“I, The Jury” – The Prologue [Part 0] [An Original Online Series]

Underworld Awakening Publicity Still

“Whoever we are … Wherever we reside … We exist on the whim of murderers …”— Miles Davis, “The Rock”


An original online series based on characters and situations from the Vampire trilogy “The Endless Night” by H. P. Lovelace; dedicated to Mickey Spillane, his Mike Hammer, and the original, his “I, The Jury”. So, if you’re looking for Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Nero Wolf, et al, you’d best look elsewhere. Mickey Spillane … dead … but not forgotten … never …


Series starts January 08, 2011

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The Endless Night, The First 16 Pages – [an excerpt from IUP, Book 01]

Poisen Elves
Be careful what you wish for … sometimes you get it

Click on the image of Jenny Miller, Mondo’s BFF, to read the pages … Enjoy … :)


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DEADLY NIGHTSHADE (a.k.a. Fighting For My Daughter) (VHS) (1995) – LINDSAY ‘Bionic Woman’ WAGNER, PIPER LAURIE, RENEE HUMPHREY



IT WILL PLAY NICELY in  , EUROPE, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, MEXICO and anywhere else in the world.

Lindsay Wagner [in her absolute physical prime] is Kate Kerner, a Washington computer programmer whose 16 year old daughter Jesse (Renee Humphrey) is “turned out” i.e. seduced into the life of a prostitute with the help of pimps Eric Lambert (Chad Lowe) and Russell (Kurt Baltz).

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Becky is Better [Episode #029]

Welterweight fighter Fritzie Zivic was once asked to comment on his reputation as a dirty fighter. Zivic’s reply was, “You’re fighting, and you’re not playing the piano.”

Legend: in undercover government work, a fabricated identity.

I’m a security guard. I’m not a troubleshooter, let alone a “thinking man’s” babe—ala that late-thirty-something-early-forty-something “Brit”, Nyree Porter Brown [New Zealand born Ngaire Dawn Porter], of The Protectors, who owned an Italian detective agency specializing in fine art crimes.

The Protectors (52 episodes, 1972-1974) were Harry Rule, Countessa di Contini, and Paul Buchet. The three of them made up this unique team—freelance troubleshooters who ran an international crime fighting agency that tackled baffling and dangerous assignments. Together they moved around Europe‘s most top resorts. There were some impressive locations that gave the show glamour. The team kept in touch via hi tech seventies computer equipment. There were fashionable cars and private jets used as they fought crime head on. They tackled spies, murderers, smugglers, and drug pushers. Harry Rule [Robert Vaughn, American, born Robert Francis Vaughn]the leader was an American who worked from a hi tech office in London and lived in a country mansion with an Irish wolfhound named Gus. Gus was looked after by Harry’s au pair, Suki, who was a martial arts expert.The Countessa di Continiwas Lady Caroline Ogilvy[Nyree Dawn Porter]an elegant English widow. Her late husband was Italian Count di Contini, who had left her a villa in Rome. She specialized in art and antiques fraud and was chauffeured by a karate chopping driver named Chino.Paul Buchet[Tony Anholt born in Singapore as Anthony Anholt]was French, and worked from an apartment in Paris.

The Protectors was a great 1970s classic series originally created by the famous ITC studios. It was a good fun detective type of show. Based in London, Harry [an American] was the suave leader of the group. Lady Ogilvy lived in Italy and, when she wasn’t working with Harry, she ran her own detective agency [Rome-based Countessa di Contini LTD] that specialized in exposing art frauds and recovering stolen art. French agent Paul Buchet [co-founder of Missions Impossible] who operated out of an apartment in Paris, was the group’s researcher and gadget specialist. Their adventures ranged from simple kidnappings to convoluted cases of international intrigue. Since the episodes were only half-an-hour long, the show’s forte was fast paced but straightforward action.

Sarcasm – it beats killing people.

People’s Liberation Army [PLA] of the People’s Republic of China.

In this universe … On this Earth … As aforementioned, though implicitly stated, public displays of magic, especially arcane performed by mundane in the presence of supernaturals is “frowned upon”. It’s considered impolite, not to mention setting a potentially dangerous precedent.

But, there are always exceptions to the rule. Long Da is one of them. Long is human, but somewhere along the way, in his distant ancestry, somebody got a piece of faerie tail and thus, inhumanity snuck into his otherwise mundane lineage.

Fortunately, for Long he gets a lot of leeway from inhumans, because of that “one drop” of their supernatural blood.

Long is sitting in the “cage” of his pawn shop, watching an episode of his favorite The Protectors, when he hears the front door bell ring.

Becky waves at him through the barred window. He buzzes her in, smiling. As she enters, he draws a gun from underneath the counter. It’s an Auto-Union PDK, 9-mm, semi-automatic pistol; although useless against overdriven, it’s quite effective against fast-forward targets.

This is one of those few times that being a one-drop works against Long in his interaction with a supernatural. In this very “private” matter … If he were 100% mundane and thusly armed, Becky would be obliged by ROE to shift from undriven to fast-forward to deal with his threat. But, with Long be a one-drop, and thus in effect kosher, she can take him on while overdriven. The long-stemmed beauty is on Linda Kozlowski’s stepbrother before he can get off a round. Fifty-something Linda, the estranged wife of Australian actor Paul Hogan is nowhere to be seen, which is highly unusual.

Hogan and Kozlowski met when she portrayed his love interest, Sue Charlton, in the first Crocodile Dundee film. She reprised her character alongside him in both sequels. They’ve been married since 1990.

“I’d thought that I’d get the better of you, this time,” quips Long as he returns the gun to its hiding place.

“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get.”

That’s when the proverbial 800-pound gorilla walks into the room, make that two. Slender, statuesque Marquess Emmanuelle Seigner [the infamous wife of the equally infamous Marquis de Sade] and her “manservant” the stocky-built Lady Mathieu “Martha” Amalric enter the shop.

Tellingly, they don’t need to be buzzed in nor does the door chime herald their uninvited entrance. Both are fifty-something females with a vaguely Oriental cast to their faces as if they are natives of the Republic of Kazakhstanin the Eastern part of Russia.

They have the causal air of misplaced sort-of-Asian-looking cougars who have been plucked down into this purely Occidental affair and have no interest whatsoever in the “tasty cakes” of the twenty-something poon-tang fare at hand.

Colloquially, they are Azns—Dragons in human form. The women, with the masculine ways and means, are attired in men’s suits and wearing men’s dress shoes [complete with spats] that were quite fashionable in the 1920’s and remain so in contemporary lesbian circles at its upper echelons. Short, close-cropped hair that’s been slicked down to within an inch of its life. Harsh, heavy-applied makeup that’s unbecoming by heterosexual “mainstream” standards of the present day; an assessment that applies to their hair styles and their entire look, as well. Perls. Gloved, of course-feminine, frumpy prudz—except for their perls, their only feminine touch. Not even a tastefully slight bulge in their crotch from the strap-on contrivance that they both are wearing: there’s no need at the present moment to advertise their she-male ambition, it’s implied sufficiently by their look. They don’t hate men; they just don’t have any romantic use for them and have preciouses few non-romantic uses for them either. Both are much older than Ancient Mia, Queen Akasha, and Arch-Baroness Lisa Niemi.

Additionally, Becky is obligated to both women in an all-superseding, all-encompassing, totally-binding fashion; an obligation that can never be fulfilled. In effect, they “own” Becky, forever. Their appearance couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Becky starts to drop to her knees in subjugation, but the Marquess waves her off. As such, Becky remains standing and maintains eye contact.

“There is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certain and dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign and almost never experience. I so crave to hear that huge, too-large mouth of yours scream in agony,” pronounces the Marquess, very matter-of-fact.

The lady Amalric nods in total agreement with her “employer’s” suggestive statement, licking the thin lips of her large, ugly, cruel mouth.

Even without their makeup, these two Dragons are the hardest-looking butch bitches that anyone could imagine.

“You’ve come a very long way to fuck me with a strap, or was it Matt’s turn at bat and you doing the watching, this time?”

Long swallows hard and wishes that he wasn’t in the middle of this dkye’s shindig. To add to the “dig”, and make matters even worse, the Lady Amalric shoots him a very toothy smile that bodes nothing well for anyone born with a penis and a Y-chromosome.

“You’re aware that Denise Johnson decided to do as my previous confidential secretary Lucy foolishly did before her and betray us?”


“Then, our appearance should come as no surprise.”

“Not completely, although I was hoping for better timing.”

The Marquess bitch-slaps her [Becky]. But, in spite of such a physical display of disdain and loathing for Becky’s words, the Marquess’ facial expression remains cold and aloof. In contrast, Lady Amalric is obviously and openly getting off on their exchange gone violent—ala the now, not-so-subtle bulge in her pants.

“Like I give a tinker’s damn about your convenience,” dispassionately proclaims the Marquess.

Blood trickles from the corner of Becky’s offended mouth. Seeing this, Lady Amalric gets an even bigger rise. And, finally, the Marquess smiles that big, nasty smile of hers.

“Feeling better now or do you need to box me again?”

“More later, but that will do me for now.” The Marquess pauses strategically to savor the moment at hand—a wounded, fetching Becky before her. Then, she continues. “When you are done with your … trifles … we will come a calling for what is ours to use as we see fit.”

But, the two uber butches don’t leave. Becky knows her cue when she sees one. The Dragons are here to stay for the duration, but are to be treated as if they aren’t there, sort of. In other words, they are here to offer their support, which means that they know something very powerful is involved in this mess that Becky is tasked with righting. Becky turns her undivided attention back to Long.

“Let’s go downstairs and see your break-in.”

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Muay Thai Title Fight ~ Gina Carano vs Sor Boorphajarn

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Venus In Fur Trailer (2014) – Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric – The “girl” from The Ninth Gate

Official Trailer for Venus In Fur starring Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric
Subscribe to CineFix – http://goo.gl/9AGRm

Director – Roman Polanski

Summary: An actress attempts to convince a director how she’s perfect for a role in his upcoming production.

Distant Lover, le clip d’Emmanuelle Seigner réalisé par Stéphane Sednaoui.
1er extrait de l’album « Distant Lover « Sortie le 31 mars


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1956 1957 Chrysler Ghia Dart Diablo Jan 2013 at Barrett-Jackson Auction, 847-774-4857

1956 1957 Chrysler Ghia Dart Diablo
Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale January 2013
For Sale 847-774-4857

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Xi Jinping: Behind the purge of China’s oil firms

Energy/Environment|Latest News Wires

Xi Jinping has launched a campaign against his political rivals that is roiling the entire Communist Party. A Reuters examination of the oil-industry component of the Chinese president’s crackdown shows the extent of the Xi Jinping purge, a drama that will have repercussions well beyond China.

By David Lague, Charlie Zhu, and Benjamin Kang Lim – Reuters

Oil executive Jiang Jiemin rose to power in Communist China in time-honored fashion: by hitching his star to a mighty mentor.

In Jiang’s case, that patron was another oil man, Zhou Yongkang, who went on to become the chief ofChina’s internal security apparatus and one of the country’s most powerful men.

Like Zhou before him, Jiang rose to the top of country’s biggest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corporation. In return, say people familiar with his career, Jiang helped Zhou build power by using the oil giant to dispense patronage. In March last year Jiang ascended even higher, when he was named to run the agency that oversees all of China’s biggest state-owned companies.

Recommended: Fracking. Tight oil. Do you know your energy vocabulary?

Their relationship was on display ahead of the party’s 18th congress in November 2012, when both attended a banquet for CNPC veterans of a 1980s drive to find oil in remote western China. In toasts and remarks, Jiang continually referred to Zhou as “the leader” and urged the oil men to “accept the leadership of the Party’s central committee” and of Zhou himself, says an executive who was at the banquet. The flattery, the executive says, “was so obvious.”

Today, the retainer’s loyalty to Zhou has backfired. In September, Jiang was sacked and arrested, a victim of a seismic power struggle as Chinese President Xi Jinping sets out to crush Zhou, the most senior leader targeted in a corruption probe since the Communist Party took power in 1949.

In a bid to isolate his rival, Xi is steadily taking down Zhou’s extensive web of colleagues, political allies, relatives, staff and business associates of his family, according to people familiar with the investigation. Corruption investigators are swarming the CNPC group, where Zhou, 71, a geophysical engineer, built a vast network of friends and allies over the decades.

Jiang, 58, is the most senior executive to fall in an ongoing purge of current and former managers of the petroleum giant. He is accused of using his position and CNPC’s massive budget to help Zhou buy political favors and maintain his network of supporters across China, according to people with ties to the Chinese leadership.

The campaign against Zhou is roiling the entire Communist Party. A Reuters examination of the oil-industry component of the crackdown shows the extent of the purge, a drama that will have repercussions well beyond China.


“The scale of the probe into CNPC is unprecedented, but perhaps the severity of corruption at the company is also unprecedented,” says Qing Yi, a Beijing-based independent economist.

CNPC is one of the world’s largest companies, with global operations and 2013 revenue of $432 billion. Its publicly listed subsidiary, PetroChina , trades in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York and is the world’s fourth-biggest oil producer by market capitalization. Jiang ran both the parent and PetroChina from 2007 until last year, when he briefly headed the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).

Interviews with senior CNPC officials, statements from the authorities and an analysis of the positions held by the arrested executives indicate that investigators are scrutinizing offshore and domestic spending, including oil service contracts, equipment supply deals and oil field acquisitions.

The investigation has already touched CNPC group operations in Canada, Indonesia, China andTurkmenistan, say people familiar with the proceedings. In addition to Jiang, the Chinese authorities have confirmed the arrests of CNPC vice president Wang Yongchun, PetroChina vice presidents Li Hualin and Ran Xinquan, and the listed unit’s chief geologist, Wang Daofu.

Criminal prosecutors are now investigating Jiang and Wang Yongchun for bribery, the official Xinhua news agency reported July 14, without giving details. In China, the announcement of a criminal probe means charges are almost certain to follow. Acquittals are rare.

SASAC, the state-owned company regulator, said last year that Li, Ran and Wang Daofu were under investigation for “severe breaches of discipline.” In China, this phrase is often a euphemism for corruption, but SASAC did not go into details.


Oil industry sources have told Reuters that another six senior CNPC group executives have been detained and are under investigation, but there have been no public announcements of these cases. Dozens of other managers have been questioned as investigators methodically unravel Zhou’s petroleum faction, according to senior officials at CNPC in Beijing.

The authorities have yet to reveal any specific evidence against Jiang or any of the other detained CNPCmanagers. CNPC and PetroChina did not respond to questions for comment on the investigation or arrests. The party hasn’t made any public announcement about Zhou’s fate.

As is routine in Chinese corruption cases, Jiang, Zhou and the other people named in this article as suspects couldn’t be reached for comment, nor could their lawyers be identified.

While not dismissing the graft allegations, some Chinese say the purged officials appear, in part, to be victims of a brutal struggle within the Communist Party. “All this is not transparent, so people are suspecting that’s the case,” says Mao Yushi, an advocate of economic reform and honorary president of a private Beijing-based consultancy, Unirule Institute of Economics. “I share the suspicion.”

Anxiety now grips the non-descript offices inside CNPC’s steel-and-glass Beijing headquarters, according to staff working at the building. Managers are being regularly taken away for questioning, company officials say. Some prominent executives have returned to their desks after the interrogations, while others remain in custody. Senior staff told Reuters they expect more arrests.

To spearhead his crackdown, Xi has enlisted a close ally: Wang Qishan, a veteran official with a reputation as the Communist Party’s top trouble-shooter and an implacable corruption fighter. Wang heads the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which as the party’s internal watchdog division is the most powerful investigative body in China. On June 30, the commission said Jiang had been expelled from the party for corruption. The commission did not respond to requests for comment.


Xi is determined to bring down Zhou for allegedly plotting an audacious power grab ahead of the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, people familiar with the probe say. Zhou is accused of attempting to promote his supporters into the leadership so that he could rule from behind the scenes after he retired, they say. He has been under virtual house arrest in Beijing since late last year.

Zhou was a relentless networker over his decades at the top of Chinese industry and politics, oil industry veterans say, cultivating supporters throughout China. Jiang was one of his agents in building these connections. Some of this support for Zhou involved tapping the pork barrel.

At the helm of CNPC, Jiang recruited political allies for Zhou by approving proposals to build refineries in a number of provinces, a person with ties to the leadership told Reuters. “Local governments were grateful because the refineries helped boost their economies and created jobs,” the source said, without pinpointing specific deals. “Through Jiang Jiemin, Zhou Yongkang won over their loyalty.”

Under Jiang, one of CNPC’s most controversial moves was a 2008 decision to build a $6 billion refinery and petrochemical project at Pengzhou, near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Zhou was party secretary in Sichuan between 1999 and 2002 and established a political stronghold in the southwestern province. Investigators have made many arrests in Sichuan in the campaign against Zhou.

From the start, there were strong environmental protests against building a refinery in the earthquake-prone area. Some critics of the deal also questioned the wisdom of situating the complex so far inland, in an area far from ports and without major nearby oilfields. Most of China’s major refineries are on the coast with easy access to imported crude.

Without mentioning Zhou, a CNPC official with knowledge of the project told Reuters that Jiang backed the plant because he wanted to please political leaders. “It doesn’t make much sense to build the project there,” the CNPC official said. “Where do you source your crude oil?”

In its project proposals, CNPC said the Sichuan refinery would process oil from Russia, Kazakhstan andwestern China. Some industry analysts say southwest China has very little refining capacity, and the Pengzhou project fills that gap.

An earthquake devastated Sichuan in 2008. Undeterred, Zhou prodded local officials to beef up safety measures and press ahead with the refinery. “Build up Sichuan’s heavy petrochemical industry,” he urged on a 2010 visit to the province, according to reports in the state-run media. When the refinery started production this year, China’s economic planning agency said it would boost the regional economy.


PetroChina, with a market capitalization of about $225 billion, is China’s dominant oil and gas producer, with global operations including oilfields, refineries, pipelines and petrochemical plants. It is a subsidiary of CNPC, and yet a power in its own right: PetroChina holds most of its parent’s assets on its balance sheet.

While Jiang was at the helm of both companies, PetroChina launched a spending bonanza, heeding a political command to secure access to more offshore oil as part of Beijing’s campaign to boost energy security. Annual capital expenditure almost doubled to about $57 billion over the six years to 2012. In the five years to 2013, the company also spent $25 billion on overseas assets. These outlays are now under the microscope.

CNPC vice-president Wang Yongchun was the first senior oil executive to fall, late last August, as part of a wider campaign to roll up Zhou Yongkang’s network.

Days later, in early September, the probe into Jiang was made public. More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, allies and business associates have been arrested, detained or questioned, according to people briefed on the investigation. Authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) from Zhou’s family members and associates, they said.

Zhou’s last public appearance was in Beijing on October 1. He has been under virtual house arrest since late last year, people briefed on the probe say.


The purge then broadened:

* About the time Jiang was arrested, the former head of PetroChina’s Indonesia operations, Wei Zhigang, was recalled from his post and is now under investigation, three Chinese oil industry sources told Reuters. Senior CNPC sources in Beijing say investigators may probe two oilfield acquisitions in Indonesia, where it appears the company overpaid for assets.

* In December, investigators detained CNPC’s chief accountant, Wen Qingshan, two people with direct knowledge of the probe told Reuters. Wen was also chairman of PetroChina’s Hong Kong-listed natural gas distribution arm, Kunlun Energy . In statements to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the companies said Wen had resigned because of unspecified “personal matters.”

* Early this year, Zhang Benquan, head of PetroChina’s operations in Iran, was taken away for investigation, said two Chinese oil industry sources familiar with the situation.

* In May came the arrest of PetroChina’s overseas operations chief, Bo Qiliang. Company sources told Reuters that investigators visited his Beijing home and took him away for questioning. In a statement to theShanghai Stock Exchange on May 16, the company said Bo left his post due to an unspecified change in his role. Earlier, he was chief of PetroChina’s operations in Kazakhstan.

* An oil industry official in Beijing confirmed a report this month in the financial news magazine Caixin that two other top oil men were under investigation: Li Zhiming, the head of CNPC and PetroChina operations in Canada, and Beijing-based Song Yiwu, deputy head of CNPC’s overseas operations.

The investigation of Jiang also involves his alleged role in the use of CNPC funds to cover up a politically embarrassing tragedy.


Investigators have questioned Jiang over the transfer of CNPC funds to pay off the victims of a March 2012 car crash involving the son of Ling Jihua, a top aide to then-President Hu Jintao, three sources with ties to the Chinese leadership told Reuters.

Ling’s son, Ling Gu, in his twenties, was killed while driving a Ferrari in Beijing. One of the two young women passengers was also killed and the other injured.

At the behest of Zhou Yongkang, Jiang arranged payments of millions of yuan to the dead woman’s bereaved family and the surviving passenger in a bid to buy their silence, said the sources. All three sources, who are not political rivals of Zhou, said they were briefed by investigators or senior officials.

In helping cover up the crash, they said, Zhou wanted to gain influence over Ling. When President Hu belatedly learned of the affair, he was disappointed and demoted Ling to head the United Front Work Department, a lower-level ministry. Ling and Hu could not be reached for comment. The United Front Work Department did not respond to requests for comment.

In expelling Jiang from the party, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection didn’t mention the Ling case or any specific findings against him. It said Jiang was guilty of taking advantage of his post to benefit others and extort huge bribes.

For a time after the car crash, Jiang’s career appeared on track. At the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, Xi took over as party boss. Zhou retired. Jiang was elevated to the Communist Party’s Central Committee, the elite, 200-odd member group which includes the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme decision making body headed by Xi.


If Jiang felt any disquiet about the crash probe, he showed no sign when he appeared that month at an assembly of bosses of state-owned firms in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Dressed in a black suit and pink tie, he readily answered questions about CNPC’s plans.

Xi, however, was gathering his forces against Zhou and the oil faction.

At the congress, Xi’s fix-it man, Wang Qishan, was promoted to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee and named head of the party watchdog commission. That made Wang the second-most powerful leader in China behind president Xi, according to political insiders in Beijing. Wang immediately sharpened the watchdog’s bite with extra investigators, publicly warning that no corrupt official was safe, no matter how senior.

The rolling purge has left PetroChina’s board scrambling to keep markets informed as authorities ensnare top executives in the investigation.

“As soon as the news spread, the audit committee consulted hired lawyers in order to decide what appropriate course of action should be taken,” says Franco Bernabe, the former head of communications giant Telecom Italia SpA, who served for some 10 years as an independent director of PetroChina until May. Bernabe declined to discuss specific allegations against the arrested executives.

Bernabe said management has tightened guidelines and procedures to limit the potential for graft. But some senior managers say the sheer size of the oil empire Zhou and Jiang built will make change very difficult. The CNPC-PetroChina group has dozens of subsidiaries and employs more than 1.6 million people.

One sign of the murk: Some senior PetroChina managers familiar with the investigation say they aren’t even sure where in the sprawling conglomerate – parent CNPC, listed subsidiary PetroChina, or the other units – each of the many alleged offenses is supposed to have taken place. (Reported by David Lague and Charlie Zhu in Hong Kong and Benjamin Kang Lim in Beijing. Editing by Michael Williams)

Original Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0724/Xi-Jinping-Behind-the-purge-of-China-s-oil-firms

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[Boxing] Quote for the Day, Tuesday July 22, 2014

Welterweight fighter Fritzie Zivic was once asked to comment on his reputation as a dirty fighter. Zivic’s reply was, “You’re fighting, and you’re not playing the piano.”

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JUNE WILKINSON original SEXY movie photo 1960s

JUNE WILKINSON original SEXY movie photo 1960s #99Vintage original 7-3/4″ x 9-1/4″ undated (circa 1960s) sexy movie publicity photograph of June Wilkinson. EXMT or better condition with light wear, no markings on the back, appears to be slightly trimmed. Comes from the famed Frank Driggs Collection.

Frank Driggs was an author, historian and archivist who amassed a collection of some 100,000 photographs and mementoes over half a century. Most of the photos have never been published. In fact, Driggs was the biggest contributor of photos to Ken Burns’s highly regarded television documentary chronicling the history of jazz.

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Dr Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip — A Great Place to Work

“It’s common sense: Happy people are more productive.”
Larry Page, co-founder of Google

I totally agree, just ask anyone who worked at McAuto [McDonnell Douglas Automation Company], the Camelot of IT [Information Technology].

Great Place to WorkYou probably spend more time at work … interacting with coworkers and customers … than you do almost anywhere else. So I hope to God you’ve got a GREAT place to work. In fact, I can think of few things more pitiful than spending twenty, thirty, or forty years on a job you don’t like in a company you can’t stand.

One GREAT place to work seems to be Publix Super Markets, which is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States, with 1077 locations and 159,000 employees. They have two slogans that guide their behavior and place them amongst the best employers: “Where shopping is a pleasure.” and “Where working is a pleasure.”

There are dozens of examples as to how they live up to their slogans. One thing the top corporate officers do is host a dinner to celebrate every new store opening and honor its new employees. These dinners generate tremendous excitement and enthusiasm, which are bolstered the next day when the executives help to prepare the store’s opening and help to serve the first day’s customers.

In most companies, pep rallies like the Publix store opening banquets are greeted by employee cynicism. That doesn’t happen at Publix because the employees are smart enough to recognize the sincere welcome they’re getting from the executives and they see the executives living out the company slogans as they work on the job.

According to a study done by pollster Daniel Yankelovich, Publix employees frequently say, “They didn’t have to do that.” In other words, Publix employees find it incredibly reassuring that the management goes out of its way to do something for them and recognize each of them as unique and valuable human beings.

And that same phrase … “They didn’t have to do that” … is commonly used in almost every GREAT workplace.

So what can you do to create a GREAT workplace? A simple, self-serving answer might be “Hire me. I’ve got a great program called “Staying UP In A Down World: How To Build A Workplace Filled With Excellence and Enthusiasm.” You can even download a free copy of the outline by clicking here.

But whether or not you hire me, I strongly suggest that you do the following as you create your own GREAT place to work.

1. Clarify your values.

In other words, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

So what do YOU and YOUR organization stand for? You need a clearly written statement of values … that is simple to understand … and everyone who chooses to work there can easily and full-heartedly say, “Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of place where I want to work.”

If you don’t have such a list, start grabbing some good lines from other organizations and their list of values. That’s not cheating. After all, the GREAT places to work should … and do … have some very similar value statements that create the organizations’ climate.

For example, one of my clients, the Missouri Department of Transportation, has a wonderful document entitled “MoDOT’s Mission, Values and Tangible Results.” Among their values they include:

  • MoDOT will honor our commitments because we believe in integrity.
  • MoDOT will be responsive and courteous because we believe in delighting our customers.
  • MoDOT will empower employees because we trust them to make timely and innovative decisions.
  • MoDOT will listen and seek to understand because we value your opinion.
  • MoDOT will seek out and welcome any idea that increases our options because we don’t have all the answers.

Great list. It goes on in much more detail. But I think “Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if every organization had such a list and then actually walked their talk?”

Dr. Lu Karl, the Director of Instruction, and another one of my clients … this time in the world of education … sent me his school’s list of values. Again, my reaction was “Wow! If every school had a similar list and held every teacher and student accountable for living out this list, we could eliminate 90% of the criticism being leveled at our schools.” At Karl’s school district, they say:
We believe that:

  • People are responsible for their choices,
  • Meaningful accomplishments build confidence and motivation,
  • In each person there are gifts and the capacity to develop those gifts,
  • Society thrives when each person actively participates in its improvement,
  • Trust builds healthy relationships,
  • Strength lies in people working together for a common goal, and
  • Learning throughout life is vital.

Of course, you want a GREAT place to work. But your chances of actually creating one increase dramatically when you start by defining what a GREAT workplace means to you and/or you clarify the values of such a workplace.

And then…

2. Practice behaviors that build and sustain a GREAT place to work.

When Robert Levering was doing his research for “A Great Place To Work,” he asked employees what made their companies so good. The first thing they mentioned was the attractive benefits. That’s easy enough to understand. Those are plain old survival and comfort needs speaking out.

When he probed deeper, he found that the GREAT places to work all shared the same qualities. They included:

Friendliness: The work environment is somewhat informal, very pleasant, and relatively lacking in social hierarchies.

Fairness: Employee complaints are heard impartially and fully. In other words, some people’s comments weren’t given more credence while other comments were pooh-poohed. And nobody was told to “Get over it” or “Suck it up.” Complaints received a fair hearing without a put-down lecture.

Apolitical: There is a lack of cunning and game playing to get ahead and there is no need to look over your shoulder to see who’s out to get you.

Contribution: In other words, employees say their job is more than a job. Their company makes a valuable contribution to society and stands for something more than mere profit. And so the employees feel a sense of pride in what they do.

Family: A GREAT workplace feels like a good, healthy family. The relationships among employees and with the managers are filled with cooperation. Everyone tries to help one another.

Information: As much as possible, everyone feels like he or she is “in on things.” No has to say, “I never knew about that.”

Praise: Everyone has the desire to receive appropriate earned praise, and in a GREAT place to work, praise is easily and frequently given … one to one, face to face, and in public. When a manager brought to business founder Ewing Kauffman’s attention the great work of a particular subordinate, Kauffman sought out the employee and complimented him directly. It was powerful, positive and effective.

Trust: In GREAT workplaces, the employer believes the workers want to be productive and employees assume the employer has their best interests at heart … which gives both sides of the equation a deeper sense of fulfillment from their work. Both sides trust each other. By contrast, this attitude of trust is completely lacking in bad work places.

Good and bad places are not simply a matter of happenstance, where some happen to be good and some happen to be bad. Workplaces and their environments are made by a few big things … like those listed above … and a thousand little things. Business owner William Binnie pointed out one of the little things when he said, “The first thing I do whenever I visit a plant is use the hourly workers’ bathroom so I can see how the company’s treating them.”


Instead of waiting for “them” to change your workplace, which of the things listed above can “you” do to build or reinforce a GREAT place to work?

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