So let me first go off to say Happy Valentine’s to all. Now, I do have things that I care about in this world and whatever values are left over in those things that I care about. Just cause I’m an asshole 90% of the time doesn’t mean Grass doesn’t give a shit about certain things in this world. Well, this is just getting depressing…Let’s just start today’s news.

Empire State Building owners file for $1 billion IPO

New York – Anyone who’s ever wanted to own a piece of pricey real estate in New York, but couldn’t afford to do so, may soon have the opportunity to own at least a sliver.
The owners of the Empire State Building have decided to put this landmark property on the stock market. On Monday, the owners filed required paperwork with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering. According to the New York Times, this decision is the “culmination of efforts” by the Malkin family, the building’s controlling family, to simplify control of its extensive real estate through consolidation. The estate of Leona Helmsley also has some ownership in the 102-story building owned by Malkin Holdings LLC. The Malkins took ownership in 2002 after purchasing the Empire State Building from Donald Trump and his partner, and gained management rights after settling litigation with Leona Helmsley in 2006. The renowned Empire State Building is the “crown jewel” of the consolidation of 12 properties in New York and Connecticut to form the real estate investment trust (REIT). Empire State Realty Trust Inc. is the name of the new company, and it will be headed up by Anthony E. Malkin as its chairman and chief executive officer. The plan is to list Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ESB,” with a target to raise $1 billion; the NYT notes this figure is an interim number used in the filing to determine filing fees. Underwriters listed on the paperwork for the IPO are Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. This IPO would allow investors to gain ownership of not only a notable landmark building, but may possibly indicate a good investment. Business Week reported, “Because it’s got an iconic building as a centerpiece, I expect it will be successful anyway, but you’re going to have more or less a higher percentage” of individual investors, said Lawrence Longua, director of the REIT Center at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. For institutional investors, the owners “are very recognized names in the industry, so I suspect all in all, it’ll do well,” he said. Business Week also reported “Midtown Manhattan office values have gained 87 percent since a mid-2009 trough”, this information comes from Green Street Advisors Inc., a REIT research firm in Newport Beach, California. For those wanting to own a legendary piece of the Big Apple, if all goes as intended, the SEC will deem the Malkins’ filing effective, and stock will be on the open market in the near future. No figures are currently available as to how many shares will be available and what the value of stock will be.
Oh, boy, I can’t wait to own a piece of the Empire State Building. /sarcasm
Are you kidding me? The Empire State building isn’t an estate or a home, it’s an office space. But I guess I can understand; it is  historical after all.
Next up…there’s no militia…

Defense: Feds “manipulated” facts about militia

(CBS/AP)

DETROIT – Federal authorities worried about a perceived threat to the government and President Barack Obama “manipulated” facts and greatly overreached when they charged seven members of a Midwest militia with conspiring to rebel against the United States, a defense attorney told jurors Tuesday.

On the second day of trial, the jury heard opening statements from attorneys for three more defendants before prosecutors summoned their first witness, an FBI agent in charge of the two-year investigation that led to the March 2010 arrests of nine members of the southern Michigan-based militia, called Hutaree.

The defendants are accused of conspiring to someday ambush and kill a police officer, then attack the funeral procession with explosives and trigger a broader revolt against the U.S. government. Defense lawyer James Thomas said the startling allegations don’t fit.

“A new president comes into office. The agencies that are sworn to investigate and protect him are very, very curious about what’s going on out there,” Thomas told jurors. “That premise — that somebody would be out there who is going to be a danger, either to the country or to the president of the United States — got distorted.

“It was a conclusion that was brought to be supported by facts, facts that were manipulated,” he said.

On Monday, the government showed jurors automatic weapons, vests and other military gear seized when the nine group members were arrested in southern Michigan, Indiana and Ohio in March 2010. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline said the group was looking for a conflict to trigger an attack — maybe a traffic stop, a search warrant or a dispute between authorities and another militia.

“They wanted to start an armed confrontation. … The war to them meant patriots rising up against the government,” said Graveline, who held up automatic weapons and other items

Graveline showed the jury a video clip of leader David Stone declaring, “Welcome to the revolution.” The government placed an undercover agent inside the Hutaree and also had a paid informant. More than 100 hours of audio and video were recorded.

“They were ready, willing and able to go to war. They were preparing for war,” the prosecutor said.

Prosecutor: Mich. militia willing to “go to war”
FBI: Mich. militia plotted to kill police
FBI agent had infiltrated Hutaree

CBS Affiliate WWJ reports that Stone is heard on a recording made by an undercover agent in a car, talking about the new world order, allegedly rehearsing a speech. Stone was heard saying the militia needed to “start huntin'” police soon.

Todd Shanker, attorney for David Stone Jr., acknowledged there are “offensive statements” on the recordings but said the words were “almost fantasy” made among people who were comfortable with each other.

“These are extreme charges. … They are going to fail and they are going to fail miserably,” said Shanker, adding later that the Hutaree really was more of a “social club” than any organized militia.

William Swor, attorney for David Stone, said his client was a firm believer in the Bible’s book of Revelation and the coming of an “anti-Christ.”

“The anti-Christ as David Stone understands it will come from overseas, and the troops of the anti-Christ will take over America. That is the resistance that David Stone was preparing for,” Swor said.

He told jurors the government was displaying weapons in court to “make you afraid.” Swor said members lived hand-to-mouth and couldn’t even afford transportation to a regional militia meeting in Kentucky, a trip that wasn’t completed because of bad winter weather. He said it was the undercover agent who supplied the van, gas and a secret camera that captured Stone on video.

Of the original nine defendants, Joshua Clough, of Blissfield, Mich., is the only one to make a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty in December to illegal use of a firearm, faces a mandatory five-year prison sentence and could be called as a witness to testify for the government.

Besides the Stones, the other defendants are Tina Mae Stone and Joshua Stone, both from Lenawee County; Thomas Piatek, of Whiting, Ind.; Michael Meeks, of Manchester, Mich.; and Kristopher Sickles, of Sandusky, Ohio. Jacob Ward, of Huron, Ohio, will have a separate trial. Besides conspiracy charges, all face at least one firearm charge and some have more.

Really I just find it ironic that these sort of things still exist. “No, President Obama, we’re not trying to overthrow the government.” really? I mean REALLY? FUCKING REALLY?

People have no compassion anymore.

Now here’s a real slap-stick for you. A congressman’s daughter is on the cover of a swimsuit SI mag.

New swimsuit cover girl Upton is congressman’s niece

The new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model is Kate Upton, 19, who also happens to be the niece of a Republican congressman from Michigan.

Her selection as the cover model was revealed last night when a Times Square billboard for the magazine was uncovered on TV during the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. On the cover, she is posed on an Australian beach in a two-toned, red string bikini.

Upton was among 10 SI models who appeared on the Letterman show, and she was accompanied to New York by her parents. Her father, Jeff, is a high school athletic director in St. Joseph, Michigan. His brother is U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican who has represented Michigan’s 6th congressional district since 1987.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which hits newsstands today, is annually the most widely-read edition of the magazine.

M.J. Daly, senior editor for Sports Illustrated, said Upton “embodies the sophistication and sexiness” called for in the issue that is seen by some 70 million readers in the magazine, the Web and on mobile devices like phones and tablet computers.

This year’s 17 models in the swimsuit edition were photographed in Australia, Zambia, the Republic of Seychelles, Panama and in the United States in Apalachicola, Florida.

“Every single girl we shoot has the opportunity to be on the cover, and it really comes down to who has the best picture,” Daly told Reuters. “Whoever has that really special, jaw-dropping photo ends up on the cover.”

Upton, who will make promotional apperarances for the magazine, also is featured in the March issue of Esquire magazine and has a role in the upcoming Farrelly brothers movie, The Three Stooges.

Those are our stories from the west, time to head to Sankaku.

2 things…

Highschool DxD Doesn’t Need No Blu-Ray

Gallery post.

And

“Immune to Exposure” – FEMEN Topless at -24°C

Author: Artefact

Topless protest group Femen’s latest political protest has seen them brave temperatures of -24°C in order to strip off and annoy the Russians, although observers could be forgiven for wondering more about how they manage to survive such extremes of exposure.

For once they had a rather clear political message – they were protesting Russian efforts to force the Ukraine into surrendering control of natural gas pipelines crossing its territory by denying it the cheap gas it views as its right, the sort of ploy Russia now commonly employs against disobedient former vassals.

The protests took place at the Moscow headquarters of Gazprom, resulting in one arrest (for climbing on their roof) and much media coverage.

 

Also a gallery post. I will see you guys next time, until then. Keep the world afloat with information.