Sunday, December 05, 2010

Raiders win over Chargers surprised NFL Network, Michael Irvin

Last week, NFL Network analysts danced all over a grave they prematurely dug for The Oakland Raiders, giving The Silver and Black no chance of beating the reported-to-be "red hot" San Diego Chargers in the then-upcoming contest in San Diego.

Now, after the Raiders 28 to 13 win, every NFL Network personality has egg on his face (can't say "or her" because no female personality made a statement against the Raiders last week), capped by former Dallas Cowboys NFL Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Michael Irvin's statement that he was "surprised" the Raiders beat the Chargers. Irvin believed the Chargers were the best team in the AFC.

Perhaps the NFL Network folks will recall the one statement many of them say many times a year: "Anything can happen on Sunday." Including that the Raiders would not just beat San Diego, but do so handily.


Just win baby. credits

Mike Florio
Online people correct each other often, but here's where it pays to be nice about it.'s Mike Florio, who's NFL blog has grown such that he sold it to NBC Sports and now has a deal where he works with the Peacock, credited for discovering that his mention of a story in the Denver Post was misinterpreted.

The result was a nice mention in

Thanks Mike and keep up the great work.

Wikileaks Julian Assange rape charge for not using condoms

Julian Assange
Update: more detail. Assange did use condoms, but in the case of Sofia, it "broke;" he did not use one with Anna Ardin or with Sofia on their second go at sex.

The Worldwide pursuit of Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange because of both a rape charge in Sweden and his release of now hundreds of thousands of classified documents, is due to a detail that must be reviewed.

According to The Raw Story and Crikey, Swedish prosecutors charge that while Mr. Assange did have consentual sex with his two accusers, he allegedly did not use a condom, which, according to The Herald Sun, is against Swedish law.  Thus, Swedish authorities are in the process of re-issuing the once-closed arrest warrant for Assange.

A person by the name of James D. Catlin, a lawyer in Melbourne, Australia marked as having represented Julian Assange for a month in October, said to Raw Story's Daniel Tencer that the Swedish authorities are "making it up as they go along." Here's part of what Catlin wrote today in

Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity....

The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for....

The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

Thus, the two accusers, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén are known to Catlin and now the World, as this is the first time I have seen two publications mention the women by name. In the case of Anna Ardin her Twitter account is still very much active to this writing, which, while this blog will not link to it, is quite a surprise considering the situation.

Overall this new information confirms what this blogger claimed in August, that the rape charges read of a smear campaign. This is what I wrote then:

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who's website has over 70,000 classified documents related to the War in Afghanistan, has been charged with alleged rape in Sweden. But a new item of information strongly indicates the report may be nothing more than a false claim.

As reported earlier at, a translation from the Swedish tabloid Expressen claims that two women, one in her 20s and the other in her 30s, came forward to police. But read of the initial report in the tabloid Expressen indicates that the charges amount to heresay evidence without a real claim as there's no official report.

The "charges" that now amount to "heresay evidence" surround the alleged non-use of a condom while having consensual sex with both women.   The real source of the overall problem, aside from the American Government's desire to silence him, seems to stem from Assange's apparent Playboy behavior in having sex with both women within four days.  According to Catlin, failing to use a condom in Sweden can be considered rape.

The charge that a condom was not used is backed by The Daily Mail UK.  In reporting the contents of the police report that was filed, this is noted by the news publication:

According to a police source: ‘They had a discussion and decided it would be OK to share the living space, then went out together for dinner.
'When they got back they had sexual relations, but there was a problem with the condom - it had split.
'She seemed to think that he had done this deliberately but he insisted that it was an accident.’
Whatever her views about the incident, she appeared relaxed and untroubled at the seminar the next day where Assange met Woman B, another pretty blonde, also in her 20s, but younger than Woman A.
In her police statement, Woman B described how, in the wake of the Afghanistan leaks, she saw Assange being interviewed on television and became instantly fascinated - some might even say obsessed.
She said she thought him ‘interesting, brave and admirable’.
Over the following two weeks she read everything she could find about him on the internet and followed news reports about his activities.
She discovered that he would be visiting Sweden to give a seminar, so she emailed the organisers to offer her help.
She registered to attend and booked the Saturday off work.

The Daily Mail account goes on to describe "Woman B" as "keen to get Julian’s attention," but after proving a power source for his computer observed that he seemed more interested in the computer than her. Eventually, even though she didn't want to have sex with him, without a condom, they did.

The next morning, she reportedly went shopping to make breakfast for Julian.

The problem compounded when, after promising to call her, he did not do so and Assange allegedly did not answer calls from her.

Upset, Woman B managed to contact Woman A, whom she met at the same event after having sex with Julian. They "compared notes" and determined that both had unprotected sex with Assange. Fearing transmission of an STD, the claim was they both asked him to take a test and he refused.  (Which calls into question the claim that he did not call or take calls from Woman B.  Confusing.)

This is all according to The Daily Mail.

Here's Catlin sheds more light on the story.

But then neither Arden nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.

From a bird's eye view there are still many unanswered questions. For example, why was it so important for Woman B to bring herself to Julian's attention the next day after he had sex with Woman A, who was at the same event, and why didn't Woman A act in any way at the event to give a hint that she'd been with Mr. Assange?

Also, neither woman complained to police, but approached them for advice, then, and this is confirmed by Swedish prosecutors in a number of publications, bragged about what's described as "their conquest."

Just a question?

Whatever the case, it's clear that American mainstream media has not gone into this level of depth on the Assange rape case story. As usual, we have to go to blogs and the European media, while Google News helps The Associated Press. Awful.

(See this interview by Sam Bungey)

Facebook Character Profile Photo Controversy

Many may notice that friends on Facebook are using photos of cartoon characters instead of their actual photos. This craze has become controversial - the original idea was that somehow making a cartoon character a profile picture it would help against child abuse, but now there are speculations that the reason for it is so that pedophiles can become friends with children easier.

Some people didn't even realize there was a reason behind it and just felt like hopping on the bandwagon for the fun of it.

No one can find the source that advocated this campaign for child abuse awareness or the one for the pedophile claim.

It has even been reported by Zap2it that Lady Gaga may be the reason behind it all :

This weekend, Lady Gaga is in a fight against child abuse by using a cartoon character pic on her Facebook profile to show sympathy for the cause that has become an impactful Internet sensation with celebrities and regular folk too. During this short campaign that ends Tuesday, December 7, Gaga shows her support through the Muppet character Animal.

Other celebrities that are participating in this are Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, Jonas Brothers and Vin Diesel.

The Atlantic posts:

Campaign to End Violence Against Children is asking users to change their profile pictures to their favorite childhood cartoon to raise awareness about "Worldwide Violence Against Children and Child Abuse." To ensure that your friends get the message, the cause also asks that users post this status--or something like it--along with the change:

Change your FB Profile Picture to a Cartoon from your childhood. The goal is to not see a human face on FB till Monday December 6th. Support the fight against child abuse by copying and pasting this as your status and joining this group to support this sometimes over looked cause! Invite friends to join and do the same.

Mashable notes that National Child Abuse Prevention month is not until April:

From Mashable
The origins of this campaign remain a mystery, as it doesn’t seem to be affiliated with any official organization. And not that you need to limit child abuse awareness to a certain time of year, but, at least in the U.S., National Child Abuse Prevention Month isn’t until April. Some Facebook commenters have also pointed out the perhaps misdirected effort, posting messages skeptical of any tangible outcomes.

Then there are others who are posting on their Facebook status that this is a big hoax, but then there is no link or really any source:

So, does it really matter why someone chose to make his or her Facebook picture a cartoon character? Some people use photos of different things all the time - so, really, this isn't that big of a deal.

Reggie Wayne's 200 yards eclipsed by Manning's 4 int: Colts lose to Cowboys

Colts Reggie Wayne
The Indianapolis Colts lost a game so tight this blogger's nails are gone after bitting them. Colts Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne had 14 receptions for 200 yards, but his drop of a crucial pass on 3rd and 4, and Quarterback Peyton Manning's fourth interception in overtime allowed the visting Dallas Cowboys to win 38 to 35.

This marks the second straight game Manning threw four interceptions. In all the 2009 NFL MVP has thrown eight interceptions in two straight games.

Indy's record falls to 6 and 6 and are currently one game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South. The Dallas Cowboys now have four wins for the season.

Elaine's, Elaine Kaufman celebrated by Alec Baldwin, Gov. Patterson

The celebrated New York bar and eatery Elaine's was celebrated by celebrities, politicians, New Yorkers and Twitterers after the passing of its founder, Elaine Kaufman, last week. Ms. Kaufman died of complications due to emphysema, and lived to 81 years of age. (Photo courtesy of New York Daily News.)

What's so sad for this blogger is to have gone to New York and visited 21 club (six times including this year), Tribeca Grill, Windows on The World (before the passing of the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center), Trump Bar, Club Macanudo, the model-as-waitress cafe called Coffee Shop, and many other places. But there are three places I've never set foot in and feel as if I still don't know New York for that reason. One of the three places is Elaine's.

This, famous eateries and places around the country, is one way this blogger "keep's score." Everyone has their way, but for me life's filled with many interesting people, events, and experiences, and it's important to stock up on them before you check out. Sadly, I missed meeting Elaine Kaufman before her trip to Heaven.

Now, had I walked into Elaine's last night, I'd have shared space with " Jack Donaghy" for the second time this year.

On Saturday, Actor and Star of NBC's 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin (AKA Phil Tagami), shared the space with New York Governor David Patterson according to Will B who goes by brigantiw on Twitter:

@brigantiw Will B
Alec Baldwin at #Elaines tonight in honor of Elaine Kaufman.
3 Dec via HTC Peep Favorite Retweet Reply

From the looks of the tweets, Elaine's was packed on Saturday night.  Even New York Governor David Patterson stopped by and was spotted "just chilling" by New York Poltical Correspondent Miles Miller who sent this tweet:

imareporter Myles Miller
#GovernorPaterson is chilling with #colallen and #bodietel at #Elaines tonight. #govny
3 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply

As to who h #colallen and #bodietel are, the hashtags lead to nothing, so as of this writing, it's not known.

Home To Celebs, Writers, and Athletes

Elaine's is one of those places that is shaped strictly by the person who started it, and who's name is on the window. From what I've read and watched, Ms. Kaufman is every bit the "living New York Landmark" she was designated to be.

That place, her place, has been immortalized in every way possible. Woody Allen, one of Elaine's most famous regulars, filmed this scene from his classic movie celebration of New York, Manhattan, in Elaine's:

Vanity Fair's John Heilpern wrote a classic piece on her in 2009, in which he ponders why she had not "slugged any of her patrons lately."

The last major celeb (there are scores of minor ones) to have been involved in a physical or verbal joust with Elaine was, most famously, Norman Mailer. But not every celebrity has had such a relationship with Elaine Kaufman.

For example, Rachel Welsh on Twitter:

Raquel_Welch Raquel Welch
So sad about Elaine Kaufman. #Elaines is a NY institution. Such good memories.
4 Dec Favorite Retweet Reply
The End of An Era?

I fear that in this hyper politically-correct, male emasculated culture some seem bent on creating in America, we may not see another Elaine's.  I certainly hope I'm wrong. There's nothing wrong with a place where people can be the characters they really are.