The Love You Make

For a new hiphood, today belongs to the past just as no-kissing on first dates, or asking parental permission to go out. Some may consider that too cynical but there’s now a big qualitative difference in results between Hallmark cards of yesteryear and their contemporary counterparts, dating apps. That is, at least in the short run.
Love is still as old as time and the fastest access to our best selves. But its meaning is secondary to all other reasons we seek each other’s company. Rather, it’s even arguable whether setting up a perfect Valentine’s Day will lead to passion, romance, or at least a pleasant night afterward. But please don’t call fools those who try.

Chocolate, Roses
& Bleeding Hearts

From the Catholic Church saints that named it to the Hallmark cards that oversell it, the holiday dedicated to lovers is a bonanza for restaurants and pubs in big cities around the world. It’s one of the hardest dates to book a table in any restaurant worth its napkins, and it’s very likely the saddest in bars and watering holes across the land.
Many people propose to their sweethearts on February 14 but no statistics confirm whether this is such a great idea. It’s a high-pressure time for lovers trying to impress their loved ones, and disappointment is always a possibility when stakes are so high.
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Read Also:
* Valentine Sway
* Valentine Way
* Bad Valentiming
* Foolings Hearts

If the police have any data on the number of crimes of passion committed on this date, they are not telling. In the end, there’s just one historical fact associated with it, and sorry, it’s not pretty: on February 14, 1929, Al Capone and his minions gunned down seven members of a rival gang, in what became the most reviled event of the Prohibition Era. And the now infamous Parkland, Florida’s Douglas High School massacre two years ago today.
It remains a fact, though, that regardless of the commercialism linked to Valentine’s Day, it does mark a tribute to the affection and romantic ideals lovers share and expect from their partners. Which means that, if you’re not impressed with anything mentioned above, you do deserve to spend the most perfect day with your soul mate. Enjoy it.

Valentine Sway

Give a Chance For Romance &
Keep the Devil Out of Your Heart

Here’s a buzzkill: when a gunman murdered 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff, in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018, the real Valentine’s Day tradition in the U.S. was reaffirmed. For loved ones of the fallen, that was the worst day of their lives.
Yet sweethearts and would-be lovers will exchange vows, roses, and chocolate today, hoping this will be their best year. Life goes on, for sure. Even as noble feelings and massacres can’t never mix, many a lifetime of mutual infatuation stories will take root before 12am.
Blame it on Al Capone, who in all likelihood ordered the infamous massacre of seven Chicago minions, 90 years ago today. Or the 3rd-century Roman priest killed on this date. Not that such a sobering history has ever crossed any innamorato’s mind.
That’s probably for the better. Misanthropes, the unengaged, skeptics, and lonely wolves notwithstanding, we’re all in this together, so some may as well pick a mate or two, and dive right into the whirlpool of affection and impossibly achievable goals of eternal devotion and faith.
To choose such venue has an undeniable edge, a rare instance when caring beats automatic weapons. For that they’ll ride high at moments, and suffer much in the end, but there’s no business like the one of loving someone. The other will always be worthier than thou.

THE MONSTER IN THE AFTERNOON
Learning that some 1,200 American children have been killed since the Parkland shooting, and that only a few states, including Florida, have passed somewhat restrictive gun control legislation, doesn’t seem too encouraging, after such a tragedy. But that’s only part of the story.
Since then, we’ve got to know Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Sam Zelf, Cameron Kasky, and others, survivors who became national leaders for gun laws, with the moral authority to demand change. That Congress still remains unmoved by any of that is typical but hopefully won’t last.
These kids didn’t sit still. Throughout 2018, they led several national mass rallies, calling for action from Washington, to prevent another afternoon like the one they’ve endured. (more)
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Read Also:
* Bad Valentiming
* Valentine Way
* Embraceable Hearts

Continue reading

Robbers Like Us

The (Bad) Cons That Men Do
& One Hell of a Clever Woman

If opportunity breeds the thief, con men are born ready. Any seasoned pro will describe an one-trick pony like it’s the Mona Lisa. Or sound it as if it’s rocket science. Just keep an eye on your wallet. Few get away with it, though. For every Ronald Biggs, who robbed a train in 1963, and spent his life in Rio, there’s Andy Thoothmans, who broke into a Kentucky store and came out naked, covered in peanut butter.
There’s the Parachute Jumper, the unknown daredevil who jumped off a plane over the Pacific Northwest in 1971, with a lot of cash. And there’s João dos Santos, caught opening a banking account with a Jack Nicholson picture ID. Still, none is in 
Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramseys’ league. She made us all proud turning tables on the notorious brotherhood of Nigerian scammers, by swindling one out of $30,000.

The sudden urge to raid Colltales files for this old post was prompted by the arrest of Geddel Vieira Lima, a former Brazilian government official and personal ally to President Michel Temer. As it goes, he’d had hidden a record breaking $16 million in cash.
Far from the sharpest tool in Temer’s circle, he released a tearful self-produced video. Not to explain the dough, but to thank cops for finding it, because, poor soul, he’d ‘forgotten’ where on earth he’d stashed it.
Fact is, in all crafts, there are highly-skillful artists and ridiculously inept blunderers who’d do everybody a favor switching professions. Point taken. But if you rob people for a living, while keep failing at it so spectacularly, a simple change of trade may not be enough to get you anywhere.
It’s another story for those who succeed. Even when they’ve never heard of Victor Lustig and his 10 Commandments for Con Artists, those are the ones who show a particular streak of sociopathology as to make them both incredibly talented at deceiving everyone around, and often times, very likable chaps too.

Some professions are actually text-book examples of such double standard. Wall Street is full of financial wizards whose amorality and disregard for rules are routinely rewarded with obscene personal wealth. Politicians and security experts too, with the added aspect that they can be either legit or criminal or both. And technology hackers are always looking for opportunities within the industries they hack.
Such is the nature of the beast, that often society is eager to incarcerate the inept and reward the clever. Persecute the meek but let the friend-of-a-friend walk. Go after the messenger but ignore (more)
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Read Also:
* The Far Out Report
* Beautiful Bandit
* Police Blotter

Continue reading

Robbers Like Us

The (Bad) Cons That Men Do
& One Hell of a Clever Woman

They say what creates a thief is opportunity. But most con men would beg to differ. If you let a seasoned pro tell you what it takes to be a successful robber, soon he’ll sound like a piano virtuoso, an operatic tenor, a commanding maestro. Better keep an eye on your wallet.
In reality, for every Ronald Biggs, who, along with 14 others, stole from a train almost $70 million in today’s dollars in 1963, and spent the best of his life in Rio, there are a hundred Andrew Toothmans, who broke into a Kentucky store and came out naked, covered in peanut butter.
And for every Parachute Jumper, the unknown daredevil who jumped off a night flight over the frigid wilderness of the Pacific Northwest in 1971, with a cool $200 thousand in his pocket, there are hundreds of João Pedro dos Santos, who tried to open a banking account in Brazil using an ID on his name with a picture of actor Jack Nicholson.
But there are very few Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramseys out there (and down under), we’re sure. The Australian woman became an instant legend, managing to turn the tables in the well-known brotherhood of Nigerian scammers, by swindling one out of $30,000.
Fact is, in all crafts, there are highly-skillful artists and ridiculously inept blunderers who’d do everybody a favor switching professions. Point taken. But if you resort at robbing people for a living, but keep failing at it so spectacularly, a simple change of trade may not be enough to get you anywhere.
It’s another story for those who succeed. Even when they’ve never heard of Victor Lustig and his 10 Commandments for Con Artists, those are the ones who show a particular streak of sociopathology as to make them both Continue reading

Embraceable Hearts

Something More Than
Just Chocolate & Roses

Some people simply can’t help but being cynical about Valentine’s Day. We’re not them, but there may be something to it. After all, why do we celebrate love in a day dedicated to several ancient religious martyrs, all supposedly killed for their pious fervor?
Wikipedia lists them all, along with references to 14th century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, and some lore and arcana surrounding the date. What it doesn’t mention is the day’s infamous link with Al Capone, and the likelihood Halmark Cards are the biggest-selling item of the day.
BLOOD AND CARDS
The U.S. largest card maker, of course, plays down such view, mainly because they regularly cash in on other holidays throughout the year too. But it’s unlikely Hallmark will ever shake down the mistaken belief that they actually invented Valentine’s Day.
Back in 1929, when it was still known as Saint Valentine’s Day, it was already a tradition in the U.S. for lovers to exchange chocolate and roses, and off course, Hallmark cards too. But it took literal buzzkiller Al Capone, a notorious Chicago gangster, to tint it bloody red.
That’s when he ordered the elimination of seven foot-soldiers of his  Continue reading

Before & After?

Chocolate, Roses
& Bleeding Hearts

From the Catholic Church saints that named it to the Hallmark cards that oversell it, the holiday dedicated to lovers is a bonanza for restaurants and pubs in big cities around the world. It’s one of the hardest dates to book a table in any restaurant worth its napkins, and it’s very likely the saddest in Continue reading