Knock Knock: For-Sale Forbes Gets Jesus? Meanwhile Bono Would Profit

Forbes Magazine is for sale and if the sale goes through the majority shareholder, private equity firm Elevation Partners, stands to do quite well for themselves. One of the partners in Elevation Partners? U2′s Bono, singer, spokesperson and activist.  In 2006, reports Fortune Magazine, Elevation Partners became a minority shareholder in Forbes, pouring $246 million into the media company. But Elevation’s shares are preferred stock, meaning when the sale goes through, they are paid first.

Meanwhile, Friday I got emailed this screenshot of Forbes by a friend. I duplicated the result myself, googling the same string: Forbes, Pulse, Miami. (Pulse is a major Miami art fair).

The quote is from Luke, a quote from the Sermon on the Mount:

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

It’s a little weird to see a quote from the New Testament on a business magazine, though that just may be me since I think of business as a secular thing. It seems Forbes.com puts up a quote of the day as their site’s entry portal, something inspirational or motivational from a variety of sources: Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill, Norman Vincent Peale, William James, Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, Kurt Vonnegut (wow, it’s pretty much a sausage fest over there in the Forbes quote section; thankfully Tallulah Bankhead and Dorothy Parker pop up now and again, I was beginning to think only white men ever said anything of note).  But the New Testament seems a little preachy, and well, evangelizing to me. To be fair they do offer one quote from Mohammed:

A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.

but there are six from Luke, seven from Matthew.  Mark Twain outpaces Shakespeare in the number of quotes on the site.

Today’s quote from Luke is poignant, given that Deutsche Bank is reportedly desperately looking for a Forbes buyer, they want someone to knock at their door with cash in hand. The company would sell for about $400 million. Elevation has written off their investment by about 75% already, according to Fortune. But seeing the company sold could make for a beautiful day.

 

Bono, Edge, Usher, Lady Gaga Celebrate Bill Clinton

Superstars Bonon Edge, Lady Gaga and Usher will celebrate president Bill Clinton’s decade of charty work at the Hollywood Bowl on October 15. Proceeds benefit the William J. Clinton Foundation.

The Hollywood Bowl “Decade of Difference” concert will stream live on Yahoo! at 10pm Easter/7pm Pacific for free ,while tickets–ranging from $50 to $250–go on sale Monday September 19. (Yahoo!’s page says Sept 12, but Ticketaster who’s selling them sets the date for next Monday)  Unless you have an American Express card, in which case you can score the billets on Thursday the 15. The prices are very reasonable. There are also special packages ranging from $250,000 to $6,500 which include seats at Clinton’s 65th birthday party the night before. $250,000 gets you golf with Bill.

The William J Clinton Foundation focuses on treating global HIV/AIDS, creating sustainable farming in both Africa and Souht America, combatting climate change and childhood obesity, and creating  job opportunities through a series of initiatives. According to the foundation’s website, since its inception:

9,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; 4,300 African farmers have imporoved their crops to feed 30,000 people; 14 cities around the world are implementing energy efficiency projects to eliminate 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year; $20 million is being invested in small- and medium-sized businesses in Colombia; and 2.6 million people have benefited from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications.

 

photo: creative commons  edenpictures

Movie Star Diego Luna to Obama: “Stop U.S. Guns to Mexico!”

Mexican actor Diego Luna–who lives part time in Los Angeles, stars with Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale in the upcoming Contraband, and was a lead in Y Tu Mamá También–is urging Obama to curb sales of guns that could end up in the hands of Mexican narcotics traffickers and other criminals tied to Mexico’s rampant drug-related violence.  In December the actor spoke to Americas Quarterly about Mexico:

Because of the lack of border controls, many weapons are entering the country. And corruption [shows] that money rules above all else. This is a country where many underage children work. That says a lot. With few opportunities, social resentment becomes an issue. And that contributes to the rise of quick and easy businesses. The problems we face are not unique to us.We are part of something much bigger. There has to be a market like the U.S. to fuel the situation. The guns have to be coming from somewhere. Money is moving and changing hands and not only in this country. Right now we are living the worst of it.

Luna joined activists Thursday in Mexico City as they launched a cross-border petition drive calling for

Obama to enforce the prohibition against the importation of assault weapons and parts manufactured in other countries into the United States — to prevent such weapons from being bought in the United States and illegally trafficked into Mexico. The spokesperson said that the petition also calls for ordering weapons dealers to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) the sale of multiple assault rifles to the same person over a period of five days. And it calls for increasing the regulatory capacity of the ATF in those regions of the United States that supply the weapons contraband to Mexico, especially in border states.

Drug related violence has claimed the lives of between 34,000 to 40,000 people in Mexic0 since 2006.  AsMexican gun laws are far stricter than those stateside, Mexican leaders have pointed out  many weapons used by hit men are smuggled from the United States.  In 2009, the United  States launched an investigation into the cross-border sales of weapons. The LA Times reports:

ATF officials have acknowledged that at least 195 weapons sold under the investigation have been recovered in Mexico, traced as a matter of routine via serial numbers after their recovery from crime scenes, arrests and searches.

Two guns involved in the investigation were found at the scene of a shootout in southern Arizona in December 2010, which claimed the life of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Brian Terry . Neither gun, bought by Jaime Avila, an accused gun runner, has been positively identified as the weapon that killed Terry, and the U.S. Attorney General’s office has denied victim status to Terry’s family in the Federal case against Avila. USA Today reports:

The weapons were among about 2,000 guns purchased by unlicensed dealers who were subjects of a controversial federal gun-trafficking investigation launched in 2009 in which hundreds of the weapons were allowed to fall into hands of violent drug traffickers in Mexico and criminals in the U.S. The investigation, known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” was ended after Terry’s death in 2010.

In May, during their show at Aztec Stadium, U2 made mention of the gun running and drug violence. Lead singer Bono, who had earlier met with Mexican president Felix Calderon, spoke to the audience:

I want you to send a message of love along the border to the good and the great people of the United States of America. I want you to send a message to people of conscience. Ask them to answer the question:Why is it that all we hear on the news is that drugs are smuggled through Mexico to the United States, and we don’t hear about all the automatic weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico from the United States? More than 9,000 registered arms dealers on the other side of the border. Most of the murders committed here are from weapons sold in the United States of America.

before launching into a version of “Pride (in the Name of Love)” with the modified lyrics:
Late in the evening, April 15
Automatic round takes a mother and child.
Free at last, they took your life
A lioness and her pride
In the name of love….
Luna–who appeared in Abel and Havana Nights, as well as modeling  for Zegna–and his friend and fellow actor Gael García Bernal, have worked on behalf of indigenous people’s rights. The duo owns a film production company Cananawhich trains activists to put their causes to film. In partnership with partnered with Witness, a New York-based nonprofit, they  bring attention to human rights abuses in Mexico through documentaries. Luna told Americas Quarterly:

One documentary, which is currently being viewed in Mexico, is called Presunto Culpable, and it deeply disturbed me. It is a true story about a young man who spent more than 300 days in jail even though he was innocent. The documentary details the trial, as seen from his point of view. It makes you sick and ashamed…After Presunto Culpable was released, some judges changed their verdict, and the young man is now free. I believe this is what Witness is about. There is nothing more terrible than living a case such as this, but [even] worse is losing one’s will to get out, to fight, to set things right and fix life´s path. Video is a great mechanism and vehicle to attain this.

Canana, Witness and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) have joined forces to produce a documentary about the murders of hundreds of unsolved murders of women in Cuidad Juarez.

 

photo of Diego Luna: video screenshot

Coldplay, Maroon 5, Yoko Ono Raise Funds for Joplin Tornado Victims


The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22 was the deadliest in American history, with (as of yesterday) 153 killed and millions of dollars in damage.  Spurred by the efforts of Joplin-born music manager Tyler Childs to raise funds for the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas and help rebuild his hometown, artists, sports figures, and celebrities like Coldplay, Maroon 5, Yoko Ono, Tim McGraw and Dave Matthews are providing once in a lifetime experiences and unique signed items in an eBay auction powered by Giving Engine.

Here are just a few of the amazing experiences and items offered:

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to Lollapalooza donated by Coldplay and a meet and greet with the band
  • Meet and greet with Maroon 5 and four tickets to any show (except NY or LA) on their US tour
  • 2 Tickets to the season finale taping of NBC’s The Voice
  • 64GB iPad 2 with 3G personally donated by Yoko Ono with a signed postcard
  • A visit to the set of NBC’s hit show The Office
  • 2 VIP tickets to the set of Fox NFL Sunday for an afternoon of football with Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long and the gang

The auction ends on June 20th.

Late Night: Celebrity Stupidity

Barely-celeb former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson–who became a Christian stand-up comic, Tea-Party speaker (oh that voice which launched a thousand ships–in the opposite direction!), and inadvertent laughing stock when she ranted about Obama being a granny killer and called POTUS a Communist (you know someone’s an idiot when Fox’s Steve Doocy has to correct her)–wrote a bunch of homophobic remarks about Glee and then tried to Bible-lize her way out them on Showbiz Tonight:

Well, it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what the Bible says. And I’m really concerned about our country because immorality is, well, let’s see, secular humanism rules the airwaves, and it’s stealing the innocence away from this whole generation of children. My daughter is a teenager and I can’t find any show that she can watch…

For the uninitiated, Victoria also explains the term “homophobic”:

That’s a cute little buzzword of the liberal agenda. Basically, the Bible says  homosexuality is a sin. But is has also gossip is listed in the same paragraph as equal sin [sic, wtf? sic facepalm,jpg].

So if gossip is a sin, why is she on a gossip show? (BTW, she is referring to Romans 1, though the word is “gossips” as a plural noun, rather than as a verb). Anyway, back to her nutty rant:

They should have a celibacy campaign and tell kids that 50% of teenagers now have this new STD from oral sex, that’s what they should being doing  doing instead of making kids gay. I just want to know why the liberals are pro-Muslim and pro-gays. Muslims kill gays. That’s what’s confusing to me. And the only thing I can come up with is the Muslims hate God and the gays hate his word.

Wow, is she dum or whut? Muslims love God, they just call God “Allah” because they speak a different language. Like the French who call God “Dieu” or the Spanish who use “Dios.” It’s not a different God, just a different language, and some minor variations in theological concepts.

More stupidity from Jackson: Fifty percent of teenagers have an oral STD? No, according to the latest study, 51% of teens surveyed said they had oral sex before their first experience with intercourse. And there’s nothing new about HPV (Human papillomavirus).

Best part of the video: Jackson shouting at the end that she has gay friends.

And in other low-level celebrity moron news, arch-huntress Sarah Palin has long touted the benefits of eating fresh killed, wholesome game meats. And goodness knows, game can be tasty, but maybe Ted Nugent hasn’t been cleaning it correctly, because he seems to be suffering from lead poisoning. Check out his editorial in the Washington Times:

Africa isn’t called the Dark Continent for no reason. Africa has forever been a political nightmare full of overt corruption, tribal warfare, genocide, murderous regimes and brutal dictators…

There is no country in Africa that truly respects freedom or the rule of law. The majority of countries in Africa are in economic ruin because of political corruption and a history ugly with cruel despotism. That’s why starvation and disease are rampant. AIDS is projected to kill as much as half the populations of some countries. Genocide is a way of life. There is little light in Africa…

Africa is an international scab. Bono of the band U2 advocates that if we forgive debt African nations owe, peace and tranquillity [sic] will sprout up mystically. The real problem is murdering, corrupt thugs and punks like Col. Gadhafi. Once we swat one of these African cockroaches or intervene in their civil war, where do we stop?

Uh, somehow I don’t think African nations started out corrupt and despotic. See, there was this thing called colonialism…

Side note: debt forgiveness is one part of helping the nations of Africa and so is HIV/AIDS care. With that in mind, and this being the 30th year of the scourge of HIV/AIDS, we’re featuring The Lazarus Effect here on Movie Night, Monday April 18. Produced by Join (RED), an organization Bono founded to provide HIV/AIDS care in Africa, The Lazarus Effect is  also airing on HBO April 15th.

Who else has been really idiotic this week?

World AIDS Day: Mondo Guerra Shares His Vision

Piperlime.com

Project Runway Season 8′s super favorite, Mondo Guerra-whose bold use of purple, black and white, and wise yet playful takes on couture style made him the series’ standout despite losing Season Eight to fly-over pseudo-boho, Chico-esque Gretchen Jones–has created a special shirt for World AIDS Day. Mondo declared his HIV+ status on national TV during a judging. The Sugar Skull shirt, which features calaveras from Dia de los Meurtos, combines his Latino culture with HIV/AIDS awareness; the slogan

vive y ama

on the other shirt translates to

Live and love

Day of the Dead imagery serves to remind us of those who have died, and to remember that though we live now, one day we too shall be dead, so we must celebrate life and cherish every moment.

The shirts are sold by Piperlime, one of the sponsors of Project Runway, and $20 from the sale of each shirt goes to AmFAR.

U2 Tour on Hold: Bono Recuperating from Emergency Back Surgery

U2 frontman and anti-poverty activist Bono has returned home to Dublin after emergency back surgery performed in Munich just days after his 50th birthday. The band’s second phase of the mega-band’s 360 Degrees tour through the US scheduled to begin June 3 in Salt Lake City has been put on hold as he recuperates.

U2.com states that Bono was

admitted to a specialist neuro surgery unit in a Munich hospital, and is under the care of neurosurgeon Prof. Dr. Jorg Tonn and Dr Muller Wohlfahrt.

Over 400 hundred crew members and hundreds of thousands of fans in the US have put their concert plans on hold as Bono recovers.

For decades Bono has worked to alleviate poverty and eradicate HIV/AIDS in Africa. U2′s performance at the first LiveAid concert was a standout, and throughout the 80s the band also performed benefits for Amnesty International and to create jobs in Ireland, as well as recording songs for the very Special Christmas albums benefiting the Special Olympics. Since his father’s death, Bono has helped raise funds for the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Bono cofounded DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade Africa) an African relief fund; ONE, a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease; and (RED), which partners with consumer goods to create jobs and raise funds to provide HIV/AIDS medication in Africa.

On their tours, the band stresses human rights and during their Elevation tour after 9/11 screened a memorial list of names of those killed.  To show thier support for New Orelans, the band played Super Bowl there. They rock, they are great guys and Godspeed to Bono for healing.

Bono: Emergency Back Surgery

Bono at World Economic Forum

U2 singer and anti-poverty activist Bono has undergone emergency back surgery in Munich after an injury sustained during training for the next leg of U2′s world tour, a spokesperson for the band said, adding:

He was admitted to a specialist neuro surgery unit in a Munich hospital. Bono will spend the next few days there, before returning home to recuperate. Once his condition has been assessed further, a statement will be made regarding the impact on forthcoming tour dates.

The US leg of the 360 Degrees summer tour was due to start June 3 in Salt Lake City and continue to  Europe in August, kicking off in Turin.

Bono’s energetic performances are legendary, are are the band’s successes and good works.  Bono  himself has long been committed to debt relief and the eradication of poverty and AIDS in Africa, co-founding ONE and  (RED) as well as actively supporting the Irish Hospice Foundation. Godspeed in healing, Bono.

Bono Gets Down at White House

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

U2 singer and activist Bono met with President Barack Obama and showed off some dance moves in the Oval Office. He and Bob Geldof also interviewed POTUS for one of Canada’s leading newspapers Globe and Mail. Here’s their exchange about the upcoming G8:

Bono: You’re going to be in Canada in June for the G8. It’s not straightforward to get eight people to agree on anything, let alone eight countries. What do you think you can achieve?

Obama: At this year’s summit, we need to recommit ourselves to making serious and sustainable progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. We can, and should, celebrate the progress we’ve made, but we also need to be frank about where all of us – developed and developing countries alike – have fallen short.

The MDGs provide us with the goal posts; the challenge now is to make sure that we honour the aid commitments that are critical to development, and that we also look at:

  • how we can bring additional sources of capital to the table;
  • how we can foster the innovations that can be the game-changers in development;
  • how developing countries can seize the moment by putting in place the right policies and institutions;
  • and how, together, we can find new ways to accelerate progress in the years ahead.

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