Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nikky Raney Is Executive Editor

New England School Of Communications student Nikky Raney is Executive Editor of The reason for the choice of a 20-year-old student that this blogger has not met in person for this role can be summed up in three words: determination, trust, and talent.

Nikky has been a frequent, featured, and valued contributor to the blog, and made her considerable mark with her informative and detailed posts on Reality TV Show Star Tila Tequila. Nikky has sustained a lot of unfair and unwarranted attacks because of her work, but weathered the storm brilliantly and thoughtfully. In a way, this is a reward for all that she endured through that, and her determination to expose what Tila was really up to with that blog of hers.

Nikky came to my attention because she was rightfully critical of a blog post I wrote. She has an editor's eye and reaches the right demographic for's growth. But again, she's proven to be someone this blogger can trust, and is a hard worker.

This is to welcome Nikky Raney as Executive Editor.

Rick Sanchez Returned To Twitter 40 Minutes Ago

After weeks of not Twittering on his Twitter account @ricksanchezcnn, Rick Sanchez is back and posted his first post-CNN tweet 28 minutes ago as of the writing of this blog post. Sanchez, who was fired from CNN for saying that Jews ran the media, went into TV, radio, and social media silence for weeks.  Here's why:

Now, he's back:

ricksancheznews Rick Sanchez
Followers: this account is no longer affiliated with CNN and does not reflect the views of CNN. It is now managed by Rick Sanchez.

Now, in promoting his book Conventional Idiocy, Sanchez has redesigned the once-CNN-marked Twitter page and changed his handle to @ricksancheznews. Yes, he maintains the followers he had while with CNN; he's just rebranded the page.

And what about @ricksanchezcnn? It's still there, just lets you know about @ricksancheznews.

Jon Stewart's The Daily Show Has Most White People; Call Rick Sanchez

Maybe former CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez was on to something when he blasted The Daily Show's Jon Stewart after all. Sanchez accused Stewart (photo at left) of being a "bigot," and while that didn't get him fired from CNN - saying that CNN was "ran by Jews" did - it did get a lot of attention. Now, a new website report gives substance to Rick Sanchez' statements.

According to blogger and artist Ed Lundart's non-scientific study, Who's On TV, which compares race and sex of guests with U.S Census population share percentages, The Daily Show has the most white guests of all shows surveyed; Lopez Tonight has the fewest of the late night shows. Moreover, The Daily Show has the fewest women guests of all of the late night shows surveyed. Thus, if you watch The Daily Show, you're more likely to see a white male guest.

The most diverse show in the survey is Lopez Tonight. In fact, you're more likely to see someone black on George Lopez' show than any other late night talk show program, according to Ed Lundart's study. 

So what's the order look like? This, from most white to least white:

The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
The Late Late Show (tie with Fallon)
The Late Show With David Letterman
Chelsea Lately (tie with Letterman)
The Tonight Show
Lopez Tonight

And when it comes to women, The Daily Show again comes up short, but so does Lopez Tonight. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has the best performance in having women guests, but not by much. In fact, all are below the U.S. Census mark for women as a percentage of the country's population. Here's the order from fewest women guests to most:

The Daily Show
Lopez Tonight
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Chelsea Lately
The Late Show With David Letterman
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Here's what Ed Lundart ads about Chelsea Lately and Lopez Tonight:

Chelsea Lately is the only show to have more Asian guests than the census numbers would suggest. However, it's mostly the same couple of Asians featured repeatedly, as Chelsea Lately lists their rotating panel of comedians as guests along with their one interviewee. Lopez Tonight features more Hispanic guests than any of the other shows, but not by a very wide margin. Their black guests are more impressively numerous. Lopez Tonight is also the only talk show to feature fewer white people than the census data expectation.

Bus Transportation News: Solar Hybrid Bus By Bauer's Transportation

As bus transportation and mass transit companies look to new ways to save money on vehicle operations, San Francisco's Bauer's Transportation has an exciting new solution: the Solar Hybrid Bus.

Bauer's Transportation, once known as Bauer's Limousine, is making a powerful push to change its brand. Already, it uses hi-tech black buses to shuttle employees of tech companies like Twitter and Facebook, and offers a new service called "Wi-Drive." "Wi-Drive" is a bus transportation service that goes round-trip between the city of Santa Rosa and San Francisco and between the cities of Fremont and Milpitas. Now, the Solar Hybrid Bus is one more step in the direction of Bauer's successful reformation into a transportation company.

Gary Bauer himself says "Since 2008 California state law has prohibited diesel vehicles from idling for more than five minutes. More than 25 states across the United States now have anti-idling laws. With Bauer’s Solar Hybrid Bus Powering System, transportation companies across the U.S. will be able to comply with anti-idling laws while keeping the passengers comfortable and their transportation experience enjoyable. The solar bus has been in operation on our fleet since January 2010 and the results have been outstanding."

What Is The Solar Bus?

The bus used in the Bauer's fleet is a 57-passenger Setra that has rooftop solar panels and has been reconfigured for an interior floor plan with 52 seats and a set of table seatings. It was introduced this year at Bus Con 2010.

The Solar Bus has four thin film solar panels that run the length of the bus itself, and charge an on-board battery bank. When the bus engine is off, the batteries power the air-conditioning and wireless connectivity equipment, thus enabling the buses to effectively meet anti-idling standards without compromising passenger comfort.

For more information on the Bauer's Solar Hybrid Bus, Gary wants you to call 415-517-5466 and visit Solar Hybrid

Riots in France - is USA next?

According to World News Report: Striking public sector workers caused disruption across France on Tuesday as ‘troublemakers’ piggybacked protest marches to torch cars, smash windows and fight police. Paris, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux and Marseilles were all hit by protests and frequent clashes.

As police tear gas dispersed stone-throwing rioters in Lyon, officials pleaded for calm. ‘The right to demonstrate does not mean the right to smash things up,’ said justice minister Michele Alliot-Marie, after fire destroyed a Le Mans high school.

President Sarkozy, who unveiled the toughest spending cuts for 50 years at the weekend, wants his reforms (which will raise the retirement age from 60 to 62) approved by the senate by this Friday. The riots and strikes are testament to how much the French public remains opposed to the pension reforms and higher retirement age.

Airlines flying into France were ordered to slash schedules. Refinery workers, airport staff, train drivers, teachers, postal workers and armored truck drivers went on strike, leading to at least half of all train services being cancelled and up to 50 per cent of flights grounded.

France’s strategic petrol reserves had to be dipped into after protests at oil refineries meant thousands of petrol pumps ran dry.

‘The street has power and it can be more powerful than the government,’ said one protest leader.

Would this sentiment hold true in the USA? Americans are on edge in every state of the Union and people can only take so much before they rebel. It is a fact that History teaches us over and over. So why can’t we learn to avoid such conflict? The answer is simple: Corruption and greed in our corporations and our political leaders.

Washington sees us as sheep - easily deceived into being led to the slaughter. However, one need only do the math to see that the “have nots” far out number the “haves” in America, more so now than ever.

With the severe cuts in police forces across America, if there is an outbreak of civil unrest in this country, it is likely that the National Guard will be called in should any France-type riots break out here in the USA.

It may not be a question of "if" but instead "when" such civil unrest will begin to plague America. Should the Lame-Duck Congress fail to approve unemployment extensions for both the 99ers as well as those facing the discontinuation of their benefits by November’s end - we may well see the rage now felt by so many Americans boil over into violence by Christmas this year.

Obama to visit USC campus this Friday, 99ers should be there to greet him

The president will give a speech open to the general public at 1:30 p.m. on October 22 at McCarthy Quad, USC said James Grant, assistant vice president of USC media relations.

Jason Duong, director of the USC Political Student Assembly (the group hosting the event) said he was contacted by university officials after Obama’s staff asked to come to USC.

“I was in disbelief when I got the call,” Duong said. Duong’s major focus now is to get as many students as possible to attend, regardless of their political inclinations. “Whether they like him or not, this is definitely something that’s great for the university,” Duong said. “I’d encourage all students to come see what he has to say.”

Obama will join the ranks of several prominent politicians who have come to USC either as president or a presidential hopeful, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The most recent sitting president to speak on campus was Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Students said they are excited to have the opportunity to hear the president speak and hope he can motivate students to vote by talking about issues that matter to them.

“He’s faced a lot of voter apathy in our generation, and it’s very important for people to vote, whether they are Democrats or Republicans and be involved politically,” said Mason Flink, a graduate student studying motion picture production. “If he can inspire students to get involved by coming to campus, it’s a good thing.”

Nelson Brooks, a junior majoring in business administration, said although he probably won’t attend the speech and doesn’t share the same political beliefs as Obama, he still thought the visit was important for the university.

“It’s definitely a privilege for our school to host him,” Brooks said. “Regardless of political party, he’s the president of the most powerful country in the world, and that is a huge honor for our school.”

Any member of the 99er Nation should do their best to gather on the streets the President will use to get to the USC Campus and bring signs that remind the President that the 99ers need help now. This will be a huge media event and the 99ers could well get the attention of the press and the President, by doing do.

NELP needs to hear from the 99er Nation - big time

In April, when the San Diego Unemployment Examiner contacted NELP (National Employment Law Project) and asked their position on a Tier 5, their response was: “As soon as we get the extensions passed in Congress for the non-99ers, then we will put our efforts toward fighting for a Tier 5 extension.”

Today, 6 months later and nearly 3 months after the non-99er extension bill was passed (HR 4213) NELP is once again ramping up to fight for, you guessed it - an extension of the deadline dates for the non-99er UI extension.

NELP has been silent and worthless in the fight for a Tier 5 extension and that is something every 99er should vocally protest by contacting NELP in droves.

In an email titled: New and Improved Website Launches Campaign to Continue Federal Jobless Benefits, NELP introduced their website to “to mobilize grassroots support for the campaign to ensure that the federally expanded unemployment lifeline continues at a level that matches the needs of ALL of the long-term unemployed.”

The website advertises a new petition for only the more recently unemployed. Nothing on this new website even refers to the desperate need for the 99ers to get a Tier 5. This is deplorable and NELP needs to hear from you.

Give NELP your feedback via their new website at: or call them at their New York offices: 212-285-3025

Please do not let NELP get away with their empty promises to help the 99ers, unfulfilled to date.

Awareness for anti-gay bullying by wearing purple

On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has asked that everyone across the nation wear purple to raise awareness for anti-gay bullying. There have been several recent suicides from teenagers who were bullied for being homosexual.

"Go Purple" is the name that is given to this day. CBS News reports that the color was selected because purple symbolizes "spirit" on the rainbow flag, a symbol for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

By Nikky Raney
Journalist & Blogger

Wayne Rooney Says Manchester United Lacks Ambition

Wayne Rooney leaves ManU.

In a media war seldom seen in America, the UK's (that's Britain's) Wayne Rooney and the soccer organization Manchester United are locked in a battle played out in the English publications. The Daily Mail UK reports that the star soccer player, recently the focus of a sex scandal involving prostitutes Jennifer Thompson and Helen Reed, says Manchester United "lacks ambition" and is not willing to pay top dollar to keep him.

On Wednesday, Rooney confirmed that he's not signing a contract to remain with Manchester United. I met with (chief executive) David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad,' said Rooney in a statement. 'I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.'

Rooney continues:

It is absolutely true, as he said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract. During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.

I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?For me its all about winning trophies - as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.

Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18. For Manchester United's sake I wish he could go on forever because he's a one off and a genius.

More soon.

Qik - Mobile Video Experiment By Zennie Abraham

For the last two weeks or so, this blogger has been experimenting with Zennie62 on Qik Mobile Video. The idea of Qik Mobile Video is to allow you to upload a video using your smart phone, right on the spot from where you are. It's not quite a live stream - like - but so close in terms of delay time that it's a somewhat credible substitute.

Using a Samsung Variant Galaxy smartphone, five videos have been produced for the Zennie62 brand thus far. Where it fits in the Zennie62 strategy is that it allows us to show you what's happening as it is happening. Here's an example: the T-Mobile store video that was transferred to

As you can see, it's grainy.  That's the rub.  The pixels are so large it makes Qik less than desirable for constant video blogging.  Videos have been unloaded from the Samsung phone directly to YouTube, and the quality has been at "high-def" level.  But not so for the Qik videos.

The problem is that some of the YouTube-direct files are too large to be quickly uploaded from the smartphone.  The bandwidth "pipe" doesn't seem to be large enough to fit a video longer than, say, 12 seconds.

If that can be solved, either by a better smartphone video upload system - or a switch to the iPhone, which seems to do this better from looking at Renetto's videos - or a better signal pickup from YouTube, then the dream of true mobile video-blogging is a step closer to reality.  

If you have any tips or suggestions, please provide them.  Thanks.

Colts kicker McAfee arrested for public intoxication

Pat McAfee, kicker for the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested Wednesday, October 20, 2010 for public intoxication according to Yahoo Sports.

McAfee went for a swim very early in the morning in a canal around the bars in Indianapolis, and the police found him reeking of alcohol while being shirtless and soaking wet. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15, which is double the legal limit in Indiana.

 When the police asked the 23-year-old how much he had to drink his response was, "A lot, cause I'm drunk."

USA Today reposts the article from the Associated Press which tells that McAfee is the fourth Colts player to be arrested for alcohol related charges this year.

Rough year for the Colts.

 By Nikky Raney
Journalist & Blogger

Oakland City Council Election News: Pat Kernighan Attacked On Parking Issue

Zennie's Note: Grand Lake Theater Owner Allan Michaan asked me to repost this letter he sent to the Oakland Tribune. The Tribune did not run it, probably due to its length, not its content.

 It's an attack on Oakland District Two (Glenview - Chinatown) Councilmember Pat Kernighan, who's running for reelection against challenger Jennifer Pae, in a tight contest, and over the Oakland Parking Issue.  Michaan supports Pae in the race. 

Allan says his business is down 50 percent because of Oakland's Parking laws.   The Grand Lake Theater is on the corner of Grand Avenue and Lake Park in Oakland.  

Here's the letter.  Councilmember Pat Kernighan was contacted for a response, which she will most certainly provide soon.

Dear (Oakland Tribune) Editor:

In your front page story today (Sunday Oct 10) regarding the race for City Council in District 2 a statement was made which I cannot allow to go unchallenged. The writer stated regarding Kernighan "She went against her eight City Council colleagues last year when she voted against extending parking meter hours."

This is a distortion of the facts.

On the evening of June 30, 2009 in a late night session Pat Kernighan joined her fellow Council members in voting for a sweeping transformation of parking policy in Oakland that transformed what was already an overly aggressive and punitive approach into something that approaches an extortion scheme.

That night Pat Kernighan and her colleagues voted to increase meter rates to two dollars per hour, increase the fines for all parking infractions, increase enforcement to draconian levels AND extend enforcement hours to 8 PM. She, and the rest of the Council, had no qualms about what effect these changes would have on the quality of life of Oakland residents any
more than they gave any concern to the effects on Oakland's businesses.

Within the next few days a blizzard of parking citations was unleashed on vehicles parked in metered zones throughout the city after 6 PM whose meters had expired even though all signage still stated that the enforcement hours ended at 6 PM.

This act was a despicable betrayal of the public trust and an indication of the utter contempt that our City Council has for it's constituents! During the following few weeks I saw attendance at my business, the Grand Lake Theater, plummet by almost 50%. Other businesses all over Oakland, especially those that depend on evening patronage, were similarly affected.

Since the very survival of the Grand Lake Theater was at stake I took it upon myself to utilize my theater marquee to launch a grass roots effort to overturn this new policy, enacted by Pat Kernighan and her Council colleagues, before it was too late for my business and thousands of others throughout Oakland. In the next few weeks a volunteer group was formed and we began to gather signatures on petitions to demand that these changes be rescinded. I was able to focus a great deal of media attention on the issue as well.

Faced with an enormous public outcry, hundreds of emails in their inboxes, and a personal plea from myself via telephone calls to hold an emergency hearing to listen to constituents and understand the damage that was being caused, what did the Council do? They went on vacation for their August recess.

Pat Kernighan and her colleagues couldn't be bothered to look at the havoc that they had
unleashed on the community that they had been entrusted to represent. By the time public hearings were finally held it was late September.

My petitions had been signed by over 10,000 people. A similar, and completely separate effort by business people in Oakland's Chinatown district had gathered 5,000 signatures. At a series of Council meetings attended by hundreds of very angry Oaklanders Pat Kernighan, recognizing the political damage that she was suffering, then put forward a resolution that rolled back the hours to 6 PM which barely passed.

It should be noted that both of the Council members who now think that they are qualified to be Mayor of Oakland, Kaplan and Quan, were extremely hostile, arrogant and disrespectful to the dozens of concerned citizens who spoke before the council. I urge any citizen who is considering voting for either of these two mayoral candidates to go to the city hall website and watch their performance that night, September 22, 2009, to see what low esteem they hold for the concerned and injured citizens of Oakland that were beggingfor relief from the problems caused by the Council's mistake.

While the hours were indeed rolled back that night none of the other policies have been changed. The result is that Oakland public policy is to punish and prey on anyone who lives, visits, works, or shops in Oakland and dares to bring an automobile into the city. The parking enforcement is enacted in very dishonest fashion. We all remember news stories last fall
about how low income neighborhoods were being targeted for increased enforcement.

Probably everyone knows of a friend or co worker who pulled into a parking space, walked the distance to buy a parking receipt at a parking kiosque only to return moments later to find that their vehicle had been ticketed by a lurking parking enforcement employee when they walked away from their car to pay for the space.

Even worse, tickets are given to people whose time had not expired, fines that have been paid are not promptly processed and the fines are then doubled, and the appeals process is designed to make any recourse more difficult to obtain than winning the lottery. During the months I personally spent so much of my time fighting the new parking policy I heard hundreds of horror stories.

While no one would disagree that Oakland has a severe budget problem it should be clear to anybody with intelligence that punishing everyone that tries to support the city's economy is not the answer. The resulting decrease for my business and countless others has been clear and now shoppers avoid Oakland. There are too many alternatives for goods and services in adjacent communities that actually welcome visitors.

I firmly believe that more people avoid Oakland because they are afraid of being victimized by our municipal parking enforcement employees than by criminals.

So please remember that when it came to extending parking meter hours Pat Kernighan was for it before she was against it. No current member of Oakland's City Council ever deserves to hold elective office again.

Allen Michaan
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Avenue
Oakland, Ca. 94610
452 1998

Johannes Mehserle vs Oscar Grant at SF Giants Playoff Game

Killer Cop Johannes Mehersele

While most of us were watching the San Francisco Giants go head to head with the Philadelphia Phillies to determine who will play in the World Series, another battle was playing itself out in the McCovey Cove. Supporters of former BART cop Johannes Mehserle and Oscar Grant went head to head with signage.

The father and un-remorseful police supporters of the killer cop Johannnes Mehserle who killed an unarmed Grant in front of hundreds New Years morning 2009 will not let up. According toIndy Bay the father and Mehserle’s brother have hung huge ‘Free Mehserle‘ banners from their Yacht in the McCovey Cove which is right outside of AT&T Park where the SF Giants play.

The other night the Yacht and sign made national attention and enraged the community which quickly responded by sending out boats carrying signs calling for Justice 4 Oscar Grant. Yesterday we talked about this on our Hard Knock Radio show and learned from our guests that when folks holding the Oscar Grant banners showed up, Mehserle’s dad tried to run his boat into their smaller craft.

What’s at stake here is that Mehserle who is facing involuntary manslaughter charges is scheduled to be sentencedNovember 5th. The verdict is seen by many as unfair and way too soft for a guy who has a history of violence both on and off the force. Many feel that Mehserle is literally getting away with murder. The fact that every single police union in California petitioned the California Assembly in support in addition to funding his defense where expert witnesses were being paid 50 and 60 thousand dollars a pop sent a clear message. The police although paid by tax payer dollars are not in step with many of the communities they serve.

There’s a reason why so many people of all backgrounds have taken to the streets in support of Grant. First, what took place that fateful night was egregious. Racial epithets being hurled at Grant moments before he was shot, police falsifying reports to cover up the incident, the men on the platform forced to sit there for handcuffed hours after Grant was killed was inexcusable. The fact that there were no police officers holding press conferences assuring the public what took place was wrong brought up painful memories for many who have been victim or witnesses police misconduct.

As was pointed out during our interview with organizers Rachel Jackson, Jack Bryson and Jack Heyman of the Longshoremen’s Union it should be remembered that since the late 70s over 10 thousand people have been killed by police. Bryson pointed out the overwhelming majority Black and Brown men.

Since the verdict, the police and cops-can-do-no-wrong Mehserle supporters have held all sorts of rallies around the Bay Area in an attempt to influence the sentencing judge. The rallies are held as a way to show that the public backs Mehserle and believes his story that he accidentally grabbed his taser as opposed to a gun.

Most of these rallies have been held in the suburbs 20-30 miles outside of Oakland where Mehserle did his dirty deed. I guess they wouldn’t find a supportive crowd in this neck of the woods which again, should show you just how disconnected things are between the police and communities they serve.

It’s interesting to note that the police have adopted many of the tactics and populus slogans used by activists to bring attention to political prisoners. At these often sparsely attended rallies, you will see signs that read ‘Justice 4 Johannes Mehserle‘, ‘Free Johannes‘ even the The System is broken Free Mehserle Organizers present the story as if Mehserle is the victim, even though he’s the one who did the killing and has yet to personally apologize to the family including Grant’s 4-year-old daughter.

The community responded to Mehserle's father Free Mehserle signs with signs supporting Grant

The stunt with the Yacht is pulled from the direct actionplaybook of activists who often find themselves shut out by mainstream media and resort to hanging banners in public spaces as a way to bring attention to a cause. What’s sad here is that the police already have tight relationships with the media. We saw that during the day of the verdict where reporters were mainstream reporters were embedded along with the police while everyone else including scores of independent journalists were threatened with arrests, even after show department issued press passes. The police had created a second tier of passes.

Grant supporters are not sitting back and allowing this to go unchallenged. In addition to dispatching boats of their own, there are a plans by the Longshoremen’s Union to shut down the port of Oakland this Saturday. As Jack Heymanpointed out, many of his members could relate to the Grant killing. They have sons and daughters who have been mistreated by the police. Many of his members have found themselves being hemmed up. Heyman pointed out that when their union was forming there were striking members shot by the police. Heyman wrote a great article explaining why the Longshoremen’s Union will be shutting things down this weekend in support of Oscar Grant. Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail for Killer Cops! Longshore To Shutdown All Bay Area Ports

There will be a big rally in support of Oscar Grant this Saturday at 12 noon in front of Oakland City Hall. Perhaps folks should show up with signs that read ‘Fry Mehserle’ instead of ‘Free Mehserle

written by Davey D

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