Protecting Kids – As an attorney, my advice to Roy Moore is to drop out of the race for U.S. Senate and immediately start focusing on his criminal defense plan. The allegations against him are credible and should not be confused with the non-stop stream of allegations coming out of Hollywood (understandably the public could choose to distrust some of those particular allegations simply because they involve adults whose business it is to seek the limelight, and arose in a culture in which money, alcohol, drugs and wild parties are prevalent). With Moore, however, the allegations are that he manipulated and had sexual activity with innocent kids – something the public simply cannot tolerate. He should find no comfort that Alabama’s criminal statute of limitations has expired; because he has insisted on continuing down this defiant path, I hope that Democrats and Republicans will unite and find something (and there is always something) to use to lodge criminal charges against him. His arrogance, total selfishness, and complete lack of compassion for the victims are not surprising as they are precisely what you would expect from a predator. Interestingly, these are the same tendencies Kevin Spacey displayed when he attempted to convince the public that it was okay for him to have been inappropriate with a kid because he is gay. There are no “blurred lines” here, and we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to keep every child safe from harm.
Active Shooter – The U.S. Army had to quickly reverse course this week after it was reported that due to declining numbers, it was changing its policy and would permit some people to enlist who had a history of self-mutilation, bipolar disorder, and depression. WTF?? Even the NRA acknowledges that guns in the hands of mentally ill people is a terrible idea, so I can’t imagine that training those folks to use one would have worked out too well. For anyone interested in understanding further the adverse relationship between mentally ill people and guns, I strongly recommend watching the new Showtime documentary mini-series Active Shooter. It is incredibly well done and powerful. Warning: you may become obsessed and binge watch, so try and start watching on a Friday or Saturday, if possible.
Monday – I attended the Tourette Association of America’s 40th Anniversary Gala, honoring Ken and Julie Moelis at Capitale in NYC. With almost 500 in attendance, the TAA raised almost $3.5 million, a staggering amount and a testament to the generosity of the Moelis family. It was also the debut of Samantha Meserati, an incredibly talented artist who donated one of her paintings to the auction.
Tuesday – As part of the Stony Brook University’s Entrepreneurs Edge series, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Eugene Alletto, CEO and Quarterback of Bedgear. The interview, before about 200 students and business leaders, was quite lively, with topics ranging from sex toys to world peace. Gotta love entrepreneurs…
Wednesday – I moderated the “Get in the Head of a CEO” panel presented by HIA-LI. The panelists, all of whom were recipients of the Business Achievement Awards, wereChris Valsamos, President/CEO of Castella Imports, Inc.; Karen Frank, EVP of the Omnicon Group; Gregg Schor, CEO of Protegrity Advisors; and Paula Fries, COO of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness. They were all a lot of fun (for me, I was thrilled to learn about the journey an olive takes from a tree in Greece until it winds up in my evening martini). Congrats to all!
Thursday – Along with my fellow Energeia members, class of 2016, we spent the day with folks from the LIRR and the NYS Department of Transportation discussing the many transportation improvement projects going on in the state. To my surprise, I was very impressed with how many hard-working and smart people are engaged with trying to improve transportation in New York. While I thought I was going to come away from this day frustrated, I was relieved and optimistic that congestion help is on the way. Very well done!
Saturday – I had the pleasure of celebrating my colleague Arthur Yermash’ s 10th anniversary with CMM. Along with his lovely wife, Yana, we explored French food at Jean-Georges. The wine pairing was spot on, with my favorites being the 2004 Vina Tondonia Rioja and the 1994 D’Oliveira Verdelho Madeira. From a food perspective, it was the frog legs that were a hit!
Next week we will be taking off to Newport, Rhode Island for a break, so my next post will be December 1. Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!