Jul 25, 2014

Great Seal of the United States

Welcome to GreatSeal.com,
the website all about the extraordinary symbol
that represents the people of the United States of America.

Designed by some of the nation's most visionary Founders, the two sides of the Great Seal embody the essential guiding principles these farsighted patriots hoped we would always follow.
The actual Great Seal adopted by Congress on June 20, 1782 is a written document that precisely describes the imagery.
Beginning of Official Description
First Great Seal die, 1782For the past 231 years, the U.S. Department of State has been sealing official documents using engraved dies based on this official description. The first die is shown here. (Note: the design is in reverse.) The government also has official illustrations of the Great Seal's two sides. 
U.S. Department of State realizations of the Great Seal
An illustration of a seal is known as a "realization" of its design description. For generations, the Great Seal has inspired artists to create compelling realizations – graphic links to the revolutionary spirit of the people who gave us our freedom.
First painting of Great Seal and new artwork by Doris Rowe
18th-century and 21st-century realizations
The Great Seal's designers provided a brief explanation of its symbolism, however the more we know about its design process and meaning of its symbols and mottoes, the better we can understand why this emblem is as important today as ever before. It was and still is America's Vision Statement.
Explore GreatSeal.com
Get a brief Overview
See Preliminary Designs for the Great Seal:
Ideas suggested by three committees (1776-1782)
Examine the symbolic elements on the Seal:
Imagery from nature and history
Eagle side | Pyramid side
Learn the origin and meaning of the three Mottoes:
Little phrases with big repercussions

Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
GreatSeal.com is not affiliated with the U.S. Government.
Copyright ©2014 by John D. MacArthur.

To Learn More Click:  GreatSeal.com

Jul 24, 2014

Women Will Never Have the Success That Men Have

Women Will Never Have the Success That Men Have until they can acquire the God given ability and confidence to walk down the beach, 50 pounds overweight, and say.....

Like Wow, Man, I'm looking gooood!!!

Sunrise in Sarasota in the Rain

Jul 23, 2014

The Forgotten History of L.A.'s Failed Freeway Revolt

Photo by waltarrrrr/Flickr; image via citylab.com

The story of Boyle Heights reminds us that urban highway tear downs don't always end in victory.

"What we don't know, however, is the story of the losers, the urban men and women who fought the freeway, unsuccessfully, on the conventional terms of political struggle, who weren't able to pack up and move on, and who channeled expressive cultural traditions to register their grievances against the presence of unwanted infrastructure."
 — citylab.com

Click below to read the article:

Jul 16, 2014

Scoop From the Urbanophile

The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. It's great for anyone who cares about our cities.

NYU Economist Paul Romer gave a great talk at last month’s New Cities conference in Dallas. Called “Urbanization as Opportunity,” it’s now online and I’ll embed below. The first 2-3 minutes are warm up then it really gets going. Great stuff around crime, public space, etc. If the embed doesn’t display for you, watch on You Tube.

There are large number of additional New Cities videos online should you wish to browse them.

More from the Urbanophile at:

Jul 13, 2014

The US 41 Momentum Vision

US 41 is the principle State Highway on the west side of Florida. An ambition

The Sarasota US41 Multimodal Corridor as a grand boulevard from the Airport to the Bayfront and the Ringling Bridge, marketable as the US41 Boulevard linking to the Sarasota Bayfront and the Ringling Bridge­– an iconic continuum remarkably unlike any other City in the USA.

Three Strikes

The photo is from June 30, 2014 when lightning struck three of Chicago's tallest buildings at the exact same moment.

Jul 12, 2014

Underwater City - Shicheng, China

china.org.cnShicheng has been under water for 53 years since the Xin'an River Hydro Plant flooded the area. The city was founded 1,300 years ago.  

Jul 10, 2014

Chicago Architecture

A potential new project for Chicago is in the works from Studio Gang! At 1,150 feet and 89 stories high, this would be the third tallest building in the city. We'll stay tuned for more details. 
Click to see more:  http://bit.ly/1rScYPU

Pictures of the Day


These nice phots were sent to me by an email.  I don't know who took these photos. If they are yours and you want them removed send me an email and I will do so promptly.

Jul 8, 2014

Walgreens to Move To Switzerland

Move to Switzerland to dodge IRS may give Walgreen blues

If Walgreen wants to save a mountain on taxes by moving to Switzerland, it had better get ready for an avalanche of criticism.
The drugstore giant could save $4 billion in federal taxes over the next five years by reincorporating in Switzerland, according to a report to be released Wednesday.
The artful tax dodge has been advocated by a cadre of shareholders, including billionaire Barry Rosenstein, who this spring shelled out $147 million for a Hamptons beach house, the highest-ever price tag for a private US residence.
But the move could also cause a major public-relations headache for Walgreen, according to the study compiled by Americans for Tax Fairness, a Washington think tank.
That’s because Walgreen gets nearly a quarter of its revenue from US taxpayer-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs, the report calculates — not to mention millions in federally subsidized bonuses enjoyed by top Walgreen execs.
“Many Americans will find it unfair and deeply unpatriotic if the company moves offshore, while continuing to make its money here, leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab for its tax avoidance,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of the think tank.


Lousy deal. And of course part of it is they are leaving Illinois, a grossly mismanaged State with a high tax rate. 

Seems to me that a consumer boycott is in order.  It won't be any big problem for me to take my business to the other drug stores.

The Feds actually have all kinds of leverage on Walgreens. If you want to play political hardball, don't let Walgreen's service Medicare or Medicaid accounts, which is a huge part of their business. The Feds recently took Tri Care - the military health insurance - out of Walgreens.

Sounds like

Eight Year Old Immigrant

The Dallas Morning News

A Border Patrol agent reads the birth certificate of Alejandro, 8 -- the only thing he brought with him as he and others crossed the Rio Grande near McAllen recently. Alejandro is one of more than 52,000 minors traveling without parents who've been caught crossing the border illegally since October.

Seventy-five years ago, the St. Louis, a German trans-Atlantic liner carrying 938 Jewish refugees, was turned away from the United States and forced to return to Europe. U.S. law didn’t allow them sanctuary.

Writes author and former Dallas Morning News reporter Christine Wicker: "The St. Louis is famous now as a failure of compassion that haunts American history. Today we are preparing to send 45,000 children back to Central American countries controlled by drug cartels that routinely torture, rape and kill children who refuse to work for them. So routinely are children menaced that their families sent them away, alone, across thousands of miles on just the slimmest of hopes that they might be safe. U.S. law doesn’t allow them sanctuary.

Comments by readers

"They walked through some of the most hostile, hot, barren, dangerous country in the world. They were sent by poor families so terrified for their safety that they paid many thousands of dollars and entrusted their children to criminals hoping they might arrive in America and be safe.

"Our hearts are not touched by these children. We want the law enforced. This is our country. Ours. And we don’t have to share it. Not now. Not 75 years ago.

"Yes, these are children whom we’ll send back to be raped, maimed and killed. They aren’t our children. Our children are precious."

Read more and share your thoughts: http://d-news.co/yCC21 (Photo: Jennifer Whitney/New York Times).

A tough no win situation.  Damned if you let them in the country and damned if you don't. If you let all these kids in then many more will be sent.  Then you can decide if you want to let them in. And if you send them back you are not compassionate.  And of course you are often not sure where back is.

Jul 7, 2014

Why Every City Needs a Labyrinth

Why Every City Needs a Labyrinth

The architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group built a giant maze in Washington, D.C. Cities everywhere should get one.
Kriston Capps
This is a project at D.C.'s National Building Museum, a summer folly designed by the always-entertaining Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, a plywood playground where kids will snap selfies all season long.

Not all those who wander are lost.

A panoramic view.

Click to read the full article and view more photos at:


Jul 6, 2014

The White House is Emailing Me - a Good Thing

The White House

Sunday, July 06, 2014

You might be seeing a lot of news about the economy creating more jobs.
That's because at the beginning of every month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report on our country's general employment situation for the previous month -- and this month's showed good news.

What's it all mean, and why should you care?

There's still much more to do to keep moving forward, but we've put together a few key points about how our economy is doing generally. Take a look -- and if you learn something new, pass it on.

Our country hasn't seen this kind of job creation since the 1990s -- and we've been adding more than 200,000 jobs a month for five months straight.

The 1.4 million jobs added in the first half of this year are the most in any half since 1999. What's more, this is the first time since September 1999-January 2000 that we've seen total job growth above 200,000 for five straight months.

GIF: Here's what our jobs growth looks like.

Auto sales in June are also the highest they've been since mid-2006 -- before the financial crisis.

Let's not forget that the American auto industry is continuing to bounce back -- adding 18,000 jobs this past month for a total of 463,000 jobs added since Chrysler and GM came out of bankruptcy in June 2009.

Employment in Motor Vehicles and Parts Manufacturing and Sales
Meanwhile, we're continuing to produce more oil at home than we're importing from overseas.
In addition to doubling renewable electricity generation from sources like wind and solar, last October something big happened: For the first time in nearly two decades, we started importing less foreign oil than we were producing at home.

U.S. Crude Oil Production and Net Imports

It's progress -- but we've still got work to do.

Want a more in-depth look at what the jobs numbers mean, complete with more charts, numbers, and economist-speak?

Take a look at this post from Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

And if you're looking for more great charts and infographics related to the economy, visit our Shareables hub.