Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church: Plans to Picket Funerals of Arizona Shooting Victims

The Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the funerals of the victims of the Arizona shooting that occurred recently.  The shooting ended the lives of 6 people and put Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords in the hospital.  It occurred at a meet and greet set up by the Congresswoman.

The Westboro Baptist Church has become infamous for their practice of picketing funerals to spread their messages of hate.  The "Church" plans to picket the funerals of all the victims of the Arizona shooting and wants to raise money to help the shooter, Jared Lee Laughner, get off the hook for murdering 6 people and shooting 18.  

A group called Angel Wings plans on showing up on the day of the funeral to block the Westboro Baptist Church's messages of hate with 8x10 foot angel wings that will be worn by some of it's members.  The police are expected to be at the funerals to make sure that no violence occurs.

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

Check out my blog at www.theforceofnature.net


Jared Loughner and Arizona Shootings All About Sarah Palin and Politics

This is a rejoinder to those who say the Arizona Shootings have nothing to do with politics. Totally wrong. Jared Lounghner, the 22-year old who shot 14 and killed six people is said to be against Government intrusion into our lives.

Well, doesn't that make him a libertarian? He's against "Big Government," and shot a U.S. Congresswoman, and yet the media is saying this has nothing to do with politics, and conservatives like Sarah Palin had no impact on him.

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of in my life.

We have to return to sanity in America.  We've become unhinged.

Double Dose of Focker

While waiting in the theater for Little Fockers to begin it was basically assumed that the movie would end up being not very funny or impressive. This movie was the third in the series: Meet The Parents (2000) followed by Meet the Fockers (2004).

Six years after the the last movie this movie includes the children of Greg and Pam Focker: twins Sam and Henry are about to turn five and have a big birthday party.

Roz Focker now has a sex tv talk show, Bernie Focker is in Spain learning to flamenco and the Byrnes are dealing with "Dr. Bob" no longer being a part of the family. Jack Byrnes has a heart attack and tells Greg that he will need to be the "Godfocker" if anything happens to Jack.

Greg is working as a nurse and is offered by Andi Garcia (bubbly Jessica Alba) to be the spokesperson for a male enhancement pill that is safe for patients with heart conditions.

Not very impressed with Alba's performance, she is usually an amazing actress: but this role she was so flighty and it seemed like too much of an act, unreal. She was not very convincing as she used "dope" terminology and acted "hip."

There are really interesting scenes with Owen Wilson's character Kevin, including him getting Pam tattooed on his back.

There's a lot of dramatic irony and a lot of outrageous moments. This movie should be a four out of five, because it was quite hilarious at some points and kept entertained, but Alba's performance was not her best.

Academy MTV-U Oscars Correspondent Contest Has 10 Semifinalists

The popular contest sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and MTV-U heats up as 10 semifinalists have been named, and you can vote on the best ones at http://oscars.mtvU.com

Here they are:

Hofstra University, Long Island, NY – Luz Pena (anchor) and Philip Robibero (videographer)
Madonna University, Livonia, MI – Idamarie Tedesco (anchor) and Walid Jaward (videographer)
Madonna University – Sara Simnitch (anchor) and Adam Woloszyk (videographer)
New Mexico State University – Brandi Parrell (anchor) and Angela Hardenburg (videographer)
New York University – Nataliz Jimenez (anchor) and Carla Bernal (videographer)
University of Georgia, Athens – Blake Mitchell (anchor) and David Torcivia (videographer)
University of Miami, Florida – Scotty Braun (anchor) and Alexandra Cotoulas (videographer)
University of Missouri, Columbia – Alex Holley (anchor) and Ryan Brown (videographer)
University of Missouri, Columbia – Erica Coghill (anchor) and John Regan (videographer)
University of Southern California, Los Angeles – Sarah Erickson (anchor) and Joel Kutz (videographer)

According to The Academy:

On February 2, the three teams with the most online votes, and as agreed upon by the Academy and mtvU, will advance to the final round of the competition. Fans can continue to cast their votes for their favorite team from February 7 to February 18, as they compete for the grand prize. All three teams will be flown to Los Angeles to cover Academy Awards pre-events, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award media op, the Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Symposium and the Governors Ball preview.

The grand prize-winning team will be revealed on Saturday, February 26, at an Academy press conference. The anchor and videographer will be awarded a spot on the red carpet for the 83rd Academy Awards arrivals, as well as credentials for access to backstage press rooms. The winning team's coverage will be aired on MTV News and mtvU, while the two finalist teams will receive bleacher seats along the red carpet and admission to an Oscar viewing party.

The ten semifinalist teams were selected by the Academy and mtvU from videos submitted for the competition. The judging criteria included originality, creativity and how compelling the video was overall. The competition was open to college students who work in teams of two – one anchor and one videographer – and also reside in the United States.

For a complete list of rules and regulations for the Oscar Correspondent Contest, visit http://oscars.mtvu.com.

The Oscars will be held Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Arizona Shooting Causes Increase In Glock Gun Purchases In Arizona

In yet another sign of how sick our society has become, sales of the Glock gun used by Jared Loughner in gunning down 14 people, including U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killing six people, including US District Judge John Roll, have increased.

You got that right. Increased in Arizona. Maybe you don't want to go to Arizona.

According to Bloomberg, Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix has doubled their sales after the shooting, which happened on Saturday. One-day sales of handguns jumped 60 percent in Arizona on January 10th.

Just what the hell is going on down there in Arizona? How about outlawing Glocks and other semi-automatic guns! You don't need one, anyway.

Oakland News: Southy New Restaurant, Arizona Shooting, Oakland Raiders

This edition of Oakland News has a lot of information for you.

First, if you've ever eaten at the North Oakland restaurant called Wood Tavern at 6317 College Avenue (with the best half-chicken in Oakland, if not the SF Bay Area), then you'll be able to picture it's new spring-off called "Southy."

Why that name? Because it's going to be right next door and south of The Wood Tavern. Set to open in about 10 days, Southy's going to cater to a younger crowd. There's going to be a sliding door to deliver take out orders, to which I suggest offering sliders to go with that slider!

Also, on the Oakland / College Avenue restaurant gossip beat, if you're wondering how some eateries are doing, I understand that one of them, once a large, popular place this blogger visited regularly, eventually fell off and started "floating" its liquor accounts.

Let's say you own a restaurant in Oakland. As I understand it, if you purchase beer, you have 30 days to pay the beer vendor for the volume you bought. That means you can make the money to pay the person. If you don't pay within 30 days you lose the account. What this one establishment - since closed, then split into two, and now is being remodeled - did was float liquor account after liquor account, allowing each one for beer to expire, then setting up new ones with other distributors. Eventually, it caught up to them.

Are there any restaurants taking up that practice now? My source says no. In fact, my source asserts that the Oakland Restaurant scene is hotter than ever, especially downtown and because of The Fox Theater.

The Fox sells out concerts, and so brings about 2,000 to 3,000 people downtown per show, many who eat before or after performances, keeping eateries like Flora across from the Fox and Luka's on Grand and Telegraph active, and creating enough of a market and word-of-mouth for other places like Lake Chalet on Lake Marritt, as well as old establishments like The Alley, which is both a bar and restaurant (great steaks).

Shifting Gears: Arizona Shooting Candlelight Vigil

The East Bay Young Democrats will hold a candlelight vigil for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the victims of the Arizona Shootings in front of Oakland City Hall, at Frank Ogawa Plaza from 5 PM to 6:30 PM on Wednesday, January 12th (that's tomorrow). The community co-sponsors listed are Cal Berkeley Democrats, Courage Campaign, CREDO Action, City of Alameda Democratic Club, East Bay Democracy For America, NWPC-AN, South County Young Democrats, and Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club.

Mayor Jean Quan Needs To Tweet More Often

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has just 1,377 followers on Twitter, and she's now over a week into the job of Mayor. One reason why she has a small following is that she doesn't sent out enough Tweets. At best it's once a day.

Mayor Quan's got to designate someone to tweet and also tweet herself. Quan has a wealth of material in Oakland's City Services and helpful numbers to call. Then there's the news from her own website. Then there' retweeting of Oakland and SF Bay Area news. Her tweet count needs to be ahead of her follower count by almost two, right now, it's about half.

She also needs to tweet when she's out visiting and helping people from time to time. Newark Mayor Cory Booker's become the Twitter master for tweeting where he's helped his residents dig out of the massive snow storms that plagued his city.

Get to tweeting, Jean!

Oakland Homicides: Six In 11 Days?

That Oakland has had six homicides in 11 days is an outrage. We need to have a zero-tolerance gun policy here and enforce it. If a person brandishes a gun for any reason other than on-property or personal self-defense, they go to jail. Period. Note, that's even before shooting the gun. We have to stop this crap.

Also, Oakland Police need to send a patrol car up Grand Avenue, then Euclid Avenue and then around Adams Point between the hours of 1 AM and 3 AM. As I was returning home in a cab from San Francisco International Airport on the Friday before New Year's Eve, I saw young near-teenaged brothers walking around at that time, some without shirts on in the cold. Just what the heck were they doing out at that time of night and in Adams Point?

The sad fact is that a number of late-night crimes around the Lake have been committed by very young boys of color, many below 21 and 18 years of age. It's a reflection of Oakland's racial economic disparities; we have to get them off the habit of roaming streets and into clubs and other activities, and get jobs for their parents.

Al Davis And The Oakland Raiders

I'd wish the Oakland Raiders would just tell Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha they just don't have the money to pay him rather than making it look like he wasn't a top performer in 2010. One of the reasons his contract is voided is that he had fewer interceptions than in 2009. Well, how many times was he thrown to? Nnamdi Asomugha's one of the league's top corners, so some teams just aren't going to throw his way.

But let's face it: if the Raiders could afford Asomugha, they'd have kept him.

With a league high of game blackouts and a hyper-high unemployment rate damaging attendance in 2010, the Raiders just don't have the money to afford him for 2011. That's the problem.

Stay tuned.

Chevron Ecuador: NY Times Responds To Bias Claim, Says Plaintiffs Erred

Six days ago, I ran a blog post called Chevron Ecuador: NY Times Hides Bias, echoing the claims of other bloggers that the fact that the NY Times was a "friend of the court" (filing an amicus brief) supporting Crude Film Director Joe Berlinger's attempt to gain legal protection against giving up the outtakes from his movie Crude.

That movie, which purports to show that American Chevron Oil Company polluted the Ecuadorian Amazon, has hours of footage that was removed. As Law.com shown by presenting those videos, comments made by Steven Donziger in those removed clips, could have been damaging to Chevron's case - they were.

In the NY Times article this paragraph was 24 levels down:

But Floyd Abrams, the First Amendment lawyer who wrote a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Mr. Berlinger that was signed by 13 news organizations, including The New York Times Company, said on Friday that it was “just not the law” that an investigative journalist cannot be compelled to turn over materials, confidential or otherwise.

The only point we were making is that the mention of the New York Times as a "friend" of the Crude Director should have been placed higher in the article. But John's emailed response is...

The piece is not an attack on Chevron, and describes in detail what a disaster for the plaintiffs the outtakes have been.

Schwartz also says the reason the paragraph was 24 levels down was because it was mentioned it in another NYTimes article, before and in a higher position.

Perhaps it's fair to speculate that, had the New York Times been aware of the exact contents of the outtakes, it may not have filed the amicus brief at all.

Meanwhile, the outtakes have changed the game for the plaintiffs, especially lead attorney Steve Donziger. Aside from Donziger's ideas about threatening Ecuadorian judges, the finding that he wrote a report by a supposedly neutral court-appointed expert may cause harm to his ability to practice law in the future.

What Donziger did was unethical. Period.

Stay tuned.

Verizon iPhone 4G Out Feb 10th

The long-awaited, prayed for, worried about, talked about, and dreamed about day has come. The Apple iPhone is finally off the At&T addiction! Well, no, AT&T still has the iPhone, but now you have a choice. And you can make it February 10th.

That's the day you can officially buy an Apple Verizon iPhone. But Verizon' offering a special deal for "reserve" iPhones for people who are already Verizon customers. That means Verizon knows what you and I know: that a flood of millions of new customers are going to flock to Verizon.

Since this is a bricks and mortar store front launch, get ready for more long lines and videos of happy people ripping open the box to activate the Apple Verizon iPhone.

The best news about the Verizon iPhone is it's priced to move at $199.

Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude: Chic Can Sing!

Wow. Lyrics aside, and in "Do It Like A Dude," they're in your face raw, Britain's Jessie J can really sing. In this song it sounds like her voice is enhanced a bit; I'd love to hear her just plain rip it without music or anything.

Watch out for Jessie J. She's 22 and up and coming. Doing it like a dude.

The Green Hornet's Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, and Jay Chou: LA Times Gets Video Blogging

Interviews with The Green Hornet's Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, and Jay Chou show The LA Times Gets Video Blogging.

While other print organizations struggle, trying to cling to old ways, The LA Times moves into New Media. Check out Reporter Amy Kaufman using a camcorder to interview the stars at last night's premier for The Green Hornet at Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Seth Rogen, who's fresh from a CES trip for Sony, says it's amazing the film "actually happened:"

With Cameron Diaz, I'd have asked her about her new sexy muscular look; is that for the action film that is The Green Hornet? "Say, Cameron, show those guns!" That's what video's all about!

This one interview with Jay Chou is pretty good, focusing on how the producers talked to him via Skype:

Hats off to the LA Times for the video-blogging effort at The Green Hornet.  The video view counts - before this post - prove they still have miles to go before they totally "get it," but this is a good start.

Violence Shatters Tucson Az - 99ers Dine in Dumpsters Daily

Painfully aware of the inexcusable violence which shattered Tucson, Az last Saturday - 99ers dine in dumpsters on a daily basis. What does one have to do with the other? Both are sad, senseless, cruel and avoidable testaments of the new American reality.

When I first heard of the the tragedy involving Congresswoman Gifford and others, I placed on my Facebook page a message to this effect: “And so it begins, I am afraid it may become open season on members of Congress and though I cannot condone such actions, Congress has done this to themselves (made themselves targets of the severely ‘good sense - challenged’) and I will save my pity for the 99ers who are dying every day."

Some were very offended by my remarks. Although I can see how some might feel my remarks were cold, nothing could be farther from the truth. Anyone who knows me is already painfully aware of what a complete bleeding heard “mush” I am about suffering on any level. What happened to those people is pure evil, an obscenity and cannot be tolerated by decent members of any society. BUT neither should what is happening during most of the past year to the 99er Nation.

Why does it take only senseless violence to get the attention of all media, politicians and the world? Watching how this gets the immediate and full focus from everyone is in itself quite dangerous, as 99ers across this country have been pushed to the breaking point. Though many have pawned or even sold their guns long ago for food money, many like me have not.

I pray that it does not take another senseless gun related tragedy - this time involving members of the 99er Nation to make Obama finally publicly say those words we have been waiting to hear for so long come from his lips “99ers” ...Oh but wait....we have had MANY 99er and gun related tragic occurrences over the past 10 months already and still the closest the 99er Nation ever had gotten to being on the lips of the President in public is via Robert Gibbs. Then again none of those cases involved members of Congress...do you see where I am going here?

Updated info on the attack:
The gunman allegedly responsible for Saturday's mass shooting, 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner, appeared in court and was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempting to kill a member of Congress by federal prosecutors. He could get a death sentence. State charges could be filed, too. His next hearing is January 24.

Must see Videos:
YouTube’s ConcernedinKY released another 2 videos in the past few days that deal with the tragedy of both situations. Subscribe to their channel - it is free! “Let it Begin Here” is a tribute to the fallen from last Saturday and bring your tissue to view this one and please do not miss the “99ers, Taking Care of Business” below .

ABC NEWS asked the question: (Are There) Lessons to Be Drawn? from this terrible situation.
“The shooting massacre in Tucson on Saturday has launched a raft of questions. There is a pervasive sense that the killings are linked to a broader problem with society, with some calling for tighter restrictions on guns, and others calling for a more civil political discourse. So tonight we ask you: Are there lessons to be drawn from attack? Or does the killer represent an anomaly--whose behavior is meaningless beyond the confines of his own lost soul?”
Some of the comments there are quite thought provoking and I find myself in agreement with many of them.

One such comment:
It is a narrow tale of a lone madman. To try to politicize it is inappropriate. Thoughts and prayers should be with the victims and their loved ones.

The politicians who are trying to blame political debate about the issues for causing this shooting are just trying to milk a major tragedy for their own political gain. They should be ashamed of themselves. We need strong debate about the issues, if we are ever to get this country straightened out. The logic of these shameful finger pointers is as silly as saying John Lennon would still be alive if he had behaved differently. That was also another very tragic event caused by a lone madman.
What the fall out danger is from this event is if Politicians use this rare but unacceptable isolated incident to further limit their presence, availability and accountability to the public, which has been suggested many times in the media over the days since this took place.

Do I blame Sara Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman or Glenn Beck for this? Hell no! They all contributed in their own way - but they did not pull the trigger. Hey Glenn: Guess you were wrong - violence was coming all right but NOT FROM THE LEFT!

Also, I do not believe that Gun Control is the answer. That always means the only ones who will be able to get the guns will be the very folks who should not have them to begin with: The Criminals!

Jared Lee Loughner appears to be a skinhead type and I feel those who only use hate to attempt to effect change in this world are like “rotten teeth” in the free speech mouth of society - they need to be extracted immediately as not to poison the remain collective body of our Nation. Hate only begets Hate - but indifference toward millions of hurting Americans - the 99er Nation - what exactly is that saying to the world about our country, Christian values and the effectiveness of our Government?

Watch this then decide for yourselves....Why would the 99ers give up all this great poverty for a job? Right? Whatever GOPigs!

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

Tom Hayes: Tom Toles has no problem with anger in politics

In your search for quick gratification and summary information do you follow political cartoonists, such as Tom Toles at the Washington Post? Toles gets it, which is why he won the Pulitzer Prize.

Or maybe he won the Pulitzer because he does more than craft insightful cartoons - maybe it's because he includes commentary that's getting attention because of his cartoons; he draws you in with the visual imagery, but that's really just an appetizer.

That's arguably the case with today's offering, "Damage Level." Tom Toles is gifted in the art of the communication; he creates images that convey compelling perspectives, well-suited to our hurried approach to modern life.

But if you skip the accompanying explication you're in danger of sampling too shallowly. Go ahead, click on it, the "Damage Level" cartoon is reproduced much too small here to appreciate. Take the time.

Toles doesn't have a problem with anger in politics, and he didn't win the Pulitzer just because he can draw.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Democratic Campaign Manager, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

MacBook Air Has First OWC SandForce Processor Solid State Drive at CES 2011

CES 2011 wasn't all PCs. Even though Apple wasn't there, it was, in products like the Other World Computing (OWC) Mercury Aura Pro MBA Solid State Drive (SSD) line, billed as the first high performance SandForce processor based SSD available for all 2008-2009 Apple MacBook Air models.

The makers say the product is designed to establish OWC as the most comprehensive U.S. manufacturer of industry leading SandForce processor based SSDs, with OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD models available for nearly every Mac and PC produced over the past decade.

You can get up to 41 times the performance over the original models with the OWC Mercury Pro brand SSD models.

HTC Thunderbolt 4G Smartphone at CES 2011

This is an amazing smartphone by HTC, presented at CES 2011 (Consumer Electronic Show) but not yet out on the market; hurry up, please. The HTC Thunderbolt features a blazing fast and bright display, plus the capability to wirelessly beam a video from the phone to a television set (that's capable of receiving such transmissions.) It has a vast set of features that makes it head-to-head competitive with the iPhone and G2 Phone.

Here are the specs:

Networks: LTE 700, CDMA EvDO revA
Operating system: Android 2.2 + HTC Sense
Display: 4.3″ WVGA TFT capacitive touch screen
Camera: 8MP with autofocus, LED Flash (2x LED), 1.3MP front facing camera
Memory: 8GB emmc + 768 RAM Memory card, preinstalled 32 GB microSD
WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: 2.1 with EDR (3.0 when available)
Battery: 1400 mAh
Special features: Dual mics with noise cancellation, Surround sound, Compass sensor, G-Sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, MicroUSB, FM radio, LTE SIM slot , TI audio DSP
Chipset: Qualcomm® MSM8655, 1GHz, Qualcomm MDM9600

As for release date? It's not official, but I would not expect to see it until April of this year.

Stay tuned.

CES 2011 - eLocity Tablets and 3D Without Glasses

As mentioned before, the Stream TV Network's eLocity brand has a tablet that's already out and with all of the features of the Blackberry Playbook, and at the same size. But the most exciting products are their 3D prototypes: the tablet, and the 3D television. Both don't require 3D glasses at all.

eLocity's 3D tablet was a non-working model, but the 3D television was very much operational, and as the video shows, impressive.

For more information visit http://www.elocitynow.com/

Gabrielle Giffords Shooting: Tucson, Arizona Protest Videos Show Climate

In the wake of the shooting of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others by Jared Loughner (who's insanely smiling for his mug shot in this ABC News photo), six of which were killed, not enough focus has been brought to bear on the Tucson, Arizona environment that the Congresswoman operated within.

A YouTube channel called JeremyINTucson1 provides a view in three protest event videos specifically directed at Congresswoman Giffords, and from her city of Tucson, Arizona.

The point I'm making here is that the climate of negative discorse about Congresswoman Giffords provided the crucible within which Jared Loughner's actions were planned out and eventually done. 

Here are the videos:

Second Gabby Protest Video (so named by JeremyINTucson1:

Third Gabby Protest Video:

Fourth Gabby Protest Video:

There's no "First" "Gabby Protest Video" for whatever reason. But from the videos, all in Tucson, and all against Congresswoman Giffords on the specific issue of healthcare, it should be clear that Loughner was not alone in Tucson, in his essential dislike for the involvement of government in our lives.

That should raise this question: to what extent were his own parents influential in his anti-government thinking, and did they make statements against Congresswoman Giffords?  (His parents aren't talking as of this writing.)

Also, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow created this segment outlining the threats and racist incidents over the Obama Health Care Reform Initiative:

As the video shows, a number of Democratic Congresspeople have received death or quasi-death threats from people opposing the Obama Health Care Initiative.  But Tucson stands out because of its climate of negative discourse against its Congressperson - in this case Gabrielle Giffords.   Moreover, what kind of influence did this culture have on the now-obviously mentally unstable Jared Loughner?

My view is the influence was considerable, and it was unchecked.   The result is what we're dealing with today.

It also why former Governor Sarah Palin's crosshairs map is so wrong: it contributes to this negative discourse just by its design.  As revealed on Anderson Cooper 360 this evening, Governor Palin herself called the crosshairs "bullseyes."


CNN's David Gergen is wrong here. Tucson is at fault. Sorry.