Today will mark the first time I ever made a gluten free, vegan dessert. Made from coconut oil, maple syrup, chocolate, and almond butter, I gave a chocolate/caramel dessert a try for an event. They taste pretty good and I don’t miss the gluten. But it’s mainly chocolate, so it does not really need flour. We also took Max out for his first run today. He has barely moved since.
My Country – The Stamp Act of 1765
Huey Long was not the first person to come up with a tax on papers. Taxes on papers go back to Queen Anne. The Queen got Parliament to pass a measure to suppress comments and criticisms which she found objectionable. This included taxes on every piece of paper used in a newspaper, advertisement, pamphlet, or book. If someone was caught selling an unstamped product, the seller was penalized. These taxes and penalties continued until 1855.
The Stamp Act of 1765 imposed a tax on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Colonists did not like the tax for many reasons including:
- taxation without representation – the colonial legislature were not consulted,
- the tax was an attack on freedom of the press, and
- a condemnation for a tax on knowledge.
Justice Douglas concluded, “[w]hen the stamps for newspapers arrived in 1765, the American Revolution began in earnest.” Historians agree with the idea that this act (although it was repealed) kicked off the revolutionary spirit.
First, a group of tradesmen who led the riots in Boston and other seaboard cities established the Sons of Libety. Second, the formation of the Stamp Act Congress united politically active gentlemen across colonial boundaries, which continued through the Continental Congress in 1774. Finally, the non-importation agreements developed in response to the Stamp Act gave the colonial population a sense of power as consumers of British goods.
The Stamp Act Today
As we reflect on how people can resist a relatively small first step, we need to keep an eye on the long term ramifications. The colonists saw what the Stamp Act represented. The tax did not amount to a lot of money. But it laid out the idea that Great Britain could create their economic system and use the colonies to fill their own coffers. Small actions, like the Stamp Act, need to be halted if they do not reflect on American ideals. So, when you hear someone tell you that what the administration has done is not a lot, neither did the British crown. It was just enough to get the colonists to realize their future was in their own hands.
- Raids on undocumented immigrants go against everything I believe in. People came here for a reason. We need to show love and compassion. But instead, we display fear and hate.
- A group of bipartisan Senators, including my own Senator, Rand Paul, want an investigation into the incidents in Yemen.
- The number of Twitter users who identify as white nationalists has gone up 600%. The rate of growth exceeds ISIS’s recruitment. Yay?
- A Canadian college athlete could not enter our country because of an old photo with a suspected jihadist. As he traveled with his team, US officials interrogated him for five hours.
- Transgender individuals lost allies with this election. But of course, bathrooms.
- The headline seems inflammatory, but he’s right. We need to take care of each other.
- How Michael Flynn continues in this administration befuddles me. No other administration would put up with his lies. At least the CIA does something right here.
- As we end our support of Syrian rebels and hoist up a murderous thug, we need to remember what this country used to stand for. Assad, like Putin, murders innocent people in the same of safety and support. Trump may not yet issue such orders, but his friends do. You can tell a lot about a person based on those they surround themselves with.
- I supported Andrew Sullivan‘s Dish for many years. It was my primary news sources for about five years. This section is a hallmark to his blog. Thus, I’m really glad to see him writing again. I hope he stays healthy while doing it. If this essay about our President displays anything, we need his voice. The resistance can use all of the help it can get.
I enjoy sitcoms. Almost all of my favorite all-time shows are sitcoms – How I Met Your Mother, Cheers, 30 Rock, NewsRadio, Parks and Recreation. Most do not meet those standards, but many make for 30 minutes of entertainment. And maybe one day, they will reach that level. Currently, several sitcoms deserve more attention than they get – Speechless, The Good Place. And the other is Superstore.
Workplace sitcoms go back through time to The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show to most of the ones I mentioned above. Superstore takes place in a large Big Box retailer. It stars America Ferrara as Amy, a hyper competent assistant manager, Ben Feldman as Jonah, a typical elitist millenial, and Lauren Ash, the “Dwight” of the store. Colton Dunn (Garrett), Nico Santos (Mateo), Nichole Bloom (Cheyenne), and former Kid in the Hall, Mark McKinney (Glenn) round out the main cast. Additionally, many bit players work at the store to create a full universe. And like all great work places, the workplace is one of the characters.
Each episode deals with typical A and B plots, but in many instances, they work in political or social commentary with the hi-jinks. The episodes do not come across heavy handed, but play with many of the social norms and social struggles we hear in the news every day. Additionally, they develop each character without focusing on two or three and leaving the others to become one-note ensemble players. Although each character has a character trait, the writing allows them to explore more than a catchphrase. And the actors bring lightness and uniqueness to each archetype.
Whenever you’re looking for a quick 30 minute laugh and want to escape from the heaviness of the world, go to this Big Box store. Even if you’d never go into a Big Box store in real life, this one makes you question that choice.
Superstore airs on NBC each Thursday at 8/7 central. You can also watch on Hulu.
One Sentence Story
Bravo cut out many scenes from Mrs. Doubtfire so when I saw it was only $5, I could not pass it up.