberal interpretive line." These sort of backhanded cheap shots come off as hypocritical and disingenuous given the fact that he relies heavily on the same sources he later disparages when it suits him. His writing about JFK's involvement with civil rights makes the book worth reading, but other than that this book contains many inaccuracies, unchallenged assumptions and dubious claims about the legacy of the 35th president of the United States.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2014 11:33 PM PDT


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