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2 Sep 2014

The man who tried to shut down a kid’s lemonade stand is now under investigation

Today in turnabout: A Florida man who became an Internet villain after his quest to shut down a child’s lemonade stand went viral is now under investigation for potentially running an unlicensed home business.
Doug Wilkey, 61, has contacted city officials in Dunedin at least four times in the past two years in an attempt to get law enforcement to shut down the lemonade stand operated by his young neighbor, T.J. Guerrero. Wilkey’s complaint, the Tampa Bay Times reported last weekend, is that the lemonade stand is an “‘illegal business’ that causes excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values.”
CNN said the city sent a community police officer to look into the complaints, which came only from Wilkey. But after speaking to neighbors, the city concluded that the stand run by Guerrero, who is 12, wasn’t really an issue.
Well. The city of Dunedin’s planning director is finally going to give a robust response to Wilkey’s complaints — except probably not in the way he’d hoped, the Tampa newspaper reported in a follow-up story.
“(Wilkey’s) not following the rules either, or doesn’t seem to be,” planning director Greg Rice told the Times.
Wilkey uses his home address for a business he runs, according to the Times. An anonymous individual brought this to the attention of Rice, who told the paper that he’s in the process of writing a letter to Wilkey, informing him that he needs to purchase a business license and sign an affidavit in order to operate a business within Dunedin city limits. If he doesn’t comply with the ordinance he seems to be violating, Wilkey potentially faces a daily fine, the Times reported.

16 Reasons Why Opening Our Borders Makes More Sense Than Militarizing Them

What would happen if the United States suddenly stopped building walls and instead flung open its borders, not unlike the European Union has done among the member countries of the common market? Conservatives malign the notion and liberals, even radical ones, haven't exactly embraced the "open borders" concept.
But the idea isn't as radical as it may seem. For most of its history, the United States has had, for all practical purposes, open borders, according to University of San Francisco law professor Bill Hing.
"Really, the United States was an open-border situation, worldwide, up through the early 1900s -- except for Asians," Hing told The Huffington Post. "There were Asian-exclusion laws. But if you put that aside, it was open borders for the rest of the world."
  • Because our immigration system is universally regarded as "broken."
    Politicians, journalists and activists of every ideology refer to the U.S. immigration system as "broken." If what we're doing doesn't work, why not try something different?2
  • Because it's what we used to do.
    There's a notion that in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Europeans immigrated to the U.S. legally. But "legally" meant something very different than it does now. At that time, the United States accepted practically everyone who showed up, with few restrictions other than the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and a brief health examination

    The foreign-born share of the population, 12.9 percent, is lower today than it was during the entire period from 1860 to 1920, according to data published by the Brookings Institution.
  • Because rich people already live an open-borders life.
    Rich individuals park their fortunes in foreign countries to avoid taxes. People from wealthy families cross borders with ease. So why put such harsh restrictions on people who immigrate to work for paychecks?4
  • Because if capital and goods can flow across borders, why not labor?
    The North American Free Trade Agreement made it easier for business owners to invest in Mexico and for goods to flow freely across the U.S.-Mexico border. But the millions of Mexicans put out of work by these changes weren't permitted to cross the border in search of jobs created here. 

    "If you think about it, corporations have open borders," Arturo Carmona, executive director of the grassroots organization, told HuffPost. "But when you think about workers' rights, family reunification -- you have closed borders."
  • Because undocumented immigrants are the victims of legislation that is, frankly, dumb.
    The undocumented population began skyrocketing in the 1960s when the United States started restricting the number of immigrant visas for Mexicans. In 1977, Congress capped the number of such visas for Mexican workers at 20,000, a number wildly out of sync with labor demand. Subsequent revisions to immigration law consistently disregarded demand for Mexican, and to a lesser degree, Central American labor.6
  • Because immigration improves the economy.
    From all the controversy surrounding the issue, you might think that immigration was an economic evil that the U.S. is forced by circumstance to put up with. In fact, the consensus among economists is that immigration -- both legal and illegal -- is good for the overall economy. While competition from undocumented workers and new arrivals pushes wages down in some sectors, the net effect is positive.
  • Because Europe opened many of its borders, and the sky didn't fall.
    As Bill Hing points out, when the European Union was created, effectively allowing the free movement of EU citizens across the common market's borders, a funny thing happened. Countries once known for their high output of immigrants, like Spain, Portugal and Ireland, became immigrant-receiving countries -- a pattern that held until the worldwide economic crisis in 2007. 

    "Why?" says Hing. "Because there was huge investment in their economies. If we approach immigration the way they did in the EU [...] you actually will not see a hysterical flood of migrants across the border. But I do think it needs to be coupled with serious investment in poor areas of Mexico."
  • Because it makes humanitarian sense.
    Some 60,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border illegally in the past year, most of them seeking refuge from poverty and violence in their home countries. That's to say nothing of the thousands of Mexicans applying for asylum to escape the country's drug war or the millions of others simply looking for work. 

    Americans are proud of their country's history of harboring Irish families fleeing famine in the late 19th century, as well as Jewish refugees from World War II. Why not refugees from Mexico and Central America?
  • Because the U.S. is responsible for creating the conditions that cause illegal immigration.
    From overthrowing left-wing governments during the Cold War, to financing military forces that massacred civilians, to pushing economic policies that put Mexican farmers out of work by the millions, the United States has helped create a lot of the conditions that have resulted in mass migration from Latin America. It would logically follow that the U.S., which has reaped economic benefits from this mayhem, should allow immigrants to stay.
  • Because it allows people to go back.
    Most people only think of undocumented immigrants as coming into the United States, but for most of the United States' history, Mexican and Central American workers crossed into the country for seasonal agricultural labor and then returned home. Some people who work in other industries come to the U.S. to raise capital and return home to start a business. With the militarization of the border, returning has become so difficult that most people simply stay.
  • Because fewer people will die crossing the border. 
    Putting up the border wall in high-traffic areas has simply pushed crossings into the desert, where more people die.
  • Because border spending is out of control.
    Neither party can boast a record of fiscal responsibility when it comes to the border. The U.S. spends more on border enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.
  • Because border enforcement punishes the wrong people.Much of the resentment against undocumented immigrants is rooted in the inaccurate belief that they damage the economy, and the semi-accurate belief that they depress wages in some sectors. 

    But that's unfair. Wages for American workers have been stagnant since the 1970s, well before the latest wave of mass migration. And many economists say the destruction of high-paying jobs in sectors like manufacturing has far more to do with globalization, the lowering of tariffs that protected U.S. industries and companies moving overseas. Low-skilled workers rightly angry about their sagging wages and lack of job opportunities have more of a bone to pick with business leaders and elected officials than they do with their fellow workers.

Homeland Security was built to fend off terrorists. Why's it so busy arming cops to fight average Americans?

For three weeks and counting, America has raged against the appalling behavior of the local police in Ferguson, Missouri, and for good reason: automatic rifles pointed at protesters, tank-like armored trucks blocking marches, the teargassing and arresting of reporters, tactics unfit even for war zones – it was all enough to make you wonder whether this was America at all. But as Congress returns to Washington this week, the ire of a nation should also be focused on the federal government agency that has enabled so much of the rise of military police, and so much more: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The 240,000-employee, Bush-invented bureaucratic behemoth that didn’t even exist 15 years ago has been the primary arms dealer for out-of-control local cops in Ferguson and beyond, handing out tens of billions of dollars in grants for military equipment in the last decade with little to no oversight and even less training on how use it. “From an oversight perspective, DHS grant programs are pretty much a mess,” a congressional aide told the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman the other day:
They don’t know what’s been bought with the money, how that equipment has been used, or whether it’s made anyone measurably any safer.
Buttressed by government policies that make it sometimes impossible for citizens to hold police accountable for civil rights violations, police can act like paramilitary forces to combat the most mundane crimes without much worry of the consequences. As Matt Apuzzo of the New York Times reported in June:
Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids onbarbershops that mostly led only to charges of ‘barbering without a license.’
There is now so much attention on the paramilitary pipeline that the White House has reportedly ordered a comprehensive review of the sprawling grant programs. But the problem with DHS is much larger than just combat gear: Homeland Security is also transferring tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in high-tech spying technology to local police through a sprawling backroom operation surveilling your neighborhood, much of which may be unconstitutional.
DHS has its own fleet of Predator drones roaming the US border and far beyond, which it has loaned out to police over 500 times for myriad unknown reasons. They don’t have missiles like America’s killer drones in Pakistan and Yemen, but they come decked out with all the surveillance equipment you can imagine – and more may be on the way as President Obama tasks DHS chief Jeh Johnson, who once helped justify the military drone program, as his pointman on the border. Homeland Security is also handing out millions of dollars to local police to “accelerate and facilitate the adoption” of smaller drones that police can fly themselves. Cops claim they want these “middleman” drones for “emergencies,” but in places like California’s Alameda county, documents show they’ll end up using them for “crowd control” and “intelligence gathering”.

The bunker (31 Pics)

Weird Pipes
So when visiting an old friend in northern germany (formerly GDR) he told me about these weird periscope like pipes in the woods. they often played there as kids and knew about the bunkers below, but never were allowed to get near them. Last week we decided to check them out and this is our report. (sry for my bad english, im trying my best)
The Entrance
It was not very hard to find, circa a hundred meters from the periscopes, and surrounded by coniferous trees. It was covered with a wooden lid, that was easy to remove by crowbar.
View from inside
The iron door you can see in the pic would swing back in but the lock was broken in the first place, so we couldnt get trapped inside. Anyhow, the sight of a closed door in an environment like this wasnt a nice thing to see.
First Hallway
What you can see here is what we would see for the next few minutes - nothing but endless, hospital like hallways. The acustics were, in a word, haunting.
A pipe and a plastic bag on the floor, from a local supermarket
First intersection
Junctions like this occured several times, we decided to keep straight ahead in ordert not to get lost. The holes in the wall on the right appeared to be punched with a hammer, idk.
A dead end
This what you see, when you turn left on the intersection seen above. The narrow hole in the floor was filled with dirty water, nothing to see there.
Another dead end
A little later, at the second intersection, we found what seemed like a clogged entrance covered in graffiti. Obviously we weren´t the first people to visit.
The long turn
The hallway, as we found out, wasnt straight at all, it had several slight turns, expiring to a long one to the left. More random punches in the wall.
View Back
At this point we both were uncertain, if we should proceed or get the hell out of there. But as this album continues, you already know our decision;) (for your information: flashlight beam in the picutre by Maglite D-Cell)
Final Corridor

9 Patriotic Facts About The American Revolution (9 pics)

1 Sep 2014

Australia increases cigarette prices for the fourth time by almost 15% to $1 a cigarette. Expected to stop 60,000 smokers.

Cigarette taxes will jump by a hefty 13.7 per cent on Monday, the second of four outsized increases in as many years.

The excise on a pack of 20 will climb from $8.13 to $9.25, an increase of $1.12. The excise on apack of 40 will climb from $16.26 to $18.51.

If fully passed on, it will push the price of a packet of 40 above $30 and push the price of some packets of 20 above $20. The increase means the price of cigarettes for casual smokers will approach $1 a stick.
Labor announced a series of four increases mid-last year, with the first of 12.5 per cent due on December 1 followed by three more on September 1 in each of the following three years.

In addition it changed the method of twice-yearly indexation so that tobacco excise grew in line with wages rather than the slower-growing consumer price index.
The changes were supported by the present Health Minister, Peter Dutton, in opposition and were expected to discourage 200,000 Australians from smoking. 

In this year's budget the government revised down its December estimate of tobacco excise revenue by $500million suggesting it expects about 1billion fewer cigarettes to be sold in 2013-14 than it did six months ago.
"The latest increase breaches significant price points," Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube said. 

"It'll cost $7000 a year to smoke a pack a day.
"We estimate that just as a result of this increase, around 800 million fewer cigarettes will be smoked in Australia and around 60,000 smokers will quit.

Read more:

11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity

1) You bounce back better from tougher problems.
From a study by Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness:
People rationalize divorces, demotions, and diseases, but not slow elevators and uninspired burgundies. The paradoxical consequence is that people may sometimes recover more quickly from truly distressing experiences than from slightly distressing ones (Aronson & Mills, 1958; Gerard & Mathewson, 1966; Zimbardo, 1966)… ["The Peculiar Longevity of Things not so Bad” from Psychological Science]
2) Regret is not that scary.
We anticipate regret will be much more painful than it actually is. Studies show we consistently overestimate how regret affects us.
Another one from Stumbling on Happiness author Daniel Gilbert.
…margins of loss can have an impact on emotional experience, and our studies merely suggest that however powerful that impact is, it is not as powerful as people anticipate. [Stumbling on Happiness]
3) "What does not kill you makes you stronger" is often true.
Individuals who went through the most awful events came out stronger than those who did not face any adversity.
In a month, 1,700 people reported at least one of these awful events, and they took our well-being tests as well. To our surprise, individuals who'd experienced one awful event had more intense strengths (and therefore higher well-being) than individuals who had none. Individuals who'd been through two awful events were stronger than individuals who had one, and individuals who had three— raped, tortured, and held captive for example— were stronger than those who had two. [Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being]
4) Reverse PTSD exists: Sometimes terrible events make us better people.
Tragedy not only can make us stronger, it can also make us better human beings.
Thanks to this study, today we can say for certain, not just anecdotally, that great suffering or trauma can actually lead to great positive change across a wide range of experiences. After the March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid, for example, psychologists found many residents experienced positive psychological growth. So too do the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer. What kind of positive growth? Increases in spirituality, compassion for others, openness, and even, eventually, overall life satisfaction. After trauma, people also report enhanced personal strength and self-confidence, as well as a heightened appreciation for, and a greater intimacy in, their social relationships. [The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work]
5) Rarely in life are you limited by your genes.
How often does natural talent limit what you are capable of?
In ~95 percent of cases, it doesn't.
Benjamin Bloom, an eminent educational researcher, studied 120 outstanding achievers. They were concert pianists, sculptors, Olympic swimmers, world-class tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists. Most were not that remarkable as children and didn't show clear talent before their training began in earnest… Bloom concludes, "After 40 years of intensive research on school learning in the United States as well as abroad, my major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning." He's not counting the 2 to 3 percent of children who have severe impairments, and he's not counting the top 1 to 2 percent of children at the other extreme… He is counting everybody else. [Mindset: The New Psychology of Success]
6) You don't need to win the lottery to be happy.
Very happy people don't experience more happy events than less happy people.
Ed Diener and Martin Seligman screened over 200 undergraduates for levels of happiness, and compared the upper 10 percent (the "extremely happy") with the middle and bottom 10 percent. Extremely happy students experienced no greater number of objectively positive life events, like doing well on exams or hot dates, than did the other two groups (Diener & Seligman, 2002). [50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior]
7) Helping others helps you.
Undergrads who wrote letters of encouragement to "at-risk" middleschoolers advising them to persevere and that intelligence "is not a finite endowment but rather an expandable capacity" became, themselves, happier and better in school for months afterward.
Truth is, there were no middleschoolers. Just writing the letters achieved these results.
Did these letters help the middle school students bounce back from adversity? It's impossible to say — the letters were never delivered. But the mere experience of writing them had a lasting impact on the college students themselves. Months later, the letter writers were still reporting greater enjoyment of school than were other Stanford undergrads. Their grade point averages were higher, too, by a full third of a point on a four-point scale. [Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World]
8) "Both hope and despair are self-fulfilling prophecies."
Bloodwork performed on soldiers in challenging situations shows the body is stressed by theperceived, not actual, difficulty of circumstances.
…the brain does not want the body to expend its resources unless we have a reasonable chance of success. Our physical strength is not accessible to us if the brain does not believe in the outcome, because the worst possible thing for humans to do is to expend all of our resources and fail. If we do not believe we can make it, we will not get the resources we need to make it. The moment we believe, the gates are opened, and a flood of energy is unleashed. Both hope and despair are self-fulfilling prophecies. [Maximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom]
9) Trusting too much is better than trusting too little.
People were asked how much they trust others on a scale of 1 to 10. Income peaked at those who responded with the number 8.
Those with the highest levels of trust had incomes 7 percent lower than the 8's. Research shows they are more likely to be taken advantage of.
Those with the lowest levels of trust had an income 14.5 percent lower than 8's. That loss is the equivalent of not going to college. They missed many opportunities by not trusting.
10) Sometimes, empathy beats objectivity.
From my interview with Wharton Professor Adam Grant, author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success:
There is a great study of radiologists by Turner and colleagues showing that when radiologists just saw a photo of the patient whose x-ray they were about to scan, they empathized more with the person, seeing that person as more of a human being as opposed to just an x-ray. As a result, they wrote longer reports, and they had greater diagnostic accuracy, significantly. [Barking up the Wrong Tree]
And one more:
11) The most powerful goals aren't about being perfect; they're about getting better.
Get-better goals increase motivation, make tasks more interesting and replenish energy. This effect even carries over to subsequent tasks.
Get-better goals, on the other hand, are practically bulletproof. When we think about what we are doing in terms of learning and mastering, accepting that we may make some mistakes along the way, we stay motivated despite the setbacks that might occur… Research shows that a focus on getting-better also enhances the experience of working; we naturally find what we do more interesting and enjoyable when we think about it in terms of progress, rather than perfection. [Nine Things Successful People Do Differently]

Gamer Boyfriend's 21st (20 Pics)

Making of the mount
testing my stains
getting there...starting to wonder why I wanted to make it so badly instead of buying one.
shiny shiny making
took the hooks of of these bad boy
more shiny making
Here is the box I made for it. IT WAS A BITCH TO MAKE. I had to cut up two boxes and tape them together. Then painting was a bitch because of the tape on tape. Also, some parts or patch from previous ripping off of said tape.
Had to use ribbon to keep the top curved, THEN attached the sides. Because fuck cardboard.
All laid out
this bitch.

Money shot here. Looks so purty!
The purpose of the lights was to make it have that glow, like in the games.
Oh yeah and I got him this thing here. The scribbles is his card...
card readable with lightsaber.

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