Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA v Algeria World Cup: Oakland cheers Landon Donovan goal

It could be said that the USA's win over Algeria in this morning's World Cup Soccer match caused the Toronto Earthquake. Indeed, you would be excused if you thought that the Toronto Earthquake happened because of USA Soccer Star Landon Donovan's monsterous goal. While Donovan's goal didn't start an earthquake, it did send America into hysterics, and that was certainly evident in Oakland, California.

Pure Joy in Oakland
The Era Art Bar on Grand Avenue and Broadway was the crowded scene, with people cheering for the USA and for Algeria. In fact, there was a health contingent of Algerian fans lined along one wall of The Era Art Bar. It was a friendly place to be, though, as people stood and sat with eyes glued to the TV sets at the bar.

The game went back and forth, and it looked like the USA and Algeria would both be eliminated as neither scored a goal for most the contest. Plus, again, the USA had a goal taken away from them for an offsides call that wasn't, causing many to remember the USA Slovenia match. (FIFA really needs to install Instant Replay!)

But then at 90 minutes stoppage time, the energy in the room changed as the USA came charging down the field toward the Algeria goal. You could feel the room swell with excitement. Then, after one kick attempt failed, Landon Donovan swooped in to slam the ball home! USA scored and won 1 - 0.

The room erupted with cheers of USA! USA! USA! That goal and the USA win was a great way to start a Wednesday. The USA advances to the field of sixteen. But can't we just win one outright without it being a nail-biter?

Stay tuned!

General Stanley McChrystal ousted by Obama over Rolling Stone blast

Stanley's out 
Embattled General Stanley McChrystal was "ready to resign" his position Tuesday according to The Huffington Post. Today, Wednesday, President Obama gave him a helping hand by pushing him out of the door.

General McChrystal and his staff were the focus of an exposive Rolling Stone Magazine article called "The Runaway General" which has not yet hit the newsstands. Excerpts presented in this space on Tuesday paint a picture of a general who's more like King Kong than Douglas MacArthur, especially in his view toward civilian officials, most notably the President of The United States, who he described as "intimidated" by top military brass in an initial meeting.

The quotes add up to a climate of almost total disrespect for the civilian military officers selected by President Obama, as well as for Obama himself. Here's Obama announcing that he's accepted McChrystal's resignation:

President Obama replaced General Stanley McChrystal with the well-repected and well-liked General David Petraeus, who understands how to cultivate power, unlike General McChrystal, who may be out of the military altogether.

Obama is a tough guy

There's a weird perception that President Obama's not "tough" and is "weak" but that view is a myth. For example, some may be surprised to learn that President Obama has ordered the murder of Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, by using the C.I.A.'s Covert Drone Program, according to New York Magazine.

That fact was couched in a joke that Obama tossed out at this year's White House Correspondents Dinner when he said he had two words for The Jonas Brothers regarding the dating availability of Obama's daughters: "predator drones."

It can be said that those two words could have applied to General Stanley McChrystal. Obama did the right thing by getting rid of him. The President had to send a clear message that he's in charge and he will be not just respected but feared. Things were getting a little out of hand in Stanley McChrystal's office. That will not happen with General David Petraeus at the helm.


Toronto Earthquake felt in Western New York and southern Ontario

A few months back when this space was reporting on the record number of large earthquakes the World has experienced this year, some complained that the blog posts were just a scare tactic to gain Internet traffic. Tell that to the people in the Toronto Earthquake and those all along the Northeastern United States who felt it.

Toronto was hit by a 5.0 Richter Scale Earthquake today that started near the Ontario-Quebec border and reportedly shook parts of upstate New York and Ohio as well as Chicago, Cleveland and Indiana.

New York Blogger Suzannah B. Troy shares her view and experience with today's 5.0 Toronto Earthquake (and talks about the USA's World Cup win, too):

Why was the Toronto Earthquake felt over such a large region? The U.S. Geological Survey explains that a quake in the Northeastern United States "can be felt over an area as much as 10 times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the West Coast."

With all of these large (over 4) earthquakes occurring in 2010, there's got to be something going on.

Stay tuned.

The Green Hornet Movie Trailer shows promising remake of classic

The Black Beauty
As a kid in the 1960s, The Green Hornet was one of this bloggers favorite television shows. The reason wasn't the character of Britt Reid / The Green Hornet, or Kato, played by Bruce Lee. It was because of the car: The Black Beauty. A cool, lethal vehicle that plays a starring role in the 2011 big screen remake The Green Hornet.

If the recently released trailer is a decent representation of what to expect from the film, it's going to be a hit, and The Black Beauty will be its star.

The Green Hornet stars Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chao, Tom Wilkinson, and Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz in what can be described as an "origin" picture which will explain how The Green Hornet came to be. Here's the video trailer:

While the movie is obviously set in modern America, what remains as the connection to its 1960s TV past is the Chrysler Imperial that is converted to become The Black Beauty. It's a car that Chrysler should make for purchase today (without the machine guns, of course); it would turn around that car maker's fortunes overnight.

As was the case when a kid, I'll see The Green Hornet for the car first, then for Cameron Diaz.

Rock the Casbah!

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums says Mayor's job can be done "anywhere"

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums
The San Francisco Chronicle's lead story in the newspaper edition has the not-good-SEO title, "Just before budget deadline, Dellums weighs in," and has Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums looking every bit like the leader he wants you to think he is.

One photo features Mayor Dellums giving a "you lookin' at me" stare at someone. Another photo has Mayor Dellums with his hands clasped together as if he's the all-knowing seer-in-charge.

All of that's great PR for Mayor Dellums, that is until he speaks: I'm the master strategist," Dellums said according to Matthai Kuruvila at "My job is to establish strategy, to establish the policy framework within which those negotiations would take place. And I have assiduously and diligently and coherently done just that."

Really, that comments' OK. A mayor's supposed to be a cheerleader for his own actions. But then Dellums gets a little weird. "I have been briefed to the max. It would seem to me that to the most casual observer, that I'm totally in command of what it is we're trying to do. My job is to direct."

Visions of a statute of Mayor Dellums come to mind at this point, with Dellums right arm and extended index finger pointing the way.

That would seem to be enough, but then the Mayor goes off on an existential rant, saying "In the world of computers and the world of telephones and the world of faxes, you can do this job anywhere."

What's that? Let's look at the quote one more time:

"In the world of computers and the world of telephones and the world of faxes, you can do this job anywhere."

That means Mayor Ron Dellums can be outside of Oakland, in, say, Paris drinking coffee at an Internet cafe on the L'Avenue des Champs Elysées, and still run Oakland from his laptop. Right?

Let's take that example.

While drinking coffee Mayor Dellums gets a call from one of his aides that a child was killed by a stray bullet in Oakland. The cafe happens to have a World Cup game on in the background. The family of the boy would like Mayor Dellums to come and say a few words of support and bring life back to a neighborhood that needs a lift.

Mayor Dellums says "Uh. Ok. Uh. What should I do?" The aide suggests using USTREAM, a computer, and a projector to make a live stream of the Mayor issuing soothing remarks to the people at the church in Oakland. The Mayor says, "Good idea."

Within two hours, the system is set. The family thinks the Mayor's Office's idea is a little weird, but goes along with it. After all, at least the Mayor's doing something.

The Mayor starts by saying "Today, marks a dark day in Oakland," as he sits in sunny Paris, France. "One of Oakland's young was taken from us today. But we will not let his passing or the way it happened dampen our sprit! We will lift Oakland up in the name of this boy! We will...

Then someone in the background and in the cafe yells "GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!"

I think you get the idea.

A Mayor has to be in their town to not just run it, but be there for the people of it. Oakland is not a city a Mayor can run effectively from Paris, France, or Mongolia for that matter. To be a good Mayor of Oakland, the person must be in Oakland and with its people as much as possible.

Mayor Dellums, the coffee in Oakland's just as good as the coffee in France.

Earthquake Canada shakes NYC + Soceer + Taylor indicted by Suzannah B. Troy

Time for the NYC round-up live from New York!   The USA soccer team won!   There were loud screams of joy I witnessed and show you for a mili-second here in NYC.   If you felt your home shaking here in NYC and it wasn't from passionate love or a subway line running under your home than it must have been the 5.5 magnitude earthquake from Southern Ontario, Canada.

I think it was about 1986, I remember feeling slight tremors from an earthquake so it wouldn't be a first for New Yorkers.

On to sad bad news.  LT, Lawrence Taylor was indicted for having sexual intercourse and oral sex with a minor.  The New York Post wrote this, "Taylor, 51, a Hall of Famer with a drug-plagued past, was slapped with felony rape, misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and other charges in the May 6 incident."
and this as well.

 Taylor's agent, Mark Lepselter, told The Post today, "The bottom line is, there was no surprise" from the indictment. "We weren't blind-sided."  

How ironic is that statement about being "blind-sided" when Taylor is the crown jewel of the best selling book and film that won Sandra Bullock an Oscar and proved she was blind sided when it came to her cheating husband.  Ironic for Taylor because he could have ridden the wave of the success of "The Blind Side" which  pays tribute to him in the opening lines of the film but instead he road his way in to self destruction, yet again.

I feel most sorry for the young woman that was exploited and pray she achieves her dreams and or at least is safe among friends..

The New York Post reports New Yorkers think government, Albany and I will add in City Hall, stinks!

On to happy news.  I have more footage of Giuseppi Logan who will be playing a gig at the 5C Cultural Center Sunday at 5:30.  GIuseppi composed and played sax on his two successful albums by ESP records in the 1960's before he self destructed and disappeared.  But I filmed him 2 years ago in Tompkins Square Park and he is no longer lost but on the road to redemption late in life.  He has a new album, his first since the 1960's and the album is well received.

Giuseppi Logan is playing the piano in Tompkins Square Park. The piano is there as part of a program called "Arts Activism in Action."  Volunteer, Gary Newton unlocked the piano so Giuseppi Logan could play.  I am told GL played the bag pipes, flute, sax, clarinet and piano.

He told me he wished he had a piano in his home.

Right now we can't even get his phone up and working.  Hope to have that resolved soon.

My YouTube documentary playlist