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Monday, February 4, 2013


Cafe Prague in Tehran, Iran chose to shut down rather than install govt. mandated spy cameras

SEZ MORALITY COPS—Author George Orwell didn’t miss a beat in predicting Big Brother style omnipotence, especially in Iran as we read in a recent news story from the UK’s The Guardian’s Tehran bureau.  Here’s the gist:  “Iran’s morality police crack down on coffee shops. Café Prague, a popular hangout for Tehrani intellectuals closes after refusing to install surveillance cameras to monitor customers.

“Iran's cafe society has been targeted as a fertile breeding ground for dissidents.
Cafe Prague in better times
As the June presidential election in Iran draws near, authorities have
stepped up political surveillance by ordering coffee shop owners to install cameras on their premises and turn over the recordings on demand.

“Cameras have proliferated in Tehran coffee shops since last summer. "Most people thought they were part of the security systems installed by owners to protect against theft," one Tehrani said. However the cameras are now required to be on during work hours and police have demanded access to the tapes, according to several business owners…”

For the rest of the story:

From the Café Prague facebook page: "We always knew this day would come and, in the midst of Tehran's grimy winter, our end has finally arrived in spite of our many attempts to stay afloat.  But as much as it pains us and as much as we will miss our friends and all of you who stood by our side in the past four years, we take comfort in knowing that we at least didn't let Big Brother's glass eyes scan and record our every step, minute and memory from dawn till dusk.

No matter how stunning the vestments appear--dirty laundry is dirty laundry.  Once again, LA Times reporter Steve Lopez has penned a masterful rip ('Cardinal Mahony's deal with the devil") skewering the enablers in the LA Diocese, who chose to suppress uncomfortable crimes.  The column spares no one, including former LA DA Steve Cooley.  Readers will find it appalling and difficult to comprehend how--once again--admitted molesters were allowed to continue in the priesthood.  That stain only grows wider as the lies continue and the wrongly forgiven are free to reoffend.  See column:,0,612758.column.  

BRAVO. With a push of the send button, local true crime author Caitlan Rother sent off her new mss and revised photos captures for her latest work about the Nanette Packard/Eric Napolski case, tentatively titled, "I'll Take Care of You."

Al Roker and Joe Biden
OK, the Inauguration is old news, but the following clip is still fun. Moments after speaking with President Obama, NBC's Al Roker gets an impromptu handshake from Vice President Biden along the inaugural parade route.  The banter between Roker and anchor Brian Williams leading up to the Biden-Roker handshake is priceless.  If you missed it—replay it here:

New website for the SD Press Club at their same site:  The new includes a members only area—Resources—making it easier to search for skilled help, whether it’s ghost writing, crisis training, public relations services or specialty writing.  Members can list their services at                                                                                                    

Speaking of blogs.
Just ran across the results of the 16th annual Webby Awards, which has evolved as the Golden Globes of www types.  The Webby staff posted winners (with an easy archive of past winners) of 2012 winners and a list of entries.  The bottom line is a huge resource for significant blogs operating in today’s blogosphere.

Here’s the link:

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) — a 1,000+ member judging body that includes executive members comprised of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities, and associate members who are former Webby award winners and nominees and other Internet professionals.

"Oh, I don't know, Sweetie--where do
you want to eat?"
BTW headline is not an editorial comment.  Snooze is one of Zagat’s 2013 Top 10 Food List mentions.
1: Sushi Ota
2: Tao
3: Market Restaurant + Bar
4: Tapenade
5: Pamplemousse Grille
6: Vincent’s
7: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
8: Carnitas’ Snack Shack
9: Snooze
10: Donovan’s Steak and Chop House

One of the more hilarious posts I’ve read in a long time appeared recently in San Diego Free Press by Judi Curry: “Sex in San Diego: An Open Letter to Men Looking for Women in the Online World.”  It’s a recap of Judi’s trials and tribulations as she meets men online.  She posts a litany of “don’ts” for men to adhere to when online seeking dates.  My favorite is “Don’t tell me to eat fast because you only have an hour left before your pills wear off…” or maybe this one: “Keep your toupee at home.  I have yet to see one that hasn’t made me laugh…” The whole list is at:

Tomorrow night the SD Press Club has organized a how to publish your first or next book forum, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Serra Mesa Library, 9550 Aero Dr. Headliners include:
--Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency;
--Author/Arthor Salm;
--Maggie Espinosa on self-publishing and
--Lynn O’Shaughnessy on traditional and ebooks.
Admission is free.

Answering the unanswerable. 
Inquiring minds want to know: will any of the following questions be asked at the Press Club book-publishing forum?

--My novel is 2,000 handwritten pages long.   Will the length hamper my chances of a book award?

--I’ve received 150 rejection slips for my novel why won’t anyone publish my book?

--My novel is autobiographical but do I have to die to have it published?

--Can I have it arranged to let my book be only published in large type.

--If I don’t get my book published can I have my money back for this conference?

--Do publishers ever cheat on royalty payments?

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