“SECRET LETTERS To Home One Stop-Loss Soldiers story Letter#3

STOP-LOSS3

“SECRET LETTERS” to home one stop-loss soldiers story LETTER # 3

According to Wikipedia, the Stop-loss definition is:

“Stop-loss is a term primarily used in the United States military. In the U.S. military, it is the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service (EOS). It also applies to the cessation of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. Stop-loss was used immediately before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during deployments to SomaliaHaitiBosniaKosovo and after the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.”

The policy has been legally challenged several times. However, Federal courts have consistently found that military service members contractually agree that their term of service may be involuntarily extended until the end of their obligated service.

However, in real life it is much more than that. The term and its definition are minimal at best. Truth be told, even a cynic can not sit back and agree that such an act by OUR government is that of a free country — let alone a “free-man / soldier, who has served his country — and his term.

Through the years stop-loss has become much more “in our faces”, as undeclared “wars” have called many a soldier back to a place to which they barely survived — once, never-mind a forceful twice-go-round. In a 2004 Campaign speech by the then presidential candidate John Kerry — stop-loss was described accurately as a “back-door draft”. At that time, both politicians and war activists insisted and proclaimed its use an abuse of the law. Since Congress had not officially declared a war — the basis for using stop-loss was to them as well as those affected just that : “abuse”……

Much controversy, political agenda, hype, and inaccurate depictions of this “injustice” surround the topic whenever it is brought to our attention in any form. So how do we as Americans differentiate between fact and fiction — media agenda, propaganda, misguided citizens, and hoaxes — and how do we get the real stories, the guts and grit of the truth without literally being in that situation ourselves ?

In a weekly editorial, Here and Sphere will cautiously report one brave, wounded, forgotten, scared for his life, stop-loss soldier’s story. Though we can not completely vouch for it’s full accuracy — we will deliver this soldier’s encrypted letters, each with all its content — and let you, our readers, decide for yourselves. Our job is to report the news, and bring you the stories that matter to you. In “TOP SECRET” Letter to Home — One stop-loss soldier’s story — we will do just that.

Letter #3

Today was a good day all things considered. Normally that would bring about a smile or sigh of relief — but a good day here is a nightmare at best, back on American soil.

Today my team lead by a “new guy”. The sapling of a superior was freshly dropped here in the middle of yet another cold sand-swept night. Meeting him first thing this morning — all gung-ho, and clueless as to what he would soon become a part of — was almost stomach turning. Much like a doe eyed child full of innocence about to learn something horrific and life-altering. Today our mission was “simple” — cut off water supplies and all aid to the “local threats” one town over.

When I say the word simple, I mean only that it should if carried out correctly be a mission easily achieved — without casualties, and senseless violence. Though we were lucky enough to not lose one of our own — the casualty-less mission I hoped and prayed for — did not play out as I had wished.

Before the desert sun even peaked at us,we geared up and were on our way. All orders had been given — subject to change upon arrival, if our calculations were off even the slightest — and of course they were. I took my post at the highest point of the village, finding my spot was easy — I gained access without harm to myself or anyone else. Once our team was fully in place, orders previously given — went into effect. For the sake of those that watch movies and T.V. I will use familiar lingo — as to paint a picture that may be relatable — but here it is somewhat, okay very different.

Alpha team we will call that me and my 4 watchman — steady handed and sighted on targets pre-assigned we sit and wait. Bravo team began their slow and careful descent into the village as not to awaken the chaos. Delta team came from their angles to help surround the main water source and medical tent — therein began our problem.

Previous recon missions of the medical tent had shown no guard during this particular time — on 4 separate missions, not once had one been spotted. With the main valves off — and “our equipment” that once supplied this village back in our possession — they would have no way once sealed to re-establish a water supply. Bravo team had done their job and were regrouping back at the predetermined zone before hitting target 2. Delta stayed positioned waiting patiently to assist in retrieving, or destroying the medic tent — once Bravo gave the order.

As I looked at the tent I realized that this time WE WERE WRONG… A heavily armed guard paced by the hindquarters of the medic tent — searching for any sign of attack, or threat. Intently I watched as he paced in an almost eerie nazi reminiscent fashion — 4-5 steps one way — full turn — 4-5 steps back in the previous direction. Then it happened — SPOTTED –the last of our Bravo members to get close enough was seen. The foot soldier raised his weapon and aimed as steady as he could, getting ready to summons help…………..THEN ( shot fired ) one single perfectly aimed silent bullet — a few more minutes, enough time to be ghosts, and a fire that took down a whole tent and all its supplies erupted in seconds. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!! (Disgusting)

Back on base Alpha team leader newbie sat crying like a baby — AND JUSTLY SO. I felt connected to him, I knew his disbelief and pain, anger and more. But just like he came to us — HE WAS GONE…

Why him? I am broken too, why can’t I disappear into the night and sand and cold? Why can’t I come home? — Perhaps I’ll never know, PLEASE PRAY THAT I WILL.

Signed: One stop-loss missing home soldier.

As told by:Heather Cornell

PA WOMAN CHARGED AFTER KILLING NEWBORN IN SPORTS-BAR BATHROOM

arrest phot amanda

 Born ,wrapped in a bag right out of the restroom garbage can, then carelessly discarded in the tank of a sports-bar bathroom — and left to die! That was the quick and atrocious beginning of life — right to the tragic death — for this Pennsylvania newborn boy.

screenshots of the bathroom

26-year-old Allentown Pennsylvania resident, Amanda Catherine Hein — went out with friends on August 18th to watch a pay-per-view wrestling match, at Starters Pub in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. While sitting with her party at a booth in the bar, she began experiencing severe back pain and excused herself. According to witnesses including her friend “Rivera” — she was gone for a lengthy period of time, possibly 40 minutes or longer — before returning, grabbing her purse and heading outside. Hein smoked a cigarette before returning to the group to finish watching the rest of the wrestling match. Say’s District Attorney: John Morganelli.  At some point “Rivera” noticing a fairly large amount of blood on the seat asked Hein “if she needed to go to the hospital?” — to which she replied ” I have no insurance”, at that point Hein was dropped off at home.

starterspub side view

Starters Pub a sports bar on Route 378 in Bethlehem Pennsylvania — an estimated 30 miles from Philadelphia — is now the admitted crime scene of the baby boy’s disconcerting death.Bar owner Dave Rank was still in disbelief, and clearly still in shock as he explained that — A cleaning crew for the pub found the baby boy the following morning August 18th, in the tank of the woman’s bathroom toilet, after attempting to flush it repeatedly with no result — they lifted the tank’s top to find a hellish scene.

starters pub route 378 back door

When D.A. Morganelli was asked his thoughts on what Hein was thinking he answered — ” I have no idea what goes on in her head”– noticeably unnerved, he said ” I have no clue.”‘

starters pub heins

According to the Northampton County coroner, the newborn was at least 33 to 36 weeks gestational age — meaning he was fully viable, able to survive outside the womb . Court records also indicate that the baby was born alive and healthy.

survival rate

After learning the gruesome details — Amanda’s stepmother Louiseanne Hein clearly heartbroken and appalled told reporters that she had no idea Amanda was even pregnant. She said that looking back a planned parenthood letter addressed to Amanda now makes sense. Through teary eyes and honest transparent expression — grief-stricken Louiseanne exclaimed through sobbing sentences: “We told her she always had a home here” and that ” we would have worked something out!”

Via Amanda Hein's Facebook
Via Amanda Hein’s Facebook

Even neighbor Victor Rosario reinforced the theorized “Secret Pregnancy” by stating — “I didn’t even know she was pregnant, she didn’t look pregnant!”

On August 20th Amanda Hein was interviewed by authorities. She admitted giving birth to the baby boy in the bathroom, and disposing of him.  This gut wrenching confession, has earned Hein the rightful charge of Criminal Homicide. In Pennsylvania, “intentional murder of a child under the age of 12 is a Capital Offense — punishable by way of the death penalty. On Monday Hein was charged with one count of Criminal Homicide — thus the possibility of imposing the death penalty looms, if Hein is proven guilty.

Hein is being held without bail — as of last week no representation had been officially listed. The  authorities are still searching for the father of the baby.

Educate others safe haven

This incident has resurfaced the topic of SAFE HAVEN’S — as New Jersey and Pennsylvania both have “Anonymous drop off laws.” The Safe Haven laws, and places are now pushing harder to educate people about the State’s laws regarding Safe Haven’s.

safe haven sign

Established in 2002 after an infant girl they called “baby Mary” was discovered in a Sunbury Pennsylvania trash compactor.  EVERY hospital in P.A. are Safe Haven’s only needing to meet minimal criteria.

  • The child must be a non-injured, non-emergent newborn.
  • The newborn must be under the age of 28 days in Pennsylvania.
  • The newborn must be under the age of 30 days in New Jersey

If those criteria are met — the newborn will be accepted and taken in — NO QUESTIONS ASKED — and completely anonymous if the person dropping off the child so chooses.

safe haven incubator

With help in place like Safe Haven’s and a multitude of other resources — there is NO NEED for the senseless and horrifying deaths of any healthy newborn. Educate yourselves, and those around you — IT MAY SAVE A BABY’S LIFE.

Written By: Heather Cornell

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AUTISM LETTER NOT CONSIDERED A HATE CRIME? But charges may be made against the author ???

max begley

As we posted Wednesday about the despicable letter that had circulated everywhere, and asked your opinions in the link below — we would like to follow-up, with the new developments we have uncovered — and become aware of since.

http://coffeeorvodkaparenting911aparentsguide.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/autism-awareness-and-the-viral-letter-of-an-abusive-nature/

The anonymous, yet nonetheless reproachfully loathsome and detestably cowardice letter was received Friday by Brenda Millson, in Ontario Canada. Since then it has incited quite an outbreak — of both outrage and concern. At first it was the family and neighborhood that was infuriated and probing for answers. Then via media and social networking the vile and poison spewed paragraphs went viral. Reaching everywhere. Throughout Canada, the US, even around the globe.

The letter was in regards to a thirteen year old autistic boy, Max Begley from Oshawa Canada — about 50 miles from Toronto.

Arrogant and irate statements that describe Max as a “nuisance” and a “retard” are just some of the despairing and abusive names the author called this boy. The Author goes on to state things like ” That noise he makes when outside is DREADFUL!” then goes on to say “It’s (sic) scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!”  It talks of “donating his normal parts to science”– even encouraging the family to move their “wild animal kid” to a trailer in the woods and “do the right thing and euthanize him” — and — “Either way we’re all better off.”

Max Begley, diagnosed with autism at age two. Defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary —

Au-tism : a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.

MEDICAL DEFINITION: A developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns especially as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones.

Max’s grandmother Brenda Millson, who received the letter told reporters ” I was shaking reading it, it’s awful words. It’s terrible you don’t know why anyone would ever do such a thing.”

Max’s mother and father both suffer from MS ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ms# ) also had a few things to say to the media — in hopes that it may also help draw out the culprit, if nothing else — let their voice and how it has affected them, BE HEARD.

Max’s mom who suffers from Secondary progressive MS was more than choked up, as she read excerpts of the letter to the media. Teary eyed and raspy throated she uttered quotes from the letter before explaining — that with her condition she is no longer able to run or even walk to keep pace with Max — his tendency to take off running at parks, and on outings — make it near impossible for her to bring him to these places alone. The father also having MS and working full time, means that Max is entertained and cared for by his grandmother 3 to 4 days a week. The back yard is his safe haven — it’s where he gets to be a kid and play outside, exercise — and learn.

maxes mom

His father James Begley told the media “A person that is that crazy and demented, to — you know fabricate something like that, leads me to believe — that they are very dangerous –and right now I’m scared for my sons safety.”

max and fam

Even with all the cruelty expressed in that letter Canadian authorities are still unsure on how charges can and will be brought up and filed — if they do actually find the audacious author. One would think it would be as simple as an open and shut hate-crime case — but that is actually not so feasible. “At the moment the authorities are contemplating criminal charges — “however: there are other code issues being considered.” Said police.

At present the actual letter is in the custody of Durham Authorities — who will now figure out exactly where this letter falls — under the multi-possible criminal charge categories. Many across Canada, America and beyond are labeling this a HATE-CRIME — and according to former Crown attorney David Butt — it mostly does, yet cannot be considered one.

“There is good reason why charges couldn’t be laid.” as a hate-crime says Butts.

Canada’s hate-crime legislation has three requirements — to which all three must apply to be considered and chargeable as a hate-crime. Although this vulgar letter meets 2 of the 3 requirements being:

  1. It has to be wilful promotion of hatred — “the letter is clearly that.”
  2. It has to be the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group — “the letter is also clearly that” Butts says. “Because Max the boy the letter is about has a disability — autism — which makes him part of identifiable group”

However the third is key, and the letter does not fall under this hate-crime guideline. The third requirement is that It MUST be done in a public forum — Since it went from writer to recipient it dismisses the letter as ineligible for a hate-crime label and/or charge.

As of today Max’s neighbors, community and all those his story has touched have bound together in an outpouring of love and support for the teen and his family — and are hoping to help find out the coward hiding behind the pusillanimous penmanship, and see justice served.  In the meantime Max find’s all this attention a wonderful thing, and is laughing and enjoying the good vibes and positivity surrounding him.

max and neighbors

Written by: Heather Cornell

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BOSTON CITY COUNCIL RACE : JACK KELLY OF CHARLESTOWN

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^ At-large Council hopeful Jack Kelly at a recent “friend raiser” in Dorchester

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Note : Here and Sphere will make an effort to interview as many City Council candidates as we can reach. This effort must, unfortunately, come second to our coverage of the Mayor race — coverage which starting on Monday will continue every day right through to the September 24th Primary. We will, however, do what we can with the time that we have. First up is Jack F. Kelly III, who was born and grew up in Charlestown, the son of two working patents : a Verizon worker Dad and a Mom who has worked for Boston Public Schools for over two decades.

We first met Kelly at a block party in West Roxbury early last month. About two weeks ago we attended a “Mondays for Marty Walsh” town hall in Charlestown, where we heard first hand the concerns that that neighborhood has with the City’s powers that be. Given the smallness of Charlestown — but its long significance in Boston’s political life too — it was our decision right then that Jack Kelly would be our first City Council interview.

We talked to Kelly at a fund[-raiser event in the Savin hill section of Dorchester — an event he prefers to call a “friend raiser.” What follows was the substance of our talk :

Here and Sphere (HnS) : “What’s your campaign’s chief issue ?”

Kelly : “public health; fighting drug addiction, HIV and hepatitis C. It’s what I do currently, working for Mass General (Hospital). We have to increase the presence of community health workers.”

HnS : “so you agree with what Marty Walsh said that night in Charlestown, that there’s an heroin epidemic in Boston ? He didn’t overstate ?”

Kelly : “Absolutely. No, he did not overstate things. Drugs are everywhere and I see it in my work and know of it in the ‘Town. (Keep in mind that) fighting the drug plague is fundamental to (public) safety.”

Note : Kelly knows the drug menace personally. as his campaign bio puts it, “After graduating from high school, my life took an unexpected turn. Like many kids in my generation throughout Boston, I became addicted to…Oxycontin. for several years I struggled with …addiction… (until) on October 12, 2003…with the help of my community, prayers, and addiction programs, I became sober and began my life again.”

HnS : “fighting drug addiction and diseases like HIV and hepatitis is hardly the usual City Councillor undertaking.”

Kelly : “That’s why i can be heard. It has to be addressed.”

HnS : “Turning to other issues, the various casino proposals are an issue in Charlestown. What is your position ?”

Kelly : “it’s an issue everywhere in the city. I favor an East Boston vote only, not city-wide.. Traffic’s an issue; we will deal with it. The one casino I do NOT want in any circumstance is the Everett proposal. The traffic impact would be intolerable. Any casino has to be in Boston, but you know what ? Why not have it on one of the Harbor islands ? Doesn’t that make the most sense ?”

HnS : “School improvement has been john Connolly’s big issue, one that has given him citywide strength. And that means charter schools. What’s your position on legislation to lift the ‘cap’ on how many charter schools we can have ?”

Kelly : “Definitely school improvement. I favor increasing the number of charter schools but not eliminating the cap entirely.’

HnS : “Partial ‘cap’ lift ?”

Kelly : “Yes.”

HnS : “one thing that John Connolly specifically cites in his school improvement agenda is that the school day should be longer. Your view  is ?”

Kelly : “i agree; but teachers must be compensated for a longer day.”

HnS : “The Boston Globe two days ago focused on the various mayor candidates’ positions on the BRA. Changing the BRA seems on everybody’s mind. What do you think should happen ?”

Kelly : “i want more transparency and for the city council to have a vote on who the new director will be. And by more transparency : all meetings with developers should be videotaped and shown online to be posted on (the websites of) affected neighborhood(s) and their civic association(s).”

HnS : “But you don’t advocate replacing the BRA ?”

Kelly : “correct.”

HnS : “Lastly, a numbers question. You come from Charlestown, one of the City’;s smallest neighborhoods. How can you win citywide ?”

Kelly : “It’s not just Charlestown. It’s the entire City Council District that I’m from, that includes East Boston and the North end. We haven’t had anybody elected city-wide since John Nucci;. It’s about time.”

HnS : “How can you do it ?”

Kelly : “I’m strong in South Boston, Dorchester, West Roxbury. I have friends all over the city, from labor. I was an ironworker after I became sober, a Local 7 member. I also know people everywhere in Boston from being Charlestown Neighborhood co-ordinaor for Mayor Menino. Look at my union endorsements !”

NOTE: Kelly has major union support. His campaign website notes the following union endorsements : Teamsters local 25; Teamsters 122; Laborers 223; IBEW Locals 103 and 104; Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers local 6; Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 12; Plasters and Cement Masons local 534; Custodians Local 1952; Pipefitters Local 537; Sprinkler Fitters Local 550; Sheet metal workers Local 17. (Of these, the most significant might be the Custodians union. Most custodians live in the city — unlike the members of many construction Locals —  and they are numerous; and almost all of them vote every election.)

HnS : “Thank you for talking to us !”

We will likely cross Kelly’s campaign path often as we go about Boston neighborhoods this alt month of the Primary campaign. (indeed, we have already met up with him often.) Still, it’s an uphill fight for the first time candidate, even given his already wide-ranging political resume: in addition to being a neighborhood co-ordinator in Mayor Menino’s administration, Kelly was an elected Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2008 Democratic Convention — considering the size and strength of the Council field. Incumbents Stephen Murphy and Ayanna Presley are running for re-election; former Councillor Michael Flaherty seeks to return to that body. To win the one remaining at-large seat, Kelly must top Lower Mills native Catherine O’Neill (now a resident of Savin Hill); Marty Keogh, a well known West Roxbury attorney; , former Senator Warren campaign staffer Michelle Wu, a South End resident, North Ender Philip Frattaroli, former District Councillor Gareth Saunders; neighborhood co-ordinator Ramon Soto, a Mission Hill resident; and nine others.

His unique candidate profile and personal witness of major public health issues just might do it.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

CORRECTION : this article has been corrected. The original article said that Kelly favored a city wide vote on a casino proposal. In fact, he favors only an East Boston, neighborhood vote. This change has been made in the article that you have read.

…..AND NOW THE WASHINGON POST : OUR VIEW

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^ The Washington Post ; The Graham Family sells

You already know the fact in the field : Amazon’s CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, has purchased the Washington Post for $ 250,000,000. It is big news, coming, as it does, less than a week after Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe. Big news, too, because if Henry paid $ 70,000,000, Bezos is paying almost four times as much. It’s an elephant price for an item — print news — that the hired mouths say is headed for extinction. Is Bezos simply an ego with a large wallet ? (He is said to be worth $ 25 billion, a long suitcase even in today’s world of mega-purses.) Or has he a plan in mind that hasn’t occurred to the less visionary among us ? Maybe so. Maybe all the recent buyers of print-media marquee names have plans in mind. What can they be ? What MIGHT they be ?

One thought already piques us at Here and Sphere : look to the archives. The Washington Post, like the Boston Globe, has over a century of archives, a trove of history. As it publishes in America’s capitol city — DC — its archives record more than mere local knowledge. Yet even local knowledge has value untapped. We recall a neighbor who made a fortune acquiring the histories of just about every county in the USA that ever published one. Ancient all, their copyrights had expired; he revived them at scant cost and then published every one anew. Who, you ask, could possibly be a buyer of a county history ? Every public library in the county ponied up to buy a copy, at a hefty book price.

Why should something similar not be in Bezos’s mind for the post ? No, he won;t publish the post archives in book form; but he can surely image them and market subscriptions to them — because the Post archives continue to accumulate, every day — to every library, and to all education institutions, too; for this is America’s history we’re talking about. Maybe even overseas libraries and education institutions will subscribe.

Second, the Post continues to be the paper of record for America’s capitol city. It has fewer readers than formerly and less paid advertising, but it has seen of both, and surely a hard core of each that will not be diminished much, if at all. The Post broke the Watergate story in 1974 and published the Pentagon Papers in 1971. It was the first paper that Ed Snowden offered his revelations to. The post will continue to be the go-to medium for bombshell stories from our Federal government, the world’s most important. With importance comes continuity. Example : the Pope in Rome. Just as the Pope’s bibliothecarius has maintained a journal of Papal letters, bulls, and orders almost without break since Gregory the Great’s time (the 590s) at least, so the Post’s reports from Federal offices in Washington will likely continue to publish for many decades, or longer, no matter how digital the outside world becomes.

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^ Jeff Bezos : master retailer and money visionary

Lastly, the Post and Globe are hardly the only papers being sold to private buyers with pendulous purses. Private buyers need not fear impatient trader-investors the way public traded firms do. They can wait. They can endure losses. They can re-position the enterprise and explain nothing of it to you or me. Perhaps the Post and Globe will become platforms for other businesses : advertorials, monthly magazines, subway giveaways, even digital technology research. No one has yet mentioned the digital research potential of print media power-house, with their expertise in information gathering and dissemination; yet that potential abounds, and it would be more surprising for entrepreneurs like Bezos to NOT pursue it than to go for it.

The Post will become something new. that you can count on. New and yet quite basic too. Expect it, and take note as it happens.

—– Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

Insult to Sindustry?

funny photoA recent poll of 100 men, indicated that, 35% of the men polled were — or have been, jealous, intimidated, or insulted — by a partner’s request or  use  of “toy-play”, in the bedroom.

When asked why; The response that the thought of the query or blatant use and action of “toy-play” was just to taboo for Man-land.

The survey taker’s insinuated that — “It is in indirect insult to the size, effectiveness, and over all satisfaction, of their “equipment”.

OUCH ego crusher? or Help with your lover? Though every man who took part had a slightly different way of portraying his distaste for The Bedroom-Battery-Buddy, one truth remained TRUE — Most feel that they are just “Not enough”.

Top 5 irrational insecurities

  1. The women in question — are DISSATISFIED on some level.
  2. That the toy in question is either a replacement, or “the something missing”.
  3. That she will be able to satisfy herself better than he can.
  4. That he is packing less than heat in his “nether-regions”…..
  5. In the more severe of the irrationality — some guys even believe ” that toy-play ” is — The beginning of the end.

“WOMAN’S VIEW” — as to why that is absurd………. or not….

  1. The woman is merely trying to spice things up — where-by, keeping YOU interested…..
  2. She is genuinely trying to alleviate some of the “pressure” you may feel to satisfy her — thus making your job easier and more enjoyable.
  3. In “some” cases woman stated — “that their sex drive is much higher than her other half, by filling her “excess need” — you can relax, and NOT feel as if you are slacking or not fully satisfying her.
  4. “IF” she was not happy or content with the “hardware” — she would have fired you, and begun shopping for a more “adequate upgrade” — let’s just say she adopted Home Depots motto of, “You can do it, we can help”.
  5. An (inside secret) admitted by 25% of woman polled said they felt — “inferior or inexperienced” — when compared to their partner. By learning what excites them — solo or with you, they feel a bit more confident in their “abilities and super-sexy-sheet-skills”. Be happy and perhaps a bit grateful she cares that much….. She’s a keeper…..

What is the consensus here?

TALK TO EACH OTHER…. Honesty really is the best policy. He’s thinking one thing — you’re thinking another — and the truth and solution lie somewhere in the middle of BOTH of your truths……. FIND IT or BUZZ OFF.

buzz lightyear

    :Heather Cornell

WHAT WILL THE $ 70 MILLION BOSTON GLOBE BECOME ? OUR VIEW

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^ our “paper of record,” you know it is.

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Everybody in Here and Sphere’s Boston home region knew that the Boston Globe was for sale. The New York Times, which owned the paper, had hardly kept their intentions a secret. Everybody knew, too, that several active bidders — including members of the Taylor family that had owned the Globe and sold it to the Times — were on the case. It was even known that one of the bidders was a group led by John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Still, it surprised every observer when the two papers announced that the Globe had been sold for $ 70,000,000 — cash deal, no debt — and that the buyer was John Henry alone. No partners.

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^ John Henry, Globe Owner. Walking tall (with wife Linda)

In 1993 the New York Times had purchased the Boston Globe, as well as the Worcester Telegram and the Globe’s huge building on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester, for a reported $ 1.3 billion. Now, 20 years later, all of that — the Telegram and building, as well as all of the Globe’s internet presences — gets sold for $ 70,000,000. This, dear reader, is a heck of a discount, no ? It sends a message of desperation to those who see only the past. And yes, already the bears are howling : it’s the end, print media is dying, John Henry just wants to break it up and sell the pieces, then curtains.

We strongly disagree that that is going to happen.

Yes, the Globe’s circulation has declined from more than 420,000 in 1993 to about 200,000 now. Yes, the news staff has lost 180 positions, from 550 to 370. Yes, advertising revenue continues to drop — reportedly even during the period that the Times buffed it up to make the paper look most sale-able. Yes, many papers similar to the Globe have gone into bankruptcy, for example the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Tribune Companies. All of this is why the Globe properties fetched only $ 70,000,000 rather than the $ 1.3 billion, But that is the past. What the Globe WILL be lies in the future. It’s a future that begins strong:

First : Henry is buying the paper and its properties with no debt, all cash. He can use the Globe’s reveneus as he sees fit.

Second : the 200,000 circulation represents a hard core readership. What the ‘net can take, it has taken. the rest are staying. Indeed, I would submit that even that 200,000 represents a very different composition than detractors think. They are not just ‘what is left.’ Many, perhaps most, are new readers, even a new type of reader. More on this topic below.

Third : that hard core readership likely resembles the core readership of Boston magazine — an upscale fan base with much discretionary income to spend on advertisers’ wares. Boston Magazine has , of late, hired some major players in local journalism. That’s not the action of a publisher who thinks that print media is doomed. Why can’t the same reasoning apply to the current Globe’s readership ?

Fourth: as media journalist Dan Kennedy has pointed out, the Globe’s huge building on Morrissey Boulevard might pf itself be worth the $ 70,000,000 paid by Henry. Kennedy suggests that he might sell it, move the printing operation — highly profitable — to the Telegram’s Worcester area, and move the Globe’s news and business operations to smaller quarters in the heart of newly prosperous, bustling Downtown Boston.

Fifth : in 2009, when the Times first tried to sell the Globe, it had a pesky competitor for progressive, in-City news : the Boston Phoenix, then well established and, like the Globe, quartered in a building its owner owned and bolstered by a printing business. But in march of this year, the Boston Phoenix stopped publication. Such competition as it presented — circulation nearly 90,000 — is now available, in need of a voice.

A Boston Globe awash in Downtown’s high-end living is not likely to lack for well-heeled readers and advertisers. Were John Henry to make the Globe even more the voice of prosperous, progressive, mercantile Boston than it now is, he would only be doing what all successful newspapers have always been; the voice of a very definable readership, one that knows itself, identifies as a class or community, and insists on having a print voice to show itself off to all comers. Isn’t that what news media necessarily must be Information, one can get anywhere. The internet, ad fliers, gossip, word of mouth. The successful news media is one that communicates information of a defined kind, or with a defined point of view and even in a defined style of writing, to an audience similarly defined — and self-defining. Boston today has precisely such an audience. Large and growing, affluent, and highly concentrated in Downtown — and emulated by many who work and party Downtown even if they have — lacking the wherewithal — to live elsewhere.

A readership high-life living in $ 3,000 -rent apartments and $ 6,000 a month condos is a readership well worth playing to. It’s right there for John Henry to partner with. It wasn’t as obviously there in 2009 and not at all there in 1993, when the Times bought a very different Globe than now portends.

Why else would he even bother ? $ 70,000,000 to Henry is amuse-bouche money. Usually he plays ten times that amount. The only reason a mere $ 70 million can be worth hos time is that he sees an opportunity to add a zero to the seventy. And he definitely can. He can make the Globe the affluent community’s voice, as I have described, and at the same time create individualized, perhaps internet-only, neighborhood news outlets for every other part of Boston’s highly patchworked neighborhoods of long separatist memory. Into this community approach even the Worcester Telegram fits. (In the Telegram’s case, only into this sort of plan. That and resting on the profit foundations of the Globe’s world-class printing operation.)

Yes, many of Boston’s neighborhoods beyond downtown already have their own local print media. Can they fend off a well-heeled readership and a canny owner ?

What I have just laid out may not be Henry’s game plan at all. But if it is his plan, it is far from a stupid one.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

LOOKING FOR A JOB, ARE YOU ? PLEASE — NO RESUMES !

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^ no resumes, please ! just bring your baad self

—- —- —-

We at Here and Sphere will very likely be adding some core staff in August. That’s right : Here and Sphere is becoming a “job creator.” Who’d have thunk it ?

We welcome the hiring of staff. In the media world, staff come aboard with excitement, imagination, creativity, dedication. Motivation is never an issue, nor loyalty. Turnover doesn’t stop the presses.

That said, there’s one part of the hiring game that we do NOT like at all : resumes.

Resumes don’t fit well with the media rhythm. We’re about what you HAVEN’T done; what you HAVE done is…done, finished, over. We’re an adventure, not a re-run.

Sure we’d like to know where you went to school, what you studied, where you’re from, and did you graduate with honors. What jobs you’ve held since, however, matter little; the big thing is, can you WRITE ? Do you have a throat for a good story ? Do you think for yourself and outside the box ? Show us your clips.

Please do not spend money having a professional resume writer write one on you. We won’t read it. If we do read it, it’ll be for the curiosity simply.

Our disdain for resumes lost all civility when we surfed the site LINKED-IN. It’s supposed to be a connection arena for people at work. Unhappily almost every LINKED IN profile we have scanned reads “resume here!” Boring, boring. So depressing, indeed, that at our own LINKED IN profile we just had to write the following blurb :

“Yes, I have experience. So does my dog. Even my car has experience. I prefer to adventure upon that in which I have No experience — my mind can do this, my fingers can type it, my legs can chase it.

“In short, this is not a resume but the beginning of what someday will become one. A memento.

“A resume is like perfume — it makes you smell nice. By the time that you smell nice, however, you’ve already DONE what you began to do when you smelled like — skin.”

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

 

Updated 7:12 P.m. EDT 08.01.13

HERE AND SPHERE : OUR MISSION — AND A WELCOME

The beginning of any new venture in the media world should be a time for celebration. And we the editors of Here And Sphere are celebrating.

We celebrate the desire of people to know what other people are doing, locally and world wide.

We celebrate that people talk about what people — including themselves — are doing.

We celebrate the written word, the languages that guide and protect words and give them collective shape in the service of meaning; of information; of intention and inclination. For without language, we could not exist or serve.

We also celebrate Here and Sphere and its mission: to bring to YOU, the reader, the information we care about; information that we find interesting, or useful, or necessary, or any combination thereof.

Here and Sphere means what the name says : we live in the entire world of information, from Earth to Cloud; and we also live in specific places. The world is Sphere; specific places are Here. We shall report from both and about both.

Here and Sphere will report the news and opine on it.

Here and Sphere will review arts performances — the good, the mediocre, the lousy, and the great.

Here and Sphere will talk your lifestyles — and the life observations of our bloggers.

Here and Sphere will talk Cars; Pets; Social advice; Parenting; and “Crazy Stuff.”

We will not be all things to all people. Other media have their priorities, and we will have ours. We are trying not to replace other publications but to add to them.

We will have an identity, readily noticeable, distinct in tone, content, and look.

Lastly, Here and Sphere will report politics and opine about them. Our outlook is that of a sensible progressivism: we believe that all people matter; that all have full civil rights and are entitled to have their civil rights rigorously defended; that all people deserve meaningful health care; the right to a job and pay sufficient to survive and even prevail; and that all people deserve a place to call home, sufficient food, and the quiet enjoyment of their lives and the lives of their family, friends, and neighbors.

We affirm that governments local, state, and federal exist to assure and promote these basic rights, expectations, and aspirations; and that all of us are equally responsible, morally and politically, to see to their application to all of us.

We rue the negativity in today’;s political discourse; the fear; the grasping after illusions; the retreat into mythologies; the disinclination to facts and evidence; the rush to judgment; the attempts by some to use the law to impose this or that religious regulation on the entire community;, the self-promotion at the expense of others; the attachment of many to guns and ammunition; and the lack of patriotism in those who attach the word “patriot” to their profiles.

We prefer hope to gloom; inclusion to exclusion; and a fruitful imagination to a diet of self-deceptions.

We shall rigorously pursue the good and never shrink from spotlighting the bad. And in both Sphere and Here there is plenty of each.

And that, dear readers, is what Here and Sphere now sets forth to do. We are honored to have your company as we journey forth.

—– From the Founders and Editors of Here and Sphere

Michael Freedberg

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and Heather Cornell

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