Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Rick Perry Gay Rumors Posts Get Blogger Banned From SF Chronicle

Here’s an update to the original blog post: it seems a Houston-based blog picked up my lasted re-telling of the “Is Rick Perry Gay?” question the mainstream media has avoided asking.
Here’s what Chicago Pride wrote:
Houston — Some bloggers want Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry to answer one simple question: “Are you gay?”
The issue is being dredged up again on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website by blogger Zennie Abraham.
“It’s a good question to ask that’s not been asked: why has CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC not followed up on the long-time claims that Rick Perry may be Gay, or at least had a romantic encounter with a man, but they’re all over the Herman Cain rumors,” Abraham wrote on Monday.
The details of the Perry rumor — as presented by blogger Mike Starks and the venerable newspaper the Austin American-Statesman — are that the Perry’s wife discovered him in a compromising position with a male staff person in early 2004.
This came on the same day that SF Executive Director Alana Nguyen emailed me, and I called her back, about her concerns about my Rick Perry blog posts where, even though the first one was about Herman Cain, she totally removed the post, and did not tell me she was doing that, then I had to repost it.
The point is why does the mainstream media jump all over Herman Cain on the sexual harassment issue, but leave Rick Perry alone on the gay story that’s been flying around for some time.
What was told to me by someone at (not Nguyen) said that “She must be getting push back from New York. If they Google ‘Rick Perry Gay,’ they find your work on SFGate. Also Houston is where our sister publication The Houston Chronicle is.”
“New York,” is where Hearst Corporation is located.
That was all before the sudden act of being blocked from blogging at happened on Tuesday.
What does this say? It says that suddenly, Hearst Corporation is protecting Rick Perry. My posts on this subject go back to October of 2010.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jaime Zapata Case Study

Originally posted at the Future of Journalism.


In the case of the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, agent Jaime Zapata the media had adequate coverage. It is actually surprising that this Latino man wasn't stereotyped in the way that other Latinos in the news may be. This could be partly due to the fact that he was part of the American enforcement team, but either way, this is a good example of the media doing fair coverage of a Latino.
A headline from one of Fox News' blogs read "Who was Jaime Zapata? Hero Remembered." In a report done by ABC News investigations go further with a headline that reads, "Random Act or Ambush? Feds Probe Shootings of U.S. Agents in Mexico." The only controversial headline and story that I came across wasn't from a big media outlet, but from a blogger for "Truth About Guns" who writes, "What Was Murdered ICE Agent Jaime Zapata Doing in Mexico," which speculated any affiliation that he could have had to the drug cartel.
Recent news from Houston Chronicle Blog about this includes a Border funding bill that was named after Jaime Zapata being passed through the House panel. This is a situation where the media can actually be commended for their coverage of this man. It was like he was given the same coverage that a white man would have received.
At the risk of sounding racist - it seems like to an extent the media covered this story like they would had if he had been white. Of course the circumstances are different and the news coverage within the articles did include the fact that he was a Latino, but the headlines for the most part didn't mention him as a Latino, and that's may actually be considered a good thing, the media focusing on the fact that a human life was loss and not focusing on what the ethnicity of the human life was. Unfortunately, the only news and media coverage I have to go by are the headlines I read online and a few of the Youtube videos I saw from news organizations, I did not see the news coverage live on television from when it first happened, and maybe if I had I would have seen something negative in the reporting.
Specifically I watched ABC News' Good Morning America video on Youtube in which Zapata was reported about and it was called "Jaime Zapata Shot and Killed; Mexico for Spring Break, Bad Idea?" I think that that was the most negative coverage that I saw - mostly because it suggests that people shouldn't go vacation in Mexico for Spring break due to what happened. The reporter, Brian Owens, spoke of Zapata as if he was an American (which he was an American, but also a Latino). There was footage of girls drinking and screaming and lots of dancing and alcohol. Then they say that all the spring break hot spots are far away from where the shooting occurred - so why even bother mentioning it?
As news representatives we learn that all stories should be reported equally, in the sense that it shouldn't matter the color of the person's skin the way that the story is reported should be universal. There shouldn't be more focus on a white person's death or something heroic a white person does - just as there shouldn't be more focus on a crime committed by a black or Latino person.

This is the video and during my oral presentation with my group we discussed how terrible this video was and what a bad job was done in the reporting:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Future of Journalism: Casey Anthony Case Study

Originally posted at

Written by Nikky Raney

Casey Anthony is the most hated person in America and the way the news media covered her trial as well as her life in general didn't help the people in our society think highly of her. CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC and the rest of the televised news media tried to be objective by interviewing prosecuting attorneys as well as defense attorneys, but the look on the faces of those reporting and the tones in their voice showed that they had an opinion and the opinion was not favorable.

The print media was not much better where the blogs were overtaking the online news sites and the papers and magazines didn't paint her in a favorable light either, and Newsweek even did an article after the fact that suggested that she could be placed in the same category as OJ Simpson as someone who got away with murder. There was also an article in Newsweek titled Did Casey Anthony Get Away With Murder? With a title like that it's hard to not have a biased opinion.

Is the reason that so many people hate her due to the media coverage that was done of her? Probably. Very few people it seems actually went out and did their research, but even those that have done the research (like myself) don't have favorable opinions of her.

The media let it be known that the 22-year-old got a tattoo reading "Bella Vita" meaning Beautiful Life, and by getting that while her daughter was missing it makes it a bit confusing as to why she thought her life was beautiful if her daughter was missing and probably dead. As the aforementioned article stated:

"Thirty-one beautiful days of parties, new boyfriends, and 'hot body' contests. Thirty-one beautiful days without her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie."

That paints a picture already that makes the reader feel an unfavorable way towards Anthony. So what was bad about it?

Clearly it was bad that every single person that reported about it basically thought she was guilty.There was nothing being reported that would suggest that she didn't do it. There was not any occasion where I watched, read or listened to a news source that didn't hint toward Anthony deserving a guilty verdict. Hell, once the verdict was reached that she was proven not guilty of anything other than four counts of lying to police the news media was outraged and once jury members began to be contacted and spoke out saying that "not guilty doesn't mean innocent."

ABC News online posted a piece called Casey Anthony Juror: Jury Sick to Stomach Over Not Guilty Verdict. Within that article included the interviews with jurors:

"'I did not say she was innocent,' said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror No. 3. 'I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be.' "

And by using phrases such as "surprising guilty verdict" like so many sources did, it just shows so much bias, but what did the news media do that was good?

The news media interviewed people who could give both sides - sort of. There were more interviews done with people who thought that she was guilty and of the interviews with people who didn't believe she was guilty a majority of them were with men who said she was "attractive." There was even speculation that the reason she got off was due to her looks and her gender, and maybe even the color of her skin.

What could have been done better would be to get more interviews from both sides and using less adjectives that would suggest that the verdict should have been guilty. Less emotion from the anchors that were covering the stories and basically people needing to be more objective and just putting the facts out there no matter how difficult that actually is.

In the future we as media representatives should try to keep our own personal opinions out of it and try to make sure that we can keep a straight face when there's a camera put in our faces or when there is someone reading our articles, unless of course it is a column or an editorial.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paul Simon - The Sound of Silence 9/11 Ground Zero

Ten Years Later, It's a New Game

By-Matt Marino-Contributing Writer/Football Reporters Online/Pro Football NYC

As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I’d go up to the roof every July 4th for the fireworks, look to the left and the Towers were the first thing in sight. I’d be on my way home from school, driving towards Manhattan and they were the first buildings to come into view. Exiting Giants stadium from the upper tier, they were the first buildings you saw as you looked back towards the East. And when you came up out of the subway anywhere in the city and lost your sense of direction for a couple of seconds, you could always look up, find the Twin Towers and know exactly where you were. Growing up here, they became a compass.
The City’s sports teams did their part in the aftermath of 9/11. Then NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and MLB commissioner Bud Selig did the right thing and cancelled a weeks worth of games. But, it was also the right thing to do by resuming play a week later. The right thing because it was something people around New York City needed.
Following the 9/11 attacks, the city and the people of the city were shocked, hurt and exhausted. I remember listening to then New York Giants and New York Jets coaches, Jim Fassel and Herm Edwards, explaining that the scope of what happened did not set in until they drove by the commuter rail stations in New Jersey and Long Island respectively (where each team would practice) and see the same cars in the same parking spots and that’s when it hit them that those people were not coming back. It was also when they realized that their coaches and players needed do anything possible to help heal a city.
In the days after the attacks, athletes from the New York area teams began visiting the first responders at Ground Zero. Whether they handed out bottled water or just visited family members, who had lost loved ones, it was important they were there. They did not do it out of obligation to the team they played for, but because they were part of the community of New York City, representatives of the people of the city. Professional athletes that were playing for New York felt a new connection to the city, and its fans.
How we experience sporting events in this country changed that day. When you go to a stadium now, there is a good chance you will need to walk through a metal detector, there are mandatory bag checks, armed military personnel, and the Department of Homeland Security has trained teams on how to protect their stadiums against acts of terrorism. You will also see more American flags in stadiums displayed by fans than prior to the events of 9/11. There is now a seriousness to the national anthem and there certainly will be this Sunday. Video boards scan the fans, crowds cheer and chant USA as the camera locks on to a firefighter, police officer or a member of the Armed Forces - all things that were not a usual occurrence before 9/11.
Some people disagreed with the decision to resume professional sports after 9/11 but I recall the role the games that the New York sports teams played during that fall. Mike Piazza won the first game played in New York City after the attacks with a dramatic 8th inning home run. The Giants and Jets won their first games on the road, but were treated as the home teams with signs of love for New York visible across the stadiums in Kansas City and Foxborough. The Jets, being urged on by New York City Fireman Ed Anzalone, “fireman Ed”, were able to make the playoffs. The Giants played the first football game at home following the attacks and showed what a team and stadium of 80,000 people can do to brighten the spirits of a city.
And Even though the Yankees lost in the 7th game of the World Series, they gave New Yorkers three of the most dramatic nights in sports history with a first pitch from the President of the United States and back-to-back nights with game-tying ninth inning home runs and extra inning wins. All teams did this while showing their support by wearing the hats of the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD during their games.
The Jets and Giants were some of the first athletes to get to Ground Zero after the attacks and by doing so, demonstrated to others watching that, if these professional athletes are down there helping, maybe I can do something myself to help. It also gave the players an idea of what they meant to the fans of New York, and how much they were looked up to.
Those teams provided a place for people to gather and escape from what they were going through – if only for a few hours, it was still needed. Fans assembled in large numbers at stadiums around the city, all places that were deemed terrorist targets at the time. Sports gave complete strangers, who were in the same dilemma, a connection, and it helped keep memories alive of loved ones and acted as a form of therapy for others.
For the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with the NFL set to have its own pre-game ceremonies throughout the league, the Jets and Giants are involved in the largest tributes around the league. The Jets will don hats on the sideline with the FDNY insignia on them and will have the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD bagpipers perform Amazing Grace on the field. The stadium lights will be shut off at halftime for the start of another tribute created by 9/11 family members. The Giants will be playing in Washington – the site of the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. And if Justin Tuck can play, I’m sure he will be wearing a New York Giants fireman helmet as he comes onto the field. The ceremonies commemorating 9/11 will be especially poignant for both teams. Although there are few players and coaches still associated with the Jets and Giants that were on the teams ten years ago, both teams still represent New York City. This Sunday will give everyone a sense of enjoyment, a coming together, something positive to share with one another for a couple of hours during a difficult time - the same thing that sports accomplished in the months following the attacks in 2001.
On this Sunday, we will be reminded of the significance of sports, not just as something to enjoy but also as a way to remember the past shared with family and friends. As my friend Mike Modafferi, the son of Rescue 5 Battalion Chief Louis Modafferi who died on 9/11, told me “Sports were something I could feel good about, it was a way of being close to him and keeping his memory alive because we both got so much enjoyment out of them. One of the reasons I love sports is because my father got me into them. When I go to games now, I think about being there with him.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oakland Is MTC's Home And Should Stay That Way

As the San Francisco Bay Area talks about the economy, jobs, and spending, or more to the point wasteful spending, here we have the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the MTC, in the Oakland office that's just a brisk 70-foot walk from Lake Merritt BART, moving out of that cool building on 8th and Oak Street, and spending, according to Oakland Local , $150 Million to build a new place - in San Francisco. Oh, and a place that's so far from BART, compared to its current home, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission might as well change its name to the Boonies Transportation Commission. What does the MTC have against Oakland? Drive-by shootings and robberies happen in San Francisco, too. You just don't read about them because the local media's brainwashed against reporting them. There is much to like about Oakland, not to mention the fact its more racially diverse than San Francisco, and finally has a decent set of restaurants and bars to frequent. All of this, and more, including three sports teams, where San Francisco, technically, has one, and the MTC wants to leave Oakland. Please, save the $150 Million for a more worthy objective than something so self-centered as this one. Stay tuned.

Jersey Shore: Season 4 Episode 3

Last night was Jersday.

Mike wants a threesome with two blonde twins, but Deena stole one of the girls, then Vinny stole her and then Deena stole her back, but then Deena realized she's straight and she let the girl go back to Deena's bed.

Deena did almost hook up with a good looking Italian "lean cuisine," but the guys in the house were being jerks about it.

Situation and Snooki hooking up came to light, and Snooki denies it.

Snooki tells Ronnie that it's not the same without him and Sammi together and that they're meant to be. So he takes Sammi to a roof top beautiful romantic restaurant and the two get back together...yes, Ronnie and Sammi are dating again. This is the start of a lot of drama. Vinny even talks about how their relationship makes HIM want to kill himself:

Mike's twins are stalkers, they call call call and when Mike never answers Ronnie pretends to be Mike and brings them over.

Pigeons in Florence are crazy, because they just randomly attack inside the home even.

Pauly and Vinny played a lot of foosball.

Some things and Other Things-the Preseason#1 edition

By Dr. Bill Chahckes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

Well it’s been awhile since we’ve written, so with the lockout firmly in the rear view mirror and pre-season well underway, here are some things to think about during a thunderstorm soaked northeastern U.S weekend.

Just when it seems Mike Vick’s issues are behind him, there he goes running his mouth again. His commenting on the Eagles being his third choice of team to mount his comeback from incarceration may or may not have any long term effect on his overall rising status as the “it” guy at QB in 2011, but it the short term, it has to have a few fans annoyed to say the least. Seems to me that Andy Reid and Joe Banner weren’t thinking too clearly when they went all “NY Yankees” in the shortened Free Agency period. Lots of personality there at the “linc”, maybe too much?

Speaking of the Eagles Free agent moves, WR Steve Smith didn’t waste any time cutting the cord with his former teammates and fans after signing his new contract to move down I-95. While he was very apologetic on his facebook page, he released a statement late last week clearly stating that the “NYG’s are now my enemies.” He also states that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin felt he had a “long way to go” but the doctors from both teams cleared him to begin preparing to play. Let’s see how much of that new contract he’ll earn before he re-injures himself. Not that I didn’t like Steve as a person, and I still do, once you get past the “Front” that this business makes players put up. I just think there are lots of stories out there about what happened with those contract discussions, and unless Steve or his agent decides to tell us directly, we’ll never know. Forget the posturing you heard on NY sports radio, there is a deeper truth here.

The new CBA and the landscape of free agency in the league has had a trickle down effect to other pro leagues, with the UFL contracting to four teams from five recently. It’s quite sad, because we’ll miss the Hartford Colonials franchise, staff, and players. While several of the Hartford players were selected in a “re-allocation” draft, players like Andre Dixon and Colt Brennan were left out to dry. We feel for them and wish them luck. Many have said that the NFL needs a developmental league similar to what they did with NFL Europe and the UFL would be a perfect fit.
To me, more pro football is good for the game and it’s fans.

The NFL Supplemental Draft was rescheduled for this coming Monday, August 22nd. Clearly the only storyline here that means anything to anyone is “where will Terrelle Pryor play in the NFL?” The NFL decided that Pryor will have to sit out five games, just as if he had returned to Ohio State to play his final season of college football. There are several dissenting opinions here, and we discussed it a bit on last night’s “FRO” show on Blogtalk Radio. Matt Marino is of the belief that what Pryor did in college should not have an impact on his pro career, but I believe Mr. Goodell and company needed to send the message out that ”college players who run afoul of the rules will not use the NFL as an escape hatch.” Still some NFLPA player reps have trouble agreeing on this methodology of punishment. If anyone remembers the actor Robert Blake from the 70’s hit TV show “BARETTA,” he had an opening line in the theme song “don’t do the crime if ya can’t do the time.” While most athletes beg for a chance to show they have the ability to play at the professional level, some guys from big time programs continue to live a life of supposed entitlement. Maybe they wouldn’t need to sell Jerseys for meal money if the NCAA gave them a stipend to live on each month. To me, Andrew Luck is starting to look even smarter then he is every day! For every “Ham” Newton, Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford out there, there are just as many Mike Barnard’s, Josh Harrison’s, and Mike Montoya’s who are waiting for their shot at the brass ring.

Let’s face it: while we love the game, the life expectancy of “Football Athletes “ is shortened by as much as 25 years due to numerous health issues from playing, from damaged joints, to traumatic Spine and Brain injuries. While the NFL is waking up to this cold hard fact, the players association keeps tweeting about how much money per active player goes into the health benefits program. (Nolan Harrison get over yourself please! The only person you making happy aside from yourself is Al Davis) But it’s a fraction of what is needed for the pre-1993 players. Lawsuits will continue to be filed, like the one involving Jim McMahon this week. The NCAA & the NFL are making an oil tanker full of money. Accept the fact that, yes, the players should know the risks, but no, no one bothered to tell them what those were. John Mackey passed away recently. We believe he died for the cause. Kudos should go out to the “Veteran Players” who support the retired players movement like Tony Gonzalez. They know they are only one step away from being in the same boat as Earl Campbell, Conrad Dolbler, and Brent Boyd.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jersey Shore: Season 4 Episode 2

Last night was Jersday night, and now follows a review of the episode.

Jersey Shore cast in Florence, Italy has been quite entertaining. There were many interesting things that went on in last night's episode. So there are a few key moments that are worth mentioning (not in order of sequence in show):

1) At the very end of the episode Sammi is seen whispering into Ron's ear (as they both sit at a table and eat) that she wishes the two of them could go cuddle in bed. In a side commentary Ronnie says "F*** me in the A** with a spiked bat." The two fought a bit during the episode, but not as extreme as previous seasons. Ronnie was belligerently drunk and thought it was okay to talk about how he was bringing in some girl named Hannah. He told this to JWOWW, but JWOWW knew it was better not to tell Sammi. Drunk Sammi wanted to talk to Ronnie and followed him around the club asking him to be friends; Deena tries to squash that. Also, Sammi tells Ronny that she loves him and it looks like Ronnie is crying.

2) The cast will be working at a pizzeria in Florence. Snooki was asked to be the example to make the pizza. It seems like it will be very interesting watching them work at an Italian Pizza Shop speaking little Italian. The guy showing them how to make the pizzas says he will only show it once and will take no questions. When Snooki says she wants "pepperoni" pizza he asks if she means salami or peppers.

3) The Vatican is not in Florence, but try telling that to the cast. Deena and Sammi think that they spot the Vatican and then Ronnie says that Leonardo Da Vinci painted the ceiling in the Vatican - which is also false. The Vatican is in Rome and Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

4) "Making coffee in Italy is like making coffee in the 1600s." JWOWW attempts to make coffee, and it turns out to be very messy.

5) Pauly D and Deena have an odd relationship. He throws Deena under the bus when he tells Situation how she told everyone about Mike's failed cuddling attempts which he denies. Later, Pauly buys her a bracelet to show that he is sorry. The episode opens with the two making out, but Pauly D doesn't look like he's enjoying it much at all.

6) Snooki's boyfriend gets upset that she hasn't called, and The Situation tries to console her saying that the two of them have always had a connection...right. He later has sex with a girl from Florida, well not sex, more for him than for her. She is not very attractive and Snooki continually asks Vinny if he finds her prettier than the Florida girl.

7) The girls in Italy are allowed to drink young; so Pauly D and Vinny come up with some funny "She's too young for you if..." liners for the girls. It turns into a fun game for them.

8) The girls plan to cook an elaborate chicken Sunday dinner, and prepare everything, but then just peace out and go eat somewhere else. It is JWOWW, Sammi and Deena - no mention of where Snooki is. The girls also made the dishwasher overflow and cause suds on the kitchen floor.
The previews show that there will be more fights in even more epic proportions, and the house will somehow become divided.

9) The police in Italy are strict when it comes to being drunk in public, and when Sammi is walking a very drunk Deena back home she sees police and tells Deena to act normal. This works out great, but the second Deena steps in the house she face plants.

10) Ronnie and Vinny in the hot tub is great and funny. The hot tub changes colors, and has a way of pushing the two people in the tub toward one another. The two keep being pushed toward one another and it is awkward and amusing. The camera keeps cutting away to an angel statue that is watching the two. Ronnie makes it clear that this is definitely a tub for a boy and a girl.
All photos courtesy of MTV.

This season will be very eventful - the previews show more fights and a house divided.

Bouncing In Boots For Your Booty

HI Your Fit Day Friends!

Hey! Do you still want to get that sexy summer bod?

Or, maybe you're on the rebound from a joint injury...

Or, maybe you're just looking for that cool piece of equipment that is super fun and will get you fit and lean in a short amount of time...

Or, you just like toys!

OK! So, remember I told you that I would find ways to work out to keep me in super duper shape before my pending hip surgery?

Well, I had this super idea that I could design running shoes with springs on the bottom that would take the impact off my joints and it would be less painful to walk and super fun to use, as well as keep my booty in shape. But then I said, "Hmm! Why invent the wheel when somebody else has done the work for me? Why not ask the Kangoo Jump people to help me?"

So that's what I did.

And I think these Boots were made for YOU!

Boots Not Just Made For Walking!

My first try with the Kangoo jumps was back in June. It had been raining the last couple weeks in May so I had to put trying the boots out on hold. But finally the clouds separated, and the sun shined through and I got off my ball ( I use a stability ball as my desk chair) and decided to hop down to the Lake. No, I hadn't put the boots on just yet. That was actually a pun. And since it takes too long to hobble on my hip, I got in my car and headed 4 blocks to Lake Merritt.
"Another Lake Merrit July Drama Sunset"Sunset Lake Merritt Oakland, CA_ Your Fit Day

But something compelled me to take a detour and instead I drove over to the Piedmont High School track where there wouldn't be any stray ducks, dogs or pelicans underfoot; I could count on level ground; and there was no chance of bouncing into the lake...with the pelicans.

"Pelicans at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA"Pelicans Lake Merritt Oakland, CA_ Your Fit Da

I'll tell you this: in retrospect, walking down the steps to the track in my Chaco sandals and getting onto the track was actually the hardest part. Because once I put on the Kangoo Jumps it was shear joy to 'walk' and 'run' and just be able to amble pain free.

Check These Out

All Kangoos are a cool, ninja, space age ski/roller blade-like boot design with cambered curved springs on the bottom. And they're reasonably light, and lighter than roller blades-well, at least my roller blades-with just enough weight to give you the right amount of stability and a good workout. I mean, you're still lifting boots with every hop!

"My feet in Kangoo Jumps"Kangoo Jumps_your fit day

Getting into them was pretty quick and easy. Adjusting the cleats no problem. Figuring out the pressure to secure them was hit or miss and I probably will need a few more romps before they feel comfortable around the shin.

The track wasn't crowed but just carrying the boots in my hand drew attention to me. I wasn't going to complain about that. I'm a fitness diva, remember!

In fact, I'm hoping that I can get more people involved in using these boots and coming to my bootcamps. (HA! HA! Boot Camps! Kangoo Style!)

Once I had them securely on my feet I was like the Jolly Green Giant. I was amazed at how stable they were. Everyone kept asking me if I felt like I would topple over or twist my ankle. Absolutely NOT. Have you ever felt like you would fall over in ski boots? (assuming the ski is not attached to the boot and you're not ripping down a mountain). There is absolutely no inclination to fall over. And that is a good thing! seeing that I'm only planning on having ONE surgery.

Giving It a Go On My Kangoo Jumps

Because this was my first adventure out in my Kangoos I didn't want to over do it. They say to hop around, up and down, break them in. So I tried that, but was pretty tentative, babying my hip. But I soon realized that the boots actually roll you forward and the impact isn't directly on your hip. So I became more bold, and set off down the track... at a slow run. And behold, I was bouncing with no burn in my joint.

The track is 1/4 mile around. After three times around-running, walking, hopping, and repeating that-I was already working up a sweat and I could feel my running muscles in my legs-the ones I hadn't worked in that running way since December '10- start to come alive. I felt alive! And free........

I spent 15 minutes Kangooing and by the time I stopped I felt like I had instead sprinted up a mountain. It was that good of a workout and my legs and glutes felt pumped. All without any pain in my hip joint. In fact, my hip feels better in these boots running and walking than I do ambling, or more like hobbling right now, on my own two feet, whether in my shoes or Vibram 5 Fingers.

Here's a video of me in San Francisco bouncing in my boots:

Putting The Spring Back Into Your Life

The Kangoo Jumps are designed to take up to 80% of the impact off your joints. So for those of you who have osteoarthritis in your hips or knees (I'm not sure about back pain but you can check out their website) and have had to give up your favorite sport or activity you may have a second chance. So I highly recommend these Kangoo Jumps for anyone who has had to give up their favorite impact activity, things like hiking, trekking, and even martial arts, due to joint pain in their knees and hips and possibly back. Because you can do all of these sports in Kangoo Boots. Obviously do your research and consult with your doctor first. I certainly did before I started using them.

In fact, I contacted one of the leading hip surgeons in the world, Dr. Koen De Smet, to get his opinion and approval. And after he reviewed the website he said that they were suitable for what I wanted to do, and as long as it I didn't hurt I was fine.

Boots for your Booty

I have to admit I was getting a bit soft in the inner thigh and butt since I wasn't able to run in the hills or do any of the sprint training that I love to do for the past several months. But in the past month I have seen a noticeable difference in the tone of my inner thighs, quads and butt and the Kangoo jumps have miraculously toned up my legs in just this short amount of time.

And here's a bonus for those of you who have some extra weight to lose: They say that you burn twice as many calories using the Kangoo Boots and that 30 minutes in your Kangoos is like an hour in your normal training shoes. That's not hard to believe. After bouncing around San Francisco and Lake Merritt for just 30 minutes a pop these past few weeks it felt like I had done a six mile trail run in the Berkeley hills.

So, not only are these a great workout, burn calories, tone up your booty, and are a hoot to use, they are a time saver as well. What's not to like about them!

What's Next ?

So, my game plan is to Kangoo Jump for the next two months which will take me up to the week that I leave for overseas for my hip surgery. There will be no more Kangoo jumping for at least 10 months after surgery. But I'll have other exercises that I will be doing to keep our butts in shape, literally!

So be sure to follow my blog, and watch the videos, for more cool stuff that will keep your legs toned, your booty nice and round, and your body fit and lean.

Stay tuned for more Kangoo Jump videos so you can get the 'JUMP on fitness!'

Your Trainer, and Nutrition and Wellness Coach,


Make it Your Fit Day...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Casey Anthony's Media Coverage Part 2: Social Media.

Originally Posted Here

Although it has been almost a month since the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial was released there are still sources covering her, and I think that the best time for me to analyze the way the media covered her trial and her as a person is once all the press has died down; it has given me the ability to fully analyze and understand how each outlet, certain anchors, reporters, bloggers, etc. reacted to the trial and so forth.

Even celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, got involved and opened up with how they truly felt.

A lot of people didn't follow the trial until the very last weeks/days before the verdict. The whole situation has been a social media extravaganza and shows how much the technological world has truly progressed. Back in the time of OJ Simpson's trial there was no Facebook, Twitter, etc. There wasn't even a Myspace; Casey Anthony wasn't so lucky. Mass amounts of people have been able to come together and discuss all about how they feel - and those people were mostly influenced by news sources.

It seems like a very difficult thing to do; to objectively cover such a story. Not meaning to draw this series out, but my next post will truly get down to the nitty gritty and analyze the mass media's way of covering Casey Anthony.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Depression and its effect on your sexual relationship by Dr. Christina Villarreal

The hallmark of most new romantic relationships is a passionate physical connection. But when one or both partners suffer from clinical depression, a couple's sexual chemistry can suffer. Approximately 35 to 47 percent of people with clinical depression report having sexual problems. Sexual problems worsen depending on the severity of one's depression; sixty one percent of people with severe depression report having sexual problems. In my practice as a clinical psychologist, problematic sexual functioning is a common complaint of people seeking treatment for depression and anxiety.

What leads to the reduction of sexual functioning in those experiencing depression?

The human brain is the body’s most powerful "sex organ." Sexual desire begins in the brain, shaping our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters help brain cells communicate with each other in order to stimulate blood flow to the sex organs. In a depressed person, their neurotransmitters are out of balance, which can lead to diminished sexual desire. In addition, low levels neurotransmitters can dull a person's ability to experience pleasure, both physical and emotional.

Are men and women's sexual functioning affected differently by depression?

Both men and women suffering from depression describe experiencing a host of the following symptoms:

-intense sadness that inhibits one's ability to carry out daily activities
-loss of interest in things that were previously enjoyable
-changes in appetite, weight, and/or sleep patterns
-feelings of guilt, irritability and worthlessness
-loss of energy, feeling slowed down, or 'keyed up'
-impaired concentration
-thoughts of death or suicide.

But some important gender differences may be found in how people experience depression. Many men fail to identify themselves as clinically depressed because they don't relate to feeling sadness. Their depressive symptoms may only include feelings of tiredness, inability to concentrate or sleep well, hopelessness, as well and loss of interest or pleasure- all of which may be associated with loss of libido and erection problems.

For women, depression can commonly be experienced as feelings of sadness, feeling physically slowed down, worthlessness, and/or guilt along with loss of interest or pleasure- all of which can lead to lack of interest in sex and/or difficulty in reaching orgasm.

Helpful tips in coping with a relationship impacted by depression:

Seek out professional consultation.
Many people are reticent to reach out for professional help because they feel they ought to be able to overcome problems on their own, or worry about the financial or time commitment of psychotherapy. But an experienced mental health professional will be able to use their expertise to establish what type of support and resources are best suited for you, given your personal, familial and medical history. A consultation can typically take place in 1-3 visits, after which, you should have a clear picture of what your options are for improvement. Evidence-based treatment such as Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be suggested for you, a widely accepted form of treatment for clinical depression.
Try to avoid saying "I know what you're going through" to your partner. You don’t. Instead, try: 'I can't know exactly how you're feeling, but I am trying very hard to understand and help.'
Take care of yourself. Being in a relationship with a depressed person can be incredibly taxing, so make sure you do whatever it is that helps you feel healthy and happy. See friends, get in touch with your body through enjoyable physical activity, pursue your own interests and goals, and spend some time away from your partner. Depressed people often want to stay home and/or isolate themselves from the world. If you attempt to join them in this pattern, you're sure to end up feeling badly too.
Try not to take your partner's lack of sexual interest personally. This is crucial to staying invested in making the relationship work. If you come to believe that your partner will not ever regain their sexual interest, you may end up terminating the relationship before determining if treatment can help.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please join Dr. Villarreal, who will be co-leading a free workshop hosted by Nenna Joiner at Feelmore510 , an adult retail boutique located in the Uptown District of downtown Oakland, CA. Workshop will take place Sunday, August 14th from 2-5 pm. Both single adults and couples welcome. Professional referrals and inquires may be made at

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Safeway Rockridge Oakland - A Talk With Ken Lowney

The controversial proposal to build a new, expanded Safeway Rockridge Oakland complex has gone on for something like five years and three major design changes. The last time I weighed in on this design, it was because the product was awful. This time that's changed, as has the economic climate.

I talked to Ken Lowney, of Lowney and Associates Architects about what I think is an exciting new design that adds up to be a net plus for Rockridge. It also has the added advantage of having been created by a person in Mr. Lowney who actually lives in Rockridge. Because of that, "it's a very personal project for me," he says.

As the video shows, the new Safeway Rockridge Oakland is a far cry from the original plan. It actually fits and conforms to its surroundings, and provides a gift in the form of a triangular over-look cafe on the corner of Claremont and College Avenue.

But that's design; my background is in city planning, and my specialization is in urban economic development. The fact is that, in a Bay Area with double-digit unemployment in many counties, and hovering between 15 percent and 17 percent in Oakland, we need to build this complex.

It's not 2008 any more. We're in the middle of a massive Worldwide credit crunch that not only shows no signs of loosening up, it's buttressed by a terrible virus of anti-spending rhetoric, the timing of which is so bad it may plunge this economy into recession.

It's time to change our views and make sure that we in Oakland have as much new business in the economic pipeline as possible.

Please support this project.

Ashley Hebert Bachelorette Blog Gets Race-Hate Emails

Yesterday's blog called " Ashley Hebert, Bachelorette Picks White Guy From Group Of White Guys" where I blasted the show for failing to have a diverse cast like that of Big Brother, the CBS show which won the Sunday ratings race over the ABC show, got some racist emails.

Say, one good thing, the men who wrote like Ashley Hebert. But if she were to be seen with a black guy, I suppose all that would end. Sad - for them. The civilized World doesn't care at all.

One person, who didn't read my blog post well at all, wanted me to defend all-black shows, even though I wrote this:

And in case you’re wondering, if The Bachelorette was all black, I’d say the same thing. I don’t like racial segregation, or television programs that quietly promote it via the images shown, although I do support the need for America to see a slice of black life in the USA, given the history of discrimination that’s worked to keep such images off TV, that is, until the last 30 years. (But even then, you can’t tell the African American story is a racist vacuum. It just doesn’t hold water.)

Once I reminded him of that paragraph, he became a different person and calmed down. But that written, I do like BET. Moreover, I didn't say I disliked the Bachelorette as a concept, just how it's produced.

One thing I'll say, is that man who sent the email - and the emails were all from men and presumably white, given their stance and anger, as I didn't ask for a photo - didn't use the N-word, and seemed capable of a reasonable exchange. But he was the only person for which that was the case, and the others I didn't bother.

Like Larry Kyper who's email is This is what Larry sent:

Hey you forgot one more possibility. Maybe she doesn't care to breed with a fucking NIGGER.
Or be beat, cut ,slashed, murdered or simply have a useless APE lying around her home getting
ready to put an end to her credit rating. You niggers see racism everywhere you look.

You niggers seem to forget you represent only 13% of the population that means we should
only have to see 13 niggers for every 100 beautiful White personypu see on TV. What more do you want,
ALL of daytime TV is devoted to niggers who else is sitting at home watching the idiot box while people
are supposed to be at WORK. Worthless niggers of course.


I could fill up this post with more examples - oh, why not one more.

I present to you, David D. Huff who's at, and according to a search that took all of 3 minutes, the President of Computer Critters Inc of Hudson, Ohio (Interesting how many of these emails come from companies, which shows you what some people do at work, not to mention gives you a window into what that cubicle worker might think about you, especially if you're black.)

Here's Mr. Huff:

WTF BOY sounds like you got a personal problem, you got niggers in every TV program.

Take the hint BOY she is white she wants a WHITE MAN!

Take to heart and pray to God we never tangle.

Tangle? Wild, man.

As is evident by these, and other emails - and I will "out" people who send communications that express race hatred - there are people who can't stand the diverse American society around them. It's important to know who these folks are, because we don't want to see a repeat of the Oslo, Norway shooting on American soil.

I hold out hope that these men, and the others, have better hearts than reflected to me. I also hope the Bachelorette producers, and ABC, can see how they're playing into the racist desires of some in America.

Time to stop.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Limit - Macroeconomic Reason For Its Increase Using IS LM Model

This is a vlog unlike any other I've made before. The idea is to use a long-standing economic model called "IS / LM" to explain why the debt limit must be increased by August 2nd. The IS / LM curve was created in 1937 by Sir John Hicks, and has stood the test of time. Why? Because it's held up under a number of data tests.

IS is the name of a curve that represents all forms of macro spending, from government spending to taxes and overall weath. LM is the curve for the supply of money. All I do here is explain a "known" fact - that capping the debt ceiling will cause a decrease in money supply, causing an increase in interest rates, and a drop in overall national income.

But I then explain how that's related to government spending, and why "G" is important. If you disagree with my presentation, make a video of your own using the IS LM Model,and explain why.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Comic Con 2011 Jeff Fahey, Tony Todd, Mark Hamill On Sushi Girl The Movie

Sushi Girl is a "grindhouse" style movie best, which this blogger is dying to see, and is best described as a dinner over a naked chic that ends badly.

My objective at the Sushi Girl Red Carpet held at Comic Con 2011, was to find out how badly the movie ends! Getting an answer out of Jeff Fahey, Tony Todd, and Mark Hamill was as hard as the abs on its lady star, Cortney Palm.

But I did learn that, according to Mark Hamill, Sushi Girl will make Tony Todd a "really big star." Todd plays the lead role, a guy named Duke, who he says has the kind of "switch" in his head such that if you say the wrong thing, he will "just snap," but who, Todd says, is "charming."

In other words, Tony Todd plays a lovable sociopath.

Unlike the epic, must-see Bellflower movie meetup, this was a standard Red Carpet, which was fine, but the problem was once you got into a talk with, say, Mark Hamill, a PR rep would come by winding her hand as if to say "wrap it up." And while she's doing that - you can see it on the video - Hamill just keeps talking (yeah!).

And that's because Hamill's got a lot to say about his character Crow, who he says is sexist, sadistic, and a lot of terrible things Mark's never played on screen before.

Sushi Girl's got an edge - bring it on.

And I'll have more videos from that red carpet, too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oakland News: Facebook Page Blasts CEDA, Initiative Proposed, Upcoming Interviews

There's a lot going on in Oakland, but I'm figuring out that, frankly, this city of mine isn't as socially connected as it likes to think it is.  There are only a handful of bloggers, a small group of people who read them, and few, considering the total population, who use Twitter to tweet or any camcorder to vlog. In short, a lot of information about what happens in Oakland goes without matching content.   Just saying - though I'll say more about this later.

One small Facebook Page group of people is growing organically. Called "Terrorized by CEDA Oakland, CA," it has about 198 "likes" and it's not going to reach massive proportions unless someone connects Oakland's Economic Development boss, Walter Cohen to a sex scandal; I'm just kidding, of course, but you get the idea, given media today, and my opening paragraph.

A problem at the Community And Economic Development Agency CEDA, first reported here and at Oakland Focus by Gwillym Martin, caught the eye of the Alameda County Grand Jury. Now that's all well and good, but the Grand Jury can't throw anyone in jail and it's recommendations are too often alarmingly ignored, especially by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. But this is not about "The Authority," as it's called at times. It's about CEDA.

The Alameda County Grand Jury's report was just released and you can read it here: . But to save you the trouble of wading through document text, this is the opening paragraph you have to start with:


The 2010-2011 Alameda County Grand Jury received numerous complaints from property owners regarding building inspection fines, protocols, and abusive practices in the city of Oakland’s Community and Economic Development Agency’s (CEDA) Building Services Division (Building Services). These complaints were consistent with issues that had been raised by the 1999-2000 Alameda County Grand Jury wherein they recognized improvement was needed in Building Services. The current Grand Jury’s investigation determined that the recommendations of the previous Grand Jury had not been addressed, and in fact, the situation had deteriorated. The reviews, reports, interviews, and testimony provided to the current Grand Jury indicate that significant reform is needed as set forth in the body of this report.

That's about as bad as it gets, folks.

Here are the complaints listed in the Grand Jury report:

1. inconsistent standards for citing blight and nuisance/substandard violations;
2. lack of timely and understandable notice of violations;
3. lack of clarity about the abatement process;
4. difficulty in contacting and working with inspectors;
5. inconsistent evaluations by different inspectors working on the same case;
6. unprofessional, retaliatory and intimidating treatment by inspectors;
7. excessive and exorbitant fees, fines and liens;
8. unclear and ineffective appeals process that is sometimes ignored by
Building Services personnel;
9. lack of a reasonable amount of time to comply and take corrective
10. impropriety in the selection of abatement contractors, including
allegations of ethical violations in awarding contracts and a lack of transparency;
11. citizens feel discouraged from correcting blighted or substandard properties because it is too difficult and expensive to work with Building Services.

And some of the examples of mistreatment of the Oakland community are hair-raising, even if you don't have hair. Here's an example:

One property owner received a warning notice threatening large fines if abatement did not occur. The owner did not understand because the property was well kept. The owner discovered that an employee of the city’s Keep Oakland Beautiful Program gave a packet of blank warning notices to a neighbor who then distributed the notices throughout the neighborhood. The property owner then received a formal citation from Building Services regarding “offensive plant overgrowth” and then filed a written appeal that was misplaced by the city. The owner subsequently trimmed a shrub and the inspector told her by phone to disregard the notice. The owner asked for written confirmation of dismissal and the inspector refused. The property owner scheduled a re-inspection and the inspector failed to appear.

You can read the rest of the report for yourself. But, really, even with the Grand Jury's findings and recommendations, it's going to take an initiative process to change things.

An initiative?

That's something proposed by a group of Oakland citizens, but I don't have much more in terms of what the initiative would consist of. They're in the process of gathering signatures, I'm told, and I as I get more information, I'll share it with you. In my conversations with my source, my bet was that they would not get too far, but I could be wrong. I'm being deliberately cryptic here for a reason. More later.

Upcoming Interviews: Kaplan, Russo, Schaaf

Last week, I conducted three long interviews with Oakland's At Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Alameda City Manager John Russo, and new Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf. The Kaplan and Russo videos will be up today; Libby's I have to redo and because somehow I lost my Flip Video Camera. Cried? Hell, yeah!

It fell out of my shoulder bag, and because I put it there, rather than in my pocket, as I usually do. I'm toying with the idea of using my new iPhone for all video-blogging, but the Flip is easier to hold and use. (I still have four camcorders, when you count the iPhone, but still the Flip was the best one.) Anyway, that aside, the Libby interview was classic, but we can recreate that magic again. In all, what I discovered was that Kaplan, Russo, and Schaaf, are all focused on how to do more with scarce resources. It's a new position for all elected officials to be in, but it governs their thinking on a lot of issues.

That aside, and on the matter of the City Attorney, Kaplan and Schaaf think the pay scale, set at what's calculated in the City Charter, should be maintained. Russo says Oakland can't get a good person at the level of pay that results - about $165,000. Libby sternly offers that she took a pay cut but did so because she loves Oakland.

My take sides with Russo. Libby's a gem - there just aren't a lot of Libby's running around. So, Oakland has to make sure it's able to attract the best candidates for what is, and should be, an elected position. Not appointed.

Stay tuned.

San Francisco CPMC Hospital Protest At City Hall - Mayor's Office Absent

On Friday, San Francisco City Hall got a visit from some "Angry Birds" in the form of supporters of an effort to build a new California Pacific Medical Center Hospital at Cathedral Hill. What has been described as a "complex," six-year negotiating battle, has evolved to the point where CPMC, upset that community opposition is standing in the way of job creation, called out as many people as it could collectively get it's hands on - employees, spouses and significant others of employees, and even kids - to come to San Franciso's City Hall and show support on it's steps.

What's the problem?

At issue is something called The Cathedral Hill Facility (pictured at left). What the nonprofit California Pacific Medical Center wants to do is build the $1.9 billion edifice and it wants to rebuild the St. Luke’s Hospital in the Mission district, said to be "aging."

But the sticking point, according to The San Francisco Examiner, is that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has asked for $108 million from the CPMC to mitigate impacts to affordable housing and traffic, and asked the CPMC to contribute $34 million a year in charity care benefits to lower-income patients, in addition to its contribution of $86 million in 2009. CPMC says the Mayor's proposal is not feasible for their cost / revenue structure.

At the protest, the supporters, like Steve Falk, the CEO of The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, as you can see in the video, talked about the jobs that would be provided with the new hospital. This need not be a "complex" issue: unemployment, at over 10 percent in most Bay Area counties, and just over 8 percent in San Francisco, is a problem. And under-employment, where people just take a job to make money, rather than earning what they need for a proper existence, is an even larger, yet insanely not officially documented problem.

If you think about it, we have people who are well-paid, making decisions that impact people who aren't well paid. It's easy for someone to screw around when it's their goose that's not being cooked.

Mayor's Office Unresponsive

During Friday's protest, this blogger made a quick walk over to the San Francisco Mayor's Office, expecting that someone would be able to offer a statement. What I got was weird for a Mayor's Office.

Now, I like Ed Lee, always have, so this is not personal. But he can correct it.

I walked into an environment where there were five guys at the desks, two on the phones, two others talking to staffers, and the fifth person reading. Two of the men got off phones, and one of them looked at me and said "You can talk to anyone of us." So I asked to get a statement on the protest going on, outside.

Such a request is a matter of routine for a Mayor's Office to handle. It takes a few seconds, and a savvy office would already have a one-sheet ready for the press, upon request. Not so here; the man said "They're all out to lunch. You need an appointment."

Wow. That's a new one. No offer to call the spokesperson - nothing. I didn't waste time - I left the office, and made note of the encounter on the video.

And why can't the Mayor's Office get any women in there? In all of my years that's the first time I've seen a totally-male-staffed Mayor's Office main greeting room. They got something against women?

But I digress.

The Mayor and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos are doing business-as-usual in a weak economy. It's a time of budget cuts, layoffs, and shrinking spending. To stem that tide of economic shrinkage, the Mayor and the Supervisor should give a little more than they have thus far.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blue Cross California Uses False Data To Reject Applicant

Blue Cross of California is full of it. This blogger, seeking lower health care costs than the half-million dollars Kaiser was charging each month (really almost $500), quit Kaiser, and applied to join Blue Cross of California and under what seems to be a far more reasonable plan.

But Blue Cross of California doesn't want you, er me, to have the plan, it seems. They claim to reject me for a "male reproductive system" problem. That's bullshit. And simply because I never told Blue Cross I had such a problem, and they never tested me, not even a blood test.

By contrast, Kaiser actually bothered to send someone over to my place, take a blood sample, and test me. Maybe that's why the cost was so high? But whatever, Kaiser never rejected me, let alone said I had a "male reproductive system" problem.

But Blue Cross?

Now I see what the company's doing. In an interview they conducted with me about two weeks ago, almost, the interviewer kept asking questions that had nothing to do with my application. He also asked me if I'd ever used a chiropractor. I said "yes" but not regularly. I explained there was a chiropractor at my gym who occasionally offered to adjust my back - why not, I figured? The interviewer kept asking me about that - that's not cool and not right.

It's not right for Blue Cross to have it's employees make up data and stories to reject you. It's not right for Blue Cross of California to even allow itself to be seen as doing that. What Blue Cross does is figure that you're not going to talk about "sensitive information" and probably gets away with murder (if you will) on the assumption that people aren't going to yell and scream about how Blue Cross is treating them, because the person doesn't want to talk about their "condition."

Look, as they say on the street, "my stuff works," OK?

What Blue Cross of California is asking me to do is go in and pay to have a physician check me out, then tell them don't have a problem. So, what am I supposed to do, go in with my girlfriend, screw her in front of the doc, then say "See, it works!"

Yeah, right. But that's one scenario Blue Cross of California sets up.

Blue Cross of California should be ashamed. But it also should stop doing this. It's unethical to treat applicants that way. Kaiser had me, so there's no reason Blue Cross of California should not have me too.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Harry Potter Premier Live On YouTube and USTREAM, On Twitter #harrypotterlive

To celebrate and announce the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, the producers staged their premier at London's historic Trafalgar Square.

That space has seen a lot of people, for a lot of special reasons, but it's rare that it's filled from wall to wall and street to street; it is today.

Check out the live stream on YouTube and here, on USTREAM:

Live Video app for Facebook by Ustream.

Fans have camped out for hours and days just to see this event. So far, stars like Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood, and is in the photo here, have arrived. And all under a lovely London spring evening.

But the fans are waiting for Daniel Radcliffe, who's yet to show up, but he will be there.

Live Stream Coverage

As I stated, live stream coverage is on USTREAM and YouTube, which provides two camera views. But the one of the whole of Trafalgar Square has a fogged dot right in the middle of it. Someone needs to clean off that camera!

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 04, 2011 - A New Interactive Sports Social Media Game, simply described, "is a social platform for sports fans to engage and connect online" and that's actually the "25 words or less" pitch line used by its co-founder, Marlon Sullivan. In the video above, I talked with Mr. Sullivan and he gave a demonstration of how work.

Let's just say that if you play it, you'd better know your sports info stuff. consists of two parts in its online space: a social network designed such that if you pick your favorite team or player, you can see what has been written and add to the conversation, and a unique fanometer that's coolly addictive.

With the fanometer, you can gain points for what you know about your team. You can pick a game and if you guess the correct winner you gain points. You can challenge friends in "one-on-one" competition, or go into what's called a "pool" challenge.

It's a really great social network game, that makes a game out of watching a sports event.

What it needs is to add another set of competitors: owners versus players.

Considering that both the NFL and the NBA are in the middle of lockouts, that addition would make a nuclear hit.

Stay tuned.

Port Of Oakland Budget At $296 Million, Increased 1.8 Percent

On July 1st, The Port of Oakland quietly issued a long press release announcing its 2011-2012 Budget. The release reports that "revenue from the Port’s aviation, commercial real estate, and maritime businesses has been recovering modestly," but that tenants remained concerned about the overall economy.

The Port also explains that it brought $462 million in taxes to the City of Oakland over the last fiscal year, and that it has a $40 million "pipeline" of new projects that will come under the consideration of the Port Of Oakland Board Of Directors.

Here's the full press release:

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2011
Port Of Oakland Adopts 2011-2012 Budget

$296.6 Million Budget Represents Port's Aggressive Focus on Business, Competitiveness, Positive Economic Impact, and Environmental Stewardship

Oakland, Calif. - July 1, 2011 - The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners just adopted a 2011-2012 fiscal year (FY) operating budget of $296.6 million. This is a 1.8% increase over anticipated FY2011 actuals and a 5% increase over the current FY 2011 budget, which was focused on stabilizing the Port after the Great Recession. The FY2012 budget is a forward-looking, pragmatic and job-preserving budget that is sustainable over the long term. In the short term, it will facilitate the second stage of the Port’s 5-year Strategic Plan, focused on marketing, relationship-building, and business growth.

"During these uncertain economic times, our adopted FY2012 budget strikes a healthy and sustainable balance between fiscal responsibility and strategic investments," said Port Board President James Head. “This is especially important as we aggressively focus on growing revenue from our three business lines, which will help us continue to generate positive economic impacts - especially jobs and tax revenue - throughout the region."

Revenue from the Port’s aviation, commercial real estate, and maritime businesses has been recovering modestly; however, the Port’s business lines and its tenants and customers remain concerned about general economic conditions including decreased consumer demand, oil price increases, European debt concerns and Middle East turmoil. Oakland International Airport revenues for the first ten months of FY2011 are 1.8% higher than budgeted in FY2011, though we expect to see a modest decline in actual passenger traffic. Commercial Real Estate revenues have been stable in FY 2011. For the first ten months of FY2011, Maritime revenues were approximately $9.7 million (5.9%) higher than budgeted as a result of a 14% increase in container volume that moved through the Port in calendar year 2010. In FY 2012, we expect to see moderate increases in Aviation and Commercial Real Estate revenues compared to both FY 2011 budget and actuals. Maritime revenues are expected to increase compared to FY 2011 budget, but expected to decrease when compared to anticipated FY 2011 actuals.

"We remain cautiously optimistic that the coming year will bring continued modest economic recovery," said Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin. "We therefore need to move strategically from stabilizing the Port, to marketing and growing the Port’s business. That’s why this year we are going to enhance the Port’s export program, capitalizing on our position as the only major West Coast port that exports more than we import; continue bringing new air service to Oakland International; move forward on the transformation of the former Oakland Army Base into a world-class, intermodal trade and logistics center; and continue promoting the development and utilization of our waterfront assets at Jack London Square."

The FY2012 budget includes an $85.6 million capital budget designed to maximize Port assets in order to grow core business. Highlights include:

$51 million in Aviation projects such as airport improvements at the terminals and the BART connector to Oakland International Airport;
$29 million in Maritime projects such as shore power infrastructure, dredging and security enhancements
$3 million in Real Estate projects including Jack London Square improvements at the Oakland waterfront

There is an additional $40 million pipeline of projects that is anticipated to be brought to the Board of Port Commissioners for consideration during FY2012.

The strategic investments made by the Port’s FY12 budget, both in operations and capital, are essential to supporting the Port’s continued positive economic impact in Oakland and the region, which amounts to nearly $10 billion annually, and includes the following jobs and tax revenue benefits:

The Port receives no local tax revenue, and from its operations and those of its tenants—contributes more than $462 million in taxes to the City of Oakland, regional cities and counties, and the State of California.

Through its operations and policies, and the business activities of its tenants and customers, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs across the region, and is connected to approximately 827,000 jobs across the nation.

For all of its land, I'm surprised the Port Of Oakland isn't used as a location for movies. Given the constant search for cheap land to film on, and different venues, the Port Of Oakland could fashion itself into a top destination at a time when movie production is being done less in California, and more in places like Louisian and Canada.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Mark Halperin's 2008 Apology Could Work In 2012

Earlier, TIME Magazine Senior Editor Mark Halperin, who called President Obama "a dick" on Thursday's MSNBC Morning Joe Show, has a pattern of insults and puts downs toward the man who's now the 44th President Of The United States.

In 2008, as revealed in earlier in this space, Halperin called Obama "a pussy," but the difference was he didn't lose his job over the matter; this time he was suspended from his television assignment with NSNBC. But, like 2008, he did issue an appology.

But what Halperin should have done was just reissue the apology he trotted out in 2008. This is what he wrote on TIME Magazine's The Page on February 13, 2008:

I'm sorry. In a live radio interview this week, I used a word I shouldn't have. The fact that I was conveying other people's words is no excuse for my lapse in judgment. It won't happen again. -- Mark Halperin

Halperin could have just switched around the words a little for 2012, and wrote:

I'm sorry. In a live television interview this week, I used a word I shouldn't have. The fact that I was conveying my personal thoughts is no excuse for my lapse in judgment. It won't happen again. -- Mark Halperin

Has Halperin really learned his lesson? Time will tell.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mark Halperin Called President Obama A Dick On Morning Joe Because Obam...

On Thursday Morning's presentation of Morning Joe on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough gave Senior Contributor and TIME Magazine Senior Editor Mark Halperin a chance to say what was on his mind using a term that Halperin himself ask for a seven-second delay for - he didn't get one. But for Halperin to think of what he said - that President Barack Obama was being "a dick" during his press conference (Presumably because Obama didn't let Mark ask a question?) was classless, and arguably racist.

It led this blogger to charge that, had President Obama been white, Halperin would have not made that statement. On my YouTube video channel page, some have agreed; others have asked why. Almost a perfect divide between people who are either just plain empathic regardless of color, or people who just don't understand, or don't want to understand, what it's like to be black in America.

I don't expect to reach a lot of people with what I'm about to write, and by that, I mean change a lot of minds. While society is making giant strides, I'm still skeptical of this culture's ability to alter its behavior when it counts. What makes me smile is that I'm proven wrong more often than not.

Blogging only for myself, being black in America (the only real experience I have) is to be handed a set of "rules as a black man." You can, as I do, try to ignore them, but the enforcers of "the rules" come in all shapes and sizes.

These enforcers tell you not to be 1) obviously intelligent, to 2) be quiet, to 3) not exhibit a "Type A" personality. The black friend you have who says "it's all good," is not a Type A personality, but Type B. Because for a Type A personality, it's not always "all good" and Type A's are constantly working to make it better.

As a black man you can't have a big ego in any place other than the sports playing field, and even then there's some commentator, generally white and male, who says you "showboat" or it's "all about you." While society may increasingly dislike anyone who's aggressive, a special place is held for someone who's white and male, and who's like that, because it's expected.

President Obama knows this, and that's why, when he was running for President, he took great steps not to be considered as that Type A black guy, even though he was and is very much like that. Obama, in order to get elected, had to follow the rules.

But social change at the younger end of the demographic spectrum, where diversity is expected more often than not, is pushing a change in society that has not touched some people like Mark Halperin.

Halperin's in my generation - one of those on the cusp of those social changes that either goes with them, or resists them, or is conflicted.

Mark Halperin is conflicted, and it took an Obama, more comfortable with the chair of the presidency, and more willing to shed the rules for American black men and be a man in full, to get under Halperin's skin, and let lose with an insult never before used toward a POTUS on national television.

My first taste of Halperin was bitter, and it came during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, when it seemed Halperin was always willing to find some little thing wrong with the "upstart" Obama, and so often that the idea Mark may be racist could not escape my mind. It was so much, that I developed the habit of changing the channel when I saw his face, and wasn't at all surprised when Halperin accused the media of a "pro-Obama" bias, implying that he had the anti-Obama bias I long suspected of him.

But, in order to keep his job, Halperin has the task of keeping his inner demons in check. A task that obviously became too great for him on Thursday, so he let lose and called Obama "a dick."

Bravo for President Obama.

America needs to shed the last remnants of slave mentality. Black men need to be able to live under the same set of rules as white men, and women as a whole must also be able to live under the same rules as white men - be aggressive and expressive. State what you want. Make demands. Live your life.

And if someone calls you a dick, don't get angry, just say "Yep and a big one, too!"

Stay tuned.

Jobless Talk to return July 8, 2011

After nearly a month hiatus, Paladinette’s Blog Talk Radio show “Jobless Talk” will resume broadcasts next friday, July 8, 2011.

It has been a tough ride for the long term unemployed Americans, called "the 99ers." Everyday in this country, another 15,000 more displaced workers lose their UI benefits. Often they have sold every thing of value just to survive. Such is the case for the long term unemployment advocate Paladinette.

Last Fall, Jobless Talk was in danger of ending broadcasts completely, when out of the blue a benefactor offered to subsidize Paladinette's advocacy efforts. This agreement was for a term of 6 months and during that time I was able to continue the fight for the millions of unemployment exhaustees and fight for more help for these citizens Washington DC has deserted.

Looking for work in this economy is NOT improving as Obama would have America believe. The additional 6 months of constant job search did not yield the desired result and like the millions of other 99ers out there today, Paladinette finds herself on the brink of homelessness once again.

"I wish I could have been more successful in inspiring the masses to get out in the streets and protest in large numbers, but alas it appears there is no fight left in the majority of those in the 99er community."

It is likely that next Friday's Jobless Talk at noon Pacific time, will be the last broadcast in the series which began in April 2010.

[If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]