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Administrative Law Judge
Corporate Training Specialist

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I always say the most important thing in life is money and everyone tells me I am wrong. Others stress inner peace or love as most important in life. I think peace and love will find me If I have enough money and money certainly can talk these days because with money you can buy the best accommodations anywhere in the world and now in the sky too.
We are definitely living in a class system where depending on wealth you can be treated very differently. It is becoming very apparent when traveling in the sky. With just a curtain separating you from others your treatment during a flight can be very different. The cost of your flight even more different. First class is now featuring stratospheric luxury never seen before on commercial flights where the common man also flies. On the other side of the curtain you can have endless champagne, gourmet meals,  large beds even someone to tuck you in.

I am more used to the indignities of air travel these days which include no leg room, no food, no space for your luggage that force the anger out of passengers and the crying children. While flying Coach seems to be as uncomfortable as ever, airlines seem to be trying to lure us all into first class with more and new great stuff .I’m talking about offerings like massages and butlers during flight. Even private suites with showers. It is the VIP flying experience that you only used to have on private jets. Although flying with the poor slob in the back of the plane bothers me a little, why shouldn’t I arrive at my destination as rested and refreshed as I could possibly be?

One of the most expensive and luxurious flights in the world is $15,000  dollars and will get you 5 star dining, a real bed and endless champagne. Most airliners force us into economy class where nothing is included in the price of your ticket. Air rage from angry customers is on the rise during flights. Airliners feel it is better to cater to the rich who are willing to pay thousands of more dollars for the same flight. Benjamin Zhang a business & transportation reporter says, ”It is all because of money. The first class cabins represent 20 or 30% per cent of the airplane. They can drive as much as 50 to 70% per cent of the revenue. “ Which is why just regular first class will not cut it anymore.

Now air liners are offering never before seen extravagances. More people are flying and flying longer distances and are willing to pay the higher prices for more privacy and comfort. The fight to retain the passengers willing to pay the high prices is a real battle for the airliners. They are also one upping each other in offering in flight services. On Virgin Airlines massages are offered as you cross the Atlantic Ocean. On Emirates there is a fully stocked bar at 35 thousand feet in the sky. On  Etihad Airways they are about to unveil a 125 square foot 3 room apartment called The Residence where a butler tends to your every need. Aubrey Tiedt, the Vice President of Guest Services for the Arabian  airliner says the space is made up of a living room, bathtub and shower that fits 2 people, and double bedroom. That round trip ticket from Abu-Dhabi to London will cost $42,000 dollars. I know that is a lot of money but it is nice to know that it is available to anyone who can afford it.

On Singapore Airlines private individual suites are offered. First class has now become competitive . Go to the airport and now you will find signs that say Suites with a red carpet on the floor and no line to wait on. After checking in you are escorted past the lines at security and go straight to the lounge to wait to board the flight as they begin there to wine and dine you. On board is a goody bag that include pajamas. So, If your Mama didn’t tuck you in enough while growing up, now Singapore Airlines will be happy to assist you for a good night’s sleep.  A overseas 7-10 hour flight might actually seem short once you are taken cared of fully in the skies.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Big shots in big businesses take way too much money for themselves and they find a way legally to do it. I already hate the NFL for not having to pay taxes . For their head man taking for himself $40 Million dollars a year, for not paying the cheerleaders anything and for knowing that the players are thugs that beat up their own families and get away with it until the general public is outraged. They should not have the ability to be called the National anything. Does the league represent America?

Somehow Yes, the NFL is a nonprofit and legally it should be. The league is listed as a trade association, the teams are the businesses according to nonprofit consultants.  Then how does the head of the League get $40 Million dollars in his pocket? The legal difficulties of several professional football players have reignited anger about the National Football Leagues ethics and non profit status, driving many Americans into a fury. Many agree that the NFL can’t be nonprofit. It’s a $9 billion dollar industry. They should pay taxes like we all do!

Ok all you ignorant fools shut up and sit down. The law says that it’s completely appropriate that the NFL qualifies as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. There’s a difference between the league and the teams and there is Mr. rich big shot’s loophole.  Actually the NFL is not an industry at all. Professional football is an industry. You see, the difference is in the titles and distinctions. The NFL is a trade association representing that industry. So then let’s hold each individual teem more accountable at least for getting rid of the domestic violent players. Make each team pay their cheerleaders a decent wage.

“Nonprofit” and “charity” are not the same thing. A charity is only one of the 57 types of non-profit organizations in 31 categories recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under Federal law. Charities, churches, private schools and other entities are in section 501.c.3 of the IRS Code.  Labor Unions are in 501.c.5  Business leagues and trade associations are 501.6. Section 527 regulates political organizations. The NFL has never claimed to be a charity.

According to the IRS website: Section 501.c.6 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for the exemption of business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade and professional football leagues  which are not organized for profit  and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of  any private shareholder or individual.   Mr. 40 Million dollar a year calls his a wage for services rendered.

32 independent corporations operate football teams that belong to the National Football League. According to Forbes Magazine, those teams collectively earned about   $9 Billion dollars last year. That mon  ey belongs to the teams and not to the league.   The  league is nonprofit.  The teams are not. Where does Mr. Head of the NFL get his millions from?  Those 32 corporations or teams pay dues and fees for their NFL memberships.  Those teams also pay taxes under the same rules as all United States corporations. The NFL provides services to its members.  It pays no taxes because its money does not belong to any individual, stockholder or corporation. Meanwhile Mr. big shot makes a hefty salary.

Of course Mr. Big shot is actually Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Let it go .Let it go of that screaming woman on every TV commercial is burying a hole in my brain. Yes is Disney is at it again making billions of dollars off its latest story line movie. I am just recovering from the years they drummed songs from the also very successful Ling King show. Now I hear that Disney is not finished but just beginning in it’s latest promotional blitz for the highly successful show called Frozen. So, now that let it go song will be frozen in my brain for a much longer time. Thanks Disney. Not.

The hit movie called Frozen has turned into a merchandising bonanza by making Frozen toys , dolls, wedding dresses and even cans of soup. So, the only logical brand extension would be to produce an ice skating show too. People not only wait on lines for new phones but in order to keep their much loved little girls happy, people also wait on lines at the Disney store and they are now waiting on line for Frozen stuff. No not literally cold as ice stuff but you know products. The new shipment of dolls and toys and now costumes perfect for Halloween. Yes Frozen just will  not let audiences go. Why?

It is the top grossing Disney film of all time now. That is why. The animated tale about two fearless royal sisters has snowballed from a surprise hit to a cultural phenomena to a mega franchise. In the works is a Broadway theme show, park ride, a new animated short film and a inspired Wedding dress. So, it is no surprise that Disney on Ice will do a Frozen show too. It shouldn’t be too hard to re-create the snowy landscape that is in the movie for a ice show. Ice skating Olympic trained competitors are now playing sisters on ice but are happy and are not rivals anymore because there are no judges or scoring involved just nice paychecks for each of them.

Taylor Firth plays Princess Anna  in the Disney On Ice production. The show is now selling out stadiums across the country. Songs like Do You Want To Build a Snowman from the movie are also popular now. The soundtrack has been on the Billboard charts for the last 44 weeks. This kind of success going into holiday season has Disney scrambling to keep up with demand for products like the hard to find Queen Elsa dresses. Limited Edition dolls are listed on EBay for upwards of $5,000 dollars. There are no signs of Frozen fatigue. You will also see Anna and Elsa on an episode of TV’s Once Upon A Time series.

It is that sisterly bond and the message of empowerment that is the ultimate reason for this success. No doubt sisterhood is an incredible bond and those of us who have sisters have seen it and experienced it.  No this show will not let go of audiences heart strings anytime soon. So now you know what to buy for the little girls in your life if you do not want to let them go from your heart.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It is quite simple. If you really want people to know it is you saying something just tape your voice. People do it all the time for Last Wills and Testaments so why not for anything else? Remember something you reveal can change your life forever. It can also change the perception people have of you forever and be career changing. When it was revealed that Rock Hudson was gay many people could not believe all those old romantic movies he did with Doris Day. But some revelations could result in serious crimes.

There us an actor who played a sweet sympathetic reverend on TV and now through his own revelations on audio tape in his voice he is admitting of being a child molester. It is always difficult when you find out that your hero is nothing but a looser. Steven Collins who became famous from a series called Seventh Heaven is now proving himself to not  being a heavenly character in real life. He was the kind and sweet family man reverend on the show. Kids turned to him when they needed advice and he was a shoulder to cry on in the show.
During a joint therapy session with his wife in 2012 he revealed his secret life. He allegedly confessed to molesting and exposing himself to multiple underage girls. Somehow the audio was obtained by TMZ a gossip TV show. The tape reveals that the 67 year old actor claimed that there were three victims in all. One he said he abused over several years. In graphic detail he admits he did more than just expose himself. It is hard to believe that this is the same guy who played a wholesome father from Seventh Heaven, the TV show.
The shocking audio was taped while he was engaged in a bitter drawn out divorce with his wife. In court papers she reveals that he had a “long term pattern of sexually abusing minors.”  His wife says she found out about his antics in early 2012.  The couple separated shortly thereafter. That  same year the LAPD received information on Collins and opened a case . No crime was reported  and no victim was identified then despite the secretly recorded confession to a therapist. There apparently was not anything to charge Co;;ins with a crime then without victims present. The crime cannot be proven based on a defendants confession alone. That is the law.

Now the case is being reopened with a formal complaint on file with the NY PD of a 14 year old who filed a report years ago. The allegation dates back to 1972. Can he be prosecuted for a crime that occurred over 4 decades ago? There is not a statues of limitations that will preclude a prosecution . If the audio tape is proven to be his voice and therefore his confession, Steven Collins is an admitted child molester. We always thought he was the good dad to Jessica Biel for 7 seasons in the show. 
Hollywood already gave him a swift sentence. He was quickly fired from the new movie called Ted II and the Up Network announced that it was dropping Seventh Heaven from its current programming. Collins already resigned from his great job as being part of the Screen Actors Guild Board.  That job was respected and considered powerful over actors. People will never look at him again in the same way. Who cares if he deserves to be disgraced however, what does confidentiality mean anymore between a client and a therapist if your  audio tapes  can be sold to gossip channels somehow?

Should he be suing someone despite his disgusting behavior for his confidentially issues? Why should any husband and wife go to therapy if their honesty can be revealed to all without their permission? All privileges like husband wife, attorney client, priest parishioner, doctor patient are all thrown out the window if that conversation is covering up a crime. The trial for the divorce is scheduled to start this week.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Money! It is filthy, dirty and the color of it looks quite drab compared to money from other  countries yet we all need it and want as much of it that we can get our hands on. America got a new $100 bill recently and it still looks drab and dull. Do you have currency envy? Or do you think money should be drab and dull and important looking instead of some colorful canvas to be traded often.  Who cares what it looks like, just give me some stuff for it.
A lot of thought goes into the design and the color of money. Can it be considered art? These days our currency is all about our statesmen but once awhile ago it was more adventuresome. There was the $5 dollar bill who had the picture of a Native American in the middle. There were The Pilgrims  also on a $5 dollar bill and Martha Washington featured on the $1 dollar bill. Lewis and Clark  on the $10 dollar bill. Back at the end of the 19th Century there was a very ornate $5 dollar bill known as the Education Series. It had a Renaissance style woman holding a light bulb in her hand representing the future.
In 1929 we got the dollar we still know today.  Look at what the rest of the world is spending is wild.  They are all colorful and creative bills. There are bank notes graced with birds and beasts and even sports sayings. They try to capture a bit of the culture from the country it is from,  Alan Newman is Director of Design at De La Rue which is a British security printing, papermaking design company  for currencies around the world. They recently designed and printed the 280 Million Libyan dollars. They design paper money from over 150 countries.

 There is the two time banknote of the year award winner the Kazakhstan 1000-tenge and the new Libyan Dinar created after the fall of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi. On the front is the images of crowds and on the back  17 doves above the new Libyan flag.  Guess who appears on the most currency worldwide. Yes, it is Queen Elizabeth of the British Commonwealth. The United States prints the most money in the world. We print 1.3 Billion Dollars per day. We make money 24 hours per day. I wish we were actually making what it should all be worth. Most of it is replacing old dirty bills with newer crisp ones.

America’s focus is to use technology to trick counterfeiters as  seen in the new $100 Dollar bill.  The little ribbon in it contains hundreds of thousands of micro-lenses. When you tilt the bill from left to right you actually tilt the image up and down. When you tilt the bill up and down the image moves from left to right.  Hey he still is Ben Franklyn.  To foreigners our good old bill still screams The United States and we like it that way for almost 100 years to come. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Credit needs to be given to the original venue for all aspiring singers and talents to start a possible career. There are shows everywhere now with judges and possible winnings of money if you are voted worthy enough to stay in a competition. There must be an entire population of people who have had their dreams torn down on some humiliating video. Life should not be so harsh and so public. But with popular shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent and all those food wars shows it can be depressing.

Years ago there was the Ed Sullivan Show where you saw talent for the first time. If they were good you would then see them everywhere , if they were bad the act would just disappear. Both acts still got treated with the spotlight and applause. It was a bit more dignified then.  Then there is the talent competition that has been around for some 80 years.  Many who appeared here didn’t get great careers but they all were proud to say they appeared at the Apollo rich or poor famous or not so famous. I remember staying up late to watch a show at the Apollo on TV when growing up. It was unlike any other show you ever saw.

The famous announcer,  usually a comic would introduce someone to the stage. They would rub their hands on a log for good luck and then either magic happened or it didn’t. The audience was full of critical people who simply waited on line to get a seat but once there, they could be the loudest loving or harshest judge ever. They were no million dollar demanding personality boasting how much prettier or richer they were than you judges.  The Apollo audience would boo and yell you right off the stage and if you refused to get the not so subtle hint,  a tap dancing guy with a hook would escort you off. It was the funniest thing and the most entertaining because most of the people on stage were pretty good. No one left humiliated and in tears.

The Apollo is known for its amateur  competition. The list of amateur winners include Billie Holliday, The Isley Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and the Jackson Five. Ella Fitzgerald was one of the first to win and her prize was $25 dollars and a weeks work.  The Apollo is the oldest continuing amateur competition ever in entertainment and is still part of the popular shows.  Dick Parsons is Chairman  of the Apollo Theater Foundation.  He is a big shot business man who was also Chairman of Citigroup and Time Warner.  He is not interested in making it a museum of sorts although it is part of musical history. The 1500 seat theater on 125th street in Harlem, New York opened as an entertainment mecca for Harlem’s black community in 1934.

Count Basie  and Aretha Franklin who was also first seen there gave the place the slogan “where stars are born and legends are made.” Gladys Knight was 15 years old when she and the Pips first played the Apollo. Where would all this American talent be if it wasn’t for this theater? Knight came back to help celebrate the theater’s 80th birthday. It is a simple system. The amount of applause determines a winner. Yes applause not criticism. Now the winners receive $10,000 and a lot of encouragement and guidance to take their talent to the next levels. For the winners a night at the Apollo is life changing still.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Joan Rivers may be gone but there still is Chelsea who will be moving her brand of sarcasm over to Netflex. They were and are both prime examples of bold women with balls to kick down doors with high heals to get what they want in life. They are the  example of prime bold women who don’t need no man in their life and who will take whatever road they want when they want it. Chelsea just took a break from her old show on the E Channel and went to Netflex and told them what she wanted to do on their network and they listened and they accepted. Who get’s that kind of luck in life?

Her late night talk show was called Chelsea Lately and had a pretty big following of fans. Back in April she scratched her seven year itch from her E Entertainment talk show and stopped taping in late August. Since then she has been on vacation. She was the only late night TV talk show host and now there are no women chatting it up at night. Her show was watched by half a million people every night.  Chelsea’s 5 books are all bestsellers. Her stand up comedy tours are standing room only. Despite all this comfortable success , Chelsea needs a change.

She was going to wait for another women to emerge but decided that that was not her responsibility. Why didn’t she burst down some late night network doors? Men were playing musical chairs with shows lately. Jimmy Fallon nabbed Jay Leno’s spot. In Fallon’s place Seth Meyers is sitting. Steven Colbert will take David Letterman’s seat and Craig Ferguson will leave his seat.  Chelsea Handler would be too offensive for any network TV slot anyway. So, Netflix is not a TV Network and she would not be bound by censorship rules there. Netflix is a streaming video service that happens to have a few hot new shows like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. Yes TV and 500 Cable Channels are not enough folks, we need Netflix now too.

She does not want to be tied down to celebrity news. Chelsea wants to talk about human interests,  politics and sports now. She says she wants answers to questions that she wants to ask.  As part of a multi-tiered deal she will also front a stand-up special in October and four docu-comedy specials in 2015. Then a full time talk show in 2016. Now this is a woman with big plans. She says her fearless attitude was fostered in her while growing up in New Jersey. Being the youngest of six children, she was basically the tag along to all the other kids and felt like an outcast. At 19 she left home to start  an acting career in Los Angeles.

Chelsea waited tables and started doing stand up.  She made a few TV appearances but it was her first book about her one night stands that made her get real fans. Making fun of everyone especially herself is her main thing on tour. She earns more than 20 Million per year from all her projects and just got another 10 Million deal from Netflix. She is just another girl like Joan was paving her way on her terms with no apologies on the way.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

There seems to always be something new to argue about in the field of entertainment law. I guess that is why they call it entertainment anyway. The latest in creepy entertainment is the fact that dead celebrities seem to be coming back to life more and more. Is it because we can’t find enough new celebrities or the fact that we have enough good film on these people that we might as well try to make more money from their images and have them readily available to a new generation of possible fans? Yeah, like always it is all about making more money.
Now we are seeing just about anyone who was ever on film on stage in hologram form. You need a lot of training to know the skill of creating a 3D image without the use of lenses since a photography lens was used to originally create the image. We see performers singing duets with these ghostly images from the past. Now Marilyn Monroe’s estate that earns about $30 Million dollars a year is looking on how to make more money from her popularity once she will be shown as a hologram. Now one company is already in court looking  for the right to create a virtual  version of the original blond beauty.

Yes, she is singing “I want to be loved by you” again in her sexy soft voice back to life from the movie Some like It Hot. The hologram is close enough to the real Marilyn that the estate of the dead woman is all upset and wants to make new money  and has ordered the hologram owners to cease  and desist. Now virtual Marilyn is suing the estate. Marilyn vs. Marilyn in in the courts with millions of dollars at stake.  Marilyn Monroe is currently the third highest paid dead celebrity. She is only behind Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
Elvis recently appeared on the show American Idol singing a duet with Celine Dion. Tupac rapped with Snoop Dog at Coachella in 2012 and then there was Michael Jackson not quite in the flesh at the Billboard Music Awards moon walking.  All were considered new performances and all generated new income.  One image is real and the other can be an old 19Th Century magic trick for all we care. The fact is that we can easily mesh the both into a real conversation with digital technology available now.  Just imagine when they put all this into commercial use.  We can have new home movies with my wife making out with Elvis and I can have my very own sex tape with Pamela Anderson . sigh ugh This a back to the future I am not sure I am ready for; or am I?

In terms of the court case, for famous people who died before the digital age, who can decide weather they should rest in peace? Virtual Marilyn argues that the Monroe estate actually does not own her image. They even found a quote  of hers that said, “I belong to the public, I belong to the world. I’m not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.” Nothing better than a hot girl saying something like that!

Friday, October 10, 2014

It is good yet again to be George Clooney. Every man wishes at least once in their lives to be him and every woman wishes she made love to him at least in her dreams. The younger generation doesn’t understand. They just see a old greying man with a nice smile who has been in a couple of movies. The rest of us see him as the nice guy we grew up with that knew his aunt , Rosemary the great singer and we saw his father the announcer on the old movie channel. George is like one of the guys from the neighborhood who just made it big without ever changing even his hair style or accent or even try to play a evil guy in the movies

We are all talking about him because he was America’s playboy of sorts who always had a beautiful woman at his side and claimed to never want to marry. All men were secretly jealous of his candor about marriage too. Then love caught it’s grip on his mental attitude when he met someone who is beautiful, brilliant and a multi-lingual lawyer. He got married to this woman in the magical city of Venice. The party cost millions and the guest list was filled with the most famous of friends and the press was out in force trying to capture the excitement for all of us. He is like American royalty if we had any.

There were 150 guests invited to the wedding. The only way to get to the event is by boat but Venice has water taxi's that are stylish, made of highly polished wood with soft leather seats inside and a wonderful way to make a grand entrance with the wind blowing in her hair and the form of your bodies showing with your clothes pressed up against your chest. They had three days of extravagant parties.  Guests were escorted in style to their hotels by private water limos where the drivers had jackets engraved with the initials of the bride and groom.  Every star smiled for photos and it was treated like a wonderful event that even the photo people were having fun too.

The couple stayed at the five star Hotel Ciprani which is like a functioning museum complete with timeless frescoes painted on the  walls and ceilings. He is so loved there that the Hotel serves a drink named after him called the Clooney cocktail. Venice is as beautiful as a film set anyway. The reception was held on a separate island to the seven star Aman Hotel. Clooney loves Italy and has a home there, and is good friends with the former mayor of Venice who married them. Why get married when you are voted the sexiest man alive in People magazine twice in two different decades? He was on the cover with that declaration in 1997 and in 2006. He ages  well I guess.

This sexiest man alive always had a string of beautiful women at his side and publically said he was not interested in marriage and the within months of meeting her, he is publicly announcing his life long pledge to her. She is a human rights lawyer educated in Oxford and New York University. He met her only last October and got engaged just six months later. The wedding cost about $13 Million dollars. Clooney’s best man Randy Herber who is model Cindy Crawford’s husband brought 50 cases of Tequila to be handed out to just about anyone who was wishing them well on his private jet. The 53 year old Clooney is now married to 36 yer old Amal Alamuddin .

The usually private Clhis time was smiling to the world and was nice to everyone. Most celebrities are always grumbling about wanting privacy and suing photographers. He was treated with respect because he respects others. This event put an end to the summer’s celebrity weddings. No one knew that Brad and Angelina got married until after it was over. So, let’s welcome Signora Clooney and wish America’s Mr. Nice Guy a happy new life.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Our government is obviously trying and succeeding in generating more income for itself. Last month students at hundreds of colleges and various universities started classes. One thing that is very clear is the fact that by the time they graduate, most students are going to be leaving with a lot more than just a tassel and cheap polyester robe. They will be leaving with the fact that 7 out of every 10 graduates will be leaving with outstanding debt. The total bill due for students in America tops 1 trillion dollars. Yes, student debt is now greater than money due from credit cards and auto loans and is second only to mortgages of which the government already succeeded to put most American homeowners into foreclosure.

Essentially student debt is like a disease. If you go to college you are almost certain to get it and if you do get it, most likely it will follow you for the rest of your life because legally student debt is a special kind of debt. It is the most collectable debt out there. It is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, they will garnish your wages, intercept your tax refunds and they will sue you in court. When did we vote to do this?

Student debt has tripled in the past 10 years. How did this happen? More than 90% of student loans is subsidized by the Federal Government. It all started with good intentions. President Lyndon B. Johnson said,   ” Poverty must not be a bar to learning and learning must offer an escape from poverty. “ A higher education system offered to all was one of LBJ’s top priorities while in office. He should be steaming in his grave right now if he knew that education is causing the newest impoverished population in America now.

This mess happened because states have slashed funding for education in the past few years by 23%. The colleges have responded by raising tuition rates forcing students to take out ever larger loans. Another consequence from the lack of state funding is that community colleges have been forced to slash class sizes. It is a good thing that Americans want to get further education. The problem is with the for profit schools like the online universities like the University of Phoenix, DeVry University and ITT Technical School.

These schools are publically traded on Wall Street and run commercials constantly. They are businesses rather than just places for higher education. These for profit schools count for nearly 1/3 of all student loans despite having just 13% of all American students. They are the poorest of our college applicants. It is a staggering number and way out of proportion and part of why for profit schools account for much of our student debt. These schools are not cheap. They cost 5mtom6 times the cost of a Community College and as much as twice a 4 year State University. The poor kids don’t even get to hang out with other struggling college kids in dorm rooms.

Why do they charge so much? I do not believe that it has anything to do with the quality of education. They are spending at least 25% of their money on sales and marketing. Yes, self- promotion. In most cases they only spend 10 to 20% of money on faculty wages. They spend half the amount on teachers than they do on marketing. Is that fair?  Hell no. There was a time when the quality of the teaching proved a good school not clever advertising. Also, how good of an education are they getting if they spend all their time at home? A nursing program at CCI , Corinthian College, should at least visit a hospital to learn something.

It gets worse. Federal Law says that for profit schools can take in 90% of their money on loans the other 10% can also be taken from Veterans Benefits. So, let’s rob the Veterans too!! For profit schools have been seen visiting Veteran’s hospitals signing up brain dead guys for courses at their colleges to get some of that veteran loan money. This greed is beyond human dignity. Lobbying in Washington has changed the laws their way. APSCU@APSCU.ORG is the lobbying group still seeking to keep money flowing their way out of our pockets. Protest their activities.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Do you need a job? There is a new category of workers if you can call them that who earn a living by waiting. We are so busy lately that we just do not have time to wait anywhere so we hire someone to wait on line for us. Are you patient enough to wait on line for hours? Or are you the one paying someone to wait on line for you? We see the lines especially at holiday time or when the latest gadget comes out. There will be a line of people who have to have it first of all their friends and family. I guess it is a recognition thing or maybe just a really need for the latest product out there.

We saw the frenzy of got to have it people types with the pre-order of Apple’s IPhone 6. Then we saw the lines around the block for those who wanted it in their hands. The line sitting folk. It is this culture’s ultimate pride to hold the phone up high as people cheer you on your way. Then there are those people who just want the thing and do not want to wait on line for it.  Enter a new kind of business called Pro Line Sitters. Their slogan is, “We wait for your wants.!” Telephone # 347 744 WAIT. Robert Samuel is the founder of SOLD Inc. and has no problem saying that he waits for a living. Now why didn’t the government think of this concept and put every unemployed , I can’t find a job person working at least making money waiting?

You need patience for the job sometimes waiting for up to 38 hours to be first on line for something new.  The veterans of the company scout out which would be the best locations to wait on based on popularity in the neighborhoods, bathroom accessibility and food choices. Then go to work with a comfortable chair, cooler, book to read or something to do, umbrella if necessary and blanket. Yes, camp out. Robert said he got paid $100 for his first job and demand has picked up. His hardest thing now is to find patient people to actually sit and wait on line for the duration. I guess patience really is a virtue. His company of line worriers have waited for first time released products like Jordan sneaker releases, video game consoles, women shoe sample sales and of course all of Apple’s latest releases always in high  demand.

His company is not alone among the line sitters.  Look on a place called Task Rabbit where you can find line sitters who charge hourly rates. Typically there is no extra cost for the phone’s and delivery. The line waiting fee is $25 dollars for the first hour and $20 dollars for each additional hour.  So the full pay for his 38 hour wait was $765 dollars.  In order to be first on line, sometimes you have to be waiting this far in advance. At times he has a team of people waiting to get a lot of the well in demand product. Three days later, his job is over and he feels like it is Christmas in September making his clients very happy to be one of the first to hold the newest phone.  Is this what Mom meant when she told me, “Good things come to those who wait?” At that time all I had to wait for was my sisters to get the mashed potatoes at dinner first.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I am proud to report on yet another first as I have found about 6 new firsts in the past. She is the first writer and producer since Aaron Spelling to oversee three back to back prime time shows all on one network and all on the same night, Thursday night. Yes, Thursday night on ABC is Shonda’s night. Shonda Rhimes has been trusted by a network for all the prime time shows for one night. Who gets that kind of exposure ? Shonda Rimes does, and who the hell is she? You probably wouldn’t recognize her as a big time television producer, screen writer, creator from seeing her walking anywhere because she looks just like us.
Shonda is attractive in a motherly way. She has three children and is overweight and is black and sounds just like us, no artsy fartsy creative jargon of most writers who always seem to be lost in their own thoughts. Yet she happens to be one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. She created the Mc Dreamy sex lives of doctors in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy on TV since 2005 and is  known for the illicit presidential affair in another of her shows called Scandal. Her signature cliff hangers keep us watching season after season.

She is a busy woman who now adds to her successes a new ABC drama called How to Get Away With Murder. Her production company is called Shondaland.  She is successful not because she is a black woman but because she has a talent that crosses over all gender and racial lines. Her stories and emotions in her shows connect with all people. Last year a record 19 million people watched the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal’s season finale. Maybe this incredible woman could go into politics and connect and convince millions of people to stop these stupid religious wars around the globe. Sorry, us men expect you women to just be able to do it all.

When Scandal premiered two years ago, viewers saw another first in a very long time. We saw actress Kerry Washington become the first Afro-American actress in nearly 40 year to star in a leading role in a network prime time show. It is significant but who knew? America sees all the inter racial romances on her shows as just people falling in love not along any racial or cultural lines. It is all natural and beautiful even though America has shied away from such relationships openly for decades. The last show that featured a black leading lady woman was called Get Christie Love in 1974 starring Theresa Graves and didn’t last long.

If you choose to sit in front of the TV and not change the channel for three hours, you will also see a first in that her newest show called How To Get Away With Murder features actress Viola Davis who is a nearly 50 year old black actress who gets the opportunity to play a sexy leading lady role on TV. Opportunities usually aren’t offered to actresses in Hollywood like that. For 9 years Shonda has been silently breaking all the rules on TV to our delight. On Thursday I’ll make the pop corn and maybe break the rules and sit and watch TV for three hours straight.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

There is nothing more that a cop hates than a cop killer. A cop killer will be hunted down and they will be found eventually. Right now there is a man hunt for a fugitive sniper in Pennsylvania. He killed one state trooper and injured another. The missing suspect has now been placed on the FBI 10 Most Wanted list. The alleged armed murder is still armed and on the loose as a community of deer hunters join in the hunt for a man just like in the wild west.

A small Pennsylvania community is on lock down with school closings and housewives with loaded guns at the ready on top of their refrigerators. We are going into the second week of looking for Eric Frein who used a sniper rifle to kill 38 year old  Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically injure 31 year old State Trooper Alex Douglass just outside their barracks during a shift change all from the cover of the dense woods.  It was 4 shots in just 90 seconds that happened so quickly that the police had no time to defend themselves.

There is a $100,000 reward for his capture. Thousands of officers came to northern Pennsylvania from as far as Minnesota to the State Trooper’s funeral who was a former Marine and are forming a grid search throughout the mountainous wooded terrain in search for his killer. Just 2 miles from the barracks they found his abandoned Jeep with his Drivers License in it , shell casings that match the murder weapon and camouflage face paint.  The town is on high alert.

Eric Frein is considered an expert with a gun . He was a member of his high school’s rifle club and was taught to shoot by his father, a retired Army Major who says his son ”does not miss when firing.” He is missing a AK-47 and a 308- caliber rifle with a scope from his home.  Frein is a survivalist with a passion for the military. He was part of an re-enactment group who was obsessed with eastern European soldiers from the World War II era. In 2007 he had a small role in a movie playing a German soldier.

His alleged grudge against law enforcers may date back to an arrest in 2004 where he was accused of stealing thousands of dollars in clothing and supplies from a World War II re. enactment. The fact remains that cop killers are eventually found. The man hunt for the Olympic Park Bomber Eric Rudolph lasted 5 years after he detonated 4 bombs killing 2 people , he fled to the Appalachian Mountains and was finally arrested in North Carolina while rummaging for food.

These guys are trying to hide and survive, when coming in contact with people is when they get caught. Christopher Dorner just last year was a renegade Los Angeles Police Officer who went on the run after he was suspected of killing 4 people including 3 police officers. The manhunt spanned 2 states and even into Mexico.  He also managed to survive for a while in the mountains just outside Los Angeles. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police will eventually find you if you are a cop killer. It is only a matter of time.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So you are in a good mood and you are singing a tune and before you know it you are tapping a good familiar beat on the table to it and then making up some story to sing with it. Hey! You have instantly become a songwriter within 20 minutes. This happens more often than not these days. I think it could be because we are all exposed to more free music from any age on any device we have. Years ago you had to actually buy a record to listen to it many times. Now not only can you easily hear any song you want to now, you can also hear the song being performed by many artists on diverse instrumentation. At that point, whose song is it ? Should all music be at folk status or can someone or some legacy of someone still claim ownership of a tune or beat or set of words?

Is it possible that the song you just created you actually stole from another artist? This issue keeps entertainment lawyers busy and their legal defense arguments are becoming more and more strange. Recently Robin Thick had to defend his hit single but in his own defense he said that he did not really write it and that he was drunk and high throughout the creative process and yes that can be submitted as a legal defense. He is being accused of taking credit for a song originally written and recorded by Marvin Gay. Is it straight up stealing?

The new song is Blurred Lines also produced by Pharrell Williams. Marvin Gay’s 1977 hit called Got To Give It Up at least has the same distinctive beat and the case is currently being argued in court. Robin is quick to give credit to Marvin Gay as his source of inspiration for his song but not exactly willing to give up money to the estate of the deceased Marvin Gay. To simply say you were high and drunk during the recording process in a deposition is kind of a week defense on Robin’s part. Pharrell Williams in his deposition claims that the song was 80% complete by the time Robin showed up to sing the vocals in the recording studio. It sounds like a soap opera story on a afternoon network show but it does involve millions of dollars in question of ownership in the battle over plagiarism in popular music.

This is not a new issue just an increasingly more argued issue maybe because more people have more access to other people’s music these days. Johnny Cash’s song Folsom Prison Blues cost him $75,000 for borrowing the melody from the lesser known song Crescent City Blues. John Lennon settled out of court for the Beatles song Come Together. It’s beat and song structure echoed Chuck  Berry’s song You Can’t Catch Me. The Ghost Buster’s Theme Song that was nominated for an Oscar earned a lawsuit from Huey Lewis for it’s striking resemblance to I Want A New Drug.  Eventually they also settled out of court.

The stakes could be even higher for the Blurred Lines lawsuit because this single sold some 175,000 copies in just the first week of release. It sold about 3/4ths of a million to date. Marvin Gay’s family stands to receive a percentage of those sales. Whatever the outcome, there is plenty of money here to go around. The question is over aesthetics. Robin’s attorneys claim that a song being reminiscent of a sound is not copyright infringement. The intent in producing “Blurred Lines” was to invoke an era.  Pharrell argues that similarities in sound is just a coincidence. Silk and rayon are two different fabrics that just feel the same.

Katy Perry’s Roar reminds people of Sara Bareillis’s  hit Brave but they are not suing each other. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way sounds like Madonna’s Express Yourself but she isn’t suing either. The fate of Blurred Lines is now up to the courts. Dot the Gayes own just the composition and not the recording? Do old artists just smell money and rush in to make their infringement demands? Regardless of the decision in this case , it could have an impact in the troubling music industry. It is scheduled to go to trial next February.

So, the next time you are singing a tune, tap a beat to it and make up a few words to it. Be careful if you dare to  make a dime from it. Someone else probably  got to your song before you and wants that dime.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

She is iAmerica’s girl that we all grew up with. She is single again and looks great and is in a good place in her life. She is Britney Spears the girl from Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club with Justin Timberlake. You know the original hot clubbing girl who was plastered getting out of limos without underwear way before Lindsay Lohan. You know the blond who married the homeless guy and had two kids with him and the judge gave him alimony and custody. Yeah her.
Britney looks great and still has that teenage voice. She has also joined the ranks of the rich Diva’s who have their regular shows in Vegas making them very very rich. She currently has a two year residency show. That means that the star lives at the hotel. Celene Dion and Cher both did similar contracts that also made them not to have to worry about money anymore. She is thinking about future wages by tagging her name to a line of sleepwear and lingerie. Most of her most famous looks involved the least amount of clothing.

The  mother of two, owner of her own perfume, headliner at Las Vegas and sleepwear designer seems to have it all. I guess she don’t need no regular man no more. Now if only Lindsay Lohan can get a comeback movie or something we can keep our young actress and singer treasures from distruction like the deaths of the other Britney and Ms. Winehouse. Sex drugs and booze take too many of our young people. We need to hold onto our popular icons as long as possible in order to give us hope that our kids can pull through their most destructive years too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

If you got involved in the I Phone 6 frenzy last week,  chances are that you are holding the device now. It seems to always be a major event whenever Apple decides to unveil a new product because it strikes interest because it usually is so different. They have not failed in the excitement department again. They unveiled the Apple watch just when we all were getting used to not wearing wristwatches anymore. They at least prove that innovation is live and well 30 years after Steve Jobs introduced a Macintosh Computer in 1984.  Tim Cook is now the CEO of Apple Inc. and believes that they are keeping Steve’s visions alive.

The  Smart watch combines all that you do with fitness and health. You can keep track of how many steps you walk on the device and tweet your results if you want. You can monitor your blood pressure and heartbeat through your watch. The new I Phone 6 is 4.7 inches and the I Phone 6 Plus is 5 and a half inches and thinner than any other I Phone version ever made. There is also now Apple Pay. You can hold your I Phone or your watch at the checkout and simply pay your bill, no credit card needed.  Imagine that now Tim Cook believes that he and Apple can kill the credit card industry as we know it. These new devices can at least take a stab at an industry, the credit card, that we all feel we gave enough money to.

My concern is about security and privacy of my accounts. If celebrity photos are being hacked how far is all my information and money could possibly be hacked? Ok,  Celebrities naked asses are a lot prettier than any of our accounts but it is a major concern.  Apple hopes their system is more secure since we all know the credit card is not very secure a system for transferring money for goods and products. Apple promises to take made in America seriously this time. Between the manufacturing of the watches and phones, Apple will expect to have the manufacturing and equipment to make devices in 22 of our 50 states.

So, despite how good everything sounds, how is Apple going to convince us to wear a wrist watch again? Jony Ive  is the Senior Vice-President of Design at Apple and he admits that they have been working on the shape and feel of the watch. The watch will have millions of design combinations. Let’ hope Steve approves of the newest items and they serve us well.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

W hat do you do when you pick someone to be on your team and it would make him famous because he is the first one of his kind to be on your team, the best team in the nation and he says, “I don’t want to be on your team anymore!” Ouch that hurts! Well that is exactly what Eric Holder did recently to President Obama who gave him the title of Attorney General to the United States and he don’t want to do that anymore. Poor Obama who has relatively few people on his team anymore since he got elected.

Eric Holder will still go down in history as being the first black Attorney General in the nation.  Ok, so what about his color but people still want to know that stuff.  Maybe he wants to stay away from race issues since he abruptly resigned after he was asked to open a federal investigation into police shootings of unarmed black men. Civil rights leaders, liberal activists and black lawmakers are now left wondering what effect Mr. Holder’s departure will have on this issue. Does all brother’s have to stand side by side with all brother’s on black issues? Sigh

Ironically, Mr. Holder has been applauded by civil rights and equal rights activists in the past as being the most effective Attorney General ever for their causes. Myrlie  Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and who is a former NAACP National Chairwoman loves Mr. Holder and his work in the past for black issues. So why is he leaving and why is he leaving with a bunch of issues he is in charge of in reference to black’s Civil Rights unanswered?  Why leave now in the middle of projects?
Left undone   is the possible federal charges in the deaths of black men including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. He was to be monitoring in the November elections Congressmen and the state wide elections that will occur after the Supreme Court threw out a major protection in The Voting Rights Act. He is even walking away from issues to be decided upon that he himself promoted needed settling. Who does that?

The projects he personally promoted were issues like the reduction of racial profiling in federal investigations, changes in how federal prosecutors negotiate sentencing, changes in the death penalty system and efforts to reduce tensions between local police departments and minority communities. All very high tension topics these days. Is he afraid of something and running out of town?

A lot of people are angry that he is leaving the ship. Leslie Proll, the director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the Washington Office said, “  At this critical time for America, we can’t afford to lose momentum on civil rights” Well maybe he don’t want to be known as the black guy in town that changed everything for black guys? Is it also racist to expect the only black guy in the highest law making office other than Obama to not be cornered into deciding only race issues for America? It is just odd since he promoted black issues in the past.

Only Eric Holder knows why Eric Holder is leaving.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ok this ISIS is a threat to just about everyone and we have to be in fear that the evil ones are in this country ready to take their knives out and just chop our heads off. You would think this was Biblical times and not this century where the United States Military spends billions of dollars on state of the art airplanes to fight no other high tech military power. Our enemy are individuals with rags on their faces chopping heads off. We need to deal with this threat not with expensive weapons but with our Veterans.

Our most recent soldiers are already tarnished by war over the last 10 years of continuous war in the Middle East. They left America proud in shiny uniforms fit and trim with smiles on their faces. They returned broken and paranoid sick and penniless and homeless. Yet even just a torso left of a Veteran has the hate and the experience to deal with any individual ready to come out of the shadows to chop their head off too.  I say let’s give the Veterans at least what all Veterans got after other major wars in recent history. Our recent Veterans are our best defense against any terrorist in this country.

After World War II President Franklin Roosevelt signed The Servicesmen's Readjustment Act also known as the G I ‘s Bill of Rights in 1944. The government wanted to assure that there would be opportunities that returning men and women who fought in the war would have offered to them on United States soil.  They wanted to avoid the bad treatment Veterans got after World War I. In 1932 there was a march on Washington by Veterans demanding compensation and were met by active member troops who disbursed them by force. By contrast, the G I Bill promised Veterans lots of benefits.

After World War II Veterans were offered jobs only given to them. If they could not find a suitable job, they were given steady money for a year after. The government also offered to pay all of a Veteran’s school bills if they chose to go to college or some technical school to learn a trade.  That included tuition and supplies.  They also got a separate check for living expenses as long as they remained enrolled in classes.  They were offered even more money if they had dependents like wives or children. In 1947 nearly half the college admissions in the United States were Veterans studying under the G I Bill.

Then there were also benefits offered to Veterans only hoping to get a loan.  Benefits that helped them to afford to buy a home. Communities that were built just to house returning Veterans and their families were built.  More than 8 Million soldiers took part in the benefits offered to them after the war. This War in the Middle East is the longest war in America. We have Veterans that have re-enlisted for the most tours of duty because after every tour there was less and less for them to come home to in America. Our present crop of Veterans need these kinds of deals more than ever now.  

President Obama has brought back mostly all of the troops to American soil. The terrorists want to have home grown terrorists now. We are finding the enemy here in our neighborhoods. We should be paying our Veterans to keep watch over our neighborhoods because they are the best trained people we know to do the job. Pay our soldiers the 500 Million dollars President Obama just approved to spend on bombs and weapons in Syria. Our GI’s deserve it more.