More Than a Day Off What the Fourth Is All About 365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130 • 504-894-9653 • www.SmileyFirm.com
Happy Fourth of July from all of us at the Smiley Law Firm! Whether you’re heading to The Fly to enjoy the river ahead of the fireworks show or just taking the day to barbecue with your friends and family, I hope you have a great Independence Day. After all, it’s celebrations like these that remind us what freedom is all about. It’s important to reflect on the initial act of liberty and defiance we’re celebrating. When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, their minds weren’t on fireworks or picnics. They’d all face treason charges and execution if the revolution failed. But they signed their names anyway, believing the benefits of a nation of liberty far outweighed the risk to their own lives. But we don’t only celebrate the anniversary of this historic declaration. We also honor those who fought to make and keep its promise a reality. It’s one thing to write that all men are created equal, and it’s another to bring that equality about. From the first shots of the Revolution to this very day, ordinary Americans have risked life and limb to protect and extend the promise of July 4, 1776. Thanks to generations of brave men and women serving in our armed forces abroad and to dedicated civil rights activists here at home, the light of liberty and equality continues to shine bright. This day is a time to honor their sacrifices and reaffirm the ideals they’ve fought and continue to fight for.
And finally, the Fourth of July is a time for gratitude. Even now, in the 21st century, many countries don’t enjoy the peace, stability, and opportunity that our nation does. War, crushing poverty, and oppressive regimes continue to deny people a voice around the world. Simply having the time to shoot off fireworks and enjoy some grilled shrimp is a gift we owe to the Constitution and those who have given their blood, sweat, and tears to defend it. So, when we celebrate, it’s important that we enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to do so.
it is, I wouldn’t miss this chance to slow down and be with my kids for the world. Jude and Luke love the fireworks — I still do too, if I’m being honest. So, from our family to yours, have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!
God Bless America,
For my part, I’ll be spending the holiday with family. With my profession being as hectic as
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A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters
3 FAMOUS UFO SIGHTINGS (BESIDES ROSWELL) Did You See That?
Going stargazing this summer? Be sure to keep your eyes out for unidentified flying objects (UFOs)! July 2 is World UFO Day, commemorating the supposed UFO crash that took place in 1974 in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone knows about the strange things that happened in Roswell, but let’s look at a few lesser-known, but no less strange, UFO sightings.
object giving off lights and still moving. The object was gone when police arrived, but they found unusual markings at the site. A few days later, more servicemen went into the forest where they spotted three mysterious bright lights in the sky that shone for hours.
EAST COAST GO FAST VIDEO
THE FIRST FLYING SAUCER
In 2015, a U.S. Navy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter captured video of a bizarre, fast-moving object that had no visible wings and emitted no heat or no exhaust trail. The video, which can be viewed at COI.ToTheStarsAcademy. com/2015-go-fast-footage, shows the object in the fighter’s targeting system. The pilot and the weapon systems officer can be heard shouting and asking, “What is that, man?”The video leaked in 2017 along with news of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a secret U.S. government organization investigating UFOs. Most UFO sightings have rational explanations. Even the famous Roswell Incident was proven to be debris from a surveillance program the U.S. military used to spy on the Soviet Union. But there’s something to be said about how a UFO sighting makes us look up at the night sky and wonder if we’re not alone.
On June 24, 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying his plane near Mount Rainier in Washington when he reported seeing nine blue, glowing objects flying in a V formation at around 1,700 mph. Arnold would later describe the crafts’motions like “a saucer if you skip it across water.”The government confirmed there were no aircraft tests in the area that day. In the following weeks, other sightings of Arnold’s flying saucers would crop up across the region.
THE RENDLESHAM FOREST INCIDENT
Things got weird at a Royal Air Force military base in England on Dec. 26, 1980. At around 3 a.m., two Air Force members saw odd lights falling into the nearby Rendlesham Forest. They reported finding a metallic
Gone to the Dogs HOW CAN A THIEF SUE THE FAMILY HE ROBBED?
Have you heard the story of Terrence Dickson? Even if you don’t know the name, you might have heard his strange tale. Dickson was a burglar in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. One day, after breaking into a house and helping himself to some valuables, Dickson decided to leave through the garage. After discovering the automatic garage door was stuck closed, Dickson turned around and was horrified to realize he’d locked himself inside. To make matters worse, the family he was stealing from had just left for an extended vacation, so Dickson lived off of soda and dried dog food for eight days. When the family returned and found the unlucky burglar, a lawsuit was filed — by Dickson! He sued for mental anguish, and the jury awarded him $500,000. There’s nothing that shakes our faith in the justice system quite like injustice being served. When Dickson’s story first gained notoriety in 2001, thanks to an email circulated by the now-defunct Stella Awards newsletter, which highlighted “outrageous lawsuits,” people were rightfully enraged. There was just one problem: Terrence Dickson never existed. In 2002, a reporter from Pennsylvania contacted the Bucks County prothonotary’s office, where all records for civil cases in the county are kept. He discovered there was no record of any cases involving such a burglar. It’s worth noting the original email where this story
first appeared ended with a call for tort reform from a made-up law firm in Ohio. Likely, this hoax was an attempt to manipulate the public perception of the justice system. Despite being debunked 17 years ago, this tall tale still makes the rounds and often appears on lists of “outrageous lawsuits,”many of which are featured on the websites of legitimate law firms! There are plenty of wacky legal cases, but when a story is too ridiculous, there’s a good chance a few important details are being left out or the readers are being lied to. Don’t believe everything you read online!
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TAKE A BREAK
BEWARE THESE RETIREMENT
Common Financial Pitfalls
The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age. Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust. TIMESHARES ONLINE SCAMS
JUICY LUCY SLIDERS
Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine
2 lbs. ground chuck beef, 20% lean 8 slices melting cheese (like American, Swiss, Muenster, or cheddar)
16 small potato rolls, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
Your favorite burger accompaniments
Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them.
1. Divide beef into 16 evenly sized balls. 2. Rip cheese into roughly equal pieces, creating 16 equal portions. 3. Using your index finger, create a small indentation in each ball. 4. Fill indention with cheese and pinch meat around to seal. Then gently form balls into 3/4-inch-thick patties. Season patties. 5. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. 6. Lightly coat skillet with oil and cook patties in batches. Brown one side undisturbed, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. 7. Serve on toasted potato rolls with your favorite accompaniments.
In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur-of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.
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A Boutique New Orleans Law Firm Resolving Your Legal Matters
365 Canal Street, Suite 1680 New Orleans, LA 70130 Phone: 504-894-9653 Fax: 866-761-8934 www.SmileyFirm.com OPEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
What the Fourth Is All About
Juicy Lucy Sliders The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions Going Stargazing? Watch Out for UFOs! Did You Hear About the Dog Food Burglar?
The Madden Curse
ON THE TRAIL OF THE MADDEN CURSE Truth, Lies, and Superstition
There is no urban legend in the world of modern video games as well-documented as the so-called “Madden Curse.”The curse revolves around the highly sought-after cover spot of the popular NFL video game “Madden NFL,” formerly known as “John Madden Football.”While the games date back to 1988, the curse is said to originate with the 1999 version. Garrison Hearst, a popular running back at the time, broke his ankle shortly after being featured on the cover of the 1999 edition. This was the first in a long line of injuries and personal issues that resulted in the rumor gaining traction. Soon, the idea
as coincidence. Despite the ambivalence of many players, there does seem to be a correlation between the cover and player issues. Of the 22 players who have been featured on the cover, 16 of them have suffered from significant issues in the season that followed. While the causes varied, with severe injuries, contract disputes, and personal issues all afflicting different players, something about the spotlight appears to have disturbed the powers that be. In fact, sometimes these issues occur shortly after the game is released in stores.
that the game’s seemingly innocent cover could have devastating effects on a player’s career was widespread. Once a substantial honor in the world of football, the Madden cover spot has become one of the sport’s most feared superstitions for fans.
Whatever the true cause, the curse seems to have taken a dip in recent years. Only one of the last five players has been affected, a stat that bodes well for this year’s star: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The real answer probably lies somewhere between fact and fiction. The increased pressure of national attention is bound to make players tense up every once in a while, and in a game as physical as football, any distraction can end in disaster.
The players, however, seem to find the correlation more amusing than scary. Most of the athletes in contention for the spot still consider it to be a great honor, choosing to brush off the rumors
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