Friday, May 19, 2006

Lou Dobbs Is Obsessed With Taking Spanish Out Of America - He Grills CNN's Suzanne Malveaux On The Spanish Version of White House Website

I just witnessed a weird exchange between CNN's Lou Dobbs and CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, where he was litterally grilling her on why the White House issued a Spanish Language version of their news on the White House website. Her response was reasoned and professional "Well the White House needs to communicate a message." But that wasn't enough for him; he just pressed on.

Suzanne explained that an executive order placed by President Clinton caused the installation of Spanish versions of the White House webpages that communicate news. Lou basically suggested that President Bush reverse that order.

Lou came off as a flaming racist. It was a terrible display and CNN should haul this guy in.

Commissioner Tagliabue Gives One Hell Of A Speech To Georgetown Graduates

I don't write this to be self-serving. It's a great speech. Great in that it's right for it's time and given by a person who's travels around the World and influnce not just on sports but modern industrial society give him the perfect platform of experience to give a message to young people just graduating from college. Commissioner Tagliabue wastes no time or energy in delivering the message of how important it is for all of us to understand and embrace diversity, adversity, and change. I hope it's a speech that will be replicated around the Internet.

Remarks by Paul Tagliabue
Commissioner, National Football League
Georgetown University
Senior Class Convocation
May 18, 2006

Thank you, and congratulations, everyone!

President DeGioia, distinguished members of the faculty and administration, parents and friends, and graduates.
It's always a joy to come back to Georgetown. I arrived here in 1958 on a basketball scholarship, back when Georgetown basketball was not exactly played at today's talent levels.

It's been more than four decades, and I guess some of you are thinking that I haven't traveled very far since I left here in 1962 -- all the way from the basketball court to the football field!

Actually, it's been quite an adventure -- and it's far from over.

My four years on this campus began a process of personal transformation that has never stopped.

I was the first in my family to go away to college. It was heady stuff to do so on a Jesuit campus, with gothic architecture and in the nation's capital.

Coming here, I was very excited about both my academic prospects and my basketball prospects.

I quickly learned that life inevitably requires making choices and setting priorities.

Over the objection of the admissions staff and everyone else who could read a high school transcript, I had insisted that I wanted to major in math. So I was admitted to Georgetown as a math major -- no doubt partly because I was a hot basketball recruit.

My first math mid-term exams were a disaster. That was a shock to me. The admissions staff had been right. By my second semester, I was headed to linguistics, philosophy or political science.

It was a real learning experience: expect adversity in life and always be prepared to recommit your talents to create new opportunities.

By my junior year, my love for basketball was losing out to my love for the library. I was more interested in debating communism and democracy with the political science faculty than in shooting baskets. Many of my professors had emigrated here from behind the Iron Curtain, and they had so much to teach me.

In my senior year, my most memorable basketball game was in Madison Square Garden. It's memorable because I missed it to participate as a finalist in the Rhodes Scholarship competition.

I didn't win the Rhodes, but I did land a full academic scholarship in a special inter-disciplinary program at NYU Law School.
See what I mean when I say that my four years here began to transform my life?

So here we are. You're graduating and I'm retiring! And we're all wondering what's next!

That's an exciting place to be in life. Especially when you're moving into the next stage of your life, armed with the fine education we have all received at Georgetown.

As you know, I've been very fortunate to have had several careers for about four decades -- as lawyer and chief executive -- in the remarkable business of football.

These decades have seen dramatic changes in professional sports. An explosion of leagues and teams in many different sports. Professional leagues for outstanding female athletes. The globalization of athletic competition.

But as dramatic as the changes have been, the pace of change and diversity is accelerating around the world. In America, it's being driven by sweeping demographic change and technological innovations, including the internet and digital revolutions.
This is really the crux of my message: this diversity and accelerating change in professional sports is only a microcosm of the world that you are entering.

In the years ahead, how you and your generation deal with change, and the pace of change — how you deal with diversity and human differences around the globe — these will profoundly shape your life, and the life of our nation and the world in this new century.

As the world shrinks, you will come face to face with competing cultures, faiths, traditions, economies and political systems. Your challenge will be to create the future with hope and vision -- with willingness to embrace difference and innovation -- not to retreat in fear or with a reactionary clinging to the status quo.

You have been grounded by this University in the intellectual and spiritual traditions of the Western Enlightenment and Christian, Islamic and Jewish beliefs and values. I hope you have also encountered the great traditions of the East in your work here.

At their best, our Western traditions teach us two fundamental habits of the heart:
First, to seek our common humanity and the values we share with those who differ from us, while staying fully connected to our own roots in family, friends, faith and community.

Second, to expect difference and change, and to welcome them with openness, founded on ever-deepening knowledge of ourselves and others.

To follow this path, it's essential that we continue the life of the mind throughout our lives.

Georgetown is where you and I seriously began developing this life.

Don't ever let it stop growing. Whatever field you're in, whatever endeavor you undertake, you will need it.

Today, you have only begun to know and understand the complex philosophical, cultural, economic, political, and religious forces that have shaped your life and the world up to this point.

For the rest of your life, you'll have many opportunities to deepen your knowledge of your own heritage and values, often by engaging with people who are different from you. Use those opportunities. Never stop being curious about the world.

Pursue multiple and varied careers -- in government, in not-for-profits, in law or academia, in business. And you'll be amazed how your varied careers will serve as a seamless learning journey.

That has been my experience.

At Georgetown, I learned a lot about the human condition and world affairs from books and professors. That changed when I left here.

In the spring of 1962, I graduated from this place.

My parents' way of saying thanks to me for a job well done was to send me on a trip. So that August, I went to Europe. I was in Germany for the first anniversary of the creation of the Berlin Wall. That was a stake in the heart of Germany designed to secure the Soviets' division of Germany and Europe.

As I look back, my visit at the Wall was the start of a series of memorable encounters with history in the making.

One year after my visit in Berlin, President Kennedy -- who had inspired all of us at Georgetown during his 1960 campaign -- spoke in Berlin about what that wall meant -- and how despicable it was for citizens in East Europe's Communist countries to be denied their freedom.

He spoke of the universal quest for freedom:

"You live in a defended island of freedom,
but your life is part of the main.
So let me ask you... to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today,
to the hopes of tomorrow, ...
to the advance of freedom everywhere,
beyond the wall to the day of peace and justice,
beyond yourselves and ourselves
to all mankind."

Addressing the world beyond Berlin, President Kennedy responded to post-war change -- not with fear, but with openness and dedication to the values of free societies.

Fast forward to 1989.

In November of 1989, I became the Commissioner of the National Football League. In that same week, the Berlin Wall came down and the people of Germany intensified their quest for freedom.

To celebrate the Wall's demise we considered playing an NFL game in Berlin's Olympic Stadium in the summer of 1990.
Here I was, in another phase of my life, again encountering Berlin.

But wait. How could the NFL play in a stadium built by Hitler for the 1936 Olympics?

How could we have two NFL teams play in the venue where Hitler celebrated the supposed superiority of the Aryan people?
We couldn't -- not without fully understanding the history and weighing the competing values.

In fact, in Berlin's Olympic Stadium in 1936, the great African-American sprinter Jesse Owens demonstrated that Hitler's theories of racism and ethnic superiority were bunk. So we played the game to celebrate Jesse Owens' victory for human rights and our common humanity.

Fast forward to 2006.

We now have an NFL league in Europe with five teams in Germany. As a result, I was recently honored to be part of a small, private meeting with the new Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

That meeting completed my circle of experiences with freedom in Central Europe, dating back to my first visit to the Berlin Wall 44 years ago, less than three months after my graduation from Georgetown.

Chancellor Merkel grew up in the former East Germany, as a Protestant and a physicist. Having lived in a totalitarian state, she knows the meaning of freedom in a way most of us will never experience. The collapse of the Berlin Wall allowed her to rise to a position of leadership in a free democratic society.

As I listened to Chancellor Merkel, I realized that we were in the presence of a leader with courage of conviction like President Kennedy. Despite their markedly different backgrounds, Chancellor Merkel -- like Kennedy -- is passionate about freedom and responding to new conditions with confidence, openness, and a deep understanding of both Western and other values.

Many of you will now pursue personal journeys of your own. As you do, I hope that your generation in America and elsewhere in Europe will learn to understand each other. Will you get to know each other? Or will you let differences over economic policies, the war in Iraq or human rights change and harden what we and the people of other nations think of each other?

Be curious and probing. Find out for yourselves whether Western Europe is now an "old Europe" with whom we have little in common, or an experienced Europe from whom we can learn a lot. Engage with your peers in European countries -- both West and East -- where our traditions are rooted.

And keep an eye on Angela Merkel and other emerging leaders who can be common heroes for your generation of Americans and Europeans. In my generation, we shared President Kennedy and West Berlin's Mayor Willy Brandt. In your generation, will you share Chancellor Merkel, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and others who have pursued freedom and our common values.

There's another aspect to this business of looking outward, being open to differences and unafraid of change. It has to do with the great societies and religions of the Middle East and Asia, the emerging economic and political powerhouses of China and India, and the pace of global change.

As a business leader, it had become clear to me even before the horrors of 9/11, that those of us in the West needed to deepen our understanding of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism and the values we all share, whatever our faith or culture.

In my day, the emphasis at Georgetown was on Western faiths, culture and history, largely Christianity, Islam and Judaism. I am grateful for having been grounded in that tradition.

Because of that gratitude, my relationship with Georgetown didn't end with graduation. This school will always be part of your life. Stay connected to it. America needs universities like this one. You can help Georgetown evolve as the world evolves.
Georgetown's leaders recognize that the College I knew in the '60s would no longer meet the needs of today's world. Scholarship today must bridge East and West.

That's the belief that motivated my wife Chan and me to endow a Professorship in Interfaith and Intercultural Studies a few years ago. And we are thrilled to see the University's leaders run with this idea by developing an entire curriculum across the spectrum of the University.

It's great to see new programs like the "Building Bridges" Conference organized with the Archbishop of Canterbury… like scholarly panels on "Religion and Politics" ... and assessments of Islam in western democracies.

After traveling in Japan and China recently, I'm more certain than ever that we Americans need to engage in more interfaith, intercultural study and dialogue.

Your generation -- and mine -- needs to immerse itself in Asia. That's one reason Chan and I will be traveling to Bhutan and India this fall -- and why we are looking hard at living in China sometime in the near future, maybe associated with a university or other organization.

You know, many of us tend to think we're so different from the Chinese. And we certainly are in many respects. But in some very fundamental ways, we may soon be finding more similarities than differences. What are they, how do we identify them, and will our similarities develop into common interests?

Last spring, Chan and I traveled in China with an NFL group, including an Eagles all-pro player, Chad Lewis. Chad has lived in Asia and is fluent in Mandarin, so he helped explain American football to the school administrators, mayors and others we met in Shanghai and Beijing. We had a great experience, speaking at middle schools, parents' meetings and universities.

When I spoke about football, the Chinese were not shy about telling me that they thought our game represents the worst of American values: violence and unfettered competition at the expense of others. Their values, they told me, are all about collective interests, teamwork, support for comrades and non-violence.

"On the contrary," I explained. "Football isn't about violence. It's about dealing with adversity. It is a metaphor for life's challenges. It's all about commitment, work ethic, common goals pursued both individually and through teamwork."

They were fascinated. As we talked more, we both discovered that in sports, we have more in common with each other than either of us realized.

Along with their touted non-violent sport, table tennis, the Chinese thrive on Tai Kwan Do. They're as passionate about it as we are about football. And guess what. It's all about learning to deal with adversity -- pushing athletes in structured, physical competition to their physical and psychological limits.

You should see the equipment! Helmets, chest pads and arm braces that look like something the Green Bay Packers would wear. Taken straight from NFL locker rooms!

My point is, hidden beneath the differences of culture and decades of little dialogue or contact, we share the most basic interests and human impulses, including the impulse to test our limits and those of our colleagues in competitive sports.
That's not to say that our societies and nations don't have deep and abiding differences. We certainly do.

During our visit, we also met with many media and business leaders as well as government officials, including China's Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing. In earlier careers, he was a literature professor, Shakespeare scholar, and poet who has held senior positions at the Chinese embassy here in Washington.

In his office, Minister Li opened our eyes to aspects of China that resonated close to home. He gave us gifts, several books, one on Pandas for my grandchildren, and a volume of his own poetry. In leafing through this volume, we found one intriguing poem composed by Minister Li that had been inspired by his conversations with close American friends at the Sam Clemens Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. The poem recalls the Minister's experiences as a boy with his grandmother on her farm in China and relates them to the experiences of "the honest and lovable little boy Huckleberry Finn..."

Ping pong. Tai Kwan Do. Capitalism parading as socialism. A burgeoning middle class in coastal provinces. Poverty and unrest in rural areas. A cultured and sensitive Shakespeare scholar and diplomat who reads Mark Twain and knows Huck Finn. I ask you which is the real China?

I guess they could ask the same question about us. Red states, blue states. Christians, Jews, Muslims. Liberals, conservatives. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, immigrants from all over the world. Gays, straights. Which is the real America?

The real America and the real China are ever-changing at some levels and ever-constant at other levels. And how our society connects with theirs -- or doesn't -- will shape the century to come.

How we deal with the vast array of human differences in our own country and around the world — how we face the inevitable changes of a shrinking globe — will test our strength and challenge our capacity to work for the common good.

Will we seek connection based on our common humanity, or will we turn our backs on the core teaching of all the great faiths -- that the world's people are one?

Georgetown has provided you with a firm foundation of knowledge and skill with which to delve into questions such as these. Use it. Develop it.

Georgetown will continue to provide leadership and resources to enable Americans and others from around the globe to provide well-grounded and balanced perspectives on questions such as these.

Support Georgetown when it does so and participate in these efforts.

I've talked a lot today about freedom, and I should conclude now by letting you all go free to enjoy the rest of this very special weekend.

But first a concluding thought.

Martin Luther King -- one of my generation's most inspiring leaders -- was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963 for his leadership in pursuing justice and equal rights for African-Americans. In a letter from this Birmingham jail, King emphasized the universality of the quest for freedom and justice. He wrote:

"I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states… Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

In the 21st century, this "interrelatedness" is far deeper, swifter and broader, so you too are tied together in a single garment of destiny -- with billions of others.

You are going forth now into a world of unimaginable openness and change and diversity. Hold tightly to a never-ending quest for knowledge, understanding and tolerance -- across continents, cultures, faiths and other differences -- and it will serve you well.

That should be your game plan, as we say in football. Now it's up to each of us to participate fully, to lead and to ensure continued human progress in the new 21st century global environment.

Today, more than ever, the world needs your gifts, your values, your integrity, and your willingness to explore.
The world needs your confident conviction when certainty is called for, and it needs your confident skepticism when new insights are called for.

You have my best wishes and sincere congratulations.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Press Conference - Minnesota House-Senate Stadium Conference Committee


Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Press Conference

Minnesota House-Senate Stadium Conference Committee

Minneapolis, MN -- May 16, 2006

Q: Will there ever be a time where the league will say for the greater good you need to move to Los Angeles or somewhere or is it always up to the individual owner to decide to move?

A: It's a joint decision under our policy. A team has to meet certain criteria before it can move, so it's not the individual owner's decision. But I don't think that's the challenge here; the challenge here is to get something done in Minnesota and not have to worry about other alternatives.

Q: Has Mr. Wilf asked you to step up and approve a loan before the legislature acts here?

A: Generally we don't do that; generally under the guidelines we have for our loan program to support stadium construction, the economic work that has to go into that depends on an understanding of the total project costs and the total project economics, not just for the first year or the first five years but for a 15 or 20-year period. So it's difficult, if not impossible, to do anything in the abstract. You have to do it on the basis of a concrete project.

Q: What's the reaction to the Fran Foley situation?

A: I really don't know anything about it other than the fact that an issue exists. I really don't know anything about it.

Q: Do you have an opinion on the stadium being built without a retractable roof?

A: As I said to the committee, that's really a decision for the state and local authorities, the team owner and Anoka County in this instance. We don't have a point of view, as I mentioned. In the Vikings' own division we have two teams, the Bears and the Packers, that play in open-air stadiums and we have another team, the Lions, with a fixed-dome, so how that's approached is really up to the team, Anoka County and the legislature.

Q: Are you, the other owners and the league resentful that this market can't get this accomplished when so many other markets have?

A: I'm never resentful or not resentful. I approach these things with a realistic understanding that they're complicated and that many different points of view have to be brought into sync and a consensus has to be developed. As Senator Kelly said, it's a difficult slice of economic and legislative issues.

Q: Are you fairly confident a new stadium would get a Super Bowl for Minnesota?

A: Yes, as I said, under our current policy, we've been rotating the Super Bowl around much more than we did in the '70s and the '80s, and the biggest reason for that rotation has been to hold the Super Bowl in communities, in new stadiums, where there has been a partnership between the team and the public sector to build a stadium because the Super Bowl accomplishes two things. Number one, there is a significant economic benefit from having a game in a community such as this, and number two, it marks that facility as a world-class facility for similar events. It gets attention and hopefully will cause an ongoing stream of other national sporting events or activities in the building.

Q: What is the earliest date a Super Bowl could be in Minnesota?

A: Depends on when you build the building.

Q: How many years out are you committed? 1, 2

A: I think we're committed on Super Bowls through 2010. We're beginning to talk about 2011, '12 and '13 in the next six to 12 months. A number of cities, including Dallas and Indianapolis, which are both building new stadiums, have already expressed strong interest, and we've already indicated there could be one in Kansas City depending on how Arrowhead Stadium develops.

Q: Has there ever been a commitment for a Super Bowl to get a new stadium over the top?

A: I'd have to go back and do my research.

Q: Is it just here and San Diego that are the holdout markets for stadiums?

A: No, we don't have (new) stadiums in San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, Minnesota and some other places.

Q: Is there any urgency to get this done this year?

A: Yes, as I said, there's no guarantee that the current stability of the National Football League will continue. Right now there are a number of things that have come together -- our TV contracts, our collective bargaining agreement, our stadium construction subsidy program, the commitment from the Wilf family to invest $280 million in the stadium and the commitment from the Wilf family together with Anoka County to have a major economic development project that goes way beyond the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League. All those things are in place, and we're in an environment where those may not be guaranteed going forward. And as I said, construction costs are escalating dramatically now in a way we haven't seen, and that has to do with demand for materials all over the world, not just the United States. There's a lot that is certain and positive that could be uncertain and less positive in the future.

Danny Kastner From "The Apprentice 3" Makes Rap Video About Getting Fired By Donald Trump

Apparently not over being fired and willing to use his experience to keep his name out there -- why the heck not!? -- Danny Kastner from the third "Apprentice" made this rap video, where he says you can't win the game, if you don't have game.

He also uses the video to send some messages to his fellow Apprentice friends.

Here's Danny:

CNN's Jack Cafferty Calls Republican Senator Arlen Specter "All That's Standing Between Us And Dictatorship"

CNN's "The Situation Room" is a great news show which features the hourly commentary by reporter Jack Cafferty to CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer about the topic of the moment. In this case, his concern is the recent disclosure that millions -- not thousands or hundreds, but millions -- of telephone records of Americans were turned over to the NSA by several US telecommunications companies -- Verizon Wireless and AT&T among them (Bell South claimed they didn't do it).

Jack -- rightly -- tears into Republican Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter as "all that's standing between us and a dictatorship" because the senator defended the government's right to do this in a post 9-11 World.

I agree with Jack and for this reason: how does one know what the phone records are really being used for? That's powerful information. It's could be used by one person in the NSA to spy on someone, say, they're dating. Or it could be used to probe what "enemy politicians" are doing.

In other words, the use of the records is open for abuse.

Here's Jack:

Mary Carey Runs For Governor In Video Taken At SF Virgin Records Store

In 2003, porn star Mary Carey made a name for herself in the poltical arena with her moderately successful run for governor of California.

Now, she's at it again! Mary Carey's launched her 2006 gubernatorial campaign with this appearance at the Virgin Record Store in San Francisco's Union Square.

Take a look at the woman who could be California's next governor:

Ricky Manning And Maurice Drew Reportedly Beat Up Man Because He Was Using Laptop While Eating

Man. And I think of the number of times -- including yesterday -- that I used my laptop at a restaurant while eating. Well, ok, they were Internet cafes, but so what. I listened to this report on JT The Brick's show and could not believe it. Especially since I believed UCLA running back Maurice Drew would have been a good pick for the Indy Colts.

Show's you what I know, huh?

CB Manning, RB Drew charged with assault wire reports
LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2006) -- Chicago Bears cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and two former UCLA football players were charged with assault for allegedly taking part in an early morning fight at a restaurant last month.

Manning was charged with one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, Deputy District Attorney Karen Murcia said.

His arraignment was scheduled for May 18. Manning has previously declined comment.

Manning, a former UCLA star, was arrested April 23, along with former Bruins Tyler Ebell and Maurice Drew, after they allegedly attacked a man at a restaurant near the UCLA campus in Westwood.

Police said the players then drove off in Manning's SUV but were pulled over by officers soon after when the vehicle was spotted by a helicopter crew.

Ebell, 22, and Drew were expected to surrender and be arraigned at a later date, Murcia said.

Drew, 21, was taken by Jacksonville in the second round of the NFL draft. The running back attended mini-camp in Florida last month.

Manning, 25, signed with the Bears last month after the Carolina Panthers declined to match Chicago's offer sheet. He is on probation for an assault in April 2002. If convicted, he faces up to four years in state prison.

Super Bowl XL - Video Shows Just How Many Steeler Fans Were There

Wow. The person who took this video somehow got their camcorder inside Ford Field. I had to leave mine in my car. However they did it, the camera person captured just how overwhelmingly large the number of Steeler fans was.

And they all were not from Pittsburgh. They were from New York state, California, Canada, everywhere. The Pittsburgh Steelers are as much "America's Team" as the Dallas Cowboys.

Take a look:

Video - Paris Hilton and Brandon Davis Make Fun Of Lindsay Lohan - Why

I have to be honest, I've never ever heard of Brandon Davis and I'm sure my life's not any better for knowing who he is now. The only way he'd get known is to hang out with Paris Hilton.

While doing so on the way to a night club with her and others -- what else? -- he's recorded issuing a fowl-mouthed tirade about Lindsay Lohan. Why? I have no idea.

I know Lindsay's got to be happy for the PR. Keeps her name out there, while she pines away for that role in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. But I'd bet she's not all that thrilled with what was said about her.

Here's the video of Brandon running his nasty mouth as Paris Hilton and an entourage walk with him, laughing.