Friday, April 22, 2011

Violent Beating In McDonalds Baltimore County; YouTube Video Goes Viral

There's an ugly trend of fighting that's happening at McDonalds Restaurants, this one in Baltimore County. And a beating incident so awful that it reportedly caused the death of a young girl.  This is my YouTube video vlog commentary on this American Tragedy:

This blogger learned of it via an message from a YouTuber called benjamin42779, who did not make a version of the video. The tag on the first one read "Live Leak," so a search for that site revealed an account of the video that reads like this:

Here is another fine example of the trend of violence in fast food restaurants. Two females beating the hell out of a patron, while several employees stand by and watch. One male manages to provide the facade of assistance to the victim in this brutal attack.

The two females exit, then re-enter the store to continue the beating, until a an older woman attempts to stop them from dragging the victim outside into the parking lot. note: the male employees have disappeared from camera view, even though they are plenty well capable of stopping the attack.

At the end, the white victim is beaten until she has a seizure, at which point the camera operator warns the female attackers to flee, because the police are on the way. Note: he makes sure to repeatedly tell the criminal attackers to flee, instead of keeping them there for the police to apprehend.

4.19 pm EST UPDATE: response from Mc Donalds: "We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling. McDonald's strives to be a safe, welcoming environment for everyone who visits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter."

LiveLeak offered downloads of the video, but the one that was able to work happened to have hard-rock music, and not the voices, on it.  So, I stripped the music off, made a notation referring to the difference, and surrounded the video with my commentary, thus differentiating it as a video-blog made for news commentary, and not a video that was just uploaded.

More searching revealed that Matt Drudge had links to the video and stories related to the incident on his website The Drudge Report. Of the links, the one most disturbing is from The Smoking Gun, and reports that a McDonald's employee named Vernon "Charm" Hackett is reported to have "taken credit" for filming the beating at the McDonalds in Baltimore County.

The Smoking Gun explains that the beating happened this week, April 18th 2011, and at "McDonald’s location on Kenwood Avenue in Rosedale, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb."

Moreover, the account reports that Mr. Hackett said, on his since removed Facebook page, that the "women" was actually a cross-dressing man, who was in the woman's bathroom, as if that's justification for his actions in making the video, and the 14-year-old and 18-year-old girls who beat up the woman. Hackett also said the woman got up when police arrived.  Comments report the woman may have passed away, but that's not confirmed as of this writing.

Also, the other problem is race: the two girls are black and the woman is 22-years old and white. That fact ignites those who already have racist issues with African-Americans, forgetting that these problems in McDonald's restaurants happen regardless of race.

For evidence, I point to the fight at the McDonald's next to AT&T Park in San Francisco and during World Series Game Two. There, the people, 90 percent women, were black, white, and Latino, and the melee reportedly involved 70 people and was not racially motivated. Here's that video:

Again, the demographic that tends to commonly use McDonald's is multi-racial, but seems to be used to violent actions, as is clear in this video below. In it, there's no one in the crowd who's black; the crowd appears to be a mix of Latino and Asian (perhaps Filipino). Here's that video:

And in this video, the two people, described as "Drunk Kids," are both white:

And in the next video from a security camera at a McDonald's drive-in, the woman is white, and so upset she gets out of her car in an attempt to climb in the window go after the clerk. Here's that video:

So people who use the Baltimore McDonald's beating to make racist comments about blacks aren't helping the issue, and really are pointing a finger at themselves. They seems to not want to believe that the issue is far beyond race, and points to a kind of class-based problem.

This is all in the hands of McDonald's Corporation. It must take action to train its employees and select workers based on some kind of evaluation system that makes this action not likely to occur.

Stay tuned.

Bay Citizen's Ad Message Errors In YouTube Video

The Bay Citizen is not a newspaper, it's a news website. But looking at it's new ad campaign, you'd think the news organization was either taking a dead aim at print, some attempt at attention by confusion, or something else - but nothing having anything to do with a website, or bringing traffic to it.

The ads for the Bay Citizen, the year-old news website started with $5 million in financing from legendary San Francisco Investment Banker Warren Hellman, are all over the place in Oakland, from downtown to Lake Merritt, and populating AC Transit bus shelters. But who knows what they're about? No one, unless they happen to know the news website's managers.

The ads read "In Today's Journalism Truth Is Indeed Stranger Than Fiction," and has, in much smaller print, more gibberish, then finally way down at the bottom.

To prove this, I created a video today using an ad at an AC Transit Bus stop on the 600 Block of Grand Avenue and next to the intersection of Grand and MacArthur, just off the I-580 Grand Avenue Exit. The people I talked to about the ad took several seconds, well, really minutes, to figure out what it was referring to.

Here's the video:

Two women looked and guessed until admitting it was hard to figure out what was going on without reading it, and even then, as stated above and obvious in the video, the ad did not refer to a website until one read down to the very bottom of it.

Let's face it: most people just aren't going to do that, especially if they're whizzing by in a vehicle of some sort.

The second man I talked to agreed to be in the video, and said that he actually knows the managers connected with the Bay Citizen.  He agreed that the ad was not communicating the right message - that its readers should check out the the Bay Citizen online.   Then, he gave a recommendation fitting for Linkedin, that I would be a great consultant to them.

They don't have the guts to approach me.  Won't happen.

What The Bay Citizen is trying to do in terms of hyper-local coverage is understandable, but, as I've said before, hyper-local is hyper-stupid.   Without national and international news, it's traffic is far less than needed to sustain itself, and it's revenue potential far less.

The Bay Citizen needs to be repaired in many ways,  else, it will burn through Mr. Hellman's money, and stop running online.   

Cisco Talks Future Of Flip, Pisses Off Facebook Fans

Well, as if Cisco Systems upset enough people, including this blogger, with its announcement that it's discontinuing the Flip Video Camera, it's Facebook Page message called the "Future Of Flip" has pissed off Flip fans even more.

In a nutshell, Cisco says the following:

1) Tech support will be provided until December 31, 2013
2) If you buy a Flip, they will support the 1-year warranty
3) Flip Share Software and support will be available through December 31, 2013
4) Flip Video Cameras will be available online and in stores until supplies run out.

Finally, Cisco Systems reports:

The teams have been reading your comments from emails and our social media community pages and are touched by the overwhelming number of thoughts and messages.

We hope you will continue to have fun with your Flip video camera, and we appreciate your loyalty and business.

Well, this blogger's video message still stands:

But reading the Facebook page, there are a lot of people just as angry as I am for Cisco's action. Here's a sample of the comments:

Stacy Marie Arvelo-Kaegi - I got one as a gift the very same day Cisco announced their exit. :(......And I love it so much and so do my students. :)

Jinger S. Pasternak - I'm beyond angry! I bought my flip for near 200 bucks the day before this was even announced not to mention bought the extended warranty as well! So what happens in 3-4 years before my warranty ends and I need a replacement.. am I going to still get it? Doubt it! *pissed*

Peter Coopersmith - To NOT support flip share past 12/31/13, means the product becomes useless for the very pupose many bought the Flip. Most consumers assumed that a company the size of Ciso would not put out a product that they didn't plan on supporting for years to come. Cisco is using profoundly bad judgement... I will NEVER buy or SUPPORT another Cisco product. I have had Cisco rounter in my home for 20 years.... MY next purchase will be anything but...

Derek Hoiem - I'm even a CSCO shareholder and they should at least sell the company to someone who wants to buy and nurture it. There's a market and a future for pocket sized devices that do ONLY video. Just because phones have cameras doesn't mean that the digital camera market went away.

Robert Ng - Why buy the company and then kill it? SMH

Gina Elwood - Gill I recently used mine on a Patriot Guard Ride for a fallen hero. I too am sad to hear this. I will continue to use mine. (I won my Flip as a prize)

Chris Robinson - Well that sucks, My flip HD is less than a year old and now its gone the way of the vcr. I know thats a lil oversimplifying but it is what it is.

Or maybe more like a useful Pet Rock.

Mary Johnson - I love my flip, too... maybe someone *cough google* will buy it
Jill Cooper - the writing was on the wall with all the smart phones... but I still love my flip and like someone else said, I'll use it until it dies.
Tom Levier - Stupid stupid stupid...
Mark Frank - why not just try selling flip div.?
Alison Heller - So sad you guys are closing. iphone cameras don't compare. The videos I post here with my Flip are clear, beautiful and good quality. iPhone videos are grainy and sound like putting a child in a garbage disposal. I think you're making a huge mistake. I NEVER use my phone as a video camera. I use my Flip.
John Tucker - Contact Cisco and let them know of your disappointment and concern. Hopefully they will listen if they get enough emails.

Whatever the case, Cisco's done it again: proved that it totally missed the social media boat in promoting Flip Video Cameras in the first place.  And the Forbes blog post stating that Cisco "probably" made the right move is completely baseless; the post doesn't even explain why the move was a good one.

Stay tuned, and check out the blog Love My Flip!

David Letterman Lectures Katie Couric On Leaving CBS News

Yep, the title "David Letterman Lectures Katie Couric On Leaving CBS News" is appropriate, although this blogger was toying with the title "David Letterman kicks Katie Couric's butt for Leaving CBS News," but it reads a bit too harsh.

Just a bit, but that's essentially what Letterman did earlier this week. It was a funny segment overall, because Couric, who has been the face of CBS News since 2006, was shaking her leg, eager to get on with the subject of her, rather than deal with David Letterman's constant recapping of World events. Katie handled the onslaught with considerable aplomb, but it was really obvious she was impatient.

Then, after a commercial break, he brought up the subject of her leaving CBS News, and she said she didn't know when it was going to be, that she would really depart. Then, after a small exchange, Letterman went into that "lecture rant" that was most famously seen when he got after Paris Hilton after she was released from jail after a DUI conviction.

David tore Paris Hilton a new one in 2007 "How did you like being in jail?":


With Katie, it's equally funny to me, because, here she is in the Chair Of Cronkite, and after just five years, wants to give it up? For what, basketweaving? Katie should stay there, even if there's a money issue; make it work another way.

But American Television News needs a person who grew to Cronkite's stature. PAY ATTENTION - I said "grow," OK.

I'd hoped it would be Katie Couric, who I have nothing but love for.

I'm just disappointed in her.

Oakland Hard Boiled Eggs On Earth Day, Good Friday Before Easter Sunday

Ok, what is the title, "Oakland Hard Boiled Eggs On Earth Day, Good Friday Before Easter Sunday ," all about? It's the result of this blogger's desire to get some Oakland-related content out to a wider audience, coupled with the fact that, as of this writing "Hard Boiled Eggs" is the top search trend on Google Trends, and "Easter Sunday" is something like eight positions down, yet this Sunday, and today's Good Friday and Earth Day, too.

It's also about the sheer problem of so much content now, it's hard to get a word out that is seen by a lot of people, without resorting to what will be called the "Oakland Hard Boiled Eggs On Earth Day, Good Friday Before Easter Sunday," approach.

Oakland Human Trafficking Fight Update

For those who may have missed my video, held a rally and protest on Wednesday to bring attention to the stretch of 14th Street, also called International Boulevard, that is plagued by child prostitution. Here's the video:

And visit Zennie62 On, too!

Nice Rotunda Event For Richard Winnie

The passing of my friend Richard Winnie brought out 500 people to The Oakland Rotunda yesterday, and for those who attended, it was not just a wonderful event honoring a great person, but kind of an Oakland Reunion, of sorts.

Without naming names, because I think it's cheesy to do that in the discussion of a funeral, it's just best to say that you realize how, for people who choose to get involved in improving Oakland, we're all one big family. We may not like each other, or we might love each other, but the one thing we can all agree on is that, like Richard Winnie, we care about Oakland. That's something to smile about before Easter Sunday.

But the thought I can't escape is that, with every passing of every Oaklander, we lose a little bit of the city as we knew it. Just what it's becoming is something we all need to talk about. It also brings up a weird idea I call The New Oaklanders Party - a kind of event that presents the City to people who are new to it. I just came up with that off the top of my head.

And another query: why is it that Seattle's coffee shops have women in bikinis serving it hot, and Oakland's don't? Is Oakland really that neurotically boring?


Oakland Birthday Celebration For Porche Jefferson At Lake Merritt

Two Sunday's ago, I saw a growing, rolling party on Lake Merritt, and got out of a cab just to make a video of it. So, if you're wondering what all the Haiti flags and dancing was all about, it was a celebration of the birthday of dance teacher Porche Jefferson, who works out of the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts on Alice Street. Here's the video:

Never met Porche Jefferson, but she's got to be a special teacher for an event like that to happen!

Oakland Bankrupt?

We also need to talk about this issue of Oakland possibly declaring bankruptcy. No, not in a "when will it happen" way, but in a "What may happen if it does" way. What bothers me is that, while the Oakland City Council avoids talking openly about the issue, the collective should be presenting the scenario to the public, not avoiding it.

Oaklanders should know what would happen under the condition that Oakland goes bankrupt. Don't you think so?

So that's the task for the Mayor of Oakland and the City Council: tell us what this possible worst-case condition will look like. Even if it doesn't happen, and we all hope it does not.

A Useful Oakland Twitter Tweet:

northoaklandnow Oakland North
Egg hunts, tree plantings, community clean ups, nature walks -- an Earth Day/Easter edition of This Weekend In Oakland!

Oakland A's Brandon McCarthy Doing Well

Some baseball news: Swinin A's reports that pitcher Brandon McCarthy's logged 30 innings, has a 1-1 record, and a 2.10 ERA, and all in his first four starts as a member of the A's. Not bad.

Oh. Follow Zennie62 on Twitter for a good time!

Oakland East Bay Paratransit Driver Texting

A Twitter Tweet to note:

CallingTyrone Tyrone Tobias
Why did I just see the East Bay ParaTransit driver swaying on the 580, while txting and driving?!? #SMH #imjustsaying #ItIsWhatItIs #Oakland

Oakland Restaurants Don't Get Social Media'

You can tell a lot of Oakland Restaurants just don't get social media and social broadcasting by the number of them that aren't on Twitter, or if they are, that don't regularly tweet using an #Oakland hashtag, or any useful #hashtag at all.

Being on Twitter is like using a giant billboard: if you put something on it, depending on how and where it's positioned, thousands will see it. Plus, it sits there online forever, or at least for a degree of time that might as well be considered that.  And combine your Twitter effort with Foursquare, and you're really on to something!

In fact, think about it as that: a billboard. You know a lot of people are going to see it, because people are there - you just have to get their attention, right?

That's what people just don't get: you have to do social media to get social media, even though I hate the term "social media" and prefer the term "social broadcasting" because that's what you're doing.

Wow. There's a lot more I could say, but I'd give away my consulting secrets.

The 2011 NFL Draft Next Week

This blogger will attend his 7th consecutive NFL Draft, so starting Wednesday, it will be all NFL Draft until the following Monday.

Oh. Follow Zennie62 on Twitter for a good time!

Did I say that already?

Happy Easter, Good Friday, and Earth Day!

Frank McCourt Vs. MLB, Bud Selig, And LA Dodgers' Financial Woes

The issues with Major League Baseball and The Los Angeles Dodgers are heating up and it looks like the only place that the two sides are going to achieve relief is court.

According to, the owner of the Dodgers have said he's ready to go to legal battle against Baseball, who, in the form of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, has announced that it's set to takeover the Dodgers.

Mccourt and his lawyers will seek a a mandatory injunction against MLB, and from the perspective that the league's actions were "arbitrary and capricious" in working to take over the storied West Coast franchise. reports the legal action "is not imminent."

Meanwhile, Commissioner Selig is quite clear about his intent, saying that it's his "unwavering commitment" to the maintenance of the game, and because of his "deep concerns" for the state of The Dodgers.

What's The Problem With The Dodgers?

While the franchise has had attendance problems, the real issue is the way Frank McCourt has handled the finances of the team. Frank McCourt has rang up $459 million in debt for the organization.

And from a baseball business perspective, it's going to take a massive cutting of star players and raising of ticket prices, and a winning franchise, to make up for the difference.

The Dodgers problem is further compounded by the fact that to make that happen takes another load of debt to clear that debt, then a pay off of that.

That's the most ideal solution situation.

In 2008, The Dodgers revenue was $241 million, and expenses are reportedly far over that. The first step will be to reduce expenses, perhaps to dramatically low levels, then to produce a totally new team on the field, then either replace the current management or count on the current group to coach the new team to a winning place.

Winning is the only marketing tool the Dodgers have in their favor. Realistically, the organization can't afford to spend a lot of money of marketing, and taking what would have to be a kind of "bootstrap" approach will have to be the strategy for the future.

Stay tuned.