Tuesday, 9 April 2013

My Neighborhood

Up here in the local region, we have this gal who went to a flea-market and bought an old painting, that had a nifty frame.  She was going to toss the picture, but noted that it had a Renoir signature on it, and asked someone to appraise it.  It's an original Renoir, and valued at $75k.  The lady bought it for $7.  It's a great story.  But it's mostly bogus.

Here in...lies the story.

This painting had been in a museum over in Baltimore until the late 1950s....then came up missing.  Stolen.  No leads.  An insurance company would eventually pay-off the owner.

Things were believable about the gal's flea-market story except one thing.  Her mom was a big-name art instructor, and painter.  She was very famous for making fake Renoir copies.  This gal who bought the Renoir has continually said she's no expert in art.....but that story just isn't panning out well.

So the FBI is into the mess.  My humble guess is that mom picked up the picture one evening and walked out the front door of the building, and simply kept it in a private office of hers for the decades that followed.  Both mom and daughter can probably use the cash from the sale.  But the insurance company claims that they should now be the rightful owners of the art piece.

Just Observations

Margaret Thatcher passed on yesterday.  There's a lot that people could say, but I'll make it simple.  In British politics....you cannot rise to the top unless you are able to debate, on your feet, at a moment's notice.  When you step into the House of Commons, and take your position opposite the Liberal Party....you have to note the situation, draw immediate details, work with only minimum notes, and expect your opponent to give you no weakness.  In American politics, out of the top 500 politicians....there's maybe three or four that might be able to survive for one or two of these meetings.  The 'Iron Lady' did it for over ten years.  Clever?  Oh my.  Grasping of details?  Without doubt.  I always sat and wondered how her husband was able to function in a house like this....unless he was just as clever and "charming".  When you write up the list of the fifty most important characters from 1900 to 2000....she ends up on that list, in pretty fair company.

It's an odd thing....this Senate immigrtion bill that is making its way to a completion and likely to be passed by the Senate....is near 1,500 pages.  Who has read the whole thing?  I imagine no one.  The number of bogus details tossed into it?  You just don't know.  The House willing to accept it?  I don't see that happening.  If it was 150 pages, with some simplicity to it....maybe.  A Senate failure? Without doubt.

Not that it's important, but a judge has admitted in public that the court episode for Ossama bin Laden's brother-in-law....the guy held now in a New York City jail.....might be affected by the sequestration.  The defense attorneys.....paid for by the US government....will be on furlough.  So the suggestion made is that they are off for a number of days and can't prepare for the court case.  The intended date to start?  Well....the judge is now willing to look over this mess and maybe move the date back a month or two.  In some ways, the operation of the US government is now becoming a comedy of sorts.

Finally, the state of California is working up some medical rules for folks within the state.  The rule of note?  If you are a married male couple and have tried for a year to have a kid, but failed....then there'd be a special pot of money reserved for you within health insurance funds.  The same would go for a lesbian couples, who tried for a year to have a kid and failed.  The available money would be for fertility purposes as they move into phase two.  A guy from Bama would ask if any scientists were on the panel to write the rules, but that would be too much to ask....I guess.