Monday, November 28, 2005

Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's Office Behavior Has Not Improved - A Note To Jerry From Zennie

As I was walking along Lakeshore Avenue, preparing for Thanksgiving, I ran into an old co-worker from my days in The City of Oakland and in The Mayor's Office. This person still works for Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown; all I did was try to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland under his watch. Both of also worked for Elihu Harris, who was a much better Mayor than Jerry.

Anyway, I asked how things were going and this person remarked that they were OK, but that was more than could be said for some other workers in Jerry's office.

See, when Jerry took office in late 1998 (unofficially then in 1999 for real), he quickly established a reputation as being a real ass toward his secretaries: yelling at them and throwing tantrums. His top aide and friend Jaques Bargazhi didn't help with alledged exploits featuring in-office advances toward women, and other actions that eventually cost him his job. I thought Jaques departure might make Jerry himself "nicer." Some may have believed the days of Jerry the Tormentor were over.

I don't dislike Jerry. I understand -- as a person who's driven -- that he has high ambitions and wants those around him to share his passion. But he's got to learn to hold how he treats his workers in check. I thought he was better. On a personal note, he can be funny, as he was when he remarked -- as I was having my photo taken by Lake Merritt -- "Getting married?"

But he's not changed how he treats his staffers.

"He's still the same, Zennie," my friend said. "He runs around throwing tantrums and having screaming fits and going up to secretaries and clapping at them in the face when he needs something in a hurry," this person reported. "There's no staff loyalty; they can't stand him."

Jerry, listen up. If you want to win friends and have a great life, stop treating people this way. At the end of your political run, you will have few real friends, a lot of leaches, and nothing to show for all of your years in office. Ultimately, God will remind you of how important those who work for you really are.

In other words, be nice to your people.

Former Powell Aide Wilkerson: President Bush "Aloof" From Foreign Policy Making

(11-28) 15:50 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

A top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees arose from White House and Pentagon officials who argued that "the president of the United States is all-powerful" and the Geneva Conventions irrelevant.

In an Associated Press interview, former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson also said President Bush was "too aloof, too distant from the details" of postwar planning. Underlings exploited Bush's detachment and made poor decisions, Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."

On the question of detainees picked up in Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terror, Wilkerson said Bush heard two sides of an impassioned argument within his administration. Abuse of prisoners, and even the deaths of some who had been interrogated in Afghanistan and elsewhere, have bruised the U.S. image abroad and undermined support for the Iraq war.

Cheney's office, Rumsfeld aides and others argued "that the president of the United States is all-powerful, that as commander in chief the president of the United States can do anything he damn well pleases," Wilkerson said.

On the other side were Powell, others at the State Department and top military brass, and occasionally Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser, Wilkerson said.

Powell raised frequent and loud objections, his former aide said, once yelling into a telephone at Rumsfeld: "Donald, don't you understand what you are doing to our image?"

Wilkerson said Bush tried to work out a compromise in 2001 and 2002 that recognized that the war on terrorism was different from past wars and required greater flexibility in handling prisoners who don't belong to an enemy state or follow the rules themselves.

Bush's stated policy, which was heatedly criticized by civil liberties and legal groups at the time, was defensible, Wilkerson said. But it was undermined almost immediately in practice, he said.

In the field, the United States followed the policies of hard-liners who wanted essentially unchecked ability to detain and harshly interrogate prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson, who left government with Powell in January, said he is now somewhat estranged from his former boss. He worked for Powell for 16 years. Wilkerson became a surprise critic of the Iraq war-planning effort and other administration decisions this fall, and he has said his Powell did not put him up to it.

On Iraq, Wilkerson said Powell may have had doubts about the extent of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein but was convinced by then-CIA Director George Tenet and others that the intelligence behind the push toward war was sound.

He said Powell now generally believes it was a good idea to remove Saddam from power but may not agree with either the timing or execution of the war.

"What he seems to be saying to me now is the president failed to discipline the process the way he should have and that the president is ultimately responsible for this whole mess," Wilkerson said.

Powell was widely regarded as a dove to Cheney's and Rumsfeld's hawks, but he made a forceful case for war before the United Nations Security Council in February 2003, a month before the invasion. At one point, he said Saddam possessed mobile labs to make weapons of mass destruction, but they have not been found.

Wilkerson said the CIA and other agencies allowed mishandled and bogus information to underpin that speech and the administration case for war.

He said he has almost, but not quite, concluded that Cheney and others in the administration deliberately ignored evidence of bad intelligence and looked only at what supported their case for war.

A newly declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document from February 2002 said that an al-Qaida military instructor was probably misleading his interrogators about training that the terror group's members received from Iraq on chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi reportedly recanted his statements in January 2004.

A presidential intelligence commission also has dissected how spy agencies handled an Iraqi refugee who was a German intelligence source. Code-named Curveball, this man, a leading source on Iraq's purported mobile biological weapons labs, was found to be a fabricator and alcoholic.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Find Her! - Missing Woman in Oakland, CA - Dr. Zehra Attari - 55yr Old Pediatrician

Dr. Zehra Attari, a 55 year old pediatrician left her clinic at 2700 International Blvd. in Oakland and is currently missing. Anyone with information contact the police at 510.238.3352.

She was last seen wearing blue pants, a blue sweater and black shoes. She has black hair and brown eyes, is 5 feet 4 and weighs about 135 pounds. The license plate number of her 2001 gray Honda Accord is 4MUH810. Website is

Firms Cater to Interracial Families - It's About Time!!

Products celebrate diverse relationships
Sunday, May 22, 2005
By Michele M. Melendez
Newhouse News Service

Courtney Morrison's birthday card from her parents last year had a cartoon drawing of a white couple on the front, but her mom shaded the man's skin with a brown pencil and curled his hair with a black pen.

Dad is black. Mom is white. Morrison and her sister, Tiffany, are a blend of the two.

Their mother's alteration inspired the sisters to design their own greeting cards, showing a more nuanced American family.

Frustration among biracial and multiracial consumers, who crave products that reflect their cultures and skin tones, has bred a home-grown market in goods from cards to clothes.

"There are all of these children of interracial marriages," said Tiffany Morrison, 37, who, with her sister, 36, launched Mix It Up in Los Angeles in January. "There are things that we need, and now we're creating them."

On the sisters' Web site,, are a host of black-and-white and color photographs on cards that are blank inside. The selections show the hands of interracial couples wearing wedding rings, holding a rose, clinking champagne flutes, wrapping around a baby with caramel skin.

The 2000 Census was the first to let respondents identify themselves by more than one race, recognizing intermarriage. About 7 million people described themselves as biracial or multiracial, 2.4 percent of the population. And about 6 percent of married couples characterized themselves as interracial.

By many accounts, the mixing is likely to continue.

Billy No, 28, sensed that vibe early. With a Korean-Mexican-French background, he was only a high school sophomore when he began to refer to himself as "blend." Not blended. Just blend.

He soon started making T-shirts and caps with "Blend America" in graffiti style. Eventually, the venture turned into a Web-based company,, selling T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts.

"It's all about community, unifying cultures," said No, of Tempe, Ariz.

Saren Sakurai, 37, of Los Angeles opened his online store to support his Web site,, a membership forum for people who are half Japanese. His father is Japanese and his mother is Caucasian, of French and Welsh ancestry.

Sakurai said he activated the site in 2002, after a two-year stay in Japan helping to teach English to schoolchildren. He said the Japanese didn't embrace him as Japanese, as he had expected. Back in the States, he stood between two worlds.

His store sells T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and baby clothes with logos and phrases that point to the multicultural, including: "kiss me; I'm half Japanese," "multiracial," "multiethnic," "blackanese" and "Got rice?" written in Japanese.

The trend has its roots in the ethnic revival of the 1970s, a visible and vocal pride in culture, said Marilyn Halter, history professor at Boston University and author of "Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity."

"Here it is, 30 years later, and there's still so much attention paid to celebrating distinctive heritage," Halter said.

Halter said mainstream companies have fed the multiethnic market, broadening the range of models and actors in advertising. Various goods, including Crayola crayons and Cover Girl cosmetics, have undergone changes in marketing in response to the country's kaleidoscopic skin tone.

Individuals -- and children, in particular, building their sense of identity -- seek reflections of themselves in everyday life, said Nancy McFall Jean, president of the Interracial Family Circle, a nonprofit membership organization in Washington.

"These objects . . . are reaffirming in a lot of ways," Jean said.

And they are created by folks who have yearned for multicultural merchandise.

Mahisha Dellinger, 29, whose father is Creole and mother is black, remembers experimenting in the kitchen, mixing coconut oil and shea butter with store-bought hair conditioners and styling products.

"I couldn't find the right line of product for my hair," she said.

Based in Sacramento, Calif., she started Curls online at in 2003, and now the products, including a children's line called Curly Q's, are available at selected salons.

Yvette Walker, 43, of Kansas City, Mo., took a longer road to her store. She recalls not being able to find a wedding cake topper with bride and groom figurines that looked like her and her fiancé. She had one custom painted.

That was 1989. Now, interracial couples have options, including, started by an interracial husband-wife team in Trenton, N.J.

Walker's exasperation led her to create New People magazine in 1990, exploring blended culture.

The magazine, online at, gave rise to an online store in February. Cards, T-shirts, mouse pads and other gift items display different shades of skin together: the interlaced fingers of a black woman and white man, an illustration of a heart-shaped pendant split in half, its two sides representing racially distinct facial features.

Even though Walker and her husband are no longer together, she carries on the New People message: "My sensibilities haven't changed. You should be with whomever you want to be with."

Zennie's Zeitgeist Joins Sports Business Simulations - Film at 11

I got this idea from my friend Craig Newmark, who's blog "Craig's Blog" is a part of his overall set of Craigslist links. After some thought, I determined that since I was so interested in popular culture, and established my company (in part) to meld sports, simulations, and popular culture, and wrote two blogs: one on sports and sports business matters and one on popular culture with a personal bent, and since I was already identified with SBS, and Zennie's Zeitgeist was gaining an audience, it just seemed to make sense.

So, my blog's wrapped in the SBS brand and is a happy new part of the overall traffic count.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Pat" Morita of "The Karate Kid" Dies - Another Zeitgeist Signpost

And he was a big one, because in my view Morita was the picture of the assention of Asians in American popular culture. He went from playing roles that were somewhat "less than" to one that gained him true respect as an actor: that of "Mr. Miyagi" in "The Karate Kid." How many people loved it when he smoothly beat the crap out of that bully and his so-called martial arts teacher in the second "Kid" film? But far beyond that, Morita became a massive part of American Culture and he served the mantle of icon with dignity. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

California Population 33,871,648 : Already Majority Minority, Latinos to Outnumber Whites By 2020

SACRAMENTO — Researchers said Tuesday that aging infrastructure is not the only growing pain the governor and his successors face — by 2020, the state is projected to gain
10 million people who will strain services ranging from education to social programs.

The California Budget Project, an independent think tank that concentrates on concerns of the poor and middle class, released a demographic report that also indicates as the state grows by a third, diversity will increase to the point where Latinos outnumber whites.

In addition, a much greater percentage of the population will be elderly.

He Pulled a Truck With His Penis

I guess The Oakland Tribune has a slow news day. And no way am I posting a photo with this story.

Bay Area grandmaster of Qigong pulls truck with penis

FREMONT — The ancient Greeks worshipped it. Freud said women envy it. And Tuesday, a man pulled a truck with it.
Yes, you read that right.

He pulled a truck with his penis.

Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng, best known for his "Iron Crotch," attached himself not once but twice to a rental moving truck and pulled it several yards across a parking lot in Fremont. In lace-up leather boots and a black tank top, the 50-year-old tied a strip of blue fabric around the base of his penis and testicles and tugged to make sure it was on tight. An assistant kicked him hard between the legs before he lashedhimself to the vehicle.

He groaned, grunted and pressed against two men for resistance.

Then, slowly, the truck began to roll forward.

About 20 people, most of whom study Qigong, the ancient Chinese art of movement and breathing to increase energy, gathered for the truck pull in an unassuming office park just off Interstate 880.


His website doesn't really explain how he excercises at all. Oh well.

Irag Leaders Want US Timetable to Get Out! - Bush Administration Backed Into Corner

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a ``legitimate right'' of resistance.

The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.

The participants in Cairo agreed on ``calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation'' and end terror attacks.

The conference was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers, as well as leading Sunni politicians.


This is the first clear signal that the US should get out. Between calls to get out here, and this one from Iraq itself, the Bush Administration has no real excuse.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not Just Debra Lafave: Other Teacher / Student Sex Scandals From 1990 to Present (2005)

Someone asked if male teachers have ever been changed with sex with a student / minor.

Ringo at the "Straight Dope Message Board" googled around an extensive list of teachers involved in sex scandals.
But not one of the 40 names listed -- not one -- is a man. Moreover, only four of the cases listed were before the year 2000. So, in five years we have had an average of seven cases a year.

1990 Pamela Smart
1996 Mary Kay Letourneau
1998 Denise McBryde
1998 Julie Feil
2000 Judith Christensen (attempt turned around by the student to blackmail}
2001 Beth Friedman
2001 Amber Williams
2003 Adrianne Hockett
2003 Kelly Lynn Dalecki
2004 Nicole Pomerleau
2004 Sheryl Jean Graham (PTA President)
2004 Debra LaFave
2004 Carol Flannigan
2004 Lisa Suitter
2004 Amber Jennings
2004 Melissa Michelle Deel
2005 Sarah Suzanne Bench-Salorio
2005 Rebecca Boicelli
2005 Katherine Tew
2005 Toni Lynn Woods
2005 Janay Jill Willson
2005 LaDonna Rangel
2005 Sylvia Johnson (not a teacher - "Cool Mom")
2005 Melissa Daw Green
2005 Kimberly Merson
2005 Margaret De Barraicua
2005 Susanne Eble
2005 Kathy Denise White
2005 Morgan Lee Brown (camp counselor)
2005 Donna Carr Galloway
2005 Angela Stellwag
2005 Pamela Turner
2005 Rachelle Vantucci
2005 Tammy Lee Huggins
2005 Bethany Sherill
2005 Lakina Stutts (school bus driver)
2005 Tracie Mokry
2005 Denise Bongers (not a teacher)
2005 Stephanie Bissell (not a teacher)
2005 Debra Lafave

Debra Lafave Pleads Guilty to Sex With 14-Year Old (But Man Look At The Shot of Her On The Bike!)

One can't wonder but what was going through her mind as she was doing this. Debra Lafave pleads guilty to sex with one of her students. She's not going to receive any jail time at all.

Wow. She's blessed. In America, considering her looks -- and that she's blond -- someone will approach her with a book or movie deal. Well, she can't take advantage of it because of her plea bargain deal, but what about the victim? And where did this photo come from?
And she's married. But what's interesting is that the husband is totally silent. The real story is whatever pain he may be going through -- assuming they're not separated or he's not in some affair himself. Geez.

This kind of news -- she was a teacher -- is all too common today. Why? Or is it that it's always been part of our society, but in an internet age, we learn more about our culture, faster. Or is it that 14-year olds are more curious about sex and 25-year old women feel more liberated to do someting like this? Maybe's it's both. (Photo from Google)

President Bush Seeks Quick Exit From Press - Doors Locked - Is This The Shape Of Things To Come?

If you've not seen this video, click on the title post link. President Bush was trying to walk -- just walk away -- from questions being thrown at him at a news conference in Beijing, China on Sunday. He stopped talking, walked over to a large door, pulled on it, and it didn't open. So, he kept pulling on it; it didn't open. Embarassed, he suddenly realized how he looked and stood almost motionless for a full second. Then, he searched for another way out -- saying "I'm trying to escape and I can't."

This may be a preview of future legal problems the Administration may not be able to escape from.

(Photo from BBC.)

The Head- Scratching Success Of The Harry Potter Movies

They're not all that good. They don't contain massively important social commentary. They don't feature big established stars. But with all this, the Harry Potter Movie Series continues to rake in the dough. This third installment -- "The Goblet of Fire" -- took in over $100 million since it's open on Friday.

What's the deal? What kind of hold does this series have on us, and why?

More soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jean Schmidt Calls Murtha A Coward - Should Appologize

Schmidt, a brand new Republican congressional representative from Ohio, did this according to a Washington Post Article:

"...Members were heatedly debating a procedural rule concerning the Hunter resolution when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) was recognized at 5:20 p.m. Schmidt won a special election in August, defeating Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, and is so new to Congress that some colleagues do not know her name.

She told colleagues that "a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

Dozens of Democrats erupted at once, pointing angrily at Schmidt and shouting repeatedly, "Take her words down" -- the House term for retracting a statement. For a moment Schmidt tried to keep speaking, but the uproar continued and several GOP colleagues surrounded her as she sat down, looking slightly dazed. Presiding officer Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) gaveled in vain for order as Democrats continued shouting for Schmidt to take back her words. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) yelled "You guys are pathetic!" from the far end of the Democratic section to the GOP side.

Just as matters seemed to calm a bit, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) suddenly charged across the aisle to the GOP seats, jabbing his finger furiously at a small group of GOP members and shouting, "Say Murtha's name!" Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who had led the chants for striking Schmidt's comments, gently guided Ford by the arm back to the minority party's side.

At 5:31, when order was finally restored, Schmidt rose again and said softly, "My words were not directed at any member of the House." She asked that they "be withdrawn" from the record..."

I think she should go one step further and officially appology to Representative Murtha.

If for no other reason than to cause us -- America -- to focus on improving our country, I do think we should divert our resources away from Iraq, and that includes bring the Troups home.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stanford pair defends satire in Cal Berkeley - Aimed video - From Today's Oakland Tribune

--Why is it always that someone uses racial stereotypes as the basis for stupid humor? I was told that the reason Dave Chappell stopped his program was white audiences didn't get that he was making a social comment about how African Americans are referred to in America. He believed some took his humor as a serious statement about how blacks are. Unfortunately, many people aren't detaiiled thinkers, and actually learn to be racist from race humor. Not good...Zennie

Perhaps it might have been best to leave the social commentary to Dave Chappelle.
Two Stanford University students who made a video that uses fraternity and racial

stereotypes to mock rival UC Berk-

eley students defended their work Thursday as a comical jab at stereotypes that intends to "bring some levity to a campus that tends to be stifled by contrived political correctness."

A Stanford University dean, on the other hand, called the video "sophomoric, of questionable taste, insensitive and not very funny."

Still, Dean of Student Affairs Greg Boardman said the students are entitled toexpress their opinions and will not get into any trouble.

"Our initial review suggests this video does not necessarily rise to the level of requiring university action," Boardman wrote in a brief statement released Thursday.

The video "does not accurately represent either Stanford or Cal students," the statement said. "That said, we recognize our students' freedom of speech rights, even when we disagree with the form that speech takes."

The video is on the Stanford server, where each student receives space for personal use, the statement said.

The 10-minute video, which hit the Internet circuit just days before Saturday's Big Game between bitter rivals Stanford and Cal, features footage of raucous Cal parties, a man-on-the-street interview of a girl saying "unicorn" when she meant to say "unicycle" and interviews with homeless people and a woman on a street corner waxing philosophical that Cal's "meditative" backbone gives the football team an edge over Stanford's.

But it also flashes a "Baja Fresh" Tex-Mex restaurant logo across the screen as a Latina girl dances and jokes that her hoop earrings were a gift from her 15th birthday, or quinceanera; implies that a student of Indian descent would be better served by a computer science major than an American Studies major; and rhetorically surmises that Stanford keeps losing to the Bears because Stanford's "black people (are) in the audience" rather than on the field.

Alex and Walter, the Stanford students who made the video and who declined to give their last names, said they were poking fun at both colleges' images. They took issue


with a column by Oakland Tribune columnist Candace Murphy that says the video crosses the line from rivalry into racism.
"One must recognize that the 'racist' jokes that you take issue with are an isolated component of our satiric ambit," Alex and Walter wrote in an e-mail. "We did not invent the stereotypes that we invoke and are just exposing them in the context of two very elite schools — an audience that is mature enough to adequately process such humor."

The students said they've received "positive and supportive" e-mails, many from UC Berkeley students. "Obviously, people recognize the universality of the humor and the undercurrent of social commentary that is completely unrelated to a rivalry which we don't particularly care about."

A handful of UC Berkeley students who had seen the video said they thought it was funny but could see how it might offend some people. They said the video uses old and widely viewed footage from a party a couple of years ago as well as some new footage.

"It started off by them saying, OK, we suck at football, but look at how stupid Cal is," said freshman Jaime Beacom, 19 — who was approached last week by two guys with a video camera who said they were making a video for a student-run television show.

Beacom ended up on the cutting-room floor.

"I said some bad things about Stanford, which wasn't what they wanted," Beacom said.

Still, parts of the video were racist, he said.

"It didn't bother me," he said, "but I could totally see how it would bother some people."

The rumor on Sproul Plaza, by the way, is that a group of Cal students are this instant making a rebuttal video.

Bush Restricted Intelligence Information to Congress in 2001 - Pass It On

October 5, 2001 Administration memo restricting Congressional access to classified information - a decree that briefings with sensitive information be limited to eight of the 535 members of Congress, a move that reinforced a trend toward secrecy that characterized Bush's government from the start.

See: Downing Street Memos

Fixing An Argument For The War In Iraq - From The Downing Street Memos (

This was lifted directly from their site. Please go to it for the actual documents:

The other Downing Street Documents and Memos
Located on The Memos page

Cabinet Office briefing paper: Conditions for military action
The Sunday Times, June 12, 2005

Plain text transcription
July 22, 2002 briefing paper, generated for participants for the secret meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, says that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice

The Sunday Times, June 19, 2005
Plain text transcription
This is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice appended as Annex A to the Cabinet Office briefing paper on Iraq of July 21, 2002. This advice was originally written in March 2002.

Goldsmith Legal Opinion
The Guardian, April 28, 2005
PDF scanned document
March 7, 2003 formerly confidential paper detailing British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's advice on the legality of the Iraq war. The government had previously resisted all attempts to secure its release.
Wilmshurst resignation letter (uncensored version)

BBC, March 24, 2005
March 18, 2003 minute from Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Deputy Legal Adviser to the Foreign Office, to Michael Wood (The Legal Adviser), copied to the Private Secretary, the Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary, Alan Charlton (Director Personnel) and Andrew Patrick (Press Office). Wilmshurst resigned in March 2003 because she did not believe the war with Iraq was legal. Her letter was released by the Foreign Office to the BBC News website under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Press line" document regarding Wilmshurst resignation
Foreign and Commonwealth Office PDF link
March 18, 2003 press line document regarding Foreign Office deputy legal adviser, Elizabeth Wilmshurst's resignation after 20 years’ service on the point of whether military action in Iraq without proper UN security council authorisation was lawful under international law.

Hutton Report
PDF document
Hutton Inquiry website
January 28, 2004 final report of the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, the British intelligence officer whose public criticism of the Blair administration's manipulation of intelligence produced an uproar that ultimately resulted in Dr. Kelly taking his own life.

Butler Review
PDF document
July 14, 2004 final report of the Butler Inquiry, the UK government's investigation into prewar intelligence failures.
Administration Policy Memo restricting Congressional
access to classified information

PDF scanned document
Plain text transcription
October 5, 2001 Administration memo restricting Congressional access to classified information - a decree that briefings with sensitive information be limited to eight of the 535 members of Congress, a move that reinforced a trend toward secrecy that characterized Bush's government from the start.
National Intelligence Estimate:
Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction

Unclassified public version
PDF document
October, 2002 edited CIA intelligence estimate about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, unclassified and slickly packaged for public release
National Intelligence Estimate:
[redacted] Iraq's Continuing Programs for
Weapons of Mass Destruction

PDF scanned document
October, 2002 controversial CIA intelligence estimate about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction released in response to an FOIA request, severely redacted. This copy of the estimate, NIE 2002-16HC, October 2002, Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, consists almost entirely of whited-out pages.

Only 14 of the 93 pages provided actually contain text, and all of the text except for the two title pages and the two pages listing National Intelligence Council members had previously been released in July 2003 in a document titled Key Judgements (from October 2002 NIE).
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Report on U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments
PDF document

July 7, 2004 report on Phase I of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review of prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD capabilities. Since Phase I was only concerned with the quality and analysis of the intelligence, this report does not address how that intelligence was used or whether the administration's public statements were an accurate reflection of it.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Report on U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar
Intelligence Assessments - Conclusions
PDF document

A list of conclusions drawn from the July 7, 2004 report on Phase I of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence review of prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD capabilities (above).
Iraq on the Record
PDF document

March 16, 2004 Congressional report compiled at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on the administration's misleading public statements about Iraq leading up to the war.
Administration Security Breaches
Involving Valerie Plame Wilson
PDF document

July 22, 2005 - On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak revealed that the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a covert CIA agent. This disclosure of classified information has triggered a criminal investigation by a Special Counsel and led to calls for congressional investigations.

The Novak column, however, appears to be only one of multiple leaks of Ms. Wilson’s identity. As this fact sheet documents, there appear to be at least 11 separate instances in which Administration officials disclosed information about Ms. Wilson’s identity and association with the CIA.
Karl Rove’s Nondisclosure Agreement
PDF document
July 15, 2005 - Mr. Rove, through his attorney, has raised the implication that there is a distinction between releasing classified information to someone not authorized to receive it and confirming classified information from someone not authorized to have it. In fact, there is no such distinction under the nondisclosure agreement Mr. Rove signed.
Scans of the Forged Niger Documents
#1 - 124.1k JPEG image
#2 - 135k JPEG image
#3 - 151.3k JPEG image
#4 - 196.2k JPEG image
#5 - 160k JPEG image
Ecco il falso dossier sull'uranio di Saddam (article in Italian)
July 16, 2003 - These five images appeared in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on July 16, 2003.
Interview with Hussein Kamel
PDF document
August 22, 1995 - Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, in charge of Iraq's weapons programme, defected to Jordan on the night of 7 August 1995, together with his brother Col. Saddam Kamel. Hussein Kamel took crates of documents revealing past weapons programmes, and provided these to UNSCOM. Iraq responded by revealing a major store of documents that showed that Iraq had begun an unsuccessful crash programme to develop a nuclear bomb (on 20 August 1995). Hussein and Saddam Kamel agreed to return to Iraq, where they were assassinated (23 February 1996). The interview was conducted in Amman on 22 August 1995, 15 days after Kamel left Iraq.

"I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed" (p. 13).
Kamel specifically discussed the significance of anthrax, which he portrayed as the "main focus" of the biological programme (pp.7-8).
Smidovich asked Kamel: "were weapons and agents destroyed?" Kamel replied: "nothing remained."

Murtha called the war in Iraq "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion."

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One of the leading House Democrats on defense issues on Thursday called for a swift U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, drawing strong criticism from Republicans and escalating the debate over President Bush's war policies.

"U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," said Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who has been in Congress for 31 years. "It's time for a change in direction."

Murtha warned that other global threats "cannot be ignored."

Murtha, a retired Marine colonel who earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam, said he believes all the forces could be redeployed over six months. (Watch Murtha's take on 'flawed policy wrapped in illusion' at

Understanding that Murtha is considered hawkish on defense issues and is influential with both parties, administration officials said they take solace that moderate Democrats have not raced to join Murtha's call.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Rudeness and Racism At The Cal / Stanford "Big Game" Guardsman Luncheon

I struggled over writing this, and elected to do so only to effectively release the anger from my experience. So, I'm going to let the chips fall where they may.

Some people not of color (and a few of color) have this idea that society is color blind and that racism is something of the past. For them, to mention the problem is a terrible thing. Well, that's too bad. The only way to really eliminate racism is to point out every example of it, and make sure it does not happen again.

I attended my fourth, sixth, seventh --- geez, I lost count -- "Big Game" Guardsman Luncheon held at the Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco yesterday. For those of you who don't know this, the Big Game is the annual gridiron battle between the football teams of the University of California and Stanford University. The "Big Game" is known for "The Play" -- the famous 1982 kickoff return that pushed Cal over Stanford 25 - 20.

The Guardsman Luncheon is supposed to be a fun event where Cal and Stanford Alumns reconnect with each other. Excited to go, I purchased a ticket and was assigned to Table 49. Prior to that, I was greeted by a really nice woman who gleefully shared her glass of wine with me. Oh, yes, she was an Old Blue -- what Cal Alumns are called -- but she wasn't old. So, I felt like I was off to a good start.

Pay attention, cause I'm going to tell it like it was.

I introduced myself to my table-matess and at down for a bit, then upon recognizing my friend, Ad Agency Exec Marc Corsi, I went over to chat with him for a bit. Afterward, I returned to my table and there was a nice looking blond lady that was about to sit next to me. It was a circular table full of men -- all white except me. So, as I sat down, I noticed this tallish, graying man pull the lady over one chair away from me. Because it was so abrupt, I instantly looked up and thought to myself "That's weird. This isn't going to be one of those days, right..."

Just as I completed that sentence in my head, the graying white guy gets up and asks the lady to switch seats with him. I figured out as I was watching this -- and because the lady used the term "Dad" -- that he was her father. So, I figured he was being "protective" but once I figured out that she was actually sitting next to "Dad" and some other white guy she didn't know, I thought "this is going to be one of those days."

Through all this, I said nothing, but I could feel my face contort. Undoubtely it was noticeable to the "Dad," because he looked at me and stuck out his hand to introduce himself, then started peppering me the first of what would be a set of annoying questions. Remember, this is a CAL / STANFORD event and we're sitting at one of the Cal tables.

Question One: "Where did you go to school"
My Answer: "I went to Cal"

Then sports agent Steve Baker showed up, and I -- strangely enough -- was going to call him as I'd not talked to him for about a year almost. We know a lot of the same people and I hit it off with his kids when I met them at a Fleet Week Party hosted by my friend Beth last year. But Steve was in a weird mood. I wanted to -- you know -- talk and catch up. But he said "I want to hear this guy talk."

The "guy" he was referring to was Bob Sarlatte, a local media announcer and actor who's the MC at every one of these lunches. He's also the MC at the Fox Sports Luncheon. Now, I figure Steve's heard Bob tons of times, and I wanted to share with him what happened to me over the time we were out of touch -- passing of Dad and Stepdad, etc. Not a long talk -- just something that would have taken a couple of minutes and when you're talking with a friend they will take that time, regardless. Not Steve.

I started with a few sentences about my Dad passing a month ago, and Steve shut me down again. So, I told him that wasn't nice at all. But what got me was Steve had no problem talking to the graying white guy -- who he didn't know until then -- and as Sarlatte was talking. So, between the two of them, I figured I was beneath a cloud of evil. That's how it felt. Then Steve got up to talk to someone at another table, and the graying white dude asked more dumb questions of me.

Question Two: So what was your degree in?
My Answer: I got my master's degree.

Question Three: In what? MBA?
My Answer: Masters of City Planning
His response: Oh!

Question Four: So this was at Cal?
My Answer: Yes

Question Five: Is this your first lunch?
My Answer: No. I've attended several. I sat on the Cal Alumni Board for three years and the Awards Committee for three years after that. So, I'm kind of tied in.

Question Six: What do you do?
My Answer: I'm CEO of Sports Business Simulations.

If you have the view that this was in rapid fire succession, you're right. I went on to talk about SBS for a bit, and then he asked me...

Question Seven: So is he (Steve Baker) your agent? Did you play a sport?
My answer: No, he's a friend of mine, though I'm pissed with him right now...

Then Steve returned to his seat next to me. By this time, I was so livid I said nothing to either one of them. What caused my anger to simmer was that Baker kept his back toward me, and restarted his conversing with the graying white guy.

Oh, I forgot to mention that during the questioning, I tried to get the "guy's" mind off my "resume" by mentioning that I went to The Stones Concert the night before. He said "Great. My Daughter went to the U2 Concert," two which I asked how she liked it, and she gave a thumbs up. But then he immediately started on Question Five above. Geez.

At any rate, as Baker's back was in my face, I started scanning for an open table seat to relocate to. For a second, I thought "I guess I don't know anyone" and started to feel sorry for myself. But I was proven wrong in the next second, because I saw the back of the head of my long time friend Brian Fitzpatrick, so I went over to surprise him.

After returning to my seat I think Steve realized how much I was really "P.Oed" -- at least I hope so. He returned his back to a position pointed away from my face. If he didn't get that I was upset then, he will now.

Eventually, I left with B-Fitz, and his friend Gary, but not before we had a great conversation about Cal football, T.O., and other matters with my friend sports columnist Glenn Dickey.

I'd pretty much distanced myself from Table 49 by then.

A word to people: if you see somone who's black and male at a function like this, don't be rude or nervous with the person. Just relax. To do otherwise is racist. What good does anyone get from such treatment? None!

Personally, I'd like to see more African Americans at these Cal Alumni luncheons, but if my experience is any indication, I would understand if we don't come back. All it takes is one bad apple. An experience like the one with the greying white guy effectively diminishes the positive energy -- and wine -- shared by the nice lady when I walked in, and thank God Brian, Gary, and Glenn saved me.

Oh, I forgot to point out that the lady was white, too.

She was so nice to me, I didn't think about it -- see my point?

"Urbantic": A Great New Community Website To Learn About Places and People

My friend Michael Bean, who's firm Forio Business Simulations hosts the Sports Business Simulations website, has developed an exciting new website called "Urbantic." It's at

The idea behind Urbantic is very simple: to allow people to learn about places and people. It's kind of a cross between community sites like Ryze and Friendster and your common restaurant or city review website. All you do is set up a profile and type in comments about your favorite places. You wil then see a list of other favorite places posted by others than are nearby. You can also see who's going to those places. In other words, anyone who may have made a comment about that place will be added to a list associated with that venue.

"Places" can be neighborhoods, bus stops, transit statiions, bars, name it. It's a pretty habit forming device. Check it out. I think it's going to become a very huge place to be online.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Apparently, Pentagon Used Chemical Weapon On Cilvilians in Fallujah, Iraq

Wow, this is from ShowBizData and the link's in the title of the post, but I'm copying it here:

"... Faced with footage from an Italian documentary showing white phosphorus shells being dropped on Fallujah during last year's offensive and interviews with two American soldiers who had witnessed the results of the chemical's use, the Defense Department on Tuesday retracted an earlier statement saying that it had only been used for illumination. "It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable told the BBC, "though not against civilians." However, the Italian documentary, produced by the state-owned RAI, showed the burned bodies of civilians, including women and children. In the interview, Venable denied that white phosphorus missiles can be considered a chemical weapon. He called it a "conventional munition" and noted that the U.S. was not a signatory to an international treaty barring its use against civilians. He said that the Pentagon's earlier statement that it was used only for illumination was based on "poor information." The Italian documentary received little press coverage in the U.S., where no nightly network newscast even mentioned it.."

This is terrible. Is CNN covering this news?

Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago - Wash Post

"..Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed..."

I wonder which Bush Administration official that was....

The Rolling Stones SF Concert - Attack Of The Killer Cell Phone Cameras!

I'm groggy voiced, having danced and sang at last night's awesome Rolling Stones concert at Pac Bell, no SBC, no is it AT&T Park, now? Whaever. The place the San Francisco Giants play (though they'd better solve that weird name change problem).

Anyway, the Stones are a totally great show. And what I most enjoy is the totally interracial flavor of what they do, from the terrific sista who was singing with Mic, to the brotha jammin on the sax, and to the hot Afro-British model strutting her stuff in a video for "Brown Sugar." The Stones really seem to enjoy what they do, and don't get hung up on color. They had a musical tribute to the great Ray Charles. I told my friend that what makes the Stones so lasting is their blend of soulful music and lyrics. Many Rock bands have music that's ok to move to, but the lyrics are terrible. Many rappers have great lyrics, but the music is ok at times. The Stones are a good blend of many musical approaches. An event worth photographing. Too bad I didn't bring my camera. It was the first time I wish I had a digital cell phone camera.


The concert tickets requested that the patrons not use or bring cameras, and my friend had to take her camera back to the car because they wouldn't let her in with it. What a joke! There must have been over 1,000 camera-equipped cell phones in the place! At one point, I counted 20 of them in use right in front of me. What was an usher going to do? Run through a crowd of people to take the phones? Right? Oh, then the people can just turn off their phones and hide them, because they're so small.

I think the entertainment and sports industry is totally out to lunch when it comes to the rise of what I call "subversive technology": the Internet, and any extremely small device capable of recording and playing back any sound and image and transfering that data via the Web at low cost-- or no cost. This is impossible to regulate.

What, then, should the Stones do? Easy. Set up deals with the makers of the camera phones, where they brand their cameras in Stones logos and have contests for the best photos taken with a "Stones" camera. They should also have sponsors develop larger logos that can be seen even on a small screen, like those on cell phone cameras. That will enhance the value of the sponsorship.

But there's nothing they can do about the way technology is taking and spreading their content. Nothing. Regulating it is ...well, stupid to try and prohibitatively expensive.

I wonder what Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig thinks of all this. Lessig can be fairly called a champion of the free transfer of information on the Internet (but with systems to protect the developers of original content. I am a member of his Creative Commons Organization, and their logo is on our Sports Business Simulations site)

Oh, on that note, I was talking to a guy while in line for the men's bathroom at the concert about Metallica, the opening band for The Stones. He said he used to like Metallica before the Napster controversy. Now, he downloads their music for free "just to piss them off" he said.

I told him he should check out Lessig's Blog, to which some guy who passed by me at the urinal said "HA HA HA. Lawrence Lessig. HA. HA. HA" and then walked off.

I asked him if he lost a court case to him or something, but I never got an answer back.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner - Great But The Windows Are Going to Be A Problem

Boeing's new 787, nicknamed "Dreamliner", looks like it will be an exciting plane to ride, if the picture here is any indication.
The windows shown in this interior mockup are to be 19 inches tall -- larger than those on any other large commericial passenger plane. They're also such that they can be darkened with the push of a button.

This I don't like. Here's another example of the unnecessary application of high technology to a problem. It almost seems like Wallace and Gromit, where they use an outrageous combination of materials to make a contraption to crush a walnut. In the case of the Dreamliner, the new window darkening technology replaces simple plastic shades. Terrible.


Because, as was the case on a flight to Chicago -- this one to go and lay my father to rest -- there was a movie on and the person in front of me was the only one in the cabin with their window shade up, letting light pour into the place, and harm viewing. The person was sleeping. To solve the problem, all I had to do was quietly reach in front of me and pull the shade down.

Now how am I suppose to reach a button? If it were there, I'd have to get up and reach over the seat in the hope of finding the button and pressing it without waking the passenger. Boeing, it's a cool idea you've got, but it's really not necessary.

I know what they'll do! Make a remote control for the flight attendants to darken the windows from a distance! Man. But what happens when the remote's batteries run out of juice! We're screwed!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

CA State Senator Don Perata Poised to Increase Power In Legislature...and I'm Glad To See It

Perata at crossroads in new political era
State senator may enjoy new prominence in election's aftermath
By Steve Geissinger, SACRAMENTO BUREAU, Oakland Tribune

SACRAMENTO With Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reeling from defeat of his special election, Senate leader Don Perata of Oakland has the chance to live up to his unofficial title as the most powerful Democrat in a Democratic-leaning state.

But will he? Can he? Analysts say the stage is certainly set for Perata to be a power broker like his predecessor, John Burton of San Francisco, as the state heads from a divisive special election toward a turbulent gubernatorial election year.

And Perata is beginning to make the right moves and say the right things in a new political era, they said.

“Let's not wait for 2007 (after the gubernatorial election),” Perata said at a Capitol news conference. “Let's make next year count.

“I have the willingness to do what I need to do to make the Legislature work with the governor,” he said.


A couple of notes. First, the reason I didn't link to the Sunday November 13th Oakland Tribune article is that the Trib has a terrible web-keeping habit of not appropriately maintaining their online article archives. So, within just a few months, the link would be "dead." As an aside comment, the Tribune's website is terrible and does its great reporters and columnist a terrible dis-service. And I do mean "dis."

As for Senator Perata, in all of the 12 years I've known him, he's always been very nice and given me, as a young columnist with The Montclarion, total access to interview him when I was writing between 1993 and 1996 and he was an Alameda County Supervisor. Then, when I headed the effort to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland, the newly-elected California Assemblyman was helpful in writing a letter of support, when Joe Haraburda, the head of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, wouldn't even write a letter of support for a set of reasons I consider childish to this day.

By contrast, Perata has always acted like a friend. Personally, Perata's even prepared letters of recommendation for me. So, I'm always happy to help him.

I also think he will be more successful than John Burton. Burton had a reputation for making inappropriate comments. For personal example, I attended a fund-raiser held at Delancy Street in San Francisco about five years ago, and upon walking past Senator Burton said "How do you do you Senator." Now, I'd never met Senator Burton, and I seriously doubt he knew who I was by face. But that didn't stop him from saying "Fuck off" to me. I'm serious. It's a main reason why I voted for Arnold Schwartzenegger in the Calfornia Recall Election. I believed the California Democratic Party, led by Burton, had become far too big for its britches, and forgot that it served the people and not the other way around. I never considered Perata part of this boorish behavior.

In my experience, Perata's not petty. This is also vastly different from Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who's running for Mayor. Ignacio, whom I invited to represent The City of Oakland on a panel on stadium naming rights in 2004, took time to publicly insult me in a recent SF Chronicle article on the Oakland Raiders PSL problem. Why did he do that? I think it's because he knew that I was backing Don White for Mayor of Oakland, and not him.

What Ignacio didn't know is that I did it because Don White's a good friend of my stepfather's family, came to my stepdad's funeral in March of this year, and gave me his ear. Since then, White's dropped out of the race because fomer-Congressman Ron Dellums annouced that he was running for Mayor.

If Ignacio had asked me -- we were both at a fund-raiser for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom earlier this year -- I'd have told him. But Perata never has to concern himself with me, or anyone else, because I've never seen him treat anyone that way. God bless him.

More on The Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders

Click on the title of this post to see the new report.

Was VP Dick Cheney The Person Who Really Outed Valerie Plame? A Washington Post Article Seems to Imply Just That

If you click on the title to this post, you can read the Washington Post's article on the information presented in "Scooter Libby's" diary, and how it appears to point to Vice President Dick Cheney as the real source of information reporting that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative.

Note that I do not say "agent" but "operative" seems to imply the same role as "agent" and yet is broader. I don't think the law specifically states that one has to use the term "agent" to "out" a CIA person working in a covert fashion. But I digress. There does appears to be a series of smoking guns in this case, and with the combined work of a lot of bloggers and newspaper writers, it will be found.

If it does point to Cheney, should he be removed from office? Has that ever happened before? And will he have to serve time? A lot of important questions with potentially dire answers for the Vice President.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Someone Asked Me About My Match.Com Experience - This is What I Wrote...

"...Thanks for the reply.

As to Match and I, I've not really "used" it. I joined last year in February but then starting in the middle of last year my life took a turn. My step father's cancer condition worsened. I was flying to Atlanta each month and then the trips increased.

He died in March.

Then I had a dream that my father passed in January, so I tracked him down. He was indeed ill. I flew to Chicago about four times, and met my half sisters in June for the first time.

He passed just four weeks ago.

On top of all that, my Mom got breast cancer in January --- she beat it. But I was still flying to Atlanta to help her and just keep her company. She now works for the SBA in Houston on a termporary assignment to help people impacted by Katrina get loans. This at 71 years old.

Over this time I've lost friends because ...they were not friends. Where I was there for them, they were too self-absorbed.

So, I have been just plain trying to meet people who are better. Who have a better hearts. Not just via Match.

That written, I've not been "out" with anyone. I'm so emotionally sensitive that I busy myself with work, and most of the time just stay home or go to the gym -- a lot. I frankly can't remember a year where I've cried so much and so frequently.

I've also worked to spend more time with the people who've been my friends and who have shown they care..."

That's the honest truth. I'll also add that websites like tend to be used as appliances to search for fantasy relationships. In other words, I think it makes people less interested in trying to make their current relationships work.

In all of this, I do think it's important to have a strong relationship with God. In other words some spritual "grounding." I don't look down on people who may not believe in God, as that act in itself is not good.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mayor Newsom Should Order The SF Police to Arrest Bill O'Reilly When He Comes to San Francisco

Bill O'Reily said that terrorists should bomb Coit Tower according to the SF Chronicle. Let's see, I recall that someone was placed under arrest for joking that they "laid a bomb" after using a public bathroom. Now you know what that person was referring to: doing the "Number Two." But the person who overheard the remark didn't think that was what was meant.

Bill O'Reilly didn't make a mistake. He was serious. Thus, Mayor Gavin Newsom should order the San Francisco Police to place O'Reilly under arrest.

Mom arrested for allegedly offering her 4-year-old daughter for se

This SF Chronicle Story (click the title) was the result of a Craiglist post. I wonder why the post wasn't flagged and removed? I should ask Craig Newmark. This is terrible.

The Evil Behavior of Rev. Pat Robertson of The 700 Club

I believe in God, but not Rev. Pat Robertson. As you can read if you click on the title of this post, Robertson threatened the citizens of a small town in Pennsylvania that they would be the targets of a natural disaster for kicking out their school board, which had moved to introduce "intelligent design" into the school curiculum.

I think his behavior is not truly Christian. There is no where in the Bible that directs schools to teach creation or evolution. This is Pat using -- or trying to use -- religion to advance his own political agenda. He does this with a kind of evil behavior he should be ashamed of. It was not long ago and this year that he called for the assasination of the President of Venezula.

He's becoming a very bad person.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Accused Killer of Lawyer Daniel Horwitz's Wife Pleads Not Guilty

This was reported in today's Oakland Tribune. Wow. If he didn't kill her, who did? And doesn't this re-open the possibility that Horowitz himself may be the appropriate suspect? After all, he seemed to be keen on fingering people he knew.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

March of the "PopPols" : Warren Beatty, Rob Reiner, and Steve Jobs Run for California Governor in 2006

I know this is premature, but it does add up to a march of the popular culture politicians, or what I call "The PopPols." Legendary Actor Warren Beatty, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and Actor and Producer Rob Reiner have allowed their names to be floated as possible candidates for California Governor in 2006.

Governor Schwartzenegger has opened the flood gates. Now my prediction is that California politics will be taken over by celebrities. In fact, I'm going to state that current governor candidates Treasurer Phil Angelidies and Controller Steve Westly -- as much as I like Steve -- don't have a change against Arnold. Why? Because the majority of Californians like him there as Governor, but they don't want him to get too big for his pants. He's a symbol of success in a state that thrives on symbols of success.

But Californians don't want him to make too much change, especially alterations that hurt working families. The only chance against Arnold is to fight celebrity power with power. Warren Beatty would clobber Arnold in the Governors Race. He looks the part of the elder statesman who could fashion himself as the antidote to four years of "The Terminator" and it doesn't hurt that his wife is as well-regarded and as active as Maria Schriver.

I don't know if polls have been conducted, but I'd be surprised if Beatty didn't do better than any of his competitors in a survey that essentially asks "Who would make the best governor: Warren Beatty, Steve Jobs, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Steve Westly, Rod Reiner, or Phil Angelidies?"

Oh...What about Reiner? I think he's been in the news as more of an activist than an actor -- he's been behind the camera too much more than in front of it over the last 15 years. Over that time, Beatty has had a number of memorable roles, including in the movie "Bullworth" where he plays an all-too-plain-spoken politcian.

What about Jobs? His candidacy is a wild card. I can see Steve uploading Mp3's of his election platform into every new Apple iPod sold in California. Seriously, he could do that. He could even strike a deal with U2's Bono, where Bono becomes a spokesperson for Jobs. How 'bout that? Powerful stuff.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Frank Alizaga, Jr. Open Your !@@$# Eyes!"

I finally understand what this is good for. My friend Frank Alizaga, Jr. has a tendancy to show up whereever there's a camera. I'm just trying to get him to open his eyes. The latest picture of him was taken with his girlfriend Roberta and wound up in SF 7x7 Magazine. She had the right expression, but Frank looked like he had a few, which is generally true.

Or take this photo below:

While this one, taken at the San Francisco City Club, is better, it's great only because "Berty" has a nice wide eyed expression. Frank, on the other hand, just rose from slumber. I think.

Frank! Open your eyes, dude!

Carolina Panthers Cheeleaders Arrested for Sex In Tampa Bar

The details on my SBS,
Sports Business Simulations Blog: Prohibited From Dating Players, Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders Go After Each Other In Bathroom Stall. Story Overshadows "T.O." Online

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oakland Can Afford a Stadium for the Oakland A's: My Plan For More Oakland Redevelopment Money - Phasing Not Forgotten

I found an online newspaper link regarding a San Francisco Business Times article about my idea for generating more money for redevelopment project areas in the City of Oakland. It can be seen with a click on this link Zennie's "Phasing" Concept

It proves what I have been trying to say -- through the press -- to current Oakland Redevelopment Agency head Dan Vanderpriem, who tells everyone that the Oakland Redevelopment Agency can't raise a lot of money for projects like a baseball stadium for the Oakland A's.

I created this concept in 1996. Oakland's legal consultants called it a perfect legal loophole. It still exists today.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ted Wells Hired to Defend "Scooter Libby" - Historic First: African American Man Hired to Save Neck of High Level White Man

Well, I think that the USA has taken a dramatic turn for the better. For the first time in my memory, a black lawyer has been hired to defend a high level white male in a position of power. This is the case with Ted Wells selection as the man to serve as lead defense counsel to Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff for Dick Cheney who's indicted on five counts for actions related to the investigation of the outing of a CIA agent.

I'm very happy because this action is a clear example that out society really is getting better, and that a young black child can look on TV and see another way to "make it" in America that does involve going to school, getting a degree, and making and maintaining good relationships.

Who is Ted Wells?

I found this at the Holly Cross website:


Theodore V. Wells Jr. ’72

By Michael Reardon

The College of the Holy Cross was a “compromise choice” for young scholar-athlete Ted Wells ’72. Before settling on Holy Cross, he was torn between attending the University of Pittsburgh, which offered him a football scholarship and strong athletic program, or accepting an academic scholarship to Haverford College.

“Holy Cross offered me the best of both worlds,” Wells says. “It had both a strong football and academic program.”

Although Wells played football for only one season at Holy Cross, he found his passion and calling at the College—political and social activism. A founder and president of the Black Student Union, he was at the forefront of the 1969 walkout of 64 African-American students from Holy Cross to protest the suspension of five other black students. The five students were suspended for protesting a recruiting visit to campus by a corporation that was involved with arms production during the Vietnam War. Wells successfully argued the case of the five suspended students before the Student Judicial Committee. All of the students that participated in the walkout were granted amnesty by the school and returned to classes.

Recalling that time, Wells says, “The defining moment for me at Holy Cross was the walkout. You had 64 young African-American students who were willing to sacrifice their scholarships.”

It was during this tumultuous time that Wells first began to earn a well-deserved reputation for leadership, strategy, negotiation and integrity.

A partner in the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Wells has become one of the leading white-collar criminal defense attorneys in the nation. The National Law Journal has repeatedly named him as one of the 100 most influential attorneys in the country. He has been recognized by several other publications, including The New York Times, for being one of the most outstanding jury trial lawyers in America. In the August 2005 issue of Fortune magazine, Wells was selected as one of the nation’s most influential persons of color.

Wells, a longtime close friend of Senator Bill Bradley, acted as his national treasurer when Bradley ran for president. Involved in social, political and community affairs for many years, he is a trustee of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He has previously served pro bono as general counsel to the New Jersey NAACP; New Jersey co-chairperson of the United Negro College Fund; and general counsel to the New Jersey Democratic Party.

Wells, who is the first African-American Trustee at Holy Cross, says of his alma mater: “Everything I received in terms of education and mentoring, I received at Holy Cross. I love the school, and I love the people.”

Although a staunch Democrat, Wells has as one of his oldest friends conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ’71, another founder of the Black Student Union who also participated in the 1969 walkout.

“Our politics are radically different,” Wells says. “I’m as far to the left as he is to the right.”

That the two polar opposites maintain such a long friendship is testament to the character and loyalty of both men.


Who had the most influence on you as a student at Holy Cross?

Father John Brooks. As a leader of the Black Student Union, I had constant interaction with him. I admired and respected his integrity and concern for social justice issues. Without a doubt, he became one of my mentors and one of my heroes.

Did you learn anything about yourself at Holy Cross?

I didn’t realize I had such intellectual curiosity or capacity for hard work. I also developed leadership skills I didn’t know I had.

How did you meet Senator Bill Bradley—and do you still stay in touch with him?

After he was elected to the United States Senate in 1978, I was recommended to him for a job. I met him, and he offered me the job, but I turned it down because I wanted to be a trial lawyer. He was somewhat taken aback by my decision, but we became friends, and I became part of his kitchen cabinet. He’s an extraordinarily close friend.

Did you ever have any desire to run for public office yourself?

I’ve never been bitten by the political bug. I have no desire or aspiration to run. I’ve counseled numerous political figures, but that’s as far as it goes. My public service will always be as a lawyer.

What do you find most interesting about white collar legal defense?

You are always dealing with high-stakes, cutting-edge issues. The clients are usually in the most difficult period of their lives, with their freedom or the survival of the company on the line. After the acquittal of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Espy, I was present when his portrait was being hung at the Department of Agriculture. President Clinton said that day that if it weren’t for Ted Wells’ skills as a defense lawyer we might not be here today.


Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Birthday: April 28, 1950
Current Home: New York City and Livingston, N.J.
Family: Nina, wife of 34 years and former high school sweetheart; daughter Teresa, 27; and son Phillip, 25
Additional Education: Juris doctor and M.B.A. from Harvard in 1976
Most Influential Book: Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality, by Richard Kluger. “The book tells the story of a small group of black lawyers who became architects of the Civil Rights Movement from a legal aspect. Many of those lawyers are my real heroes. If not for them, I would not have had the opportunities I had.”