Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Economist Thomas Sowell On A Military Coup In America - Video

I don't necessarily agree with the vast majority of ideas Dr. Thomas Sowell has, moreover, he's from Stanford. But I do like to here his take on American Society, and this video is no exception.

Dr. Sowell is questioned by Hannity and Colmes on Fox about -- amoung other things -- his call for a Military Coup. He's allow to clarify his statement, where he says that he doesn't like the idea, but can see a future beyond his life where it could happen. He says this because he believes our society is becoming unravelled slowly.

Here's the video:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


This is not getting press, but it's more important than the Commissioner's stance on conduct. It's a signal that the NFL will finally take care of people like Baltimore Colts' Tight End John Mackey, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and other stars who didn't see the millions of dollars the athletes of today get. This is a good story.

5/22/07 GREG AIELLO, NFL (212) 450-2000
CARL FRANCIS, NFLPA (202) 463-2200


The NFL and its related organizations have agreed to work together to support former players in
need of medical care, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today.

Commissioner Goodell informed NFL clubs at a league meeting in Nashville today that the NFL,
NFL Players Association, NFL Retired Players Association, NFL Alumni Association, NFL
Charities and the Pro Football Hall of Fame will form the first-ever alliance to coordinate medical
support services for former players in need of medical care.

“All of us in the NFL want to help former players that now find themselves in need of medical
care through no fault of their own,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Several NFL-related groups
have been working independently over the years to provide medical assistance, but now we will
work together to identify and help players more effectively in a common effort.”

HAROLD HENDERSON, the NFL’s executive vice president of labor relations, will serve as the
lead executive in this new initiative.

“Everyone wants to do the right thing to help former players with medical needs,” said
Henderson. “We want to do it in a coordinated, structured fashion. There have been ongoing
discussions with GENE UPSHAW (executive director of the NFLPA), and I know he sees this as
a high priority.”

The NFL is exploring a wide range of new ideas to address the medical needs of its former

“We are seeking to determine how we can creatively approach the medical issues of former
players and guarantee their access to high-quality medical care at reasonable cost,” said
Commissioner Goodell. “This is principally directed toward those who are in dire need or can’t
afford the proper kind of care.”

Among the ideas being discussed:

• Better identification of players who need assistance and making the system more
efficient so that help can be delivered to these players.

• Arrangements with facilities in different areas of the country where former players can
obtain high-quality care at a reasonable cost.

• Collaborating with outside service groups to provide players with education and
guidance on obtaining medical care at reasonable costs that would expand access to
care for retired players.

• Ensuring availability of affordable assisted living facilities for former players.

Former NFL players who want to support these efforts will have the opportunity to contribute to
their former teammates by participating in fund-raising efforts, including golf tournaments and
online auctions.

The distribution of funds for medical needs will be managed by representatives of the
participating groups.

The 88 Plan, named after Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN MACKEY, is an example of one
such fund that was created as part of the extended Collective Bargaining Agreement between
the NFL and its players in 2006. Former players in various stages of dementia, including
Alzheimer’s disease, may receive as much as $88,000 annually to assist in their medical care.

In recent weeks, the NFL office has spoken to SAM HUFF and JACK KEMP and several other
former players and the New York Jets’ CURTIS MARTIN for their views on how to address
these medical issues in the most effective way.

More than 900 former players and/or their families have received financial help in recent years
from either the NFLPA’s Players Assistance Trust or the NFL Alumni Association’s Dire Need

In addition, 284 former players are receiving disability payments which total $19 million this
year, including some that receive as much as $224,000 annually.

# # #

According to "Alive In Baghdad", Biggest Problems Are Security, Water, and Electricity

For Senator John McCain to even claim that Iraq's safe is more than stretching the truth; it's distorting it. According to the blog for the video show Alive In Baghdad, conditions there are worse than unliveable. The blog reports:

"Now in Baghdad there are more problems then getting killed or kidnapped and one of those most important problems is the water and the electricity. The Iraqi people are tired of getting those promises from their government about fixing the electricity every month and official man comes on Al-Iraqiyah satellite channel and give a statement about fixing the power problem forever and everything is still the same, nothing has changed. ,"

On top of that, people who have nothing to do with politics are getting killed every day. For nothing. I can't understand why we're over there. It's not getting any better at all.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Should Read "The Irony of Democracy"

I just got an email from a friend and about Cindy Sheehan -- the anti-war activist who's campaign was launched by the death of her son Casey in the Iraq War -- wrote a diary in the Daily Kos called "Good Riddance Attention Whore" and which outlines her displeasure with not just Republicans who are for the war, but Democrats who've also voted in such a way as to keep the effort going, and states that she's giving up her protest.

Cindy writes...

"I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

Apparently Cindy never read "The Irony Of Democracy." This class book by Thomas Dye and L. Harmon Ziglar was introduced to me while I was a freshman at The University of Texas at Arlington. The basic premise of the Dye / Ziglar book is that America's ran by elitists and elite networks. These associations are formed in various ways mostly college-based, and solidify more for those who step into the poltical arena. These groupings are more powerful than parties, which explains how some Democrats could side with Republicans in voting for funding for The Iraq War.

"Elites are the few who have power, the masses are the many who do not" says Dye and Ziglar. And if you think about it, they're totally correct. We put a small set of people in office to make laws for us, so it should come as no surprise that that small gathering of people as its own outcome which at times runs counter to pure democracy.

What bothers me is that many people just don't get how our society is becoming even more divided in this way with the growth of the Internet. The Digital Divide is still a large problem, and it becomes more wide-spread with every new Web 2.0 application. There are many, including supposedly smart marketing people, who can't even define the term Web 2.0 I'm serious.

A recent survey (also reported in Marketing News) by Market Tools, reported that nearly 80% of marketers have no clue what Web 2.0 is.

I increasingly find that many supposedly well-educated Americans have no idea of the power of the Internet let alone how it can positively and negatively impact their lives and business objectives. Thus, they're rendered as much a part of the masses as anyone, and leave a growing set of aspects of society foreign to them, even as they don't know what they're missing. It's tragic. Plus, it's creating a whole class of Internet Elites -- the more things change, the more they remain the same.

So Cindy, and anyone in the American Marketing Association, read The Irony Of Democracy, before it's too late!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Women Still Face Stupid Ideas In The 21st Century

I visited Amanda Congdon's site and saw this photo where someone wrote "She A Woman" in response to a test question for a math quiz that asks why "Tracy" is wrong in the answer she gave.

This is a sure sign that America has a long way to go in that women are still viewed as second class citizens. I'll add that were it not for Barack Obama, I'd be a stanch Hillary Clinton supporter. I just think Barack's better, but I do think Hillary would be a great President as well.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sony's OLED TV Technology -- Flat Screen TV Is Here!

In one of my favorite movies, "2001 A Space Odessey," a common device was something called a flat-screen television. Just as thick as a sheet of paper, it had a clear image where one could watch television from any angle, even with it sitting flat on a table.

Now, Sony's introducing the real, world's first flat-screen television. Called OLED, it's only 10 millimeters thick, basically wafer-thin. The clarity is without peer and the technology itself will revolutionize pop-culture. It's so thin and flexible that I can see jackets and coats with flat-screens as per of them.

See the video!

Video - Barack Obama Slams Romney And McCain For Lying About His Support Of The War On Terrorism

In this video, Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama -- addressing the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists at their annual convention in Chicago -- wasted no time in firing back against Republican Presidential Candidates Mit Romney and John McCain for their claim that Senator Obama's against the troops and the War on Terror because he voted against the Iraq spending bill, which passed earlier this week.

Here's the video:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis Is Right About Racial Profiling - Garry Edmondson Should Appologize To NFL And Chris Henry

Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis made this comment a few days ago:

"I think there's profiling, no question," Lewis said when Patrick asked him if he thought players were profiled. "We're (Cincinnati) a small place - our guys stand out, and they know that, and you've got to do things the right way. But when you are arrested for, or you are pulled over for, not putting on your turn signal, there's something wrong there. Many people make right turns without putting on their turn signals and it's unfortunate that we've had a guy that's pulled over for not putting on his turn signal."

The NFL stepped in and as a results, Coach Lewis was forced to take back his statements. But he's right. Cinncinati's police department does racially profile, and indeed was the target of a lawsuit and a fact-finding effort in 2001. In addition, if one does a search on Cinncinati and racial profiling, they find a littany of informatn connecting that city to the issue of racial profiling.

And now, we have this:

Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson on Thursday called Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry a "lowlife" and said he doesn't think he owes anybody an apology.

Edmondson on Monday had told reporters that Henry had failed a drug test, then later said results were "inconclusive."

His office has yet to issue any statement about the test results.

Henry's lawyer said Wednesday that test results show Henry is clean, and that he is owed an apology.

On Thursday, Edmondson said he's "shocked" anybody would be sympathetic toward Henry.

Comment on this story and Chris Henry

"This is a lowlife not worth the attention," said Edmondson, who made the comments in an interview with David Wells, The Enquirer's editorial page editor.

This is terrible. Garry Edmondson should be made to appologize to the NFL and to Henry for this statement. He's trying to convict Henry via the news media, which in itself should be illegal.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Stopped Using Google AdWords; Google's Squeezing Money From Me

I've been in the Internet Online Media business for almost five years now, and one of the most rewarding discoveries for me was Google AdWords combined with Google AdSense. When I first used the two, AdSense clicks allowed me to pay for the AdWords ad campaigns I started. I've made as much as $400 in one day using AdSense when I first started in the program. But then I watched as my once rewarding returns dwindled.

This year, and for the first time, Google AdWords was more expensive than the revenue my company gained from Google AdSense. In fact, it was so wildly out of balance I cancelled Google AdWords.

I'm no longer a fan of the program. Google has changed this aspect of its business model, and it's for the worst, in my view.

Google's increased the price of keywords at the same time it's scaled back the payouts for AdSense publishers. The result is more money for Google, and less money for the small business operators that use Google AdSense. Meanwhile more people continue to sign up for the program because Google's the leading search engine. Everyone uses it, so business people believe they must be part of it.

I don't mind Google tweaking its program a little bit, but they've gone way too far in "allowing the market" to price keywords. I mean, who determines what the market is, anyway? Let's think about this. If Google takes about 50 percent of the traffic for search engines, and Google determines keyword prices, then it's Google that's the market, and that's not fair at all.

A better system would be a stock market for keywords. I mean a formal one; not the informal system that exists today. This keyword stock market would be separate from any search engine and set prices that are equally weighted based on all search engines, thus not allowing one company, Google, to "up" keyword prices to their advantage.

Right now, Google has the control of the market. In fact, it's not even right to call it a market, because that term implies fairness. There's nothing fair about this keyword pricing problem, and there's no real market behind prices, there's just Google. In other words, Google's has near-monopolistic control over keyword prices.

I know that's a major charge, but consider that Google controls by my estimate between 60 percent and 80 percent of the keyword market, based just on the number of results that reference Google when one is trying to determine what the "keyword market" is.

Even with Google, the entire affair is a trip to the wild West, with SEO firms, marketing agencies, and others posting articles about keywords only to get you to hire them as a consultant. There's no real clearing house at all. And other firms like Yahoo, with Yahoo Publisher, are so slow to respond to an application one submits, you wonder if anyone's minding the store. !

So there's really nothing out there...except Google, and I'm running away from AdWords, but I'll stick to AdSense. It's the only way to recover the money Google's taken from me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


In my opinion, this is the most exciting compeitition for the Super Bowl I've ever seen. I can't say I have a favorite in this race. However, I must admit from a technical standpoint that the D-FW Metroplex has more top quality hotels than in Indianapolis, but these competitions always come down to the most popular owner.

May 17, 2007



The annual NFL Spring Meeting will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville,
Tennessee on Tuesday, May 22.

The agenda for the one-day business meeting includes a vote on the awarding of Super Bowl
XLV in 2011. The finalists are Arizona, Indianapolis and North Texas. Super Bowls are
awarded by a vote of the ownership. A decision and announcement on the 2011 Super Bowl
is expected at the end of the morning session on Tuesday (approximately 1:00 PM Nashville

There will be a series of committee meetings on Monday afternoon before the league
meeting begins at 8:30 AM on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s agenda will include a wide range of league matters.

The meeting is expected to conclude by 5:00 PM on Tuesday. NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell will hold a news conference following the conclusion of the meeting.



XLII February 3, 2008 Arizona
XLIII February 1, 2009 Tampa
XLIV February 7, 2010 South Florida
XLV February 6, 2011 TBD



XLIV 2010 South Florida Dolphin Stadium 2/7/2010
XLIII 2009 Tampa Raymond James 2/1/2009
XLII 2008 Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium 2/3/2008
XLI 2007 South Florida Dolphin Stadium Indianapolis Chicago 29-17
XL 2006 Detroit Ford Field Pittsburgh Seattle 21-10
XXXIX 2005 Jacksonville ALLTEL New England Philadelphia 24-21
XXXVIII 2004 Houston Reliant New England Carolina 32-29
XXXVII 2003 San Diego Qualcomm Tampa Bay Oakland 48-21
XXXVI 2002 New Orleans Superdome New England St. Louis 20-17
XXXV 2001 Tampa Raymond James Baltimore Ravens NY Giants 34-7
XXXIV 2000 Atlanta Georgia Dome St. Louis Tennessee 23-16
XXXIII 1999 South Florida Pro Player Denver Atlanta 34-19
XXXII 1998 San Diego Qualcomm Denver Green Bay 31-24
XXXI 1997 New Orleans Superdome Green Bay New England 35-21
XXX 1996 Tempe Sun Devil Stadium Dallas Pittsburgh 27-17
XXIX 1995 South Florida Joe Robbie San Francisco San Diego 49-26
XXVIII 1994 Atlanta Georgia Dome Dallas Buffalo 30-13
XXVII 1993 Pasadena Rose Bowl Dallas Buffalo 52-17
XXVI 1992 Minneapolis Metrodome Washington Buffalo 37-24
XXV 1991 Tampa Tampa Stadium NY Giants Buffalo 20-19
XXIV 1990 New Orleans Superdome San Francisco Denver 55-10
XXIII 1989 South Florida Joe Robbie San Francisco Cincinnati 20-16
XXII 1988 San Diego Jack Murphy Washington Denver 42-10
XXI 1987 Pasadena Rose Bowl NY Giants Denver 39-20
XX 1986 New Orleans Superdome Chicago New England 46-10
XIX 1985 Stanford Stanford Stadium San Francisco Miami 38-16
XVIII 1984 Tampa Tampa Stadium LA Raiders Washington 38-9
XVII 1983 Pasadena Rose Bowl Washington Miami 27-17
XVI 1982 Pontiac Pontiac Silverdome San Francisco Cincinnati 26-21
XV 1981 New Orleans Superdome Oakland Philadelphia 27-10
XIV 1980 Pasadena Rose Bowl Pittsburgh LA 31-19
XIII 1979 Miami Orange Bowl Pittsburgh Dallas 35-31
XII 1978 New Orleans Superdome Dallas Denver 27-10
XI 1977 Pasadena Rose Bowl Oakland Minnesota 32-14
X 1976 Miami Orange Bowl Pittsburgh Dallas 21-17
IX 1975 New Orleans Tulane Stadium Pittsburgh Minnesota 16-6
VIII 1974 Houston Rice Stadium Miami Minnesota 24-7
VII 1973 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Miami Washington 14-7
VI 1972 New Orleans Tulane Stadium Dallas Miami 24-3
V 1971 Miami Orange Bowl Baltimore Colts Dallas 16-13
IV 1970 New Orleans Tulane Stadium KC Minnesota 23-7
III 1969 Miami Orange Bowl NY Jets Baltimore Colts 16-7
II 1968 Miami Orange Bowl Green Bay KC 33-14
I 1967 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Green Bay KC 35-10

# # #

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jets' Justin Miller charged with third-degree assault

This is a terrible example of "wrong place, wrong time, wrong behavior." He's just 21, so the rest of his life's ahead of him.

Jets' Miller charged with third-degree assault

Jets kick returner Justin Miller was arrested early Sunday and charged with third-degree assault after a fight at a New York City nightclub.

"I want to apologize to everyone for this situation, including my family, my teammates, the Jets organization, our fans and the entire NFL," the cornerback said in a statement released by the team Sunday night.

"I understand that serving in the NFL is an honor and that I have an obligation to behave in a manner that reflects the privilege I have been given." reported Sunday night that the 23-year-old Pro Bowl returner was arrested after allegedly punching a woman in a nightclub. He was apprehended following a police chase at 4:20 a.m. According to the report, police said Miller swung at a man, but hit the woman when the man ducked out of the way.

In light of the NFL's new conduct policy, the Jets have already notified the commissioner's office of the situation.

"We expect our players to adhere to the highest standards of conduct off the field and take any allegation of personal misconduct very seriously," the team said in a statement. "Until we've had an opportunity to review all the facts, we will refrain from further comment."

The speedy Miller was selected for his first Pro Bowl last season, his second in the NFL, after leading the league with 28.3 yards per kickoff return. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns: a team record 103-yarder in Week 4 against Indianapolis, and a 99-yarder four weeks later at Cleveland.

He also had 52 tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries while playing right cornerback.

This is not Miller's first brush with the law. He was considered a potential first-round pick in 2005, but his stock fell when he was arrested for disorderly conduct a week before the draft. The Jets selected him out of Clemson in the second round with the 57th pick.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Zennie Gets A Call From Nikke Finke!

Nikki Finke's a famous and to some infamous columnist with a colorful past having been unfairly fired by the New York Post for her writing about Disney, and who has a popular blog that I read regularly. It's called "Deadline Hollywood Daily" and first capured my attention when Finke was following Creative Artist Agency's foray into the sports business. It also features her equally interesting writing, where she once referred to Viacom's Sumner Redstone as a "geriatric Viacom jerk."

Since Nikki follows CAA, I emailed her a tidbit and to my surprise -- and without my asking in the email -- she called to follow up.

The result was a wide ranging conversation about a great many things, and I can say I learned a great deal about how Hollywood, and Ms. Finke, work. But most important to me is that she's a funny, gregarious, and nice person who I hope I'm able to get to know better in my life.

I do disagree with some of the character descriptions I've seen of her online. She does have a lot to say, and If one's smart, they'll listen. I do. But also, I'm not on the wrong side of her wrath and don't plan on being there.

She's got a book coming out, she told me. If I recall it's on Hollywood Agent / Mogul Michael Ovitz, of whom she's a total expert and can give a running account of his life and business deals in a short period of time. Impressive.

Du'a Khalil Aswad Killed For Converting To Islam to Marry Muslim - Video Report

This is one of the most terrible acts of violence and examples of a person's inhumanity toward another person I've ever seen in my life. Du'a Khalil Aswad is a 17-year old woman stoned to death by a crowd of Iraqi men just for and only for converting to Islam to marry a Muslim boy. The video - which shows the crowd of men -- is below.

Friday, May 18, 2007

About Gary Bauer - Bauer's Worldwide Transportation CEO - San Francisco, CA

The SF Examiner captures Bauer's Worldwide Transportation's President Gary Bauer in this story. He's going to become the king of Hybrid Cars if he keeps this up!

Gary Bauer: From high school entrepreneur to limo executive

(Jason Steinberg/Special to The Examiner)

Gary Bauer is the president and CEO of Bauer’s Worldwide Transportation, which operates a fleet of 135 luxury vehicles.
SAN FRANCISCO (Map, News) - While most kids his age were lazing idly and sleeping in late, Gary Bauer, founder of Bauer’s Worldwide Transportation, was taking a decidedly different approach.

As a precocious high school student, Bauer was already operating his own landscaping company in Marin County during the day, and transporting his buddies at night in a Cadillac he bought for $3,000.

“I would do landscaping from 6 in the morning to 6 at night, and drive the Cadillac from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.” said Bauer, who grew up in Novato and now lives in Foster City. “I would get about three hours a sleep a night, six days a week.”

Now, with a fleet of 135 luxury vehicles, including state-of-the-art business shuttles, stretch Navigators and San Francisco Cable Cars, Bauer can afford to sleep a little more, and he does — by his admission, he’s getting “four hours of sleep a night.”

Bauer’s transportation service began with the aforementioned Cadillac and steadily grew exponentially. In 1994, Bauer moved his company from Marin County to 17th Street and Harrison in San Francisco, and in 2000, he relocated to Pier 27, where the business operates with 165 employees, including 110 trained chauffeurs who transport 12,00 people daily.

Bauer’s Worldwide Transportation has exclusive partnerships with major sports franchises in the Bay Area and an extensive program shuttling workers to the Google Inc. (GOOG) complex in Silicon Valley.

Along with continually expanding his transportation service, Bauer also created California Coach Sales, which customizes vehicles and pioneered models such as the stretch Navigator and Hummer.

His work ethic aside, Bauer’s most impressive attribute may be his progressive environmental advocacy. Highlighting his company’s “Corporate Green Initiative” is the fact that 85 percent of the miles his vehicles travel do so with alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, biodiesel and propane. He is looking into other outlets such as hybrids and electric vehicles.

“We think it’s very important to promote responsible environmental practices,” Bauer said. “Ever since I started my landscaping business, I’ve always wanted to maintain a strong support for a healthy environment.”

Along with using eco-friendly alternative fuels, Bauer has also created SaveIt, a charitable outlet that donates proceeds of the company’s profits to help build and maintain parks and green spaces in various Bay Area communities.

“SaveIt is a way of giving back to the areas that use our services,” Bauer said. “We know were in the position to create positive change, and we want to continue to do so.”

Last project: Consolidating hotel shuttles around SFO to reduce emissions and congestion

Number of e-mails a day: 200

Voicemails: 65

Web site: Google

Perks: Meeting exciting influential people in the business world

Education: San Diego State University

Last conference: National Limousine Association — Day on Capitol Hill

First job: Window cleaning

Original aspirations: Financial investor

Career objective: To continue the growth of our “Green Initiatives” by being a leader within the corporate transportation industry

Age: 37

Height: 5’11”

Likes: Positive, upbeat, motivated individuals

Hometown: Novato

Sports/Hobbies: Jet Ski riding, water skiing, boating and snowskiing

Transpiration: Lexus hybrid

Favorite restaurant: Slanted Door

Computer: Toshiba Satellite

Vacation spot: Bahamas

Favorite clothier: Custom-made suits

Role model: Anthony Robbins

Reading: Business systems and motivational books

Motivation: Seeing my team excel on a daily basis

Mutual Interest Between Titans & Keyshawn Johnson

Mutual Interest Between Titans, Keyshawn
AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans need an experienced receiver to help Vince Young, and said Thursday they are interested in veteran Keyshawn Johnson. "There's mutual interest I'd say right now," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I think we'll probably look into the possibility of pursuing things. Where that goes, I can't tell you."

Johnson will visit the Titans on Friday. His relationship with Fisher goes back to Southern California, when the coach played for the Trojans and Johnson was a ball boy.

"I know Jeff, but I don't know the organization and I don't know the makeup of the team and the coaching staff. I know a little bit about Norm Chow. I know Norm from college. At the same time, I want to make sure everything's the right fit," Johnson said.

"I was in a situation last year I thought was the right situation, and wind up a year later going in another direction. I want to make sure it's something everybody is committed to for the next couple of years. They're committed to me, and I'm committed to them, whoever it is I go play for."

The Carolina Panthers released Johnson, who turns 35 in July, earlier this month after drafting Dwayne Jarrett. He had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns last season and became the 16th player in NFL history with 800 career catches.

His 70 catches for 2006 easily tops the receptions of all the receivers currently on the Titans' roster who played in the NFL last year.

Center Kevin Mawae, who played with Johnson when both were with the New York Jets, said he wasn't sure if Johnson's personality -- which earned him the nickname Me-Shawn -- would click with the young Titans.

"One thing I do know about Keyshawn, he's absolutely an incredible athlete and a wonderful receiver. The guy works harder than most guys in this league," Mawae said. "He plays hard and he practices hard. That's the kind of guy you need in this locker room."

Young called Johnson a great receiver who would be welcomed.

"I really feel like he could come in and help some of the young guys at receiver and then also come in and help us," Young said.

David Givens is the Titans' only receiver with more than five seasons in the NFL and the only one with more than 65 career catches (166). But he had a second surgery on his left knee seven weeks ago and isn't expected to be ready for the start of the season.

The Titans' receivers include Justin Gage, a four-year veteran signed as a free agent who has 64 career catches; a trio of players drafted in 2005 led by Brandon Jones with 27 catches in 2006; and another trio of draft picks last month -- none taken before the third round.

Compare that to the 6-foot-4 Johnson, who was the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft. He spent last season with Carolina after being released by the Dallas Cowboys to free up enough salary cap space to sign Terrell Owens.

Johnson said last year he wants to play a couple of more seasons to reach 1,000 career receptions. But productivity has never been his problem.

He clashed with Jets teammates and wrote the book "Just Give Me the Damn Ball" after his rookie season.

Mawae was a teammate in New York in 1998 and 1999 and still remembers Johnson's feud with fellow receiver Wayne Chrebet.

"I'd like to think everybody has matured since then. I know Keyshawn's a great player, and that's ultimately what you need in this locker room -- a great player and a guy who comes in and works hard with a great ethic," Mawae said.

Johnson helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl in 2002, only to be deactivated for the final six games the next season after feuding with coach Jon Gruden.
I'm happy to See "Key" find a place. Even though he is "outspoken" is nowhere near the issue maker that T.O. Is. I also feel after having talked with "Key" Briefly at the draft, that he has matured somewhat. He deserves more then a legit shot at his "1,000 Catches." He can Only make Vince Young a better QB as well. We all know The Titans need the help on offense.......


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Michael Buble - Why Are People Writing About Him?

I've got to admit, I've never heard of Michael Buble until now, and that's due to Technorati and the people blogging about him. But why are they blogging about him? Well, here's a video of him singing. If you want concert tickets, just click on the title of this post.

Give Paris Hilton a Break! - Why Not Just House Arrest?

ALERT: Paris Hilton released arrest!

Ok. I know some of you want Paris Hilton to go to jail. But the reasons are a little perverse to me. So she's rich? Big deal. Many of you -- and you know who you are -- use that reason, as if it's a badge of honor. I've got news. It's not.

Paris Hilton should not go to jail.

Paris Hilton is not one of us. She's a celebrity with a personal brand , and in the prison system that could equal harm. I know some of you point to Martha Stewart, but that was a totally different setting -- not a common jail at all. And I'm glad you brought that up, because Martha Stewart did more time for a greater offense than Paris. This is Paris first "taste" of jail -- why not just house arrest? Why 23-days or 45 - days in a jail? What's the deal?

Jealously. That's the deal. And that's stupid.

Look, just because someone has what you and i both know you and I want -- don't lie -- is no reason to want to punish them. Indeed, why not celebrate them? Isn't that what it means to be a celebrity? If that's what you want for youself, know what you should do? Make videos. Get a business card set. Meet as many people as possible and maintain those relationships, regardless. If you don't do that, don't complain. It's the game.

Keep Paris out of jail. Send her home.

How NFL Tells JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn How To Win In League -

This is part of the NFL's effort to better endoctrinate rookies into the League.

280 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000 * FAX (212) 681-7573
Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations
AFC-N-2 5/16/07 CONTACT: STEVE ALIC (212/450-2066)


Fresh out of college and starting their first job, new recruits tend to sit and observe in the background before building a
boardroom presence. Once NFL rookies are handed a key card to their new workplace – a 100-yard football field -- they
are to immediately boost their company’s bottom line. And that bottom line is winning games.

Says Tennessee Titans head coach JEFF FISHER: “The key is getting them past the idea that they are ‘just rookies’ and
convincing them that they can help us win games early in the season.”

Here’s how some NFL coaches get that idea through to their youngest and newest players:

Herm Edwards,
Kansas City Chiefs “I tell them that the league is ever-changing and that every player before them, at one point in their career, was a rookie. They were actually rookies – they didn’t just grow up being pro
football players. They went through the same type of situations that you are going to go
through and they were successful. As a rookie, when you come in, the first thing that you have
to understand is that your talent alone gets you here. How you work, study and prepare is
what keeps you here.”
Dick Jauron,
Buffalo Bills “We treat them pretty much like we treat everyone else on our football team. We do talk about the fact that they need to show up quickly as everybody in camp does. They need to compete
from the very first moment on and that we do not have a lot of time. There is a sense of
urgency in everything that they do and that we do. They get right to work and we treat them
like they are part of it until they prove to us or show us that they are not part of it.”
Jack Del Rio,
Jacksonville Jaguars “We work hard to let them learn what our fundamentals are, what the principles of our offense and defense are so they have a chance to let their athleticism take over. I think the one thing
that we really pride ourselves on is preparing guys to utilize what they can do. While we are
working on making them complete players, we like to find things that they can do and a role
that they can have.”

Heeding their coaches’ words, rookies blossom into contributors and 2006 was no exception. Entering minicamps as
second-year veterans in 2007, below is insight from 2006 rookies illustrating when they knew they could help their teams

WR Marques Colston,
New Orleans Saints “It was a gradual process. I didn’t have a great minicamp and realized right away that I needed to change some things and get ready for training camp. I worked hard to get into the best
possible shape that I could get in. My goal was to just keep improving and take the coaching
and apply it to the field and become someone that the coaches and other players could depend
on. I was aware that I was getting more and more reps and eventually I was in with the
starters and didn’t want to let that opportunity go. It wasn’t something that happened overnight;
rather it was a day-to-day situation that required hard work and being reliable and dependable.”
LB Clint Ingram,
Jacksonville Jaguars “I think I was ready once they put me out there on the field and I strapped on my helmet. I still knew I was a rookie as far as rank and year, but it wasn’t like the person on the other side of
the ball was going to say, ‘That’s only a rookie going against me – let me take it easy on him.’
As soon as I got on the field with everybody else, all that rookie stuff went aside and I was just
like everybody else.”
RB Jerious Norwood,
Atlanta Falcons “I came into the league feeling that I would be able to play on this level. In our last preseason game I broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. I gained 104 yards on nine carries
and that is when I knew that everyone saw that I could contribute as a rookie.”
QB Vince Young,
Tennessee Titans “I felt like a rookie for just about the whole season, but once we started winning I knew we were building something as a team. I’d say the Giants’ game (11/26), coming back and winning that
one (overcoming a 21-0 deficit), was when it really hit.”

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets
By Associated Press

LONDON -- The first regular season NFL game outside North America is shaping up as a hot ticket.

The first 40,000 tickets for the Oct. 28 game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at the new Wembley Stadium sold in 90 minutes Wednesday.

"The speed in which such a large number of tickets were snapped up ... demonstrates the great excitement and appetite for the game in this country," said Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK. "We know that the last few tickets available in this first batch will be gone very soon."

The first batch of tickets went to fans in Britain and the rest of Europe selected randomly from registered ticket requests.

Sales in the United States to Giants and Dolphins fans are expected to begin within a week. Further tickets will be released to fans in Britain next month.

About 10,000 fans are expected to travel from the United States, a fraction of the anticipated sellout crowd of 90,000.

Prices range from about US$90 (euro66.50) to US$180 (euro133), using a pricing structure similar to this weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice- AP

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Social Buzz
AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- Reggie Bush wanted to get away from football for a while to -- as he put it -- relax and be normal. Of course, when talking about a rising NFL star who has the looks, charisma and wealth to complement his mesmerizing talent, normal is a relative term.

For Bush, it meant appearing in one of R&B singer Ciara's music videos, dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a White House correspondent's dinner, filming a commercial with David Beckham in Spain, an appearance in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star weekend, partying at the Playboy mansion and otherwise enjoying life in his $5 million Hollywood home.

On Tuesday, the native Californian was back in New Orleans, where most of his teammates have been working out together for over a month.

The Saints gave their young star some leeway to enjoy the trappings of his first offseason as a pro, and Bush confidently predicted they wouldn't regret it.

"I expect to improve on last year," Bush said. "I don't have a number, but I definitely expect to be a lot better than last year and help my team get to the Super Bowl."

The Saints came one victory shy of reaching the Super Bowl last season, appearing in an NFC championship game for the first time in the franchise's four-decade history.

Bush played no small part in that. As both a running back and receiver, he gained over 1,300 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season. As he adapted to the speed and complexity of the NFL, the uncanny quickness and agility that helped him win the Heisman Trophy at Southern California began to show itself.

There was the 65-yard touchdown on a punt return against Tampa Bay in midseason, the 65-yard score on a screen pass at Dallas in December. And in the playoffs, there was the 88-yard touchdown in Chicago, during which he grabbed a short pass, outran numerous pursuers while cutting across the entire width of the field, pointed back triumphantly at linebacker Brian Urlacher, and then launched into a forward somersault across the goal line.

Performances like that only increased the attention he received during the past few months, and it wasn't always to his liking.

He said he enjoyed attending a party at the Playboy mansion, where it seemed to him that he was asked to be in more photos than many of the women there. Soon after, however, a Los Angeles publication reported he had been banned from the mansion for an unspecified conduct violation, which Bush denied.

"I don't even know where or what happened or why somebody would even ... write a story like that," Bush said. "I was at the Playboy mansion ... I had a great time and that's really all it was."

Bush chalked it up as a lesson of how difficult it can be for celebrities to control rumors.

"The story's already out there, so what are you going to do?" Bush said. "It's the way of the world and I've learned to just grow thick skin toward it and not play into it and just live my life the way I have been."

Bush, who first returned to New Orleans late last weekend, said he had one more short trip out of town planned this week before rejoining teammates here on Monday for offseason workouts leading up to minicamp in June.

It will mark the end of a lot of recent traveling. His trip to Spain also was his first trip to Europe.

Scheduling preventing him from seeing a soccer game, but he did catch a bull fight, which gave him a new perspective on showmanship and contact sports.

"Just seeing how close the bulls come to almost killing these guys, you know, it's a different type of sport," Bush said.

With a self-effacing laugh, Bush acknowledged the matadors, "didn't point at the bull."

As for the rest of his offseason, Bush said being in a music video is something he's glad he tried once, but won't be inclined to do again.

"That was a great experience but it's just something that's not for me," Bush said.

"I'm done with basketball, too," he added, a reference to his appearance in a celebrity game in Las Vegas, during which he twisted his ankle.

Bush said the ankle is fine now and he is in excellent shape because of a new workout regimen he began in Los Angeles last February. It's called fre flo do (pronounced FREE-flow-doe), which Bush described as a Chinese-inspired type of training that builds strength with exercises focused on flexibility, quickness and endurance.

Like a number of new-age physical fitness genres that seem to thrive in California, fre flo do also has a meditative and spiritual component.

Bush said he likes it because it plays to his strengths as an athlete.

"You know, some of my plays last longer than the average play, so I'm trying to simulate that ... going beyond the average time within a workout," he said.

Going into his second season, Bush already plays well beyond the level of an average running back. But when addressing his expectations for this season, he didn't want to talk about yardage and touchdowns.

"I've never been big on setting personal goals. The only thing I care about is Super Bowls," Bush said. "Your legacy is based on championships -- how many championships you win -- and you remember guys like Michael Jordan and Walter Payton and even a Tom Brady. That's the kind of caliber athlete I want to be remembered as. So that's what I shoot for when I'm training."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ron Paul Wins Poll Again - Takes Fox Poll After Debate

Rep. Ron Paul has done it again, confounding and even angering the conservative pundits who've focused on Rudy Giuliani and other front runners in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Ron Paul made a statement that the U.S involvement in the Mid East was the reason for 9-11. Even though it's controversial, it's true.

Demand for NFL Game at Wembley Stadium is High

Demand for NFL Game at Wembley High
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK -- The grousing by some NFL fans over the first regular-season game to be played overseas might not be limited to this side of the Atlantic.

More than half a million ticket requests poured in soon after commissioner Roger Goodell announced the New York Giants would play the Miami Dolphins at the new Wembley Stadium in London.

That outpouring of interest for the Oct. 28 contest means many die-hard fans -- not to mention the curious observers the game is intended to reach -- will be stuck watching on TV.

"This is a game for Europe and a game for hardcore fans of both teams," said Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK.

"The challenge we've got is to keep all the various stakeholders happy."

Ticket preference will go to season ticket holders and members of fan clubs, particularly in the United Kingdom. About 10,000 fans are expected to travel from the United States, only a fraction of the anticipated sellout crowd of 90,000.

Tickets go on sale in Europe on Monday and within the next week in the United States, but fewer than half will be immediately available. The rest will go on sale once team and league officials weigh the amount of interest the game generates among American fans and those abroad.

Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said the club has received about 3,500 requests.

"Not only has there been that response for initial tickets, when you look at our fan base that come to every game, then consider we have 120,000 people on our waiting list ... they also want to travel overseas," Tisch said.

Both teams have done research on how best to appropriate tickets, but Kirkwood admits that it comes down to "best guessing." How many tickets are ultimately available will also depend on the number purchased by a business tier of 15,000 people who have rights to purchase seats for any game played in the sparkling new stadium.

"What we're not going to have is the risk of unsold tickets out there," Kirkwood said, adding that about 2,000 will be reserved for general sale in the U.S. and Europe in September.

For those lucky enough to get a ticket, the game won't be cheap. Prices range from about $90 to $180, using a pricing structure similar to this weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

"When I was in Miami, one of the British journalists came up to me in the dour, sour way that most of the journalists have in Britain," London Mayor Ken Livingstone said. "He said, 'Wouldn't it be humiliating if there are a bunch of empty seats?' And I said, 'I suspect that won't be the case.'"

The game, which will kick off at 6 p.m. London time -- 1 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States -- comes after Arizona beat San Francisco in Mexico City in 2005. The league hopes to play regular-season games again in Mexico, as well as Canada and other cities in Europe in an effort to expand the game globally.

To accommodate the expansion, there has been increased discussion of replacing a preseason game with a regular-season game so that each team would play in a "foreign" market once a year without sacrificing a home game.

Tisch said that's an issue likely to come up at future owners meetings.

"We're all anxiously awaiting the start of the international games," Tisch said. "There is so much interest for this game that is emerging in lands far afield from the United States of America. We could easily add more international games to add to the fan base and the excitement of the NFL."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back In Action After A Mistaken Blogger Bot Block

That's right. This great blog system was the victim of a massive and mistaken block by Googlebots, thinking these were spam blogs. They're not. What Google must do is adjust it's bots so that they "see" mutliple writers and photos in posts.

Also, they should explain in detail what's triggering such behavior from the bots. As more and more of our economic activity moves online, it will be important for Google to make sure these errors occur less and less, if at all.

Rev. Jerry Falwell Dies At 73 Of Heart Failure - Sad Day

I happened to see an Internet post that Jerry Falwell was admitted to the hospital and hoped that -- actually thought he was going to come out OK. I guess I'm so used to having him around as part of the American Culture that the idea he could pass on was foreign to me.

Well, Rev. Falwell passed on.

Now, I'm not a fan of his as he was a massive supporter of President Regan. Moreover, I at first saw him as anti-Black because of his rhetoric and the racist habits of the 80s in the South. But when I write that, I mean I wasn't a fan of his poltiics. I actually came to see him as a person that was actually someone I'd like to meet. This view was cemented when I saw him on a CNN roundtable of ministers, some Black and others White, with Al Sharpton as one of the others.

The discussions were not argumentative and indeed, interesting. And it was during that program that I came to see Rev. Falwell as actually quite right in that he had a powerful belief in the Lord.

It's quite apparent the Lord called him to Heaven.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Goodell to NFL coaches: All access

Neil Best

Goodell to NFL coaches: All access
It's all but official now: Bill Parcells will not come out of retirement - ever.

Not if he reads a pointedly written memo in which the NFL updated media guidelines, tightening injury report rules, mandating regular access to assistants, liberalizing offseason access and much more.

Yikes! Call it Revenge of the Nerds MMVII.

The rules will most affect members of the paranoid Parcells/Bill Belichick coaching tree, two of whom happen to guide our local squads.

Tom Coughlin and Eric Mangini no longer will be permitted to bind and gag assistants when reporters are around. (Each had allowed severely limited access to assistants in the past; Coughlin was planning to open things up a bit in 2007 even before the directive.)

Fans and reporters can thank new commissioner Roger Goodell, a former Jets public relations intern who gets the concept that the news media is a conduit to paying customers, and that assistants can offer insights head coaches won't or can't.

The refined policy came out of meetings with the writers' association and was presented at the owners' meetings. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the commissioner "wanted more consistency and everybody operating at the same high level."

Any complaints from head coaches? "No," Aiello said.

Even Belichick? "No."

One rule seems aimed squarely at the Jets. It says a "credible" depth chart must be provided starting no later than the week of the preseason opener: "Listing players at each position on the depth chart in alphabetical order is prohibited."

Tommy Rowlands and Cole Konrad - Help wanted: Football background not required

Help wanted: Football background not required
Tom Rock

Football, apparently, is not a prerequisite for those trying to make the Jets this spring. Of the 30 players invited on a tryout basis to the three-day rookie minicamp, three of them did not play football in college and two of them have not played in nearly a decade.

NCAA heavyweight wrestling champions Tommy Rowlands from Ohio State and Cole Konrad from Minnesota, along with basketball player Jesse Pellot-Rosa from Virginia Commonwealth, found themselves on a football field for the first time in years yesterday. It's part of the Jets' no-stone-unturned philosophy when it comes to searching for talent.

"Whether it be wrestlers, basketball players, track athletes, Australian Rules football players, whoever it is, if they have core characteristics, good work ethic, intelligence, the things that we look for, then it's our job to teach them and their job to take advantage of the opportunity," Jets coach Eric Mangini said.

Pellot-Rosa, trying out as a wide receiver, was giving grief to his new teammates who had Duke in their NCAA bracket in March (VCU beat Duke in the first round). He last played football in prep school but was recruited by Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.

The wrestlers, though, have not suited up for football since eighth or ninth grade. In fact, suiting up may be a problem; both admitted they aren't sure where all of the pads fit on a football uniform. Rowlands said his mind was on training for the world championship qualifiers in June when the Jets called three days ago to invite him for a tryout. "I was shocked," he said. "I thought it was a prank call."

Rowlands and Konrad, roommates this weekend, often have battled each other on the mat, most recently at the national championships in Las Vegas in April. Rowlands won to take the No. 1 ranking. Rowlands is trying out as an outside linebacker; Konrad is trying out as an offensive lineman even though he had to be instructed on how to take a three-point stance.

"It's hard to feel natural. I don't have much of a background," said Konrad, the NCAA champ in 2006 and 2007 and winner of 76 straight matches. "They're mainly seeing if I have potential."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ricky Williams Tests Positive For Pot - Again!

This was just in from a phone call from Bill Chachkes and confirmed at ESPN: Ricky Williams tested positive for pot, and his doctors are recommending that his re-entry into the NFL be delayed.

I feel sorry for Ricky, as he apparently sees nothing wrong with taking a toke or two, but can't understand that the NFL does. If he wants to play in the NFL, he's going to have to stop taking his weed. It's that simple.

But then would he be able to hang with hot women? Well, I forgot, he has a significant other, ...who's that lady?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Raiders Exec Mike Lombardi Fired; Raiders May Select Mike Mayock Or Pat Kirwan

This just happened on Wednesday:

Posted by Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer on Wednesday at 12:15 pm
Personnel executive Mike Lombardi is out in Oakland, which at this point is like reporting spring will give way to summer next month.

In other words, no surprises, and also no way to know how it affects the Raiders because of their method of operation.

Lombardi joined the Raiders personnel department in 1999, eventually ascending to "senior personnel executive." He took over some of the duties of senior assistant Bruce Allen upon Allen's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so it's clear he was a valued member of the organization by Al Davis.

Exactly how good Lombardi is as a personnel man is hard to determine because when it came to speaking on the record, he adhered to Oakland's in-house policy. There are those who believe Lombardi, along with now retired Chet Franklin, were at the core of Oakland's ability to land veteran free agents at bargain prices when the team won three consecutive division titles from 2000 through 2002.

But since he was never out front and open like the 49ers Scot McCloughan, or others in the league, the credit basically went to Davis and Jon Gruden. Davis, after all, makes the final call. Only he knows how much he leaned on Lombardi, and he's not saying.

Lombardi's slow exit began the moment Bobby Petrino turned down the job as Raiders head coach. It was Lombardi who gave Davis the hard sell, with Petrino even being offered the job.

Jerry also reports that the Raiders have considered hiring Mike Mayock and Pat Kirwan of the NFL Network and, respectively. But the real burning question is what caused the Silver and Black to start looking around, first, then dump Lombardi?

Petaluma High School My Space Threats By East Coast Teen - SF Chron

This goes to show that you can't hide, even on the Internet. They got him.

Cops say East Coast teen admits MySpace threats

Warnings about shooting people at Petaluma High School keep 2/3 of students away

Jim Herron Zamora and Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

(05-09) 19:55 PDT PETALUMA -- Petaluma police said a 17-year-old boy from the East Coast admitted to posting prank MySpace messages -- threatening to shoot people at Petaluma High School -- that caused about two thirds of students to miss classes Wednesday.
Police said that the boy, who was not named, admitted using a stolen password to hack into the MySpace page of at least one Petaluma High School student and using the account to send prank messages on Tuesday night vowing to bring a gun to school Wednesday to shoot enough people to exceed the 33 deaths at Virginia Tech last month.
Late Tuesday, investigators traced the threats to a person 3,000 miles away, but police and school officials still took the matter seriously and warned parents. Educators decided not to cancel classes but they did beef up security and lock down the campus.
The message said:"Listen up you people, I'm sick of all your s -- . Tomorrow I'm going to school strapped and none of you can do anything to stop me. I'm beating the high score of 33 thanks to you f -- ."
Police said that the prankster, who was not arrested but will likely face criminal charges, is one of several internet users who have obtained passwords "for a variety of MySpace accounts." Police said the prankster told them that a number of other internet users have used the passwords to "post inappropriate and possibly criminal data" on the popular social networking site.
The prankster's threats were posted and re-posted to about 300 other Petaluma students with MySpace accounts, school administrators said.
The East Coast boy has no connection to Petaluma, police said in a statement, "and he had no intention of carrying out any violence."
Police declined to discuss what criminal charges the youth may face. He could possibly be prosecuted under federal or state law.
School administrators said they had to take the threats seriously and enacted an emergency plan.
"The police let us know (Tuesday) night that they had some leads that linked this to the East Coast, but we had to respect the police investigation and treat this as a potentially serious threat," said Dave Rose, head of student services for Petaluma City Schools. "Had this been clearly a threat we would have closed down the school totally."
Police and school officials posted several alerts on the school's web-site on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Administrators also received nearly 400 phone calls from concerned parents before school Wednesday.
As a result, only about half of the 1,650 students showed up for first-period classes. That dwindled to about 35 percent by second period because many parents pulled their children out of school because of the threats.

Petaluma High School My Space Threats By East Coast Teen - SF Chron

This goes to show that you can't hide, even on the Internet. They got him.

Cops say East Coast teen admits MySpace threats
Warnings about shooting people at Petaluma High School keep 2/3 of students away
Jim Herron Zamora and Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

(05-09) 19:55 PDT PETALUMA -- Petaluma police said a 17-year-old boy from the East Coast admitted to posting prank MySpace messages -- threatening to shoot people at Petaluma High School -- that caused about two thirds of students to miss classes Wednesday.
Police said that the boy, who was not named, admitted using a stolen password to hack into the MySpace page of at least one Petaluma High School student and using the account to send prank messages on Tuesday night vowing to bring a gun to school Wednesday to shoot enough people to exceed the 33 deaths at Virginia Tech last month.
Late Tuesday, investigators traced the threats to a person 3,000 miles away, but police and school officials still took the matter seriously and warned parents. Educators decided not to cancel classes but they did beef up security and lock down the campus.
The message said:"Listen up you people, I'm sick of all your s -- . Tomorrow I'm going to school strapped and none of you can do anything to stop me. I'm beating the high score of 33 thanks to you f -- ."
Police said that the prankster, who was not arrested but will likely face criminal charges, is one of several internet users who have obtained passwords "for a variety of MySpace accounts." Police said the prankster told them that a number of other internet users have used the passwords to "post inappropriate and possibly criminal data" on the popular social networking site.
The prankster's threats were posted and re-posted to about 300 other Petaluma students with MySpace accounts, school administrators said.
The East Coast boy has no connection to Petaluma, police said in a statement, "and he had no intention of carrying out any violence."
Police declined to discuss what criminal charges the youth may face. He could possibly be prosecuted under federal or state law.
School administrators said they had to take the threats seriously and enacted an emergency plan.
"The police let us know (Tuesday) night that they had some leads that linked this to the East Coast, but we had to respect the police investigation and treat this as a potentially serious threat," said Dave Rose, head of student services for Petaluma City Schools. "Had this been clearly a threat we would have closed down the school totally."
Police and school officials posted several alerts on the school's web-site on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Administrators also received nearly 400 phone calls from concerned parents before school Wednesday.
As a result, only about half of the 1,650 students showed up for first-period classes. That dwindled to about 35 percent by second period because many parents pulled their children out of school because of the threats.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Peter Chernin (COO News Corp.) and Jeff Zucker (CEO NBC Universal) Can't Sink YouTube

I saw this bit of news at TechCrunch:

The rumors of a joint venture to counter the perceived Google-YouTube threat, dubbed “Clown Co.” by Google executives, are now confirmed, although the name of the new company is not yet available. In a press release, Peter Chernin (COO News Corp.) and Jeff Zucker (CEO NBC Universal) are announcing “launch the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled with the most sought-after content from television and film.” Content from at least a dozen TV networks and two major film studios is promised. Initial distribution partners include AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.

Chernin says they will have access to “the entire U.S. audience” at launch. The service is promised for this summer, with “thousands of hours” of full length televisions shows and movies, as well as shorter clips. Users will have unlimited and free access to content on the site.

Good content lineup:

At launch, full episodes and clips from current hit shows, including Heroes, 24, House, My Name Is Earl, Saturday Night Live, Friday Night Lights, The Riches, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show, Prison Break, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader and Top Chef, plus hits from the studios’ vast television libraries, will be available free, on an ad-supported basis, within a rich consumer experience featuring personalized video playlists, mashups, online communities and video search. Plus, the extensive programming lineup will include fan favorite films like Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada, The Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy with bonus materials and movie trailers. Post-launch, plans will be considered for acquiring additional content as well as producing and licensing original programming for the new site’s audience.

The content will be provided through distribution partners through a customized embeddable player.

I'm gong to call it "Clown Co" too, because these bozos think that people -- the YouTube demographic -- are going to flock to this new venture just because it exists and has TV content.

Hell no. And the simple fact that they think this is an example of how the control culture thinks. In other words, they believe you want their content so bad, you're going to avoid visting YouTube to get it. The reason this is wrong in embeded in why YouTube was started in the first place -- as a way to get personal videos -- not TV shows -- distributed.

What Clown Co's doing is fitting old wine in a new bottle and it will not sell. The reason is that the novelty and ease of user-generated content will not end. Plus, with Apple TV and its competitors, people have better ways to see their self-made TV shows, and do that as much or more than looking at Clown Co's site.

Watch. This is going to be a major embarassment for the founders of Clown Co.

Petaluma High Students Get Death Threat On MySpace

This is scary, and an example of just how sick our society has become. Virginia Tech, combined with our communications system, has produced copycats. Sick.

MySpace hacker posts menacing statements to Petaluma High students

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

(05-09) 09:18 PDT PETALUMA -- Someone hacked into the MySpace pages of several Petaluma High School students Tuesday night and posted statements on the networking Web site threatening to bring a gun to school today and kill people.

Police are asking parents, students and officials at Petaluma High School to help them identify the suspect today. Education officials said school remains in session, and there is extra police presence on campus.

The threats referenced April's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech, and warned students to stay home from school today.

Petaluma Police Sgt. Marty Frye said police sent out a "school alert" to employees and parents detailing the threats and stating that investigators do not know if it is valid.

According to the alert, the suspect wrote, "Listen up you people, I'm sick of all your s -- . Tomorrow I'm going to school strapped and none of you can do anything to stop me. I'm beating the high score of 33 thanks to you f -- ."

The person also went on to make additional statements in which they threatened to bring a gun to school and repeatedly referenced the Virginia Tech shootings, which left 33 people, including the shooter, dead.

Frye said it appears the suspect gained access to several Petaluma High School students' MySpace pages by hacking into the accounts and sent the messages without those people's knowledge.

Internet providers are cooperating with detectives and working to track down the origin of the messages, he added.

Petaluma City Schools deputy superintendent Steve Bolman said classes are continuing as normal.

"School is in session," he said. "We do have officers on campus, and students are being encouraged to stay in class."

Visit To Ground Zero - New York City

My good friend Bill Chachkes gave me an impromptu first-time tour of Ground Zero in New York City. The site is right next to the building that employed his father for 21 of his 34 years with the New York police force.

Bill's tour is a personal one- he lost two friends in the 9/11 disaster and saw a building his father said would never come down, come down.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Panthers Sign WR Steve Smith to 3-Year Extension

Panthers Sign Smith to 3-Year Extension

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Receiver Steve Smith agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday in a deal that will keep him with the team through the 2012 season.

His agent, Derrick Fox, said he wasn't authorized to release exact figures, but said Smith's new deal makes him among the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

"Steve wanted to complete his career with the Panthers and bring Carolina a Super Bowl," Fox said. "This gives him peace of mind."

The 28-year-old Smith had three years left on a six-year, $27 million contract. He was scheduled to make $3.l, $3.6 and $4.2 million over the next three seasons, but now will make significantly more.

Smith had been hoping to get a new deal for some time and the Panthers had made a long-term deal one of their top priorities after they released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson last week.

Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFL with 103 catches for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005. Fox said negotiations with general manager Marty Hurney began after that season.

"When he had the Triple Crown season, Marty came to us and said he had outplayed his contract," Fox said. "But it was a hard process, because he was just two years in (to a six-year contract)."

Smith's numbers declined last season. He missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, and finished with 20 fewer catches, 400 fewer receiving yards and four fewer touchdowns and Carolina finished a disappointing 8-8.

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning was fired, and Smith said at last weekend's minicamp that he was pleased with new coordinator Jeff Davidson's offense. Davidson had said he wanted to find new ways to get Smith the ball.

Smith was Carolina's third-round pick in 2001. Used primarily as a kick returner as a rookie, Smith became Carolina's go-to receiver in their Super Bowl season in 2003.

DNC Chair Governor Howard Dean, M.D. In SF May 9th - DNC Fundraiser, Palace Hotel

Howard Dean's coming to San Francisco for a fundraiser on May 9th. Click here for more details!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Paris Hilton Supporters Have Petition To Protest Jail Term

As you may know, Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45-days in jail for violating probation. She's to appear at the LA County facility before June 5th, which gives her about a month or so.

A group of supporters is circulating an online petition to keep her out of jail. I'd wish they'd do the same for others who have less money.

You think Akon will get 45-days for what he did? Nope. Just shows you how screwed up society is.

Video - Akon Dry Humps Underage Girl In Trinidad - Acts Stupidly; Crowd Eggs Him On

There's much being made of the video that captures rapper Akon -- who I'd never heard of until now -- forceably dry humping a woman later to be identified as underage. If you've not seen the video, it's presented below. Apparently, it was on YouTube, but taken down for "copywrite violations" -- any company that would claim protection of this is nuts to begin with.

For YouTube's part, they should fight back with the claim that this is public information about a public figure and thus falls outside the copywrite argument. As to the video itself, it's caused another attack on rap, but this time I think people are missing the point. What's on display here is a mob mentality and the pornification of American culture.

Look, while Akon was certainly criminal in his behavior it's not like the young lady ran off the stage, which she should have done at first. But she would not; in the video she just lays there waiting for him at first. Both are to blame here; it's like she wanted to see how far he would go, and he decided to go as far as he thought could.

I took a video at the LL Cool J concert at the ESPN Super Bowl Party, and got a stream of emails from women who claimed they were on stage and wanted a copy of the clip. The point being they want to be seen up there, and thus put up with whatever behavior the celebrity pushes on them, which is certainly what Akon did.

Now in the video, Akon does not really dry hump the woman at first -- he's actually over her as if he's doing pushups -- but as the crowd gets excited, then he goes nuts and too far with the act, when he should have stopped a long time ago.

To the young lady's defense, she had no idea of what was about to happen. She qas quoted as saying "This whole hip hop thing is a guise and I don't want any part of it. I don't want any part of it. Look at what I have to go through with one mistake that I made. My dad warned me every time and I didn't listen. I am sorry."

She accepts that she made a mistake. But Akon has not. That's terrible.

It's Akon's responsibility to be a gentleman due to his "power position" -- but instead, he violated that rule. Moreover, the crowd itself seemed to want it. Look for yourself. But what's even more disturbing is that he just ran off stage as if he knew that what he did was wrong. He does not see to her comfort; it looks like a complete rape, so that's what we'll call it.

But my question is if he's going to be prosecuted, it's not going to change the crowd. No one. Not the handlers of Akon. Not the spectators. No one stopped him. I think everyone on stage should be sued, not just Akon.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Paris Hilton gets 45 days in jail -- Why? - BBC News

I think the judge was sending Paris a message, as she's had not one, but two chances. The judge apparently thinks that Paris is under the idea that she's above the law. Perhaps this will change things, but considering that Paris is a celebrity, placing her in the condition of a standard jail could be considered a death sentence.

That's not right at all.

Paris Hilton gets 45 days in jail

Ms Hilton must start her jail term next month

A Los Angeles judge ruled she must start her sentence on 5 June and has no prospect of an early release.

Ms Hilton told the judge she was very sorry and that she would "pay complete attention to everything" from now on.

The socialite said she did not know her licence had been suspended when caught driving without headlights in February.

According to papers filed in Los Angeles' Superior Court, Ms Hilton was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers on 15 January and informed she was driving on a suspended licence.

The 26-year-old then reportedly signed a document acknowledging she was not allowed to drive.

I'm very sorry and from now on I'm going to pay complete attention to everything
Paris Hilton

On 27 February, she was stopped by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for speeding on Sunset Boulevard with her car's headlights off and charged with violating her probation.

Although Ms Hilton maintained she was not aware her licence had been suspended, court papers said the document she signed in January was found in her car's glove compartment.

She was also accused of failing to enrol in an alcohol education programme by a court-ordered deadline.

Late entrance

Ms Hilton was sentenced to three years' probation, fined $1,150 (£582), and lost her licence at the end of January after pleading no contest to a drink driving charge in September.

Despite prosecutors saying the heiress deserved a jail sentence prior to Friday's hearing, Ms Hilton arrived at the court at least 10 minutes late.

Hilton first gained notoriety for her constant partying as a teenager
One of the world's most photographed women, her arrival attracted a swarm of paparazzi at a courthouse whose most glamorous work usually consists of dealing with parking fines.

Her mother, Kathy, laughed when the demand for a custodial sentence was made during the prosecution's closing argument and asked Judge Michael Sauer for his autograph.

"I'm very sorry and from now on I'm going to pay complete attention to everything," Ms Hilton told the court before she was sentenced.

"I'm sorry and I did not do it on purpose at all," she said. But the judge was unmoved.

The 26-year-old heiress wept when the ruling was announced, and her mother shouted at the prosecutor: "You're pathetic."

One of Ms Hilton's lawyers said the jail sentence was unfair.

"To sentence Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail to me was uncalled for, inappropriate and bordered on the ludicrous. I think she was singled out because she's who she is," Howard Weitzman said.

If Ms Hilton does not report to jail on 5 June she will face 90 days behind bars.

Ms Hilton, heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, first gained notoriety for her constant partying as a teenager.

The BBC's David Willis says the austere surrounding of the all-women's detention centre will be a far cry from the five-star luxury the hotel heiress has become used to.

What her fellow inmates will make of her, and she of them, remains to be seen, our correspondent says.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Barack Obama Placed Under Secret Service Watch -

This is an example of how sick American Society is. To my knoweldge, for the first time, an American Presidential candidate has been placed under Secret Service watch, reportedly due to a threat on his life. The news came from CNN.

This is more proof that we as a society have a lot of work to do in correcting our course; it just makes me work harder to gt him elected.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NBA Officials Call Fouls On Black Players More Than White Players - NY Times

This is a terrible revelation, but logical considering the nature of prejudice.

May 2, 2007
Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls

An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.

A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.

Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at the Wharton School, and Joseph Price, a Cornell graduate student in economics, found a corresponding bias in which black officials called fouls more frequently against white players, though that tendency was not as strong. They went on to claim that the different rates at which fouls are called “is large enough that the probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by the racial composition of the refereeing crew assigned to the game.”

N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern said in a telephone interview that the league saw a draft copy of the paper last year, and was moved to do its own study this March using its own database of foul calls, which specifies which official called which foul.

“We think our cut at the data is more powerful, more robust, and demonstrates that there is no bias,” Mr. Stern said.

Three independent experts asked by The Times to examine the Wolfers-Price paper and materials released by the N.B.A. said they considered the Wolfers-Price argument far more sound. The N.B.A. denied a request for its underlying data, even with names of officials and players removed, because it feared that the league’s confidentiality agreement with referees could be violated if the identities were determined through box scores.

The paper by Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price has yet to undergo formal peer review before publication in an economic journal, but several prominent academic economists said it would contribute to the growing literature regarding subconscious racism in the workplace and elsewhere, such as in searches by the police.

The three experts who examined the Wolfers-Price paper and the N.B.A.’s materials were Ian Ayres of Yale Law School, the author of “Pervasive Prejudice?” and an expert in testing for how subtle racial bias, also known as implicit association, appears in interactions ranging from the setting of bail amounts to the tipping of taxi drivers; David Berri of California State University-Bakersfield, the author of “The Wages of Wins,” which analyzes sports issues using statistics; and Larry Katz of Harvard University, the senior editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

“I would be more surprised if it didn’t exist,” Mr. Ayres said of an implicit association bias in the N.B.A. “There’s a growing consensus that a large proportion of racialized decisions is not driven by any conscious race discrimination, but that it is often just driven by unconscious, or subconscious, attitudes. When you force people to make snap decisions, they often can’t keep themselves from subconsciously treating blacks different than whites, men different from women.”

Mr. Berri added: “It’s not about basketball — it’s about what happens in the world. This is just the nature of decision-making, and when you have an evaluation team that’s so different from those being evaluated. Given that your league is mostly African-American, maybe you should have more African-American referees — for the same reason that you don’t want mostly white police forces in primarily black neighborhoods.”

To investigate whether such bias has existed in sports, Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price examined data from publicly available box scores. They accounted for factors like the players’ positions, playing time and All-Star status; each group’s time on the court (black players played 83 percent of minutes, while 68 percent of officials were white); calls at home games and on the road; and other relevant data.

But they said they continued to find the same phenomenon: that players who were similar in all ways except skin color drew foul calls at a rate difference of up to 4 ½ percent depending on the racial composition of an N.B.A. game’s three-person referee crew.

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a vocal critic of his league’s officiating, said in a telephone interview after reading the paper: “We’re all human. We all have our own prejudice. That’s the point of doing statistical analysis. It bears it out in this application, as in a thousand others.”

Asked if he had ever suspected any racial bias among officials before reading the study, Mr. Cuban said, “No comment.”

Two veteran players who are African-American, Mike James of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Alan Henderson of the Philadelphia 76ers, each said that they did not think black or white officials had treated them differently.

“If that’s going on, then it’s something that needs to be dealt with,” James said. “But I’ve never seen it.”

Two African-American coaches, Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics and Maurice Cheeks of the Philadelphia 76ers, declined to comment on the paper’s claims. Rod Thorn, the president of the New Jersey Nets and formerly the N.B.A.’s executive vice president for basketball operations, said: “I don’t believe it. I think officials get the vast majority of calls right. They don’t get them all right. The vast majority of our players are black.”

Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price spend 41 pages accounting for such population disparities and more than a dozen other complicating factors.

For the 1991-92 through 2003-4 seasons, the authors analyzed every player’s box-score performance — minutes played, rebounds, shots made and missed, fouls and the like — in the context of the racial composition of the three-person crew refereeing that game. (The N.B.A. did not release its record of calls by specific officials to either Mr. Wolfers, Mr. Price or The Times, claiming it is kept for referee training purposes only.)

Mr. Wolfers said that he and Mr. Price classified each N.B.A. player and referee as either black or not black by assessing photographs and speaking with an anonymous former referee, and then using that information to predict how an official would view the player. About a dozen players could reasonably be placed in either category, but Mr. Wolfers said the classification of those players did not materially change the study’s findings.

During the 13-season period studied, black players played 83 percent of the minutes on the floor. With 68 percent of officials being white, three-person crews were either entirely white (30 percent of the time), had two white officials (47 percent), had two black officials (20 percent) or were entirely black (3 percent).

Mr. Stern said that the race of referees had never been considered when assembling crews for games.

With their database of almost 600,000 foul calls, Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price used a common statistical technique called multivariable regression analysis, which can identify correlations between different variables. The economists accounted for a wide range of factors: that centers, who tend to draw more fouls, were disproportionately white; that veteran players and All-Stars tended to draw foul calls at different rates than rookies and non-stars; whether the players were at home or on the road, as officials can be influenced by crowd noise; particular coaches on the sidelines; the players’ assertiveness on the court, as defined by their established rates of assists, steals, turnovers and other statistics; and more subtle factors like how some substitute players enter games specifically to commit fouls.

Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price examined whether otherwise similar black and white players had fouls-per-minute rates that varied with the racial makeup of the refereeing crew.

“Across all of these specifications,” they write, “we find that black players receive around 0.12-0.20 more fouls per 48 minutes played (an increase of 2 ½-4 ½ percent) when the number of white referees officiating a game increases from zero to three.”

Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price also report a statistically significant correlation with decreases in points, rebounds and assists, and a rise in turnovers, when players performed before primarily opposite-race officials.

“Player-performance appears to deteriorate at every margin when officiated by a larger fraction of opposite-race referees,” they write. The paper later notes no change in free-throw percentage. “We emphasize this result because this is the one on-court behavior that we expect to be unaffected by referee behavior.”

Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price claim that these changes are enough to affect game outcomes. Their results suggested that for each additional black starter a team had, relative to its opponent, a team’s chance of winning would decline from a theoretical 50 percent to 49 percent and so on, a concept mirrored by the game evidence: the team with the greater share of playing time by black players during those 13 years won 48.6 percent of games — a difference of about two victories in an 82-game season.

“Basically, it suggests that if you spray-painted one of your starters white, you’d win a few more games,” Mr. Wolfers said.

The N.B.A.’s reciprocal study was conducted by the Segal Company, the actuarial consulting firm which designed the in-house data-collection system the league uses to identify patterns for referee-training purposes, to test for evidence of bias. The league’s study was less formal and detailed than an academic paper, included foul calls for only two and a half seasons (from November 2004 through January 2007), and did not consider differences among players by position, veteran status and the like. But it did have the clear advantage of specifying which of the three referees blew his whistle on each foul.

The N.B.A. study reported no significant differences in how often white and black referees collectively called fouls on white and black players. Mr. Stern said he was therefore convinced “that there’s no demonstration of any bias here — based upon more robust and more data that was available to us because we keep that data.”

Added Joel Litvin, the league’s president for basketball operations, “I think the analysis that we did can stand on its own, so I don’t think our view of some of the things in Wolfers’s paper and some questions we have actually matter as much as the analysis we did.”

Mr. Litvin explained the N.B.A.’s refusal to release its underlying data for independent examination by saying: “Even our teams don’t know the data we collect as to a particular referee’s call tendencies on certain types of calls. There are good reasons for this. It’s proprietary. It’s personnel data at the end of the day.”

The percentage of black officials in the N.B.A. has increased in the past several years, to 38 percent of 60 officials this season from 34 percent of 58 officials two years ago. Mr. Stern and Mr. Litvin said that the rise was coincidental because the league does not consider race in the hiring process.

Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Price are scheduled to present their paper at the annual meetings of the Society of Labor Economists on Friday and the American Law and Economics Association on Sunday. They will then submit it to the National Bureau of Economic Research and for formal peer review before consideration by an economic journal.

Both men cautioned that the racial discrimination they claim to have found should be interpreted in the context of bias found in other parts of American society.

“There’s bias on the basketball court,” Mr. Wolfers said, “but less than when you’re trying to hail a cab at midnight.”

Pat Borzi contributed reporting from Minneapolis and John Eligon from East Rutherford, N.J.