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THE ROOSEVELTS: A Triumphant Return for Ken Burns, and a New Appreciation for T.R.

by Don Rose


With "THE ROOSEVELTS," Ken Burns has done it again. His new doc series, now airing on PBS, is simply superb filmmaking that brings history alive!

And, I’m in awe of Theodore Roosevelt. I only had a rough mental sketch of T.R. before, but now that I’ve learned about his accomplishments, I realize how great he was - the first truly modern President.


Just look at these T.R. facts:

- He was the youngest President ever (just 42) when he took office after the death of President McKinley in 1901
- He wrote 150,000+ letters, the “writingest” President in American history
- read a book a day, sometimes 3 a day
- broke up the corrupt monopolistic trusts (filed 44 antitrust suits!)
- strong-armed a settlement to the great Coal Strike by threatening to nationalize the coal industry, resulting in the coal companies giving in to a 10 percent increase in wages (after no change in 20 years) and reduction in daily work hours from 16 to 9
- presided over negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War
- won the Nobel Peace Prize - first American to win ANY Nobel Prize
- championed the successful construction of the Panama Canal
- first President to travel outside the country while in office
- won passage of the Hepburn Act, which gave the ruling of a Federal agency the rule of law for the first time (it regulated the railroads; monopolistic oil companies were wielding power over them and the Act checked their growing power)
- championed passage of the Pure Food & Drug Act (forced product labeling)
- campaigned around the U.S. for a piece of legislation, a first for a President
- signed legislation to protect prehistoric ruins
- doubled the number of National Parks; preserved/saved many natural landscapes owned by the US Government; created 51 bird sanctuaries and 18 national monuments; preserved millions of wild acres for future generations
- created the National Forest Service
- helped save the buffalo from extinction
- first President to invite an African American to dine in the White House
- wrestled with diplomats in the White House
- boxed regularly with an aide, then later took up Jiu-Jitsu
- even though T.R. could have run again in 1908 (since his first term was shared with McKinley), he did not, since he felt it would be a third term – violating the unwritten limit of two terms started by Washington; instead, T.R. handpicked and campaigned for a successor (Taft) who won in a landslide.

In short, T.R. expanded the role of government to fight for the worker and the environment, believing government should ensure a “square deal” for all and regulate the economy for the public good; he was a Progressive, a naturalist, an enemy of corrupt business, a trust-buster, a friend to Labor, and (wait for it)………….. he was a Republican!


My, how things have changed.

Why can’t we find more Presidents like this in our modern world?
Ken Burns told Jon Stewart it’s because we’d weed out men like T.R. early in today’s political process, due to their many personal faults – yet overcoming such faults is perhaps what made T.R. a great President.

(Oh, one more thing: a line of stuffed animals was named after T.R., after a hunting trip where he refused to shoot a bear cub his aides had captured for him. The toy maker asked permission to use the President’s nickname and, even though T.R. hated that nickname, he gave his blessing - and “Teddy’s Bear” was born.)

Posted at 11:55 AM (6 hours ago) | Permalink


WESTWOOD BESTFOOD: New Garlo’s Aussie Pie Shop Opens in Westwood Today

by Don Rose


The highly-anticipated Garlo’s Aussie Pie Shop (which Aussie thespian Russell Crowe tweeted about a few days ago) officially opened to the public TODAY, September 15, and loves it! At lunchtime today, your humble editor enjoyed their chicken-and-veggie pie topped with mashed potatoes, mashie peas and gravy - simply delicious.

You can enjoy Garlo’s pies in a combo, or a la carte. You’ll also enjoy their friendly staff and casual vibe. Located in the heart of Westwood Village next to Trader Joe’s on Glendon, there’s plenty of parking right next door, as well as metered parking right in front.

More info on Westwood’s newest eatery at Garlo’s Facebook page:

(Media contact for Garlo’s: Spin Public Relations.)

Posted at 4:37 PM (1 day ago) | Permalink


SEP 11–21: Awareness Film Festival Returns for Fifth Year

by Don Rose


The 5th Annual AWARENESS FILM FESTIVAL takes place September 11 to 21, 2014​. Opening night takes place tonight on the campus of UCLA at Melnitz Hall (James Bridges Theater). The full schedule is available at:

Festival Description

The mission of the Awareness Film Festival is bringing awareness and to open eyes to some of our world’s pressing issues: Ecological, Political, Health/Well Being and the Spirit. We showcase both Documentary and Narrative Features, as well as Short Films, Music Videos and Public Service Announcements.​ We have filmmaker Q&A’s, filmmaker Panels, as well as conscious art and music.​​​​​
The Awareness Film Festival was formed by Heal One World, a non-profit charity. This Festival is also a fundraiser for Heal One World​​. Any net profits from this event will go completely to charity, including our partner organizations.

Posted at 5:52 PM (5 days ago) | Permalink


Apple Announces New WATCH: Switchable Bands, Magnet Close, Sensors to Track Data

by Don Rose


During Apple’s big product announcement today, they brought out “One more thing…” - a brand new APPLE WATCH.

The Apple Watch is the first new product category since their iPad. The product video shows interchangeable bands w/ different colors, magnet snap-to-close, and sensors on the bottom of the watch to track your data for fitness functions.

Also, the watch recognizes not only touch, but force - a kind of 3D touch. In other words, the product can tell the difference between a tap and a press. Could lead to some interesting watch apps.

Posted at 11:22 AM (1 week ago) | Permalink


APPLE Announces New iPhone 6, Large iPhone 6 Plus & Apple Pay

Apple also just announced Apple Pay, designed to take the place of paying with your credit cards. Their demo makes it look like a much easier and faster process to buy items. Is it better than Google Wallet? Time will tell.

Posted at 10:54 AM (1 week ago) | Permalink

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