WHY I HATE BRUCE

2 Jul

Bruce, you say you are happy now that you are a woman. From a woman, let me tell you most of us women go through our lifetimes unable to say that.

Beyond the esteem thing many of us struggle with, there is a lot more to being a woman than putting on a short skirt and heels. That is not being a woman, there is more.

A 65 year old man wearing a dress and assuming a new identity, bypassed what we girls go through, the night sweats, bloating and menopausal weight gain.

Our twins have tumlbed beneath our equator to our knees. The hand we reach out to pick groceries off the shelf belongs to someone else. How can all those wrinkles be explained away. The brown spots, continue to appear exponentially. One day all those dots will be connected shaping out to look like the Statue of Liberty even Iceland.

We watch men grow old and get called gorgeous. We get old, we get called Bella Abzugs, Golda Meir or just, “ma’am.” The bags under our eyes are big enough to carry change in. That wreck of a neck looks hangs more like a turkey’s than we care to admit. All of that beauty product, we paid hard earned dollars for, doesn’t come with money back guarantees. The ‘they’ who market it know we will believe anything and pay top dollar for hope. The only thing that will ever make us look younger is standing next to someone a lot older than us.

As women we had a long time friend. We named our visitor, George. Before we were tweens we couldn’t wait for George to arrive. When George arrived it was usually at the most inopportune time and place while we were wearing light colors and in public. We had no idea for how long, every month, or how long in our life that George would stay in our lives. We knew one thing. It wasn’t a quiceaneras, communion or bat mitzvah that made us a women. It was George.

Oh yes, along with George came odors and options over pads, tampons. And boobs. Guys stopped talking to our face. Their eyes would drop to our twins.

We would spend time in store aisles trying to interpret which was our best choice of pads or tampons. There never was a best choice. The choice would disappoint at the most inopportune time and place. All the odor eating parfumed product in the world could not convince us the ‘they’ could smell us coming. And standing up? Well, we had to learn to camouflage dress. yYou know that jacket or sweater that would drop far enough to cover up red, just in case. There was also the nonchalantly, casually glancing side and back to the chair, just in case George let his presence be known. This is something we women knew as an artform. You won’t.

Cramps? Nothing like runners cramps you might have experienced as an Olympian. Cramps so crippling, for some, they could not even get out of bed.

There was also a sisterhood we shared amongst our friends. Darned if it wasn’t uncanny that George would come visit us all, in time, at the same time, month after month after month until George stopped coming. That is when we began to feel old and liberated at the same time.

George gone meant menopause arrive. We were no longer able to procreate, a double edged emotional sword. Realities settle in.

Our bellies never got quite back to where they were before the kids were birthed. Our hips are so wide we would block traffic on the 95. Most of women still haven’t got past the mentality of travelling in herds. Someone had the bright idea now is our time to embrace the color purple. I hate purple. I want to wear the same clothes you do.

So as women, out of frustration we eat. And with eating, comes wrong foods that work on our systems differently from men. Some food references mean something very different to us than they will to you. Cottage cheese? No, not the kind bought in the store. To us women, it is something you know it when you got it. As for cranberry juice, it is yet another girl thing to drink to combat things girls get.

As women we are science experiments for doctors and nurse practitioners. And targets of medico-s harping products, some that injure in ways count your blessings you cannot experience. You wont ever feel the shame of a doctor diagnosis, “Women your age…” I.U.D. is doctor code for I.E.D. making some women explode with cysts where there were non before. Nor will you know feeling blessed to have dodged the uterine bullet of complications from refusing surgery to put that darn thing in a hammock sling.

The best we women had to look forward to was ‘accept our outside because it is our inside that counts.’ Or, ‘beauty is only skin deep’ that’s why you spend hours with a team in front of a mirror dolling up. “Tuck” is something we cannot do making your teeny mini look we our version of penis envy. There’s plenty I would love to tuck, but it spills over, it seeps out. As much as I try to cage the beast, its busts borders, my ya-ya pours past.

With you wearing designer duds up to your kazoo, we real women lost our equal playing field we hated women on. We could brush off Andy Cohen’s “Real Housewives” franchise excusing their plastic surgery as something we would ‘never do’ or if we did, ‘we would do a life transformative choice maybe ending up looking like Christie Brinkley or you. As a guy you look stunning as a woman at 65. Plastic surgery isn’t my cup of tea. If the girls dangle even more, I will flip them over my shoulder shawl style to stay warm while I battle off cupcakes and blonde brownies salesgirls try to convince me the calories wont stick. I fell for that line once way back when pulling out was a fable innocent girls fell for. After all, we trusted men with poker faces. And then, 9 months later…..

Mattel once did a toy test giving girls the trucks and boys the Barbies. The girls dolled up the trucks. The boys shot each other dead with their given dolls. There is a taste, sorta like a taste test, a test. I wont describe it to you now but if you dare, I will subject you to the test in person. It is a test of tastes itself, something all women do, regardless of culture or zipcode. The choice is yours, literally. What you choose will determine if you got enough in ya’ to claim title as Real Woman or just dig your daughters’ and stepdaughters tastes in clothes. Who wouldn’t.

So there you go, Bruce. I get it about wanting to look like a woman. We want that too except you changed the benchmark we grew accustomed to …. us. As a real woman Bruce, I really don’t hate you, I just hate that you didn’t get to live more like me… though would love the Pat Field’s clutch, babe…

DR. BILLINGTON, I PRESUME

15 Jun

Sort of funny that Congress lets older people in the Supreme Court leave their jobs feet first in a technically challenged world under constant cyber attack while Dr. Billington is being shown the exit portal under the guise of a new world ordered by IT.

Longtime librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, will retire from his post, effective Jan. 1.

America’s loss.

I have known Dr. and Mrs. Billington since the first month I moved to DC in 2003. If anyone was destined to be the Librarian of Congress for life leaving feet first, I knew that person was Dr. Billington. A presence on the DC social scene, Dr. and Mrs. Billington looked the parts, wizened creases, whitened hair, Mrs. B. Wearing pearls with purses that rivaled Queen E, Elizabeth, that is. In fact, the TV series “Librarians” failed because the mentor wise old guardian of the secrets was not modeled after Dr. B.

The last time I saw the Dr. and Mrs. B. was at the annual National Book Festival newly homed in the Convention Center. Philanthropist David Rubenstein was just off his panel, scampering down to greet Dr. and Mrs. Billington where they were sitting, front row.

It was one of those rare moments I wished I was a Selfie Slut followed by an entourage of TV crew to capture that funny DC moments where someone of note someone misgauges who some else is.

I had introduced myself, and my God In The Temples Of Government pictorials, earlier to Mr. Rubinstein. The look of puzzlement on his face was ….standard for DC… a city filled shakers who don’t recognize movers, so to speak, who stay beneath the radar, deliberately. Twelve years in LA were enough to cure me any desire for red carpets and stalkings, not silk ones, but fans with glass eyes or vengeance or lunacy camouflaged by their chameleon ability to appear normal or ‘real.’

Mrs. Billington saw me. Her face glowed in her moment of recognition. We leaned in, kissed cheek to cheek, embraced catching up in rapid fire the last few years of absence from each others lives. Yes, in DC, life catch ups can occur in seconds, until the next time.

The puzzled look on Mr. Rubenstein’s was precious as he watched my intimate engagement with pillars of the Library of Congress. I was part of ‘that’ inner circle he rotates in. My seven league boots always kept me being that ‘one’ stomping tall grass others trailed through, behind.

It had been a few years since I saw Dr. and Mrs. Billington. I left the DC news scene rather abruptly. I missed my Billington encounters. We shared a passion, the Library of Congress, to me that one and only building to visiting DC if your time to tour was limited. Besides, the Library has the best swag in the Capitol, free, a definite brag swag few others know to secure the Library card, of course. Totally, awesome to boast ‘ TJ and I have something in common.’

TJ? Thomas Jefferson, of course, the man behind the Temple of Learning.

The good doctor had slowed some. Mrs. Billington, well, she has grown more elegant over the years. Some women have that eternal internal elegance. I cant imagine the Library without Dr. Billington. He is one of the longest serving members of the Administration. Thirty years is almost a lifetime to some.

In DC. abrupt never happens for no reason. That there was a reason, would reveal itself as the pages, so to speak, turned.

Dr. Billington is a Reagan appointee. The Library of Congress’ collection size has doubled under his tenure, transitioning from a ‘library’ to an ‘i-brary.’ A digital library had been added. The chicken and the egg conversation is which came first the digital innovations or the Digital innovations or the Library staff cut of 30%.

Few know that the Library of Congress is an educational beast that is constantly fed, a hydra of history, so to speak, said to be keeping Legislators abreast of the loop of madness exploding around the world.

In 2014, the Library of Congress offices acquired more than 800,000 items; reformatted more than 1.3 million pages of newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets from 79 countries spanning 120 different languages.

Six of the Library of Congress’s offices are overseas offices some even placed intentionally in unstable regions. The Library of Congress staff says those offices  are ready and able to rescue, archive, catalog and share books, publications, newspapers, maps, videos, recorded sounds and photographs even Osama bin Laden’s autobiography, that legislators need to learn from, you know,  that historic stuff that drones don’t capture in today’s war on terrorism.

March 17, the Senate Legislative BranchAppropriations Subcommittee chaired by chairwoman Senator Shelley Capito, adressing the Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol budget requests, adressed news reports of ISIS destroying artifacts of their regions ancient civilizations.” Capito called the Library of Congress the ‘world’s resource.’  *********** Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, ranking member of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, said, the Library of Congress reaches to places where we would lose these important publications to history, to the ashes, or to floods, or to the simple lack of ability to share and preserve them.”Debbie had done LOC’s office in  Cairo, Egypt, Middle East, along with seven other legislators. Debbie and her  entourage  met the LOC office acting director, Beacher Wiggins, a man Wasserman Schultz describes as loving his work. Wiggin’s Cairo office gathers ‘stuff’ from 23 countries in the surrounding region, including Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Schultz said, “was very clear about how important it is and what would be lost if we were not there.”  Schultz failed to mention how he failed to protect the Jewel  of  Aleppo and other antiquities bought, sold, stolen for trade. Schultz failed to mention the cost of maintaining one man’s office in a world of crowd sourcing.

Wiggins says Cairo and Islamabad, Pakistan are two offices with high security risk with other LOC oversea offices located in Jakarta, Indonesia; Nairobi, Kenya; New Dehli, India; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The LOC says these offices are ‘vital’ for understanding the tumultuous Middle East, salvaging and protecting materials.

Mark Sweeney, the LOC’s associate librarian for library services, said security costs for protecting its overseas offices have increased. $$$$$$

Senator Murphy said, he gained an appreciation for all of this ‘material in Arabic’ the LOC said America couldn’t get its hands without “personnel on the ground in the Middle East.”

Wiggins said most of the LOC offices are housed in US Embassy compounds, employing more than 200 foreign nationals, alleging their local and language knowledge are invaluable to the Library’s mission. Wiggins said that these satellite offices cost the Library $10.1 million total of the Library’s more than $600 million fees excluding the $2.5 million annual security fees. though the offices are typically housed in U.S. embassy compounds. Those costs exclude acquisitions travel costs. Wiggins says budget cuts mean directors have to prioritize which countries the director wants to visit. Wiggins says some director are learning to relearn their local area.

GAO, Government Accountability Office reports released before Dr. Billington’s retirement criticized management weaknesses” in the Library of Congress’ IT divisions. Wiggins said the Library shrank its overseas presence to six offices, in 1887, that the Library wont close its offices. The Library instead lead its lead ludite, it’s grand wizard of knowledge, go.

The GAO report said the Library can’t ensure they are meeting cost, schedule and performance goals; can’t deliver the agency capabilities to carry out the Library’s mission; and said the Library’s IT systems are at risk of cyber spying and attack citing the library doesn’t always test technical security controls, putting the Library’s systems and information at risk of compromise. This GAO report was released after the Military was hacked, the IRS was hacked and practically everyone, else on the planet was hacked in a world that cannot be protected. Period.

Point made. Dr. Billington was wanted out. The good Doctor did as his job mandated, with he and his staff pledging to follow through on several of the GAO recommendations.

Dr. Billington is a luddite, the exact person you want near you when broadband reaches its band width, when the lights go out, and when the world is thrust into chaos caused by millennials whose brains work only when the PDA lights are on, whose elevators wont reach the penthouse suites when climate warming considerations collide with practical and simple purpose. Dr. Billington will know how to read and write and communicate, simply said.

The GAO report said the Copyright Office also mismanages it’s IT “upgrades and investments.”

The GAO said the LOC is weak in four areas- strategic planning, investment management, information security and privacy, service management and leadership. The report says the LOC does not “effectively managing” the $119 million allocated for IT in 2014 and that the LOC does not have an “effective process for taking inventory of materials.” The report says Library officials claim the Library has about 6,500 computers in use. A wire to wall count tabulated 18,000 computers. Do the federal employee a Golden Hammer math.

The Library’s acting chief information officer, Elizabeth Scheffler, says the Library is adjusting to a dramatic growth in digital materials., collecting things like Legislator tweets, staff selfie’s as such available to anyone including those with nefarious intentions.  Scheffler admits the Library grossly underestimated technology long term storing considerations.

The Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, the GAO, the day after the March 17 hearing, stating her office has to move to digital technology, taking her lead from Congress. Congress is questioning, coincidentally, if the Register of Copyrights should be under the LOC, to begin with. Friends and fans are fickle in DC when it comes to budgets and gain. The story doesn’t usually write itself best until after a crack, somewhere is uncovered then pried open. The wedge now that moved DR. billing ton to forced retirement is, CIO, chief information officer, sorta funny, when you hunk of it, after all this is the Internet age where ‘everyone’ pitches in and everyone is vulnerable, too.

Hence, my not accepting that Dr. Billington wanted to retire but instead, was shown the open portals he could walk through.

Congressional accolades trickled on to the Internet, post announcement. Sad, considering the millions of tourists that walk through the L oC doors annually.

Dr. Billington is ending his reign the way he began it. Dr. Billington announced he will go door to door, desk to desk of each employee, thanking them for being part of his history in service to books and America. Dr. Billing said in his video to the library, “Over the years I have been asked if I have been thinking about retiring; and the answer has always been ‘not really,’ because this library has always been not just my job, but my life… However, I have never had more faith in the leadership and staff of the Library of Congress. The library’s new top management team is as deeply experienced, and creatively collegial, as any I have ever known, and I am confident that they will continue to innovate, adapt and improve on the work we have undertaken during my time as Librarian of Congress.”

Dr. Billington is saying good-bye, an outstanding man showing leadership as he lets go of TJ’s. Book Place, and the steerage of the wheel of history from the poop deck of this man’s ship, navigating what was a good idea that grew into a behemoth gourging gargantuan data preservation.

Thank you Dr. and Mrs. B for a decade of being seen….

THE FIRST TOASTMASTER

12 Jun

I came to Toastmasters because public speaking scared me. Let me be brutally honest, I came to Toastmasters because speaking scared me. I would wait until someone spoke first. Sweaty Palms and hyperventilating outed my fears if I stood at the front of a room or tried to carry on a conversation with more than 12, make that more than 2, make that more than 1.

In my few short months of becoming a Toastmaster, I have graduated. The sweaty clammy palms have gone. I can publicly complete an unscripted sentence that has a beginning and end and a middle. And my heart no longer beats to me to the end of a sentence like American Pharoah crossing a finish line ahead of the whole field. I am able to be heard across a room without being miked. And I embrace my space, talking with arms opening wide in grace filled conversation of motions like a bird in flight.

Toastmasters taught me to soar.

All this time, I hadn’t thought much about where and how Toastmasters got its start. I was fixated on my starting to speak, publicly that is. I had to learn fast.

And then one day I had time to think. I thought about Toastmaster’s origins. Toastmasters magazine prompted me to wonder, who was the first toastmaster was… and when. I understood the why.

I found my answer in a piece penned on Ralph C Smedley. I learned that Smedley had a phenomenal notion about bringing together young men in speaking clubs. Smedley felt the young men wanting work needed to learn to speak, conduct meetings, plan programs and work alongside others on committees. Smedley was the director of education at a YMCA, Young Men’s Christian Association. Smedley named his group of young men, and mentors, the Toastmasters Club honoring people who gave toasts at banquets and other phenomenally celebratory occasions. Seems the name toastmaster may have had an even earlier origin dating back to the Roman tradition of drinking to a lady’s health with spice soaked toasted bread softened in wine.

I didn’t think much more about Smedley’s phenomenal Toastmaster idea until, one day, I was listening to a faith leader speak. He talked, and he talked, and he talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. I was sooooooooooo restless that I reached out to the nearest book I could grab. It was then I had my Aha Mentor Moment that twerked me to realize who the real first toastmaster was.

Bible 1.0.

It was there in Black and White in a book that is read all over. A good book, if you asked me…..

God was coaching Moses to be the first Toastmaster ever. God told Moses to go talk to the Israelites. Moses said no. And God said yes you will. And Moses said I wont, no one will listen to me. And God said say, ‘Moses, buddy, trust me they will.’ And Moses said say ‘I have a speech impediment.’ And God would say ‘so who cares, believe that you don’t, you just need to speak up, and deliver your message, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10.’

What a difference a page in history makes. If this was not the first Toastmasters moment then, what is.

We all know how that story ends up. God did a bangup job getting Moses to speak up loud and clear. Moses became such an expert Toastmaster, improving so much that he, Moses, convinced a community of Israelites to follow him in to the desert, wandering for years in a journey that is technically takes hours as the crow flies.

I can only presume that everyone else has history wrong. According to my theory, no, Moses didn’t throw the Ten Commandments down to the ground. That would have been phenomenally dumb, after having spent days and nights alone atop the mountain chiseling away on the first evolution of mass communications, that made him a “rock” star. From my perspective? I think that Moses suffered from palms that were so clammy and sweaty those darn heavy stone tablets slipped from Moses hands, crashed to the ground and shattered.

Thank you Toastmasters for my teaching lesson in grandeur of the mastery of being coached, reminding all of us of the phenomenal power of being mentored in the art of the Toast, by the master…. God.

SURVIVING CANCER: OUR VOICES & CHOICES

2 Jun

2015 5 30 Book Cover Surviving Cancer
I met an extraordinary woman at the BEA. The show is huge. Finding treasures is like panning for gold in a  river. Gold can be found amidst the stalls. I  found a gem.

I cant tell you what made me stop. Having done the show over the years, my lesson has always been keep  walking, hands in pocket, otherwise I  succumb to the draw of swag and sweets.

I stopped. A man was sitting behind a woman. He was affixing gold seals to cards. She  smiled warmly, asking if I wanted to learn about her book. I did. Something about her told me to.

I am honored that I did. The book wont be a thriller. It wont be made in to a movie  with sequels. Yet it should. Each chapter is tied together with thread, pink thread. Marion Behr is a survivor. She is a champion. She is a sister, an artist, a woman who took her circumstance of awareness  and made it personal to others. Her back story  is what drew me closer.

A child of survivors, she had  a memory that drew her back home  to Europe  to uncover the legacy of her father, a documentary filmmaker. A film he made became a classic in its time. War came. The film disappeared, so she thought. There is not much that a woman who beats breast cancer cannot do including finding her dad’s film, bringing it back to life at film festivals and at the Holocaust museum.

In the same way Marion’s art ties emotions together, Marion’s book ties tales of survivors lessons to loving life most take for granted. A brilliant filmmaker would start his movie panning the woman at a booth, dwarfed by the enormity of the Hall, a gem amidst others with fantasy stories they tell. Marion’s book is a new chapter for a story that wont get old as hard as people try.

Wise one’s know nothing can be stranger than the truth of a patent lawyer sitting with  his love of life affixing gold seals to cards in the back of her booth showcasing a Breast Cancer Survivors Guide.  In a world rampant with romance, horror, mystery and fifty shades of grey  (wink) this is a raison d’etre for Living Each Day to the fullest, bound with a thread of pink.

THE BLACKMAILER, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE & THE INTERNET OF TATTLETALES

1 Jun

Politics is dirty. If you hang around DC long enough you do see the good, the bad and the formerly ugly. Well, the news gets it wrong again about Denny, I mean.

There is, as always, a rest of every story. Threatening a Federal official is criminal. Demanding money is extortion. Demanding money with a threat to expose an alleged misdeed is blackmail. Following a person’s life then calling in to the radio show they are guesting on is stalking.

A lesson to all Individual A’s is the lesson to all future victims, listen to your mother who taught you that it is better to tell the truth, and get in trouble than it is to not tell the truth because you will get found out, a when not an  if.

And then there is Denny, a  lesson to all women about powerful men put their pants on one leg at a time like you and me. Their instinct is to cover up rather than challenge the blackmailer to “bring it on.”

Whatever the base crime the blackmailer began with spiraled to a different dimension. He targeted a legislator, a crime that exceeds the blackmailing (US Code – Chapter 41: EXTORTION AND THREATS), extortion (http://www.federalcharges.com/extortion-laws-charges),  stalking (18 U.S. Code § 2261A – Stalking) of you and me. Denny was Speaker of the House.

The crime? No crime. It is only Alleged.

The outstanding question is why now?

Speaker Hastert retired in 2007. Allegedly, Individual A began his blackmail scheme in 2010, decades after the alleged misdeeds are said to have taken place. One cannot approach this thinking like a nice person. One must try to get inside the head of the perpetrator and, in this case, inside the head of his victim, asking why one of the most powerful men in the country would break laws he wrote and swore allegiance to.

Makes no sense does it, neither does running an intersection on an amber light to beat the red light knowing one will either get caught or not. It is more than a conversation of risk. Hubris and Human Will factor in to this conversation. The Blackmailer and Denny is an insight in to the world of the I.O.T., the Internet Of Everything, shaping our world believing that with algorithms people can be told what to do. The nemesis of algorithms is Free Will and human nature. People do not like to be told what to do. Human nature is to hide, cover up and believe they are THAT one who will not be caught.

Ergo, Individual A. And Denny.

Roll the story back 5 years. What if Denny had contacted the U.S. Capitol Police and reported he was being threatened for alleged sexual misconduct. The Cap Police would have done their job. Denny would be none the worst for it. Cap Police are known for many things. Leaking Capitol Secrets is not something the USCP are known for. There are some Codes that employees are still loyal to.  Denny would not be the first Legislator who would have reported blackmail threats for pond dipping, alleged. Asking a legislator for funds to keep quiet puts the blackmailer up the river 5-10.

Social media changed the political playing field in 2010 which might explain why Denny took the path he did.

There is a misconception about legislators sitting atop Ivory Hill. Writing laws doesn’t mean the legislators are knowing laws or understand the foibles of being human. Remember, it is human nature to hide and run. It is a brave man or a woman who stands and fight, a rare one at that.

I spent years around Denny when I covered Capitol Hill, not a lot but enough time to know the core of a man. I recall Denny’s last Christmas tree lighting on the West Lawn. Big guy. Burly. That doesn’t mean he is tough. Big guys rarely are. Let’s get something straight about power, men and backbone. The biggest thing about them is the expectations by others.

Denny shows here he is the everyday man, the ashleymadison.com client who believes he can tell who people are, that he has special skills to cover up and divert inquiries.

Was it the bank who told the FBI that Denny was pulling out monies in amounts under the $10,000 threshold? I highly doubt that. In the world of the Internet, the world of political blackmail, I believe Denny is the new normal politicians must expect in a world wired in places and ways we do not know that Denny and other political mates voted in to our existence, all thinking they were smarter than the people pulling what has turned out to be our privacy strings.

Let me restate that I believe Denny is the new normal we all must expect.

Banks are bound to report withdrawals of $10,000 or more in a terrorism world post 9/11. People pull amounts out from their bank accounts routinely- to pay mortgages, college loans, for trips, and for whatever. that a bank employee was paying attention to this man whose relevancy has moved on, is laughable. Unless….
res ipsa loquitor, it speaks for itself.

Politics. Dirty pool.

But then. Denny, given an amber light to decide to risk or stop, Denny risked. Hastert allegedly lied about his use of the funds. All he had to say was, I am giving the funds to Individual A. There are statutes of limitations (http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/state-civil-statutes-of-limitations-in-child-sexua.aspx), after all. Most likely, Individual A would already be up the river by now. The rumors about Denny would be ‘blowin in the wind.’

The media is yet to see the possibility of nefarious party connections. This does not mean Dem v GOP. Let us not forget Eric…. paying to take down a member of his own party.

Hastert retired abruptly, it is reported. Denny was replaced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Unrelated, possibly, it is interesting to note that about a year ago, Paul Pelosi Jr. was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC learned that two convicted criminals were running the business,  Natural Blue Resources Inc., an investment company he cofounded that focuses on “environmentally-friendly” ventures.

Paul, Jr. , the C.E.O., is the son of former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) Former New Mexico Gov. Toney Anaya was one of the 4 persons charged with fraud. James E. Cohen and Joseph Corazzi, both of whom had previous fraud convictions.  Corazzi was barred from acting as an officer or director of a public company. Cohen was incarcerated for financial fraud. Pelosi held over 10 million shares in the company in 2009. Andrew J. Ceresney, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division said, “Investors in Natural Blue had a right to know who was running the company behind the scenes.”

Few know of Pelosi Jr. being charged, not in the way nor as fast that the world knew about Denny’s bad decision. The SEC knows that Pelosi Jr. did it and escaped jail.

Paul? He paid the SEC a $150,000 fine that does not go to repay investors. And, Pelosi is barred from every serving as an officer of a public company. The $1.4 million that he owned on paper is now valued at zero, for the investors. Pelosi and co-con men got to keep their profits gleaned while they had a good run. One week in 2012, someone pumped the stock up  from 4 cents a share to 12 cents.

No one knows if Denny did anything more than not telling the Cops the truth  when they asked, for that, Denny will go to jail. Something to keep in mind about Cops is that when they ask you a question, they already have the answer. Sorta like asking ‘did you know you were going over 100 in a 50 mph zone?’ The option is say nothing or tell the truth.

Paying out to a blackmailer is something that makes no sense because the truth may hurt but, as will happen here, telling the cops would have been a temporary knock on the chin as opposed to what lies ahead for the Speaker who didn’t answer their questions.

After all, even former Speaker’s Of The House are innocent about decade old allegations until proven guilty. Not much to say about lying to the Feds other than ‘dumb bunny.’

And Individual A? What goes around, comes around… hackers and radioshow callers from Small Town Illinois? Just a matter of time, babe, just a matter of time until you are outed then in’d in to jail…..

BEA IS LEAVING ITS NY ROOTS FOR CHICAGO

1 Jun

Like all good reads, chapters close and books come to an end. 2016, BEA is heading out of New York for its sequel in Chicago.

While I have made jaunts and journies in the past to the mecca of arts, New York City, for the book Expo of all book Expos, Chicago is a flight away. Time to share. Chicago is a fresh start for the iconic book fair, Chicago will never be New York. Down the avenue and across town is where the big names in publishing are and will be for years to come, god willing. But the industry has changed. It isnt age that is taking its toll on publishing, it is technology that is beating a death, of sorts, to the literary world.

Things have changed in the world of publishing, at a cost to the literary word, sadly. The Trojan horse we all embraced with open arms has become the ebola, of sorts, of authors and publishers. And agents.

The BEA is the grand ol’ dame of readers, setting a benchmark for book fairs around the county, doing her damndest to not let the ship go down. For all those who thing that ebooks hold a candle to pulp fiction and fact, let it be known, them that say those darndest things have never seen a BEA line of fans queue up to be led for a book signing to the author or seen the knackered fans of all races, religions and color,  stretch out on a fan line  totally worn for gathering book after book sometimes because it has meaning and other times because it is swag for free. Any economist or professor shilling for technology has not witnessed the patience of saints as Snookie aka Nicole Polizzi kept fans waiting for her book signing. There is no fan line or autograph queue for ebook authors. Loyalty like that cant be made by IT. There are somethings that algorithm identity profiling cannot do or predict, that ear to ear grin of a fan gushing ‘you changed my life’, ‘I am your biggest fan.’

If only compliments were dollars then modern day authors would be rich because it aint going to happen the old fashioned way, the way things are going with IT.

You see people dont change. And they wont. There will always be wordsmiths, and dreamers and those that only see dollar signs where people should be.

Decades back, Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say The Darndest Things’ preface shared a letter from a boy to his dad expressing the boys sadness of the father-son inability to communicate, that his dad wasn’t listening. The letter was found in an Egyptian tomb. Linkletters book was published in the ’50s. And here we are today. The Arts content creators are talking but no one is listening.

The Associations- Romance Writers, Mystery Writers, Horror Writers and beloved librarian associations had there booths on the show floor, but far off in the corner where, once, book exhibitors used to be. Bathroom talk by staff confirmed the show was dead, a harsh word, but expressing the traffic was down at the show. The author talks was moved from the basement up to the main floor. Even rest tents, hospitality spots, for the ‘bigger’ names in publishing, were up stairs too.

Bag swag was down dramatically. The cherished McGraw-Hill bag was everywhere on shoulders but not at the booth itself. Bags are a big swag item that BEA attendees target to snag as soon as one’s foot makes it in the Javits’ Center door.
Ask a question in a right way, answers affirm concern for their craft’s 2015 nemesis of IP theft. Sure they hire lawyers, sure their industry is represented in DC by lobbyists but lawyers are expensive and laws keep on changing with authors knowing les than they should about who to trust in their world, about IP.

Outstanding portions of the BEA were under attended. The Chinese contingency presented a historically impressive unveiling of volumes on the Tokyo Trials, China’s version of the Neuremberg trials. The Judges son crowdsourced accessing his father’s notes, long before people found a distancing term for the act of asking others for help or money. Not that one walked away from the dedication knowing more about the Tokyo trials themselves but one walked away knowing more about the Chinese culture if one even walked in that direction with feng shui correct balance, harmony, softness and books that were, obviously, all in Chinese. There is humor in translation or lack of it. Books on display included tourists guides to Chinese done in comic book form, simplifying with smiles the distance between cutures. Chinese nationals demonstrated the Tea Pouring ceremony, musical interludes on traditional instruments.

The crowds were down with Snookie a reformed wild child better known for beer drinking and banging’ on the show Jersey Shore, right across the walkway from the UAE display. As someone who had the honor of knowing Sheikh Mahktoum and Prince Rashid, the pairing or neighboring of the two was awkward and telling.

As the refrain was repeated in interview after interview, can we go back to the old way and are there people who want to return to the ludite way of living.

The answer is yes. Dada in his wheelchair and glory shared his wisdoms that make him the best selling author of India. And….. had enlisted her patent attorney husband to put the golden seal of approvals on the handout card promoting her book on lessons learned from legendary survivors of cancer. She is a survivor herself with a back story that blow one away. It should be told. People, in select forums are listening, swag laden and all, I stopped to learn of her quest to find a film  her father a Holocaust survivor shot, thought to be lost. She found it, then brought the film back to the film festival in Europe and then to the Holocaust museum in DC. It is her inheritance of surviving that had her at this momentous book show today, a jewel in the river of tears streaming for denial that the worst of IP theft is to come, a whispered conversation in a world that struggles to survive against odds.

Gather near.

When the lights go out, in Georgia or anywhere else, it will be the ludites, the readers of this ancient craft of wordsmithing that will survive. The writers, the readers, are the guardians of civility. The Theresa Guidice’s of the world, come and go, in and out of jail and fan signing lines at the BEA. The pen swag and pencil swag affirm that books will go on. As will the BEA. It will be missed in New York.

Chicago, know the jewel you are inheriting. As for the BEA? Change the dialogue of IP protection away from talking points in DC that have brought this glorious industry to the edge of the cliff the dodo birds are walking off. Empower the reader. Empower the writer. Group therapy for the industry only goes so far.

Kudos, BEA. Challenges and all you did it another year, kudo to culture….

FINGERPRINT THEN RECORD FINANCIAL “CONSULTANTS” PRINTS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

1 Mar

ALLLLLLL financial advisors, brokers should have their fingerprints on file with Law Enforcement. In that Fingerprinting is part of the U4 process, the sending the fingerprints of people who manage other peoples money will be simple enough AND a step to mitigate theft of investment client monies, getting Investment clients around the block that FINRA has between Investment client crimes and Investment management criminals FINRA does not report to Law Enforcement. Bernie Madoff said “they knew.” How long did “they” know before Law enforcement found out….