Tuesday, March 31, 2009

BREAKING: Senator Barbara Boxer Sent "Keep A's In Oakland" Letter To Baseball Commissioner Selig

I just received this letter copy via email.  It comes on the heels of the news that Oakland A's Owner Lew Wolff called Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums to request a meeting to discuss ways to keep the A's in Oakland.  


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent the following letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig:

March 31, 2009

Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167

Dear Commissioner Selig:

            I appreciate the announcement you made yesterday that you are forming a committee to review the various proposals regarding the future of the Oakland Athletics.  As your committee does its work, I urge you to do everything possible to keep the team in Oakland.

            As you may know, Oakland has recently gone through some difficult times and families there deserve some good news. As someone who splits her time between Washington, DC, southern California and Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood, I have seen first hand that Oakland is teeming with new young families and major developments that present endless possibilities. My children learned to love baseball through the Oakland A's and our family was so fortunate to develop that common bond.  We must give a new generation of families that same chance.

Oakland is witnessing a downtown renaissance, with new residences, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues opening weekly.  Two new office towers are in development and the Port of Oakland recently announced a private investment of close to $1 billion. Major League Baseball can play a key role in continuing this momentum by working to keep the A's in Oakland.

            Through their rich history and shared experiences, the identities of the City of Oakland and the Athletics are forever linked.  For more than 40 years, the people of Oakland have backed the Athletics during good times and bad. In the 1970s, Oakland celebrated the Athletics' glorious run of three consecutive World Series victories. And, together, the city of Oakland and the Athletics mourned the devastation caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake that took place during the team's 1989 championship run.

            Now that the team has ended its consideration of Fremont as a possible home, the time is right to renew the focus on keeping the Athletics in Oakland.

            It is critical that Major League Baseball and the A's ownership do everything possible to keep the A's in Oakland and I stand ready to help in any way possible, including attending and setting up meetings for you and the Committee.  Please do not hesitate to call me at 202-XXX-XXXX to discuss this issue.


                              Barbara Boxer
                              United States Senator

BREAKING: A's Owner Lew Wolff Calls Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums To Request Meeting

I have it from a very good source that Oakland Athletics Owner and Managing Partner Lew Wolff called Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums today to request a meeting to "explore options to keep the A's in Oakland".

That's great news and it comes on the heels of Monday's report that Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig formed a committee to determine why a baseball stadium deal was not struck in Oakland, and Selig did so with wording that could have been read as a forecast of a move to take the A's out of Oakland.

But Wolff's phone call to Dellums today signals a new start to a recommittment to Oakland by the A's owner. Meanwhile here's the stadium proposal the Mayor's Task Force saw last Thursday:

Coliseum Stadium Plan For Oakland Athletics Revealed

The Commissioner of Baseball on Monday announced a new committee devoted to determining the viability of baseball in the East Bay. In his statements Commissioner Bud Selig said that the A's owners have exhausted their efforts in Oakland.

But really, they have not.

Here's an example in this plan for a new Coliseum baseball stadium on the parking lot land of the facility.

The plan, created by architect Frank Dobson and Retail Leasing expert Bob Leste with Oaklander Steve Lowe was first introduced in 2004 and while it was presented to the then-new ownership group and A's Managing Partner Lew Wolff, it went largely ignored by them. Wolff was known to be in love with a concept called a baseball village and needed a lot of land to make that work, hence the Fremont land chase.

But the idea called for hundreds of acres of land, more than the A's organization could afford given the economy and so needing public money turned to Fremont, which turned a deaf ear to their request.

Wolff has not wanted to be in Oakland, but the Mayor's Sports and Entertainment Task Force wants to maintain the A's here in Oakland. To that end, it supports the plan you're about to see in this video.

The plan needs to be upgraded for 2009 and a financing plan developed. It also lacks an economic impact analysis and a job development report. But just eyeballing the plan I can say it can generate about 10,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs. It calls for a new stadium, a parking structure, and a retail structure at the Coliseum as well as an enlarged BART bridge. The total cost is about $440 million but we at the task force understand that was a 2004 estimate.

The video shows much of Bob Leste's presentation to the task force last Thursday and the discussion as well as the plan itself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Facebook users urged to track down rapist

The boyfriend of a rape victim has set up a Facebook page to track down her attacker, in what is believed to be one of the first times the social networking site has been employed to identify a criminal.

read more | digg story

Mars Impact Crater: The Largest in Solar System

Recent analysis of the Red Planet's terrain using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Global Surveyor spacecraft observations revealed what appeared to be by far the largest impact crater ever found in the solar system. That's larger than Pluto. The impact gouged out a crater the size of the combined areas of Asia, Europe and Australia...

read more | digg story

Kucinich to probe $3.6 billion in bonuses at Merrill Lynch

Even as Merrill Lynch & Co. bled money and warily eyed a merger with Bank of America, company executives were preparing for a windfall. Following the federal government's promise of $10 billion in TARP funds to buoy the ailing firm, Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses: a package 22 times larger than compensation given by AIG.

read more | digg story

Google Chrome Beta For Mac Might Be Released By Fall

The open source Google Chromium repository now has an OS X Cocoa shell. We downloaded and compiled the latest OS X build of Google's browser, and we talked to the developers to get a sense of how long it will be before Mac users can get their hands on a working beta.

read more | digg story

New Report Urges Congress to Reverse Parts of Patriot Act

One of the nation’s leading legal rights groups is calling on the U.S. Congress to make major changes in the USA Patriot Act to reverse parts of the hurriedly passed law that have been found unconstitutional or have been abused to collect information on innocent people.

read more | digg story

Darren Rovell Eats A Burger Almost As Large As His Head!

My friend Darren Rovell formerly of ESPN and now on CNBC must have gotten the go-ahead to do something outrageous for television because dude ordered, then ate on camera an enormous thing called a Fifth Third Burger.  You've got to see this 5,000 calorie gastronomic invention.  It's huge. Moreover, it's almost as large as Rovell's head.  I'm not kidding!  Look at this video:

Carbonite Online Backup Company Loses Data; Carbonite Is At Fault

I had to post this because it's a classic example of not taking responsibility for something you did wrong.  The online backup company Carbonite reportedly lost a lot of client information : the data of over 7,500 of its customers who trusted it (past tense now) to keep their information in a protected area of cyberspace: a cloud they developed and around which their company is built.

Now as long as I've been at this I've always got an earful about "backing up your data" so I would think a company like Carbonite, which is entrusted with protecting data, would be backing up the data they're charged with protecting.  Right?


No.  They lost the only data copies they had online, and so now are -- get this -- suing the hardware makers!  If you think that's funny (strange), so do many in the blogsphere, who think as I do.  Take a look at these comments over at TechCrunch :

1) What happens when you get burgled?
We got burgled last week and they took all my local backups. Fortunately I had it all backed up on S3 (and elsewhere too) which saved the day. Not having an offsite backup is a recipe for disaster.
2) They didn’t even have a proper backup? Feels sorry for those who have lost valuable data…
3) “The danger of storing your data in the cloud”
What you should have wrote was:
“The danger of storing your data in the cloud that’s not Amazon.”
Why pigeonhole the real company thats does cloud right for a company that tried to compete against them and failed?
4) No excuse. Carbonite need to accept the blame regardless of who actually caused the problem. It was their decision to use whatever suppliers they chose. I fail to see how they can recover customer confidence after a fiasco such as this.
5) This is the scary thing with putting your data with a company you’ve never heard of. I guess for that matter, putting your data with anyone is a scary thing. Has anyone used amazon s3 with success? I still feel like a drobo or hp media start server is the way to go. Backup is a tough thing.
6) The issue isn’t who the company is but how it does business. I work with a local IT company and we offer various kinds and flavors of backup, typically 3X redundant (live volume, local sync volume, local removable backup volume, offsite RAID). We do this all ourselves with system(s) we built. We started offering backup/recovery because of things like this. I recently moved a customer from a Big Brand Name Backup vendor. Said vendor had not run numerous backups. Said vendor charged ransom to provide the data when the customer quit. Said vendor basically refused to play nice with anyone, even when paid. Carbonite is not expensive but is obviously better at marketing than they they are at solution design (or accepting responsibility for their own mistakes).

Fox News Short Skirts: Johnny Dollar Misses The Point For My Skin

No sooner after I post a video detailing how Fox News uses sex to sell news, do I get someone who's so busy looking for something wrong they trip over themselves. Such is the case of blogger Johnny Dollar, who hilariously writes that the cable ratings I referred to were just for prime time and so my point about Fox News using sex doesn't matter.  HA!

This is one Dollar that took a dive.

The cable news ratings are daily -- got that Johnny -- daily. The data reads "same day" and that's what I was addressing. Now what does "daily" mean? Ah, morning, noon, and night.

Even though the data I quote refers to prime time, Fox News beats CNN the entire day and I argue for the same "sex based" reasons. Also, the point I was making is you can interchange the Fox anchor woman and the result is the same and has been for years. It does not matter that Linda Vester hasn't been with Fox News for a while; she was one example. In fact, that's why I used the term...former.

See, Dollar looked at me, saw that I was Black and making a video and had to find something wrong. Thus the reason he trips all over himself. I've seen it before. Such people.

Now, let's look at Fox Prime Time. Bill O'Reilly's the winner here, but hey, he's known for his overuse of young pretty blondes to work his news segments. So the process continues with the pretty women wearing low-cut blouses. See, Dollar didn't think about that, or perhaps he was so blinded by the need to "prove the Black guy wrong" that his I.Q. took a dive.  Sad.

I'm not the first to point to this process of Fox News using sex in it's production; Taylor Marsh did in 2007 and wrote:

Ratings rule and we know that the Fox channel is having a tough time these days. Their credibility is in tatters, particularly because of the way they've pimped the Iraq war. So the cheapest way to get viewers back is through gratuitous titillation. We've seen it through the wall to wall blondes and babes delivering the news, but the graphic video and interviews they air takes it to a whole new level.
Take Bill O'Reilly's sexual interview of Miss New Jersey. As a former Miss Missouri, I can tell you that this sort of interview would never have happened in a million years before Fox "News" and Bill O'Reilly. Is this a fantasy picture thing? Is it a negligee situation?

How about that, Dollar?  The sex play on Fox News goes on!  Now next time perhaps Dollar will be more balanced and fair?    I doubt it.

Oh, and for those who think I'm Gay and read Dollar's blog, get a life and a girlfriend.  Oh, and here's my video:

Fox News Hires Ex-AOL Head John Miller; Can He Make A Website?

What i don't get -- someone explain it to me -- is how some of these guys like now-former AOL head John Miller get to be the new CEO of Fox News Digital (a new title made for him) when Miller's never made a website! Plus, according to ValleyWag, they say he's, well, not really all that and a bag of chips.

See my point?

I can name lawyer after lawyer who was gotten to run a digital media corporation and none of them would be able to write the code for an anchor link to save their lives. Ands god forbid you ask him to code a basic webpage!

Why? How can a person like Miller claim to be an innovator in digital media if he doesn't know how to make the one thing that defines digital media: the website? Is it that the people who select these guys -- and they generally are men -- don't know the stuff and so select people who are like them: without a real Internet clue? If you don't understand how to make a website to make money for yourself, then you have no business in digital media. Period.

What's the deal here? Why the talent gap between people in charge and those who make the digital business go?

My charge is if the CEO can't make digital media, then the CEO does not know what to ask for to make their digital media business work better.

Tell me why I'm wrong.

Sierra and Zennie On GDC, Alternative Reality Games

I went to the San Francisco Game Developer Conference with my friend Sierra Choi (who did some executive producing work of the whole event) and after the end, I met her to talk about the GDC and -- my idea -- to enjoy a nice day outside at Cafe Americano on the Embarcadero. As we were in the cab we talked about the GDC, Alternernative Reality Games, and Sierra's ego (LOL!)

Sierra sees ARG's as not games, which is where we disagree. The point is that any game is designed to get you the player to do something. That's the case with ARG's. Sierra thinks that's more social psychology but my explaination is that concern is central to game making. Again, getting a person to "do a thing" is a central tenant of game making.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tata Nano Inveiled At Party In Mumbai, India

Reuters Image, originally uploaded by sudarshannus.

I hope this car -- the Tata Nano -- makes it to the U.S. this year. But you know this is the car General Motors should be making here in America.

GM's Wagoner to Step Down; Obama To Give GM 2 Months

more at SFgate.com GM's CEO Rick Wagoner is reported to step down effective this week, as President Barack Obama -- according to sources -- is giving GM just two months to get its' act together and restructure.

One of the ways GM's reported to do this is the Chevy Volt, the electric car. But other than the Volt, there's no "wow" car GM can point to signaling a turn-around in their direction.

The Caregiving Equation at Fem2pt0 : society’s issues + women’s voices

More at Fem2pt0 I like this blog post on caregiving, but the problem is she thinks of women but the reality is men and women are in this position. The "gap" she write of is one that men have to fill too.

Obama on Flooding: We Will Help

From the AP: President Barack Obama assured the nation Saturday that he was keeping tabs on floods roiling the Midwest and putting the federal government's weight behind efforts to avert disaster. (March 28)

Production Chevy Volt in Motion

From GMVolt: The world's first to be mass produced electric car, GMs Chevy Volt in final production form driving and with interior views. See GM-Volt.com to join the Global Volt community.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fox News' Female Short Skirts Get Ratings Over CNN

For the first time, according to Nielsen, CNN came in third place in cable news program ratings behind Fox and MSNBC. CNN had 1.14 million viewers in March, compared with 1.16 million for MSNBC and 2.3 million for Fox News. Some say the reason is Fox is conservative; it's really their focus on women anchors with short skirts.

So Fox could be liberal as heck and still have the same ratings if they had the same "sex sells" strategy. There have been a lot of Fox female anchors doing the showing of a lot of leg: E.D. Hill, Ainsley Earhardt , Linda Vester, Gretchen Carlson, and Catherine Herridge to name some of them.

That's a lot of women, and I'm sure I've left someone's name off the list without intention. The point is, it's too much of a habit to ignore, thus it's part of the high ratings, because it builds expectations that a viewer will see women in short skirts, especially in the morning.

Is this a bad thing? Well, yes and no. Look, we can't deny that above all else, television is a visual medium. It's not radio at all. So people react to what they see. Moreover, we're wired to reproduce -- people forget that -- so visual cues that appeal to our sexual nature will get more attention than those that don't.

That's a fact.

I can't blame Fox for this. But I can blame Fox for coupling it with some lame reporting. Much of it's so biased I don't watch it at all. I flip between CNN and MSNBC. And CNN has some attractive female anchors, but they don't present them like Fox does. If they did, I hate to write this, but CNN would overtake Fox for the ratings lead.

The question is will they do this?

Fox News' Female Short Skirts Get Ratings Over CNN

For the first time, according to Nielsen, CNN came in third place in cable news program ratings behind Fox and MSNBC. CNN had 1.14 million viewers in March, compared with 1.16 million for MSNBC and 2.3 million for Fox News. Some say the reason is Fox is conservative; it's really their focus on women anchors with short skirts.

So Fox could be liberal as heck and still have the same ratings if they had the same "sex sells" strategy. There have been a lot of Fox female anchors doing the showing of a lot of leg: E.D. Hill, Ainsley Earhardt , Linda Vester, Gretchen Carlson, and Catherine Herridge to name some of them.

That's a lot of women, and I'm sure I've left someone's name off the list without intention. The point is, it's too much of a habit to ignore, thus it's part of the high ratings, because it builds expectations that a viewer will see women in short skirts, especially in the morning.

Is this a bad thing? Well, yes and no. Look, we can't deny that above all else, television is a visual medium. It's not radio at all. So people react to what they see. Moreover, we're wired to reproduce -- people forget that -- so visual cues that appeal to our sexual nature will get more attention than those that don't.

That's a fact.

I can't blame Fox for this. But I can blame Fox for coupling it with some lame reporting. Much of it's so biased I don't watch it at all. I flip between CNN and MSNBC. And CNN has some attractive female anchors, but they don't present them like Fox does. If they did, I hate to write this, but CNN would overtake Fox for the ratings lead.

The question is will they do this?

'Building a Mystery' by Sarah McLachlan on QTV

Q was fortunate enough to have Sarah McLachlan as the live musical guest for the Toronto live special broadcast out of the CBC's Glenn Gould Theatre. Playing to a packed house Sarah started her appearance off with her hit 'Building a Mystery'.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Personal Injury Law In A Recession: Bob Schock in Oakland

Bob Schock is an Oakland personal injury lawyer. We talk about lawsuits in a recession and how businesses can protect themselves and why people file lawsuits. Contact Bob at 510-839-7722.

YouTube Adds A Twitter Button

Everybody's doing it. Even YouTube has succumbed to Twitter mania.

read more | digg story

GOP Budget Fizzles Amid Lack of Details, Infighting, Mockery

House Republicans today made a big show about how they were going to drop their own brand-new alternate budget proposal, packed with urban-suburban hip-hop "flava" and dance moves Eric Cantor learned at the Verizon Center, watching Britney Spears. As it turns out, READY THEY WERE NOT, and so everyone is making fun of them, and it.

read more | digg story

Top 10 Athletes Who are Deadbeat Dads

In honor of the recent Chris Bosh accusation made by his former girlfriend Allison Mathis that he is a deadbeat dad. We have compiled a list of who we think are the Top 10 Athletes Who Are Deadbeat Dads.

read more | digg story

Tesla Sedan Unveiled! Tesla Model S Hits the Road

Vote For The Alameda Point Development Plan May 19th 2009

On May 19th Alameda residents will be able to assure the economic future of the City of Alameda by voting for the Alameda Point Development Plan for the redevelopment of Alameda Naval Air Station as planned by the Alameda Base Reuse Committee and its subsequent evolutions to the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Commission of today.

The plan consists of a mix of uses and an ambitious plan adding over 4,000 much-needed housing units.

But the most important fact is the plan will mark the begining of the replacement economic development we have worked to achieve for so long.

Opponents point to Measure A as the reason why the plan should be defeated, but the fact is Measure A was passed in 1973 and represents a time when Alamedans were interested in restricting development and maintaining Alameda from people of color.

Those days are long gone.

Now, Alameda needs jobs and the region wants to see The City of Alameda have an economic development project that replaces the closed Naval Air Station. This is that project.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MN Senate set to siphon stimulus money away from education

If you wanted a regulator - say of banks, for example - to issue an unbiased report on the performance of the bank, would you make it possible for the regulator to earn money from the bank’s ongoing operation? The MN legislature - dominated by elected DEMOCRATS - is redirecting money for charter schools away from the schools and districts in a flagrant conflict of interest that harms the districts, teachers, and children. Get mad.

read more | digg story

Sarah Palin Says McCain Campaign Lacked People She Could Pray With

In a long and stemwinding speech before the Alaskan Republicans, Governor Sarah Palin let loose with a comment that's sure to contribute to the slow erosion of the Republican Party.  According to the Huffington Post , which broke the story, Palin said of the McCain Campaign there was no one around she could hold "hands and pray with" when she needed support.

Wow.  What she's saying is she questions their Christian faith.  That's a hard blow if you think about it.  I'm going to wade through the rest of her speech soon.  It's a doozy, it seems.

State of the Franchise: Oakland Raiders

The NFLTA crew talks Tom Cable, JaMarcus Russell, and what to expect from the Raiders in '09.

This video belongs to NFL.com

Courtesy of http://www.nfl.com/videos

The White House is Open for Questions - President Obama

From The White House - The President introduces a new tool on WhiteHouse.gov, "Open for Questions," which will allow you to submit your questions on the economy and vote on those submitted by others. The President pledges to answer some of these questions during an online town hall on Thursday, March 26, 2009.

New Media: You May Not Need Cable Anymore - Paul Colligan

You've got to take time - an hour - to watch this. Paul Colligan uses New Media as his job. Colligan teaches New Media and explains how you don't need cable TV and how he did an experiment getting all of this content via the Internet -- no cable.

Here's the video description:

Google Tech Talks
June 10, 2008


The disruptive technology of new media is far more accessible than most realize. The impact of new media is far more impressive than most report. The mavericks of new media are slowly taking over - quietly, but with a shadow that dramatically changes the Internet's role in media (delivery, creation and consumption). At this point in time, these mavericks aren't effectively in anyone's index. Will that ever change?

Speaker: Paul Colligan
Paul Colligan is CEO of Colligan.com Inc. and manages several popular Internet properties that include Podcast Secrets, Automate Sales, FrontPage World, and PremiumCast.com.

Paul produces a number of Podcasts that include (but are not limited to) Marketing Online Live, Podcast Tools Weekly Update, Paul's Profitable Podcasting Podcast, Electronic Marketing Interviews, and Big Seminar Live. He is also the author of many books and magazine articles about Internet marketing and is co-author of The Business Podcasting Bible with Alex Mandossian.

Mr. Colligan has played a key role in the launch of dozens of successful Web sites and Internet marketing strategies that have seen tens of millions of visitors and millions of dollars in revenue. Previous projects have included work with Peak Potentials, Heritage House Publications, InternetMCI, the Oregon Multimedia Alliance, Rubicon International, Microsoft, the Electronics Boutique, and Pearson Education.

He is also a popular speaker on Internet technology topics and frequently speaks online, on the air, and before audiences about his passions. He has presented at events around the world that include The Podcast And New Media Expo, The European Business Podcasting Summit, Internet World, Linux World, Mac World, Commission Junction University, Big Seminar, the X-10 Seminar, and Microsoft Tech-Ed.

Paul's Blog at http://www.PaulColligan.com , is a great place to keep up with his latest efforts and current speaking schedule.

Paul lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughters and enjoys hiking, theater, music, fine dining, and travel.

Oprah On Lesbians Dating Straight Women: Time To Talk

More at Jezebel So apparently I missed an Oprah episode I've got a lot of say about. She talks about why some straight women date other women later in life. And for that, here's my answer: there's a growing culture that simply hates men and there's a lot of reasons for this that have built over the years, but for the first time we have a full generation of women without the idea that they need a man to succeed, even though our system is still set up to favor marriage between a man and a woman.

It seems that women and men now -- to some degree -- think that if they can more easily communicate with the same sex why not date them too.

Personally I think that's institutionalized silly behavior because the main challenge of men is to figure out how to communicate with women for the purpose of reproduction and vice-versa. So what are we doing, killing the process that leads to it?

Men and women need to get back to appreciating each other and wanting to mix, though i think it's still more the norm than the media lets' on. Nothing against same-sex anything, but I love women and fear if we don't encourage male-female pairings, women could wind up on a even shorter end of the economic stick in the future.

Now if you think I'm saying women should go back to just picking the richest man, not so.  I'm stating that if we continue a trend of more and more same-sex pairings, the end result will be an even greater degree of male-female income disparity than we have today.   We have the emergence of all -Gay-male firms, which gives a new reason not to hire women in the workplace.  No matter what the rationale, that's still discrimination. 

Gay men make more than their Lesbian counterparts. Without a male-female pairing the woman would not have a means to greater income, whereas in the past women simply married men. That's the kind of future same-sex advocates threaten to create for themselves. Indeed, I argue that such segregation gives men another reason to discriminate against women in the workplace.

I know some people will come away from this thinking that I voted for Prop 8 -- I did not. But the reason I take this stance is too many young women are coming out of college not knowing how to work with or deal with anyone but the meekest and most passive-agressive of men because they would see them -- mistakenly -- as non-threatening just because their testosterone level may be lower. Then they wind up hating men, which leads to all kinds of terrible results in society.

Lou Dobbs Says The Dumbest Things On CNN

I've got to admit Lou Dobbs finds new ways to stick his foot in his mouth everyday. Why CNN has this blowhard on is a wonder, but his presence is a good reason for the network's ratings challenges of late. Dobbs is back to his race-batting ways, airing racist comments from viewers like "I don't want Mexicans driving trucks, Americans should do it."

The trucks he was talking about carry drugs into America.

I wonder when CNN's going to show real courage and let me debate him or just take him off the air.

Vlogger's Mean Mug At SXSW Austin

SXSW People 2009, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

I wish I'd attended SXSW but here's to hoping I can be there next year. This is an interesting montage of faces, all well-known video-bloggers: Zadi Diaz, Steve Woolf, Clintus McGintus, Lan Bui, Casy McKinnon, Bre Pettis, Jonny Golstein, Scott Stead, Schlomo Rabinowitz.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Steve Clemons and Mohammad Shtayyeh On The Unity Talks

The Unity talks are to bring together Fatah and Hamas to achieve Palestinian Government unity. According to the discussion there's a readiness to talk and the process will resume April 1st, but let's hope that's not an April Fool's joke.

It's also not to imply that the process is easy. There are some who don't want the Unity talks, but they seem to be in the minority at this point.

Maria Shriver Produces Documentary For HBO

More from Washington Whispers: “She said she was done and would not return to the media. But that didn't stop California's first lady and former NBC journo Maria Shriver from dipping her toes back in recently when it involved a topic she cared intimately about. Shriver produced a new HBO documentary series, The Alzheimer's Project, which includes four longer films and 15 short ones detailing different aspects of the disease. She also appears in one, Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? based on a book she wrote several years ago. For Shriver, Alzheimer's is personal. Her dad, Sargent Shriver, is suffering from the disease.”

Rep. Manzullo Unleashes Wrath Over AIG

..Rep. Manzullo just wants an "yes" or "no" answer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oakland Police Murders Media Misrepresent Oakland

In the wake of the Oakland Police murders, the Associated Press and CNN have given a false view of Oakland as having "tentions between police and community" and that is not true. Oakland Police are part of our family.

Paul Krugman is WRONG about The Obama TARP Plan

Economist Paul Krugman has been attacking the Obama / Geitner Troubled Assets Relief Plan (TARP) as using taxpayer money to pay investors to take the assets off bank's hands. But he offers no alternative. Paul is wrong in that he wants the "bad assets" to remain on bank statements, but for what? To continue to freeze the credit market? His blog posts in the NY Times on this matter are intellectually sloppy at best. That -- for a Nobel Prize winner -- is terrible.

Krugman sets up straw person examples to prove the idea that the investor spends little of his or her own money -- but that is the idea. I do not know why he comes up with these half-baked statements at all. Perhaps he is just angry that Obama did not pick him to be economic advisor.

Personal Injury Law In A Recession: Robert Schock

Bob Schock is Oakland's best personal injury lawyer. We talk about lawsuits in a recession and how businesses can protect themselves and why people file lawsuits. Contact Bob at 510-839-7722.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama's rules deflate lobbyists as he leads by example

Under the recently issued Obama administration rules (which some were hoping wouldn't appear) lobbyists seeking an administration member's time to discuss a "Recovery Act" project must submit their requests in writing to be posted online... Openness will restore confidence - both here and abroad - that the U.S. now practices what we preach on economic and moral issues. Economic viability will come only through repudiating the unfounded faith many Republicans have exhibited in trickle-down voodoo and unregulated capitalism, paired with self-serving definitions of sound-bite terms such as educational choice. We need a return to an ethic of service, work, and strong family values such as the first family demonstrates. It's so good to have a President who walks the walk despite tough times.

read more | digg story

Oakland Parkway Theater Closes Today: Evicted By Landlord

The landlord of the Parkway Theater at 18th Street and Park Blvd in Oakland evicted the Parkway Theater after severely raising the rent. It's last day was today, March 22nd, 2009, but the theater can be saved.

As an employee reports in this video, the closure was fast; the employees got the notice just four days ago, giving them little time to make adjustments and throwing lives into chaos. Apparently, the theater just had not drawn a lot of people -- or at least enough to pay the rent -- to maintain itself. In the words of the persons I talked to -- some on the video -- the movie house was not showing what the public wanted to see.

I think a larger issue was marketing, or the lack of it. A new approach should include having ways that bloggers can put a Parkway widget on their blogs. Also having the Parkway on as many social networks -- like Twitter -- as possible would really keep its name out there.

The bottom line is the place Kyle and Catherine Fisher raised $140,000 to start in 1996 and opened the following year can be saved. But the landlord has to really have a different strategy and be more a part of the business than it appears they are not. A closed Parkway is a blight on that neighborhood at a time when people need reasons to feel good about what's happening in their lives.

As Michael Cabon over at "An Oakland Citizen" points out, the Parkway has been an interesting place. (You have to read his post.)

It's watch time. Which business institution will fall next? Which landlord will prove not to realize that there's not a lot of money out there and thus can't increase rents?

Will the Parkway employees find other means of work? Will the City of Oakland, which just purchased a $7 million building with redevelopment funds step in?

The Parkway was a friend to then-Oakland Councilmember John Russo, who's now City Attorney. They even named a sandwich after him for his support of the facility. (It's not on the menu anymore.) Will Russo step in?

So many questions, which only mean that this whole issue is far from...closed.

Suzzane Agasi , Founder of ClothingSwap.org Talks

Suzanne Agasi is founder of the popular ClothingSwap events. Here she talks about, well, ClothingSwap and what it is. Visit the site at http://www.clothingswap.org

10 Lessons We've Learned From Games

To play any kind of game, you've got to go through some kind of learning process. The A button jumps. The trigger shoots. WASD moves around. Once you understand that, you can better blast, smash, and drop kick your way through whatever challenges a game throws at you.

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Psycho-Thriller ‘Blank’ Premieres For Free on BitTorrent

Today a brand new movie has premiered but this is not the usual Hollywood-style launch. ‘Blank’, described as an intense psycho-thriller by director Rick L. Winters, will debut on DVD but you can get it for free on BitTorrent too - with the blessing of the entire cast and crew.

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Facebook Copying FriendFeed, Which Originally Copied Twitter

Facebook is counting on the same relative inertia that Twitter has so carefully cultivated. The calculation is that 175 million people are less likely to move away from something than they are to wait and see what is going to happen.

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Social Web sites face transparency questions

Properly balancing the interests of various constituencies — and retaining their loyalty, perhaps through improved channels of communications — will prove key to whether the sites can grow into vibrant, moneymaking operations for years to come.

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U.S. Postal Service to Offer 150,000 Buyouts

Battered by the economy, the post office is offering early retirement to 150,000 workers, cutting management and closing offices, the agency said Friday. The Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year and is facing even larger losses this year, despite a rate increase — to 44 cents for first-class mail — scheduled to take effect May 11.

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India has 'proof' of Pakistan role in Mumbai attacks

India's government says it has "overwhelming evidence" that "official agencies" of Pakistan were involved in the Islamist militant attacks on Mumbai that left 165 people dead.Home Minister P. Chidambaram also accused Pakistan in a TV interview to be aired Sunday of doing nothing to dismantle "the infrastructure of terrorism" on its soil amid height

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Coming Soon: Declassified Bush-Era Torture Memos

Over objections from the U.S. intelligence community, the White House is moving to declassify—and publicly release—three internal memos that will lay out, for the first time, details of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration for use against "high value" Qaeda detainees.

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A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World

Across the Muslim world, a new generation of activists, bloggers and preachers is discovering ways to synthesize Islam and modernity

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Police kill man holding box cutter, THEN DELETE VIDEO OF IT

More than 50 people witnessed the shooting. Some say there was no need for police to pull the trigger. Luis Zamor, who witnessed the scene said "Police are supposed to come out and arrest the guy, stop the guy, but he just come straight out and shoot the guy.

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Mom Given Ticket While Reviving Her Dying Son

Batkin incurred the ticket by illegally stopping her car on the pavement to resuscitate her son. To make matters worse, Batkin said, the Richmond Council's parking office later refused to rescind the ticket even after she explained what had happened.

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Internet Explorer 8: How not to launch a new browser

Explorer 8 shapes up to be a complete train wreck as far as customer adoption is concerned.

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More Women Needing Cash Go from Jobless to Topless

As a bartender and trainer at a national restaurant chain, Rebecca Brown earned a couple thousand dollars in a really good week. Now, as a dancer at Chicago's Pink Monkey gentleman's club, she makes almost that much in one good night.

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People running Bank of America are "a bunch of idiots."

So says Virginia Hammerness. But Hammerness is not just another angry stockholder. Her grandfather was A.P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of America... A Time When Bankers Were Heroes to Public.

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Breaking : 17 Are Dead in Plane Crash in Montana

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says 17 people are dead in a plane crash in Montana.

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Obama fires back at Cheney on 60 Minutes

Dick Cheney and the anti-terror policies of the Bush years have not "made us safer," according to President Barack Obama. -=W/ VIDEO=-

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One in four government websites illegal (UK)

One in four Government databases are illegal under human rights or data protection and should be scrapped immediately, a panel of experts have warned.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Three police sergeants dead, suspect killed in East Oakland gun battles - Inside Bay Area

More at Trib: “OAKLAND — In the most horrific day in Oakland Police Department history, a parolee shot to death three police sergeants within two hours of one another Saturday afternoon.
When officers tracked down the suspect, a fourth officer was shot and was in critical condition Saturday night.
The three veteran officers killed were sergeants: Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, a traffic officer with the department since 1991; Erv Romans, 43, of Danville, a 13-year veteran with the force; and Dan Sakai, 35, a nine-year veteran, police said.”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Zennie62.com - The Facebook Page

Now, Zennie62.com is on Facebook! Here is the page: Zennie62 on Facebook   Become a fan!

What Is New Media To You? - WISE-SF Panel Intro From 2008

I created this video to open the panel discussion on "Blogs, New Media, and You: Managing Your Digital Identity" at the WISE-SF Panel Discussion held a year ago Monday, March 30th 2008 at The Hotel Kabuki, at 1625 Post St. San Francisco, CA.

It's interesting to look back and review the video. What strikes me is that the basic theme is "expression" in that New Media allows one to express a view.

BART Shooting: Rockridge BART Protest 3-19-09

I exited Rockridge BART Station and walked into a protest of the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. I talked with onlooker, protesters, and BART Spokesperson Linton Johnson. According to the protester I talked to in the video, there are a series of these events pre-scheduled at http://nojusticenobart.blogspot.com

President Obama On The Tonight Show

I missed this but thanks to YouTube, I'm able to see his performance. I give him an A- minus and that is only for a comment I almost missed on the Special Olympics, but it was a throw away line. He did not disparage it, or say anything against it, and really it was just the two words regarding what was a self-deprecating comment. Now, I'm surprised no one got after him about his Hollywood comment. I do think people tend to really micro-manage stuff, and Gov. Palin has so many gaffes she's got no reason to talk at all. Can you imagine if she were Vice President? Yikes!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama Chic: Inside the White House Cocktail Parties

FOXNews.com - Obama Chic: Inside the White House Cocktail Parties - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment

I love a good cocktail party. The idea is to get to know people, which then tends to make other endevors that much easier. What the problem with the Obama party is, I do not know at all. Makes no sense to me. I'll take a Manhattan!

Barack Obama Interview With Jay Leno On The Tonight Show (Teaser)

The President's Message to the Iranian People

From the White House - [with Persian captions] President Obama's special video message for all those celebrating Nowruz, or "New Day." This year, the President wanted to send a special message to the people and government of Iran, acknowledging the strain in our relations over the last few decades. After committing his administration to a future of honest and respectful diplomacy, he addresses Iran's leaders directly. (this video is public domain)

President Obama offers new start with Iran

france24english - IN THE FIELD: Iran has welcomed US President Barack Obama's offer for a fresh start, while calling for concrete action. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana voiced hope that Obama's video message will mark a "new chapter" in relations with Tehran.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Newspaper Managers Don't Understand New Media

Newspaper Managers don't understand New Media at all. It's the key reason why papers all over America are failing. As more media outlets - webs, blogs, video - have been established, there's less money to go around per outlet. That coupled with the credit crunch and newspaper manager's failure to understand New Media is what contributed to this problem, and it's a big one.

I remember 2006, when I approached my friend Oakland Tribune Columnist Monte Poole with an idea of something called "The Monte Poole Show" -- http://themontepooleshow.blogspot.com/ -- which combined the sports columnist's columns with video presentations and then took that video and used it for television. So Monte would be on TV, in print, and in online video, expanding sponsor exposure. But Tribune Editor Martin Reynolds was having none of the idea, even as the head of KOFY TV 20 San Francisco was interested in it. Martin claimed "Monte's under contract with the Tribune" which had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

That is but one example of how the Mainstream Media does not "get" New Media and is at a loss to work effectively in it. Newspapers will continue to fail if this happens again and again.

The Financial Times Launches Newssift

More at TC: “The Financial Times Group, which is owned by the British publisher Pearson, is not exactly the place you’d expect to find the latest search engine. But a startup deep within the bowels of the organization called FT Search is launching one at 8PM ET tonight called Newssift. It is a semantic search engine that sifts through business news, and it is not half bad, especially for bigger companies and broader topics.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson Accident - Richardson Passed Away Tonight

From CBS: Actress Natasha Richardson and wife of Liam Neeson is reportedly in critical condition after suffering a head injury in a skiing accident at a Canadian ski resort. Randall Pinkston reports.

I later learned that the actress passed away this evening at the age of 45 years old.

Natasha Richardson Accident - Richardson Passed Away Tonight

From CBS: Actress Natasha Richardson and wife of Liam Neeson is reportedly in critical condition after suffering a head injury in a skiing accident at a Canadian ski resort. Randall Pinkston reports.

I later learned that the actress passed away this evening at the age of 45 years old.

Obama Angered By 'Excess' In AIG Bailout Matter

President Barack Obama says "The buck stops with me" in discussing the AIG matter. You've got to credit him for immediately getting out in front of the issue with the press statement right as the news of the $165 million in bonuses was paid by AIG using Troubled Assets Recovery Program (TARP) funds.

Hot Stove Talk

Hot Stove NFL talk 3/19/09-By Dr. Bill Chachkes Football Reporters Online

The Giants have made some really good free agency moves so far. It's clear that Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch told Mr. Reese to spend some of that PSL money on players. DT's Bernard, Canty, and LB Boley are all good pick ups. Hopefully there is enough left over to get some more offensive skill players. I'm not in a rush to see a running back signed so quickly, even though Derek Ward signed with Tampa a few weeks ago (5 years, 17 million dollars). I would prefer to see them draft a younger player like Javarris Williams (Tenn. St.) or Josh Vaughn (Richmond) and play Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware behind Jacobs. The Giants have 9 selections coming into this draft, but the feeling is that some of those picks will be used in a package to trade with another team to move up in one of the first two rounds to get a player at a "need" position they weren't able to fill in free agency.

If you need to be reminded that the sport of football is still a business behind it all, just take a look at Albert Haynesworth. "It's not about the money," Haynesworth said, when the Titans were trying to figure out how to keep him happy and in Nashville. It didn't take long for that tune to change when Redskins owner Dan Sndyer came calling with a 100 million dollar check. Now Big Al gets himself in a bit of "dui" trouble and wants us to understand how sorry he is. With all that Cash Al, get someone to drive you around will ya please.

At least Ray Lewis was honest. "Why should i take a Hometown Discount? I'm not playing with less emotion or intensity," he said. Ozzie Newsome got Lewis to stay by giving Lewis the deal he deserved to keep him a "Raven for life."

The Jets made some decent headway regarding the improvment of their defense. They resigned Ahmad Carroll, who will help out the secondary as well as keep the special teams special. Now we hear talk of disgruntled Broncos QB Jay Cutler coming to NY to wear the Green and White. I just hope his skin thickens up a little if he does. The other issue here is that Jets owner Woody Johnson is starting to remind me of George Steinbrenner when he ran the Yankees. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan told a group of us at the end of the 2006 draft that Clemens had the best spiral of any of the QB's in that class. So then why won't they give him a chance to prove he can lead the team? Maybe they are trying to Jump-start "phase 2" of the PSL sales plan.

So mr. Owens shuffled off to Orchard Park, but the real test is when the Bills make the playoffs and have to play a home game in January with the breeze coming off the lake. Terrell will have wished he told his agent Drew Rosenhaus to just wait a little longer and see if someone else makes an offer, even for less money.

So we have a new Executive director of the NFLPA. What will make DeMaurice Smith different from Gene Upshaw? He's already caught the player reps' ears with a smooth presentation coming into what could become a hostile fight with the owners to reach a deal on a new CBA. Lets see if he can get it done sooner rather then later.

It's just 5 weeks to the 2009 NFL Draft, and we are already in high gear(but I'm always geared up for football).

You can also find us at www.footballreportersonline.com
To order our 2009 Guide to the NFL draft please visit www.gridirondraftguide.com
Our blogs are at nflbiz.blogspot.com & nfldraftmag.blogspot.com.
You can e-mail us a question for our weekly radio show at askdrfootball@gmail.com, or call our toll free number at 1-866-478-5982.
To listen each Thursday night from 9-10:30 eastern go to www.blogtalkradio.com/Football-Reporters

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Socialist Leader: "Obama's No Socialist. I Should Know"

As yet another confirmation that conservatives throwing around the word "socialist" have absolutely no clue what socialism really is, the editor of the Socialist Party's monthly magazine assures Americans and Republican obstructionists/revisionists that President Obama is far, far from being a socialist. He may not even be a true liberal.

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Drug-Legalizing Cop Wins Back His Free Speech Rights

SEATTLE, WA -- A Mountlake Terrace police sergeant who was fired after publicly criticizing the "war on drugs" has reached an $812,500 settlement in a lawsuit he filed against the city and police department, among others.

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MI cops shoot unarmed, 20-year-old marijuana activist

Coming through an apartment's back door, an Ottawa County deputy allegedly shined a flashlight into the student's face, causing him to raise his right hand in front of his eyes. The officer, whose name was not released, fired a single bullet into Derek Copp's chest. The 20-year-old said he had no idea the man was an officer. -=W/ VIDEOS=-

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Small Banks Thrive As Giants Fall

Financial giants are wobbling. Lending is tight. The FDIC is murder on start-ups. But there's never been a better time for a small bank. Since last summer, at least 30 groups have filed to start new banks.

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Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses

The president said that he has instructed Timothy F. Geithner to “pursue every single legal avenue” to block bonuses to the insurer’s top executives.

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Americans Are Rearing for a Fight with Corporate Power

3/4 of Americans want to see a huge worker protection bill pass through Congress, and corporate America is working up a feverish panic over the very notion of linking the term "employees" with the concept of free choice.

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Ten Ideas That Are Changing the World Right Now

In the face of economic contraction, we're rethinking things we used to take for granted. Amid all the anxiety out there, if there's a theme this year, it's renewal. This is not false hope or irrational optimism but the power of ideas and innovation to transform the world and us.

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Women in Congo Speak out about Brutal Rapes

Despite taboos, under a U.N. program women and girls in the Congo who have been viciously tortured and maimed have begun coming forward and naming what was done. One sign of success is that more men than women have volunteered for training to encourage victims to come forward and their communities to confront the issues.

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Americans Want Justice for Wall Street Crooks: Ralph Nader

Jailtime not bailtime! Here are seven avoidance indicators which outline what Washington is not doing to prevent another round of greed and misdeeds by the Wall Street few against the innocent many throughout the country.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders: Time to Prosecute Bank CEOs

I have introduced legislation calling for a thorough investigation of the financial meltdown and the prosecution of those CEOs who might be guilty of illegal behavior. The culture of greed, fraud and excessive speculation must come to an end.

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Atlantic City shows gambling isn't recession-proof

Business at Atlantic City's 11 casinos is falling at a record pace. Aggregate revenue plunged 19.2 percent in February from a year earlier, the sharpest decline in the 30 years since gambling was legalized in the city, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

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American Legion Opposes Obama Plan to Charge War Wounded

The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries.

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6 Year Old Boy with 176 IQ

"Pranav Veera, 6, can recite the names of the U.S. presidents in the order they served in office. He can say the alphabet backward. Give him a date back to 2000, and he'll tell you the day of the week . . ."

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U.S. Military Deserters Once Again Flock to Canada

Looks like this time they picked the wrong country.

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Israel could use ballistic missiles against Iran

Ballistic missiles could be Israel's weapon of choice against Iranian nuclear facilities if it decides on a pre-emptive attack and deems air strikes too risky, according to a report by a Washington think-tank.

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Apple criticized for iPod shuffle's new 'authentication chip

Apple this weekend was hit with a media assault after reports suggested that a mysterious authentication chip in the third-generation iPod shuffle, responsible for supporting the player's new headphone-integrated playback controls, signaled a rogue attempt on the company's part to block third parties from developing their own replacement headphones

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AIG executives should take responsibility - Sen. Charles Grassley

Expressions of outrage across the political spectrum reached a new crescendo Tuesday when Sen. Charles Grassley suggested in an Iowa City radio interview that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

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Engadget - Live from Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 preview event

Live blogging from Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 preview event

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The 10 Best St. Patrick's Day Festivals in the U.S.

St. Patrick’s Day started out as a religious holiday commemorating the patron saint of Ireland. Today “St. Paddy’s” in America has become a celebration of Irish food, culture, and drink, as well as anything having to do with the color green. Typically observed with loud music, dancing, parades and green beer, St. Patrick’s Day festivities...

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Family Guy Wins Court Battle Citing Fair Use

"Creators of the U.S. television show Family Guy did not infringe copyright when they transformed the song When You Wish Upon a Star for comical use in an episode, a U.S. judge ruled . . ."

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NFL Union Uses Background Check to Select New Leader

NFL Players elected DeMaurice Smith as their new union leader after a background check revealed that the front runner, former NFL Player Troy Vincent, had been involved in controversial business dealings. Congratulations to the union for making an informed decision based on a thorough employment background check.

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NFLPA Elects Smith, Potential NFL Work Stoppage On Horizon?

The NFLPA has elected DeMaurice Smith to serve as their new Executive Director. Smith wins based on vision on how he would plan to lead the NFLPA through the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL.

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Josh McDaniels part of Bill Belichick's evil plan

Bill Belichick is working to destroy all other competition in the NFL by tricking the other franchises into hiring his assistants, who promptly make these team uncompetitive and disfunctional. The Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs are the latest victims of this cheating scandal which far surpasses the earlier spy-gate scandal in scope.

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Trauma Response Center grabs NFL star's heart

Albert Haynesworth, who recently signed with the Washington Redskins, tours the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, falls in love with the mission and the couseling center's therapy dog Courtney, opens up about his past and decides to chair a fundraising event, Survivor: Celebrate! Tampa Bay on March 21, to party for a purpose!

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Patriots close to acquiring defensive end Julius Peppers

NFL.com’s Vic Carucci is reporting that the Patriots are close to acquiring Panthers’ defensive end Julius Peppers for a second round draft pick.

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Top 10: NFL's Most Injured Teams

A painful look at the 10 most injured teams in the league.

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More Week 3 Pro Day Workouts From Top 10 Schools

Don’t be surprised if the Pittsburgh Steelers select an Ohio State player come April’s NFL Draft.

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NFL players may have died hours after boat toppled

The lone survivor, Nick Schuyler, told the Coast Guard that one by one, the other three men took off their life vests and disappeared during the ordeal that began the evening of Feb. 28, according to a 23-page report provided to The Associated Press Monday under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Radio host Don Imus announces on air he has prostate cancer

More at Inside Bay Area: “Controversial radio host Don Imus announced on the air Monday morning that he has Stage 2 prostate cancer.
Colleagues said the cancer was considered treatable and that the prognosis was good.
"The day you find out is fine," Imus told his listeners on the "Imus in the Morning" show. "But the next morning when you get up, your knees are shaking. I didn't think I could make it to work."”

Israeli forces shoot American activist Tristan Anderson

IWant Democracy Now -- US Consul General Says Awaiting Israeli Report on IDF Shooting of American Citizen

An American activist from Oakland, California was critically injured Friday when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister directly at his head at the close of a weekly nonviolent protest against the wall in the West Bank village of Nalin. Thirty-seven-year old Tristan Anderson underwent brain surgery on Saturday, and parts of his right frontal lobe and shattered bone fragments were removed. He remains in critical condition. We go to the hospital in Tel Aviv to speak with Andersons partner, Gabrielle Silverman, and to Andrew Parker, the US Consul General in Tel Aviv.

Chaos at 'America's Next Top Model' Audition in Manhattan

From NewsPoliticalNews - Pandemonium erupted outside of an "America's Next Top Model" casting call at CW Studios in midtown Saturday when an overheating car triggered a stampede of catwalk-craving cuties. Screaming as they ran for their lives, hundreds of hotties in heels toppled over barricades along W. 55th St. after several people in the crowd started yelling, "There's a bomb!"

Immigrants not welcome in the U.S.? The Irish weren't.

While the history of the "No Irish Need Apply" signs may have grown in the telling, there was resistance to Irish immigration to the United States; the Ku Klux Klan greeted the newcomers (with their unpopular Christian religion and their strangely fair skin) with the intolerance, rumors about lifestyle, and prejudice previously reserved for non-white people. Perhaps the KKK was confused by the term "Black Irish." There is abundant evidence that such "NINA" signs were prevalent among a certain class in London in the early 1800s, (the British had famously broken away from the Catholic Church under Henry VIII) and scattered elsewhere throughout continental Europe, and no doubt they appeared in the USA as many Irish were fleeing violence and famine in their native land - arriving in America full of dreams and hope.

Regardless, today the President of the United States, Barack Obama, traces some of his ancestry to the Emerald Isle, and one of the better-known "ethnic" holidays in the USA is St. Patrick's Day, and people from all walks of life will take note of it today. Many will adopt caricatures of Irishness for the day, hats fit for a Leprechaun, green buttons and shirts saying "Kiss me, I'm Irish!" as they celebrate Irish culture, tradition, and people. Reporters and journalists across the country will cover people across the country enjoying parades and parties where people sing in faux accents, marvel about Irish jigs, drink beverages from Ireland, and put an O in front of their last name while overlooking the fact they'd never venture into a Catholic church and aren't quite sure how to pronounce shillelagh.

This is a success Americans could do well to reflect on as they consider their current struggle with immigration laws and issues. More than a president noted for an ethnically rich heritage, the United States is a country strengthened by the nature of being an alloy of many cultures and philosophies. The Irish endured invasions over the centuries, yet retained a unique (albeit somewhat misunderstood) cultural identity: both unity and diversity persist proudly on that one smallish island. Surely there is room in the United States for all who dream of freedom and hope to improve their lives.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
It's time for the great minds of American leadership to embrace the American dream, to bring immigrants who treasure the opportunities embodied into our constitution into full participation in our way of life. They must be required to abide by our laws, to value their citizenship and patriotism as highly as their neighbors, to participate in our democracy in every way, and if they don't want to participate wearing green on St. Patrick's Day they must at least recognize that it's about more than a Catholic saint - it's about valuing diversity by walking a mile in somebody else's shoes for one day each year.

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Star Trek Movie: Where Are The Black Men?

There's a lack of Black men in the Star Trek trailers and director J.J. Abrams called and invited Tyler Perry to be in the movie to make up for the oversight

Star Trek Movie: Where Are The Black Men?

There's a lack of Black men in the Star Trek trailers and director J.J. Abrams called and invited Tyler Perry to be in the movie to make up for the oversight

Monday, March 16, 2009

Senator Barbara Boxer On The Oakland A's: "I Live In Oakland"

On the way to a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer on Sunday (March 15th 2009), I walked into the Four Seasons Residences on Market Street and boarded an elevator that was already to be occupied by two women just eight steps ahead of me, with their backs to me.  When I boarded the elevator they both turned in conversation, the one closest to me was the person-of-the-hour, Senator Barbara Boxer.

Always gracious, Senator Boxer shook my hand, then after a few seconds on the elevator I asked her if she was "going to get involved in keeping the A's in Oakland."  She immediate said "You know, I live in Oakland, and that's important to me."  Boxer stopped short of stating what her action would be, but that response was all I needed to know that it's on her radar screen, and it doesn't spell good news for Lew Wolff because the rest of our talk consisted of me calmly but in cold detail explaining to her how Wolff had treated Oakland with great disrespect, making statements that he was "done with Oakland."  I also shared that San Jose and Santa Clara County -- where Wolff seems to want to take the organization -- represented 47 percent of the San Francisco Giants fan base. She listened intently. 

Remember, I'm a columnist: I state my opinion and advocate for a cause.  That's still within the relm of journalism, but people forget that when they disagree with you.  Still, it's important for readers to be reminded of the writer's position: I want Wolff to keep the A's in Oakland.  Period. 

The matter of the A's wasn't on the collective mind of the approximately 50 people that came to the home of planning consultants Lynn and Paul Sedway; the economy was.  While only six questions were taken because of the Senator's schedule -- she was making a fundraising swing through San Francisco -- all except two which I'll get to concerned the matter of the economy.  Some highlights:

• Boxer said that she thinks we've seen the "bottom" of the economy, at least from the stock market perspective, and that she expects to see a rebound.  In other words, no more dramatic market dives below the level we saw last week. 

• Boxer has had it with giving out Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) money.  She reported Congress as a whole is (holding her hand over her head) "up-to-here" with giving out more TARP funds, and much of that distaste for the effort she explained is directly related to the matter of AIG's attempt to give out $165 million in bonuses.  She said the Federal Reserve has a provision such that it can give our money if it has determined that such an expenditure would be in the best interest of national security.  Now, be smart about what you just read.  Boxer did not say she would not approve more stimulus money, but that's not TARP money.  It's clear that Boxer wants to send a message that Congress is unhappy with Wall Street's behavior.

• Boxer did not know about the block-buster news released Wednesday March 11th by Seymore Hersh that there was a "secret executive assasination group" that flew around the World for the purpose of killing officials on a "hit list" and answered only to Vice President Dick Cheney, but she did say she would talk with Senator Pat Leahy, who's pushed for the formation of a commission to review the activities of the Bush Administration.  This was my question to her, which caused a bit of an interesting response from her where she rose her brow in fear, and for good reason.  The contract killing of people is not something anyone likes to know about, especially when our government is alledged to be involved in it. 

• Boxer, in response to a question of when we (the USA) were going to get out of Afghanistan, supports President Obama's efforts there, because "The Taliban are terrible" to paraphrase Senator Boxer.

In all, Boxer stayed for a good while. The Sedways are long time friends of the Senator and gracious hosts in a place with a lovely view of San Francisco.

TV Show Preview: "The Blog Report With Zennie62"

On May 1st 2009 CoLoursTV will launch "The Blog Report With Zennie62" nationwide on DISH Network channel 9407 and selected Comcast, Fox, and Insight cable channels, and on YouTube, Blip.tv, and 13 other channels online.

How Zennie62 (Zennie Abraham) Makes A Video-Blog

This is the companion video to my segment on "Why I Vlog" and shows the process I use to make a vlog: camcorder, computer, and software. I recommend a MacBook computer with iMovie, a Flip Video camera and a basic camcorder.