Monday, February 07, 2011

Max Page an Adorable Darth Vader

One of the most memorable Superbowl Commercials was a Volkswagen commercial which featured an adorable little boy in a Darth Vader costume trying to command all that is around him.

That boy is Max Page and he is in the headlines for his role as Darth Vader in the Volkswagen commercial. The 6-year-old and his mother Jennifer went on the "Today" Show this morning to unveil that underneath the Vader mask was an adorable boy who resembled a young Anakin Skywalker.

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Mike Munchak Titans New Head Coach; Perry Fewell Rooney Rule Tool

The Internet's buzzing with the news that long-time Tennessee Titans Offensive Line Coach, and Houston Oilers Legend Mike Munchak (photo at left) became the man to replace the departed Head Coach Jeff Fisher. But as Munchak celebrates his new title, New York Giants Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell (photo below) is fast becoming a "Rooney Rule" tool, having been rejected by the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos, and now the Tennessee Titans.

The "Rooney Rule" was installed at the behest of Pittsburgh Steelers Owner Dan Rooney, who noted the wild imbalance between blacks on the playing field (a lot), and in the front office (too little). The problem that is to be erased is one of perception: that a person can be a better coach because his skin is light.

Ryan Isley of said it best :

The “Rooney Rule” is a rule that the NFL instituted in 2003 that requires teams to interview minority candidates for their head coaching vacancies, which initially may have seemed like a good rule in principle. Unfortunately as time has gone on, the rule has become a sham.
While some claim The Rooney Rule works, it's causing a number of well-qualified minority coaches to be used over and over again as persons to talk to. The other side of the argument is that The Rooney Rule opens a wider field of possible coaching candidates, but the unfolding dynamic is that many of the white counterparts hired were not interviewed over and over again.

A Better Way

I think a better way is for the NFL to have a giant list ranking coaches by a kind of scorecard developed to eliminate possible race-bias and favoritism.  The top 10 coaches at the top of the list should form a pool of people interviewed for coaching openings.   While not perfect, the algorithm used would at least be a step in the direction of reducing human bias that's produced the problem the Rooney Rule was created to address.

Stay tuned.

Will 99ers Ever Walk Like the Egyptians?

Ask your self: Will 99ers Ever Walk Like the Egyptians? Speculation on this important issue is rampant in the Blogosphere - and the answer in great part lies with Washington D.C.

This week, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) will be holding a Press Conference announcing a Bill to Help 99ers. Rep. Lee, Rep. Scott, and a representative from the National Economic Council will be present as well as the Co-Founder of the American 99ers Union, Gregg Rosen. Several members of the 99er Nation will be on hand in Washington D. C. Wednesday in support of The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act.
PRLOG (Press Release) - Feb 07, 2011 – The American 99ers Union is proud to announce that on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 10 a.m. EST a press conference will be held to announce the introduction of a bill that would add 14 weeks of (retro active) extended unemployment insurance for all unemployed Americans. The Press Conference is being held at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, D.C.
Introducing this stop gap measure is welcome news to millions of hurting Americans who have not had UI benefits for up to a year ago, but getting Speaker Boehner to bring it to the floor might take some doing.

Even if the bill receives it due in the way of full debate and a vote in the House of Representatives, it’s passage is far from a sure thing - then there is the small matter of getting it through the Senate intact so President Obama can sign it into law ASAP. This is and has been a dire emergency situation for 11 months now and Washington seems unmoved by the utter urgency of the matter.

Weary from years of fruitless job search activities, trying to survive on nothing and every cry to Washington for help falling upon deaf ears, the millions of UI exhaustees must once again garner the fortitude and focus required to engage in the political battle which could very well determine if the 99ers will indeed ‘walk like the Egyptians.’

The Declaration of Independence references some important and timeless truths about the earliest American beliefs on the subject of human rights and what must be done when the government no longer is responsive to the universal principles laid out in this document.
........ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.......... That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness......when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism (the exercise of absolute power in a cruel and oppressive way), it is their (the people’s) right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of.....
The American people - the unemployed - the impoverished - the outsourced - the 99ers have all been suffering. Surely it is NOT yet reached the point where the people of the USA need to abolish their government, but it may be time very soon when we must take to the streets for peaceful petition and protest in large masses to make sure we the people are no longer pushed aside in favor of the lessor numbers of wealthy and big money corporate interests.

The question is what will make you leave the relative comfort and obscurity of your homes and get out there to make your needs known in a way that Washington cannot ignore?

If you are not yet there, perhaps you are not yet hungry enough, angry enough or desperate enough to do so. If that is the case then good. This means you are better off than many in America today who are not so fortunate. Or maybe we are just waiting this one last time on Washington to do the right thing and be quick about it.

Washington - Heads UP: This may well be your last chance to assure America is not the next Nation to take to the streets demanding you put main street first and help those victims of Washington’s greed and failures over the past decades. I implore you to listen to the people’s cry and HELP the 99ers NOW. It is the only humanitarian and American thing to do now!

99ers Aid Twitter Event Announced for February 15, 2011 at 8PM EST

Jason Tabrys, NY Liberal Examiner today announced his 99ers Aid Twitter Event will take place February 15, 2011 at 8PM EST

“Forsaken by the United States Government and vilified by some, America's long term unemployed, the 99ers, have strained to let their voices be heard.

On Tuesday February 15, 2011 at 8PM EST join us for #99erAID, a twitter chat designed to bring 99ers, 99er advocates, and journalists together to discuss the latest 99er news and strategy ideas for the growing, peaceful movement."

The event will be moderated by @99erAID (’s Jason Tabrys) and all who participate are asked to use the hash-tag #99erAID in their tweets. The hope is to trend on Twitter of course but more important than that, to inform, inspire, discuss and strategize the means to have a real positive impact to influence real solutions to this growing problem.

From Jason Tabrys’ (@99erAID ) Twitter Bio: Hosting #99erAID a twitter chat for 99ers, advocates & journalists who want to discuss the latest 99er news & strategy ideas for the growing & peaceful movement

The @99erAID twitter is up and running so all of you in Twitterville PLEASE follow him there for all updates leading to this event! I will see everyone there.

U-Cubed Launches New FaceBook Campaign

U-Cubed Launches New FaceBook Campaign - 99ers PLEASE NOTE:

On Friday, February 4th, 2011 the America was informed the National Unemployment rate had dropped to 9% after a dismal jobs growth number of less than 40K. A statistical impossibility if you only consider the jobs growth to population ratio, but the equation is based upon so many other factors. Many speculate that these numbers from the DOL are intentionally skewed by the powers that be.

Whatever the truth of the matter is, I agree with the following statement on U-Cubed’s Facebook page last Friday:

Screw the unemployment numbers. If you're unemployed, the only number that matters is 1: You! Tell Congress to stop talking numbers and start talking jobs.

The announcement came in a site wide announcement from Acting Executive Director
Ur Union of the Unemployed, Rick Sloan and read:

Dear UCubed Leaders & Activists:

The unemployment rate is now 9.0 percent. Only 36,000 jobs were gained in the month of January.

Those numbers grate on those still out of work – especially those who have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and the 62 percent who never qualified for benefits. When you’re unemployed, the only number that counts is ONE – You.

You need a job. You need to get back to work. UCubed sees that. We’re fighting for you. Not for statistics.

UCubed renews its call for the White House and Congress to pass job-creating policies that put every American idled by this Great Recession back to work. We renew our call for a 21st century Works Progress Administration that will immediately create jobs while rebuilding our country’s failing infrastructure and manufacturing sector. And, we demand a Tier V for folks who have exhausted their 99 weeks of benefits.
It’s time Congress stop talking numbers and start focusing on real people whose lives and careers have been destroyed. Show your support for the unemployed. Head over to UCubed's page on Facebook and sign up today!

“Share” the UCubed page on Facebook by posting the link to your news feed and/or sending a message.

Whether or not you agree with what I am doing for the cause, I urge you all not to allow the opportunity to have behind your efforts this powerful resource of the IAM union in it’s incarnation of U-Cubed. Join the fight today and spread the word.

****See the press release at: Go there and PLEASE hit the LIKE button!!

Remember the deadline for U-Cubed State Directors nominations is rapidly approaching The beginning of March so get those forms in and stay involved. Winners get Week long Hollywood, MD training session and if elected the post duration of duties id for a 2 year term.

Darth Vader Commercial, Chrysler Detroit Commercial Top Super Bowl

What would Super Bowl XVL be without television commercials, and we had a lot of them to see and to pick from for our favorites.

For me, three stand out, two of them favorites of many: the VW Darth Vader Commercial, the Chrysler Detroit Commercial featuring Eminem, and the Stella Beer Commercial, which, while it wasn't tops, was well-liked by many, including my Mom, who I watched the game with.

The the VW Darth Vader Commercial and the Chrysler Detroit Commercial were also tops in The Brand Bowl 2011, the annual online event that asks you to pick the best commercials and the ones that were the most "engaging."

What I liked about the Darth Vader Commercial was just how the little kid was trying to use "The Force," and how his dad started the car remotely, making his son think "The Force" worked. Cute. Nice. And a cool example of just how an idea and movie created by SF Bay Area local George Lucas has become such an indelible part of American Culture.

Ah, Doritos!

But Doritos got the most Twitter Tweets for its commercials, both good and bad. For example, there was the one commercial with the black couple, where the controlling wife follows her husband around and when a young, fit, hot white blonde chic flirts with on a park bench, the wife throws something intended to hit him, but knocks her out.

Not funny, but I'd like to be a fly on the wall at a party of mostly black women to see what they thought. My Mom was more shocked and not amused by it, and didn't understand "Why they'd make a commercial like that?"

I get that they're trying to communicate the issues that some black women may have with "white girls taking their men," but to actually express that by showing harm to a girl because she's white wasn't cool at; it's also insulting toward black women.

Jillian Michaels and Danica Patrick

I also though the commercial featuring Jillian Michaels, Danica Patrick, and Joan Rivers was funny, but I couldn't help tweeting that the two sports hotties, Michaels and Patrick, were making up for not doing a Playboy spread, considering the online content that was referred to in the commercial!

CNN Ali Velshi's Mean Twitter Tweets Stop: Ali Says Feud Over

A weird kind of feud with CNN's Ali Velshi that I never started is over. And the whole deal resulted in a tweet that was an acknowledged an error on his part, and another one expressing a plan to meet at 21 Club in New York, where this video-blogger will enjoy drinks with CNN's business anchor.

It started when - as I explained here - I simply sent a Twitter tweet that a guest Ali had on his Saturday show was long winded, and talked over Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Ali responded in a tweet-testy way, asking who made me the timekeeper. I tweeted back that I did, and decided to use the tweets as a lesson in social media.

On Sunday, after my epic blog post on this matter, and airing some issues with how CNN tends to not present black pundits, I learned that Ali was involved in a bit of a Twitter snit with a 99ers blogger named "Paladenette," who just happens to blog at, and that I didn't know about before. (If you don't know, 99ers are those who need unemployment insurance beyond the 99 day limit.)

So, I sent Ali this tweet:

@zennie62 Zennie Abraham
@AliVelshi @paladinette But that's the point, Ali, I don't have ANYTHING against you. You just went off! No good reason
17 hours ago

To which Ali responded back with this:

@AliVelshi Ali Velshi
@zennie62 I got you, Zennie. I grant you a SuperBowl Sunday pardon :-)
17 hours ago

And at that point, I proposed we meet at my favorite restaurant in America: The 21 Club, at 21 West 52nd Street, in New York City.

@AliVelshi Ali Velshi
@zennie62 ok deal - next time we're in the same place, drinks on me (if you don't mind having a racist buy you a drink :-( )
17 hours ago

As I tweeted, I don't think Ali's racist, and my post was more complicated that that by far. I think there are still race-based issues to talk about with how blacks are presented on television. To put it simply, when an expert on something is needed, the pundit tends to be white, and we hear and see blacks still more often than not on black issues.

That's why ESPN is a refreshing change. Because they call on athletes as anchors, regardless of color, you get a wide range of views. And ESPN's not afraid to take on the issue of "the black athlete."

I think CNN has good intentions, but there's this issue I have of CNN all too often having blacks as "window dressing" rather than as engaging participants on a panel. Sometimes that's the fault of the black participant, waiting to be asked a question. And waiting.

But in the case of an elected official, you don't make them wait, you make sure they get a chance to talk, even if you have to draw them out. That's just protocol.

Well, that aside, the overall lesson was in how to develop buzz and content. This matter started to pick up traction because Ali's a public figure, and to a lesser extent so am I. Personally, I think we should have played out the feud for ratings.

21 Club, here we come!

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