Thursday, July 08, 2010

Oscar Grant verdict: Mehserle involuntary manslaughter sparks protest

Oakland, California is now what it hates most: the center of attention in America for a reason it does not want: the Oscar Grant verdict.

Former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not 2nd degree murder, or 1st degree murder as many had desired.

The announcement of the ruling had many looking for Oakland to erupt in a wave of violence and property damage that didn't happen while the Sun was up.

These three videos below show the giant, peaceful protest, which started on the corner of 14th and Broadway and with one-fifth of its ranks being members of the media, and was moved into the middle of 14th and Broadway. The result was the largest peaceful, traffic-stopping protest ever held in downtown Oakland.

This first video shows what happened just before the street protest:

The second video is from the middle of the protest at 14th and Broadway:

The third video features a the dramatic raising of an enormous flag on the street pole at the Northeast corner of 14th and Broadway that reads "Oakland Says Guilty."

The general view shared was many were proud of Oakland for having a protest without violence. That was until the Oakland Police and The California Highway Patrol got antsy and decided to do something.

That something was to move in and essentially work to compress the crowd, with predictably ugly results. This blogger went to upload the first set of videos, which is why that chaos is not represented in the videos you will see. And with that, what happened was not on the scale of 2009. The question many are asking is why did the police take violent action when it wasn't necessary?

As I write this, I'm in a new bar called Geisha about three blocks away from 14th and Broadway. It's at 316 14th Street in Downtown Oakland.

San Francisco's Traffic Tickets Helping with Budget Problems

A recent spike in traffic tickets issued by the San Francisco Police Department, has added more than $1 million to the city’s coffers and is obviously a significant help to the budget deficit. Still, city officials claim that one thing has nothing to do with the other. “Was that some kind of plot to increase revenue for the city? I can sit here and say, absolutely not,” SFPD Deputy Chief John Murphy said. Some local residents disagree. “I think it’s out of control. It’s criminal,” said a man who works on the Broadway strip. According to Deputy Chief Murphy, the SFPD deployed a “violence reduction unit” two years ago – and that is the reason for the uptick in tickets. “So the officers were stopping the vehicles, they’re talking the conveyance away and by taking that conveyance away, they were preventing drive-by shootings.”

Journalism 101: Photo Credit & Watermarking by Nikky Raney

Episode 1: Take your own photos & do not watermark a photo that you did not take yourself. Watermarking is for photographers that do not want someone else to take credit for their images, and websites may also have watermarking for the same purpose. Always credit where you got your photo & who took it. If you cannot take the photo yourself then maybe make an infographic, graphic, or a chart of some sort to go alongside the story.

Academy (AMPAS) News: Academy expands Special or "Visual" Effects category to five

The AMPAS Building

For decades the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has presented three films for consideration for Best Special or "Visual" Effects at the Academy Awards. But that will change for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards; now there will be five nominees.

In finalizing the rules for the 2011 Oscar event and telecast at its June 22nd meeting, the AMPAS Board of Governors elected to expand the list from three to five, the most significant rule change to come out of that meeting.

Even when it was possible to have up to five Oscar nominees for Visual Effects between 1977 and 1979, only once, in 1979, were five movies actually recognized. Between 1980 and 1995, two or three films could be nominated. But by 1996, rules were changed so that exactly three could be nominated.

Why the change now? While that was not determined as of this writing, Leslie Unger, The Academy's Director of Communications, explained the process:

Each year, the various branch executive committees review the rules that govern the relevant categories. So in this case, that would be the Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. The discussion within that committee led to a recommendation to the Awards Rules Committee, which endorsed the change and subsequently recommended it to the Board of Governors.

But the new Visual Effects nomination number is not the only change to come out of the June 22nd meeting. AMPAS also elected to make the rules for for entries in the Animated Feature Film category uniform with the "greater than 40 minutes" rule that applies to the other film award areas, and the overall language was changed to read as follows:

An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.

Unger says the other rules changes added up to "housekeeping." The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Mel Gibson admits to hitting ex by Suzannah B. Troy

Mel Gibson, low life, anti-semite, racist, misogynist admits to hitting ex-girlfriend and when she was holding the baby. She caught the conversation on tape and he says as all men-hating abusers do that it was her fault and that she deserved it.

Misogyny 101: Cowardly men and their female supporters always blame the people they victimize.

Mel Gibson besides being Hollywoods most famous anti-semite, racist, misogynist is now my official choice for the head of the Hollywood Misogynist Club and that club is a big, big club.

He has also been exposed making racist comments about Hispanics.

Folks do you think this is the first time that Mel Gibson has hit a woman?  I agree.  I do not think any of this awful behavior is a first for Mel Gibson and while the victim is holding their child.   TMZ reports that his ex-said it was not the first time he hit her but I believe the behavior started a long time ago.

Mel Gibson made an anti-semitic film blaming the Jews for the murder of Christ which is not true and he refused to acknowledge that an estimated quarter of a million Jews were murdered via crucification by the Romans.  Mel Gibson is rotten to the core and he needs scapegoats to off-load his own very dark side and who is easier to scapegoat than minorities including Jews, African Americans, Women, anyone he can get away with dumping is own violent and extremely cowardly impulses on.

More on this later.

Lindsay Lohan should not get jail; Johannes Mehserle of Oscar Grant murder should

That Lindsay Lohan should go to jail for 90 days and Johannes Mehserle, who shot an unarmed Oscar Grant in the back while on top of him, should face the possibility of walking free is an outrage. Lindsay Lohan's probation violation related to so-called drug and alcohol abuse is more about Judge Marsha Revel getting more attention for herself and a lousy lawyer in Shawn Chapman Holley who seemed more intent on throwing her famous client under the bus than helping her.

While Lindsay was in France for The Cannes Film Festival, her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, got before the cameras and said that her client was partying, that it's what girls her age do, and that its something that she herself would not do. Talk about tossing your own client to the wolves! Anyone in the entertainment industry knows that its at events like Cannes that relationships are made that enhance current contracts and make new deals. Yes, that's Lindsay's world.

And this social desire to see someone famous placed behind bars when it's obvious to anyone that she was making her court dates and markedly improving her path, is nothing more than the bloodlust of a loser, slacker society that thinks the everyone should be treated exactly the same way for the same thing.

No. A person like Lil Wayne should not be in jail. He should have been sentenced to make an anti-gun song and video and album.

Lindsay's punishment should be an anti-drug PSA, not this ball-and-chain public flogging crap, where she's punished for missing a deadline she really tried to make. Please hurry up and legalize Marijuana so this silly hook-em-and-book-em can stop. If Lindsay Lohan wants to get high and drink, let her do it so she can learn a real lesson.

Complaints about racist or sexist treatment aside, it's awful to see how America has embraced not getting ahead. Our high unemployment rate is due to Americans not forming their own businesses and teaming up with people and just wanting someone to give them a check for little work, as much as it is to the off-shoring of jobs.

Don't complain about Lindsay because she's a celebrity - stop whining and fearing success; work to become known yourself.

To the extent my view pisses off America, I'm delighted. What this country needs is a swift kick in the collective pants, anyway.

Lebron James to NY Knicks, then to Chicago, then to Miami Heat

LeBron James 

Where is Lebron James going? Yesterday, it was the New York Knicks because they got Amare Stoudomire. Then Chicago got Carlos Boozer and it was LeBron taking his 23 to The Bulls. Then, overnight, the pendulum swung over to The Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Kevin Blackistone, Jason Whitlock, Ian Thomsen, good friend Monte Poole, and all the other Old Media brothers should relax. It's not Lebron James's fault everyone's interested in what team The Chosen One (let's face it, the media branded him that) is going to.

It's an Internet age, and James would be totally foolish if he wasted the eyeball opportunity on this moment. And let's face it, it's a moment we've all waited for. As this is written, LeBron's still one of the top Twitter trends. Not bad to stick there for 24 hours.

That's what life's all about: your first kiss, the prom, college parties and sex, big basketball games, getting married, your first child, and watching LeBron select his next team. Right now, it looks like that team's going to be The Miami Heat, but it seems a bit, well, stupid to take his marketing company LRMR Marketing to Miami and not New York City.

But, if US Magazine is to be believed, James is planning a big party at South Beach at the W Hotel South Beach this weekend. But for a pay cut?

The Miami Heat would reportedly pay him just $99 million and that's less than the $100 million Amare Stoudomire's getting from the New York Knicks and far less than he would get if he remained with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron can fly to Miami and live in South Beach and still play and live in New York City with the money he makes.

LeBron James to Miami? I'm not sold on that one.

Can Democrats swing a district in MN?

The FEC Quarterly reports reveal that lots of money on both sides of the Bachmann-Clark race in Minnesota's 6th District came from outside the state. Tarryl Clark raised a nearly mind-blowing $910,000 in the second quarter. But if it's all about money Michelle Bachmann's evidently got the election in hand, since she raised $2,000,000 (more than double Clark) in the same period.

Democrats better hope it's not all about money in the Minnesota 6th; they certainly know the census-based redistricting can't come in time to change the 2010 election.

Is there hope in MN?

The other side of the Twin Cities metro might be the Democrat's real hope for a pickup. GOP U.S. Representative John Kline's a low-profile guy who simply votes the party line. He has nowhere near the war-chest that Bachmann does despite the nearly identical voting record, and the MN Second District is not the Bachmann's Sixth in terms of voter demographics.

But there are rumors (in blog comments at MN Publius about the fund-raising in the 6th) Republicans had a subtle ace in the hole more effective than Bachmann's high-profile fund-raising in the 6th -- that they slipped a former Republican who voted for Bush and allegedly recently "fell into politics" past the DFL/Democrat's vetting in the 2nd, resulting in an easy opponent for Kline (if Dan Powers clears the primary.)

If Minnesota Democrats sleep through the August primary despite the real contest for the Governor's race, even Kline is safe in a district considerably more likely to swing than the sixth, and Obama will have to look elsewhere to balance the seats the GOP is likely to pick up nationwide in the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

Let's face it, with Bachmann getting national press coverage and raising twice the money?  The complaints the GOP made about Al Franken getting money from outside Minnesota will be forgotten, and her media success will have let Kline stay beneath the radar yet again, while Tarryl Clark fights the good fight in a solidly Republican district against increasingly greater focus by major GOP money.

What else have you got?

I'm doing what I can to raise the profile of former State Representative Shelley Madore prior to the primary in the Second District - she's a proven leader with a lot more in her repertoire than talking points. Madore, with endorsements by the NEA, the American Federation of Teachers, and Education Minnesota, brought common sense solutions that fostered job creation and transportation improvements to the entire region.  She's got the drive and experience to go to D.C., but thus far the media and donors are distracted by the lop-sided, quixotic drama in MN's gerry-mandered Sixth.

The Bottom Line

Just as with the Franken-Coleman Senate race, it's arguable interest from outside Minnesota dwarfs the in-state enthusiasm for political fights yet again.
Even with a remarkable 24,000 donors Clark obviously isn't getting financial support from the vast majority of Minnesotans.

In the name of full disclosure I should state that I have donated to the Clark campaign even though she's not in my district (I live in the MN Second) and to both the Madore and Powers campaigns.  But the numbers show I'm not representative in that way.

I'm also not a non-partisan striving for utterly objective reporting.  I'm opinionated. I don't think Kline represents my district neighbors well enough, so I joined Madore's staff even though she got in the race late and isn't blessed by the party insiders.

Donors control who makes it onto the ballot, because without visibility the voters don't bother. That's why special interest money happens. Now, I may or may not have persuaded you Madore's chances against Kline are better than Clark's against Bachmann, but let me be totally clear about one thing.  The bottom line really is that campaigns need money, so here's a grassroots-style idea for those of you who made it this far in my long-winded post:  Donate $10 to my favorite underdog, and $25 to another campaign you care about. That's how you make your voice matter. If not now, when? 

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

Amanda the peoples' Burden by Suzannah B. Troy

Amanda Burden is a socialite, mega millionaire with a forty million dollar trust fund for her kids and mayor Mike Bloomberg's partner in the mass displacement of what may be a record by a mayor. Amanda the peoples' Burden is city planner and the way she helps her rich developer friends it is clear this job is a hobby.

Denial is the new crack cocaine for corrupt politicos here in New York from Albany to City hall. One example is Amanda the peoples' Burden is going to speak at The American Indian Museum this morning. Let us rewind. She pushed through mass displacement of entire neighborhoods, shady zone busting deals including one with Cooper Union that even Rudy Giuliani's city planner said no, this is a shell game and she is going to pat herself on the back at The American Indian Museum?

Joining her this morning is Howard Wolfson, originally a critic of Mike Bloomberg's until Mike bought him to run his campaign and deliver the most humiliating and expensive win in NYC's history.

Mike Bloomberg than decided he would hire a group of his campaign staff with 6 figure salaries at the tax payers expensive when these vanity hires should not have happened or if Mike needed their presence so badly he should have paid out of pocket.

Denial is the new crack cocaine for politicos from Albany to NY.

I think Errol Louis wrote  piece about corruption here in NYC politics being like the United Nations in term of the diversity.

Errol Louis  has a piece today on Andrew Cuomo investigating what sounds like racism -- housing bias against blacks.

There is so much corruption being reported in both The NY Daily News  and The New York Post today here are just a few examples and one from me.  A request that the FBI investigate all 110 million dollars Mike Bloomberg spent on his campaign rather than Cy Vance, the Manhattan DA investigate just one million that Haggerty allegedly stole and by the way Mike Bloomberg wired out of his personal account instead of his campaign.  You see I believe that someone has been paid to harass me and others on YouTube by the Bloomberg campaign.  It may have started out with an intern but this guy has harassed me and others non-stop and even stole a city council member's identity as well as stealing YouTubers' identities as well.  Harassing someone on the computer is aggravated harassment and carries jail time.

The NY Daily News reports the FBI is investigating 40,000 loans to Meeks.

Fred Dicker has an exclusive on John Sampson and his $49,000 "Bruno-mobile".

NY1 reports a possible move to prevent city council from extending term limits yet again.

A new website on pension padding and folks I haven't even covered much....there is so much more much it makes it even easier to get away with....

Oh and Steve Rattner, Mike Bloomberg's money manager may be banned by the SEC for 3 years 

Here is one of my most favorite YouTube of tenants protesting the embattled Pedro Espada who by the way is being investigated for stealing mega millions.

"Justin Bieber hates Koreans" another 4chan Internet forum trick

Where did the newest Internet smear game "Justin Bieber hates Koreans" come from? The same place used to work to game the Oprah Winfrey Network TV Show competition: 4chan. The previously not well-known message board has, in two weeks, been used behind both vote-fixing campaigns.

In the case of Justin Bieber, 4chan-based hacking was behind a vote to send Bieber to North Korea as part of his "My World Tour." reports that North Korea was the largest vote getter with 625,000 votes, followed by Israel and Poland with 608,000 and 513, 073 votes respectively.

But the vote-getting effort has morphed into a more mean-spritted smear campaign. The truth is, Justin Bieber does not hate Koreans or Korea.

Will.I.Am dissed by Chelsea Handler; T.I. asked "How was prison?"

Chelsea Handler of Chelsea Lately never stops being a wonder to this space...

T.I. and Chelsea 
Chelsea Handler, not one to shy away from expressing her view, although this space still wonders what the fuss about her is for (except for the fact that she does have a great set of legs and her arms have added more muscle and less giggle), dissed Black Eye Peas Star Wil.I.Am, saying he was a "douche" and an "awful person" on a rerun of her June 28th that aired show Wednesday night.

What Handler bases her opinion on was never stated. Still, she and her comedian guests piled on with word after insulting word about Will.I.Am.

Then T.I. came on for his first visit with her since his stint in jail. Handler said T.I. makes her "so horny" and her first question to him was "How was prison?" which was totally hilarious. Their exchange was so natural it was hard to tell if they really did date or not, as Chelsea's constant flirting implied. T.I. gave her a large bottle of Remy Martin and said he was coming out with his own label. The news prompted Chelsea to say "A black guy coming out with his own bottle label. Now that's new."

Ok, that was funny; so what was their last exchange like, the one before T.I. went to prison? On his YouTube channel T.I. wrote "This is my interview with Chelsea Lately. Yeah I know she touched my ass. Damn this girl is funny!"

What's interesting is that T.I. was a bit more guarded and tight with her the first time; on Wednesday he was lose and relaxed - almost a different person.

You know, I have to agree with T.I., Chelsea Handler is funny. She's got a very quick wit. I have to admit, the first time I saw her show, I wasn't impressed, but she's gotten a lot better at it.

Chelsea's growing on me, as long as she stays in the gym and wears the skirts, she's just fine.