Monday, January 03, 2011

Orange Bowl: Stanford Destroys Virginia Tech 40 To 12, Ends Fluke Season

Stanford Legend and friend Michael Dotterer sent a text one hour before tonight's Orange Bowl game, reading "GO CARDINAL," so I gave him a call. Dotterer, one of only 24 decorated two sport athletes in Stanford's Hall of Fame, asked me to predict the score of the game. "40 to 10, Cardinal," was my response.

Stanford won 40 to 12, under a 4-touchdown performance by Quarterback Andrew Luck.

As I write this, Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh's accepting the Orange Bowl trophy. "Hairball," as some Cal Old Blues call him, deserves it. Also, really, and all kidding aside, let's tip our hats to the Stanford Athletics program, which, in an age when athletes as often wind up in a police report as that do on a stats sheet, have produced a number of true student-athletes, who've performed amazingly of late.

Stanford's Women's Basketball Team halts UCONN's 90-game win streak last week. Stanford Football goes 12 wins and 1 loss and wins the Orange Bowl, just four years after a 1 and 11 season, a coach named Buddy Teavens, and constant Big Game losses to Cal.

Jim Harbaugh, for all of his quirks and fits, turned around the Stanford Cardinal Football program.

Harbaugh Should Stay Put

Yes, Harbaugh's talked about as an NFL head coaching candidate, as well as a replacement for Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriquez. But Jim Harbaugh should keep his tail on the farm.

And here's why.

For all of his success this year, the question I have is if he can get Stanford to 12 and 1, why not stick around and aim directly for a BCS National Championship? In other words, right now, this Stanford Football season was a fluke.

Yep. A fluke.

No one, not even Stanford, expected this kind of performance from The Cardinal. It seemed Stanford was blowing opponents out almost every week, and for the most part those margins of victory were unexpected. That element of shock at how good Stanford Football was remained to the Big Game, until the most lopsided win in Big Game history 48 to 14 made even Cal fans like myself realize this Cardinal squad was something special.

But look, the year before the Cardinal was 8 and 4, and Cal walked into Stanford Stadium, and walked out with a major Big Game win. So, it was a good year for Stanford, but not a great year like this one.

But can they sustain it? To me, this will be the fluke season (there's that word again), unless Jim Harbaugh sets his mind to 2011 on the farm.

If Jim's as good a coach as he thinks he is, he'll come back and coach another year, setting his sights on a BCS National Championship for the Stanford Cardinal.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Inauguration: Mayor Jean Quan Gives Epic Speech

Oakland, CA - I will have the video up later today, but Oakland Mayor Jean Quan gave an epic 20 minute speech, calling for a renewed sprit of volunterism, and a "children-first" policy focus. It was a speech that was better delivered than I expected and with a compassion and care that will come to mark Quan's term as Mayor of Oakland.

More later.

99ers Contemplate Fresh New Attack Strategy for 2011

Even as the rumors of the improving economy abound, the 99ers begin to contemplate fresh new attack strategy for 2011.

It is clear that what we did last year laid the ground work for our 2011 platform, but I am not of the mind that we should limit our participation to fax attacks, emails and phone calls to Washington. I believe there is strength in numbers and as our numbers sadly grow (according to Rant/Rave "The 99ers are growing by 35,000 people per week and it will continue to do so in 2011") , so does our political clout.

Personally, I believe that a 2 pronged attack in addition to the fax attacks, emails phone calls to Washington and joining free advocacy groups like U-Cubed is imperative and must be implemented with a vengeance.

WE NEED to fight Washington indifference to the plight and massive suffering of the 99er Nation with BAD PRESS and BIG PROTESTS! We need to push away the shame of being in the untenable situation of long term unemployment and the resulting poverty and take to the streets. We must be an ever visible force in the home offices of every member of Congress with great regularity and the Press by our side at every turn. We need to think and act outside the box!

I have read the 4 part story/plan All247News Unemployment & 99er's touted by Mike White (co-founder of American 99ers Union) and Michael Colliss and I for one am NOT impressed. But I have provided the link here for you to read and decide for yourselves.

Those who suggest we do the faxing, calling, tweet and email thing forget we tried that all last year beginning last Spring. This is the problem with that: The May Day Fax Attack that I spearheaded in MAY 2010 which lasted 15 days - that is exactly what we did. We faxed hundreds of thousands of our resumes - rejection letters, personal stories , late notices etc! to Washington and NOTHING except the laughter from our Speaker Pelosi at her weekly briefing May 29, 2010!

I have always loved the line in Fatal Attraction that Glen Close has - “I will not be ignored!” Well it is time we get out and be seen so we remain the #1 topic in the news until we 99ers get the help denied us thus far!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for this: ATTENTION Rhode Islanders:
What: Free Community Dinner Sponsored by Senator Whitehouse

When: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 6 p.m.

Where: Portuguese Social Club 131 School Street, Pawtucket

This free community dinner is open to the public. Please feel free to bring your family and friends. If you would like to RSVP, or would like additional information, please visit our website a, call 401-453-5294, or e-mail RSVPs are encouraged, but not required.

Positive signs from New York’s New Governor:
Naomi Cohn, National Unemployment Examiner for, in her recent article NY's new governor refers to 99ers, unemployment extension, and jobs wrote - In his inaugural address yesterday, New York's new governor Andrew Cuomo said that jobs are his number one priority and that he is particularly concerned about those unemployed who have exhausted all available benefits -- the 99ers.

This is more affirmation to the 99er Nation that 2011 we will NOT be ignored or swept aside, under the carpet or otherwise neglected. Stay tuned for more! We are just beginning to heat up this fight.

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

Oakland Inauguration: Larry Reid Is Council President, Desley Brooks Is Oakland's Vice Mayor

Oakland, CA - Vice Mayor. Ignacio asks to recognize Councilmember Desley Brooks as Vice Mayor of The Oakland City Council. Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid (District 7) is now elected President of The Oakland City Council.

In his remarks, Larry thanked the elected officials new and incumbent, and said Oakland is one of America's most incredible cities.

Larry kind of got after Sanjiv for criticizing the city and said that over the next five years, Oakland would evolve into something special.

Ignacio nominated to hissing from some in the crowd. And here comes Sanjiv with a bunch of speaker cards which mean's he's going to talk for a while. He noted that the election of Reid and Brooks to President and Vice Mayor was four years too late. And he then said the problem was that Oakland's problem was City Hall.

Sanjiv pointed out that, even in this Council session, the public, which was to speak first, was not allowed to do so. He then says that Oakland has 658 police officers, and failed to use its additional income to help solve the problem. He now says "no more Mr. Nice Guy," and is going to go to court against them.

He then points to Prop 59, and a City Ordinance written by, John Russo, and then kind of gets personal with attacks on bloggers (not me), to the point where, as I write this, people are screaming for him to stop talking. President Reid said his time expired.

Election of President Pro-Tem was done. Here comes Sanjiv, again. But Gloria Bryant's going to talk on the open forum before he does.

Now, he comes Sanjiv.  He's pissed that he was cut off.  Hissing from all around.  Sanjiv, mockingly, says all of the people hissing will have their hands out for help and get nothing from the council.

After all that, metting's over.  Oakland Symphony's leader, Michael Morgan, who's moderated this event and excellently, takes us out.

Oakland Inauguration: Jean Quan Libby Schaaf and Pat Kernighan Take Office - Part 1

Oakland, CA: Live From The Fox - Today's a special day in the City of Oakland, because Jean Quan, formerly District 4 Councilmember, then the (to some) surprising new Mayor-Elect of Oakland after beating front-runner Don Perata thanks to Ranked Choice Voting, today becomes Mayor of Oakland.

Quan started the day with a walk from Chinatown through Oakland, and ending at the Fox Theater, where we are for the inauguration ceremonies. She held an inpromptu "thank you" chat with supporters and onlookers in front of the Fox, and was joined by Assemblyman Sandre Swanson.

Sandre, a protege of former Congressman and now outgoing Mayor Ron Dellums, issued what in retrospect, was the first sign that Dellums wasn't going to run for reelection: he announced his support for Quan. Moreover, Sandre's support for Jean never wavered. Now, today, he looks like a proud papa, grinning from ear-to-ear.

Libby Schaaf, Pat Kernighan, Courtney Ruby, and Desley Brooks Take Office

Today's also the day my long-time friend Libby Schaaf, who I said should run for Mayor, ran for City Council, and won in a landslide. She's now the new councilmember for District 4 (Oakland Hills - Montclair), replacing Quan.

With all this, Libby's still new to Oaklanders. I had to get the Fox Theater usher to let her in without a ticket, explaining Libby was one of his new representatives and she was about to be sworn in. That problem won't last for long.  Libby's going to make a big name for herself.

Pat Kernighan, the incumbent District 2 Councilmember (Chinatown - Lake Merritt) also won big over her challenger Jen Pae. For a while, it looked like Jen might upset Pat, but Councilmember Kernighan's vast set of long-established relationships formed a base that was hard to overcome.

Courtney Ruby, the incumbent City Auditor, also won over a chalenge from Michael Killian. Moreover, Killian's focus on auditing issues at CEDA, the Community and Economic Development Agency of Oakland, may have caused her to release her study on CEDA loans and fiscal reporting. One that Oakland City Administrator Dan Lindheim took offense to.

Desley Brooks won her 3rd term as Oakland's District 6 Councilmember and it was well deserved. While she has her critics, there are few elected officials who work harder than she.

The Ceremony: Some Highlights

Right now, Oakland School Board member Chris Dobbins is doing his best Sarah Palin impersonation, even to the point of bring up his entire family, "from Wasila, Alaska," he said.

And now we have Sanjiv Handa,long time journalist and City Council "whip, if you will, giving a speech to the Council. He is starting a new precendent. There are 100s and 1,000s of PTA's that are doing the things the city used to do, he says. Who ever is elected can revisit the basic purpose of government interaction: every aspect of public business must be discussed on public. He also wants an extension of time for speakers.

Handa was making good points, but is now putting the crowd on edge with some hissing, as he recounts his version of what now Governor Jerry Brown did to Oakland's School system while he was mayor.  That's not something Gary Yee cares about; today, he's the new President of The Board of The Oakland Unified School District.   He says that the Oakland School Districtis on the right path and is on a mission to graduate every student.  Yee also says we have a long way to go.

Fox Theater Attendance OK

With all of this, you'd think the Fox Theater would be filled to the brim, but no.  Even in the lower level area, there are empty seats.

Stay turned for Part Two.

George Clooney: why do some men remain bachelors? 7 common reasons. By Dr. Christina Villarreal

Hollywood's most iconic bachelor George Clooney (and two time winner of People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive) is often cited as a 'success story' by high achieving, adult men who choose bachelorhood over marriage. Unlike in past decades, society has become far more accepting of men who remain bachelors. Modern day bachelors are frequently financially successful who have adopted an enjoyable lifestyle on their own, dining in singles-scene restaurants or cooking artfully for one, forgoing family style vacations for jaunts to sexually hedonistic cities like Miami, Rio, or Vegas, indulging in expensive and/or time consuming sports like golf, sailing, or tri-athalon training, and of course, finding time to pursue a wide variety of women for company. While a modern day bachelor may dream of the exceptional woman who could excite and inspire him to forgo all of this, in the meantime, there is no shortage of modern, single women willing to gratify his sexual needs, perhaps hoping to be the one to convert him to marital devotion.

In my professional opinion as a clinical psychologist, I don't see anything wrong with men who feel that a life-long commitment to the same person isn't right for them. Many people lead rich and fulfilling lives having never married. Staying single is a viable choice for people who feel this way, and absolutely the right choice for those that feel marriage would cause them unhappiness. Over the course of providing therapy to men, and discussing this matter extensively with current day bachelors, I have developed an understanding of common reasons why some remain bachelors.

A common myth of the modern day bachelor is that none of them have an interest in committed long-term relationships. Some bachelors believe that they want a committed relationship/marriage ('one day' as many will explain), and can cite a host of reasons why they continue to be single. The central dilemma for these men often lies in the avoidance of hypocrisy. Meaning, while a stable, intimate relationship has it's benefits, the desire for sexual variety and freedom is often greater, so these men feel forced to choose. So the question is, why do some men choose bachelorhood over a committed relationship? These reasons vary greatly in my professional opinion. As Clooney himself has insinuated, relationships are very hard work, and bachelorhood is a strategy to avoid the emotional work necessary for a healthy committed relationship. George Clooney quotes:

"I was in a bar and I said to a friend, `You know, we've become those 40-year-old guys we used to look at and say, `isn't it sad?"

"The holidays are the toughest time for me. I just try to get through them. Being a bachelor has it's rough spots."

"We'd get into a fight and I'd just mentally leave. I'd think, 'In a relationship, we should never have his kind of fight.' Then, instead of figuring out how to make it work, I looked for a way to get out of it. The truth is, you shouldn't be married if your that kind of person."

7 Common reasons bachelors forgo committed relationships and marriage:

1. Emotions and relationships aren't always logical.
A healthy marriage requires the ability to experience and manage strong emotions while problem solving. While many men are quite successful at problem-solving and managing conflicts in their work roles and male friendships, they find that intimate relationships do not always follow the same logical path to resolution. These men often develop a disdain for personal relationships that do not feel 'logical' because they feel confused and unsuccessful at managing them.

2. Sexual boredom. Some bachelors fear the time when they can no longer confirm their virility through sexual conquests. When a man's self-esteem is closely tied to accruing new sexual encounters, he is bound to feel a tremendous blow to his ego if he cannot pursue the 'emotional high' that is often associated with winning a new woman's affection as evidence that he's still 'got it'.

3. Perceived loss of freedom and control. Many bachelors feel they can't fully be themselves unless they remain unattached to a woman, who they believe will undoubtedly try to control him. Even compromise that is essential to any healthy relationship can feel like a loss of power when a bachelor anticipates a 'take over' from the woman he's dating. Others grow weary of taking on responsibilities for anyone other than themselves (i.e. the old ball and chain.) Bachelors find support for their fears by pointing to married men who have far less time for male-centered activities, and can no longer make financial decisions that only benefit themselves.

4. Avoidance of marital disasters. To estimate his chances of marital success a bachelor often looks to his family and married friends as a prediction of his future. He will often zero in on examples of marital failure- married men who feel compelled to cheat, others who abandoned their children, or married couples who argue and fight over everything. Rather than subject himself to experience these marital disasters with someone he genuinely cares for, he rationalizes that remaining single is a much safer bet.

5. Absence of healthy marriage in childhood. Many bachelors cite an absent father or father-figure in their childhood as a reason for not developing the skills necessary to contribute to a healthy marriage. Others witnessed a father who was repeatedly unfaithful and unhappy in his marital life. These bachelors feel that without a good model to draw from, they are destined to become part of an inevitable, familial chain of marital failure.

6. Difficulty balancing professional goals with marriage. It's not uncommon for men to wait until they've achieved some level of occupational stability and success before choosing to settle down with a partner. Yet some men fear that a marriage and/or family will directly hinder them from making the career strides they envision for themselves (i.e. 'the workaholic'), and have difficulty accepting that it is possible to have both simultaneously.

7. Misogynistic or devaluing beliefs towards women. In my professional experience, a subset of bachelors share an ideology that women are inherently inferior to men, and aren't worthy of a man's commitment. Their beliefs prevent them from having enough respect for women to engage in a loving, committed relationship. They tend to view all women as opportunistic "gold diggers" who are incapable of contributing meaningfully to a man's life. The origins of their disrespect may come from dysfunctional relationships with their own mother, who they may have experienced as negligent, unloving, overly dependent on an abusive man, or otherwise poor caregivers.

Can bachelors like George Clooney be reformed?
(women around the world are holding their breath as they read below)

Many bachelors will wait to until they're old, bald, and/or grey and in need of a nurse before considering giving up their bachelorhood status- typically when the benefits of bachelorhood are no longer in reach (unless they're the Hugh Hefner sort, and can buy a young woman's company). Others will choose to bite the bullet and do it earlier so that they're not constantly mistaken for their girlfriend's grandfather.

However there IS hope!
Psychotherapy with a trained mental health professional such as myself can often help men overcome their commitment fears of marriage. How does this work? A good therapist will gently extract a detailed family and dating history, in order to pinpoint precisely when and how the running dialogue in a man's mind became "I'm better suited to bachelorhood. I need variety more than intimacy. I'm not cut out for married life." Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective clinical road map for treatment, if a healthy, committed relationship is the desired outcome. And when I say commitment, I don't mean just to a woman/partner, but to himself. A commitment to giving himself the opportunity to experience and receive deep intimacy, trust, acceptance of imperfection of yourself and another person, and most obviously, love.

This articles was written by Dr. Christina Villarreal, a licensed clinical psychologist based in the Bay Area, CA. For professional questions or referrals you may contact her directly at or visit her website at