Monday, October 25, 2010

Obama to appear on "The Daily Show" - Did 60 minutes blow their 99er story?

President Barack Obama, after a frenzied four-day campaign dash through five states last week, was back on the campaign trail in Rhode Island yesterday.

The president's message varied little as he moved across the United States, telling those who flocked to rallies and fundraising events that voters faced a choice between Republican economic policies "that got us into this mess" or the Democrats still unfinished struggle to lift the nation out of the deepest fiscal mess in decades.

Did you catch it? The first hint that this President will indeed be running for reelection in 2012 may have been hidden in plain sight within a statement he made on Saturday, at a Minnesota University.

Obama said: “So don’t let them tell you that change isn’t possible. It’s just hard, that’s all.  And that’s okay. We’ve got to earn it. We’re just in the first quarter. We’ve got a lot more quarters to play.” And with that He (Mr Obama) gave the very first official glimpse into the electoral future choice for 2012.

I couldn’t believe that Chris Matthews of MSNBC missed that huge clue, as Matthews remarked yesterday on his show that Obama has given no indication one way or the other if he plans on seeking a second term.

Obama went on to say of Republicans: "All they've got is the same old stuff that they were peddling over the last decade. I just don't want to relive the past. The other side is betting on amnesia. It is up to you to show them that you have not forgotten."

Well Mr. President, it is certainly hard to forget when Americans are living the resulting poverty and anguishing desperation of watching all we worked for over the years evaporate. Each day is a living reminder of what is at stake, only the Democrats have not plead their case nearly as well as they could have, if somebody had the good sense to address the millions of 99ers before this election. If the Democrats lose they have nobody but themselves to blame - but we will still bear the brunt of what that loss (if it happens) will bring.

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" will welcome a sitting American president for the first time ever this week. The cable network has announced that President Barack Obama will appear on the series this Wednesday, October 27th.

This will be Obama's fifth time on the Jon Stewart hosted show, but his first since entering the Oval Office. The high-profile interview will take place during "The Daily Show's" week of "Indecision 2010" midterm election coverage.

In related news, Stewart and his Comedy Central colleague Stephen Colbert will be in the nation's capital this weekend. The satirical newsmen have organized the first-ever "Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear" this Saturday, October 30th. The event at Washington DC's National Mall will begin at 3:00 p.m. local time, Halloween Eve.

With election day one week from today, the Democrats had better get a move on to successfully retain the balance of power in Washington next session.

Meanwhile, famed award winning news show 60 minutes this past weekend aired a segment dedicated to the plight of the 99ers. Unfortunately, although they visited 99ers in communities across the nation, they chose to air this segment about 99ers in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has had some of the highest concentration of wealth over previous years, so 60 minutes failed to truly capture the everyday devastation within the 99er Nation across America.

The segment also misrepresented many facts as to the true numbers of 99ers across America and opined that a Tier 5 would be all but impossible to get passed in Congress. One can only hope they were as wrong about that as they were about most of the facts presented during Sunday’s show. Though they got most of the vital info and statistics wrong and did not do the severe amount of suffering in America justice - hey it is press coverage none the less. 

Where is the coverage of the tent cities and shanty towns? Of those who are living in their cars and going cold and hungry on a daily basis? CBS could have done this so well, but perhaps they too just do not get it! I am not saying that 60 minutes did a bad job - just that they could have done it so much better, that's all.

View the segment for your self and se what you think at:

And as a side note, Move has created a personalized video just for you. It is totally funny but way too serious. Go here (even if you do not have Facebook) you can still see this video from the future specifically for you:

Jennifer Mee Update: Hiccup Girl's Gang-Banging MySpace Page

This update on the sad story of Jennifer Mee the Hiccup Girl that was arrested. She's 19-years old, and arrested for first-degree murder, which means police and prosecutors in St. Petersberg, Florida think she intended to kill 22-year old Shannon Griffin.

The St. Petersburg Police Department say Mee allegedly lured Griffin into a home where two men, Lamont Newton and Laron Raiford, robbed him, then shot him "several times" with a .38 caliber weapon.

According to, Jennifer Mee's Mom Rachel Robidoux says she's not a cold-blooded killer. Indeed, it doesn't make sense that Mee would "just do this" and a possible defense may very well be that Mee didn't know what she was doing. The problem is, St. Petersburg Police say they have a confession from Mee; just what it says is not answered.

The question is just what kind of young woman had Jennifer Mee become? Her MySpace page gives one clue, and the simple fact that she has it as per main social network page when MySpace has come to be considered "low-rent" social networking is telling. Add to that what she's written on her MySpace page and you have a kind of profile.

The title reads "Jennifer'bitches' and she calls herself the "Female Version of A Husla." Now according to The Urban Dictionary, a Husla is "someone skilled at turning a profit no matter what the enterprise." So, in this case the "enterprise" seemed to be robbery.

Her MySpace description tells the tale of a girl who's led a hard life:

name is jennifer, im almost 19 but dont let the age fool you, the struggles ive been through has made me grown up so much. Im always havin fun chillin or vibbin to some gucci:) im a down ass chick and all the others will never compare so dont try me like im the next hoe. Ive lived in florida for a while now but my heart is still in vermont? im trying to better myself and just move on in life. Im single& not lookin but if a real nigga comes along then im here:) hit me up if you need to kno anymore

Reading her MySpace further, we come to more examples of her character, and a possible bit of racism. In this blog entry Mee writes:

My love
Category: Romance and Relationships
My love is nt a game im real n dnt wnt a fake lien cheaten azz nigga

Where "lien" means lying and azz means "ass."

Or, it could mean that she got mixed up with some major gang-banging brothers from the hood.  Her Mom told, which has an exclusive interview, that Jennifer was dating "Lamont Newton and she was living with him, Laron Raiford and Raiford’s girlfriend."  That's news that changes the complexion of the story.

That could place her as an accessory to murder, but first degree? That may not stick here.

Stay tuned.

Unemployment in America: We are MAD as HELL!

American Unemployed are MAD as hell at being ignored. Every day in our country, millions of unemployed are suffering greatly, going hungry, homeless and literally dying. So what is our government doing to help? NOTHING!

The obligation of the individual to act justly toward his fellowman, requires him (as far as that is possible) to do nothing that inflicts injury on them by depriving them of the things they need in order to make good lives for themselves. The positive side consists of actions that facilitate or enhance the pursuit of happiness by others, through helping them to obtain goods that they need, but that they cannot obtain wholly by their own efforts.

The obligation of the organized community or of its government is to act justly toward its members or subjects. This function is crucial to a properly functioning government and a thriving society. A just government is one that secures, as far as that is possible, the natural rights of all who are subject to it. In other words, it is under the obligation to injure no one. Beyond this, however, a just government is under the positive obligation, as a matter of justice, to promote the general welfare.

Bonum Commune Communitatis [Latin for: Common good of the community]
It means, first, that it ought to preserve and enhance the common good of the community itself, in which its subjects participate or share, a good that is essential to their making good lives for themselves. In addition, it means that a just government ought to help its subjects obtain the real goods that they cannot obtain wholly by their own individual efforts. As Lincoln observed, a government should do for its people what they, individually, cannot do for themselves.

The purpose of the state is to help it’s citizens not only to live, but also to live well; it is, by its very nature, a means to these ends, and it serves these ends only when it promotes the general welfare by preserving peace and helping its people to obtain the things they need that they cannot obtain by their individual efforts.

We can conclude, then, that contractual obligations have a distinctly moral component. Autonomy means that people are held morally responsible for the decisions that they make; since a contract is a voluntary agreement to do something, the responsibility is generated to meet the conditions of the contract.

Look now at those names on your ballot and determine for your selves if these folks have or will meet their moral obligation to the citizens of the United States of America. If you have any doubt that a candidate will do so - DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM.

It comes as no surprise that President Obama nor 95% of all candidates who are actually competing in the up coming election are determined to completely ignore the term “99ers.” The reason is, if the incumbents were to do so, they would surely have to own up to their failure to provide the help these 5 million (or more) Americans so desperately need. Those who are challengers (non-incumbents) this election season also avoid the subject of the 99ers’ dilemma. This greatly angers the 99er Nation beyond words, but what can you do about this? VOTE wisely.

Feelings of "anger" about the country’s economic problems vary across party lines. In a recent ABC News/Yahoo Poll, 12 percent of registered Democrats said they were angry about the economy, compared to 30 percent of independents and more than 40 percent of Republicans.

Of the quarter of the survey's total registered voters who classified themselves as "angry" heading into the midterm elections, a majority said that they blame both parties equally. But an additional 35 percent point the finger just at Democrats, compared to just 10 percent who say the GOP is solely to blame. They also say that they are more likely to vote than those who say that they're "dissatisfied," but not hopping mad.

HELLO....what country have these folks been living in for the past decade? It is an undeniable FACT that the Republicans spent like drunken sailors during the Bush Jr. years and deregulated corporate responsibility to the point where the big wigs nearly destroyed the American economy with their greed and lack of fair play toward the public.

If the Democrats are guilty of anything, it is that they have worked too slow to save millions of Americans from the inevitable wake of destruction that swelled during the Bush years and began to crash ashore just before Obama took office.

Are you mad as hell? Then this crisis in America demands that you do not sit this one out on November 2, 2010. If you do everything humanly possible to send the best, most humane leaders to Washington and it still does not work - then you still have the option in America to engage in massive protests and civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is sometimes justified in a democracy, but activists must first exhaust the legal channels of change and turn to disobedience only as a last resort. Post election rioting was recently demonstrated in Iran, with tragic results.

If civil unrest is indeed coming to America, due to the failure of our government to meet the needs of millions of hurting citizens - then it may well begin as massive protests. A protest expresses a strong reaction to events or situations. The term protest usually implies a reaction against something, but it could also mean a reaction for something. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly and forcefully making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or may undertake direct action in an attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves.

With just a week or so until the election of the decade, the first thing that must be done is to keep the oppressors of the middle class out of power. Once the Congress returns to Washington, November 15, 2010 - they must (no matter how this election turns out) address the issue of unemployment extensions (both a Tier 5 and the extension of the dates to file for UI benefits).

If Congress should ignore this priority obligation, then the reaction of those Americans effected by this failure of government is likely to be heard around the world via European type protests in the streets of our own USA shores.

I am NOT promoting violence or condoning it in any way, but it would be remiss of anyone reporting on the devastation among the 99er Nation to ignore the very real possibility that this may happen very soon - unless Washington does it’s job and takes care of those hurting, desperate people now.

Jennifer Mee: Hiccup Girl Charged With Murder

Jennifer Mee is known as the 2007 "Hiccup Girl" who now has a real life impacting hiccup - she was charged with murder.

Jennifer Mee - famous for hiccuping for 50 straight times a minute for a straight five weeks - for some reason, at the age of 19 now, was arrested along with two others, for the murder of a person they were trying to rob.

How could one have gone so wrong, so young?

According to MSNBC, St. Petersburg Police Department Sgt. T.A. Skinner said in a news release that on Saturday Mee "lured the victim, Shannon Griffin, 22, to a home where the others robbed him at gunpoint." Griffin reportedly struggled with the Mee and the other suspects and was shot several times.

The Hiccup Girl story aside, what's not known is how her life changed such that she's in so much trouble. She admitted the incident but it's not clear if she was the person who pulled the trigger. Now, she's flirting with a charge of murder in the first degree and a life sentence.

The eventual charge may be less than that with some chance for a normal life in the future, but where are her parents and how did Jennifer Mee fall so far?

Those are the important questions.

Oakland Mayor's Race: Greg Harland Pissed Off With Jean Quan

In this installment of The Oakland Mayor's Race Chronicles, this blogger just received a call from Oakland Mayoral Candidate Greg Harland, and boy did he have a lot to say on the record.

First, Harland was really pissed with something he thinks was written by Bob Gammon of The East Bay Express, but appears on the The Anybody But Perata Website, which is written and managed by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor.  This is it:

Greg Harland Reverses Field, Now Says Perata Is His Second Choice For Mayor Of Oakland

Oakland mayoral candidate Greg Harland has suddenly changed his position on Don Perata, telling voters at a Thursday night candidates forum at Holy Names College that Perata is now his second choice for mayor of Oakland.

Harland said he felt Perata had the experience and was "well-qualified" to become Oakland's next mayor.

With all Oakland voters getting second and third choices for mayor this year in the city's new "ranked choice" voting format, candidates at the forum were asked who their second and third choices would be on the ballot.

Harland's position on Perata is a marked change from his position only a month ago. At the September 14 Oakland Climate Action Coalition mayoral debate at the Oakland Museum, Harland said that Perata was "not the candidate for Oakland," adding that Perata's front-runner status in the campaign was only due to "name recognition," which Harland implied was a poor way to pick a city leader. "If Charles Manson came to Oakland and ran for mayor, he'd beat us all out," Harland said.

Earlier in the campaign, Harland was one of the few mayoral candidates to offer specific criticism of Perata...

Harland has offered no explanation as to his abrupt change of opinion of Perata, or his change of tactics in now repeatedly attacking Perata's closest competitors in the mayor's race.

Ok, fine. Frankly, what appeared above is much ado about nothing to this blogger's view. But Harland wants you to know he's not altered his position and says that his ranked choice is Harland, Don Perata, and then Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large). And in fairness to Greg, Perata was always his second choice, even with the criticism of him.

But again, so what. The big deal is Greg Harland just goes off about Councilmember Jean Quan (District 4 - Oakland Hills, Montclair) in his conversation with me. Greg said I could quote him on the record, so here it is and there's more: Harland thinks openly that Quan would be a disaster as Mayor of Oakland. He characterizes her as mean and vindictive, and uses an episode at the Oakland Rotary Club as one example.

About a month ago, Greg claims he was invited to The Rotary Club to speak, but as he said to me "there's Jean walking around with Sue Piper (her very good assistant) and placing things on the tables. Then a person representing The Oakland Rotary Club comes to me and says 'Jean Quan's here so we are going to give her a few minutes to speak.'" Harland said he was going to leave, but was encouraged to stay.   Quan talked for over her given time and into his, so he quietly protested and The Oakland Rotary tapped Quan on the shoulder to get her to give up the podium.  She did so.

Then Greg tells the story of how Jean, he claims, threatened to "come after him" if he failed to tell the truth about her impact on the Oakland Unified School District.  Harland writes this on his website:

I’ve been asked many times whom I would recommend for my second choice on the ballot. Jean Quan has said this is a contest only between her and Don Perata, and the other eight candidates are not even in the race. That might be true but for over thirty forums, I’ve listened to Jean Quan present her twenty years of service to the city, 12 on the OUSD School Board and 8 on the Oakland City Council. She says while on the OUSD School Board, she raised teachers’ salaries and hired more teachers to reduce class sizes. When I checked the records, I found that was true: she did raise teachers’ salaries, almost 24%, in addition to hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes.

And all of that would be laudable, except for the fact that it took the school district into such a deep bankruptcy that they couldn’t actually find the bottom. The result was they had to lay off 330 teachers and counselors, and 260 staff. To this day she refuses to accept responsibility for this and blames it on the state, which came in and rescued the district with a 100 million dollar loan. Jean then went on to greener pastures, and ran for City Council.

During her tenure on the City Council, in 2004 and 2005, she voted for the police and fire salaries and pensions that we’re choking on today. Now she demonizes them, saying the police should pay their pensions just like all the other unions. In addition, she showed up at the second Oscar Grant protest and participated in obstructing the police when they tried to disperse the crowd. In light of all of that, how could she possibly sit across the table in negotiations with the police, and ask them to do the right thing? Negotiations take credibility and good will.

The simple fact Harland spent that much time on Quan gives you a good idea of how he feels.  At one point in our talk this morning, I said "Greg, you're being mean to Jean."  Greg said, "Me?  What about her?  F-her."

This little feud has gone on for a while.  One time, Greg says that Jean came up and threatened to take down his lawn signs.  (Frankly, it's hard to write that without laughing.)  Harland says Quan bullies him, or at least tries to from his perspective.

Wild.  But lest you think Quan's not the only mayoral candidate he's got an issue with, he also mentions that Joe Tuman "steals the ideas of other candidates," and that's a claim which first came from Terrance Candell months ago.   Joe does have a habit of not attributing ideas to a source, but he's smart enough to at least adopt the right ideas.

For example, in my video interview, Joe says he wants to go back to chalking tires to mark parked cars, rather than the electronic crap we've got now and the predatory parking practice the city established.  That's awesome.  But the idea was  Grand Lake Theater Owner Allan Michaan's, not Joe's.   What I said to Greg on the phone is that as long as Joe's listening to the right ideas, who cares?  But that's me, not Greg or Terrance.  Heck, they can't take some of his ideas.

But he goes on.

Harland claims that Tuman's idea for police early retirement was originally Rebecca Kaplan's.  What's interesting is that some of Rebecca's supporters have massively hammered Joe for what was Kaplan's idea!

Too funny.

But guess who escapes this mayoral candidate infighting without a mark in Greg's view?  Don Perata.  Harland says that of all the candidates, Perata is the one who's not changed his position.  Now, Harland may not have paid attention to the whole Public Ethics Commission issue, where Perata first said he would abolish it, then said he would retain it.  But that's a little detail there of little importance, right?

Closing on the matter of Harland and Quan, the after the campaign is over, the two of them should tell their significant others to go on vacations, then get together and have great post-campaign sex. Considering the way they've screwed each other before the election, it's a great way to finish after it.

Stay tuned.

2010 World Series, Giants v Rangers - Manic As Giants Win Pennant

The 2010 World Series is "upon us" as the late, great Oakland Raiders announcer Bill King would say, and it's the San Francisco Giants vs. The Texas Rangers. And it's fair to say the San Francisco Bay Area is just plain manic and it started before the Giants won The Pennant.

One reason for my absence from and, other than obessively working on the now growing and bring in bloggers (want to blog about the World Series, drop me an email), was that this video blogger was out making new content. (I also thank the people who reminded me of my service to the community, something that slipped by in my quest to remake media.  It's gratifying to know that there are local readers who care about this space. I will publicly tell you that SF Bay Area Media is more damaged than ever, and that's due to ego and bad management that's for another time. The happy end note is there's opportunity in chaos!!)

Here's the latest videos, all on the SF Giants.

What's so awesome about the 2010 World Series, Giants v Rangers is that the San Francisco Party Economy is in full swing. The first game is Wednesday night, and at the same time that for some reason, the San Francisco Chapter of The American Marketing Association elected to have a meeting on digital media marketing!

Just shows you what the SF-AMA knows, as the best vehicle for digital media marketing is sports, and they're missing the premier event in San Francisco - the World Series. SF-AMA should make the meeting a viewing party!

But I digress. It's celebration time. What better place to start than Saturday at The Brick Yard Restaurant and Bar at 1787 Union St (at Octavia), a great place to watch sports, and where the SRO crowd went totally nuts after Giants Pitcher Brian Wilson's final strike out:

(Well, OK, sometimes people do get too excited. A woman I met who's visiting from Boston and med school, got doused with beer during all the celebration. But that was more a regional issue; a lot of locals were getting doused with beer and loving it.)

Brick Yard owner Darren Matte, who gets what great service is about, says you should call him now (415) 400-4712 and to reserve a table for Wednesday night:

After that celebration, the streets of San Francisco went nuts as people cheered and honked their horns in the rain. From The Brick Yard, where the crowd spontaneously sang "Don't Stop Believing," to The Bus Stop down the street, where the drinks flowed as people whooped and hollered, to the streets of The Marina District, where drunk guys who could hardly stand up were loudly saying "GO GIANTS." Get ready, because it's going to be that way for the rest of this week:

But the party got started before last weekend, as The Giants beat the Phillies in the NLCS. This blogger attended Momo's Restaurant next door to AT&T Park where a female Phillies fan openly let her love for her team be known to any Giants fan there - and there were a lot of them. Unfortunately, she reports having a beer bottle thrown at her not once, but twice at AT&T Park. And in this video one male Giants fan was so massively hammered while talking to her it was impossible to make sense of what he was saying, and to a degree it seemed threatening. But it wasn't all bad - we had the "Yes On 19" crowd, too. Check it out:

And this video made from what were the best seats I'd had for a Giants game or any big game including the seven Super Bowl's I've attended - right along the 3rd base line for last Thursday's game:

Finally, I took my dear friend Emily to the Giants Braves game since we both go back and forth from here to Atlanta. She's a die-hard Braves fan and a great baseball fan, so it was a hoot:

So I am ready and I hope you're ready for what's going to be an awesome week. GO GIANTS, and please, be nice to the visiting Texas Rangers fans. Show the best of San Francisco and Oakland. We know there are ass holes out there, we don't need be reminded of that all the time.


And stay tuned.

Jennifer Mee 'Hiccup Girl' Charged With Murder

Time NewsFeed reports that Jennifer Mee, the girl who is known for hiccuping 50 times in one minute back in 2007, is one of the three people arrested and charged with first degree murder after a botched robbery.

According to CBS News the 19-year-old admitted involvement in a fatal shooting in St. Petersburg Florida. She allegedly "lured a 22-year old man, Shannon Griffin, to a home where two male accomplices allegedly robbed and shot him."

In Florida first degree murder charges can lead to the death penalty.

Mee's Mugshot
Mee had her 15 minutes of fame for hiccuping 50 times in one minute due to a case of unstoppable hiccups. At the time she was temporarily unable to attend school. She had to see a hypnotist, chiropractor and acupuncturist until the hiccups finally went away.

The whole nation felt bad for this young girl, but now she is being seen in a different light.

It seems unfortunate now that she had that fame, because if she had just been another person then this news would not have made it to national headlines. These things happen every day all over the country without being reported on in any publication other than the ones locally, but when a mini-celebrity or someone who was once a public figure in some way gets involved with this it becomes nationally recognized.

Written by Nikky Raney
Journalist & Blogger

Editing is Important

X-posted at The Future of Journalism

The title of this blog post should make the reader say "DUH! Any piece of writing that is going to be submitted for publication (even a blog post) should be edited.

 Fact-checking is also extremely important, but that's going to be another blog post.

No one is going to get the lead perfect the first time writing it, and if someone thinks that the lead (first sentence for those who didn't know) written the first time is good enough then that person is incorrect.

When writing an article that just has a direct/summary lead (just answering the who, what, where, when) then maybe the lead doesn't need to be worked on as hard, but for indirect/delayed leads (will be explained later) the lead needs to be worked on.

The first draft of any sort of post (article or blog post, but mostly an article written by a journalist) should not be the only draft done before submitting for publication.

With print journalism there is usually an editor/copy editor that can go through the copy (the draft) and edit it in accordance to the style guide used with that publication (like the AP Style Guide). There are certain universal rules that all style books follow (which again, will be discussed in another blog post). Wow, there are a lot of other blog posts I need to make - or maybe I need to make "pages" so that when there's a "glossary term" that isn't understood by the readers I can just put a link to the page and voila! Or have the pages on the sidebar.. I'll figure that out.

Anyway, if there isn't an editor to go through and look through the copy then that responsibility is left to the reporter/writer. With anything that is published there needs to be editing, because no one ever gets it perfect the first time. To hand in the first draft written of an article is just foolish - sure it may be good enough to be published and well done, but it can always be better.

Checking through a document for grammatical and spelling errors can really help the credibility or the writer and/or publication. Simple spelling errors and grammatical errors really can make the entire post and publication look bad.

Even this post will be read through thoroughly and edited, re-worded, etc. before the "PUBLISH POST" button is clicked. Sure, it might take more time - but it's better to look something over and be able to be proud to have your name attached to that piece.

As an editor (I have been a Managing Editor and right now I am newly appointed as the Executive Editor for it is very hard not to read through any piece of writing without judging based off the errors made. Proofreading should always be done as well, but that goes without saying...or maybe it doesn't.

It's just disheartening to look through posts on (or God forbid in an issue of Newsweek)  and see errors that could easily be prevented if there was more time spent editing.  If it is an emergency story that needs to be out there IMMEDIATELY then it is understandable as to why there wouldn't be as much editing done (like for a web story), but afterwards the post should be edited.

It is just a huge pet peeve to see no effort going into these news stories. Effort in getting interviews and actually writing and doing the research is another story, but after the entire thing is written the person should be proud of the work and want to edit it to make sure there were no mistakes.

More on editing later.
Now it's time to edit this post and click the "PUBLISH POST" button.

YouTube Asked To Remove 700 Anwar al-Awlaki Terrorist Videos

NY Rep. Anthony Weiner wants YouTube to pull down more than 700 videos that are said to have Anwar ai-Awlaki spreading anti-American terrorist hate.

According to The New York Daily News, Anwar al-Awlaki is the Yemeni-American cleric who inspired the Fort Hood massacre and Christmas undies bomber.

But will that action called for by NY Rep. Weiner really help? YouTube's not the only video distribution service; the people who posted it can just as easily go to someplace like

Moreover, taking down the videos just makes it harder to spot his sympathizers. In other words, having a place online where we can track his sympathizers's locations as they listen to him is valuable.

 Taking Anwar al-Awlaki's videos down just seems rather narrow-minded.

For too long, before 9-11, people like Anwar al-Awlaki or Osama Bin Ladin were not known to much of the World. Even with that, they still recruited people. The best situation for America is to keep the videos up and active so reasonable people can hear the stupidly of his message.

Oakland City Council Election: Precinct Walking For Libby Schaaf

With just over one week before the election, this blogger went precinct walking for family friend Libby Schaaf, who's running for the Oakland City Council District 4 seat (Oakland Hills - Montclair). I told Libby she should run for Mayor of Oakland long ago, but she's taking the step-ladder approach. If elected, and she really deserves your vote, she's going to make an excellent Oakland councilmember, but we've got to go door-to-door to do it. I've got to admit, it was fun.

What was most enjoyable was meeting the people who make up the area around the Montclair Shopping District. We started with a coffee-table meetup at Montclair Park, led by Oakland Councilmember Jane Brunner, who gave us a good pep talk to get us going. More along the lines of what to say and not to say, than anything else. Meanwhile, a group of joggers went on their circuit, and people were just getting out to run errands. We were on our way.

A Lot Of "Joe Tuman For Mayor" Signs

This is just a fact: there were more "Joe Tuman For Mayor" signs around the area we canvased than for anyone else running for office at any level. Period. To write a blog post without noting that would be dishonest. On that note, Clinton Killian, Libby's challenger, also has some lawn signs visible, thanks to his supporters. It's great to see that Oaklanders are really engaged in this election, and even more so than I expected.

A Team Talk

We - Libby's parents Bob and Barbara Shock, and myself - had a strategy where Barb would take one side of a street, and Bob and I the other. Since Bob's more like your kindly grandfather, I felt it was better for him to do the knocking while I was on hand for background information. That teamwork succeeded in launching into conversations about what the voters wanted in a councilperson.

The best quality for the new councilmember is to be effective: to be able to take action to fix the streets and roads of the neighborhood. That calls for a feel for Oakland's City Hall and a knowledge of who to contact to handle a problem. The second quality is to be able to listen, and carefully, and for a long time. I can comfortably say Libby has both qualities and our job was to share that view with the people we talked to.

The Sprinkler

The Saturday walk was not without its interesting developments and mishaps.  There was the large live turkey in a person's backyard and visible from the road.  That thing must have been three feet tall!  Seriously.   That was one big turkey.

Then there was the sprinkler.  Someone had their sprinkler set such that when you walked up their walkway to ring their bell, the water sprinkler, pointed at the path, would shoot a spray of water at you.  That happened to me, and thank God I'm fast enough to dodge the stream or I'd have gotten pretty wet.  Check out the video!

Folks, if you are not home, turn off the auto-sprinkler, or if you don't want to be visited by precinct walkers, put up a sign. It will be honored. But the sprinkler in my face? Not cool, but one of the hazards of doing a good deed of that kind.

Stay tuned.