Monday, October 05, 2009

David Letterman and Stephanie Birkitt v. Roman Polanski

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David Letterman and Stephanie Birkitt v. Roman Polanski? Yes.

I created this vlog because I'd not talked about either David Letterman, Stephanie Birkitt, or Roman Polanski, and while some took those people and topics and split into conservative and liberal camps, to me, that's not the place for this. Republicans corner the market in political sex scandals, so there's nothing to talk about.

Let me preface what you're about to absorb with this statement: I've known a lot of people who were married and are married and have had affairs and relations with others in some cases also married and others not. I'm not married and I've not had an affair with a married woman. But flirting? A kissing session? Yeah. It's happened in the past (well, grad school) – not at work though.

And that's nothing. In New York, at one point in the 80s the the 90s, "wife-swapping" and "husband-swapping" was a popular thing to do at parties and its still done today. Even Oprah's talking about it.

But I've seen this so often, especially in San Francisco and New York, and at Super Bowls, that it's like drinking water. And if you've ever worked on a political campaign, then you know the term "campaign sex" which is at times so common during the heat of a political season its almost sport. It's not a good thing to do, but I've stopped passing judgment. All of this has soured me on the idea of marriage at times, but I remain hopeful.

It's so common that for people to come out and jump all over David Letterman for his attempt at impersonating "Wilt" Chamberlain (who once bragged that he shagged over 10,000 women), is crazy. I'd bet $1,000 that some of the commenters of this vlog anywhere have done "a Letterman" after a moment of drinking and partying. In fact, the one who jumps and says "No I didn't," is probably the one who did.

David Letterman's really the victim here. He and his former aide Stephanie Birkitt are the victims of an apparently jealous, sexually frustrated, and broke man named Robert "Joe" Halderman, a producer of CBS' 48-hours. Halderman, who was dating Birkitt until earlier this year, had the nerve to go through Birkitt's diary after they broke-up , discover the notes about the affair, then go to Letterman and try to get him to pay $2 million in "hush money."

But to use his ex-girlfriend Stephanie Birkitt, by invading her privacy in that way, was and is just creepy. It's beyond that, it's just plain sick. New York's a big city; can't he find some Upper East Side coed model-type to date? Oh, and for those getting after Letterman about his "at work" affair, excuse me, both Halderman and Birkitt worked for CBS and were living together!

The real jerk isn't David Letterman, its Halderman and those who would say Letterman's image is tarnished from this, some of them guilty of the same behavior as he. David Letterman's no Roman Polanski.

UPDATE: David Letterman apologizes to his wife on the air -

Polanski's an accomplished director, no question about it, but feeding drugs to a 13-year old girl and then raping her is beyond the pale, regardless of when it happened. Heck, he's was a Hollywood film director and he couldn't get laid by someone of legal age? Come on!

But it happened decades ago, and the main issue is the woman who was the victim then, is now the victim again because she wants the whole deal to go away and, yet, the media and the legal system seems bent on putting the spotlight on her even to the point of posting her photos. Why?

Is it because the people who want the case done are younger than 40? There's a generation gap fueling this discussion where people over 40 - including the victim - want this whole deal to go away, and those who are younger don't.

So, let me get this straight. Polanski's said he did it and he's guilty. A weird twist of legal issues make this not a slam dunk case and Polanski didn't get fully punished for his crime - he fled. But the bottom line is now the victim just wants to be left alone and for this all to go away. Why can't we just go by her wishes?

If someone is serious and cares about her, then do as she asks. Otherwise, if you want to push this for your own reasons, then you're just as bad in a way as Polanski because your victimizing her all over again. And no, I'm not going to use her name - no links. Leave her alone. Please.

So David Letterman and Stephanie Birkitt were "outed" by a jealous ex-boyfriend and the victim of the Roman Polanski case is "outed" after some time of silence by a media and legal system hungry for closure. In both cases, the people doing the outing are being selfish creeps, and should just plain leave them alone.

Of course, we know that's not going to happen.

Chevron Ecuador case has new judge; Nicolas Zambrano

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Ecuador's lawsuit (which it can now be called officially since Ecuador would get any award money Chevron would have to pay) has a new judge after Judge Juan Nunez officially stepped down in the wake of the alleged video bribery scandal. He is Judge Nicolas Zambrano.

The plaintiff's attorney, Pablo Fajardo, said this according to Ecuadorreport Blog:
Pablo Fajardo, who leads the team of Lago Agrio plaintiffs that sued Chevron for damages, said that the fact that the recusal was accepted could be seen as a victory for Chevron, although he added that this will only be temporary.

Yeah, especially since Judge Nunez was part of a political effort led by President Correa to get money from Chevron, apparently for the cronies in Correa's political party, at least from my view. Now the automatic "yes" to the idea that Chevron would be found guilty of something that was really done by Ecuador's state run oil company and a large number of oil firms since Chevron left Ecuador in 1992, is gone.


Meanwhile, and in further proof of the sham idea that the lawsuit's brought by Ω's "indigenous" people rather than American trail lawyers, we have the news that real indigenous people are protesting against Correa's proposed water policy which they believe would result in water being controlled by energy companies.

Now go figure: Ecuador's top prosecutor admits on the record that the country will get any money from a possible Chevron lawsuit loss, not the "indigenous people". Then we have new violence between those groups and the government. Correa failed to give them any say in the use of the land by the oil companies active there.

Guess why? Well, one of those companies is state-run oil producer Petroecuador, which would find itself under the control - to a degree - of the residents impacted by there operations.

How long before they realize that the lawsuit's not going to help them either, especially when they get wind of the news that 90 percent of the money's going to the same Ecuador government they're protesting against.


Google Trends change hurts small bloggers, but there's a way to fight

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I saw Brian Haughey's great article on Google Trends over at Associated Content where he writes that Google's reducing the number of keywords listed on Google Trends from 100 to just 40, a reduction of 60 keywords, will hurt small bloggers.

(He uses the term "small-time" which I think is insulting to the legions of one-writer bloggers, but I'll let that go.)

The drop of 60 trends hurts the small-time blogger sites, as the top 40 results favors established e-magazines and newspapers. An article written on a popular site like Yahoo! will have a better chance of breaking into the Google Top 40 than a marginal blog post breaking into the top 100 and moving upward from there via user curiosity.

As a constant daily user of Google Trends, I think Haughey is correct but there's a way for "small bloggers" to counter that change: team up. Really bloggers do this anyway, but the tendency is for small blogs to echo what the large news sites put out there.

Small bloggers should team up more often and share blog post topics less likely to be found on sites like Yahoo. If 100 blogs did this, the result could be to break into the Google Trends top 40 depending on the keyword, but teaming up in effect makes a large blog ring.

Another way around this change is for the same bloggers to share writers, then apply for Google News status (since Google News insists on blogs having multiple writers) and have their blog's posts listed at the top of or the front page of a keyword search for a topic. But even here, Google favors the larger news sites.

And from that perspective, if I were running a news site like, say,, I'd have recirprocal link and content deals with as many local blogs as possible, thus taking better advantage of traffic from them should the same bloggers team up on one topic that the mainstream media isn't covering.

Zennie62 Live on USTREAM.TV and BlogTalkRadio

Coming soon I'm going to try a kind of experimental show combining and BlogTalkRaio. I did it before just to get the hang of the process. But the idea is to have a kind of streaming and call-in show at once. One can't call in to and BlogTalkRadio doesn't have live stream capability. Tech aside, I'm going to cover the topics of the day with a guest at times, or a video personality, or both. You'll be able to see the stream from all of my blogs. Stay tuned.