the best things in life

Barack Obama [on TV]: It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled…
Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt): Ah, yes, we’re all the same. We’re all equal.
Obama [on TV]: … that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are and always will be the United States of America.
Cogan: Next he’ll be telling us we’re a community, we’re one people.
Obama [on TV]: In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.
Driver (Richard Jenkins): Had yourself quite a party.
Cogan: I do the best I can. [to the bartender] Beer.
Driver: So everything is under control, I take it, at long last?
Cogan: You know, for someone I’m trying to help out and everything, you’re awful hard to get along with. Could’ve made you drive up to see me, I didn’t have to come down here. I’m trying to be nice to you.
Driver: You’re trying to be nice to me?
Cogan: Sure, I’m a nice guy. I like to make things easy on people, do people favors now and then.
Driver: Do me a favor: don’t do me any favors. I see how you work.
Cogan: Tell you what, just give me the money.
[Driver hands Cogan an envelope.]
Cogan: Excuse me.
Driver: Are you gonna count it?
Cogan: I gotta take a leak. Leave me alone, all right? Have another ginger ale, for Christ’s sake.
Obama [on TV]: … from beyond our shores, parliaments and palaces, those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared. Tonight we’ve proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope. [crowd cheering]
Crowd chanting [on TV]: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
Driver: Feel better?
Cogan: No. There’s only 30 in there.
Driver: Three guys. Yeah, I had to ask them if I should pay you for the kid. But, you know, they said I should, so.
Cogan: They were right too. That’s only ten a piece.
Driver: Correct.
Cogan: The price is 15.
Driver: Dillon charges 10. Recession prices. They told me to tell you that too.
Cogan: I made a deal with Mickey for 15.
Driver: Yeah, yeah, but the way they got it, Mickey got in a fight with a whore, the dumb shit, and now they got him in the can, and you’re filling in for Dillon and you get what Dillon gets, no more. Talk to Dillon. Take it up with him.
Cogan: Dillon’s dead. Dillon died this morning.
Driver: They’re going to be very sorry to hear that.
Cogan: Sure, sure, they are. It’s gonna cost them more.
Driver: You know, this business is a business of relationships.
Cogan: Yeah, and everyone loved Markie.
Driver: You are a cynical bastard, you know that?
Obama [on TV]: … to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that out of many, we are one.
Driver: You hear that line? Line’s for you.
Cogan: Don’t make me laugh. We’re one people. It’s a myth created by Thomas Jefferson.
Driver: Oh, now you’re gonna have a go at Jefferson?
Cogan: My friend, Jefferson’s an American saint because he wrote the words, “All men are created equal”, words he clearly didn’t believe, since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich wine snob who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits so, yeah, he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went out and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community. Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fuckin’ pay me.
[♪ Barrett Strong: “Money (That’s What I Want)”]
♪ The best things in life are free ♪
♪ But you can give them to the birds and bees ♪
♪ I need money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Your love gives me such a thrill ♪
♪ But your love don’t pay my bills ♪
♪ I need money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Money don’t get everything, it’s true ♪
♪ But what it don’t get I can’t use ♪
♪ I need money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Lots of money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Whole lot of money ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ Uh-huh ♪
♪ That’s what I want ♪
♪ That’s what I want… ♪
♪ That’s what I want… ♪

people v. michael zeleny

Former business partner of Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu, Michael Zeleny, is to be tried tomorrow in People v. Michael Zeleny, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. SM382036, for lawful armed protests at headquarters of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which bills itself as “the largest VC firm in the country”.

Between 2001 and 2011, Zeleny has litigated various matters against NEA and WebEx, including Zeleny v. Zhu and WebEx, Santa Clara Superior Court case number CV809286; WebEx v. Zeleny, Los Angeles County Superior Court case No. BC 324927; Zeleny v. WebEx, Santa Clara County Superior Court case no. 1-06-CV062767; and NEA v. Zeleny, San Mateo Superior Court Case No. CIV499465. According to the filings in these cases, Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu, co-founders of WebEx and its former CEO and CTO, and Scott Sandell, General Partner of NEA, were the subjects of long-running protests organized by Michael Zeleny, their former business partner. Citing postings by Zhu’s daughter Erin on the Usenet newsgroup alt.sexual.abuse.recovery in 1991 and 1992, her claim for childhood sexual abuse settled in 2000 and documented in Affeld v. Zhus, Santa Clara Superior Court case number CV817300, and her testimony given in a 2003 sworn deposition, that she was raped by her father at the age of fourteen, Zeleny stated that executives accused of rape by family members and their knowing enablers have no place in positions of public trust.

Zeleny has posted Erin Zhu’s deposition transcript online. Her testimony concerning childhood sexual abuse by her father is posted on YouTube.

According to Breaking News, posted on on 3 May 2005, WebEx shut down its user conference in response to Zeleny protesting against it outside the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco the day before. A week later this report was corroborated by another conference attendee. On 13 May 2005, WebEx issued a press release announcing Min Zhu’s sudden “retirement” and his relocation to China. And on 23 September 2005, Private Equity Week announced the formation of Northern Light, a venture capital fund co-founded in China by Min Zhu, in partnership with Scott Sandell of NEA. In commenting this announcement on the same day, China Venture News reported:

What’s missing in the PrivateEquityOnline article or any NEA release is any mention of the previous controversy surrounding NEA’s venture partner, Min Zhu, who joined NEA in 2004, after his forced resignation as WebEx President and Director.

Currently Min Zhu also operates Cybernaut China Venture Capital, whose press releases bills it as “one of China’s pioneering investment fund [sic]”. Zeleny’s protests are aimed at drawing attention to NEA’s continued association with Min Zhu.

Zeleny also claims that for many years, WebEx funneled its customers’ confidential data to China, serving as a front for Chinese intelligence in the U.S. He has issued subpoenas in People v. Zeleny to former WebEx security personnel, who collaborated with Federal law enforcement agencies in their ongoing investigation of industrial espionage by WebEx.

Zeleny has also issued subpoenas to NEA’s founder Dick Kramlich and Scott Sandell, as well as Subrah Iyar and David Farrington, in their capacities of business associates of Min Zhu and principals in Moxtra, an online collaboration service founded by Iyar with his daughters, and liable to the same customer privacy violations as WebEx.

According to an article by Ron Leuty, published in San Francisco Business Timeson 29 June 2008, Kramlich moved to China,in part to collaborate with “NEA senior venture adviser Min Zhu, who cofounded software firm WebEx Communications Inc. of Santa Clara (an NEA investment) and now is a leading angel investor in China”. Commenting on Chinese business policies, Kramlich was quoted as saying: “If that’s communism, it’s about the most enlightened form of communism I’ve ever seen.” Zeleny repeatedly forwarded evidence of Min Zhu’s history as an incestuous child rapist to NEA since 2005. NEA has acknowledged its timely receipt during litigation with Zeleny.

According to the filings in NEA v. Zeleny, Zeleny has repeatedly appeared at the corporate headquarters of New Enterprise Associates in Menlo Park and Cisco WebEx in Santa Clara between 2009 and 2011, accompanied by live musicians, along with a number of other protesters bearing large portraits of Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar, and Scott Sandell. At each appearance Zeleny has carried unloaded firearms and ammunition. Local police have been present at each protest. Zeleny seeks to expose the involvement of New Enterprise Associates and their current and former partners Scott Sandell and Dick Kramlich, who are responsible for NEA’s activities in China, with Min Zhu and his enterprises. His public performances have been recorded by a professional videographer and posted on the Internet. In the course of his protests, Zeleny deploys and operates a number of video and still cameras, vowing to complete his documentary case study of Silicon Valley business ethics. Zeleny views his protests as open-ended, and says that he will continue his campaign as long as needed.

People v. Michael Zeleny, San Mateo County Superior Court Case No. SM382036, set to be tried on 2 June 2014, accuses the defendant of violating California Penal Code Section 25400 (a) (2): “A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when the person does any of the following: […] Carries concealed upon the person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.” Zeleny points out that his handgun rested in a conspicuously exposed locked belt holster whilst he conducted his public protests. California Penal Code § 25400 (b) provides: “A firearm carried openly in a belt holster is not concealed within the meaning of this section.” Additionally, Section 25510 (a) provides that Section 25400 does not apply to, or affect “[t]he possession of a firearm by an authorized participant in a motion picture, television, or video production, or an entertainment event, when the participant lawfully uses the firearm as part of that production or event, or while going directly to, or coming directly from, that production or event.” In view of these statutory exemptions, redress is available to Zeleny under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for, and limited to, a “violation of a federal right, not merely a violation of federal law,” and courts must determine whether a federal statute confers a redressable federal “right.” The individual right to keep and bear arms was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Peruta v. San Diego. Accordingly, a 1983 claim is being prepared on Zeleny’s behalf.

Zeleny maintains a website dedicated to Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar and Scott Sandell at Contact Zeleny by phone at 323-363-1860 or email at zeleny(at)post(dot)harvard(dot)edu, or his counsel David Affeld of Affeld Grivakes Zucker LLP, by phone at 310-979-8700 or email at dwa(at)agzlaw(dot)com.

open house on sand hill road

My summer digs are at 1766 Sand Hill Rd # 207 in Palo Alto, CA 94304. I can be reached at 650-485-2752 (land) or 323-363-1860 (mobile). My home will be open, and liquid cheer will be provided to all virtual and realspace friends and neighbors from noon till midnight on Sunday, May 20.

I welcome contest entries pursuant to the following rules, to be submitted until the closing of festivities. I will award the winner’s choice between a crisp likeness of Benjamin Franklin published by the U.S. Mint, or dinner with me at a Bay Area restaurant of my choice, to the entrant able to identify the greatest number of performance art props displayed in this photo:

In the event of a tie, preference will be given to the entrant able to answer the following questions:

  1. How old was Erin Zhu when her father Min Zhu first raped her?
  2. When did Min Zhu resign from WebEx and flee the United States as a result of being outed as an incestuous paedophile?
  3. How long thereafter did it take Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates to fund the next venture of his publicly disgraced protégé?

All answers to these questions are available online.

the good thief

Gerald Blanchard; pencil on paper; by Charles Sabba Jr.

Blanchard’s full participation came under consideration when he pled guilty to 16 charges on November 7, 2007. He agreed to sell his four condos and pay restitution to the Canadian government. And he was willing to take a longer sentence for himself in exchange for leniency toward his coaccused, whom he refused to testify against. None of his partners served jail time.

—Joshuah Bearman, “Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World’s Most Ingenious Thief”, Wired, 22 March 2010

If you are going to take the rap, that’s the way to do it.

one tough marielito

Orlando Boquete, 52, exonerated of sexual assault by DNA evidence last May 23, after 22 years as a fugitive.

Ne Tibi Supersis

Ne tibi supersis:
don’t outlive yourself,
panic or break a hip
or spit puree at the staff
at the end of gender,
never a happy ender —

yet in the pastel light
of indoors, there is a lady
who has distilled to love
beyond the fall of memory.

She sits holding hands
with an ancient woman
who calls her brother and George
as bees summarize the garden.

— Les Murray, 5 January 2007, TLS

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]expats.