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Administrative Law Judge
Corporate Training Specialist

Associate Legal Counsel to Police Commissioner William Bratton

Friday, August 29, 2014

 We all need extra money and we all get annoyed by stupid things on our cell phones. Did you know you can sue and get about $500 per annoying call? I am talking about getting revenge on those automated corporate cell phone calls. It is called Robocalling and sometimes   suing them is the only way to get the calls to stop. The calls come in by the millions every day. Most individuals can receive about 5 or 6 calls per day. Calls are being made to Americans who just about live anywhere.

Robocalls are pre-recorded ages that come to your phone via computer software. They can be annoying and frustrating because no matter how you respond, at times they do not stop no matter how you respond. Debt collection companies love the service. Sometimes the mechanically generated calls will even ask for a different name than yours. Not only are not wanted Robocalls sent to your cell phone illegal under Federal Law but companies that place these calls can be held liable.

It is a $500 minimum violation for every single unwanted phone call to your cell phone and could be worth up to $1,500 per call to you according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that is a law written in 1991 that restricts telephone solicitation. There are hundreds of thousands of people that are going through this problem and they just do not know their rights. DCI, Diversified Consultants Inc.is the company behind many Robocalls.  They claim that it is just an honest error despite the fact that it happens a lot.

Gordon Beck the Chief Operations Officer from Diversified Consultants Inc. says that although there is human error they do their best every day   to ensure that things like that doesn’t happen.  He says that his company makes more than a million calls per day. The fact is that 68% of cell phone users receive some unwanted calls. A quarter of them say it happens several times per week. The biggest complaint of 34% of people say that they get calls for collection of debts that they don’t owe.

Harassment is another suable issue with debt collection. Repeated Robles   are   illegal   and when live debt collectors insult you or even use profanity or belittle you during a live debt collection call, well a woman, Diana May, was awarded $10 Million dollars for her pain and suffering from the harassment.  Allan Jones received funds for having to deal with racist calls from a debt collector. A jury awarded him $1.5 Million dollars for the abuse he received over a   $81 dollar debt from a collection company.

Suing Robocalling companies have become big business over the past three years. 312 people over the past three years with 98 people suing DCI. Is this the new cash cow for lawsuits? You don’t have to slip and fall in a business or pour scalding hot coffee on yourself for a lawsuit. Just pick up your phone more often. Is it your turn to collect from your debt collectors? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do you want the fortune that usually comes with fame but without the bother of fame? There are plenty of rich people out there that you have never ever heard of that lead pretty boring lives. What about those rich famous people who are constantly being spied upon and   even stalked upon by infatuated weird people? They have a tough life being famous. Well there is one girl out there who has written some pretty famous popular songs, gotten really rich and doesn’t want anyone to know what she looks like. So far she has been successful being able to lead a pretty private life yet receive the rewards that only famous people get to have.

Her name is Sia   Furler and her occupation is a singer/songwriter. You probably never heard of her but you probably have heard her music. Most unknown people who are singer/songwriters who are successful, you have seen and heard of. Sia has worked with some of the biggest names in music today. People like Beyonce and Katy Perry. Sia is 38 years old and has a voice just as big as those girls and has released her own hit called Chandelier. Her choice is to not  show her face on camera when she talks to the media.

Turning her back to cameras is the right choice for her because she does not want to be famous or recognizable. Therefore she probably will not be critiqued on her looks and rarely noticed on the Internet. She loves being able to shop in Target un-noticed and un-bothered with while listening to her songs being played throughout the store. Her album called A Thousand Forms   of Fear that features the song Chandelier hit the charts at number one. She has been writing pop songs for pop stars for a few years now.

Her resume is part of a who’s who of pop stars. She wrote songs for Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. She wrote Rihanna’s Diamonds song and Flo Riders Wild Ones song   and   Titanium   for David Guetta. Most of her songs come to her in less than an hour. She chooses a theme or a   lyric first then a tune comes to her. She is now recording her own songs rather than sell them to other artists because she is not sure that they will decide to record her ideas. Now she is a big enough star to take her own chances and they are all winners for her now.

Being faced with full on celebrity is not for her. She is now friends with many of the top performers out there and she wants no part of the private life they are forced to lead just because of who they are and their fame. The odds of getting to see her in concert isn’t good. Touring is not a lifestyle she craves either. She has performed on such shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live with her back to the audience and dancers all around her.

She pushes a concept of wearing a blond wig and children dancing with the message that anyone can put on a wig and become a star at least in their minds. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Because of my life, my background and my involvement there is a subject that I cannot ignore. Due to recent cases all over America the focus is on police departments and the possibility of brutality. My name is Serpico and I am proud that I at times am associated with a famous cop in the 1970’s., Frank Serpico who exposed corruption then in the New York City Police Department. There is a book out there called Serpico and a movie where Al Pacino played Frank in the role of a single man who decided to slay the giant of corruption and won.

All of that inspired me to also join the New York City Police Department as a cop but also decided to be an instructor in the Police Academy and a Lawyer working for our present police commissioner Bill who has been commissioner also in Boston. It is always difficult to get a suspect to willingly comply and face the rules of arrest and submit willingly to being handcuffed. Recently a man died in NYC while attempting to handcuff him. The man was very heavy and large and in apparent ill health and was also arrested 31 times before for various crimes. However, no one should die during an arrest even if he does not willingly turn around and put his wrists together.

I applaud our police commissioner in light of the tragic events because he has ordered that “All 35,000 NY Cops are to be re-trained in arrest procedures and the use of force.” It represents a massive overhaul of the entire force. Hopefully, tragedies of this kind will be elevated from the reputation of police forces across America.

It is terrible when a routine arrest goes horribly wrong especially when a man loses his life apparently in the hands of the Police. It was a choke hold caught on tape reverberating across America. It has brought out issues involving race and public safety. The dramatic video has triggered a wave of controversy. It was a violent contravention   on a NYC street that ended with one man, a black man dead. The Police is being accused of using excessive force and even racism.  So how much force is too much force across the country when a suspect refuses to comply and become   arrested?

It all unfolded in a matter of minutes. Two plane clothes police officers confronted 43 year old Eric Garner who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes, a misdemeanor. There was a tense stand-off as Eric protests and the two officers try to physically arrest him. He resists and one of the officers puts his forearm around his neck as other officers arrive and join in, and within seconds the 350 pound man is down on the ground. Eric cries out that he can’t breathe and for several minutes he lays on the ground not moving. Paramedics arrive at the scene and speak to Eric but apparently do not do much. He was taken to the hospital and about an hour later was pronounced dead.

The cause of Eric Garner’s death is still unknown. Autopsy results are expected in several weeks. The case has taken on racial overtones and prompted protests alleging police brutality. No one should have to die while being arrested. Mr. Garner’s medical condition may have been the cause of his death and not the actions of the officers but equally we have to look at the officers actions.  It is not just this case and in this city. Police actions are coming under scrutiny all over the country shinning the spot lite on the practice of choke holds, a technique that most big city police department’s   use that is now banned.

Officers are trained to use the least amount of force. A Carotid Restraint is allowed. The Policeman’s Union says, “ that sometimes force is necessary. At times when officers are required to make an arrest, they must employ the use of force in order to get compliance.” When you resist arrest you are in peril whether you are white or black or any race. The officer who performed the choke hold has been assigned to desk duty. His gun and shield has been taken away.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Do you like to make bets? Are you overweight? Do you want to take on a challenge to win money? Well then this new place is something you might be interested in getting involved with. Besides where else can you get paid to lose weight? Usually we have to pay some nutritionist or work out place and hope for results. It seems that we are a country obsessed with losing weight and we are also obsessed with gambling. Some genus found a way to combine the both.  Yes there is a real company out there that will bet you   that you can’t lose weight.  If you succeed and indeed lose the weight, you can get thousands of dollars. Should I yo-yo weight just to make money?

How is this possible and why didn’t anyone think of this concept to losing weight before? We seem to bet on just about anything these days anyway. Can this be the future to dieting or are we just trading one addiction for another? Literally you need to put your money where your mouth is for this wacky diet challenge. The company is called HealthyWage.com that allows you to place a bet that you believe that you can lose the weight. For example if you can lose 40 pounds in 6 months, you can win $5,000 plus get all the money back you wagered for a grand total of $7,310 dollars.

However, if you do not lose the weight, you can be out thousands of dollars. Each month you pay about $385 to HealthyWage.com   on your road to the challenge you set. Can a bet be the ultimate motivation to shedding pounds? According to studies, people using money as a motivator are 5 times more than likely to reach their goal weight. Some experts say that betting on weight loss is like betting your retirement at a Casino. It can be a disaster. According to David Zinczenko a fitness expert and   the author of a book called   Eat It to Beat It,   he says that when people go on these short term diets,   even when they attain their goal, they want to reward themselves with a box of cookies.

HealthyWage.com says that it has already paid out $2 million dollars in prize money. Yet only 1/3 of participants actually win their bets. Then I think this company is doing pretty well in their department. Jimmy Fleming, the Co-Founder of   HealthyWage.com   believes that there is always a win somewhere. The number of people who make a bet and then just fall off the radar is very few. Almost everyone loses some weight. The question is, if you are going to accomplish your goal. People who have tried everything try this because it is at least different and it is not based on any kind of food you eat or specific exercise. You have heard all about those things already. This is about your willpower.

Most people lose the weight by counting the calories and counting the amount of steps they take per day with a counting wristband device. Restrict your calorie intake to no more than 1500 calories per day and walking about 7000 steps per day. Fruit and water powers you through the hunger pains.  The pounds will come off and soon your bank account will be nicely rewarded not to mention the better looking person you get to look at in that mirror of yours. Sounds like a win win to me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Here is a party challenge. Could you watch every episode of The Simpson’s Show in one sitting? Better make some coffee for the event because the FXX Channel will be airing an epic 12-day binge of the show.  If you are one of those who like to buy boxed sets of every episode or season of your favorite show that can cost you anywhere from 50 to 300 bucks depending on what show turns you on. Be cheap and tape the event if your Tivo or cable recorded list can keep that much recorded time.

The Simpsons marathon begins with the series premier and subsequent episodes running through September 1st. On August 29th you can see the Simpson’s Movie. I guess it is a way to let everyone know a new cable channel called FXX. It is new and yet promoting a very old show. The show is approaching its 25th Anniversary in December. How many couples do you know anymore that can approach 25 years together anymore? Yet we all have spent 25 years with this show where no one gets older and they all stay true to their individual personas.

Why do we love the Simpsons? How did they survive ratings and viewing numbers all these years? They aren’t even real. It is a cartoon after all. This channel will be showing all 552 episodes and counting.   It will take 12 continuous days to air the 278 hour marathon through Labor Day. What a way to end a summer. But will I want to screw up a nuclear power plant at the end of watching all this? How dysfunctional will I become after all this wacky influence on my brain? Has anyone done any studies on the effects of too much Simpsons does on your brain? No wonder all our kids are in special education   classes in the past 25 years.  All other disorders have popped up to in the past 25 years   that have to be treated making us all heavily medicated by new prescription drugs. I blame The Simpsons.

The deal, believed to be among the largest in syndication history is great promotion for a place called Simpsons World which is an on-line treasure trove for die -hard fans to find everything Simpsons to launch in early October.  The site which is part of the FX Now app is available to authenticated cable subscribers that will provide access to the entire library of episodes for streaming. If only we had such easy access to most of the books in our public libraries we would be reading more instead of following 25 years of a dysfunctional cartoon family we have grown to love.

There is a related website that also allows viewers to research characters, find and share clips, and scripts and more. Bugs Bunny never had any of this kind of analysis. That rabbit just had to keep running away from the guy with the gun. The app with the episode library initially will be available to 60% of United States cable homes including those who subscribe to AT&T   U-Verse, Cablevision,  Comcast, Charter, Cox and Time Warner and then to all cable providers within a year according to FX’s Chuck Saftler.

The Simpsons is not the only long-running cartoon to get full –library attention. Comedy Central’s South Park cartoon found a home this past July on Hulu where 17 seasons of episodes are available free until September 24th, when it moves to subscription-based Hulu. So go get your   fill of obese Dads, arrogant boys and good over-emotional girls and a wife with a really weird hair style that hasn’t changed for 25 years and counting. Hey that is the Simpson's and not my house. Maybe it is my home too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I remember my Mom saying from time to time, “These crazy kids are driving me nuts!” and then she would take time out from raising us and have some quiet time with a soothing cup of tea. Now Moms want and are getting compensation for having their crazy kids. Kids used to finally settle down and mature into perfect specimens of the highest form of life here on earth. Right? At any rate, no one thought then to claim disability for their kids unless they were borderline disabled to be institutionalized. I guess a soothing cup of tea isn’t enough compensation for any frazzled Mom these days.

A recent study reported that 6 Million kids currently have a disability. Parent reported cases of disability in children are on the rise.  More      parents, especially upper income ones are reporting that their children have a physical, developmental or mental health disability. The number of non-institutionalized children aged 17 and younger with disabilities   rose 16% between 2001 and 2011, with nearly 6 Million children which is 8% of the population reported as having a disability according to a publication called Pediatrics.

Disability due   to   any physical condition such as asthma and breathing conditions, hearing problems and bone or joint problems, declined by 12% during this decade, while cases  related to any Nero developmental or mental health condition, such as attention deficit  hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities or emotional  problems, increased by 21 %.  I know that the area of special education has exploded since the 1980’s in our nation’s school systems.  Why are kids crazier now than ever before? Or re they just being diagnosed more these days?

Children living in the highest income household that is incomes greater than 400% above the Federal poverty level experienced the largest   increase that is 28% in disability over the decade. I believe that there are many children with disabilities in poor areas that just do not get reported to the authorities.  Autism was not one of the fourteen conditions of disability included in this study be close it was an established study long before autism was widely recognized.

According to the most recent CDC report, one in 68 kids has been identified with an autism disorder.  That is up from an estimated one in 88 in 2012 and really rose from one in 150 reported in 2007.Why such an increase in autism in America lately? We need to answer the main questions, the 5 w’ that is who, what , when, where and why to these recent activities and find a cure or even a reason.   This money doesn’t make living with these kids any easier.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Perhaps there is too much violence going on in the world right now. All a kid needs to do is to put on the nightly news to be frightened out of his skin. We have planes disappearing, being shot out of the sky   for   no   reason, war in the Middle East still, war in the Ukraine war in Africa where women get taken away for no reason. The Israelis and Palestine people are fighting over Gaza again.  Terrorists are found all over the globe and that was just last night’s news.  Lots of innocent civilians suffering a lot everywhere. No wonder action movies are down at the box office this summer.

The muscles are still pumped on our old-school action heroes but the new generation is not flocking to the box office to see them like we did when we were kids. Have the new generation of kids already seen it all and are not impressed by our old heroes? The guys staring in the movie called The Expendables 3 which is the latest installment in Sylvester Stallone’s blow-everything-up franchise, couldn’t muster an explosive opening weekend.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did have a second consecutive win at the box office with $28 Million according to studio executives from ticket-sales firm Rentrak. The heroes in a half-shell got past $100 Million while holding off strong competition from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy which collected $24.7 million. Ninja Turtles is one of the rare films this summer to hold onto number one for two weeks because of its family appeal. Years ago this film series would top the numbers most of the summer.

A comedy called Let’s Be Cops whose humor didn’t arrest critics made its debut in third place making $17.7 Million. Only 10% of critics gave this film a thumbs up. According to the survey site called   Rotten Tomatoes. Expendables 3 took in $16 Million to capture fourth place. This is the franchise’s worst opening. Those guys are getting too old to be shooting everything up anymore anyway. They even stopped cussing in the film to give it a PG rating from the other films R rating.  Did you really want to see old guys getting lap dances anyway? Keep Grandpa clean.

Audiences usually flock to sequels, but if you get to number 4, 5, or even 6 then the audience has finally had enough of the same stuff. At least the latest Transformer movie brought in the hundreds of millions of dollars these block buster action packed violent movies expect to earn in the first few weekends out there in the movies. I say kids, lets watch the nightly news to terrorize them. Sigh!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

In a few weeks school will be starting and fall sports will be in full force and along with all that, cheerleaders will be gathering their pompoms ready to do their thing too.  What is cheerleading anyway? Is it a sport or just a few hot girls getting together   in an organized way to urge their team to win a   game? I know there are very serious competitions that involve gymnastics as well as the usual chanting and jumping around. Men and women participate in cheerleading. Then why when a girl gets to the top of her cheerleading game and is chosen to be a National Football League Cheerleader they get paid next to nothing?
In recent months some of the cheerleaders have had the courage to revolt against some of the teams they work for. You would think those beautiful women in great uniforms would be getting paid well jut for the positive moral they are sharing to the game. Instead they are revealing the shockingly low pay and the humiliating rituals they are told to do. They are the most glamorous  women   in sports; beautiful and talented and in the limelight. Their smiling faces and long legs are the staple for the most popular and wealthy sports league on earth.  The NFL doesn’t pay any taxes because they are considered a club yet they take in billions of dollars every season. Why are they treating their girls so badly?

Young girls grow up around the country wanting to be them. Grown women strive to join them. There are tryout auditions to join NFL Cheer leading teams every year. There are the famous Oakland Raiderettes, The Dallas Cowboys  Cheerleaders that are the inspiration for any little girl cheerleader. When they finally get the contract to be on one of these famous teams, being able to be one of   football’s fabulous females they find that they are getting paid next to nothing. Every team spends about 125 Million dollars on their players per year.  In the 2013 Raiderette Agreement the girls were told that they would receive just $125.00 per game and that is the good news. Every other cost is consumed by them. This is even hard to believe but it is true.

The girls get paid zero dollars for practices, photo shoots, team meetings and workouts. Yet 3 practices per week are required, 10 home games per year and 9 months of photo shoots, workouts and costume fittings. That is 350 total hours of work all in exchange for little more than One thousand dollars and even that money can disappear almost entirely once the women are done paying their own expenses. Put those pompon's down little girl you will NOT be a cheerleader when you grow up. Tell that to your daughters pumped up football dads. The NFL really does have big balls!

They require they buy their own hosiery and fake eyelashes which they require as part of their uniform. They buy their own makeup and tanning salons. These girls are better off selling beer and hot dogs in the concession stands and earn more money than being a professional cheerleader. The fact that there are lots of girls that just want to hop around on a professional football field does not make their pay scale and treatment to be so poor. These girls don’t even get paid for their home games. They pay for their $650 uniforms on the Buffalo Bills Buffalo Jills team. They are also subjected to wacky tests that are sexist in nature. Like performing jumping jacks to see their body parts jiggle.

Different parts of their bodies are constantly being evaluated. There are glamor requirements in their contracts. Even tampon requirements when on their period. This is outrageous! What does such personal hygiene have anything to do with cheer leading? Why do the girls allow a league to assert such control over them while the male players get paid millions of dollars and quite often don’t act in an ethical way on or off the field? They are even required to do much more than cheer leading like make free appearances at golf fundraisers. Girls admit to being touched and grouped. It is time that at least women’s rights litigators intervene here if they do not negotiate valid and real contracts giving them a decent wage and not just minimum wages.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brazil got everything recently. The World Cup Games are over and now they must prepare for the 2016 Olympics. How did such a poor country in the middle of nowhere win such recognition from the world? It is bad enough that they did not win the World Cup but they are still in great poverty. Many are still questioning the massive amounts of money and resources being converted to the building of stadiums and arenas that stand little chance of ever being used once the games are gone. It is happening already in Brazil.

Brazilians are a spiritual people bound by a common religion to which everyone is deeply committed. In Brazil soccer was also worshiped as a national identity. The sport is the pride of a country that has won more World Cups than any other. So, this year’s loss in their own country was devastating. The World Cup was played for the first time this year since 1950. Now there are protests against hosting such grand events Brazil   can  not   afford.

Excitement has been given up for rage. The people now want money spent on health care and education. And why not? The people who decide on possible hosts for events should be sure the people are taken care of first. Who throws a party if you didn’t pay your bills first? The government spent Billions of dollars on 12 stadiums   to house the World Cup. The 4 Billion dollar question is what will they be used for now that the event is over? If history is any guide, many will remain empty expensive monuments to a waste of money. There was an ancient story known as White Elephants. Do you know it?

The historical meaning of The White Elephant in the room goes way back to Egyptian times. A white elephant was given as a gift to a important person in India. It was considered sacred so the community had to keep it alive and spend everything they had to feed the elephant. These stadiums are Brazil’s white elephant now.  In South Africa they spent Billions for 10 stadiums for the last World Cup Games. Four years later these pavilions dot the countryside as 9 of those stadiums sit mostly idle.
Olympic white elephants are in Athens, Greece where ironically the Olympics were born. When the games returned there in 2004 the country was filled with national pride. Today, 10 years later pride has changed to shame. White elephants stand all over the city as giant reminders of incompetence and waste.  Today the places of grandeur and fireworks and light shows stand locked and forgotten. They built permanent stadiums for baseball and softball and field hokey of which none have been used in years. The country doesn’t even play these sports games.

It was wasteful and just plain stupidity to spend so much money on things the country does not support. No one can make long   term plans for any of these events anywhere on the globe? There is no plans made for these places after the games.  Poor countries are writing the checks for a lifestyle they can not afford. Like any  credit  card, you have to pay up eventually. The 2004 Olympics in Greece is the reason partly for the economic crisis in that country now.

Today the epic depression continues in Greece and with no money to do anything with its white elephants, Athens which has taken pride in its ancient ruins will now be haunted by its modern ruins. Brazil’s once growing economy is now ice cold again with poverty surrounding the massive stadiums. Where the United States played their World Cup games was located in an isolated part of jungle in the Amazon Rain Forest surrounded on all sides of hundreds of miles of jungle. The town of Manaus is so remote it was almost impossible to reach by car. The stadium materials had to be shipped by boat from Portugal and then down the Amazon River due to poor roads. A 270 million dollar stadium built for just 4 games to ever be played there.

The Brazilian brass thought the money was worth it to bring TV to Manaus and then increased tourism. The slums have great views of the stadium and the people couldn’t afford to buy tickets to even ever go in it. The distance   between wealth and poverty is enormous all over the world now. There is no reason social rights and community advancement could not have been promoted in these places. When Soccer’s governing body demanded all the proceeds from the events it is hard to believe that any money was shared from promotions and ticket sales. In fact poverty stricken people are being evicted from their simple homes to prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

So now you have to get Netflix   to see everyone’s newest favorite dark comedy show with some old favorite actors. It is called Orange is the New Black where there is a lot of talking to prisoners. The first season was introduced about 15 months ago and we are now enjoying the second season of episodes. Characters include Piper Chapman who is the good girl gone bad. She got locked up for smuggling drug money and is serving time with bad criminals who have names like Crazy Eyes and Tasty or Pennsatuck and Red.

While the humor is always part of the show the new season will be taking a darker turn. The bigger picture is the new found popularity and new way of watching series on Netflix.  It has become its own network. Netflix also has the popular series House of Cards that everyone seems to want to watch as well. Also they give you all the episodes of the series at once so you can watch as many as you want in a row.  So binge watchers are very happy.

Jason Biggs are one of the few men in Orange is the New Black and plays a good guy. We all know him from the crazy American Pie movies meanwhile Piper is an actress who has never appeared in anything else before. You have to at least recognize the voice of the brunette Laura who has played roles in many TV series over the past 10 years. A red head   with Ashton Kushner in That Seventy Show and she was a Blond in a sitcom called Chelsey. They say we will see a lot of her in season three which is being shot now.

So after you pay for all those expensive Channels on your cable TV now invest even more money in Netflix for the latest new big series. I remember when TV was free and you kinda knew what you were going to get each week. None of this binge watching where you can literally do nothing else for 12 hours a day but watch an entire series of even a new show now.

I think I will watch some old Lauren Bacall and Elaine Stritch movies. Those two old gals just died too. We need to pay tribute to all the actors and actresses that entertained us and thank them for their work.  
Wow He did it. He had the courage to take a life.  He   had the nerve to take his own life and succeeded. We all go through our darkest times where we feel we want out of this life for whatever reason but how many of us really think it through? Even to go so far as to decide how or when we will do it? Usually at that point we snap out of it. We direct our thoughts away from suicide.  Look   at the pictures of someone or something we love and decide to live another day because we selfishly want to see or hear their voice again. Something makes us not kill ourselves.   Where was Robin William’s something when he needed it? He killed himself yesterday and the world of entertainment and millions of homes whom he touched are grieving.

It was good to see the Nightly News return and for the entertainment gossip shows stop whatever they had planned to tell us the terrible news. His brand of comedy was unique and touched everyone from the smallest child to a grumpy adult.  We needed to know because he was an event in of himself. Every script he touched had his mark of humor on it from being a crazy Jennie in a cartoon called Aladin to being an  interresting  old lady in the movie Mrs. Dowbtfire to being a sweaty stand up dirty comic.

Robin was born in 1951 and had three children  and went through three wives He left us with 6 unreleased films. He was the great, great grand-son of  a Mississippi Govenor. He was 63 years old and stared in 15 movies. Always appeared somewhere doing stand up comedy in HBO shows and on stages everywhere.  He had TV shows in 1982 with Mork and Mindu to a recent show on Tv too. Who has time for suicide?

He was nominated for many awards and received awards for his acting ability. He had an Oscar, two Emmy awards and 4 Golden Globe awards, 5 Grammy Awards and Screan Actor’s Guild Awards. Winning an award of any kind is supposed to make you happy.  He even stared in the movie about Get Happy.  Everywhere he went someone was laughing in a reaction to something he said.  It is as if happiness and fun humor just poured over his heart and soul. That is why we are so troubled to hear how sad he was.

We are selfish and want our funny man back already. If only more of us knew about the demons in his head telling him that suicide is some sort of answer to life. The only way to deal with life’s problems is to live your life to the fullest. He was so sensible even in his stand-up comedy not being afraid to discuss any topic about any type of person. You have to be a very observant person to be able to bond with an audience and his audiences were always so responsive to any topic he put his unique twist too.

Let us look forward in our lives. Love and laugh because it is still the best medicine he gave us for most of his life too bad he never was quite fulfilled here. Bye Robin Williams. We loved you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

There is an effort to have accident free driving. The only way for that to happen would be if we didn’t drive at all. Well when Google and Mercedes decide to try to invent something along these lines, I think it will happen in my lifetime. Just go to Mercedes Benz United States Headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey and they will admit to being 80% per cent on their way to developing a driverless car. Well then that will leave people free to do all the texting and distractions they want. This will truly be the car of the future and a brand new innovation in travel technology.

We know all this is real because Google has already been boasting about putting people in their driver less cars. Does that mean kids would be able to take themselves in the car to their after school activities too? This might even change all our habits and responsibilities. Mercedes Benz also has a huge research and development center in silicon valley where they are driving oops where the vehicles are driving themselves around the place. The thing has no steering wheel or gas or brake pedal so don’t even think of taking over somehow.
Google recently announced that it will be building 100 friendly looking self -driving cars to test this summer. Their goal is to corner the market of the driver less-cars of the future. I thought Google was an information seeking place. Now it has expanded into being so much more. Just a few miles away in silicon valley one of the oldest car makers is racing to produce and develop their version of the future way of transportation and they may have a head start.

It is called Mercedes new S Class Intelligent Drive and it is on the road now driving itself for up to 12 seconds. Ok don’t leave yet. It will get better I am sure. It can go up to 65 miles per hour. Hey most 16 year olds learning to drive have an attention span of 12 seconds too. Give Mercedes more time. In emergency situations it is known that humans react within one second but these new cars can react to danger within   milliseconds timing because computers are much faster than our reflexes thus being safer on the road than us even at our best. So should I get in the car and take a nap till I get there by myself?
Though accident free driving may be the goal, some critics worry that the technology may fail and then what do we do without a steering wheel,   brake or gas pedal?  I guess fears like these were felt when cars changed from the crank to a key start back in the 1920’s. The developers admit that they have seen the electronics go down on them and even if these cars are better than human drivers, they are acknowledging that the possibility of failure is very real. OUCH!

The dashboard of the future is being developed to reflect back to you within the windshield glass. Why do I need that if I don’t even need to look at the road anymore?  The thing is driving itself isn’t   it? The windshield will be gesture interactive while the car drives itself. What about the guy who is prone to giving the middle finger to everyone that cuts him off? Will the car do road rage? Probably not.

So a hand gesture could change my music selection for example. Google is so confident that their car will be so intelligent that if you get into an accident, they will pay for all the damages. We already have some cars that can parallel park themselves. All cars of the future will also be able to Perpendicular park themselves too. It will have 4 cameras and 12 sensors just to park. So no mirrors necessary either. Perpendicular parking is available on Mercedes Benz’s $120,000 car now.

As usual state laws have not caught up with technology yet. There is not a major metropolitan area that allows you to sit in a car and have it drive for you in America yet. The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration states that self-driving cars will not be allowed on the roads in America until they are proven safe and the technology becomes commercially economically viable. It is still very cool.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Where has he been and really Canada, he is the only person worthy the same respect as the Queen? The only two people in Canada who have their image on postal stamps is Mike Myers and the Queen.  Canada, really, he shagged women in his movies .Is he the best Canada has? He is now 51 years old, the father of two children and happy to lead the quiet life after a career of very successful movies and memorable comedy sketches.

At one time he was just about everywhere but now he says, how am I going to miss you if you don’t go anywhere? He must also be filthy rich now to have the confidence to say something like that. In the 1980’s and 90’s Mike was the face that launched a thousand catch phrases that are now phone rings and other messaging phrases like  his” Yeah Baby “from Austin Powers and “she was a babe swing” from Wayne’s World.   .The Austin Powers movies alone took in more than half a Billion dollars worldwide.

Mike says that his favorite character he played was Dr. Evil because he always loved the Bond movie type villains. They had a habit of saying before I kill you, let me tell you my plan. Funny. And why? But it was Wayne’s World, Mike’s first film that changed his life forever. The movie based on a Saturday Night Live sketch was full of real rock stars including Alice Cooper who was associated with Shep  Gordon who turned out to be a big time talent manager with clients like Teddy Pendercrast and Blondie. Thus a very valuable friendship started.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Mike is the youngest of three boys. His father, Eric was his comic inspiration for many of Mike’s best known characters who sadly never lived long enough to see any of Mike’s success. With his parent’s blessing he became a comic and rose to fame on Saturday Night Live. Every time he could visit Canada again he saw his Dad getting worse till he left his body from   Alzheimer’s .  In November 1991,   just a few weeks from the premier of Wayne’s World his Dad died. It is still tough for him to talk about.

It was Shep Gordon who let Mike use his Hawaii home to grieve and recover and who became the subject of his movie called SuperMensch. It was the story of Shep’s career from his early days with Jimi Hendrix to parties at his Maui Estate. Mike then went on to making all his successful movies.  His latest outing is his appearance on a Canadian postage stamp.  The only other person whose image is on Canadian postage stamps is their Queen. Who knew?

We see many   photos of our fallen heros   being circulated these days but no matter how many soldiers die, there never seems to be an end to war somewhere. What is the point of war? It never really solves anything. More importantly is the problem of our government not being able to thank our returning soldiers   enough and in some circumstances, no compensation at all.  This problem has been going on since World War II.

This past June we had the 70th Anniversary of D-Day when the allies invaded Normandy and opened a western front in World War II. Chances are the troops would have faced an even tougher fight if not for special pilots in the initial run of the attack. On June 6, 1944 as the allied troops fought and died on the beaches of Normandy, thousands of United States war planes lent vital support.  Those planes were there in part thanks to the efforts of a little known band of women far from the front lines. Women like Lucile Wise.  She is 93 years old and one of the few left to tell her story of being a pilot of United States war planes.

In 1942 the United States built thousands of war planes in its war factories each month. They needed to be delivered to air force bases but pilots were in short supply. In the summer of 1943 a call went out for women to do the flying. 25 thousand women applied and 11 hundred were chosen to be WASPS. Women Air force Service Pilots.  They were trained just like the male pilots; slept in metal cots, worked out, marched and followed strict flying procedures. They proved that they could fly those war planes just as well as the men could.

The women proved their abilities over and over again by logging in more than 60 Million miles in over 12 thousand aircraft. They flew B17s, B24s and P54 Mustangs that helped win the war. While other women like Rosie the Riveters who worked in war factories lived on in our memories these women have been forgotten by our military might. It is the latest and yet one of the oldest forgotten soldier war stories. Every American should know about what these women sacrificed for their country at a time when women weren’t even respected as competent workers in “men’s occupations” and more importantly they never got paid for their service properly.

There is a documentary out there released in 2013 called We Served Too describing the WASPs and their service to this country. There is under 200 women still alive. There should be a sense of urgency to get their story out and finally pay these women for their service to this country. 38 women died in crashes. Why were these important military women classified as civilians? Again the brass idiots dropped the ball on yet another military blunder. Neither   they or their families received military benefits.  The surviving women do not receive benefits.

In 1976 the first female Cadets arrived to the military and admitted to the Air Force. The WASPS took notes and demanded that they be recognized for their service. It was 33 years later that they finally get recognized and in 1977 they were re-classified as Military Veterans. And granted full benefits but for the remaining women, real recognition came in 2009 when President Obama finally signed a Bill awarding the WASPS the Congressional Gold Medal.

Today more than 60,000 women serve in the United States Air Force. How could anyone forget a brave woman that serves this country? Give them retroactive pay that they deserved for the 30 or so past years where they received nothing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Being deep in the middle of summer we have all seen our share of summer storms and lately with the high temperatures and sudden wind changes that can bring in deadly storm clouds quickly,  we must be on edge and prepared to take on these challenges. We are never that brave and lightening is always so dangerous and humbling to even the tallest and strongest of people.

In a flash you can be struck by lightning even in your home. If struck it is a miracle if you can survive the instant event. Nearly 80 Million Americans can be facing extreme weather on any given day somewhere in the country. July is considered the most dangerous month of the year but now in August things have not quite calmed down yet. Lightning is one of the most dangerous happenings on earth with the power to rip through buildings, trees, cars and even people.
So far lightning has killed about 15 people but there are many who somehow survive a blast of light. Survivors have experienced smoking charred clothes and even limbs that instantly become   charred with first degree wounds. Although lightning still strikes one in a million people, it can have life long effects. There is a pretty good chance that you can get life   long effects from your personal instant blast of light. There is a chance you can get neurological damage, headaches, severe chronic pain , memory loss and even personality changes says John Jensenius a Lightning Safety Specialist.

Lighting is so common yet we still don’t know so much about it. We don’t know what makes these bolts appear. We are still trying to measure and predict tornadoes. Those who study lightning have noticed that when one strikes the earth there is a return strike  immediately afterwards. Studying tornadoes and lightning is the final frontier of meteorology and is still being discovered because you need the courage and luck to get up close to collect imagery and data.

As severe storms still rage across our nation here are some tips to keep   you and your family safe this summer. 1. Find cover immediately especially at the beach where there is nothing to hit but you.
                 2. Once inside, stay away from water, a strike could go through the plumbing and get to you.
                 3. Stay away from windows and doors. Lightning can be attracted to doorknobs and metal trim.
So the best prevention is to not get caught in a storm.  When she is frightened of the thunderous sounds, hide under the covers and make a son till the sun comes out. Hmnnnnnn

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

They are killing our Generals now? What else do we need to prove that our military has trusted the wrong people in this mess of a war? Some enemy walked into our secure area wearing an American soldier’s uniform and shot the General. Meanwhile the war hero who didn’t lose a single soldier under his watch is wandering around on American soil now like a homeless man stripped of his well  deserved honors partly because he was wearing civilian type cloths while serving his time in Afghanistan. You don’t even know who he is.

The man I am talking about was not so long age considered one of our countries greatest heroes   and from what I have learned about him I think he is our hero over the past two decades who has been betrayed by the country he loves and has protected stunningly. His fall from grace was hard and fast and definitely underdeserving that now the enemy has gotten through to an American General’s death.  With all the money we show the world that we spend on our military, this is unacceptable.

His name is Jim Gant, a hard charging Special Forces Major in the Green Beret who dressed and fought like a native and once was considered the key to winning the war in Afghanistan. In just a few years  time, he was called an American hero; awarded the Silver Star then to being labeled by some idiots in the top brass a disgrace to the American Military.  He was like a modern version of Lawrence of Arabia, the Englishman T.E. Lawrence who led and fought with Arabian tribes and who was  immortalized in David Lee’s films and idolized by Jim himself.

He wasn’t innocent and he did break the rules but who doesn’t in war times? At least Jim broke rules to benefit his men and keep them safe instead of some stupid target wearing a uniform unlike anything anyone wears in that region. Other soldiers in other wars used service as an excuse to rape and use natives belongings stealing as if they had a right to do whatever they wanted. Jim is guilty of drinking booze, taking pain killers and having his woman by his side. So what. The man had the entire village on his side fighting the enemy with him in total trust   and he didn’t lose a single American soldier under his command. Now the idiots are losing GENERALS. That is the disgrace not Jim.

His woman was one of the most experienced war correspondents,  Ann Scott Tyson a respected writer for the Washington Post who probably would have been sent to the front lines to report anyway. She quit her job and left her family behind to secretly live with Jim as his lover for almost a year. Are you telling me soldiers never had romances while away in any war? Sure they did. She lived in one of the most dangerous corners of Afghanistan. Now they are married and going public with their version of love and war. It was a battlefield romance that violated rules and led to the end of Jim Gant’s military career.

Read her book called American Spartan that is about how they fell in love and went to war together.  With multiple tours of duty taking you away form everything that is American in this war, I understand her bravery and courage. Most soldiers are broken men from this war in that they get to come home to no one who loves them anymore. People move on quickly in relationships these days. She even took hours of videotape that she provided to ABC News of war coverage of his bravery fighting back the enemy. They should be well known for their bravery and not be in disgrace by our idiot brass.

They both knew that there was a lot of risk in what they did and have said they would do it again to serve their country despite being in complete violation of Army rules. Jim Gant was sent to Afghanistan in 2010 at a time when the United States was concluding that we were losing the war there. The Green Beret Major had proposed a way to win the war by sending small teams of Special   Forces to move in with and win the loyalty of the countries all important tribes. Winning one tribe at a time was a policy endorsed by General David Petraeus of the United States Army now retired who was the Former Afghanistan War Commander and other top Commanders told Gant to push the envelope and stretch the bounds. .Where are those high brass idiots now? Not defending our Generals and not giving Jim Gant the honor he   deserves. Jim brought a small team of about a dozen U.S. soldiers to assimilate with the tribes in two small villages.  He looked more like an Arab than a U.S. Army Major.

He is the reason our soldiers wanted to sign up for more tours of duty because they grew to believe that they had more family there than here in America. They were helping a village not just killing people they did not know and the village greatly appreciated the American help. Jim had grit, guts and good judgment and got around the red tape and handed out guns to the tribal Police he was defending. He gave them fuel for their vehicles and no he did not at times fill out the proper paper work. Does that make him a war criminal? Hell no! In every war good soldiers broke the rules for a worthy cause but high idiot brass did not strip them of rank and dignity as their way of saying thanks.  Any World War II proud elderly Veteran will still tell you what happened there will stay there.

Jim and his men rarely wore their official body armor or helmets or even army boots. When you are carrying 70 pounds of clothes and stuff and trying to chase down the enemy in well over 100 degree heat who are wearing flip flops and pajamas, you look and feel defeated.  It was much safer being dressed as an Afghanistan citizen. They moved faster, took cover better, could carry more ammunition and most importantly carry water. His strategy paid off and the American soldier was treated as a welcomed guest. NO TOP COMMANDER WAS MURDERED.

Jim Gant has been sent back to the States stripped of his Captain Green Beret Honors. He chose retirement over a Court Marshall brought on by a new Lieutenant in the Army. He has been called a disgrace by a three Star General. His men are in trouble too for following his order but all say they would fight again side by side again with him. The tribes welcomed him and his wife back when they visited too. No one wants to murder Jim Gant but his own government.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Change! Must there always be something new made just to make me feel old? My generation has coped   with so many    techonological  changes  from phones to computers to even the way we shop that I am not sure we can take much else. Now they are changing how I deal with my face again.  I usually take a thin blade of steel and hold it to my face.  I still remember a place called a barber shop where they   picked up a sharp knife and dealt with your stubbly face without ever playing   dance music.

King C. Gillette came around and decided to invent the safety razor and that brought on a lot of changes to the barber shop like less customers. Yes, we all thought we would save a buck and slice up our faces all by ourselves; something we would never   tolerate at the barber shop who also comforted our tired faces with warm clean towels. Gillette didn’t reinvent the warm part either. Now a man could shave in the privacy of his own home. The great invention was to make steel that thin and that hard that you could make a blade that you could easily replace yourself.

Now the company has a research and development department that is all about hair and skin. Now that is a good job. Shave me and pay me. There is a blade history already. In the 1960’s there was the Techmatic, the no blade razor. They advertised that instead of a blade there was a stainless steel band that wound around like the film in a camera. Now since we do not have film in cameras around either my definitions are as old as I am.  No wonder we have a hard time communicating with kids. We really don’t speak the same language.

There was the Trac II that was the first double razor that arrived in 1971. Then to shave you even closer they put in another one in 1998 and called it the Trac III. Now I hear that it is sexy to show a little bit of shadow. We all want to be sexy men don’t we?  Yet in 2003 that gave way to 4 blades which spawned 5 blades in 2006 with a wand called the Fusion Proglide. So why don’t I just slide an entire   refill  pack across my face and call it the Dare Devil Mess?  Where is that nice guy in the quiet shop with the hot towel?

Cutting edge technology allows Gillette to study how men shave their 10-15,000 facial hairs every day. They have observed that men use as few as 20 strokes in a shave to as many as 750 strokes per shave. That looks like an easy job just counting how many times some guy goes at his face with a blade. I don’t want that job. I would probably choke the 750 stroke guy and tell him to get a life as I take his life away. Sigh!

Now they are looking at our faces with a device called a Video Microscope that when placed up to your face, not only can you see the various shades of color including grey in your beard, but on the computer monitor it is visible how undisciplined the hair is going in all different directions. They say that is normal and that when you stroke your beard you are both going with the grain as well as against the flow of hairs. Is that why a beard grown out is always so scruffy?

After all the years of research, the findings are that there is not any correct way to shave. Please let me just sit in a barber shop somewhere!!! Now Gillette is back with yet another anti-whisker weapon. It is called the Fusion Pro-Glide with Flexible Technology. The barber shops had a knife called the straight razor and he knew how to use it. This flexible technology is supposed to allow the razor move with the contours of your face in three dimensions by adding a second pivot to the razor. Really? The barber never cuts you and comes at you with a straight sharp knife.

Blades cost a lot of money but some make them last by keeping them clean and dry after every shave. Whatever your facial weapon is, just be careful till full beards are in style again.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

I am outraged that money is just being taken out of pension plans every month without the retiree even knowing what the hell happened. This Obama Care is out of control and unbalanced. More than half of a retirees pay check is being taken out for medical expenses that the person is not even using if healthy. So if a retired cop as I am, receives $1,200 bucks in a monthly pension payment an additional $700.00   is being taken out now for a medical plan. Am I supposed to live on $500 a month? Yes now I am sick.

This is why everything costs so much because not a single person is looking into cutting medical costs. Doctors are out of control billing high prices for every suggested procedure. The pharmaceutical  companies are charging thousands of dollars per pill for certain common medications and small businesses are burdened with having to support the high cost of medical care that they can  not  afford to employ full time workers. The working poor middle class can  not support all the bills in this country anymore. They have now become poor too.

The entire communication system in the medical community needs to be revamped if they truly care about the health of the sickest citizens of this country.  There isn’t even a national site that places kidney donors with kidney patients who are on their death bed. Instead we have a medical race working against the clock. There is a string of strangers making incredible sacrifices to give the gift of life. There is ongoing now the largest living donor kidney transplant chain performed in just one American hospital. A national health group has nothing to do with this one doctor’s efforts in just one hospital that is finally making sense of the kidney donor mess in this country.

Dr. Jaimie Locke   is both a transplant surgeon and matchmaker at the University   Of   Alabama Medical Center and is helping to improve the span of potential kidney donors and their recipients. She is literally creating chains of living donors. We know a recipient needs someone usually a spouse or a parent or friend or other relative who is willing to donate a kidney to a total stranger so that they can receive a kidney from a stranger in return. This Doctor and hospital staff spend a lot of time looking over possible matches.

It is finding a needle in a haystack because with all the money now being collected for health care, there still is not a national data base to coordinate donors with recipients. Workable matches must be made between blood and tissue types. The rich and famous alcoholics like Larry Hagman  and Crosby Nash found donors real fast because they are rich, meanwhile young children who really need and did not abuse their bodies through addiction and partying could have a valuable life end up dying because they do not have the resources to “find” a match.

There are more than 100,000 Americans in desperate need of kidneys. For many the wait for a deceased donor kidney could last anywhere from 8 to 10 years. Uncle Sam If you are taking money out of my paycheck every month now you should be offering better and more efficient health services now. With Dr. Locke’s system of chains of people donating kidneys, many people do not know who they are giving part of their body too. They do know that their friend will be getting a donor soon. It is the most unselfish thing that anyone could do.

Both donors and recipients have their respective operations at the same hospital at the same time so that the transplant can be done as close to immediately as possible. No putting precious organs in coolers or helicopters being shipped across the country. Slowly the kidney people are hooking up together. It is the most personal gift of life you could ever give to anyone and literally a gift of life. Dr Locke hopes to have 50 transplants done by the end of the year. Let’s hope this country gets health care reform under control real soon so that all of America stops suffering.