All posts by Juliana Simone

Republican Town Committee Chair; Half-hour political interview cable show host for twelve years; campaign and state legislature worker; blog "In My Vue"; internet news website writer/administrator; former State Rep. candidate; sailor and occasional entertainment industry worker Southern California; model NYC 9 years.

Frank Sinatra Idol Contest – 2018

Written by Juliana Simone

Hoboken, N.J. – Weather could not have been more ideal in New Jersey on this midweek day in June. The Hoboken Park where the event took place, is right on the Hudson River. A beautiful backdrop of the Manhattan skyline that changed from glistening daylight to a glowing sunset, couldn’t have been more flattering to all of the singers who came to share their love of the famed actor and singer, Frank Sinatra.

The fourteenth day of the month brought together fifteen contestants who were chosen to compete in the 12th annual Sinatra Idol Contest. Some had competed before and some were there for the first time. Geraldine “Geri” Fallo, who is the Director of the City of Hoboken’s Division of Cultural Affairs, orchestrates the event and was the contact person for the applicants.

Each of those chosen had to submit five songs they preferred to sing from Sinatra’s huge portfolio of recorded music. They were then told by the contest’s organizers which of their five tunes was picked for them to sing in the show. This is done so there is no repetition in songs to the viewers and judges.

Three of the fifteen contestants came from other countries:

Gabriel Diaz from Mexico City, Mexico; Stanley Volk from London; Dan Lauzon from Ontario Canada. The remaining dozen had four from the event’s home state of New Jersey: James Beckham, Peter Cannella, Dylan Kaplan and Carl Reich. Three came from New York: Humphrey O. Uddoh, David Martinez, and Joe Cracco. Two were from New England: Jerry P. Padula, Waterbury, CT and Barry Oliver Lawton, Dorchester, Ma. The other three had a distance to travel to appear: Paul Capello from St. Augustine, FL; John Busalachi from Willmington, N.C. and Frank Gamrus from Madison, IN.

For more details on the contestants, click here to read full biographies and see most of their photos that were printed in the program handout:

http://hobokennj.gov/departments/human-services/cultural-affairs/sinatra-idol-contest/

The six judges on hand were Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla; Joyce Flinn, a Hoboken café owner; Bob Foster, Director of the Hoboken Historical Museum; Jay Lustig, former critic/editor of New Jersey’s newspaper, “The Star Ledger”; Jack Silbert, a writer and editor of the New York Times, who has lived in Hoboken since 1994; Margo Singalese, a veteran film, stage and television actress who was a Hoboken school teacher before her entering the entertainment business.

The best score contestants could achieve was a five. Score cards given to the judges ranged from one to five. (Editor: If there was an actual zero this writer is unaware.) With six judges present, this means the best score any contestant could achieve was a 30.

MC and Host Gary Simpsinatra got the night rolling by warming up the crowd with Sinatra’s “Witchcraft.” The winner from the prior year, Jerry Pearce, was also asked to sing.

Throughout the evening, the judges reasoning for lower score cards held up after a performance, was most commonly that the singer had a good voice, but did not sound like Sinatra himself, whether it was due to the contestant singing the song ‘their way’ or an occasional accent. Other critiques from the panel were some notes were off key or the tone or presentation was off.

It seemed it even mattered if a contestant was from Hoboken or not, in that this alone gave the home town boy immediate fives from the Mayor and other judges. This contestant came in second overall with this local advantage.

Coming in third place was Joe Cracco, with his moving version of the ballad “One More For My Baby.” Joe told the crowd Frank wrote this song for his long time love and second wife, actress Ava Gardner.

A tie for fourth place, the first time ever according to the coordinator of the event, went to Peter Cannella, a Marine veteran and singer-songwriter, and to Frank Gamrus, a Desktop Support Technician from Indiana.

The winner was Dan Lauzon, who is a dead ringer for Frank Sinatra himself, and because of this works professionally as a Sinatra look alike. He was number fifteen out of the group, and closed the contest with his version of “That’s Life.” Encouraging the audience to sing along with him, he received the majority of the crowd’s participation with chanting, “that’s life” after each verse. Belting out a good enough version of this well-known song, looking just like the icon and embracing a full arena, made him an easy choice as winner for 2018.

In my vue, this writer found that some singers should have had more points delivered from the judges, and some less. The crowd seemed to agree with the comments heard all around, but musical tastes are always personal. Regardless, it was fun to be had by all and an experience that was only enjoyable. Any other songs posted after this publication will be updated here.

Judge for yourself with four performances currently available online from the 2018 contestants:

(“The Way You Look Tonight” – Jerry Padula)

(“Angel Eyes” – Stanley Volk)

(“Strangers In The Night” – James Beckham; starts about one minute into the video)

(“My Way” – Barry Oliver Lawton)

(“One More For My Baby” – Joe Cracco)

As traditional with this venue, all contestants and former winners are asked to take the stage and sing the Sinatra anthem “New York, New York” after the winners have been announced. Here is a link to the 2018 finale.

The four finalists of Hoboken Sinatra Idol Contest 2018
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Hoboken Sinatra Idol Contestants sing “New York, New York” 2018

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Dexter Gordon – Tenor Saxophonist 95th Birthday Anniversary

 

Photo: Herman Leonard, Royal Roost, NYC

The great Jazz tenor saxophonist, Dexter Gordon, would have turned 95 today. The bebop artist churned out a lifetime of recordings, live appearances and a starring film role in “Round Midnight” (1986) which earned him an Academy Award film nomination for Best Actor.

This blog’s favorite album of the master is “One Flight Up” but there are many others to enlighten the ears of those just venturing into jazz and the veterans who know it all but still recognize greatness.

{Born February 27, 1923 – Died April 25, 1990 – Philadelphia, PA}

For more on the exceptional Dexter Gordon visit and contribute to this go-to source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter_Gordon

 

CPAC 2013: Donald Trump

Businessman Donald Trump speaking at the CPAC convention 2013 {photo: ibtimes.com}
Businessman Donald Trump speaking at the CPAC convention 2013 {photo: ibtimes.com}

Written by Juliana Simone

National Harbor, MD – The man known for more than a decade to native New Yorkers as “The Donald” took the stage this afternoon to address an enthusiastic crowd convened for the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference celebrating its 40th anniversary on the shores of the Potomac River in Maryland. Self-made billionaire Donald Trump opened his monologue by telling the audience our country is in terrible trouble.

He cited we owed seventeen trillion dollars and have more than a trillion dollar deficit a year. “No country’s ever heard of numbers like this!” he observed. “Likewise, the Republican Party is in terrible trouble,” he continued. “As you get more and more conservative – they get nasty. They don’t like what we say.” Trump segued into the mainstream media and how the President is given unprecedented media protection.

To offer solutions on how we solve our country’s problems, Mr. Trump first pointed out how even the Tea Party, who he loves dearly, says to leave their Medicare and Social Security alone. “To keep these things affordable then the solution is to build a great economy.” “We don’t have one,” he noted. “China does.” “We have to make America great again,” he said in appeal to the room.

On the issue of immigration, Trump stated that when it comes to immigration, eleven million people will be voting Democrat. He believed a candidate can be out in front but (when it comes to Election Day) those eleven million will be voting Democrat. “Republicans are on a suicide mission,” he said. “You’re just not going to get those votes.” Donald Trump inquired further, “Why aren’t we letting Europeans in?” and told the attendees how he had many friends who want to move here and work here – that have been educated here – but we throw them out of the country after earning a degree at Harvard or Wharton and say you can’t move here – so they work somewhere else and work against us. “How stupid is that?” he asked.

The realtor and casino owner gave a nod to fellow Republican Newt Gingrich next saying he loved Newt because he was a member of his club down the road. Trump said he loved anyone who was a member of his club and jested maybe Obama should become a member. He talked about offering to build things at his own expense for Washington but never heard back from anyone.

“Conservative Republicans have to win elections,” he proclaimed. In his observations on the Republican Party, Trump said “Governors are saying it’s the stupid party.” He thought this was a horrible statement for a Governor to make because it was something that could come back to haunt you when the Democrat’s now will turn around and use it against you. Trump told fellow conservatives he believed a Party that spent four hundred million dollars on ads that made Obama look like a super hero was a failure, and that spending money like this with not one victory showed something was seriously wrong.

About himself, he revealed he’d made over eight billion dollars in his life and employed tens of thousands of people. When he filled out his financial forms (when considering running for President in 2012) people were surprised. He said he was continually criticized by “total light weights” – guys in dirty shirts who would say about him, “Donald Trump? He’s nothing.”

Donald went on to explain people liked success and though he liked Mitt Romney, he felt the one mistake he made was that he didn’t talk enough about his success and the great things he did. He reflected they were on the defensive instead of being on the offensive where they should have been.

In regards to Iraq, Trump said we spend 1.5 trillion dollars there and we lose great great young people – for what? He said at first he was told it was for the oil, so he thought, okay, I get that – but we didn’t take the oil. He reminded viewers we’re the second largest oil reserve after Saudi Arabia. He believes for soldiers that are killed we should give those parents a million dollars for the son they lost because a million dollars is nothing compared to the money over there.

He described how he just had to place a huge order for televisions from South Korea. Why? People asked him why he didn’t buy the televisions here. “We don’t make televisions here anymore,” he explained.

“We’re run by either very foolish or very stupid people. Our country is a total mess. What we need is leadership,” he opined. He projected if we build and grow our economy, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security all can be affordable again when we have a strong economy. North Dakota has a great supply of energy, but we can’t go get it, he mused, so we go to Saudi Arabia to get it! They can’t believe what they’re getting away with. “The Republicans, and the Democrats, say we gotta cut, we gotta cut, we gotta cut…it’s because we’re not cutting the mustard!”

In closing, Trump said, “We have to bring money in and take back our jobs from China. We have to start building again, manufacturing again and our problems will be solved. Let’s make this country strong again!” The Donald left the stage to strong applause.

Businessman Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2013 (photo: newgroopspeak.com}
Businessman Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2013 (photo: newgroopspeak.com}

Ed.: This article written and reported by Juliana Simone, also appeared on  a CT internet news site.

Constitution Day

September 17, 2016

We The People
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S.
or by naturalization, have become citizens.

George Washington

George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and served as the first President of the United States of America. Read More

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a noted polymath, leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. Read More

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, a Founding Father, economist, political philosopher and led calls for the Philadelphia Convention. Read More

Rest in Peace: Otto Frederick Warmbier

UPDATE: Thousands Attend Funeral for Otto Warmbier

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4628846/Hundreds-gather-funeral-Otto-Warmbier.html

 

“Apparently under President Obama’s administration, Warmbier wasn’t even worth a Twitter hashtag tweet: “Bring Back Our Otto,” for example.”

Written by Juliana Simone

June 21, 2017

American Otto Warmbier (December 12, 1994 -June 19, 2017), taken by the North Koreans and subjected to the severity of their labor camps, died two days ago after being sent home to the U.S. from this communist country in a coma.

Apparently under President Obama’s administration, Warmbier wasn’t even worth a Twitter hashtag tweet – “BringBackOurOtto,” for example. Obama’s First Lady Michelle, made such an effort on the social media site when learning 276 young school girls were taken by an extremist Nigerian group “Boko Haram.” Days later she said her husband was doing “everything possible” to help Nigeria bring the girls back.

A New York Times report, for whatever this is worth these days, reported the U.S. Air Force had now sent dozens of personnel to the area to use drones to help find the kidnapped girls. Officials did follow up and said the girls had been found but they could not be saved because too many people could have been killed, perhaps even the innocent girls themselves. The White House moved on.

Otto Warmbier, made the naïve mistake of visiting North Korea in January of 2016. A University of Virginia college student from Ohio, he apparently was being watched by the North Korean government, during a five-day tour in January of 2016 which he had seen advertised while he was touring China. Maybe five days seemed to be a safe entry and exit time for a curious twenty-one year old who as class salutatorian gave his fellow high school seniors their graduation speech.

OttoWarmbierportraitWikipedia
Otto Frederick Warmbier

North Korea alleges he stole a sign from a wall in the hotel where he was staying promoting the leadership of Kim Jong-il. A couple of months later, they produced a video of low quality as proof to their claim, but there is no clear image of Warmbier and its arguable whether it was him at all.

For this, Warmbier was picked up at the airport while standing in line the last of his five day tour to leave North Korea for theft, and sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. Warmbier is seen on video in North Korean court in February of 2016 confessing to stealing the banner but no one knows whether he did this under intimidation or some false promise that if he admitted to doing this he would be released. A U.S. envoy was sent on his behalf once, in March, but he met with no success.

ottowarmbierNKCNAphotoMarch172016
Photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency via Yonhap News Agency of Warmbier in Pyongyang Court March 16 2016

OttoWarmbierintearsincourtwithNorthKoreanguard

OttowWarmbierbowsandasksforforgivenessforhostileactNKcourt

OttoWarmbierbeingledoutofcourtKoreansoldierDailyMail

A month after his trial, it’s reported Warmbeir somehow experienced a medical incident that left him with severe brain trauma, information not produced by North Korea and only learned after his release. Otto’s parents desperately wanted to get their son out of the labor camp and bring him home to America, but Mr. Warmbeir says he and his wife were told by the Obama administration they could not participate in any negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea and to keep quiet.

OttoWarmbierparents
Otto Warmbier’s Parents

 

On June 12, 2017, Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, announced that North Korea had released Warmbier, and that the U.S. State Department secured Warmbier’s release at the direction of President Donald Trump.

Otto Warmbier was flown home on June 13, 2017. Unable to walk or talk, carried off of the transport to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, doctors were unable to bring him out of his coma. Physicians claim his condition came from a severe heart attack and that no signs of abuse were found on his body. Even though he was able to breath on his own and blink his eyes, he failed to recover and died on June 19th, 2017. Otto’s father has stated he does not believe anything the North Korean’s have said in terms of what happened to his son.

Twenty-two years old, gifted, loved and wanting to explore the world at its best and its worst, what happened to Otto Warmbier, is an alarming and sad reminder to what happens to American’s abroad, as well as other  civilians,  more and more today in both free and communist countries. Shame on our governments that allow this to continue to happen. It’s much more serious than a hashtag. Rest in peace, Otto.

 

Georgia Six – Handel Wins Easily

Written by Juliana Simone

No surprise for anyone who understands politics, Republican Congressional candidate in the sixth district of the state of Georgia, Karen Handel, won handily tonight by four to five percent, or thirteen thousand votes. This district, most importantly on the map because it was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s district, showed despite the demographics changing here with more democrats moving out of Atlanta into the suburbs, Georgians still stay true to their beliefs in what America is and still should be today.

Democrats put this race on a historic map in spending over fifty million dollars donated almost solely from out of state sources – the usual suspects – liberals from Hollywood, George Soros PAC’s and former supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who both lost big to President Donald J. Trump in the presidential election 2016.

Losing to Handel, was a young former democrat aide, Jon Ossoff. Even with the monumental amount of money donated to him, the most in American history, he failed to give the democrats in the White House and their voters across the country the results they thought they could buy. Ouch. Another example that money can’t buy an election. Liberals and the mainstream media hoped to once again use this election as an example that American’s regretted voting for President Trump and this was a positive indicator Democrat’s would regain majority rule over the House in Washington, D.C. in 2018.

Congratulations to Karen Handel, Congresswoman Karen Handel (GA-6), the RNC, the GA State GOP and all voters who cared about the future of their country from Georgia.

Happy Birthday, President Donald J. Trump!

 

June 14th, 2017

Written by Juliana Simone

United States of America’s 45th President, Donald J. Trump, celebrated his 71st birthday today. If you did not hear this on the mainstream media, except for perhaps a passing or condescending note, don’t be surprised. The President, loved by millions of Americans and people throughout the world, despite what the liberal press wishes you to believe, enjoyed his special day with his loved ones, public and private.

Of course, it would have been quite the opposite if failed Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had won. The media would have shown Americans countless hours of how she celebrated from waking hours, cake, gifts, and well-wishes from celebrities and world leaders throughout the day. They even would have found former President Bill Clinton to join the occasion for a feel-good video clip to make the event that much more memorable.

Fine President Trump, humble, focused and dedicated to his job at hand, showed only on his Facebook home page homage to two other important notable anniversaries falling on this day: Flag Day and the United States Army.

FlagdayTrumpFBpagepic

USArmyBirthdayTrumpFBpageJune2017

{Editor’s Note: Regrettably, on this same day, a supporter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who ran for the democrat nomination in 2016 challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, chose today to appear at a softball practice and randomly shoot the Republican Congress team and staff who were preparing for a game against their Democrat Congressional members for a charitable cause. Fortunately, no one died except the shooter from wounds after return fire from Capitol Police.}

UPDATE: Congressman Steve Scalise’s condition, after receiving a bullet in his hip, has become critical after the shooting but has now improved to the point he is out of danger. Three others who were injured are also expected to survive.

Sadly, Scalise  will need multiple surgeries for his status to regain a normal condition at best. Scalise, the elected five-term Congressman from Louisiana’s first district was visited by President Trump who told the press he is a true patriot and fighter. The lone Capitol security on hand bearing arms saved all on the field from potentially being killed or injured when he returned fire and brought the gunman down, while his two colleagues kept the shooter down. The gunman asked outside if those practicing were Republican or Democrat. Hearing they were Republican, he entered the field, took aim and started shooting.}

President Trump Gets Out of the Paris Accord

Written by Juliana Simone

This afternoon, President Donald J. Trump announced in the Rose Garden at the White House that the United States of America will be withdrawing from the Paris Accord. The agreement between 195 countries made in 2015 was to focus on ‘global warming’ and the effects that are believed to cause this among climate change advocates.

Under the preceding President’s authority, Barack Obama, America joined the Accord without a vote in Congress, which means President Trump can now get out of the agreement without a vote in Congress.

“We will start to negotiate and see if we can get a deal that’s fair. If we can’t that’s fine,” Trump said in his speech.

The President pointed out this deal leaves America and its workers at a disadvantage and holds it to an economic burden which amounts to a vast fortune. Trump said he cares deeply about the environment but this deal punishes the United States and allows some of the country’s biggest offenders to do whatever they wish.

Noting this blocks the development of clean coal in America, China and India would both be allowed to open multiple new plants, killing jobs and progress in the United States while granting these things to competitors. This agreement would make it very difficult to compete with the rest of the world, Trump said in his important speech.

President Trump declared his job was to “protect our country and our taxpayers.” He told the press and viewers that we won’t be closing up our factories or losing our jobs to give unfair economic advantages to others in the accord. He said the responsibilities need to be shared equally around the world and this ties up and bounds our country. “Until we do that, we’re out of the agreement,” he affirmed. “This is not going to happen while I’m President,” he assured.  He remarked how the United States of America has the highest standard of environmental protection.

Keeping another campaign promise to “Make America Great Again”, this decision was met with great enthusiasm by his millions of supporters in the U.S. and around the world, as well as America’s workers who would be greatly affected if the United States remained in this treaty as written.

There is debate as to the technicality of when America can actually withdraw from the accord, which varies from one to three years and whether it involves withdrawal from the United Nations Climate Program, as well.

To read more about this: http://www.snopes.com/2017/06/01/authority-paris-agreement/

ParisAccordTalkersHalSFBpostProfWillieSoonJune12017

Editor: The above bulleted document was released from the White House press office. To read more about Professor Soon: 

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/02/28/dr-willie-soon-a-scientist-in-the-humble-quest-for-truth/

Memorial Day Speech – President Reagan Video Link

With great honor and respect to our Armed Forces  who sacrificed their lives for our country and our allies to help bring world peace and keep America safe, and to the families who love them in memory. Thank you for your service.

Here is former President Ronald Reagan giving a fine Memorial Day speech in this moving video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzUU-hdtxv8

 

 

Happy Birthday To Our First Lady Melania Trump!

 

inmyvueMelaniaTrumpIDbluedressDaily
Melania Trump on Inauguration Day on the arm of a Marine Captain {photo: Daily Mail}

Written by Juliana Simone

The wife of United States President Donald J. Trump turned 47 today and could not be lovelier. The former model who has been married to Trump for twelve years after their wedding in January of 2005, began a relationship with the real estate mogul six years before his becoming the 45th President.

Born in Slovenia, once part of Yugoslavia, to hard working parents, the multilingual First Lady went on as a young adult to model in Milan and Paris before moving to New York City in 1996, where she became a cover model for many magazines.  The second First Lady to be foreign-born after the wife of John Quincy Adams (the sixth POTUS), she is the first to be a naturalized citizen of the United States.

The First Lady and The President of the United States have one son, Barron. He joins an extended family from Trump’s two previous marriages who all admire their father/ex-husband and participate in his positive goals for the future of this country. Americans rejoice in celebrating both Melania Trump on her birthday today and President Donald J. Trump for being a critical piece in making America great again.

Donald Trump Is Sworn In As 45th President Of The United States
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walking before the Inauguration. {Photo: Getty} 
Donald Trump takes the oath of office with his wife Melania and son Barron at his side, during his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
The swearing in of the 45th President Donald J. Trump, wife and First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron. {photo: The Financial Express}

Melania-Trump-with-her-Husband-Donald-Trump-and-Son-Barron-Trump