Monthly Archives: February 2013

February 28, 2013

Quick Pix: Angela Lansbury

Angela Brigid Lansbury, CBE (born 16 October 1925) is a British actress and singer in theatre, television and films. Her career has spanned eight decades and earned an unsurpassed number of performance Tony Awards (tied with Julie Harris and Audra McDonald), with five wins. Her first film appearance was in the film Gaslight (1944) as a conniving maid, for which she received an Academy Award nomination at the age of eighteen; she earned her second nomination the following year for The Picture of Dorian Gray. Among her other films are The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Anastasia (1997).

Angela Lansbury Wikipedia article.


Guatemalan Gangs Employing “Child Hitmen”

The legal provisions that exempt minors from prosecution for homicide permit criminal outfits to “act with impunity,” Rodolfo Diaz – an attorney with the Survivors’ Foundation, which counsels victims of violence – told Efe.

Capitalizing on Guatemalan laws shielding minors from criminal prosecution, organized crime gangs are training kids between 10 and 12 in the use of firearms and techniques for carrying out attacks and thus turning them into “child hitmen.”

“There are no official figures, but the cases are there for all to see,” a police officer told Efe.

Police security cameras captured footage Tuesday of a boy of around 10 pulling out an automatic pistol and shooting a taxi driver twice in the head on this capital’s north side.

That same footage shows the minor subsequently hiding the weapon under his clothes and, seemingly unfazed, boarding a bus and fleeing the scene as several stunned witnesses looked on.

Efe made repeated attempts to obtain a statement from the Interior Ministry about the crime but the calls went unanswered.

The police officer, however, said on condition of anonymity that “little” is being done to prevent children from being recruited by criminal gangs.

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Complete text linked here.


Homeless Tent City Meets Suburbia in Orthodox Town

The vitriol between the two sides increases with each incident and each passing day, as Tent City residents must sleep outside in below-freezing temperatures, without any prospect of a permanent home, income or medical assistance.


Standoff: Lakewood, N.J.’s Orthodox officials and its homeless residents are at odds over the seven-year-old encampment.

Shortly after being sworn in for his first term in January, Lakewood’s mayor, Albert Akerman, visited “Tent City,” an encampment of about 100 homeless people living in a densely wooded area of township land — a rare slice of open space in the fastest-growing municipality in New Jersey.

Akerman, an Orthodox Jew originally from the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, described the encampment as “hazardous” and “subhuman” in a recent interview in his office. “It’s gut-wrenching. You can’t dream up Tent City. It’s horrible. Some of the people living there are comfortable, but a lot of them are not,” he said.

Finding better living conditions for these people has proved to be a fruitless endeavor. Akerman entered office embroiled in a seven-year standoff between township officials and residents of Tent City.

Homelessness is not new to Lakewood, in central New Jersey. In years past, a small number of homeless people lived far back in the woods or by railroad tracks, but they remained largely out of sight from the rest of the community. Then, in 2006, Steve Brigham, a local man who had been donating propane to various homeless sites throughout Ocean County, began pitching tents in an undeveloped area in the woods.

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Complete text linked here.


Chicago solution: More cages for gangstas by Ted Nugent

“Let’s cut to the chase. The violent gangstas are damaged beyond repair. They cannot be rehabilitated. They don’t respect your life or their own lives. They have been programmed to a life of violence. Putting them in a cage for the remainder of their lives is the best solution, short of being eliminated by their next gun-toting victim.” Ted Nugent

Ever the community organizer, President Obama was recently back home in Chicago promoting his gun-ban proposals.

The president also spoke about the need for stronger families and lamented that his father flew the coop when Mr. Obama was just 2 years old.

No doubt, the issue of how to reduce violence is a complicated one. Liberals believe that taking guns away is a foundational platform for reducing violence and making America’s communities safe and strong.

Anti-gunners are wrong, and Chicago is proof. The Windy City requires gun owners to be fingerprinted, pass a background check and a training class, and pay a hefty tax that is often times higher than the price of the gun.

Since 1972, in order to purchase any gun, any bullet, even BBs and pellets for air rifles, Illinois’ residents must grovel for a Firearms Owners ID card. I believe this “infringing” law is akin to regulations in Cuba. Go figure.

Arguably, if stiff gun-control measures worked, Chicago should be one of the nation’s most peaceful and serene cities. But it’s not.

Chicago is one of the nation’s, the world’s, most violent cities. In 2012, Chicago gangstas killed over 500 other Chicago gangstas and, horrifically, a number of innocent bystanders as well. Quite apparently, Windy City gangstas aren’t following Chicago’s gun laws – or any laws for that matter – which are some of the most restrictive in the country.

So, if very restrictive gun laws aren’t working, let’s approach the problem of curbing violence in other ways.

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Complete text linked here.


Fitch warns U.S. risks losing AAA debt rating

“Fitch wants to see progress on a long-term deficit deal and wants to see it this year,” said Anthony Valeri, investment strategist at LPL Financial. “This is probably another brick in the wall of a downgrade of the U.S.”

U.S. lawmakers must make credible progress this year on a long-term deficit-reduction strategy or risk losing Fitch Ratings’ top AAA grade on U.S. government debt, Fitch warned Wednesday.

Fitch said it would not immediately cut its rating if Congress fails to stop $85 billion in automatic spending cuts from taking effect Friday, or even if there’s a partial government shutdown later.

But a repeat of the 2011 crisis over raising the debt ceiling also could provoke a downgrade, Fitch said. The U.S. is scheduled to reach the current debt ceiling in mid-May, but the Treasury Department could take measures to extend its borrowing authority for another two or three months.

A downgrade by Fitch would make two out of three major credit rating agencies to knock U.S. off the top rung of the most credit-worthy nations. Standard & Poor’s cut its AAA rating on U.S. debt during Washington’s 2011 battle over raising the debt ceiling. Moody’s, the third agency, has its top Aaa rating for the U.S. under review.

Debt ratings are used by Wall Street to help set bond prices and interest rates. A credit downgrade by all three agencies could lead to higher borrowing costs for the U.S. over time.

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Complete text linked here.


Obama’s release of illegals ‘impeachable offense’

“President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his hometown, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this sequester battle,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said.

The Obama administration’s release of hundreds and potentially thousands of illegal-alien criminals from U.S. detention centers in connection with possible budget cuts is being called “an impeachable offense” by the nation’s highest-rated radio talk-show host.

“In what used to be considered – if we can remember this far back – normal, sane times, this is an impeachable offense,” broadcaster Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday. “This is action being taken against the country. … It is sheer madness to be doing this. It is petulant, it is childish.”

“This is in direct violation of the oath of office,” he continued. “Defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and the people. We’re just opening the doors of prisons before the sequester has even happened. Before there have even been any budget cuts. This is so childish, except the consequences are real for people that live nearby these detention centers. This is on-the-ground, hard, cold reality.

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Complete text linked here.


Why Obama Wins: Democrats Purge Moderates, Republicans Purge Conservatives

In Washington, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met privately with President Barack Obama and praised his efforts for “comprehensive” immigration reform.

Note the distinction. Democrats are preparing for a major nationwide fight on the gun issue by purging the party’s moderates–including the very candidates it cultivated in 2006 and 2008 to win seats in conservative districts. Republicans are preparing for a major debate on immigration reform by purging the party’s conservatives, casting opponents of bipartisan legislative efforts as bigots who will doom the party to ongoing electoral failure.

It is true that both parties have shown little tolerance towards moderates lately. Democrats began the purges in 2004, when the left netroots commandeered the Democratic National Committee elections. In 2006, the anti-war movement succeeded in defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. In 2010, the Tea Party began defeating establishment, moderate Republicans in the GOP primaries before going on to wipe out the Blue Dog Democrats, finishing what the anti-war movement had already started. In effect, Capitol Hill today is divided not by two governing parties but two opposition movements, speaking past one another.

But the Democratic Party has managed to maintain a striking degree of party unity, even amidst grumbling and dissatisfaction with President Obama’s disappointing performance. It has done so primarily through Chicago-style carrot-and-stick patronage dished out by the White House, partly by demonizing Republicans, but also by defeating, silencing or otherwise co-opting the party’s moderates before going into big legislative battles.

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Complete text linked here.


Spanish police arrest 33 suspected gang members

This is the second blow to such groups, as last week police detained around 30 youths in Barcelona in an operation against a narco-trafficking gang called the Black Dominican Panthers.

Spanish police on Feb. 26 detained 33 youths, including 13 minors, suspected of belonging to two different Latin American street gangs in the Spanish capital.

Twenty-two of the suspects allegedly are members of the Bloods, which have established a presence in Spain in recent years. The other 11 suspects allegedly are members of the Dominican Don’t Play gang and allegedly participated in the beating of a minor leaving him with serious injuries to his legs and one arm, Spanish police said in a prepared statement.

“With these operations, investigators have given a significant blow against Latino gangs operating in the Spanish capital,” the statement said.

Police seized machetes, knives, screwdrivers and baseball bats embedded with dozens of nails during searches of the suspects’ homes.

The suspects include Bolivian, Colombian, Ecuadoran, Spanish and Dominican nationals.

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Complete text linked here.


Jim Bowie – Opening Theme Song

“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.” – Unknown


Doris Day – The Tunnel of Love

“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.” William Shakespeare