R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Today the Queen of Soul and the most magnificent star at Columbia Records has died. I had the good fortune to see her perform in a small theatre 10 years ago and will never forget that voice, the presence and the jaw-dropping reaction of the audience.

To show just a little of my respect, here is my list of her best:
https://www.smoothradio.com/features/aretha-franklin-best-songs/

and the song that defined her career:

Aretha Franklin – Respect [1967] (Original Version)


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What Constitutes a Gentleman?

I decided to write this post after several months on Ratburger because this species is a rare one indeed. We are fortunate enough to have a few of these gems on this site so here goes:

Trinity Waters:
He’s waay cool and has created a pretty impressive collection of wildlife pics AND has graciously offered to share his knowledge of koi ponds.

MJB and BGS:
Definite So-Cons but they have been interesting and fun to talk to and willing to discuss political issues openly with this secular member. I appreciate this because it’s unusual.

Curt North:
Definitely some homie bias here but I do wish he would participate more over here. He’s a sensible midwesterner and I like those type of guys.

Larry Koler:
I’ve already PMed him: Where are you? I like the fact that he reads a lot of books.

MLR:
Last but not least! Smart, well-educated and very interesting to talk to. It’s unusual to pick up the phone and get into an intense conversation about WWII or the Civil and Revolutionary Wars with anyone!

Thanks guys.

<


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Mein Gott! The MSM!

We are building a new house in No Fla and are in the process of interviewing real estate agents to sell our home here in SW Florida. One of the agents we interviewed today has lived here since 2000 (born and raised in Berlin) and is very aware of both the American and European markets. This is important because Naples is a destination point for the English and particularly the Germans. We enjoy a cosmopolitan crowd here indeed.

We discussed the usual pros and cons of the real estate market but Ulrich both surprised and impressed me by adding some political observations:

1. Europeans are afraid of investing here because they have been led to believe that immigrants are unwanted and they would only be able to use their home 6 months of the year. As members of the EU, they could buy in Cap Ferrat and Costa del Sol with no visa issues but as I pointed out, that would be twice as expensive as buying property in Florida. He agreed.

2. In a very casual manner, I suggested that the immigration problem here has far more to do with illegal activity and hardly with the type of European who could afford to buy in my neighborhood. In fact, I mentioned that we love hosting Western Europeans because we share similar cultural values; after all, they are our ancestors and the local educated demographics enjoy the interaction.

We started to get into the Trump issue (he is terribly unpopular in Europe) and then we both stopped for obvious reasons. What shocked me most is the power of the MSM to reach across continental lines and affect a real estate market in the U.S.

This is scary folks.

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Great Post by Seawriter

My apologies for duplicating this over here from over there without permission but I am so passionate about this topic, I couldn’t resist.

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” – Eric Hoffer

“Yup. That has certainly been my experience over my lifetime. Consider civil rights. It was wrong on many levels for the government to force its citizens to discriminate on the basis of skin color. Most of the ills of that were solved when the laws were passed prohibiting Jim Crow laws. After a generation or two, the problem should be solved. Yet a whole industry arose exploiting the business opportunities offered by civil rights legislation, and today “community organizing” is a racket.”

My response:
Same goes for NOW. Women couldn’t vote until 1920 and nearly 100 years later they’re screaming sexual assault and making themselves unmarketable.

Same goes for the NAACP. 2,000 kids were shot and 700 killed in gang-infested Chicago in 2017.

This is what I have to say to Jesse Jackson and even to my once beloved Gloria Steinem:

You have discredited once noble movements because of your ego and lack of foresight to move on to the next issues.

Jesse: Talk to me about South Side Chicago.
Gloria: Any thoughts on female genital mutilation?


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Aid Groups Blame Italy After Migrants Are Sent To Libya

NEWS Now The Associated Press — By SIMONE SOMEKH – Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Italian officials deflected responsibility Tuesday after 108 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean were returned to Libya, a move that humanitarian groups said could violate international law.

The U.N. refugee agency and Amnesty International denounced the decision to take the migrants to Libya. But both Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli insisted that the rescue, carried out by the Italian-flagged Asso Ventotto supply ship, was coordinated by the Libyan coast guard without the involvement of its Italian counterpart.

A press release from the ship’s operator, Augusta Offshore, confirmed their account, saying the ship got a call from the Libyan coast guard to respond to a rubber dinghy carrying migrants. A Libyan ship escorted them to shore after the rescue, about 1 ½ miles southwest of the Sabratah oil platform, it said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy tweeted that Libya is not a secure port, making such a transfer a violation of international law.

“Not only is it a violation of the right of asylum, but it is an inhumane act toward those 108 people,” Amnesty Italia said.

Aid groups say migrants who are returned to Libya risk facing beatings, rape, slavery and other mistreatment.

Nicola Fratoianni, an Italian lawmaker aboard a Spanish-run aid rescue ship, wrote on Facebook that it would be “a very serious precedent” if the Asso Ventotto took the migrants to Libya on the orders of the Italian coast guard.

In its statement, Augusta Offshore said the migrants did not protest when they were transferred onto a Libyan coast guard ship in the port of Tripoli, the closest port.

The new hard-line, anti-migrant Italian government has kept rescue ships run by humanitarian groups from bringing rescued migrants to the country’s ports since taking power in May. In addition, it’s also planning to furnish the Libyan coast guard with 12 more patrol boats in an effort to prevent smugglers’ boats from reaching international waters.

Italy insists the step is necessary to stop human trafficking. Opposition lawmaker Laura Boldrini said, however, that the “collaboration with Tripoli doesn’t provide a single guarantee on human rights.”

In Brussels, European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud deferred questions about the rescue to Italian authorities, but confirmed the commission’s view that Libya does not meet the necessary conditions to be considered a safe port.


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Smart, Ruthless, and Powerful

Hats off to Ruth Porat– CFO Google and Sheryl Sandberg– COO Facebook who don’t worry about glass ceilings because unlike Hillary Clinton, they can actually button their blouses and balance their checkbooks. (That line was stolen from my husband.)

I wish them the best of luck because as Dime mentioned in an earlier post, their companies face higher expectations and unbelievable competition.

As an addendum, if I hear one more complaint about the lack of opportunity women suffer in Silicon Valley, I’ll be forced to repeat this post and bore everyone with P&L numbers and salaries.


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We Could Run the World

I was just thinking about my brief exchange with member JJ today and frankly, over the years both here and at the legacy site. I wish we could run the legislative branch together. This is why:

I enjoy the fact that we both reach the same conclusions for completely different reasons. Her decisions are based upon religious and moral beliefs; mine are usually based upon pragmatism. Somehow, I believe this is an all-inclusive combination and could form the basis of true bipartisanship.

Now why can’t the others in D.C. figure this one out?


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Trump Does It His Way

Every once in a while the Standard writes a gem and this is one of them. Please read; it is a perfect analysis of our president. Fred Barnes got it so right.

https://www.weeklystandard.com/fred-barnes/trump-does-it-his-way

My favorite quote? President Trump now dictates to aides what he would like to see happen as opposed to seeking a range of views according to the NYT.


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People Who Matter

I recently read the obit of my first boss in my first job as a 22 year old neophyte retailer in the Apple. It brought me to tears.

This man appreciated and supported my potential and when I made a risky buy, his response was “Don’t be afraid to go for a bold change. If it doesn’t work, at least your markdown will be more meaningful.”

Nobody in business ever says things like this!!

It didn’t stop there. He had a tendency to regard his people as family and in light of all the sexual harassment we hear about today, he was quite ahead of his time. While traveling in Hong Kong on a business trip, I had a SVP hit on me- openly. I ignored it but was afraid that somehow this was going to come back and hurt my reputation. John heard about this immediately and called a breakfast meeting at the Regent Hotel in Kowloon with just the two of us. This curt, no-nonsense man from the Bronx looked me straight in the eye and said: “I heard you got a call from the ‘corporate lover.’ No worries; I’ve taken care of the problem.”

It gets better. Even after I left NY, we continued to stay in touch. I was visiting the city years later and over lunch, he announced “You have a new job.” What? He knew Rose Marie Bravo, the CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue at the time who had an opening for Merchandise Developer of all S5A private label and he had told her: “I’ll save you an interview. Hire Liz; just find a way to get her out of California.”

I was given the job over the phone with an overly generous salary and had the time of my life for three years. Oh and best of all, due to the immaculate business training I rcvd from my mentor, I was considered a “genius.” Ha!

So with a heavy heart, allow me to share a wee bit of the ‘props’ my mentor/teacher so deserved:

JOHN SADLIER

The menswear industry is saddened to learn of the recent death of John Sadlier, a long-time retail exec who spent many years at Macy’s and Federated. When MR magazine first interviewed him in 1992, he was a highly respected VP running Federated’s $1.1 billion dollar menswear business.

Reputed to be aggressive, fair, a “gut merchant” and a real straight shooter, Sadlier was known to give his buyers credit for their accomplishments, rather than keeping the accolades for himself. He was also known to be a family man. A favorite anecdote from our 1992 interview (back in the day when international phone calls cost a fortune) comes from Paul Cohen, one of his former Macy’s buyers. “I had been travelling in Europe and had to hand in my expense account to Sadlier. He looked at it and I could tell he was upset. I was sure I was in big trouble but his only comment was this: ‘I see you were away for two weeks and only called home twice. Next time, make sure you call home more often.’”

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