Hail, Hail to the Conquering Heroes

I have for so long disliked Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins that it feels odd for me to say this, but they, with the help of Senator Joe Manchin-D made an important first step in changing the course of the future of America.
Hats off to you Senators. You did your job and sane American citizens are grateful.
I wish you nothing but safety for you and your family members and many thanks for having the courage to do the right thing. The scene in the Dirksen building elevator as Susan Collins entered was a disgrace but you handled it with beaucoup de grace Madame.
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Predators

In light of the incessant sexual assault claims coming forward as of late, I am having trouble identifying fact from fiction. I do believe this happens and I also believe it was happening when I was working in corporate America for 20 years. To what extent I do not know, but I believe some women are minimizing real victims with distortion and slander.

In any case, I thought I’d focus on how women can avoid the situation in the first place. This is in no way an attempt to “blame the victim” but simply a list of safety rules that were highly effective for me . I’d also add that the local police station in the city where I lived in CA asked me to help them host a seminar on how women can avoid these kinds of confrontations.

  1. Walk stridently and with purpose.
  2. Body language is important; stand tall and look people in the eye.
  3. Offer a handshake before the other person does.
  4. Speak succinctly and to the point; avoid using “ums” and use appropriate terminology. Never use the term “I think” when you really “believe.”
  5.  Use stats, numbers, P&L results liberally but leave a little charm and sense of humor on the table as well.
  6. Simple but true; dress appropriately and stylishly. NO cleavage or Louboutins. Use Kim Kardashian as the worst example and Angela Ahrendts as your mentor.
  7. Do not play with your hair. If you’re tempted to do so put it in a pony or bun. Use makeup but lose the cat eyeliner.

In other words, dress and speak in the manner of a person you would consult about investing every cent of your savings.

Again, let me reiterate that sometimes nothing can help, but I have learned that predators hesitate to pounce on the strong. Even the dreadful Matt Lauer left Katie Couric alone!


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Losing the Upper Hand

This post was inspired by Hypatia’s post  Pulling the Handmaid’s Tail and the astute comments made by MJBubba and drlorentz.

Here’s how I see it and it is certainly an indictment on (as MJB described) the third wave of feminism.

Women of the first and even the second wave of feminism wielded an enormous amount of power over the sexual behavior of men. Speaking (yet again) from personal experience, I ran all over town (NYC) with lots of interesting people: a Sports Illustrated writer, a stand-up comedian from Catch a Rising Star, an investment banker or two, a retail executive, an off Broadway actor, etc.

Not once did I encounter a moment of sexual pressure let alone an assault because they were afraid of crossing the line with me! Now, the third wavers are encouraging women to “exercise” their sexual freedom but are in fact suggesting we give up the power of establishing the rules of conduct.

What a throwback to the fifties and other eras gone by. The hypocrisy is mind-numbing.


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Freedom of Choice

Historians have attributed the power and success of America to many things but I’ve narrowed it down to this critical element.

Choice to afford where you want to live, where your kids go to college, what clothes or cars or houses you want to buy, where you want to eat out and go on vacation, where you practice your religious beliefs or what career you choose to pursue, how and where you run your business, who you care to marry or with whom you choose to associate.

There is a common denominator to all of this and certainly the rule of law is critical. But even that is only a byproduct of economic success for all because law is based upon property rights.

This is just a brief advertisement supporting the efforts of the one man who understands this and who is working hard to lift the barriers to income prosperity.

In less than two years, the Donald has allowed me to buy my dream home in my dream location. I did the hard work, but he cleared the path.

Booyah, Mr. President.


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People I Admire

Angela Ahrendts
Senior Vice President of Apple
Angela Jean Ahrendts, DBE is an American businesswoman and the senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc. She was the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014. Ahrendts left Burberry to join Apple in 2014. Wikipedia
SalaryUS$73.1 million (2014)
Net worth$150 million
I wrote this post because I’m sick of hearing about glass ceilings. This woman has done it all … at Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne, Burberry (while reporting to retail icon Rose Marie Bravo) and now Apple, hired by the infamous Tim Cook.
Have at it Hillary Clinton.

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The Don at the UN

“We reject the ideology of globalism and support the power of nationalism.”

He was sharp, clear, bold and set the world on notice:

United Nations General Assembly erupts in laughter at Donald Trump …

I have nothing to add but a grateful nod to the 62.98 million voters that made this happen and helped send the message that the state of CA does not rule this country.
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Wrong

Establishing a charitable foundation is probably the smartest way a wealthy individual can avoid paying huge taxes on capital gains while establishing that person and his family as philanthropists and gaining favorable publicity for doing so. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, is the largest one in the world and did much to change Bill Gates’ public perception as an overly aggressive businessman to one of the good guys.  Today’s Ford Foundation, for instance, is currently more about social justice and inequality, a liberal organization Henry Ford would barely recognize. 

I can handle just about anything but the distortion of facts. I despised this post because:

  1. Why would Bill Gates have to change his image from an *overly* aggressive businessman to one of the good guys? Why would one necessarily negate the other?
  2. As a born and bred Michigander I totally reject this hijacking of the reputation of one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs. Henry Ford invented the middle class with the infamous $5 dollar a day wage. He changed the world in a radically positive way.

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The Big Myth: Wage Gaps

On CNBC this afternoon, I was listening to Suze Orman talk about the wage gap between men and women. Although she admits that the economy is on fire, she continues to whine about the 20% gap between male and female wages.

Sigh. Y’all have no idea how weary am I to hear this non-truth again and again especially from an economically savvy woman such as Orman.

Here are the facts:

I made more than most men in my corporate environment because I had a husband who traveled 200 days a year and had no children. I worked 60-70 hours a week and that was rewarded. Other women don’t always have that option and should never be criticized for their choices. They also shouldn’t expect to make as much as the individual who works longer hours.

My favorite example is Carly Fiorina who shares three children with her equally successful husband. When she was offered the CEO position at HP she and her husband decided he should retire to run the household so she could devote herself to her new position. She wasn’t as successful at HP as I would have liked, but I respect the decision that she and her spouse made.  She realized that one individual can’t always “have it all” and sacrifices from one partner need to be made if you choose to have a family.


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SPORTS WEDNESDAY: 18-9-5 What Defines a Legend?

The definition of a legend is one who changes the nature of the sport and forces his competitors to innovate their game in order to compete. By these standards, the three greats in my lifetime are:

1.Lawrence Taylor #56 Giants LB

Author Michael Lewis: The game of football evolved and here was one cause of its evolution, a new kind of athlete doing a new kind of thing. All by himself, LT altered the environment and forced opposing coaches and player to adapt. After linebacker Taylor joined the team, the Giants went from the second worst defense in the NFL to the third best. As DB Beasley Reece told the NYT, “I’ve seen quarterbacks look at Lawrence and forget the snap count.” Taylor also upended the entire salary structure in football because offensive left tackles (guarding the QB’s blind side) were making the second and sometimes the highest salaries on the team.

2. Michael Jordan #23 Bulls Guard

Author David Halberstam: Michael Jordan was a very good defensive player. Some considered the best ever at his position on defense. Here went credit to Dean Smith, who, sensing Jordan’s offensive brilliance and surpassing natural ability, had pushed him to excel on defense as well. Out of that early pressure evolved the rarest of players, a brilliant offensive star who also had a hunger for the exhausting and often neglected work of the gritty at the other end of the court. Talented point guard Joe Dumars of the Pistons used to talk about the time and effort Coach Chuck Daley used to establish the “Jordan Rules.”

3. And here we come to an athlete I consider the greatest of any sport in my lifetime. His creative tricks on the halfpipe, and the true fearlessness and athleticism he has displayed can compare to few others. He’s had a rough time in his personal life because he is despised by his competitors and has few friends. This may be because he participates in an individual vs. team sport and is so much more talented than anyone else even at the age of 31. In any case, no further words needed to describe this ‘sick’ dude from San Diego, CA:

Shaun White grabs Snowboard Halfpipe Gold on his very last run …


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The UN Must Go

Every once in awhile I refuse to cancel my subscription to the Standard because gems such as below appear and I learn more about a particular topic than from any other source.

This article specifically outlines why the UN is not only a waste of money, but in many instances a substantial danger to peacekeeping.

I can’t help but highlight the last paragraph:

In Annan’s defense, reforming the U.N. is likely beyond the abilities of any mortal. But the corollary is that entrusting it with the responsibility of acting as the guardian of the modern world order is an invitation to carnage, corruption, and failure. Annan’s real legacy should be a warning to future generations of the pitfalls of relying on the U.N. That’s less flowery and flattering than the tributes to Annan, but potentially far more useful advice for the powerless, ordinary people we are told he cared about so much.

Pls take the time to read; it is worth it!

Mourn Kofi Annan, But Don’t Forget His Failings The Weekly Standard


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Dated

As some of you know, my husband and I are building a new home in Northern Florida in a wilderness preserve on two acres. The acre to the left side of our property is protected as a “no build zone” and as a conservative I should object to that concept but I can’t so we’ve designed all the bedrooms to be built on that side of the house. Frankly, living in SW Florida, I’m tired of being awakened at 7:45 a.m. by lawn blowers and new construction of 4-5,000 sq. foot homes on .3 acre lots.

I’m sleep-deprived, cranky and I make no apologies for my irritable behavior.

So… we have just started the process of selling our home in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Naples and we had our real estate agent over this morning to stage the furniture and take the 3-D video. My home has all wood floors, cathedral ceilings, french doors, and floor to ceiling windows but I inherited 100-300 year old antique pieces of furniture from both my grandmother and great-grandmother that dominate the house. I have always treasured the dichotomy of mixing the old with the new.

However, theses pieces were labeled as “dated” and I was told that potential clients want a totally modern look and that the furniture sends the wrong message. My answer: They stay and if you can’t sell the bare bone advantages of the house despite the furniture (which I most certainly will be moving to my new house) let me know now.

Anyway, the point of this post is an expression of despair about several things: the lack of imagination, the lack of respect for beautifully crafted things and just poor taste in general. The vignette I have described somehow manages to represent all the things that disturbs me most about where this country is headed.


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