Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Estakio Beltran Ad

Democrat congressional hopeful Estakio Beltran published a rather unique campaign ad on YouTube. In the video he declares: “They call me a long shot. They say I can’t win in this district. But what happens to an elephant when it stands around, doing nothing, for too long?”

The camera panned to an elephant piñata, and then back to Estakio, who blasted it the face with a pump-action shotgun.

“My name is Estakio Beltran,” he said. “And I approved this message.”

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

The Antagonists

The Antagonists

I think it was Winston Churchill who reminded us that the “supreme virtue” of government is action. In fact, the greatest of  modern British prime ministers, who often marked his staff memoranda in red with the words “Action This Day,” counseled that ” I never worry about action, but only inaction.” Action in recognizing problems. Action in mobilizing support and action in addressing the causes of human suffering and improving the lives of those over whom you have power and authority.

On this side of the Atlantic, the framers understood this seemingly obvious facet of government. Jefferson wrote, “The purpose of government is to maintain a society which secures to every member the inherent and inalienable rights of man, and promotes the safety and happiness of its people.” Protecting individual  rights and promoting the security and happiness of those individuals is the essential business of government. Not “either-or” but both.

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220px-Tracey_Emin_1-cropped I happen to like modern art but there are times that the price of such work leaves my head spinning. That was the case with Carl Andre’s stack of 120 firebricks. In 1966, the Tate Museum was criticized for buying the pile of bricks for $3600. That proved a bargain when another version of the pile of brick was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2008 for $1.1 Million. Now, an unmade bed by Tracey Emin has sold for $4.25 million.

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220px-ArachnophobiaArachnophobia can come at a cost but rarely do those costs include criminal charges and a torched home. Ginny M. Griffith, 34, of Hutchinson, Kansas is accused of burning her home in an effort to kill a spider. She allegedly used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire and destroyed not just her home but half of a duplex.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Guy

abuAhmed Abu Khatallah’s boat docked yesterday and the reputed Benghazi attacks mastermind was met with a contingent of U.S. Marshals, Navy security and a phalanx of Justice Department types all eager to hear his gilded version of events and to usher him to a US federal courtroom near the White House where the processes of the US justice system could start slowly grinding now in earnest. He pled not guilty for anyone interested. Before his arrival, however, a cacophony of Republican lawmakers decided to weigh in on his treatment aboard the trans-Atlantic cruise ship, the USS New York, provided by the Navy.

As many know, Abu Khatallah was captured in a clandestine operation conducted by US special ops aided by shadowy figures from both inside and out of the Libyan power structure who lured him to a villa where US forces made the arrest. Abu Khattallah, designated by the State Department as a global terrorist, was regarded as a prime suspect due to his affiliation with a group he helped to found and known as the Ansar al-Sharia. A fundamentalist militia group that rose to power after the fall of Gaddafi, it has claimed responsibility for the attack against the U.S. Embassy and American school in Tunis, leading the Tunisian government to declare it a terrorist organization. The group has been implicated in attacks against Tunisian security forces, assassinations of Tunisian political figures, and attempted suicide bombings of locations that tourists frequent. Not exactly the kind of guys you bring home to dinner.

Abu Khatallah’s capture was coup for an administration looking to change the dialog on the Benghazi attack which left four Americans dead including US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Criticized for everything from the response (or lack thereof) to the attack by US security forces as well as even the characterization of  the attack itself, the administration has been attempting to change the narrative since 2012. In his new book, Blood Feud, excerpted by the New York Post, author Edward Klein claims President Obama pressured then Sect’y of State Hillary Clinton to issue a release stating the attack was a spontaneous uprising relating to an obscure internet video criticizing Islam.  Knowing the attack coincided with the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on US soil, Clinton bristled.  According to Klein, Clinton said, “Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.” But the president was adamant. He said, ‘Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible.” (more…)

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By Charlton Stanley, Weekend Contributor

Mark Mayfield Jackson Attorney Photo by Jackson, MS police department

Mark Mayfield
Jackson Attorney
Photo by Jackson, MS police department

As I write this, the news is still coming in, and the full story is far from being told. I will provide breaking news as I hear it, but our intrepid bloggers should consider the comments an Open Thread. If you have solid news to report, please do so, and source the information. Otherwise it is just gossip.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that conspiracy theorists are breaking out the tinfoil hats.

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220px-Pyramid_of_Capitalist_System225px-Bill_ClintonWe have been discussing the rather fascinating role of wealth in American politics rather Hillary Clinton’s repeated flubs in claiming to be “dead broke” after leaving the White House and struggling like other Americans to cover tuition and mortgage costs (here and here and here). Despite the fact that most of our leading candidates are fantastically rich, they still feel the need to show voters that they feel their pain. With the Clintons, the new pitch feel flat with even usually favorable media outlets mocking Hillary over her statements. Now Bill Clinton has tried his hand at reviving the new narrative of a working couple done good. Bill Clinton has insisted that the claim of being broke is “factually true” since they had legal debts. However, everyone in Washington knows that these debts to Democratic law firms is funny money and that these firms would have closed shop rather than pursue the Clintons for payment. The debts, as is always the case, was quickly paid off by Clinton supporters, lobbyists, and others interested in helping the powerful couple. It was debt on paper alone and both Clintons were looking at massive windfalls after leaving the White House. It comes down to the meaning of “debt” to paraphrase a certain president. In the meantime, Joe Biden has tried his hand at the “poorer than thou” pitch.

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kim-jong-unMV5BNTE3NjkzNDQzMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTA4MDk5MTE@._V1_SX214_AL_There are bad reviews and then there are bad reviews that push a nation to the brink of war. North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un clearly does not like “The Interview.” The movie about a talk show host and his producer killing Kim Jong-un seemed a bit too counterrevolutionary so the government has declared its release to be an act of war and threatened a “merciless” response.

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Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009There is a new addition to prenuptial agreements that are a rather depressing sign of our times. A “social media clause” is being added to protect married couples from later embarrassing postings if things do not work out. The language of the clause is sweeping and, if you thought prenups took the romance out of marriages, this clause makes the whole enterprise downright scary.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Guy

soloWith the pivotal World Cup game of the Americans versus Portugal just a day away, sports fans were greeted yesterday with sad news about one of America’s finest players. Olympian Hope Solo was arrested on domestic violence and assault charges at her sister’s home in Seattle. Solo who is a heralded goalie is much more than that. She’s a bona fide star in a sport sorely in need of one. While soccer enjoys a world-wide popularity, its reception in the U.S. has been … well … muted. Lacking the violent collisions of football (for the most part) and the non-stop  artistry of professional basketball, American males have routinely turned up their noses at what some call derisively “Communist kickball.” Add that to this year’s controversial move of leaving the greatest American male soccer star off the U.S. team and you have a sport that only an advancement to the final round of the World Cup playoffs could whet the public’s appetite the way American football does.

Solo earned her star power  following her brilliant but controversial Olympic performance. In 2005, she became the Americans starting goalie and recorded 7 shutout in 7 matches. In 2007 at the women’s World Cup, while facing the best he world had to offer, she  allowed just two goals in four games while recording 3 consecutive shutouts. No mean feat when you patrol a goal net about half the size of New Jersey. When she was benched in the semi-final game against Brazil for a reputed attitude problem, Brazil blew out the U.S. team 4-0. Solo was not the strong silent type castigating her coach and her replacement for the move and earning the ire of her more team-oriented teammates. Solo rebounded from that controversy and helped the U.S. win gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics solidifying her as a top — if not the top — goalie in the world. She also played professionally for several teams and is now starting for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Guy

Logo_IOROvershadowed by Pope Francis’ announcement Thursday that the mob is now persona non grata in Roman Catholic Churches (“RCC”) throughout the world is the very real –and related –struggle behind the scenes at the Vatican Bank. Officially known as the Istituto per le Opere di Religione or Institute for the Works of Religion, the bank has been at the center of RCC-Mafia relations for years. The bank itself is ostensibly independent but situates itself squarely on sovereign territory owned and controlled by the Pope and its Board of Superintendence answers directly to the Curia and the Pope.

Founded in 1942 by papal decree, the bank has had a tumultuous history. Unlike other financial institutions, the assets of the bank are not loaned to borrowers who pay back with interest. Rather the bank functions more like a holding company for assets which are intended to be distributed for charitable functions of the RCC. In this role as repository for the billions of dollars in assets and cash, the bank has been subjected to considerable criticism both for its haphazard administration and the customer it attracts. Customers, who Italian prosecutors say, have ties to organized crime. (more…)

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220px-NCI_baconThere is a bizarre case out of Edinburgh where Chelsea Lambie, 18, and Douglas Cruikshank, were arrested for defacing a mosque by wrapping bacon around door handles and, last year, throwing strips of bacon inside. It was a stupid and hateful act. What is interesting is the length of the sentences, which were a year and nine months. We have previously discussed how sentences tend to be lower in England but these are pretty stiff.

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I just saw this extraordinary video on Reddit where a motorcyclist is hit squarely by a car, cartwheels over the vehicle, and then walks away. The man must be made of rubber.

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viralmugshotinternal1616This story is truly an insight into our often superficial society. Jeremy Meeks, 30, is considered by police to be “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area.” However, his mug shot has gone viral with tens of thousands of “likes” as people gush over his movie-style good looks. Many women cannot see beyond the high cheek bones and blue eyes to see those six felony charges, including gang crimes.

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220px-HarryHoudini1899POLICECARweb1-master180Police are treating a recent escape by a handcuffed suspect as “Houdiniesque” after Bryan McMenamin, 38, was able to drive away with a police cruiser. He had been handcuffed behind his back and placed in the back of the car with another suspect. Of course, there is the possibility that it was not as much “Houdiniesque” as “Keystone Copian” if there an alternative explanation like the cuffs were not entirely closed.

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