We Don’t Know Real Intolerance

Egypt: Persecution Of Christians Expands

Living in America, I often forget just how lucky I am. Really though, the word “lucky” doesn’t even begin to do justice to the level of freedom and prosperity to which we are accustomed. Even at its worst, Conservatives and religious people in the United States are mocked, and verbally bullied. Rarely is there intolerance of such an extreme nature that people are imprisoned or killed because of their beliefs.

It’s easy to think that imprisonment and execution are fantasies from hundreds of years ago; not ever happening in modern times. But outside the United States, especially in the Middle East, minority religious persecution is rampant, and often barbaric.  Continue Reading

On Air!

It’s the internet craze that’s got hundreds floating on air.

Photography buffs, Jeff Cheong and Jayden Tan who work at an advertising agency in Singapore, are the latest to share their best ‘levitating’ photos.

Without using any photo editing software, the pair have made it look as if they can defy gravity by performing everyday tasks such as playing the piano or pushing a shopping cart in mid-air.

Hitting the high notes: The clever photography technique can produce some incredible results such as this image of a man playing piano seemingly in mid-air The clever photography technique  can produce some incredible results such as this image of a man playing piano  seemingly in mid-air
Shop till you drop: A young man holds on for dear life as he appears to be floating away from a trolley A young man holds on for dear life  as he appears to be floating away from a cart
Come fly with me: A traveller floats through the arrivals lounge at Singapore's international airport A traveller floats through the arrivals lounge at Singapore’s international airport
Lifted: Levitation photos have become something of a craze since Japanese teen Natsumi Hayashi posted a series of pictures of her 'floating' around Tokyo in 2010 Levitation photos have become something of a craze since Japanese teen Natsumi Hayashi posted a series of pictures of her  ‘floating’ around Tokyo in 2010

The fascination with levitation photography has taken off since photos were posted by Japanese teenager Natasha Hayashi of  her ‘floating’ around Tokyo went viral in 2010.

The effect is achieved by using a camera with a fast shutter speed and taking the shots from a low angle.

The subjects must try to look as casual as possible for maximum effect.

Jeff Cheong and Jayden Tan, who call themselves Levitation SG, have taken these photos around some of their favorite places in their home city of Singapore.

Some of the most impressive include a women floating through the arrivals lounge at the international airport with her suitcase and a man who appears to be reading a book in mid-air.

The craze is catching hold, especially in the Far East, with hundreds of young people coming up with more and more interesting backdrops and posting the results online.

Flight of fancy: Subjects have to try and look as relaxed as possible during the jump for maximum effectSubjects have to try and look as relaxed as possible during the jump for maximum effect
Weightless: The photographers try to take photos in everyday settings to make the levitation appear even more captivatingThe photographers try to take photos in everyday settings to make the levitation appear even more captivating
Carried away: A man tied to a set of balloons look as if he is being pulled into the airA man tied to a set of balloons look as if he is being pulled into the air
Light reading: The shots have been taken around some of the photographers' favourite places in their home city of Singapore The shots have been taken around some of  the photographers’ favorite places in their home city of Singapore
Air time: Another gravity-defying photo as a young man stays suspended in mid-air while opening a doorAnother gravity-defying photo as a young man  stays suspended in mid-air while opening a door

Attribution: Steve Robson

Friend of the Immigrant

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is in the spotlight. He’s daring to touch one of, what are becoming many third rails in American politics.

It’s not welfare reform or Social Security privatization; both are rails, which will eventually have to be touched. No, the third rail I speak of, is immigration. This is the hot issue Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles, has chosen to tackle.marcorubio

For quite some time the Democrats have owned the issue of immigration. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The issue they do own is not immigration, but illegal immigration. And they don’t just own it, they embrace it.

The Dems, with the aid of the media, pundits and spineless Republicans have successfully blurred the line between legal and illegal immigration until there is no discernible line left.

The old saying is no truer than in this case: “those who control the language, control the debate”. Such as Global Warming morphing into Climate Change or more recently; gun control, which, right under our noses,  has just been renamed. It is now gun violence, because who could possibly be opposed to ending gun violence. When illegal immigrants are magically reclassified as just immigrants or effectively citizens that are merely undocumented, those of us that insist on the distinction have lost or at least Illegal signbeen relegated to the back of the bus.

Enter the so-called conservative rising star – Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio, the young, photogenic Republican is a rising star in the party. As Joe Biden might say, he’s clean and articulate. Best of all, he’s Hispanic. Hooray, a Republican that is not a white guy! Why that makes any difference is beyond me, but apparently it does.

I don’t know whether he’s trying to “get out front” on this issue because he is of Cuban heritage or he, like many Republicans, simply feels he must.

I do know the Republicans will lose on the issue of illegal immigration. They will lose because the GOP is becoming the Democrat-lite party. The Republicans don’t seem to grasp that they cannot win a giveaway contest vs. a party full of socialists, the Democrats.

Now Rubio has said some good things, such as “Legal immigration has been, for ourmarco-rubio1 country, one of the things that makes us vibrant and exceptional”. I agree with that statement. Any reasonable person would. Another strong statement: “Every country in the world has immigration laws and expects to enforce them and we should be no different”. Who wouldn’t agree with that? Evidently most people, or at least most politicians, for we don’t, in fact, enforce the thousands of immigration laws we have now.

He continues: “I’m a big believer in family-based immigration. But I don’t think that in the 21st century we can continue to have an immigration system were only 6.5% of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill. We have to move toward marriage and skill-based immigration.” I agree with the merit and skill-based immigration statement. The family based nonsense sounds like liberal claptrap.

He then exclaims, “I don’t think there’s a lot of concern in this country that we’ll somehow get overrun by PhD’s and entrepreneurs.” Too bad, but he’s right.

Rubio then takes the inevitable turn toward the squishy left of the Republican Party, as he weighs in on agriculture. “The goal is to give American agriculture a reliable workforce and to give protection to those workers. When someone is undocumented they’re vulnerable to being exploited.”

illegalThis is exactly what I meant by the language. Illegal aliens are now simply undocumented. I also disagree with the statement. These people came to our country illegally. They have no right to ask nor do we have any obligation to protect them.

And what does Rubio propose to do about the 12 to 20 million illegals currently residing in our country? He says, “Here’s how I envision it. They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check. Anyone who committed a serious crime would be deported. They would be fingerprinted. They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove that they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country.”

And predictably, Republican lawmakers say that Rubio’s plan could pass muster, even with immigration hard-liners, if the plan included a significant restitution for illegals to pay and began taxing them for their work here.

And… Rubio and the Republicans lost me. Whatever conservative statements he uttered prior, was all just washed away.

This softened, kinder gentler stance will be just another nail in the coffin of theGOP-and-Dem-Lite1 Republican Party. They will not win a single coveted Hispanic vote and in turn will lose more of the conservative base that already believes the Republicans untrustworthy. This is a political stunt. It will never work – the Democrats will never allow the GOP to achieve even the impression of success. Republican lawmakers have shown once again they are sellouts.

In fact, what will more likely happen, is something akin to compromising on the budget where taxes are increased and more money borrowed now, with the promise of tax cuts later that never materialize. Republicans are chumps and so is Rubio for proposing this.

Rubio has lost me. I may be alone on this, but I’ve stated I will never support anyone who is willing to, in any way, legalize or reward criminal aliens.

Hollywood Hotspot

These black and white photographs show some of Hollywood’s hottest stars out and about at Hollywood club Ciro’s .

The hot spot, which was located at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, opened in January 1940. Establishments on the strip were the home to best and brightest in the entertainment world but also attracted some Mafia sorts.

Famous guests at Ciro’s were Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra,  Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Ronald Reagan, Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney and Cary Grant.

During his first visit to Hollywood in the late 1940s and before his foray into politics, John F. Kennedy stopped in at Ciro’s to enjoy the night life.

Despite its reputation as the place to be seen, it was forced to declare bankruptcy and was auctioned off in 1959.

Night life Journalist Walter Winchell, left, chats with Joseph Schneck, right, while Marilyn Monroe scopes out the place on May 22, 1953
Ol' Blue Eyes: Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, left, chats with a young Frank Sinatra in October 1946 at a party at Ciro’s
The lady is not impressed:Mickey Rooney, right, is pictured with his former wife, Martha Vickers, left, at Ciro’s in Oct. 1951. The pair, who had recently divorced, appeared together at the hot spot fueling rumors of a reconciliation but Vickers quashed the reports telling the press, ‘This does not mean a reconciliation’
Good times Lucille Ball, front left, and her husband Desi Arnaz in costume at the club in May 1956 for a fundraiser. The party was held to raise funds for the building of a hospital for mental illness in Los Angeles
09 Feb 1955 Skating star Sonja Henie, left, welcomes pianist Liberace, center, and actress Susan Hayward, right, to her star spangled party at Ciro’s nightclub in February 1955
Sammy Davis Jr. Sammy Davis Jr, right, is shown with Cary Crosby before the singer took the stage to perform at Ciro’s in Hollywood in November 1955
That's a Busman's HolidayGail Russell and Guy Madison went to Ciro’s in Hollywood to get away from the cameras, before which they are seeking fame and fortune. But they found that cameras are not so easily evaded. Ciro’s camera girl Dixie Liston is showing them prints of photographs she snapped while they were dining in March 1946
Photo by Michael Ochs
20 Aug 1951, Los Angeles,
The hot spot, which was located at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, opened in January 1940
What a show Stripper Lili St. Cyr gives the audience an eyeful during a performance at Ciro’s Nightclub in October 1951
GigCiro’s nightclub in Los Angeles with a sign promoting Desi Arnaz and His Orchestra as the current act in the late 1940s

Attribution: Mail Online

Hoffa Found?

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Reported Detroit mob underboss Anthony Zerilli came out this weekend to say he knows where the bodies are buried — one body in particular, belonging to Detroit’s most notorious missing person — Jimmy Hoffa.

Zerilli, 85, told WDIV in Detroit Hoffa’s killers buried him in a shallow grave and were going to move him to a hunting lodge in northern Michigan after they offed him 37 years ago. But Zerilli — who was in prison at the time on a racketeering charge  – said they left him where he was.

Local mob expert and author Scott Burnstein thinks this is the biggest break in the Hoffa case since the union boss’ disappearance.

“I think this is the most credible person to ever come forward to talk about this story,” Bernstein said, adding Zerilli is the son of Detroit mafia founder Joe Zerilli and served as the Detroit mob underboss from 1979 to 2002. Continue Reading