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Administrative Law Judge
 
Corporate Training Specialist

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How did your marriage proposal rate this year? Lady Gaga got her huge heart shaped ring. What did you do and how do we know you did it? Men are still getting down on one knee to pop that life changing question. Will you marry me? Now people are hiring photographers to sneak up on you and capture the moment you ask that question on film.  Like everything else you can pay your buddy nothing to get it on his cell phone camera or you can pay professionals to even get a shot from the air from a drone or helicopter. Yes, the price can vary.

They call it Paparazzi Proposals because those same guys that spy on celebrities you can pay to spy on you to get that perfect reaction shot after you propose. One guy is making a business out of it by filming proposals all over the world. His name is James Ambler who also appeared on the TV show Shark Tank in 2013.  Since then he has seen his business grow 400%. Proposals is now part of the booming wedding industry now popping at $55 million dollars per year. The base price for James’s proposal pictures is  $495  and  can only go up from there. In the age now of Instagram and Facebook people want good pictures to brag about.

The over the top engagements as seen on TV contributes to the pop culture popularity of exposing intimate moments to the world. Who can forget Kanye’s epic proposal to Kim Kardashian in 2013 on film after he rented out a professional baseball field equipped with fireworks and a full orchestra? It was all filmed for an episode to be shown on their reality show.  Season after season people watch women line up waiting for one guy to choose her and propose on the TV show The Bachelor. At least now Paparazzi Photographers are being welcomed and hired for a change. To get a few camera men to capture the moment from multiple angles, some rose petals, a few musicians to sing   the song, “ All of Me” by John Legend will cost you about $3,500 in New York City, Central Park.
Not every proposal needs to cost in the thousands. There was a time when the proposal was the only thing that didn’t cost you anything except your freedom. It should all be about the love, the most powerful bond of all.  Why is everyone’s lives on Facebook and Instagram with people tweeting and passing judgment all the time?  Is life all dependent on how many likes w get on one of these sites or all of them?  Modeling agencies are also picking candidates based on how many likes they have or friends they have already acquired or how  many views someone has already on You Tube. Kendall Jenner is a super model because she already came into the social arena with 20,000 views on anything posted about her out there. So that gives her an instant spot on a designer’s cat walk knowing they will have those 20,000 followers all of a sudden looking at their designs.  

We are in such a media driven age that even our own reality shows need to be photographed for all who we want to share it with. Private moments are not so private anymore and even wanted to be seen by all. Throw the curtains out too. Sigh! 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy has died. He was born in 1931 and was best known for his acting role on Star Trek but he was also known for saying such memorable things.  We all know him saying “Live long and prosper” but he was very thoughtful about other things too. He said, “I believe in living a creative life, you are the creators and curators of your own lives. You create your own life’s work. Give us the best, the best of your arch. We crave it and we hunger for it. Help us to see ourselves, to know ourselves. Illuminate our lives and keep in mind what Victor Hugo said, popularity is the crumbs of success.”

He also said, “A life is like a garden, perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” He died at 83 years old from smoking complications even though he quit smoking decades ago.  We all knew him as Mr. Spock his character in the Star Wars series. The New York Times reported that “From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions and winning parts at a local community college where he performed through his high school years. In 1949 after taking a summer course at Boston , he  traveled  to Hollywood.

It wasn’t till 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, ‘Queen for A Day and Rhubarb;.  His first starring role came in 1952 with Kid Monk Baroni,  when  he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer. Already he was being type cast in ethnic tough guy roles. He also served in the Army for two years   and managed to serve as an entertainer for the Armies Special Service Branch.  He received wide visibility on TV shows in the late 1950’s and 1960’s appearing in shows like Wagon Train, Rawhide and Perry Mason. Then came Star Trek.  

Star Trek was not just a space adventure. It was about social issues that were very important to him. He was glad to play the science advisor on the show and not some evil character. He fought for and was proud of the Asian and black woman cast members of the main  team and fought for their characters to be renewed in countless episodes. He played an alien called Vulcan with special powers and was always going through the conflict of what it is to be human vs. Vulcan. It was all believable and we fell for all of it as people were daily witnessing UFO’s daily on their farms.  We don’t hear about that much anymore these days.

It was the first show that dealt with social issues like women in the military, transgenderism and inter-racial marriage. It was Leonard that though of the configuration of the fingers forming the letter V as the greeting for Vulcans. Handshaking was too human. Throughout the years he became so believable as a scientist that often when he would meet a real scientist they would go into extensive detail as to what their research was that they were working on seemingly looking for validation from their TV icon. He often did not have the heart to say that he had no idea what they were looking for. We will miss Leonard Nemoy.



Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter is still in full force in my area. We are getting roughly 2 substantial doses of   snow storms per week. With all that schools are weary and just do not want to issue any more snow days so you see school busses now battling the forces of black ice and snowy conditions on the road along with the rest of us looking like inexperienced skaters on natures ice skating rink, the roads. Now I realize that most kids are pretty lucky with falls and bruises judging from what I see happening in playgrounds. It is amazing how some kids can just shake it off from a bad fall and continue playing. However, should we be taking such chances with injuries on school busses? If I don’t have my seat belt fastened I get a $55 dollar ticket to pay. Why aren’t there seatbelts on busses?

Regulators say they are safe. Are transport busses in cities safe too? Nearly 24 Million students ride busses daily. Every year a few thousand are injured. An average of 5 children are killed in these crashes each year. That seems to be a very low number of fatalities however you do not want to be the parent of the child who died on that bus this year. United States regulations only require seat belts on school busses under 10,000 pounds. There are only six states in America that require that all school busses should be equipped with seat belts.  Again, we leave too many universal laws from drugs to now seat belts up to individual states to decide.   Congress needs to get off their asses and make a federal law requiring the utmost safety measures for all American children in all states. Someone please earn your pay somewhere in government please!
Manufactures say that school busses have been specifically designed to protect children so seat belts are not needed. The National Transportation Safety Board {NTSB} said that they do not make policy but they do investigate serious school bus crashes and makes safety recommendations. To who are they sending their finding too? No one is making any changes, just compiling reports. Yes we know that a school bus is large and heavy in bright colors driving at slow speeds however the fact that the seat in front of a child is high, with seat cushion materials does not mean we should just expect the child under 50 pounds to just bounce off the seat in front of them in a short stop collision and expect them to be perfectly fine. Our kids are not bouncy balls against a wall.
The lack of shoulder belts is a shame. It has been proven with crash test dummies that the lack of shoulder belts increases injuries by 50 per cent. It is a statistic that the NTSB has yet our Nation is doing nothing to make our kids safer. Our kids want the belts too. They are trained by their parents that the first thing we do is put our safety belts on before we move to go anywhere. The kids feel uneasy and not safe on those buses. The numbers are worse in side impacts and roll overs that buses can go through in an accident. In that type of accident the cushioned back in front of them does no help when they get thrown to the side metal frames and metal ceiling and walls.


When will   Americans be able to decide what laws they want and where their tax   money should be spent?  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It is about time America’s youth heard enough of the original soft crooner expressive story telling real singer that is the one and only Frank Sinatra. Not Harry Conic Jr. and not want-a-be Michael Buble. The original Frank who at times is surrounded by outdated orchestrations but his soft voice with interesting breath control and phrasing is still unmatched by any other singer that wishes to steal his style. We are 10 months away from celebrating what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday. The celebrations by his still many fans are celebrating already.

Frank Sinatra wouldn’t have turned 100 until Dec 12, but fans of Blue Eyes will have plenty of ways to celebrate the anniversary until then. It will be a very good year for his fans. Why are tributes already popping up? Because the fans can’t wait 10 months. It is never too soon to celebrate the iconic mam.  Daughter Tina Sinatra says the Grammy Museum’s Sinatra: An American Icon exhibit-at New York’s Lincoln Center from March 4 through September 4, then touring the USA-shows more personal items than ever, including toys, cigarette lighters and personal things.

The “Sinatra 100” commemoration also includes: A free Frank Sinatra 100 mobile app, with updates on commemorative events and other Sinatra content for Apple and Android devices.   There will be a two-part HBO documentary premiering April 5. There will be new music collections to be released this year by Capitol Records, Universal Music Enterprises,  Sony Music and Frank Sinatra Enterprises. It is amazing on the amount of labels wanting to support this guy. He is still bankable after all these years and in demand.

There is published commemorative editions of many of Sinatra’s films from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  There will be events scheduled like panel discussions about Sinatra at Austin’s South by Southwest festival in March, at Monmoth University May 2 at Yale University in June and at the University of Southern California in December. What wonderful tributes planned all over the country. I think he would be so proud of his legacy and contribution to pop culture. The years he spent recording countless tunes with large orchestras in sound studios sealed his career. I always feel sorry for the Broadway performer who works every day performing 2 shows a day who could be giving the audience the performance of a lifetime and it is gone to being a memory in an instant because no one recorded or videotaped it. He has a recorded history as well a countless great nightclub acts gone to memories.

Starting Monday will be a display of Sinatra-inspired paintings by Peter Max at his New York studio. If you are interested in his colorful personal life that included wives with children as well as love affairs with movie stars, an exhibition of never-before-seen Sinatra family photos, called The Sinatra Experience, will be shown from March 5-26 at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York. Do you like to drink? Salute the man with Jack Daniels on the rocks when a special Jack Daniels Sinatra Select whiskey blend will be released. Put on one of his softer albums and sip the hot whisky chilled with ice and let it slither down your throat while spending the evening with your special someone.

All this attention comes some 18 years after Sinatra’s death. We see him in pictures from when he was a skinny teenager to his death. We all lived his life with him it seems. Tina Sinatra says his lasting appeal goes beyond “memorable music”- “It’s his style and swagger.” We need to thank his granddaughter   Amanda Erlinger  for being heavily involved in curating Frank’s artifacts throughout the years.  So, this year spend a night with Frank and say happy 100th. Thanks for the music.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Something new is out there again to change everything once again. We saw it many times before in our lifetime and we are used to throwing our stuff out for the next big thing. We threw out the records for cassettes and threw them out for IPods and threw them out for our smart phones. Now we can throw out our charging cords for the phones. The newest thing is called uBeam that is a transmitter that lets you power up your gadgets over thin air. The idea is the creation from a hot young 25 year old girl Meredith Perry who founded uBeam after winning an invention competition at the University of Pennsylvania.

Perry’s company is called uBeam, and if the New Jersey transplant has her way, the name of her company will be as familiar as Wi-Fi.  What she has done is straight out of Star Trek. “The dream is to replace all electrical outlets with uBeam transmitters.” Says Perry. “You’ll wake up and just go through your day with your device, and it will be charging in your house, in your car, at your bus stop, at your gym, at your hotel. We want to be absolutely everywhere. Wires won’t be anywhere.” SCREECH! Will the existing industry that is so dependent on copper wiring for everything just let us throw all that stuff out even if it is for a wire free world?

Here’s how it works. uBeam’s transmitter is a wafer-thin square the size of a salad plate that punches out ultrasonic frequencies much like a speaker creates sound. The receiver, currently in the form of a smartphone case, resonates at the same high frequency and turns that imperceptible movement into energy charging the phone.   Will industries like Apple work with this company? Will Archectics construct this new innovation into their building plans? UBeam’s transmitter doesn’t go through walls, so a square tile is required for each room. Although uBeam is still a few years from being consumer-ready. Perry is convinced her “competitively   priced” creation will find its way into our homes and any commercial space where devices are uses which is just about everywhere these days.
She realizes she is proposes breaking new ground with this idea. The problem is that society doesn’t usually do what is good for the world but rather promotes something that will make the most money for an industry. F the consumer. That is why there is so many existing problems with energy and manufacturing. Perry says, “What I’ve seen over the years is people making tiny improvements in existing technology as opposed to saying, ‘Let’s throw this all out and do something new.’ She says, “I know the odds are against me. But I wouldn’t start a company and bust my ass for years unless we were working on something of the magnitude better than anything else out there.” Did I mention that she is only 25 years old?


Bottom line she needs to partner with Apple or Google to make new devices needing this kind of charging. Mark Cuban is in on it with a $750,000 investment and Starbucks and McDonald's in England are offering this service. It shouldn’t be treated as a new trendy thing. All the powers that be should work together on this thing and make America truly wireless. Try telling that to the copper guys. Sigh!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I guess this is the year to screw up your taxes and probably NOT get caught. The IRS has been hit by funding cuts; so the chances of being audited are the lowest in at least a decade. More people are filing tax returns, but the IRS is auditing fewer filers’ as the agency’s budget and staffing drops. Who exactly is this good news for? We all hate being audited but we like to hear that our government agencies are being run well too. The number of revenue agents have dropped too resulting in a drop in the percentage of the returns that are audited. Revenue agents have focused their efforts on higher-income filers but audit coverage is still down.

After rising steadily from 2005-2010, the number of IRS audits for individual taxpayers fell 21% during the succeeding five years, the data show. Audits fell in every individual category and across income levels even as the number of individual tax returns filed rose in all but two of the past nine years. The audit declines coincide with recent drops in IRS funding and a steady falloff in revenue agents. It also comes as the tax agency seeks congressional approval for a fiscal year 2016 budget hike after being buffeted over dwindling taxpayer services   and allegations it targeted conservative tax-exempt groups for increased scrutiny.
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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen conceded that the agency is “not the world’s most beloved.” But he warned that the audit rate decline could eventually “corode” American’s faith in the federal tax system and undermine voluntary payment compliance. “At this point we do have a tax compliance ethos and people pay their fair share.” said Koskinen who was to address the audit problem in a speech to the New York State’s Bar Association’s tax section. It is a problem if you know someone who is not paying their share of taxes according to law.

Arguing for additional budget funding, Koskinen cites IRS data that show restoring the number of revenue agents would produce nearly $1.3 billion dollars in new government enforcement revenue once new hires complete training and reach full working potential in fiscal year 2018. When asked whether the IRS could shift workers from other jobs to revenue agent jobs, he said auditors require   time-consuming training. Also, the tax agency’s overall personnel count is down 13,000, a total that will rise to an estimated 16,000 this year, he said.

So, as I see it, Congress and the Senate Committee on Finance is telling the tax guys screw you we will not finance you as long as you audit our special interest groups. To me it looks like blackmail and one hand washes the other and tit for tat tactics are alive and well in politics and on Capitol Hill. Let’s not do what is good for the country, let’s take care of ourselves mentality is running rampart all over Washington and it is disgusting. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

NASCAR says that missing lug nuts are Ok in a race. REALLY? That sounds like the most irresponsible scary thing I have heard yet from a sporting organization. Usually they represent everything good and safe and responsible about their sport but this is just crazy. We all know that we will patiently watch 500 laps of a race secretly waiting to see a major crash and no one will admit that but setting up a car for disaster is practically pre-meditated murder. How are they getting away with this new policy?  And Why?

In a change from previous years, NASCAR won’t be monitoring to insure pit crews use five lug nuts on each tire before cars leave the pit road, leaving the decision up to the teams. This new policy can save teams time, but the risk for disaster is compounded. Driver Brad  Keselowski   said, “I expect wheels to fall off race cars. We’re going to push it until we hit   it to the   limit.” What is the limit to these idiots? Suicide?  I understand fanatic sports geeks talking this kind of trash but I cannot believe that a major organization like NASCAR would allow and now practically endorse such a dangerous policy. Just tell these guys to go out there and kill yourselves as fast as you can already.

Should we also manufacture cars with less lug nuts too? That would save car manufactures lots of money. Safety should always be a key factor especially in an already dangerous sport. In Daytona Beach, Florida, NASCAR estimates by de-regulation a race team could save a valuable fraction of a second.  Well then could we save an entire second if we send them out with only one lug nut? Go for it you idiots and crash and burn early. This is the latest suicide mission I have heard of yet in this country. I say give the bastards an extra second of time for free but for safety’s   sake get out there with all your nuts!
Driver Kyle Busch said. “I’m just going to raise my disability and life insurance policies”. In the past NASCAR had an official in each pit stall to monitor whether all five lug nuts were on the wheel. Those lug nuts didn’t have to be really tightened, they just had to be on. Now NASCAR no longer has pit officials in the pit at all so crews can essentially do whatever they want. Is NASCAR saving money on employees? Why? No one even knows what crews are practicing to neglect to have an advantage in a race.  This also opens the door to some teams doing one thing while another team is doing another thing. That is not a fair race in my opinion.

This all cheapens the sport, is a bad example to our kids and makes large organizations like NASCAR look reckless rather than a forum for a fun and safe sport. Should I tell my kid let’s see who will crash and burn first? I used to say let’s see if the fair safe driver who makes good passing decision win the race. Stupid people! A loose wheel wouldn’t be good for several reasons.  First, the wheel could fly off. If a wheel flies off it can go into the stands. Should we sell life insurance policies as we enter a race now?

NASCAR’s decision must be just to save the cost of official’s salaries in each pit because although they have soften on regulations they have increased penalties and rules. NASCAR has promised that if a wheel comes off, it will result in a P3   penalty this year which could mean a fine, a loss of points and a crew chief suspension.  Is NASCAR playing GOD with these guys? It reminds me of the forbidden fruit story from the Bible. If Adam and Eve ate from the one forbidden tree in paradise all evil would break loose. You know guys will be driving without their nuts and taking chances. Sunday started NASCAR races. Bring a helmet to the races folks. Good Luck!



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Everyone is exhausted from these snow falls that happen every few days.  We barely have time to recover before the next one comes. That is good news for TV and good news for the Oscars that will be given out tonight. Waking up to lots of snow that needs to be cleared again should leave lots of tired people tonight willing to see the most talented and most beautiful and most famous Americans give each other yet another prestigious award for doing their job. They already receive recognition through the Screen Actors Guild, The people’s Choice, The Golden Globes and now the same people who got statues at those events will probably pick up their Oscar too tonight as I thaw out in front of the tube.

Ellen broke Twitter with her Oscar selfie shot last year. What will Neil Patrick Harris do to top that kind of exposure to the telecast? At the Oscars we get to see 3 hours of shows before the event where we can witness our American royalty, actors and actresses literally pausing and smiling for cameras while wearing designer clothes and fabulous jewels. At that point we can instantly fantasize who we would sleep with if we could.  They say the good stuff is found behind the red carpet. The juicy gossip, the private preparations and all the effort to put on an award show.

Neil is 41 years old and it will be his first time hosting the Oscars.  He had a lot of practice practically putting on his own musical when he hosted the Tony Awards. He offered to us a half time show of singing and dancing at the Emmy’s too.  He has some big shoes to fill from Ellen, Billy Crystal and Seth McFarlane who were recent past hosts. We have all fantasized about some kind of acceptance speech we would give given the opportunity with a hair brush for a microphone and our mirror in the tightly locked bathroom mirror. We like to see how eloquent the professional acceptance people are at getting yet more awards for themselves.

Neil has proven that he can assimilate into any role. Fans loved him a s Barney who was a well-dressed womanizer on the show called How I Met Your Mother.  He also played the creepy ex-boyfriend in Gone Girl. When he is not acting he is home raising 4 year old twins with his husband David. We still need to see the Oscars where British actors we don’t know get awards for movies we haven’t seen.  This year is a very white award show since no black actors were nominated. We did have black movies like Selma that is nominated for best picture despite a great cast. Julianne   Moore   played in the past Sara Palin and is now playing a woman who is slowly losing her mind. Is it a sequel?
At least the weather is great in Los Angeles but everywhere else the weather is driving people crazy.  Maybe take a cruise to the islands this week. The most watched Oscar telecast was in 1998. 55.2 million viewers   saw “Titanic” win for Best Picture. What is so great about movies anyway? They only pass a few hours of your time. The movie houses used to store all the costumes and props from movies. Now people like Debbie Reynolds are profiting from auctioning off the stuff. She made $26 million dollars from selling stuff like Marilyn’s white dress from the movie called the Seven Year Itch in 1955. Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz is probably the most memorable prop from any movie yet it was stored on a shelf for years at MGM.

Now a lot of people want a piece of a movie. People have emotional connections to props now that they know that everything is for sale. Steve Wynn, the casino owner paid over $4 million dollars for the Maltese Falcon.  The motion picture academy is about to turn a corner in Los Angeles into a $300 million dollar museum. Leonardo DiCaprio just paid a lot of money for those ruby slippers again and already donated them to the museum. So, now they will have a proper home. So, on a cold Oscar night, if you can’t be there, there is no place like home to sit back and enjoy the show like home.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

What can we do to save the middle class? How can we help our returned soldiers find a career after their most productive adult years   were spent killing people in foreign lands? Why does the riches people still get richer? Who should we elect to help the working poor when their campaigns are financed by rich special interest groups? When is there going to be real change for the better? Where can we go for answers? I used up the 5 w’s and how and need to fill in the blanks for some sanity.

Neither party is telling the truth. The large thriving middle class that we used to have did not just appear. It was created after World War II when we had thousands of returning soldiers needing everything as we have millions of Americans needing everything now. No one is creating any savings. We have a population of struggling people living from pay check to pay check. The era of prosperity for the middle class during the 50’s and 60’s was created by the economic tool called socialism. Yes that dirty word that still somehow keeps people who have nothing living in communist states like Cuba and China somehow surviving.

We hate that socialist word but it is exactly what our government did after World War II. It taxed the rich up to 90% per cent and massively redistributed that money through the G I Bill so that more than half the population benefited from free college, free job training cheap mortgages and homes specifically built for the returning soldier families. Yes, for a brief shining moment we were not bought by the rich in every political arena. Congress did not pass laws that only benefited them first. Our Congressmen live like kings on and off Capitol Hill when they are supposed to be representing their districts that are mostly failing.

We can debate if going back to socialism is a good thing or a bad thing but it helped then and should help now if anyone could penetrate the thick walls the rich have created around them politically and financially. They even managed to convince people that unions are wrong when it is when run properly the single closest thing to a person’s paycheck to saving it. Unions were there to protect the working classes rights in the workplace. The 50’s and 60’s was a time when a family needed only one bread winner, a house cost only 2 year salary. It was an age when a parent could afford college for their kids. They could even enjoy a night out at a restaurant meal or movie for all once a week. This is a fairy tale now. Back then it was reality.

A middle class is not the by- product of capitalism. It is actually a strange thing in most of history going back to the Middle Ages where the rich lived behind elaborate castles built like fortresses constructed so well that they still stand today centuries later. Most of the people lived in poverty in the woods,  forced to give their best meat and crops to the rich. In the 14th Century a middle class was created in Europe during the Black Plague when a third of the population died resulting in a labor shortage. That increased bargaining power for workers. That was one way to create a middle class but I do not recommend wide spread disease wiping out a population of people to create some stability or worth.

Somehow we need someone to burst out of the shadows like a kind of Robin Hood for America who really cares for the population of the people in this country and not their own personal wealth or career. Obama had good intentions always. He is a great speaker but always lacked a good faithful staff for six years. They all bailed him and every cause he tried to CHANGE as part of his campaign rhetoric never went to full fruition. God Help Us All.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Have you noticed how lighting has changed everywhere? We all know the traditional light bulb is being fazed    out for various reasons but do we really know what it is all being replaced by? New lighting teniques and products are everywhere now. We saw all the holiday lights competitions where you had plastic figures with light bulbs in them making them glow to elaborate song synchronized small LED lights of stringed glows rapid fire. Two quite different things but in the same competitions.  Now it seems that we are leaving the spot light era into the techno era even when it comes to traditional holidays.

Have you noticed the lighting 103 stories above Manhattan in the Empire State building lately? It looks like a bouncing juke    box the last two holiday seasons.  There used to be soft lights that stayed on all night long. Now it is bouncing changeable lights in geometric patterns all night. This new idea is the work of Anthony Malkin of The Empire State Reality Trust.  He likes to take credit for improvements in the building and is now taking credit for the new exterior lighting system.  Two years ago Malkin had thousands of remote controlled LED lights installed atop the building.  A big difference from the old spotlights that had colored glass slid in by hand over them to change color.


Given the new tools now offered to us lighting is changing everywhere. The new designs on New York’s most famous building is thanks to lighting designer, Mark Brickman who has been known to design lighting for entertaining concerts and shows. Do we really want our Empire State Building looking like a rock concert? Brickmen did light shows for Pink Floyd Concerts and has elaborate lighting at his home.  He has endless possibilities to choose from so his home has a completely different look during the day from what it looks like at  night.

As LED lighting gets to be more and more available it is being joined with wood and glass, even concrete. It is no longer an afterthought. It is being included in blueprints and being included as a part of the building construction.  Towers like the Wilshire Grand in Los Angeles has the entire upper levels encrusted in lights. Older more established buildings like the Empire State are all getting a lighting makeover.  Seattle’s Space Needle and Paris’s Eiffel Tower are equipped with LED lights now.  There is lighting on the face of a Miami Hotel that looks like people dirty dancing at about 50 feet in height for all to see.  There is even now a South Korean skyscraper that uses LED displays to create the illusion of invisibility.


Now the sky really is the limit when it comes to lighting from Korea to New York. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

You received your tax statements on line or in the mail already. Your 1099 or W-2 statement is your yearly financial report card.  Were you productive and did you earn lots of money last year? Doesn’t matter now you just have to make sure you have access to your return money before some imposter hacks into Turbo Tax and files and collects your checks for them.  Thieves are everywhere and it is tough to be that one step ahead of them trying to protect your meager tax return checks. Those of you who are quick stepping already received your tax return funds, so let’s go shopping.

Your new iPhone 6 has been burning a hole in your hand so it is time to buy some stuff that can   be uploaded o your phone to make it your unique device to help you in life. So take that refund check and buy some stuff.  Get the gifts for yourself that no one bought you for Christmas.  There is a bendable power strip called the Pivot Power Genius that costs about $50 dollars that has 2 outlets on it that you can control with your phone. So, from any location you can turn those outlets on or off. Great for turning the air conditioners on or off before you get home this summer or for turning lights on or off while you are away or  turn the fish tank light off when you decide to sleep somewhere else for the night. You get the ideas and can think of something you want to turn on or off from anywhere in your home from your phone.

You got that new nice sleek thin computer but you noticed that the storage is small. There is a tiny thing called the San Disk 64 Gigabyte Cruzer Fit that is a USB nub that you can place in a port and it instantly gives you 64 more gigs of space. It is fast and small and clean and just leave it right there in your computer. It cost only about $30 dollars to give you lots of more room on your computer.

Yes, I am old and need glasses at times and with that comes forgetfulness so I leave them behind somewhere. Since I have been trained to never leave anywhere without my phone,, how about buy a case that comes with flat eyeglasses in the case compartment? It is called Thin Optics and costs about $40 dollars. They don’t have ear pieces and they stay on your face. Nice.

I am sick of fighting with that damn Christmas tree every year. Next year I will be ready so I am buying now a new tree stand. It is called the Krinner XXL Stand that should be worth the $100 dollars that costs. The round thing has a foot pump that is attached to jaws on a cable that tightens from all sides at the same time. No human can do that.

I love my laser   printer at work since it prints everything to look clear and crisp but it is huge and expensive.  Go get yourself the Samsung SI-M2020W Printer for about $80 dollars because   it is inexpensive and tiny. It prints from computers and even from your phone.


I wish I could control my kids from my phone but I can’t. I can control all my remote control devices from my phone now.  Get the Harmony Home Hub for about $100 dollars and you tell it what kind of TV equipment you own and the device programs itself. Then you just use your phone to turn on everything. These are all new devices just to try to make life easier for you to have and we all need an easier less cluttered life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If there was one thing I enjoyed this football season it was the commentary of Cris Collinsworth who broadcast this year’s Super Bowl game. He played in two Super Bowls but never broadcast a big game like that before. Now he has become the most visible talking head in the game because he is honest and not partisan, it also helps that he has a nice clear voice considering he was a NFL wide receiver in an  8 year career. He then became a lawyer but found him drawn back to football but this time as an announcer.


 I think he is now the most respected game analyst in the business. He would probably be at home talking to the screen anyway so why not do it in a booth and get paid for his babble anyway. Sunday night football is watched by 21 million people and that is why it ain’t going anywhere soon but back on TV. It is not only the number one show in all of sports but the most watched in all of TV. That is why at one time last month football was being aired in prime time as much as 4 days a week with pro and college games going on.  This is no soccer game. It is All American Football. It is where the country wild white guy plays alongside the tough crazy black guy and they all have fun.

His job is to entertain and educate to make it all seem simple and he does just that.  He is blunt and honest and is not afraid to say that something or someone is just horrible. He is not afraid to criticize his friends if need be. He does not want to get too close to the players or coaches for just that reason. He still watches a lot of games just to keep track of the 11 guys on offense and the 11 guys on defense. You can’t be watching everyone all the time and then be able to make a comment one second after a play. So, he does his homework and studies the playing patterns of the main players on every team. That is a lot of self- discipline and home work.

His partner is veteran broadcaster Al Michael's who he gets along well. His beautiful wife is Holly and they have been married to each other for 25 years. He will watch the linemen because everyone else is watching the ball.AL Michael's has been broadcasting NFL games in prime time since 1986 working next to Howard Cosel,  John Madden and now Cris.  Al admires everything Chris has to say because it is always a well thought out statement or he wouldn’t say it. As a lawyer myself, I admire how he thinks. Cris had a career before all this as being the star wide receiver first at the College of the University of Florida then in the pro-league with the Cincinnati Bengals who he helped lead to 2 Super Bowls.
He is tall and was known for his speed in getting down the field.  He got cut by the team and 2 days later HBO called him and poof he became a broadcaster. His wife was pregnant and so he did whatever they wanted like silly feature pieces and soon he was commenting on games for NBC.  Now they are raising 4 kids who are all athletes. All 4 state high school champions and all 4 coached by their father.  One kid is in Harvard 2 kids are in Notre Dame one works for the Golf Channel. Is it possible to love your job, love your wife and love your kids? It sure is in his world.











Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We are seeing movie stars and singing sensations and great musicians all over TV lately with the Grammy Awards, the special tribute to Stevie Wonder and the 40th Anniversary Special of Saturday Night Live   that aired recently on TV for us all to see. Americans are known for their Pop Culture. Our music is sung all over the world and our movies are taken seriously all over the world no matter how silly or stupid the creators are as seen in all the uproar with North Korea over our stupid movie. Americans aren’t even cultured enough to take notice of most movies or artists from other countries.

The Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians , even the Cave Men knew that in order to preserve some of their culture or at least communication with future generations, they carved their stories in stones. Our generation has everything we know buried in a device where we pray to the Gods that the power does not go out. We seriously have no lasting record of anything learned. Even the first twenty years of our history on film has already disintegrated into useless dust due to the lack of preservation of our films. It is good to know that our government is finally investing money into our history through preservation.

We now have our own brand of buried treasure. Movies like It’s A Wonderful Life and Ghostbusters   are being saved and buried in an Archive maintained by The Library of Congress in a vault.  Recently the National Film Registry added 25 more films to the collection. They include now classics like Titanic and Ferris Bueller’s   Day Off.  The original camera negative of Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff from 1931 is hidden behind closed doors as well as Thomas Edison’s first film made in 1881 being restored by the National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper Virginia. It may be the oldest piece of celluloid   roll of motion picture available in the world.

The place has acquired 1.5 million films from  TV and video recordings.  They are being stored in what used to be underground secret cold war bunkers. It was a place where our government stored millions of dollars in coins and currency that just sat in the nuclear safe bunker for 25 years from 1968 to 1993 for the purpose of revamping the economy east of the Mississippi River  in case of a Holocaust.  At the end of the Cold War the bunker was decommissioned. In 1997 David Woodley Packard bought the place and   transformed it and gave it to the Library of Congress. 70% of the 11,000 silent films made in the United States have been lost.  Films like the 1917 Cleopatra, 1928 Ladies of the Mob or 1927 London After Midnight.

The old films that survive are often incomplete and in terrible condition. Until 1951 most motion picture film was made of nitrate which decayed, caught fire or exploded if not taken care of properly. Now even with the faintest of prints they are able to create brand new negatives of old images. The place even shows pieces of films and allows the audience to suggest where the piece came from.  Sometimes it really does take a village to recreate a scene. Now with new technology all communication from radio, TV and film is being captured and saved. Decades of TV shows like I Love Lucy from 1952, The Twilight Zone from 1960, Oprah from 2004, The Simpsons from 1995, Super Mario Brothers from 1985 even You Tube posts are being digitized and archived.

Our kids have not been educated by old history books but rather by TV and pop culture and we only understand our language if we understand all that has influenced us throughout our lifetimes.  It includes Dallas from 1978, to the 1977 porn film Debbie Does Dallas. It is all being saved and will be left up to future generations to decide what is or is not important. The annual budget is $15 Million dollars. A mere spit of the amount of bucks our military spends each year. It is a bargain price to spend on our true American history.


  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I hate the NFL for not taking care of their players. The best football team ever was the 1985 Chicago Bears. They are all dead or half dead with all kinds of relapsing injuries even now so many years later when many of my readers weren’t even born yet. You youngsters would still love them because as a team they entertained the men, women and children. They were like cartoon figures that performed as a group in TV commercials,   shows and entertained the crowds in general.  They were also unfortunately playing at a time where the coaches shot up the players with all kinds of pain killers and stuff to get the best results for the game and no one cared about the long term effects of the juice.

No team has ever dominated a season while having so much fun. On the field they took control fast winning 18   games, 4 by shutout. Off the field they did as a team McDonald's commercials where they sang and danced, they made it to the cover of Time Magazine known as The Bad News Bears. They did Coca-Cola ads and the handsome Beach Boy looking Jim McMahon wisecracked his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. So, even if you hated football and never watched it, you still knew these guys. They were regulars on talk shows. They danced the Super Bowl shuffle on TV.

They dared to sing that they would win the Super Bowl that year. They wound up with not just the championship but a Billboard top 50 record too. The entertainment value of that team will never be surpassed. Tackle Steve Mc Michael was the classic take ‘em down guy on defense.  Jim McMahon led his quarterbacking with headbands, sunglasses, crazy jackets and a real punk attitude predicting in advance that they   would win it all.  The laughter and the memories mask the truth of the matter. These guys who once were poster boys are now the games sad tale.

Jim now suffers from deep depression with suicidal tendencies. 23 of his team mates, nearly half of those 85 Bears are now suing   the league claiming that the game destroyed their bodies, their minds or both. Mike Dicta was the coach and also looked the tough persona of go out there and get ‘em boys like a cartoon character. The men he led seemed invincible and larger than life. Saturday Night Live did spoofs on them tearing up the place over hot dogs. There was number 72 Refrigerator   Perry the giant black guy with the missing front tooth that no one dared to make fun of who was squarely built just like a giant freeze box and the coach used him to entertain everyone.

He was such a good athlete that he could block passes. If he could block passes he could run and if he could run he could catch. So at the Super Bowl on the one yard line they passed the ball to a 350 pound refrigerator missing his front tooth scoring the touchdown. Who does that? No one! Yes I have very vivid memories of a great team on and off the field.  Today he is a very fragile individual hardly being able to walk from pain. Now they are all plagued by long term injuries from what was once considered fun times.

Number 95 Mr. Dent was the MVP of the Super Bowl that year and he is full of injuries now too. He remembers bowls full of pills in the locker room and watching players getting shots even during the game everywhere on their bodies. Then on the planes the liquor would be flowing in celebration or to mask the pains as downtime would   seep   in between games. So guys were high all the time from something and for some injury somewhere on the body.  With all these plentiful detrimental things taken who do you get angry with? The team, the sport, the league the coach? It is not going to get any better anytime soon.

Walter Payton died of a rare liver disease in 1999. At age 50 safety Dave Dorson shot himself and wrote a letter saying he would shoot himself in the heart and want his brain donated to science so they can use it to find a solution to all the mental pain  he was enduring. The coach says that if he had an  8 year old kid now he would tell him not to pick up a football meanwhile football was his life. The risk is worse than the reward. The league is ignoring all issues and that is the biggest crime of all.



Saturday, February 14, 2015


We have arrived! It is here! The most passionate weekend of the year. Today is a Saturday of a long holiday weekend with it being February 14, Valentines Day. Love must be in the air because so far the news has not reported anyone getting their head chopped off yet even though we are in the middle of the weekend. There still is time for evil to persist. But so far, they reported that there have been the lowest number of homicides in New York   City ever reported. Probably because it is too cold and icy to go around killing people. Most importantly the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey has been released and they expect it might bring in as much as a million dollars this weekend. Are people that horny?

To hell with chocolates, they give you diabetes. Save your money on flowers, they will die from the extreme cold before you even get them to her. Stay home and let her go with her looser girlfriends all giggly to see the stupid movie. However, if you are a lonely guy, I bet all the women no matter what age shape or size will leave that theater all primed and ready for an evening of wild and crazy sex. You don’t even have to make some alcoholic drinks. So, thank you for also writing those Fifty Shades of Grey Books that got them all interested in the movie now. Call it a sexual holiday weekend. Why do we get Monday off again? Not that kind of off. Off from work but Hmnnnnn Monday too. Nice!

I went into the paint store and asked the guy if he had fifty shades of grey. He said he could work on that by looking at his hair. I thought I was the one who had the joke. Not for long. But there is someone who invested in joking about the fifty shades phenomenon. There is a show out there with Ashley Ward starring in a show called 50 Shades! The Musical Parody and it is just that. A parody on the way too much publicized stupid books and now movie. Whether you love it or hate it, the 50 Shads avalanche   is everywhere even selling handcuffs in Target packaged under the movie title. The erotic book has the guy saying, “I don’t do romance!” as he immediately takes her to bed. If I did that I would probably get kicked out of bed.

He then puts a grey blindfold over her eyes and she lets him. The film will be stealing hearts this weekend and will be doing nothing between romance and your partner. Sure, they will be having sex with you but I bet they will be thinking about whatever crap they remembered from the books and now from this erotic movie. It got bad reviews but love it or hate it,   50 Shades of Grey has become its own industry selling lingerie and grey teddy bears or teddy bears wearing suits and ties. The musical is so kinky it is comical.  This weekend tickets to the musical are sold out. I wonder if they will feel so horny after laughing about scenes in the movie?

One thing for sure the movie will be seeing lots of green and not red this weekend. Green as in the color of money. I think I will put a suit and tie on and now hope for the best! Enjoy your weekend!



Friday, February 13, 2015

I wish all Americans could see the crazy commercials being shown all over the world advertising how foreigners can get green cards to America. We don’t even know that our government runs the program for foreigners as long as they come up with a half million dollars. With that kind of money they get Visas that can lead up to a Green Card. Is that how terrorists are getting legally into our country? When the hell did we vote on this policy? We didn’t.

Defenders of the program say that this is a way to generate investments and create American jobs but is this little known program here letting in terrorists and spies? Ordinary citizens of any foreign country have a hard time trying to get that kind of money together to go anywhere. There are a growing number of big projects going up thanks to foreign investors like the new SLS Casino in Las Vegas.  The foreign investors have been well rewarded under a little known Federal Program known as EB-5 Immigrant Investor under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  To me it all looks like a $500,000 Green Card.

Some 10,000 American Visas are issued under this program which is widely advertised overseas.  You will see commercials on TV in Russia, to  Iran  and China. The program has already built a sports arena in New York, a water park in Vermont and the Hollywood movie company called Lionsgate has been funded by this money.  They have even financed FBI Office Buildings. Peter Joseph is the Executive Director of a thing called Invest In the USA and is in charge of this program. He defends the program as going nothing but good things for the United States. The EBS Program published an Executive Summary in February 2013.

Since then more than 30 projects under the EBS Program have been under investigation for investors connected to narcotics trafficking, money laundering, fraud, espionage and other National Security concerns. It makes sense because only guys involved in these underhanded occupations have plenty of cash to spare. Senator Charles Grassley a republican who is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is on the case.  In the case of the SLS Casino, hundreds of people received United States Visas. One of the applicants was a known child pornographer and he was approved. Others got visas too even after they were found to have used fraudulent and falsified documentation about the source of their money.
Image result for eb-5 program
The concern is that   spies are gaining access to our country through this program.  The most serious security concerns involve Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp. that operatives may be using the program to infiltrate the United States.  I say get rid of the program, we don’t need it. We are investigating a company called American Logistic International which is a Southern California shipping company that advertises on Iranian TV as a way to get into the program. The company is owned by an Iranian and who was known for smuggling practices. Do we really need to give such a big hole as a way to get into our country? Hell No not during these times. Hopefully Homeland Security will get more involved and control this program. We lost too many good American soldiers protecting our country to now under the guise of money and jobs just let the bad guys here legally.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

We all walk around with cameras now all the time because they are in our phones and easy to access. Selfie camera shots seem to be the most popular shot to take on a camera but with all that easy access to photographs and the easy way to post them anywhere on the internet has brought convictions   to protect people and their privacy. There is a controversial industry out there called revenge porn sites where people can post naked pictures of their ex- lovers. An   owner of such a site was declared guilty in a breaking lawsuit that can change things quickly.
Women and men fall in love and send each other naked pictures of each other to help them get through their day till they get to meet again in the flesh. Yes, it sounds harmless, private and fun until things go wrong in a relationship and what was once a personal photo ends up on a porn site for all to see.  Love turns into hate into revenge and then a nightmare. A 28 year old man, Kevin Bollaert,  was convicted in a San Diego courtroom of 6 counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft for owning a site that posted naked pictures of ordinary people. People who didn’t even know their photo was there and who didn’t consent to the exposure. He was trying to run the site to profit from subscribers.

Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General is getting tough on this issue. She says to bring your toothbrush to court because you might be going to jail that night. Kevin posted thousands of nude and explicit photos of women on his website called You Got Posted .com. without their permission. He also went further and opened another website called Change My Reputation.com where they had to pay up to $300 dollars to remove images. It is a landmark conviction where  Kevin  Bollaert faces over 20 years in jail. The conviction is a victory for a growing list of law enforcers who were stuck not being able to do anything to stop offensive sites that operate in unsure legal territory. 

Is Anyone Up.com is another of the hundreds of offensive sites up and running on the Internet. Most of the pictures are posted against the women’s will and that the humiliation of the women is part of the thrill of posting the shots. Texxxan.com  made some women feel trapped because they didn’t know who saw them and didn’t know how many sites they were on. When one site closes down two more sites open up. California along with other states have now passed legislation to make revenge porn sites illegal but in most of the country most of the laws are inconsistent. We like to constantly criticize our President who ever he is at the time but the real criticism lies in the lack of the Supreme Court and Congress to do their job to unify this country so that the same laws apply to all states on any subject from pot to porn to murder convictions.

Image result for revenge porn sites convictionsIn general the government has been terrible in keeping pace with technological innovations.  The technology is evolving faster than regulation is evolving to deal with it. In a rare move the Federal Trade Commission has gotten into the fight. Just last week another revenge porn site called Is Anybody Down? .com was ordered to remove some 1,000 nude photos allegedly posted without the victims consent.   The world of revenge porn also known as involuntary porn is a strange one owned by seemingly ordinary men just looking to make money on a website.  The owner of Is Anyone Up? .com Hunter Moore said he organized the site just for public humiliation purposes. He is probably someone’s boyfriend who got dumped badly. He has been arrested for hacking & identity theft.

There is now a small army of women organizing to get these sites off the Internet as fast as they can. Lawyers call them Anti-Revenge Porn Activists.  They spend much of their time tracking down the victims and keeping them informed. The victims must consent to moving forward with a law suit. If convicted, Hunter Moore can be facing 45 years in prison. He still thinks humiliation is a good business model. He is not even allowed to use the Internet now. Let’s hope they put this guy away and throw away the key. Meanwhile, how about you keep the camera away from your nude body.