Sunday, February 21, 2010

YouTube video channel Zennie62 reaches 12 million video views

The YouTube video channel Zennie62 has reached 12 million video views and 200,000 channel views as of Saturday, February 20th, and continuing a pattern of rapid growth that started in 2009 and has continued through 2010. Zennie62 on YouTube also has over 4,000 subscribers.

The YouTube video channel Zennie62 consists over 800 videos covering everything from politics to news, sports, tech, and entertainment and celebrity gossip. Zennie62 on YouTube is connected to the blog, also at The Zennie62 blog is the center publication of a network of 100 blogs ran by, of which this blogger, Zennie Abraham, is the executive producer.

The idea of Zennie62 is to bring "pure form video blogging" to the viewer. It's the simple practice of talking to the audience through a camcorder to tell a story or share a point of view, or as part of an interview with someone else. As video-blogging does not call for an elaborate set or expensive equipment, it can be done anywhere, at any time.

Here's one of Zennie62's most popular videos, this one on Susan Boyle:

And here's another one called "Fight in SF Fillmore":

Some of the videos are used for his national TV show The Blog Report with Zennie62 on CoLoursTV, DISH 9407.

Plans for 2010 include the upcoming NFL Draft Combine and The Academy Awards. Zennie62 has its first designated Associate Video-Blogger and seeks to form a team of video-bloggers in different cities. If you're interested, send an email to

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joe Stack - Austin Texas plane crash suicide; Why?

YouTube, Metacafe, DailyMotion, and Viddler

The reasons for the actions aside, Joe Stack left 13 injured, 2 dead in Thursday's Austin, Texas crash suicide. The question everyone is asking is why? But unlike Amy Bishop, who left no note and is alive in jail, Joe Stack left a long note, and is dead.

By now, the pattern emerges of a person who was angry with the IRS, unhappy with Austin, Texas, and sad because of his own misfortunes in life. But that doesn't explain what set Joe Stack to aim an airplane into an Austin, Texas building. While Joe Stack was angry with the IRS, there's no hard evidence that Stack was formally involved with the Tea Party Movement.

A more rounded, human picture of Joe Stack is emerging. Stack was a guitarist who played in the Billy Eil Band, and while photos of his association with the group have been removed, the action was done after they were posted online and clues about him remain. 

"Joe Stack – Bass, Vocals, Accordion on Spook Lights of Marfa" appear on the website. That means whatever ills Joe Stack carried around with him, he used music to help him cope with life.

Joe Stack was by all appearances a normal person getting along in life. He was married, had friends, was employed, and played more than one band...and by accounts not badly.

The recollections that appear from those acquainted with Stack were that "He seemed incredibly decent and mild-mannered" as Patrick Beach wrote in The Austin American Stateman.

Pat Beach was shocked and Billy Eli couldn't believe it. According to Beach, Eli said:

"He was the most sort of even-keeled and sane person I ever played with. I know everybody says that, but it's true. He was just a normal-seeming guy. I never heard him raise his voice."

Eli's band wasn't the only one Joe Stack played in. Stack was also a member of an Austin-based band called The Last Straw. On their MySpace page, the band wrote "We found a great keyboardist named Joe Stack."

It's hard to find any example of anyone who had anything bad to say about Joe Stack. Michael Cerza, who talked to Pat Beach for his column, said this:

"My impression of Joe was a kind, quiet, not at all brooding or taciturn person," Cerza said. "I didn't sense anything boiling under the surface. He was very pleased to get married again, I know that. There was no indication in his actions or his words that he would harm anyone. And then he crashes into a building full of strangers, innocent people. I can't make those ends meet in my mind. The madness of the times, maybe."

Just exactly what made Joe Stack reach that boiling point, that edge he wrote of being close to where he set his home on fire with his wife and daughter in it, and crashed a plane into a building, is not known as of this writing.

Joe Stack seemed normal. But then so did George Sodoni, who, last August 2009, went into a fitness club and shot women, after writing a web-based rant on his inability to get laid. And so did Dr. Amy Bishop, who , last Friday, got up and shot three of her University of Alabama-Huntsville colleagues in cold blood, then seemed to deny it ever happened.

Something is really wrong.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Are The World 25 for Haiti - Sarah Palin singing Rap lyrics?

We Are The World 25 for Haiti is out and is a smashing success. It's now the number one Itunes download. And while the remake has enjoyed rave reviews, not everyone is happy. Count Jay-Z among them who, according to, did not participate in We Are The World 25 because "We Are the World’ is like ‘Thriller’ to me, Jay-Z said, "I don’t ever wanna see it touched."

While Jay-Z wanted a new song and not the remake, others have mixed reviews of the rap lyrics in the song. This blogger thinks the rap portion, created by LL Cool J, is genius. But some commenters were "thrown off" by the rap portion, one of the commenters on my We Are The World video said Wyclef Jean "sounded like Tarzan", and New York's Jay Smooth took to his website to announce...

It is with a heavy heart I must report that on the evening of February 12th, 2010, Rap Music died once and for all. After battling a long illness, our beloved Rap was too weak to withstand the overpowering shame of that We Are The World remake.

We Are The World 25 for Haiti is powerful, period. And the rap portion is a logical and welcome addition given the growth of Hip Hop Culture. But to me, We Are The World 25 for Haiti is not complete until we have Republicans singing it. That's right: Republicans.

I can think of no better person for this, than Sarah Palin. If Sarah Palin can raise the roof on Saturday Night Live, she can sing the rap portion of We Are The World 25 for Haiti. My video is a kind of simulation of Sarah Palin singing We Are The World 25 for Haiti's rap.

Now, Sarah Palin's got to live up to this. It will give her the street cred she needs if she wants to be President of The United States!


Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras - what's going on in Oakland, SF, and Atlanta?

Today is Fat Tuesday or "Mardi Gras" and according to Wikipedia historically refers to the yummy ritual of eating richer, fatty foods before the fasting of the Lenten Season, which starts on what is called Ash Wednesday. But you know that Fat Tuesday is a synonym for "party Tuesday" in February. It's a day to wear beads and masks and do things you'd normally not do on a "school day" let alone a "school night". But where do you go if you happen to shuttle between Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay Area? Good question.

In Oakland, Ozumo's on the corner of Broadway and Grand is hosting a celebration that starts at 5 PM PST and features the sounds of New Orleans by live entertainment and "DJ Gray". In addition there will be Fat Tuesday food specials and Brazilian drink specials.

Right next door to Ozumo's free event, Pican's hosting a Fat Tuesday celebration, too, and that starts at 5:30 PM PST. Pican will have beads, boas, "traditional NOLA bites", Southern Comfort Hurricanes, and a cocktail called "Bulleit Sazerac" according to the report. In Pican's case, the cost is $75 at the door and $5 goes to Haitian relief. But with that, Pican's a fun place:

But Broadway & Grand's not the only place to go for Fat Tuesday in Oakland; you can head down to Jack London Square, too.

Miss Pearls Jam House at The Waterfront Hotel where Broadway ends has a Fat Tuesday event which starts at 7 PM PST. Miss Pearls' features live music with the Craig Caffall Band and an evening raffle.

Of course, if you want to have a party on Fat Tuesday without the heafy entry fee, check out Lake Chalet at 1520 Lakeside Drive. It's my favorite place to eat in Oakland, the bar is well-stocked, and it's always beads-friendly. Plus, if it's a nice day in the evening, the Patio should be rocking! The Lake Chalet is where I held my YouTube Meetup a while back:

Also, head over to Arizmendi Bakery on Lakeshore or in San Francisco for Fat Tuesday. No cocktails, but they do have something called "King Cake", a "colorful Danish pastry with pecans"! Now, as a word of warning, it seems only the San Francisco Arizmendi has a Fat Tuesday-related happening, but check the Oakland Arizmendi Bakery anyway. They're always full of unannounced surprises!

Of course, if you want a more serious evening you can head over to the Oakland City Council Budget Session at the Oakland City Hall at 5 PM PST. But after that gut-wrenching slice-and-dice party, you may very well be driven to drink, so wear your beads!

Fat Tuesday in San Francisco, frankly, makes Oakland look like a kitchen match compared to the H-Bomb-sized number of events in "The City". Here's a link to a search for all that's going on this year, 2010: FAT TUESDAY SAN FRANCISCO. But if you need some direction, go to Ruby Skye and check out the band "The Wonderbread 5". And of course, there's the Carnival celebration at the Mission Cultural Center that kicks off at 6 PM.

For me, the place to go is The Balboa Cafe on the corner of Fillmore and Greenwich, where there's no cover charge, a lot of beads, bartenders Lance and Brian should be working tonight, and if you're single it's a ton of fun (no comment on what married people do there!).

But what about Atlanta on Fat Tuesday?

The difference is the Fat Tuesday ethic is rich in Atlanta, even when it's not Fat Tuesday! Again there's so much to do, that a search link works best for ya: FAT TUESDAY ATLANTA. But where to go from all of the choices? Thee's the Mardi RA Masquerade Ball 2010 at RA Sushi at 1080 Peachtree St., Suite 8. There, you join Baton Bob as he hold his costume contest. It starts at 8 PM and its free.

The other place to go to is Parish Foods and Goods at 240 N. Highland Ave. They've got an all day thing with oysters, all-you-can-eat treats, roasted pig, and red beans and rice. Yum! Check it out.

What ever you do, be safe and don't drink and drive.

Monday, February 15, 2010

American Red Cross must explain $175 million in unallocated Haiti donations

One month ago, singer Wycef Jean's "NGO" (for"Non-Governmental Organization) called "Yelle Haiti" raised just over $1 million to help victims of the 7.0 Haiti Earthquake. At the time, scores of non-profit organizations sprang up to announce some kind of effort to assist the quake-damaged country.

But of all of them, Yelle Haiti received the most attention because of alleged past spending patterns, leading to the awful and unfounded accusation that Wycef Jean was using the money for personal use. In this video made one month ago, Wycef Jean answered his critics:

Just after The Smoking Gun and The Washington Post blog posts were issued (and with no evidence of having attempted to personally contact Wycef Jean to give him a chance to respond to the accusations) and the rescue efforts ramped up, suddenly the American Red Cross became mentioned in commercial after commercial as the "go-to" nonprofit for donations.

Ok, but where's the $165 million?

Some newspapers, like The San Francisco Chronicle, included the American Red Cross in a list of recommended organizations to donate to in the effort to help Haiti. The message, and thus the common assumption or "conventional wisdom", was that the American Red Cross was the "safe" organization to donate to.

It's not.

According to CNN Money, The American Red Cross had to ask for a $100 million cash infusion after its emergency fund was depleted. Today, reports are that the American Red Cross spent or committed nearly $80 million to "meet the most urgent needs of earthquake survivors."

But wait. Where did the cost of $80 million come from? Or is it that the American Red Cross received that much in donations and while all of it is committed, only part of it is spent? According to the American Red Cross' own one month report, it has raised $255 million for the Haitian Relief effort.

That's as much money as was raised to finance the upgrade construction of the Miami Dolphins' stadium for Super Bowl XLIV.

But here's where the reports gets really confusing and disturbing. While $255 million was raised, only $80 million was spent or committed, leaving $175 million in donations that's neither spent nor committed to Haiti.

Where's the $175 million the American Red Cross collected? Where's The Washington Post and The Smoking Gun to look at this?

The complete American Red Cross Haiti one month report does not help because it fails to even mention the $175 million collected but not spent or committed to Haiti.


The logical mind would think that if the American Red Cross gained $255 million in money that donors believed was going to the Haiti effort, then all of the $255 million should be committed to Haiti, not some of it.

This is a major outrage. But more outrageous is the media's blind eye to the American Red Cross' activities. One would think a reporter would not be so lazy that they could avoid subtracting $80 million from $255 million, get $175 million, read the Red Cross' online documents, and start asking about the unallocated $175 million?

But that's what's happened in the case of the only mainstream media organization to look at donation spending progress to date, The Miami Herald. The report in the business section mentions the $255 million and the $80 million in one sentence - this one:

For Haiti, the Red Cross has raised more than $250 million and has plans for some $80 million of that so far, said Red Cross spokesman Jonathan Aiken.

But disturbingly, The Miami Herald fails to ask the "What happened to the $175 million in donations" question.

Everyone deserves an answer, especially Wycef Jean and those who've ran Yelle Haiti, and who continue to be dogged by a PR attack that seems to have benefitted organizations like the American Red Cross and allowed them to submit sloppy reports of their own.

Indeed, The Miami Herald picked up the "something's wrong with Yelle Haiti" theme and repeated it in the same story where they give the American Red Cross a blind pass. That is awful and must be explained ASAP.

Stay tuned.