1970′s inventions that changed our way of life

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1970′s inventions that changed our way of life
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Technology, Fashion and Toys played an increasingly important part in people’s lives in the 70s.

Ceefax: 1974

Launched in 1974, Ceefax went live with 30 pages and was the first teletext service in the world. Started as an experiment for the deaf, Ceefax developed into an instant news, sports and information service for millions of armchair surfers.

Colour Television Sets

Introduced on BBC 2 for Wimbledon coverage on July 1, 1967. The launch of the BBC 2 "full" color service took place on December 2, 1967. Some British TV programs, however, had been produced in color even before the introduction of color television in 1967, for the purpose of sales to American, Canadian, and Filipino networks. BBC 1 and ITV started color transmissions November 15, 1969.

The first colour sets became available in Britain in 1967, when BBC2 started broadcasting in colour. (Note BBC1 and ITV didn’t go colour until 1969.)

A typical 22" colour set would have cost £300 in 1967, or around £3000 in today’s money – equivalent to a top of the line 50+ inch LCD or LED HDTV set.

Britain’s oldest colour telly ‘still going strong’ 42 years on, says 69-year-old owner

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328760/Britains-oldest-…

Home Music Centre

The ultimate piece of kit that most people wanted in the mid 70s was a "Music Centre". This was a record player, cassette tape recorder and radio combined. Dynatron made one of the first, the HFC38 Stereo/Audio Cassette System, launched in 1972. This was a high priced luxury item at the time.

Dial Telephone

The 746 telephone was the British GPO’s main telephone for the 1970s. It was the phone most people had in the 70s and it is phone you will remember from that decade.

In the 70s, the home telephone was still a luxury in the UK. The General Post Office (GPO) had a monopoly on telephone services and anyone who wanted a phone needed to rent one from the GPO.

Although still a state run monopoly, the telephone service was more modern in the 70s. The old fashioned lettered exchanges disappeared in the late 60s and the new phones were equipped for the strangely termed ‘all figure numbering’. Customers had a choice of three phones: the 746, the smaller 776 Compact Telephone and the modern looking Trimphone.

The 746 telephone was an upgraded version of the 706 phone or ‘Modern Telephone’ that the GPO introduced to customers in the early 60s.

It introduced a few practical improvements. Firstly there was a clear plastic dial showing only numbers. The case had an integral carry handle and the phone came in a more modern plastic. It was also lighter and had improved circuitry.

Electronic Calculator

The first pocket calculators came onto the market towards the end of 1970. In the early 70s they were an expensive status symbol. By the middle of the decade, people used them to add up the weekly shopping at the supermarket. As pocket calculators moved from executive’s briefcases to school children’s satchels, there was controversy over whether children could still do sums.

Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments developed the integrated circuit technology that made the pocket calculator possible in the sixties. TI’s first prototype hand held calculator, the Cal Tech, demonstrated the potential of the new device. However, as with the transistor radio, Japanese firms quickly exploited the technology. The first portable, as opposed to pocket sized, calculator was the Sharp QT-8B. A year later pocket sized models were available from Bowmar (USA), Sharp, Busicom (Japan) and Sanyo.

Very quickly a host of manufacturers entered into the growing pocket calculator market. Texas Instruments launched their own model, the TI-2500 Datamath, in 1972.

Electronic games

Electronic games, such as MB Simon and Adman Grandstand, went on sale in the UK in the second half of the 70s. This was the time when people got their first taste of the digital lifestyle we enjoy today. A few years earlier, the first calculators and LED digital watches were marketed. Now manufacturers too adopted the same circuitry for play, and the age of electronic games began.

This revolution was reflected in the small screen when ITV’s George and Mildred’s neighbours bought a Grandstand game for Christmas. There were also concerns that TV audiences would drop, with more people using their TVs to play video games instead. Granada TV’s report "Who’ll be watching Coronation Street in 1984?" expressed concerns their advertising revenue might be at risk.

The grand daddy of all the computer games was the Magnavox Odyssey, which was launched in 1972. It introduced the public to a familiar, but primitive, electronic bat and ball game. Magnavox Odyssey was quite sophisticated; it offered range of different games, some of which required props. However, it was more of US than an UK phenomenon.

Electronic chess games also appeared in the mid seventies, but the game that first captured the public’s imagination in the UK was the Adman Grandstand.

Freezers

In the 70s, freezer ownership increased dramatically. Freezers and frozen food were available in the 60s, but sales of freezers took off in the 70s. In 1970 around 100,000 were sold, which was three times as many as in 1967. By 1974, one in ten households had a freezer.

Food processors

A food processor added a choice of blades and attachments to a standard blender. The Magimix from the 70s was the first UK example.

Microwave ovens

The microwave oven was invented by Percy Spencer in the late 40s. Initially, microwave ovens were only used by catering establishments. Oxford University physicist, Professor Nicholas Kurti gave a dramatic demonstration of microwave cooking with his reverse baked Alaska, or frozen Florida, which had ice cream on the outside and hot filling on the inside. He first demonstrated this dessert in 1969, showing how microwaves easily passed through ice, causing little heat, but the filling made from brandy and marmalade absorbed them and heated up more quickly.

Microwave ovens were not available in Britain until the end of the 70s, even then they did not catch on that quickly. The first ‘Which’ report on microwave ovens was written in 1979. There were concerns about what would happen if the microwaves escaped and confusion over whether the ovens were radioactive. For most people though, they were simply too expensive.

By 1979, there were a variety of microwaves on the market, priced between 150 and 400. [500 to 1400 in today’s money]. Models with a separate convection heating element were even more expensive. Both traditional oven makers, Creda and Belling and electronics giants Philips, Hitachi, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba, made microwave ovens in the 70s.

For most people in the UK the microwave revolution did not begin until well into the 80s. Jimmy Tarbuck’s advertisements for Sharp microwaves helped promote microwave cooking in the UK in the early 80s.

Teasmaid

As part of our renewed appreciation of all things 70s, the teasmade is back in fashion. After years in the naff cupboard, John and Norma Major owned one, it is now hip to own a teasmade.

The teasmade was a luxury item in the 70s household. Although primitive devices for automatically making tea were available since Victorian times and leading manufacturer Goblin made teasmades since the thirties, they were never considered essentials.

Most teasmades (sometimes incorrectly spelled ‘teasmaid’) comprised a teapot, kettle and clock. To prepare the teasmade ready for use tea, or teabags, fashionable in the 70s, were added to the pot and water into the kettle and then the alarm was set for the time you wanted to wake up to enjoy your freshly made pot of tea. About ten minutes before the alarm went off, the kettle boiled the water, which bubbled through a spout into the teapot. If you forgot to put the spout into the teapot some 70s models poured boiling water on to whatever the teasmade was stood on. Once the tea was brewed, the alarm sounded to wake you up, if the mechanism had not already woken you.

In 1971 there were only three manufacturers of teamade: Goblin, Ecko and Russell Hobbs. The Goblin model shown here cost £27.18 (£265 in today’s money). It is no wonder that the teasmade was a luxury.

Tea bags

Tea bags were new in the 70s. Well not exactly new, they had been used in the USA since the 20s. Tetley had tried introducing them to the UK twice, once in the 30s and again in the 50s, but they were seen as a bit of a joke. In the 70s though, sales of tea bags took off. It’s hard to explain why, they were more expensive and rarely used in the way originally intended – to remove the tea from the pot once it was brewed. It may have been something to do with convenience. We could throw our tea strainers away. Now tea bags are almost universal – so they must have been a good idea after all!

Continental quilts

Until the 70s, most people in the UK made up beds with sheets and blankets. In the early 70s the bedroom revolution was the continental quilt or duvet. Names such as "Slumberland Fjord" and "Banlite Continental" left no doubt as to the origin. Mostly they were filled with down or duck feathers. Synthetic fillings were more common in Europe, but became available in the UK. People quickly took to them as they were more convenient.

Flares and platform soles

Two trends defined the 70s in a fashion sense: flared trousers and platform soles. Flares were derived from the hippy fashion for loon pants of the late 60s. They were worn by men and women. The flare was from the knee and reached exaggerated proportions in the middle years of the 70s. The trousers were often hipsters, sitting on the hips rather than the waist, and tight fitting.

The combination of flares and denim made flared jeans the fashion phenomenon of the decade.

Platform soles were mainly worn by women and more fashionable men. There were health warnings about damage that could be caused to the back in later life, but the fashion did not last long enough for that to have an effect. There was an element of thirties retro in the style of some of the shoes, which echoed the thirties’ love of two-tone or co-respondent black and cream or brown and cream colours. Bright colours also gave the shoes more of a space age look.

Raleigh Chopper

The Raleigh Chopper brought the style of Easy Rider to the backstreets of Britain in the 70s. It took the UK youth bike market by storm and probably saved Raleigh from financial disaster. The Chopper was a distinctly different bike for young people and was a first choice Christmas present. However, the Chopper attracted criticism for some aspects of its safety. The Chopper became distinctly unfashionable in the 80s, when BMX became the latest craze.

Klackers

Klackers comprised two acrylic balls, often brightly coloured, on a string with a small handle in the middle. It was a playground craze that swept Britain and America in the early 70s. The idea was to move the handle up and down to make the balls click together. The really skilled could make the Klackers meet at the top and bottom of a circle; it required practice. They made a noise when they clacked together, hence the name.

Klackers were also marketed as Ker-knockers, Clackers and Klickies.

Whilst children loved the Klackers, or Ker-knock-ers, parents and teachers were concerned about the safety aspects. They could cause bruised hands and arms and the balls could shatter into dangerously sharp shards of plastic. Some schools banned them from the playground. Like most crazes, Klackers disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

Invicta Mastermind game

The Invicta Mastermind game was a huge seller in the 70s. In spite of the name, it had no connection with the Mastermind television programme originally hosted by Magnus Magnussen, although many people bought the game thinking it did.

The game was invented by Israeli postmaster and telecommunications expert, Mordecai Meirowitz. He initially found it difficult to get a manufacturer to take on his idea, but eventually managed to persuade small UK games maker, Invicta to make it.

The game went on sale in the early 70s and was a huge success. The box depicting a bearded man and woman in Asian dress carried an air of mysteriousness about it, suggesting supreme intelligence was needed to play the game.

Indeed Mastermind was taken seriously by the academic world. In 1977, Donald Knuth, the American computer scientist responsible for some learned texts in the world of computing, published a formula that guaranteed a correct guess in five goes.

Mastermind was also recognised by the toy industry. In 1973 Invtica was awarded ‘Game of the Year’ for Mastermind. Look out for pre-1973 versions that do not have the ‘Game of the Year’ award on the box.

Fondue set

Fondue originated in Switzerland and the classic fondue is always made with Swiss cheeses: Emmenthal and Gruyère. The word ‘fondue’ is derived from the French word, ‘fondre’, which means to blend.

By 1960, Marguerite Patten claimed the fondue was becoming popular. Her ‘Cookery in Colour’ featured fondue recipes with a decidedly English twist: ‘Cheddar Fondue’ and ‘Tomato Fondue’, as well as the classic ‘Gruyère’.

It was in the seventies that fondue parties really took off in the UK. Originally a reminder of a Swiss dish tried on a skiing holiday, fondue parties soon became the up-to-the minute thing to do; but by the 80s, it was decidedly naff.

Fondue sets are available again as everything 70s is fun once more. For real authenticity, source the genuine article from the 70s on eBay. Look for bright orange fondue pots and forks with teak handles.

Soda syphon

The retro style soda syphon (or soda siphon), once a symbol of kitsch and bad taste, is now the height of retro cool. The Sparklets Soda Syphon was a hit at 70s parties. However, its roots go back to the era of the Boer War.

The Sparklets Soda Syphon was originally used as a way of bringing sparkling or aerated water to hot climates at the far reaches of the British Empire. Invented in the 1890s, Sparklets bulbs were used during the Boer War.

Before the introduction of Sparklets bulbs, carbonated, or aerated water, as the Victorians preferred to call it, was a luxury product. It was expensive to make, and there was no way to do it yourself. The invention of the Sparklets bulb popularised it as soda water. The original device was called a ‘Prana’ Sparklet Syphon, and the Company stressed that it was as easy for a housemaid in Bayswater as for an orderly in South Africa to use the device.

Sparklets Streamline, with hammered finish 1940s
In 1920 Sparklets Ltd was acquired by BOC, the British Oxygen Company. By the 1960s Sparklets specialised in diecast products for the domestic industry. Naturally the Sparklets Soda Syphons were a big part of the business, but Sparklets also made diecast parts for washing machines, hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, as well as for cars.

The Sparklets bulb method may not have changed much since the days of the Boer War, but the style of the syphon moved with the times. Three basic types were around in the 60s and 70s.

Cigarettes

Player’s No6 and Embassy. However, they were joined by mild versions: Embassy Extra Mild and Player’s No6 Extra Mild. The rise of the mild cigarette was a 70s’ phenomenon. Benson and Hedges Silk Cut, pictured bottom middle, started this trend.

Which? Magazine named Silk Cut as the mildest UK cigarette in 1972. Although, the Which report was intended to convince people to stop smoking, it gave an enormous boost to Silk Cut sales. (In fact there is no evidence to suggest mild cigarettes are any better for you.).

The other big trend ran in the opposite direction. King size cigarettes were increasingly popular. John Player Special, with its distinctive black packaging, was a rival for Benson and Hedges.

King size cigarettes also went down market and were available in the cheaper brands. Both Player’s No6 and Embassy had king size versions. You could buy cigarettes in a bewildering number of different sizes: international, king size, regular, intermediate, mini and sub-mini. Collectors of cigarette packets from the 70s should look out for different sizes in all the popular brands, for example, Silk Cut, Silk Cut King Size, Silk Cut No1, Silk Cut No5, Silk Cut No3, as well as Silk Cut Extra Mild.

At the same time competition from US cigarette manufacturers started in earnest in the 70s. The famous Marlboro brand with is cowboy print advertising campaign started to take sales away from the home grown brands.

Smoking in the 1970s

Cigarettes were a big part of life in the 70s. People smoked them in large numbers. They also started to kick the habit in large numbers too. To give up or not, and to inhale or not, were big topics of conversation.

In 1969, Embassy Filter (right) was the most popular brand. It had been introduced in 1962 and took a staggering 24% of the cigarette market in 1968. By 1971 though, it was knocked off the top spot by Players No 6. In 1972 these brands (below) made up 94% of all cigarettes sold (in order of tar content, lowest first):

Silk Cut (filter)
Consulate Menthol (filter)
Cadets (filter)
Piccadilly De Luxe (filter)
Cambridge (filter)
Embassy Gold (filter)
Embassy Regal (filter)
Sovereign (filter)
Sterling (filter)
Player’s No 6 Virginia (filter)
Park Drive (filter)
Kensitas (filter)
Embassy (filter)
Gold Leaf Virginia (filter)
Player No 6 (plain)
Player’s Weights (plain)
Albany (filter)
Woodbine (plain)
Player’s No 10 Virginia (filter)
Guards Tipped (filter)
Benson & Hedges King Size (filter)
Senior Service (plain)
Player’s Navy Cut (plain)
Park Drive (plain)
Rothman’s King Size (filter)

The majority of the most popular brands are filter tipped. At the time people wanted to believe that the filter would protect them. Medical research showed otherwise, even as early as the 60s. Also worth noting is that Rothman’s advertised their cigarettes as for "…when you know what doing are doing" – a bit ironic considering the tar content!

In 1970, 55% of men and 44% of women smoked cigarettes. The percentage smoking cigarettes had fallen from the peak of 65% in 1948 and the risks of smoking on health were beginning to slowly sink in. In spite of research by the late Professor Sir Richard Doll published in 1951, which linked smoking with lung cancer, cigarette smoking was so much a part of life that the habit died hard. Even as late as 1973 the Guinness Book of Records described nicotine as an "anodyne to civilisation".

In 1971, cigarette manufacturers agreed to put a mild health warning on the packets (left) – "WARNING by HM Government SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH". I say "mild" because Professor Sir Richard Doll’s research showed that of 1,357 men with lung cancer, 99.5% were smokers. Or as "Which" chillingly put it – you had as much chance of dying before you were 44 if you smoked, as a serviceman had of being killed in the Second World War. Most people were still playing Russian Roulette and hoping that the chamber was empty.

"Which" never published a report comparing one cigarette brand with another. They acted in the best interest of consumers and recommended only that people should give up. There were conflicting stories circulating concerning the safety of other forms of smoking, such as pipe or cigar smoking: "Was it safer than cigarettes?", "Was it safe if you didn’t inhale?" and "Was it worth waiting for a safe cigarette?". "Which" did not sit on the fence and told members as directly as possible that the only safe course of action was to give up.

The 70s was the decade when people did finally accept the risks of smoking and the proportion of the population who smoked fell quite significantly. Those leading the way were the professional middle classes. The anti-smoking group, ASH, was founded in 1970 and took a lead in alerting the public to the dangers of smoking. The proportion of men and women smoking cigarettes dropped gradually during the 70s. By 1980, 42% of men and 37% of women smoked. (Today’s figures are 27% and 25% respectively).

LED watch

LED digital watch

Retro style LED watches are now selling on the internet, reviving the original digital watches from the early 70s. The first LED watch was marketed in the US by watchmaker, Hamilton, under the brand name ‘Pulsar’ in the Fall of 1971. It was originally a high priced gadget; by the end of the decade LED watches were almost throw away items and the more familiar LCD display was gaining ground.

Toys

The Space Hopper, the Raleigh Chopper and Mattel’s model cars with Hot Wheels made their debut in the 60s, but in the 70s achieved their highest popularity.

The Chopper was revised with safety improvements to become the Mark 2 in 1972. Mattel did not have their own way for long with Hot Wheels. British rival Matchbox had already introduced Superfast Wheels in 1969 and converted their whole range to them in the early 70s.

Sindy continued to be a popular toy for girls and won Toy of the Year in 1970. That accolade also went to another doll in 1971, Katie KopyKat; Katie copied everything you wrote.

Another 70s’ craze that had its origins in the 60s was Klackers, or Clackers: two acrylic balls that were made to click together. Experts could make them clack at the bottom and top in a circular movement, but safety concerns saw their early demise.

The Mastermind TV programme hosted by Magnús Magnússon had huge audiences in the 70s. However, the Mastermind Board Game made by Invicta in 1973 had no connection with the Mastermind TV show. It was all about breaking a secret code.

Lego was as popular as ever. It scooped Toy of the Year in 1974 and 1975. Other toys with their origins in the 50s and earlier were discovered by new generations of children.

The football game Subbuteo gained plastic figures in 1967 and in the 70s was available in up to fifty different team strips. There were spin-off cricket and snooker games too.

Scalextric was improved with new cars in the 70s and was as popular as ever. More traditional toys such as Hornby trains and Meccano continued to find a market.

The big change in play in the 70s though was the advent of electronic games. The 70s gave us digital watches and pocket calculators and by the middle of the decade electronic toys and games as well. One of the first to capture the imagination of the UK public was Adman Grandstand, which could play a variety of sports, including a version of the Pong arcade game. The brightly coloured MB Simon game was also a big seller in 1978.

Star Wars was in the cinema in 1977 and a host of Star Wars inspired merchandise followed. Never before had the movie makers cashed in so much on the toy market, it was a portent for the new decade.

Furniture

Furniture from the seventies was bigger and chunkier than furniture from the 60s. Teak was still the favourite wood throughout the decade, although pine was getting an increasingly strong middle class following. Autumn colours were in vogue: browns, beiges and oatmeal. Striped upholstery fabric was popular.

The seventies had its share of fads. Chrome plated tubular steel furniture had a brief period of being the latest thing. Towards the end of the decade, cane and rattan furniture started to gain a small following. Both this and pine were much bigger in the following two decades.

The seventies was still a decade when modern was the favourite look. There was little attempt to recreate the past, although in a decade of contradictions, reproduction furniture had a growing niche following.

Green Shield Stamps

Green Shield Stamps were almost everywhere in the Britain of the 60s and 70s. If you bought your groceries at certain shops the retailer gave you stamps to stick in a book. Once you had collected enough you exchanged the books for gifts. Most people can remember Green Shield Stamps, but there were other schemes. Does anyone remember Blue Star, Gift Coupon, Happy Clubs, Thrift Stamp, Uneedus Bonus, Universal Sales Promotions or Yellow Stamps?

Drink

In the later 70s, lager began to take hold. You can still get seventies favourites such as Skol, Carling Black Label (they paid a consultant millions of pounds to recommend that the ‘Black Label’ was dropped some time in the 90s), Carlsberg and Tennant’s Pilsner, though whether it is the same, who could say? Light ale was a popular alternative to lager at the time.

Keg bitter was definitely the drink of the early seventies. "Classics" such as Watneys Red Barrel (or Watney’s Red as they tended to call it then), Double Diamond, Courage Tavern and Worthington ‘E’ are well out of production.

Britain’s best selling cars from the 70s

British automotive fashions changed. As women replaced mini skirts with midis and maxis, and men chucked out the Don Draper look in favour of flares and wide ties, cars changed just as significantly, on the outside at least.

Car makers ditched the chrome grills, the wood and leather interiors of the 60s and embraced American coke bottle styling, plastic fascias and matt black grills.

The UK’s top four manufacturers all introduced new models leading up to and around 1970. The first of the new wave was the Ford Escort, launched in late 1967. It was a small car with neat American influenced body styling. Ford also launched the ground breaking Capri in 1969, which brought sports car styling to the average motorist. In 1970 there was a rash of new models: the Morris Marina; a completely restyled Vauxhall Viva; and the all new Hillman Avenger, remember those L shaped tail lights? In 1971 Ford launched the car that was to represent the 1970s, the Cortina Mk III.

Ford won the sales war and the Cortina was the best selling car of the decade, with the Escort in second place. BL made a series of mistakes, the worst of which was to replace their best selling Austin/Morris 1100/1300 range with the blob shaped Allegro. It eventually needed the State to intervene and save the company from bankruptcy.

The 70s also saw a greater proportion of foreign cars on the road. However, none of them made it into the top ten. The best selling foreign import was the Datsun Sunny, which was only the 19th best selling car of the decade.

These are the top ten best selling UK cars of the 70s.

Ford Cortina Mk3, 1972

Ford’s stylists had their fingers firmly on the pulse of the 70s’ car market. They replaced the neatly minimalist Cortina Mk II, driven by Michael Caine in Get Carter, with the glamorous Mk III in 1970.

If there was a car that summed up the mood of the early 70s perfectly it was the Cortina Mk III. The classic American inspired coke bottle styling was combined with plenty of chrome trim. The new Cortina was bigger and better than the outgoing Mk II.

Ford’s graduated model range offered a huge choice of trim, style and engine size. You could choose from from L (basic), XL (more luxury), GT (sporty), GXL (luxurious) to the ultimate Cortina, the 2000E. Even the L looked stylish, but the upmarket GXL offered acres of simulated wood trim, glorious velour seats and a chrome trimmed black vinyl roof.

Ford Cortina Mk V, 1979

In 1976 Ford replaced the Cortina Mk III with the Mk IV. The glam rock era had faded by 1976 and Ford stylists gave the market something more sober, although the parent company’s policy of sharing as much as possible between the UK Cortina and the German Ford Taunus may have also influenced the more prosaic styling.

The final facelift for the Cortina came in 1979. Ford sharpened up the style of the Mk IV with the similar looking Mk V, which nevertheless changed almost every body panel. The Cortina disappeared entirely in 1982 to make way for the Sierra, dubbed the ‘jelly mould’ car at the time.

Ford Escord Mk2, 1979

Ford also sold over one million Escorts in the 1970s. The Escort was introduced late in 1967 as a replacement for the popular Ford Anglia. Remember that backward sloping rear roofline?

The Escort continued the Anglia theme of a stylish body combined with basic, but reliable, mechanicals. However, Ford went one stage further with the Escort, as with the Cortina, they offered a range of basic saloons and some sporty and luxury models as well.

Style was all important to Ford’s selling strategy and in 1975 they gave the Escort a new squared off body and models near the top of the range had square headlamps too. By 1979 you could choose from 1100, 1300, 1600, 1800 and 2000cc models. In 1980 the Escort was upgraded to a the Mk III for the new decade.

Mini Clubman

Although Alex Issigonis’ masterpiece the Mini was eleven years old by 1970, it was still one of Britain’s best selling cars. BL chose to drop the Austin and Morris labels and the car was now just called the ‘Mini’.

In the1970s there was a basic range comprising a Mini 850 and a Mini 1000, with 850cc and 1000cc engines. BL offered a more upmarket version, the Clubman, with a squared off nose. There was an estate version with fake wood panels on the outside and a sports 1275 GT version.

Laurence Moss, the estate agent husband of man-eating Beverly in "Abigail’s Party" drove a Mini, getting a new one every year. He claimed the design did alter, in reality BL made very few changes to the design throughout the 70s. By the end of the decade part of the charm of the car was that it had not changed.

The Mini continued in production for another two decades before being replaced by the new Mini in 2000.

Morris Marina TC, 1972

BL’s executives originally planned the Marina as a replacement for the aging Morris Minor and a serious competitor for the Escort. Learning the lessons of the past they wanted to give it plenty of style and hired ex-Ford stylist, Roy Haynes.

Haynes wanted the two door version to appeal to the under thirty age group. He wanted the interior styling to be exotic and wild.

Somehow BL ended up producing a much bigger car than intended, even though it shared some of its mechanical heritage with the venerable Morris Minor. In reality the Marina sold considerably less well than expected. It achieved a creditable fourth position in sales in the 70s, but was not capable of rescuing BL from its financial troubles. Read more about the Morris Marina.

Vauxhall Firenza, 1971

Vauxhall was like Ford, a British car maker with an American parent – General Motors. Like Ford they followed the same approach: a basic rugged car with an up to the minute body. The Viva had been around since 1963 and had already had one facelift. In 1970 Vauxhall revised it again.

The new Viva, called the HC, was still a small car and in the Escort class, nevertheless it looked wide, low and stylish. Like Ford, Vauxhall offered a range of engines and options. At the top of the range was the sporty Firenza SL.

The Viva really was a car for the 70s. It starred in 1999 in the 1970s’ revival comedy, ‘The Grimleys’ as Shane Titley’s car. Vauxhall dropped it in 1979.

Austin 1300GT, 1971

The Austin/Morris 1100/1300 range was a top selling car in the 1960s. BL found it hard to find a replacement for it. So hard in fact that they failed to do so until 1973. So because of its continued strong sales in the first years of the 70s, the 1100/1300 finds itself at number six.

For the 70s there were some detail improvements and some great 70s’ colours including purple and bright orange. Just like its cousins from the 60s, the 1100s and 1300s were spacious, reliable and mechanically simple.

If you fancied something a little sportier, there was the Austin 1300GT which was a tuned up version of the basic car with a black vinyl roof. BL replaced this best seller with the Allegro in 1973.

Austin Allegro

Where Ford got 70s’ style right with the Cortina, BL got it wrong with the Allegro.

Launched in 1973, the Allegro was styled by internal stylist, Harris Mann. It certainly looked 70s. However, where the Cortina emphasised size and width, the Allegro was rounded and dumpy. There was a bizarre selection of different style front grilles complemented with rounded rectangular headlamps matched inside the car with a rounded square steering wheel, called a Quartic.

Vanden Plas 1500 (Allegro)

A range of engines sizes from 1100 to 1750cc, a rather stylish small estate and a posh Vanden Plas version with real wood facia, leather seats and picnic tables failed to impress buyers. Surprisingly BL failed to provide a hatchback version even though the Allegro shape suited it, and they had been making the hatchback Maxi since 1969.

The Allegro was not a great hit with the public. Whilst the 1100/1300 range was chalking up annual sales of 100,000+ units every year, the Allegro failed to achieve more than 65,000. This styling misjudgment certainly contributed to BL’s collapse in 1975.

There was an unfortunate side effect to the 70s’ style lettering on the boot: to some ‘Austin Allegro’ looked like ‘Rustin Allegro’. The Austin All-aggro was another name for it.

When Austin-Rover dropped the Allegro range in 1982 to make room for the Maestro there were few sad faces.

Ford Capri 2000GT, 1972

Ford advertised the Capri as the car you have always promised yourself. The Capri offered the motoring public something entirely new. It was almost a sports car, with a comfortable four-seater saloon cabin, gorgeous fastback styling and a price tag that the man in the street could afford.

Launched in 1969, the Capri sold well throughout the 70s. Like the Cortina, Ford offered a huge range of engines and trim levels. Like the Cortina, there were several styling revisions, but the basic look and personality remained the same.

At the top of the Capri range was the 3000E, which offered outstanding performance with a top speed of 122mph and 0-60mph in eight seconds. The brochure cooed about such refinements as reclining seats, an electric clock and push button radio. The prestige motoring experience was completed by a a steering wheel and gear knob covered in simulated leather.

Hillman Avenger 1300DL, 1975

Rootes Group (Hillman, Singer, Sunbeam, Humber) launched the Hillman Avenger in 1970. It was a completely new car. The Avenger was mechanically unexciting, but offered a stylish new body with black grill with coke bottle styling and a sloping rear end.

The black grill was made from plastic. The Avenger also had some very distinctive L shaped rear a lamp clusters.

The Avenger was smaller than Rootes Group’s Hillman Hunter and competed with the Escort and Viva. It sold steadily throughout the 1970s. There was a facelift in 1976 and it later became the Chrysler Avenger as the American parent began to assert itself more strongly.

Austin Maxi, 1972

The Austin Maxi could have been a world beater. It was one of the first hatch back cars, and it was one of the first mass-market cars to have a five-speed gear box. Partly designed by Alec Issigonis, it was spacious and handled well. However, the Maxi never lived up to expectations.

The original design, launched in 1969, was very plain looking and not liked by the public. The gearbox was awful and the 1500cc engine was not powerful enough for the car.

The Maxi had a major facelift in 1971. There was a new grill, a more attractive wood finish fascia and a new 1750cc engine. In this form it enjoyed modest sales throughout most of the 70s. People loved the practicality of the hatchback and with the seats folded down it was big enough to transport a double mattress and perfectly capable of carrying garden waste to the tip or a tent or two on holiday.

1970s major household expenses

1. Transport

The average household weekly spend on transport in 2007 was £62. That includes everything from bus tickets to buying cars and petrol. In 1971, that £62 would have been just £6. That would barely cover a tube ticket today.

2. Recreation and culture

In 2007, we spent an average of £57 per week on things like holidays, cinema trips, sports activities and gambling. At 1971 prices, that would cost around £6 again – probably about the price of a large bucket of popcorn today.

3. Housing, fuel and power

£52 per week in 2007, £5 per week in 1971. Obviously that includes expenses like mortgage payments, rent and energy bills. Oh how times have changed.

4. Food and drink

In 2007, we spent £54 per week (I must admit I find that hard to believe, looking at my own till receipts, but still). Thirty-eight years ago that would have cost a mere fiver. Oh and over two thirds of the money we spend on food goes to the big supermarkets – so much for the nation of shopkeepers.

5. Restaurants and hotels

Weekly cost in 2007? £37. In 1971 that would have cost about £4, but then I doubt we would have used them as much in those days anyway.

6. Clothing and footwear

Despite our collective obsession with labels and fashion, we only spent £22 per week on clothes in 2007. Imagine how svelte we would all look if that still only set us back £2. Then again, we’d probably have to be clad head to toe in denim, so maybe £22 is a price worth paying.

7. Communication

Presumably this means telephones, mobiles, broadband and the like. Well, we spent an average of £12 a week on this kind of thing in 2007, which is equivalent to £1 in 1971 (OK, OK so we didn’t have mobiles and broadband back then, but that’s not really the point)

8. Everything else

This includes things like education and health, insurance and whatever else we spend our money on. Anyway, in 2007, these miscellaneous items cost a whopping £128 per week. In 1971, you’d have got the lot for £13. So in 2007, the total average household spend per week was a little under £460. Ouch. If we were to enter some kind of weird price time-warp that would come down to a total of about £46 per week.

Meanwhile, the latest research shows that the average household income in 2006 was about £650. Given the perilous state of our savings, you have to wonder where the extra £210 per week went (We only spent £460 of it remember).

Whichever way you look at it though, that time warp is looking rather appealing. We’ve already got the strikes and the recession, so to earn £650 a week and spend only £46 of it would make it all worthwhile.

It’s never going to happen of course, but it’s a nice dream.

1970s: Fewer cars but more smokers

*In 1971, UK residents made 6.7 million holiday trips abroad.

*In 1970/71, there were 621,000 students in the UK in higher education.

*In 1974, 26 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in Great Britain who smoked regularly were classed as heavy smokers.

*In 1970, life expectancy at birth for males in the UK was 68.7 years and for females was 75.0 years.

*In 1970, there were 340,000 first marriages in England and Wales.

*In 1970, nearly half (48 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.

*In 1971, the average household size in Great Britain was 2.9 people per household, with one-person households accounting for 18 per cent of all households.

*In 1971, the proportion of babies born to women aged under 25 in England and Wales was 47 per cent (369,600 live births).

*In 1970, food and non-alcoholic drinks was the largest category of expenditure, accounting for 21 per cent of UK total domestic household expenditure.

Life expectancy is perhaps the most notable single change. In 1970, when Edward Heath had just become Prime Minister and The Beatles were breaking up, for men it was 68.7 years and for women it was 75 years; 40 years on, these figures have shifted substantially. Male life expectancy is now 77.8 years, and for women it is 81.9 years. Doubtless the fall in heavy smoking has played a part in that. In 1974, 24 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in Britain who smoked regularly were classed as heavy smokers, whereas in 2008 the figures were 7 per cent of men and only one in 20 women.

1971 vs 2011: what you get for your money

Mars bar: 1971: 2p 2011: 60p

First class stamp: 1971: 3p 2011: 44p

Pint of milk: 1971: 6p 2011: 49p

Loaf of bread: 1971: 9½p 2011: £1.10

Pint of bitter: 1971: 11p 2011: £3.05

Bunch of bananas: 1971: 18p 2011: 65p

Packet of cigarettes: 1971: 27p 2011: £7

Gallon of petrol: 1971: 33p 2011: £6

Ticket to Wembley Cup Final: 1971: £2 2011: £115

Spot the Scahill @ NYC WALL ST. BAILOUT PROTEST?
life insurance policy
Image by eyewashdesign: A. Golden
New Yorkers Protest the US0 BILLION (US TRILLION) Wall Street BAILOUT: Wall Street, NYC – September 25, 2008

Phototgrapher: a. golden, eyewash design – c. 2008.

I swear, Jeremy probably thinks I’m stalking him. As a matter of fact, it feels like every time I’m photographing, or attending a lecture, there pops up Jeremy Scahill. Admittedly, I do have a bit of a crush. OK, a BIG CRUSH. What’s NOT to love? Intelligent, good-looking, well-spoken, hard-working, a HUSTLER, an injustice investigator, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, an accomplished writer. Perhaps I am stalking him, because every New York female knows a good man HERE is HARD to find. We simply take the hard portion of the latter when we can and consider ourselves fortunate. Hahaha! If anyone happens to be zero degrees of separation from Mr. Scahill, please let him know he has an blushing admirer!

For more information on Scahill:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Scahill
blackwaterbook.com/
www.thenation.com/directory/bios/jeremy_scahill

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four-hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans COMBINED! 400 of the wealthiest Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is .6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly 0 billion — the same amount that they were demanding We give to them for the "bailout." Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a 7 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not HIS, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a .5 trillion debt that will take seven generations from which to recover. Why — on –earth – did — our — "representatives" — give — these — robber — barons — $US850 BILLION — of – OUR — money?

Last week, proposed my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, were predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: THERE…IS…NO…FREE… LUNCH ~ PERIOD! And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there should have been NO HANDOUTS FROM US TO YOU! Last Friday, after voting AGAINST this BAILOUT, in an unprecedented turn of events, the House FLIP-FLOPPED their "No" Vote & said "Yes", in a rush version of a "bailout" bill vote. IN SPITE OF THE PEOPLE’S OVERWHELMING DISAPPROVAL OF THIS BAILOUT BILL… IN SPITE OF MILLIONS OF CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE CRASHING WASHINGTON "representatives’" PHONE LINES…IN SPITE OF CRASHING OUR POLITICIAN’S WEBSITES…IN SPITE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AROUND THE COUNTRY… THEY VOTED FOR THIS BAILOUT! The People first succeeded on Monday with the House, but failed do it with the Senate and then THE HOUSE TURNED ON US TOO!

It is clear, though, we cannot simply continue protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think THESE IDIOTS should/’ve do/one. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here’s the proposal, now known as "Mike’s Rescue Plan." (From Michael Moore’s Bailout Plan) It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are that you DIDN’T, BUT SHOULD’VE:

1. APPOINTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money was expended, Congress should have committed, by resolution, to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the attempted SACKING OF OUR ECONOMY. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse should have and MUST GO TO JAIL! This Congress SHOULD HAVE called for a Special Prosecutor who would vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in future. (I like Elliot Spitzer ~ so, he played a little hanky-panky…Wall Street hates him & this is a GOOD thing.)

2. THE RICH SHOULD HAVE PAID FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT! They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than ,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class should have to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly needed the 0 billion they say they needed, well, here is an easy way they could have raised it:

a) Every couple makeing over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over 0,000 a year should pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich would have still been paying less income tax than when Carter was president. That would have raise a total of 0 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, they should have charged a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This would have raised more than 0 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders should have forgone receiving a dividend check for ONE quarter and instead this money would have gone the treasury to help pay for the bullsh*t bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raised the corporate income tax BACK to the levels of the 1950s, this would give us an extra 0 billion.

All of this combined should have been enough to end the calamity. The rich would have gotten to keep their mansions and their servants and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") would’ve have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools…

3. YOU SHOULD HAVE BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME! There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So, instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, they should have paid down each of these mortgages by 0,000. They should have forced the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner could pay on its current value. To insure that this help wouldn’t go to speculators and those who tried to making money by flipping houses, the bailout should have only been for people’s primary residences. And, in return for the 0K pay-down on the existing mortgage, the government would have gotten to share in the holding of the mortgage so it could get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is 0 billion, not 0 BILLION.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want: a home to call their own. But, during the Bush years, millions of the People lost the decent paying jobs they had. SIX MILLION fell into poverty! SEVEN MILLION lost their health insurance! And, every one of them saw their real wages go DOWN by ,000! Those who DARE look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ASHAMED.! We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home they own.

4. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STIPULATION THAT IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GOT ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but WE SHOULD OWN YOU. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD! This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the hen-house. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen.Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

"In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

FOR THIS NOT TO REOCCUR, This BILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPEALED! Bill Clinton could have helped by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they were done with that, they should have restored the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" should have had enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST! Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No ONE or TWO companies should EVER have this kind of power! The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When we have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we DON’T FACE A NATIONAL DISASTER! If we have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a STRONG and "FREE" press!). Laws Should have been enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the GIANT FALLS and DIES. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that NO ONE understands. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money!

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD EVER BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How We have allowed this to happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an OUTRAGE! We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. THIS HAS TO STOP! Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be FIRED before the company receives ANY help.

8. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED THE FDIC AND MADE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to 0,000. But, this same sort of government insurance must be given to our NEVER have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This should have meant strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means the companies should have been forced to turn over those funds and their management to the government? People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market??? Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about becoming destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off your TVs! We are NOT in the Second Great Depression. The sky is NOT falling, Chicken Little! Pundits and politicians have lied to us so FAST and FURIOUS it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I wrote to and repeated what I heard on the news last week, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that was true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into their Jacuzzis before they slip into their million thread-count sheets to drift off to a peaceful, Vodka tonic and Ambien-induced slumber.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan last week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. I was even pre-approved for a USK personal loan. Yes, life has gone on with little-or-no-change (other than the whopping 6.1% unemployment rate, but that happened last month). Not a single person lost any of his/her monies in bank, or a treasury note, or in a CD. And, the perhaps the most amazing thing is that the American public FINALLY didn’t buy the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, instead telling Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has the bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shit. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer. The WORLD is fed up & I don’t blame them.

10. THEY SHOULD HAVE CREATED A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE’S BANK." Since they’re really itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t We give it to ourselves? Now that We own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a People’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And, now that we own AIG – the country’s largest insurance company – let’s take the next step and PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE. MEDICARE FOR ALL! It will SAVE us SO MUCH MONEY in the LONG RUN (not to mention bring peace of mind to all). And, America won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list! We’ll be able to have a longer lifespan, enjoying our government-protected pension and will live to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused this much misery are let out of prison so that We can help re-acclimate them to plain old ordinary, civilian life — a life with ONE nice home and ONE gas-free car invented with help from the People’s Bank.

P.S. Call your Senators NOW !!! —> www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Since they voted against passing the extension of unemployment benefits and skipped out to "campaign" to us to be re-elected…call them and tell them you will vote for the other "guy" if they don’t get their act together!

—————————————————–

UPDATE: THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED! A HISTORIC MOMENT: NOVEMBER 4th 2008!

——> THE Historic ELECTION <——

"A work in PROGRESS."

Nov. 4th, 2008.

A great American leader once said, "As individual fingers We can be easily broken. But TOGETHER We make a mighty fist." These words too were spoken by a minority leader. He was the venerable Chief Sitting Bull. No, Barack Obama’s not the first American minority to speak eloquently and he most certainly won’t be the last. Though, in the end, this election wasn’t even close !!! The world watched as, "YES WE CAN!" turned into, "YES WE DID!" as it now ushers in, "YES WE MUST!" time is NOW!

What WE do with this moment shall define US, forthright. America has now elected a man with a background of partial African – American descent as President elect. A new leader with roots from Kenya to Kansas (with a step-father from Indonesia), will be working in conjunction with a vice-Presidential of Anglo-European roots. This is something in which citizens of ALL races – both here and the world ’round – have loudly REJOICED. Why talk about race? Is race important? You bet! Because – like it or not – race has dominated and governed Our daily lives for thousands of years. After all: "To know where We’re going, We must first know where We’ve been".

We’ve come a LONG Way baby! What was once "acceptable" in 1965 is no longer in 2008 and THANKFULLY.

This is a changing of the guard. Especially since forty-percent of America’s population is considered to be a "minority". Only four generations removed, the repression of African slaves by Anglo Saxons caused hundreds of thousands of brothers to kill brothers in a viscous and bloody battle that changed the fundamental principals of this Constitutional Republic from rhetoric to reality. This too was a significant changing of the guard.

For the first time in the history of the country, the ancestors of these very same people who so passionately fought for slavery have now OVERWHELMINGLY voted for a minority leader. This too ushers in a new chapter in the history of America. This is a tremendous nod to those great American leaders before Us who risked everything so that We find ourselves at this precise moment in time. We must give thanks to these men and women who both tirelessly and unselfishly gave their lives to cross and to help shatter the racial, sexual and social boundaries imbued in the history of the United States of America.

It has now taken place. There’s a palpable renewed sense of HOPE for a better tomorrow – a HOPE that these same crippling boundaries shall finally once and for all be erased. Yet it is wise to also remember the adage, "Actions speak louder than words" and Our rhetoric must now be turned into action. The ability to truly rise above differences and to not just speak of doing so, tells much of Our long and continuous journey. If We remember the old North American Indian saying, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." We might just have a fighting chance.

The People have spoken! A record-setting 130 million Americans’ turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election, in which Barack Obama made history on a Democratic tidal wave of victory. Polling suggests voters came out in record numbers because of growing concerns over the economy, jobs, health care, energy, and the war in Iraq.

Clearly, the Obama administration and the new Democratic majority in Washington have a chance to make profound changes in Our lives – stretching ­from Wall Street to Main Street. Yes, this moment shows decency about human possibility and let’s face it, We could use just a little decency RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps more importantly, this moment speaks volumes as it’s an utter rejection of the right’s politics of fear and greed? It will now be decades before there’s another Republican majority in Congress. Never have the words, "Ask not what Your country can do for You, but what You can do for Your country," seemed more true for SO MANY. For, We-Are-Our-country. And We’re at a MAJOR crossroads. Where, oh where to begin?

OBAMA / BIDEN Campaign.

Here in New York, Working Families voters, members, affiliates, supporters and chapter leaders poured everything they had into critical campaigns that proved successful. Many are now understandably exhausted – though more than a little proud of what was accomplished. And, the results were terrific ~ if not downright Historic. For the first time since the mid-1930, the State Senate will NO LONGER be controlled by Republicans. It’s now in the hands of a Democratic Working Families majority! Just-take-one-moment-and-soak-this-in. MASSIVE Democratic majorities in BOTH the HOUSE and the SENATE!

Together, the W.F.P built a solid partnership with Senate Democrats, knocking on more than half a million doors for progressive CHANGE. And, in the end, "We the People" overwhelmingly responded. This is a MILESTONE. There’s now a renewed sense of real HOPE resonating from Washington, indeed, around the world. This is powerful. Because, without HOPE, there’s simply nothing to gain.

However, We must be careful not to fall prey to disillusionment. If illusions tear People asunder, then disillusion outright kills the human spirit. In other words, divided THEY conquer, united, WE stand. That this historic moment was ushered in during Native American Indian month is apropos. Because, We must not forget the very real foundations of this idealistic country and pay homage to the 500 plus year struggle of Our First Peoples’ for the basic rights afforded them in Our own Constitution. Obama’s victory is indeed a victory representing the multitudes. It is precisely because his success mirrors the masses, rather than a few wealthy, power-elite that this is so electrifying. A VERY palpable, "Finally!" was the expression heard ’round the world.

The world woke up WEDNESDAY with the real possibility of a very RARE OPPORTUNITY – the best in most Our lifetimes. This is a chance to truly transform America.

But, We mustn’t forget the VERY hard realities existing in this country. Just ask any woman…any "person of color"…or, any First Peoples living in this "great" land. For, as long as Native American Indians in Our country still live in policies of containment on reservations without the very basics, such as running water, electricity, or heat… as long as more than 75% of the prison population includes African-Americans, First and Taino Peoples …as long as We continue to allow Our tax dollars spent to be three times more for each of these prisoners per head than on Our own school childrens’ education…as long as American women continue to earn less than men for the SAME work…as long as We allow privately held corporations to exist without extreme MAJOR reform…as long as We continue to allow Our children to trample on foreign soil to kill and to be killed in "Our" names…as long as We sit idly by expecting or content to let others to "Do the right thing," for us… as long as We DON’T ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE TOGETHER in challenging and fighting for OUR OWN WELL-BEING for the betterment of future generations… as long as We choose to remain ignorant and in denial to Our faults…TRUE CHANGE can, and will NEVER HAPPEN.

Though, like anything rare and unique, We must first take proper time to Honor…to give thanks to those before us who, without their dedication and sacrifice, made this moment possible. We must come together. Immediate formulation and a real plan to guard and to protect this moment with fierce determination is required. New leaders are needed and will emerge so We ensure moments like this become the norm, rather than a mere token fluke. If We HOPE to transform Tuesday’s results into a real break from the shipwreck of the most immediate last thirty years – We MUST start by realizing this election represents just that – a START. It’s Round One of Our LONG and CONTINUOUS struggle.

And, Round Two will be just as tough, if not more so. Staying the course can easily be forgotten when People are dying from inadequate health care; when they’ve found themselves on the streets for lack of shelter and as they grow ever more desperate due to lack of job opportunities. Just ask people of Native or African American descent. Or, one of Our homeless veterans living on America’s streets of plenty.

Yes, the house of cards has fallen HARD and FAST. And, President / V.P. elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden have inherited many seemingly insurmountable challenges. REAL CHANGE – not rhetoric – is what’s needed. And to get it, We MUST demand it. We MUST march and be watchdogs for the sake of the coming generations. Communication with Our politicians is a MUST. MOST importantly, We MUST stand TOGETHER and be willing to fight to protect what is right and what is good for the MANY, NOT the FEW.

UNITED We STAND, DIVIDED, We FALL.

A President Obama will need to be simultaneously supported AND pushed. His training as a community organizer gives one confidence that he’ll not only understand, but should also expect this dynamic. It’s imperative for us to mind the trusty, "Follow the money" strategy. Don’t forget, President elect Obama dually made history by raising the most unprecedented amount of campaign dollars in the HISTORY of U.S. Presidential elections. According to CNN, if annualized, the Obama campaign’s ad spending on the post-primary Presidential campaign would come to US0 million. This amount is only exceeded amongst large corporations such as Verizon and AT&T – both heavy sponsors of the Republican AND the Democratic national party conventions.

At the start of October, the Democratic National Committee announced it raised US.9 million with US.5 million sitting in the bank. The party raised money through joint fund-raising events with Obama and was able to use that money to assist his candidacy. These numbers were only possible because he opted out of the public financing system for the fall campaign. John McCain chose to participate in the system, which limited him to US million for the September / October stretch prior to the election. After initially promising to accept public financing if McCain did, Obama changed his mind after setting primary fund-raising records. In fact, by the time the primaries hit, Obama was raising as much as US million each and every day. The Obama / Biden campaign raised more than US0 million in September alone – a stunning and unprecedented eruption of political giving. This extraordinary fund-raising is bound to set a new standard in politics that could doom the current taxpayer-paid system set up in the 1970’s.

HOPEfully NOT.

The party presidential nominees – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than US BILLION, also an unprecedented figure. According to White House for Sale, a nonpartisan group that tracks political giving, Obama had 605 bundlers, or donors who collect money from friends and associates and bundle them together. Four years ago, Democrat John F. Kerry had 588 bundlers and, in 2000, Al Gore had none. McCain had 851 bundlers working for his campaign, compared to 557 who raised money for the Bush-Cheney re-election committee in 2004. George W. Bush is largely credited with institutionalizing the role of bundlers in 2000, when he recruited a then unprecedented 555 surrogate fundraisers.

Ask Yourselves: Who really benefits most from having donated to the Obama / Biden campaign?

President – elect Barack Obama & John McCain’s U.S. Presidential campaign funds details:

OBAMA:
Total:US0,767,963
Bundlers:605
LobbyistBundlers:17

MCCAIN:
Total: US2,525,058
Bundlers: 851
Lobbyist Bundlers: 77

See the Center for Responsive Politics Presidential campaign monies for a better perspective:

2008: Obama AND McCain – US.3 BILLION

(Obama: US0,767,963 million / McCain: US2,525,058 million)

2004: Bush AND Kerry – US.2 BILLION

2000: Gore AND Bush – US.56 MILLION

1996: Dole AND Clinton – US.82 MILLION

1992: Clinton AND Bush – US.24 MILLION

* TO SEARCH FOR MEGA-DONERS, CLICK here: www.whitehouseforsale.org/searchDonor.cfm?CandidateSelect… McCain&StateSelect=&SortOrder=Last_Name, First_Name, Middle_Name, Suffix.*

Democrats in Washington and will be under enormous pressure to "play it safe", even as everyone knows We need bold action and some kind of new, New Deal. And, if We allow the "play-it-safe" crowd to dominate, then Obama (and We) will not succeed. Make NO mistake: the corporate big-wigs and free-market fundamentalists see this for exactly what it is: THE FIGHT OF A LIFETIME. They want nothing more than for the Democrats to disappoint, because then the HOPEfulness that Obama represents can be stuffed back in the bottle and cynicism can once again regain its place in Our national political culture.

WE Can’t Let This Happen!

Whether it’s revamping our health care system…implementing a new fair-based trade policy…creating a sound, realistic and well thought-out immigration plan…jobs programs…organizing rights in Washington, or campaign election reform, family leave or fair taxes, this election has set the stage for an ENTIRELY NEW social contract between the government and the People. This election opens up a real possibility – small, but real – that We could make genuine progress as a society, in terms of equality and freedom and true sustainability. In other words, the democracy We preach, but don’t teach. What comes next is up to US. And, We need to seriously ready OURSELVES.

In short, the real meaning of this election hasn’t yet been decided.

Overall, there’s a lot of work to do. It’s imperative that EVERYONE do his share – whether this means attending a neighborhood or union meeting, signing a petition, organizing or riding a bus to a demonstration, going on a lobby visit, making a financial contribution, or just talking to a stranger about the need and desirability of the common good.

Thanks for all you do!
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-C-E !

OBAMACARE WATCH: MORE DARKNESS THAN LIGHT AND OF COURSE TAXES AND PENALTYS
life insurance policy
Image by SS&SS
There are 1,018 pages of the Health Care Reform Bill and it really has some frightening provisions in it. I never thought I would see euthanasia addressed in print, but it’s here, Please be read the following highlights:

I have highlighted some very troubling and downright scary provisions written into this Health Care Reform Bill. What we hear on the television via our President is just a few conditions that may sound reasonable or even good on the surface, but buried within these 1,018 pages are dark secrets everyone needs to know.

On Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get!

Continue reading, the following excerpts, they contain far more information on what kind of care you may or may not get!

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specifics for and of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your Health-care!

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specifics of Benefit Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members – Your Health care WILL be rationed.

PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCERS/ HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing! Only the mildest cases will receive treatment! Those with the highest survival rates!

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what the Government deems preventable re admissions. This means you will not be admitted when you should!

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Doctors if you treat a patient during initial admission to a Hospital that results in a readmission- The Government will penalize you. This means patients will not be admitted when they should!

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Government mandates the establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want! Rationing on the basis of how sick you are! If you have Cancer and MIGHT die in 6 months with or without treatment, do you really think they are going to spend money and resources on the chance that you MIGHT live?

Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people! Can you say no health-care for the the Disabled!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government will provide you with an approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death! Can you say Euthanasia! They will not help you to live, but they will be kind enough to help you to die!

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates a program for the orders for the end of life. The Government has a say in how our life ends! An order can be made to withhold life sustaining care from us!

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "advanced care planning consultation" will be used frequently as a patients health deteriorates! This sounds like a bully tactic to make sure Euthanasia is used!

PG 429 Lines 10-12 "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from the GOVERNMENT!

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order. They can decide for you!

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at the end of your life! I do not know about you, but I would like to decide for myself what treatment I want at the end of my life!

Now a few other provisions that need to be pointed out!

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise! But wait, not to our Special Needs people? How in God’s name is this happening?

Pg 58HC Bill – Government will have real-time access to individuals finances & a National ID Health card will be issued! Fantastic now the government really controls our money! HMMM, National ID Health card—Mark of the beast?????? Ok that might be far fetched, but how far?

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your banks accounts for electronic funds transfers. Just what I want! They can take what they want, when they want!

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control. Why not, they are screwing up everything else!

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans be in the Exchange. The Government controlling the Private Sector!

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation for illegal aliens! But there is no money in the plan for life sustaining treatment for my stage 4 Lymphatic Cancer stricken Uncle! Only Euthanasia for him!

-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice!

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue the GOVERNMENT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monopoly! Too much power and no way to fight it!

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Government will tell YOU what you as a Doctor can make!

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public opt plan. NO CHOICE! What happened to being able to keep your private insurance!!!!!!!

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families. Health-care is needed for everyone this is true, but there are some small businesses that are barely making it now, If they are forced to pay for employee and family insurance it will force business closures. I have a friend who owns one of these businesses and he would love to help out his employees by offering health-care but he just can’t do it!

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll 400k & above who does not provide pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll.

pg 150 Lines 9-13 Any business with payroll between 251k & 400k who doesn’t provide pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to the Government will be taxed 2.5% of their income.

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)! I would like someone to explain why we always have to pay for them!

Pg 195 HC Bill -Officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records! INVASION OF OUR PRIVACY!

There is so much more to read, I can only scratch the surface of this repugnant Health-Care Scam! It is total government take over of our lives. The will literally have in their hands the decision of whether we live or die. President Obama has committed a reprehensible act by signing this so called Health-Care Bill. This is not Health-Care Reform, it is the destruction of the private sector and human life.

====================================================================
OH AND DID I MENTION TAXES………AND PENALTY’S

There has never been any rhyme or reason to this administration other than redistribution of wealth, socialism and inserting cradle-to-grave control. Using Health care as an excuse for seizing control of accounts and businesses is just one strategy. Obama has also planned all along to use the ‘environment’ i.e. Cap and Trade to take even more. This will do more than take. It will flatten American business and destroy our sick economy. Who cares what the American people think and what the constitution says! We are just in the way…..take, take, take.

I was forwarded this latest tax scheme by Van Hipp, President of American Defense International and the former Deputy Secretary of the Army under Bush senior and Ronald Reagan. He recommended the well known accountant and expert witness on tax matters, Paul Guppy who wrote a commentary on the various hidden taxes in the Spokesman Review paper, “Health Law’s Heavy impact.”

Starting in 2013, not only will you pay the closing costs and real estate fee when you sell your house but now you will pay a 3.8% Sales Tax. So, if you sell your home for 0,000, perhaps wanting to down size if you are a senior you will pay ,200 in Tax.

Here we have another assault on our seniors again. Many downsize their homes as retirement comes closer, so along with long lines and rationed care that is substandard, seniors and anyone will have to pay more tax on the home they just sold.

Penalties for individuals: We will pay 2.5% of our annual income as a fine/penalty if we don’t purchase the government approved health care plan.

Penalties on families: Parents will pay a yearly 7 per kid if they don’t purchase a government approved health care plan.

Penalties on employers: If you are a business with 50 or more employers you will get fined at least ,000 per employee if you don’t provide, once again the ‘government approved health care plan.

Other special taxes and fees:

Investment income: Anyone making 0,000 or over gets to pay 3.8% of their annual investment income. Start adding up them apples, folks.

If you have a fancy health care plan and pay as an individual, ,200 or ,800 for a family, you get to pay a 40% annual tax on those health care plans.

Medical aid devices have gotten hit hard as well. They will see a 2.9% tax hike. Sorry if you have an artificial limb….you are screwed.

Medicare gets more money because if you earn 0,000 or more you pay a special Medicare tax of 3.9.%

Then there is the 10% tax on tanning….on and on. Perhaps you should consider an ‘Albino’ beauty treatment.

This Health care bill is nothing but an orgy of controls, tax schemes and rationed care. Now add Real Estate tax to the ridiculous list.

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