27 July 2009

The Henry Louis Gates situation worsens, and was Michael Jackson truly murdered?

The New York Times just published a story today revealing the 911 call from the woman who called the cops on Professor Henry Louis Gates, who was arrested and shortly released. That incident sparked controversy because of alleged racial profiling and the fact that Gates was merely trying to enter his own home. Worse, this article reveals the truth: The woman who called the police did NOT specify that Gates or his friend was black. I was just watching a report on this on ABC's World News and heard the actual tapes. This is an outrageous disregard for the truth and decency and yet another example of police power abuse.

Also, when I was looking up the ABC News website for the Gates story I discovered THIS prominently displayed: "Report: Jackson's Personal Doc Gave Deadly Shot". 'Nuff said. Whatever happens, justice shall be served.

24 July 2009

Obama's press conference: The orchestra-pit theory in action

Consider Roger Ailes's famous question: "If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, 'I have a solution to the Middle East problem,' and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?"

Now, the news media has demonstrated this clearly by emphasizing the very last question from Wednesday's televised primetime news conference, when reporter Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times asked the President about the Cambridge police wrongly arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. Obama suggested the police "acted stupidly". That was just one question in a news conference where most of the 10 questions were about health care reform. Guess what really made headlines? Watch the videos below and see for yourself.

NBC's Today, July 23

Compare this to how much time was spent to cover the health care aspects:

On the satirical Daily Show, Jon Stewart hosts a properly proportional segment:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
White House M.D.
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

13 July 2009

Sotomayor confirmation hearings began today

So far today the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor have been just the Senate Judiciary Committee members' commentary and Sotomayor's speech. Her speech was so deep, articulate, and moving, with her narrative of how her Puerto Rican immigrant mother worked hard with her and her brother despite their low income. As for the senators, Republicans pressed Sotomayor with the usual "activist judge"/alleged racism, while Democrats had all sorts of hopeful and praising things to say. Heck, even South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham decided to be nice for once.

There were also some celebrity guest appearances at today's session. When the newly elected Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) - yes, the former Saturday Night Live/Air America Radio star Al Franken, in case you've been living in a cave all year - began his remarks, Norma McCorvey (the Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case) hollered along with another protestor. Then, when another Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of my home state California, began speaking, another protestor yelled: "Her record--What about the unborn. Abortion is murder! Stop the genocide of unborn Latinos!" Then, SJC chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) actually had to remind the audience to remain silent for the rest of the session. I actually saw the Feinstein incident live on PBS (locally on the digital KQED World channel). Because I always wake up late during the summer, I missed most of the earlier senators remarks. The hearings started at 10AM Eastern, which is 7AM in the Pacific Time Zone. Unfortunately, 10AM is my average wake-up time when there's nothing to do during the day. I think I need to move to the East Coast if I want to keep my sleep schedule and political informacy.

But later during the afternoon on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (KQED broadcasts it live from Washington, that's why it's on at 3PM PT), I got to hear a condensed version of the session, but not Franken. You can watch Franken getting interrupted on the Washington Post website.

Tomorrow, I'll wake up early to watch Round 2 of the hearings.

08 July 2009

These folks make the Parents Television Council look like Greek scholars

I've blogged about the Parents Television Council before. That organization has a reputation for its tough moral stance on TV and for "FCC complaint fraud", that is, recruiting "meat puppet" applicants to file multiple complaints about a certain indecent TV show. Targets have included the predictable usual suspects, exposed private parts (NYPD Blue in 2003, Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show in 2004, and Survivor: Gabon in 2008 - I'm not kidding, click the link and you know what's happening) and obscene words (Billboard Music Awards in 2002 and 2003, NYPD Blue and Golden Globe Awards in 2003, Live 8 in 2005, a lot more examples - darn it TV is PROFANE!)

And? PTC has been known for raising a ruckus about otherwise harmless instances on TV, such as recent Family Guy and Two and a Half Men episodes.

But? On Broadcasting & Cable I just came upon THIS rather giggly story:

According to reports, the Little People of America has filed an official complaint with the FCC over the use of the term "midget" on TV.

"[P]eople with dwarfism find the word "midget" highly offensive," the group said last April when it complained about the use of the term on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

An FCC spokesperson was not available for comment at press time, but to regulate the term's use on broadcast TV, the commission would likely have to classify it as indecent or hate speech, over which it has regulatory.

So this organization, now the powerful, million-member, complaint-stuffing PTC, had to raise a "sensitivity" ruckus? When was the last time PTC went up in arms about "political" rather than "moral" or "language" correctness? I know that FCC targets words like the one that begins with F and rhymes with a bird species and another that begins with S and contains the sound of "it", but I've never heard of FCC targeting ethnic/racial/etc. slurs like "midget" or the one that begins with N and rhymes with a character from Winnie the Pooh.

If PTC has never brought up things like this, they're the scholars of the new millennium.

Did BET spit on Michael Jackson's grave? (updated 7/8)


If these allegations against BET are intellectually true, the B should stand for Bastardly, because BET really screwed up the Awards Show while simultaneously trying to pay tribute to Michael Jackson.

First, as mentioned in HipHopDX, Lil Wayne & Young Money gave a crummy performance of "Every Girl", and Drake's ACL injury affected adversely his "Best I Ever Had".

Then Beyonce's performance of "Ave Maria" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kREAWgRgviA) was found disrespectful by some Catholics...because Beyonce wasn't wearing the right clothes, and it wasn't the "right' occassion, it wasn't "spiritual enough", etc. (http://blog.beliefnet.com/idolchatter/2009/06/beyonces-ave-maria-disrespectf.html)

And finally, a lot of bloggers were mad and shit at BET for ruining what would've been a good thing:
- http://pittsindeed.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/dear-bet-what-the-fk-was-that/

But New Edition's tribute performance was alright - http://neonlimelight.com/2009/06/28/new-edition-performs-jackson-5-medley-at-bet-awards/

Ciara's pretty weak - http://neonlimelight.com/2009/06/29/ciara-performs-tribute-to-michael-jackson-during-the-2009-bet-awards/

Ne-Yo delievered a pretty good cover of "Lady of My Life". He later performed his own hit "She Got Her Own" with Jamie Foxx and Fabolous, and then he got Keith Sweat and a bunch of other 90s "New Jack Swing" stars on stage. - http://neonlimelight.com/2009/06/28/ne-yo-performs-tribute-to-michael-jackson-at-bet-awards/

there's also all this talk about Jamie Foxx messing up his attempt at a moonwalk and using the award show as a promotional opportunity for his own concert tour, a pretty selfish move right there.

On comments sections on articles hosted by such sites as MTV.com, HipHopDX.com, and all sorts of other blogs (maybe mine?) there's been mostly negative comments directed toward BET. But hey, this is the channel that the Parents Television Council targeted last year in its "Rap on Rap" report, and this is the channel that spends most of its broadcast day airing shallow rap/R&B music videos, cancelled mediocre sitcoms, trash movies, and religious programming the rest of the way.

Most ironic of all? The BET Awards had its highest ratings ever despite all this fiery buzz.

UPDATE (7/8/09): I knew this would happen. The Parents Television Council decided to condemn the award show, not only with their moral grounds but a lot of the bloggers' complaints about how crappy the show was (pointing out the Baby Boy skit, Lil Wayne's performance, etc.). I only found out about this today when I decided to take my rare swing by the PTC's site.

02 July 2009

Former Chaboya Advanced Pre-Algebra teacher has been FOUND (updated)

From today's San Jose Mercury News

Police re-issue urgent alert for missing Campbell man

By Lisa Fernandez

Mercury News
Posted: 07/02/2009 06:13:57 AM PDT
Updated: 07/02/2009 11:55:55 AM PDT

Campbell police have issued an updated urgent alert regarding a missing Campbell man with severe dementia who has not been seen for more than a day and who is likely wandering around without his medications.

Ross Abinanti, 63, was with his family Tuesday about 7 p.m. in downtown Campbell at a parking structure on North Second Street and Civic Center Drive when he somehow got separated from his group, police said.

He hasn't been seen since then and police suspect he probably hasn't eaten or had anything to drink.

Abinanti is described as a white man, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 270 pounds. He was last seen wearing a plain white baseball cap, a dark gray polo-style shirt with vertical stripes, khaki shorts, white socks and tennis shoes. He should also be wearing a medical alert bracelet with his name on it, and which also has a GPS unit for easy tracking.

On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Sheriff Sgt. Rick Sung said that the department's Star One helicopter crew from the Special Operations Unit was called out about 8:45 p.m. to search for Abinanti. Sung said authorities got a "ping" on the location on the bracelet at Interstate 280 and Meridian Avenue, but still had no luck finding Abinanti.

If anyone finds Abinanti, they should call Campbell police at 408-866-2101.

How sad. I urge everyone, ESPECIALLY Chaboya alumni, to pitch in and help. There was a citizen's search today according to a Craigslist.

I had Abinanti for math during the 2003-2004 year, when I was in 7th grade. He was a cool teacher, and since having him I've succeeded in math throughout high school. I got straight A's in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, and a 5 on the AP Calculus AB and BC exams.

Given his medical condition, if he's missing for so long (unless he found his way back home, in which case the search would be called off) I suppose he might end up like...(choke) Michael Jackson? (If you've been sleeping all summer, yes, the singer/acquitted child molester Michael Jackson is no longer with us.)

Tardy update (8/18/09): Abinanti was found alive on the evening of Friday, July 10 in Saratoga, specifically at a dry creekbed behind Jake's Pizzeria. A little league team eating dinner at the restaurant found Abinanti. Currently he's in hospital recovering.