Wins and Woes

First the win: Righthaven should rename itself Wronghell. A judge who has been considering one of the firm’s two hundred or so copyright infringement lawsuits (“Righthaven’s Judicial Rejection”) has decided that Righthaven must explain why he shouldn’t impose sanctions.  Its error? omission? lie? was that another company had a monetary interest and in fact owned the copyrights that Righthaven was suing on. Stay tuned.

A woe and a win for Arianna Huffington: The woe is that she refuses to pay her writers. Well, she pays some of them, but not very much to most. The National Writers Union, of which I am a member, has created a virtual picket line around HuffPo. The boycott is expanding. mentions a small upside to the woe: More people have joined the lawsuit. We should be able to turn this into a win for writers.

And here’s the win: Despite her attempt to spin, the “traffic” on HuffPo dropped by more than four million between March and May.

I’ve got more to say about Arianna and her impact on the world of writing and publishing, but it will have to wait for a full entry.

Now to the main event, which was a total win, win, win. I didn’t post last night because I was attending the National Association for Social Workers/Connecticut Chapter awards dinner. Larry’s uncle Willard McRae received the lifetime achievement award. And while this event wasn’t as mobbed as the Liberty Bank tribute (“An Honor Well Deserved”) two years ago, the enthusiasm was just as great and the appreciation just as heartfelt. Patricia Hartman, who gave Willard the award, talked about his patience, his steadfastness and dedication to the issues of children and the poor. Willard was, as always, modest about his own accomplishments and lavish in his thanks, mentioning his wife, Kathy, and daughters. He praised the other award recipients, which included a most impressive young woman who received the MSW award.

Diedre Oretade came alive with the enthusiastic introduction by Professor Lirio Negroni. This young woman has already made an impact with a “social work practice for military families,” which includes a three-credit elective course at the University of Connecticut to teach social workers how to assist men and women in uniform. She maintained a perfect average and is raising a child in the midst of all of her other activities.

The evening was delightful in other respects as I had a chance to see a few people I hadn’t seen in some time. Anthony’s Ocean View on Long Island Sound is obviously at its best when the sun is shining and the temps are somewhat above 57 degrees, but the food compensated for Mother Nature’s hissy fit. When the guests arrived there were trays of bruschetta, small slices of pizza, cheese, crackers, sopressata, and I don’t know what else. I could have eaten just appetizers but saved room and was ever so glad I did. The buffet tables expanded sagged under huge steamer trays of perfectly cooked stuffed sole, beef, pork, a vegetable medley of green and yellow squash and red peppers, pasta with red sauce and pasta à la vodka, potatoes, mixed greens or arugula salad, and a table filled with green olives, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, and I’ve lost track of what else. Obviously I didn’t try everything but ate enough that I violated my normal rule and drank two cups of coffee to settle everything. I did skip dessert, which looked like chocolate mousse cake.


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