Thursday, July 17, 2008

Denver' Has Too Many Non-Union Businesses To Capture Convention Business

According to The Union News, Denver, Colorado, the host of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, has too many non-unio businesses to take advantage of all of the available convention business.

Chris Lopez, the communications head of the Denver host committee, and in my video, says that:

union restrictions and the needs of people planning events might be limiting who gets convention work. For example, printers used by the DNCC must be union shops and there's only a handful of such businesses in Colorado.

The Rockymountainnews reports that print shops must be union, but there are scant few in Colorado, so those that aren't don't get work.

Well, time for Colorado to "union-up."

Brandon Keating Show - How Do you feel about where HipHop is going?

I keep hearing people saying "HipHop is dead" or "HipHop is dying".  With so many artists these days coming out with what is known as "ringtone" raps, a lot of people who grew up in the 80's and 90's have finally had enough and are complaining about the way HipHop is now. I must admit, for a minute, I was one of those people. But if you look at all music genres, you will begin to realize that they all change over time.  You can not have it one way for the rest of eternity. 

I have received several hundred emails asking me what my stance on HipHop is and where I think it is going.  Without typing an entire essay, I will share my video of my thoughts.

Please feel free to comment on what your stance is.

Vanity Fair's Alex Shoumatoff Mug Shot | Arrested at Bohemian Grove Hiding Behind Redwood Tree

Vanity Fair's Alex Shoumatoff Mug Shot | Arrested at Bohemian Grove Hiding Behind Redwood Tree

Exclusive Photo of Vanity Fair Editor Alex Shoumatoff arrest at Bohemian Grove

This is a major follow-up to our story on Alex Shoumatoff's arrest at Bohemian Grove yesterday.

Wearing what he believed to be appropriate attire to join the rich and famous at the Bohemian Grove, Vanity Fair writer Alex Shoumatoff is seen here in his official Sonoma County Sheriff Department mug shot. He was captured trying to hide behind a redwood tree wearing a Pebble Beach pullover and day-old stubble. This is a sure sign that Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair editor, provided Shoumatoff with what he believes is “west coast attire.” My, how out of touch they both are on the left coast: Everyone out here knows that when you’re powerful and slumming in California you put your wornout Brioni or Loro Piana jacket on and couple it with $400+ jeans or perhaps some Ralph Lauren khakis.

Then, should you really be upper class, you find that comfortable old pair of worn Bottega Veneta driving shoes, or, if you feel truly comfortable with yourself, you slip on some Pumas, Addidas or Nike’s and just fit right in. Too bad both Shoumatoff wasn’t tipped off to the attire code before he tried to sneak into the Bohemian Grove, where he must have appeared to be an oversized and slovenly Andy Dick to the CEOs and world leaders who are members of the Bohemian Club.

Shoumatoff must rue the day that his old Harvard roommate John “Jock” Hooper pressured him in to writing a hit piece against the Club for its plans to thin the trees around its 2,700 Bohemian Grove property that it has partied in every July since 1899.

Hooper has been running a media campaign, even taking up a television crew in a helicopter for a flyover of the Grove. He’s even embroiled Vanity Fair magazine in a media ethics flap by getting contributing editor Alex Shoumatoff – a roommate of Hooper’s at Harvard – to weigh in. And if you see the pictures of Shoumatoff “weigh in” is the operative word. No wonder security caught this guy—there isn’t a redwood tree big enough to hide him. He was caught after using a fake name “Roger Austin” to gain entrance. There is a member named “Austin,” but his first name isn’t Roger. Guards quickly found Shoumatoff trembling behind a Bohemian Grove redwood tree after realizing his ruse.

It’s been called the “greatest men’s party on earth,” and several thousand of the most powerful, rich and famous corporate CEOS and business leaders in the world will encamp at the Bohemian Club’s Grove in Monte Rio. Bohemian Club members include: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, George H.W. Bush, David Gergen, Chris Matthews, Colin Powell, George P. Shultz, Donald Rumsfeld, Kenneth Starr, Clint Eastwood, Walter Chonkite, Micky Hart and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, other major entertainers and countless CEOs and business leaders from around the world.

The club is battling with a former disgruntled member, John “Jock” Hooper, a fourth-generation member of San Francisco’s exclusive Bohemian Club until he resigned in 2004 over how to manage the Club’s heavily forested 2,700 acres at the Bohemian Grove summer retreat that lasts from July 10 to July 27 this year.

Now four years later, Hooper is back with an axe to grind, working with his lawyers to oppose the Club’s application to the state of California for a non-industrial timber management plan, which allows landowners to manage their own timber harvests.

The Bohemian Club wants to manage its timber and harvest no more than 1.5 percent of its second growth trees to manage its Sonoma County forest which its members have encamped at for more than 100 years. Their goal is to reduce the possibility of forest fires and ensure the protection of the Grove’s beloved redwood trees from a catastrophic fire like others that have stuck and devastated California in recent years. No old growth redwood trees will be cut by the Club, according to their plan.

The plan is now before the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection which oversees the regulation of timber and forest management.

Hooper struck the first blows in the battle, but now the Club is striking back, saying the ultimate irony is that Hooper himself runs an aggressive logging operation on his commercial apple farm in Mendocino County.

The farm’s has been logging there since 1997 and last year removed 5 percent of the property’s standing conifer trees.

Bohemian Club officials say that rate is much higher than anything being proposed at the Bohemian Grove, which is only up to 1.5 percent a year on average—all of which will then be replanted with redwood tree seedlings. This is “Hooper’s Hypocrisy”: it’s ok for him to harvest 5 percent of his second growth redwoods every year, but it’s not ok for his former clubmates to harvest 1.5 percent annually and then replant with redwood seedlings. Isn’t this the very definition of two-faced duplicity?

Here is exact language from Hooper’s own website: “In 1997, we conducted our first logging operation under the authority of a state-approved Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP). Our NTMP as well as the constraints imposed by an easement administered by Pacific Forest Trust permit us to cut timber at about half the rate the timber stand is growing so that the size and quality of the trees improve over time. In the fall of 2007, we completed our second Timber harvest, mostly in areas not harvested in 2007. We removed approximately 5% of the standing conifer inventory.”

Furthermore, some serious tree experts including Professor Stephen Sillett – described as the world’s foremost authority on redwood trees – have written the State in support of the Bohemian Club’s plan—as well as the local Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman and other distinguished professors and tree experts.

Perhaps it would be best for Shoumatoff to talk to the real environmental and tree experts, not just his self-centered college roommate friend from Harvard, about how to protect forests from Big Sur-like fires. The Bohemian Club is just trying to protect their redwoods from disaster—and from their former member Hooper, who seems hell-bent on destroying his own trees and his own reputation as well.

Obama raises $52 million in June - average donation $68.

Talk of voters growing less confident about Obama’s campaign message seems to have been premature. To the chagrin of pundits suggesting the bloom was off the rose for the Obama campaign, donors contributed $52 million in June. The combined coffers still reflect a GOP advantage, and Obama's 50-state strategy will need more funding than McCain.

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Helen Mirren's Hot Body At 63 Proves Hotness Knows No Age

The great actress Dame Helen Mirren allowed herself to be see wearing a two-piece bikini and the industrialized world went nuts. Helen's body is a prime example that hotness knows no age anymore.

Helen -- if you don't know her name -- was the actress who won the Academy Award in 2006 for her role as the Queen of England in "Queen" and has played several meaty and in many cases sexy roles.

But her greatest role may be as octogenarian sex-symbol. At 63, she's got a body that rivals that of someone 30 years younger than she is. Ok. I'll go as far as 35 years younger.

Here's my video: