Saturday, January 26, 2008

Christian Brando Passes Away At 49 Of Pneumonia

Christian Brando passed on today.

On the heals of Heath Ledger's passing, this too is a shocker, but only because Brando had pneumonia. I wonder what the heck happened that he would be fell by pneumonia?

Brando died way too young.

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama For President

"A President Like My Father"

The lengendary Caroline Kennedy stepped forward from an over-20-year silence in presidential endorsements -- her last being Senator Edward Kennedy in 1980 -- to back Senator Barack Obama for President.

Kennedy chose an op-ed in the New York Times to do this, which is interesting to me, as the same "Grey Lady" for some reason annouced the backing of Senator Clinton last week. Thus, the uninformed could see the NY Times itself as endorsing Obama!

Here's part of what Kennedy wrote:

"OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama."

Barack Obama Scores Big Win In South Carolina Primary

After a brusing, tough, hard-fought week of campaigning that seemed to split the Democratic Party, Senator Barack Obama scored a big victory in taking the South Carolina Primary.

Senator Obama's win was absolute. He took 51 percent of the total votes, with the other half divided between Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards. It also comes as Senator Obama's scoring a huge number of endorsements in a single day.

Here's Senator Obama's rousing victory speech:

Senator Obama scored "a beat down" according to CNN's Roland Martin:

Here's a video from the victory party:

Barack Obama Scores Endorsement of Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post Dispatch, and Philadelphia Enquirer

Wow, just after the SF Chroncle and San Jose Mercury News' endorsement annoucements, we learn that Obama has scored -- let's see -- the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post Dispatch, and Philadelphia Enquirer, and all on the same day that Obama won South Carolina! Talk about momentum!

According to the Huffington Post,

The Philadelphia Inquirer, the largest daily newspaper in Pennsylvania, and the Chicago Tribune, the largest paper in the Midwest, are both endorsing Barack Obama and John McCain in their parties' respective presidential primaries.

Although voters in The Keystone State don't go to the polls until April 22, the Inquirer also has a substantial readership base in southern New Jersey -- where voters cast their ballots as part of the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday round of primaries.

Illinois voters also go to the polls on Feb. 5. The Trib is Obama's hometown paper.

The Inquirer writes that:

BARACK OBAMA is the best Democrat to lead this nation past the nasty, partisan, Washington-as-usual politics that have blocked consensus on Iraq; politics that never blinked at the greedy, subprime mortgage schemes that could spawn a recession; politics that have greatly diminished our country's stature in the world.
Obama inspires people to action. And while inspiration alone isn't enough to get a job done, it's a necessary ingredient to begin the hard work.

Obama's appeal to Americans to have the audacity to hope, even in the face of tragedies such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, has fallen on fertile ground. Americans want desperately to believe they can overcome any difficulty - given the right leadership.

So it seems the New York Times is major-league outnumbered!

Senator Barack Obama Wins SF Chronicle & San Jose Mercury News Endorsement, Guardian Too

After a great appearance before the Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle, Senator Barack Obama won the endorsement of the San Franciso Chronicle and backed that with the "thumbs-up" of the San Jose Mercury News in the South Bay, effectively blunting the New York Times' endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton of one week ago, and adding to a long string of newspapers backing Obama's run for president.

The SF Chronicle wrote a sprited explaination, highlighted by this paragraph:

He radiated the sense of possibility that has attracted the votes of independents and tapped into the idealism of young people during this campaign. He exuded the aura of a 46-year-old leader who could once again persuade the best and the brightest to forestall or pause their grand professional goals to serve in his administration.
Of all the candidates who talk about change, Barack Obama has made the case most forcefully and most convincingly. He gets our endorsement for the Democratic nomination.

The Chronicle's Editorial Board, paced by Opinion Page Editor John Diaz, Executive Editor Phil Bronstein, and Political Editor Carla Marinucci, asked tough questions of Senator Obama, and he came back with honest, thoughful answers. The Chronicle pointed to that in their account:

In a Jan. 17 meeting with our editorial board, Obama demonstrated an impressive command of a wide variety of issues. He listened intently to the questions. He responded with substance. He did not control a format without a stopwatch on answers or constraints on follow-up questions, yet he flourished in it.

The San Jose Mercury news also sits as the major information organ for Silicon Valley. Senator Obama's call for change was particularly attractive:

Obama would dramatically change the nation's approach to foreign policy and domestic issues. While the substance might not differ substantially from Clinton's in many areas, he would have more cross-over appeal to independents and Republicans, whose support will be needed to bring about significant change.
Obama is the only candidate who opposed the Iraq war from the outset. His ethnic background and his upbringing give him a unique world view. He has the best chance to change how the world looks at the United States and restore the respect it has squandered during the past eight years.
While Clinton has a deep understanding of health care issues, her failed attempt to reform the system during her husband's first term dogs her steps. She chose experts with similar views and did not broadly engage stakeholders, which made her end result easy to shoot down. Obama can start fresh, and seems to understand the urgency.

But beyond the Chronicle endorsement, Senator Obama also scored the support of the normally contrarian San Francisco Bay Guardian, long seen as the Bay Area's voice of the young. In short, Obama has scored a "hat trick" with three of the four major newspapers backing him, and with the Oakland Tribune still silent as of this writing.

Emma Thompson @ Davos Forum replies to (My) Zennie62 Video On Racism

Readers of The Zeitgeist may remember the video I submitted to the Davos Forum in Switerland and as part of "The Davos Question" where YouTubers were asked to make videos that responded to the question: "What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?" The process set up by YouTube at Davos allows attendees to make video responses to the questions submitted.

Well, I got my video response to the Davos question in right under the time wire, but the effort was more than worth it! On Friday, January 25th award-winning actress Emma Thompson took time at Davos to make a video answering my own. Thompson said "I really loved your video...One of the greatest problems that we have is in receiving and tolerating anyone who is different from ourselves, and we have so many boundaries in the World. And I think the only way that we can melt those boundaries is in talking to each other. We need to listen to each others stories. I think art and culture can help a great deal and we need to encourage businesses and politicians to listen in a slightly different way."

She ends the video by saying that she hears my message and that one action all of us can take every day is to turn around the talk to someoe who is different from ourselves.

It's any honor to receive a response from Ms. Thompson because her humanitarian efforts have been inspirational, and in fact she received an awards at Davos for her work on that area. Here's the video she made:

I'll make a video that futher outlines my idea for a program to help in this area.