Debates, Part Très: Trump Broke It

22 10 2020

Despite some doubts a few weeks ago, the final Presidential Debate is indeed happening: live, socially-distanced, and in person, in Nashville, Tennessee.

In its infinite wisdom, <insert *eyeroll*> the so-called bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates decided to change the rules (what a surprise). Now the President and candidate Biden will have their microphones cut off as the other one delivers their opening two-minute responses to the debate topics.

From NBC San Diego:

The 90-minute debate is divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate granted two minutes to deliver uninterrupted remarks before proceeding to an open debate. The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time in the second and final debate Thursday.

Much has been written about the left-wing activist-cum-journalist moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, so I won’t belabor it here. She deleted her entire Twitter account as a pre-emptive strike, so that should tell you something.

Welker’s topics will be: fighting the coronavirus, race in America (didn’t we already cover that in the first debate?), climate change, national security, leadership and American families. Following in the tradition of 2016 where Trump invited Juanita Broaddrick to his debate with Hillary Clinton, the President has invited Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski.

Who is he, you might ask? Bobulinski has done what the media said couldn’t be done: confirmed that the email referenced in the New York Post’s expose on Hunter Biden’s laptop is indeed real, and that Joe Biden was indeed “the guy” who takes the 50 percent cut of the Chinese deal that Hunter Biden referenced in the email. Bobulinski can do this because he is the recipient of said email, and has all the receipts. Best not to fuck with a former Navy officer whose family is steeped in intelligence.

Joe Biden won’t need to be interrupted, all President Trump will have to do is point to Bobulinski to confront Biden’s denial and lies.

Can’t wait.

Go read my posts on Part 1: It’s Time to Change the Format of the Debates, and Part 2: Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderator! to get my take on what could have been done to improve the debate format, as well as stop the ridiculous food fight that happened with Chris Wallace at the first Presidential debate.

Of course, that same thing occurred with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie at the Trump Town Hall on the 15th, and during Trump’s unedited and unfiltered release of the 60-Minutes interview with CBS’s Leslie Stahl. Does professionalism diminish as the paycheck increases? In their cases, apparently so.

Bottom line: No matter what may occur tonight, or who wins the election, suffice to say this geriatric and outdated Commission on Presidential Debates is done. They have shown themselves to be partisan, unprepared, out of touch, and obsolete. John Danforth, one of those geriatric members of the Commission, and a Republican, took to print and the airwaves to rebuke Trump for his criticism of their methods, to emphasize how important this Commission is to the national conversation, and to let you know what an august and truly bipartisan body they are. Yeah… right.

Put them on the list of things that Trump broke.

Harmeet Dhillon, stellar attorney and GOP Women co-chair tweeted a great thread that encapsulated it best:

Now it’s off to the store to buy some popcorn and wine; it’s going to be a chomp-worthy 90-minutes!





Open Letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors opposing their declared Opposition to Prop 22

9 10 2020

This is not what I wanted to see on a Friday. It is a tweet from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ District 1 representative Hilda Solis.

Despite the supposed poll data, it is clear from this move that Yes on Prop 22 is on the path to winning; so this is Labor’s pre-emptive strike to oppose the will of the people. I will not allow this to stand, and you shouldn’t either.

Solis used to be Secretary of Labor during the Obama administration (first term), and I actually met her in Washington, D.C. when she hosted a Jobs Panel to which I was invited. I was facilitating a Career/Jobs group called Tuesdays with Transitioners, and my focus was training the 20th Century worker in 21st Century technology. While this was maybe a year or two before app-based technology exploded, I trained people in the mindset of depending on their skills, ingenuity, and smarts to find employment. To rethink employment outside of the box of a full-time job, and to consider themselves the commodity (and not the job), and to do their utmost to market that commodity to employers or individuals/companies wishing to contract with them.

The 2011 Jobs Club Panel hosted by United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in Washington, D.C.

Then-Secretary Solis gave high praise to my methods, even mentioning me in her newsletter (above).

Now in her second (and thankfully, last) term as Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for District 1, Solis seems intent on appeasing her Union backers. Sadly, this is the way of the world in California and elected officials who are beholden to their Labor interests, rather than the people they are elected to serve.

Like most legislative measures, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors allows for public comment on their website: https://publiccomment.bos.lacounty.gov

Along with filling in the limited comment box, I attached a long letter which I am reposting here. It is raw, but real. Feel free to copy, share, or borrow any of my language.

This evil attack on the working professionals, gig workers, women, minorities, and those who do not work in a typical way must be ended. If you live in Los Angeles County, I encourage you to lodge your Opposition to this measure, and even show up to the hearings on October 13 if you are able.





Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderators!

8 10 2020

The Presidential Debate Commission is a complete joke, and now everyone knows it.

After last night’s Vice Presidential debate went off without a verbal brawl or a hitch, you would think all the Commission and traditional media handlers would have been pacified, and the debate train would be on track to the second presidential debate. In sad, swamp-like fashion, that is not the case.

Vice President Pence clearly won the debate, exposing Senator Kamala Harris for the empty neophyte she is. I call her Kama-Chameleon. I have watched her career since her star started to rise in the mid-1990s, and it has been obvious that she will shift with whatever winds suit her ambitions. While she is clearly an intelligent woman, she lacks conviction, depth, and relies upon canned platitudes and a complicit audience to get her through. Someone with the policy gravitas and elective experience of a Mike Pence easily exposed this, and he did it with charm and style; despite the cackling fools of the traditional media crying about “mansplaining” and misogyny. Their response is only further proof that Kamala cannot hack any debate, let alone being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Whether President or Vice President, you have to instill confidence, and she sorely lacked in that department. Instead she lead with fear, which seems to be the default Democrat playbook. I rolled my eyes when she started in on her “They’re coming for you!” speech. We’re in the middle of a global effing pandemic—don’t nobody want to hear that. It only served to diminish any confidence in her ability to lead.

And don’t get me started on The Fly.

But, I digress….

Despite it being a “successful debate”, it was still a stilted affair weighted in one direction. Moderator Susan Page, yet another traditional media retread who has authored a biography on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (remember Gwen Ifill?), asked softball questions of Senator Harris, yet crafted accusatory and slighted questions of Vice President Pence. She also gave Harris more time, but yeah, no bias here.

I’ll say it again: for people who have years of experience at interviewing subjects, you would think they’d be more adept at asking questions that actually delve and encourage debate. Page was so intent on “we have to stick to the schedule” that she failed to allow hot topics like VP Pence’s volley of court packing, and Harris’s charges of President Trump encouraging racism and white supremacy, to play out. It worked for Page, because she got through her questions and even had a bonus question from an 8th grader; which, to be honest, was better crafted than any she had written. Who it didn’t work for was the American people. This. Is. A. Debate. If the debate is raging, then let it burn.

Even Fox News’s Harris Faulkner saw this was lacking:

As I said last week about the Presidential Debate, the first huge change that needs to happen is with the moderators. If the Presidential Debate Commission really cared about engaging the American people, they would replace the traditional media retreads with new media trailblazers. It would be nice if some of them were outside of the mainstream media-news-political complex, and I mentioned those names, some of them below:

Joe Rogan, Sharyl Attkisson, and Charlamagne tha God are
just a few of the choices for fresh debate moderators

But after the VP Debate, the Presidential Debate Commission decided it needed to change the format of the next presidential debate in Miami from live to virtual. Not exactly what I was looking for, but okay.

They claimed it was because of President Trump’s recent Covid diagnosis, even though he’d be well past the infection period by October 15.

In typical Trump fashion, he told them to go pound sand. Trump decided he’d do a rally instead, Biden decided he’d do a Town Hall with George “Bimbo Eruptions” Stephanopoulos. Same retreads, different day.

Last word was that the presidential debate had been pushed back to October 22, with a third go-round up in the air. Apparently Slow Joe isn’t interested in doing a Town Hall so close to election day.

This has all brought up uncomfortable questions about the nature of the Presidential Debate Commission and why they even exist. Yashar Ali wrote a newsletter piece that ripped the Bandaid off this oozing sore.

From, “The Swampiest Swamp: The Commission on Presidential Debates Is Out of Touch”:

“The three co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates—the nonprofit, bipartisan organization that sponsors and produces the presidential and vice presidential debates every four years during the general election—are all over the age of 70 (two of them are more than 80 years old), are all white, and all are deeply entrenched in the clubby Washington, D.C., world of former politicians, think tanks and lobbyists.

“Of the remaining 10 members on the commission’s board of directors, seven are more than 70 years old, two are in their 60s, and the youngest is 46. One is Black, one is Latina, and one is Asian.

“There is little regional diversity among them. 

“The people who make critical decisions about the country’s presidential debates—events that impact how Americans will vote or if they vote at all—are, for the most part, elites who are part of the D.C.-New York clique known as the swamp.”

[…]

“The makeup of this commission should come as no surprise: It’s largely how power, especially political power, has always looked. But it’s worth discussing, and in the era we’re living in, where diversity is more valued, it would be foolish not to put pressure on the commission to change.”

Thanks, Yashar Ali, and I agree. This is my pressure to see that change happen. While Ali advocates for changes in membership, my advocacy is to nuke the entire operation.

Get rid of the members, get rid of the format, remove the “swamp” from the equation altogether—and that includes the traditional media. Chris Wallace beclowned himself and then whined like a little bitch when called on it, blaming everybody but himself; Susan Page was better, but that’s not saying much: same partisan, different day.

Which brings us to Steve Scully, who is scheduled to moderate the now-October 22 debate. Because he’s an Old, he obviously failed Twitter 101: Use DMs if you don’t want to put yourself on blast. He didn’t, and ended up posting this publicly.

For those not in the know, Anthony Scaramucci was Trump’s Communications Director for all of 10 days back in 2017, before he was unceremoniously shown the door. He grifted for Trump for a while, then decided he’d do a Project Lincoln and become #NeverTrump. Now he’s working for the other side. As the Hoteps say, “It’s grifting season”.

What I find fascinating is a grown-ass man is asking advice from a failed Comms Director who no longer has any significant connection to Trump; but, we live in strange times.

I asked the Debate Commission whether he was up to task of moderating. After all, he is an Old; but then, so are they.

Scaramucci responded to Scully, like a Real Housewife ready to spread gossip:

This bunch is already attempting a new narrative for why they won’t let Trump debate. The grift goes on…

If October 22 does happen, my hope is that we see a fresh face doing whatever format is decided upon. Steve Scully didn’t even hit the stage before beclowning himself.

Time for these Retreads to take a lid.





It’s Time to Change the Format of the Presidential Debates

30 09 2020

2020-09-30 08_03_52-(26) First 2020 Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden - YouTube

After the Dumpster Fire production last night, otherwise known as the first Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates is rushing to change the format of future debates.

Per the Washington Post:

“After a chaotic and nearly unwatchable first presidential debate that devolved into interruptions and insults, mostly by Trump [this is bullsh*t, but peak WaPo, AGT], the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would look into changing the format of the remaining debates.

“The televised debates are supposed to be “for the benefit of the American electorate,” the commission said in a statement Wednesday, implying that Tuesday night’s unruly slugfest did not achieve that goal.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the statement continued.”

How about losing the “additional structure” and totally changing the structure? In terms of Presidential debates, the Lincoln-Douglas format is pretty much dead. We have social media, new media, and a host of ways for the candidates to battle over their record and platform points.

Instead of more structure on a dead model, or CNN’s and the Atlantic’s rallying cry to get rid of debates entirely, how about we find new formats and ways for Presidential candidates to debate:

Here are The Girl’s recommendations:

Get better moderators

No one cares about Chris Wallace. I will say it again, NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHRIS WALLACE!

For that matter, people also don’t care about Norah O’Donnell, Brett Baier, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Martha MacCallum, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes or Hugh Hewitt, et al. The list goes on of legacy media retreads left, right, and center who think anyone cares about seeing them outside of their panel sound bites or the hour box they are confined to on their respective networks. Much like the debate form is dead, so is the need for a “respectable” figurehead type ala Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert. The trust level of the traditional media is lower than the Congress’s, so these gatekeepers need to step aside and either cede or share a platform with new media; which most of us are digesting these days anyway.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan was being floated across Twitter last night, and his easy, free associative and direct style would have been a welcome change to Nanny Chris.

Other thoughtful, insightful, and popular new media personalities that could facilitate debate: Stephen Smith of ESPN, Jason Whitlock of Outkick, Rodolfo Roman of The Roman Show, Charlemagne tha God of The Breakfast Club, Sonnie Johnson of SiriusXM’s “Sonnie’s Corner”, Sharyl Attkisson, Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan, John Solomon of John Solomon Reports, Daisy and Mockarena of Chicks on the Right, Michael J. Brooks and Sam Seder of The Majority Report… you know where I’m going with this.

Fresh voices, different perspectives, all sides represented, and questions that actually force the candidate to probe and ponder, not put him or her on the defense or give him or her an easy out.

And it would also be nice if traditional media did their research and got their facts straight. How many interns does Fox News have?

  • Proud Boys is not a white supremacist organization, no matter what the Southern Poverty Law Center says, and Antifa is not an “idea”. Portland residents and business owners wish they were.
  • The “fine people” comment has been debunked multiple times, and Joe Biden did call living troops, “Stupid Bastards.” All on video, could have been aired in real time had you taken the time to actually research.
  • Critical Race Theory is not just “Sensitivity Training”. One of its accolytes is Ibram X. Kendi, who took to Twitter to compare Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children to white colonizers who wanted to civilize the children and remove the parents! Nothing sensitive about that…

2020-09-30 14_18_00-Ibram X. Kendi on Twitter_ _Some White colonizers _adopted_ Black children. They

We remember Candy Crowley, and other media gatekeepers massacring facts to help one candidate over another during debate. Can we for once get some real reporting that undergirds the debate questions? Real delving into both sides of an issue before you craft the questions? It’s like these journalists only report what they have heard, rather than report what they have investigated.

Change the format

I would love to see an NDT-style debate with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence v. former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, on their domestic and foreign policy visions. Maybe bring in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, (even White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany), with two people who represent Biden-Harris’s domestic and foreign policy.

It would give both candidates a much-needed break and would also give a broader spectrum of the “team” who is running or will be running the country.

Another format change: break this debate over two days with three topics into a two-hour format. We are in a terrible time in our nation. Between The Rona, The Riots, and everything in between, I wanted more than 5–10 minutes for President Trump and Biden to discuss these issues. Instead it resulted in the expected: blame and name calling, and false declarations which neither candidate will probably live up to.

Finally, in the Town Hall-style debates, poll real people from across these 50 United States and get their questions and concerns. I doubt very seriously anyone in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is concerned about climate change, but they might be concerned with an environmental policy that restricts their lives and livelihoods. They may be concerned about a mass shooting and desire to work to prevent that, but they also don’t want their gun rights restricted.

Here in California, where I live, I would welcome some limit to these draconian environmental policies that are the reason we have poor forest management, which in turn is causing these massive wildfires.

I would also welcome a conversation on #AB5, which outlaws independent contracting, and is destroying the livelihoods of women, minorities, and the middle class, along with the California economy.

Newsflash to those outside of California: the A-B-C test in #AB5 has been baked into the PROAct, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year. If the Senate gives it a thumbs-up vote, it could take AB5 and its restrictions national. Bye, bye, Right to Work. Bye, bye, building a business through bootstrapping. Bye, bye, side hustles… NATIONALLY.

Don’t get me started on the newest hell for freelancers and independent contractors, the so-called Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act that Washington State Senator Patty Murray is now trying to inflict on hard-working individuals and small business. So, if you don’t think other State’s politicians and the ridiculous policies they bring to D.C. won’t affect your little Red or Blue State, then I have a mountain cabin in Florida to sell you.

One of the reasons debates are mostly irrelevant in changing hearts and minds is because they fail to connect macro issues to micro concerns.

Start there, and maybe the next Debate will actually elucidate these issues and where the candidate and the President stand on them, rather than distract from them with trash talking and bar room brawling.





AB5 and the War on Lyft/Uber expose why Black Jobs Matter

18 08 2020

Well, Lordy, lordy, who would have thought that a bad law and a pandemic would render a response from Civil Rights organizations that actually address the real needs of their people? The NAACP and other business and civil rights organizations sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for him to stop the war on the gig economy and to use his emergency powers to suspend #AB5, and to protect the work of drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Another anti-AB5 colleague found it, but I promptly tweeted it out:

NAACP Calls Newsom to Stop War on Gig Economy

For those of you who have been under a rock, #AB5 has all but decimated the economic prospects of independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers in California. On top of this, the State of California is doing its utmost to end Uber and Lyft operations in California: filing lawsuits, lodging fines, and faux organizing by disgruntled drivers (totally engineered by the Labor Unions) in order to extract money that they claim the state and their drivers are owed.

Uber and Lyft have refused to cave, but in light of the court upholding an injunction forcing the app companies to convert their drivers to employees by August 20, both Uber and Lyft have said they will suspend operations in California through November. The vote on the Prop 22 ballot measure, which would allow Californians to decide whether these drivers should be able to be an independent contractor or an employee, will be the deciding factor.

Then Covid-19 with its subsequent lock downs and closed businesses rendered the death blow. Governor Newsom’s schizophrenic and inconsistent response and actions, appearing perfectly groomed and coiffed while the rest of us developed gray hairs and lumberjack beards, were just more nails in the coffin.

Both the evil law and the virus exposed unintended consequences (what else is new?). The fact that Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to be adversely affected by it, and the so-called experts still have no idea why this is the case. The lack of any proper measures beyond mask wearing has made some of us understandably cautious about trying to go among people and look for work—if there is any work to be had.

CBS News reported on a University of Santa Cruz research survey that found that 40 percent of Black businesses in major cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have been lost, and probably will never come back.

“There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, according to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.”

Back in May, on my Communities Digital News page, I reported that women and minorities make up a huge chunk of independent contractors, and this law disenfranchises us; particularly during this pandemic, when we all could be working from home.

So, the fact that the NAACP recognizes this and took action came as a huge surprise. Writer baldilocks replied to my tweet with this apt response:

Baldilocks Response to NAACP Tweet

The rest of that phrase goes, “is right twice a day.” And it’s true. As much as the organization has moved away from true racial justice and equality, on this particular issue of the evils of AB5 and the Uber/Lyft war, it has stepped up to the plate.

Other organizations who sponsored the letter include the Los Angeles Urban League, Ex-Offender Action Network, and Independent Professionals Association.

It is quite an amazing missive, and you can read it in its entirety here. While I don’t agree with all its suggested solutions, the outlining of the case that AB5 and the injunctions against Uber and Lyft need to go is spot on.

An excerpt from the letter:

“The fact is that this crisis demands a new approach. COVID-19 has exposed just how broken the existing safety net programs are for people of color. Unemployment insurance in the U.S. is a patchwork of state-controlled programs originally designed to allow states to exclude Black domestic and agricultural workers during the Great Depression. The challenges faced by Black Americans in accessing unemployment assistance, business loans, and other pandemic assistance funding today are the direct result of racist policies that systematically disenfranchise Black Americans because they do not look like the traditional employees and businesses for whom these programs were designed.”

It ends with this:

“Governor, for African Americans, self-employment is not just a matter of pride – it is a matter of principle. Our people have been fighting for the right to profit from our own labor for over 400 years. We are proud of our resilience and entrepreneurship in the face of odds that have always been stacked against us. But while the coronavirus is destroying Black businesses, we must not allow this disease to destroy our independence.”

Boom. The NAACP laid bare to the Governor why Black JOBS Matter.

Let’s hope Newsom grows a brain and listens.

 





Prop 22 Fight stirs outrage from Veena Dubal’s Sock Puppets

13 08 2020

Blocked by Veena on Professions affected by AB5

On my Communities Digital News page, I have written extensively about University of California Hastings School of Law professor Veena Dubal, and the evil she has caused to those affected by the California law AB5. You can read those articles here, here, AND here.

Dubal helped assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez ruin the lives of 4.5 million independent contractors by supplying the bones of the AB5 text, and in her vocal support and advocacy of the so-called “gig workers” law. Apparently, she now feels it is her goal to debunk and convince people to vote NO on Proposition 22, which is on the California November ballot. This ballot initiative is Uber and Lyft’s response to AB5: Let the voting public and drivers decide how they wish to be treated: as independent contractors, or employees. Proposition 22’s stated goal is, “protects app-based drivers’ flexibility while establishing new earnings and benefit guarantees, and protecting public safety and consumer choice”.

Should this initiative pass, it would do damage to AB5. Independent contractors and freelancers know this, gig workers and drivers know this, and it’s sure as hell Lorena Gonzalez and the Unions know it. Which is why Veena Dubal and her league of unexceptional followers are on the warpath to tear the Proposition down.

Here is what is wrong with this: Veena Dubal delights in using her so-called scholarship to insert herself into debates about labor law and how best to use it to destroy the independent contractor model; this is exactly what is being done with AB5 law and the nationwide PRO Act bill.

However, when legitimately challenged on her positions, Veena turns tail and blocks the critics from her Twitter. But she goes beyond this by rallying her sock puppet followers to cry foul and claim harassment on her behalf.

Dubal freely admitted this after the publication of my series:

Veena Dubal-Read my scholarship

Dubal would know about dissemination of false information. When independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers were desperate to get PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) payments, and the California Employment Development Department was playing fast and loose with giving them that information, Ms. Dubal directed them to file for unemployment in order to bolster the misclassification claims against Uber and Lyft. Once those claims were rightly denied, she steered them toward a Legal Aid lawyer as referenced here:

Veena Dubal--EDD Misclassification-Misdirection

This is the same woman who applauded the rising Covid-19 numbers because it justified the need for “employee protections”:

Veena Dubal on Mocking COVID19-Sick Leave

Veena Dubal is neither innocent, nor ignorant of the molotov cocktails she throws, nor of the damage it causes, no matter how much she tries to hide behind the: I’m just a scholar, I don’t influence laws schtick.

Veena Duval-Not an elected official

Veena Dubal-You Know you've arrived

Veena Dubal-Arrogance about who writes laws

If anything, she revels in it, particularly when she has a sock puppet army to supply cover.

The campaign for Yes on Proposition 22, freely admits it is funded by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. What people don’t bother to check is who is funding the opposition: Those astroturf driver’s rights groups like Gig Workers Rising (GWR), the one who Dubal freely supports and retweets.

Among the heavy funding from non-profit organizations, GWR gets financial support from the Teamsters and SEIU, the two biggest labor unions in the country. These same unions funded Lorena Gonzalez and the other California legislature tools who pushed through AB5.

So please, cry me a river about the heavy corporate funding on Yes on Prop 22.

The Yes on Prop 22 campaign has been going gangbusters, spotlighting the drivers who want to continue to work unencumbered by “employee protections”, and keeping us all abreast of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s campaign to destroy the app companies.

On August 6, the campaign took to Twitter to mock Dubal’s hypocrisy and how easily she uses her Blocker Trigger Finger against her critics.

Yes on 22-Blocked By Veena Thread

This is a question that has been asked by independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers who have been the recipient of this treatment. So a representation of the 4.5 million affected by AB5, and who have been blocked by Dubal responded:

Piano Man-Alfera-Stop Publishing Scholarship that Hurts People

Industrious Bird-Rebuttal

There were even responses by some who never even engaged Dubal on Twitter, but were pre-emptively blocked!

2020-08-13 10_09_39-(1) Evan Miller on Twitter_ _@VoteYesOn22 I don’t even recall interacting with h

Why is someone who is 1) a labor lawyer; 2) an academic; and 3) claims to be a champion for the marginalized so feckless at defending her own positions?

More importantly, how do you get unions and politicians to come to your defense? Along with the drivers, union-sponsored accounts, and yes, bots, District 27 Assemblyman Ash Kalra, who co-sponsored and championed for the passage of AB5 waded into the melee to express his outrage.

Ash Kalra 🌱 on Twitter_ _.@veenadubal does her work

One wonders where his outrage was over South African immigrant and domestic worker Carmel Foster, who his colleague Assemblyman Phil Ting bedded and used for four years to craft legislation. But, I digress….

Then Nicole Moore, a supposed Lyft driver leapt to Dubal’s defense.

Nicole Moore-Veena's Defense

Nicole Moore is active on Twitter to expose the “extremely exploitative business models” of Uber and Lyft and defend the need for drivers to unionize. What has been discovered is that she is a union plant. Several drivers and independent contractors have pointed this out, but this one brings the receipts.

DINO MANELLI on Twitter_ Fake union salter Nicole Moore poses as Lyft driver to support care

Now, the unionized writers have gotten into the game. Slate writer Aaron Mak came to Dubal’s defense with a piece titled, “Why Is an Advocacy Group Funded by Uber and Lyft Hounding a Law Professor on Twitter?” Writer Mak decries the “targeting a law professor on Twitter over her efforts to get their workers classified as employees.”

To Mack’s credit, he does point out that Dubal has been a prominent advocate of AB5 and vocal critic of Prop 22. Here is where he starts shredding the truth: “On Twitter, she was buffeted with threats and vulgar harassment, often denigrating her identity as a woman of color. Other accounts circulated false rumors about her, alleging that she was harassing independent contractors on Twitter.”

Mak then supplies tweets (with the names blocked out—how considerate), to back up these “threats and vulgar harassment”, while ignoring other tweets (the majority, frankly) calling Dubal to account for her involvement in AB5 and in pushing an agenda to derail Prop 22.

Dubal’s sock puppets want to paint every critic who has been blocked by her as evil, or the typical response of those who have no defense, as bots bought and paid for by Uber and Lyft, when much of the push back she receives is either legitimate concern that her “scholarship” and advocacy hurts not just drivers, but freelancers, independent contractors, and the self-employed. While this writer cannot yet find a union connection to Dubal’s fixation in destroying the independent contractor model, the fact that the propagandist for the California Federation of Labor and Union salter Nicole Moore come to her defense reeks to high heaven.

But if fully addressed, that would change the narrative from poor, put upon academic who is just trying to help “the worker” gain equity, to a narcissistic, privileged, and entitled fraud who cannot take any criticism, and manipulates people into defending her empty scholarship, gaslighting, and lies.





Evan Wecksell and AB5: A long-shot write-in candidate may just shake things up

2 03 2020

Evan Wecksell

This weekend, I was invited to a meet-and-greet for Senate District 25 Write-in Candidate Evan Wecksell.

Current District 25 State Senator Anthony Portantino is up for re-election, and would be running unopposed had it not been for Evan, and one other write-in candidate stepping up to the plate.

Thank God, because Portantino has to go. he has mostly been a rubber stamp for the progressive agenda: from his six-year-long career in the California State Assembly (2006-2012), to his four years in the State Senate (2016), he has followed the party line from his anti-gun ownership stance, to his promotion and vote for AB5, the so-called “Gig Workers” law that has removed our right to choose to work in the way that fits our lives, our schedules, and our preference.

As part of the Facebook groups where those affected by AB5 organize: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the PRO Act, I posted my research on write-in candidates for District 25, and Evan reached out to me personally and invited me to attend the event in Pasadena. Along with promoting it to my friends and colleagues in the district, Lynn and I attended.

Evan talked about his journey to becoming a write-in candidate, he talked at length about the AB5 law and why it needs to be repealed:

I took a few Facebook Live videos to curate his major points, and he had some ingenious ideas on how the focus on independent contractors could be approached, the perspective on responsible gun owners, and undoing onerous laws:

He acknowledged the long-shot nature of his candidacy, but encouraged us that through word of mouth, texting, lawn signs, business cards and informing people of his candidacy, he could get enough votes to make the runoff in November.

I was impressed by Evan’s attention to detail, game plan, and ground game. Truth be told, the other write-in candidate was weighed in the same balance, and found wanting.

California District 25 encompasses the cities and communities of Burbank, Sunland-Tujunga, Atwater Village, La Canãda-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Glendale, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, Upland, and San Antonio Heights.

CA Senate District 25

Former Governor Jerry Brown signed a law outlawing write-in candidates for the general election; so this is the one opportunity in the crazy California jungle primary to disrupt the one-party rule. If you live in District 25 and you haven’t voted yet, write in “Evan Wecksell”. If you are particularly unhappy with the direction in the state, this is your chance to force a choice.





AB5 and the State of the State

26 02 2020

So our idiot Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his second State of the State address last week. All the elected crooks were in session, including the useless Attorney General Javier Beccerra, whose only job seems to be to sue the federal government, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis fulfilling one of her minimal duties of introducing the Governor’s address.

If California was not in such awful shape, it would have been comedy gold: much of it looked like a Saturday Night Live sketch, with Newsom entering like a rock star, while assembly members, state senators, and others clapped like trained seals, and Botox Barbie “first partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom being fawned over. His hollow inflation of how well California is doing was fairly nauseating. It is like someone strutting, thinking they are runway fabulous, but their hairy ass is exposed.

For those in California, I recommend you view the whole thing and see how many lies you can catch. His spending three-quarters of his speech on how he will attack the homeless crisis in the state is particularly disingenuous. Newsom has been collectively shamed by President Trump and a few of the mayors of the larger cities where homelessness is rampant and destroying the quality of life for tax-paying residents. Total strangers like activist Scott Presler have gone into San Francisco to clean up the poop- and needle-laden streets. But Newsom’s attempt to slap a “rah-rah” face on the crisis comes off as castles in the air postulating. While he rattled off many declarations and ideas, he gave no solid plans toward their implementation.

He tweeted part of his brilliant strategy on Twitter:

Gavin Stupid 1

So doctors are now realtors? So I can go to my doctor and say, “I want to live in the Governor’s mansion—write me a prescription please!” Ludicrous. He was rightly ratioed by many us:

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The last ratio points to Governor Newsom signing AB5 into law, which got nary a mention in his speech. He did make this baldfaced claim:

“In city after city, household after household, the hard work of this legislature is making dreams more real for more Californians than ever before.

“When Justice Brandeis wrote in 1932 that ‘a single courageous state may…serve as a laboratory’ of democracy, he could easily have been referencing California today.

“Because, unlike the Washington plutocracy, California isn’t satisfied serving a powerful few on one side of the velvet rope.

The California Dream is for all.” (emphasis mine)

Are you kidding me?! Over 160 professions ripped apart due to the effects of AB5. For thousands of California constituents, the California Dream became the California Nightmare overnight. But let’s talk about how we are going to solve homelessness in the state, when Newsom’s signing of this landmine of a law has done more toward exacerbating the crisis! I joined in the ratio myself by pointing this out:

Gavin Newsom Ratio-my reply

The total lack of self-awareness boggles the mind. But like Assembly speaker Harridan Lorena, they do what their union overlords tell them to do and they refuse to back down or apologize. The only thing either of them will understand is being voted out. I and others are working on that part.

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has authored a repeal bill to AB5: AB1928. It has wended its way through committee and will come up for vote on February 27. With the same Democrat Super Majority who voted it into place, it’s a long shot. But I appreciate that some of his colleagues, like Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, have signed on to Asm. Kiley’s effort to see AB5 stopped in its tracks.

 

State Senator Shannon Grove has also instituted bill SB875 to see the AB5 repealed.

 

Should these efforts be blocked or fail, it is clear we the people of California need to vote these bastards out. One-party rule by union fiat is neither protection nor is it healthy for a functioning state. It is a fiefdom, and none of us signed up for that.

Recall Newsom efforts are still underway, despite the blocking by secretaries of states who are fearful of losing their little corner of power. Early voting has already started, and Super Tuesday is March 3. Californians, please stop voting party lines and union lines, and vote for saving freedom to earn a livelihood in the way you see fit, and an electorate that works for you.

The true State of the State is dependent on you; not the empty-headed Ken doll in the governor’s mansion.





A funny thing happened on the way to 2020…

13 02 2020

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know what happened; and it is not funny. Among the numerous freedom-killing laws the California legislature concocted and the Leftist Governor Newsom signed into law is Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), hilariously named, the “Gig Worker” Bill. This bill is the bastard child of Assemblymember (woman? Who knows? *eye roll*) Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher of District 80 in San Diego County.  Delusional, and drunk on power, she claims she just wants “workers” to have good jobs with good benefits. But you watch her Twitter feed, and actually confront her couched language, and she exposes her true goal:

Lorena True Reason for AB5 Union Tweet 09-16-19

Despite conversations, lobbying, protestations by truckers, small business, freelance writers, musicians, independent contractors, and other “gig” workers who don’t make money through the traditional channel of a 9-5 employee, #Harridan Lorena got what she wanted. The Democrat Super Majority voted it in, and Leftist Gavin signed it into law.

The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and has wreaked havoc on millions of Californians; many who either didn’t think the law affected them, or just were too busy trying to earn a living (Hello!), that they didn’t see it coming.

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feed, or just do an Internet search, you can read the articles, and see the stories of people limited and destroyed by this law. Professions like interpreters and translators, who work for multiple agencies via 1099, are also being hit horribly. Small non-profits, theater companies, opera houses have had to shutter their doors. All because a legislature, who is essentially bought-and-paid-for by big union interest, decided that the only valid employment is full-time (and union) employment.

Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher’s big dream is to be the Secretary of State in 2022, and then probably governor, which is always a stepping-stone to the presidency.

My goal is to shatter her dreams the way she has shattered my, and others, livelihoods:

Repeal AB5

“What the bill really did was make it illegal for Californians to choose how, when, and where to work to support their families. Overnight tens of thousands of people in various industries […] found their income streams either entirely eliminated or severely curtailed.” — AB 5 Facts.

Let’s call it what it is: Evil. With a vote you tell millions of workers that what they do does not matter, and that they can no longer do it on their own terms. This is not only un-American, it is destructive. And as John 10:10 tells me, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…”

For those outside of California, who would say, “Oh, that’s crazy California, they get what they deserve…” Take a look at Virginia, New York, and Illinois to see that these power-hungry Leftists are never satisfied with destroying their own fiefdoms, but will be coming for yours very soon.

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2474, also hilariously titled “Protecting the Right to Organize 2019” Act  (PRO Act).  Long story short, it’s AB5 on steroids, and it is a nationwide bill that they hope to make a national law. They want to wreak the same havoc that is happening in California on your little state. Welcome to the party, folks!

It is now on the floor of the Senate, and Minority Leader Schumer of New York (huh), has promised to get the votes to have it pass the Senate. Even if that happens (there is much doubt), President Trump has said he will not sign the act, and then it dies until they get someone in office who will do their bidding (Hello, Bernie?).

But if I know one thing it is this: these people are like cockroaches: they keep coming back, and they bring 5,000 of their friends with them! They are not going to stop until they get what they want. Destruction of your constitutional and God-given freedoms.

So I am doing what I know to do, for myself and for all who are affected by AB5, and will be affected by HR 2474 (PRO Act).

I am not going to stop until I see AB5 fully repealed, and this PRO Act and any of its permutations destroyed. Like President Trump recognizes, social media is very effective. So my Assembly critter (who voted YES on AB5) Chris Holden, Governor Newsom, Sens. Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have heard, and will continue to hear from me via Tweet, post, as well as other traditional means like letter and fax. They supported these turkeys, and I will keep throwing that in their face until the outcry is deafening. And trust me, it’s getting there.

Here is another beauty part: California in its infinite wisdom moved their State elections to March 3, which allows us to channel the AB5 Resistance to the ballot box. While early voting is already going on, we still are able to affect change. I am encouraging California voters affected negatively by AB5 to vote against the Assembly person who signed on to this debacle. Aside from withholding money (which is the union’s threat), these jokers only understand being primaried or voted out of office entirely.

So beyond what work I can scrounge up, this has consumed my days. Pray for me, and hit the tip jar if you feel so led.

Even if you are not affected by this evil law, you can support or advocate on behalf of those who are. If you are on Facebook, follow: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the ProAct.

And speaking of Twitter, Faces of AB5 (#ProAct) is doing yeoman’s work in not only keeping California’s legislature’s feet to the fire, but promoting stories and news that tells the truth about the devastation caused by this evil law.

Here are some important links:

AB5 Facts – To educate you on AB5.

Shannon Grove AB5 Stories – One of our state representatives has graciously set up a questionnaire for those affected by the law.

AB5 Stories  – Stories of hundreds who have been adversely affected since AB5’s implementation.

AB5 Classification Form – I have created a form to quantify the number of professions and counties in California affected by this law. If AB5 is hampering or destroying your ability to work, please fill it out.

Special shout out to Lauri Jon Caravella for her artwork that channels our protest, anger, and advocacy. All the artwork posted is hers. I’ll leave you with this gem:

Freelancers Sinking Ship Artwork (Lauri Jon Caravella)





The Year of All Things Literary!

4 11 2019

Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.
—Jim Tully

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Spoiler Alert! This is a long post, but worth the read. This is what happens when you don’t do any writing of substance for several months.

This year’s Resolution #3: Write, has been a journey of starts, fits, and fizzles. For various reasons, I have not found a new groove or rhythm. The extent of my literary life has been hosting Literary Los Angeles events, supporting friends in their endeavors, and an occasional blog post, the last one commemorating my birthday in August. With only one more month of 2019 left, I feel as though I could have done better, but I am also not beating myself up about it. Having patience with myself, doing things to keep massaging the writing in one form or another, acknowledging that despite the discouragement, it is in the blood and I have to keep trying. These are baby steps I have been employing in this period of malaise.

I actually finished reading two books so far; a far cry from the 11 I wanted to have read by this point, but better than I’ve done in many years. I used to be a voracious reader, and somewhere, along with the writing, that voracity diminished. Not sure if I will get it back in full, but I do expect to finish reading four books before the end of the year—and reading does wonders to fuel the writing!

My Literary Los Angeles events have been the highlight of my year! Originally published in May of 2018, the CurbedLA blog post of places favored by Los Angeles writers was the inspiration to hosting these events. So, I have gathered as many writer friends as I could over the past 10 months to inhabit these haunts over drinks, dinner, or just a day trippin’ tour!

My first excursion was in January, with my dear friend Laura Rebecca at Langer’s Delicatessen and Restaurant. Despite the city’s reputation of the young, hip, and new, L.A. has lots of historic haunts, and Langer’s, open since 1947, is one of them.

Nora Ephron is one of my favorite writers. She loved Langer’s pastrami sandwich, and even wrote a New Yorker piece about it called “A Sandwich”. I had to see if it was worth the buzz (and the price). I must say, it did not disappoint.

Lit Los Angeles: Langer's Deli with Laura Rebecca 1-18-2019

Hanging with my girl Laura Rebecca, a fellow scribe and Yogi at Langer’s Deli.

Later that month, fellow writer and entrepreneur Cheryl Leutjen joined me on a tour of Joan Didion‘s old house, which is now the Shumei Hollywood Center. Thanks to the docent Annie, I learned a lot more about Joan Didion, and about how the Shumei Center’s work. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and the gardens were blooming and beautiful. The landscaper Junzo told us the story of how he had to pull up the tennis court that was there previously and break up the fallow ground so it could receive water and seed. He also told us his vision for a water tower and some outdoor seating for events. Cheryl was happy to find a potential location for her Natural Muse writing group–win-win! The Center offers some cool classes, so whether it is for one of those, or for the Natural Muse meetup, we will definitely plan to return.

February’s Literary Los Angeles excursion was to the Beverly Hills Hotel, with dear friends and fellow writers Sharon Goldstein, Gail Upp, Matthew Shaffer, and Jeff Payton.

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From left to right: Jeff Payton, yours truly, Matthew Shaffer, Gail Upp, and Sharon Goldstein

The Beverly Hills Hotel oozes with urbane charm, glitz, and storied history. Along with the usual Hollywood celebrities, the iconic hotel often hosted writers such as Fran Leibowitz, Gore Vidal, Eve Babitz, and Brett Easton Ellis.

The Polo Lounge used to be a classic bar, but it had recently been remodeled to a restaurant with a small bar. Our plan was to just hang out at the bar, since a sit-down brunch is $95.00 per person—ain’t nobody got time for that.

Who knew it would be a Sunday of torrential rain, combined with the fact that it was Grammy Sunday; so the place was packed to the rafters. Thankfully the hostess took pity on Sharon, who literally needed to eat for her health, and she got us seated at a cocktail table near the bar.While drinks and appetizers were by no means cheap, it didn’t require the taking out of a small loan that brunch would have. I nibbled on some rare sliders which were quite good, Matthew and Jeff had Polo Garden Gimlets, Sharon had Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole, and Gail had Lox over Gluten free bread, with a spot of caviar. We had some great conversation about movies (we do live in L.A., after all), relationships and weddings, our writing ideas, church music and faith, while watching the well-heeled and the Hollywood elite wend throughout the renowned bar with their various comings and goings.

It was such a hit that we decided we must do it again. Musso & Frank was next on the Literary Los Angeles list, so the plan was to pinch all our pennies and make reservations for sometime in April, after Easter. While not as pricey as the Beverly Hills Hotel, it does require some budgeting—either that, or some sweet advances from book deals—the latter would have been nice….

I was the one who screwed the pooch with the planning. We all had Easter Monday set on our schedules: unfortunately I failed to check the website to see whether Musso & Frank was even open on Monday. It. Was. Not. Womp-Wah. So, we kept the date, but changed the venue to the next place on the list: The Frolic Room!

While Matthew and Jeff could not make it, Sharon, Gail, Laura, and this time Joe (Sharon’s husband and multi-hyphenate: one of them being writer) was able to come along.

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Doing what one does best in the Frolic Room: Drink, and frolic!

The Frolic Room was the regular watering hole of writer Charles Bukowski in the 1970s, while he was cranking out some of his seminal works, Post Office, and Mockingbird Wish Me Luck.

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It started as a Prohibition-era speakeasy in the 1930s. Once Prohibition was repealed, it became a legit bar. In the 1940s, along with the Pantages Theater next door, it was owned by Howard Hughes until 1954. Many stars bellied up to the bar, including Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. It is also infamous for being the last place Elizabeth Short (“The Black Dahlia”) was seen alive before her gruesome murder in 1947.

While every bar in Los Angeles and the surrounding environs seems to be turning into a Gastropub (Lord, spare us from hipsters), The Frolic Room has maintained its divey vibe, and the five of us were happy to drink it in along with Coke, Gin and Tonic, Bloody Mary, and a Martini, while trying to name all the golden-age celebrities in the Al Hirschfeld mural that lines the wall across from the bar.

It turned out to be a busy Summer for all of us, so Musso & Frank would wait a while longer. In the meantime, I celebrated my friend Cheryl Leutjen and her Nautilus award-winning non-fiction book Love Earth Now at a book signing at Zweet Cafe in Eagle Rock, where Cheryl penned a lot of the book! Cheryl read some excerpts from the book, along with fellow author Dr. Davina Kotulski, who she met during one of those Zweet writing jags.

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I think a regular weekly visit to a coffee shop might do me some good in establishing a rhythm; but I haven’t found a haunt in Pasadena that I absolutely adore. Time to start looking, I guess.

I was asked in July to be the guest on a podcast! Lori Bisser, a fellow Yoga instructor and graduate of the New Day Yoga 300-Hour training program from which I also graduated, asked me to share my story of gratitude on her podcast appropriately titled “Gratitude Sandwich”. Whenever she launches it, that will be a link I plan to promote. While not writing, it is storytelling, so it counts toward the writer’s life, and the drive towards word creation.

Musso & Frank finally happened toward the end of August. Matthew was wrapped up in his dance competition tour and also on the cusp of his second book release, Dancing Out of the Closet, so he and Jeff could not join us. It was up to the core fabulous five to eat some old school food in old Hollywood, and boy, did we!

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It was good timing, as Musso & Frank is celebrating 100 years in Hollywood! Very few restaurants in Los Angeles hold that distinction; long-standing restaurants in L.A. are about as ephemeral as a three-book publishing deal.

Opened in 1919 by Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet, Musso & Frank hired French chef Jean Rue to design the menu. Rue would not only launch the kitchen, but would hold it down for 53 years! In 1927, the name partners sold the restaurant to two Italian immigrants named John Mosso and Joseph Carrissimi, and the restaurant is still mostly family owned: Mark Echeverria, the COO, CFO and current proprietor of Musso & Frank happens to be John Mosso’s great-grandson. Talk about a Hollywood story!

From the leather menus, to the dark wood, to the black and white photos of executives, business men, guys and dolls enjoying a martini and a cigar, Musso & Frank has legend dripping from its walls, and wafting through its doors. I had one of their classic Martinis (apparently the best in Los Angeles), along with some exquisitely prepared rare lamb chops. Gail had sweet meats with Brussel sprouts—a dish (the sweetmeats) that is hard to find anywhere. After dinner, even I wanted to break out a cigar or cigarette, and I don’t smoke either one! It was like stepping back to a time where food and atmosphere were a package deal, and your dinner was not only splendidly presented, but prepared with flavor, finesse, and substance. An other-worldly experience that was well worth the price tag.

My annual trek to Chicago for the Columbia College Chicago Alumni Board retreat was in September. I came into town earlier in the week than usual, because we were cutting the ribbon on the college’s first-ever Student Center, so two days of events were planned ahead of the weekend board activities. One was a VIP reception for the Board, Trustees, and donors to the Center. The second was the grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting, which was quite the treat!

What was even more of a treat was running into two writing mentors: Randall Albers, one of my instructors who helped to shepherd me toward graduate school. And Gary Johnson, who took me through the ropes of editing my first fiction piece toward publication in Columbia College’s Fiction Anthology, Hairtrigger 9 & 10. Both men remembered me, which was an honor, and Gary remembered my fiction piece “The Foot” a parody of Nikolai Golgov’s “The Nose” with great detail—the man has an incredible brain! Gary was hosting the Writer’s Room at the Student Center Grand Opening, where his most accomplished fiction students were reading from their original works. It brought back so many memories of years of writing classes, diving into the story workshop method of sitting in a circle, closing my eyes, and listening out into the street… Sense experiences that then were poured onto the page, and ultimately transformed into unique stories. As the students read their work aloud, the visceral, rhythmic flow of words poured over me like a warm blanket. It took me back to a time when I was on the edge of my seat both in my listening and in my writing, and made me hungry to get back there.

I was able to talk to Randy briefly, and he encouraged me to find a workshop that would allow me to delve deeply again. Another voyage of exploration along with that coffee shop in which to write.

Friday was the first CAAN Board event, a meet-and-greet at the home of one of the faculty couples. I engaged in conversation with the husband Jason Stephens, associate professor of instruction in the Business and Entrepreneur program. I related my joy in re-discovering the life and vibrancy of the story workshop method and the prescient fluidity it produced in the student’s writing. This led to brainstorming about using writing faculty or students to help the data and marketing students learn to tell stories with their numbers and information, and a light bulb went off for Jason on this potential new building block to help his students view their information in a different way.

Long story short, Jason invited me to speak to his data analytics class about storytelling! When an alumni addresses a class, it is called a “Master Class”, so it was a privilege to be asked to do so, and a new experience for me talking about the elements involved in creating a story, and how one might apply it to data information. Another opportunity to use my gift and knowledge of wordsmithing to address a different medium!

The icing on the cake of my Chicago trip was visiting the American Writer’s Museum on the Magnificent Mile. The interactive space opened in 2017, and it was a lovely afternoon spent reading about some of my favorite authors, finding information I did not know about others, and playing interactive games with their words, getting reacquainted with a typewriter, and generally having a good time soaking up the literary vibe of the place.

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I couldn’t leave without swag, so along with some free bookmarks that had a particular writer, a quote from his or her work, and the address to their museum or historical society, I nabbed a magnet that says simply, “Write On”, and a great mug with quotes from one of my writing inspirations: Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.

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Finally, I ended the month of October at a book presentation and signing for my friend Andrea Wilson Woods’ medical memoir, Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days, about her 15-year old sister Adrienne Wilson’s battle with liver cancer.

I trekked out to Pomona to a really cool bookstore called Cafe con Libros (where are these places closer?! Sigh…), where Andrea read a chapter from the book, and spearheaded a meaty discussion on why a great story always trumps bad writing, the difference between a memoir and a biography, why having a platform is essential for any writer, what social media platforms are best, and how to balance privacy of others but remain truthful about facts.

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November 1, 2019 Cafe con Libros: Book presentation and signing for “Better Off Bald”-Andrea Wilson Woods

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Andrea now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, so this was the tail end of her annual visit back to Los Angeles to visit her sister Adrienne’s grave, and make some connections for her non-profit and advocacy organizations, Blue Faery, and Cancer U. We spent some good time together on Monday at a Yoga class and over lunch, and she was flying out early the next day; so this was just another opportunity to support a friend in their success in not only getting the words on the page, but getting them published and recognized! The book is doing quite well, and getting rave reviews. Buy it!

November has only just begun, but it is already packed. Gail is encouraging me to do one more Literary Los Angeles event, perhaps Chateau Marmont or Clifton’s Cafeteria. I can also spend the remaining two months of 2019 finding that coffee shop and scoping out a writing workshop in order to establish a rhythm that will get me writing more regularly. So I guess resolution #3, while not resulting in copious words on the page, served to keep the literary fires stoked on different fronts so the words can be forged and poured forth at the proper time.

To rephrase Descartes, “I write, therefore I am.”








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