Archive for the ‘Cool People’ Category

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When Joan Baez makes a song about you, you’ve got it made.

Or do you?

You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…..

— Carly Simon

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The Woman sent me this:

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Here is my kind of project.

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Read the entire tirade here – this is priceless.

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There are 42 immigrants on the Forbes 400 list. That’s just over 10%. Most of them have a very high “self-made score.”

For instance, Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, is 40 years old and worth over $8.8 billion. That’s more than twice the net worth of Donald Trump, at $3.7 billion.

Koum immigrated from the Ukraine with his mother in 1992 due to the political and anti-Semitic environment there. His mom worked as a babysitter. Koum was 16 years old and he got a job as a cleaner in a grocery store. They got an apartment through government assistance, and bought groceries with food stamps. Then Koum went to San Jose State, definitely not ivy league, and then got a job at Yahoo! where he worked for nine years before he started WhatsApp.

The American system has supported this immigrant in the beginning, yes. Cynics will lament that our tax dollars paid for penniless immigrants. They did. However, Koum created American jobs and American wealth, for himself, and for many others. He made many people millionaires.

The fact that 10% of the Forbes 400 are immigrants, and that many of them came to this country with a single suitcase, no money, two hands to work menial jobs, and an indomitable belief in themselves and the American Dream, attests to the value of immigrants in America.

Nothing can be more misguided than the nonsense we’re hearing spouted every day now. Go get the Forbes 400 edition of 2016. It provides many inspiring stories.

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Last week, 10 protestors, 7 men and 3 women, chained themselves across the inbound lanes of the George Washington Bridge, yes, that George Washington Bridge that Chris Christie is accused of purposely closing down to cause traffic problems in Ft. Lee a couple of years ago.

The protesters wanted to draw attention to immigrant rights. Clearly, they got attention. Clearly, the attention was not good. Just check the YouTube comments and see for yourself. In America, you have a right to protest for your opinions, but you really do not have a right to impact thousands of innocent citizens trying to go to work in Manhattan. Travel across the bridge was delayed for up to 90 minutes.

Why am I interested in this? I happen to personally know one of the protesters – quite well. I will not reveal her identity here for her privacy and that of her family and friends. I have known her since she was born, and I have to say I have always respected her as I saw her grow up. I do not agree with how this act was carried out, since it did adversely affect innocent people, but I respect her initiative, and I believe she will learn from this and one day go far.

After all, we have images of Bernie Sanders doing pretty much the same thing back in 1963, and he made it pretty close to the presidency in 2016, didn’t he?

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The founder of the Chobani yoghurt company is Hamdi Ulukaya, a Muslim immigrant from Turkey. He came to upstate New York 10 years ago with nothing, bought an empty Kraft plant using an SBA loan, and started hiring employees. Ulukaya is now a billionaire. He just made some headlines recently:

The clip below shows how he got started:

This man is not even a United States citizen yet, but he has created jobs for over 2,000 people in the United States already, and growing. Yes, he is a Muslim immigrant.

When the interviewer asks him about how Obamacare affects his business, she is obviously expecting complaints. However, he says “I have bigger problems. I need to make more yoghurt.” I have to agree. Most business people are way less worried about their employees’ healthcare costs than they are about running the business. If the business is run well and is successful, healthcare costs are a footnote at best.

So here is an amazing success story created by an immigrant. To my dismay, I then saw somebody commenting with this under the YouTube video:


This kind of sentiment in our country makes me sick and embarrassed about my countrymen. Let’s just get this straight:

A guy comes from Turkey 10 years ago, a son of a farmer, penniless. He decides to start a yoghurt company. He goes to the SBA and borrows $800,000 and with that he rescues a factory in upstate New York that was being shut down by Kraft, and he proceeds to turn that $800,000 loan into a billion-dollar company, creates 2,000 jobs, then gives away 10% of his company to his employees, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars EACH, and Jim Allen III, Col. Richard Hunter and Lauri DEAGUIAR have a problem with that?

One complains about veterans dying in the streets. Why, if an immigrant farm boy from Turkey can start a yoghurt company and create American jobs, why don’t the veterans in the streets start some companies?

Another complains that he is a lying pig because, presumably there was a Turkish refugee in Idaho who raped a poor 5-year-old girl? I don’t get the connection. Sorry.

Here we have a self-made billionaire, who used the system, and borrowed $800,000 from the SBA, and built a great company. That’s Ulukaya. He is demonized by comments like this because he is an immigrant, and he is a Muslim.

I know of another self-made billionaire, who used the system (his words), and borrowed a small loan of $14,000,000 from his father, and built a great company. That’s Trump.

Both created thousands of jobs. Both are billionaires. Both “used the system.” One has never filed bankruptcy. Since he never had a billion-dollar loss, he presumably pays federal income tax.

But one is an immigrant, a Muslim and a not yet a citizen.

And the other is Donald Trump. He is running for president.

A tale of two billionaires.

You choose!

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Much deserved by my favorite poet.


See CNN article here.

Simple Twist of Fate – by Bob Dylan

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark
Tingle to his bones
‘Twas then he felt alone
And wished that he’d gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate

They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel
With a neon burnin’ bright
He felt the heat of the night
Hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate

A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walkin’ by the arcade
As the light bust through a beat-up shade
Where he was wakin’ up
She dropped a coin into the cup
Of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailers all come in
Maybe she’ll pick him out again
How long must he wait?
One more time for a simple twist of fate

People tell me it’s a sin
To know and feel too much within
I still believe she was my twin
But I lost the ring
She was born in spring
But I was born too late
Blame it on a simple twist of fate

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…was on my daughter’s wedding day – yesterday!

Wedding Day

If you want to know more about her, there is no better place to check than her own blog entry about herself on her and her husband Tyler’s business blog for SoundViz.

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From a Proud Dad

Virgin America

My daughter and her husband-to-be are flying in from San Francisco tonight. They’ll be staying with us for a few days before their wedding next week! The moms of the bride and groom leaked this to the airlines – and the happy couple got a free upgrade by Virgin America.

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Seinfeld and Obama

Seinfeld Obama


Comedians in Cars getting Coffee

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Trisha decided she is going to go on a five-day dog sledding trip in Northern Minnesota in February. This is the same badass woman who went for a cattle drive some years ago: description here. I have opted out of both adventures. Exposure to large domestic animals being controlled by the minds of humans in wilderness situations are not on my list of things I need to do before I die. The inverse is more true. So she is going with another female badass friend. I am proud of them both.

But I insisted that she read The Call of the Wild first. There is no way I will let her go on a dog sledding adventure without having read that book first. I threatened to chain her to the steel railing in our house until the read the book.

Heeding my threat, she just downloaded it onto her Kindle.

There is a Call of the Wild in our house.

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Michael Moore

Today I went & stood in front of Trump Tower & held a sign until the police came. Then I went home & wrote Donald a letter. Here it is:

Dear Donald Trump:

You may remember (you do, after all, have a “perfect memory!”), that we met back in November of 1998 in the green room of a talk show where we were both scheduled to appear one afternoon. But just before going on, I was pulled aside by a producer from the show who said that you were “nervous” about being on the set with me. She said you didn’t want to be “ripped apart” and you wanted to be reassured I wouldn’t “go after you.”

“Does he think I’m going to tackle him and put him in a choke hold?” I asked, bewildered.

“No,” the producer replied, “he just seems all jittery about you.”

“Huh. I’ve never met the guy. There’s no reason for him to be scared,” I said. “I really don’t know much about him other than he seems to like his name on stuff. I’ll talk to him if you want me to.”

And so, as you may remember, I did. I went up and introduced myself to you. “The producer says you’re worried I might say or do something to you during the show. Hey, no offense, but I barely know who you are. I’m from Michigan. Please don’t worry — we’re gonna get along just fine!”

You seemed relieved, then leaned in and said to me, “I just didn’t want any trouble out there and I just wanted to make sure that, you know, you and I got along. That you weren’t going to pick on me for something ridiculous.”

“Pick on” you? I thought, where are we, in 3rd grade? I was struck by how you, a self-described tough guy from Queens, seemed like such a fraidey-cat.

You and I went on to do the show. Nothing untoward happened between us. I didn’t pull on your hair, didn’t put gum on your seat. “What a wuss,” was all I remember thinking as I left the set.

And now, here we are in 2015 and, like many other angry white guys, you are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you. That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS.

Fortunately, Donald, you and your supporters no longer look like what America actually is today. We are not a country of angry white guys. Here’s a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: Eighty-one percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of color, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35. In other words, not you. And not the people who want you leading their country.

So, in desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other’s brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.

We are all Muslim.

Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don’t like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you’ve said.

And then leave the rest of us alone so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong — at least strong enough not to be all whiny and scared of some guy in a ballcap from Michigan sitting next to him on a talk show couch. You’re not so tough, Donny, and I’m glad I got to see the real you up close and personal all those years ago.

We are all Muslim. Deal with it.

All my best,
Michael Moore

P.S. I’m asking everyone who reads this letter to go here (http://michaelmoore.com/weareallmuslim), and sign the following statement: “WE ARE ALL MUSLIM” — and then post a photo of yourself holding a homemade sign saying “WE ARE ALL MUSLIM” on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag ‪#‎WeAreAllMuslim‬. I will post all the photos on my site and send them to you, Mr. Trump. Feel free to join us.

P.P.S. – To sign my statement for #WeAreAllMuslim, go here on my website: http://michaelmoore.com/weareallmuslim

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On Halloween night we went to see Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. Kris, now 79 years old, did an introductory set of about 40 minutes, and John joined him at the end for two songs. Kris was there on the stage, humble, just picking his guitar and singing the old troubadour tunes, just like I expected.

After the break, John Prine came out with his band and was there for a full hour and twenty minutes. The video below is the encore, when Kris came out with him and joined them, singing along. It turns out, Kris was mostly loving it up there.

Kris discovered John some 45 years ago and they have been friends ever since.

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