Friday, January 29, 2010

001 - California lawmakers want to take free parking away from you

No free parking? This article in the LA Times has a number of people up in arms. Apparently California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D- Long Beach) wants cities to reduce the availability of free parking. And just as the City of Oakland's thrown a parking choke chain around Oaklanders. His proposal won Senate approval. He says this:

"Free parking has significant social, economic and environmental costs. It increases congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."

It's this - wanting to take away free parking - that's the kind of stupid squeezing of Californians during what is now a jobless recovery that will doom Democrats in November. Lowenthal has the backing of the Sierra Club, which picked the wrong issue to wade into, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The bill reportedly provides financial incentives for cities and counties to stop providing free parking on the street.

The question is, will it provide campaign financing for any Democrat who backs it. The ones who do will get a swift ticket out of office in California. It's really just a money grab dressed up as an environmental concern.

Stay tuned.

001- Bank of America website is down as of 12:17 PST

Wow, the website for the Bank of America really is down as of this writing. After a long load time, the result is "page not available". Moreover, it looks like the servers are not responding and their may be what's called a "DNS" (Domain Name System) problem. The reason for that assertion is the logo links do not come up in the page that you see below:

So, even with the special page Bank of America page, we can aee what looks like a DNS issue. We can't browse, and B of A may be getting numbers but not pages. The DNS system is supposed to convert number codes into the readable webpages we're all know. This blogger's bet is that's not happening.

The question is why?

The impact is that millions of people around the World can't get in to see their accounts. However, it does not appear to be impacting account transactions offline. For example, credit and debt cards my friends have are working as of this writing.

As of 12:17 PST, the Bank of America website is still down. A cyber attack has not been determined as the cause of the problem.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Library: novelist Daniel Alarcon event Saturday-007

We love you Oakland Library - Oakland Word kickoff Sat with award-winning authors; free creative writing workshops this Spring

Finally write your novel, poem, blog, essay - with the brand new **and free** Oakland Word creative writing workshops. Program jumps off this Sat, Jan. 30 at 1pm at the Oakland Public Library Main Branch, 125 14th St. Words and music by award-winning novelist DANIEL ALARCÓN, author of Lost City Radio and War by Candlelight, poet and writer TENNESSEE REED, author of Spell Albuquerque: Memoir of a “Difficult” Student and multiple poetry collections, Oakland Word instructors, LINDA GONZÁLEZ, CLAIRE LIGHT, CARRIE LEILAM LOVE and BISOLA MARIGNAY, beats by DJ MAX CHAMP

***The party is free and open to the public.***

More details from organizers:

To provoke dialogue and encourage creativity among underrepresented youths and adults, the Oakland Public Library is offering free writing workshops during the months of February and March. The program, called Oakland Word, launches Saturday, January 30, at 1 p.m. with a kick-off party at the Main Library, 125 14th Street, in Oakland.

During the first of two sessions, a variety of Oakland Word workshops will be available at three Library locations, starting February 3 and concluding March 6:

Asian Branch, 388 9th Street (238-3400)

§ Intro to Writing Short Fiction (Fridays, 4 – 5:30 pm)

§ Writing Life Stories (Saturdays, 4 – 5:30 pm)

§ Teens: Blogging 101 Seminar (one day only: Saturday, March 6, 12:30 – 3:30 pm)

Cesar E. Chavez Branch, 3301 East 12th Street, Ste. 271 (535-5620)

§ Urban Fiction: Elements of Short Story Writing (Saturdays, 2:15 – 3:45 pm)

§ Take Charge of Your Work: Career Development (Saturdays, 4 – 5: 30 pm)

Main Library, 125 145th Street (238-3134)

§ Life Stories in Poetry and Prose (Thursdays, 6 – 7:30 pm)

§ Writing and Speaking Word: Poetry and Spoken Word (Saturdays, 3:30 – 5 pm)

§ Soul Song: Song Writing Seminar (one day only: Sunday, Feb. 28, 2 – 5 pm)

§ Literature of Oakland: Reading & Writing about Oakland Public Library (Wednesdays, 6 – 7:30 pm)

§ From the Heart: Love Poetry Seminar (one day only: Sunday, Feb. 14, 2 – 5 pm)

Courses at Chávez Branch will be taught by bilingual (fluent in Spanish and English) instructors. Some Asian Branch classes will be held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, upstairs from the Asian Branch Library, at 388 Ninth Street, Suite 290 (call Asian Branch at 238-3400 for information).

A second session will begin in March and conclude in late April (details about class offerings are forthcoming).

Oakland Word is funded by a grant from the California State Library

Anyone interested in participating in the Oakland Word writing workshops will need to register in advance. For information, call (510) 238-6572 or email Information is also available online at For information in Spanish, call the Chávez Branch (535-5620).

Obama SOTU: Red State's "cocky" word of White Supremacists is not Sci Fi

Red State's Erick Erickson, now identified as one of Thursday's "Worst Person's in The World" by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, was given a chance to walk back what this blogger identified as his really misguided and historically racist application of the word "cocky" to describe how President Obama delivered his State of The Union Address Wednesday night.

Indeed, since his blog post compares to that from a forum member of the White Supremacist Group, Stormfront, you'd think he would be eager to reconsider what I had hoped would have been an off-handed, beer-fueled, post television party blog statement.

Erick Erickson not only failed to do that, he actually slammed his head right into what for me is an even bigger problem: his total lack of understanding of The Star Wars Saga.

In his latest RedState post, Erickson brings up the scene in Star Wars - Episode Four: A New Hope, where Han Solo says to a young Luke Skywalker "Don't get cocky" as an example, of how Erick was using the term "cocky".

And that's exactly my point. Erick, I know George Lucas (we met at Aqua four years ago and for the second time, and only San Francisco locals or well traveled people reading this will know that establishment) and thus by extension I know Han Solo.

Erick Erickson, you're no Han Solo.

Han Solo was trying to tell Luke Skywalker to know his place in the scheme of things. Han Solo was trying to tell Luke Skywalker not to get too big for his pants. Thus, the word "cocky".

Han Solo is not a racist because he never told Lando Calrissian to not "get cocky", and Lando's black. Indeed, Han Solo was smart enough to know that he would need Lando's help, and got it in Star Wars - Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back and in Star Wars - Episode Six: Return of The Jedi, shown here:

Han Solo and Lando Calrissian were good friends in life and in business. They were equals with complementary skills. Han Solo would never tell Lando Calrissian to know his place, because to douse Lando's fire, to try and "box in" his personality would have threatened Han Solo's life.

This never occurred to Erick Erickson because he apparently only sees African Americans as "less than" and can't stand that America has a black man as president. I make this assertion because Erickson called President Obama's Nobel Prize win an "Affirmative Action Quota Pick" and he thought it was funny.

I'm not laughing; it's disgusting. And it's why I stand by my assertion that Erick Erickson's "cocky" statement to insult President Obama was used in the same way that members of the White Supremacist Group Stormfront would do, and have done as I demonstrated in my original blog post. Indeed, Erickson's unfortunately allowed himself to be painted by others as a racist, let's hope and pray he's not proud of the charge.

Racism is a mental illness to be treated, not fostered or celebrated.

If Erick Erickson wants lessons in how to have friends of different colors without putting them down, there are two people he should consult: Han Solo and me.

Stay tuned.