Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oakland Mayor's Race: THREE Forums, Same Time, One Night

Oakland Mayor Candidate Terrance Candell
The Oakland Mayor's Race gets crazier. In 90 minutes something is about to happen that's never went down in Oakland's history.

At 6:30 PM, three Oakland Mayoral Forums will take place at the same time. One, the "first planned" one, is the infamous Oakland League Of Women Voters Forum that was going to have just two candidates, then opened it to all of them. The other, the "counter-forum" as this blogger calls it, is being produced by Terrance Candell.  The third is the "other candidates" forum at Calvin Simmons Theater at 10 Tenth St.

The Oakland LWV Forum is being held at The Kaiser Center Auditorium at 300 Lakeside Drive; Terrance's one-man Q&A is being held at the Laney College Tower Forum. And the "other candidates" forum is at The Calvin Simmons Theater across from Laney College.

All three start, as mentioned, at the same time.

Dr. Candell's forum started in response to the idea that he was going to be excluded from the Oakland League Of Women Voters Forum. But last week, the LWV elected to open the debate to all of the candidates, partly because of intense pressure and also because had they not, only two candidates (at best) would have appeared.

Overall, was it a smart move by Terrance? Maybe, but also he's not getting as much media out of it as he would if his name were Don Perata.

Follow me at

Zuckerberg 's Facebook Is Up For AT&T Users Not Others It Seems

It seems Mark Zuckerberg has a good friend in AT&T because for users at the Starbucks at 3347 Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland, California, where AT&T is the service provided, it's working just fine while for others, Facebook is down.

This blogger's using a T-Mobile wireless connection and getting the same "service unavailable dns failure" message that thousands are complaining about on Twitter and millions are experiencing.

And "Facebook Isnt Working" is still the third highest trend on Twitter. Facebook's down.

Even Facebook took to Twitter to inform users.

Facebook - Facebook may be slow or unavailable for some people because of site issues. We're working to fix this quickly.
about 1 hour ago via HootSuite
100+ Retweets

Unless you're on the AT&T network.

The gentleman I happen to be sitting next to was kind enough to allow me to take this photo to prove it. The picture, taken at 2:03 PM, PDT, shows that Facebook's working.

Mark Zuckerberg can at least thank God for AT&T.

Mark Zuckerberg Is Up, Facebook Is Down - God's Lesson To Mark

Just days before the October 1st release of The Social Network, the movie about the creation of Facebook and the players behind it written by Arron Sorkin, Mark Zuckerberg is enjoying a crush of media exposure: he gave $100 million to the Newark School System, and at 26 he's a billionaire and richer than Apple's Steve Jobs.

Oh, and Facebook is down. "Facebook Isnt Working" is the third highest Twitter Trend as of this writing.

For some reason 500 million people can't get on Facebook. The Twitter speculation on the reasons are just plain funny:

about 1 hour ago via web

AyyddG - i love the way @facebook has to use @twitter to tell everyone why it isnt working. #fail. 28 minutes ago via web

JimmySJay‎ - Kinda funny with all the #Mark Zuckerberg hype, #Facebook isnt working right now!
Twitter - seconds ago

fivedollarcouch‎ - mark zuckerberg must be holding facebook servers hostage to ensure that "The Social Network" doesn't get released
Twitter - seconds ago

Facebook is down. "Facebook Isnt Working" for this blogger either. For the third time in six minutes, this message appears:

Safari can’t open the page “” because Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server “”.

The Fragility Of Wealth

Facebook's problems today show just how easy it is to achieve vast Internet wealth and just how quickly it is to lose it.

That "Facebook Isnt Working" is God's lesson for Mark Zuckerberg. A way of saying: be thankful and humble for what you have, because it can be taken away from you in a flash.

Hopefully, Mark gets the message.

Warning: Las Vegas-Based Righthaven Law Firm Is Suing Political Bloggers - Davey D

As the battle over a free and open internet rages on with telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast pushing and paying folks to allow an unequal playing field and get rid of Net neutrality, another more sinister tactic and player has reared its ugly head.

There are now group of lawyers out of Las Vegas who are connected to the Las Vegas Review-Journal running around suing small non profits and individual bloggers for ‘copyright’ infringement. On their side is the Draconian, hastly done DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act ) rules and the fear people have of expensive litigation and subsequent judgement.
Eva Galperin of San Francisco based Electronic Frontier Foundation penned this recent article warning bloggers what’s at stake…
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking to assist defendants in the Righthaven copyright troll lawsuits. Righthaven, founded in March of 2010, files hundreds of copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of newspaper publishers against bloggers who make use of news content without permission. To that end, Righthaven searches the internet for stories and parts of stories from the newspapers that they represent. Once they find content that has been re-published, Righthaven purchases the copyright to the article and sues the owner of the blog.
Galperin goes on to note that this company is doing what amounts to a copyright shakedown ala the RIAA who ran around suing thousands of people for downloading songs and then settling for a 2-3000 dollars. The two people that tried to fight the lawsuits found themselves being hit with huge judgements totaling over 600 thousand dollars. Eventually the RIAA had to abandon its strategy as 1-downloading did not diminish and 2-Record labels spent a whooping 17.6 million dollars in legal fees to collect 391 thousand in settlements. That of course is just for one year 2008…Looking at the RIAA books the numbers get worse. For example in 2007 they spent over 24 million to collect around 500 in settlement fees.
So while the labels themselves lost money, the law firms who aggressively came after people made tons of it. In addition most of the people who got hit wound up settling with the 2-3 thousand dollars being quite a hit in the pocketbook for many.
With this group of lawyers coming after bloggers, there appears to be a few things to keep in mind. First they were specifically formed to make money doing this ‘lawsuit/settlement strategy. In a Wired article that that profiled Righthaven and their CEO Steve Gibson, he was pretty upfront and brazen with his key intentions. They say in the article:
Gibson’s vision is to monetize news content on the backend, by scouring the internet for infringing copies of his client’s articles, then suing and relying on the harsh penalties in the Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement — to compel quick settlements.
It was pointed out that the company was aggressively expanding its business trying to get other newspapers to sign on so they can sue on their behalf. They have over 70 newspapers on board.
The second thing about this group which is even more disturbing is that they are not issuing warnings or DMCA take down notices. They are just going out and suing folks which is seen as unprecedented in this industry. Many see it as abuse. Sometimes people quote from articles they gotten via email. Others pull from sources where no credit is given. Some think they are being compliant because they gave a link back and only used a quote or two. Apparently thats not good enough for this group.
According to Galperin’s EFF article, she points out that they are also going out and purchasing the copyrights to articles so they can go after folks. So maybe you copied something a couple of years ago and it was no big deal, in fact maybe it was from a local newspaper where they actually appreciated the extra attention you brought to their publication. Now with this group of lawyers they are going around and offering to purchase the copyright and then coming after folks. This is beyond chilling.

Eva Galperin of Electronic Frontier Foundation says EFF is helping fight those who are victim to Righthaven Lawsuits
Galperin continues in her article on Righthaven where she points out that one of their main targets are the non-commercial, political leaning websites and people and organizations written about by the newspapers. In other words, the newspapers that this group represents may do an article or profile on you. You like what’s written and thus want to share it with folks and post it up on your site and along comes these lawyers with no warning issued. They sue and push you to settle.
Just like the US Copyright Group shakedowns, and the RIAA shakedowns of the recent past, Righthaven relies on the threat of enormous statutory damages associated with the Copyright Act to scare defendants, often individual bloggers operating non-commercial websites, into a quick settlement, reportedly ranging from two to five thousand dollars. The Righthaven lawsuits are of particular concern because they sometimes target the operators of political websites who re-publish newspaper stories, chilling political speech. Righthaven has also targeted the newspaper’s source for the very articles allegedly infringed.
So basically what I did with this article from EFF where I reprinted parts of what they wrote might get me in a whirl of trouble with this group of lawyers. might get me caught up I guess on one hand folks should not be surprised at what’s going on especially during these hard economic times. The tactics folks are using are increasing ugly and causing or the threat of economic distress is one way to really shut things down.
One has to wonder who’s next? Will they now go after restaurants for posting favorable reviews on their websites or movie houses for highlighting good reviews? Will they come after parents who highlighted the sporting or academic exploits of their kids which may have been covered in a newspaper?

Tea Party Candidate Sharon Angle was recently sued by Righthaven for posting articles of herself on her website
We know that in recent weeks they launched a lawsuit against Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle for posting up material about herself on her campaign website. They want 150 thousand dollars and her domain name.

Although I’d be the first to say I disagree with everything this woman stands for on a political tip, she shouldn’t be sued. After all aren’t these outlets making money off her via their coverage? If they have an issue ask her to take down the articles-end of story.
Righthaven has also sued Ron Paul‘s Daily Paul newsletter and Alex Jones of Infowars.
Jones asserted that the lawsuit is without merit and that he intends to fight back and not be squeezed for money.
Some are saying this is a coverup to the groups main tactic of going after small bloggers. Whatever the case these lawsuits can and are already having a chilling effect. If the stories about President Obama being connected to Gibson and Righthaven because they worked at the same law firm Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago that is also disturbing if he agrees with their tactics
Eva Galperin points out in her article that EFF is seeking out people who have been targeted by Righthaven. You casn drop her a line at or visit their website
written by Davey D

Kevin Powell To Congressman Ed Towns, Brooklyn, and Black Leaders - by Davey D

This open letter may open up a can of worms but its necessary. Kevin Powell who many people know from the first season of MTV's Real World raises some compelling points when it comes to the issue of Black leadership. He feels that too many folks are stuck in era where there was one or two voices who set the pace vs a collective body of people chiming in..In 2010 that leadership model has resulted in what he coins 'Ghetto Dictatorships' this a trait you recognize?
-Davey D-

Kevin Powell: 
I first want to say thank you to God for giving me an incredible opportunity to run as a Democrat for Congress in 2010. I am so profoundly in love with Brooklyn, New York, with the residents of Brooklyn, because I truly believe in one Brooklyn, and I believe that Brooklyn is America with its great diversity and creativity and magic. Be it Russians in Starrett City, or Chinese immigrants or Puerto Ricans in Williamsburg, or African Americans and West Indians in Canarsie, or my Jewish sisters and brothers in Boerum Hill, I cannot begin to tell you how spiritually and emotionally uplifting this 2010 journey has been for me as a human being and as a man. Thank you, Brooklyn, thank you.
Indeed, I am so glad to have run for Congress, as I believe deeply in public service, in helping people, all people, to help themselves. We did not win the election but we did win in the hearts and minds of many Brooklynites and New Yorkers in general, and folks across America. There has been such a great outpouring of positive and affirming messages via phone, email, Twitter, and Facebook, that it is very very humbling, to say the least. I am invigorated by this love and support from everyday Americans. For we know that together we can make our country the land of opportunity and access for all.
Second, I want to thank my campaign staff, paid and unpaid, the ones who stuck with us to the very end, did not quit or make excuses, did their work and beyond, because they too believe in the power and nobility of public service. And because they really believed in our Congressional campaign from start to finish. I love each and every one of you, and I know I would not have made it across the finish line without your individual and collective strength and determination.
Next, I must say thank you very much to all the donors, voters, and supporters (both public ones and the silent, invisible ones) who helped us along the way. Suffice to say you were godsends to our Congressional campaign. Thank you for believing in me, and for having the courage to invest in a new kind of leadership for Brooklyn, and for America. A leadership that is honest, transparent, about practical solutions, and that puts people first, always.
Additionally, I must say this to my opponent, Congressman Ed Towns, his team, and his supporters: You may have won this time but it is so clear to so many that the days of your reign here in Brooklyn are very close to over. You’ve never had to work so hard to hold on to your seat, you’ve never had your nearly three decades of lazy leadership exposed so much and to so many, and you can no longer be invisible, silent, or otherwise missing in action to the people of Brooklyn’s 10th Congressional district, nor to the American people.
Mr. Towns, we expect you to earn the salary and great benefits our taxpayer dollars cover, and we expect you to think very seriously about your legacy as a Congressman in these final years of your Congressional life. When you and I crossed paths Tuesday night, election night, at that polling site near Starrett City, it was the first and only time we’ve ever had a one-on-one conversation, and I have lived in this community, in your district, for 20 years. You avoided debating me in 2008 (as you have avoided debating all opponents since you were first elected in 1982), and you avoided debating me again this year. And that is fine. It is clear you do not really believe in the very democracy that many sacrificed their lives for to achieve, including those in places like North Carolina where you were born and where some of the great battles of the Civil Rights Movement occurred.
But what was most telling about our conversation, Mr. Towns, is that all you could say is that you had not attacked me as I attacked you, and that you did not know me. First, let me correct you, sir: your team was relentless in attacking me personally, in the media, in the social networks, including many times very disrespectfully coming on to my Facebook page with the personal insults. We never did that a single time to you or your team or family. Never. What we did do was talk about your record. I never stepped into your personal life the way you did mine, although I could have, as there is much there to discuss. But we decided to be bigger than that, to talk about ideas and what we can do to help Brooklyn. Not once during this campaign did you offer any real vision for the future of Brooklyn, sir.
Moreover, Congressman Towns, it is a two-way street: you have to begin to respect and acknowledge the leadership that is not just your son, or your daughter, or your daughter-in-law, or someone you’ve handpicked to be in your Brooklyn circle. As I have stated before, what is most troubling for me and many others in Brooklyn is that within Black Brooklyn (as is the case throughout Black America) we have something I call “ghetto dictatorships.” In other words, you may have had good intentions when you first got into office, Mr. Towns, for I do believe you are, at your core, a good and decent man. But somewhere along the way you lost your way and your Congressional seat has become more about power and influence for yourself than about everyday people. This is particularly disturbing when we look at the poorest and most underdeveloped parts of Brooklyn’s 10th Congressional district: for example, huge sections of East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant (especially inside the many housing projects in the district). These people need jobs, affordable and decent housing, afterschool programs, quality schools, senior centers,, and they need it now, Congressman Towns. Your job, as an elected official with access to federal dollars and a network you’ve created with nearly three decades in Congress, is to figure out basic solutions for the most vulnerable in the district by all available means. Earn your salary, Congressman Towns, and create a legacy, for it is not too late to do so, if you really care and if you really try. If you do not, I and many others, locally and nationally, are going to very publicly hold you accountable every single time you fail to be a loud voice for the people of this district. I guarantee that.
So I end this statement by saying that I challenge you, Congressman Towns, and all Black elected officials in Brooklyn and across America, to cease participating in these ghetto dictatorships, to really look yourselves in the mirror and answer the question I asked you, Mr. Towns, which you could not answer on Tuesday night: What is your legacy going to be, what have you really done for the people of your district, not just for a handful of people lucky enough to have gotten a job or favor from you? That is the true mark of leadership, to touch as many lives as possible, to help as many people as possible to become self-empowered, with or without legislation, and in as many creative ways as possible. Anything less means we’ve done a grave disservice to whatever God we claim to believe in, a grave disservice to the history and the people that came before us, and a grave disservice to that sacred space we call public service.
Kevin Powell is an activist, writer, and an author of 10 books based in Brooklyn, NY. His email is

Oakland Raiders Start Of Bruce Gradkowski Hue Jackson's Good Error

(First posted at

Bruce Gradkowski is the Oakland Raiders new starting quarterback, and naming him was a good mistake on the part of Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson. Why Jackson and not Head Coach Tom Cable? Why a "good mistake?" Because it was Jackson who made it known to the Oakland Tribune that it was his decision, then he went to Coach Cable with the demand.

But to watch KPIX Channel Five, you'd think it was Tom Cable's decision:

That revalation, well explained by Cam Inman at the Trib, along with Hue Jackson's summer press conference where he talked about the conversations he had with Oakland Raiders Manager Of The General Partnership Al Davis, shows the real problem with the Raiders.

The Oakland Raiders internal organization is known for one thing: rise by backstabbing. In this blogger's 17 year association with the Raiders, example after example of employee character assassination by another employee leading to firings, ousters, or just plain confusion have come forward in an unending stream.

There's the Raiders Legend to claimed he had an office at the team's Alameda headquarters, but when one called for that person, was told he wasn't there and questions about "his office" were laughed at. When that was told to the Raiders Legend, he said "I have to talk to them." The Raiders Legend thinks he has power because of his access to Al. That's the one constant in all of the examples I know of.

And that was a tame example, but not to digress. Hue Jackson and Bruce Gradkowski are the latest in a broken, arguably non-existent chain of command that has come to define the Oakland Raiders.

It has been said that Bruce Gradkowski lobbied for the starting job, the implication being that not everyone in the Raiders locker room was in favor of his behavior. Now, because of Jackson's intervention, Gradkowski gets the start. Was it a good move? Technically, yes. Politically, no - from that perspective it was a disaster.

Technically Gradkowski operates the play-action passes Hue Jackson installed and calls with the proper single-hitch-step to throw, whereas QB Jason Campbell takes a half-beat longer. The difference between a completion and an interception. It's also an example of Jason Campbell's need for more reps in the system. But the bottom line is, at this stage, Bruce Gradkowski is better at executing that aspect of the Raiders Offense.

But in downfield throws Jason Campbell has the obviously stronger arm. Gradkowski's downfield coverage recognition and reaction can improve here - he has to learn to look-off the defense. There's not much difference between them, which is why when taking political issues into account, changing quarterbacks at this stage was a mistake.

Now, the Oakland Raiders have a divided team. If Gradkowski fails in his first start in the 2010 NFL Season, it will only get worse. And with Hue Jackson not shy about making himself look like the Raiders defacto head coach, it's going to make for a long season.

For Hue Jackson, who's ready to coach a team somewhere, he needs to stick to the role assigned within the job he took: Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator. Meanwhile, the real HC, Tom Cable, needs to give credit where credit is due and tell the media it was Hue Jackson's idea.

Meanwhile, the pressure's on Gradkowski to perform well against the Arizona Cardinals. This corner thinks he will.

ESPN Plans To Bug LeBron James 24-7 At Miami Heat Training Camp

LeBron James be warned: ESPN is coming.

Not one to shy away from any attempt to dominate sports coverage, even to the point of trying to kick some sports writers out of press boxes (no kidding), ESPN's announcing plans to plant the flag outside Miami Heat Training Camp.

This in the wake of LeBron James departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers and to enjoy a modern dream team with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade

The idea is to give viewers LeBron James information all day and night during Miami Heat Training Camp. USA Today Columnist Michael Hiestand writes that ESPN will drop in " analysts Jalen Rose, Josh Elliott and Jon Barry and reporters including Rachel Nichols for continuous surveillance across ESPN platforms," which means ESPN Plans to bug LeBron James 24-7.

In fact, if you think ESPN's coverage of Green Bay Packers Quarterback Brett Favre was over-the-top, just wait until the Miami Heat Training Camp starts.

What does LeBron think of all this? Not known. But it's a fair bet he gives it all a thumbs-up.

Meg Whitman Says Fresno Is Awful Like Detroit, Fears Oakland Too

(First on

Meg Whitman, the California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO, already loathed in this space for her passive-agressive Oakland campaign headquarters, is under fire now for a statement she made about Fresno, California, saying "It's looks like Detroit."

The comment was ill-considered in several ways: First, she made it before the Editorial Board of The San Jose Mercury News. Second, she insulted a not one but two cities: Fresno and Detroit. Third, it's the second time she's dissed a California city in some way.

The first time was in Oakland, when Whitman's staffers set up an office on Lakeshore that looks like a fortress and at one point had signs that reported 24-hour surveillance, but with the word misspelled! Here's the video:

Jerry Brown Fails To Capitalize

Meg Whitman's many shortcomings and history of issues have not been drilled into the collective conscious of Californians. The one person who can do this is her California gubernatorial challenger Jerry Brown. But Brown has failed to do this while being hammered by her ads attacking his character. When Brown finally came out with his own ads, they weren't about Meg Whitman, but about Jerry Brown.

So because Jerry can't get away from the view that it's all about him, he's trapped by Meg Whitman's strategy. He is answering her ads, thus going on the defensive. Everything he's done has been defense, not offense. He waited to answer her ads, which is like playing "rope-a-dope," then when he did, didn't even try to throw a political punch.

Yes, people want to know what you're going to do for California, but the explanation on TV is from a policy wonk. Not me. Whoever came up with that one didn't do Jerry any favors.

Jerry, here's Meg Whitman, teetering. What are you going to do?

David Letterman Wants $1 Million From Joaquin Phoenix For Pub Stunt

David Letterman, obviously smarting from being used as part of what turned out to be Actor Joaquin Phoenix's publicity stunt / meltdown interview of February 12th, 2009, asked for $1 million in compensation for the use of the interview in Phoenix's new film I'm Still Here.

The problem is that the now famous (or infamous depending on how you see it) interview where Joaquin Phoenix came out in dark glasses, a lot of hair, and saying very little of substance, was read by many as the start of Phoenix's personal problems. Here's the interview:

In reality, it was actually part of the documentary / mockumentary produced and directed by Casey Affleck. While it was reported that David Letterman was "in on it," by his monologue writer Bill Scheft, Letterman said that was not the case on Wednesday's The Late Show With David Letterman. Before we continue, this is what Scheft said to

NUVO: Tell me what it was like backstage after the Joaquin Phoenix appearance.

Scheft: First of all, that was all an act.

NUVO: Even Dave's part of it?

Scheft:: Yeah. Think Andy Kaufman without shaving. That's what he was doing. And Dave knew about it and Dave loved it because he could play along. He could do whatever he wanted with it. And he did, and it was great television. But I will take credit for the line, "I think I owe Farrah Fawcett an apology." That line was mine. I gave that to him during the break.

Dave loves that. He had a ball. He likes anything that's good television, and he knew that's good television.

I've told people that (everyone was in on the joke), and not only don't people believe me, they tell me that I'm wrong and that (Phoenix) is a schizophrenic and he needs help and he's going to end up like his brother. I said no. I saw the segment notes. It's an act. I saw Ben Affleck's brother taping the whole thing from offstage.

In on it or not, David Letterman tore a new one on Joaquin Phoenix about it and his take was hilarious.

Letterman made Phoenix squirm in his chair, saying he hasn't seen the movie, reminding him of "the incident" and finally landing the haymaker: asking for $1 million as a video licensing fee. Why? Because Letterman claimed he didn't know it was a stunt. Yeah, he figured Joaquin Phoenix was acting, but he didn't know it was for a movie.

Now, Letterman wants bucks.

"But David," Joaquin said, "I don't have a million dollars." Letterman was unfazed, saying "Oh. You'll find it somewhere."

While Wednesday's Letterman show was such that it may have been the continuation of the joke, I'm not sure David was entirely kidding about the million bucks. But it's fair to assume all of that was worked out before the release of I'm Still Here, there's always that bit of doubt that maybe not all the bases were covered.

Classic Television

Whatever the case, Wednesday's The Late Show With David Letterman was classic television: funny, provocative, and unforgettable. If I'm Still Here is as funny as that segment with Letterman, Phoenix and Affleck may have a cult film on their hands.