Tuesday, July 01, 2008

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"The great questions of our time were not solved with talking and majority decisions, but with blood and iron." Otto von Bismarck

Grave robbing: a reinvented crime

Twenty-first century grave robbing has become an aboveground affair. You can’t get much lower than stealing from the dead.

Gone are the days when enterprising thieves would dig up an old grave and pillage for gold teeth and rings. Today, it's mostly the bronze markers and flower vases that draw their attention.

Rising scrap metal prices, coupled with the lagging economy, have triggered a string of cemetery thefts both locally and across the nation.

But grave robbers beware: The authorities are getting wise. States are passing laws and police are cracking down.

The value of a bronze vase is about $300. The scrap metal price for the same vase is only about $10.

Grave robbery was more common in the 19th century, when thieves dug up the dead in a search for gold. Sometimes they snatched the bodies for medical experiments.

In 1876, three men broke into Abraham Lincoln's burial site in Springfield, Ill., in an attempt to steal the body and hold it for ransom. The men were caught in progress.

Through the decades, such nefarious acts became uncommon.

But now, grave robbery is quietly sweeping the nation. Again.

Three men were arrested earlier this month on charges of stealing more than 1,000 brass vases and headstones from nine Chicago-area cemeteries.

Also this month, about 150 bronze vases were reportedly stolen from a West Virginia cemetery. In addition, a man was arrested on charges of stealing 55 vases from grave sites in the Fort Myers, Fla. area.

In the last few weeks, robberies have been reported at cemeteries in Arizona, Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina.

Starbucks coffee empire to close 600 stores

Coffee giant Starbucks plans to close 600 stores in the U.S. during the next 12 months. The company is blaming the cutback on over-aggressive expansion rather than slowing consumer demand.

We (My family and I) wonder if $4 gasoline may be driving people away from $4 cups of Starbucks coffee.

The company says the store closures will result in the loss of about 12,000 jobs. That’s a lot of barista’s who will clicking on Monster.com looking for work.

Some people walk past a Starbucks next to their commuter train station in suburbia, walk past another in the downtown train station and two more on a four-block walk to the office building where they work. Their office building, by the way, also has a Starbucks in the lobby.

Now those same people may only have two or three chances to get a Frappuccino on their way to work

Info Thanks to The Financial Times

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If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied.

Rudyard Kipling

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