The Source of the Worst Biker Feud in 10 Years? Starbucks…

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StarbucksThere are a lot of places you would expect a turf war to break out between some seriously hardcore biker gangs. Places like a bar, the gangs’ respective hideouts, the middle of a desert or even a strip club all seem like likely turf war locations. One place that you wouldn’t expect to see this happen is outside of a Starbucks in California.

However unlikely the scenario may have been, a turf war between the Hell’s Angels and a rival motorcycle gang broke out at the coffee house last year leaving several men dead, wounded or missing in as many as three states and leading to fears of even more bloodshed.

Police officials have ranked this clash as the most severe in over a decade as the violence spilled into Nevada a month ago, including a brawl as well as a shooting between members of the Hell’s Angels and rival gang Vagos. Jeffery “Jethro” Pettigrew, 51, president of the San Jose, California chapter of the Hell’s Angels, was shot to death while a single Vagos member was wounded in the brawl at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks.

However, the violence didn’t stop there as another member of Vagos was wounded in a drive-by shooting the very next day at the site of a nearby motorcycle rally in town. And here I thought Starbucks was such a pleasant and peaceful place.

Tensions between the two gangs reached a breaking point in January of 2010 as members of both gangs battled it out with ball-peen hammers and other weapons outside a Santa Cruz Starbucks before scattering as police arrived on the scene.

According to Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark, “It was all about who would be allowed to hang out at the Starbucks downtown. The Vagos brazenly came in and tried to cement their presence. It was a pretty strong play on their part to establish themselves as the premiere club. Only in Santa Cruz would you have biker wars over who’s going to control pumpkin spice lattes.”

And therein lies the absurdity. Why in the name of everything you hold dear would you get into an all out brawl, costing some people their lives, over a freaking Starbucks? Are the grande double mocha frappuccino and blueberry scone really that important?

It has been stated that the Hell’s Angels are not involved in all the illegal activities, like drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, extortion, money laundering, theft and other violent crimes, like the government and law enforcement officials say they are.

San Francisco-based lawyer Karen Snell, who has represented a number of Hell’s Angels members, stated that Pettigrew and Tausan were “family guys” as members of the gang insist that the overwhelming majority of the 2,000-2,5000 nationwide members are law-abiding citizens who share a love of powerful motorcycles. Members also point out the group’s prominent role in certain charity events as proof of their being docile.

Regardless, I find it hard to believe that simply “family guys” were involved in casino brawls, shootings and turf wars at, of all places, Starbucks. So the next time you are grabbing yet another tall caramel macchiato, remember that you could be stepping onto the turf of a hardened biker gang. And if there is one thing you never want to do it’s stand between a biker and his coffee.

Source: Yahoo! News – Worst California biker feud in a decade erupted at Starbucks

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Flea Party Hate & Violence vs. Tea Party Singing

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How does the media miss the Hate Speech and Violence of the Wall Street Protestors?

Ann Coulter calls the mob the “Wingless, Bloodsucking and Parasitic: Meet the Flea Party

Here’s one of the hate speak protesters spoke to at Occupy Wall Street in Los Angeles on October 12, 2011.

She identifies herself as Patricia McAllister and as an employee of Los Angeles Unified School District. “I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government… they need to be run out of this country,” she said.

Here’s some violence. Journalist and Reason contributor Michael Tracey is covering New York’s Occupy Wall Street as it’s happening. Above is footage he shot as the protesters marched through the street of Manhattan and had various stand-offs with the New York Police Department. Tracey himself reports being punched in the shoulder while filming.

In the above video, around the 1.40 mark, a white-shirted NYPD officer decks a protester in a green shirt (how the incident started is unclear).’s Meredith Bragg edited the video above from about 20 minutes of footage.

More Violent protesters.

Now contrast that with peaceful Tea Party Protesters.

I cannot understand how the media can be co blatantly biased by not condemning the hate and violence from the Fleas. The above video was typical of the protests that happened all across america. Tea parties picked up after themselves, there was no violent police confrontation and above all the sang together “God Bless America”. Something the Flea Party will never do!!!!

I support the Fleas First Amendment right to protest and party, but not to hate and hurt.

God Bless America and the Flea Party’s right to stink like a dead skunk in the middle of the road.

$10,000 for a Marble? I Don’t Think So!

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fancy marblesRemember marbles? Those small, smooth round things kids used to play with for fun before the internet and Xbox LIVE? Of course you do, marbles were a staple of fun and comradery back in the day. Even though the days of drawing a chalk circle on the sidewalk and blasting marbles out of it are gone, popularity for some marbles have increased, as have their prices.

Marble collectors of today are not afraid to lay down some serious cash for specialty marbles or ones made with certain materials. But what makes a marble worth throwing down a couple thousand dollars? A combination of condition, rarity, demand and vintage are all aspects that make some marbles more desirable than others.  Here are some of the more absurdly priced marbles one can find.

Sulphide Marbles – Sulphide marbles are the ones that bring in the biggest coin and are also extremely rare. The best thing for a collector and value is ceasing production, and nobody has been producing sulphide marbles for almost a century. These marbles contain tiny porcelain figures, usually white, that depict animals, mythological characters, famous buildings etc… The most expensive one to date is a 1900 marble containing a bust of President Theodore Roosevelt which sold at auction for $4,500.

German Swirls – These glass marbles have a swirled pattern suspended in the middle of the marble and were handmade in Germany from around 1850 to about 1930. In this case, the bigger the marble, the bigger the price. A 5/8-inch marble will get you anywhere from $10 to $20 with a larger, finely detailed one getting you several thousand dollars.

Agate Marbles – While many collectors go after glass marbles, agate marbles, which are made from a type of quartz, are also worth a lot to the right buyer. The weight and hardness of these marbles made them popular amongst hardcore players and they were primarily made in the United States and Germany. Good quality, larger marbles can run in excess of $200 a piece.

Lutz Marbles – These marbles, characterized by their beautiful golden metallic crystal swirls, were made famous by French designer and glassblower Nicholas Lutz, who worked out of a glass company in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Lutz pioneered the use of “goldstone”, which is copper aventurine, a form of glass bearing tiny copper crystals. Basic Lutz marbles nowadays can run around $100.

China Marbles – Referring to the ceramic china and not the country, European craftsmen began creating these little marbles from porcelain around the 19th century. Each one was handpainted and came with a high-temperature glaze, making them both attractive and durable. Some of these came with intricate designs that included geometric shapes, bullseyes and extremely desired scenic portraits. Good examples of a scenic china marble could land you a pretty $10,000 if you can find one, which more than likely you can’t.

Source: Yahoo! – The world’s priciest marbles

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