Barack Obama meets the Queen in London

Barack and Michelle Obama meet the Queen and Prince Philip. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Great to see President Obama on his state visit to London but let’s not forget what all of this is really about. He is up for election. The Queen needs to attract American and global tourism. He needs the UK as an alley against the “war on terror” and to fight it for the US. We need to be best best friends with the most powerful country in the world. I’m watching the BBC  practically gush with sickly enthusiasm.

I’m all for attracting tourism and encouraging a strong economy in the UK. But we all know the smiles are for a reason and part of the game. After all, it is the business of politics. The BBC keep saying that the Queen is going out of her way to welcome the Obamas but they think it’s a personal thing. I beg to differ. The Queen is an intelligent woman. She’s had her talk with the Prime Minister:

“We got to suck American ass because our economy is in the shit hole. Do what you can, your Majesty.”

Politics – Love it!

Oscars: Helena Bonham Carter’s strength in style

(© AFP)

I alway find it amazing how the media bully someone for being different, for being an individual. Helena has said as much about her style, she doesn’t want to follow the crowd, she wants to do her own thing and for this she gets bullied by the celebrity bitch press.

Thank you Helena for being yourself and doing your own thing on your own terms and telling Hollywood to f$%k off. I salute you.

Visual Art Source and ArtScene on strike for no pay from Huffington Post

When Huffington sold I had no idea that writers were working for no pay. I’m used to no pay from the little publication but from Huffington Post? Wow. This in not on. Writers need to be paid. This means writers are lower down the food chain than say, cleaners? No disrespect to cleaners.

Ginger Liu.

On Strike from the Huffington Post

Visual Art Source / info@visualartsource.com

ArtScene / artscene@artsenecal.com

When we were invited to become a Huffington Post blogger last year I understood that the company paid nothing. We surveyed our writers’ reaction to assess their willingness to have their material reposted there for no additional pay. Visual Art Source, ArtScene and art ltd. (http://www.visualartsource.com) form an umbrella art publishing company that is actually quite large by the standards of our very specialized field. The tens of thousands of readers and online users that we boast, however, are miniscule compared to the 26 million visitors per month that the Huffington Post currently draws.

Yet we are now going on strike. For now, at least, no more content from us will appear on the Huffington Post.

And just like the corporate titans of the American Right, it would come as no surprise if Ms. Huffington, whom I am certain has a good heart and only the best intentions, were to assume the obvious position: Who needs these people anyway?  They are not even employees.

Nonetheless, we shall remain on strike until these two demands are met.  First, a pay schedule must be proposed and steps initiated to implement it for all contributing writers and bloggers. Second, paid promotional material must no longer be posted alongside editorial content; a press release or exhibition catalogue essay is fundamentally different from editorial content and must be either segregated and indicated as such, or not published at all.

I am also calling upon all others now contributing free content, particularly original content to the Huffington Post to also join us in this strike.

We think it is incumbent upon the many writers and bloggers to form a negotiating partnership with Huffington/AOL in order to pursue these and other important matters so as to professionalize this relationship. It is not entirely Ms Huffington’s fault that so many talented professionals have been willing to accept the company’s terms on an “in kind” basis. Surely most do so in the hopes of achieving their own fame and fortune thanks to the great exposure that Huffington Post potentially offers. Unfortunately, such participants are only complicit in a relationship that fails the ethical smell test. And those who are already nationally known figures who will never need to be concerned about pay scales, shame on you, you should know better.

It is unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing. It is unethical to cannibalize the investment of other organizations who bear the cost of compensation and other overhead without payment for the usage of their content. It is extremely unethical to not merely blur but eradicate the distinction between the independent and informed voice of news and opinion and the voice of a shill.

None of this is illegal, only unethical and oh so very hypocritical, so Ms Huffington if you insist do carry on, by all means. However we are taking this action, with the full knowledge of our contributing writers and editors, in the belief that your better angels will enable you to do the right thing. We stand ready to provide whatever helpful input we can.”

 

Bill Lasarow

Publisher and Co-Editor

UK media squashing British identity for love affair with US

I love the USA but why is the British media covering more on the USA elections than their own? There are numerous complaints about this on the BBC.

I complained about yet another American article in the Guardian. This is a British newspaper yet daily front page news is about the US elections. The US elections have no significance on UK life. I read the LA and NYC Times for US news and the Guardian for UK and world news but lately it’s all US news. It is obvious that the online addition is pandering to US readers. I’d like to see the NYC Times pandering to UK readers. That won’t happen. Have some self respect Guardian. I’ve read you for more than twenty years and lately I may as well read the American newspapers.

I complained last week about Halloween when front page news was about American pie. What about reporting on UK food for this celebration? I’ve watched more coverage on the US elections in the UK than in the US. The UK is not a state in the US.

Who cares in the UK who won seats in some small state in the US? Would Americans care less about who won elections in a town in the UK? Living in the US there’s very little news on UK elections. Returning to the UK and all I read about and watch on TV is the USA elections. What’s happened to my Britain? There’s plenty of world news. Report on this and stop losing British identity.

Facebook demands Government ID before shutting user down

I’ve already sent you information of what has been going on between Facebook and myself. They suspended my personal account without explanation and when I contacted them they demanded a copy of my Government ID to reinstate the page. I refused to give them my ID and demanded an explanation as to why they needed it. Facebook team member, Carmen, emailed me numerous times. She has never given me her last name.

What kind of corporation is represented by employees with no last name?

What kind of corporation refuses to give reasons why they shut their customers down?

What kind of corporation asks for Government ID’s? What if I was from the UK? They don’t have ID cards.

What kind of corporation refuses absolutely to answer any questions as to why I was shut down and why they would need my Government ID?

This email was sent to me:  “Hi, We apologize, but the only way we will be able to verify ownership of this account is if you reply to this email with an attachment of scanned, government-issued photo identification confirming your full name and date of birth. If you do not have access to a scanner, a digital image of your photo ID will be accepted as well. Rest assured that we will permanently delete your ID from our servers once we have used it to verify the authenticity of your account. Again, please note that we will not be able to process your request unless you send in proper identification. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thanks, Carmen User Operations Facebook.”

When I complained about sending my ID card and asked for an explanation, Carmen then sent me this email: “Hi Ginger, Unfortunately, your account has been permanently disabled for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. We will not be able to reactivate it for any reason, nor will we provide further information about your violation or the systems we have in place. This decision is final and cannot be appealed. Thanks, Carmen User Operations Facebook.”

The fact is, I asked them repeatedly to explain to me why my account had been disabled. They refused on each count and instead sent me generic emails. I still do not know why they shut me down. I feel like I’ve been dealing with the FBI. They refuse to answer questions yet ask me for my Government ID. I still do not know Carmen’s last name.

I used my personal account for 3 years. I loved it. It has more than 4000 friends/fans on the page and my photographs of my family and events in LA. The account was shut down. I filled out the form on their website to contact someone in their office about my account. They eventually emailed me. They gave no explanation as to why my account was closed down. Instead Carmen repeatedly asked me for my Government ID. I want to remind you that Facebook is not a bank, nor do they charge for their service, yet they demanded my Government ID. They also refused to give me an explanation as to why they needed my ID. And today, they shut me down completely. I have no idea what I have done. I have been given no chance for recourse. I have been given nothing by a social network which I loved and used 7 days a week.

The Facebook website does not ask for USA Government ID to prove the identity of account holders, instead it asks for username, password and a secret question/answer. This information would have been proof enough to identify me but they did not ask me for this information. So why does it state the above on their website? My online bank requires a username and password. If I’ve forgotten this information I answer a secret question/answer. The bank does not ask me to scan and email my USA Government ID. Why is a social network demanding their users to send this legal and private information as proof of ownership? I could Photoshop my scan and email them a fantasy. But a password and question/answer combination is something only I and Facebook know -this is certain to identify me. I sent them this logic but instead they refused to answer me. I practically begged them to tell me what I’ve done to have my account suspended because I haven’t a clue what I’ve done. I practically begged them to reinstate the account because it is full of 3 years of memories. They refused to talk to me, period.

Oh, and did I tell you that the business/fan page connected to my personal account, is still live but I have no access to it. This page has my photographs, links to my work, details on who I am and I have absolutely no access to it. This is the USA, right?

And before you start pointing the finger at me and thinking that surely I must have done something wrong to have my account suspended. Well think again. I am the innocent user Facebook has suspended for no reason. You see, another  user can file a complaint about anyone and this complaint is filed with Facebook. They then suspend the account but don’t tell you what the complaint is about. Did I post an alarming image, news article, You Tube video, political statement? Who knows. But it takes just one user to complain about another user and this is what happens. Is this fair? No it isn’t because Facebook refuses to get into any dialogue and discuss the issue at hand. My personal account is no more. I have no idea why this has happened and when I complained I was asked for my Government ID. Yes, folks Facebook is a Communist country and other users can complain about you and have you suspended without explanation. The old days of Communist China also come to mind.

What can be done?

September 2010:

I am happy to say that my Facebook page was reinstated after about one month, for which I am very grateful to Carmen for. I begged and then I received a nice email from her and I thank Facebook again for allowing me access to my page. I am a big fan and user.

Ginger Liu.

——————————–

Update: 2013 –

I have another issue with Facebook now – my Fan/Business page. Since August 2012, when I reported a spammer, I’ve not been given access to my own Fan page. I have filled out tickets and they’ve just ignored me -so Ginger Liu Photography is a live Fan/Business page that I own – my business – but I have no access to it. You’ll notice how long ago the post have been on there. Facebook suck big time.

Twilight producers announce director for “Eclipse”

 

 gl/2009/3/11/twilight

Summit Entertainment has brought on Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona to direct “Eclipse,”  the third feature in the“Twilight” franchise. Bayona is a protege of director Guillermo Del Toro and directed the atmospheric horror-thriller “The Orphanage.” He’s also slated to direct “Hater” for Universal with Del Toro producing.

Following on in the Alien and Batman franchise footsteps of hiring startlingly different directors with differing styles, “Twilight”director Catherine Hardwicke was replaced by Chris Weitz for “New Moon,” which is due for release in November of this year.