Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hockey Overtime Rules aside, USA v. Canada a classic hockey game

Related searches: olympic hockey overtime rules, hockey icing explained, hockey offsides, hockey overtime, hockey penalties, winter olympics, canada hockey, team usa

For some reason undoubtedly connected to (our) America's loss to Canada "Hockey Overtime Rules" are being searched for often this Sunday evening. But aside from that and whatever rules questions their may be, USA v. Canada was a classic hockey game.

USA v. Canada ended tragically; Canada won 3 to 2 in overtime and with Sidney Crosby, or "Sid the Kid" as he's called, delivering the puck shot heard 'round the sports World. He somehow got a shot pass Team USA goalie Ryan Miller and into the USA goal for a win that stunned Team USA as much as it sent the Canadian home crowd into a frenzy. This meant a lot to Canada.

Rebecca Bollwitt, who's done a great job covering the Winter Olympics and its impact on Vancouver's culture at her blog, wrote

This was arguably the biggest game in our nation’s history. It wasn’t the Summit Series, but it was the Olympic gold medal game on our home turf, against our continental brothers. The USA played hard, Miller stood on his head to stop us, and they even made us sweat… a lot. You couldn’t have imagined this match up and you couldn’t have fathomed that this game would go into overtime with Crosby scoring the winning goal.

Indeed, it was hard to fathom as for the first half it looked as if Canada was going to run away with the Gold Medal contest with at one point a 2-0 lead. But then Canada lost the lead as Team USA tied the game with 24.4 seconds remaining, according to ESPN.

What happened in overtime is still a nightmare for anyone rooting for the USA. Why Ryan Miller pushed the puck to the right, rather than fired it as far away from the goal as he could is a question still fresh in the mind of this blogger. Because of that, Canada played a good portion of the overtime in USA territory before the score that ended the game.

It would have been nice to see Canada lose to America. Someone has to say it. Cue up Blame Canada and all their "hockey hullabaloo". They were so wanting this Winter Olympics win because, by God, they invented Hockey!

The Hockey Overtime Rules where each team loses a player would not be an issue if Team USA beat Canada. The bottom line is America had its chance and almost pulled out a Herculean win.

It was not to be.

Well, Canada, you've got it. But only for four years.


President Barack Obama offers his condolences to Chile

From the AP -

President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Chile and says the U.S. stands ready to assist. He also urges residents in California and Hawaii to heed all tsunami warnings. (Feb. 27)

Mariah Carey thanks Oakland on Twitter

Mariah Carey, the sultry-voiced singer and actress who performed so well in Precious, in town for a concert at the Oracle Arena Friday night, took time to thank Oakland on Twitter. This is Mariah Carey's tweet:

I had so much fun last night! Thank you again Oakland! In Vegas now Baby! Come see me @ Haze @ Aria later..its
about 13 hours ago via web

The Oakland Tribune called the concert "flawless" and "diva-licious". That's a new one: Diva-licious.

A YouTuber at the concert captured this video of Mariah Carey performing H.A.T.E.U and Hero:

Stay tuned.

USA vs Canada gold medal game time 12 noon PST, 3 PM EST

Unbelievably, the USA vs Canada gold medal hockey game is really and happening today, and the game time 12 noon PST, 3 PM EST.

If the USA can beat the Canadians twice it will be a severe blow to Canadian national pride. This blogger predicts a massive flow of Canadians relocating to the United States in the weeks after this contest, should Canada lose.

According to VegasSports and other sites, Canada's favored to win this second game. Canada has seven Olympic gold medals in the sport; the USA two. America's trying to become the second team to sweep the Olympics hockey tournament. The 1988 Soviet Union squad was the other team to do it.

If Canada wins, Americans will just carry on with the typical Sunday habits of going to church and watching 60 minutes.

Stay tuned. GO USA!

2010 Chile Earthquake - building Chile donations list

Related searches: chile earthquake 2010, chile earthquake pictures, chile earthquake 1960 pictures, chile earthquake 2010 epicenter, chile earthquake death toll

Take one day off, and Chile has an earthquake! As you know the 8.8 2010 Chile Earthquake is the largest recorded this year and in some time. but it seems the level of interest in donating is not as great as that for Haiti as of this writing. Still, getting the word out about where to donate is vitally important. Some of the organizations for Haiti-relief may have Chile-related programs or pages; it's worth a check below. There are two sections: the first for known Chile-specific programs, and the second a repost of donation organizations for Haiti that may have programs for Chile.

Chile-specific programs known as of this writing:

AmeriCares - AmeriCares is "mobilizing our emergency response teams and the medicines, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid people in crisis will need" and asks for your help. The donations page is here: AmeriCares Chile

The American Red Cross - has committed 50,000 to the Chile effort; you can read about that and donate here: American Red Cross Chile

The Salvation Army - has a page on the Chile disaster here: Salvation Army Chile

T-Moble "Text for Chile" - If, like this blogger, you're a T-Mobile user, you can donate to Chile via text message. T-Mobile reports that 100 percent of your donation will go to the nonprofit organizations that they say are providing Chilean aide:

Text the word “CHILE” to 25383 to donate $10 on behalf of Habitat for Humanity
Text the word “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision
Text the word “CHILE” to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army

I will add more organizations as time and information progresses. If there is a specific program that should be listed here, please email us at and I will post it. I also apologize if the response is late, as in the Haiti case, it was due to the number of emails that came in.

Haiti-specific donation organizations; check to determine Chile-related aide efforts. (Note, some of the organizations are obviously Haiti-only.)

American Jewish World Service - Has a special Haiti-relief effort underway. From the press release:

"We are assessing where the gaps in service are and putting a process in place to help specific communities that might not be immediately served otherwise," said AJWS's vice president for programs, Aaron Dorfman. "Because of the economic and political situation in Haiti, disasters like this have devastating consequences throughout the country. Our long-standing partnerships with grassroots organizations in Haiti allow us to reach the poorest and most remote populations with the speed necessary to save lives."

American Red Cross (Reportedly has contributed $200,000 to Haiti relief.)

AmeriCares Help For Haiti. Goes to their International Disaster Relief Fund.

American Friends Service Committee - From the email:

American Friends Service Committee is seeking donations for immediate Haiti relief. This (Nobel Peace Prize winning) organization has a strong track record for efficient delivery of aid that actually goes to those in need.

AMURT is Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team - From the website:

AMURT & AMURTEL staff and volunteers are already on the ground and support teams are flying there in the coming days to assist in the operation. We have a decade of experience with relief work in Haiti and facilitate many ongoing development projects there. We are going to respond to this calamity fast and effectively and we are committed to stay as long as it takes to alleviate the suffering this natural disaster has brought about.
CARE - Reportedly has an ongoing program that focuses on food, water, and health security in Haiti  For program info: (donation link is in the name itself.)

Catholic Relieft Services - From an email:

Please add Catholic Relief Services to the list of organizations responding in Haiti. CRS has already committed to a $5 million emergency response, and its 300 staff in Haiti are well-positioned to commence immediate relief activities. CRS works with many local partner organizations in Haiti. Website:

Caritas Internationalis - From the email and website:

Caritas Internationalis always gets primary aid and medical workers on the ground very rapidly as it has a large network of charities and sister organizations. Caritas has been unable to contact its staff in the capital, although CRS has report the CRS office is intact and the staff present there at the time of the quake are safe. Please pray for the safety of all our staff and all the people of Haiti. An international emergency response team is deploying in Haiti, including Caritas Internationalis Communications Officer Michelle Hough.

Chuck Simmins also has this blog - - of coverage of the Haiti Earthquake Disaster and where to donate, including any organizations that may not be listed here.

Compassion International - From email:

Compassion International is already established in the Haiti, with Nationals in position to distribute aid. Take a look at their web site at They are a highly rated child advocacy ministry. They would be a good addition to your list.

Direct Relief International - From email:

Direct Relief International is aiding Haiti. They have a fantastic record of supplying medical supplies and aid.  (Based in Santa Barbara.)  

Doctors without Borders - Updated web page to reflect their Haiti assistance efforts.

Faith In Action International  - Founded in 1997 by Tom Braak, Faith in Action International is a Christian, grass-roots organization whose goal is to tangibly express God's love to people living in impoverished communities.

Famine Relief Foundation - From email:

My Name is Pastor Mark Dreibelbis.

My Orphanage is in Citi Soleil, Haiti We are located down by the loading docks in Port Au Prince.

We are 7 miles from the epicenter of the quake.
We need donations badly!

Our organization is Famine Relief Foundation
The website is:

Our orphanage is called Mission Ranch Orphanage
We are 501c3 here in the states and a registered NGO in Haiti.

Please get us on the donation list we need immediate help.

In His service

Pastor Mark Dreibelbis
Famine Relief Foundation
Mission Ranch Orphanage

Habitat for Humanity - HFH has a special Haiti page. They're seeking financial support.

HaitiArise - HaitiArise has provided education and relief for the past six years. It's a registered Canadian charity and reports that 100 percent of donated funds go directly to Haiti.

Haiti Emergency Relief Fund - by Vanguard Public Foundation in San Francisco. Established for Haiti before the Earthquake.

International Medical Corps - From their website:

International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team is on the way to Haiti, focusing on providing lifesaving medical care and relief to survivors of this devastating earthquake.

Islamic Relief - Islamic Relief has launched an appeal for £1 million to respond to the disaster.

Life In Haiti - Founded in 2007 by R.J. (Bob) Davisson. They have a school in Chabin and report they're providing education to 400 children.

Life For The World - From an email:
My friends and my chldren at my orphanage and school are in deep trouble in Haiti. Eight years ago I built an orphanage and school in Source Matelas, Haiti called Maranatha Orphanage and School. We have 150+ children. We also feed thousands of the poor and befriend Haitians in Bon Repo and Port Au Prince. I personally know thousands of people that have been devastated by this disaster.

I am an American and you can go to our website at and click on the lower right hand side to see the 50+ videos I have posted of our work and you will see me in at least half of them doing the work of feeding the poor in Port au prince and at our orphanage. We are seeking donations on our website to help the displaced with food, shelter and other necessities in the distressed areas of Port au Prince. You can also check out our facebook by searching facebook at "lifefortheworld".

Thank you for your support of our distressed brothers and sisters in Haiti!

Lutheran World Relief - From the website:

Lutheran World Relief is responding to the affected communities through its partners on the ground in Haiti. The coming days are critical as teams dispatch to Haiti to conduct search and rescue efforts. LWR anticipates a large response. Every dollar donated to this life-saving effort is critical to providing the necessary emergency support to the people of Haiti.

Merlin-USA - From an email:

In the aftermath of a massive earthquake that hit Haiti last night, Merlin has launched an emergency appeal to bring urgent humanitarian aid and assistance to those affected. Early reports suggest many buildings have sustained massive damage, including hospitals. Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area is very densely populated and millions of people have been affected. Merlin is assembling a team to assess the damage and health needs in the disaster zone. The team will arrive in Haiti on tomorrow, January 14th. Their first task will be to assess the most urgent medical needs, likely to be water, sanitation, shelter and disease prevention...Our initial fundraising target is $500,000 which will cover one month of the emergency response.

Mercy Corps - Mercy Corps' website is devoted to the Haiti Earthquake Disaster; they're deploying a team bound for Haiti now.

Mountain Top Ministries - Based in Chicago, they're organizing a medical team to go to Haiti.

Operation Blessing International - Operation Blessing International, the 7th largest international charity, has disaster relief teams on the ground and more en route. They are currently assessing the damage and beginning relief efforts.

Oxfam-America - From an email:

Has a Haiti Earthquake Response Fund. I choose them because they already had people in Haiti working on programs and created the donation link on their website within 2 hours.

Partners in Health - You can use the drop-down menu to specify donations to Haiti.

Real Help for Haiti - From the website:

The missionaries of RHFH count it an honor and a priviledge to serve the Haitian people. We trust as you prayerfully consider how to support what God is doing among the Haitian people, you too will see the beauty of the Haitians and be challanged and changed as well.
Sirona Cares - Has a trip scheduled for next Tuesday.  Michelle Lacourciere's the Director. You can contact her at the link to the blog.  The blog itself features posts on Haiti efforts and stories before the Earthquake struck.

The Salvation Army - The Salvation Army is active and on the ground in Haiti.  A representative was just on CNN's Larry King tonight.

Three Angels Children's Relief - Reportedly has a school and medical clinic in Petionville. 

Touch Ministries Recommended but no Haiti-specific page or announcement as of this writing.  

Yele Haiti - Wyclef Jean's Haiti initiative to assist his native Haiti.

UNICEF - UNICEF has set up a special page for donations for the children of Haiti. In an email, UNICEF's Alissa Pinck reports: "UNICEF’s country office in Haiti and the regional office located in Panama is on the ground and have already deployed emergency teams to assess the situation and determine what the additional emergency needs are for the people of Haiti."

What If Foundation - From the email:

I read your entry regarding Haitian aid donations; the What If? foundation is heavily involved with a feeding and education program for children in St Clare parish. As of the last report they have not been able to reach their contacts but continue to try, and will doubtless be active in assisting the people affected by this disaster. Please view their website at and consider including them on your list.

William J. Clinton Foundation - From an email and the website:

My UN office and the rest of the UN system are monitoring the situation. While we don't yet know the full impact of this 7.0-magnitude earthquake, we do know that the survivors need immediate help. There's a way you can help Haiti recover and rebuild right now. (The link takes you to a special page for Haiti relief.)

World Vision - Has a Haiti-specific page with a range of donation levels.  The organization says they're on the ground in Haiti already.

If there are any Haiti-specific efforts not listed here, please send an email to and this entry will be updated.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Desiree Rogers resigns from White House, gives in to Black Haters Group

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers resigned Friday, telling the New York Times that she did so after talking with herself about the idea. The NY Times reports Desiree Rogers said "It's a conversation with oneself, is that what I want to do, what is going to make me the happiest?"

But what Desiree Rogers did by leaving the White House she will come to regret by the end of the year. Rogers caved in to the black haters group or "BHG"; a set of African Americans in and around Washingon D.C. who acted as if they were jealous of Rogers' role as the first African American White House Social Secretary.

Rather than give Desiree Rogers behind the scenes advice, these members of what this blogger calls the BHG embarked on a whispered smear campaign that turned into a yell when Rogers bacame the fall person in the White House Partygate Scandal.

The person this blogger places in the BHG is long-time Washington journalist April Ryan of Urban Radio. If you remember, it was Ryan who appeared at the White House Press Briefing twice and to specifically, loudly, and revealingly complain about Desiree Rogers.

In short, Ryan's questioning came off more as a massive rant, peppered with the necessary cues to let the World know that Ryan was a defiant black woman that should not be messed with. Something this blogger applauds, but not when it's done in the process of smearing another black woman.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not handle himself well here, but in fairness, Ryan's behavior would have tested the very best press secretary in history.

Fine. Get upset over health care reform's slow progress or the high unemployment rate, but The White House Social Secretary? Come on? April Ryan's rants - she appeared twice - were so over the top, CNN's Don Lemon had a graphic that read "April...Calm down."

Ryan's behavior was so terrible that the question "Is April Ryan out to get Desiree Rogers" was on the minds of many observers, like Joni Reynolds of The Daily Voice. This blogger wondered if Ryan was really upset for not, herself, being invited to the State Dinner.

My suspicion was confirmed when April Ryan was interviewed by Lemon on CNN:

RYAN: And, typically, I've been at the White House for 13 years in January. Thirteen years. And during that time, I have been able to cover many events and, also, I have been an invited guest by two presidents to two State Dinners, myself, and other events at the White House I've been invited to by presidents. So I know how a lot of it happens at the gate.

Now this is where CNN's Don Lemon really buried the lead. Ryan all but admitted to Lemon that she was upset for not getting an invitation to the Obama's version of The State Dinner. After, all, Ryan was the guest of "two presidents to two State Dinners" so it's a safe bet she expected an invite to the State Dinner of America's first black President. Ryan did't get one, and it set her off big time.

Gina over at Michelle Obama Watch also points to not just Ryan's behavior but that of Washington Post Staff Writer and Fashion Editor Robin Givhan, who is seen as another member of the BHG (who, like April Ryan is African American, though not every member of the BHG is black) and spends much of her column essentially trashing Rogers for being confident, extroverted, and attractive.

Uh, did Robin Givhan miss out on the State Dinner, too? While Givhan's too clever to admit what Ryan did to Lemon, it's a fair bet she wasn't there either.


But Rogers has never been an introvert. The New Orleans native has waved to the crowds from a perch atop a Mardi Gras float. In Chicago, she was known for her eclectic mix of guests at her dazzling parties. She has stood up to dance by herself in cocktail bars, as friends sat by and watched in amusement. She is a coquettish life-of-the-party.

Note that Robin Givhan doesn't accuse Rogers of such behavior while Rogers was in The White House, making Givhan's piece nothing more than character assassination.

Indeed, attacking Rogers has been a sports or sorts, sloppily done. Even The Huffington Post got into the act, reporting that Rogers attended New York's Fashion Week, but failing to explain that she did so in 2009, not in 2010.

But the biggest, most powerful member of the BHG is Desiree Rogers herself, and with respect to her decision to listen to that crowd. By doing so, Rogers robs herself of the chance to grow in the position and fails to leave a positive legacy of work as White House Social Secretary. Every time Rogers name comes up, and her accomplishments are discussed, the conversation will always be followed by "yeah, but" and that's too bad.

Meanwhile, the next White House Social Secretary is reportedly a white woman, thus calming the fears of the BHG, who can't stand to see someone black, female, confident, and extroverted in a role they  think should be filled by a  white female who remembered to invite them to the next State Dinner.  

Precious leads winners at NAACP Image Awards

Related searches: image awards, naacp, naacp awards, naacp wiki, naacp image awards 2010, Precious NAACP Image Awards, naacp precious

As reported, the gripping Lee Daniels modern classic that is Precious got well-deserved respect at the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Friday night. Precious beat The Blind Side, Invictus, Michael Jackson's: This Is It", and
"The Princess and the Frog" for the NAACP Image Awards Best Picture nod.

Precious not only won Best Picture, but it scored outstanding independent film, outstanding actress in a motion picture (Gabourey Sidibe who's photo is to the left), and best supporting actress (Mo'Nique). But most of all, Precious wins made a statement that African Americans had in full force embraced a very real movie about very real problems in American Society, and not just in the black community.

Moreover, because the winners were chosen by online vote, the results do reflect a broad cross-section of America and the World, and not just African Americans. Precious' victory marks a first turning point in a maturation of how the World looks at people of color and how people of color look at themselves.

While it's not a front running pick in any awards category, it will be interesting to see how Precious does at the Oscars.

Stay tuned.

If government-run health care is an evil, socialist plot, why do 55 Republican Congress members participate?

As of October, 151 Congressmen had "government-controlled" health care insurance plans. That's close to 30% of our elected officials. 55 Republicans on that list have steadfastly opposed other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.

Here's the list.

If they think government controlled health-care is a problem, why do they continue to trust it for themselves and their families?

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, and political analyst who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Berkeley Riot: students battle police on Telegraph Av, Thursday

Related searches: UC Berkeley, student day of action, UC Regents, Cal Berkeley, Berkeley riots

Very late on a Thursday night that saw Cal Basketball get to one win from the Pac-10 Title, Berkeley saw a riot: people - some students, others not - battled Berkeley police on Telegraph Avenue, not far from Haas Pavilion.

According to The Daily Californian, the late night melee started as an occupation of Durant Hall as prelude to the March 4th statewide "Day of Action" and it became a fight with Berkeley and BART Police that included an estimated 200 people, burning trash cans, throwing glass jugs of wine, and damaging a retail establishment.

The video below captures the scene at the point where the police formed a wall along Telegraph Avenue blocking access to the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph Avenue. In the video, the woman was talking about how police punched her in the nose, when they just quickly arrested her as she was talking:

UPDATE: ABC News video:

The Daily Cal reports:

Several protesters occupied Durant Hall in support of the statewide day of action on March 4, according to a statement given by Asaf Shalev, a spokesperson for the occupiers. Shalev is a former employee of The Daily Californian.

About 15 occupiers occupied the hall since around 11:15 p.m, according to Callie Maidhof, a student organizer and UC Berkeley graduate student. People appeared to be moving in and out of the building and some were on the roof.

Around 1:30 a.m., people appeared to be leaving the hall and marching to Upper Sproul Plaza. Protesters marched onto the intersection of Telegraph Ave. and Bancroft Way throwing over trash cans. One individual broke the window to Subway.

The blog UC Regents (Live) reports that Durant Hall was selected as the place to occupy because the protesters say increased student fees were used to finance a construction bond of $1.3 billion to re-start a once-stalled renovation process. This is a reprint of the organizer's manifesto:

Why Durant Hall?

This communique was issued by organizers of the event….

Architecture has, like other growing phenomena, to go to school before it can wisely be emancipated. It is a distinctly promising sign of future power, for a young people . . . to forget self for the time being in the quiet, assiduous acquisition of knowledge already established by others. The time for fresh personal expression will come later.

–John Galen Howard, 1913
Accelerate: we are here to help architecture make the leap to emancipation. The architect John Galen Howard, who designed and oversaw the construction of what is now called Durant Hall at the beginning of the last century, was a hesitant man. We say: the time for fresh personal expression is now! There is no question that we are already the product of other people’s assiduously accumulated knowledges, so many that they become impossible to catalog exhaustively. The accumulation of knowledge is a library, perhaps, but it is also a struggle, a movement, a tactic. Likewise, the acquisition of knowledge does not have to be quiet — next to the sound system, self is forgotten and the commune emerges. The dance party: a distinctly promising sign of present power.

Future power too. On March 4, UC Berkeley students, workers, and faculty will march in solidarity with those from other UCs, CSUs, community colleges, and K-12 schools across California and the country as a whole. Like this building, reclaimed from the graveyard of financial speculation, we will reclaim the streets of Oakland in conjunction with an international day of action for public education to be free and democratic.

For the last two years, Durant Hall has been little more than a shell, surrounded by piles of rubble and heavy machinery, themselves surrounded by uneven rows of chain-link fencing. No longer is there any trace of the library it once was — the East Asian Library, now moved across campus to a new building named after an insurance mogul who founded the notorious AIG. Language has been uprooted, pruned, and replanted as well. The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures went with the library, and in the process lost half its Japanese, Korean, and Chinese classes as well as the faculty that taught them — over 1,500 curious students will be turned away this year. Subtracted from the flow of campus life, Durant Hall has existed only as a barrier, an inconvenience, a silent witness to the frustration of the thousands of students, workers, and faculty protesters who surrounded the neighboring Wheeler Hall and clashed with police last November.
But apparent emptiness conceals the movement beneath the surface, behind its fenced-off walls: capital flows through its veins. “Capital Projects,” the administration of the University of California calls them. As we now know, the UC administration has used not only students’ tuition, but also the promise of future tuition increases, to secure the bonds and bond ratings necessary to channel ever increasing resources into construction projects. They will always need more money, and it will always be our money. A general concern that changes the way we see the campus that surrounds us. But if there is one building in particular that exemplifies this process, it is Durant Hall: its renovation was halted in 2008 for lack of funds, and only started up again after the administration sold $1.3 billion in construction bonds last May backed by our fee hike as collateral. Its melancholy fate is to become yet another administration building. Durant Hall will be inhabited by deans and staff of the College of Letters and Science, but it has already been occupied by a bloated administration with private capital on its mind.

Capital, like architecture, is a growing phenomenon, but one that never matures. It pushes outward continuously in all directions, always presupposing an endless, spiraling expansion. New endpoints replace old ones in smooth succession, projecting themselves onto the grid of the future, erasing languages, knowledges, and histories that do not fit easily into the right angles of its blueprints. But we will not let their future bulldoze our present. We have our own bulldozers: dance parties to reclaim dead buildings, marches to reclaim the streets. On March 4, fight back!

The College of Debtors in Defiance.

Stay tuned.

For DISH Network Charles W. Ergen: DISH equipment scam must stop

DISH Network is a company I use for cable access. The programming availability is competitive, but I really have DISH so that I can look at my TV show, The Blog Report with Zennie62 as it comes on The DISH Network.

But this is what's very bothersome about DISH Network: they sent a receiver that malfunctioned, but then and contrary to what they promised, didn't send a shipping box to return the equipment with a paid waybill.

The end result is a system where you the consumer ends up paying for the cost - $300 - of equipment they made just because it failed to work. And that's the other issue - the receivers apparently stop working for unknown reasons because the matter of having to return it is all too common.

On top of that, DISH Network representatives are really awful. They argued with this blogger at length and tried to turn a phone conversation into a high school debate.   They explained that I was to place the receiver in the box that the new receiver came in, but that was after another DISH Network rep told me that they were going to send a box!

I told the person, a DISH Network rep called Tom and his supervisor Rodriguez, that I would take the matter up with Charles W. Ergen the CEO of DISH and the appropriate DISH staffers (Like Tom Cullen, Dish Network's executive vice president of sales).

They didn't believe me.

DISH Network should really stop its practice of charging consumers for defective receiver products. What DISH is trying to do is eliminate what in business is called the "cost of goods sold" by creating a scenario where a defective product (the cost of goods sold that are bad) is actually paid for by the customer. That's not right. Moreover, it may be illegal to do in California.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Growing Pains actor found dead; friends Facebook page for Andrew Koenig gone

Related searches: andrew koenig, walter koenig, growing pains, andrew koenig growing pains, andrew koenig actor

As announced here earlier, Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek TOS star Walter Koenig, was found dead Thursday of an apparent suicide. Friends and Family of Andrew went to 1,000 acre Stanley Park on Thursday and made the discovery of Andrew's body themselves, according to the Boston Globe. They found Koenig's body in a heavily wooded area 100 feet of what is called The Bridal Path. It could not be seen from walking along a path.

Walter Koenig was nearby when his son's body was discovered.

Over last weekend, and the week before, friends and family of Andrew Koenig used the Facebook page of burlesque artist Jenny Magenta, with whom Andrew stayed with. For reasons not known to this blogger, Jenny's entire Facebook page is down, gone.

The observation that Andrew Koenig committed suicide has not yet been officially confirmed as of this writing.

If anyone has information on why Jenny Magenta removed the Facebook page, please email this blogger at Of all the Facebook pages on Andrew, hers was the most important since she was one of the people who saw him just before he passed away.

Health Care Summit: John Boehner panned on Twitter

Related searches: Twitter, John Boehner, Barack Obama, John McCain, Republicans and Democrats, Health Care Reform, Health Care politics, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Boehner tanning color, GOP and health care

The 7.5-hour-long Health Care Summit of Thursday is history and one clear message has been sent: Republican House Minority leader John Boehner (R- Ohio) does not play well on Twitter. While Democrats view the Health Care Summit as proof that it's almost impossible to close ranks with the GOP on Health Care Reform, they may get some Republican cross-over once the GOP gets the news of how the public responded to their performance at the Summit, especially that of Boehner.

At one point in the day, Boehner was the fourth-largest trending topic on Twitter, and that status only started to fade after the news of the death of actor Andrew Koenig propagated through the Internet.

Twitter is a valuable resource for determining unvarnished public opinion. In this case, John Boehner needs a makeover.

While Boehner the topic was hot on Twitter, and even when it was not, Representative Boehner the elected official was taking a beating on the Health Care Summit. When the tweets didn't focus on his "orange" tan, they zeroed in on his performance.

Many of the tweets also praised President Barack Obama, even many tweets from Republican supporters expressed displeasure with Boehner against the President; others read that Obama "schooled" Boehner.

myrnatheminx @QueenofSpain Boehner is still tan
26 minutes ago from TweetDeck

justmelidia “The American people want us to scrap this bill,” said House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio. Hmmm - Which...
26 minutes ago from Tumblr

mistymaiden RT @shannynmoore: RT @Greytdog: Boehner keeps talking about a "clean sheet of paper". . . someone hand that man some toilet paper to wipe up all his bullshit
27 minutes ago from TweetDeck

T1theinfamous @QueenofSpain Boehner got pwned by the president,republicans had a hissy fit and nothing got accomplished
30 minutes ago from web

mwk4HCR @sfgeek Boehner strikes me as a slimy character.Pure eviil works too. I think of him as Bonehead-which is nicer than what I used to call him
30 minutes ago from web

QueenofSpain Now while I monitor the child laying in bed... someone please tell me what happened as I fled the summit for the ER somewhere around Boehner

genjunky @RepDaveCamp The republicans did'nt do enough. Where was the anger when Obama said to McCain we are not Campaiging anymore, Boehner weak!
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

sfgeek @mwk4HCR It's like watching Einstein argue with apes. And is it me or Does Boehner strike the same 'Pure evil' chord that Cheney did?
about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

Balkingpoints #failedGOP #hcr #hc10 #p2 #obama - #hcrsummit exposed McConnel and Boehner as transparent liars
about 1 hour ago from web

adamisacson Did you know that too much Vitamin A makes your skin turn orange? I bet John Boehner can read 4-point type in the dark.
about 1 hour ago from Brizzly

mytngenes RT @bccohan: RT @GOPLeader: NBC Nightly News: Boehner Holds White House Accountable on Taxpayer Funding of Abortion
about 1 hour ago from UberTwitter

shmoove I'm only just watching the #HCS now. Is Boehner afraid to talk? He keeps yeilding.
about 1 hour ago from web

SteelSun1 RT @GOPLeader: Boehner: Democrats Shameful for Targeting U.S. Intelligence Professionals for Criminal Prosecution
about 1 hour ago from HootSuite

omaha_ Obama Does Play Professor To Boehner's Petulant School Kid: via @addthis
about 2 hours ago from web

Those tweets capture the flavor - both in percentage and in tone - of what was tweeted during and after the Health Care Summit. If Representative Boehner and Republicans think they scored points with the American public, Twitter shows they failed miserably.

City of Oakland Parking Issue: Oakland policy harms poor? Told you so!

Related searches: City of Oakland, Oakland, parking enforcement, car traffic, bay area parking laws, parking and racism, classism, oakland budget, california politics, oakland blogs, east oakland

The latest news in the City of Oakland Parking Issue comes from an San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate report that the City of Oakland deliberately avoided issuing tickets in the Broadway Terrace and Montclair areas of Oakland, after the discovery of a July 24th memo written by City of Oakland Parking Supervisor Ronald Abernathy,

Why some are surprised is a laugher to this blogger, especially since this space has been devoted to explaining that the City of Oakland was working to balance its budget on the backs of Oakland's poor, and that tickets have been issued at odd hours of the early morning. Moreover, Oakland has also worked to order new parking meters, even though the cost to obtain them is greater than the revenue return.

Wake up! When will some learn that classism and racism are still alive and well in Oakland? Oakland is a city where the poor of color not only don't have as many advocates but Oakland's poorest sections don't have blogs that represent them.

The point here is information and discussion about Oakland is heavily biased toward a young, white set of bloggers that represents North Oakland and Downtown and seem interested in maintaining the parking strategy that's harming Oakland's poor people, mostly of color. It's just to point out a fact that any study of Oakland media patterns would reveal. The poor in Oakland - especially East Oakland - don't have a media voice; thus policies which harm them remain in place.

But that's a necessary digression.

The Oakland parking cat was always "out of the bag" and to the point that the discovery of a "July 24th memo" confirming what parking observers have always known should come as no surprise. The question is, what is the Oakland City Council going to do about it? But that was the question last year and we saw what happened: nothing at all other than more tickets, more cars towed, and more people put in a terrible position, forced to ride the AC Transit Bus and risk being in the middle of fist-fights between drunks and angry guys with names like "Epic Beard Man."

At least one Oakland Councilmember has vocally supported Oakland's parking policies, yelling in the ear of this blogger that it's necessary to, in effect, squeeze Oakland's poor to balance the city's budget because that politico sees no other way. Seriously.

Where's Councilmember Larry Reid, Desley Brooks, and Ignacio De La Fuente on this issue? And what about the City of Oakland's whistle blower law? If it has any real enforcement teeth, those parking staffers who did come forward and tell the truth should have their jobs next week. The law covers all employees and not a select few. And what about Ronald Abernathy? Does he live in the same Oakland areas his memo protected?

Stay tuned.

Andrew Koenig found dead in Vancouver, Canada

Related searches: Walter Koenig, Growing Pains, AK-47, koenig missing, actor missing in Vancouver, Canada, Koenig son missing

CNN just sent an email that Andrew Koenig, the former star of Growing Pains and the son of Walter Koenig, was found dead in Vancouver, Canada. First, this blogger sends his heartfelt condolences to the Koenig family and to all of his friends and fans, especially those who have taken time to send e-mails with information or just to connect after blog posts on Andrew Koenig were posted.

Andrew Koenig's passing in the middle of the joy that Vancouver should gain from the Winter Olympics is nothing short of sad. This is what CNN's reporting:

(CNN) -- Actor Andrew Koenig, missing since February 14, was found dead in Vancouver, British Colombia, Thursday, a source close to the family told CNN.
The body of the former "Growing Pains" star was found in a park, according to the source, who spoke to Koenig's father after Koenig was informed of the discovery.
The source asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Koenig, 41, was reported missing by his parents after he missed a flight to Los Angeles from Vancouver last week.
Vancouver police confirmed a body was found in Stanley Park around noon Thursday, but they would say only that it was "believed to be that of Andrew Koenig."
A police news conference was set for 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET).

This news ends a search that started February 16th after Andrew Koenig was reported missing after staying with friends in Vancouver. Walter Koenig reported that Andrew Koenig was despondent and suffered from depression.   But the news also opens a new set of disturbing questions.

More after the press conference.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Angelina Jolie Salt Movie Trailer - Summer 2010

Related searches: movie trailers, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Columbia, Sony Pictures, Iron Man 2

Look out. Angelina Jolie is back on film, this time without Brad Pitt, and in a kick-ass movie called Salt. Here's the Salt movie trailer for the Summer 2010 Columbia Pictures movie.


Salt has Angelina Jolie playing the role of a spy accused of working to get the President of The United States, only she swears she's innocent!

 The result is a dramatic chase, with Angelina Jolie performing amazing stunts and fights. The real female version of James Bond.

(In fact, the movie does have the feel of the rough, modern Bond in it.)

Stay tuned for more about Angelina Jolie in Salt.

Shamu whale kills trainer: eyewitness account of SeaWorld death

Related: searches: shamu, shamu attack, shamu the killer whale, shamu trainer, shamu attacks trainer

Shamu whale kills trainer Wednesday; videos show eyewitness account of SeaWorld death and give clues to the past of the killer whale named Tilikum.

The Orlando, Florida SeaWorld park was the unfortunate scene of a murder. As reported by the Associated Press, the giant killer whale called Tilikum suddenly attacked and killed its trainer, 40-year-old Dawn Brancheau. Reportedly it's the third time Tilikum has killed a human being, yet this 12,000 pound killer whale was still performing.

SeaWorld trainer Brancheau, had the most experience with Tilikum, though it's said that trainers were forbidden to swim with him.

Videos related to Wednesday's incident are now appearing on YouTube. The first video is an eyewitness account of exactly what happened. A word of warning: the explanation is graphic:

In the video, the woman, Eldon Skaggs, said the "trainer was massaging the whale on his belly, then the whale took off really fast, came around, right up to the glass, popped up and started thrashing, grabbed the trainer by the waist, started thrashing, and her shoe came off. The sirens went off."

Skaggs said that people, including kids, were covering their mouths in disbelief over what they had seen. The park staff yelled and forced people to leave the stadium; eventually the park was closed.

This is the video account by MSNBC:

In this video a "killer whale expert", Jr. Janet Mann of Georgetown, says it's impossible to tell if a killer whale is in an aggressive mood:

In the video below, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said they're conducting a death investigation. It appeared to be an accident, with no sense of fowl play. Then Dan Brown, of Sea World Orlando explained that they too had initiated an investigation. "We have never in the history of our parks experienced an incident like this and all of our standard operating procedures will come under review."

This video below, made by Tilikumtrainer on YouTube (who's name is Rose) in 2007 is one to watch twice. It tells the "life story" of Tilikum. The video reports that Tilikum was born a male Orca calf in 1981 in an Icelandic Pod and spent two years with his mother and and her family until it was taken from them in 1983.

That year, Tilikum was flown to Sealand of the Pacific in Canada, where he performed and lived with two female Orcas that "constantly picked on him", according to the video.

After an incident at Sealand (which must have been the 1991 death of trainer Kelly Byrne), and the birth of his first calf, Tilikum was sold to Sea World Florida in Orlando. He enjoyed a larger pool and was the largest known male at Sea World. While at SeaWorld, Tilikum has sired 15 calves between 1993 and 2007.

The video ends with "Though he was brought in from the wild, we have learned so much with having him and the others around. But one thing's for sure: Tilikum is the wild guy you gotta love...I know I did.

What that means, as of this writing, I do not know. Rose's YouTube channel has a link to a MySpace profile that was deleted. Here's the video:

Stay tuned.

Conan O'Brien on Twitter, for real - @conanobrien

After a hoax Fox Twitter account, Conan O'Brien is really on Twitter, for real. According to Mediaite, On Wednesday, the new, Twitter-verified account called @ConanOBrien was launched, and Conan issued this tweet:

Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.
about 2 hours ago via web

As of this writing, Conan O'Brien has 55,652 followers on Twitter, one of them this blogger. Considering Conan's last tweet was two hours ago, he's got to step up his tweet count.

Come to think of it, so do I.

San Francisco's Haight Ashbury to get surveillance cameras?

The Haight Ashbury, a place in San Francisco known historically for freedom and "free love" is to get surveillance cameras because of an increase in crime, if the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association (HAIA) gets its way.

According to a discussion on "The Wall", a place where San Francisco political news is regularly posted, HAIA President Ted Loewenberg made that announcement this month (February) and posted it on the organization's website. The basic message on the page reads as follows:

On Wednesday, 17 February, 2010, HAIA announced the Street Safety Program, designed to help increase the public safety by increasing the presence of security systems cameras at Upper Haight merchant's storefronts. To reduce the cost to our merchants, HAIA will pay each of the first 10 merchants in the Upper Haight who respond, $100 toward the cost of a security camera / Digital Video Recorder (DVR) system. Having as many as 20 surveillance cameras watching day and night in our commercial areas will give the police the ability to catch criminal behavior in the act, and hopefully increase the successful prosecution of the perpetrators.

Whether it is recording graffiti vandals tagging private property or street thugs intimidating residents on the sidewalks, the cameras should act as a deterrent to illicit behaviors. HAIA recognizes both the problems seen on Haight Street recently, and the weakened economy causing local merchants to struggle to make ends meet. The HAIA Board feels this program is a good use of our resources to help in a substantive way. The technology of such DVRs and cameras have become reasonably priced, and can be applied on a large scale to help our community deal with the challenges of crime through deterrence and prosecution.

The discussion on the proposal over at Able Dart's Forum at SFWall.Net is starting to heat up. One question, not answered as of this writing, is who will pay for the smashed cameras?

Stay tuned.

Oakland Raiders' Richard Seymour gets franchise tag

The Boston Herald reports that the Oakland Raiders Defensive End Richard Seymour, acquired via trade from the New England Patriots just before the start of the 2009 NFL Season, has been given a "franchise tag" by the Raiders.

Ron Borges reports that the Oakland Raiders have been trying to work out a long term deal with Richard Seymour, and the two are still talking.

Borges writes that Seymour says he's happy to remain an Oakland Raider. The cost of his tag is $12.398 million for 2010.

Richard Seymour had 47 tackles and 1 forced fumble in 2009 according to ESPN.

Mosi Tatupu, father of Seattle Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu, passes at 54

In the NFL news that New England Patriots Running Back Mosi Tatupu, father of Seattle Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu, has passed at 54 has shocked the league.

No one know why Mosi Tatupu died, only that he did so Tuesday in Sturdy Memorial Hospital Attleboro, Mass, according to WGN, Chicago.

New England Patriots team owner Robert Craft issued this statement:

"I know that I share a heavy heart today with Patriots fans everywhere who have learned of Mosi Tatupu's passing. He was a dominant special teams player and a punishing rusher who loved the Patriots as much as the fans did."

Mosi Tatupu played from 1978 to 1991 and was one of the first successful NFL players of Samoan decent. Tatupu was a standout running back at USC from 1974 to 1977, rushing for 2,415 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns in his NFL career with the Patriots and the LA Rams according to ESPN.

Admiral Ackbar of Star Wars to be Ole Miss Mascot?

Today, Admiral Ackbar shared the gossip stage with The Jersey Shore's The Situation, and Jenny J-WOWW at Access Hollywood. But who's Admiral Ackbar?

This is Admiral Ackbar:

In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Admiral Ackbar, a Mon Calamari, was Supreme Commander of the Rebel Alliance and designer of the B-Wing Star Fighter (pictured at right below).

Admiral Ackbar led a group of starships into what turned out to be a trap set by the Darth Vader and The Empire at The Battle of Endor.

 Now, Ole Miss students reportedly want Admiral Ackbar to lead them in cheers for their sports teams.

TMZ reports that students voted for Ackbar to replace their old mascot Colonel Reb Tuesday, after the school wanted to change its image.

 The decision is up to the student mascot committee. Here's hoping they do something different and give Commander Ackbar his due.

Scott Brown upsets Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, as Senate passes Jobs Bill

Glenn Beck says he's upset with Scott Brown as Senate passes The Jobs Bill. Michelle Malkin has her minions flood his Facebook page with angry comments. And the conservatives are just so angry that Senator Scott Brown's not the Senator Scott Brown they thought they got. This blogger howls!

When Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown won the Massachusetts special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by the passing of the legendary Democrat, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, conservatives cheered and TV pundits and Fox News and CNN hailed it as the beginning of the end of the Democratic majority in Congress. But forgotten in all the hoopla and flowing cocktails after the win was that Scott Brown never called himself a conservative, but said he was an independent.

Now, the independent that is Scott Brown is making himself know, much to the dislike of conservative pundits like Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck, who already attacked Scott Brown for then Senator-elect's comments that the Brown daughter's were "available", now says Senator Brown is a "Progressive Republican" according to The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins.

In the video below, Glenn Beck calls Scott Brown a liar:

And Michelle Malkin, who's "Malconites" at times display issues with sanity, could not observe the passing of The Jobs Bill without her own blast at Scott Brown:

Yes, sigh, Scott Brown. Looks like he hasn’t taken up my suggested D.C. itinerary. But those of us who knew all along what we were getting — a game-changer who vowed to torpedo Demcare, but who was not an ideological conservative — are not surprised. And I pointed out Brown’s moderate record several times on Fox and on this blog during the campaign...

Malkin says the "lefties" said Brown was going to be a radical right winger. Uh, wrongo, Malkin: I didn't say that and I'm a lefty. I said Scott Brown's no Sarah Palin right at the time many were carried away with the comparison.

I was right.

Senator Scott Brown ran on a jobs campaign and he's sticking to it. Brown said to WRKO Radio in Boston that he spent time making sure that it didn't cost a lot of tax dollars and that it actually worked. "People are confused. I challenge anyone to actually read the bill."

What's unfortunate is the myopic view of the people flooding his Facebook page with negative comments like these:

John Tanguay: Spoken like a true politician! Next time we'll just have to seek out the best candidate to get the job done...whether they want the job or not. These empty suits that are stepping up with their own interests in mind, hoping to get a lucrative book deal, need to be shown the door!

Kathy Watters I hang my head !!!!!!!! I had hope
19 minutes ago · Report

Gary Withrow It did not take him long to toe the line...And I actually thought he was the real deal. I pray that it was just a rookie mistake, but I am not holding out any hope. ALL politicians are just puppets representing BIG interest and not the PEOPLE.
19 minutes ago · Report

The new battle cry of the American people that want to take their country back should be: NO POLITICIANS NEED APPLY!!!!
19 minutes ago · Report

When the unemployment problem subsides and the underemployment rate reduces over time, it will be interesting to see what those angry voters have to say.

Stay tuned.

Birth Certificate Issue: "Negroid" removed from Houston documents

This news came to this blogger via a tweet on Twitter during the Robert Pattinson controversy, where the Twilight star and Jenny Lumet, who interviewed him for the upcoming March issue of Details Magazine, used the word Negro in a way that's at best questionable. Mr. Pattinson was reported to have asked "What if we were 'acting' like 'Negroes'?"

According to FOX 26 Television in Houston, Texas, Black Houstonians so don't like the word - y "Negroid" - which brings up negative images which date back to slavery - they worked for two decades to have it removed from their birth certificates. FOX Houston tells of a Kathryn Patterson, who believed making the change to her son'e birth certificate was just a simple matter of a phone call; she was wrong.

Her battle, when it was broadcast, started a lot of calls by other black Houstonians who had the same problem. After FOX 26' intervention, the State of Texas announced they would remove the word "Negroid" from the many birth certificates that had the it on them. Here's the FOX video:

FOX went to Visiting Professor Dr. Michael Tillotson at The University of Houston who specializes in African Studies for his view on the Negroid Birth Certificate controversy. Dr. Tillotson said...

"Unless a person was living in a cave or tomb it would be hard to miss the negative connotations. The word has been out of usage so long. So you have to beg the question 'Why is it being used and why is it allowed to be used?"

That's exactly the point this blogger was making in the case of Robert Pattinson. Negro or Negroid, it doesn't matter, but the World would have been better off if neither had it in their mind to use the word, let alone talk about how "Negroes" act.

YouTube to drop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) March 13th 2010

In a bit of news this blogger cheers, YouTube reports that it is to drop support for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) March 13th 2010. According to Computerworld, YouTube put Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) "kill efforts" on the outdated browser and leads an industry-wide effort to do so. Even Microsoft, which created Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) is part of the effort.

(As a note, YouTube will also stop support for 2005's Safari 2.x, 2006's Firefox 2.x and 2009's Chrome 3.x, according to Computerworld.)

The problem with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) is that it's not designed to handle the rich media content - video, etc. - that comes with today's media. But many users - perhaps yourself - do not upload and use newer browsers like FireFox or Safari or Opera.

This blogger recommends Opera because that browser does not use a lot of your computer's memory - what's called a "memory leak problem." FireFox and Safari have this problem but still handle rich media well.

But dump Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).

Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne to collaborate

According to MTV, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne will collaborate, but Bieber's said he has to wait until Lil Wayne's released from jail. The possibility of a Jusin Bieber / Lil Wayne team up was pointed to on Bieber's Twitter account here:

2:12 PM Feb 22nd via web
Retweeted by 100+ people

And by Lil Wayne himself mentioned it at a USTREAM live session. Lil Wayne was to have reported for sentencing in February but that was delayed to March 2nd because of a dental work procedure. And on March 30th, Lil Wayne is to report to an Arizona court for sentencing related to a drug and weapons charge.

This blogger still holds the view that just throwing Lil Wayne in the slammer, rather than having him make music that discourages the crimes he's charged with, is a waste of tax payer dollars...

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Robert Pattinson and "Negroes" - an update

In the Robert Pattinson Interview in the March issue of Details (which is sure to fly off the magazine racks after this week considering the appearance of "vaginas" and "Negroes") this blogger focused on why both the interviewer Jenny Lumet and her subject, the Twilight star that is Robert Pattinson, seemed transfixed on using the word "Negro" and in a way that would cause anyone to ask "what does he mean by saying "What if we were 'acting' like 'Negroes'?"

The objective of writing the blog post wasn't traffic - a better choice is to focus on the relationship obert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart. It was to address their actions that were troubling to this blogger. It's of no concern that a million people may disagree; wrong is wrong.

No one should suffer the indignity of reading an interview with a major star and feel placed on the "outside" of society because that star makes a statement that implies the "other", or "Negroes", are less than the mainstream in society. That is the perspective I took going into this issue. Moreover, it's the same one that prompted Dior Noir's blog post over at BET.

It doesn't matter if it's a group of white girls who participated in a black fraternity and sorority "step" competition and won, only to hear a rain of "boos" from a black audience, or Robert Pattinson and Jenny Lumet's use of the term Negro in the context in Details, the presentation of someone else as "the other" as if that were a bad thing is wrong. It must stop.

Robert Pattinson fans have presented evidence that he does have African American friends, and that's fantastic, but (as a person who's has many friends who occasionally blast a racial epithet) what Pattinson said is still wrong.

Reportedly Robert Pattinson's to appear on The View March 2nd. Considering Whoopi Goldberg's thoughtful candor, that episode will be one to watch.

The CVS Caremark / CVS Pharmacy expired products problem

CVS Caremark Corp is a large national corporation which operated over 7,000 US drugstores under the name CVS Pharmacy. CVS Caremar Corp, or "CVS", or "CVS Pharmacy" for this blog post, has been the focus of lawsuits by state attorney generals in Connecticut and in New York for selling expired products, according to the Boston Globe.

In California, CVS Caremark was the focus of California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who in June of 2009, negotiated a $975,000 settlement of a civil lawsuit with CVS Pharmacy along with an agreement to give $2 coupons to anyone who found expired products on their shelves, and designates a toll-free number to call to report such items.

Now, there's a charge from a reliable source that CVS (formerly Long’s Drug stores in California) as well as Krogers, Ralphs, and other major chain stores are selling ‘diverted’ or grey market products that may counterfeited.

In some cases, the claim is the California consumer is even getting products that can be dangerous.

“Diverters” are companies are selling these stores products that have been diverted from their intended sales point or they may even be selling counterfeit products.

If this turns out to be the case, CVS will again be in violation of the same California laws under the Business and Professions Code 17200 and the Civil Code 1798.81 by misleading customers.

On August 14th of 2009, the Modesto Bee wrote wrote that a number of county district attorneys, including Stanislaus San Joaquin, Sacramento, San Bernardino and Solano counties have joined in the statewide lawsuit against several national retailers who stock beauty supplies alleged to violate California environmental law.

That lawsuit, originally brought by the District Attorney of Stanislaus County, sought penalties of at least $17 million, with amounts to be levied based on each day a prohibited hair product is offered for sale, according to court papers. The case also named Longs Drug Stores, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Ralphs, among other defendants.

That lawsuit named a New Jersey company, Pro Choice Beauty Care Inc, that provides the products to the retail stores — without approval from the brand manufacturers. It is unclear how clear where Pro's Choice Beauty Care Inc. gets its products. It is believed to be a “diverter” of products.

The hair products that were being sold were found to contain elevated levels of smog-forming volatile organic compounds, state environmental authorities said, according to the Modesto Bee.
Stay tuned for more information as this story unfolds both here in the Bay Area and around California. I've made several calls to sources; I expect follow-ups soon.

Tiger Woods reportedly sends apology letter to daughter's school

According to Florida television station WFTV, Tiger Woods has "offered another apology" and this one to the parents of children at the school his 2-year-old daughter attends. Here's what WFTV reported on it's own website:

WFTV reported on its Web site that it has obtained a letter that Woods and his wife, Elin, wrote to parents of children attending the school to apologize for increased media scrutiny around the school.
"We hope that the paparazzi will find something better to do with their time in the near future," the letter said.
Media coverage around Woods and his family has been intense since the Nov. 27 accident outside his home led to revelations that the world's No. 1 golfer had been cheating on his wife. Woods did not make his first public appearance until Friday at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla..
Woods' wife did not attend his nationally televised appearance, and photographers were seen outside the Premier Academy that day. WFTV says an off-duty sheriff's deputy has been hired to sit outside the school.

WFTV did not explain when the letter was sent or show a copy of it. Moreover, WFTV writes the account as if it was from another television station. It took the Associated Press version of the story about its report, and reposted it on its own website.


Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods apology poll - 39 percent aren't convinced

In the Tiger Woods apology poll conducted on the very day Tiger Woods gave his famous and widely seen apology, there have been 133 votes cast.

While the sample size needs to be larger to be more relevant, the current results are that 39 percent - the majority in the poll - aren't convinced that Tiger Woods was honest.

The response itself may be an indication that overall the public's tired of the news of Tiger Woods affairs, it's even evident that the once automatic buzz generated by the Tiger Woods mistresses has greatly diminished. Still, the poll records on.

The overall results thus far:

1) 39 percent are not convinced
2) 23 percent think the Tiger Woods speech was not necessary
3) 23 percent think he said the right things
4) 12.78 percent think it was honest, but are taking a wait and see position
5) .75 percent think he should have had his wife by his side.

The last one's interesting. Count this blogger as one who thinks Tiger Woods said the right things in his speech. But it would have been much better for him to have his wife Elin Nordegren there with him. It was a mistake to go forward without her.

Here's the Tiger Woods speech poll:

create text & photo polls on

Stay tuned.

American Red Cross explains unallocated Haiti donations in blog

The matter of the unallocated $175 million in American Red Cross Haiti donations focused on earlier, finally received attention via the American Red Cross' own blog, which this blogger happened to visit Tuesday. The post, written by Gloria Huang, reads as follows:

Recently, we’ve been seeing some confusion from readers and bloggers online about the allocation of funds for Haiti relief. We would like to clarify how our Haiti relief funds are being used and how we are planning for their allocation in the future.

In just over a month, the American Red Cross has already spent or allocated $80 million of the $276 million donated to meet the most urgent needs of Haiti’s earthquake survivors.

The $80 million allocated so far has gone towards immediate relief for Haitians – 69% for food and water, 20% for shelter, and 11% for health and family services. The remaining $196 million will be spent as the Red Cross continues to focus on finding communities and populations in need in Haiti in order to give them the things they can use to survive this difficult situation.

Every donated dollar will be spent on relief in Haiti; because of the generosity of our donors, people in Haiti will receive resources, support and training from the Red Cross that will help them recover and rebuild in the years ahead.

The error, then, is in the initial American Red Cross report, which still reads as follows:

Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross has raised approximately $255 million for the Haiti relief and recovery efforts. To date, it has spent or committed $80 million, with approximately 69 percent of the funds spent or committed for food and water; 20 percent for shelter; and 11 percent for health and family services. As the response progresses and recovery begins, the Red Cross will continue to support these priority areas and longer-term assistance initiatives.

The words "spent or committed $80 million" are what caught this blogger's attention. Note that the report fails to mention $175 million or $196 million for that matter. It was done only after attention was brought to the problems in the American Red Cross report by me.

Since then I've received a number of interesting emails and phone calls. Look, of an estimated $644 million raised for Haiti relief, one company, the American Red Cross, is responsible for one-third of that. Someone told me that the real reason for the omission of the $175 million was that when a person donated online they had to specifically designate where their money was going; if they did not click "Haiit", the donation went to the Red Cross' International Response Fund. The caller claims the International Response Fund money does not go to Haiti.

This link is to the donations page - DONATE. Note that Haiti is one of several choices. So the question is this: is the $175 million or now $196 million really donations just taken in, and only $80 million was captured because some donors clicked on the "Haiti" tag? And why doesn't the American Red Cross have a specific webpage and link button just for Haiti?

To this eye, it seems that the ARC is trying to use the Haiti issue to increase all of its donor coffers, not just that for Haiti.

So this matter's still open and is getting even more interesting. What's really funny is that because some disagree with these posts, and may be paid by the American Red Cross to respond to them via comments on the blog, they reach for the "wouldn't a journalist..." blast. That always happens when they don't agree. I remind them that I'm a blogger, far beyond a journalist. Bloggers have to mention their biases and can't hide behind the statements of false "experts". Bloggers - video or text - make it happen. Bloggers - especially video-bloggers - rock.