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DRED SCOTT

On this day in 1857, U.S. slave Dred Scott and his family were freed by their owner – three months after the U.S. courts ruled against him. Scott had turned to the St. Louis Circuit Court to obtain freedom from his later owners, the Blow family.

WARNING!

A Muslim cleric, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, has warned
that men who masturbate “could make their hands pregnant in the afterlife.”

PLANTERS HOUSE GETS KUDOS

Hey, Joe Edwards: Isn’t it time to nominate Jerry Kent for a spot on the Loop’s Walk of Fame in honor of his co-founding Charter Communications in our town? Up to now, Kent has been a major philanthropist. Just think what he can do with his bonanza $9 billion over the sale of Suddenlink and Charter finalizing its acquisition of Time Warner Cable, which becomes the Spectrum brand. . .You’ve gotta’ wonder who programs CNN. Aired was an ad for Nicoderm within the cable’s special report “High Profits” (from cannabis). . .A tip of the fedora to Planter’s House, 1000 Mississippi Ave. for its selection as our town’s only and one of the nation’s “Top New Bars” in Food & Wine’s 2015 edition.

COLIN FIRTH IN “MY FAIR LADY”

Celebrated actor Colin Firth is set to play the role of Prof. Henry Higgins in the re-do-do of “My Fair Lady” on Broadway. That’s my way of plugging the Muny’s 97th season opener June 15 of the Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe musical masterpiece. Memories loom as I recall the 1968 season’s production of the musical starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Margot Moser. Offstage Fairbanks retained his acquired Brit accent (albeit he was born and raised in NYC) and whose first marriage was to screen siren Joan Crawford - four years older than he.  Moser was relishing in her affair with Muny GM, the late Edwin R. “Bill” Culver, III.  Ah, those late night dinners at Nantucket Cove. Then off to the Culver crib in Lindell Towers.

 

SOCIAL SECURITY: A HISTORY LESSON -

NON PARTISAN READERS:
For those who say they don’t want to deal with the political arena, perhaps this will get them off their blessed assurance and begin paying attention. Up until the 1980s, Social Security cards expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since then, the message “not for identification” was removed.
* President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the Social Security (FICA) program and promised participants would only have to pay one percent of the first $1,400 of their annual program. Now 7.65 percent on the first $90k.
* That the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year. No longer tax deductible.
* That the money participants put into the independent “trust fund” rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program and no other government program. Under President Lyndon Johnson the money was moved to the General Fund and was spent.
* That the annuity payments to retirees would never be taxed as income. Under President and Vice President Clinton and Gore, up to 85 percent of your
Social Security can be taxed.
* Which political party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants? President Jimmy Carter and the Democratic party. Immigrants moved to this country,and at age 65, began receiving Social Security payments. The Democratic party gave those payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it.
Freedom is insured by four boxes – soap box, jury box, cartridge box and ballot box!”

HAZELWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT HOT POTATO

A real hot potato at Hazelwood School District! Superintendent Grayling Tobias has been on administrative leave since mid-April. . .Along with local barristers Ken Chackes and Nicole Gorovsky, Jeff Dion’s National Crime Victim Bar Association is hosting a “Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in Missouri” seminar at Lindenwood June 2. The group “educates attorneys, victim service providers, and the public on the availability and potential of civil legal remedies for crime victims.” Details: 202-467-8717. . .WashU alum/attorney Martin Leaf has died in NYC. He’s remembered for getting the U.S. State Dept. to reverse its decision allowing the Dalai Lama to come to the U.S. . .Flames fluttering on your Weber kettle grill? Or as a bornwell, you have you opted for the new  Lynx Smart Grill? For a mere $10k you can have one that responds to voice commands, provides cooking time, placement tips, can send alerts when it’s time to flip the meat, smartphone that allows turning off the grill. . .Gannett’s USA Today figures it will stop publishing a daily and switch to weekly “give or take six years”. . .Lee Enterprises, owner of the Post-Dispatch, is shuttering its Montana state bureau that serves five cities and cutting vet political reporters. . .Anne Meara, half of the comedy duo Stiller & Meara, whose antics were on view at yesteryear’s Crystal Palace on Gaslight Square, has died at 85. She was the mom of actor/producer Ben Stiller.

 

MEMORIAL DAY

While you’re shrouded in the haze of BBQ smoke, take a moment at 3 p.m.
today to pay respect to those who’ve died in service as suggested by the
National Moment of Remembrance Act.

BROWNS AT SPORTSMAN’S PARK

BERGER’S BITS & PIECES
The St. Louis Browns played their first night game 75 years ago tonight at the old Sportsman’s Park – Grand at Dodier – and was edged by the the Cleveland Indians 3-2. The crowd of 24,827 was the largest attendance since 1922. . .”I have been called the ‘first Jewish president,” said President Obama at Adas Israel Congregation in D.C. He further stated, “I’ve had seven seders in the White House and have been advised by two Jewish chiefs of staff”. . .They’re going fast! Dead at 95, Victor Salvi, who played and made harps and toured as a soloist with the St. Louis Sinfonietta, a chamber ensemble; Bruce Lundvall, 80, died this week. He was yesteryear regional manager of Columbia Records, who was based in our town, and hired a young Gene Denonovich of St. Louis as a PR’er. Lundvall had most recently been prez and CEO of the Blue Note label and credited with signing such artists as Stan Getz, Natalie Cole, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Anita Baker and Herbie Hancock.

 

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