Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Update On Blaine Gabbert's Wayward Twitter Tweet

Yesterday, this space reported that Missouri Quarterback, top 2011 NFL Draft candidate, and avid fisherman Blaine Gabbert used Twitter to issue a tweet that was easy to misunderstand. Basically, it looked like Gabbert was calling a classmate named "Stuttering Stanley," an, in caps, IDIOT.

Moreover, I wrote the blog post to emphasize the fact that, with as much as $50 million on the line over the next 29 days and counting, a potential top pick like Gabbert can't afford to make such mistakes. I never blogged that Gabbert actually called anyone "Stuttering Stanley," or that he referred to someone named "Stuttering Stanley," in a negative way. Again, I simply said that it looked that way.

One person, Ryan Faller, got my message, and was kind enough to respond with valuable information:

Mr. Abraham,

I recently read you blog post on Blaine Gabbert's so-called Twitter snafu, and wanted to provide you with some clarification.

Though I certainly don't condone Gabbert labeling someone an idiot, particularly on a social media outlet, his remark was made toward what appears to be an Arkansas fan who blatantly was making fun of Kim English. It is well-known amongst Missouri fans that English endured a severe battle with stuttering growing up, and he has not shied away for recalling how painful it was to live with the handicap, primarily because of the ridicule he received from his peers in school.

From what I can tell, all Gabbert was doing was coming to the defense of English. The best forum for coming to the aid of a friend? Certainly not, particularly for someone who's now being so closely watched as we approach draft day, as you point out.

Just wanted to drop this by you.




Thanks, Ryan.

Again, and I'm going to make this point, again and again. When the endgame is signing a multi-million dollar contract, everyone's looking at you. Twitter tweet are a reflection of the person who's going to be the recipient of some NFL Owners big money. And right now, the competition's so tough, it's not funny.

I think Blaine got the message.


MC Hammer, Happy Birthday To A Hip-Hop Tech Icon

MC Hammer, a great man and personable man who's going through a well-deserved resurrection of sorts, turns 49 years old today.

This blogger first met Hammer at the 2007 BizWorld Luncheon in San Francisco, where he announced the launch of his startup company DanceJam:

Since then, Hammer has become a fixture at Tech Events, and gained a large set of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area Tech Community. I recall running into him in the line to get into the after-party for TechCrunch's The Crunchies 2009 (the same event where I - no kidding - ran into Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as we were both walking past the coat check) and Hsmmer and I ended up walking around San Francisco City Hall and talking for a bit.

The walk turned into a moving who's who tech tour, with Hammer pointing to one person, then another, and explaining what companies they owned, and how much they were worth. It was clear he was "dialed in."

Hammer's also dialed in to making his own tech way, and he's definitely making the right moves. He's even got a Twitter Following of over 2 million!

Happy Birthday, Hammer!

Profiteering From A Panic: The $1,740 Potassium Iodide Supply

With new reports showing that low trace levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been found in the rain as far away as Massachusetts, the Great Potassium Iodide Panic of 2011 continues to simmer along. But what's wrong with that, you may ask yourself. If people are just buying a pill (or 14) to have on hand, just in case, no one's getting hurt by that. Right?

Unfortunately for people who were heading out on short notice to do relief work in Japan, the fallout of the potassium iodide panic had serious repercussions close to home. Just ask Kellie Moore.

She volunteered to do the leg work for two different sets of people who were going directly to Sendai. One couple was going to try to evacuate frail elderly parents who'd been living there before the devastation. And a trio was going to provide disaster aid. They all needed to start taking potassium iodide pills right before they left.

With only 48 hours' notice, finding potassium iodide in the midst of a panic was going to be a thankless job, but Kellie wanted to help. So she spent two solid days trying to find potassium iodide in the Bay Area.

Read more here...

2011 NFL Draft: Jake Locker UW Pro Day: 37 of 39, 2 Deep Balls Missed

Let's get the negative out of the way: the University of Washington, 2011 NFL Draft, Pro Day for Quarterback Jake Locker revealed that the Huskies signal-caller has a fixable deep-ball throwing problem that's just like what Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler exhibited at points during the 2010 NFL Season.

What Jay Cutler did, on his deep passes, was to actually aim the ball deep, rather than throw the ball at the receiver on the run to a point - essentially overcompensating for the fact that the receiver was running deep.

That's why Jay Cutler's passes would sail over the receiver on the deep post or fly pattern, and that's why Jake Locker's two deep passes sailed over the receiver running the deep post during his just completed pro day.  Moreover, Locker's passes came off his hand and went high into the air, almost to the point where it looked like they might hit the ceiling of the UW Football Practice Facility, before coming down.

What both Jay and Jake were doing was looking deep, thus taking their gaze somewhat-off the receiver, trying to throw an arc. What both should have done is keep their eyes squarely on the receiver, and let their throwing motion take the ball where it needs to go.

That's why Jake Locker was, by my count, 39 of 37 passes; the two he missed were both deep throws. Other than that, Locker's best throws were short and mid-range, and his sideline passes were wickedly good. On a couple of throws, Locker "over-kicked" his back leg and let the ball go just a quarter-tick too early, causing the throw to be a bit higher than desired. But even then, he only did that twice; both throws were completions.

If you're going to nit-pick, not all passes were perfect spirals at first, but after the 19th ball, Locker got into a nice rhythm. Locker performed well on play action passes, and on most rollout passes, save for one that was really high because he threw with that leg-kick (again) as he was running.

Was Locker mind-blowing? No. Was he good? Yes. He was. Again, the issues pointed to here are fixable. Overall, his grade should be a B-plus. That's good enough for a low-first round or second round status. But factor in his excellent mobility and the middle-to-low first round area of the 2011 NFL Draft is logical.

Brock Huard A Homer For Jake Locker's coverage of the UW Pro Day was excellent, but Brock Huard,'s announcer, was too much of a homer for Jake Locker.  Huard, who lives in the Washington Area, and went to Washington, made a statement that was just plain wrong.  Brock said that Jake Locker was the best quarterback at the 2011 Senior Bowl.

That's really wrong.

Nevada's Colin Kaepernick was judged to be the better quarterback at the Senior Bowl.  In fact, depending on who you read, Locker was either helped or hurt by the Senior Bowl.  Check it here.

The question is, did Locker do well enough for the Seattle Seahawks?  Only Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Carroll (who was watching Locker today) knows for sure , and he'll have another look at Jake during a workout scheduled for Thursday before he makes a decision.

Stay tuned.

Twitter Down, Over Capacity As Of Now; Jake Locker Saved

Twitter is down. As of this writing, when one tries to go to the website, the page reads "Twitter is over capacity." It has been this way for about 20 minutes now.

What this means is you're being directed, or redirected, to Twitter’s "503 page" meaning "503 Service Unavailable" page.

Generally this lasts for a short period of time, but today, with all that's going on in the World, Twitter has become the international SMS for Earth.

What does this mean?

Well, for one, University of Washington Quarterback Jake Locker's saved from any tweets should his pro-day, on at right now, not go well.

Locker's set to start his throwing session in moments here.

Oakland's John Russo City Attorney Offered Alameda City Manager Job - Congrats

Well, congratulations are in order for Oakland City Attorney John Russo, who was just offered the Alameda City Manager position, and considering the climate in Oakland, that he got the job at all was a blessing for him.

Russo was painted into a corner in several ways. First, Oakland's enormous budget problems caused him to pair down the City Attorney's Office. Second, the election of Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan as Mayor of Oakland gave him a person more an adversary than an advocate to work with. Third, the counter-reaction to the Oakland Gang Injunction Program threatened to give Russo the first serious challenge to his office in the next election, should he have remained in Oakland.

Plus, John's in his 50s with two twin boys; he's not getting younger and it's time to be at a place where there's just less stress and bullshit. And frankly, Oakland City Hall was becoming more like a high school than a government office, with factions, cliques, games, groups, and enemies. Russo was tired of being part of that. He was concerned that his reputation would be sullied by that.

Now, thank God, he doesn't have to deal with it.

Oakland, or at least its current set of players, won't have Russo to kick around any more.

For a while.

The Next Facebook? eduHookups Casual Sex College Social Network; Coming To Berkeley?

Is this the next Facebook or "Random Hookups For Dummies? eduHookups, with the tagline "Where fun comes to thrive," is a social network website that offers college students the chance to find willing partners for casual sex. Currently, eduHookups serves the following colleges in the Chicago Area (or "Chicagoland"): Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, but "due to popular demand," the sites expanding to DePaul University and Loyola University starting Thursday, March 31st.

But considering the buzz surrounding eduHookups, it's going to grow beyond Chicago, and in fact, it's opening at Brown University starting April 4th. Segments on the sex networking site have been on The Today Show, a number of Chicago news programs, and even The Tonight Show With Jay Leno:

With all that, the eduHookups site has a long way to grow. It's current featuring 300 registered members who've sent over 1,300 private messages.

The eduHookups site started as "UChicago Hookups," a site made by University of Chicago students, for University of Chicago Students. In fact, the tag line "Where fun comes to thrive," is a play on the saying that, at the University of Chicago, "fun comes to die." Here's a news segment on the site when it was called "UChicago Hookups:"

Why eduHookups and not Craiglist?

Why is eduHookups better than the 'Casual Encounters' pages on Craiglist? That question's addressed on the eduHookups site:

Why should I use this site instead of Craigslist?

eduHookups is open to members of selected colleges and universities only, while Craigslist is public. It's not hard to conclude which community is safer and has the more reputable (not to mention the more intelligent!) members.
Because an EDU email address is required to sign up on the site, the amount of spam/fakes/etc can be kept to a minimum.
Craigslist eventually requires interested parties to communicate on their own via email. eduHookups handles every step of the process, from public posting to private communication. Our private messaging system means that no user information is ever disclosed.
Our campus events section allows publication of local events that are more interesting and relevant to our user base.

The Next Facebook

In The Social Network, we learn that Facebook started as a way for college students to network, if not hookup. While Facebook was less "in your face," and perhaps because of that more palatable to a wider audience, eduHookups does provide a need for a society were people don't seem to know how to talk to each other.

Before the Internet, there was voice. A man was expected to approach a woman and talk and mate; to not be afraid to say anything. Now, men generally are the reverse: fearful of saying anything to a woman and more concerned with what other people will think, both women and emasculated men.

It's one of the characteristics of the "emasculated man" of today. It's the reason why so many men at parties just stand around in groups and don't say anything. And it's one reason why there are more interracial parings than ever before - for some people of color, a man is expected to act, period.

All of that, and more, have created the environment for eduHookups. Indeed, it's a great idea. So much so, this blogger's surprised it's not at Cal Berkeley, or Stanford for that matter. But give it time. eduHookups just may be the perfect cure for the emasculated male. Let's hope so.

Downtown Chicago To O'Hare Airport Tour, Obama Fact Of Interest

This tour of Chicago's Lakefront and Chicago Loop on the way to O'Hare Airport to go to Atlanta (where my Mom is) took place last week Wednesday morning. It started at roughly 45th and Lake Shore Drive and takes in a number of legendary and historic sites.

Starting with the large Rolling Meadows Apartments, we see the Lake itself, where Michael Reese Hospital (where I was born) stood. (A hilarious correction. My Mom informed me that I was born at The Bob Roberts Clinic; Michael Reese Hospital was were I was taken during what was at that time a life-threating battle with asthma).

We then came to the redeveloped River Front and what some call "Oprah Ville," a collections of condos and eateries that surrounds the studio where the Oprah Show is filmed.

After Oprah Ville, we passed the giant buildings of McCormick Place. The black building on the right replaced the original structure that burned down in 1967; the building on the left is the giant result of the expansion project.

Then, there's The Sears Tower (now called Willis Tower but everyone refers to it as 'Sears Tower'), and The Chicago Loop.

Then we see The University of Illinois Redevelopment Project. Chicago's West Side, and what used to be called "Jew Town." The stretch of Kennedy Expressway that extends to North Chicago, the suburban business district, including the headquarters of such notable companies as Bally's Total Fitness, and Wilson. The Hyatt Regency O'Hare, an architectural landmark, and the site of my first NFL Owners Meeting in 1999. And finally we arrive at the United Airlines Terminal Of O'Hare itself.

Along the way, Arnold, who's a family friend going back 40 years, explains some of Chicago's history. He also reveals that the man who's now President Of The United States, Barack Obama, sat in the back of Arnold's Mercedes Benz.

Finally, Arnold shares his view of the man who's Chicago's next Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Before Obama was an Illinois State Senator, he was a community organizer. The man who's Arnold's son-in-law would use that car to take Barack Obama to some of his community meetings. Yes, they're all friends of the Obama Family.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dancing With The Stars And Jen Friel #Love - A Connection

Dealing with loss makes one think...

While Dancing With The Stars and Jen Friel #Love appear to have no connection, they do. First, Dancing With The Stars had its second week of great dancing and energy, with the most expressive and fun-to-watch couples getting the top scores. For example, Ralph Macchio of the Karate Kid movie and his partner Karina Smirnoff were always poised, smiling, and expressive. Ralph really seems to be having fun out there.

Thus, I wasn't surprised to see radio talk show guy Mike Catherwood get the boot, because it seemed like his dances with super-hot pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer were stiffed, and perhaps their last one was sexual to mask all of that lack of chemistry. It was like Mike wasn't having so much fun because he didn't think he was, or could be, good.

Of maybe Catherwood just wasn't into dancing - more like grinding than dancing. It just seemed like Lacey had more real chemistry with Kyle Massey, her last DWTS partner. And it showed in higher scores.

By contrast, Romeo and Chelsie Hightower are fun to watch, and really seem to be working together and into each other. The main thing is their dances are expressive.

Expression is one thing that DWTS winners have with Jen Friel, the star blogger of the blog Talk Nerdy To Me Lover (soon to be a television show).

Which she talks about in brief here:


Responding to a sea of emotions welled up after a test of dating on the site OK Cupid - 99 times - Friel wrote a really long and expressive blog post that caught this blogger, her friend, by surprise. She wrote about being drawn to emotionally unavailable men (sure as hell not me), and in the process made me realize something we talked about (and I will not reveal here) had changed, completely and dramatically. Plus, I can't help but wonder if 99 dates equals 99 times at sex, but after reading the blog, I figured it was just four times. Still...

Here's an excerpt:

In conducting my OKCupid social experiment for the last 8 months, I have found that out of 98 dates, there were only 4 of which I actually felt that "spark" with. All of the 4 have come from different backgrounds, have entirely different personalities, and look completely different; I've isolated as many of the variables as I could (with what little I knew about each one) and discovered that the only trait they all shared was emotional unavailability. I don't believe in soulmates or this notion of there ever being a "one." I think we are attracted to someone because of there being a lack within ourselves that resonates within this other person - and vice versa. In fact, I'm pretty black and white on that. So, I am attracted to emotionally unavailable men which results in me continuously having my heartbroken. I am so not kosher for that passover. I have to get over my emotional unavailability. What's my next doable action in that? Addressing the cause of said emotional unavailability. I present to you ... my best attempt ...
And that's just the first paragraph. The rest is a total roller-coaster, and now I'm behind. I've got to read it; in it's actually more entertaining than Dancing With The Stars!

Richard Winnie, Long Time Friend, Alameda County Council, Passes

This really hurts. Discovering the passing of this blogger's long time friend Richard Winnie via social media leaves a mix of emotions. Richard, Mr. Winnie to some, boss, to others, Alameda County Council to more, and godfather and friend to many, was and always will be my friend.

Richard represents a good 20 years of my 48 years life, and most of that talking about the politics of Oakland. But that was a subset. A side event.

Richard spontaneously remembered my birthday, and about a few weeks before August 4th, made sure to call, or have his secretary call, me to set his schedule so we could meet.

And we did, and always at 7:30 AM. For anyone who knows how much that time of morning is a pain in the butt to deal with for me, it was a pleasure knowing I was going to meet Richard.

Richard Winnie was one of the few people who actually bothered to take me aside and be a mentor. I didn't have to ask him or approach him, or drop a name. It was just the way he was.   See, unknown to me at the time in 1991, Richard wanted me to run a then-new organization called "Oakland - Sharing The Vision."(Or as my friend Phil Tagami called it, "Oakland - Sharing The Ham Sandwich.)

That didn't come to pass, but it was a very small episode in our relationship.  I was flattered that, in a city where it seemed I always had to yell to get my point across, someone - Richard - was actually listening.

 There are those people who are your friends - you don't have to ask, they just are. That was - is - Richard Winnie.

But beyond this little corner of the World, Richard was a giant in Oakland; someone many of the younger Oakland bloggers don't know, but should know about.

That strong mayor system we have in place, the one that many point to Jerry Brown for installing and called Measure X, had its roots in a push to change from the weak-mayor system we had, one that was spearheaded, for the most part, by two men and one woman: Richsrd Winnie, who was then partner at Wendel Rosen Black, and Dean, and then-Oakland Councilmember Dick Spees, and a then-little-known labor lawyer named Jane Brunner, who's now Oakland's District 2 Councilmember.

The reason I recall this so well is I was recording the doings of what was called The Oakland Charter Review Commitee when I was a Columnist for The Montclarion, and that was between 1993 and 1995. What became of that effort, Measure F, would, if passed in 1996, had given then-Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris the strong mayor power he wanted for so long. But it failed at the ballot box.

But the basic structure of that Measure, one that Richard Winnie played a key role in crafting, found its way into Measure X, Jerry Brown's version of the same system, that really should be called Jerry Brown's version of a plan created to a large degree by Mr. Winnie.

Why? Because Richard just plain cared about Oakland. He was a constant critic of The Port Of Oakland, and in particular the enormous power it held over waterfront land development decisions. But Richard, a keen intellect, was never a rabble-rousing critic; he always expressed his view with sound logic, and activated a good list of political and business contacts to express his view.

Richard, for much of the 21st Century, battled cancer, and for a time it seemed cancer would never return.  It's hard to think of an Oakland, or my life the same way, without my friend.

2011 NFL Draft: ESPN3 Has UW / Jake Locker Pro Day Wednesday

Got a Twitter tweet from the good folks at, that the University of Washington will hold its pro day tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11 PM PST / 2 PM, EST, on

As you know if you're following the NFL Draft, Locker's stock has risen from a potential 4th round pick to a potential 1st round pick within the past month. The first 2011 NFL Mock Draft in this space had Locker going to The Seattle Seahawks. If Locker performs well at UW Pro Day, that possibility will become even more real.

Husky Haul Blog, which covers the Washington Huskies, reports that UW Pro Day will also be a showcase for other players like Linebacker Mason Foster and Safety Nate Williams.

But all eyes will be trained on Locker. If he does very well, he could leapfrog both Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, or at least muddle a competition that's already showing signs that it's going into a state of flux.

Tune in online. Remember, it's online here:

Apple iPad 2 Can Mount On Wall, Car, Tile With RingO System

This is RingO for the iPad, made by Vogel's, which bills itself as the European market leader in Audio/Video and TV mounting solutions. RingO is Vogel's series of products first introduced exclusively at Mac World Expo this year for the iPad above, is now, this month, available for wide distribution in America.

Vogel's VP Of Innovations, Albert Zeeman, explains that "RingO's key feature is its simplicity - its modular design lets users quickly snap the RingO Cover onto a tablet, which then can be clicked securely onto a variety of RingO mounts: Wall Mount, Car Mount, Flexible Mount and others. Just quickly squeeze the mount clips to release the iPad from the mount, click quickly onto the next Mount, and your tablet is ready to use wherever it’s needed."

RingO For A Wide Range Of Products

RingO's a cool tool that makes the iPad more of a design appliance than a consumer tablet.  With it, the iPad can become art on the wall, or a car entertainment system, mounted on the seat back.

This is a start of what will be a wide range of products by Vogel's. For more information, visit

Obama Address On Libya and Qaddafi: What Did You Think?

Monday night, March 28th, 2011, President Obama gave a speech outlining the major reasons why America is in Libya fighting a humanitarian war. Now, the last time this blogger remembers America being involved in an effort labeled "humanitarian," we went into Somalia and it turned out that American Soldiers were being anything but "humanitarian."

But that was 1993 and the conditions for that action were vastly different. The take on Obama's speech here, is that Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi has been working to stop an uprising by his own citizens, calling for him to step down. Because Qaddafi didn't do so, and ignored President Obama's call for him to do so, and started killing his own people, Obama organized a coalition of allies to go in and act as a militaristic bodyguard helping Libyans being attacked by Qaddafi's military.

Obama's concern was that, if he went to Congress for approval in the "normal" way, the request could be tied up and become a political football.

Obama is correct.

If Congress were asked to make a decision on the kind of involvement Obama wanted, the first thing it would do it tip off Libya that help for its citizens was coming. That would certainly lead to television conversations and networks giving time for pro-Qaddafi spokespersons to say all manner of things that would give some American congresspeople pause. Some Democrats would sign on, others, understandably war-weary, would object. And the GOP would attempt to hijack Obama's efforts as their own, as we move toward the 2012 Election Season.

In all, it would be one big mess, showing America can't get its act together, while Qaddafi continues his devilish work.

Obama was correct.

Some have claimed the attack had to do with Libya being an oil producer, and that was the only reason. One friend said to me "We should be in Yemen, but they don't produce oil."

Actually, Yemen is an oil producer, and to the tune of some where around 400,000 barrels annually. Yet, no, America's not in Yemen, so that eliminates the oil argument.

No, Obama's actively trying to push the tide of reform in The Middle East. In fact, in his speech, he said so.

Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt -– two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -– Muammar Qaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world –- including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents....- because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people...Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States.

As well that should be: get it, do it, get out.

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2011 NFL Draft: Dan Reeves: Cam Newton, Not Blaine Gabbert, Should Be #1

Not buying into the incredible hype machine that's driving Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert's assent, former Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons Head Coach, Dan Reeves, thinks the Carolina Panthers should draft Cam Newton (in photo by Getty Images and CBS), making him the fist pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Reeves, who's place in the NFL's history is the stuff of legend, going all the way back to the 1967 Ice Bowl, told the Charlotte Observer "If I'm them, I'm taking Cam Newton. I think that guy is going to be a great player.

Reeves compares Newton to Michael Vick, but with a better arm. The coach says that Newton's spread offense experience isn't an issue for him because "I can teach a guy to get up under center," Reeves said. "But I can't teach a guy to throw. He has a tremendous arm, and I think he's going to be really effective no matter what he was doing in college. I mean, how many times do you see Peyton Manning or Tom Brady in the shotgun? A lot."

Coach Reeves reminds us all that, when all of the NFL Draft talk is said and done, coaches still have to coach. A number of NFL Draft observers, including one publication that got into a disagreement with this blogger on Twitter, claim that Gabbert has a "higher ceiling" than Newton, but can't explain their views when pressed.

Reading Reeves comments, it's the other way around and because of Newton's legendary mobility and strength. Coach Reeves said that South Carolina players "looked like gnats" trying to bring Cam down last year.

Why Do The Panthers Need A Quarterback?

All of this talk about the Carolina Panthers needing to draft a quarterback number one is illogical.  The best signal callers don't have to be drafted so high.  Joe Montana was the 49ers 3rd Round pick.  Tom Brady was the Patriots 6th round pick.  And if you look at it, a number of high pick quarterbacks haven't worked out well, from Matt Leinart to Alex Smith, and Jamarcus Russell, who was number 1 in 2007.

Plus, with the NFL's need to get rookie salaries under control, why keep feeding the gravy train by picking a quarterback number one?  In our talk about this at the 2006 NFL Draft, Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman said that the pay scale starts with the number one pick and goes down.  Thus, if a defender is picked number one, that person's not likely to get a $50 million bonus; a quarterback, like Sam Bradford, will.    Here's Zimmerman:

In this NFL Draft we started with defenders ranking much higher than offensive players. Now, it seems the boards are being reversed, and for reasons that just aren't logical. If the best athletes are defenders, take the defenders first.

Stay tuned.

WonderCon SF Comic Book Convention: Why You Should Be There

WonderCon SF, the Comic Book Convention coming this Friday and running through Sunday at The Moscone Convention Center South, is going to be amazing. In brief, here's why you should be there for the 25th anniversary of this event!

- First, all of the major comic book publishers of note, and some not of note, will be there. From DC and Marvel Comics, to Dark Horse, Aspen, IDW, BOOM! (who's partnered with Stan Lee), SLG, and many more.

- Second, special guests, like Joe Field, who started the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Award (and lives in Concord), one of the first alternative comics publishers Mike Friedrich, and former WonderCon program director Bryan Uhlenbrock.

- Third, STARS, like Ryan Reynolds for The Green Lantern, the next Superman, Henry Cavill and the entire cast of Immortals, and legends like Jim Kelly, who this blogger interviewed last year:

And of course, geek and nerd culture, which is another way of saying tech, games, fun, and frivolity.

Visit the WonderCon site for more info. And follow Zennie62 on Twitter.

Crisis in Libya: Al Franken Gets It

Did you watch the President's speech on Monday night? Reviews are mixed, naturally, depending on the agenda of the reviewer. Here's a quick sampling before moving beyond the pundits to talk about Senator Franken's pragmatic action.
The Nation

Obama tries, without success, to explain an undeclared war. By John Nichols.
From the other end of the spectrum:

Pres. Obama accomplished three main goals to three distinct audiences at his speech on #Libya
Even people who felt Gadhafi was presiding over a beastly, cruel, and violent repression of Libyan citizens are rightly concerned about the cost, particularly given how the two major U.S. military operations in the last decade added to the deficit. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is set to introduce a bill to assure that military operations, such as the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t get a free pass to float a check - that military spending won't add to our national debt.

Senator Franken has expressed concerns about the potential cost of military operations in Libya, saying, "You know, so far the administration said we can pay for it in the regular military budget but at a certain point, that may not be the case." Franken continues to be a forceful presence in the Senate, focusing on productive work rather than simply posturing for the press.

The debate will continue about what we should have done about the slaughter of civilians, and what the role of the U.S. government and diplomacy should be outside our borders. With so much of our budget already dedicated to the military I'm glad somebody has the courage to face reality and confront the hard choices we face instead of passing the cost-burden along. Thank you, Senator Franken.
Thomas Hayes is a New Media Advisor, Political Consultant, Journalist, Entrepreneur, and former Congressional Campaign Manager; he believes in "follow the money" when following politics, and continues his 12-step recovery from the years spent as a Programmer/Database Administrator by carrying his camera nearly everywhere and writing on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.
You can follow Tom as @kabiu on twitter.

2011 NFL Draft: Did Blaine Gabbert Twitter Tweet Stutterer Was An Idiot?

Missouri Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (pictured with a bass posted at, who's stock has risen amazingly high since he smartly chose CAA and Tom Condon to represent him, now has the spotlight bright on him, and has to be really careful, particularly with social media.

But first, this CAA aside.

This blogger is suspicious that CAA's Condon's choices seem to get on a media hype train. Yes, Tom Condon has represented seven of the past eight overall NFL Draft number one picks, but that doesn't happen without a whole train of people working in concert to make that happen, including the media: in January, Sports Illustrated's Andrew Perloff (also of The Dan Patrick Show), and who's a friend of this blogger, made a point of referring to CAA and Tom Condon (who also represents the Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning) as a "powerful agency."

Why Andrew? Powerful how?

My Spider-Sense tells me that, on top of hiring former NFL coaches like Terry Shea to help Gabbert, CAA Football works the press. To have so many writers refer to one person as "powerful" - producing 57,100 results in a Google search when one controls for "tom condon" - is down right scary and interesting.

Does the media fear upsetting Condon? I guess we'll see. The former head of IMG Football has a ton of great relationships, and he is personable, from experience, but that doesn't mean one can't question why one of his clients is rising so fast, in this case, Blaine Gabbert.

Whatever the reason, social media provides a small window into who Blaine Gabbert is.

Blaine Gabbert On Twitter

From his Twitter page @BlaineGabbert, we will learn that Gabbert likes to fish. A lot, it appears. Moreover, the Mizzou signal-caller who was one bad call away from an Insight Bowl win seems pretty good at it.

But when it comes to referring to one "Stuttering Stanley," on Twitter, out in the open Gabbert shows poor judgement, that is if he cares about what NFL owners are going to think about him.

In a tweet exchange with Missouri Basketball Guard Kim English, Gabbert appeared to be referring to a classmate called "Stuttering Stanley" as an, in caps, IDIOT. This is how it went down:

Englishscope24 Kim English
Its going smooth as the 08 #CottonBowl RT @Hogtrough Hey @englishscope24 how is the speech impediment coming along? Stuttering Stanley!
10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

One of the people who retweeted that statement was Gabbert:

Englishscope24 Kim English
by BlaineGabbert
Its going smooth as the 08 #CottonBowl RT @Hogtrough Hey @englishscope24 how is the speech impediment coming along? Stuttering Stanley!
10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

And then he tweeted...

BlaineGabbert Blaine Gabbert
@Englishscope24 that dude is an IDIOT
10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

And English tweeted back..
Englishscope24 Kim English
@BlaineGabbert lol. Yea. "Stuttering Stanley" was a big hit in 3rd grade.
10 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Now to the common reader is looks like Gabbert's referring to someone who stutters as an idiot. Presumably because that person has a speech impediment. In a time when many are hyper-sensitive to such comments and tweets, for Gabbert to allow himself to look like someone who would do such a thing shows that the CAA hype machine has a weakness when it comes to social media.

Mr. Condon's got to sit down with his client.

Now, peering deeper into the tweets, it looks like Gabbert was referring to another person on Twitter, and involving issues surrounding the departure of Missouri Basketball Coach Mike Anderson to Arkansas. But it's not clear, and English's tweet about "Stuttering Stanley" being "a hit" in the 3rd grade points away from the possibility.

And even if Gabbert was actually making fun of English, the choice of words in that situation was terrible considering what's on the line: the difference between being the number one pick in the NFL Draft and a $50 million bonus, versus a lower level, say, number 22, and a $10 million bonus.

Or even less.

The message is clear: Mr. Blaine Gabbert, you're in the public spotlight now. A public figure. People are watching what you tweet on Twitter. Be careful.

One wrong tweet could cost you millions.

Monday, March 28, 2011

YouTube Has Charlie Sheen | Sheen, Learn From Renetto, Stop Playing

YouTube, where this blogger is a YouTube Partner, has finally added Charlie Sheen as what has to be the 15,001st partner. To that, "Welcome Charlie Sheen," from Zennie62, now please subscribe to Zennie62 on YouTube, and after that action, pay attention to this advice, encapsulated in this classic video from the second YouTube "AsOne" meetup, held at Pier 39 In San Francisco on Febraury 19, 2007:

In in, Renetto, who's name is Paul Robinette, one of the first YouTube Stars going back to 2006, has great advice for any YouTuber and especially Charlie Sheen. They are:

1) Don't get upset with video comments
2) Don't delete video comments.
3) Don't block anyone, even trolls.
4) Plan your videos before you do them (when possible).
5) Use the YouTube video to hold a conversation with your viewers.

Renetto encourages free conversation from his viewers. As he said in the video, "even if they hate me, they respect me because they know it's free." In other words, viewers know he will allow them to express themselves. A tall rule to live by - and a hard one because some people can be cruel - but it's worth it to build an engaged community.

The current crop of Charlie Sheen YouTube videos don't talk to anyone and have useless pronouncements that are worth seeing once, then not again. Take this video:

And here's more advice from Zennie62:

1) Add a description to your videos, using keywords to make them easier to find in a search.
2) Place a link to your Twitter page in your YouTube channel page.
3) Add links to your website or blog (need to make one first) from your video page.

Charlie Sheen will get a ton of subscribers on YouTube, but he can do a lot better. Sheen can contribute to the YouTube experience by having a conversation with his viewers.

That's a lot art on YouTube. Many, this blogger included, have got too caught up in making shows and monologues. (But interviews are valuable, and another form of conversation, so that style will remain.)

Renetto showed the way of the vlogger; it's time to return to it.

2011 NFL Draft: Why Blaine Gabbert When Colin Kaepernick Is Better?

It's funny how, every year before The NFL Draft, there's this attempt to establish consensus about a potential NFL player using the wildest reasons, then calling that collection of thoughts logic. The practice remains for the 2011 NFL Draft when talking about Missouri Quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Let's get this out there: Blaine Gabbert is not a better quarterback than Nevada Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (in photo). Period. And since Mr. Kaepernick's projected for the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, there's no logical reason Mr. Gabbert should be ahead of him. That's too much money to spend for someone who's not going to immediately start and lacks Cam Newton's intangibles.

You say Gabbert's got size at 6'5; Colin Kaepernick's 6'6. You tell me Gabbert had a 127 passer rating in 2010? Well, Kaepernick was never below a 132 rating for his entire college career. Ok, now you point to "character," well, Kaepernick's got that too, though frankly "character" is overrated.

This video shows the kind of system Gabbert played in, and while it's one that's favored here, frankly, it's very much like the one both Kaepernick and Cam Newton played in - all are variations of spread systems.

So, look at how Gabbert responds to being rushed in this video. Moreover, point to one segment where Blaine completes a throw downfield in close coverage.

Now, even though this video is about Nevada's Tight End Virgil Green, Kaepernick's throwing to him. Watch the quick decisions, mobility, throwing poise, and passing style.

Now think about it.

Why is a person who plays that well ranked below one who does not? Agents, college, and hype. That's all.

Colin Kaepernick was the best at The Senior Bowl. He was the best thrower at the NFL Combine.
Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amy Adams Is Lois Lane, But Do We Need "Superman" To Be "Realistic"?

The internet's abuzz with the news that the up-and-coming Actress Amy Adams (pictured) was selected to play "Lois Lane," and joining Actor Henry Cavill, who will play "Superman / Clark Kent" in Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder's version of Superman - yet another "reboot" called Superman The Man Of Steel.

Congratulations to the hard-working and hot Amy Adams, who's getting great roles and knocking them out of the park.

Ok, but regarding Superman The Man Of Steel, here's a problem.

Well, two problems.

First, "Superman" was just done before, called Superman Returns and very recently in 2006 by Bryan Singer. That version of Superman was hard to sit through because it was too realistic. Yes, "realistic" because it tried to tackle how Superman could hear all that was going on in the World and decide to swoop in on the unsuspecting bad people, or the doomed victims of a disaster.

The result was a picture of a very lonely Superman just hanging in space eavesdropping on everyone else's life, while neglecting any chance to have one of his own with Lois Lane or some drinking buddies at a local bar.

In short, Superman looked pathetic, and a far cry from the character the late Christopher Reeve gave cinematic life to a generation ago.

Now, we're forced to consume yet another take on Superman just six years later? That's a little much. Moreover, the new version comes with the built-in risk that a new generation of Superman watchers will not be able to enjoy John Williams classic score should Snyder elect not to use it, or refer to it. (Please use it!)

Second, the idea of a "realistic" Superman calls up a script from memory that was flying around the Internet and became the basis for Hancock, starring Will Smith. Called Tonight He Comes, by Vy Vincent Ngo, it was a "realistic" portrait of a super man, alright - one who was a very jaded-with-the-system, bitter, and extremely sexually frustrated super man.

(Have doubts? Read it yourself: Tonight He Comes. That's a realistic Superman.)

And if that's at all like the picture Snyder's going to paint for Superman The Man Of Steel, and if Zack saw that script by Ngo and it became part of his idea for this new Superman, then Superman as we know it - or know him - is dead.

And replaced by a person who's all too super human, all the way down to how he has "fun" to make up for his inability to keep the woman he loves, and its "impact" on bathroom walls.

Frankly, that's not a side of Superman I'm interested in seeing.

What About A Real Strong Woman?

Meanwhile, will we ever see a Super Woman played by a real strong woman? A chic with muscles? A female bodybuilder or fitness model? Judging by the looks of NBC's up-coming Wonder Woman, we're in for another skinny, watered-down version of a woman who can lift and throw a big rig - and all that in an era where women have no problem showing their guns, and guys love it.

Is there any reason why Zack Snyder can't give us that kind of realism?

Just asking.

Limitless: Bradley Cooper Makes Good Pill Of A Movie (Movie Review)

Limitless is a good movie. The story of Edward Morra (Bradley Cooper from The Hangover) is told in a great mix of jump cuts, brain activity animation, and other cinematic tricks, all for the purpose of making you feel the kind of rush, then disorientation that Morra feels after taking pill after pill of a drug called "NZT." It's the kind of movie that makes you think of what you're not doing to achieve your own potential, then shows you what people will do to maintain the success they reach after doing so.

Limitless was, for a time while watching it, an excellent Oscar "Best Picture" candidate, and it still may be, but for this blogger it fell off about three-quarters of the way through it.

After great pacing and a wild rush of cool dialog and contemporary scenes of New York City (as well as Cooper's great scenes with his girlfriend girlfriend Abbie Cornish and with Robert De Niro, who plays someone not unlike real life Investment Banker Henry Kravitz), Limitless slows down and you can almost feel the audience lose interest. One woman in the theater even fell asleep for that part of the movie.

It's as if the director, Neil Burger, and screenwriter Leslie Dixon, didn't quite know what next to do with Morra. Then, one scene where Morra drinks the blood spilled by his would-be assailant in an effort to get some more NZT in his system, was a bit much for me. That's about where it went from a "9" to a solid "7.5."

Still, Limitless is a good movie. What's especially nice is that it's modern: Bradley Cooper gets it on with women of every race and location, it seem, from black, Asian, and white, to women from overseas. That was cool, and it's great to see Hollywood come into the 21st Century.

Check out Limitless, it's a good pill of a movie.

2011 NFL Draft Mock Draft: Jake Locker To Seahawks, Cam Newton To Bears

NFL Mock Draft has Jake Locker To Seahawks, Cam Newton to Chicago Bears?

That, right there - Washington Quarterback Jake Locker To the Seattle Seahawks, Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton to the Chicago Bears - is enough to get your attention, but the picks weren't done for that reason. It's just how this first Mock Draft turned out.

This first NFL mock draft's a combination of team need, best players on the draft boards by legendary NFL Draftnik and friend Bill Chackhes of Zennie62Media and Football Reporters Online, and FF Toolbox (both which does a good job of updating their lists) and in some cases just an overall feel for what the team should do combined with what the team may do.

The 2011 NFL Mock Draft First Round

Carolina Panthers (2-14) - The Panthers don't need quarterbacks, having just went for Netre Dame's Jimmy Clausen last year. Anyone who thinks the Panthers have to go after a new QB because Clausen didn't perform well, never heard of coaches or coaching. The NFL has to stop relying on the colleges to coach the passing game for them. New Head Coach Ron Rivera knows defense wins Super Bowls, and he's got a chance to get someone who's going to be the cornerstone of his unit: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn.

Denver Broncos (4-12) - The Broncos also don't need QB's and they have a lot of offensive positions filled. And while Tight End is a place of need, the Broncos can get one in the lower rounds; there's no one so good you have to take them this high. The Broncos most glaring weakness is in the defensive secondary, where age has creeped up on the squad. It's a good reason to draft Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU.

Buffalo Bills (4-12) - Buffalo has to improve its defense. While some have the Bills taking Cam Newton here, that would be a stupid pick considering their needs. The best selection for the Bills is for Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-12) - While the Bengals do need a quarterback, the best player available's not a QB at this level, but in the mid-first round. The Bengals are losing Terrell Owens, and need a wide receiver that strikes fear into defenses. There's one: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

Arizona Cardinals (5-11) - Arizona's quarterback issues are more coaching than anything else. Plus, poor defense can negatively impact the offense. A "shut - down" corner's on the board and in a draft where defensive players rank higher than offensive players, you have to go with a person like Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska.

Cleveland Browns (5-11) - The Browns need a wide receiver like President Obama and America needa another economic stimulus package (uh, we need one). The best remaining pass catcher at this point is Julio Jones, WR, Alabama. In fact, adding Jones would give the Browns offense overall team speed that may be in the top five in the NFL. Jones would more than make up for the loss of Braylon Edwards to the Jets.

San Francisco 49ers (6-10) - The 49ers have good quarterbacks, but with 6'6 Cam Newton on the board, it's hard to pass on himn. Still, Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson, is a solid choice to build the 49ers Defense, which needs an athlete on that side of the ball who can play DE and complement LB Patrick Willis. What's great about Bowers, who was number one in the nation in tackles for losses, is he can play either end or tackle, as he did against Florida State.

In fact, this video features Bowers, who's marked with a white square before the snap on each play:

Tennessee Titans (6-10) - Vince Young may be gone, but may not be, so this is the perfect place for the Titans to spend money on more pressing needs and get a QB later. This is where a great player like Von Miller, DE, Texas A&M fills the bill.

Dallas Cowboys (6-10) - The Cowboys don't have a young defensive tackle to play the gap-slamming role Rex Ryan's defensive designs call for. Moreover, the Cowboys defensive ends have been around for a while and need some young talent to push them: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina.

Washington Redskins (6-10) - While Cam Newton to the Redskins here makes sense, it's hard to see the Redskins doing it for two reasons: coaching OBs is the issue, not QBs, and Cam's not ranked so high that picking him here passes the logic test considering the Redskins needs. And the Redskins problems were more on defense more than offense. A player like Cameron Jordan, DE, California can help improve the Redskins pass rush and run-stopping statistics over time.

Here's a great video on Cameron Jordan versus Colorado, where Jordan plays various spots long the defensive line:

Houston Texans (6-10) - The Texans are "set" enough at offense, yet getting older at QB and need to think about the future here. The last time Texans Owner Bob McNair was in such a position to get a game chaning QB he passed on Vince Young, and I think he'll pass on Cam Newton. The player the Texans will get, and really need, is Nate Solder, OT, Colorado. A good solid OT that will be around for 10 years.

Minnesota Vikings (6-10) - The Vikings need is at linebacker - the offense is set - and the NFL Draft provides a chance to land a game-changing hitter. Enter Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA.

Detroit Lions (6-10) - The Lions have a returning QB in Matt Stafford, Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson, and former Cal running back Jahvid Best at the halfback spot. The Lions Defense may appear to be "set" with DT Ndamukong Suh, but it's not. One more talented lineman is needed, and why pass up a DE when there are so many good, high 1st round possibilities? Take NFL Combine "high motor" guy Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa for the win.

St. Louis Rams (7-9) - That star receiver the Rams need can be gotten in the next round. And we're at the point where defensive linemen dominate the top best prospects available now. Why pass on a DE to complement Chuck Long? The best one remaining is Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue.

Miami Dolphons (7-9) - While the Dolphins Defense is in good shape, and some point to the QB position, it's not an alarming issue. Miami is one or two players away from the playoffs, and J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin, is the player that will make the difference.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) - Jacksonville can also take advantage of the D-Line Parade, and have needs there as well. While a number of defenders can help the Jaguars, the best one remaining is Allen Bailey, DE, Miami.

New England Patriots — from Oakland (8-8) - The Pats are going to get rich in this draft, stating here, unless they trade down or up. It's hard to see the Pats brain trust passing on a good Offensive Tackle or running back, but given the Pats don't have a runner with home-run hitting potential, and Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama, is sitting there, take him. (Yes. Ingram didn't wow anyone at the NFL Combine, but he's got football speed, and is a good 20 spots better than the next set of running backs in the 2011 Draft.

San Diego Chargers (9-7) - The Chargers need more offensive line help, more specifically someone who can fill in at tackle, and push established players like Pro Bowler Kris Dielman. The best player available now just happens to fit their needs: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin.

New York Giants (10-6) - The Giants are another team that needs to improve its offensive line, and we're in a period where the top prospects remaining are O-Line folks. Anthony Castonzo, the Boston College OT the Pats would have taken if Mark Ingram wasn't available, is here, and should be an NY Giant.

Tampa Bay Bucanneers (10-6) - The Bucs have a franchise QB, a great young DT, a good set of running backs, and were just a few plays from dominating the NFC South. Where they need to get better is in the interior offensive line and at wide receiver, and an O-Line player from a college not too far away can help: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida.

Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) - The Chiefs need a wide receiver and a great defensive tackle. Of the two, the DTs are still highly ranked and plentiful. The Chiefs pick: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU.

Indianapolis Colts (10-6) - Nevis is really the pick for the Colts, but the Chiefs got him. Indy simply must focus on its defense, and with Bob Sanders gone, and interior "D" a problem, there's a lot of players that can help. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois may be the answer - he's fast, and super strong. A 4-3 run-plugger than can help Indy. Here's Liuget against tough competition in Ohio State, where on a number of plays he holds his own, and gets tackles for losses:

Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - The Eagles main needs are to improve the depth along the offensive line. They could stand a good tight end, too, but the rule is if you can get a good center high in the draft, but not too high, take him. That person is Rodney Hudson, C, Florida State.

New Orleans Saints (11-5) - The Saints have great wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends. But what they need, like the Eagles, are more line depth - they can focus on defense in the later rounds. Take Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California is the answer, even as some question his size.

Seattle Seahawks (7-9) - Seattle needs a good young quarterback that will point to a promising future and excite the fan base. That said, do you take Cam Newton or Jake Locker? The "Zennie Rule" is if you have a top ranked player from a local college, you take him first. That means Washington's Jake Locker stays put in Seattle, even though Newton's potential is huge. You take the known person that will help sell tickets and win games, too.

Here's a video of Locker against Stanford last year:

Besides, how does Seahawks Head Coach Pete Caroll explain passing on Locker if he's available?

Baltimore Ravens (12-4) - The Ravens need pass catching help, and not just at wide receiver. But they also need offensive line and defensive line depth. The best player on the board is Ohio State DE, Cameron Heyward - the Ravens should take him.

Atlanta Falcons (13-3) - With Tony Gonsalez set to retire, the tight end position is the focus, and the best player for the Falcons also happenes to be around the best ranked on the board now: Notre Dame Tight End Kyle Rudolph.

New England Patriots (14-2) - With the home-run hitter in place, the Patriots can now get the offensive line help needed. Big Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State is the answer.

Chicago Bears (11-5) The Bears Quarterback Position is so important the words start with capital letters. Jay Cutler, who the Bears took from Denver, was spotty, and fans are still smarting from his lack of playing desire in the NFC Championship Game. The Bears need to bring in someone that points to a promoising future (that word again), and scares the hell out of Culter: Cam Newton.

Bringing Cam Newton to the Chicago Bears would shock the city and give Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz a new young talent to teach. Newton wins games, is a Heisman Trophy winner, and will take Chicago by storm.

Here's one of what seems to be too many videos on Cam Newton. It's hard to find one that can be looked at in a clinical way, so this will have to do:

New York Jets (11-5) - It's hard to see a great player like Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State, staying on the baord before the first round ends. The NY Jets addition of Paea will give them a pass-pocket collapsing specialist and run stuffer, who had an amazing bench press performance at the NFL Combine.

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) - The Steelers do have a great front seven, but it's not so good that a great Oklahoma defensive end can't help: Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma is the best player on the board now. The Steelers front seven would be even more outstanding and have more depth.

Green Bay Packers (10-6) - The Packers need running backs, but there's no one worth taking this high in the NFL Draft. But the Packers, rich in possession pass catchers, also lack a wide receiver that can just plain stretch the field, and one is available: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland, will give the Pack a deep ball threat that may send them back to The Super Bowl.

2011 NFL Draft First Round A Defensive Affair

So that closes the 2011 NFL Draft 1sr Round - a round dominated by defense. But that's the way the players are shaking out this year. Consider that at the NFL Combine, the top bench-pressers weren't offensive linemen, but defensive linemen. That's unheard of. And the fastest player in the combine this year wasn't a wide receiver or a running back, but a cornerback. Offensive players were there in spots, like Locker and Newton.

Cam Newton Falls

Cam Newton's a better quarterback than this mock draft reflects; he could go much higher. But the feeling here is there are too many NFL scouts trying to downplay his overall potential, and frankly a weird tinge of racism from many sides, not just what's expected. Plus, Cam didn't come to the NFL in a "smooth" way. He's a controversial figure, but not because of his personalitity, but the people around him and the decisions he's made in an environment that's been less than supportive and far more exploitive. Finally, with so many good defensive players, and teams that don't have a pressing need for a quarterback, it ads up to Newton's falling in this mock draft.

That's one reason Newton was picked up by Chicago rather than falling further in the NFL Draft. With a talent like Cam, who has a good set of parents to support him, a surrogate black parent with a good religious background, like Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, would make a big difference in Newton's growth, both as a person and a player. Part of the Tony Dungy Coaching Tree, Smith brings a quiet, steady, supportive presence for Newton.

Well, whatever the outcome, this is going to be fun.

Stay tuned for the next mock draft.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Japan Earthquake Radiation, And Fish: Sebo Sushi Restaurant San Francisco's Susan Schuster

If you're a foodie, or even just a person who thinks about restaurants, you've probably wondered how seafood eateries in West Coast waterfront cities like San Francisco are dealing with the impact of the Japan Earthquake. That's exactly the question asked of Susan Schuster, a cook at the famed Sebo Sushi Restaurant at 571 Hayes Street between Laguna and Octavia in San Francisco.

Here's a satellite live map...

View Larger Map

No, our conversation didn't take place at Sebo, but at a party for the Bay Area Red Cross held 10 days ago. But what's going on with Sebo and with respect to the Japan Earthquake?

"The Earthquake has destroyed a lot of the (fisheries) habitat," Schuster reports. "If you think of what happened in Santa Cruz (referring to the damage after that earthquake), it's happened on a much, much larger scale in Japan." Susan says that almost all of Sebo's fish comes from Japan, she says and it's "fresh, not frozen."

But even though the owners and chefs at Sebo didn't expect to get fish, because of the port damage and power loss, the rolling blackouts have allowed fresh fish to be delivered. So as of this writing, Sebo's fish supply was not impacted by the events in Japan.

What about the radiation? "It's a eventually a fear, but is currently not a fear." At the time of this video the radiation threat was more talk than reality, but now it's fully upon us. In the video, Susan says that they don't expect fish to be at all ready or available or under those circumstances. "It's definitely something we're concerned about," she said. "Currently, the fish we're getting is from no where near that area."

But she wants it to be known that Sebo has been getting fish, and "It's still beautiful quality." But since this video was made ten days ago, it's best to call Sebo at (415) 864-2181.

Songs For Japan: Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Others Help Japan

As this blog post is written, the top Twitter trend term is a promoted one called "Songs For Japan." It refers to a special album of 38 songs by some of the top artists of our time. Songs for Japan has Lady Gaga, Eminem, Beyonce, Madonna, U2, Bruno Mars, the Kings of Leon, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Justin Bieber (not without some Twitter chatter) and many others.

According to iTunes and The Sun, proceeds go to Japanese Red Cross Society and royalties were waved for this album.

And yes, this blogger purchased the album, which also contains classic works by, for example, Elton John, singing, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, which is appropriate for the situation. And John Mayer's timeless "Waiting For The World To Change" is part of the collection, and its message can't be more fitting.

Katy Perry offers her song "Firework" from her album Teenage Dream, and tweets for her supporters to buy Songs For Japan:

katyperry Katy Perry
Check out "SONGS FOR JAPAN" A compilation full of wonderful artists as well as my song "FIREWORK" on ITUNES today:
9 hours ago

Songs For Japan is a different way to help donate to the cause of helping Japan. At a time when charities are concerned their may not be enough money to go around, this new album's a great idea to spur people to get involved.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kirstie Alley Wants George Lopez Kidney Now, After Dancing!

After posting the best score of all competitors in Dancing With The Stars Season 12, Kirstie Alley just can't catch a break.  Now, the hits come from George Lopez.

After being made fun of on Twitter, and mostly because of her celebrated battle with weight, Alley now has, of all people, comedian and talk show host George Lopex to deal with. According to The New York Post, Lopez compared her to a pig:

"She did a nice job, her little hooves tapping away. Before the show, she went to the market and then she had roast beef..."

Lopez apologized, but that wasn't enough for Kirstie.

Not one to take comments without a response, Alley gave this response on Twitter:

kirstiealley Kirstie Alley
@georgelopez I don't need or want ur apology...I want your kidney dude..on behalf of ur X and all the women uv insulted...give it back
6 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Indeed, it was classless on Lopez part to issue what was really just a fat joke. George would hate it if someone made fun of his bad complexion, so why even do that is beyond anyone.

It's not really a good PR move for Alley so much as it is, Lopez using Alley's hotter celebrity light to shine on himself. It goes right into the "He said what?" category.

Lopez will try to milk this for a show or two. But it's doubtful the act will help his ratings much.

Stay tuned.

Jersey Shore Season Three Finale

The season three of Jersey Shore has come to an end and how ironic that in the finale Sam and Ron have ended once again.

The next season will be shot in Italy - yes Italy. It'll be pretty horrible when Snooki figures out that there are no "guido, gorilla, juice heads" in Italy, and to be called a guido is actually very offensive to many Italians.

The season four has not started to be filmed yet, but TMZ reported that the Jersey Shore boys have been practicing their Italian with Rosetta Stone.

Anyway, the finale was a big blow out. Deena blocked Vinny from getting any actions, JWOWW and Roger became official girlfriend and boyfriend, Situation apologized to Sammi, Sammi and Ronnie ended....for the 392031239025th time...

Snooki in the end of the episode confesses that if she had to choose between RON or SAM to come back to the Shore house - she would choose Ron.

Vinny got so drunk - SO drunk. It was hilarious. He was passed out and he was just - wow. Hilarious.

The season finale was good - Situation said a lot of comical things; it would have been nice if he had been able to impress the audience at Donald Trump's roast.

Well, looks like it'll be a while until there's anymore Jersey Shore - but the reunion will be worth watching. There's enough footage online to keep every JERSDAY going on.

And Snooki's words of advice:
"Have sex with an old man, steal a plant, and then get arrested, and then do whatever."

But she and Deena ended up cooking some grilled cheese sandwiches; looks like the ladies have some kitchen skills after all.

Snooki would like to run for president with Deena as her Vice. Oh what a world that would be.

P.S. Don't ever compare Deena to Angelina OR Vinny and Snooki to Ronnie and Sammi.

New UI Claims decline - Unemployed 99ers Under Attack Why Won’t They FIGHT BACK?

New UI Claims declined last week, but unemployed and 99ers are under attack in every state. So why won’t they FIGHT BACK?

Jobless claims declined by 5000 to 382000 in the week ended March 19, 2011. BIG DEAL as that is still an annual job loss rate of 20 MILLION in the USA. Why don’t they ever mention that on the NEWS? I skimmed over 55 related articles by the big news outlets and their affiliates like FOX, CBS, ABC, Huff-Post, Associated Press, Reuters and the like and NOT EVEN 1 of them pointed out the annual job loss rate of 20 million - NOT ONE!

Several State legislatures are trying to pass Bills which would require drug tests for jobless benefits. Isn’t is funny how they gripe and moan about not having the money to pay UI benefits - but they want to incur the extra expense of administering a drug testing policy?

So far Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Texas and at least seven other states have introduced this type of legislation and it has also been suggested as well on a federal level - but this legislation has of course failed every time.

Does anyone see any resemblance between leaders of Foreign oppressive regimes calling their protesting masses “Druggies” and our own American politicians inferring the American unemployed masses are also on drugs? The leader of Libya, the ousted leaders of Egypt and Tunisia as well as Yemen's current leader all have done so. Many Republican Senators, members of Congress and certain State legislators have too. It is outrageous and they seem to all be working from the same disgusting, disrespectful playbook.

When those in power in any country lose respect for their hurting masses - it is easier to dismiss them as victims of Drug Induced Lunacy than to deal with the problem honestly and effectively. To suggest that the Long Term Unemployed are all druggies is absurd and anyone saying so is trying to abdicate their own guilt in condemning millions of their fellow Americans to hunger and Homelessness.

Another unbelievable epidemic in America is how many states are either not taking advantage of the Federal UI extensions Obama traded Wealthy American tax breaks for last December. These states are actually not only hurting the long term unemployed who live in those states - but many states are also cutting back on the number of weeks their initial claims can be paid out. Funny how the GOP won the right to word that legislation in such a way last December to assure states had to enact new laws of their own in order for the unemployed to take advantage of these “so called” extension of UI Benefits - BUT NO additional LAWS were required for the RICH to take advantage of their tax breaks. The reason is quite clear. Neither Obama or the Congress wanted anyone to be able to get that extra UI Benefits money being extended to the more recently long term unemployed.

So with 11 states refusing that extra money and perhaps more to come, you would think now they have enough money to cover the expense of extending benefits to the 99ers RIGHT? But nobody is even discussing this fact are they? The money is already allocated - considered spent and spent in the 2011 budget.

I decided to call Rep. Lee of California to suggest this idea and the staffer seemed unimpressed. So I called Boehner then Cantor’s office and to my amazement - Boehner’s & Cantor’s people showed far more interest in what I had to say. Those I spoke to on the Speaker’s staff asked me how I came up with that idea. I responded by asking them “why didn’t you think of that? Isn’t that why we pay you the big bucks?”

At a time when America is still losing jobs at a rate of 20 MILLION per year - is NOT the time to punish those who lose those jobs-ESPECIALLY when it is our government who is responsible for greasing the wheels of our demise via lucrative incentives for all corporations who send our jobs abroad.

CNN Money this week reported: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are all close to cutting the initial weeks one can claim UI from 26 to 20. This would not be such a bad thing if they would take the amount of UI benefits one would get for 26 weeks and pay that to you in 20 weeks instead - or even lower the UI payroll tax deducted from a worker’s paycheck - but NO! They are trying to increase what the average worker pays into the system and cut the benefits received and also reduce the amount the employer pays as well. More proof that these politicians work only for the corporations and NOT for “WE THE PEOPLE.”

So why aren’t we Fighting back? First thing is we are so spread out and disconnected from each other. Many 99ers are in the age group where we do not FaceBook, Tweet or fully use Social Networking on the INTERNET. Well If you register with the 99ers Data Base you will not need to mess with the crap often associated with Facebook or other sites. Personally I cannot stand Facebook and view it merely as a necessary evil these days. Twitter has also been basically useless to the unemployed cause as it comes to anything more than visibility. Before everyone slams me for saying that, let me clarify. Twitter has done NOTHING at all to advance the cause for extending UI benefits - that is a fact. Visibility is important but UI Benefits to survive and Jobs to thrive are the goals here.

Rhonda Taylor of Rhode Island, frequent contributer here on Jobless Talk, Co-Host of her own Blog Talk Radio show Re-Difining the American Dream and prolific 99er advocate extraordinaire has created a data base for 99ers. The purpose of this is to have a way to contact as many of those in the 99er Nation for protests and gives her a geographical "map" of sorts so she will know how many busses will be needed and from what locations for the big Washington 99er convergence planned for this Spring.

Rhonda has proven herself trustworthy and since she will be administering the 99er Data Base - I have already registered and suggest all unemployed Americans do the same. Register now here.

It is not just the 99ers who need to fight back. We need every Jobless American to stand with us in this fight for our survival. We are all 99ers. Some of us are the 99ers of yesterday, others the 99ers of today and the rest of the unemployed are the 99ers of tomorrow. Only the way things are going - if the politicians have their way NOBODY will even get 99 week of UI in the future - needed or not. Don't wait for it to happen to you. Every week the 99ers go without income - more people lose their jobs because ours is a consumer based economy in America. There is simply no way approximately 7 million jobless who no longer can buy goods or services cannot have a detrimental effect on the economy. 99ers were the first hit by the crumbling economy and the last to get hired apparently - or we would have jobs by now.

OK, I am not saying that there are not some on UI benefits who prefer to collect benefits rather than working. Fact is there are people who game the system in every walk of life, but the tired old argument that UI Benefits must be withheld in order to motivate the unemployed back into the workforce clearly lacks merit or substantiation if over a year after the benefits have stopped - you still have been unable to secure employment. Same goes with the other lame assertion that the long term unemployed are too picky in accepting employment they feel is beneath them. Come on man - Nobody in their right mind would prefer hunger and homelessness to working a minimum wage job. Any proclamation to that effect is as worthless as the party spewing such.

It continues to baffle me how, with millions of 99ers out there in America - how few of those have opted to be involved in their own fight for survival.

EXAMPLE: U-Cubed (Union for the Unemployed) is a free, well organized and fully funded community service project of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) designed to assist the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, and to provide them with a structure that allows them to take advantage of their growing numbers. U-Cubed is just over 1 year old and yet has less than 5,000 members at present. We really need to change this. There is a direct correlation between the states with high U-Cubed involvement and politicians not pushing around the unemployed. Check it out.

Speaking of U-Cubed: Eight California cities made the U-Cubed March Madness Unemployment brackets, but Fresno, CA ranked #1 "Most Unemployed" City in America with an unemployment rate of (17.2). See the brackets

***If you are not yet engaged in U-Cubed Please DO SO TODAY

U-Cubed on:




Get out there and meet with real activists. Find them locally in groups like U-Cubed, on College Campus or other community (computer) bulletin boards, contact and US Uncut.

The weather is getting better out there now so no more excuses. I realize that the 99ers for the most part are an aging population but none of us are getting any younger and if you want to get any older - you had better stand up and fight for your survival in whatever way you can. Be visible and proactive. Do whatever you can to demonstrate clearly to our elected officials in your own state and Nationally that you mean business and you will not just go away and die.


CLEAR MESSAGE: We will not be ignored and we WILL stand up and FIGHT for our survival.

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