Saturday, November 08, 2008

Prop 8 Protest In San Francisco - Video

My cousin in San Francisco sent me this. Pity this didn't happen before the election.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

CNN's "Hologram" Just Video Quackery, Not Holographic

What was supposed to be a "gee-wiz" moment for the CNN election coverage was more of a "so what". Wolf Blitzer breathlessly alerted viewers to something that they had never seen before as correspondents at Grant Park were "hologrammed" into the CNN studio.

That got my interest so I watched as a poor quality image of the correspondent appeared on a red dot on the floor of the studio. It looked less convincing than Princess Leah's urgent message to Obi-Wan in Star Wars. and that was done with 30 year old film technology and optical printers.

In reality the alleged Hologram was a green screen image capture technique using dozens of cameras surrounding the subject in Grant Park. The images were knitted together electronically and matched to the camera movements in the CNN studio to simulate the presence of the remote subject. Sounds pretty high tech doesn't it?

Well in practice it looked slightly worse than the first "chroma-key" set up I used to use when working in live TV back in the 1970's. The edges of the person were fuzzy and ringed with a blue cast and though the camera moved and the perspective was supposed to change accordingly, it looked like a flat paper doll as photographed through a screen door.

My suspicion is that the image looked really clear and some genius at CNN decided it needed to look more like a hologram, so they trashed it up and added a blue glowing edge. Either way it was a fraud. This technique has nothing to do with Holograms. Those images are made using lasers and not TV cameras. In fact to view a hologram you must actually look through the film it is recorded on to see the image illusion of 3-D. So far a projected hologram is the holy grail and has yet to be achieved and in the view of many will never be a reality beyond the fictional realm of Star Trek.

Now, CNN, why not apologize for the fraud and just do a damn interview with the guest on a remote camera. After all, why "beam in" the guest from a location where news is actually happening when you can just cut to that location and see the news. Seems a better use of television technology to me.

North Carolina Goes To Obama!

After a long and protracted vote count and verification the Associated Press is finally calling North Carolina for Barack Obama. Though the electoral votes are not necessary now, it does increase the overall total to a whopping 364! The electoral landslide further cements the mandate for Obama from the people of the United States.

Looking at the electoral map from this year compared to 2004 the changes are shocking. Many red states that voted for Bush in 2004 are now firmly in the blue camp. Democrats have asserted themselves throughout the country and according to a new demographic map in the New York Times, the vast majorit of America is now trending blue.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Palin The Object Of RNC Scorn - It's All About The Clothes Again!

Let the recriminations begin!

Seems like Sarah Palin is being blamed for much of the loss and wouldn't you know, her wardrobe "malfunction" is still causing problems. According to Newsweek, a McCain aid referred to her and her family as the "Wasilla Hillbillies looting Neiman-Marcus".

Her shopping spree apparently started as a request by handlers to go out and buy 3 suits.

Taking credit cards from wealth donors and RNC staff, Palin proceeded to outfit her entire family with high end clothes. The story now states that she blew somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 on husband Todd's wardrobe alone. Then that well worn $150,000 on her may have been a low end estimate.

From the tone of the comments coming from the RNC, Palin's 15 minutes of fame are over. My guess is she and her career will be shredded leaving her no chance to return to the national stage. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Marriott Boycott - No Money For Mormons!

It's high time we stopped supporting the Mormons. Their influence and money were deciding factors in the passing of Proposition 8 in California. That little ballot initiative cancelled about 20,000 marriages in one fell swoop.

Marriott Hotels is owned and operated by the Marriott family, who are major figures in the Mormon church. I have no problem with Mormons, except when they try to infringe on my rights and that steams me! I will stop staying at Marriott hotels in the future and encourage all my LGBT friends to do the same. They fought against our rights with money, now let's return the favor!

Franken & Colman Still in Battle - AP Uncalls MN Senate Race

From the Associated Press:

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman finished ahead of Democrat Al Franken early Wednesday in the final vote count, but his 571-vote margin falls within the state's mandatory recount law. That law requires a recount any time the margin between the top two candidates is less than one-half of one percent.

The AP called the race prematurely.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount won't begin until mid-November at the earliest and will probably stretch into December. It will involve local election officials from around the state.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama's Victory Speech

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama—as prepared for delivery
Election Night
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

OBAMA WINS!

It is a new day in America! American's voters were cajoled and threatened and lied to and yet they still managed to discern the truth and the message of hope given by Barack Obama. The landslide of electoral votes gave a clear signal that America has changed. The old politics of hate and fear are behind us and a new brighter future is before us.

State By State Results From MSNBC

Palin Blathering To The Press

So for months Sarah Palin couldn't be contacted by the press, and now she won't shut up. I suspect she is basking in her last bit of fame before returning to her job as Governor of Alaska and eventual obscurity. (that is my hope!) Her aides tried time and again to get her away from the press but she just couldn't be persuaded.

She begins her rant with the incredible statement that she was glad she was exonerated of any wrong doing in the abuse of power ethics investigation. As everyone but Sarah knows, she was found guilty of ethics violations!

Message From Howard Dean - VOTE!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Barack Obama's Grandmother Dies In Hawaii

My sincere condolences and prayers go out to Senator Barack Obama and his family. His beloved grandmother died today on the even of the election in Hawaii.

"She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility," Obama said in a statement released by his campaign. "She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring."

Circuit City Closes 155 US Stores

A little over a year ago I predicted bad things for Circuit City when they dropped their commission sales policy. Now the company is closing 155 stores in the US to preserve its cash. While I don't think these are directly related there is a connection. Granted the economy has pushed consumer electronics to the edge of the retail business, after all which do you really need, food or the new video game?

The lack of commissioned sales people means less customer service and in this climate that may be your only point of difference in the retail business. I had an uncle who was twice the top salesman for furniture in the country for a large department store chain and in bad times and good he made record sales. Though people are always looking for a good price, great service and a personal touch go a long way toward customer loyalty.

I hope this trend does not continue. We don't need any more unemployment in our country.

Don't Let Up! Get Out The Vote!

Palin Stonewalls Her Medical Records - Hiding Something Big?

Seems Sarah Palin has been disingenuous in her claims that she would release medical records for herself prior to the election. After numerous promises and much cajoling by the press she still has yet to do so. What is she hiding?

Here is my theory. If you remember her daughter's pregnancy was finally exposed to the press after rumors swirled that her youngest child was not Sarah Palin's but her daughter's. In an effort to dispute the rumors, Palin announced that her daughter was pregnant now with her boyfriends baby. I guess this somehow blunts the possibility that Trig born in April was not Sarahs baby.

However! And this is a big however, her medical records would prove the pregnancy was Sarah Palin's and not her daughter's or vice-versa. I suspect the rumor may have been true and like an episode of Desperate Housewives, Sarah faked her pregnancy and claimed the baby as hers to protect her daughter. Medical records could put to rest that theory, but since she refuses to release them, I am guessing it's more than a theory!

The pther possibility is she has something bad in her records that would not instill comfidence in the voting public. Either way, it's really fishy and the public has a right to know!