Tuesday, May 30, 2006

NFL To Play Some Regular Season Games Outside US In 2008

I think this is great news, but I worry that football may become too well-exposed. Still, it's the logical next step: Worldwide NFL games.

League eyeing more games outside of U.S.

NFL.com wire reports
DUESSELDORF, Germany (May 27, 2006) -- The NFL has proposed playing two regular-season games outside the United States starting in 2008, league officials said.

Mark Waller, head of NFL international development, said the proposal to play abroad was put to team owners in Denver. It came after the 49ers and Cardinals played last October before a regular-season record crowd of 103,000 in Mexico City.

The owners will discuss the issue again in October. The games would be played in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, where five of the six NFL Europe teams play.

"I will say the reception we got from the owners was incredibly positive -- all the questions were on the practical issues," Waller said.

Plans were also announced to add two more teams to the six playing in NFL Europe by 2010. Last year, owners gave the league a five-year operating license -- ending years of threatening to pull the plug on the operation because of the cost.

"It now gives us a platform to grow the game internationally with a concept of clarity," Waller said.

Outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue said developing the game internationally may rank as one of his top five accomplishments during his 16 years in charge.

"I feel the international initiatives we made, along with the owners, may become more significant over time," Tagliabue said.

The league's effort to make an impact internationally began in 1986, when NFL teams began to play preseason games overseas.

The German cities of Hanover and Leipzig are the leading candidates to get NFL Europe expansion clubs as the league concentrates on Germany. The Amsterdam Admirals are the only current NFL Europe team located outside Germany.

NFL Europe would then be split into two four-team divisions with the schedule expanded from 10 to 12 games. The league hopes to develop local stars for NFL Europe, as well as international stars in the NFL.

"It's clearly critical to the future of the game internationally," said Jim Connelly, managing director of NFL Europe.

John Paulus Thinks Clay Aiken Is Gay, and I Don't Care!

Really. Why should I give a big deal of concern over what Clay Aiken does in his house? I'm still confused by all this. Who does it help to know this?

Well, I guess it's good to know it so you don't have to worry about your girlfriend running off with him, but in this day and age, you never know.

I Worked As An Intern For Lloyd Bentson In His Dallas Office...

and never got the chance to meet him. The one day he came in, I had to attend a class. Well, I didn't have to, but I was young and didn't know better. I was a freshman at Texas-Arlington in 1980. Still, working for his staff was fun and I was the receipient of all of his collection of Congressional Records. About 300 books.

"Fight Club" In Menlo Park A Subsitute For Guys Who Can't Find Girls - CNN

So instead of having dreams about a fine lady, they have fantasies about inflicting pain on some guy. It's said that fighting is another form of sex, so I think this kind of nutty practice is not only an admission of not being able to make it with a woman, but in a way seems to demonstrate a desire for other men. Real weird in my view.

Of course, while these guys are beating each other up -- and almost to death -- I'm enjoying the company of a great woman, not to mention women friends.

I must also say this practice is in total violation of any respect for life.

Computer techs turn to fisticuffs for fun - CNN
Fight clubs are chance to be 'a superhero for a night'

Monday, May 29, 2006; Posted: 8:49 p.m. EDT (00:49 GMT)

MENLO PARK, California (AP) -- They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks, some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club.

Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable -- from frying pans and tennis rackets to pillowcases stuffed with soda cans -- they beat each other mercilessly in a garage in this bedroom community south of San Francisco.

Then, bloodied and bruised, they limp back to their desks in the morning.

"When you get beat down enough, it becomes a very un-macho thing," said Shiyin Siou, 34, a Santa Clara software engineer and three-year veteran of the clandestine fights. "But I don't need this to prove I'm macho -- I'm macho enough as it is."

Inspired by the 1999 film "Fight Club," starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, underground bare-knuckle brawling clubs have sprung up across the country as a way for desk jockeys and disgruntled youths to vent their frustrations and prove themselves.

"This is as close as you can get to a real fight, even though I've never been in one," the soft-spoken Siou said.

Despite his reserved demeanor, he daydreams about inflicting pain on an attacker. "I have fantasies about it," he said.

In recent months, police in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have broken up fight clubs involving teens and preteens who posted videos of their bloody battles online.

Earlier this month in Arlington, Texas, a high school student who didn't want to participate was beaten so badly that he suffered a brain hemorrhage and broken vertebrae. Six teenagers were arrested after DVDs of the fight appeared for sale online.

Adult groups are more likely to fly under the radar of authorities.

Menlo Park police hadn't heard about the local club and said they wouldn't be likely to take action because the fights are on private property between consenting adults. That could change if someone complains or is sent to a hospital, police said.

Gints Klimanis, a 37-year-old software engineer and martial arts instructor, started the invitation-only "Gentlemen's Fight Club" in Menlo Park in 2000 after his no-holds-barred sessions with a training partner grew to more than a dozen people. Most participants are men working in the high-tech industry.

"You get to be a superhero for a night," Klimanis said. "We have to go to work every day. We're constantly told to buy things we don't need, and just for a couple hours we have the freedom to do what we want to do."

Fencing and hockey masks are the only protective equipment used. Several fighters have suffered broken noses, ribs and fingers.

Men involved in fight clubs often carry bottled-up violent impulses learned in childhood from video games, cartoons and movies, said Michael Messner, a University of Southern California sociology and gender studies professor.

"Boys have these warrior fantasies picked up from popular culture, and schools sort of force that out of them," he said. In these fantasies, "The good guys always resort to violence, and they always get the glory and the women."

There is also a sadomasochistic thread running through underground fight clubs, said Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor at Stony Brook University in New York.

"Real-life fight clubs are the male version of the girls who cut themselves," he said. "All day long these guys think they're the captains of the universe, technical wizards. They're brilliant but empty.

"They want to feel differently. They want to get hit, they want to feel something real."

Five-year fight club veteran Dinesh Prasad, 32, a heavily tattooed Santa Clara engineer, said he once broke a rib in a match but never complained to his fellow combatants. He also recently skipped his first wedding anniversary to attend a fight rather than drive to Los Angeles, where his wife is finishing law school.

"I came here to get over my fear of fighting, and it's working," he said. "I'm much tougher than I was five years ago. I'm not at the level of these other guys, but if things were to get tough, I can get tough, too."

The Apprentice 5 Nearlng Close - One Blogger Calls The Two Finalists "Buffoons"

With ratings as low as this latest Apprentice has posted, perhaps the best event will be the final show of this season. I'm not excited about the people on the show, and neither are bloggers like this person over at Fresh Inc., who called both Sean and Lee buffoons.

While I wouldn't go that far, I do think it's a mistake to focus on young people all the time in casting for the show. Life begins at 40, and Trump and his crew would have a better show and richer exchanges with a more mature audience. Hey, there are hot women over 40, too!

Seattle Seahawks QB Gibran Hamdan Named NFL Europe Offensive Player Of The Year



Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations


The NFL Europe League announced its annual awards today at World Bowl Media Day at the LTU Arena in DÏ‹sseldorf, Germany.

Quarterback GIBRAN HAMDAN (Seattle Seahawks) of the Amsterdam Admirals was named the NFL Europe League Offensive Most Valuable Player while Admirals defensive tackle TONY BROWN (Carolina Panthers) and French linebacker PHILIPPE GARDENT of the Cologne Centurions were named the Co-Defensive MVPs. Frankfurt Galaxy head coach MIKE JONES was named Coach of the Year.

Hamdan led the Admirals to a 6-1 record before suffering a season-ending injury. The Indiana product led the league in completion percentage (63.0 percent), passing yards (1,629) and touchdowns (12) while posting the highest passer rating in NFL Europe League history (113.4).

Brown helped anchor the Amsterdam defense, registering 40 tackles, 4.0 sacks, one fumble recovery, an interception and five passes defensed. The former Memphis standout also blocked two field goals.

France’s Gardent led the league with 70 tackles for the Centurions and is the first national, or non-American, player to win an MVP award in NFL Europe history.

The league also announced its all-NFL Europe League team. Seattle placed an NFL-high five players on the squad, while Green Bay, Houston and Minnesota each had two. Among the six NFL Europe teams, World Bowl participants Amsterdam (8) and Frankfurt (5) led the way.

Included among the All-NFL Europe League team selections that will play in World Bowl XIV are Frankfurt running back ROGER ROBINSON (Arizona), Amsterdam wide receivers SKYLER FULTON (Seattle) and CHAD LUCAS (Green Bay), and Frankfurt defensive standouts BRANDON HAW (Seattle) and JEROME NICHOLS (Green Bay).

Robinson, allocated by the Arizona Cardinals, set the league’s single-season rushing record with 1,087 yards (MIKE GREEN, 1,057; Barcelona 2001) as the Galaxy had the top-ranked offense and rushing offense.

Seattle wide receiver Fulton led the league with 53 catches and 992 yards, the third best single-season total in NFL Europe history. Amsterdam teammate Lucas, allocated by Green Bay, topped the league with eight touchdown receptions, including an Europe League-record four in one game (April 8 at Berlin).

Safety Haw and defensive tackle Nichols were key components of Frankfurt’s top-ranked defense. Seattle’s Haw led NFL Europe with five interceptions while Green Bay’s Nichols had a league-best 7.0 sacks.

Yello Strom World Bowl XIV between the Admirals and Galaxy will be played this Saturday, May 27. The NFL Network will broadcast the game in the United Stats at 12:00 PM ET with CURT MENEFEE and BRIAN BALDINGER calling the action.

In Video, CNN's Lou Dobbs Uses White Supremacist Group As News Source For Immigration Story

In an earlier post, I asked if CNN's Lou Dobbs was racist. Well, this new information is really making me think the saying "where there's smoke there's fire" is very true. Here's the smoke.

Surely CNN's Lou Dobbs knew what he and his staff were doing. A news segment not only features the use of a map that was obtained from a white supremacist organization called The Council of Concerned Citizens , but that organization featured the Lou Dobbs story on its website (scroll down the front page to see the map.)

More disturbing is the segment seems entirely based on information developed by The Council of Concerned Citizens. So Lou Dobbs seems to be practicing a form of racist activism that hides as television journalism.

Here's the video:

The CNN Lou Dobbs segment has the name of the source -- The Council of Concerned Citizens -- right on it. Now, how do I know it's a white supremacist group? Well, they say so on their site. To see the long-winded viewpoint, cick here or read this crap from the page:

A Statement of the Principles

of the

Council of Conservative Citizens

The American men and women who make up the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) believe in, commit themselves to, and pledge to work for and support these fundamental principles of American civilization, liberty, justice, and national safety:

(1) We believe the United States is a Christian country.

We believe that the United States of America is a Christian country, that its people are a Christian people, and that its government and public leaders at all levels must reflect Christian beliefs and values.

We therefore oppose all efforts to deny or weaken the Christian heritage of the United States, including the unconstitutional prohibitions of prayers and other religious expression in schools and other public institutions.

(2) We believe the United States is a European country and that Americans are part of the European people.

We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character.

We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime.

We believe that illegal immigration must be stopped, if necessary by military force and placing troops on our national borders; that illegal aliens must be returned to their own countries; and that legal immigration must be severely restricted or halted through appropriate changes in our laws and policies.

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.

(3) The United States is a sovereign and independent nation.

We believe the United States is a sovereign and independent nation, that our independence as a nation is the most precious legacy of our Founding Fathers, and that all treaties, agreements, conventions, international organizations, and institutions must recognize and respect our national sovereignty and independence.

We therefore oppose the so-called "New World Order" and its attempts to abolish national sovereignty and independence and to construct a one-world state in which America would vanish and Americans would be enslaved.

We call for the U.S. government to withdraw from membership in the United Nations, the World Court, the International Monetary Fund, NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization.

We oppose any attempt to place American military personnel under foreign command. We oppose any effort to place Americans, military or civilian, on trial before, or subject them to legal punishments by, international courts or organizations.

We oppose, and we support official U.S. renunciation of, any treaty, agreement, or convention that seeks to dictate law to the United States or any state, that violates national sovereignty, or denies or violates the constitutional rights of Americans.

(4) The United States is a constitutional republic.

We believe the United States is a constitutional republic, governed by law and by the original intent of the United States Constitution and of the men who framed it. We believe the Constitution can be changed only by the proper procedure of amendment or constitutional convention and not by court decision, popular majority, political whim, or legislative fiat.

We therefore oppose the "imperial judiciary" in the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal courts that has usurped more and more power to itself in the last century and has imposed on our country the most odious and harmful rulings.

We reject the legitimacy and constitutionality of the rulings handed down by the imperial judiciary; we support the appointment of judges and justices who are qualified to interpret the Constitution and the laws and are committed to their proper interpretation; and we support the impeachment of judges and justices who usurp or claim powers not granted them by the Constitution.

We also oppose the "imperial bureaucracy" that imposes unconstitutional administrative decrees in such fields as business, agriculture, labor, and education that tyrannically interfere with personal liberty and dignity, private property, the sanctity of the family, and ethical conduct.

We support the abolition of those government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels that have no constitutional foundation, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Health and Human Services, and similar agencies.

We support the separation of powers that is a fundamental principle of the U.S. Constitution and of basic human liberty. We support the restoration of the constitutionally proper balance among the three branches of the federal government and the reduction of their powers, size, personnel, and costs to the limits intended by the Constitution.

(5) We believe in States' Rights, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Bill of Rights.

We believe in states' rights, as guaranteed by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution; in the individual right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; and in all the rights and liberties guaranteed by the body of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

We therefore oppose all efforts by the federal government to dictate to the states and local governments and communities, and we oppose federal efforts to engineer or impose behavior and beliefs on citizens and communities. We oppose "gun control" in all forms and demand that all such legislation and policies be repealed.

We also oppose all such legislation as so-called "hate crime" or "bias crime" laws. Such laws merely penalize thought and expression rather than genuinely criminal action and are a dangerous and frightening step toward government Thought Control. Similarly, we oppose all so-called "politically correct" speech codes and "sensitivity training" in schools, colleges, universities, and businesses that punish free expression, restrict thought and study, intimidate dissent, and generally demean and diminish human communications and community.

We also oppose, as stated, all efforts to deny Americans their rights of religious expression and worship as guaranteed in the First Amendment, as well as efforts to deny rights of assembly and association.

(6) The traditional family is the basic unit of human society.

We believe in the traditional family as the basic unit of human society and morality, and we oppose all efforts by the state and other powers to weaken the structure of the American family through toleration of sexual licentiousness, homosexuality and other perversions, mixture of the races, pornography in all forms, and subversion of the authority of parents.

(7) Private property and free enterprise are the foundations of our economy.

We believe in private property and free enterprise as the foundations of our economic life and the basis of American wealth. We oppose efforts by the state to regulate, plan, manage, control, or nationalize private property in any form. We oppose the ruinous taxation that government has imposed on working Americans and we call for real tax reform that will allow working men and women to retain what they have earned. We support the repeal of the estate tax. We affirm that the best economic decision-maker is the individual acting in what he believes is his own best interest.

We believe that tax policies and other economic legislation and policies should reflect the importance of small businessmen, the family farm, and other independent, locally and privately owned and operated enterprises.

While we accept the need for some public welfare, health care, unemployment, and old age assistance, we believe in such programs only as a last resort for those who truly need them.

We believe tax laws should encourage private charity rather than public support for the poor, the disabled, and the sick and elderly who are unable to care for themselves. We support welfare programs that seek to return recipients of welfare to productive work as soon as possible. We oppose all welfare for immigrants, whether legal or illegal.

(8) Cultural, national, and racial integrity.

We support the cultural and national heritage of the United States and the race and civilization of which it is a part, as well as the expression and celebration of the legitimate subcultures and ethnic and regional identities of our people. We oppose all efforts to discredit, "debunk," denigrate, ridicule, subvert, or express disrespect for that heritage. We believe public monuments and symbols should reflect the real heritage of our people, and not a politically convenient, inaccurate, insulting, or fictitious heritage.

(9) A Strong National Defense.

We believe in the strongest possible defense for the United States. We oppose the presence of homosexuals and women in the military services and especially of women in combat roles.

(10) America First Foreign Policy.

We believe that in the aftermath of the U.S. victory over Soviet Communism, the United States has little need to retain the political and military commitments to allies made during the Cold War. While we wish these allies well, we believe we cannot continue to support their defense budgets, guarantee their security, fight their wars, or finance their governments and economies through foreign aid. We therefore call for a comprehensive review of all U.S. diplomatic commitments and U.S. withdrawal from those alliances and commitments that no longer serve our national interests or that threaten to entangle us in unnecessary foreign wars, conflicts, and quarrels.

We therefore oppose continued membership in NATO and similar outdated Cold War alliances; we oppose sending American troops on U.N. peace-keeping missions or into similar unconstitutionally undeclared wars under the names of "police actions." We oppose sending American military personnel into wars and conflicts that do not concern our national security and interests. We oppose ever sending American military men into combat without the intention to achieve victory. We oppose using American prisoners of war as diplomatic "bargaining chips" under any circumstances, and we oppose abandoning American POWs to merciless enemies after the cessation of conflict to suit the political interests of office-holders. We oppose all foreign aid and call for its termination.

We support the investigation of lobbying groups that represent the interests of foreign states or foreign powers and the enactment of legislation that will outlaw lobbying Congress or the executive branch on behalf of foreign states.

(11) America First Trade Policy.

We believe that just as our nation has legitimate international political and military interests, so it also has a legitimate international economic interest. We believe our trade policy should reflect our national economic interest and that the protection of our economy, including the jobs of our workers, our farms, and our manufacturing industries, is a vitally necessary duty of our national government.

(12) Traditional Education under Local Control.

We believe that education is primarily the concern of parents and families and local communities and therefore we oppose federal aid to education and federal efforts to control or direct education. We believe that education should inform and build the mind and character, not brainwash children with political propaganda or "liberate" them from the traditional values and loyalties their families have taught them.

We therefore oppose all "sex education" as well as so-called "multiculturalist" and "Afrocentric" curricula, "Outcome-Based Education," and similar radical indoctrination in the schools. We oppose all efforts to inflate grades, adulterate or "dumb down" tests and examinations, and introduce irrelevant and wasteful courses for the purpose of advancing some backward students over others more talented or more productive. We believe the schools, public, private, and parochial, should teach students to be proud of being Americans and proud of their national and local identities, and that they should instill in them the values of Western, Christian, and American civilization.

We support the authority of teachers and school administrators to discipline students, including the authority to expel them from school if students will not abide by the rules and laws of the community.

We support the right of parents to send their children to private schools or to educate their children at home if they so desire, without government intrusion or control. We support the right of private schools to select their own students, faculty, curricula, standards, and methods of administration.

(13) Strong and Just Law Enforcement.

We believe in the moral and legal responsibility of the individual and therefore that good behavior should be rewarded and bad behavior should be punished. We believe the most effective and most just response to crime is swift, certain, and morally appropriate punishment. We believe in capital punishment for the crimes of murder, rape, treason, and espionage. We oppose the substitution of the pseudo-sciences of psychiatry, sociology, and "rehabilitation" for real justice.

We believe law enforcement should be mainly a function of local and state government, and we therefore oppose all efforts to establish a national police force or to nationalize law enforcement; we oppose similar efforts to create a global or international police force and to "globalize" law enforcement. We oppose the extradition of law-abiding American citizens to trials before foreign courts under laws to which they have never assented. We oppose all international criminal tribunals and all efforts to diminish national sovereignty through the internationalization of criminal law. We support the termination of all international trials for "war crimes" and "genocide."

While we support and deeply respect all law enforcement officers, we also insist that law enforcement at all levels operate within the law, that law enforcement respect the rights of all citizens, and that spying on and harassment of loyal and law-abiding citizens by law enforcement agencies, by the military services, or by intelligence services at any level of government should be strictly forbidden and severely punished.

(14) Protection of the Environment and Natural Heritage.

We believe that the natural environment and resources of a nation are among its most precious, valuable, and irreplaceable treasures. We believe in the protection of the environment from reckless greed as well as from irresponsible government. We support the protection of truly endangered species of wildlife and areas of natural beauty.

The Rolling Stones - The Rain Fell Down - A Great Video

Of all of the videos, this is the clearest one by far. It's "The Rain Fell Down" and it's a pretty interesting, if racy, number. I like the guitar play here, as well as the urban colors and dense feel of the production. I've also included the lyrics below the video.

Rain Fell Down Lyrics from http://www.sing365.com
It was a filthy block of flats
Trash was on the floor
The stink was in my nose
Hinges off the doors

She took me in her room
All was spick and span
Fixed me up a drink
Turned down all the lamps

And the rain fell down
On the cold hard ground
And the phone kept ringing
And me made sweet love

Why do we live in this strange grey town?
They build it up and let it all fall down
Feel like we're living in a battleground
Everybody's jazzed

Why do we live in this strange grey town?
The paint is peeling and the sky's turned brown
The bankers are wankers and every Thursday night
they just vomit on the ground

And the rain fell down
On the cold grey town
And the phone kept ringing
And we made sweet love
And we made sweet love

Everybody's dreaming
Everybody's scheming

Watching the rain fall down

She cooked me up some eggs
Then she made some tea
Kissed me on the cheek
Then I turned on her tv

It was all the usual crap
All the usual sleeze
For 10,000 quid
Some bimbo spilled the beans

And the rain fell down
On the cold grey town
And the phone kept ringing
And we made sweet love
And we made sweet love

Rolling Stones - Paint It Black Video - 1966

The Rolling Stones are captured in this black and white video singing their now iconic hit "Paint it Black." Here's the video, folloed by the lyrics:

I see a red door and I want it painted black No colors anymore I want them to turn black I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes. I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black. With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away. Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

I look inside myself and see my heart is black. I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts. It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue. I could not forsee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun. My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black. No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes. I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm...

I wanna see it painted black, painted black. Black as night, black as coal. I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black. Yeah