The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.

Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

December, 1972

 


JFK’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961, 12:11 EST

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom. . . symbolizing an end as well as a beginning. . .signifying renewal as well as change for I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now, for man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe. . .the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.

Let the word go forth from this time and place. . .to friend and foe alike. . . that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. . . born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage. . .and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today. . .at home and around the world.

Let every nation know. . .whether it wishes us well or ill. . . that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge. . .and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share: we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United. . .there is little we cannot do in a host of co-operative ventures. Divided. . .there is little we can do. . .for we dare not meet a powerful challenge, at odds, and split asunder. To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free: we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom. . .and to remember that. . .in the past. . .those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery: we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required. . .not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border: we offer a special pledge. . . to convert our good words into good deeds. . .in a new alliance for progress . . .to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. . .and let every other power know that this hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states: the United Nations. . . our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support. . .to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective. . .to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak. . . and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversaries, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace; before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction. We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course. . .both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of Mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew. . .remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms. . .and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce. Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah. . .to “undo the heavy burdens. . . let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of co-operation may push back the jungle of suspicion. . . let both sides join in creating not a new balance of power. . . but a new world of law. . .where the strong are just. . . and the weak secure. . .and the peace preserved. . . .

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days. . . nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens. . .more than mine. . .will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. Now the trumpet summons us again. . . not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need. . .not as a call to battle. . . though embattled we are. . .but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle. . .year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation. . .a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny. . .poverty. . .disease. . .and war itself. Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance. . .North and South. . . East and West. . .that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger; I do not shrink from this responsibility. . .I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. . .and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans. . .ask not what your country can do for you. . .ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world. . .ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the Freedom of Man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds; let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

December, 1974


Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from this earth.


The United States Bill of Rights.

The Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
Passed by Congress September 25, 1789
Ratified December 15, 1791

I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

II

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

III No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

BEER WINE CIGAR FLOWER FRUIT COFFEE CHOCOLATE PIZZA
Beer of the Mouth Club
Beer of the Mouth Club

The Great American Beer Club is one of America's longest-running monthly beer clubs. Since 1994 it's been our pleasure to share the finest, freshest brews in the land with tens of thousands of people just like you—folks who can appreciate the best that America's small breweries have to offer.

A gift membership in our microbrewed beer of the month club makes the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for special person on your list, or a great way to treat yourself! Either way, we're committed to helping you enjoy it to the fullest.

Join the Beer of the Month Club!

Just $34.95/month includes FREE SHIPPING!
 

Wine of the Mouth Club
Wine of the Mouth Club

The Wine of the Month Club invites you to discover the exquisite pleasures of the world's finest handcrafted wines. Once a month, our Global Wine Club sommeliers present the finest offerings from small wineries around the globe—rare, hard-to-find selections notable for their quality and unique local flavors.

Exploring the joys of these off-the-beaten-path vineyards is an exciting pastime in itself. That's just one of the many elements that make the Wine of the Month Club from Clubs of America such an amazing gift choice for anyone who enjoys fine wine.

Join The Wine of the Month Club!

Just $42.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Back to top

Cigar of the Mouth Club
Cigar of the Mouth Club

For those who enjoy the timeless pleasure of a truly fine cigar, the Worldwide Cigar Club from Clubs of America presents the ultimate tobacco experience.

Rare tobacco blends from every corner of the world, expertly hand-rolled and preserved for optimum freshness, give our cigar club members the opportunity to savor world-class cigars at their leisure. A Cigar of the Month Club gift membership offers a traditional way to celebrate major events with fellow enthusiasts.

Join the Cigar of the Month Club!

Just $30.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!0

Flower of the Mouth Club
Flower of the Mouth Club

If you or someone you know is captivated by the beauty and fragrance of fresh cut flowers, the Flower of the Month Club from Clubs of America is for you.

Imagine a stunning themed bouquet arriving on your doorstep each month -- fresh as the morning sun, bursting with vibrant blooms and filling your home or office with its incredible fragrant medley. A gift such as this would more than brighten a special someone's day!

Join the Flower of the Month Club!

Just $44.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Back to top

Fruit of the Mouth Club
Fruit of the Mouth Club

Imagine snacking on fresh-from-the-grove cherries, exotic mangos, pineapples and more. A membership in Fruit Gift of the Month Club is an awesome way to share the harvest with friends, coworkers or anyone who enjoys life's sweetest pleasures!

For Fruit Gift of the Month Club members, fresh fruit is more than a health kick. It’s the thrill of enjoying earth's bounty at the very peak of flavor. Fresh from orchards and fields in every part of the world, the handpicked fruit we send to your doorstep is exactly what nature intended. Ripened to perfection and bursting with sweet, juicy goodness, fruit club membership is the perfect gift for any health-conscious person on your gift list.

Join The Fruit Gift of the Month Club!

Just $35.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Coffee of the Mouth Club
Coffee of the Mouth Club

There is no better way to start the day than with a steaming cup of gourmet coffee from the Coffee of the Month Club. Our richly flavored, eye-opening fresh blends are hand-selected from exotic locales around the globe, custom-roasted and delivered to your door each month. All for little more than you'd pay for premium domestic brands!

The distinctive character and flavor of each Coffee of the Month Club selection makes this the ultimate gift for any coffee lover. And we send 24 ounces of premium coffee each month. That’s 50% more than most other coffee clubs. So you can enjoy it to the fullest every day, and still share a pot when friends drop over.

Join The Coffee of the Month Club!

Just $26.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Back to top

Chocolate of the Mouth Club
Chocolate of the Mouth Club

Sinful. Decadent. Completely and totally irresistible. Every month, the Chocolate of the Month Club from Clubs of America delights your senses with luscious, handmade temptations that are impossible to refuse.

Dreamy truffles, silky-rich turtles, chilly mints, melts and more. Unlike candies sold by other chocolate clubs, our hand-dipped confections are among the finest and freshest in the world. They’re made to order with all-natural ingredients by experienced chocolatiers. Then they’re shipped directly to your door. A gift membership to our Chocolate of the Month Club is a virtual guarantee that sweet smiles will soon be coming your way.

Join the Chocolate of the Month Club!

Just $32.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Pizza of the Mouth Club
Pizza of the Mouth Club

When the troops clamor for pizza, nothing satisfies their hunger like a delicious specialty pie from The Pizza of the Month Club. From the moment you pop it into the oven and the baking begins, everybody knows: this is going to be one incredible pizza!

Chances are you've never had pizzas like these before. Each is an authentic gourmet pizza, handmade for you by a noted Chicago pizza chef with a creative soul. Every pie is a masterpiece, made with all-natural fresh toppings and premium ingredients. Whether you serve your pizza of the month for dinner or to quiet a hungry crowd, it's always a special occasion.

Join the Pizza of the Month Club!

Just $59.95/month - includes FREE SHIPPING!

Back to top

 

 

 

5 Lenses You Must Have for Canon EOS 7D

5 Lenses You Must Have for Canon EOS 7D
by Raphael Chieza

If you've got a Canon EOS 7D, you've either got the body only version or one of the 3 lens kits with either the EF-S 15-85mm lens, the EF-S 18-135mm lens or the EF 28-135mm lens. They are all decent options but you have to be honest that kit lenses are just not on the same par as most of the lenses you have to purchase separately. I will make one exception with that being the 24-105mm L lens that is sold with the Canon 5D Mark II but let's digress. Our pick for the 5 lenses you must have is balanced between quality and budget. Look to the end of you want to know what to get regardless of price.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM LensPrime Factor - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

There is no doubt that every photographer worth his salt will have at least one prime lens and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens is definitely one which you must have. With an APS-C sensor where the 35mm equivalent would set it to 80mm, this lens is extremely useful for portraiture photography as well as situations where a fast lens would be required such as indoor, low-light photography.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USMThe Standard Zoom - Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

While at first look, the price tag may be high for this non-L lens but the quality of the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is definitely as good as any L lens that you can buy. Considering the focal length when used with the Canon 7D and you will be getting the equivalent of roughly 27-88mm. This is pretty much (and a bit more of) the focal length of using the 24-70mm f/2.8 L with a full frame body. The barrel of the lens may not have the L lens finish but for the price difference (from say a 16-35mm f/2.8) and the quality the lens can deliver, we think it's a good buy.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM LensThe Telephoto Zoom - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens may be the priciest lens from this selection but it is definitely worth every penny. Using the latest image stabilization technology from Canon, this lens takes on the mantle of most popular telephoto zoom from its predecessor with full aplomb. Great for a lot of different shooting scenarios and even with the crop factor, it still allows you to take great portrait shots. With its large aperture, you can afford to lose 2 stops of light for the extra reach when used with a 1.4x/2x teleconverter especially when the IS of the lens is supposed to give you a 4-stop advantage.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM LensThe Wide-angle Zoom - Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

With a full frame sensor, you could use the 16-35mm f/2.8 to capture wide-angle shots but with a crop sensor camera, getting wide-angle shots is only possible from a much more limited range of lenses. The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is really the only Canon zoom lens up to the job. While the aperture may not be as very wide, it does deliver solid performance that makes it a necessary inclusion in your camera bag should the need for wide-angle shooting arise.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USMThe Super Telephoto Zoom - Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM

While a ultra telephoto prime can give you more in ways of image quality as well as maximum aperture, shooting wildlife may call for a bit of flexibility with a zoom lens. This is especially true if you can't move from your position to recompose at a further or nearer position. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM combines image quality and flexibility neatly into one package to satisfy your creative freedom.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Alternative to the Super Telephoto: The Macro Prime - Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

We understand that the final choice of the list may not appeal to everyone. After all, the 320mm equivalent reach of the 70-200mm is not too shabby for most general situations. The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is a top notch macro lens which delivers excellent sharpness. An L lens which delivers better image quality than its non-L counterpart as well as image stabilization for handheld shooting. This lens allows you to shoot within the studio on a tripod or out in the field handheld.


If money was no object? Try the "Best 7" Instead

Well, while the above lenses are my top choices to have with the Canon EOS 7D, I would go with the following lenses if I didn't have to worry about my bank balances:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM instead of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens because the image quality of the L lens is much better while the larger aperture allows you to go just that little be faster.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM instead of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM because no matter how good the 17-55mm, there is an allure to being the proud owner of the "Big 3 Zoom" from Canon. You may need to use 2 lens for segments of the standard range but the images will tell if you use them right.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM instead of? instead of what? Sorry, this is still the best! Non-negotiable and definitely what you want to see.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM is the same story. As I've said, to get these wide-angle focal lengths from a cropped sensor DSLR, there really are no alternate choices unless you go to third-party brands. Mind you, if you ever move on to shooting full-frame, this lens will become redundant just like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM remain great choices for Super Telephoto and Macro shooting respectively and so would definitely earn a place in my must have collection.

Related Articles:


Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Canon f/1.8 vs f/1.4 vs f/1.2 Battle of the Fast 50mm's: Canon f/1.8 vs f/1.4 vs f/1.2
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)
Best Third-Party Lens Selection for Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000 (or D300S)



  Raphael is an ardent photographer, a member of the Marketing Communication team at DigitalRev, and a colourful personality whose favourite hobby is to tell bad jokes to people. Being driven by passion to shoot something new all the time, his photos are an exciting story even when they don't turn out quite as he expects.
 

How The USDA Grades Your Steak

Making The Grade: The USDA And Your Steak

For steak lovers, suppliers, and farmers alike, the USDA’s grading system is the holy standard for all things beef, from ribeye to New York strip. 

But for those unfamiliar with how the USDA grades beef, the different grades and what they mean can be somewhat mystifying. It doesn’t help that certain restaurants, supermarkets, and suppliers are doing their best to confuse you so they can serve you inferior steaks.

To make sure you’re getting the best steak possible, it’s important that you understand how the USDA’s system works. With this guide, you’ll learn about the different grades of beef, including Prime, Choice, and Select. You’ll also learn what the USDA looks for when judging cattle, and why marblingand age are so important to quality cuts.

What To Look For And Why

When purchasing steaks, always look for the USDA shield.

Crafty restaurants, supermarkets, and wholesalers might say that they use their own, in-house ratings, or will call their steaks “prime” cuts, without using USDA certification. The best way to avoid getting cheated on your steak is to look for the USDA seal.

For restaurants: Ask for the USDA rating. If your server skirts the topic, that’s a warning sign.

For supermarkets and wholesalers: Look for the USDA seal. If you cannot find it (it might be on the bottom of the package), the meat is not USDA certified.

The Upper Cuts: Prime, Choice, and Select

The USDA has eight grades for beef, but you will probably find only three labelled grades at your local supermarket or butcher shop. These are Prime, Choice, and Select.

USDA PRIME is reserved for the best cuts of beef. Just 3% of steaks get labelled Prime. Steaks of this grade are quickly bought by five-star restaurants and upscale wholesalers. Because of this, Prime steaks are rarely found in supermarkets or grocery stores. Prime cuts are sourced from younger steers, and are abundant in marbling and reddish-pink in color. They are the most tender, juicy, and flavorful steaks on the market.

USDA CHOICE is the step below Prime. USDA Choice cuts are available in most grocery stores and medium-priced restaurants. A Choice steak often has the same reddish-pink color of a Prime cut, but lacks the same level of marbling. The amount of marbling found in Choice cuts can vary widely. It is wise to inspect a Choice steak to see how much marbling it contains. Depending on the cut, a Choice steak may require slower cooking or a marinade to bring out its tenderness and flavor.

USDA SELECT steaks sit at the lower end of the quality cuts. Because of the low level of marbling found in Select cuts, they usually require marinating. Salt-rich or acidic sauces/marinades can also help tenderize Select steaks, as salt and acids soften and help to break down tougher tissues. Select steaks also benefit from longer cooking times at lower temperatures.

Grading Criteria: What Makes A Great Steak

USDA grades are based on what makes a steak as tender, juicy, and flavorful as possible. There are two main criteria that help graders determine which cattle produce the best beef.

Marbling, also known as “intra-muscular fat,” is the most prized feature in steaks. Marbling is characterized by thin streaks of fat between muscle tissue. When cooked, the fat melts. This gives the meat unparalleled tenderness and a rich, buttery flavor.

Age is another important factor in steak quality. Younger steaks are more tender and flavorful than older cuts of meat. Because of this, most Prime and Choice steaks come from steers 1 to 3 years in age. Steak age is usually determined by the color of the meat, as steaks turn a deeper, darker color as they age.

The “Other” Grades

There are five other grades of beef used by the USDA.

The two medium grades – Standard and Commercial – result in lower quality cuts. For steaks, these cuts are usually left unlabelled, or get turned into ground beef. Many stores will sell unlabelled Standard or Commercial grade steaks under in-house labels, which is why it’s so important to keep an eye out for the USDA seal.

Cattle that receive one of the lowest three grades – Utility, Cutter, and Canner – are used for cheaper ground beef, hot dogs, or pet food. Luckily, steaks of this grade are rarely (if ever) sold by grocery stores, butchers, or wholesalers.

Any of the five lower grades should be avoided when purchasing steaks.

Prime Time: Grill Meets Grade

Now that you know how to find the best steaks, it’s time to put knowledge to practice. With a firm grasp of the USDA grading system, you’ll be able to find a wholesaler, butcher, or grocery store you can trust to deliver high-quality cuts. And remember: grade-A steaks deserve grade-A grillers and recipes.

 

eBooks.com - the digital bookstore

Discounts and Special Offers

Below are a few discounted titles from each of our 5 discount categories this month. Remember to tell your customers use the coupon code Categorysalecp to claim a 20% discount at the Payment Details page. Happy reading.

New York Times Bestsellers

eBook versions of the New York Times Best Sellers

Monthly Special!
20% off in these categories.

Use the coupon code Categorysalecp at the payment details page to claim your discount on ebooks in any of these categories:


*A few publishers don't allow discounting.

Best Sellers

  1. A Stolen Life - Dugard, Jaycee
  2. A Dance with Dragons - Martin, George R.R.
  3. Smokin' Seventeen - Evanovich, Janet
  4. Now You See Her - Patterson, James; Ledwidge, Michael
  5. Look Again - Scottoline, Lisa
Carlson, Jeff
Pearson Education

This is the eBook version of the printed book.

Quickly master all the features and functions of the iPad with this handy well-crafted pocket guide. Versatile, portable, powerful, ergonomically and functionally ...

Felker, Donn
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The fun and friendly guide to creating applications on the Android platform

The popularity of the Android market is soaring with no sign of slowing down. The open nature of the Android OS offers programmers the freedom to access the ...

Southwick, Jessie Eldridge
The Floating Press
The Emerson System treats the voice as a natural reporter of the individual, constantly emphasizing the tendency of the voice to express appropriately any mental concept or state of feeling. This treatise is a setting forth of methods and principles ...
Hagen, Uta; Frankel, Haskel; Pierce, David Hyde
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Respect for Acting. "This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen's credo, the accumulated wisdom of her years spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she ...
Pokras, Somraj
Ulysses Press
This book teaches a man how to make love for hours while giving his partner absolute pleasure again and again. The skills taught in this book will turn any ordinary man, or even a premature finisher, into an amazing sexual partner who can continue ...
Link, Al; Copeland, Pala
4 Freedoms eBooks
Adult content, beautifully erotic, tastefully explicit. 111 erotic photos and illustrations 165 hot links ejaculation mastery, freeing female orgasm, health benefits of sex and more! Everything you need to live the good, sensual, ...
Jotaro
Kensington Publishing Corp.
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.--Sun Tzu. The revered secrets of the Samurai code kishido are strictly for the strong of heart. The Way of the Warrior is a series of lessons that Jotaro's martial-arts master ...
McCord, Gary
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
When it comes to improving your golf game, everyone’s an expert, even other beginners who don’t play any better than you. Get help from real experts. Golf For Dummies, Third Edition, features easy-to-follow instructions for hitting the ...
Dowd, James; Stafford, Diane
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Groundbreaking new research has traced the source of a wide array of to a single common factor—vitamin D deficiency. Leading rheumatologist and researcher Dr. James Dowd reveals the causes of vitamin D deficiency and offers a simple, ...
Kirsch, David
McGraw-Hill
A fast and proven two -week program for the ultimate body transformation. David Kirsch, personal trainer and a fitness guru of the TV show ''Extreme Makeover,'' has whipped into shape some of the most famous bodies in America. Supermodels Heidi Klum ...

Best Selling Fiction Titles

Books that are definitely worth a read - our Best Selling Fiction

Free Excerpts

Free excerpts for titles which are new, noteworthy or strongly in demand this month.

Just Arrived!

We're adding hundreds of great titles each month.

Recently Reduced Titles

On Sale - Our favorite and most popular ebooks!

John Wiley Bestsellers

Bestsellers from John Wiley

Featured Authors

20% off titles by our favorite authors!

Visit the Cambridge University Press eBook Store

Cambridge University Press, the oldest university press in the world, has just launched its own eBook Store, powered by eBooks.com.

New York Times Bestsellers

eBook versions of the New York Times Best Sellers!

Get Rich Now

Get control of your finances with our "Financial Independence Library"

Gift Certificates

Give the gift of reading with an eBooks.com Gift Certificate
eBooks.com Academic Titles


The Art of War
By: Tzu, Sun; Giles, Lionel (trans. )
Published by: The Floating Press
Inspiring countless business, political and military leaders (Napoleon, Mao Zedong and General MacArthur among them), The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise by Sun Tzu from the 6th century BC. ... more...
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
By: Kennedy, Paul
Published by: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
About national and international power in the "modern" or Post Renaissance period. Explains how the various powers have risen and fallen over the 5 centuries since the formation of the "new ... more...
The Basics of English Usage
By: Hicks, Wynford
Published by: Taylor & Francis
This new Basics is aimed at anyone, but particularly students embarking on degree level work, who needs an overview of grammar, spelling and punctuation to enable them to write good English.... more...
The Evolution of Language
By: Fitch, W. Tecumseh
Published by: Cambridge University Press
Brings together the most important insights from the vast amount of literature on the origin of language.... more...
The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook
By: George, Michael L.; Maxey, John; Rowlands, David T.
Published by: McGraw-Hill
A BUSINESSWEEK BESTSELLER. Bestselling Lean Six Sigma author Michael George provides the first pocket guide for deployers of Lean Six Sigma. The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook blends Lean and Six Sigma ... more...

Introducing Economics
By: Maier, Mark H.; Nelson, Julie A.
Published by: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

Filled with practical, user friendly information and advice this is a one-stop resource for high school teachers who want to make economics relevant to their students' lives. It includes critical ... more...
The Political Science Student Writer's Manual
By: Scott, Gregory M.; Garrison, Stephen M.
Published by: Pearson Education
For courses in Political Science, Research Methods, Policy Research Methods, American Government, and Comparative Government. This comprehensive, practical writer's manual--created specifically for ... more...
Conner, Marcia L.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (US)
How everyone can maximize his or her learning potential

Who doesn’t want to have the ability to learn more? In this revolutionary book, Marcia Conner distills her renowned learning solutions into an easy-to-use ten-step program that can help ...

Ingermanson, Randy; Economy, Peter
For Dummies
The tricks of the trade to writing compelling, concise fiction. So you want to write a novel? This easy-to-follow guide provides step-by-step instruction on everything an aspiring writer needs to know, from conducting research to crafting a unique ...
Orr, Fred
Allen & Unwin
Studying successfully at high school, college or university requires more than discipline, diligence and determination. Students must also come to grips with a crucial range of essential skills if they wish to turn toil into triumph. Study ...
Black, Christopher; Anestis, Mark
McGraw-Hill
McGraw-Hill's SAT will help you prepare for the big exam with its valuable features and interactive test-taking practice online!. McGraw-Hill's SAT is now equipped with new additions to better meet your needs. The guide teaches critical ...
Turkington, Carol
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (US)
Boost your memory and unlock your mind. This new Self-Teaching Guide (STG) is the ideal accompaniment to any learning adventure. Presented here are step-by-step methods that allow readers to boost memory power and cultivate tools for ...

Independence Day (United States) - Wikipedia

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Fourth of July - Independence Day: History & Facts ...

Why do we celebrate 4th of July? America's Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States honoring the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The Story of the Fourth of July

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. But July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to ...

Rock 4th of July NYC-style With Our Independence Day Guide

Locate the best spot to view fireworks and chow down on BBQ this 4th of July. NYC has plenty of Independence Day events including rooftop parties.

Best 4th of July Party Ideas 2018 - Food, Decorations ...

Celebrate Independence Day with red, white, and blue desserts; patriotic-themed decor; and delicious barbecue meals!

35 Easy 4th of July Recipes - Party Food Ideas for the ...

Celebrate Fourth of July with tasty, patriotic dishes that are designed to dazzle your guests. Don't be fooled by the stunning presentations, these dishes are easy to prepare.

4th of July Independence Day 2018 Tampa - Things to do for ...

Looking for things to do for 4th of July Independence Day in Tampa Florida? Looking for 4th of July Independence Day events in Tampa Florida or want to find shopping deals for 4th of July Independence Day in Tampa Florida

Where to Watch The 4th of July Fireworks in NYC in 2018

Here are the best viewing spots to watch the Macy's 4th of July fireworks. NYC has great rooftops, lookouts and parties to celebrate Independence Day.

San Diego 4th of July Fireworks and Celebrations

Everyone's first choice for 4th of July celebrations, here is a list of favorite stretches of sand and places to watch the fireworks in San Diego.

4th of July fireworks and events in Tucson and Southern ...

A roundup (yehaw) of 4th of July events in the desert southwest. Here is your 2018 list of things to do in Tucson on the 4th of July