Friday, February 18, 2011

President Obama Dines With Bay Area Tech Execs; Anyone Black?


Several interesting points to note in the photo from the Technology Business Leaders dinner at Tech Venture Capitalist John Doerr's home in Woodside, California - and placed for media use by the White House at Flickr:

1. Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is sitting on the right of President Obama.
2. Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs is on the left of President Obama.
2. Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz is wearing red and at the background. (No word on if she slipped and used the F-word.)
3. From the looks of things, they're raising a toast to President Obama.
4. Obama is not the only African American at the table; he's joined by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, but there are no tech business leaders of color.

On that note, it's not as if there was no one to call; Symantic Chairman John W. Thompson's right there in the Bay Area (pictured at left), and has served on a number of panels of service to government.  Mr. Thompson should have been there.

What's sadder still is that no other media organization reporting on this photo pointed to the lack of a black tech CEO at the dinner table.  

These are some of the same outlets that complain about bloggers.  Well, the reasons why bloggers like me complain about them, is because of the myopia they demonstrate on more than one occasion.  This is one.

But I digress.

What was actually talked about in the room has not been reported, and perhaps never will be.  One sure thing is two of the attendees came away with the President's cell phone number.


Dave Duerson: 85 Bears Safety Dies Unexpectedly In Miami

O'Hare Airport, Chicago - For reasons not given as of this writing, Dave Duerson, the famous member of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion Defense, the 1990 New York Giants Super Bowl Champion Defense, and Notre Dame grad, died at 50 years of age.

According to, Dave was found dead in his Miami home.

While the cause of death is not known, this blogger can personally express sadness because Duerson was one ND alum who was on hand at Mike Ditka's on the Thursday before the amazing 2005 USC at Notre Dame game that Saturday. Duerson was part of a raging ND party that went on to 2 AM in the morning. No wild antics; just a lot of laughs, great food and people, and Paul Hornung.

The reason I know all about it, is I happened to visit the establishment and to have a cigar in honor of my father, who I'd just laid to rest that day. Someone at Ditka's thought I was Dave Duerson.   The result was a lot of smiles, jokes, and free drinks.

Oh.  In case you're wondering, Duerson was bigger than me by a little bit.

Stay tuned for more on this. Why someone who was described as "looking like he could still play" passed away so mysteriously and so young is strange to say the least.

Oscars Season 2011: Play Along

Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 8 p.m. on ABC will be the 83rd year of the Oscars. The award show ceremony has always been a favorite for millions of movie lovers who watch and see which of their movie nominations win.

This year on the site users are able to go through each individual category and view the nominees - afterwards the site users may choose which of the nominated he or she believes will win or which one he or she wants to win.

The opportunity to be involved and help predict which movies and stars will go home with an award is a great way to get fans excited and ensure that they will be tuning in in 11 days to see who wins.

Body Transformation By 21

There have been circumstances beyond my control that have made changes including environmental and situational that have made it so the 30-day-detox could not go as planned. The new plan is to begin with the detox and see how much consistency that can have & then add with that a set of exercises and after the detox adding a diet to abide by and soon it will just become second nature. This is to be completed by June 7, 2011 - the day when I will turn 21. More information will be provided within future blog post, but Debby Kaplan is continuing to help and we will be talking more with one another and finding a way to bring healthiness and a healthier lifestyle to this busy college student.

Debby's web site is

Government of the fat-cats, by the fat-cats, and for the fat-cats?

This is the United States of America, founded on the principle that there's both a wrong way and a "more perfect" way for government to act.

We have regulations controlling immigration, restricting tobacco and alcohol sales, establishing speed limits, and prohibiting the use of dangerous materials such as lead paint. We embrace regulations about what can’t be in our drinking water, and insuring we have the freedom to practice religion unfettered by the preferences of government agencies or the whims of men.

Not every decision is clear and simple. Our constitution was built deliberately to allow for clarifications and changes over time by wise men who had some notion of the limits on their own forecasting abilities. We've been trying to make good laws - good government regulations - and improve the bad ones ever since.

We have laws about everything from voter registration to verifying the safety & efficacy of drugs because we know we can’t simply trust everybody to do the right thing if there’s no judge or referee. Somehow the GOP has been persuaded to slow down the process of reforming Wall Street’s greedy, self-serving behaviors.

Goldman Sachs protest: Financial Reform Now!We know what happened when we let them call the shots; deregulation served a few very well indeed, while what trickled down to the rest of us was unemployment, foreclosures, and the destruction of the value of the largest asset most working Americans have, their home -- after we'd been encouraged to use it as a way to get credit to fuel corporate profits.

GOP strategists are now stalling reforms in the Senate, by asserting that we need economic analysis before "rushed rule-making." Where were they before the financial crisis in the late summer of 2008 and the resulting recession? I can tell you one thing, they weren't listening to the then-junior Senator from Illinois, who had written letters to the powers that be about what he saw as the looming mortgage lending crisis, but their hindsight may have factored that in.

Enough is enough. Wall Street needs reform if it's to create wealth for the nation instead of for itself. Congress may not get the new laws perfect on the first pass, but that's not news. If all the GOP has is questions, if they can't grasp the risks in leaving the system broken, I say let them step back; it's time to stop spouting sound bites while impeding progress and solutions.
Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Congressional 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, who incidentally stands in solidarity with the citizens and workers in Wisconsin refusing to let their Governor's self-created budget "crisis" and new spending priorities be re-cast as a reason to undermine contractual obligations and collective bargaining agreements.
You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

Collective Bargaining Rights

Ohio and Wisconsin are two states that are dealing heavily with collective bargaining rights.

Wisconsin Protestors

The Dayton Daily News online reports that the two states both have Republican governors. Ohio is looking to rein in union labor to battle billions of state budget deficits, and Wisconsin had many rallying (25,000) in opposition to the plan that would eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees.

The Daily News Pulse reports that: "If approved the bill would abolish collective bargaining rights for state employees. It would also affect state agencies, commissions and boards, state institutions of higher educations and set new restrictions on school districts. Additionally, the bill required merit-based pay for most public employees, including teachers, and it removes seniority from decisions regarding reduction in work force for certain public workers."

Some people are even calling this the "anti-union" bill.