Monday, June 30, 2008

Can this be right? McCain UNDER 75,000 donors?

Your support matters.When you visit the link to donate to the McCain campaign, he invites you to join "over 74,000" other donors. Senator Obama's campaign has over 1,700,000 individual donors. That's a ratio of almost 23 to 1 in favor of Obama.

Can that be right?

At this rate, when McCain finally reaches 100,000 donors, and you've got to assume he will, Barack Obama will be pushing 2,300,000 individual contributors. It's no wonder McCain has flip-flopped to pander to large donors, it's just a shame that the media is too busy covering James Dobson, Michelle Malkin, and terrorist fist jabs while making money selling ads to McCain and the RNC to report on this stuff. Of course, reporting on how they make their own money is not a high priority for the media.

Genesis: Oasis Of The Seas - The World's Largest Cruise Ship Launches in 2009

As I write this, Royal Carribean cruise lines is building a vessels that, when complete, will be the size of the Queen Elizabeth and QEII combined.

That ship is called "Oasis Of The Seas" and at $1.24 billion is the largest and most expensive vehicle of its kind, if not of any kind, ever made. According to WallStreetFighter, Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, 220,000 tons and able to carry 6,400 passengers and 2,100 crew members.

All I can say is "wow. The ship is divided into neighborhoods such that "Central Park" is the main middle "place to be" with luxury restaurants and shops.

The first trip of this new "Wonder of the World" will be December 9th, 2009.

On Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

This is my video blog on the need for Bill Clinton to be part of the Obama for America campaign effort. I feel that Obama can't win without President Clinton's support. But then the Clinton's have some image repair work to do and helping Barack's the best way to do it.

Barack Obama's Giving A Great Speech On Patriotism Now

Senator Barack Obama's on CNN now this morning, giving a great and stemwinding speech on the meaning of Patriotism from Independence, Missouri, which includes this line: "Mark Twain said that Patriotism was being proud of your country all the time and your government, when it deserves it."

My feelings, exactly. I think Republicans and fans of the current war and American aggression at home and abroad forget that. I don't have to support my government's decisions because it's part of America. I can question what my government does and still be a patriot. In fact, that's the real ideal of America.

"True Patriotism," Obama said, "can not be forced or legislated."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Vlog On Friends, Race, Depression, and Consideration

I created this "vlog" (video-blog) to deal with and talk about a problem I've had with certain friends.

Perhaps you've had the same problem where some of your, in my case, friends who are White (or the reverse or generally interracial) don't give you proper "consideration" in your friendship, where consideration is a kind of contract that all friendships have -- a contract of basic expectations of treatment.

In other words, while you call them, they don't call you, or if you are dealing with someone who's racist, they tell you that you "see racism" rather than coming to your aide.

Or they are your friends as long as they're able to take advantage of you or get information from you, but when they get around their friends, you suddenly don't exist.

I'd like to know your response to my video and your view.


TonyaTko's Sad About The State Of Race; I'm Not

I just read TonyaTko's blog where she's sad about the state of race. I think what she's talking about is racial self-hatred, and I do agree that it does seem to be alive and well. But I'm hopeful in that it's not as widespread in my experience and I feel that digital media can play a role in repairing the problem.

Lou Dobbs Lying About Obama and Lobbyists

I happen to have my tv on CNN, or turned it on, and saw Lou Dobbs talking about the role of lobbyists in the campaign. Then Lou launches into what is an incredible lie about Senator Barack Obama and lobbyists. The campaign has not taken money from Federal Lobbyists and now has caused the Democratic Party itself to do the same, and the Obama campaign has raised record levels of money in the process.

With all of this, Dobbs continues to spread lie after lie about Obama and is apparently too much of an intellectual coward to have an Obama representative on his show. If I were a guest, I'd eat Dobbs for lunch in a debate.

Southern Maryland Unite for Change Event

On June 28, 2008, the Barack Obama campaign organized over 4000 nationwide events to gather grassroots volunteers in an initial push toward the November election. With the primary election settled and the first Obama – Clinton joint appearance in Unity, NH, complete, it’s time to get the grassroots campaign back in swing and get the volunteers reenergized for what promises to be a contentious and exhausting five months. As Obama said when he addressed his campaign staff after the primary election, now that he has won the nod, we have no choice but to win the White House.

I was fortunate to attend Maryland’s largest Unite for Change event at the World of Wings (WOW) restaurant in Waldorf, MD. A crowd of 76 volunteers gathered at 5 pm to watch videos, listen to, and share their personal stories of why they support Obama’s candidacy. Hosted by Charles County Commissioner Reuben Collins, the event was attended by several local Democratic party officials, members of the Charles County Black Caucus, representatives from the Maryland Democratic party, and a representative from Sen. Ben Cardin’s office. Most exciting, however, were the volunteers, especially those who had never before volunteered on a political campaign.

After the dignitaries were introduced and the videos were watched, each person present was given the opportunity to say why they were there and why they support Obama’s candidacy. The reasons were as varied and as inclusive as the members present. Representing black, brown, white, teenage, and senior citizen, volunteers stood at the microphone and described being proud to support a leader who can put America back at the international table with dignity. They described the thrill of supporting a man who, while being America’s first African American candidate, transcends race. These volunteers got over their fear of speaking to strangers to describe the excitement of volunteering for a candidate who understands the needs of the middle class, will get us out of Iraq, and will serve as the people’s President. As one volunteer put it, working and voting for Barack Obama will be delivering the country to the American Dream instead of the American Nightmare.

Being with this group of volunteers was humbling. Many of those present put issues of race right on the table, clearly drawing out the symbolism of Obama’s candidacy and the need for healing that his election will hopefully facilitate. These are the conversations that we need to continue to have if we are to realize some of the dreams that Obama put forth in his challenging speech on race in March. My friend Zennie says that racism is a mental illness. Maybe Obama can be our collective psychiatrist.

I hope that the Unite for Change events all over the country were as productive and powerful as I felt ours was. I know that our volunteers left “Fired Up! Ready to Go!” If you attended one, I hope you did, too. If you’re late to this party and would like to find out more, please visit the official Barack Obama campaign site to find out how you can get involved. Whatever you do, vote. If you need to register, visit Rock the Vote to find out how.

*Cross Posted to AshPolitics

Pretty Face Messed By Mohawk Cut

P6280024, originally uploaded by LordMauro.

There's no other way to describe this photo. I can't figure out why this woman elected to mess up her wonderful face with that haircut?

I wonder what the reasoning of women who do this is. Do you know?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Darnell Patrick Lauture Alledgedly Killed Amanda Dunbar's Sister Stacey Lauture, His Wife

Darnell Patrick Lauture Alledgedly Killed Amanda Dunbar's Sister Stacey Lauture, His Wife

Zennie Abraham got an email from a friend of his, IFBB pro female bodybuilder Amanda Dunbar. He says he's gotten a lot of emails from Amanda over the many years, but this one is the first to totally shock him and it hits me, too. This is what she wrote:

I'm not sure if anyone has heard about this yet, but my sister, 21 year old, Stacey Lauture, was murdered by her husband, Darnell Lauture on Tuesday early evening.

She was beaten, then shot in the head, while her 2 year old beautiful angel, Amiyah, watched. Darnell then took off with Amiyah, and drove from their home in GA to his parents house in Cape Coral, Florida. It has been 4 days since Amiyah has spoken to or seen anyone in her family and she needs to be returned. She is in protective foster care and I am fearful of her mental well-being at this point.

The poor child is only 2. Please, if you see Darnell or have seen him, contact the police immediately. He is an ex-truck driver and "I suspect" he is hitch-hiking on the interstate. Taking showers, eating, sleeping at truck stops. He was in South Florida the last thing we knew, but could be ANYWHERE by now. He has under $1000 on him with no credit available. He was driving my sisters blue, 2004, 4-door Hyundai sonata. We have to catch this killer. He is armed and dangerous. Please.... if you know anything or have seen him, contact the police immediately.

According to this Times Herald article, ..

Police have begun a several state manhunt for 24-year-old Darnell Patrick Lauture who is wanted in connection with the shooting death of his wife, 21-year-old Stacey Lauture, according to local authorities.

The incident happened overnight Tuesday at Stacey Lauture’s townhouse in Lakeside Apartments, located at 3405 Lakeside Way in Newnan, according to Major James Yarbrough of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

Stacey and Darnell Lauture were in the process of a divorce, and police had been called to the residence in the past to investigate domestic issues.

From what members of the sheriff’s office have gathered, Stacey was last seen alive around noon on Tuesday. Sometime after that, Darnell Lauture allegedly shot her once, fatally wounding her, according to Yarbrough.

This is shocking. I'm sending this email to every news media person I know, please pass this blog post on and write about it, too if you're a blogger.

I will give periodic updates.


Red, White, Blue and ... Green

The Democrats are committed to making their National Convention, to be held in Denver this August, the "the most sustainable political convention in modern American history." They have almost a dozen initiatives, from carbon counting to composting to bike sharing programs, to ensure that they are doing everything they can to minimize the ecological impact of this Convention. They are even trying to minimize the negative health benefits with their "lean-n-green" guidelines, going so far as to ban fried foods from the official menu. With all of these intiatives, the Dems are sure to meet their goal. We'll be on hand and will let you know how user friendly all of these initatives turn out to be.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Chevron v. Larry Bowoto - Nigerian Accuser In Court To Explain Why Half Of Case Was Dropped

Larry Bowoto, the Nigerian Accuser who claimed that Chevron hired people who then shot him and violated his human rights, is the focus of a court hearing that starts today according to the SF Sentinel, and which seeks to learn why Bowoto dropped half the charges that he brought before Chevron.

Chevron has claimed that Bowoto and more than 100 members of his paramilitary group stormed the Parabe oil platform, 9 miles off the Nigerian coast and held its employees hostage until Nigerian police and military intervened and helped save the Chevron Nigeria employees.

It reads like another version of the Ecuador Shakedown. I am getting updates on this via the Internet so visit this blog for more news on this investigation.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton On Way To Unity NH

Obama 2008, originally uploaded by BHowdy.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., wave prior to boarding a plane at Washington's Reagan National Airport, Friday, June 27, 2008, on the way to Unity, NH for their much-anticipated campaign rally. More later, after the rally, which starts at 11 AM PST.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

At the Democratic National Convention, Media and Protestors will be too close for comfort

The press are in an uproar. The press tent reserved for national media reps, like those from the New York Times and Reuters, will be stationed right next to the area reserved for protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August. "Imagine trying to do your job with hundreds of people screaming, blowing whistles, beating drums and trying to get the attention of the media," said Associated Press reporter Andrew Taylor, chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which represents congressional reporters on Capitol Hill. For more details and a visual, check out the

Demand Fox stop race baiting and fear mongering

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but head over to and sign this petition: Demand Fox stop race baiting and fear mongering . Here are the details:

After Senator Obama won the Democratic nomination, he and his wife gave each other a "pound" in front of the cameras—a Fox anchor called it a "terrorist fist jab." Then last week, a Fox News on-screen graphic referred to Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama"—an attempt to associate the Obamas with racist stereotypes.

Tell Fox News chief Roger Ailes to stop racism before it hits the airwaves, and make it clear that you'll take action when another racist smear happens.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Zennie Abraham on KQED's "Forum" Thursday, June 25, 2008

I will be a guest and part of a panel on the matter of Deborah Edgerly, Mayor Dellums, and the "state" of The City of Oakland, Thursday Morning June 25th on KQED's "Forum," 88.5 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's a call-in show. I don't -- yet -- know who the other panelists will be.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Peter F. Paul Is Running For President - Video

Remember Peter F. Paul, the businessman who's the plaintiff in the "Paul v. Clinton" lawsuit? Well, he's still involved in the fraud case, but he's apparently decided to run for President of The United States. I just got the information in an email; I'll keep you posted.

McCain Aide: Don't Have To Use Computers To Know Impact

Mark Soohoo of the McCain for President Campaign really stuck his foot in his mouth -- several times -- at this panel discussion as part of the Personal Democracy Forum 2008. Mark Soohoo says that one does not have to use a computer to understand the Internet. He also says that Senator McCain, is "aware of the Internet." But can he find it? Watch the video, where Tracy Russo of the Edwards campaign really takes Mark Soohoo to task for his comments.

I guess McCain's aware of all Internet traditions too!

President Bush Says Philippine-Americans Can Cook!

From the White House press website:

President Bush Meets with President Arroyo of the Philippines
Oval Office

Video (Windows)
White House News
10:25 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT BUSH: Madam President, it is a pleasure to welcome you back to the Oval Office. We have just had a very constructive dialogue. First, I want to tell you how proud I am to be the President of a nation that -- in which there's a lot of Philippine-Americans. They love America and they love their heritage. And I reminded the President that I am reminded of the great talent of the -- of our Philippine-Americans when I eat dinner at the White House. (Laughter.)

Wow. And I guess he's reminded of the talents of African Americans whenever he goes dancing at a White House function, too! Oh, and don't forget those industrious Chinese Americans, which he's reminded of when he wants Chinese food. Oh, brother!

Amber Lee Ettinger As Obama Girl v. Collete Nelson as "The McCain

Amber. Tired., originally uploaded by Barely Political.

This is a totally funny movie video by Barely Political and shows both Amber Lee Ettinger as Obama Girl and IFBB Pro Female Bodybuilder Collete Nelson as "The McCain She-Hulk".

To see what Collete Nelson looks like, click here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

U.S. Sen G. Smith (R-OR) cites work w/ Obama in campaign ad

I think you have to call this endorsing Obama, myself. Republican U.S. Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon has a campaign ad out that touts his success workingU.S. Senator Gordon Smith "across the aisle" with Senator Barack Obama.

Talk about the new wave of bi-partisanship... this guy is making a bold statement. Senator Smith wants to be seen as a Republican who can bridge the bi-partisan gridlock in Washington, and one with a track record of working with the Democrat's presumptive nominee - what's that suggest about Smith's estimates of McCain's odds in November?

What's that say about his desire not to be seen as too closely aligned with President George W. Bush?

Go watch his ad, but here's some more on Gordon Smith from late 2006 on CNN. He's a maverick west coast Republican Senator who is defying "traditional wisdom" about labels. He's letting it all hang out, and it makes you realize that he thinks there's more power in this stand than in towing the RNC line to get their financial support for his re-election.

Chevron Attacker Larry Bowoto Avoids Human Rights Violation Claim - SF Sentinel

The SF Sentinel now reports a story we first broke over at this blog where Larry Bowoto, the Nigerian man who claims he was shot by persons employed by Chevron, and whom Chevron points to as the person who held their employees hostage for several days, has dropped his lawsuit claim of human rights violations.

The Sentinel observes:

It is looking more and more likely that Bowoto and 150 of his compatriots took over the Chevron oil platform off Nigeria in a hostage takeover — which is far different from their claims of human rights abuse.

The trial is in September. Whining About DNC Convention Not Having Hillary Vote

The blog Obambi,com, which seeks to make fun of Senator Barack Obama but steps on its toe each time, is now whining over the fact that the DNC is going to have a vote for Obama as the nominee to make Barack Obama's nomination official.

Look,, you've to to realize that the war is over. Senator Clinton declared her support for Barack Obama. You should do the same.

Iraq War: If The Surge Is Working, Bring The Troops Home!

I just ran over this Washington Post article which reports that the "surge" is working, but the Bush Administration does not have a plan for the period after the surge.

It's as if they were expecting to just keep the troops there, lending credence to Senator John McCain's view that we're going to be i n Iraq for 100 years.

I can only hope we get Senator Obama into the White House as President. While Iraq forces may not be able to act independently of American forces, perhaps they would be left with no choice if we took the lion's share of the troops out.

Cal, Talk To The Damn Tree Protesters So We Can Move On!

Look, now Cal's being down right silly and arrogant. On Sunday, I understand that there was another rally -- I was resting from a busy week -- and that even Berkeley Councilmember Donna Sprng got involved. Now, UC Spokesperson Dan Mogulof seems to imply that the University doesn't want to talk to anyone.

Dan Mogulof, just do it. Let's stop this silly game, find something clever and political to say to get them to go home. Why not offer the protesters a chance to be part of the action of planning?

It's called a Citizen's Review Commitee.

Look, I know Cal can do better. The way Cal's behaving is not what I learned at the Department of City and Regional Planning, where I got my Master's Cal.

Cal needs to grow up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin - 1937 to 2008 R.I.P. - Zeitgeist Loses A Signpost

This is too hard for me to write about. George Carlin is a living legend. Here's Mr. Carlin talks about politicians and voting:

I grew up with George Carlin. This is the obt from the NY Times:

George Carlin, Comic Who Chafed at Society and Its Constraints, Dies at 71

Published: June 24, 2008
George Carlin, whose astringent stand-up comedy made him an heir of Lenny Bruce, who gave voice to an indignant counterculture and assaulted the barricades of censorship on behalf of a generation of comics that followed him, died on Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 71 and lived in Venice, Calif.

Enlarge This Image

NBC, via Associated Press
George Carlin served as host of the "Saturday Night Live" debut in 1975. More Photos »

George Carlin, 1937-2008
An Appraisal: A Master of Words, Including Some You Can’t Use (June 24, 2008)

George Carlin Didn’t Shun School That Ejected Him (June 24, 2008)

TV Decoder: George Carlin’s Televised Stage (June 23, 2008)

Times Topics: George Carlin

Interview: Refusing to Coast on 7 Infamous Words (Nov. 4, 2005)

Blogrunner: Reactions From Around the Web

Enlarge This Image

Vincent Laforet/The New York Times
George Carlin at the Rihga Royal Hotel in Manhattan in 2004. More Photos >
The cause was heart failure, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. Mr. Carlin, who performed earlier this month at the Orleans hotel in Las Vegas, had a history of heart problems.

“By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth,” read a message on Mr. Carlin’s Web site,, and he spent much of his life in a fervent effort to counteract the forces that would have it so. In his always irreverent, often furious social commentary, in his observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and in groundbreaking routines like the profane “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” he took aim at what he thought of as the palliating and obfuscating agents of American life — politicians, advertisements, religion, the media and conventional thinking of all stripes.

“If crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?” he asked in a 1980s routine, taking a jab at the Reagan administration’s defense of the Nicaraguan Contras.

During a career that spanned five decades, Mr. Carlin emerged as one of the most popular, durable, productive and versatile comedians of his era. He evolved from Jerry Seinfeld-like whimsy and a buttoned-down decorum in the ’60s to counterculture hero in the ’70s.

By the ’80s, he was known as a scathing social critic, wringing laughs from the verbal tics of contemporary language like the oxymoron “jumbo shrimp” (and finding another oxymoron in the term “military intelligence”) and poking fun at pervasive national attitudes. He used the ascent of football’s popularity at the expense of the game he loved, baseball, to make the point that societal innocence had been lost forever.

“Baseball is a 19th-century pastoral game,” he said. “Football is a 20th-century technological struggle. Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park! Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.”

Through the 1990s and into the 21st century, Mr. Carlin, balding but still pony-tailed, prowled the stage — eyes ablaze with intensity — as the comedy circuit’s most splenetic curmudgeon, raging over the shallowness of a “me first” culture; mocking the infatuation with camcorders, hyphenated names and sneakers with lights on them; lambasting white guys over 10 years old who wear their baseball hats backwards, baby boomers “who went from ‘do your thing’ to ‘just say no’ ” and “from cocaine to Rogaine”; and foes of abortion rights. “How come when it’s us it’s an abortion,” he asked, “and when it’s a chicken it’s an omelet?”

George Denis Carlin was born in New York City on May 12, 1937. His mother, Mary, a secretary, separated from his father when he was an infant, and he grew up with his mother and his older brother, Patrick, on West 121st Street in Manhattan.

“I grew up in New York wanting to be like those funny men in the movies and on the radio,” Mr. Carlin said. “My grandfather, mother and father were gifted verbally, and my mother passed that along to me. She always made sure I was conscious of language and words.”

He dropped out of high school and joined the Air Force, and while stationed in Shreveport, La., he worked as a radio disc jockey. Discharged in 1957, he moved to Boston for a radio announcer’s job, then to Fort Worth, where he was a D.J.

Along the way he met Jack Burns, a newscaster and comedian. They worked together in Fort Worth and Los Angeles, performing on the radio and in clubs and even appearing on “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar. The comedian Mort Sahl, whose penchant for social commentary Mr. Carlin came to share, dubbed them “a duo of hip wits.”

Still, the Carlin-Burns team was only moderately successful, and, in 1960, Mr. Carlin struck out on his own.

He made his first television solo guest appearance on “The Tonight Show” in 1962, in the interim between Paar’s departure and Johnny Carson’s arrival; the host that night was Mr. Sahl. His second wasn’t until 1965, when he made the first of 29 appearances on “The Merv Griffin Show.”

At that time, he was primarily known for his clever wordplay and reminiscences of his Irish working-class upbringing in New York. But there were intimations of an anti-establishment edge. It surfaced, for example, in a parody of television newscasts, for which he invented characters like Al Sleet, “the “hippy-dippy weatherman”: “Tonight’s forecast: Dark. Continued mostly dark tonight turning to widely scattered light in the morning.”

Mr. Carlin released his first comedy album, “Take-Offs and Put-Ons,” to rave reviews in 1967. He also dabbled in acting, winning a recurring part as Marlo Thomas’s theatrical agent in the 1960s sitcom “That Girl” and a supporting role in the 1968 movie “With Six You Get Eggroll.” He made more than 80 major television appearances during that time, including on the Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”; he was also regularly featured at nightclubs in New York and Las Vegas.

He was one of America’s most popular comedians, but as the convulsive decade of 1960s ended, he’d had enough of what he considered a dinky and hollow success.

“I was entertaining the fathers and the mothers of the people I sympathized with, and in some cases associated with, and whose point of view I shared,” he recalled later, as quoted in the book “Going Too Far” by Tony Hendra (Doubleday, 1987). “I was a traitor, in so many words. I was living a lie.” ...more.

George Carlin on white people

This is totally funny. Listen carefully to what he says in this video:

Don Imus - Give Mr. Imus A Break On PacMan Jones

Ok. I like you totally rolled my eye and called my Mom with the latest news of radio personality Don Imus' latest racial slur. You know after the whole event with the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team and Don Imus referring to them as "Nappy Headed" Whatevers, then losing his job after a dramatic meeting with the classy members of that team, then returning, America was just waiting for Imus to explode with something.

Today we got it. Sort of.

This is the text of what Imus said from AOL Sports:

When one of Imus's on-air partners, Warner Wolf, discussed Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones' legal troubles, Imus asked, "What color is he." When told that Jones is African-American, Imus said, "Well, there you go. Now we know."

The full transcript is below.
Wolf: "Defensive back Adam 'Pacman' Jones, recently signed by the Cowboys. Here's a guy suspended all of 2007 following a shooting in a Vegas night club."
Imus: "Well, stuff happens. You're in a night club, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a night club? People are drinking and doing drugs, there are women there, and people have guns. So, there, go ahead."
Wolf: "He's also been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus: "What color is he?"
Wolf: "He's African-American."
Imus: "Well, there you go. Now we know."

When I first listened to that on the radio, I couldn't believe it. I called my Mom and we talked in agreement that it wasn't the right thing to say. But then after a few hours, I actually listened to Imus again and I could not work up a sweat of anger. I actually looked at what he said in this way:

Imus was trying to say that given the way Blacks are treated in America, that's why PacMan has had so many problems. I got that. I get that. Don Imus is right.

Hey, Imus did screw up with the Rutgets Women's Basketball Team -- he admits that. But this is far afield from that by a long stretch. Let's give Don Imus the benefit of the doubt.

Nigerian Larry Bowoto's War Against Chevron Hits Brick Wall

Who is Larry Bowoto?

Larry Bowoto is an indigene of Ilaje community in Ondo State, Nigeria. He claims that Chevron hired people to shoot him as he was protesting. This story is all over the Internet, but the other side of it is not. Chevron claims that Bowoto was one of several 100 who held Chevron employees hostage for several days.

A trial starts in September 2008 in San Francisco federal court against Chevron by Larry Bowoto, but after almost a decade, Bowoto’s legal team very quietly dropped half the case against Chevron earlier this year...More.

UPDATE: Trial Information

Sf Chronicle Losing $1 Million A Week - Newspapers In Trouble

According to today's NY Times, the newspaper industry is in trouble, as papers suffer from competition from the Internet. The SF Chron has been losing $1 million a week since last year. As Time O'Reily wrote last year, he reads the online version of the SF Chron 95 percent of the time, and the "offline" version about 5 percent of the time. That's probably true for me, as well, but Tim and I are both in the Internet business.

What can be done? Well, my answer is "nothing" -- the offline news people have to adjust to this New Media world, as do institutions and PR people who have been oriented toward using offline newspapers to get the news out. This also includes sports leagues like the NFL, which has a long standing relationship with such organizations as The Associated Press, but not the Huffington Post, which draws 14 million visitors a month.

The SF Chron seems to be trying to find its way on The Internet, where it gets about 5 million visitors per month. That's still far less than the 23 million visitors that Craigslist gets, but then CL's reach is nationwide.

In fact, I think the future of the SF Chron is -- well, let me restate. The SF Chron should be more of a national and international online news system, with a local twist. Thus, it can get eyeballs from more places than just the Bay Area, but still be focused on the SF Bay Area.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tom Gonzales - Commerce One Founder Sues East Bay Community Foundation

(Story reposted at the request of our own Robin Belker..)

Tom Gonzales, the co-founder of Commerce One, has filed a lawsuit to against East Bay Community Foundation of Oakland and to regain control of his son's charitable bequest in order to ensure that the tens of millions of dollars are spent as the younger Tom Gonzales wished. In this, the image of the East Bay Community Foundation has been damaged.

The East Bay Community Foundation was originally the receiver of a bequest of $23 million from the Gonzales Foundation,and it was to be controlled by EBCF. But distribution of the money has been on hold until various tax claims involving the Gonzales estate are resolved.

In a kind of fit, EBCF elected to sue the family just because EBCF has not received all of the money due to the tax matter. I guess they forgot who it belonged to. But in doing this, the reputation of the East Bay Community Foundation has been damaged because it seems like an awardee can't trust the East Bay Community Foundation to simply hang on and be a team player.

As for the elder Gonzales, he's protecting a fortune that was generated by the genius of his late son, who was the programming brains behind Commerce One in its heyday.

Blackberry and iPhones and The 24-Hour Worker

Shel Holzt writes about the developing 24-hour work cycle and he seems to think it's a good thing. I'm not certain of that, but before I take him to task, I will report that I've learned that such an addiction to electronic communications devices is not a good health practice. In fact, it's called just the term I used "an addiction."

The DailyMail reports

Blackberry email devices can be so addictive that owners may need to be weaned off them with treatment similar to that given to drug users, experts warned today.

Wow. The DailyMail Online goes on to explain that overuse can be damaging to mental health. But interestingly it doesn't say why. Let's speculate. Perhaps overuse causes severe memory loss, because without checking your iPhone -- I have an i Phone -- you realized you actually don't remember anything. You've given up remembering because you check your iPhone all the damn time.

Cal Tree Sitters - Save The Oaks v. UC and The UC Police - Video Documentary

For me, covering what turned out to be this three-part video documentary started with a call from a friend and fellow Cal Alum who said that I should get "down there" with my camera because there was no video on what was happening. So, fresh from a meeting, and with two hours to spare, I went over to the Grove in front of Cal Memorial Stadium, the site of the clash between the Cal Tree Sitters and the UC Administration and Police.

The overall story is that we -- Cal -- needs an upgraded stadium facility and the plans for this have been in the works for almost ten years. With the success of Cal Coach Jeff Tedford, it became easier to raise money toward this objective. As part of the effort , the University of California was able to secure $500 million from British Petroleum, most of which would go to the creation of a new research institute, and the rest toward what will be an athletic facility upgrade -- a new training center where the Grove is.

This has caused a round of protests led by a group called "Save The Oaks" and Running Wolf, who ran for Mayor of Berkeley and a man who calls himself "Air."

This video -- which I will elaborate on soon -- is of three days: Tuesday June 17th, Wednesday June 18th, and Thursday June 19th. On Wednesday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller issued a rulling that did not halt construction but did place a rejection on the University's current approach using the Grove. The Grove is near a faultline and the plan was just that the University could not build given its current approach. The Tree Sitters saw this as a victory.

On Thursday, the third video shows horror. Protesters stopping traffic and preventing parents from getting home to their kids and families. And one woman a mother with her kid and reportedly a California Deputy Attorney General, was arrested for nothing other than just standing trying to get the police to clear traffic so she could get her kid from soccer practice.

In this, both protester and police are to blame for a terrible set of events. You be the judge. I think Cal could have avoided this with better planning.

More later.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The media stopped following the money: CONFLICT of INTEREST

Was it big oil money pouring into the "McCain Victory '08 Fund," as the sudden change in McCain’s stand on drilling in environmentally sensitive areas suggests? How will we ever know? There’s no benefit to a commercial news outlet in uncovering the source of the RNC PAC/527 money...

It got interesting in April, but almost nobody reported it...

Once Senator John McCain and the RNC began circumventing the McCain/Feingold limits via the creation of the "McCain Victory '08 Fund" with its $70,000 per individual donations Fake campaign reformers of the Republican partythey really left presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama with no reason to keep extending his offer to limit campaign spending by accepting public financing. They sprang into faux outrage, of course, ready to accuse him of a flip-flop despite the fact they'd not accepted Obama's conditional offer. Follow the money, not the spin, and you discover that this has gone virtually unreported. The commercial media outlets have a conflict of interest; reporting on the McCain fund undermines their profits.

Here's the simple truth:

The more money McCain (or Obama) has to spend, the more the media stands to earn on selling commercials. Selling not only to the two campaigns, but to PACs and 527s and anybody else who will buy air-time. The media clearly have a vested interest in not just ratings, but more so in the demand for commercials, and so the closer the race - and the more money the candidates (or parties, or 527s, etc.) raise - the more money the media outlets make by selling. Why report on McCain's funding success? Much better business to take advantage of all that cash, not cut off the former campaign reformer now laying golden eggs. It's their bottom line at stake, same as it ever was.

Talk about a conflict of interest.Was it big oil money pouring in, as the sudden change in McCain's stand on drilling in environmentally sensitive areas suggests? How will we ever know? There's no benefit to a commercial news outlet in uncovering the source of the money - they are just trying to get their piece of it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

McCain Gets Around FEC $2300 Donation Limits - way around!

former reformer and maverick John McCain who is circumventing FEC donation limitsTo help ease their fund-raising woes, John McCain’s campaign has devised a new system to increase the maximum amount an individual can donate to the unofficial Republican nominee’s election efforts. The new structure allows up to $70,000 in individual contributions by channeling the money into different McCain-centric funds.

From the Wall Street Journal almost two months ago:

The idea is to tap donors for more than the $2,300 limit set by campaign finance laws. Under legislation pushed by McCain in his role as a senator from Arizona, an individual can donate a maximum of $2,300 to a presidential primary campaign and the same amount to the general election campaign...

The new structure allows up to $70,000 in individual contributions by channeling the money into different McCain-centric funds. The first $2,300 of that would go to McCain’s primary campaign. The Republican National Committee would receive $28,500 of the donation. The remaining funds would be divided equally, up to $10,000 a piece, among four states the campaign has designated as battlegrounds for November: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado and New Mexico.

So, here's the maverick reformer, all hot and bothered that Obama got tired of waiting for him to match the offer on public funding, but does McCain's rhetoric match his actions? Clearly not. It's no wonder Obama moved on - McCain had built his way to circumvent the limits back in April!

From the Huffington Post, also back in April:
The media has been abuzz over speculation that John McCain will accept public financing in the general election. The attention has overshadowed a new fund structure that will allow the McCain camp to collect significantly more money than the individual limits placed by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill.
The article reports further on an open letter from the non-partisan organization Public Campaign Action Fund to McCain asking that he drop the system:
This joint fundraising committee, called McCain Victory '08 Fund, will allow your campaign to accept contributions as large as $70,000, according to the New York Times - an amount that is far in excess of contribution limits for candidates and political parties put in place by your own campaign finance law, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, also known as McCain-Feingold. Your willingness to evade the spirit of McCain-Feingold sets a poor precedent for whomever the Democratic Party nominates as your general election opponent. It also sends a signal that your campaign is less serious about the importance of participating in the public financing system in the general. Indeed, even if you were to participate, you and your campaign are exploiting a loophole and will be still be courting wealthy donors who could donate tens of thousands to the McCain Victory '08 Fund.

You and your campaign will describe this activity as legally sound. But that does not make it right.

Are these the above-board actions of a candidate interested in campaign reform? Certainly his reaction doesn't bode well for reform, and the fact that the structures are in place shines clear light on why Obama doesn't want to accept the spending restrictions that come with accepting public funding when the Republicans have hatched and implemented a scheme to circumvent the whole system!

CNN's Paul Begala - Republican Or Democrat?

I just saw CNN Contributor and former Clinton Aide Paul Begala on "The Situation Room" talking "in defense" of Barack Obama on Campaign Finance and on NAFTA against a Republican Strategist who I will not name because it doesn't matter.

Begala sounded like he was half in support of Obama and half sympathetic to John McCain. Meanwhile the Republican Strategist was consistently on the attack against Obama. Paul did not effectively hit back. What's up?

Is Paul still smarting from Clinton's loss?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama gets AFSCME endorsement - Democratic unity growing

According to the Associated Press: Senator Barack Obama secured the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees [AFSCME], a large and influential union that had been backing his former Democratic rival Senator Clinton (D-NY) until she suspended her campaign.

AFSCME is the largest union for workers in public service with 1.4 million politically motivated members nationwide.Obama & Clinton The unification of the two camps to put a Democrat in the White House is well underway.

For discussion of what this means to and for Clinton backers, you can also visit an AFSCME discussion thread by at Take note that this is a sign of healing in progress, that the members of AFSCME know who they want in the Oval Office beginning in January.

Barack Obama Refused Public Financing For General Election

This is one of the news items of the day. Senator Barack Obama has annouced today that he is not going to use taxpayer money to finance his campaign for President of the United States.

To date, Senator Obama has raised more than $200 million in donations most smaller than $200 - unprecedented. Here's Senator Obama's message:

Leigh Steinberg's 22nd Super Bowl Party: Scottsdale, AZ - Video

This is the video account of Leigh Steinberg's 22nd Super Bowl Party. This one held at the Botanical Gardens outside Scottsdale, Arizona. The video features an interview with Leigh where he talks about the "Green Initiative" he's started, Ricky Williams, and "Athletes for Obama."

Republicanmarket - Racists At The Texas Republican Convention

Republicanmarket - Racists At The Texas Republican Convention

This sad report comes from the blog Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott, where it's reported that a button reading "If Obama's President, Will We Still Call It The White House" was being sold. The button is made by a company called "Republicanmarket" which claims to sell "Patriotic and Republican Products."

So racism is patriotic? I think they meant idiotic.

All bloggers -- Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott,, this blog, and more -- are calling for you to contact that organization and discourage them from using the mental illness of racism to make a buck.

You can email them at You should also contact Tina Benkiser, the head of the Texas GOP at and share your feeling with her.

Why is it that Republicans are generally associated with racist thought? I guess examples like this are why. But in an age where racism has been identified as a mental illness, you'd think the party would rush to avoid any associations with people who exhibit paranoid delusion.

But no.

Buttons like that one confirm the idea that the Republican Party has been taken over by the lunatic fringe. So if you're a Hillary Clinton supporter still fighting the civil war, and moving over to the GOP side, look at who your associating with.

Want to be thought of as a person who should be in a rubber room?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Day of Legal Gay Marriage In San Francisco - Video Account

This video covers the events outside San Francisco City Hall involving the first day of legal same sex marriage in San Francisco: Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 5:38 PM. A historic news and politics event. I went with the objective of determining the opinions of people in the crowd.

What would a hope monger do?

Imagine a hope-monger came across the following in a search log:

"michelle obama" promiscuous

So obviously somebody is looking for dirt. All a hope monger has to do is describe the tactic in a blog entry, and include a few keywords, and suddenly there is both more awareness -- good press -- and just "more to sort through" for those who seek to attack the Obamas.

And the word promiscuous can have little or nothing to do with sexuality, obviously.

Promiscuous, for instance, is a song recorded by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland for Furtado's third album, Loose, in 2006.

It can also mean consisting of diverse, unrelated parts or individuals, even confused, as in: "Throngs promiscuous strew the level green" (Alexander Pope)

Sometimes there's the looser meaning, "not selective" of a single class or person, as in: "Clinton was criticized for his promiscuous solicitation of campaign money." which was obviously intended to echo the crisis near the end of Bill Clinton's Presidency while discussing an unrelated topic.

Now... folks are obviously "panning the stream" to find evidence of deviance, or perversity, or anything of a sexual nature to use to cast aspersions on Michelle Obama.

This is your chance to be a hope monger, and add to the degree of difficulty for the smear mongers and those who seek to use divide and conquer political tactics a la Karl Rove. The more these words appear, the more the power of the search engines is diluted, and the more time the folks taking that approach spend reading what amazing people Senator Barack and Michelle Obama are.

Larry Sinclair Arrested After Sham NPC Press Conference Today

Larry Sinclair, the Obama smear-monger who admitted to this blogger his Texas parking tickets and other clues that lead to his Texas and not Minnesota dwelling, was arrested after what details reveal to be a "stupefiying" press conference held at The National Press Club today.

According to Ben Smith at Politico, Sinclair has a 27-year criminal record of "crimes of deceit" and is wanted in Colorado on charges that were not made clear to Smith.

Sinclair gave what blogger David Weigel reported a press conference that was a set of "amused bunch of people taking in a circus act." He also reported the antics of Sinclair's lawyer Montgomery Sibley:

It got worse when Sinclair's lawyer Montgomery Sibley—whose license is currently suspended in D.C. and Florida—showed up in a kilt and told reporters that his above-average endowment made slacks tight and uncomfortable.

Ok. Ok.

Afterward, Sinclair was immediately arrested by Washinton police on the Colorado charges. Talk about glass houses.

Michelle Obama's revelation on THE VIEW: not so elite

Forget what you've heard about Barack and arugula (even though it makes a good story.)

The Obamas are not your garden-variety urban co-op food snobs no matter who tries to paint them that way - they've developed an appreciation of diverse foods, but they come from simple roots... The truth about Obama breakfasts came out today on THE VIEW, and it's shocking.

You may have missed it, somehow, but Michelle Obama has co-hosted The View. If you want the whole video, it’s elsewhere here on Zennie's Zeitgeist and I urge you to learn more by watching. In fact, watch for the terrorist fist jabs — but here’s Michelle's shocker:

Sure, she also eats toast and fruit...

...according to Michelle both Obamas are fond of good, old-fashioned American bacon.
Michelle Obama on THE VIEW
Who knew that there'd be something to learn from an ABC mid-day filler program? Barack and Michelle both like to eat the same food that everybody likes. (Go ahead, ask your favorite vegan. They may not eat it any more, but they like bacon, trust me.)

Barack Obama's Leads John McCain In Virginia 47 % to 45 %

According to Talking Points Memo, Senator Barack Obama's ahead of John McCain by 2 points as of this writing, 47 percent to 45 percent. Personally, I think this is too close for comfort and would be happier with a seven point poll spread. Obama still has work to do here. Either Webb or Clinton or Edwards as the VP choice would help. I still think it's going to be Clinton as the pick.

Iowa Floods - Police "Strike Teams" Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims

I just saw this on YouTube and had to post it. Here's the description from the video itself:

Cops break down doors, threaten residents who question them as part of martial law conditioning, authorities prevent people from re-entering their homes
Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee "strike teams" breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure.
No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of "checking for structural damage" as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.

Cedar Rapids police chief Greg Graham promised residents over the weekend that "Law enforcement officers are not entering homes," and that firefighters would only enter homes through unlocked doors and windows yet the video clearly shows locked houses being broken in to. has more information on this major problem not reported by the Mainstream Media.

Michelle Obama's terrorist fist jabs on THE VIEW...

ObamasHere's another easy place to watch the video if the link in the story below is busy! Best bet is to scroll down, but we know it's a hot video.

Mrs. Obama doesn't seem to think that the fist jabs will hurt her popularity, or her husband's chances in the general election. Judging by the reactions, I think she's right. I could go on, but frankly the best thing for you to do is go watch it yourself as this eloquent, fascinating woman talks about a variety of issues, including Hillary Clinton...

Michelle Obama On The View Today - Video

Michelle Obama appeared on The View today and to rave reviews. She didn't act abnormally and appeared comfortable on the show. This clip shows her artfully ducking the chance to respond to a controvesial statement by Whoopi Goldberg.

Some PR Firm Hates Mayor Dellums

Ok, how does one explain an unprecedented KTVU video report on Mayor Ron Dellums spending and "high life" habits as leader of our City? Hey, Jerry Brown's not cheap either, but he never got that kind of coverage at all.

Someone's out to get Dellums, and what's blocking his ability to recover his image is the fact that he does not believe in working with image-makers, the press, or PR people.

That's a fact, folks. Dellums' staff has asked him to "get help" in this area, but he's resistant to the whole deal. Now, I think someone sees Dellums as vulnerable to bad press, so they piled it on.

But the simple fact is that Jerry Brown also "lived it up" you just didn't read about it much, or cared. Mayor Elihu Harris didn't do that. It's not his style and he really cares about the office and what people would think.

The Consitution is on the table in this election

This is an historic election in many ways. We have already, of course, seen an historic Democratic primary and now have the first African-American candidate running for President. Historians will look back and hopefully see many shifts along the lines of race and gender in this country as we move forward out of this election season. What they will also see is that we are, at this moment, standing at a cross roads with respect to our Constitutional freedoms. Who we elect in November could, literally, make all the difference in the world.

On Monday, June 2, The Guardian carried this article: US Accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships. The article is based on analysis done by the UK human rights organization, Reprieve. It is frightening and you need to read it. Essentially, the research from Reprieve shows that we are snatching people, taking them to secret ships, interrogating them (i.e. beating the hell out of them), and keeping them there for as long as a couple of months before then moving them to one of our detention centers, like Guantanamo Bay.

And once they get to Gitmo, what happens? We know that they are held for years, frequently without access to attorneys, frequently under abusive conditions. How does all of this happen? With the help of a little known piece of legislation called the Military Commissions Act. This frightening piece of legislation allows the President to declare anyone ... that's anyone, folks ... an enemy combatant. OK, let's be clear, that's you, me, your Mom, my brother, your child's teacher, your next door neighbor ... anyone ... an "enemy combatant." Once that happens, that person has no rights.

But wait, the Supreme Court just trumped that and restored the right of habeas corpus to these folks. But it was a narrow decision, 5-4. The next President will almost certainly be appointing at least one Supreme Court justice. John McCain will appoint someone who supports and upholds the tenets of the Military Commissions Act, for which he became a staunch supporter and made impassioned speeches for on the floor. In contrast, Barack Obama voted against the Act, taught the Constitution, and believes in upholding and restoring the power of our Constitution. No matter what you feel about a justice's stance on issues like reproductive choice or gun control, you must stand with the Constitution and cast your vote in November for someone who will stand with her, as well. The Military Commissions Act is fundamentally opposed to our Constitution. We cannot allow it to trump the rights and freedoms that make us who we are.

Forget the economy, forget the war, forget education, forget health care. The Constitution is on the table in this election. Cast your vote wisely.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TN Dems Blame Reps & Fox network over Obama perceptions

Dawn TeoDawn Teo:
Fred Hobbs set off a flurry of sound-bites and interest when he was asked why Representative Lincoln Davis was delaying his endorsement of Senator Barack Obama as the party's nominee for President. Clearly part of the problem is that they just plain haven't gotten to know Senator Obama in Tennessee yet, but the fact is, they handed the extremists among their opponents something to run with in a week when most of the truly bad coverage was about McCain (unless you count the backlash against Megyn and Malkin and the "baby mama" debacle, but they aren't running for office.) Going into the weekend the commentators on the right were anxious for any story to chase the Supreme Court Gitmo decision -- and the crisis of faith it represented -- off the headlines, and Lincoln DavisHobbs played Lincoln Davis right into their hands.

The Tennessee Democratic Party issued a statement on Friday that the Tennessee Democratic Party is united behind Obama. On Monday, they published the statement on the front page of their website. The statement also blamed Republicans for the outrageous comments coming from its own party leaders... This is some great reporting from Dawn Teo that gets beyond the sound-bites from last week.

Vanity Fair's BlogOpticon Shows Unbearable Whiteness Of Vanity Fair's Ad Placement

I just saw a link from Nikke Finke's DeadlineHollywood Daily to Vanity Fair's "BlogOpticon" , which has what it considers to be "relevant" and "well-read" blogs.

They've got a good set of blogs divided into four squares on a kind of scale grid. Some of my favs are there, like Valleywag. But you know what kills me, with the exception of Michelle Malkin, who's an Asian Woman but who writes as if she wishes she was a White conservative spinster, there's no other obvious blogger of color and none who are Black.

Now, it's not because there are not blogs out there who are popular and written by people who happen to be Black, like me. But it points to a kind of blind eye to the fact that if a person's Black, and they're blogging, they don't have to write about "Black matters" to be read.

It reminds me of James Woods' line in Oliver Stones' Nixon, where he says "There's that Negro saying Negro things!" Well I think some people expect "Negros" to say "Negro" things, so they can categorize them. And when they don't then they're a "Black Conservative."

How retarded.

How and why this freaking list.. was formed is beyond me and fairness (read on), but it's here. I feel sorry not for me, but for bloggers like Natasha, the East Cost law student -- as of this writing -- who has the wonderful blog "Young Black and Fabulous" about Black celebs. Oh, so you say that's a "Black Blog", well how the hell do you explain "Stuff White People Like?" It's a blog designed to draw White People to read it by making fun of White People. You know, many people don't even know what that term is. Well, what it is are people who don't consider themselves "of color". And that certainly shows up in this Vanity Fair chart.

Makes me wanna puke.

Vanity Fair writes that it's picked the "most influential blogs" -- gimme a freaking break. Ze Frank lost his steam a long time ago. is a has-been vlog. Hey it was the first, but let's face it, it's surrounded by a sea of new vlogs that draw viewers, like Renetto on YouTube.

Rocketboom's seen better traffic days, especially around the time the great Amanda Congdon was there. Joanne Colon's run as "Hottest Woman on The Internet" was replaced by a bevy of women in nude photos, like Lindsay Lohan, to fully-clothed female bodybuilder Kristy Hawkins.

And click on -- what do you see? A damn pop-up ad for..Vanity Fair. So let me get this straight -- the "most influential blogs" are really just those that have ads regarding Vanity Fair.

If Vanity is "the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others" then Vanity Fair's playing true to form. But it seems to be saying that it's only attractive to White People.

Maybe I'll think twice before laying down money for a VF in the future.

Emily Gould's "Sex And The City" Quote Points To Bay Area

Emily Gould just offered a quote in her blog Emily Magazine, and from the Sex and The City Movie that made me think of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Here's the quote:

“Why does Odysseus stay so long with Circe? And why, having stayed so long, does he finally leave? Why do we always stay too long in relationships we know aren’t good for us? Sometimes there’s a complicated tango of neediness and unavailability going on. Other times, it’s because those relationships are with witches who have turned us into pigs.”

I can't think of a few people I know who fall into this quote as a model, well couples. It seems here it's a kind of weird divide between single and mated -- married or not -- and not happy in either case. It's the total lack of communication, I say. Too many people who don't know how to take off their iPods when it matters most -- and no, that's not when it's not working,

What? Well, my point is that iPod's keep people from hearing things, like police sirens, or bus horns, or someone elses voice. In all cases the person is plainly disconnected. That means they lose the practice of talking. Just plain banter is lost. That forms the basis for good relationships.

Tiger Woods Amazing U.S. Open Performance Forcing Playoff

This has been a most extraordinary three days, and to prove it, we have Tiger Woods amazing come-from-behind-in-pain performance at the U.S. Open Sunday. I missed this because I was watching Tom Brokaw and friends of Tim Russert talk about Tim's contributions and remember the man. But my Mom kept me posted on the exploits of Tiger. This video says it all:

Stan Winston - A Zeitgeist Signpost - Passes at 62

Wow, both Tim Russert and Stan Winston were signposts of the Zeitgeist. And now both are gone from Earth; Winston passed at the age of 62 on Sunday.

As much of a power in his field was Tim Russert, he was matched by Stan Winston's amazing achievements in special effects. I remember Winston's creatures in Jurrasic Park, as well as the famous video where Winston explained how he adjusted to the then-new technology of computer graphics that Director Steven Spielberg wanted to use.

Winston was responsible for the monsters we saw in movies like Alien, ET, and The Terminator. He also worked with Phil Tippet and invented the film technique of "Go Motion" animation.

The video below features Winston discussing the formation of the creatures in Jurrasic Park:

Winston was one of my favorites, and I will miss him. I may even watch Jurrasic Park in his honor this evening.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Al Gore's Speech Endorsing Senator Barack Obama For President

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Stating that this election is too important to do otherwise, Al Gore officially endorsed Senator Barack Obama in a rosing speech given at Cobo Hall in Detroit this evening.

Jojned by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Senator Obama, Gore was litterally blasted into emotional orbit by the crowd's yelling of "Yes We Can" again and again. Gore said that elections matter, reminding the crowd of Florida just by using its name. The Nobel Prize Winner then talked to the crowd explaining the importance of solving the crisis of Global Warming. He compared our current crisis to that facing "The Greatest Generation" of men and women who served during World War II, saying "That’s what the Greatest Generation did to win World War II, and then came home to start the Marshall Plan, unify Europe, create the United Nations and create the basis for peace and prosperity for decades."

The speech was stirring, to be sure.

MSNBC explains the significance of this event after showing Gore's speech:

This is the full text of Gore's speech:

Yes We Can!
Thank You, Governor Granholm, for your introduction and your great leadership. Thank you, Michigan, for supporting me in 2000. I’ll never forget it. Congratulations, Detroit, on the Red Wings victory in the Stanley Cup finals.

I speak to you this evening as a citizen as of the United States. I speak to you also as a citizen of the world because the outcome of this election will affect the future of our planet. For America to lead the world through the dangers we’re facing, to seize the opportunities before us, we’ve got to have new leadership. Not only a new president, but new policies. Not only a new head of state but a new vision for America’s future.

I want to begin with a few words to my fellow Democrats. We have just concluded an historic contest among the strongest field of candidates any political party has ever offered for the presidency of this country. An inspiring group of men and a woman with experience and vision, competence and boldness. Their vigorous competition has attracted record numbers of voters in every part of America, reinvigorated our democracy, and helped to rekindle the spirit of our country. And now we’ve made our choice.

As the general election begins, let us remember our obligation to honor our highest values of our democracy, and conduct this campaign in a spirit of respect for the Republican nominee.

[Audience Boos]

No, no! In that case, I’m glad I brought it up, because as Senator Barack Obama has said, John McCain is deserving of that respect. He has demonstrated bravery in war and as a prisoner of war, and has served in the House of Representatives and in the Senate for many years. Moreover, he has demonstrated a willingness to debate some critical issues, including the climate crisis, that many Republicans have refused to discuss at all.

But even as we acknowledge his long experience, we must and we will make our case that America simply cannot afford to continue the policies of the last eight years for another four.

And we all know that a long tenure in Washington, DC is the same things as judgment, wisdom, and vision. Nevertheless, the other party seems to think that age and experience are factors that will work in their favor during this campaign.

But our shared experience as a nation tells us otherwise. I remember when one prominent Republican wondered out loud whether the Democratic nominee, and “really is grown up enough to be president.” Another used the phrase, “naive and inexperienced.” Yet another said, “the United States cannot afford to risk the future of the free world with inexperience and immaturity in the White House.” Who are they talking about? Every single one of those quotations came from the campaign of 1960, when the Republicans attacked John Fitzgerald Kennedy for allegedly lacking the age and experience necessary to be president.

Richard Nixon’s slogan in that campaign was “experience counts,” to which John F. Kennedy responded, “to exclude from positions of trust and command all those below the age of 44, would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution, and Christopher Columbus from even discovering America.” On January 20th, 1961, as a 12-year-old boy, I stood in the snow in front of the Capitol as John Fitzgerald Kennedy took the oath of office. I know what his inspiration meant to my generation and I feel that same spirit in this auditorium here tonight building all over this country this year. I feel your determination after two terms of the Bush-Cheney administration to change the direction of our country.

In looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year 2000: take it from me, elections matter. If you think the next appointments to our Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter. If you live in the city of New Orleans, you know that elections matter. If you or a member of your family are serving in the active military, the National Guard or Reserves, you know that elections matter. If you’re a wounded veteran, you know that elections matter. If you lost your job, if you’re struggling with your mortgage, you know that elections matter. If you care about a clean environment, if you want a government that protects you instead of special interests, you know that elections matter. If you care about food safety, if you like a T on your BLT, you know that elections matter. If you bought poisoned, lead-filled toys from China or adulterated medicine made in China, if you bought tainted pet food made in China, you know that elections matter! After the last eight years, even our dogs and cats have learned that elections matter.

And this election matters more than ever because America needs change more than ever. After eight years of lost jobs and lower wages we need change. After eight years of incompetence, neglect and failure we need change. After eight years in which our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected we need change. After eight years of the worst, most serious foreign policy mistakes in the entire history of our nation we need change.

In September of 2002, I argued strongly that the invasion of a country that had not attacked us would be a mistake, and would divert attention, resources and resolve from the effort to track down and capture those who had attacked us. I argued that the occupation of Iraq would be dangerous and harmful for our country. And I well remember how few elected officials were willing to take that position in favor of protecting our national security by remaining focused on the right objectives. But I remember that an eloquent legislator in Springfield, Illinois named Barack Obama spoke up boldly and clearly with the force of reason and logic to join in opposition to that blunder. To those who still do not understand that the withdrawal of troops from the search for bin Laden in order to launch a misguided invasion of Iraq was a mistake, it’s time to say: We need a change. To those who want to continue making that same mistake over and over again indefinitely, it is important for us to say loudly and clearly with our votes this November: We need change. We intend to have change.

To those who want to continue borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf and burn it in ways that destroy our planet’s environment, it’s time to say: We need change. Barack Obama knows that we are too dependent on foreign oil and carbon fuels, and has proposed a plan to create millions of good new jobs and renewable green energy conservation and efficiency. Here in Detroit you know we need to revitalize our automobile industry with a commitment to plug-in hybrids and low-emission vehicles to solve the climate crisis and create the jobs of the future.

The future is ours: not to predict, but to create. But make no mistake: we need to change our policies on climate. Not too many years from now the next generation will look back at the decisions we make this coming November and the policies we put in place in January of next year. Were we to ignore the warnings of the scientists around the world and look the other way as the entire North Polar icecap melts before our eyes and the consequences we’ve been warned about unfolded, our children might then well ask: what were they thinking? Why didn’t they act? Why didn’t they choose change when they had a chance? It is my deep hope that they will ask another and very different question. I want them to look back on this historic year and ask: how did Americans in 2008 find the moral courage to rise and successfully solve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve? How did they find the strength to change?

As Americans, we know that our democracy often moves very slowly, but we also know that when we must, we can shift gears quickly and suddenly pick up the pace to respond boldly to a great challenge. That’s what the Greatest Generation did to win World War II, and then came home to start the Marshall Plan, unify Europe, create the United Nations and create the basis for peace and prosperity for decades.

Many people have waited for some sign that our country is awakening once again. How will we know when a massive wave of reform and recovery and regeneration is about to take hold and renew our nation? What would it look like if such a change were beginning to build? I think we might recognize it as a sign of such change if we saw millions of young people getting involved for the first time in the political process. I think we might just recognize it if we saw that new generation casting aside obsolete and hurtful distinctions and reaching out to one another across the ancient divisions that have frustrated action in the past. I think we would know this change was coming if a new generation rejected the special interest politics of the past and the big money that fueled it, and instead used the internet to get small donations and unite Americans in a common effort to realize our common destiny. If we saw it coming, we’d recognize it by the words “Hope” and “Change.”

Perhaps we would recognize it if we heard a young leader rise up to say, “We’re not a red state America or a blue state America. We are the United States of America.” We would know that change was on the way if that young leader reached out not only to the supporters of the other candidates in his party, but also beyond partisan lines to Republicans and independents and said to us all: “America, our time has come!” I think we would recognize it in a candidate who, in response to those doubting our ability to solve the climate crisis and create a bright future, inspired millions to say, “Yes We Can.”

We have such a nominee, we have such a leader! Yes we can! Ladies and gentlemen, the next President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Patti Solis Doyle Joins Obama: NY Observer Says That's A "Fuck You" To Hillary Clinton

Patti Solis Doyle left the Hillary Clinton campaign in disgrace just a few months ago after loses in primaries and especially in money. Reportedly scapegoated for the Clinton's overall poor performance in the early stages of the campaign, Patti Solis Doyle has been hired by Obama for America with the title of "Chief Of Staff To The Vice Presidential Candidate", a move that some say is a slap to the Clinton campaign and the NY Observer says that move is a "Fuck You" to Senator Clinton.

I'm not one to agree with that view. I think the Obama campaign knows it needs the Clintons, but also their judgement is tempered by the fact that the Clinton political power has been damaged, and perhaps irreparably.

I think too much is written into that "fuck you" view, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it may be the opposite signal and that in a need to come together, perhaps it's best that the two work together. Hell, the source is a donor who may know less than I or you or anyone else -- just gives money. I think there's a suprise in store here.

Andrew Sullivan reports that other Obama staff members hired are:

Constituency Director: Brian Bond – formerly LGBT Outreach Director at the DNC
National Field Director: Jon Carson – formerly Obama for America Voter Contact Director
Senior Advisor to the Campaign and Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama: Stephanie Cutter
Industrial States Regional Director: Paul Diogardi – formerly Political Director for the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Battleground States Director: Jen O’Malley Dillon – formerly Iowa State Director for John Edwards for President
Chief of Staff to the Vice Presidential Nominee: Patti Solis Doyle
Latino Vote Director: Temo Figueroa – formerly Obama for America National Field Director
First Americans Vote Director: Wizipan Garriott
Northeast Regional Director: Eureka Gilkey – formerly Obama for America Deputy Political Director
50-State Voter Registration Director: Jason Green – formerly Obama for America political and field staff
Campaign Chief of Staff: Jim Messina – formerly Chief of Staff to Senator Max Baucus
LGBT Vote Director: Dave Noble – formerly of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
West Regional Director: Matt Rodriguez –.formerly Obama for America New Hampshire State Director
Senior Advisor: Michael Strautmanis
African American Vote Director: Rick Wade