Posts Tagged ‘america’s’

280 Tableau: America’s Own Version of the Autobahn, San Mateo County – Luxury Cars Famous for Fires

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Ah yes, the 280. Spacious, fast and full of luxury cars.

To wit:

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Ah yes, the famous Tesla Model S. Let’s compare it’s on-the-road-caught-on-fire rate with, I don’t know, that of the well-designed, all-electric Nissan Leaf and maybe, I don’t know, the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. Oh wait a sec, Nissan Leaves and Chevy Voltses NEVER CATCH ON FIRE.* Well gee, why is that, Elon Musk? What’s wrong with your cars and/or your customers?

And the jelly-bean Lexus RX / Toyota Harrier. I suppose this “Tall Camry” / “Tall Lexus ES” is a luxury car. It doesn’t catch on fire, all that much.

And the Mercedes Benz GL. It does catch on fire. Sometimes. And for no good reason.

Taken via Google Glass** from my Toyota, which was paid off twelve years ago, and which is 40% of the way through its working life.

*And these are more established cars with more time and more passenger miles on the road than the Model S

**Or not!

Actual Sailors Weigh In on Christopher Caen’s Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Well, I guess you have to start off with this:

Cup of Caen: Follow the Money

So that’s what I’m calling a Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury.*

(Speaking of our ill-starred America’s Cup, here’s the latest estimate on how much money we’re going to lose on it, from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi.)

Of course, all the jurors are Sailors.

Is Chris Caen, son of Famous Writer Herb Caen, a Sailor? I don’t know. He sailed a bit in colledge and probably some since, but IDK.

Am I a Sailor? Nope, but oddly enough, I have more experience sailing cats around San Francisco Bay (even if you throw in his recent quid pro quo joyride on an overly-expensive, overpowered and fragile “AC72″ boat, which I don’t).

Oh, but here are some Sailors, and here’s their reaction to what you can find in the link above:

“ISAF’s been shoved in the background over a few AC cycles now. Caen’s premise is way off base. If ISAF wanted to ‘get back at’ or ‘discredit’ the EA, they’ve had a couple of cup cycles to do so.”

“Wow! That really IS tinfoil hat material, isn’t it?”

“Of course the ISAF’s trying to elbow the ACEA out of the picture for the money. Yes, “follow the money!” Starting with the millions San Francisco taxpayers sunk into this unlucrative venture, the tens of thousands the ACEA is spending on unpopulated spectator facilities, etc, etc. Oh, and those fat broadcast contracts? Anyone else notice that the principal sponsor for the U.S. LVC coverage was ORACLE?”

“Yes, he is way, way off the mark on this one.”

I don’t know if Caen is just stupid, lazy, or deceitful, but that article is so full of fallacies and false pretense that it is embarrassing.  He mentions the Oneworld scandal of stolen design information, but then says points have never been taken away from boats in the AC in this way (Oneworld was penalized one point exactly in the same way Oracle has been penalized – two points in each round they would have gotten to including the AC…the fact they didn’t get to the AC is irrelevant as the penalty was there).  He claims ACEA is a new way of managing the cup, but it follows very similarly to the model set forth by Alinghi with ACM.”

“What a ridiculous article. All you need to do is look at the IJ members and their past to know that these are not ISAF lackeys. Guys like Bryan Willis have been involved with the AC for years and years and are not part of the whole ISAF scene. The article couldn’t be further from the truth and is a rather pathetic piece of journalism.”

With sloppy journalism like this, I suspect he could have easily been “fed the story” by someone else with an agenda. Journalism around the world aint what it used to be.”

“…conversant with things like ISAF, AC protocols, the IJ, the ACRM and the ACEA, yet he wrote as though he had a really good handle on things. He clearly did not. HuffPost should be straightened out on that fact, but not by me. Mr Caen should clearly be educated before he passes out more incorrect ,critical, information/disinformation.”

“Quite. It’s a very silly piece indeed. The assumption that it is the IJ that wanted confidentiality is risible and the conflation of the IJ with ISAF is either ignorant or mischievous. Oh and it’s not “respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder”. I’m afraid it is “formerly respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder.”

“My general feeling is I don’t expect the average person let alone viewer to have an intimate understanding of the history of the Cup, but then I also don’t expect them to write an opinion piece on the subject either.  If you are going to write such and article, and portray an opinion such as his, then you damn well better check your facts.  He had some clue as to the Oneworld case as he mentions it as a past transgression, but didn’t bother to do the research to determine what the penalty was.  My point is we shouldn’t respect an opinion that is so ill informed as the basis of his opinion is wrong.  You can’t come to an informed opinion if you are not informed.”

“I replied to his twitter link to the article yesterday that he should check his facts with regard to the OneWorld case and a similar penalty which was retweeted by the SFCitizen, but have not received a response.  I would think a respectable journalist would want to make a correction if he was ill informed.  I am not a professional journalist, but have written a few articles for sailing mags (and won two marine writers awards for them) and if I made a mistake, especially one that was important to my conclusions, I would certainly do everything in my power to correct that.”

The jury is an ACEA body hired by GGYC and Oracle in conjunction with their challenger of record/poodle and now you say they are ISAF? I hope ISAF (the real ISAF jury) goes ahead and penalize all of the perpetrators even further so that there is NO mistake who is who.”

Oh, and here’s “Bob303,” who may or may not be a Sailor:

“The penalty only doesn’t make sense if you seek a lack of sense. Oracle created the situation by which they have been penalised when they wrote the protocol for this cup cycle. It is entirely their own doing.

Their efforts to intertwine the America’s Cup World Series (AC45s) and the America’s Cup (AC72s) to attract more sponsors/viewer, plus making it a requirement for entry to the AC that teams field at least one boat in the AC45 series, clearly joined the two at the hip. That was a specific intention of the protocol they wrote. It ensured all teams conducted themselves in a sporting manner throughout the cup cycle and couldn’t get away with stuff which attracted bad PR (or worse, cheating) in the ACWS and then just say “different series guys.”

Similarly, there HAVE been instances of teams being docked points for future round in the America’s Cup. In Valencia 2007 a One World team-member was found in possession of property of Team NZ property. They were docked a point for every stage of the round robin series (3 points in all) before they even started racing.

Just saying this since the writer took a position which ignored salient details which didn’t suit the story narrative. Coutts & Oracle didn’t attempt the “different series” defence line because they knew how ironic it would haven been to attempt that given they wrote the protocol that has now seen them pinged for clear cheating according to the Jury.”

And here’s a simple lament: “Oh please.

Yep.

*Here they are, the International Jury. Remember to “follow the money” if that makes any kind of sense.

David Tillett (Australia) Chairman
A lawyer in Australia, David has been an International Judge for over 20
years and was the Chairman of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee from
2000 until 2012. He is presently a member of the ISAF Council and ISAF
Constitution Committee. He has been a juror at the 31st, 32nd and 33rd
America’s Cups as well as an Umpire at the 28th and
29th America’s Cups. He has been a Jury Member at five Olympic Games, and
Chairman in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

John Doerr (Great Britain)
A graduate Mechanical Engineer specialising in project management
and management development for the petrochemical and construction
industries. John was a dinghy World Champion in 1978 and Olympic
trialist in the Finn class in 1980 and 1984. He has been an International
Judge since 1987 and an International Umpire since 1990. He is a past
Chairman of the ISAF Race Officials Committee and currently a member of the ISAF
Racing Rules and Race Officials Committees. John was Jury Chairman and Chief
Umpire for the 29th America’s Cup and a Jury Member for the 33rd America’s Cup. He
has served on the International Jury at the last five Olympic Games.

Josje Hofland (The Netherlands)
Josje has a ‘Doctoraal’ degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She
has been an International Judge since 1992 and was an International
Umpire between 1992 and 2000. She is a past Chairman of ISAF Judges
and Umpires sub-committees and past member of the Racing Rules and
Race Officials Committee. She was a Jury member
in the 29th and 33rd America’s Cup. For the 29th America’s Cup she filled the role of
Chief Umpire in the Challenger Finals and Deputy Chief Umpire in the America’s Cup
Match. Josje has also been a member of the Jury in four Olympic Games.

Graham McKenzie (New Zealand)
Graham is a Barrister at Law and a Solicitor in New Zealand and has
extensive experience as a commercial lawyer. He holds a Masters of
Law degree from Warwick University, England and is a Notary Public. He
is a Director of companies listed on the stock exchange and unlisted
companies in the hotel, aviation and finance sector businesses. Graham
is a competing sailor in keelboats. He is a member of the ISAF
Constitution Committee. He was a member of the combined Jury and Arbitration
Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup & and member of the Jury for the 33rd America’s
Cup.

Bryan Willis (Great Britain but lives in Malaysia)
A Marine Arbitrator and a past Magistrate (judge) in the lower criminal
court in Great Britain, Bryan has been an International Umpire, and an
International judge since 1976. He was an integral member of the ISAF
Racing Rules Committee for 20 years, and has chaired the Race
Officials Committee and Race Management sub-committees. Bryan
was a Jury member and Chief Umpire in the 28th America’s Cup, Chairman of the
Jury and Chief Umpire in the 30th and 31st America’s Cups, Chairman of the
combined Jury and Arbitration Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup and member of the
Jury for the 33rd America’s Cup. He was a Jury member for the 1992 and 1996
Olympic Games and Jury Chairman of the 2000 Olympic Games and three Volvo
Ocean Races.

Icebreaker, That Upscale Merino Wool Designer Where Orlando Bloom Buys His Underwear, Opens in San Francisco

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

[UPDATE – Here’s the official spiel:

“Icebreaker makes Outdoor, Running, Cycling, Travel, Kids, Underwear and Lifestyle apparel from handpicked merino wool born in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It’s non-itch, easy to wash, lightweight, versatile, easily packable and no-stink (because merino is naturally anti-mircrobrial, you can wear it for days ow weeks without a wash).

Sustainability has been part of Icebreaker’s ethos since the start. It has strict animal welfare and farm standards, and has a traceability program (called “Baacode”) that enables people to use a unique code sewn inside their garment to trace the fiber back to the sheep stations that grew it all the way through its supply chain.”

And OMG, it’s “Ramotaur” and “Nature Girl” on the streets of SF:

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And one last thing:

Ramotar will be appearing next weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12/2-12/4, 12pm-3pm, fliers in key SF locales, Union Square, Embarcadero, Ferry Building, etc. Also Friday and Saturday, 12/9-12/10, 12pm-3pm in the same locales.

O.K. then.]

So Icebreaker is that fashionable merino wool store from New Zealand where actor Orlando Bloom goes shopping for woolens

sometimes along with his gf, model Miranda Kerr:

Well guess what, this was the week that Icebreaker opened its first “TouchLab” store in Northern California. It’s down at 170 Post in Union Square.

See?

OMG, is that a wool chandelier?

All right, find out about the landlord, Grosvenor Americas, after the jump.

See you there!

(more…)

ING Smartens Up: Dumps the Bay to Breakers Sponsorship While ING Direct Bank Opens a New Cafe at 101 Post

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

[UPDATE: It’s been drawn to my attention that I could have been more careful when discussing all the different names of divisions of ING, aka Internationale Nederlanden Groep, aka International Netherlands Group. Basically, I conflated ING Direct United States with ING Americas, I think. Still a little hazy on all this. Anyway, I think the following version of this post is improved on this score.]

Sarah Duxbury has all the deets on our brand new ING Direct Cafe at the corner of Post and Grant in Union Square.

(Did you miss the site tour yesterday? It was sweet. I entered a drawing to win one of seven schweet, bright orange Marin hybrid bikes. I knows I’m going to win one, I just knows it.* Now, why on Gaia’s Green Earth did ING Americas think it was a smart idea to give money to a Burnsian billionaire** every year to sponsor the Bay to Breakers civic event? Anyway, Big Orange is actually doing something now, down there at 101 Post near Union Square.)

Basically, ING Direct is a bank without branches. Until yesterday, I didn’t know that. Actually, I’m a going to look at their website and maybe become a customer and stuff. Building this cafe or whatever it is is a zillion times better than sponsoring the Bay to Breakers, so thank you, ING Direct.

A mayoral frisson in the lobby:

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All the deets after the jump.

See you there at the “Retail Café Experience!” (Srsly, maybe.)

*Actually, I’ve probably already lost. And actually, the thin aluminum frames and the small tires on these rides would be ill-suited for my beefy frame and the mean Streets of San Francisco. And actually, if I won, I’d tell you about, regardless of the FTC’s ridiculous, never-implemented guidelines. Still can’t believe my crumple-up-the-entry-slip-and-then-smooth-it-out trick didn’t win it for me – it always worked until now…

**This is how I responded to a B2B insider, who went out of his/her way to try to do “outreach” with me a few months back. I didn’t get a response, so that takes care of that little inchoate tête à tête. I’ll note that things have improved recently with the statements coming out of the B2B org. And it looks as if some of the longstanding issues are going to get taken care of for the 100th running. So that’s good.  Anyway, quoting myself here:

“If you want to disabuse me of any of the following notions, then be my guest:

The A in AEG stands for Anschutz.
The A in AEG was a prime mover behind Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2.
The A in AEG apparently doesn’t believe in evolution and uses his money to oppose the concept, somewhere up in Washington State, in the Northwest.
The “victimized” woman running BtoB is very fortunate to have her gig, fortunate to have the connections to have gotten that gig.
The “victimized” woman running BtoB doesn’t live here, doesn’t know here, but pretends she does.
The white trash people working for her have made multiple unfortunate, unhelpful remarks over the past years.
BtoB purposefully undersupplies port-a-potties in order to placate the aforementioned whiny NIMBYs of the Western Addition.

The whiny NIMBYs of the Western Addition represent only themselves, not “the neighborhood.”

(more…)

Online Pervs Bounce Back from Craigslist Erotic Services Ban – Village Voice Media’s BackPage.com Picks Up the Slack

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Well, turns out that VVM’s BackPage.com classifieds site is “the new leader in online sex advertising” since craigslist pulled Erotic Services in the Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free.

Get all the deets below.

They came first for the Craigslist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Craig…

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How to Stop a Predator…? Don’t Ask Backpage, Yet.

–Online classified sites have to go all the way to protect girls from being trafficked–

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2010 – Ongoing independent research commissioned by Women’s Funding Network, in partnership with the Georgia-based “A Future. Not A Past.” campaign, has exposed Internet classified sites as the most commonly used platform for buying and trafficking adolescent girls.

A report released in October by the AIM Group, a global team of consultants in interactive and traditional media, found that Village Voice Media, with its backpage.com classifieds site, is the new leader in online sex advertising.  The site recently announced the acquisition of an online security specialist and an initial take-down of roughly half of their sex-related categories while putting others under review. The other half of the frequently misused categories to advertise illegal sex, often related to trafficking, remain active and girls continue to be exploited on backpage.

A CNN segment aired yesterday highlights the plight of just one of thousands of girls trafficked online every day.  A young woman who was coerced into the sex trade at 14 is suing Village Voice Media, accusing the newspaper conglomerate of knowingly allowing her trafficker to advertise her sexual services on backpage.com, alleging that websites like backpage provide a “safe house” for traffickers and predators to buy and sell girls for sex.

“How many more girls will be trafficked before Village Voice Media takes comprehensive action to protect them? From what we’ve seen so far the answer is not nearly far enough,” says Deborah Richardson, chief programs officer at Women’s Funding Network. “The fact is that girls are being bought and sold online while media companies that provide a platform for this illegal activity increase their profits and market share,” Richardson adds.

“Drastic steps must be taken to combat sex trafficking of girls in the United States. Instead of applying a band-aid approach to the problem, companies like backpage must take action to truly protect girls through improved screening and monitoring, and increased cooperation with law enforcement,” concludes Richardson.

About Women’s Funding Network

As a global network and a movement for social justice, Women’s Funding Network accelerates women’s leadership and invests in solving critical social problems from poverty to global security by bringing together the financial power, influence and voices of more than 160 women’s funds. Learn more at www.womensfundingnetwork.org.

Craigslist “Erotic Services” Sextion Got “Censored” Yesterday in America, But Not Elsewhere

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The “erotic” section of Craigslist’s “services” category is no more, as of Friday, September 3rd, 2010.

ActionNewsSF has the deets.

See? Craigslist Bay Area is now “censored”…

…but merry olde London soldiers on, business as usual:

Stay tuned…

Fiasco: Protesters, Counterprotesters and a Ton of Media at Craigslist HQ this Afternoon

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

[Welcome RedBook pervs! But, try to keep things on the down-low, bros. We don’t want another protest in the Inner Sunset, right? To wit: “Name: gfe_exoticgirl City: San Francisco / Inner Sunset Availability: Incall hours: 10am – 12am”]

Here’s the thing – when you have more members of the media than protesters at a protest, that’s not a good thing. As it was today on restaurant-choked Ninth Avenue, the site of the worldwide HQ for craigslist.

So, why weren’t these people protesting prostitution/escort/massage classified ads at the HQs of the Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly newspapers today? Well, it’s because then there’d just be protesters and no media attention at all, so there you go.

The mise-en-scene at noon. Can you see the sign on the building in the background? It used to say “craigslist” but it was painted-over this A.M. in anticipation of the melee.

OMG, it’s “Craig Newpimp!” Get it? Craig Newmark is a balding nerd so let’s make fun of that. Also on hand was “Jim Pimpmaster” (instead of CEO Jim Buckmaster). I don’t know, protesters. Did you consider tone when you were putting your joint together?

OMG, counterprotesters! They were loud. They disrupted the disruptors, can you dig? But the protesters were ready to fight back with “They’re With Craig” signs, as if being with Craig is a bad thing. The MSM just loves chatty counterprotesters, don’t you know.

Let’s see here, I think it’s somebody from the US PROStitutes Collective videotaping a counter-counterprotester with the sign while an out-of-town P.R. cookie ducks for cover. Welcome to San Francisco.

And, of course, lovely Beth Spotswood of CBS 5 Eye on Blogs was there with her Flip Camera. Look forward to her report.

I don’t know, is front-line law enforcement generally displeased with craigslist? Not that I’m aware of. In fact, I think the SFPD is generally pleased with the actions of the people at CL.

Look forward to reading lots and lots about this one. Links to come

Huge Protest Coming to Cragislist HQ This Thursday – A Showdown in the Sunset

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

San Francisco’s somnolent Inner Fog Belt will be roiling on July 8th, 2010. Why? Well, you know why, it’s the same old issue.

All you can do is just grab some lunch, don your parka and ogle at this noontime spectacle come Thursday.

Will this joint get national attention?

Only Time Will Tell.

So, play the Morrison-esque Craigslist Song and then read all the deets, below.

Protest at Craigslist’s HQ on 7/08/10

On July 8, 2010 at noon the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), Prostitution Research and Education (PRE) and our over 75 co-sponsors will protest Craigslist’s facilitation of sex trafficking at Craigslist’s office, 1381 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122.

A large portion of Craigslist’s profits come from the sale of commercial sexual exploitation, much of it trafficked, all of it prostituted. Craigslist normalizes and facilitates online pimping – providing an outlet and incentive for sex traffickers to reach renters of human beings. “By providing traffickers and Johns with a virtual red light district, Craigslist is aiding, abetting and enormously profiting from sex trafficking,” says Norma Ramos, Executive Director of CATW.

Our protest is co-sponsored by 75 leading human rights and anti-trafficking organizations and prominent individuals including Equality Now, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA), Center for World Indigenous Studies, Soroptimists International of the Americas, Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Gloria Steinem, author Victor Malarek, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Sex trafficking is fueled by the demand for prostitution along with impunity for its buyers. According to Melissa Farley, author of 20 research articles on trafficking for prostitution, “Today, a majority of men buy sex online from women or children, many of whom are trafficked or controlled by third parties.  Craigslist mainstreams prostitution as ‘Adult Services’. This protest exposes these ads for what they really are:  the sale of sexual exploitation, paid rape, child abuse, and trafficking.”

Craigslisthas defied and defeated the efforts of attorneys general, a high profile lawsuit and members of Congress who have tried to put an end to their facilitation of sex trafficking. Despite evidence of criminal activity associated with its website, Craigslist remains above the law. “We are sending a message to Craigslist from the human rights community that by hosting these ads they are partially responsible for much of the rank exploitation that is human trafficking,” says Ms. Ramos.

We are calling upon Craigslist to close the euphemistically named “Adult Services” section of their website and set a sex industry-free standard which would help to eliminate human trafficking on the internet.

Speakers include: Joy Friedman, Breaking Free; Glenda Hope, Executive Director, SafeHouse San Francisco for Homeless Women Escaping Prostitution; Victor Malarek, Author/Activist; Aaron Cohen, Author/Activist; Terria Joseph, Actor.

For a complete list of the 75 Co-Sponsors who have joined CATW and PRE visit our websites at www.catwinternational.org and www.prostitutionresearch.com.

News Conference of the Year: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell

Monday, April 20th, 2009

San Francisco gets more than its fair share of news conferences for a variety of reasons, but this one on Wednesday looks to be memorable. This whole issue about Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and the death of SFPD Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell in 1970 was quite the hot potatoe last month, as this bit from the Demian Bulwa demonstrates.

Get a sneak peak of the tenor of the people behind the news conference here.

Maybe a lot of people will show up this wednesday, maybe not. We’ll see.

1970 Cold Case to Be Explored at San Francisco News Conference on April 23; Evidence in Bombing Murder Points to Weather Underground
  
Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground Terrorism Urges Probe of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn

SAN FRANCISCO, April 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pressure is mounting for an expanded probe of Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, and their alleged roles in the 1970 bombing murder of a San Francisco policeman. Larry Grathwohl, former FBI informant in the Weather Underground and author of Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen, will repeat his sworn testimony that points to the involvement of the Weather Underground in the bombing murder of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell at a 12:30 p.m. News Conference on Thursday, April 23, 2009, at the Marriott Courtyard San Francisco Downtown, 299 Second Street, in the Rincon Hill room. Grathwohl says that he was at a meeting where Ayers said that his wife Dohrn had planted the bomb

The San Francisco Police Officers Association has publicly supported the call for a renewed investigation, saying the evidence points to Ayers and Dohrn as the perpetrators.

The News Conference is being sponsored by the Campaign for Justice for Victims of Weather Underground Terrorism, a project of investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid’s America’s Survival, Inc. “Forty years is too long to wait for justice,” Kincaid said. “Let’s bring the cop-killers to justice.” Kincaid’s web site www.usasurvival.org has exclusive reports on the bombing and Communist Cuban support for the Weather Underground.

The cold case of Sgt. Brian V. McDonnell, killed in 1970 when a bomb exploded at the San Francisco Park Police Station, has been reopened by law enforcement authorities. Grathwohl, Cliff Kincaid, and retired San Francisco Police Sergeant Jim Pera, one of the first on the scene of the bombing, will discuss the McDonnell case, the violent history of the Weather Underground, and the reemergence of its members in political and campus organizing activities. Ayers/Dohrn “comrade” and Weather Underground member Mark Rudd is on a speaking tour in the Bay Area.
 
SOURCE America’s Survival, Inc.