Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lake Shore Drive In Chicago Closed, Lake Michigan With 24-Foot Swells

Chicago, this blogger's hometown, is in a snow-blizzard mess, and so much so that "Lake Shore Drive" is a Twitter Trending Topic for the first time.

According to tweets, people have been told to abandon their cars and walk to safety because of the unusually high waves. Lake Shore Drive is closed, as is Sheridan Blvd in Evanston next to Northwestern University.

Several photos on Twitpic (like this one by @callmerashad) show a surreal scene of darkness, haze, snow, and cars illuminated by street lights and headlights, and snow - a lot of snow.

All thanks to a giant winter storm system that's literally attacking an area from Chicago to Dallas, where in suburban Arlington, Texas, Super Bowl XVL will be played this Sunday. Already, Super Bowl events are harder to get to in an already spread-out Super Bowl plan, because of the snow and ice.

But that's nothing compared to Chicago.

Mayor Richard J. Daley said the storm is "of historic magnitude, the likes of which we have not seen in decades."

Or, since January 26, 1967, when Chicago was buried under up two 23 inches of snow in two days.

I should know.  I was six years old and in Chicago, where I was born.  At the time, we lived at 7427 Wentworth.   My parents owned a three story (what's called a "two-flat") building that still stands today in good condition.  But that month was one where you just didn't go outside at all.  Our giant backyard was buried in snow that came up to three feet in some areas.  It was a bright white sight.  You could not walk down the stairs to it without walking, er, wading,  right into the snow.    The best thing to do was to stay and home and watch the then-new Star Trek television show.

From the looks of these YouTube videos, watching Star Trek's a good idea now:

Some things and Other things-Our weekly (sometimes jaded and comical) look at news from the world of football-

By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

Some interesting happenings this week from around the football world….

Sunday Night’s Pro Bowl, the NFL’s version of an All-star game was the most watched in 14 years….Really? Not that I wasn’t one of those watching at least part of it, but we all know the players were only playing at half speed…Maybe they should bring back the skills competition, or how about a rookie game? Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews pre game ritual is to douse his long (Blonde) mane in ice water just before he hits the field….nice, what if it freezes? Then he’s really the Iceman…..The NFL Management team, and reps from the NFLPA are finally meeting on Saturday down in Dallas, both to begin talks and to “accelerate” the pace of negotiations…what took you so long Guys? An NFLPA rep told me in E-mail this morning he expects it to be the busiest week in some time….and that’s the best news we have heard in some time…From New England Sports networks’ the Daily Blend: Tom Brady is among the most hated players in the NFL. Guess Pats fans are still in shock that another team from New York beat them in the post season….Speaking of that team from NY wearing Green & White…Rex Ryan was spotted In Hawaii at the Pro Bowl this past weekend without his sweater vest , but wearing a white Jets polo shirt and some Dog tags….Last time I checked he had no military service credit in his background…..Unless they are his Dad’s, or they filming a remake of my favorite movie from1970, Kelly’s Heroes….Maybe Rex is Playing (channeling) Carroll O’Connor’s General Colt character, Or is he Donald Sutherland’s “ODDBALl?”….I want to know who on the Jets Coaching staff is Playing Clint Eastwood’s Part….Hopefully not the recently “dismissed” Sal Alosi…..Today here in NY, they are getting ready to ship 7,000 Pizzas to the Afgan front thanks to UNO Grill…Beats mess hall food, even with the improvements in Army Food…”MRE’s Anyone?I donlt ever remember adding water to Pizza....As I write this, the Super Bowl Media day is going on. Rest assured Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has bought plenty of warm coats since we asked him that 5 Years ago at his NFL Draft Presser….Lots of players are concerned about the pace of the talks between the players and the owners…from Jets DB Antonio Cromartie to Steelers WR Hines Ward…..Speaking of the city of Dallas, that emporium of grilled meat products, we hear there are almost as many people worried about how much they will pay to park their cars for the game as they are about finding “suitable Gentleman’s Adult entertainment….” I remember the 12 months I spent stationed at Ft. Hood down near Waco, no shortage of available “dates” there, Girls just love men in uniforms…Speaking of the Army, If the Pentagon & The department of the Army follow suit like they did with Lt. Caleb Campbell, Lt. Ali Villineuva may make it back to Play Pro Football by 2013…now who wants to figure out what to do with a 6’ 10” Tight End….and this week we’ll close with the “Youngest Reporter” at the Super Bowl, 11 year old Braden Madden, of Sachse Texas is part of the credentialed media this week,..interviewing players and filing stories for the “Weekly Reader” which is part of the Reader Digest family....Good for him,…but I had to wait until I was 29 to get a SB credential,….does he have his FWAA Card yet??We'll cut him a break because he's 11, but we're going to send him a few "real" questions to ask.....

Mubarak Stays, Obama Wants Change Now, Tahrir Square Protestors Angry

The Egyptian President Hosnie Mubarak's statement that he would not seek re-election and step down in seven months was not well-received by his people. And even before the evening speech, thousands if not millions took to the streets and to Tahrir Square to say in different ways, some direct, others harsh, still others vulgar, "get out."

The Guardian UK described it all this way :

Four generations, more than a million people (according to the army count at 2pm) are here. They are all doing what they have not been able to do for decades; each and every one is having their say in their own way and insisting on being counted. Their dominant demand, of course, is for Mubarak to step down.

President Barack Obama just gave a speech where he called for change "now," but was read by some observers as less than direct. The unfortunate fact is if Mubarak were to just walk away, the Egyptian Government would be in chaos, and no one knows what the next direction would be.

Would opposition leaders take control, and if they did, would they be moved aside by yet another political group we don't know about. Also, would that rapid transition come by bullet?

We don't know, and it's a sure bet President Obama does know. It's a good thing Obama doesn't have someone like CNN Analyst David Gergen as an advisor, because if Obama had listened to him, there would have been no speech at all, and the World would be calling for him to say something. Gergen's safely away from the White House, and its a good thing.

What seems to be happening is Obama's giving the protesters a green light to continue their work, and in a way giving a green light to a kind of orderly chaos. This is clearly from over, and there are indications it's just beginning.

How Did This Start? Economics, Youth, and Social Networks

Many of the great post-World War II social movements were started by people in their 20s. The one that comes to mind is the free speech movement of the 60s, which really wasn't confined to Berkeley. It was in Europe as well, and in something called The May Student Riots.

The The May Student Riots were, like today, a strike against French's traditional culture, and happened at a time of economic weakness, and threatened to totally skink President Charles de Gaulle's Administration. Also Egypt's median age is just 23, whereas President Mubarak is a defiant 82 years old.

On top of this, Egypt's people are poor. While the U.S. income inequality is actually worse than for Egypt, it's hard to make an argument that America's poor are worse off than Egypt's poor, and the per capita income there is just under $6,500, where it's about $47,000 in the U.S..

On top of all of that, add something France in the 60s didn't have: the Internet and mobile communications. They, in the form of smartphones, social networks, blogs, and microblogging sites, have served as the modern foundation for the planning of dissent. What was too expensive to do 40 years ago, having a printing press and a way to send out papers, is now surpassed by a free and easy way to communicate ideas within seconds.

Plus, World wide media like CNN and the BBC communicate Western ideas of freedom, something particularly annoying to hardline old timers in the Mid East.

The resultant impact, what the SF Bay Area Community refers to as "disruptive," has gradually taken down all forms of old approaches in World society: newspapers, media, the very way we work, and now governments.

We're in the middle of a time that's without precedent in World History. The World Communication System has tied together what Bob Klein (who now owns Oakland's Olivetto Restaurant), called The Global Teenager when he was affiliated with the Global Business Network in the 80s.

Klein explained to me then that there were basic cultural values that bound teenagers and young adults together then. It's fair to say that such is still true today, but accelerated by digital technology and World wide media.

Because of that, the process is organic, elegant, and powerful.

That is fueling a World wide desire to dismantle tyrannical governments, and no more is this currently so than in the Mid East.

The website MidEastYouth.com asks if the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen are being done by "agents of the West," and then answers the question with a large dose of sarcasm. In a blog post called "Will the Tunisian scenario be repeated in Egypt?" Bedlam Beggar of Tunisia says:

Tunisia’s revolution against Ben Ali’s iron-fisted regime is the proof that repression of the masses and attempts to crack down nation-wide demonstrations using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition result in escalation. Egypt is witnessing a similar scenario these days. Change from below seems imminent once again and the potentate risks to be deposed. Indeed, despite the oppressive measures taken by the Egyptian government, thousands are expected to join street protests scheduled after Friday prayer today.

He goes on to explain that "Facebook did not start the uprising. It only helped rally people. Social networking and video-sharing websites are now used to inform the international community about what is happening in Egypt. Trying to put an end to new media coverage is a clear indication that the regime wants to cut people off the outside world. Cybercitizens’ role proved bigger than professional journalists’ in such revolutions."

And because of that, and due to organizations like The Social Media Cafe In Cairo, Obama's speech, so terribly misread by CNN's Gergen, may have struck a match that kept the protests going on, perhaps violently. This AP video shows a man being killed by a sniper in Egypt's North Sinai as he was fleeing...

If we see more of this, Egypt's "Days of Rage" will not only continue, but spill over to other parts of the Mid East.

Obama knew what he was doing. He was giving protestors room to grow, and to take out Mubarak on their own. But, he knows and said the process will not be a clean one.

Stay tuned.

Snoop Dogg At Twitter Headquarters San Francisco

Snoop @Twitter, originally uploaded by @Twitter.

Continuing its tradition of featuring icons of American Pop Culture (Wil-I-Am, and Rainn Wilson) at its San Francisco headquarters, Twitter had legendary Hip Hop Rapper Snoop Dogg over for a visit last week.

It looks like Snoop Dogg's wearing a Dodger Blue jacket! and undoubtedly talking major smack against the San Francisco Giants. In San Francisco. At Twitter HQ? Naw, man.

Ok. It's on. The LA Dodgers are going down, Snoop. Forget it.

No word on if the Twitter staff said "And to the D - to the o - to the double G," but I'll let you know.

Mubarak isn't planning to go anywhere before the next election.

So, Mubarak won't stand for re-election? Hardly a surprise, and yet that's what he's offered, trying to spin the situation to show he's moving in the direction his people want...

The Egyptian President's statement makes it plain he's trying to save face and retain his power in the interim. It will be interesting to see how the world - and the people of Egypt - reacts to this attempt at saving face.

It was a carefully worded statement, clearly demonstrating his intent to retain influence in the transition to the next regime, saying he, "will die on the soil of Egypt."

I don't think the people gathered in Tahrir Square are satisfied. They seem more inclined to turn up the pressure.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Democratic Campaign Manager, strategist, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community. You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

Super Bowl XVL Media Day Ines Sainz Tight Blue Dress Event

Ines Sainz showed up at Super Bowl Media Day at Cowboys Stadium with Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Johnson and caused "a stir" with the bright, cowboy blue and silver dress she's wearing (photo by @skjensen at Twitpic).

Ines Sainz is a walking media event.

Because of this, and appearing with Chad Johnson, who was Chad Ochocinco, and is now again Chad Johnson, and who Sainz has been hanging out with for a day now, "Ines Sainz" is a Twitter Trend as of this writing.

This is what Iness tweeted today, roughly translated:

The hope tonight in Actors will see all the coverage of @Ochocinco  and @inessainz01 in SB!


@Ochocinco hello! That well be together in a half day! Great to share with you the half day!

And before that by three hours...

Arriving at the stadium of the Cattlemen for the average one day!! My special guest is @ochocinco! Goes to very to be amused and beneficial this I gave!

From the Twitter Tweets,  a few jealous screwed up folks make themselves known when the subject of Ines Sainz comes up.  A number of tweets of people saying they're "sick" of her, or words to that effect.

Get over it.  She's great looking and if that works for her, so what.  Stop the waambulance.   Moreover, the tweets are too much in the way of women-hating.   If she wants to comes in that dress, great, I say.   Let Ines, be Ines.  A mature man can handle it.

I say, a mature man.

If many media-types knew what they were doing, there would be a number of outlets trying to hire Ines for Social Media assignments, instead of complaining about her and what she does.

Oh, and their pocketbooks. 

Barbara Bush Endorses Same Sex Marriage

All the news sources are reporting about Barbara Bush, George W. Bush's daughter, is endorsing same-sex marriage.

ABC News reports that Barbara is joining forces with Laura Bush, former first lady, to express her support for same-sex marriages.

This has become very much publicized seeing as she is the daughter of the President who was strongly against same-sex marriages. It's a bit overrated for people to think that just because she's the daughter of Bush that she needs to share the same political views as him. There are lots of people who don't share the same views as their parents, and just because Bush was a president doesn't make Barbara any different.

Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian and she is also an advocate for same sex marriage.
Really, just because someone is friends with or related to another person with differences doesn't make it a big deal.

Google innovates - for Egypt

In a release yesterday on Google's official blog, "Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard" Google announced they've already put a workaround in place for the "internet shutdown" stifling the flow of information coming from Tahrir Square and other protest sites in Egypt.
"Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection."
The engineers created a service that not only tweets the message using the hashtag #egypt, but allows for dialing in to collect/hear tweets, too, using the same phone number.

This really shines a light on the concept of an "internet kill switch" in the U.S., which Congress is actually considering again. The bill has not been re-introduced, but reportedly it's being "floated" by Maine Senator Susan Collins who was on the right side of efforts to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and she assures reporters it wouldn't have the same sweeping impact as Mubarak's current information blockade in Egypt. I'm skeptical, Senator, of attempts to control the flow of information.

I applaud Google's rapid response, but what if I wanted more specifics? What if I want to search on a hashtag related to Tahrir Square, for instance, which is trending now on Twitter?

Although you never know what will change if such a bill moves forward, in its current form there's no provision for judicial review if and when the administration shuts down the internet. I'm not worried that Obama would prevent us from learning about Tea-Baggers rallying to whine about taxes, but moving forward it's important that we not create laws that disturb and undermine the balance of power deliberately crafted into our Constitution during this country's formation, (even if judges and courts funded by taxes are arguably a socialist approach to conflict resolution.)

There's a lesson here, about restricting freedom of speech when people want to exercise their right to assemble peaceably, and most of us outside of the U.S. Capitol want to see that freedom restored to 80 million Egyptians and remain protected for 300 millions U.S. citizens as our Constitution mandates.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Democratic Campaign Manager, strategist, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community. You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

At Super Bowl XLV Is Inés Sainz Dating Chad Johnson?

Super Bowls are known for not just football games, but parties and dates. If you don't have a date for the Super Bowl, you can find one at the Super Bowl (without paying). And from the read of her tweet, famous TV Azteca Reporter Inés Sainz brought along Chad @Ochocinco Johnson, the outgoing Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver known as Chad Johnson, then Chad Ochocinco, and now and again Chad Johnson.

Here's her tweet in Spanish:

Llegando al estadio de los Vaqueros para el media day!! Mi invitado especial es @ochocinco! Va a ser muy divertido y provechoso este dia!

Which roughly translates to: Arriving at the Cowboys stadium for half day! My special guest is @ Ochocinco! It will be very fun and profitable this day!

(Ines uploaded that photo on January 31st, and then released it via her Twitter and Twitpic accounts such that anyone could copy the photo and use it for a blog - like this one! )

Now that's a pair: the sexy and flirtatious Sainz with the extroverted Johnson (no pun intended).  Wonder if Terrell Owens is in the mix?

If you recall, it was Sainz who was the focus of an NFL investigation regarding alleged sexual harassment by New York Jets players and coaches. Ines never filed a complaint; an unidentified female NFL reporter did.

Meanwhile, Ines actually picked the Jets to win Super Bowl XLV. Obviously she was wrong, but not by much. Moreover, she brought a Bengals player and not a Jets player to Arlington, Texas.

I wonder what the female reporter who filed the complaint is going to think, now? Personally, you've got to give Ines credit for getting close to her subject!

99er Media Darling Nicole Sandler to Appear on Jobless Talk this Friday

Progressive Talk Show Host of Radio-or-Not Nicole Sandler will Appear on Jobless Talk this Friday, Feb 4th at noon pacific time.

Host of the Nicole Sandler Show - Mon thru Thursdays 10-noon eastern - on www.radioornot.com , Nicole is a strong advocate for the 99er Nation and founder of the www.helpthe99ers.com website, created last Christmas. She started the website to put “the haves” who want to help (the suffering 99ers) in touch with “the have nots” who really (desperately) need help right now.

Last Thursday, Paladinette appeared on the Radio-or-not show in a brief interview after her video response to President Obama’s SOTU address surfaced on YouTube. A 99ers Response to the State of the Union Address Offered by Paladinette

See the interview at about 42 min into this video.

Video streaming by Ustream

Nicole Sandler, was on Thom Hartman's TV program last week. You can
watch it here; Nicole comes on at 44:42 into the show.

Be sure and bring your questions to Jobless Talk this Friday where Paladinette plans to introduce her toll free caller line!

ConcernedinKY has yet another video masterpiece out on YouTube right now called Yes, Mr. President, we can. A 99ers call to ACTION

AFTER EGYPT segment, please watch, "99'er Message to President Obama" - Please LEAVE YOUR comments under video. Hope to be sent to President Obama -

Please encourage others to post messages for President Obama on this video’s comment stream.

And PLEASE TWEET THESE out daily and often:

@BarackObama Remember your promises of change and hope. Yes the #99ers can. http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #yeswecan RT PLZ

@BarackObama Yes we can b4 it'...s too late for more #99ers http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #yeswecan RT PLZ

@BarackObama Yes we can. #99ers #SOS RT, Plz. http://bit.ly/h0810F

@BarackObama Yes, Mr. President, we can. A #99ers call to ACTION. http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS Please RT.

@BarackObama Yes we can, but... http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #99ers Please RT.

@WhiteHouse Remember your promises of change and hope. Yes the #99ers can. http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #yeswecan RT PLZ

@WhiteHouse @BarackObama Yes we can b4 it's too late for more #99ers http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #yeswecan RT PL

@WhiteHouse Yes we can. #99ers #SOS RT, Plz. http://bit.ly/h0810F

@WhiteHouse Yes, Mr. President, we can. A #99ers call to ACTION. http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS Please RT.

@WhiteHouse Yes we can, but... http://bit.ly/h0810F #SOS #99ers Please RT.

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

Super Bowl XLV: Jerry Jones' Suite View of The Game

For all of the 95,000 patrons at Super Bowl XLV, the one with the best view will be Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones. And why not? Jones built the stadium.

Jerry Jones, for all of his moves and love of the spotlight, is to be commended for being an excellent business person and sales person. The epitome of the Texas entrepreneur, Jones successfully raised $1.8 billion, including a $300 million bond from the City of Arlington, Texas, to construct this behemoth.

Cowboys Stadium is so large, the Empire State Building could fit within it, laid from end to end. The Statue of Liberty could stand at the 50-yard line with room to spare.

Jerry Jones worked hard to make this wonder of the World. He deserves his suite seat at the 50 yard line.

I just wonder if he's going to share it with Al Davis of The Oakland Raiders. That's no throw-away comment. At my first Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2000, the pair shared a suite. I know because I, along with my good friend Beth walked into it.

Super Bowl XLV Media Day: Cowboys Stadium Is Ready

Cowboys Stadium, originally uploaded by Caren's Photo Trip.

Today is Media Day and regardless of what Super Bowl XLV is called, Dallas or Arlington, Cowboys Stadium is ready for it and the game.

Aside from the giant logo, there will be 95,000 seats, making it the second largest Super Bowl with the Rose Bowl at 100,000 hosting the biggest ones. The roof will be closed, making it officially an indoor game.

Approximately, 3,000 credentialed media will come to the stadium for Media Day, and in some cases, they will have a hard time getting there. If they miss the buses, cabs will not be in full supply due to a taxi cab strike timed for Super Bowl Week in Dallas.

Plus, getting to Arlington, a 15 mile cab ride, could cost up to $50; double the standard rate.

Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Genevieve Morton, and Megan Avalon: Variations Of Sexiest Women

Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Genevieve Morton and Megan Avalon represent variations of "sexiest women." But what I find a bit troublesome is that people and media stars like former ESPN Personality Dan Patrick, of The Dan Patrick Show (of which I'm a fan), push one kind of beauty: the skinny kind, as represented by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models, Genevieve Morton (photo at left) and Brooklyn Decker.

Now, both Genevieve and Brooklyn are very lovely, but today, hotness is in the curves. Like the hips of that excellent business woman Kim Kardashian, who just posed for W Magazine.

Kardashian says that photo shoot, featuring her naked body painted silver up to the neck (at right), is the last nude one she will ever do.

Don't believe it.

Kim's physical combo of curves and just the right amount of muscle (not to mention a booty that just will not quit) is a show-stopper. As long as she can work it for eyeballs and bucks, she's going to show it - nude.

Even if it's years later, Kim's going to want to show everyone that she's still got it at 40. Just wait.

But Kim's excellent proof that curves are in, and that's true for her royal hotness Beyonce. The modern queen of Hip Hop is the dream of every young boy who's aware of sex. As much as Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue flies off the shelves even in an era largely hostile to print magazines, just put Beyonce on the cover and see what happens.

She's not skinny.

Why do some persist in showing a look most often associated with eating disorders? Especially when we have female bodybuilders like my friend Megan Avalon.

Megan (photo at right) calls herself "Barbie With Muscles," and can just as easily grace Sports Illustrated as Genevieve Morton and Brooklyn Decker can.

Plus, she looks like the female bodybuilder she is, and in an attractive way.

Megan makes it OK to be a strong woman.  She's not using steroids, has a normal female voice that's great for television, and she stops traffic.

If the Dan Patrick's of the World would stop pushing a classic white male view of beauty where skinny chics are pushed on us, they would help advance society in the direction of appreciating the curvy, strong, confident woman.  (Which, I wonder if Dan Patrick fears?)

Plus, if Dan comes around, he can encourage Genevieve Morton and Brooklyn Decker to add some muscle and get arms like Kelly Ripa, Jillian Michaels, and Ms. Avalon. The end result will be to tell young women they don't have to literally starve themselves to death to look great for men.

Achieving that objective would be a major achievement for America.