Jackpot!

By Paul Milligan

The 300-year-old Chinese vase sold for £2.6m at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire
The 300-year-old Chinese vase sold for £2.6m at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, England

A Chinese porcelain vase once knocked over by the family cat fetched just over £3 million at auction – One hundred and twenty three times times more than expected.

The 300-year-old blue and white vase, not dissimilar to the one which famously sold for £53 million two years ago, was bought by an unnamed Chinese telephone bidder based in Hong Kong.

The price escalated after a fierce eight-way, ten-minute bidding battle at the North Yorkshire salerooms of Tennants Auctioneers.

The owner of the antique Chinese vase had no idea of its value, and it was only discovered by Tennants, during a routine  house call to value the contents.

The 40cm high bottle-shaped vase, bearing the mark of 18th century Emperor Yongzheng, was conservatively estimated at £20,000-£30,000.

But word quickly spread around the antiques world and collectors and dealers from China were prominent in the crowded saleroom as the bidding quickly soared.

It was knocked down for £2.6 million, which with buyer’s premium pushed the final price to just over £3 million.

Tennants spokesman Max Sobolevski said afterwards: ‘Having spent over 40 years in one house the vase had survived being knocked over by the family cat and had even escaped all damage when the children played football around it.’

The vase, featuring two five-clawed dragon,  is painted in the ‘heap and pile’ technique characteristic of earlier Ming Dynasty period pieces.

The 40 cm high bottle-shaped vase was sold by Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire
The 40 cm high bottle-shaped vase was sold by Tennants  Auctioneers in North Yorkshire

In 2010 a Chinese vase found in the UK was  sold for £53 million.

Tony Johnson, 54, from the Isle of Wight, sold the artifact from the 1740 Qing dynasty to billionaire Chinese property developer Wang Jianlin.

It was said to have been brought back from China by an ‘adventurous uncle’ after being stolen from an imperial palace by British troops during the 19th Century Opium Wars.

The vase was then at the centre of a legal  row between the auction house and Wang  Jianlin, and 18 months after the sale Johnson has still not received a penny  from the sale.

Attribution: Mail Online

Another Sin of the White Man

Thanksgiving Celebrates Our ‘Original Sin,’ ‘Views Virtually Identical To Nazis,’ Journalism Prof Preaches

Forget all that turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, today should be a  day of fasting and atonement for American “sin.” That’s according to Robert Jensen,  a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Jensen,  known for his hard-left politics, also calls Thanksgiving a  “white-supremacist holiday.”

Jensen’s opinion piece “No Thanks for Thanksgiving,” appeared on the far-left, Soros-connected website Alternet on  Thanksgiving eve. In it, he wrote how Native Americans suffered because  of the “European invasion of the Americas.” He went on to compare the  Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany. “How does a country deal with the fact  that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral  values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?” he asked.

According to Jensen, Thanksgiving is “at the heart of U.S.  myth-building. “But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge  our original sin — the genocide of indigenous people — is of special  importance today,” he explained.

Jensen has a long career in both working journalism and academia,  including work as a copy editor at The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the  St. Petersburg Times, as well as “volunteer editing and writing for the Texas Triangle, Austin (weekly statewide lesbian/gay paper).”

This wasn’t the first time Jensen has bashed America. He does so on a  regular basis. Other Alternet pieces include headlines like “The Painful Collapse of Empire: How the ‘American Dream’ and American  Exceptionalism Wreck Havoc on the World” or “What White People Fear.”

Alternet is part of the George-Soros-supported Media Consortium. It is one of 58 left-wing media operations that aim to create a progressive “echo chamber.”

Act of God?

A Minnesota man with terminal cancer was miraculously cured while working to restore an old, abandoned church that needed as much as care as he did.

Greg Thomas of Montgomery, Minnesota, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his head and neck three years ago, KARE11 News reports. He has since had difficult swallowing and uses a feeding tube for nutrition.

Now, after spending months restoring the old wood-framed chapel, his cancer is believed to be in remission.

Serenity: Greg Thomas, a cancer survivor, works on restoring the 126-year-old church he stumbled uponGreg Thomas, a cancer survivor, works on  restoring the 126-year-old church he stumbled upon
Through the fields: Thomas walks with his dog Thomas walks with his dog

Thomas, who was 57 at the time of his diagnosis, was laid off from his job delivering propane.

‘When I found out that I had cancer, they told my family to go ahead and start planning my funeral,” he told KARE11.

To cope with his stress he started taking long walks though the countryside with his dog.

Thomas came across the old church during one of those walks. The foundation was decaying and the paint was  peeling.

An old chapel: The church was in need of much care when Thomas found itThe church was in need of much care when  Thomas found it

He attempted to go inside the chapel when he first noticed it, but it was locked. So he sat on the steps for a while.

Built in 1868 by Catholic Czech settlers who later moved to a bigger parish, the old Church had not housed a congregation in  more than a century.

One day, Thomas decided to reach out to the few people living close to the church.

Restoration: The church now sits in the same place with a new exteriorThe church now sits in the same place with a new exterior
Salvation: With his cancer in remission, Thomas continues to work on the churchWith his cancer in remission, Thomas continues to work on the church

He was out of work, and thought fixing up the structure would give him a sort of sanctuary.

‘He went to a neighbor and said he wanted to paint the church, and who does he talk to, so the neighbor sent him to talk to me,’ Don Rynda, treasurer of the foundation that keeps up the church cemetery’,  told KARE11.

Thomas went to repairing the church soon after.

Now the old chapel is freshly clothed in white and Thomas’s cancer is in remission.

Thomas said he plans to continue his work on the church, moving on to the roof and the interior next.

Attribution: Mail Online

Run Republicans Run

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Run away from the truth! Start throwing your own under the bus. That’s what Republicans do. If anyone in the party dares to convey even the slightest controversial viewpoint – they are immediately ostracized.

Such is the fate of Mitt Romney. Romney had the unmitigated gall to speak the truth after his recent loss to “The One”.

What’s worse is that national pariah Rush Limbaugh shares his viewpoint, as well as most every right thinking conservative. Perish the thought.

So what was said?

It was the rehashing of the 47% argument presented by Romney. As you recall during the campaign, Romney said correctly, that it’s difficult to attract 47% of Americans, as they are effectively takers of government largesse.

Then we have Rush Limbaugh effectively reiterating that viewpoint with his now famous, or infamous statement.

In a nutshell, Limbaugh said that it’s hard to compete against Santa Claus or as El Rushbo calls him, Barackoclaus. Evidently, this truism is somehow controversial.

Paul Rosenberg writes in that well-known right-wing journal, Al Jazeera, that Rush is lying about Barackoclaus. Rosenberg wrote, “We are not a country of children – what Democrats are offering is not something for nothing, and alternative or opposition to work, but a fairer system overall.”

Well Paul, that is exactly what they are offering. The Dems do, in fact, treat their constituents like children and they most certainly offer, not something but everything for nothing. And as for an alternative or opposition to work, you may recall Obama recently rescinded the work requirements for receiving welfare. I guess not having to work is just part of the Democrats “fairer system”.

Republicans, not wanting to be left out of the pander parade, joined the fray, ganging up on Limbaugh and Romney.

Bobby Jindal, who is thought by many to be a rising star in the Republican Party said, “In order for the GOP to be competitive, it has to go after 100% of the vote, not 53%. We need to go after every single vote.”

There’s the politician coming out, not the conservative. People are not people, just votes to be manipulated.

Newt Gingrich who is thought to be a stalwart conservative (he’s not, but many consider him as such) stated, “You have to start with the idea of inclusion, and I draw a distinction between outreach and inclusion. Outreach is when 5 white guys have a meeting and call you. Inclusion is when you’re in the meeting.”

I suppose white guys are the only guys who have meetings. Rather racist I’d say.

Marco Rubio said effectively the same in rebuking Limbaugh’s Santa Claus comments.

Well, I’m sorry for all the Republican politicians who refuse to see Limbaugh’s comments for what they are. Santa Claus simply represents redistribution. It’s as simple as that and you are either for it or against.

The Democrats have been portraying themselves as Santa Claus for decades and evidently they are doing quite well.

When the majority of younger voters, 18 to 29-year-olds, prefer socialism over capitalism, there is a serious education problem.

The only option for Republicans is education, but first the Republicans have to believe in capitalism. But the fact is, many big government progressive Republicans don’t fully buy into capitalism. Socialism-lite won’t peel people away from the Santacrats.

We need real world conservatives that are willing to just go out, exclaim their conservative views, explain them in plain English and defend them without worrying about offending anyone and pandering to everyone.

If a majority of voters don’t want to hear the truth or be educated, then we lose. But at least then we have our answer. People do in fact prefer Santa Claus.

For every point made by conservative one must have a real world explanation. Don’t speak of the economy in general; speak in specifics which ordinary people can understand.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – liberals can do and say anything without repercussion or question. They are able to say things like, “I’m for the middle class”, knowing full well that means absolutely nothing to anyone. But then it doesn’t matter, does it. They know they will never be questioned. That’s just the way it is. They’ll promise any group anything. Whether they deliver or not is simply never to be examined.

Here’s just one example that is easy for virtually anyone to understand.

Undocumented workers come to this country to do the jobs that Americans just won’t do. What do you say to that?

Well, the statement is a nonstarter. Illegally sneaking across the border has nothing to do with a job an American won’t do.

It’s like a guy that steals your car and the police catch him. Rather than arresting him, they pick you up and take you to his house where they explain, “Look, he is utilizing your car better than you did. He is taking food to the elderly and winter coats to the homeless”. Would you then say, okay, then, he can just keep my car. Of course not. You would demand your car back and that he be arrested.

It used to be that politicians, even Ronald Reagan, could paint in broad-brush strokes. Not anymore. The education of our population is so woefully lacking that we no longer have that luxury. If we hope to win anything anymore, nationally, we must educate the public.

Waterspout

It may have looked like something out of a disaster movie – but the driver passing through was probably under no illusions to the very real threat posed by this gigantic  waterspout.

The amazing natural phenomenon, which is created when tornadoes form above the sea, was spotted earlier today along the  shoreline near Batemans Bay, which is 140 miles (225km) south of  Sydney.

Also known as ‘water twisters’, they form when layers of cool air blowing over the water cause warm, moist air to sweep up from underneath, which then creates a swirling column of condensation.

Scroll down for video

In deep water: A car races on ahead as this waterspout appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney A car races on ahead as this waterspout  appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney

They can move as fast as 80 miles an hour and inside winds can spiral from 60 to 120 miles an hour.

Out on the water, they can cause considerable damage to coral reefs and marine life and pose a very real threat to boats, aircraft and swimmers.

Although rare in Australia, four colossal waterspouts swirled off the coast of Sydney at Avoca Beach in May  2011.

Meanwhile, the weather conditions in the Florida Keys are just right for the formation of at least 500 waterspouts each  year.

In June, a waterspout formed off America’s  east coast and swept through Hampton, Virginia, damaging boats and causing debris to fly through the air.

Too close for comfort: People look at the waterspout near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay People look at the waterspout  near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay

Even the British Isles are not immune to this natural phenomena, where around 15 water twisters are sighted each year around the coastline.

The Batemans Bay waterspout appeared as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a gale warning and forecast rough seas  for the coastal region.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Joke of the Day

A 17 year-old boy was hired to paint a white line down the middle of the highway.

On the first day, he got off to a good start and he painted a white line 7 miles long.

The next day, however, he painted a line only 4 miles long.

On the third day, he was down to less than a mile.

Finally, his friend asked him why he was doing less each day. The boy replied, “It takes me longer and longer to get back to the bucket.”

Another Secret Signing

Cybersecurity Bill Suffers Another Defeat – Obama Signs Secret Directive

by:

Desperate Senate leaders eager for control of the internet, brought the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 back to the Senate floor for a vote Wednesday, and once again they failed.  It was just a couple of votes shy of passing (51-47),  but one vote closer than when it was presented back in August (52-46).

Immediately following the August vote, the word was out that Barack Obama was considering an executive order to put in place  the very thing the Senate had rejected.  In addition, part of the reason was  additional things tossed into the cybersecurity bill, such as bits of gun  control.

However, the rumors of an Obama executive order then came to be fact as White  House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, “An executive order is one of a  number of measures we’re considering as we look to implement the president’s  direction to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation  against today’s cyber threats.”

Then, within a month Department of Homeland Security Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and  Governmental Affairs that a cybersecurity executive order was indeed near  completion.

It seems that following the elections that Democrats were eager to push this  bill through.  Even the fear mongering of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta  warning of a cyber “Pearl Harbor” or “9-11″ was not enough to advance the bill.   So the remaining option seems to be for Obama to just sign a piece of paper that  has no Constitutional authority to push what the people have rejected.

Many have stood against the government’s involvement in controlling the  internet including Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul.

According to The Hill, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “warned that the president would be compelled to issue the  executive order if the Senate voted against moving the bill forward. But he noted that the cyber order would not accomplish everything that legislation could, including liability protection that would safeguard companies from legal action if they’re hit by a cyberattack.”

“I’m confident that if we fail to act, the president will act,” Lieberman  said. “I think he has a responsibility to act because if we don’t we’re leaving  the American people extremely vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack.”

Lieberman was the one  that first introduced the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act in 2010 which was dubbed the Internet Kill Switch bill.

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said, “Frankly, the underlying bill is not supported by the business community for all the right reasons.  They’re the ones that are going to be called to comply with the mandates and the regulations, and frankly it’s just not going to give them the protection they need against cyberattacks.”

In addition to Chambliss, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) shot back at claims by Democrats that Republicans were threatening national security for not favoring the bill, saying, “disagreements over how to address policy matters  shouldn’t evolve into accusations about a member’s willingness to tackle the  issue.”

However, The Washington Post reports that Obama signed a secret cybersecurity directive back in mid-October:  Presidential Policy Directive  20:

Presidential Policy Directive 20 establishes a broad and strict set of  standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in  cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified  document and are not authorized to speak on the record. The president signed it  in mid-October.

The new directive is the most extensive White House effort to date to wrestle with what constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism, where an attack can be launched in milliseconds by unknown assailants utilizing a circuitous route. For the first time, the directive explicitly makes a distinction between network defense and cyber-operations to guide officials charged with making often-rapid decisions when confronted with threats.

Since the cybersecurity bill has faced defeat twice this year and since we  are approaching a new year when people are not paying attention, sort of like  they weren’t last year when Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with its section on “indefinite detention,” I would not  put it past this administration to wait till sometime around New Year’s and sign  his cybersecurity executive order.  Then all of the usual fluff pieces about the  holidays and record sales will end up dwarfing his undermining of the  Constitution and our liberties.  I’ll keep you posted…

Extraordinary Genius

A new study suggests that Albert Einstein’s extraordinary genius may have been related to a uniquely shaped brain.

Researchers compared Einstein’s brain to 85 ‘normal’ human brains to determine, what, if any, unusual features it possessed.

‘Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein’s brain were normal, the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal,  temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary,’ said Dean Falk, the Hale G. Smith Professor of Anthropology at Florida State,  told Science  Daily.

EinsteinResearchers now believe the unique shape of  Einstein’s brain may have helped boost his cognitive abilities

‘These may have  provided the neurological underpinnings for some of his visuospatial and mathematical abilities, for  instance.’

Using 14 recently discovered pictures of the  genius’ brain, Falks and her colleagues were able to describe Einstein’s entire cerebral cortex.

Their study, ‘The Cerebral Cortex of Albert  Einstein: A Description and Preliminary Analysis of Unpublished Photographs,’  were published Nov. 16 in Brain, a journal on neurology.

FalkDean Falk and her colleagues were able to present for the first time a clear description of Einstein’s cortex
Einstein  Researchers used photos taken of Einstein’s  brain upon his death in 1955 to advance their findings

With permission from his family, Einstein’s  brain was removed and photographed upon his death in 1955.

It was even sectioned into 240 blocks to make histological slides.

The paper will also outline a ‘roadmap’ to Einstein’s brain made in 1955 by Dr. Thomas Harvey.

                                          Left and right views of Einstein’s brain

Most of those photos, blocks, and slides have been lost from the public eye, and the photographs used by Falk’s team are held by the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Attribution: Mail Online