Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dancing With The Stars Jennifer Grey beats Bristol Palin, Kyle Massey

Jennifer Grey
The Dancing With The Stars 2010 Finale is over and much of America's breathing a collective sigh of relief that Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol Palin didn't win it all; Jennifer Grey did.

Last week, many DWTS viewers erupted in protest, as Palin beat singer Brandy to go to the finals, after a massive online voting campaign by Tea Party people and Palin fans overcame Bristol's low dance scores.

So ends another Palin Family media blitz engineered by some PR firm and GOP operatives, who managed to keep Bristol's ex Levy Johnston out of the picture (The two are pictured below.)

Palin and Levy Johnston
One midwestern man was so upset that Palin won he shot his television set. Others charged that the voting was rigged. And Dancing With The Stars producer Conrad Green said that they didn't know who cast the votes or how, adding fuel to the firestorm of controversy surrounding DWTS vote credibility.

Mr. Green and the DWTS minders can be forgiven if they worked to make sure Palin didn't win, considering the hue and cry from last week.

Bristol Palin Did Not Win

Lacie and Kyle
Palin, who with her dance partner Mark Ballas did perform much better even than last week, still got the lowest score of the three dancing couples.  Meanwhile, Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, the favorites to win the contest according to the NY Daily News, got the highest score, with Kyle and his hot partner Lacey Schwimmer in second place.  That's the way it finished.

While the media talk is about Palin, Grey, the 50-year-old star famous for her role in Dirty Dancing expressed a great mix of talent, style and sexiness, on her way to grabbing the title.  But Kyle had the hottest dance partner in Lacie, who declared that the "loved this man" after the winners were announced.

DWTS Is Over

With all of that, Dancing With The Stars is over.  Once again, America's collective dislike for being told who to pay attention to produced ratings for a reality TV show.

In this case, outrage over the perception that Bristol Palin was inserted in DWTS as a kind of clandestine way to promote her Mom for president, got the collective gord of the country.

Google News Politics: Anti Sarah Palin Post Gets Google Censorship

Yep. You read that correctly: "Google News Politics: Anti Sarah Palin Post Gets Google Censorship." That's another way of saying this blogger's Zennie62.com blog was not included in Google News after a blog post called "Will Sarah Palin Ever Shut Up?"

Prior to Friday, November 19th, when that post, and others on Zennie62 for that day were included on Google News, then taken off and moved to Google Blog Search, Zennie62.com had become a major presence on Google News, outperforming many news sites, and showing a way toward a positive future for media that can be done by anyone.  A truly democratic effort.  But what's Google News?

Google News is a news aggregator that places the "news of the day" from news websites, blogs, and now videos, into categories for content consumption by people like you and me. It was created by Google Google's principal scientist Krishna Bharat, and launched September 2002.

Krishna Bharat: Google News Creator 
According to the Online Journalism Review, Krishna's objective was to create a news portal that helped sort through the "flood" of information produced online after September 11, 2001.

In 2003, Krishna said that Google News was "a force for democracy."

Yeah.  Right.

Unfortunately, given the way this blogger was handled this week, that's not true at all in 2010.

Google News has evolved to become a force for censorship, a protector of traditional news sites against the dreaded independent blogs and bloggers like me, and a breakwater against harsh, muckraking criticism of the high-and-mighty named Sarah Palin. Google News is starting to look more like a dictatorship than a representation of democratic America.

If I post on SFGate.com, that's a traditional news site, but having the same post at Zennie62.com, suddenly became an issue for Google News after my deliberately controversial attack on the PR system that's pushing Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at an unwilling public.   Now, the Zennie62.com blogger's stepped out of his "place" and here's Google News to push him back there.

To repeat, Sarah Palin is pushed by Fox News, CNN, and even MSNBC, and television shows like Dancing With The Stars at an American public, thousands of times a day on a daily basis.   That, coupled with Palin's recent comments that she's considering running against President Obama in 2012, make it look as if we're being "primed" to "accept" the idea of Palin as President.  Or, to go a step further, America's being brainwashed to accept the idea.

Just a search on Google News for Sarah Palin today, Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 9:45 PM EST reveals posts on her, her daughter Bristol, and a quarter-page below three conservative blogs, Red State (on Google News?), NewsBusters, and PowerLine.   Liberal blog competitors are nowhere to be seen at all.

But go over to Google Blog Search and search for Sarah Palin, and the Liberal blogs appear: The Daily Beast,  TMZ.com, Palinfacts.com, and VF Daily, to name a few, all with negative posts about Sarah Palin's new TV show Sarah Palin's America.  Hey, Zennie62.com is there as well, now.   (All the Liberal blogs together in the basement!  Let's party!)

Why are The Daily Beast and VF Daily not on Google News? That's news in itself.

But the overall finding that Liberal blogs have been banished to Google Blog Search, and Conservative blogs are visible on Google News is alarming.   So much for Google News being Krishna's "Force for Democracy."

If Krishna and Google are really serious about Google News being a "force for democracy," this has to stop.  All of the blogs, regardless of political stripe, should be listed on Google News, not just those Conservative blogs that have been boosted, approved by Google, and given space by attacking Zennie62.com.    In my case, someone just noted that I blog on SFGate.com, and said "Oh, he's duplicating content."  Bull.

The content is mine and I'm cross-posting; all content starts at Zennie62.com, not SFGate.com.  Google staff knew this, and it was a point I made when applying for inclusion to Google News: that it's not right for Google News to favor news sites over blog sites.

Blogs are the real "force for democracy."  It's too bad Krishna wants to keep the Liberal blogs in the basement of censorship, where criticism of Sarah Palin is seen by fewer viewers.

Not cool.  Not right. And downright bad.

And in case you're wondering, I did contact  Krishna about the Zennie62.com Google News problem via email and phone.  This was done Monday evening, even as this blogger was stranded at Chicago's O'Hare Airport due to an epic rain storm while in route to Atlanta for Thanksgiving.  Krishna said he would "have support look into it," but seemed rushed.  It was on the next day, today, that I received the email about not being included in Google News any more, and a full five days after the Palin action.

Stay tuned.

North Korea Bombs South Korea: Is This The Start of World War III?

North Korea fired 200 artillery shells at a South Korean military base on the island of Yeonpyeong this morning. The attack killed 2 marines and left 16 injured. The island is home to 1,600 residents and most are fleeing the island or seeking the protection of bomb shelters.

North Korea is making the false allegation that it was fired upon first. President Obama is outraged by what they are calling an attack, which clearly defies the 1953 armistice. A representative of the white house, Bill Burton, had this to say to reporters.

"The president is outraged by this action,” Burton said. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with South Korea….North Korea has a pattern of doing things that are provocative. This is a part of that pattern."

Some are speculating that this may be the start of World War III, but Stephen Bosworth, the Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador, stated that

“We regard this development with great seriousness,” but added “we do not consider it a crisis.”

Whether or not this sparks another World War is uncertain yet. The South Korean public has voiced it's reluctance to go to war with North Korea and hopefully a diplomatic solution can be found.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature



Beaverton School District: Some Oregon Schools Closed Due to Weather

Despite temperatures of 60's on Long Island some areas of Oregon are experiencing heavy weather.  The Beaverton School District announced at 5:30am today that it will be closing all schools due to winter weather.  Schools are closed to students and faculty but the administrative offices will remain open to answer any questions.  All school district events will be postponed until further notice.

The schools official statement can be found at http://www.beavton.k12.or.us/home/departments/public-safety-and-security/

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature


GOP Midterm Mandate? Not so much...

We know that the voters who turned out tended to be older, richer, and whiter than the U.S. population as a whole, but a new McClatchy-Marist poll suggests the majority of Americans didn't give the GOP any mandate - in fact, they tend to lean toward taxing the rich, and tweaking the health care reform, not extending the Bush Tax cuts and repealing what opponents insist on calling Obamacare.

For instance, while the survey did find that mandates for buying health care don't sit well with voters, some of the other changes, such as the end to denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, enjoy the support of 2/3 of those surveyed. From the article:

Another 35 percent want to change it to do more. Among groups with pluralities who want to expand it: women, minorities, people younger than 45, Democrats, liberals, Northeasterners and those making less than $50,000 a year.

Not surprisingly there's broad support for asking the wealthy to pay a fair share on tax day, too. But the mainstream media seems intent to echo the Republican's claim that they've got an overwhelming mandate, and ignoring both the folks who point out that the pundits are glossing over the actual data and the reality that the current President actually lowered taxes for most Americans - just not ratings friendly stories, you see?

What the Republicans have got is success turning out voters in a mid-term election, and despite their protests that "the media" has "liberal bias" they've got control of the reports that get air-time. I'll give them credit for that.

Read more about the results at McClatchy. 

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, journalist, political strategist, and photographer who recently worked as the Campaign Manager on the Madore For Congress campaign in Minnesota's 2nd District. He contributes regularly to a host of other web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Weight gain during the holidays- is it genetically determined? by Dr. Christina Villarreal

Many of us anticipate weight gain during the holidays because of the rich and varied foods associated with holiday celebrations. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) estimates that the average citizen consumes 4,500 calories and gains 3-7 pounds on Thanksgiving alone. Some of us will gain more than others, and some of us will struggle more to lose the added weight come January 1, 2011. Besides lamenting over this seemingly unfair fact, what can we learn about our genetic propensity for weight gain?

Healthy weight management is frequently a core goal amongst the patients I treat in my private practice in the Bay Area, CA. Most people aiming to improve their mental health recognize that a key component of emotional well-being is maintaining healthy diet and exercise habits. In my clinical experience, there is a good deal of variance in people's willingness and ability to accomplish their healthy eating and exercise goals.

Family, twin, and adoption studies
examining the genetic influence of weight gain suggest that at least 70% of our weight is genetically determined, and perhaps as heritable as our height. Some experts in the field believe weight is more heritable than other conditions, including heart disease, breast cancer, hypertension, or even mental illness. Claude Bouchard & colleagues conducted experiments on a metabolic unit in which different sets of identical twins were exposed to the same number of calories and same amount of exercise. The twin pairs each gained approximately the same amount of weight, however there were marked differences in weight gain amongst the different pairs of twins, despite exposure to the same amount of calories and exercise. Bouchard emphasizes that genetic variation "has much to do with the risk of becoming obese," though clearly, there are environmental factors that play an important role in weight management.

It's fairly common knowledge that our genes determine our body shape (take this quiz to determine if you are apple, pear, hourglass, petite or slim/athletic) and body type (take this quiz to determine if you are an endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph), and our skill and motivation to exercise (it's not uncommon for people to inherit their physical agility and coordination skills.) Researchers studying the Human Obesity Gene Map found that there are over 300 separate trait areas (loci) that may be involved in weight control.

So what does this mean for you this holiday season?

While our genes have an influence upon our weight and body type/shape, ultimately, our weight remains highly influenced by environmental factors, such as the diet and exercise regimen we choose. This holiday season, understand your genetic predisposition for weight gain, and make your choices accordingly.

Warden and Fisler
suggest that the differences found in individual's genetic profile could lead to greater flexibility in national recommendations such as the food pyramid for changes in lifestyle involving diet and exercise created to prevent obesity.

For professional referrals, contact Dr. Villarreal at www.christina.villarreal@gmail.com, or visit her website at www.drchristinavillarreal.com

FedEx Express National Service Disruption: No Money Back

Federal Express just sent an email that reads like this:    
FedEx Express National Service Disruption

The Memphis hub and flight operations experienced substantial disruptions last night due to severe thunderstorms. Consistent with the provisions of the FedEx Service Guide, the money-back guarantee is suspended for U.S. packages and shipments inbound into the U.S. from international locations with a delivery commitment of Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010.

Continue to check fedex.com for service updates as well as track the status of your shipment.

Thank you,
While I don't have a FedEx package out there, someone, millions do.  The same thunderstorms that caused flight cancellations at O'Hare Airport have wrecked the nation's air travel system.  Because of that, FedEx announces this service disruption.   But you're not getting your money back.

Well, it's a natural disaster.

Miley Cyrus Is Legal at 18! Happy Birthday Miley!

Hey! Everyone tell Save The Last Dance Producer Adam Shankman Miley Cyrus is legal now. The singer and actress who went from Hanna Montana innocence to sexy, racy megastardom while 16 and 17, is as of today, 18 years old.

If you recall, then-44-year-old Adam Shankman was caught famously grind dancing with Miley Cyrus at a wrap party for the movie in Georgia. Someone captured the action on a cell phone camera, the content shared with TMZ.com, which then shared it with this blogger, and viola:

Starting a big uproar. (And here's the original video before the TMZ final: click.)

Anyway, one YouTube commenter put the Cyrus / Shankman (photo by The News Chronicle at left) grind issue in this rather provocative way:

1 month ago 3

When teenage girls start griding middle aged men it's not her fault, it's their own. And who cares? Let em do whatever they wanna do. Who cares who is how old? If a 13 year old girl wants to grind to a fucking 90 year old shrivel dick let her. You're not going to induce a state of artificial purity in people. at 21 years old I can tell you straight up that teenage girls are NOT innocent. They come on to me and other guys in their 20s and even older ALL THE TIME! Deal with it.

Well, now, Miley Cyrus is 18, so she can do what the heck she wants!

On Twitter, Birthday Miley is a rising trend, with fans tweeting well-wishes, like this one:

Jbarinque JB
Morning Twitter just wanna say Happy 18th Birthday Miley =)
4 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply


meg706 Ma.Elaine Gonzales
happy birthday Destiny Hope Ray Cyrus aka Miley Cyrus!! love lots.. your such an inspiration. hope you'll come back on twiter!! i miss you
Stay tuned.

North Korea Bombs South Korea; Why?

The latest set of Google Trends includes the keywords North Korea Bombs South Korea, which would seem to imply the two nations are at war. What happened was that, for reasons not yet known, North Korea sent an estimated 200 bombs at a South Korean island in what is called The Yellow Sea.

South Korea has "returned fire and scrambled fighter jets in response" according to http://www.aiesalas.com. Here's a CNN video:

What is known, according to CNN, is still a mystery, other than the fact that the island of 1,500 people was it, 14 were injured and one killed.

Stay tuned.

Racist Mistakes Black Harvard Students For Gang Bangers

The owner of the Cure Lounge in Boston shut down a party held by black Harvard and Yale students because, according to Jezebel, management of the business located at 246 Tremont St. first feared that "local gang bangers" were in line at the club.

To check this, party organizers and Harvard Business School students Michael Beal and Kwame Owusu-Kesse checked the people in line with great detail, made sure that the party goers were Harvard and Yale graduates or students, and determining that was the case, shared their findings with Cure Lounge management.

But rather than leave the matter alone, Cure Lounge management then said that "local gang bangers" were walking by and trying to get into the club.  Note, even though they had no proof of the claim, Cure Lounge management shut the party down anyway.

According to Above The Law.com, this was shared around the Internet via email:

Multiple people claim they were told: “there are black women in line… who attract black men… which looks bad” for a new club like Cure
What's galling is not just Cure Lounge management, but that  Michael Beal and Kwame Owusu-Kesse are not willing to call an obvious racist, just that.  In an email they write:

However, as a black man, these emotions are trumped by an arduous feeling of sadness that regardless of our crowd representing the pinnacle of academic achievement as Harvard and Yale College alumni, Law, Medical, Business and PhD students, we were perceived as a threat because of our skin color. I am further dismayed that after having spent the last few hours with the club owner, I do not believe him to be a racist; which only adds to my consternation around what this event says about race relations in our country.
"do not believe him to be a racist."

Are they crazy?

The "Young Black White Hope Syndrome"

Michael Beal and Kwame Owusu-Kesse exhibit what this blogger will call the "Young Black White Hope Syndrome," which is that because they're young, and in this case students at Harvard and Yale, they can't possibly be the targets of the same racism their parents and elders faced.  They see themselves as the black white hope for the future.

Welcome to the real World of stupid people in Boston and America. What Beal and Owusu-Kesse were dealing with is called institutional racism, and they'd better learn to see it, or they're going to be negatively impacted by it again and again.

We're in a kind of culture war in America today, with people who aren't racist living next to people who are. The former can't get over their upbringing, and some are just plain mentally messed up; the latter want to think good things about them and everyone else. That's great, but it will really mess up your life if you can't recognize it.

Frankly, no one who's a good person should set foot in a place like Cure Lounge in Boston. What Beal and Owusu-Kesse experienced was just plain racism carried out by racists. Nothing more and nothing less.

Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

Tim Wise: Open Letter About the White Right Temper Tantrum

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 04:06 AM PST

An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum *NOTE: PLEASE RE-READ THE TITLE OF THIS ESSAY BEFORE GOING FURTHER. NOTICE, IT IS AIMED AT THE WHITE...

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Digable Planets, Wise Intelligent, Killer Priest & Casual Do It Big in the Bay Area this ThanksGiving Weekend

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 03:51 AM PST

The day after Thanksgiving Friday November 26 there will be two big events that folks will not want to miss.. First we have a special screening of the movie Cointel-Pro 101.. This will be followed...

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