Anti-Vaxers

Someone on my blogroll posted something anti-vaccine, citing the rise in autism cases as just one reason that we should “stop poisoning our bodies”.  As someone who wouldn’t be alive if not for the radical medical intervention of the 20th century, I’m incredibly skeptical of anyone who claims that we’re poisoning our bodies with drugs without also acknowledging that we also don’t typically die in childhood and the life expectancy is over 40.

There is no link between vaccines and autism and more importantly, vaccines save lives. The increase in autism is partially to do with different diagnostic conditions, the introduction of autism as a spectrum disorder — to focus on the phony and disproven and discredited link invented by a doctor trying to sell his vaccine as better than the current one is to fail to research the real causes of autism.

Again there are 0 ties between vaccines and autism. It’s just a lie. The fact remains that when children are not vaccinated they get diseases that can kill them and make it more likely that the vaccinated kids will get those diseases as well. I’d rather have an autistic child than a dead child. And I’d rather not die because people are making up reasons to not trust the good science that’s been done.

Should you believe everything that comes from big pharma? No, of course not. And should you want to treat autism and be skeptical of anything that people put in their bodies? Sure. But you should also be able to rationally look at the human costs of not vaccinating children and the motivation behind the lie that there was a connection between vaccines and autism in the first place. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

“Vaccines against tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, hepatitis B, and Hib disease are preventing 2.5 million deaths each year.” – CDC

Short blog with good graph:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/05/12/vaccines-do-not-cause-autism/

Longish on the anti-vaxers:
http://www.skepdic.com/antivaccination.html

Comic about Andrew Wakefield, the doctor of the original study:
http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html

Longish well cited on the history and consequences:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/09-06-03/

Advice for 2010 Grads Coming to LA; 15 things

The Bitter Script Reader posted some advice about how to survive to move to LA.  I tried to comment over there and it won’t let me, but this is what I said.

1) Get settled so that you’re as comfortable as possible — living out of boxes makes everything seem transient. Have roommates or whatever, but make sure that you’ve got a space, however small, that is yours. Spend some time driving around the city and getting to know places. Find the studios. (Have a car!)

2) I really love Glendale, it’s safe and cheapish. Frogtown is super cheap. North Hollywood is becoming a lot safer, the parts closer to the 134 are totally fine for a single girl to live in.

2) I would say you probably need at least 7k in the bank before coming out here and at least two finished scripts and some outlines for more. Basically, you need enough money that you can go several months without making much money at all and enough written that if you’re too discombobulated to write, you’ve got something to work with. I applied for internships and jobs for 6 months before I moved out and it still took me 3 months to land a part time paid gig, though I did have an internship lined up.

3) Apply to every job you can find, do things for free, take an internship in the industry if you can afford it and then work at whatever you can in the rest of the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s an industry job, making contacts of all sorts is important, life experience, all that jazz. I’m not super social and I don’t like to drink, but working on other people’s projects is a great way to meet people and learn useful skills.

4) Find something else you can do in the industry besides writing. Can you edit? Can you gaff? Find a way to make yourself useful. Pursue every avenue. Learn to script supe, that’s easy and low impact.  Find something you like to do that isn’t writing.

5) A lot of people would say find a writing group. I personally am not in one, but I have a large group of friends who I can get advice from. Writing groups are pretty useful if you don’t have that.

6) Apply selectively to contests, but do apply. I’ve definitely gotten contacts from agents and managers and earned some street cred by placing in contests people had heard of.

7) Mandy.com, realitystaff.com, and craigslist are your new friends. I personally don’t really like the UTA job list, but it’s out there too.

8) Figure out a way to make your commute worthwhile. A voice recorder is great if you can think outloud for writing purposes. I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

9) Do things that have nothing to do with film because people who only talk about film are boring. Read books, magazines, go do stuff that’s got seriously zero to do with film and then you’ll have something interesting to talk about. The reason Hollywood loves young blood is because they have experience outside of the Hollywood system and they haven’t quite yet been turned into normal LA people who can only talk about themselves and movies.

10) Write genre scripts that can be produced cheaply if you’re really out to make a sell.

11) Don’t ever be a douchebag. Don’t have a temper. If you talk shit online, don’t use names.  (Unless revealing scam artists!)

12) Conversely, if you’re working for free, you have the right to be treated well and to learn something from the experience. Don’t be afraid of anyone. And don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, just don’t be aggressive. Along these lines, know how much you should be getting paid, even if you’re not being paid that. This is useful info.

13) Be on the look out for scams. Not all competitions are worthwhile. Not all agents are legit. If someone asks you for money upfront to be your agent, that guy is a scam artist. (google Eddie Kritzer)

14) If you’re a lady writer with a girly name, I’d recommend using your initials. That sounds terrible, but there’s genuine gender bias out here and I’m super lucky that all the other Ashleys out here are guys. This is especially true if you’re replying to internet ad, because internet people are super creepy.

15) Give yourself deadlines so that you’re not constantly second guessing yourself and make sure they’re reasonable. I, for example, haven’t always been totally sure LA is the place for me, but I’m only allowed to seriously think about moving during the month of August. So I don’t dwell on it in general.

(I never had a problem with the tap water, don’t know what people are talking about)

Eddie Kritzer aka Andy King Cont’d

I won’t let this post of his stay where it was originally posted because it’s got nothing to do with Eddie Kritzer, but I also think people should know exactly what depths this grown man is sinking to in an attempt to score some sort of points.

So, on a relatively popular post unrelated to Mr. Kritzer, “Andy King” posted the following:

you deleted Andy Kings criticism of Ashley; Ashley, your a hooker on
Sunset Blvd, some guy told me you gave him head, and he threw up on you, and you ate it.
Ashley you are one ugly old lady

While I did delete this comment, I haven’t deleted the one he posted prior.  I sent “Andy King” an e-mail asking him to stay on topic.

Let’s do some thought experiments here.  One, let’s pretend we don’t think “Andy King” is Eddie Kritzer, why would someone care that much about someone they supposedly didn’t know?  Why would a business man whose posts link directly to his business put that sort of language out in the public under his name?  Two, if it is Eddie Kritzer, which it is because the IP address and grammar is the same, why would he continually bring himself back up on a blog that calls him a scam?  Does he not realize that every time he posts, I get a surge in hits and more people discover what he’s done to me and the people who’ve contacted me?  Does he not realize that using that kind of language and this obsessive behavior makes him more obviously unprofessional, regardless of whether he’s a scam?

He is simply vile.  I don’t take it personally, but it’s hard not to be grossed out.  Especially when you consider this is a guy old enough to be my father.  Ick.

If you’re new to the Eddie Kritzer saga just click at the top where it says Eddie Kritzer and you’ll go to all the wordpress blogs on it, which are almost all mine.  Basically, he’s a guy who says he’ll be your agent if you pay him up front, which is against the rules for agents and who has been harassing me since October 09.

“Andy King” aka Eddie Kritzer is back again

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Eddie Kritzer strikes again with a new tactic: Posting under someone else’s name.  Here’s what “Andy King” had to say on that very old post about Mr. Kritzer.

Ashley.

You seem like a very dissappointed person; your very negative about everybody; why dont you wait till you have a show, a song, a movie, anything positive.
The people you talk about have credits; you don’t; of course you have the right to do so.
You haven’t created anything; perhaps you will?

AK

If it was at all possible to ignore the clear indication that this is Eddie based on the terrible grammar and repetition almost word for word of things he’s previously said, we’d still have his IP address.  Anyone want to go explain IP addresses to the poor guy?  My concern is what if Andy King is a real person whose identity has been stolen.  Perhaps I should send an email just in case.

EDIT: Looking at the website (andyking.com if you’re curious) I’m not totally sure it’s real, and why would he give a real e-mail since any replies would go there?  What do you think?

A comment about Eddie Kritzer I got today

This is a lesson I will never forget (with the scumbag Eddie Kritzer):

This is the letter I jsut sent him today:

“Mr. Kritzer,

I sent you the letter 75 days ago to terminate my agreement with you. I will give you until This Friday (March 26) to return the $700 (or less before your take our your commission – and I want a detailed listing of expenses, please).

I have other things to do besides calling you to check on the status of my money while I am at work.

If I don’t receive the $700 or reasonable portion thereof by Friday, (March 26), I will be writing a letter to the editor to the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times about your treatment of writers. Frankly, I do not care what might happen to your reputation as a result of my truthful letter.

Send the money to:

Justine A. Cowan
[email protected]

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”

Almost everyone I’ve heard from about him hasn’t actually been hurt financially by being harassed by him, it makes me sad that there clearly are people who have been tricked into giving him money and taken advantage of.  I don’t know how much the LA or NY Times will care about a small time scam artist, but the local news may be interested in pursuing an investigation.  Local news thrives on small time crook stuff.

Hello people from Writer Beware Blogs!

There is always a surge in traffic around here when another blogger has an encounter with Eddie Kritzer.  His comments now go directly to spam here because they’ve become a bit graphic and horrifying.  My favorite excerpts from the e-mail he sent to Victoria Strauss.

“Your to busy being a busy body “old decrepit lady with all wrinkly skin; IM sure your husband (if you still have one) which I doubt; because all you do is complain, you are the negative Nelly of the Internet, your so fucken boring, and bored.And “all you do is bitch and moan and groan [except when you have sex; then you just lay there like a lump of coal, which is what your personality is.”

In other news, I didn’t finish the rewrite for today’s deadline due to a lot of stuff that’s happened in the last month, good and bad, but all time consuming.  So, I’m planning on getting it rewritten and polished by the Nicholl.  I’m going to set writing aside right now to try to get through this project I’m editing.  I need to get it done by Feb 1 because I won’t have time for a side job at that point.  Of course, I don’t feel great right now, but hopefully that’s going to do nothing but get better.  Starting Wednesday I get to start working on scar reduction!

All my scam are belong to Eddie Kritzer; the saddest troll on the internet

It’s that time again folks, time to read from the mixed up comments of Eddie Kritzer.  It’s really so sad.  Still, you’ve got to be impressed by a man who takes his reputation so seriously that he spends his late evenings writing out his every accomplishment on the blog of an alleged woman of no importance.

As a side bar, to those interested in the power of Google Analytics, it would appear that a certain lexicographically challenged seeker stumbled upon this page by searching for the terms “eddie kritzer scam”.  I leave it up to my few visitors to decide whether such a visit resulted in the posting of the comments below.

Should you wish to see the comments in their unrefined form, here is the link: http://ashleyfmiller.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/eddie-kritzer-leave-me-alone/

The greatest hits of his 3 new comments.  All posted within an hour of one another.

—-

Hi Everybody,

IM Eddie Kritzer, and it’s very easy to write comments about me. negative or otherwise. Your all anonymous, and of course IM a target.
I love the stuff I read about me on The Internet, it’s very entertaining.

If you have a compellling story, and when you go to the movies, and cant believe your story isn’t on the local AMC screen; or your local
Barnes & Noble;

You say to me, my script, or manuscriot is better then any script or manuscript; I have seen or read.?I then say to you, okay, I dont know you, but if you believe it’s a number one anything, I will submit your script or manuscript to all the decision makers.
Never have I ever said I guarantee a sale.
If your so sure your a hit, then I require an advance of Six Hundred Dollars against my 15% Commision.
It’s very simple, if you’ve got something hot, and or compelling, Im always interested
Hey guys, below are a few of my favorite hits, I have many more going, and It’s
I would love to have somebody send me a hit, It’s just that I get Six Hundred Dollars as an advance.
Who cares what some again (anonymously) supposed writer or critic, says, he’s not giving me the mortgage or rent.

—-

Hi Ashley, I love your comments, there very entertaining.
Ashley, let’s kinda get close, you know, like tell people on your blog that you have never created or done anything, kinda like how an why your on “blog: i.e. unpublished writer,
Daaaaaa, do we really have to go into I created Rockline, The longest running Rock Radio Show in history at 27 years. I created the concept for The American Comedy Awards ABC, 8 years, False Witness my NBC Movie received a 19.9rating 27.7share, Bill Cosby’s Kids Say The Darndest Things,o n CBS which was number one in its time slot many timed which I Executive Produced, and own with Art Linkletter and CBS.
The Nuremberg Secrets a Feature Film Produced in Paris, France
Had Hits of Beverly Hills 90201 Radio was partner with Magic Johnson on a script called The Ghost Writer. I sold books by Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter, and many others
Had shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, USA, A & E, PLAYBOY or my partners, ART LINKLETTER, BILL COSBY, CHRISTINA AGUILERA,
Your comments are hilarious, good for a gag, but CREDITS ARE THE COIN OF THE RELM,

—-

I agree, let’s all rag on Ashley, she’s a bit of a bore.
Hey I got an Idea, let’s name all of Ashley’s accomplishments,
There’s ummmmmmmm, and of course huuuuuuuuu,
and who can forget that opld favorite, ” I never did anything, and cried my eyes out on Eddie Kritzer’s blog, but he doesn’t have one, booo Hooo, booo hooo
I think Ashley’s a bit of a cry baby…………
yes I do, but Ashley, I will write you a letter of ………….

Thank you,

eddiekritzer.com

Eddie Kritzer Cont’d Again

Retaining the fidelity of the font:

“Really how nice of her, all her comments (according to my attorney are libelous.”

—-

Excerpted from Expert Law:

The most important defense to an action for defamation is “truth”, which is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.

A defense recognized in most jurisdictions is “opinion”. If the person makes a statement of opinion as opposed to fact, the statement may not support a cause of action for defamation.

A defense similar to opinion is “fair comment on a matter of public interest”. If the mayor of a town is involved in a corruption scandal, expressing the opinion that you believe the allegations are true is not likely to support a cause of action for defamation.

A defendant may also attempt to illustrate that the plaintiff had a poor reputation in the community, in order to diminish any claim for damages resulting from the defamatory statements.

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1964 Case, New York Times v Sullivan, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with “actual malice”. In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth.

The concept of the “public figure” is broader than celebrities and politicians.

A person can also become a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, a woman named Terry Rakolta was offended by the Fox Television show, Married With Children, and wrote letters to the show’s advertisers to try to get them to stop their support for the show. As a result of her actions, Ms. Rakolta became the target of jokes in a wide variety of settings. As these jokes remained within the confines of her public conduct, typically making fun of her as being prudish or censorious, they were protected by Ms. Rakolta’s status as a “limited public figure”.

While people who are targeted by lies may well be angry enough to file a lawsuit, there are some very good reasons why actions for defamation may not be a good idea.

The publicity that results from a defamation lawsuit can create a greater audience for the false statements than they previously enjoyed. For example, if a newspaper or news show picks up the story of the lawsuit, false accusations that were previously known to only a small number of people may suddenly become known to the entire community, nation, or even to the world. As the media is much more apt to cover a lawsuit than to cover its ultimate resolution, the net effect may be that large numbers of people hear the false allegations, but never learn how the litigation was resolved.

Another big issue is that defamation cases tend to be difficult to win, and damage awards tend to be small. As a result, it is unusual for attorneys to be willing to take defamation cases on a contingent fee basis, and the fees expended in litigating even a successful defamation action can exceed the total recovery.

Another significant concern is that, even where the statements made by the defendant are entirely false, it may not be possible for a plaintiff to prove all of the elements of defamation. Most people will respond to news that a plaintiff lost a defamation lawsuit by concluding that the allegations were true.

In other words, the plaintiff in a defamation action may be required to expend a considerable amount of money to bring the action, may experience significant negative publicity which repeats the false accusations, and if unsuccessful in the litigation may cement into the public consciousness the belief that the defamatory accusations were true. While many plaintiffs will be able to successfully prosecute defamation actions, the possible downside should be considered when deciding whether or not such litigation should be attempted.

—-

Everything I’ve written is either an opinion or Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true and accurate portrayals of my encounters with Eddie Kritzer.  He is a public figure who has behaved badly in public space.  He has a terrible reputation, which I’ve established on this site.  This is a fair comment on a matter of public interest; it is my opinion that the other people publicly accusing him of mistreatment are being honest.

Obviously it is not possible for everything I’ve said to be libel, and since he will not be specific, I can only assume it’s because he is trying to bully me into not telling the truth.* *this is an opinion.

Eddie Kritzer Cont’d

His response to my email: “Which incorrect blog are you talking about?”

Boy does this say a lot.  I think he just saw my blog and sent me a blanket threatening e-mail that he sends all blogs that say bad things about him.  And there are quite a few*.  Which makes sense, since nothing in his e-mail actually applies to me or our discussions.  In other words, he saw a blog saying things about him and sent the e-mail without bothering to figure out what his behavior towards that person had been.

To be more specific: He never offered me notes on my story.  He asked for a $600 advance to just read it.  I told him that was against the WGA policy for Agents and Managers, and not something I was interested in.  I told him over e-mail and phone.  He called me again, and again I explained to him I was not interested.  So, telling him I was not interested did not end the phone calls.

As for credibility and credits, I’ll let his words speak for him.  And this page can speak for me.  Take whichever side makes more sense.

* Just do a Find search on Eddie Kritzer or Scam on any of these pages:

http://www.thoughts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1739

http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_writers_life/2005/02/youd_think_anyb.html

http://207.5.19.9/boards/showthread.php?t=40257

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-33766.html

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32362

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090608123451AA80wfq

http://www.writers.net/forum/read.php?f=10&t=1547&a=1&

Eddie Kritzer: Leave me Alone

I have, for the past TWO MONTHS been dealing with this asshole Eddie Kritzer.  I sent a pitch in response to a Craigslist posting, which turned out to be to this guy who called me and said that he wanted $600 to read my script.  As in, he liked my pitch and therefore wanted me to sign an exclusive contract with him as my manager before he even read the script.

1. Real managers and agents read scripts before they sign contacts

2. Real managers and agents don’t charge you to represent you

He says it’s just an advance.  But the thing is, the only thing he’s ever sold or published appears to be through vanity press outlets; there are no movie deals on even his own factually dubious page.  All of his credits are really old and not terribly impressive.  He apparently has some connection to Bill Cosby, which I guess was impressive some time before I learned to talk.

He was also involved in a major, major scam called Edit Ink. It basically scammed writers out of money and gave commissions to “agents” that referred writers to get scammed — “agents” like Eddie Kritzer.

He keeps sending me e-mails and calling me, he will not leave me alone, even though I have REPEATEDLY told him I was not interested and told him REPEATEDLY that everyone I know in the industry told me HE IS A SCAM.  And on top of that he is a jerk on the phone and can’t be bothered to introduce himself, remember your previous conversations, and he mispronounced the word “bible”. Really.

So, just to be perfectly clear here, what it appears he does is troll Craigslist and then harass and bully people into giving him money.  That’s certainly what he has been doing to me.

I hesitated from posting anything because I’ve seen him threaten other bloggers who are honest about his behavior and I didn’t want to get into it, but other people need to know exactly what this man is doing to me. And if he comes here to defend himself I will simply add that to the list of things he is doing to harass me.

EDDIE KRITZER: LEAVE ME ALONE

Here is his contract:

Literary Management Agreement
1. By this agreement, Ashley F. Miller(Author) appoints Eddie Kritzer (E.K.) as her literary representative. E.K. agrees to use good faith efforts to place Author’s , manuscript/script, currently entitled BIBLECON ” (Work)and subsequent (hereafter “Work”),with a Publisher , Studio, Production Company, , , Television Network for a film/book. etc acceptable to the Author and to exploit and turn to account such other subsidiary and television and film rights in and to the Works as may be appropriate under the circumstances. We may use and/or employ subagents and corresponding agents for such purposes. E.K. shall make no agreement on the behalf of the Author without the Author’s written approval.
2. In return for services rendered E.K. in connection with the Work, Author agrees to pay and irrevocably authorizes E.K. to receive in its name, all monies due to or to become due to Author and to retain as its commission fifteen percent (15%) of all gross monies payable to Author . An advance on commission of Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) shall be paid on the execution of this agreement.
3. In addition to the aforementioned commissions, E.K. shall be reimbursed for the expenses incurred on behalf of the Work (not to exceed a total of $100 without written permission), including photocopying, messengers, cables and overseas postage in connection with submissions for sales, both foreign and domestic, long distance telephone calls, copies of the published book when purchased by the E.K. for subsidiary rights submissions, and other similar and related charges. E.K. shall invoice author quarterly for such expenses or deduct same from funds received by E.K. for Author’s account.
4. E.K. shall provide a quarterly itemized account of all expenses to the Author and no expenses shall be due and owing until that itemized account is produced.
5. All funds received by E.K on behalf the Author shall be held in Trust by E.K. and E.K. shall exercise a fiduciary duty with regard to those funds and on behalf of the Author.
6. The Author shall have the right to an annual audit of the financial books and records of E.K. with regard to the Author’s account and E.K. shall produce all records relevant to the Audit. E.K. shall give the accountant conducting the audit access to all financial books and records relevant to the Account. The Audit shall take place at the principal place of business of E.K. unless the parties agree to a different location.
7. Any written notice called for by this Agreement must be sent by registered U.S Mail, return receipt requested, or by FedEx, DHL or UPS overnight courier to the addresses set forth in this Agreement.
8. This Agreement represents the complete understanding between the Author and E.K. and supersedes any prior oral understandings and may not be amended except in a writing signed by the Author and E.K.
9. This Agreement shall be construed under the laws of the State of California.
10. This Agreement is effective on the date of the final signature.

And an official opinion on it:

“Putting on my former lawyer hat (practiced corporate entertainment law for many years, law degree from Harvard, former VP of Legal Affairs for an entertainment co, former director of legal services @ NY’s Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts – just providing creds to let you know that I have a lot of experience in this sort of thing), NEVER pay some dude to read your script as an advance on his future manager commissions. This is a scam – you’ll never hear from him again. Real management agencies won’t ask you to pay them – where’s the incentive for him to do anything? And there’s no term, no ability for you to get out of it — I have too many comments on this management agreement to post in a small space. But needless to say, it’s something you shouldn’t sign.”