by Inlander Staff Don't Hang Up -- Everybody seems pretty excited about the prospect of no longer having some salesperson interrupt our chance to cozy up with Pat Sajak every night, but don't feel too good about yourself. Economists now are worried that the "do-not-call" list championed by so many politicians could push our delicate economy deeper into whatever they're calling it this week.
Consider this: According to the WEFA Group, a business research firm, the telemarketing industry employs 4 million Americans and helped generate $274 billion in sales last year. Government experts estimate that by October, 60 million phone numbers will be off-limits to telemarketers, likely leading to layoffs. Oh well, perhaps the now-thriving spam e-mail industry can absorb some of these wayward pitchmen and -women.
Another Antiwar Nut? -- "Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both. No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare... The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace."
-- James Madison, principal author of the U.S. Constitution
All-American Display -- Speaking of dusty old documents, you can check out a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence at North Idaho College on Aug. 15-16, when the "Declaration of Independence Road Trip" comes to Coeur d'Alene.
One of only a couple dozen copies known to exist, this is the same one discovered in 1989 by a flea market shopper who found it hidden behind a framed painting he bought for $4. TV producer Norman Lear bought the copy (not for $4, we're guessing) and created the traveling exhibit, which has been crisscrossing the country for three years. Call: (208) 769-7819.
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.