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Administrative Law Judge
Corporate Training Specialist

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween is for the delight of young children all dressed up like princes and princesses finally with the freedom to let go of mom and dad’s hand and go up to a stranger’s door and be met with praise and wonderful candy. Halloween is also for the delight of every sick bastard who really loves gore and blood and secretly would love to dissect another human being but also to get away with it so for one night a year they get to terrorize and fill just about anyone they meet with fear and horror.
Then there are the people like me lately who get for one night to think of the supernatural and the after life. All Soul’s Day is celebrated in the Catholic religion. I think of the possibility of immorality that our personality somehow lives on and takes over a new able body while our old body continues to get older and rot away. Yes that is a creepy thought but it is more spiritual than horrible. So, by not knowing much at all about a after life, I choose to dwell on the marvels of this life here and now. It is all I really know about and yet each day I learn something new and that makes a good fun day for me.

My first encounter with something different at night was finding fireflies and being able to grasp them in my hand and watch my hand glow as I quickly tried to “save” them and put them in a jar. I must have killed the entire population of fireflies by “trying to save them”. By morning, they were all dead in my jar. I never wanted to kill the little flying flashlights. I wanted to be part of their little lives. They were and still is the supernatural to me and I am part of their existence with them in my lifetime. There is one Tennessee variety of firefly that attracts many people to sit in the dark in the forest to see the amazing and sometimes spooky light show provided for real by the wonders of our earth.

Ok maybe I am getting soft in my old age but deal with it. Every summer people pour into the forest just to see the little buggers. It has become a tourist attraction. They camp into the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee at Elkmont. It is an unstoppable migrating madness of people like the walking dead only these are very much alive people wanting to spend a night awake in the spooky dark woods at night. There are so many people migrating there that the National Park Service has to monitor them so this form of wild life doesn’t get too wild. Humans.

It all seems odd just sitting in a forest at night until the twinkling begins. In the pitch black, it is as if the stars had come to settle in the forest. Then there is a silent symphony of fireflies by the thousands. It is a sight you can not even capture on film. The contrast between the darkness and the brightness makes the place seem like it is breathing. The species there gathers in swarms and they all flash at once in tandem with each other. They are called Gatlinburg Synchronized Fireflies. They will all start at the same time and then flash randomly. Then they will all go off at the same time and all start over again. Who is the spooky bug orchestra leader?

No where in the western hemisphere is there a larger population of Synchronized Firefly. No one knows why they settle there. This is real. This is not some made up crappy story for Halloween. The firefly’s scientific name is Photinus Carolinus one of 19 known species. The firefly or lightning bug as we call them isn’t a fly or a bug.  It is actually a beetle. There is almost no heat produced in the back portion of the body. It is 100% light. They are way more efficient than a light bulb.

The flashing light is all about getting a mate. These guys put the romance in  the  Twilight movies to shame. The males are flashing their light to the females. The females respond with a glow of their own.  It is typical male behavior. My light is brighter than your light and the females do their best job to keep the glow alive. It is like a singles party. Males and females find each other in the dark. Besides, we all go to a haunted house so that a female will jump into our arms from fright. Our mating call.  Enjoy your Halloween and for one night thrust yourself out of your usual comfort zone. The fire fly only live a matter of weeks. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy nature’s nightlife before the glow is gone for another year. Halloween comes only once a year too. The fire fly is not a man made spectacle, it is one of life’s mysteries that you just can’t explain better than seeing it. There are more than 2,000 species of fire fly. Not all of them glow. Find your glow tonight. Happy Halloween!  


Thursday, October 30, 2014

She was the one beautiful star that was unlike any other star. Katharine Hepburn preferred to live a simple life all her life in full independence of any other human being. She spent most of her life away from Hollywood but at a small town  called the town of Old Saybrook  in the Fenwick section of  Connecticut  

 She was born in 1907 from a pretty wealthy couple from Hartford , Connecticut. They bought the summer house in 913  when she was 5 years old. Ever since then, it was home to her. She caught the acting bug in her twenties and by the time she was in her thirties she was a well known actress.
There was the Great Hurricane of 1938 that destroyed the home. They dug the family tea set and silverware out of the sand along the shore and chose to rebuild the home this time larger and higher off the sand. By then her greatest known film was The Philadelphia Story that also had old greats like Carey Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Her next film in 1942 was Woman Of The Year opposite her long time lover Spencer Tracey which was the first of nine films they chose to make with each other. Those two really enjoyed going to work.

There were other films and other famous leading men like Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen and Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond. Known for wearing pants along her long legs she still pulled of independence, sexiness and sophistication. So who cares? I just think that she was great to do whatever she wanted no mater what society thought she should be doing at the time. She was nominated for 12 Academy Award and won 4 awards. That is still an Oscar record for an actress.  What is more remarkable is that she never showed up to accept any of those awards. She never stayed in Hollywood longer than necessary. She would say, “I’m a Connecticut girl.” She always returned to the place of her privacy.

Almost every weekend she would make the drive from New York City.  She had tings to do there like tend to her flowers, go sailing or canoeing on the lakes. Her name is even etched in the cement of the sea wall and dated 1937. Although she died in 2003 at the age of 96,  I think of her from time to time. She made a pillow and sewed the letters to read , “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” I think I understand her wisdom now. Have some fun in fife friends.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So now lawyers do not have to be ambulance chasers anymore to get clients. Clients are now half dead all over American highways because of faulty guard rails. A landmark legal decision over a hidden hazard all over America’s common roadways in the form of guardrails has been made. It is a major case where victims alleging that design flaws in the rails maims and kills people. The verdict came in after a growing number of law suits came in where highway guardrails that are meant to protect instead killed or almost killed an alarming amount of people in accidents.

People who have been hitting guardrails during accidents find that the metal can be a long steel rail that is slicing through SUV’s and other types of vehicles on the road like a thick sharp spear. People are loosing lives and limbs from the very things that were supposed to protect motorists on the road. Guardrails are not supposed to be spears. In test films from as far back as 15 years ago, it shows how a guardrail is supposed to absorb the impact and even in a head on crash at 60 miles per hour, is supposed to absorb the impact. The truck hits what is called the end terminal and the guardrail curls off to the side and does not spear the truck. What  went wrong since those safety videos from as far back as 15 years ago?

Lots of people from across the country are suing the manufacturer of American guardrails and has finally won a landmark decision against Trinity Industries of Texas, the maker of all guardrails. The law suit was based on the question of if this manufacturer hid a defect in its guardrails for years? There are half a million of possibly default  guardrails on America’s highways today. The major lawsuit was brought by a competitor of Trinity Industries, Joshua Harman who says the company tried to save money by quietly making a small change in the construction of the guard rail reducing the width of it by an inch from 5 inches to 4 inches in the original design of its main beam which he testified made a significant flaw. Inches do count.

That loss of an inch in the width of the main beam makes it a completely different product. There are real life examples all over American roads of failed guardrails not stopping the impact of a crash but spearing through a motorist’s car.  Despite the growing evidence of gruesome accidents , Trinity tried to defend their modified product as still being a safety help on the roads. At first officials accepted Trinities defense by saying that the new version meets federal safety standards. Recently Joshua sued again with new evidence.

He had information that Trinity engineers concluded that they would save a quarter million dollars over five years and then discussed keeping the change a secret with no announcement. That one inch change should have been reported to the Federal Highway Administration and was not disclosed ever. Failed crash tests were seen during the trial but also were never turned over to the Federal government. The company President, Greg Mitchell refuses to comment on any allegations discussed in court. After just three hours of deliberation, the jury came back with the verdict. They awarded $175 Million dollars and a finding that the company made false statements to the government.

Three states so far, Nevada, Massachusetts and Missouri have stopped using the guardrails and more states are to follow. Under the law for cases of this type, the $175 Million dollar verdict will be tripled and then more damages could be added on top of that ultimately possibly reaching a Billion dollars and that is before additional lawsuits. So, keep away from those deadly guardrails and if you have been injured because of them go chase a lawyer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When it comes to any of the numbers recorded in The Baseball Hall of Fame we need to have initials like the way we tell time . We need B.D. and A.D. referring to Before Drugs and After Drugs that were used to enhance players performance at bat and on the field. Fame and shame seem to be blurred in Cooperstown the home of Baseball’s Hall of Fame or is it Shame with the actions of recent players on and off the field. This past summer is when they place new members to be honored at the museum. Tony LaRussa was being considered to be inducted. He is being honored for being guiding management for teams he managed from 2,728 wins. That is a remarkable number of wins that ranks third in baseball history.
The problem I have with all those wins is that about 43% per cent of those wins were recorded when Tony was managing Marc McGuire. Most of those wins were had with his beefed up drug induced super powers. I am talking about the same Marc McGuire who was denied inclusion into the hall because voters believed his super power numbers were owed to him taking steroids. Marc had excellent numbers but was vilified from the Hall of Fame but yet his manager is being considered by using the same numbers? Tony also benefited from Marc’s drug induced feats. Tony played dumb while Marc’s numbers were continually getting bigger as well as his physique from steroid intake.

I have admiration for both Marc and Tony because they simply did what they did when they did and thought there was nothing wrong with what they did . So, they did it. Sigh My problem now is with the standards of the Hall of Fame.  How can they shame Marc McGuire for what he did but honor Tony LaRussa into the Hall of Fame based on the same inflated numbers?  If Tony deserves to be in the Hall then how can you not give credit to the guy who got him there? That Hall of Fame or Shame should rethink its requirements hand hold the same standards to everyone they choose to honor there.

Who cares about those damn near perfect Yankees with their near perfect Derek Jeter retiring whenever he feels like it with his near perfect last game with a home winning run in the 9th inning? Who cares about the new Yankee Stadium and the millions of dollars they spend on professional players in new professional stadiums? That is not the baseball all Americans grew up playing. We all went to the local dusty field that somehow looked like a triangle and tossed the ball to a couple of guys till we got all dirty and tired. That is what baseball is to me and the only place that comes close to that home town feeling is the Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs were in a familiar place this past season, last place in their division and so what? The fans still go to their games anyway. It is still baseball. Can winning be overrated? The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and that is 2 years before Mark Twain died. The long suffering Cubs has what other teams don’t have and that is Wrigley Field. Yes , where they play is simply still called a Field not a Stadium or named after a bank like Citi Field that used to be the New York Mets home. I am waiting for a place called Viagra Hills to open next somewhere.

This year the field is 100 years old. No one has any plans to make this home of a traditional losing team a home for a new slick stadium and that is fine by me. Read all about it in George F. Will’s new book dedicated to the place. He usually writes and speaks all about politics , another losing battle but this time he wrote a book on the Chicago Cubs. He calls Wrigley Field “A Nice Little Place on the North Side” right on the cover of the book.  100 years is a long time. The place is older than the Supreme Court Building, The Lincoln Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, The Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore , Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building or pretty much anything else you can think of that is significant and special in American recent history. The Cubs are consistent. They practically promise to loose every year and that is ok by me.

Wrigley Field opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park and was renamed in 1927 after Cubs owner and rich chewing gum magnet of Wrigley Spearmint Gum that is still a successful company. The park still has the original hand card changing scoreboard. The best part is the ivy covered out field walls. People come to see a long hit never to get caught but for the ball to be lost in the ivy. The poor player looking in the foliage for the ball while the hitter is turning bases is hysterical and it happens all the time. Since the team is terrible , let the fans see the ivy grow.

Wrigley is known as a friendly place. It was the first field where you could keep a ball when it was foul. It was also the first ball park to encourage women to attend games. Ladies Day welcomed women free of charge. Yes it is a rare gem to enjoy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Money can buy anything including the modern slavery. Imagine a small population of people settled on useless desert in the middle of nowhere until suddenly oil and natural gas is found under the sand and you are instantly a rich people. Do you use the money to do good in the world? NO Do you use the money to have the world service you with every want or need? Yes It is the evil greed that has taken over the very small place known as Qatar that has made the place known as a global group to be watched. Unfortunately we have to be seeing even modern slavery enticed by money.

We still have a headache over the waste of money the Olympics were to the poor people of Russia and how the Soccer championships was a tearful experience to the poor people of Brazil both who could have used the millions of dollars spent on one time use stadiums for sporting events  to feed and clothe the people of their countries. Now the questionable vote is in to have Qatar the host site for the 2022 World Cup Soccer Championships. It is no surprise that they may have won the event with illegal bribes. The officials of that place have already repeatedly shown that they can get anything they want for a price.
In the Olympics the place had one of the best weight lifting teams representing them. For such an nothing country smaller than the state of Connecticut, they bought some of the best athletes in the world to represent them. The desert people have no sporting tradition but yet had running successes at the Olympics. They bribed Bulgarian weightlifters to change their names and lift for Qatar and not their native country. It makes the entire Olympics a farce now since people can represent any country now. Eight men were bought by the government of Qatar to represent them in just weightlifting alone.  I can see buying fine wine but not people.

They grew beards on their   faces and changed their names for a price for a country no one has ever heard of. They bought up finest athletes from all over the world like South American soccer players , American basketball players and Kenyon distance runners. I believe in celebrating the races where they originate, not this. They all received lifetime pensions from the Government of Qatar and coaches received 10 times their salaries they would be making from their original countries. The finest athletes of the world were brought to the tiny peninsula in the Persian Gulf. It is a fantasy world that has risen from the desert it seems like overnight fueled by the 2.5 Trillion feet of natural gas found beneath the sand. 

Anything is possible may as well be Qatar’s motto. In the countries pursuit of sports glory, money has bought them that. They are a people used to getting what they want. Qatar’s only 280,000 lucky citizens live very well. Their health care, education and  electric bills are all paid for by the state. Land to build their homes on is also just given to them too. This is no fairytale story. This is the truth. They rule the country that makes up only about 10% of the people. The other 90% of the people there might as well be called paid modern day slaves brought in from other places to do all the manual work.
Foreign works from the poorest places on earth keep the place in beautiful shape to support the only 10% of the wealthiest people there. There is an immense e disparity between the haves and the have nots. Why should you do anything yourself when you could pay someone else to do it for you is the norm in Qatar. The richest people on earth live there. After the wholesaling of Athletes to win awards was over, they were sent back to their original countries. They were inspected like horses including their teeth before they were paid well to perform their sport for the country.

Qatar is currently performing the largest scouting project in the world looking for 500 thousand soccer players per year to represent them for the 2022 World Cup Championships. They are building the futuristic Aspire Academy to house them and train them. It is one of the largest and most sophisticated training centers on earth. They are poaching athletes the same way other wealthy countries took resources from places like Africa. Who the hell wants to play soccer there anyway? Temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees there. They are now building stadiums big enough to host a World Cup event. Bribes won the tiny desert country a world event.
They have promised to build the world 12 new stadiums of which one will be wrapped entirely in HD Video Screens. Their money is building a remote controlled artificial cloud to be able to shield an entire stadium from the sun. Anyone doubting the projects have been bribed for silence. Money transfers document payment after payments to officials from other places. FIFA, the International Football{Soccer} Association brought in investigators to seek evidence of bribery and they found out that the FIFA people were also accepting bribes. It seems everyone can be bought for a price. So, at the cost  of hundreds of billions of dollars there will be a soccer mecca built in the middle of a desert.

Work is being done day and night. A mass transit line has been created in the city streets and a new airport created. To do all this construction the richest men in the world have recruited some of the poorest men in the world. It is modern day slavery. The labor laws that govern the migrant workers there protect no one. Upon arrival to Qatar the employer controls where he works , where he lives and when or if he is allowed to leave. They are told when to sleep, what to eat, when to listen,  where to live and how to live. When you are reduced to having no free will, you are enslaved. The workers  are housed in labor camps. The men are packed 8 to a room. Filthy kitchens and beds infested with bed bugs. 150 men share 2 bathrooms. There is no showers. They wash in the toilet. Two kitchens are shared by 600 men.  The life of luxury is only offered to those born from Qatar.

By the time the stadiums are built 4,000 migrant workers will die from the heat, no safety measures and poor living conditions. So why does Qatar’s government treat migrant workers so badly, bribe World Cup voters and buy foreign athletes? They believe that money can buy anything. The Qatari people have a plan for once they receive domination in the sports world and once the money dries up from using the natural gas and oil, they want their city to still thrive as a world center of culture in that region. Their leaders are thinking about the future.

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.