"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, December 31, 2012

Benedict Arnold's March to Quebec

A rare out of print book
but available on e-bay, etc.

March to Quebec
By Kenneth Roberts   (1938)
The Journals of the members of Benedict Arnold's Expedition

By Gary;

Book Review  -  Back in my olden college days I was on a huge Kenneth Roberts kick.  I bought and read everything he wrote.  God help me, I even purchased his cookbook.

It was a sad and yet happy addiction.  Roberts helped both introduce me to early America, but also flesh out the dry and boring history books that had been forced on me.

Now I have dragged out two of Kenneth Roberts' books.  Re-reading them has been a great pleasure.

March To Quebec is a work of collected historical documents compiled by novelist Kenneth Roberts as part of his research for his first novel Arundel.

The book is largely compiled from the actual journals of Colonel Benedict Arnold and several of his companions during the American Revolution.

To read Arnold's journal of his brutal march though the Maine wilderness in 1775 is a treat for any true student of early American history.   Those on the march were to make a surprise attack upon Quebec with the hope of adding it as a fourteenth colony in the Revolution against England.

Benedict Arnold led our
troops in a freezing New
Year's Eve attack.
A familiar cast of famous patriots were on the march to Canada. Men like Nathaniel Green, Daniel Morgan, Henry Dearborn and Aaron Burr were all in on this unsuccessful campaign.

These out of print compiled journals by Roberts are available on e-bay and can be expensive.  But they are well worth the money.  You feel like you are in the boat beside Arnold as he fights his way through the frozen Hell of Maine and Canada in winter.

Kenneth Roberts was a man with a craving to learn new things, to prove and disprove whatever life presented him. And that, perhaps, contributed to his enormous prowess as a historian and writer of some of America’s finest historical novels.

Young people, from the 1930s to the present time, have cut their “history teeth” on the thought provoking, intense and suspenseful novels written by Kenneth Roberts, of Kennebunkport, Maine.

Roberts’ contribution to educating the youth (and older people as well) of America lies in his unerring historical accuracy and an innate ability to make interesting and immensely entertaining reading of what otherwise might remain dry, historical side notes.

By Kenneth Roberts   (1930)

Roberts’s first novel, Arundel, was published in January of 1930.

Arundel is a beautifully written book on the American Revolution.

It took Roberts 52 months to write his 618-page epic about the heroic colonials who followed Benedict Arnold up the Kennebec River in leaky bateaux, trekked across the Height of Land and lost their way in a morass of endless wetlands in their hopeful quest to storm Quebec and take it from the occupying British.

Roberts suggested early on that his book wasn’t a great seller and in fact, bemoaned the $1,420.95 check for royalties. His expenses, after all, were staggering.

The research involved not only poring through moldy volumes and handwritten notes by the actual participants, but also a physical trip to the route taken by Arnold’s men.

Roberts even located, by pacing and measuring, the exact spot in Quebec where Arnold was shot. Such attention to historical accuracy comes at a price, but it was a price that Kenneth Roberts was willing to pay.

Any person with even a passing interest in the role of New Englanders in the history of the American Revolution and our early history needs to read Kenneth Roberts’s novels—all of them. Doing so will, in the opinion of countless Kenneth Roberts fans, give the reader an invaluable education.

For more reading see  Benedict Arnold's expedition to Quebec  and also Battle of Quebec (1775)

British and Canadian forces attacking
Benedict Arnold's column in the Sault-au-Matelot

Kenneth Roberts at his Kennebunkport house Rocky Pastures in 1939. The house, which he had built, was designed with references to early colonial stone architecture. The 17th century stone buildings at Fort Pentagoet, built by the French in Castine were similar. The house burned in 1975.
Roberts was an enormously popular novelist..., an ultra-conservative Republican who inveighed in print against the New Deal and against America's liberal immigration policy.  It is said that he so hated Franklin Roosevelt that he glued Roosevelt dimes to the clamshells he used as ashtrays, the better to grind ashes into FDR’s face! 
(Maine Historical Society Photo)

Gay Marriages start in Maine

The 1st & 10th Amendments at Work
Gay couples can now legally marry in either religious or civil ceremonies in the states of Maine, Washington and Maryland
  • Those who believe in traditional marriage and live that lifestyle are to be admired.  But in a free society those believers must in turn respect the right of others to peacefully live a lifestyle of their choice.

The first gay and lesbian couples have wed under Maine's new same-sex marriage law exchanged vows early on Saturday.

The 10th Amendment to the Bill of Rights was at work when Maine, Maryland and Washington state became the first three U.S. states to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples by popular vote with passage of ballot initiatives on November 6.

The Five Mile Rule  -  I created the five mile rule.  There is a house five miles for you.  You will never meet who lives there.  They will never meet you.  You have no idea if the residents are Black, White, Korean, gay, divorced, straight, Orthodox Christian, atheist, Buddhist or Hindu.

The point being, it should not matter to anyone how grown adults choose to peacefully live their lives.  Leave these people who you will never meet alone.  Don't try to run their lives for them.

In Maine about 15 couples took advantage of their new found freedom to obtain their marriage licenses, with plans to wed later.

"We've been together for 30 years and never thought that this country would allow marriages between gay couples," said Roberta Batt, 71, an antiques dealer and retired physician with silver hair and round eyeglasses, as she and her longtime partner, Mary, waited their turn to wed.

"We're just very thankful to the people of Maine, and I hope the rest of the country goes the way this state has," she added.

(Yahoo News)

Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles
Last year the church presided over 5000 holy union ceremonies for lesbian and gay couples.
(Left to right) Current Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Neil G Thomas; Minister of Latino Ministry, Rev. Alejandro Escoto; Minister of Congregational Life, Rev. Dr. Pat Langlois;  Founder of Metropolitan Community Church and MCCLA’s first pastor, Rev. Dr. Elder Troy D. Perry.
Link to the Metropolitiam Community Church of Los Angeles 

The Gay Friendly
Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles
Marriage can indeed be a religious ceremony.  But freedom of religion says it is not the business of Big Government to decide which is the "True Faith" and then write laws based on only the view of that religion to the exclusion of others. 
America is made of a huge variety of faiths from Baptist to Judaism to Scientology to Buddhism.  Government must let each faith run their own affairs.  Government issued marriage licenses should only be to provide legal guidelines for secular issues like property rights and inheritance. 

Russia launches super-modern, noiseless sub

Nuclear submarine (NS) "Yuri Dolgoruky" undergoing sea trials. (RIA Novosti)

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming

Super-modern, powerful and almost noiseless Russian nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomakh has been put in water to become the third ship of the Borei project. The cruiser is about to begin sea trials and mooring to become fully operational in 2013.

­Vladimir Monomakh was laid down at Russia’s largest shipbuilding complex Sevmash, located on the shores of the White Sea in the town of Severodvinsk in northern Russia on March 19, 2006 – the 100th anniversary of the Russian submarine fleet.

Borei class nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomah at
the “Sevmash” shipyard before its launch
in Severodvinsk. (RIA Novosti/A. Petrov)

It belongs to a class of missile strategic submarine cruisers with a new generation of nuclear reactor, which allows the submarine to dive to a depth of 480 meters.

It can spend up to three months in autonomous navigation and, thanks to the latest achievements in the reduction of noise, it is almost silent compared to previous generations of submarines.

The submarine is armed with the new missile system, which has from 16 to 20 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles Bulava (SS-NX-30 by NATO classification). The rocket is able to overcome any prospective missile defense system.

On August 27, 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on a successful test of Bulava to investigate its maximum range. The missile was launched from the White Sea, flew 9,300km in just 33 minutes, and then fell in the specified area in the Pacific Ocean reports RT News.

Borei class submarine ready for launch

The Borei family

The first and head submarine of Borei class, Yury Dolgoruky, has already completed the test program and is to be officially adopted by the Russian Navy on Sunday. Construction of the missile carrier is approximately estimated at around US$770 million, while other Borei class submarines are believed to cost less.
“The hoisting of the flag and the signing of the acceptance act is to be adopted at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk on Sunday, December 30,” the Rubin design bureau that designed the submarine said in a statement on Saturday.

Another missile cruiser of this project, the Aleksandr Nevsky, is undergoing tests, according to Borisov. While a fourth, more advanced submarine, the Knyaz Vladimir, with enhanced technical characteristics and increased ammunition is currently being built.

Over the next eight years Russia plans to have built 10 Borei class submarines altogether, according to the state armaments program of 2011-2020. All Borei class submarines are believed to provide a basis of naval strategic nuclear forces of Russia in the coming decades.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Senate votes to abolish search warrants

Congress Extends FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Act To 2017; Awaits Obama's Signature
  • Democrats and Republicans eagerly join forces to abolish the Bill of Rights.

The FISA Amendments Act has been approved for another five years, as the Senate voted to renew the law that grants the government wide surveillance authority. President Obama has said he intends to sign the measure, which senators approved by a 73-23 margin Friday morning. It had already won approval in the Republican controlled House.

The controversial bill, which allows federal agencies to eavesdrop on communications and review email without following an open and public warrant process, has long been a target for privacy and rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in a Supreme Court case over FISA.

An amendment by Constitutional Federalist Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), sought "to ensure adequate protection of the rights under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" — the portion of the Bill of Rights that protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Paul's amendment was defeated, 79-12.

Senate extends warrantless wiretapping under FISA
The controversial law has gone through many changes including allowing US officials to wiretap phone conversations of American citizens without a warrant; and on Friday Congress voted to extend the FISA law until 2017.

The original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act dates back to 1978; it was expanded during the Bush administration in 2008, to allow both foreign and domestic surveillance without a warrant, as long as the intent is to gather foreign intelligence reports NPR News.

When it was amended in 2008, FISA also provided "retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration in its warrantless wiretapping program," as Open Congress notes in its summary.

Before Friday's vote, the 2012 FISA extension faced several attempts to amend it, including one made by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who sought to require the director of national intelligence to share information about telephone and email surveillance — how many Americans have been monitored, for instance, or whether communications between Americans is reviewed.

Why so Serious?
So-called "Conservative" Republicans in the House and
Senate have fallen all over each other to abolish the Bill of Rights
in the name of national security.  After all, that Constitution
is so old fashioned.  So 18th Century.

The Wyden amendment was rejected by a 52-43 vote, an indication of the contentiousness surrounding the bill's granting of intelligence-gathering powers. The amendment had bipartisan support that included Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Patty Murray and Republican Sens. Dean Heller and Pat Toomey, among others.

But the measure also faced bipartisan opposition. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke against the Wyden amendment, with Feinstein saying it would expose "information about a very effective intelligence collection program that is currently classified." She added that the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees already review all of the material.

A similar measure, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), sought to require the Attorney General to disclose some of the decisions and orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose records are generally not available to the public. The Merkley measure failed by a 54-37 margin.
(UK Guardian)

Back when people worked for a living

1908 - Back when people worked
Men Seeking Employment as Snow Shovelers, NYC

1908   -   We paid Americans to work.

2012   -   We pay Americans not to work.

By Gary;

I ran across this photo and the change in American culture frightens me to death.

In modern Socialist America we pay countless millions of people to sit on their asses rather than take jobs shoveling snow, cleaning the streets, building fire breaks or harvesting crops. 

My mother harvested crops on the family farm in Iowa.  But today we import foreigners to harvest our crops so Americans won't have to get their hands dirty and maybe break a sweat on a warm summer day outside.

Sucking at the teat is better than working.

In general, huge numbers of human beings have always been lazy.  Many have little interest in education or bettering themselves.  They are content with just getting by in life.  As long as they have food stamps, section 8 housing and a Obamaphone life is good.

The lazy gene exists in the middle and upper classes too.  Grown middle class adults in their 30s are living at home with mom and dad rather than taking the world by the throat and making it on their own.

Then you have those worthless shreds of human debris the wealthy trust fund babies.  The spoiled rotten children of the privileged classes and super-wealthy.  Their parents are content that their brat never comes into contact with anything that might involve real work.  They flit from socialite party to socialite party.  They "work" at so-called non-profit trusts shielded from taxation.  And sometimes they go into politics for fun.

So welcome to the United States of Lazy Americans where work is often optional and Big Government can be the daddy to millions of fatherless children.
(Museum Syndicate)

Obamaphone Lady
The classic looters and moochers are always the best ones.

Welcome to America the Lazy
Why work hard?  Someone else will pick up the bill.

Iran arrests Pastor for the "crime" of Christianity

Sentenced to death.  Released.  Now Re-Arrested.

Islamic Iran gives an attorney nine years in prison for working to free the Christian pastor.
  • There is no freedom of thought or freedom of religion under Islam.

The Iranian Christian pastor who was acquitted just two months ago on charges he converted from Islam to Christianity and freed from prison has reportedly been re-arrested in Iran.

Sources close to Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, including the British group Christian Solidarity Worldwide and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), say the Iranian Christian pastor was taken back into custody on Christmas Day.

Both organizations had led the worldwide effort to free Nadarkhani, who was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to death on charges of apostasy for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Fox News  -  In prison for becoming a Christian
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Prison Again.  Jay Sekulow appeared on Fox News about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani being thrown back in Iranian prison. Iranian authorities tore him away from his wife and two young boys on Christmas Day to "finish" his sentence. There is also an American pastor in prison in Iran for his faith.

Nadarkhani, who spent more than 1,000 days in jail, was freed in September by an Iranian court, which acquitted him on the apostasy charges.

According to the sources, Nadarkhani was re-arrested by Iranian authorities to serve the remainder of a three-year sentence he had received for helping Muslims convert from Islam to Christianity. The sentence was upheld in September by the same Iranian court which had acquitted him of blasphemy.

In November, Nadarkhani travelled to London, where he spoke at a human rights conference, thanking thousands of activists who sent tweets, e-mails, cards and calls to Iranian authorities demanding his freedom.

Meanwhile, the Tehran regime has sentenced Nadarkhani’s attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, to nine years in prison for working to free the Christian pastor.

(CNS News)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Norman Schwarzkopf (1934 – 2012)

Norman Schwarzkopf   (1934 – 2012)

By Gary;

Americans mourned a military legend after retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf died Thursday at age 78, leaving behind a legacy that most famously included driving Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf died, in Tampa, from complications from pneumonia. He was remembered not only for his impressive military record, but his intelligence, his modesty and his warmth and dedication to fellow service members.

"His epitaph should read that he was a soldier who loved solders," retired Gen. Bob Scales, who knew the late general, told Fox News.

Nicknamed "Stormin' Norman," Schwarzkopf went on after he retired to support various national causes and children's charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.

Desert Storm - Air Campaign
On the ground both sides in Iraq pretended to play World War II generals.  But World War II style warfare ended on June 6th, 1944 with the total supremacy of air power.

"Highway of Death" Iraqi Army Armed Retreat from Kuwait 1991 
The Highway of Death refers to a road between Kuwait and Basra on which retreating units of the Iraqi army as well as Iraqi civilians were attacked and destroyed by American aircraft and ground forces during the United Nations Coalition offensive in the Gulf War, on the night of February 26-February 27, 1991, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of vehicles and the deaths of an unknown and disputed number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians. The scenes of carnage on the road are some of the most recognizable images of the war.

Operation Desert Storm
  • The last of the massive World War II style battles.  Modern technology makes that type of warfare totally obsolete decades ago.
  • From a historical point of view, fewer Americans died in this much hyped "war" than were killed in the very militarily insignificant Battle of the Little Big Horn.

On land at least, both sides in the Gulf War tried to recreate the World War II tank battles.

But luckily for the Allies, General Norman Schwarzkopf understood that armored style warfare is as dead as the cavalry charge.

Starting on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 airpower became supreme.  German troops could not move three feet without primitive propeller airplanes bombing them out of existence.  By 1991 large land armies were a relic of a dead military past found in dusty history books.

The Gulf War began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign in January 1991. The Coalition flew over 100,000 sorties, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs, and widely destroying military and civilian infrastructure.  Anything that moved was obliterated.

The Worst General in History 

Schwarzkopf had the luck of facing perhaps the worst military commander in history:  Saddam Hussein.  In fact, no real battle was even fought.

Hussein had insanely placed Iraqi troops in the wide open deserts.  His soldiers were systematically starved to death by allied airpower.  Iraqis could not even get water delivered without attracting dozens of Allied jets.  His armies were slaughtered from the air.

The nearly 1,000,000 Allied troops gathered had no meaning in a modern technology driven war. A single American division surrounded by a bubble of airpower could have marched to Baghdad itself with little trouble.

Battleground Kuwait City? 
Today with nearly 2.4 million people.

The Correct Iraqi Battle Plan

  • An Iraqi Army of 200,000 dug into Kuwait City could have been a nightmare.

Have you heard of Stalingrad?  If Saddam Hussein had any knowledge of military history at all he would have copied Stalingrad.

Hussein could easily have had almost all of his 650,000 troops dig into Kuwait City and Basra in southern Iraq leaving only token forces on the border.

In both of those large cities they would have access to water, food and military supplies.  Allied airpower would be confronted by an enemy using the millions of local inhabitants as human shields. 

House to house frighting in Stalingrad.

Using this battle plan the only way to kill Iraqi soldiers would be to slaughter countless civilians on live TV.

Wolf Blitzer, the media, the politicians and the people of the world would have looked on in horror at an Allied air campaign on civilian targets.

Schwarzkopf's troops could easily have rolled up to Kuwait City.  But the real test would have been what to do if 200,000 Iraqi soldiers had dug into the city and fortified their positions while surrounded by civilians.

General Schwarzkopf would have faced a military choice of block to block street Stalingrad fighting or a siege lasting for weeks or months that could have seen huge numbers of civilians die of starvation.

We will never know.  Schwarzkopf got off easy.

The Highway of Death
It has almost reached the point of giving the infantry brooms to clean up the mess created by airpower.  No enemy force can gather in one place without being decimated from the air. 

Airpower is supreme against any target out in the open.

Oliver Stone: "Obama a wolf in sheep's clothing"

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick.

Oliver Stone: ‘US has become an Orwellian state’
  • "American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day."
  • "We have been actually classifying more documents under Obama than we did under Bush."

While I don't always agree with Oliver Stone's politics, he gets high marks for consistency.  Stone has ripped into George Bush on building a Big Brother State.  Now he is going after Comrade Obama.

Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT News to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law.

­Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.”

“He has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them,” Stone told RT News.

 “It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.”

According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.”

RT’s Abby Martin in the program Breaking the Set discusses the Showtime film series and book titled The Untold History of the United States co-authored by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.

Oliver Stone
Obama a wolf in sheep's clothing 

Some interview highlights:

Oliver Stone:  (Obama) I think under the disguise of sheep’s clothing he has been a wolf. . . .  That is what is sad. So we are going into the second administration that is living outside the law and does not respect the law and foundations of our system and he is a constitutional lawyer, you know. Without the law, it is the law of the jungle. Nuremburg existed for a reason and there was a reason to have trials, there is a reason for due process – ‘habeas corpus’ as they call it in the United States.

Peter Kuznick: I agree, if you look at his domestic policy, he did not break with the Bush administration’s policies. If you look at his transparency – he claimed to be the transparency president when he was running for office. There has not been transparency. We have been actually classifying more documents under Obama than we did under Bush. . . .  The surveillance has not stopped, the incarceration without bringing people to trial has not stopped. So those policies have continued.

Peter Kuznick:  The US government now intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day from American citizens. That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication. Can you imagine: 1.7 billion? We’ve got this apparatus set up now with hundreds of thousands of people, over a million of people with top security clearances in this kind of nightmarish state, this 1984 kind of state.

Oliver Stone:  . . . we are all ultimately watching ourselves. It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.

For the full interview go to RT News.

Some of my favorite Oliver Stone movies.
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Scarface (1983)
Wall Street (1987)
Reversal of Fortune (1990)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Alexander (2004)

Oliver Stone's "Alexander"

Saudi police foil attempt to celebrate Christmas

Saudi Morality Police
Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice

41 Christians detained by "virtue and vice" police
  • "Plotting to celebrate Christmas"

Saudi religious police stormed a house in the Saudi Arabian province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a statement from the police branch released Wednesday night said.

The raid is the latest in a string of religious crackdowns against residents perceived to threaten the country's strict religious code.

The host of the alleged Christmas gathering is reported to be an Asian diplomat whose guests included 41 Christians, as well as two Saudi Arabian and Egyptian Muslims... The guests were said to have been referred to the "respective authorities."

There is no freedom of thought or religion under Islam.

Saudi religious police are known to detain residents of the kingdom at whim, citing loose interpretations of Sharia and public statements by hardline religious leaders to justify crackdowns.

Saudi Arabia's head mufti Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah had previously condemned “invitations to Christmas or wedding celebrations.”

A member of the Higher Council of Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammed al-Othaimin recently prohibited sending holiday wishes to "heretics" on Christmas or other religious Christian holidays.


Saudis Execute Witch

"Yule be sorry: Saudi police foil attempt to celebrate Christmas"

Additional from RT News, "Yule be sorry: Saudi police foil attempt to celebrate Christmas":

­The police said that the detainees were Christian guests of an Asian diplomat, reports the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.

There were also a Saudi Arabian and an Egyptian, both Muslims, present at the gathering. The police account says the host and the two Muslim guests were “severely intoxicated.”
The “virtue and vice” police, which enforce religious norms in the country, regularly launch crackdowns on Christians and Hindus living in Saudi Arabia.
The attitude is encouraged by religious leaders, who justify the persecutions. Saudi Arabia's head mufti Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah had previously condemned “invitations to Christmas or wedding celebrations,” the newspaper says.

Thanks to The Libertarian Republican for a heads up on this story.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Top 2012 Movies

The #1 Film of 2012.
The Avengers grossed over $1.5 Billion in ticket sales worldwide.

The Avengers top the 2012 movie box office
  • Movies, once a truly "American" art form and business, has become international.

By Gary;

The American movie is rapidly vanishing.  It has morphed into international productions that are staffed and financed by people from every corner of the earth.  It is "Hollywood" in name only.

Movie ticket buyers are increasingly overseas and films are being geared to foreign audiences and even movie premiers are taking place first in foreign nations before even coming to the US.

Here are some sample movies with the percentage of the total box office in foreign countries.

  • 59% of the Avengers sales came from overseas
  • 59%   -   The Dark Knight Rises
  • 71%   -   Skyfall
  • 65%   -   The Twilight Saga
  • 65%   -   The Amazing Spider-Man
  • 71%   -   Men in Black 3
  • 69%   -   Prometheus

The next time the media tells you a movie is not a "hit", remember that the target audience today is often in other nations.  The US market is now only one of many markets.

The Dark Knight Rises

Nothing is more American than Batman.  But the current Batman film is populated with people born in other nations showing the international flavor of the current movie business.
  • Director  -  Born in the United Kingdom
  • Producer  -  Born in the United Kingdom
  • Actors  -  Of the six top billed main actors, four were born in the United Kingdom, one in France, and one in the USA.
  • Screenplay  -  Born in the United Kingdom
  • Music  -  Born in Germany
  • Film Editor  -  Born in Australia

Here are the top 25 films for 2012 with the gross sales in the American market.

Next Year >
RankMovie Title (click to view)Studio

Total Gross / TheatersOpening / TheatersOpenClose
1Marvel's The AvengersBV$623,357,9104,349$207,438,7084,3495/410/4
2The Dark Knight RisesWB$448,139,0994,404$160,887,2954,4047/2012/13
3The Hunger GamesLGF$408,010,6924,137$152,535,7474,1373/239/6
5The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2Sum.$286,433,0004,070$141,067,6344,07011/16-
6The Amazing Spider-ManSony$262,030,6634,318$62,004,6884,3187/310/14
8The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyWB$228,693,0004,100$84,617,3034,04512/14-
10Madagascar 3: Europe's Most WantedP/DW$216,391,4824,263$60,316,7384,2586/810/18


The Biggest Bond Movie Ever.
Over One Billion in sales worldwide. 
Only $280,000,000 was inside the United States.

The Dark Knight Rises - Official Trailer
Nearly $1.1 Billion in worldwide sales.

We were ready for another Spider-Man
Over $752,000,000 in worldwide sales. 
$262,000,000 inside the US.
11Dr. Seuss' The LoraxUni.$214,030,5003,769$70,217,0703,7293/27/26
12MIB 3Sony$179,020,8544,248$54,592,7794,2485/259/9
13Wreck-It RalphBV$175,505,3323,752$49,038,7123,75211/2-
14Ice Age: Continental DriftFox$161,130,0563,886$46,629,2593,8817/13-
15Snow White and the HuntsmanUni.$155,136,7553,777$56,217,7003,7736/19/6
16Hotel TransylvaniaSony$143,923,8203,375$42,522,1943,3499/28-
17Taken 2Fox$138,897,4943,706$49,514,7693,66110/5-
1821 Jump StreetSony$138,447,6673,148$36,302,6123,1213/167/1
21Safe HouseUni.$126,181,6303,121$40,172,7203,1192/105/17
22The VowSGem$125,014,0303,038$41,202,4582,9582/105/17
23Magic MikeWB$113,721,5713,120$39,127,1702,9306/299/27
24The Bourne LegacyUni.$113,203,8703,753$38,142,8253,7458/1011/8

Yes There are Flaws.
But the public can't get enough of Middle Earth with $693,000,000
in worldwide sales so far.