Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho! 25,189-piece Santa collection sets Guinness record

Canadian teacher has a ho-ho-whole lot of Santas — 25,189 individual pieces

Jean-Guy Laquerre, a retired geography teacher, has a Santa Claus collection that contains 25,189 individual pieces. He started collecting in 1988.

Surprise! Hell hath no fury like a woman with a frying pan

Image: Kevin Funderburk

71-year-old Kansan beats in-home attacker unconscious, police say

“Hutchinson police say a 71-year-old woman knocked a man who attacked her unconscious with her frying pan.

Police Sgt. John Moore said 25-year-old Kevin Funderburk talked his way into the woman's home on Saturday, claiming he was homeless and had nowhere to go.

Moore said that when he tried to attack the woman, she fought back and "beat him down with a frying pan."

"When we arrived, he was unconscious and lying in his own vomit in the back of the house," Moore told The Hutchinson News. "He was in the hospital in Wichita over the weekend and they stapled his scalp."

Ho! Ho! Ho! Wealth gap becomes chasm at Christmas

Luxury retailers see strong demand as lower-income shoppers hunker down

With just a few days left in the holiday shopping season, reports from retailers suggesting  strong sales are prompting analysts and investors to declare that “the American consumer is back.”

Make that "some consumers." With unemployment stuck near 10 percent, home prices falling and foreclosures still rising, holiday shopping this year has brought into sharper focus the divide between upper- and lower-income American households.

“It’s very much a tale of two worlds,” said Bernstein Research retail analyst Colin McGranahan. “There’s a big dichotomy between the well-educated, upper-income consumers — what the employment trends looks like, what the wage trends looks like — and the lower-income, less well-educated consumer. It’s a very different picture.”

image source

Study: Recession Will Cost Baby Boomers Up To $40,000 in Social Security Benefits

Unprecedented Economic Factors Will Lead to Rare Drop in Initial Social Security Benefits and Reduce Lifetime Earnings

“Baby Boomers will see greatly reduced Social Security benefits over the course of their retirements due to an unprecedented combination of low wage growth and no annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), according to a new study by The Senior Citizens League. And those who first become eligible for Social Security in 2011 will receive lower benefits than retirees born a year earlier.

This is the most comprehensive study ever released to show the recession's impact on Social Security benefits for the first wave of baby boomers.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What’s Next for Marijuana Reform? Cal NORML Conference January 29th in Berkeley


In the aftermath of Proposition 19, California NORML will host a statewide conference to discuss the future of marijuana reform efforts in California at the David Brower Center in Berkeley on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

The conference will feature a public discussion with drug reform leaders, legislators, attorneys, physicians, medical marijuana groups and the press.

The conference will run from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm;  the pre-registration fee of $30 includes lunch. The Brower Center is a smoke-free facility located at 2150 Allston St. and Oxford St. near the Berkeley Center BART stop.

For registration information, see

‘Tis the season: Secret Santa II hands out $100 bills in Kansas City

One delighted recipient: 'I can only afford one gift for each child. But now ....'

Secret Santa II hit the streets Tuesday in a long-standing Kansas City tradition of handing out $100 bills — sometimes several at a time — to unsuspecting strangers in thrift stores, food pantries and shelters.

Some people gasped in surprise. Some wanted to know if the $100 bill the tall man in the red cap offered was fake. Others wept.

Secret Santa II has seen a lot of reactions since taking over where his mentor, Kansas City's original Secret Santa, Larry Stewart, left off when he died in 2007 at age 58. Like Stewart, who gave away more than $1 million to strangers each December in mostly $100 bills, this Secret Santa prefers to stay anonymous.

PHOTO - Secret Santa II hands a $100 bill to Robert Wright as he pushed a shopping cart down a street Tuesday in Kansas City

Other Voices: Politics in America: Only the rich need apply

Illustration by Stephen Sedam | Inkpop Studios / For The Times

LA Times Op-Ed By Andrew Trees

Though John Adams railed against it more than two centuries ago, we now find ourselves in a new age of aristocratic despotism

"Swilling the planters with bumbo" was what it was once called — the Colonial American tradition of treating voters with gifts during election campaigns, particularly plying them with rum (including a concoction known as bumbo). Virtually everyone who could afford the practice did it, including George Washington, who served 160 gallons of rum to roughly 400 voters during the 1758 campaign for the Virginia House of Burgesses. Needless to say, this was a prohibitively expensive way to campaign, and it meant that politics was largely the preserve of the rich.”

Welcome to Potopia: The most marijuana-friendly nations

The most marijuana-friendly nations

In theory, Prop 19 would have gone further than any marijuana law on the books anywhere. The policy would have been revolutionary in the U.S., where marijuana is legal only for medical purposes—and that in just 13 states.

But not even the world’s pot meccas have legalized and taxed the drug from production to consumption, as Prop 19 would have allowed cities in California to do. Drug-policy experts, though, disagree on whether Prop 19 took the right approach. Do other parts of the world have a more sensible system? Here’s a slideshow of how some other countries in the world handle marijuana use.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Be the first on your block to collect all 13 CAMP patches!

Imagine having these babies sewn on your “Bomber” jacket?

camp85 camp86camp87 camp88 camp93 camp98

camp1994 camp1990

camp1995 camp1996 camp2008

camp1997 camp99 COLLECT ALL 13 CAMP PATCHES

 Wouldn’t you like to own this colorful display of artwork depicting how your tax dollars are being wasted to pursue “A War on Marijuana?”

Just check with the DEA and see if they have any extras. My guess, there was a huge overrun on them and they’ll be willing to make a deal with you.

Be the first on your block to show off your cool collection of Americana Circa 2010

Feel free to pass this post on…

Awwww Nuts! Dead Squirrel Tossed In Drive-Thru Window

Squirrel Man sought “extra nuts” for rodent

“While all sorts of stuff has been thrown by enraged motorists through the drive-thru window, it wasn’t until last week that someone got arrested for heaving a dead squirrel at a fast food worker.The bizarre incident at a Hardee’s in Bartonville, Illinois resulted in a disorderly conduct charge being leveled against Christopher Thompson, 26, according to police reports that carry a brief case summary: “Male threw dead animal through drive thru window

Thompson, pictured at right, left the dead squirrel inside the vehicle when he went to Hardee’s, where the “2/3 lb. Monster Thickburger” will thicken your arteries.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Last post of the day – as the sun sets in a distant bay…


This photo (found on Stumble) really caught my attention. It’ so beautiful and serene. Such an awesome scene.

Spring Songs: Political Loons Are Tweeting Fresh Lies

As spring unfolds across the country making flowers bloom and right-wingers tweet gloom, we take the good with the bad. A recent book rele...