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Monet, Other Art from Big Collectors Lead Auctions

Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" from the Huguette Clark collection.  (AP Photo/Christie's)

Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” from the Huguette Clark collection. (AP Photo/Christie’s)

NEW YORK (AP) — Works from the estates of heiress Huguette Clark, Edgar Bronfman and other major collectors are among the highlights leading the spring art auctions in New York City, including a Monet painting that’s been out of the public eye for decades.

The anticipated auction season begins Tuesday evening with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s, which expects to raise a total of more than $245 million.

Among the top lots is Claude Monet’s shimmering “Water Lilies.” The 1907 work of Monet’s beloved garden in Giverny, France, has not been publicly exhibited since 1926 and is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir‘s “Young Women Playing Badminton” is another highlight expected to sell for between $10 million and $15 million. Read the rest of this entry »

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America is No Longer as Alarming to its Foes or Reassuring to its Friends…


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Retrogasm


[PHOTO] Jimi Hendrix Having his Hair Done While Reading Mad Magazine c. 1968

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vintagegal


White House Sends Obama To 3-Day Management Seminar At Washington Marriott

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The president and All-Season Heating & Cooling regional manager Rick Bergeron listen to a presentation titled “Unleashing Your Inner Innovator.”

WASHINGTON—Armed with newly acquired strategies on team leadership, effective communication, and workplace sensitivity, President Barack Obama returned to the Oval Office this morning after spending the past three days at a management seminar, White House sources confirmed.

“This wasn’t exactly something I wanted to do, but I figured if I was going to be there for three days I might as well make the most of it…”

The professional-development conference reportedly took place at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington, where the president joined dozens of business managers from across the mid-Atlantic region for a series of presentations, workshops, and team-building activities aimed at enhancing supervisory skills and fostering confident decision-making.

“This wasn’t exactly something I wanted to do, but I figured if I was going to be there for three days I might as well make the most of it,” said Obama, noting that the seminar kicked off in the hotel’s Ballroom 2A, where he registered at the check-in table, wrote “Barack” on his name tag, and then began the first day’s session by playing the ice-breaking game Two Truths And A Lie with other attendees. “As it turns out, I got to talking to some of the other attendees, and we found out we’re faced with a lot of the same kinds of challenges, like organization and budgeting. So we bonded a little bit over that.”

“I hit it off right away with this guy Tom [Hanley, co-owner of Hanley Comprehensive Payroll Services] from Reston,” the president continued. “He runs the third-largest payroll processor in the region. We ended up sitting next to each other for most of the presentations and even grabbing a beer Tuesday in the hotel bar. Great guy.” Read the rest of this entry »


Report: China Plans for North Korean Regime Collapse Leaked

Documents drawn up by planners from China’s People’s Liberation Army that were leaked to Japanese media include proposals for detaining key North Korean leaders and the creation of refugee camps on the Chinese side of the frontier in the event of an outbreak of civil unrest in the secretive state.

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Photo: Getty

“What we have learned from the collapse of other dictatorships – the Soviet Union, Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya – is that the more totalitarian the regime, the harder and faster they fall”

– Jun Okumura, a visiting scholar at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs

For The TelegraphJulian Ryall reports: China has drawn up detailed contingency plans for the collapse of the North Korean government, suggesting that Beijing has little faith in the longevity of Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Beijing’s lack of faith in rule of Kim Jong-un exposed in contingency plans to detain key North Korean leaders, set up border refugee camps and respond to “foreign forces”

Any senior North Korean military or political leaders who could be the target of either rival factions or another “military power,” thought to be a reference to the United States, should be given protection, the documents state.

The report calls for stepping up monitoring of China’s 879-mile border with North Korea.

North Korean soldiers patrol the bank of the Yalu River which separates the North Korean town of Sinuiju from the Chinese border town of Dandong, northeast China (Getty)

North Korean soldiers patrol the bank of the Yalu River which separates the North Korean town of Sinuiju from the Chinese border town of Dandong, northeast China (Getty)

According to Kyodo News, the Chinese report says key North Korean leaders should be detained in special camps where they can be monitored, but also prevented from directing further military operations or taking part in actions that could be damaging to China’s national interest. Read the rest of this entry »


From the Vintage Vault: Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Retrogasm


$4 Million Dope Bust on Texas Border

Marijuana-ConfiscationKristin Tate reports: Over $4 million in narcotics were confiscated on the Texas/Mexico border, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) informed Breitbart Texas.

One significant seizure occurred on April 25, when officers at the Laredo Port of Entry confiscated more than one ton of marijuana from a cargo vehicle. More specifically, 834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.

“This was a significant seizure,” a CPB spokesperson told Breitbart Texas. “When we find seizures in cargo vehicles, they are typically much larger than seizures in passenger vehicles. The smugglers have more room to hide the drugs.”

834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.

He said that while smaller drug busts in passenger vehicles are more common, large-scale confiscations like that which occurred on the 25th also happen relatively frequently. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Mad Men’ Inside Baseball

BN-CQ609_mad_D_20140504191601Lawyer, Supreme Court advocate, and Mad Men aficianado Walter Dellinger decodes some hidden meaning in Sunday night’s episode. Not being a sports fan, I didn’t catch it.

It involves a critical moment in sports history in New York in 1969. Only fairly dedicated baseball fans, or those familiar with the history of New York, would ever make the connection. it’s unimportant to the story, except as a background detail. But it’s the kind of clue that’s meant to reward an observant viewer, like Walter Dellinger, who sees a link between the New York Mets and Don Draper‘s future.

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Season 7, Episode 4, ‘The Monolith’

For WSJ’s SpeakeasyWalter Dellinger writes:

“..the metaphor for his (coming) revival is not the new computer, but the 1969 New York Mets.  At his lowest point, Don finds a discarded Mets banner under his file cabinet.  He drops in the waste basket.  But the next time we see Don, he has retrieved the classic orange banner and hung it on the wall.

When he awakes from a drunken stupor, he sees it from upside down and stares at it.  And he calls Freddy to take the day off (from doing no work, anyway) to see a Mets game.

And so all you Don Draper fans who don’t follow baseball need to know that there is indeed hope for Don this season, at least if this deliberate invocation of the Mets has any meaning (and what on this show doesn’t?).  The New York Mets were relatively new to baseball and in their eighth season in 1969.  They had never had a winning season, and were at that point a metaphor for futility.  But in that year they became the “Miracle Mets” winning 100 games and upsetting the great Baltimore Orioles team to win the World Series…”

TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ

If Dellinger is right, and Don Draper’s fortunes are finally about to turn, it couldn’t come a moment too soon. After a nearly unbearable string of misfortunes, a downward spiral lasting throughout season 6, unwinding into season 7, Don self-destructive personality has worn out its welcome, for his partners and coworkers, but also for the viewers. I wonder how many of Mad Men’s original fans are still along for the ride. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Strikes Tokyo, at Least 17 People Injured

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WAM TOKYO, 5th May, 2014 (WAM) — A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale struck Tokyo on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued for the 5:18 a.m. (2018 GMT Sunday) quake, the agency said.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, at least 17 people were injured in Tokyo and its neighbouring prefectures, according to police and fire-fighters. There was no impact on nuclear power plants in the region, operators said. All subway systems in Tokyo and some train services linking central Tokyo and other cities were temporarily suspended after the quake, but resumed later.

The focus of the tremor was 162 km underground near Izu Oshima Island in the Pacific Ocean, about 120 km south of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency was quoted as saying. Read the rest of this entry »


Campaign Against Foreign Words: ‘VIP, Wi-fi, iPhone’, Threaten Chinese Language ‘Purity’

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For World Affairs JournalGordon G. Chang writes:

Twice in late April, People’s Daily railed against the incorporation of acronyms and English words in written Chinese. “How much have foreign languages damaged the purity and vitality of the Chinese language?” the Communist Party’s flagship publication asked as it complained of the “zero-translation phenomenon.”

“Since the reform and opening up, many people have blindly worshipped the West, casually using foreign words as a way of showing off their knowledge and intellect. This also exacerbated the proliferation of foreign words.”

– Xia Jixuan, Ministry of Education

So if you write in the world’s most exquisite language—in my opinion, anyway—don’t even think of jotting down “WiFi,” “MBA,” or “VIP.” If you’re a fan of Apple products, please do not use “iPhone” or “iPad.” And never ever scribble “PM2.5,” a scientific term that has become popular in China due to the air pollution crisis, or “e-mail.”

 People’s Daily has criticized the use of foreign words as damaging the “purity and health” of the Chinese language. Adrian Bradshaw/European Pressphoto Agency

People’s Daily has criticized the use of foreign words as damaging the “purity and health” of the Chinese language.    Adrian Bradshaw/European Pressphoto Agency

“How much have foreign languages damaged the purity and vitality of the Chinese language?”

– The People’s Daily

China’s communist culture caretakers are cheesed, perhaps by the unfairness of the situation. They note that when English absorbs Chinese words, such as “kung fu,” the terms are romanized. When China copies English terms, however, they are often adopted without change, dropped into Chinese text as is…

“The use of imported words is becoming more widespread every day. It’s become so serious that the foreign words are even showing up in regular publications and formal documents, giving rise to resentment among the public.”

 ..In 2012, the Chinese government established a linguistics committee to standardize foreign words. In 2013, it published the first ten approved Chinese translations for terms such as WTO, AIDS, and GDP, ordering all media to use them. A second and third series of approved terms are expected this year. How French.

There is a bit of obtuseness in all these elaborate efforts. Read the rest of this entry »


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