Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oakland Mayor's Race: Perata Out Of League of Women Voters Forum

An update to an earlier post. Former State Senator Don Perata's Campaign Representative Rhys Williams confirms that the mayoral candidate will not attend the September 23rd League of Women Voters Forum.

The forum, that the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and other business groups approached the League Of Women Voters to do, has what can be described as a bizantine set of criteria designed to exclude certain candidates.

Don Perata will not attend LWV Forum 
It's a format the Oakland League of Women Voters did not want to do, but for some reason elected to go ahead with, even though the "League" warned the business group representatives that it would be perceived negatively.

Don Perata has rightly taken the position that he would not attend any forum that excludes mayoral candidates.

There's another forum planned for the same evening that is open to all candidates. The League should jettison it's plans for a September 23rd Forum.

Stay tuned.

Mayor Daley Will Not Run: Chicago Without Daley? Unthinkable

Mayor Daley 
Wow. Mayor Richard J. Daley Jr., is done? Chicago without Daley is unthinkable. For 35 of my 48 years on Earth, Chicago has been ran by a Daley. After Richard M. Daley steps down, no longer.

When this blogger was born on August 4th 1962, Chicago's Mayor was Richard J. Daley. He had already served as Mayor since 1955. In Mayor Daley Senior's Chicago, the subway expansion effectively connected the Northside and the Southside, a new McCormick Place Convention Center rose to replace the one that burned down, and a city that once called itself The Second City, slowly started to think of itself as first.

When Daley Sr. passed of a heart attack in 1974, it seemed as if Chicago itself stopped working. There was the disaster that was Janye Byrne's time as Mayor. And before that, there was Michael Bilandic, who's inability to deal with a massive snow storm cost him the 1978 election.

The one bright spot between the Daleys, Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago's first black Mayor, passed of a heart attack in 1987. Then Daley Jr. ran for election in 1989, and served for 20 years.

Over that span of time, Mayor Daley oversaw the transformation of my hometown from a manufacturing city to a service city, with the North Loop developed into a major site of small boutique firms and hip restaurants.

Chicago completed its long standing, ambitious plan to redevelop the lakefront. And Chicago became a city to be in, rather than a city to pass through.

Yes, it has it's crime problems. But overall, the Chicago of today is better than the Chicago of 20 years ago. Much of that credit has to go to "Richy Jr."

ESPN's Adam Schefter Says Tom Brady Contract Rumor Is Wrong

Adam Schefter
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who correctly tweeted that ESPN's Tim Cowlishaw was wrong about the timing of the signing of Darelle Rivas, scores again today.

On Twitter, Schefter reported that The Boston Herald's claim that Tom Brady was very close to signing to a three-year contract extension with the New England Patriots reportedly for $58 million, was wrong.

Adam Schefter tweeted:

Aware of Brady-contract talk. But two knowledgeable people say reports of deal being in place are "inaccurate" and "wrong". We'll see.    about 7 hours ago via web     Retweeted by 30 people

In an update at SBNation.com, Adam was reported to have said that a Tom Brady contract would be done in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned.

Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S for T-Mobile An iPhone Killer

This blogger was eligible for a T-Mobile upgrade and purchased the new Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S. Now, as a former iPhone owner, the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S looks and feels so much like an iPhone, there's no longer a desire to have one.

I really hate AT&T for how they unethically handled my billing situation when I had an iPhone (charging a constant monthly rate of $1,033.36, admitting it was wrong, then trying to reverse the admission). So, owning the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S and blogging happily about it and T-Mobile is sweet revenge.

What I like about the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S that I didn't like about my iPhone at the time was how the iPhone would accidentally come on with just the right brush of the front cover. Not so the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S.

I also like its super-bright display and video. I'm having issues uploading large files to YouTube, but that will be resolved soon.

I highly recommend the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy-S.

Oakland Mayor's Race: League of Women Voters Unethical Forum

The latest news in the Oakland Mayor's Race has the Oakland League of Women Voters still sticking to it's decision to exclude Oakland Mayoral Candidates from its September 23rd forum and for a booya-boogie list of reasons explained before in this space. This, after the Sierra Club opened its previously restricted forum to all candidates.

The lack of Oakland League of Women Voters cooperation to open its September 23rd Forum leads this blogger to ask if the LVW is being paid off by certain elements of the Oakland Business Community, specifically, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, not to have an open forum?

Given my conversations with a number of people, payoff can come in different forms, like forum sponsorship.

Since I was told that the League Of Women Voters was approached by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce to have a restrictive forum, it's fair to assert that for all practical purposes a payoff was in play. Otherwise, the LVW would have said "no" to the Oakland Chamber's desires, and had an open forum. The Oakland LWV knows the risks at hand in having a closed, or "fixed" forum, yet they're going to do it anyway!

Fixed? Yes. Anytime you have a set of rules designed to exclude candidates, that's the same as "fixing" the forum. I said the "grassroots" effort to get more donations wasn't going to work, and here's my proof in this email from Oakland Mayor's Race candidate Don Macleay:

The LOWV should open their event to all candidates

Dear League of Women Voters, Oakland Branch,

I am writing with concern about the event you have planned for Sept 23rd.
My concern is about the “viability” standards I have received as a requirement to participate as a candidate in this event.

It is my firmly held belief that all ballot qualified candidates should be allowed to participate.

If you do not believe that so many people should be on the ballot, then just say so and advocate a change in the city charter.

We did not respond to your “qualification test” because we do not feel that there should be any other criteria than that of the City of Oakland.

It was my understanding that the Oakland branch of the League of Women Voters had the missions of INCLUDING and INFORMING the public away from our money dominated, media advertizing politics. The “viability” standards seem to be based only on media, money, and existing political connections. Do you now want to make sure that some people get exposure and others do not? It does not really matter what your intention is, that will be the effect. Now one place where all candidates were to be given a chance to make their case in front of the public and see their message distributed by the broadcast media has become one more place where the citizen candidate has been excluded.

The current press coverage is already strongly biased towards a pay-to-play model of politics which creates a self fulfilling prophecy of who is viable. The public is poorly served by the press which has done nothing to inform the public of their choices in this election. Why has the Oakland branch of the League of Women Voters become part of that process that does not fully inform the public?

Other events have taken place and other people have found ways to deal with the large number of candidates. In our modern media age, I think you could find a way to deal with this as others have.

What in effect will happen is that you will end up holding an event that tells the public:
There are people you are allowed to vote for and all the others are not viable.

Is that really the mission the League of Women Voters has now?

So I ask you to reconsider.

Don Macleay

Green Party Candidate for Mayor of Oakland, 2010
510 866-7488

P.S. We have received “consolation prize” invitations to at least one other Oakland branch of the League of Women Voters sponsored events.
This does not address the issue I raise here and I wonder who is served by these second string events.

Former State Senator Don Perata has said he would not attend a forum that excludes the other candidates. Thus, he should not attend the Oakland League Of Women Voters Forum.

Reggie Bush Scandal Poll - What's Tony Bruno's Take At Comcast Sports?

The Reggie Bush Scandal Poll is up and active. Right now, most voters, not a lot but the numbers are climbing, think former USC and now New Orleans Saints Running Back Reggie Bush should give back The Heisman Trophy.

This blogger think he should give it back and then sue USC. Another person thinks he should sell it on eBay!)

But what does Tony Bruno, seen here at the Playboy Mansion, think?

Tony Bruno's bringing his famous hard-edged, buzz-saw take to Comcast Sports Bay Area starting September 12th on The Sunday Night Rap with Gary Radnich, billed as "the most popular and most recognized sports television and radio personality in Northern California." (Oh, oh. Someone call Jerry Rice about that one!)

Tony Bruno has been jousting with Gary Radnich since 1995. Now, this Sunday, they're going to be on The Sunday Night Rap talking about The Reggie Bush Scandal and these poll results.

What say you about the Reggie Bush Scandal?

Take my poll:

create a free poll on pollsb.com

Reggie Bush Scandal Poll - What Should Bush Do?

As predicted in this space what's called The Reggie Bush Scandal is now number one on Google Trends (boy, this blogger's good).

If you're not familiar with what went down (a little term to annoy PB), briefly, Reggie Bush was accused of taking gifts and receiving benefits in conjunction with his role as a running back at USC. He won The Heisman Trophy in 2005.

Now, after its own investigation, separate from the NCAA look, The Heisman Trust has, for the first time in history, asked for its trophy to be returned.

Now, everyone from The LA Times micro-blog on Bush (just to be in on Google Trends, nothing more) to Babble's Famecrawler has something to say about this.

Everyone except you, that is.

If you were Reggie Bush, what would you do in response to the news that The Heisman Trust had asked for your hard-earned Heisman Trophy back? Consider, the Heisman's own investigation said Bush received gifts and benefits. But none of them impacted his on-the-field performance that won him the 2005 Heisman.

This blogger says Bush should appeal the decision. Too many college football players are used for revenue-generation, then forgotten. Bush should take a stand. But that's me.

What say you?

Heres' the poll:

create a free poll on pollsb.com

Reggie Bush Loses Heisman : NFL Labor Twitter Tweets Are Juicy

While Reggie Bush has lost his 2005 Heisman Trophy. This blogger doesn't know how that works; I can't imagine someone showing up at his door and asking for him to take it out of his trophy case.

But however it's done, Reggie Bush clearly can't be happy at all with the news. Moreover, given his recent tweets on Twitter @reggie_bush, the experience may make him more of a fighter against "the establishment" and "the man" than he already is.

Witness Reggie Bush recent series of tweets on the NFL Labor issue - most recent, first:

RT @NickM84: @reggie_bush what working person wuld think an 18% pay cut wuld b reasonable? I wuld not except that either! Exactly!
about 17 hours ago via Echofon

RT @RandomTKA: ok so what is the sticking point with the negotiations? (the owners want the Players to take an 18% pay cut)
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

So that next year if in fact there is a lockout, which is looking like that's what it's gonna be, you guys know all the facts!
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

I think people are taking this as a need for sorrow or pity? Not at all! Just educating you guys! It's always good to be knowledgable!
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

And the bigger picture is not just about the current players. But also the retired players who are maybe now broke. What happens to them?
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

Every NFL Athlete does not make millions. That's a small percentage of the NFL. The vast majority makes nowhere near that.
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

Healthcare is an issue that all people can relate to. And as Football Players it is the back bone of our business and life.
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

And it's not a strike, it's a lockout on the NFL Owners behalf! The players want nothing more than to play, but we have to be protected!
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

Here is one of the major issues: Did you know that as of March 2011 not one single NFL Player will have Healthcare Insurance
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

@fraschettik I'm so glad you said that. Because it's not about rich fighting the rich! It's about much more than that!
about 19 hours ago via Echofon in reply to fraschettik

RT @fraschettik: Reggie it's hard for the average American making 45 to 50k a yr watch millionares and billionares fight over money.
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

Now, put together those tweets with Reggie's time as a USC Trojan, the subsequent investigation and stripping of the Heisman, and the wager here is Bush will become a fighter for player rights against owners and the establishment.

I also can't see Bush taking the USC issue without a fight.

John Lennon's killer denied parole By Nikky Raney

Mark David Chapman, 55,  has been denied parole for the sixth time; he was previously denied parole in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

Chapman shot and killed John Lennon outside Lennon's apartment in New York City on December 8, 1980. Chapman's sentence is 20 years to life in prison - he has currently served 29 years of his sentence at Attica Correctional Facility.

Chapman has met the criteria to receive the privilege of spending 44 hours at a time with family members in a special setting. In his case for the past 20 years he has been allowed visits with his wife, Gloria.

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has previously submitted letters requesting Chapman's parole be denied - he is eligible for parole in August 2012.

College football Rankings, Boise State, Reggie Bush and Heisman

Big News: College Football Rankings, Boise State, Reggie Bush and Heisman.

First, for the College Football rankings, due Tuesday, case a vote for Boise State as Number One. The Boise State Broncos took the 10th-ranked Virginia Tech's best shots in a heavyweight prize fight and came out on top 33-30. Plus, they had to travel 2,836 miles to do it!

What impressed me about Boise State was their effective off-tackle running attack. They picked up yardage almost consistently, and much of that was a mix of design, coaching, and execution.

Boise State over Alabama for Number One? Yep. Boise State already came in 3rd in the preseason voting. Meanwhile, the Alabama score was what? Alabama Crimson Tide 48, San Jose State Spartans 3.

And for the Crimson Tide to score just 48 points, and the San Jose State Spartans to score 3 was saying something for San Jose State.

Whatever the case, San Jose State can say "You didn't drop 50 on us!"

Reggie Bush Loses Heisman

Eventually, this is going to be the talk of the day, but according to Yahoo Sports, USC and New Orleans Saints Running Back Reggie Bush now has to return his Heisman Trophy. It will be considered vacant for 2005.

This blogger thinks that regardless of the current rules, Reggie Bush earned his Heisman on the field. Moreover, if Reggie Bush loses the Heisman, which has happened, Bush should sue USC for the money they collected in season ticket sales and merchandise sales while he was at USC.

Colleges are still using athletes, especially in the revenue-producer that is football, as slaves. No, they're not forced to play, but they are coaxed to do so with promises of riches down the road - or while they're in college. Everyone from coaches to alums offer them the World, and then snare the unsuspecting student. And, yes, black student football players are targets for this way too often, as was Reggie Bush.

Very sad development. You may say Bush knew the rules, but so did his coaches, who should have worked to protect him. I could say that it seems weird that Former USC Coach Pete Carroll has got off scot-free while Mike Garrett and Reggie Bush get fired and stripped, respectively.

I don't get not paying college athletes. When I was in college as an undergrad at Texas-Arlington, I worked at the mail room on a work-study grant. In grad school at Cal Berkeley the work I got was as a consultant. Why can't college football players be paid in some way like that? I don't get it.

Stay tuned.

Koran burning announced By Nikky Raney

Evangelical Christians in Florida have threatened to burn the Koran, the holy book of Islam, on Sunday, September 11 - which will be the ninth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Doveworld.com proudly sends a message.
The Dove World Outreach center in Gainsville, Florida calls this "International Burn a Koran Day." The group writes on the web site, "We will burn the Koran in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil."

Also on the web site includes a page called: Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran.

General David Petraeus, US military commander in Afghanistan, says that the burning of Islam's holy book would not be a good idea in regards to consequences that it may have on the troops overseas.

"It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community," Petraeus says as reported by the Telegraph.

The First Amendment protects the right for the group to come together and do so - but is this event worth the damage that it could further cause? Is acting out in such a hateful way the right way to "remember" those who died? America is already not perceived very well abroad, and the action of publicly announcing and holding a Koran burning event is not going to go very well.

David Weston announces resignation By Nikky Raney

David Westin, ABC News President for 13 years, has announced his resignation and will leave his staff by the end of 2010.

Westin just recently turned 58 and says his reason behind the resignation is so that he may pursue other opportunities. He has come to the conclusion that after 13 years of being the longest-reining U.S. television network news division chief it is time for him to move on.

"This is the right time for me," Westin wrote in a staff memo given to the Associated Press.

Amid Rooney Allegations Of Sex With Jennifer Thompson, Wife Seeks Divorce

Jennifer Thompson
First, this Jennifer Thompson is not the Stanford and Olympics Swimming star and med student. Let's get that out of the way.

This Jennifer Thompson is a $1,700-a-night British escort who claims to have slept with English Soccer Star Wanye Rooney, and more than once, while his wife Coleen was pregnant.

And just when England was overcoming the disaster that was The 2010 World Cup.

In fact, if The Daily Mail is to be believed, and I don't see why not, Jennifer Thompson has the ugly habit of taking, sleeping, and then telling. That is taking money, sleeping with the payer who's also a player, and then telling it to her friends.

According to Ms. Big Mouth, er Jennifer Thompson via The Daily Mail, she's slept with Wanye Rooney, El Hadji Diouf, Amir Khan, and Callum Best. Reportedly, she was so popular with soccer players, or footballers. The Daily Mail claims a so-called friend said "Call Jen, she'll give you a good time". She always has cocaine with her. She takes two bags - one gram each - with her when she goes out and takes most of it herself."

Wanye Rooney Is Devastated

Wayne Rooney's said to be devastated over the news. And because it could lead to his being dropped from a Euro 2012 qualifying match Tuesday night.

Or maybe because his wife's reportedly seeking divorce. Wayne was said to have told his wife of the news of his infidelity via text message while she was in the hair salon!

AllVoices claims this is the second time Rooney's slept around on his wife with a prostitute. She's had enough.

You can't make this stuff up.

Stay tuned.

Mad Men: The Suitcase - Don Draper Is A Racist, Deal With It

Will Don Draper's door ever open for blacks? 
Mad Men is unquestionably an excellent television program with acting and story that is edgy, provocative, and thought-provolking. But because the television show is an entertainment child of the 21st Century, some fans of Mad Men, tend to forget that it was set in the mid-1960s.

Thus, when this blogger asserts that Don Draper, the lead character well-played by John Hamm, is racist, some have a hard time dealing with that observation. Others might point to Mad Men creator Matt Weiner's claim that his work is one of "science fiction," except that Weiner admits the atmosphere of Draper's office is overtly sexist and racist.

Thus, Don Draper himself is racist.

Take Mad Men: The Suitcase. In fact, you should because it's great television. The overall storyline is really about two people, Don Draper and Peggy Olson, who's work lives are a cover for their damaged selves. Draper has only his work. Peggy wants to get more recognition from her work. But Draper's also a boxing fan, and here's where his watered-down racism reveals itself.

Draper issues the standard predominantly white fears of the man we call Muhammed Ali, who was then called Cassius Clay.  Draper complained that Ali always boasted.  Draper wanted Liston to win because, essentially without saying it, Liston was the "good Negro," the person that wasn't threatening to Draper's World view, which has blacks in a certain place.

Draper has not faced a black character who was his 1960s equal: someone who was smart enough to establish their own firm to help companies market to blacks.  There's nothing in Draper's makeup, and the Liston remarks confirm this, that indicates he could work with someone black who was his equal.

In reality, anyone who was a white male ad exec in the mid-1960s New York city could not get their by being a 21st Century non-racist. The fact is the Civil Rights Amendment was passed in 1964. It forbade discrimination in the workplace, in public schools, and in voting registration. Now, just because a law is passed does not mean businesses are automatically going to follow it immediately.

Unless Don Draper was out marching for civil rights, and hired black interns or had a black girlfriend, it's fantasy to think Draper wasn't racist. Indeed, it would be inaccurate to the period to present him as not having racist views, yet achieving that level of success.

Remember, Draper's firm has yet to hire an African American at any level above servant, and if they do, you can bet on this: that person's hire will be controversial and what that person has to do to remain at the firm - what they have to deal with on a daily basis - has to be a part of that story line if Mad Men is to be believable.

If such a hire happens it would have to be approved by Draper. If Draper does so, it would have to be only after he overcame a set of racial personal demons himself. It would not - or should not - happen in one episode. In short Don Draper would have to overcome his own racism.

Remember, it's the times. They were racist to an extreme by today's standards. The biggest problem is that many of fans of Mad Men weren't born at that time; this blogger was.

Which drives me to write this blog post.  The simple fact is that even with that racism, the 1960s were a time of pioneering achievements by blacks in the ad World.  As was pointed out in Racialicious:

It’s unlikely Mad Men will acknowledge executives for Pepsi-Cola—led by men including Edward F. Boyd—pioneered marketing to Black consumers in the 1940s and 1950s. Or the late Vince Cullers of Chicago launched the first Black advertising agency in 1956, while Luis Díaz Albertini founded Spanish Advertising and Marketing Services, the first Latino shop, in 1962. Hell, even Alex Trebek won’t recognize such trivia.

The other biggest problem is that television "critics" - either because of their own blindness to racism and institutional racism or because they want to pretend racism doesn't exist by not mentioning it - have written that Mad Men got the 1960s right. TV Critic Tom Shales committed this display of ignorance when he wrote "Details of the period, however, are nicely captured" when Mad Men was introduced in 2007.

He means details like the furniture; Shales left out the dirty issue of people and society in Mad Men.  The simple fact, is that save for Draper quizzing a black waiter on cigarettes, which says more about Don's desire to get information from any source than how he feels about African Americans, Mad Men has not addressed the issue of American racism toward blacks. That was the defining issue of the 1960s.

Toward A Better Mad Men

At first, I must admit, I didn't pay attention to Mad Men because I thought it was going to be a fake-period-piece that didn't hire non-white actors for anything more than five lines at best.   Now, I see it as a potentially useful show that can demonstrate not just the similarities but the differences between race in the 1960s and today.

The burden of proof that Don Draper's not racist is on those who would have to rewrite the history that was the 1960s. Those fans have to accept what President Lincoln said are "the hard facts that created America," and those that continue to shape it.