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Eagles linebacker Zach Brown says quarterback Kirk Cousins is the “weakest part” of the Vikings offense, an opinion he began forming when the two were teammates in Washington.
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Record labels have no morals or scruples. Case in point, Tekashi 6ix9ine‘s old recording home, 10K Projects, has reportedly offered the loose-lipped rapper a new deal worth up to $ 10M.
Yes, the same Tekashi who dropped dime on his associates with the hopes of him being able to duck a potential 47-year sentence in order to walk free with time served, if all goes to plan.
According to TMZ, the Brooklyn rapper will get the loot in exchange for two albums; an English and a Spanish language project.
Last week, two of Tekashi’s former Nine Trey Blood associates were found kidnapping and racketeering charges, thanks in part to Tekashi Snitch9ine dropping all the dimes.
The things is, Tekashi isn’t due to be sentenced until December. The judge may not be too keen on him potentially earning major moolah off his illicit behavior. There’s also the fact that him being a federal informant puts a permanent target on his back. God forgive something goes wrong as a consequence of his dry snitching, will the label be held responsible or accountable? Nevertheless, it seems Tekashi is intent on continuing his rap career.
Good luck with that.
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Over two hours of hardcore threesome sex!
hardcore threesome sex!
Scene Number: 1
Bill Nye uses the power of Twitter to once again answer common questions about science. When will teleportation happen? Will tardigrades take over the moon? How do planes work? What does a neutron do? If you took all the animals of the ocean, how much shallower would the water get? Bill answers all these questions, and more!
Tardigrade image by Diane R. Nelson / East Tennessee State University
It’s been roughly 48 hours since Natalie Beach revealed her role in the making of influencer Caroline Calloway.
Since then, Caroline has posted photos on her Instagram roughly 65…
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The unfiltered answer from Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh.
In part 1 of this video Melanie and Carla both slowly stripped out of our secretary uniforms, then we get into the shower to cool down before we start to get ready for our night out. To see these videos go to www.onlymelanie.com
Luv Melaine xXx
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!
Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
There are more chickens than people in the world.
Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
Received from Irene A. Mystery.
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Almonds are a member of the peach family.
An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
Received from Irene A. Mystery.
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This week we bring you the long awaited finale of Princess Donna’s Gangbang. It is, quite possibly, the MOST EPIC GANGBANG OF ALL TIME! This shoot has everything, the infamous dominatrix’s first double vaginal penetration, first double anal, and first triple penetration all in one shoot. But that’s not all, it also has some of the most brutal sex ever captured on film! This tall and lean Princess with gorgeous natural tits and a tight round ass is known world wide for dominating and humiliating helpless boys and girls. If there was ever a question as to whether or not she can take what she dishes out the answer is in this shoot! She is stripped and aggressively taken to the ground where the men beat her with pool cues, run a fisting train on her pussy, throw her around like a piece of meat, and mercilessly fuck every hole on her body. Don’t miss this update! And tell your friends!
This week we bring you the long awaited finale of Princess Donna’s Gangbang.
Scene Number: 1
Studio Name: Kink
Yasiel Puig’s short stay in Cincinnati ended with a bang Tuesday night, as he was involved in a massive brawl just as news of the trade sending him to Cleveland broke.
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Table 62! Table 62!
Tonight’s installment of the Real Housewives of New York season 11 reunion addressed some very important questions from this season, though the answers were…
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TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $ 5 bill.
A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A snail can sleep for three years.
Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
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“Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand and “lollipop” with your right.
Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
The sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.
The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.”
Received from Irene A. Mystery.
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Is ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ too intense for your kids? Janell Inez tells you what to expect on Mom’s Movie Minute.
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Subscribe via iTunes Join the THHP group on Facebook here Tracklist: 1.LA Star – My Tale 2.Shazzy-Get a Job Kid 3.Ice Cream Tee – To Be Continued 4.Sweet Tee – It’s Like That Y’all 5.Julee Vee – U’ll Never Get Deez 6.Isis aka Lin Que – The Wizard Of Optics 7.First Star – All I Want To Do 8.Glamorous – Good To Go
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Angelique Cabral (Colleen) describes her character and explains what makes being part of “Life in Pieces” such an incredible experience. Watch the series Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.
In Part 1 of Wassup, Savant Sean and Daniel talk about the upcoming NBA season…
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The latest look at “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part
2” debuted during Game 1 of the World Series and gave fans a look
at new footage.
The grandfather of modern console gaming left us with classics we will never forget.
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Lionsgate releases the final trailer of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ ahead of the film’s release in late November. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
I was 28 years old when I filed for divorce and became single again for the first time since I was legally allowed to drink. But walking around the streets of Manhattan, I was just another twenty-something-year-old single girl. I didn’t “look” divorced.
I know this doesn’t really seem like a big deal — or if anything, it seems like a good thing, right? No visible scars. I was young, I didn’t have any kids and I was in the “typical” age range for dating and all that.
But this meant that anyone I dated automatically assumed that my single status was the same as everyone else’s: maybe I had some prior relationships, but I still hadn’t found the right guy.
And the way dating works if you’re seemingly just-a-regular-girl-in-the-big-city is that there is a common set of expectations around the timeline of how things go down:
- First kiss: fair game for the first date.
- More er, intimate stuff: sometime after the third date.
- Meet the friends: after a couple months of consistent dating.
- Mention that you’re in the process of getting a divorce: ummmmm… ?!!!?
Dilemma. When do you mention that you’ve been married before?
I had some friends who told me, “You don’t have to tell him about your situation, that’s none of his business”. But those people just didn’t understand what being divorced at 28 really feels like. And since you’ve lived within a marriage, you know better than anyone just how important honesty and trust are to a healthy relationship.
If you get far enough along dating someone where it feels like it’s time to broach the topic of previous relationships, you’ve probably built up some intimacy between you. Therefore, waiting too long to mention, “By the way I’m divorced,” might erode some of that trust you’ve worked hard to establish.
I mean, imagine saying that to someone who thinks they know you. Feels like a huge deal, right? My biggest fear about this situation was that nobody would want to be with me once they found out I was going through a divorce.
The good news is that this fear turned out to be totally unfounded. Here are some of the typical responses I got:
- Disbelief: “You’re divorced?”
- Digging deeper: “Do you have kids?”
- Security check: “Is there still anything between you two?”
- Gathering facts: “How long has it been?”
- Trying to make you feel good about yourself: “His loss.”
- Awkward commentary: “It’s not weird. It would be weird if you were still married.” (… the paperwork for my divorce took three years to finalize, I was technically still married for most of my dating life…awkward!).
The common thread through all of this was that the guy on the receiving end of the information was trying to make sense of what it meant in terms of him and me. Nobody ever seemed bothered by this news. Nor did anyone (who was nice/sane) try to use my past against me. Ever.
So fear not. I found that the “I have an ex husband” thing doesn’t have to be a big deal in your new relationship as long as you take care of a couple things:
- Be honest before you get too serious or intimate with someone.
- Make sure that he feels secure in your relationship with him.
And if you are divorced and out in the wild, dating again, please remember that getting divorced when you’re this young isn’t “just a break-up.” Your ex-husband was a member of your family and since you’re still so young, he also probably was a part of your world for most or all of your adult life. Dealing with that kind of loss, especially when the vast majority of your peers just can’t relate to your situation is not easy. Take it slow while you heal, and always trust your instincts.
If you divorced in your 20s and learned a lot about love, life and yourself in the process, we’d love to hear your story for our series, Divorced By 30. Send us a 500-800-word essay or an idea for a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org
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It's no surprise that the 41st season opener of Saturday Night Live basked in our country's current political climate: The Trump card was dealt over and over, candidates were lampooned skit after skit ("Introducing Abilify,…
Watch the first episode of “Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462” now.
Future and Blac Chyna were definitely together Friday night in D.C., and it’s pretty clear now they’ve hooked up. Future had a concert at Echo Stage … then went to his after-party where Chyna was right by his side. We’re told they were there for around…
With so many timeless classics, we couldn’t keep the list to just ten.
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I was flattered by the amount of positive feedback received from that article and I am equally flattered that XBIZ asked me to write this follow-up article. So after a decade of attending tradeshows as an attendee, presenter and sponsor, I am proud to present “Tradeshow Etiquette Part II.”
XBIZ.com | Feature Articles
The first clip from “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” reveals the moment when Katniss Everdeen and Finnick Odair become the Star Squad of the districts’ rebellion against the Capitol.
Disclosure are “so proud” to have worked on Sam Smith’s James Bond theme.
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Urban Legends is an AllHipHop.com original written series based on miraculous individual turnarounds in the urban entertainment world. Our features take a look at influential members in the Hip-Hop music, movie and television communities and we examine how they were able to find a better path despite their rough upbringing in the streets of urban America.
Below in our premiere story, we speak with Jimmy Da Saint about how he was able to overcome a life of crime to become one of the best-selling Black book authors in our era creating the Black Scarface series and others. Having been incarcerated with the original Rick Ross during his federal prison stint, Jimmy developed an array of skills and published over 30 novels while he was incarcerated in prison. Read more and find out how Jimmy Da Saint put it all together from his own label that included members of State Property (Oschino and Sparks) to his highly successful booking and entertainment agency that he still runs today along with the Philly Hip-Hop Awards. A kid from West-Philly did that, and now he’s a book writer and a successful entrepreneur.
Let us highlight those that have persevered and turned over a new leaf after dealing with personal struggles. People that were caught up in the worlds of drugs and violent crimes but found a better way. They chose to do things the right way and these individuals are being rewarded. Enjoy, hope you learn something.
AllHipHop: If you could talk to me about your upbringing, where you’re from in Philly, how you were raised. Just kind of want to know a little bit about that.
Jimmy Da Saint: Well I was raised in West Philadelphia, and I grew up – I wouldn’t say poor, see I didn’t know I was poor because my mom made sure I had everything. So even though I grew up in the projects in West Philadelphia, I always had Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and all that kind of stuff. My mom made sure that me and my brothers and sisters had that. When I was younger, I was really into sports heavy, I was a really good baseball player. I played baseball in high school, junior high school and all that kind of stuff, and then I don’t know what happened. When I got out of high school I just wanted fast money, I was just influenced by neighborhood drug dealers and guys who were getting fast money. That influenced me and I eventually wound up getting in that same profession – selling drugs and just being the whole street thing.
AllHipHop: So when you were selling drugs, were you selling crack? Cocaine? Were you selling weed? What were you doing?
Jimmy Da Saint: Both. Crack and cocaine, and I sold a little weed here and there. I was really wasn’t too big on the weed, but I had it from time to time – I could get it. I would get it to my workers that I would sell it– I didn’t actually sell it, myself. I was in a position I had other people selling it for me.
AllHipHop: Right. OK, go on.
Jimmy Da Saint: That was it. And I just got heavy into the whole drug thing and wound up, you know – while I was in the whole drug business, I was also in the music business. I was always involved with music because I used to be a rapper,
that happened to just be involved with drugs. So I’d be selling drugs to other drug dealers that sold drugs for me and I’d be in the studio talkin sh*t and having fun living the life.
I’d be in the studio the majority of the day because I had a studio I owned– me and a friend of mine, they were making music and that’s why I wound up starting a group called ICH, Inner City Hustlers. Two of the group members of ICH Oschino & Sparks, who I managed, I wound up getting them a deal– a situation wi Rock-a-fella by Jay-Z. He wound up signing two of my artists that were in my group. I also managed a producer named Black Key at the time, and he wound up signing with Ruff Ryders. He wound up doing a DMX album that was the Great Depression.
AllHipHop: Yeah, I know that.
Jimmy Da Saint: Yeah, I’ve known Black Key and worked with E-Ness since he was 13 – he used to be Taz, like the Tasmanian Devil. When I went to prison and came home from prison, he was E-Ness, so that was something new. It’s like when I knew Cassidy, he was Lil’ B. I came home from prison, he’s Cassidy.
AllHipHop: Yeah, that’s crazy.
Jimmy Da Saint: Yeah, so I was involved heavily in the music back then, mostly because I wound up getting a record deal, but I continued to sell drugs and I wound up getting in bad. I was in my barbershop, and a FBI informant came in to buy a kilo of cocaine off me. I sold him a kilo of cocaine, and I wound up getting indited. A few days later, the FBI came and kicked my door in. The person I sold the cocaine to was an informant and I didn’t know that he was working for the FBI.
AllHipHop: That’s crazy. You pretty much answered my second question “ICH,” so you covered that but can you elaborate a bit more on “ICH”
Jimmy Da Saint: Yeah ICH was pretty big and it’s crazy because in ’97 I was actually shot in an attempted kidnapping. I was in a wheelchair for a while, I was on a dialysis machine because my kidneys blew out, but I survived that and I wound up going right back into the whole drug thing again and I wound up getting indited and getting ten years in a federal prison.
But ICH was always a part of the mix. ICH was a very, very, very popular group in Philadelphia. When I came home from federal prison in 2010 I started ICH all over again, a new ICH with newer and younger members but I just stopped ICH, maybe, eight months ago. I just stopped it and started focusing on one or two artists and not the whole group thing, eight artists at a time.
So I made them popular all over again. I got XXL featured, if you go to Vibe.com or whatever, you’ll see it pops up. ‘Cause everybody was talking about them, we did a show with Wu-Tang and everybody– DMX, JadaKiss and we were the opening acts for all of them. So when I came home it was easy for me to get five young, good city rappers, put them all together and I did the ICH all over again. People remember the original ICH because of Oschino and Sparks. They know Oschino and Sparks is from the group ICH and Jay-Z signed them and made a group called State Property and put those two members in State Property.
AllHipHop: Yeah. So with these books and stuff like that, what was the spark that just, kind of made you pick up the pen one day and that kept you at it, you know what I mean? What drove you?
Jimmy Da Saint: You know, I just wanted to do something. I remember the first day I went to prison– I actually started writing the first day I went to prison, day one. Like, it didn’t take me a month, two months to get in there. I remember walking in the yard and I was like, “Damn, I got ten years,” and I just wanted to write about it. It’s just like I wanted to write and I remember they gave us some pens and pads to do something in our spare time– I began to write and I started writing and writing and then I was like, alright, start focusing on my first a book I wrote, called ‘Decisions,’ but I never put it out.
The first book I ever wrote, I let a few people read it and they liked it, then I started continuing to write, write, write and next thing you know I had four or five novels written and I got them typed and everything and I sent it out to a friend of mine, Vicky Stringer, who owns the largest Black independent book company in the world. I sent it out to her because I was reading her book, and on the inside of her book, she said, “Write me.”
I wrote her and told her I was a book author and she wrote me back and said, “Send me the book.” I sent it to her, she sent me a number back and said, “Call me as soon as possible.” I called her, she said, “You got you a two-book deal. This book is amazing. I love it and I sent it to my publisher and they want to publish your book.”
And it happened just like that. I was like, “Really?” And they gave me advance money, and it was just a book deal– just like a record deal, but it was a book deal. I was like, “Wow.” I was just so inspired, I continued to keep writing and writing and writing and I wound up writing thirty novels while I was incarcerated. I ghost-wrote a few books for other people and I got seventeen novels out right now, and a few are best-sellers.
I was like, “OK, I think I found my niche.” I got a story to tell, I got shot, I grew up in the projects, I’m from the streets of Philly, I was a real drug dealer, I got indited by the FBI and the DEA, you now what I’m saying? All my friends– half of my friends been murdered, I was in the rap game. I was with Jay-Z, with Dame Das. This is my life– this has been my life. Drugs and rap music has always been my life, so I could talk about this all day.
AllHipHop: That’s crazy man. I guess what’s amazing is that, you know, people don’t usually equate author, or novelist with drug dealer, street-shooting rapper – most people in society don’t associate the things at all. They wouldn’t think that somebody who did that, could do what you did with these books. What do you say to those people and why do you think you were able to do that?
Jimmy Da Saint: It’s my life its real. Rick Ross was one of my closest friends in prison. I walked up to him and I said, “You’re known for being a drug dealer,” and I said, “I can help change that.” And he laughed and said, “Well what can you do?” I said to him, “I’ll write a book. I’m a book author– put best-selling book author next to your name, and we can get rid of that.”
He liked that and he said, “Wow.” And I did it. And I wound up writing a number one-selling book, Black Scarface. That’s why it was co-written by Rick Ross. I wanted to do something. I wanted to show that I’m really one of y’all, like, really. Not a fake one of y’all, I’m really one of y’all. I’m from the streets. No father, single mother, projects, crack cocaine, weed cocaine, murders, prison, FBI, rap music– I am that person all the way. I don’t have to tell you about nobody else life, I can tell you about my life.
AllHipHop: What did you and Rick Ross talk about
Jimmy Da Saint: You know, Rick Ross told me something very important. I’ll never forget it, he was like,, “Jim, you need to learn the art of networking.” He said, “You so talented because you could write raps, you could write songs, you could write books.”
I was the commissioner of the basketball league in jail, I gave all those little concerts and poetry shows in jail. I was influential in prison and he was like, “But because you are so talented, these talents are going to go to your head and stuff because everybody depends on you,” He said, “You learn to be more humble and learn how to network more,” he said, “You’ll be a very powerful individual if you can do that.”
He’s the one who told me, “Just like this person over here might not be nobody, and just like this person over here is Jay-Z’s assistant or whatever, whatever, whatever, don’t break your neck for that assistant because everybody is the same and everybody is important.” He used to tell me this all the time. And I took that, I came home with that mentality– everyone counts. Everybody. Everyone, like this interview with you, or like an interview with Rock Lord Radio, underground radio with three viewers everyday, that’s important to me also. If I can get my point across to those three individuals.
AllHipHop: Can you talk to me about your new movie with Rick Ross?
My new movie project is called FACE, based off my bestselling novel Black Scarface. It was co written by the real Rick Ross and Rick will be a producer on it. My partners on the project are Vance & Khan from Ruffhouse Records and William Alexander from Crevice Ent. in L.A. so I’m really looking forward to the possibilities on this one.
AllHipHop: Lastly, can you discuss your booking agency in Philly?
My company is called DaSaint Ent. I manage artists, write books, produce movies, music and concerts with the local Live Nation. I have a back to school show I did with Mone’ Davis and several up and coming talents. I have the Philly Hip Hop awards and several other concerts I work on throughout the year. I’m staying busy!
For more information on Jimmy Da Saint, check out his Amazon website where he’s sold hundreds of thousands of books. Thank you Jimmy for telling your story.
The press is reporting that Trump is being uncharacteristically kind to Ben Carson. People seem confused about it. The press reports over and over that, Trump has gone so far as to call Carson a “nice guy.”
This is quite a puzzler to the press. Why would Trump be so kind to this one challenger?
I hope all of you just shouted out the answer in your heads.
No, not that, you racists. The OTHER thing you just shouted in your head.
“Nice guy” is a linguistic sniper shot. It is engineered to take out its target without revealing where the shot came from. It is not a casual choice of words. It is deeply engineered.
Think back to my past posts about how Trump sets an anchor for any negotiation by staking out the extreme before you open your mouth. That way only Trump gets to decide where the middle is, should you later decide to meet halfway.
Now think about the two anchors Trump has offered.
One anchor is that Trump is worth $ 10 billion, even though observers are highly skeptical of that estimate. That’s the number that pops up now when you think of him, just as Trump planned.
Trump has also branded himself as an experienced international business person, a tough negotiator in a world that needs just that, and a man who can’t be bought.
The anchor Trump dropped on Carson is that Carson is a “nice guy.” The press picked it up and can’t stop repeating it. Repetition is persuasion. Trump deputized the winged monkeys in the media to repeat “nice guy” until it will literally be the only thing you think of when you see Ben Carson’s face.
Hello, China! Here comes our nice guy to do some negotiating! You better run!
What are the first two words an American voter hears in her head after “Nice guys…”?
In America, a familiar saying is “Nice guys finish last.” If you are familiar with the saying, you probably automatically add those two words when you hear “nice guy.”
Remember, this is a long-distance linguistic kill shot. You aren’t supposed to know where the shot came from. The finish last portion of the thought is literally being created by you, in your head. And it rewires you with repetition.
Did Trump intentionally rewire your brain so you would think of his rival as the nice guy who always finishes last?
Not as far as you know. All you saw was a flash in the distance and your head exploding a few seconds later.
On an unrelated topic, if your friend wants to set you up with someone who is “nice,” does that sound like a good thing to you? It does not. And if we are being honest, one-third of the public probably votes for whoever they find sexiest. If you were going to date Ben Carson, I’ll bet you would be impressed by his good looks (he really is a beautiful man) and probably his keen mind and good humor. What might be the ONE thing you worry about when you ask yourself if you will have good chemistry with this magnificent creature?
No, not that, you racists. I mean the other thing you are thinking.
You wonder if perhaps he’s too nice. Because that looks weak. Too much niceness shouldn’t bother you, you tell yourself. But it does. Sex is more linked to power than niceness. Trump projects power. Carson projects niceness.
And Trump isn’t done. If the polls narrow too much, Trump might say…
“Ben Carson wants you to promote him from doctor to president.”
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Donald Trump.
Also keep in mind that Carson is still an option for Trump’s running mate. Trump wants him limping but not dead. I think it will either be Carson or Cuban on the Trump ticket. Trump wins it all with either one. But with Cuban it would be the biggest margin of victory in your lifetime.
History buffs will remember that Bill Clinton did a similar “nice guy” play on Bob Dole during their election cycle. Clinton made it clear that he liked Bob Dole. He even thanked Dole for his service to the country. Thanking Dole for his service makes you think of Dole in the past tense. It was a way to call him old and done. That was a linguistic sniper shot you did not see.
Rihanna points out that Taylor Swift’s brand is completely different to her own.
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Ariana Grande tells Access guest correspondent Louis Burgdorf why she took part in Fox’s ‘Scream Queens.’ And, what was it like working with the cast?
Today I will explain why Trump insults people. As usual, I will use the Master Wizard filter. That doesn’t mean this explanation is right. But compare it to the alternatives and see if the hypothesis fits the facts better. I remind you this is for fun, not insight.
If you don’t apply the Master Wizard hypothesis, you are probably confused why a grown man keeps insulting people in public. That seems like exactly the opposite of what Trump should be doing to appear presidential. What’s going on here? I mean, Trump seems reasonably smart, but according to 99.99% of the public, he is doing the same dumb thing over and over: insulting people.
Most of you probably assume he’s a big, dumb, racist, loose cannon, spouting off at his enemies, both real and imagined. Crazy!
Over at Reason.com, Nick Gillespie, writes that Trump’s insults are an example of “negging.” That’s what pick-up artists do. The idea is to tear down people’s egos and make them want to try hard to win your respect.
Frankly, I don’t understand the negging explanation. To me, it doesn’t make sense in the political context. But if I am being objective, I am also not the editor in chief of Reason.com, so the problem might be on my end.
Over at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin describes Trump’s actions in the context of bullying. But that doesn’t sound right to me because even his critics acknowledge that he is a counter-puncher. By my way of thinking, the person getting attacked first is not the bully.
The Master Wizard Hypothesis says Trump’s insults are not random, not negging, and not bullying. It is about math. I shall explain. But first, a story.
Back in my corporate days, I had a coworker who was famous for complaining loudly about the intelligence and competence of anyone who got in the way of her plans. She would talk about the low-performers to everyone who would listen, including that person’s boss, and the boss’s boss too.
On the other hand, if you did good work, she would often go to your boss and recommend that you get a raise or a promotion. And her opinion mattered because she was famous for hating dumb people. If she endorsed you as a capable employee, people took that seriously. She had credibility. (She also became the inspiration for my Alice character.)
Now let’s do the math.
If your baseline happiness is a 7 out of 10, and you get praised by someone important in your world, your happiness might go up to a 9, at least temporarily. That’s a two-point improvement.
But if someone insults your competence in front of your boss, that might take you down to a 5, which is a two-point decline. So the difference between a compliment and an insult (in front of your boss) is a full 4-point gap.
If Trump did not insult people, but sometimes praised them, he would be working with only a 2-point potential swing in how happy people can be when they please him. But if insults are a potential outcome – and Trump makes sure you know they are – you have a 4-point gap between pissing him off and pleasing him.
Trump is quick to point out that he only insults people who start it. (Although one assumes there are exceptions.) The result of Trump’s quick counter-attacks is to establish the 4-point gap between pleasing him and annoying him. No one wants a 4-point gap enemy.
Trump also has one weapon that no one else has: He is Trump. He has cultivated a persona for decades that allows him to be over-the-top without risk. So what works for Trump is not something you can use at home unless you have first established yourself as a tough-talking New Yorker. In that context, Trump’s insults sound almost normal.
If you are keeping score, this is one more situation in which the Master Wizard Hypothesis explains the data better than the alternatives. The Master Wizard hypothesis says Trump is a master of persuasion and sets up the 4-point gap intentionally. But are people really that calculated and that consistent with insults over a lifetime?
All I can tell you is that I am. Intentionally.
Ever wonder why I go hard at my haters online instead of ignoring them like a sane adult? Same reason. I want a 4-point gap to work with. The trade-off is that I look like a petulant child while responding to haters. I accept that trade-off in return for maintaining my 4-point gap.
Does it work? Actually, you are good judges on that question.
You have seen me eviscerate idiots in the comments on this blog. And you have seen me compliment people who make smart or funny observations. Do my compliments feel more powerful because you know the opposite could have happened?
To be clear, I distinguish between the insults that are usually counter-punches and the Linguistic Kill Shots that are engineered for strategic purposes. The latter have different purposes, according to the Master Wizard Hypothesis.
Bonus thought: After reading some of Bernie Sanders’ policy ideas that sound good on paper but don’t pencil out for the budget, I think the best kill shot for him would be “confused.” To be fair, every politician will be recommending impractical policy ideas, including Trump. But see how the word “confused” seems to fit Sanders more than it does any of the other candidates? That’s what makes it sticky. And you have never seen that word used in a political context, so it has no baggage of its own.
In Top Tech Blog, now you can “feel” a prosthetic limb. If that works, I might want to replace the ones I have and go full bionic.
Have I mentioned my book? It is full of words and sentences and whatnot. If you read it, I will love you. If you do not read it, you are a terrible person. (See what I did there?)
Update: This is my Google Analytics map showing people reading this blog an hour or so after posting today. Normally there would be traffic from all over the globe no matter the time of day. My blog traffic is up about five-fold since I started discussing the Master Wizard Hypothesis, but obviously this is not resonating overseas. I apologize to my non-U.S. readers for this Trump diversion and I hope you circle back when this silliness subsides. Not sure when he will stop entertaining us over here.
Smart people tell me that Bernie Sanders is the Democratic Party’s best hope for beating Donald Trump. Some say Sanders has sensible ideas based on models that have worked elsewhere. He reminds us of the angry yet lovable uncle we now realize has been right all along. We wish we had paid attention to Bernie instead of allowing ourselves to be distracted by Kardashians and Trumps.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders say his insider experience matched with his outsider mentality, his ability to speak truth, his compassion for people, and his fighting spirit are exactly what this country needs. I have no reason to disagree with any of that. I can see the appeal. But I haven’t looked into any of Sanders’ actual ideas. And I wouldn’t be psychic enough to know how good those ideas are anyway.
But I don’t think it matters.
I have been blogging about Trump’s linguistic mastery, but he is also a wizard at visual imagery and branding. And he knows a thing or two about strategy. If history is our guide, Trump only achieved a full boner for the presidency when three conditions were met:
1. Trump got a strong start in the polls because of name recognition. (Check)
2. Trump’s brand value and International influence would increase even if he did not go all the way. (Check)
3. Trump had some sort of natural match-up advantage over each individual in the field. In other words, the chess board was set for a win. (Check)
By traditional political reckoning, one could argue that Bernie Sanders is an exceptionally strong “outsider” candidate in an election where the common wisdom says the public wants an outsider. You would expect a close race if Sanders and Trump squared off at the end.
But on the third dimension of chess that Trump plays, Sanders is extraordinarily disadvantaged compared to Trump. The third dimension is the irrational connections you make in your mind, often engineered by Master Wizards, but in this case one that occurred naturally and Trump recognized the opening.
I’ll show you what I mean. And you should stop reading here if you do not want to be permanently influenced. This is a real warning. You can’t unsee what follows.
—- influence starts here —-
When you think of Sanders, or Trump, you have one image in your mind for each that is some average of the photos and videos you have seen. But you also reflexively associate each candidate with a variety of other images based on associations you have picked up over time.
For example, when you think of Trump, you also automatically associate him with a variety of images he has carefully cultivated in your mind for decades. Here are a few images you reflexively associate him with.
Trump Image Association one (his name is right on it)
Trump Image Association two (check out his suit colors)
Trump Image Association three (and the obvious)
Yes, Trump literally dresses in American Flag colors, and has for decades. Love him or hate him, his entire visual vibe is oriented toward power, success, and country.
Then we have Bernie Sanders. This is where we have the match-up problem. When you think of Bernie Sanders, what visual associations automatically jump into your head? Don’t click the next link until you have that secondary image in your head. Remember, this is not what Sanders looks like, rather just the reflex association that springs to mind, the way money springs to mind with Trump.
When I think of Bernie Sanders, here’s the image I see.
I’m not kidding. And I apologize for even mentioning it, but it is central to explaining this prediction:
Prediction: If Sanders is the Democratic nominee, Trump will win with 65% of the popular vote. And pundits will wonder why the voters ignored sensible leadership in favor of the spectacle that is Trump.
For more on the Moist Robot view of the world, you can read my book about success.
In Top Tech Blog, check out the latest in tech advances. It’s a good way to know what is coming.
Republicans have narrowed down their strategy options for destroying Trump. They started by creating a list of all the possible strategies that anyone could imagine. Then they eliminated all of options that were certain to work. In the next phase they eliminated all of the options that might work. What was left is four options that absolutely will not work. And that’s what they are going with. The people who compiled this list of strategies are the folks who want to run the country.
If you have been reading my series on Trump and his linguistic kill shots, you will see no persuasion skill whatsoever in the Republican plans for “reframing” Trump.
On a related point, you probably saw some news yesterday about Mark Cuban saying he could beat any of the presidential candidates if he were to run for president. That’s how you test the public’s reaction to a Trump/Cuban ticket. Cuban can’t say he would make a great vice president. It is smarter to say he would make a great president. Let the voters decide that Cuban needs 4-8 years of seasoning before he is ready. That way the public can own the “decision” he is putting in their heads.
If the media and the polls react favorably to Cuban’s statements about running for president, it opens the door for him to be on Trump’s ticket later. So this is just a test balloon. And that is the normal way these things are done. The VP (or potential VP in this case) is the trial-balloon person. That is a basic game plan in politics. I’m not sure the public knows that.
And one assumes Cuban and Trump and talking, via Cuban’s confidential app, Dust.
Bill Maher is cranking up the outragism on the left to try and derail Trump. Maher’s association with the Huffington Post eliminates any shred of credibility he once had, but he still gets a lot of attention. Apparently the racism argument against Trump is largely based on one poorly-formed sentence he uttered that one time. Some observers interpreted the sentence to mean Trump was saying Mexicans are (mostly?) rapists. People who are not in cognitive dissonance figured it was just his usual exaggerated style of speaking.
Personally, I would start worrying about Trump’s racism if his tens-of-millions of opponents can find somewhere in his vast history of public comments at least one more vague sentence that sort of somewhat bothers someone when seen out of context. It must be there. Keep looking, Bill! You got the Huffington Post on your side! Together you will rule the irrelevant issues!
There are only about two months left to go ’til “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” finally hits theaters and simultaneously does the following to our hearts: warm them, make them race, and then shatter them into 12 million pieces. So, naturally, we’ve been savoring every piece of propaganda little detail parachute-dropped upon us… Read more »
© ℗ 2015 ECM Records GmbH under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin
Today I will create cognitive dissonance in about 25% of my readers, assuming past patterns hold. Please do not read further if you don’t like those odds.
While the title of today’s post sounds like nonsense, that question is one of the biggest debates in the country now because of Donald Trump. The wording is different everywhere, but the idea is the same: Smart people believe smart people are smart. Dumb people believe dumb people are the real smart ones.
They can’t both be right. I’ll help you sort it out.
On one side we have the self-described smart people. These folks will tell you that a rational person can learn about political issues, with a little effort, and thus make a meaningful contribution to the democratic process. All one must do is be open to all points of view and do some independent research to fact-check the professional media. You don’t need to be an expert because most issues boil down to a few key factors, and you can understand those few things.
That sounds smart to you, right?
The dumb people – who have been labelled such by the smart people – are the ones who vote for whoever says what the dumb people want to hear, or whoever makes them feel good. This group is more about emotion than reason.
Dumb, dumb, dumb. I am ashamed to be in the same country with people who refuse to use their brains. DUUUUMB!
You agree, right?
Good, because that’s the set-up for the cognitive dissonance. You just hardened your sense of identity as a smart, rational person who believes an informed citizen can make a meaningful contribution to the system.
Now let’s talk about investing. Same conversation, but changing from politics to finance. Which of these two people seems smarter to you?
1. A stock investor who does his own research so he can find great values,
2. An investor who buys a stock index fund and settles for an average return.
I am sad to say some of you will pick the first one. But it is a myth that individuals can sort through the lies and misinformation that companies produce as source data and convert all of that into good decisions. Every study on the topic tells us that individual investors are deluded idiots. And people who invest in managed mutual funds are only slightly better. (Okay, maybe worse.)
In the investment world, the person who understands that the available information is not credible is the smart one. That person plays the odds correctly and invests in an indexed mutual fund with low fees. Every study says that is the smart play.
Most of my readers already know that what I just said about investing is true. And unlike most topics, this one really does not have well-informed critics. All informed people hold the same view: Individuals should not do their own research and buy stocks based on that research.
But you still think smart people can research political policy options and come to reasonable and useful conclusions… even though you observe that half of the population disagrees with the other half no matter how much research anyone does.
Cognitive dissonance should be hitting some of you hard right now. If you feel unusually angry and determined to reply, that’s a tell. Or a false-positive. One can never be 100% sure.
The popular media is staffed mostly by writers and art majors and other people who tend to believe in magic. It is no surprise that they don’t see how absurd it is to expect citizens to have useful opinions based on the misinformation that that same media provides around the clock.
Seasoned investors, on the other hand, have learned to be more humble. They know there is no amount of research that can convert unreliable data into reliable decisions. My guess is that this group of professionals support Donald Trump in large numbers because they are smart enough to know the limits of their own reason when applied to inaccurate baseline assumptions and sketchy data.
My point is that if you find yourself mocking Trump supporters (or Republicans in general) because they have some distance from the issues, you are probably the dumb one in that conversation no matter how your education and IQ compares with your intended targets.
And if you believe you can make intelligent decisions on politics based on inaccurate information and lies, why aren’t you already rich from doing the same thing with stocks?
I’m a big fan of voting (when other people do it, not me) because it gives people a sense of ownership in the process. So please vote. But don’t confuse that with being psychic.
Top Tech Blog: Graphene seems like it will change everything. How do I invest in that stuff? (Answer: Index fund)
My book on systems versus goals will probably get more attention when people realize Trump is a systems thinker. He follows the odds without always having one specific goal in mind. Recently Trump made his brand so powerful that a lot of folks thought he should be their leader, just because, well, Trump. Under the “goal” view of the world, Trump failed three times to become president, so you assume he will fail again. But the “systems” view says Trump failed toward better odds each time, largely on purpose. And here we are.
Today, as a demonstration of persuasion, I am going to show you one way Donald Trump could convince you to support his immigration plan, even though I don’t support the plan myself. (But I also believe it is a negotiation anchor, not a real plan in its current form.)
Some of you already love Trump’s immigration plan as is. I’m not talking to you today. And I probably won’t be making my case the way you make yours, so assume I’m not on your side either.
Today I’m talking to the skeptics who believe it is impossible to seal the border for less than a trillion dollars (give or take) and that it would be inhumane to deport 11 million people. You folks have a strong, common-sense argument. But I’m going to show you that Trump could persuade you to support his immigration plan before it is all said and done. And it won’t be that hard.
I am not making a specific prediction on Trump’s immigration plan, or how he handles it going forward, because there are a million directions it could go. The point today is to imagine he could get you on board, and easily. So this is more of a brain exercise than a discussion of policy.
Assuming Trump is being consistent with 100% of his history, as well as his best-selling book on the topic of negotiating, his immigration plan is a first offer, and an anchor to make whatever deal he finally makes seem entirely reasonable. To believe Trump’s first offer is his final plan is to believe Trump changed his most fundamental belief about negotiating when it mattered most. Does that seem likely? (If you said yes, you probably have some cognitive dissonance that makes you believe he must be a racist.)
For the record, I do not know what is in the man’s mind. But what I see is a guy doing the same thing he always does and the public putting a new interpretation on it. This time, say the critics, he is abandoning his lifetime pattern of negotiating with an extreme opening offer just so he can be terrible to brown people.
Well, maybe. Like I say, I don’t know what is in the man’s head. But when a duck walks and talks like a duck all of its life, I don’t know how this one time you say he must be a beaver unless cognitive dissonance is part of the answer.
You might say Trump is just trying to get the nomination with his hard line views on immigration. Then he will soften his stance in the general election, and perhaps again as president if he wins. That too would be consistent with a Trump that knows strategy and plays to win.
But in that view, you agree with my notion that his current plan is not the real plan and was never intended to be so.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Follow me on this train of thought:
Let’s say Trump picks Mark Cuban as VP. (Already seems likely.)
Then let’s say Trump assigns the immigration issue to Cuban, with these instructions:
Bring me THREE plans, after you have your team of experts and economists study them thoroughly. The three plans should include:
1. The original Trump plan (with estimates of cost, human suffering, etc.)
2. A plan originated by the concerned Latino community that secures the borders (because countries need borders) and deals humanely with the 11 million Mexican citizens already living in this country.
3. A “Do nothing” plan that is whatever would happen if Trump had not brought up the issue. This too would include estimates of social costs.
Trump is the only potential president who could simply change his mind mid-stream because of new data or a better idea. No one else could survive a so-called flip-flop. Trump would be praised for it. And all he would be doing is business as usual. Business people generally want to see 2-3 plans with detailed cost estimates. Then they choose the best one. Trump can do that, even if it means departing from his original plan. No regular politician can do that.
And if Mark Cuban is behind the numbers on all three plans, do you trust him?
Probably. I mean, cost estimates are always iffy, but you know Cuban wouldn’t be trying to screw anyone intentionally. He doesn’t need to. He doesn’t even need the job.
And if Trump is fully transparent about his reasons for picking some modified (negotiated) immigration plan, how mad can you be, even if he picks the plan you didn’t love so much?
It is hard to hate a reasonable person who shows his work. And part of you only wants to live in a country that can do that sort of thing: Be smart, use data, change your plan when you need to. It feels like the future.
Realistically, the only way to solve the immigration problem is to talk extremely tough now, as Trump is doing, to keep the flow of new illegals under control. The incentive to immigrate is far lower if the odds of being shipped back are higher. That threat has to feel real, and Trump is selling it.
In other words, Trump has probably already slowed illegal immigration just by talking tough. There really is no alternative to tough talk about deportation if you are also talking about a wall. You don’t want to trigger a huge wave of new illegal aliens trying to get into the country before the wall is done.
Now let’s talk about that “wall” that is not a wall at all. Realistically, what we are talking about is sealing the border using whatever works for each area. Sometimes a fence will do it. Sometimes you need armed border guards. Sometimes you might need a bad-ass wall. So “wall” in this context just means sealing the borders somehow.
And one of those ways to seal a border might include a permanent force of drones and robots, at least for key spots along the border where a wall is either too expensive or not good enough. The drones and robots don’t need to stop everyone. If they catch most of the folks trying to cross the border, that should be enough to discourage all but the most motivated.
Once we test our drones and robots on our own borders, we will have the baseline technology for building a “digital fence” around ISIS someday that keeps the angry men in, allows the women and children to filter out if they want, and blocks all digital signals into the caliphate.
How long does ISIS last without women and without access to modern communications?
Who cares? All we care about is allowing the women and children out if they ask. The long term Trump goal could be a country full of bearded, angry, masturbating men with no oil money and no modern technology. And we could toss any additional loose jihadists into the caliphate no matter what group they belonged to.
Experts say you can’t kill an idea with bombs. But you can sure kill an idea with a good wall. A wall, digital or otherwise, allows you to observe whether things are going better on one side or the other. Let the Caliphate full of bearded angry men build their perfect society. Then, in twenty years, compare it to Trump’s exclusive country club called America that is attracting all the top tech talent from everywhere.
That’s how you kill an idea. You put a wall around it and let it play out. No argument needed. The idea kills itself.
So how does the United States pay for its border with Mexico? Trump says he will make Mexico pay for the wall. You laugh at that. Ha ha! Why would Mexico pay?
Now I will make you believe Mexico could pay for a wall. Or some of it.
Imagine Trump saying we will fast-track to citizenship any Mexican resident with tech skills or even top grades in school. Imagine Trump saying we want all of the top talent from Mexico. All they need to do is walk up to the border and show their high school or college transcripts with top grades. (And maybe take a 15-minute randomized test just to confirm.)
How does Mexico stop the brain drain then?
They build a wall.
And how does the United States pay for an army of drones and robots guarding our border (in spots) until Mexico builds their own wall? We don’t. We make the manufacturers of those technologies use it as a testing ground, in anticipation of getting big international contracts for sealing off ISIS and other borders elsewhere. Drones patrolling borders is going to be a big thing, everywhere. And we want American companies to own as much of that business as possible.
And what of the 11 million illegal residents? If we get the wall, we don’t need to worry so much about deportation because assimilation gets you to the same place over time. And I expect to see some sort of “pay for citizenship” deal that allows illegals to buy their way into the country in a variety of ways, assuming they have been law-abiding residents for years. American citizens would respect that. Fairness, after all, is the main issue.
Oh, and about the racist thing. If Trump says he wants MORE Mexicans, not fewer – but only the top talent – how racist does that sound to you now?
Did I change any minds?
Have you checked out Top Tech Blog? I love that stuff.
Ricky Martin tells Access’ Liz Hernandez why he’s so excited to be a part of Univision’s new music reality competition show, ‘La Banda.’
J. Cole says being a good cop is an oxymoron.
As I explained in an earlier post, when you see lots of different explanations for the same event, it probably means the public is in mass cognitive dissonance. Trump’s unexpected surge in the polls did just that.
And when an otherwise smart person offers an explanation that is clearly absurd, that is a tell for cognitive dissonance too. You will see a lot of smart people saying a lot of head-scratching things over the next year. More than usual.
I claim exemption from this particular trigger for cognitive dissonance because I predicted a Trump victory (by a large margin) in the general election before anyone else on the planet thought it possible he would even win the nomination.
According to science, each of you who are “surprised” by Trump’s success so far (which makes you feel dumber than your self-image supports) should be in dissonance right now, searching for an explanation that makes sense while still maintaining your self-image of being smart.
I have never seen a hypnotist take someone OUT of dissonance before. So I thought I would be fun to do that for you today. I will target only the most popular (and absurd) explanation for Trump’s rise in the polls and take you out of cognitive dissonance for that one explanation only.
This comic should do it.
The “outsider” explanation for Trump’s run is a classic tell for cognitive dissonance. In order for that explanation to make sense, one must assume that Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina would have taken out Bush as effectively as Trump. Are you feeling that?
Now that all of you are out of cognitive dissonance on the “outsider” explanation, watch the comments for the people who just changed their minds about the outsider thing in the past minute. Should be a freaky experience for them.
You don’t need to remind me that I could be the deluded one here, having committed to one explanation of Trump’s rise over the others. The science says I would be somewhat blinded by that. So take this blog (and everything else I write) with a grain of salt. This is just for entertainment.
Update: I predict that the comic above will substantially reduce the number of pundits using the “outsider” explanation within two weeks. (A lot of press people read this blog.)
Look for stories that say some form of “More than just an outsider appeal.” That signals the change before “outsider” is dropped entirely.
I remind you that my predictions are just for fun. I make them so you can track the Master Wizard Hypothesis and see how well it predicts the future compared to whatever you believed before.
Check out Top Tech Blog to find out about the products of tomorrow without waiting.
For more about systems (the way Trump operates) versus goals (the way most people operate), you can find more in my book.
Eagles release Tebow as part of roster cutdown
ESPN.com – TOP
There’s an old saying in business: If a bank gives you an average-sized loan, the bank owns you. But if you take out a gigantic loan, you own the bank.
Trump only takes out gigantic loans.
Is it because he is an egotistical clown who goes big no matter what the situation deserves?
But consider that going big also has the advantage of being the smartest possible thing you can do at his level. And it works almost every time for an operator with his skill.
Consider Trump’s relationship to Fox news. The other candidates took a small loan from Fox, and by that I mean they played by the rules. Trump took out a big, risky loan by going at them hard. Now he owns Fox.
Consider the Republican party. Trump’s challengers are trying to show how well their opinions fit the party platform. Trump says he will make the party platform fit Trump, much the way Reagan redefined the party in his time.
Let me give you a fresh example of how that absurd situation could happen. I am told Trump just promised he would not cut Social Security. That seems at odds with the Republican vibe of smaller government. Seems like a risky promise for a Republican candidate.
Here’s how Trump can get away with it, and no one else in the race can. And here is how he redefines the Republican party at the same time, while barely trying.
All Trump has to do is take the same approach he used with the Iran deal: “I’m a deal guy. Social Security is a deal with seniors. End of story.”
That is a high ground maneuver of the highest order. He would be untouchable.
The party would have to circle around the platform concept of being deal-keepers. That seems to be the common thread in the Trump philosophy: Make the best deal you can, then keep it. Otherwise, who wants to deal with you next time?
Who runs against that idea and wins?
Note: I remind new visitors that I am not smart enough to know who would do the best job of president. All of the candidates seem competent to me. My interests are in Trump’s persuasion and negotiation skills.
[Update: This article in Slate,
by Jim Newell, about Trump’s strategic brilliance is a good read both for the writing and the content individually.]
P.S. Wait until I tell you how Trump will use hypnosis to solve ISIS. He already started. Experts say you can’t kill an idea. Experts are wrong.
(AllHipHop News) WorldStarHipHop Foundation’s 3rd annual “Back-To-School Backpack Giveaway” will have several big names on hand. New York City emcees LL Cool J and Fabulous are set to host the event with Erick Sermon and Migos scheduled to be part of the guest lineup as well.
Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies. Other prizes include New York Mets tickets, iPads, eReaders, gift cards, and a gift basket with additional school supplies. Teenage rapper Jayla Marie will be performing.
The WSHH “Back-To-School Backpack Giveaway” is scheduled for Sunday, August 30 at The Jamaica Colosseum in Queens, New York.
Watch Jayla Marie’s video for “If I Ruled The World” below.
PHOTO: LL Cool J’s Instagram
It’s like a blast from the past, and these ladies still look just as beautiful as they did 20 years ago!
Fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh got some of the most iconic supermodels…
E! Online (US) – Top Stories
Entertainment News! –
Recently I blogged about some of the challenges that trans people who live out here in Hollywood, a.k.a. America’s Liberal Dream Factory, face when it comes to health care.
Let me underline exactly what those challenges mean. First, let’s look at the big, broad, macro level of Hollywood optics. I’ll use two celebrity examples; let’s make it clear that since I know nothing of their own health care needs or realities, the “examples” are purely hypothetical.
Eddie Redmayne is a talented actor who will appear in the film The Danish Girl as Lili Elbe, one of the modern world’s first transsexual women. Mr. Redmayne is, as far as I know, a cisgender (meaning non-trans) man. If the film was made under Hollywood-based Screen Actors Guild agreements, Mr. Redmayne would most likely qualify for the Motion Picture Health Plan. So we have a cisgender man playing a transsexual woman in a big-budget blockbuster movie who qualifies for his male-oriented health care because… well… he’s human, and a man.
Laverne Cox is an award-winning actress who has appeared on Orange is the New Black, and is an outspoken, eloquent advocate for rights of trans people. Let’s say that she made a film, or worked on a T.V. series under the Hollywood SAG agreement and had enough hours to qualify for health care. She might qualify, but the plan would still be able to refuse her trans-specific health care, in spite of her humanity and legal status as a woman.
Not being an idiot, I don’t think that’s likely to happen, and really, Ms. Cox’s health care is none of my damn business. But let’s make a theoretical comparison to Mr. Redmayne; Laverne would be a trans woman playing a part (trans or not) in a movie or series with contracts that include coverage under the same plan, but whether she gets trans-specific health care is completely up to the administrators of the plan. If the administrators decide that her care was part of that two-word exception “gender change,” they would be within their rights to refuse her.
Mr. Redmayne, playing a trans woman: no problem. Ms. Cox, a real trans woman: we’ll get back to you.
I could pick other examples. Felicity Huffman vs. Candis Cayne. Hilary Swank vs. Turner Scott Schofield. None of these may apply in real life, but they point to a truth; trans people can be refused trans-specific health care under the current Motion Picture Plan PPO unless they opt for an HMO, and even then they are subjected to bureaucratic gymnastics and extra scrutiny.
In all of these cases, actors are selling tickets or advertising for Hollywood by portraying trans identities. Let me put this bluntly: if we are we “interesting” enough for you, Hollywood, to tell our stories and make money doing it, why are we considered unfit to demand the health care we need to sustain those identities you are exploiting?
I’ll say that again. Hollywood is exploiting us while considering us unfit for trans-specific health coverage.
Here’s another example. Let’s say I am a young, recently transitioned female camera assistant. The plan can, and has, refused the hormones I have been prescribed because they are for “gender change;” those two magic words that are “exceptions” according to the MPIPHP.
If I am a middle-aged man who feels a little listless, my doctor can prescribe a testosterone cream for me. If I am a middle aged woman, my doctor can prescribe an estrogen patch or cream for me; the same patches, or cream our camera assistant is refused. A trans man working as a grip would be in a similar fix.
The issue seems to be this; all health plans are watching the culture for cues. It’s easy to find people in our culture who think that trans people don’t exist because we are mentally ill, had smothering mothers or are possessed by demons doing the bidding of Satan. Politicians and bloviating radio rage-peddlers find us an easy target for raising a campaign slush fund or selling worthless gold contracts to rubes; we stir strong emotions, and that sells. We’re yet another group of humans that people who are angry and scared can focus on to anesthetize themselves against reality. It’s hard to hate someone that you humanize, so some people work hard at dehumanizing us.
More subtly, there are physicians and hospital administrators who cynically may see us as a group without any political clout or unified voice, and who may be tempted to stall, complicate or discourage us from demanding the health care we so rightfully deserve. Even my friends who have trans-inclusive health coverage are frustrated by the lack of education among physicians and wildly uneven interactions with organizations like Kaiser Health.
Most trans people working on films in Hollywood aren’t movie stars. Most of us are working crew people struggling to get by in the modern workplace like everyone else. Those of us lucky enough to have labor unions to protect our health care have just one simple request; give us what we need from the health plan we pay into, when we need it, and listen to us when we tell you that you can do it better for us than you have in the past.
It’s time for Hollywood to truly take care of all of “Our Own.”
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Wright returns, homers as part of Mets' barrage
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Bust open this final pack of treats to find out how Rare evolved in the Xbox era.
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As you recall, my three-part series entitled “Raw and Exposed: Deep Inside a Porn Model,” is an unvarnished, thought-provoking and candid interview with adult performer Dawg Dixon (Dawgdixon.com), an African-American who’s worked for the black gay hardcore porn companies Blackbreeders and Forbidden Funk Media. Part One explored why Dixon entered adult entertainment “late in the game” — when he was nearly 40 years old. Additionally, Dawg served up the naked truth about his journey as a porn star.
In Part Two of “Raw and Exposed,” Dawg thrusts us into the inner workings of the gay sex trade. “Fas-cinating,” as the iconic Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” has uttered on more than a few occasions.
EVANS: Dawg, thanks again for sitting down with me.
DIXON: My pleasure, Wyatt.
EVANS: Are “ya” ready for me to once again “git all up in yo’ bizness?” (I josh.)
DIXON: Bring it! (He flashes one “helluva” infectious grin.)
EVANS: Let’s just jump in. What are the pitfalls of porn?
DIXON: Ego. Greed. Low self-esteem. Drugs/addiction.
EVANS: The first three are pretty self-explanatory. So, let’s discuss the issue of drugs. (Pause.) I’ve heard from various corners that the industry uses drugs to control talent.
DIXON: Because I’ve only been on the sets of Blackbreeders and Forbidden Funk, I can’t speak to other adult companies and their drug policies. I do know that the aforementioned don’t provide drugs to us models — other than male performance enhancers, if needed. Let me add that uncontrolled addiction will destroy any plans for success in any industry.
EVANS: Dawg, what’s your stance on mandatory HIV testing in porn?
DIXON: I have a background in HIV outreach, testing and education and have worked in the field for more than 15 years. I believe in patient confidentiality laws. Mandatory on-the-job HIV-testing in a non-health care environment is ridiculous! First, do we test just models or the whole adult industry? On most porn sets, the crew wear multiple hats: some do “oil and fluff,” some do body fluid clean-up, etc. And, let’s get real: a person’s HIV status can change from one test to the next.
EVANS: What about behavior on the set? Any rivalries? Backstabbing? Blow-ups? Yo: “Inquiring minds wanna know!” (I’m chuckling, rather mischievously.)
DIXON: (Smiling.) That’s a rather juicy question, Wyatt. The problems I notice on the set between performers arise when porn actors date each other. A lot of times they don’t want the directors to know that. So when couples aren’t paired with each other, and their co-stars start getting “familiar” with each other — that’s when the claws come out.
EVANS: Seriously? Whoa!
DIXON: Yep. Fighting on the set because of that s**t can cause major problems. It slows/stops production. It gets folks fired, with no pay or transportation home. Look: no one wants you on their set with B.S.! This is a J.O.B., and it’s always about the money. Models should be thinking: “If my partner and I behave and do a great job, we are building our individual brands. And, there’s the potential to create a joint brand, so that we can make even more money.”
DIXON: “Tag team couples” can make a lot of cash through filming and escorting. People love to watch couples f**k! Bobby Blake and Flex-Deon, Slim Thug and Felon just to name a few. We (models) are on the porn set for one reason, and one reason only: to f**k for money.
EVANS: Mr. Dixon, what advice do you give aspiring performers who want to carve out a successful career in hardcore porn?
DIXON: First and foremost, get serious about it! Be professional, respectful and polite in all your dealings with directors and producers. Have crisp, crystal-clear photos, making sure that all of you can be seen. Produce a video clip of yourself in action. Provide a concisely written summary of your talents: “I’m very well-endowed.” “I’m a power bottom.” “I want to do porn because…” But beware: most companies are looking for big d**k tops or versatile models who can f**k on cam. Bottoms are a dime a dozen!
EVANS: Dawg, if you have one warning, one “no-no,” what would it be?
DIXON: This: don’t think that sleeping with the studio head or staff will get you anywhere! That’s just a “bad movie” waiting to happen. (He’s unequivocal.)
EVANS: So, models shouldn’t be searching for that “casting couch,” eh?
DIXON: Exactly. There will ALWAYS be someone younger, sweeter, tighter, deeper, bigger, etc. If you’re smart and professional, you’ll be treated as such. And as a result, you’ll achieve your goals.
Next up: the role of massage/escorting/sex for pay in growing/enhancing a porn model’s brand, and how “The Biz” has shaped him.
Follow Wyatt O’Brian Evans at Wyattevans.com, and on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MisterWOE
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The N64 games are the strongest of the collection. Our team talks about the merits of each in detail.
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Puff Daddy is out here getting loose. Dr. Dre is dropping a new album. Warren G has just introduced the Regulate…G Funk Era Part II EP. The 90s must have found a way to time warp into the digital age, no?
Or could it be tru-school Hip-Hop just doesn’t crack that easy? Pioneering West Coast legend Warren G has sat on a few Nate Dogg verses for such a occassion like a mini-comeback. And now the sequel to his 1994 impactful debut is available for your ears as well.
Not only does his late, great singing partner appear on all five tracks, but Jeezy, Bun B, Too $ hort and E-40 also keep it G with Warren.
Listen to Regulate…G Funk Era Part II (which features the instant summer smash, “Saturday”) below and support it on iTunes so the G Funk can never quit.
Also, peep the Cali fresh video to “My House” on the next page.
Photo: Instagram/Warren G
The post Warren G Tweaks Once Again On Regulate…G Funk Era Part II [LISTEN] appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.
The Spunk Worthy recruiters have been busy, enlisting 3 new military men to get naked on camera. Plus, a few returning troops make the leap into uncharted territory. Because when money is tight, even str8 guys will sign up to get off with another guy and make a quick wad of cash!
The Spunk Worthy recruiters have been busy, enlisting 3 new military men to get naked on camera.
Scene Number: 2
Studio Name: Spunk Worthy
We venture back to Rare’s early days to try games from the Ultimate era and their NES catalog.
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The Spunk Worthy recruiters have been busy, enlisting 3 new military men to get naked on camera. Plus, a few returning troops make the leap into uncharted territory. Because when money is tight, even str8 guys will sign up to get off with another guy and make a quick wad of cash!
The Spunk Worthy recruiters have been busy, enlisting 3 new military men to get naked on camera.
Scene Number: 2
Studio Name: Spunk Worthy
In the first of a video series from Firaxis, we get an introduction to the many additions that Rising Tide brings for players of Civlization: Beyond Earth.
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© ℗ 1999 ECM Records GmbH under exclusive license to Universal Music Classics & Jazz – a division of Universal Music GmbH
DIET DESIGNS: Jonathan Anderson has become the latest designer to team with Diet Coke on the brand’s bottle, and will be putting his own spin on the iconic drink with inspiration from his fall-winter 2015 women’s rtw collection. He has also designed a notebook and two T-shirts for the brand’s Regret Nothing Campaign.
Anderson’s collaboration marks the first time Diet Coke has used photographs on its bottles, and his designs will be revealed at the end of July.
The limited-edition collector’s box set will be available at Harvey Nichols stores on August 17 for £24.95. or $ 39 at current exchange. Singles bottles will be sold for £1.95, or $ 3.
“What I like and what inspires me is the idea of using photography,” Anderson says in a video he made for the collaboration. Anderson added that for the design he took inspiration from his collection, “making (the bottle) something that you wanted to touch. It’s the perfect form.” He said he used the medium of photography, “like a postcard,” and played with different types of color.
Diet Coke is no stranger to fashion collaborations and has teamed with Patricia Field and Marc Jacobs in the past. Matthew Williamson, Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld have
© © 1990 Universal City Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
At Comic-Con 2015, Cody Christian tells Access how thrilled he is to be part of MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ family. Plus, what can tease about his role as Theo?
Ever have a friend who fits so many things into one day that it’s impossible to understand where they find the time for everything? Well, that’s actress Rachel Resheff.
I can’t even imagine how she found the time for this interview! Rachel put so much heart and soul into her answers I had to break it up into two parts, so be sure you check out both pieces.
Now let’s see what makes this 15-year-old so incredible!
Be sure to check out Part II to find out who Rachel played on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black!
You’re currently on Broadway in Larry David’s Broadway play Fish in the Dark with Jason Alexander. What was your audition like for this role?
I read about Fish in The Dark coming to Broadway in the Equity audition announcements. My family and I anticipated its arrival with excitement because we are huge Larry David fans. After learning that there was a role for a young teenage girl, my agent secured me an audition for the project. The breakdown of the character “Jessica Drexel” (Niece of “Norman Drexel” — played by Jason Alexander and originally played by Larry David) called for a 14-year-old intellectual Jewish girl. I went into the audition dressed as myself, since I was a pretty accurate fit for the character description.
There weren’t any suggestions or notes about the role or the show itself. Larry David, along with the director, Anna Shapiro and producer Scott Rudin, were seeking all of the various parts of a dysfunctional family and so I believe it was about the feel of the actors and their personalities, as well as their ability to hit the comedy of the play, which is very quick, sharp, and funny. I think they were looking for real and simple in “Jessica Drexel”, as she is a kind of centered presence in a world of very larger than life people, and that worked in my favor in the process.
A few weeks after my first audition with casting, I was called back in to do my lines in different ways with casting. A few days after my callback, I met with Anna Shapiro who worked with me, taped my audition and sent it to Larry David and Scott Rudin to watch. A few days after that, I found out I booked the part!
Which coast is your main residence? Where were you born? Do you have siblings that live with you?
I was born in NYC. I have always lived on the East Coast, and that is where my family lives as well. I have two older siblings, a brother and sister, who have very different passions and interests than I do. We are a close knit family so when my brother goes to college this fall, we will feel happy for him, but sad for us. My sister will leave for college a year later, and I might have to stow away in her suitcase.
What kind of lessons do you take now? What kind of lessons did you take when you were little?
I have studied ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop since I was three years-old. Tap is my favorite because it has such a rhythmic and musical element. My dance teacher, Janine Molinari, is a huge tapper, and sets a bar I try to reach every day. Ballet is a foundation for all dance and I enjoy what it allows me to do as a performer.
My voice teacher helped me to see voice as a lifetime instrument, so it wasn’t until recently that I let my inner belt fly. Voice is an instrument that requires both patience and care. It has always been important to me to work on all different types and genres of music.
I also play guitar, which I taught myself, and have played the piano for five years. I currently am a student at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
On July 26, you will have your debut at 54 Below. How did this come about?
During a music coaching session, Lindsay Mendez who’s an amazing mentor in my life, suggested the idea about how fun it would be to perform a one-woman show about my life as a teen performer. After a call with 54 Below, Lindsay came back to me saying they loved the idea and concept of the show. Knowing Lindsay would be the perfect director, I asked Steven Lutvak, who co-wrote and composed the Tony Award-winning A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder to musical direct the show. I was over the moon when he said he had time in his non-stop schedule. Steven has been my teacher, role model and friend since I first started in this business.
In Unwrangled, I will chronicle what it is like to be a young professional actor growing up in the spotlight via a musical memoir; where I bring the wild aspects and spectrum of emotions to life. There are so many perceptions of who embarks on the type of journey I have had and what the path must be like. My goal is to bring people into that world and see why young performers have this unexplainable passion and how its collected moments are the reason us young actors keep doing what we do.
You’re 15 and already have been in five Broadway shows. (Fish in the Dark, The People In The Picture, Shrek, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins.) You’ve also done non-Broadway theater. Tell us the difference between working on Broadway vs. non-Broadway.
Broadway is larger than life, and there is an exuberant energy that flows when the audience is with you. I am so lucky to have had the opportunities I have had to be in Broadway shows. In Shrek the Musical when I was only eight years-old, I first learned about the magnitude of a Broadway stage in the 2,000 seat Broadway theater. I would come out in a big tower and sing with Sutton Foster, and then I would watch on the stage monitor as each ensemble actor and dancer would bring to life their stories. Each show has such different spirit and life backstage and onstage. Mary Poppins and Billy Elliot were about the bonding of all of the kids. Most Broadway shows make a big effort to cast kids who get along with other kids. I think that’s probably why the processes can involve multiple callbacks. At age 10, when I entered my fourth Broadway show, The People in the Picture, written by Iris Rainer Dart who is now bringing her new show Beaches the Musical to Broadway, I had the chance to create a very big part opposite Donna Murphy who played my grandmother. Onstage I would watch Donna as she held her glasses or tilt her head a certain way, or change so slightly the lilt of her voice, and I was mesmerized by how the character was inside her body. At the end of the show, when I was crying as Donna’s character died, I was crying from a very deep place because I had connected so much to her. Shows are finely tuned machines, and every actor relies on the precision, heart, and energy of every other actor.
Plays, on Broadway and Off Broadway, require a very strong sense of timing and there is a rhythm that has to develop among the actors that draws the audience in, because there isn’t the music and dance and movement that musicals have to energize the audience. Larry David’s play feels like live comedy every night. Larry and Jason Alexander have brought such different things to the lead role, but each one has brought a larger than life element that sets a tone for each of the amazing actors in the play to weave into. One of the Off Broadway plays I did, The Big Meal, directed by Sam Gold and written by Dan LeFranc, had the feel of an orchestra, with different generations acting simultaneously and literally bouncing rapid fire off phrases which is a very true re-enactment of how real life can be. Another play I did, Everything is Ours, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt and written by Nikole Beckwith, challenged the audience to look at how to connect to other people and form families in an increasingly remote world. Sometimes in plays, there can be even more of an intimacy that develops with the audience in a play in both large and small theaters. Besides the huge laughter and fun of working with the Fish in the Dark cast, the highlight of my last few years was playing the title role “Carrie” in a teen production of Carrie the Musical, produced by The Broadway Workshop, a youth and teen theater company run by Marc Tuminelli. The cast members remain some of my closest friends. I think for me, I love immersing myself in the world of a production, and getting into my groove with whatever part I play on stage.
Check out Part II of my interview with Rachel Resheff coming soon.
Hot Tip Alert!
Actress Rachel Resheff is, um, amazing. That’s the word fits the bill! She already has five Broadway shows under her belt and will now be performing at 54 Below in NYC.
Part I of my candid interview with Rachel breaks down Rachel’s life, which I must say, is quite interesting for a teenager.
For you Orange is the New Black fans, you will recognize Rachel as young Alex Vause!
What was it like working on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black?
I loved every second of working on Orange is the New Black. The director, Michael Trim, is such a smart and chill person. The writer, Sian Heder, who was also on set, was so clear in her vision. In one scene, I had to take off my shoes and fling them out the window of a car while it was driving. The temperature outside was subzero and my toes were freezing. The director kept stopping the shoot because he was so concerned about my freezing toes. The set of the prison was so real it was eerie. When we drove there, I felt that I was lost in a place that was right out of the institution in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, which my drama class watched in school this year.
What are your favorite games?
I like Wii games such as “Just Dance” which I play with my sister a lot. I LOVE Boggle, and card games like Egyptian Rat Screw. I’m usually on my laptop or iPhone to connect with friends on social media during down times.
What type of music do you listen to?
Anything by Beyoncé, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran or Sara Bareilles is my jam. The singer/songwriters usually produce my favorite songs because the songs seem to really mean something to them in a different way. My favorite genres are folk, pop, jazz, and of course I’m always in the mood for anything Broadway.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I read a lot, spend time with friends, play basketball with my brother and sing and harmonize with my sister while she plays ukulele. I also love to work on my music, and write (I wrote a feature screenplay over the past two years which is in its 28th re-write), I procrastinate and sleep especially in the summertime when I try not to have any structured programs so I can just be free and take it easy!
What do your friends think about your career?
My friends are supportive of my career. Sometimes they don’t understand why I would want to do what I do because it involves a lot of hard work and dedication in addition to homework, and trying to maintain a social existence. Since I go to a performing arts high school now, a lot of my friends there share my passion for the arts. In the business, I have some stories to tell about reality show type behavior but I am saving those for my grandkids because right now I can’t let negative energy define my path or stop my positive energy.
What’s your current typical working day like?
My current typical working day is getting up at 6:00 a.m., stretch and warm up my voice, go running, and finish my homework while having breakfast. Then I go to school until 4:00 p.m. After school I either go to dance or a cycling class, work on my homework or go to auditions or self-tape for TV or film projects. At 7:20 p.m., I go to the theater, go down to hair and makeup, get in costume, hang with the ladies in my dressing room and on my floor. We have so much fun and are always laughing. In Fish in the Dark, I perform eight shows a week. Theater is an every day, ongoing life with a family of cast members so it often doesn’t feel like work at all.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Come and see my 54 Below debut on Sunday, July 26th. We are going to have a blast!
Hot Tip Alert!
Owen Wilson Says WOW – (PART 1) – Com… 2:35
Every single WOW from Owen Wilson so far except for the animated films. This is a celebration of Owen Wilson, We love him and just want a hug from him.
Submitted by: Owenergy Studios
Keywords: Owen Wilson
More and more women are refusing to shave their armpits — and resisting patriarchal beauty standards in the process.
Loyola University of Chicago student Bobby Crowley, who stopped shaving her underarms a few years ago, spoke to the double standard men and women face when it comes to their body hair in a conversation with HuffPost Live.
“It’s not just a body image thing, but it’s also a gender thing,” she said. “This is very clearly a gendered prescription that has been put upon women, whereas men are walking around and no one expects them to shave their armpits, obviously. People will talk about it like it’s a hygiene thing, but really it’s a gender thing. It’s absolutely only prescribed only to women, and there’s no way that women are any messier than [men], that’s for sure.”
While Lizzie Crocker, a staff writer at The Daily Beast, told HuffPost Live’s Nancy Redd that unshaven pits have become “inextricably linked to feminism,” Crowley said her choice to stop shaving was simply a personal one.
“Most importantly for me, when I started, it wasn’t about a movement. It wasn’t about anyone but myself. I would shave [my armpits] and they would be bleeding,” she said. “And really the reason I stopped is because I sort of looked at myself and said, I’m literally hurting myself every day because I have really sensitive skin.”
When she stepped back and questioned why she had been shaving every day, she had an epiphany.
“[I was not shaving] for me. It was a worry that when I lift my arms, I’m going to be shamed for having made a decision about my body that doesn’t go with how other people feel,” she said. “And that, to me, was most important.”
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the female armpit hair movement here.
Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!
Drake is finally getting caught in the Kardashian web, dropping thousands while partying with Kendall Jenner and several friends at a London hotspot. After headlining the Wireless Festival on Sunday, the rapper headed over to Chinawhite nightclub where…
One of nature’s rarest items, a pearl is produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. Truly flawless pearls are infrequently produced in nature, and as a result, the pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.
Hidden pearls exist in the world of movies, as well: films that, in spite of being brilliantly crafted and executed, never got the audience they deserved beyond a cult following.
Here are a few more of our favorite hidden pearls in the world of film:
1. Massacre at Central High (1976)
Dutch director, and former cameraman for the legendary Russ Meyer, Rene Daalder was hired by producers to direct an exploitation film set in a suburban high school with all the expected sex, nudity and violence that defines the genre. What they got instead was something totally unexpected: David (Derrel Maury) a sensitive, but extremely tough kid, transfers to Central High, where he reconnects with childhood pal Mark (Andrew Stevens) who is part of the school’s ruling clique, led by the Hitler Youth-esque Craig (Steve Bond), who rule over the student body like a police state. When David stands up to their bullying of other, weaker students, the clique retaliates, crippling David, only to find themselves being picked off one-by-one, having finally messed with the right wrong person. Although it certainly contains the above-mentioned exploitation elements, Massacre is a thinly-veiled metaphor for the rise of Fascism in society, brilliantly executed by the filmmakers and its young, attractive cast (female lead Kimberly Beck was one of the great beauties of her day). Highly influential upon dozens of later “teen” films, most notably Heathers, the film has been embroiled in a rights battle between its producers for decades, keeping a proper DVD/Blu-ray release and restoration from happening. Named by Roger Ebert as one of the ten best films of 1976, Massacre at Central High is a unique work that is alternately unsettling, hilarious and very sexy.
2. Quadrophenia (1979)
Inspired by The Who’s second, eponymous rock opera, after the classic Tommy, Quadrophenia is one of the greatest youth movies ever made, easily standing tall next to Rebel Without a Cause, Easy Rider, Over the Edge,and more. Phil Daniels plays Jimmy, a disaffected 19 year-old done with school but still not grown up, making as meager a living as a working class lad can in 1965 London. His only sense of belonging and identity comes from being a Mod, youths who related to post-modern popular culture in their dress (sharp suits and short haircuts), musical taste (The Who, modern jazz) and vehicles (Vespa scooters). Jimmy pops blues (amphetamines), gets into brawls with Rockers (leather-clad kids who ride motorcycles and have tastes still rooted in 1950s outlaw culture) and pursues the elusive, beautiful Steph (Leslie Ash). Jimmy’s struggle to fit in and define himself is incredibly moving. When he reconnects with an old school pal (a young Ray Winstone) who turns out to be on the “wrong side,” Jimmy’s anguish is palpable, as is his final, stunning act of rebellion, played out on the White Cliffs of Dover. Watch for Sting in his film debut as Ace Face, leader of the Mods, who’s charismatic image masks a sad reality.
3. Zardoz (1974)
In an interview with director John Boorman earlier this year, I told him what a huge fan I’ve always been of his sci-fi film Zardoz, that I’ve seen it eight times, and I still don’t know what the hell it’s about. He laughed and agreed that he wasn’t quite sure, either. Sean Connery is Zed, a primitive warrior in a future world divided into two camps: the poor savages and the privileged immortals. The savages worship the god Zardoz, a flying stone head that disperses guns and wisdom (“The Penis is evil! The Penis shoots Seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill! Zardoz has spoken.”) Zed hitches a ride on the head and finds himself in the Vortex, home to the immortals, including the beautiful Consuela (the appropriately beautiful Charlotte Rampling), throwing the balance of the world off-center. Even watching this film stoned doesn’t quite make it add up, but it’s a stunning, wonderful ride nonetheless. New Blu-ray release makes it shine that much stronger.
4. Vanishing Point (1971)
Vanishing Point is the greatest existential chase/road picture ever made. The plot is so simultaneously simple and complex, it’s worthy of Camus: Kowalski (Barry Newman) is a professional driver who is hired to deliver a 1970 Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. Along the way, he breaks every law governing speed on the books, sparks a cross-country manhunt by every trigger-happy law enforcement agency known to man, and becomes a folk hero to the audience of DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little), who gives hourly updates on Kowalski’s progress to the rebellious youth of the day. Vanishing Point is one of those films that runs an hour and forty minutes (and in the European cut, which we prefer, a bit longer) and has maybe ten pages of dialogue: in short, it’s pure cinema. Directed by Richard C. Sarafian, who was primarily a character actor, and knocked this 90 mph fastball out of the park.
5. Electra Glide In Blue (1973)
Another existentialist masterpiece masquerading as a murder mystery/policier, Electra stars Robert Blake as John Wintergreen, a pint-sized Arizona Highway Patrolman whose Napoleon Complex gives him a fire in the belly for bigger, better things: namely a detective’s gold shield. When a hermit is found dead from a shotgun blast in his desert shack, Wintergreen sees the case, which has more to it than initially meets the eye, as his ticket to the big-time. The only directorial effort of James William Guercio, known primarily as being manager of the group Chicago (who make a memorable cameo as a band of murderous hippies), who wisely spent a big chunk of his budget hiring the great Conrad Hall to shoot his film, Electra is one of the greatest-looking films of that hallowed cinematic decade that was the ’70s. Blake gives his finest (and most ironic, given how his life played out) performance, with his monologue toward the film’s devastating climax (“Loneliness’ll kill you deader than a .357 Magnum”) one of the most heartbreaking speeches ever committed to film.
6. Witchfinder General (aka The Conqueror Worm, 1968)
The UK has a film ratings system that goes back to the early 20th century, 1912 to be exact. By the late 1960s, films like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Bonnie & Clyde and The Graduate pushed the need for such a system in the U.S. to its breaking point. A few films released in 1968 helped that final straw break. This was one of them. Telling the true story of the infamous Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price in his greatest, least hammy performance), England’s infamous “witch hunter” who, with his assistant Stearne (Robert Russell) executed more than 300 people, mainly women, during their two to three years of ‘witch hunting’. Considering that 500 people in total were executed for witchcraft in England between the late 15th and late 18th centuries, it means that Hopkins was responsible for two thirds of these executions during a period of three years. Ian Ogilvy is the dashing young soldier who vows revenge upon Hopkins after his attack on his beautiful fiancée (Hilary Dwyer, both beautiful and a fine actress). In addition to a literate screenplay, inspired by Edgar Alan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm, the film’s then-unprecedented graphic violence, sex and nudity (still strong by today’s standards) was notable not only for its depiction, but for not being simultaneously exploitative. Director Michael Reeves, just 24 at the time of filming, gives the proceedings a matter-of-fact realism that makes it all the more disturbing. Sadly, Reeves would die of an accidental overdose a year after the film’s release.
7. El Topo (aka The Mole, 1970)
The first season of Saturday Night Live had one of their greatest fake commercials, showing Dan Ayckroyd and Gilda Radner arguing over whether an aerosol can’s contents contained a dessert topping or a floor wax. Chevy Chase then cheerfully enters, declaring “Shimmer is a floor wax AND a dessert topping!” Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo is much the same: It’s a spaghetti western. It’s a Christ allegory. It’s a comedy. It’s a tragedy. It’s profane. It’s reverent. It’s graphically violent and sexual. It’s peaceful and beautiful. And that’s just the first twenty minutes! Largely regarded as the first “midnight movie,” El Topo was lucky enough to be seen by John Lennon and Yoko Ono during a New York screening, who suggested to their then-manager, the notorious Allen Klein, that he distribute it through his newly-formed ABKCO Films, becoming an instant hit among the counterculture, yet never completely connecting with mainstream audiences, for obvious reasons.
8. Black Sunday (1977)
John Frankenheimer is the only director to rate one film on both lists. Based on Thomas (Silence of the Lambs) Harris’ first, and only, non-Hannibal Lecter novel. When a Black September terrorist camp is raided by a Mossad team, led by Commander Kabakov (Robert Shaw), all its denizens are wiped out, save the comely Dahlia Ilad (Marthe Keller) whom Shaw catches au naturele in the shower. The rest of the movie has Kabakov and his lieutenant (the late Steven Keats) trying to correct this mistake. Not only was Dahlia the most dangerous terrorist there, she is planning on hijacking the Goodyear Blimp with an unhinged Vietnam vet (Bruce Dern, at his best) and blowing up the Super Bowl! Prescient, to say the least, and almost unrelenting in its level of tension and suspense, Black Sunday also gains its brilliance from an utterly objective screenplay by Ivan Moffat, Ernest Lehman and Kenneth Ross, showing the clear POV of the Israeli, Palestinian and Americans involved. Released to be Paramount’s first blockbuster of 1977, the film got critical raves across the board, but tanked at the box office. Paramount released a terrific DVD about a decade ago, and now we wait anxiously for the Blu-ray this film, the best thriller of the ’70s, richly deserves.
9. Targets (1968)
After paying his dues working with “King of the Bs” Roger Corman for several years, Peter Bogdanovich was given the opportunity to write and direct his first film, a low budget affair that would have to be shot quickly. Bogdanovich and his then-wife/collaborator Polly Platt (along with uncredited work from the great Sam Fuller) came up with this ingenious little thriller, loosely based on University of Texas sniper Charles Whitman, about a deranged Vietnam vet sniper (Tim O’Kelly) and a veteran horror film star (Boris Karloff, in one of his final films) whose lives intersect at a drive-in theater in the film’s climax. Bogdanovich himself co-stars. The film was released only a month after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, causing many theaters to refuse bookings and patrons to stay away. It’s now regarded as an overlooked masterpiece, rightfully.
10. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Director Robert Aldrich, best known for The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Yard, had his finest hour with this brilliant, bizarre reinvention of Mickey Spillane’s Fascist detective Mike Hammer. After reluctantly rescuing a damsel in distress (Cloris Leachman, her film debut) on a deserted highway, private eye Mike Hammer (the great Ralph Meeker) finds himself embroiled in a Byzantine plot of murder, graft, vice and an A-bomb! Arguably the single greatest influence on the filmmakers of the French New Wave, Aldrich broke new ground with his use of music, dialogue, sex and violence in a brutal noir that remains potent at age sixty. In 1955, however, it was too far out to connect with audiences, and was viewed as a box office failure. You’ll never forget the final scene on the beach.
Hot Tip Alert!
Since this is the final article in this series, I am finally going to share the answer I gave the attorney colleague of mine who asked me the following question: “Any thoughts on how to make money as a family lawyer when you’re not prepared to screw the other side?”
My response was as follows:
“You are most welcome and thank you for your email.
I don’t believe you understand the severity of the situation. A great many family law attorneys are clueless at best and deliberately destructive at worst. Some attorneys are a combination of the two.
They honestly don’t want to learn the type of information I am trying to hand feed them. In order to disregard me, they badmouth me to one another and refer to me as “polarizing,” “a self-promoter,” and even as “mentally ill.” Oh yes – let me share with you portions of an email someone sent to a colleague on the listserv about me after I wrote the comment to which you responded:
‘As to Baer’s contributions, however, I am beginning to think the Family Law Bar would benefit more if, instead of encouraging him to write more about his evil parents, we chipped in for him to start undergoing long-term treatment with one of our talented LA psychoanalysts/psychiatrists. There is great value to mental health treatment by appropriate providers. Baer sounds as if he has PTSD, in addition to having no shame. I don’t think presenting ourselves as victims throughout our lives is part of any solution. I don’t think it’s healthy for us. I don’t think it’s healthy for others either when we do that.’ This attorney also referred to what I am doing as ‘whining.’
I’m afraid that there is nothing you or I can do to help families and try and minimize the collateral damage, when a traditional family law attorney also gets involved in the case. I used to be naive enough to believe otherwise, but learned my lesson the hard way after YEARS of trying.
The only answer that I have found is to get the case BEFORE any of these attorneys gets involved and do everything possible to make sure that neither party brings them on-board. This is VERY difficult and requires reaching the couple BEFORE either of them has retained counsel.”
As luck would have it, this same attorney attended a program I gave on June 23, 2015 on “How to Resolve Conflict.” During the Question and Answer portion of the program, he asked me that same question.
I responded by telling him that I currently address the issue by attempting to have a joint consultation with both parties, wherein we only discuss the various processes available for handling family law matters in California and the strengths and weaknesses of each. We do not discuss any particulars of their situation at that consultation. I tell them that such a consultation is important because the biggest mistake soon-to-be ex-couples make is interviewing attorneys before understanding the various processes available. In so doing, they tend to consult with and retain traditional family law attorneys, who will give them their parents’ divorce, so to speak.
If you have read this entire series, you will understand exactly what I meant by that statement. In any event, it only takes one person to sink the family ship and the lowest common denominator determines the direction the case will take. As I have been saying for a very long time, outcomes are typically determined by the way in which the “game” is designed. I am trying to assist people in designing the “game” so as to maximize the potential for a constructive divorce.
As for the reasons behind my sharing personal information are concerned, I want to reiterate what I said in Part IV of this series, which is that I share such information in an effort to enlighten my colleagues and others and for no other reason. As an aside, it also happens to explain my path to conflict resolution and why I am so passionate about it. As an aside, I would hardly say that the Family Law Bar has encouraged me to write anything at all, let alone the types of articles I tend to write.
Meanwhile, after reading my articles and comments, the take-away that some of my family law colleagues have had is that I don’t like practicing family law and wondering why I don’t just leave the field. In other words, they apparently believe that you cannot practice family law unless you want to litigate in the manner in which I have called into question in so many of my articles and comments.
Please note that social and emotional skills such as empathy are essential to conflict resolution. Therefore, those best suited to work in conflict resolution should have high EQs (Emotional Intelligence). It has long been known that while lawyers tend to be analytical because the field requires it, they generally score poorly in terms of their EQ level. This isn’t a problem when their job is merely to assist in resolving disputes. However, problems ensue in situations in which interpersonal relationships are involved, including but not limited to disputes between family members, employer/employee, neighbors, and business partners. It doesn’t help that people frequently confuse “conflict resolution or management” with “dispute resolution.” People with low EQ levels can generally do one, but not the other.
I may not be playing by the traditional rules, but I was recently recognized by The Corporate America Legal Elite of 2015 as “Most Compassionate Family Mediator–California,” among other things. It seems to me that the way I’ve designed my “game” is working perfectly fine.
One of nature’s rarest items, a pearl is produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. Truly flawless pearls are infrequently produced in nature, and as a result, the pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable. Hidden pearls exist in the world of movies, as well: films that, in spite of being brilliantly crafted and executed, never got the audience they deserved beyond a cult following.
Here are a few of our favorite hidden pearls in the world of film:
1. Night Moves (1975)
Director Arthur Penn hit three home runs in a row with the trifecta of Bonnie & Clyde, Alice’s Restaurant and Little Big Man, all critical and box offices smashes. Filmed in 1973 from Scottish writer Alan Sharp’s script, Night Moves offered a modern film noir starring Gene Hackman as a former pro football star turned private eye who undergoes a journey of self-discovery after taking on what appears to be a routine missing person’s case. Warner Bros. didn’t know what to do with the film’s unique blend of old-school private eye and post-modern existentialism, delaying the film’s release until 1975, where it still failed to find an audience. In retrospect, no other film captures the post-Vietnam/Watergate ennui that swept the U.S. in the mid-70s better than Night Moves. It’s one of Hackman’s best performances and Sharp’s script contains more quotable dialogue than any ten modern movies put together. Look for young Melanie Griffith and James Woods in early roles, and Jennifer Warren (whom stardom oddly eluded) as one of the saddest, sexiest and most tragic femme fatales in film history.
2. The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Author Jim Thompson is acknowledged as a master of the hard-boiled crime novel and The Killer Inside Me as his undisputed masterpiece. Told from the POV of a small town sheriff who is slowly succumbing to mental illness and an unquenchable thirst to kill, it’s one of the most unsettling books ever written. English director Michael Winterbottom, working from John Curran’s screenplay adaptation, sets the story in post-WWII West Texas, where Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) finds his demons overtaking him with startling speed and efficiency. Shot and designed in a way that’s reminiscent of the painter Edward Hopper, with washed out colors and characters who seem to drift past one another, The Killer Inside Me is a stunning piece of cinema, far superior to the 1975 version, starring the excellent Stacy Keach, but which was shot like an exploitation film. Winterbottom also wisely doesn’t tone down the book’s brutality, and its hyper-realistic depiction of violence earned the film an NC-17 rating.
3. Martin (1977)
Pittsburgh-based indie filmmaker George A. Romero is renowned as the father of the zombie picture, with his legendary Dead Films (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, et al), but his finest, most disturbing film is the little-seen Martin. Shot on location in and around Pittsburgh in 1976, Martin follows the life of an alienated teen (John Amplas) who believes (correctly or incorrectly) that he’s a vampire. Like its predecessors, Romero’s low-fi brand of filmmaking gives the proceedings an unsettling documentary realism and the viewer is immediately drawn into Martin’s desperate existence. His affair with a lonely housewife (the lovely Elyane Nadeau) is one of the most heartbreaking human interactions you’ll see in any movie. By the end of Martin, you’re not quite sure whether he’s really undead or just psychotic, and it ultimately doesn’t matter. Like all great films, Martin is about one thing on its surface, but something else completely underneath.
4. Los Olvidados (aka The Young and the Damned, 1950)
Luis Bunuel was primarily known as a satirist and surrealist who ran with figures like Salvador Dali and Man Ray during the 1920s and ’30s. However, his single excursion into neo-realism resulted in one of the most powerful films ever made. Shot primarily with non-professional actors he found on the streets of Mexico City, where the film was shot, Los Olvidados follows a gang of slum kids and their primal, hopeless existence, one where your first meal in days or a violent death might waiting around any corner. A subject of heated controversy upon its release in Mexico in 1950, its theatrical commercial run only lasted three days due to the enraged reactions from the press, government, and upper and middle class audiences who found its barbed critique of Mexico’s indifference to its underclass tough to stomach.
5. Over the Edge (1979)
Over the Edge could be called “Son of Los Olvidados,” as director Jonathan Kaplan and writers Tim Hunter and Charlie Haas surely were influenced by the aforementioned, in this fact-based story of suburban teens running amuck in a planned community. Matt Dillon makes his film debut as the “bad kid” who influences the more sensible Michael Kramer, who tries to navigate the minefield of adolescence in an increasingly brutal landscape, populated by unsupervised, privileged kids whose level of boredom and ennui boils over into one of the most stunning climaxes of teen anarchy ever photographed. The film was pulled from its original theatrical release by Orion Pictures after Paramount’s The Warriors (another cult favorite) was blamed for gang-related violence in some theaters. After finding a second life on HBO in the ’80s, the film has gained a fervent following and remains a potent and powerful time capsule, a Lord of the Flies for the pre-MTV generation. Great period rock soundtrack just adds to the film’s authenticity.
6. Seconds (1966)
Director John Frankenheimer stepped away from his usual subject matter of political intrigue to helm this brilliant, terrifying and utterly bizarre tale that can only be described as “a Faustian Twilight Zone.” John Randolph stars in the first act of the film as a middle-aged bank executive who has all the trappings of success, but feels unfulfilled. After receiving a mysterious phone call from an old friend he thought long dead, Randolph is “offered” the chance to be re-born as an entirely new man, who turns out to be Rock Hudson. Hudson gives a layered, agonized performance, the best of his career, as a man who realizes all too late the old saying “no matter where you go, there you are.” Stunning black & white cinematography by James Wong Howe.
7. The Stunt Man (1980)
Richard Rush’s story of an escaped convict (Steve Railsback) who hides out with a film company shooting a war epic helmed by a tyrannical director (the great Peter O’Toole), is part comedy, part thriller, part satire, part love story and wholly, utterly unique. Filmed in 1978, but not released until 1980, The Stunt Man didn’t set the box office on fire, in spite of receiving three Academy Award nominations, but remains a cult favorite that continues to be discussed by critics, scholars and cinefiles. Not to be missed.
8. The Wanderers (1979)
Philip Kaufman, the greatest American director you’ve never heard of, directed his own adaptation (along with wife Rose Kaufman) of Richard Price’s novel detailing Bronx gang life in the rapidly changing landscape that was 1963. Led by an amazing group of young actors (Ken Wahl, John Friedrich, Tony Ganios and Linda Manz), most of whom strangely didn’t go on to stardom, The Wanderers blends nostalgia, pathos, surrealism and drama seamlessly to create an utterly unique experience. Again, an amazing period soundtrack boosts the proceedings more.
9. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
Actor L.Q. Jones, a veteran actor who appeared in most of Sam Peckinpah’s films, got behind the camera for this brutal story of post-apocalyptic survival, adapted from Harlan Ellison’s novel. Don Johnson, pre-Miami Vice, stars as Vic, a young punk who roams the wasteland with his talking dog, Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), looking for food to eat, women to have sex with (willingly or not) and any kind of shelter they can find. After stumbling upon an underground society that tries to mimic what life was like before the bombs fell, Vic and Blood discover sinister goings on under the surface of civility. Not for every taste, to be sure, and hampered occasionally by its low budget, but still a startling, uncompromising work.
10. Cutter’s Way (aka Cutter and Bone, 1981)
Jeff Bridges stars as Richard Bone, a burned-out former Ivy League tennis star who spends his days and nights in Santa Barbara doing odd jobs and pimping himself out to rich housewives and widows. After a late night tryst, Richard spots a figure dumping the body of a young girl in a dark alley. He tells his pal, disabled, embittered Vietnam vet Alex Cutter (John Heard) about it, and Cutter is convinced local fat cat J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott) must be responsible, though they have no tangible proof. Lisa Eichorn, a stunning actress who never got her due, is sensational as Cutter’s alcoholic wife, Mo. Less a conventional mystery than a portrait of how the ’60s generation were chewed up and spit out, Cutter’s Way is a stunning social and political allegory, which builds to a shattering climax under director Ivan Passer’s sure hand.
Hot Tip Alert!
Bryan Safi chats about his role in Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s Lifetime movie, ‘A Deadly Adoption.’ Was this meant to be a parody or on the level?
We go inside the latest addition to a fleet of lighter-than-air vehicles—the most advanced blimp in the air.
WIRED Videos – The Scene
Find out how the tech, aviation, and design of Goodyear’s new airship stack up to its predecessors.
WIRED Videos – The Scene
Blimps have come along way from the Zeppelin days; find out what’s in store for the future of Goodyear’s new airships.
WIRED Videos – The Scene
As if the prior five parts of this series weren’t frightening enough, it only gets worse.
A great many of my family law attorney colleagues believe that mediation only works under such narrow circumstances, that almost no cases are appropriately suitable for it. They believe that mediation is only effective in family law cases under the following circumstances:
1. Full disclosure of all assets and debts,
2. Knowledge of their legal rights and obligations,
3. No power imbalances,
4. The decision to divorce is mutual, and
5. The parties equally share the cost of the mediation.
From my vantage point, the first two points are tied together and relate to the issue of making “informed decisions.” As I have said before, legally “competent people making informed decisions can agree on anything they want, that is not illegal or otherwise in violation of public policy.” No argument here. However, the statement I made expresses my opinion, whether agreements are reached through negotiation, mediation, or through any other means. It is important to note that in California, division of assets and debts is a trial issue and that only approximately three percent of all family law cases go to trial. Therefore, almost all family law cases are resolved one way or another outside of trial.
Are my colleagues applying a higher standard for the level of informed consent required for a matter to be resolved through mediation than through negotiation? If so, why? What type of information is obtained through litigated negotiation that cannot be obtained through mediation?
Whether a matter is resolved through mediation, negotiation or litigation, I always require that the parties exchange their Declaration of Disclosures before agreeing on issues of a financial nature, except for very temporary agreements, if necessary. At a minimum, the Declaration of Disclosure consists of the following: (1) “A completed Schedule of Assets and Debts or a Property Declaration for both Community and Quasi-Community and Separate Property;” (2) “A completed Income and Expense Declaration;” and (3) “All tax returns filed by the party in the two years before the date that the party served the disclosure documents.”
When the forms specify that certain attachments are to be included, I don’t consider those documents complete unless and until those attachments (if they exist) are included and the information on the forms and the information matches.
In fact, after being retained to mediate a divorce case in which the parties are not represented (at least not yet), I send them the following email:
“Certain things must be done in order for a court to sign off on your divorce. You are married and spouses have a fiduciary duty to each other. The law requires that spouses make informed decisions when dealing with each other, and that includes during divorce proceedings. In fact, the courts have punished people for ‘hiding’ or otherwise failing to disclosure any assets and/or debts.
One such example occurred when a woman purchased a lottery ticket, won the jackpot and filed for divorce the following day. However, she neglected to advise her spouse that she won the lottery and failed to disclose it throughout the divorce process. Since the ticket was purchased during marriage, it was presumed that it was purchased with community property and was thus community property. Ultimately, the court gave all of the lottery winnings to the husband, even though he would only have been entitled to half, if his wife had done the right thing.
In another example, a husband failed to disclose an account with substantial assets that he believed was his separate property. Even if he were correct in his assumption, by not disclosing the account, the income it earned was not included for purposes of calculating support and the asset was not included for purposes of determining attorneys fees contributions. As a result, the court gave the entire asset to his wife.
I am sharing this information with you because I want you both to understand the importance of full disclosure and the consequences that could ensue, if you fail to take that responsibility to heart. I have attached a document that explains ‘what exactly must be disclosed’ and ‘disclosure tips’ from Forrest ‘Woody’ Mosten, an internationally well-respected family law mediator and trainer.
Please complete the following documents:
Income and Expense Declaration (with requisite attachments), and
Schedule of Assets and Debts (with requisite attachments).
The following article on characterization of assets might assist you: “California Divorce: Dividing Property – Assets and debts spouses acquire during marriage belong equally to both of them.”
The following article on characterization of debts might assist you: “Dividing the Debts in a California Divorce – A basic overview of how debts are dealt with in a California divorce. Learn about complex issues that can arise when dividing debts in a divorce.”
I also recommend that you review “The Most Common Financial Forms Used during a Divorce Case” from the website for the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. In addition to providing links to instructions, it contains a link to view a PowerPoint presentation called “Financial Disclosures in a Divorce, Legal Separation or Annulment.”
If you want to better understand your legal rights and obligations with regard to child support and spousal support, you are welcome to review the California Judges Benchguide on Child and Spousal Support. However, please remember that you may agree on anything that you want, as long as it is not illegal or in violation of public policy. Thus, you are not limited to resolving those or other issues within the box of possibilities that would occur inside a courtroom. I, for one, don’t want to be placed in a box when I’m dead and I certainly don’t want to be forced into one, while I’m still alive. If you feel the same way, I recommend that you consider this material only for informational and perspective purposes and that you keep your mind open to the possibility of more creative solutions that better address your respective interests, needs, values, goals and fears. It is a grave mistake to confuse the concepts of “legal justice” with “fundamental fairness.”
Whether involved in negotiation, mediation or otherwise, I always ask my clients whether they would like to receive additional information from which to make informed decisions. If I am acting in the capacity of the attorney, I typically recommend that they obtain such additional information. However, when acting as the mediator, I can only provide legal information and not give legal advice. When providing legal information, I provide the clients with materials from which they can decide whether or not to request additional information. For example, if one of the spouses is self-employed or owns their own business, I provide them both with articles covering how to glean information from the tax returns and find “hidden assets.”
If one party requests additional information that the other party refuses to provide, they have the same right to conduct formal discovery before reaching agreements in mediation as they do in litigation. In addition, I always recommend that unrepresented parties retain consulting attorneys and that they meet with them after exchanging their Declarations of Disclosure and before discussing terms of settlement. For reasons that should be obvious from this series of articles, I tend to recommend that they retain “mediation-friendly family law attorneys.”
Furthermore, mediation can commence at any stage of the divorce, as was mentioned in my article titled “What Does Mediation Really Mean,” although when families are involved, the sooner the better. Moreover, even if a case falls out of mediation because a party was not acting in good faith, why can’t mediation be revisited once the parties are both comfortable that they have received sufficient information from which to make informed decisions?
Keep in mind that there wouldn’t be case law pertaining to re-opening cases and penalizing the non-disclosing party, if litigation were fool-proof in that regard. Let’s therefore not pretend otherwise. Regardless, the same language protecting one party from the other party’s lack of disclosure can be included in a settlement agreement, whether reached through litigated negotiation, mediation, or otherwise.
With regard to power imbalances, “sophistication and power imbalances may lead to inequitable results, unless mediation-friendly attorneys are involved to level the playing field.” That quote is from the chapter I authored for the 2013 edition of “Inside the Minds – Strategies for Family Law in California.” In other words, whoever said that parties who mediate their divorce cannot or should not be represented by counsel? It sure as heck wasn’t me. However, I do recommend that if parties involved in mediation retain counsel, they should retain “mediation-friendly family law attorneys.”
Furthermore, when I am mediating a case for unrepresented parties and the terms of their agreement fall outside my realm of reasonableness because of the sophistication of the parties, power imbalances or some other reason, I have been known to insist that they each consult with an attorney before I will move forward. In fact, the following is from an actual email I sent on just such a case: “Attached, please find my draft of your Marital Settlement Agreement. As you will see, there is some missing information that needs to be provided to me and included in the agreement. In addition, please advise me of any needed changes, in the event that the document does not accurately reflect your agreement. Furthermore, as I mentioned in our last mediation session, I will not put this document into final form unless and until I know for certain that you have each consulted with separate counsel who is knowledgeable in the field of family law in California. You may not be involved in selecting the consulting attorney that your spouse retains for this purpose, regardless of how such costs will be paid.”
I’m really at a loss as to why mediation would be inappropriate, unless the decision to divorce is mutual. I have successfully mediated a great many cases in which only one of the spouses wanted the divorce. What would make anyone think that an adversarial process is the only way of handling such a situation? Among other things, mediation is a dispute resolution process that helps to resolve or otherwise manage conflict. Litigation, on the other hand, is an adversarial process and therefore tends to increase the level of conflict and distrust in order to resolve legal issues. Why must the conflict level and distrust be exacerbated merely because the decision to divorce is not mutual?
It’s also beyond my comprehension why some of my colleagues believe that mediation only works if the parties share the cost equally. The California Family Law Code provides for attorneys fees contributions, in order to level the playing field. This issue is address all the time in litigated cases, regardless of whether or not they are resolved inside a courtroom. When family law attorneys hire private judges either to “mediate” or rule on a case, do they only do so if the parties equally pay the cost? I ask the question because it seems that this concern about the mediator being biased in favor of the party paying more of their fees only applies to facilitative mediators. Why?
Just last Sunday, I conducted the fourth and final mediation session on a case in which the husband has been paying all of my fees. I very seriously doubt that either of them would say that I was biased because of that or for any other reason.
That case went into mediation because of something I’ve been saying for years that resonated with them – “Like it or not, if there are children of the relationship (regardless of their age), you are still a family after the relationship ends.”
The power of that statement was repeated by them on Sunday, after they resolved all of their issues.
They are connected together for life because of their children and expressed the importance of maintaining an amicable relationship going forward.
Furthermore, the wife also mentioned her hesitation with the idea of mediating the divorce and said that it was much easier than they expected.
Such reactions don’t tend to occur following litigation.
By the way, I didn’t even bother mentioning the belief that many family law attorneys hold, which is that if a divorcing couple is able to work together in a constructive manner, they don’t need mediation. This belief circles back around to the article that led to this series in the first place – “Solid negotiation skills crucial for family lawyers.” The entire point of that article was the fact that family law attorneys are typically lacking in those skills, to say the least. Therefore, if the divorcing couple is ready, willing and able to have a constructive divorce, how about designing the “game” in a manner that will maximize that potential?
I’m not even going to address the argument that if divorcing couples are able to have a successful divorce, why are they even divorcing?
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I have little patience for small-minded people. That having been said, while I may know how I mediate my cases, I certainly don’t know how other mediators operate. I am also not suggesting that my way of mediating is the only way of mediating or that my approach is better than those used by other mediators. As has been said by others in the past, “mediation is more of an art than a science.”
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My mother lost her husband of 56 years recently. They were married for 42 years; divorced for 14. When they separated back in the ’90s, none of the ten offspring could have predicted the events that occurred when my father was admitted to the ICU nearly 800 miles away. My parents’ divorce was not one of those amicable, “We grew apart” separations. Their divorce should have been a simple one but took four long, contentious years to settle.
As the years passed following the signed marital settlement agreement, my parent’s relationship became one built on encouragement and concern. My mother was one of my father’s biggest supporters through the years, even after the divorce. She didn’t want him to feel badly — either physically or emotionally — and often took steps to protect him, her former spouse.
A sister and brother did the lion’s share of my father’s care giving. But when it became evident that my father was really sick and facing the end, it was my mother who flew to Chicago to support him and my siblings. My father and his health care director were facing huge, life altering decisions. Those decisions were both difficult to make and enforce once they were made. Dad felt better knowing Mom was there and privy to the conversations.
My mother’s presence brought comfort to my ailing father. It was her company that he desired. It was in her hand that he wanted to place his. It was her name that he called out when she left to return home. It was her picture that was found in the box stashed in his closet.
Many people asked me why my mother went to my father’s sick bed. My response wasn’t always the same. Sometimes I thought it was to support my siblings with their decisions. Or possibly it was because she was married to him for over 40 years. Maybe it was because they had ten children together. She didn’t hate him; she just didn’t want to be married to him. I never asked my mother why she went as it wasn’t important and it was her choice. To me, it was critical that she be there at the end. I hoped that he would feel the same way. Hours before he passed, my mother said her final farewell and kissed his forehead. Shortly after that, he was gone. My mother called me to share the news. She wasn’t crying, but I did.
I’m not sure if they had that conversation that people talk about when you have the chance to say goodbye. My wish for them was to exchange a few simple words and short phrases. A heartfelt “thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “you were the best”, or “we had a good life” would have been healing words for both of them. Simple words and short phrases that could deliver the final message.
My parents’ love story is an important one to tell. We each marry our partner for our own reasons. Often during divorce, people say, “I would be a much better widow than divorcee” and I don’t disagree. Our marriage is part of our history — for better or worse — just as the love story between my parents is part of their history.
The final chapter of my father’s life included gatherings with family, friends, former colleagues and lastly with the woman he chose to be his wife and the mother of his children. The rocky start to their divorce makes their ending even sweeter. When it was time to take his last breath, he had spent many days with my mother by his side holding his hand or offering him silent comfort. They started the journey together back in the ’50s and almost 60 years later, for better or worse, my mother is grieving the loss of her husband.
This article was originally published on FamilyAffaires.com.
Back in February, Colin Quinn said he considers it an insult that in all his years of “quasi-fame,” he’s never gotten the chance to guest star on “Law & Order.” But that’s partially his own doing. The comedian told HuffPost Live on Thursday that he actually was asked to appear in an episode of “Law & Order: SVU,” but he refused to play the part.
At the center of the episode was “a director who’s like a sexual predator,” but Quinn soon realized he wasn’t up for that part. Instead, he was offered a role so terrible that he thought it was a joke, he told host Ricky Camilleri.
“If that’s their idea of a part for me, it’s more infuriating than if they didn’t offer me anything,” Quinn said.
Find out what that awful role was in the video above, and click here to see the full HuffPost Live conversation about Quinn’s new book, The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America.
Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before.
The Rolling Stones are set to reissue 12×5, Let It Bleed and Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out as part of a limited art collection. The packages include a clear-vinyl edition of the LP and a one-of-a-kind framed lithograph of the LP’s cover. “When the print run is made, that’s it,” said Denny Somach, litho producer. “No more are made.”
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Sometimes all it takes is the right motivation for a str8 guy to cross the line and get off with the help of another guy for the first time. And by "motivation" we mean CASH! From their initial "No way," to "Dude, I’ve got bills to pay," follow the progression of these str8 guys as they break into the arena of gay-for-pay porn.
Sometimes all it takes is the right motivation for a str8 guy to cross the line and get off with the help of another guy for the first time.
Scene Number: 2
Studio Name: Spunk Worthy
We put our legendary co-host in the hot seat and he spoke on how he evaluates music, how his faith influences his work ethic and how much he cares about getting credit. And that’s just the first half.
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ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!
The bias of NatGeo’s “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” is plainly evident in its 70 second opening. The following description, in parentheses, of what appeared onscreen is this writer’s, the narration and dialogue, in bold, are verbatim from the broadcast.
(we see Curtiss Foreman spins the prop, we hear engine sounds)
CURTISS FOREMAN : Are you ready ?
(we see Glenn Curtiss seated on the “June Bug” biplane, hands on the control wheel)
CURTISS : Let’s go ! (the “June Bug” begins its take-off)
(we see Orville and Wilbur setting up their wind tunnel
NARRATOR : No invention has changed the world (we see a Wright Model 1907 flying low over landscape) quite like the airplane , but the story of its creation (just as the Narrator says “creation” we see Curtiss starting to sketch a design for an aeroplane) is one of intense rivalry, (we see Wilbur in a suit and wearing a soft cap, looking goofy, walking towards a birdhouse on a pole, holding the 1900 kite on his head) between two brothers named Wright…
(indoors, Orville looking down, speaking softly)
ORVILLE : People won’t believe we can fly unless we show them.
(at a distance we see the 1902 Wright Glider on top of a sandy hill, two figures, one walking toward the other)
(we see Curtiss in slo-mo, arms folded, looking down, standing in his workshop, backlit in a halo effect)
NARRATOR : … and a dare-devil called Glenn Curtiss…
CURTISS : May the best plane win.
(we see Curtiss standing at the exit of Wilbur’s tent, Wilbur’s his face towards Curtiss, Wright Flyer sitting on ground in background, Wilbur looks up at Curtiss, perturbed, as Curtiss exits)
NARRATOR : … who was brave enough to take them on.
(we see Curtiss walking across a field as he says…)
CURTISS : We fly again tomorrow.
NARRATOR : A bitter competition…
(we see Wilbur in profile)
WILBUR : It’s a ploy.
(we see Orville, a deep shadow across his face)
NARRATOR : … fueled by danger, (we see Wilbur crashing in the 1902 Wright Glider) and marked with tragedy, (we see Orville in profile, wearing street clothes, lying on a bed) (we see Wilbur apparently crying into his hands) would forever change the way (we see Curtiss and the June Bug taking off and flying, a group of people below looking up) (we see Curtiss’ hands on the June Bug’s control wheel) we see the world. (we see Curtiss in profile flying the June Bug, determined look on his face)
(we see the front elevator of the June Bug turning up to gain altitude)
(we see Curtiss in profile, smiling, flying in the June Bug)
(TITLE : WRIGHT vs CURTISS) (the title card shows Wilbur and Orville in the top half, standing looking towards the left; below we see a determined Curtiss facing to the right, wearing a leather jacket, a soft cap and goggles, flying the June Bug)
(TITLE : AMERICAN GENIUS)
Now, what are we supposed to take from this 70 second opening sequence ?
- Curtiss flew before Wilbur and Orville Wright did
- Wilbur and Orville set up their wind tunnel after Curtiss flew the June Bug (in other words, the Wright brothers are shown still experimenting while Curtiss is actually flying)
- Curtiss’ sketch of an aeroplane design is linked with the narrator saying “creation” of the aeroplane
- Wilbur is emotionally “at risk”
- Curtiss is strong, determined and decisive
- Curtiss is a brave dare-devil who isn’t afraid to ‘take on’ the Wrights
- Curtiss has a group of helpers and supporters to help with his flying (in other words, Curtiss is sociable and well liked)
- Wilbur and Orville Wright are on their own, except for a couple of workers in their bicycle shop (in other words, the Wright brothers are isolated and nearly friendless)
- While Curtiss is flying and controlling a powered aeroplane, Wilbur and Orville can only manage an attempt to fly with a glider, and they crashed
- As the title card appears we see Curtiss in flight and the Wright brothers standing
During the opening, Curtiss is shown making a successful powered flight in 8 scenes – in 1908.
Of the 6 scenes showing a Wright machine flying, 1 shows the powered flight of a two-seat Wright Flyer, 1 shows the 1902 Wright Glider in stable flight, and 4 show the 1902 glider starting to crash.
The only vague hint of the Wrights’ success at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, is the 1901 wind tunnel being set up.
“Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” is taking the side of Curtiss, even while admitting that Wilbur and Orville Wright flew on December 17, 1903.
“Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” takes the view that establishing an aviation industry (Curtiss in this story) was more important or at least as important as making the very first true powered, controlled, sustained human flight.
The opening sequence of “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” was not done in some random manner, it was purposeful in what was shown, how often it was shown, and in what order it was shown, and reflects the attitude of those who produced “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss.”
We were being told what the course of the story would be and important characteristics about the main characters.
We were also being induced to accept the false narratives that follow as the main body of the story.
False Narrative No. 1 – “First in Flight”
Glenn Curtiss is portrayed engaged in a rivalry with Wilbur and Orville Wright, for the sobriquet of “First in Flight.”
However, Wilbur Wright began his aerial effort in 1899, leading to the success of 1903.
Glenn Curtiss began pursuing heavier-than-air aeronautical matters in 1908.
By 1908, when Curtiss began his experimentation, it was very certainly established that Wright aeroplanes flew under control and flew rather well, for long distances and for long periods of time.
False Narrative No. 2 “Patent Stifles US Aviation Industry”
That the US aviation industry were being stifled by the enforcement of the Wright Patent, and but for the Wrights insisting on defending their patent, aviation in the US would have flourished.
That narrative is false because, whatever negative effect the enforcement of their legal patent might have had, the main impediment to the development of an aviation industry in the US was the almost complete lack of financial support by the US government. During the same period, the European imperial powers were devoting very large amounts of public funds to spur on their own aviation industries.
Between May 22nd 1906 (when the Wright Patent was approved by the US Patent Office) and August 1909, the Wrights were not strenuously enforcing their patent.
It is also part of the “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” false narrative that the Wrights refused to sell a license to manufacture aeroplanes to Curtiss. When Curtiss was first contacted, it was he who refused to pay for a license.
As they sought investors and the ‘Wall St. Money’ investors would bring, they were forced to defend their patent. It’s important to know that if a patent holder were to not seek to enforce their patent, their patent could be declared void by the Patent Office.
“Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” takes the position time and again that the Wright Patent was an impediment and seems to suggest that the Wrights shouldn’t have been so intent on enforcing their patent. What sense does that make ? Once having gotten their three-axis control system approved as a US Patent, why would they not go after those who were infringing on that patent ?
What sense would that make ?
As for aeronautical activity in the US, it was quite robust during the time of the patent lawsuits. During 1911, the Curtiss Exhibition Company provided aviators for over a dozen state fairs and exhibited at over 200 locations, for a total of more than 500 days of flying.
False Narrative No. 3 “Wright brothers Disagree over Public Flights”
That Wilbur and Orville disagreed over whether to make public flights.
There is no known record of this being anything more than the most minimal disagreement of place and time. The issue, as “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” presents it, is exaggerated beyond all reason… but, of course we know why, drama (even the most fabricated variety) trumps facts – sadly, even on NatGeo.
False Narrative No. 4 “The Patent & Wing-Warping”
That wing-warping was the central issue with respect to the Wright Patent – it was not. “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” makes it the single most important aspect of the Wright Patent, presumably in order to simplify the storyline, rather than be pestered with actually educating people about the truth the matter.
The Wright Patent was concerned with controlling the flight of heavier-than-air aerial machines in all three directions of movement, roll (horizontal motion left and right – rolling), pitch (up-and-down motion) and yaw (side-to-side motion). Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the means to control flight in those three directions.
False Narrative No. 5 “Nothing Much Happened Abroad”
The fifth false narrative is the near-total absence of mentions of aerial happenings beyond those of Curtiss and the Wrights in the US. Wilbur’s astonishing flights in France in 1908, and Orville’s later flights in Germany, and the Wrights’ technical dominance of aviation up until 1909/10 are completely absent from the storyline of “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss.”
One of the more annoying and non-historical aspects of “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” is the shifting of events from one year to the next, done, presumably, to support the First False Narrative.
The Wrights are seen putting their wind tunnel together (this happened during the fall of 1901) after Curtiss is shown flying the June Bug in July 1908.
The 1902 Wright Glider is shown crashing in 1902 – the narrator states… “Wilbur survives the crash, but if the Wright brothers are going to be first in manned flight, they’ll have to rethink their design, and fast. After all, the race to be first in the air is just heating up.”
The crash happened on August 9th 1901, and the glider was the 1901 Wright Glider.
NatGeo and Banijay/Stephen David Entertainment have obviously decided to let dramatic effect rule the sequence of events, the dates of events and even the events themselves.
Fiction, novel, novella, graphic novel, comic book – whatever it is, “T’aint history”
Prior to airing “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss” NatGeo titled this production “Wright vs Curtiss” (the opening title still reads “Wright vs Curtiss”) and after the kerfuffle about their show erupted, it appears they changed the title on their website to be “Wright Brothers vs Curtiss.”
Also, whereas prior to the broadcast NatGeo called this production a “Documentary” it is now referred to as a “Docu-drama” (which is far more appropriate, although something such as “Fictional account using historical persons and events” would be even more appropriate.
Let’s all hope the Tom Hanks Wright brothers production on HBO will hew closer to reality than NatGeo and Banijay/Stephen David Entertainment chose to.
Memo to Tom H.: “Please, value history over drama.”
One passing thought… Glenn Curtiss looked more like Curtiss chum Augustus Post than Curtiss, whose signature moustache exploded into a full-beard in this production.
Finally, the wardrobe costumers, makeup artists and stylists did a remarkable job with probably very few resources, and DP Piero Basso deserves a high-five, as well. They were not, after all, responsible for the awful mess the script became.
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