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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Calvin Klein SF Union Square - Is store front racist?

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On YouTube.com

I received this email below from a viewer which explains the person's shock over the Calvin Klein SF Union Square store front display. I went over to make the video above and get your view on the display.

As I've stated in the video, it was not a good idea to approve a store front that is at best questionable. Everyone who's seen the video thus far has a reaction to it, from furled brows to frowns and raised eyebrows, the video does not make for a stoic reaction.

Why someone would do this is a question I will ask Calvin Klein's staffers in the days ahead. Indeed, the worker that talked to me through the glass admitted that she did not the racial overtones in the display until they were pointed out to her.

But for now, read the email below, then take my poll on this certainly controversial Calvin Klein store display.

The email:

Hey Zennie,

I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture (I don't usually use my phone for anything other than a phone, so it escaped me in a moment of anger), but I just got back from the San Francisco Shopping Center where I happened upon an appalling window display in the Calvin Klein store next to Bloomingdale's on the 3rd floor.

Imagine a window full of frolicking monkeys, swinging from tree branches in various playful poses, but instead of monkeys, there are mannequins wearing the latest Calvin fashions. And instead of swinging from tree branches, the mannequins are swinging from ropes finished in nooses at the ends. All of the mannequins are black. It doesn't sound like much, but I'll tell you, those nooses caught my eye in the first place, and it didn't take long to piece it all together.

Why am I sending this to you? Well, you've got a voice on several forums, and could make this very public and embarrassing for Calvin Klein. That anyone could get past the basic design stages of such a display without questioning its bad taste is unbelievable. That such displays are crafted by designers with an eye on every detail makes it even less excusable. That such displays are often dictated to stores by corporate headquarters and duplicated at all locations makes it a disgusting travesty.

If you happen by that store, or know someone in SF who could take some pics for you to post, you could shine a bright light on a very ugly message going out to the thousands of people who pass by that carefully composed collection of symbols. I was deeply offended, but rather than contact Calvin Klein so they can quietly change their windows, I figured I'd contact someone who can give it a bit more exposure.

Thanks for listening and keep up the good blogs,

Name withheld by Zennie
San Francisco


More fun polls on pollsb.com

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shawne Merriman, Tila Tequila: she says she doesn't drink; what of this video?

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The latest news in the unfortunate story of the accused battery and assault charge on San Diego Linebacker Shawne Merriman by Tila Tequila is that Merriman claims he was trying to get Tequila, who's real name is Tila Nguyen, to avoid driving while intoxicated. This is just what I speculated in my video commentary:

Tila's lawyer disputes Merriman's claim, saying it's "spin" but does not offer an alternative explanation regarding what happened. Morever Tila herself now says she was not drinking, and that she's allergic to alcohol.

Really interesting...

But Stingaree nightclub owner James Brennan says that Tila was drinking Saturday night. Apparently Tila made the claim to an aversion to cocktails on her Twitter page but that specific tweet is now not to be found.

Also not to be found is any reason why Tila's suddenly covering up her tweets. Between these actions and her website message claiming she has multiple personalities, it seems there's more to this story than meets the eye.

I write that with great sadness because to accuse someone of assault is a serious charge that gives everyone pause: everyone either wants to or is compelled to run to the side of the assumed victim and attack the accused.

But what happened when it appears the assumed victim may be using how society responds to his or her advantage and wasn't really harmed at all?

It makes the public more skeptical of such claims and look more at the character of the accuser. This is where we are today, with even her "friends" leaving curious comments on her MySpace page and this YouTube video from her channel MissTilaTequila, which shows Tila talking about being at a Beverly Hills Mansion (posted August 4th, which was that Tuesday, my birthday, which means it was on August 2nd) and with the camera pointing to a champagne bottle set and saying "pimpin..Rose Chrystal Bottle popin livin it up on a Sunday"..

And in another video created this year and from her channel Tila claims she gets anxiety attacks when she goes out and tries not to because of that, just before she sings a song she wrote saying how she's a "little drunk and gonna get you high."

Okay! More questions.

If she's allergic to alcohol, why make such a video featuring it as a key part of the good life and focus on the champagne bottle not once but twice (she's controlling the camcorder). Why make another video rapping about being drunk?

Hey, I agree its the fun life but only in moderation, and I'm honest about how I enjoy the good life and do it with care. This is terrible, to say the least, and calls her latest claims into question.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger talk to Joe Diamos about California's economy

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Is California becoming a "party economy"? Governor Schwarzenegger should talk to Joe Diamos.

Diamos says we're in trouble

Since our credit crunch of 2008 and the staggering wave of not just job losses but the dramatic drop in overall job creation over the last eight years, I've always believed our American economy was in trouble.

Rather than throw out a bunch of statistics, I decided to turn to someone who's in the middle of the economic storm: Joe Diamos of Diamos Funding Group in Redwood City, Ca.

Diamos' company is a law firm that specializes in representing you before the bank you have a mortgage with to get that bank to adjust your loan - called "loan modification" - so that you're better able to afford your monthly payments.

I asked Mr. Diamos how the economy was doing; I didn't get an enthusiastic answer. "It's terrible", he said. Diamos has a specific recommendation for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature.

"Get business to stay in California. We're losing business left and right to other states, Nevada, and so on. We've got to keep businesses here."

I wondered if the Governor and other politicians really understood what was going on? "I think people in general are starting to wake up now," he responded. "People are hurting all over."

Does the Gov get it?

Will a great credit score make a difference in getting a home loan? "What's killing the economy is that they've lowered the requirements so much that anyone could get credit; now we have a wave of foreclosures because people aren't working. It's so bad now, no one can get a loan. If you had an 800 credit score, on the job for 10 years, but lost your job, now the banks will not take a risk on you."

Diamos says banks are out of trillions of dollars because of the foreclosure wave and the credit crunch and says that President Obama's program to help keep Americans in their homes does not have enough money in it. "When Obama put money aside he only put in $75 billion. That's not enough to solve the problem. Everyone's down in (housing) value. One step is to raise the amount of money in the program. The banks spend $50k to foreclose. Banks are between a rock in a hard place; they spend $50,000 to foreclose or that amount to maintain the loan."

"It's a complicated issue, he said. "I think we need to have the market take its course. California's businesses are being chased away; we've got to get them back."

Diamos does not recommend buying a home; his advise is buying real estate is not the best move. "Renting is better", he says. "Give the house back. Real estate's not coming back for 20 years. We've got trillions more foreclosures coming."

Then we have "option on loans" - payment should have been $6,000, after you hit a certain point, you have to make the payment over $7,000 - that will cause another wave of foreclosures." (Option loans are such that payments are calculated to "baloon" after five or ten years because payments are recalculated.  Without them, buyers could not easily afford larger, more expensive dwellings.)

Diamos continued, "Then we have commercial real estate and that's another wave of foreclosures coming.  I don't think anyone knows how bad the foreclosures are going to be," he said. "We have a big hole. Hold on to your cash; cash is king."

"We do the foreclosures, we've got a line out of the door. If you're behind on the mortgage we modify your loan. I can't get you a loan if you want one, but I can fix the one you have. It's getting worse and worse and worse. The banks don't need to issue loans to make money."

So if you want to have your loan modified, call Joe Diamos. But regarding the American and California economy, we're in trouble. There's no clear idea of what's fueling economic growth because we're losing so many jobs, especially manufacturing employment opportunities.

My personal contention is that our entire system is contracting under the growing weight of the offshoring of employment and we've got to take a measure of draconian protectionism.

Our trading partners will not like it, but on the other hand they need our active economy as a place to sell their goods and services; if our economy is weak it hurts them.

The stimulus package of $780 billion is not large enough; $2 billion would be more effective and I'm not listening to cries of socialism - that' really not the point. Governments running our economic competitor nations have no problem pumping money into their economies so we shouldn't either.

Diamos is correct in stating that the key to the recovery is small business, but we need to have programs to help our businesses grow and not tax them to death as they do it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Shawne Merriman, Tila Tequila and, her website message

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ESPN reports that San Diego Chargers Linebacker Shawne Merriman was accused of suspicion "choking and restraining" his girlfriend as she tried to leave his home at 3:45 am. This is what's written on ESPN's website:

Deputies responded about 3:45 a.m. to Merriman's house in Poway, north of San Diego, after a woman called to say she was choked by the player and thrown to the ground when she tried to leave, Sheriff's Department spokesman Jan Caldwell said at a news conference.

Merriman, 25, was taken into custody and booked into the central jail at about 8:30 a.m. He was released shortly after 11 a.m. Caldwell said she didn't know if he posted bail or was released on his own recognizance.

Tequila left Pomerado Hospital at 7:36 a.m. Sunday, ESPN's Colleen Dominguez reported. She was observed and treated, but not admitted. Her stay at the hospital was approximately two hours.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune was interviewed by ESPN's and said "this does not fit with the Sean Merriman I know. Now, I only know Merriman's fantastic football career, and little else, but I know nothing about Tila Tequila, so I went on a little Internet searching spree.

Tequila's real name is Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, or Tila "Tequila" Nguyen and is known as an MTV star. She had a show on that network called A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila and was on for two years before it ended July 8, 2008. Tequila has been featured in Maxim, Stuff, and Penthouse magazines.

Her MySpace page was reportedly the most popular in pageviews in 2006, which is no mean trick to achieve. So I visited her MySpace page, scrolled down to "About TILA TEQUILA IS IN SAN DIEGO", and found something really interesting...

You've got to read how Tequila describes herself in this message:

You people probably won't even be able to read this because my page is so cluttered...sooo...imma blab a little bit here...hoping you won't read it. Here we go: i like people who are really fucked up. I mean like tormented in one way or another because then i won't feel like such a freak around those that are "normal." nerds, geeks, and freaks are all my friends. Cool people are pretty damn lame. I am very high strung and suffer from multiple personalities. Jane. She's crazy and she always wants to kill me. Tila...poor girl..she works so hard and always wants to make others happy...she deserves a break. I haven't had boyfriend for so long. I always want one, but when there is one around i run. I'm too busy. I love being in love but i hate the consequences. I do a lot of things that are self destructive. I try not to. I like being at home alone...a lot! So much more fun than surrounding myself with a bunch of wacko's out there. I am also bi-polar so that should explain my irratic postings. I like to read. I love to read. I am a nerd. I've always been a nerdy geek trapped inside a umm...woman's body. Yea....that's me. People love me for some reason. I don't know why...i do but i just say i don't know why just to be modest. I want to be a multi-millionaire by the time i reach 25 years of age. And i will.

What I could not help but focus on was this:

I am very high strung and suffer from multiple personalities. Jane. She's crazy and she always wants to kill me. Tila...poor girl..she works so hard and always wants to make others happy...she deserves a break. I haven't had boyfriend for so long. I always want one, but when there is one around i run. I'm too busy.

Now, let me make this clear, I don't care what personality Tila Tequila may have been, choking and restraining any one of them is wrong. But I also know from personal experience anyone who says, let alone blogs, that they "suffer from multiple personalities" and is "bipolar" and "bisexual", is not someone to deal with as they have a tendency to completely self destruct and distort reality and as Woody Allen said in Husbands and Wives "crash their plane right into you."

Unless you crave drama, it's best to run away from such a person just to preserve your sanity.

Also interesting is her Twitter page (which has been "protected" since about four hours ago) and tweets written in French, but loosely translate to..

You did not realize that I knew that you are in love with me, but I am more intelligent than you realize 1:01 PM Sep 5th from web

And this one:

My secret lovers.......always bitter sweet. Love undying....lust then weep...there she goes again.....Where is she now? Who is she with? 12:30 PM Sep 5th from web

What really happened?

All of this makes me wonder what really happened between Merriman and Tequila. Merriman is out of jail, having been released this morning at 11 am; Tequila was at the hospital for two hours, but its reported she was there for two hours, then released, not admitted. And it was reported she was drinking. According to E! Online the pair were partying at a hotspot called Stingaree in San Diego "without incident."

Ha. Except that they were having a load of fun. TMZ.com has a set of photos of Tequila on his lap, or more accurately, his thigh, but another one where it looks as if Merriman is drinking water from a bottle - look for yourself.

By contrast, It's reported that she was drinking at Merriman's house.

This is hard one to deal with because my gut, just my base instincts, say that Tequila got too drunk and Merriman tried to stop her from doing something, perhaps driving, then all hell broke lose. Others were in his home and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office will question them.

I know Sean's an NFL veteran, but this is one of those kinds of incidents they talk about avoiding at the NFL Rookie Symposium. In my view, there's nothing wrong with being a careful snob. People like Merriman have too much to loose and too many people and kids who look up to them to allow themselves to be connected with anyone who claims to "suffer from multiple personalities".

After all this is over, Merriman should get a new set of friends.

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