Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some things & Other Things: the Locked Out edition

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

Everyone is pointing the finger at each other since this past Friday afternoon. The owners accusing the players of not bargaining in good faith, the players accusing the owners (and by extension the league) of wanting this to happen all along. The Players filed a class action suit (Brady Vs. the NFL) after voting to decertify. What drives me nuts here is the players never asked for anything then what they had asked for since 2009: for the owners to open the books. The feeble hearted attempt to do that at the 11th hour was just that. Feeble. Are you telling me the owners really don’t care about how much money they are leaving on the table? That the players really wanted to go the route of litigation as opposed to negotiation?

The league released a “summary “ of it’s proposal, amid other press releases coordinated by Team Owners, and in combat directed at the players. While they all were apologetic to a fault to the fans, not once did they offer to extend the deadline to keep talking, even though the owners claimed up until Friday that they were closer then they ever had been to a settlement. Remember they initiated this by “opting out” of the 2006 extension, because they felt they had given up too much.

The Players never got even the little things they asked for from the Owners Group..

The fact is that the Players never waivered on two serious issues: The extended 18 game schedule was a deal breaker for the players. While the owners and The NFL told us that the “fans want more meaningful” games, the owners never truly showed us they cared about the wear and tear on the players bodies. Did the NFL really take a survey of the fans asking them: do you want two more regular season games and two less pre-season ones? Where are the results of this research?

The second issue was player health and safety, for both current players and the “pre-1993” players. Five years of post career health insurance is just unacceptable in the modern age, while the NFL gets doctors to “lie” in Hearings that “Concussions caused by playing football” don’t lead to “Permanent Brain Injury,” or a lifetime of “headaches.” Just ask Brent Boyd, the former Vikings Offensive lineman who has been to capital hill to testify. He runs a great organization called Dignity After Football (DAF.Org), and if you aren’t totally swayed by what I say, talk to him for 10 minutes. I wonder if he’s had a good night’s sleep since he left the game in 1987.

I have a great deal of respect for Mr. John Mara, and I believe he and Bob Kraft were part of the moderate camp in this mess. Did you notice how he was at the front of the negotiating panel the last several days. That’s because I believe he really wanted to get something done. That’s why you didn’t see Richardson or Jones speak much recently, because no one really wants to hear what “they” were saying. These were the guys who wanted to “Break the players will” just a few weeks ago, that went on 60 Minutes and said a “Lockout wouldn’t be such a bad thing” Remember? I did…

They all talk about how they give to charity and help the less fortunate, but what did they just do to the working class and small businesses that depend on the NFL to earn it’s living. They have already priced out the working class with PSL’s and rising ticket prices, but wanted the players to “see the reality” that the economy was shrinking their profit margins, keeping them from building new stadiums. Why not rebuild the ones that are already in place? Why spend money that you don’t have, or expect local cities to come up with it? To me, the players take all the risks. They are the ones who could die or be paralyzed in a quick moment, or suffer permanent head or spine injuries like so many do, and don’t realize it until long after the fact.

True, no one forces these men to play the game. Many do it for the love of competition. Many do it because it is their only way to a better education and a better life. But if they are going to play, can’t they get the protection they deserve from severe life threatening injury? Can’t they have lifetime insurance? To me this is more important then how to split an extra few million.

Well, at least the draft isn’t cancelled….

You are now going to see the real worth of various teams’ scouting departments. With no free agency period in sight (unless a court ruling forces the parties back to the table and the NFL resumes team operations), the NFL Draft will now be the defining moment for teams to fill their needs. Still, after the player is selected, beyond the initial phone call, no team can have contact with a drafted player until the CBA conflict is settled (at least not legally). Sucks if this was your year to get a QB…

While this doesn’t directly cost me financially, it does impact me in that I only have “half” a sport to report on, the college side of the game. If it doesn’t get settled by the summer, you are going to see a lot of angry fans, a lot of people financially hurt and even businesses ruined, and people asking the question that no one wants to hear: “why bother to watch the NFL anymore?” Is that what the owners truly want?
Why should we feel bad for someone who tells his team “your taking a pay cut of twenty five percent until this is settled, as several teams have done already.

Baseball never fully recovered from the strike of 1994, and Hockey didn’t recover from their strike & lost season several years back either. Can The NFL really survive this? All we can hope for is a quick resolution by the courts at this point.

Jeff Adachi and John Russo: Talks With SF's Public Defender and Oakland's Lawyer

This is an "introductory blog post" for two of this blogger's longest and most informative videos given by Oakland City Attorney John Russo, and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. The follow-up blog posts will be dual: one with the title of "John Russo, Oakland City Attorney, Gives Gang Injunction Update," and the other with the title of "SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi On SF Surveillance Scandal."

Both videos are long: approximately 67 minutes in total, combined. They're part of this blogger's on-going effort to produce deliberate long-form online interviews featuring experts, personalities, and celebrities on issues of importance to various audiences.

This blog presents some highlights:

First, on the matter of the San Francisco Police Surveillance Video Scandal, where 57 cases were dropped after members of the San Francisco Police Department were caught on camera committing civil rights violations against mostly poor and minority suspects, and yet, even under penalty of perjury wrote false police reports, covering up flagrant violations, Mr. Adachi says that District Attorney George Gascon, the former police chief of San Francisco, has announced he will not lead the investigation of the SFPD on this matter. The FBI will take charge of the investigation. (And while they're supposed to, Jeff Adachi says that as of this report, the FBI has yet to contact him. Adachi wants to be kept informed by the FBI.)

Second, Adachi says that this may be the tip of the iceberg of such police misconduct in San Francisco.

On the issue of Oakland's Gang Injunction Update, Russo explains that the Gang Injunction does not violate the civil rights of the person's who are the focus and that it's designed as a kind of restraining order. He also explains that of the 15 men who are part of the injunction, there has been only one arrest since it's application. The injunction they are pursuing now is against The Norteños gang which operates in Oakland's Fruitvale District, and what Russo describes as more "common" gang, with colors and symbols. In that case, the gang injunction targets 40 men.

And regarding the assertion made by The East Bay Express on March 2, 2011, that John Russo had not attended an Oakland City Council Closed Session Meeting in two years, he expressly said that was not true. However, he's not pursued a retraction from The East Bay Express because he thinks it just gives more attention to what he considers a small issue. But the bottom line is The Express was wrong.

Russo also said that closed session was not that valuable because some of the people attending were "not prepared." He's referring to certain Oakland City Councilmembers.

Russo also says that Oakland's "Beat Feet" program, where the Oakland Police would take the car used by a suspect in a narcotics bust, regardless of who owned the car, was declared unconstitutional in 2009.

John's not firing the City of Oakland entirely, but only on the issue of the pursuit of cannabis production in violation of Federal law. Russo says his jobs is to be the city's attorney and not to pursue his personal feelings. Russo was not trying to "stop the council" because of his position. Indeed, he was only one of two of 125 public officials in California to come out in favor of Proposition 19, which if passed, would have legalized pot use; it failed last November.

Here are the videos:



Stay tuned.

U-Cubed "March to Madness" Deadline: March 18th 2011

The U-Cubed "March to Madness" Deadline of March 18th 2011 is rapidly approaching.

U-Cubed or Union for the Unemployed is a solidly backed activist organization specifically designed to give Jobless Americans the type of organized unity and strength in numbers that has an impact on Washington DC, lobbying for badly needed JOBS and UI Benefits.

A site wide communiqué released by Executive Director Rick Sloan Friday read:

Dear UCubed Leaders & Activists:

New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal the states with the top unemployment rates: Nevada, California, Florida, Rhode Island, Michigan and South Carolina.

Today’s state and local jobless report serves as further proof that state governments and Congress must focus less on destroying good-paying jobs and more on putting jobless residents back to work.

America’s jobless, along with the rest of the country, have for the past few weeks watched the assault Republican governments in Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri and other states are afflicting on hard-working Americans. They can’t help but wonder: How does this put me back to work?

It doesn’t.

Not only will it ultimately send more hard-working folks to the unemployment line, it’s also part of the GOP’s larger strategy to completely ignore and distract from the more pressing issue affecting our country at this time – jobs.

As many of you know, in college sports circles the month of March is affectionately known as March Madness. A fitting description in my opinion to the current situation plaguing the jobless.

I’m not the only one.

“Washington is afflicted with its own version of March Madness, and we're not talking college basketball,” wrote the President of the Institute for America’s Future in a recent op-ed. “Call it a severe case of attention disorder.

Washington has forgotten that 25 million Americans remain in need of full-time work -- a human calamity and national emergency.”

In the spirit of March Madness, UCubed has created its own set of brackets – for the unemployed.

Do you know how your hometown stacks up? Fill out the “Marching to Madness” unemployment brackets and rank the city you think is suffering the most. On Friday, March 18th 2011, UCubed will fill in the brackets with actual rankings from the BLS.

We’re predicting a lot more “upsets” in this tourney – between 25 to 29 million to be exact.

The jobless want to go back to work. And they want to go back today. The time to create a national jobs agenda is now.

It’s time Congress starts creating jobs!

Show your support for the unemployed by clicking “Like” on UCubed's page on Facebook!

In Unity – Strength,

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

U-Cubed on:




If you have not yet joined U-C
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99er Cindy Paoletti Rates “Hart of the Matter” Guest Post

99er Cindy Paoletti rates “Hart of the Matter” guest post titled: THE AMERICAN DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE FOR MILLIONS.

Remember Velma Hart, the woman who gave Obama a piece of her mind at a town hall meeting? Well, Hart of the Matter is the blog on her website.

Cindy Paoletti, like millions of others in this economic downturn, reached the end of her 99 weeks of unemployment benefits over one year ago. The 57-year-old worked at JPMorgan Chase & Co. for almost 24 years, before being outsourced to India unexpectedly.

The poignant blog post written by Cindy Paoletti reads in it’s entirety:

The long term unemployed who have exhausted all unemployment benefits are facing a nightmare they can't seem to wake up from. We live day to day, wondering where our next dollar is coming from to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table for our families. For many, sleeping in the back seat of their car or in a tent in the woods has become the normal way of life; dumpster dining and panhandling on the streets when desperation and hunger can no longer be ignored.

We used to be hard working Americans who paid our taxes and lived by the rules. But due to a bad economy many of us lost jobs that we went to every day – some performing very well but budgets no longer could support their position. Now our unemployment has been cut off, there are still no jobs to be found and we no longer can contribute to the economy. Our American dream has become an American nightmare.

We live under the hand of a Government that no longer cares about its citizens, and spends most of its time catering to the rich and corporations, while cutting funding to the most important entitlements that the unemployed need to survive. This same government has forced millions to lose everything they worked their entire lives for only to now to be forced to live in poverty. To make matters worse, they blame the unemployed for the horrendous economy this country is suffering.

Even our President, Barack Obama has ignored the plight of the unemployed. Promising job creation that never comes. The "New Working America" Obama has just spoken about will leave our children to suffer the same way that we are now. When you are unemployed with no income for months (a year now for me) where will you get the money to send your children to college? The media keeps repeating Obama’s comments that a high school diploma is a thing of the past. To get a job in the future you will need a degree and a college education. Ironically, the long term unemployed who have these degrees can't find work.

We can't wait for the jobs of the future, we need jobs NOW! Until those jobs are created, we need a life line to survive. Unemployment is insurance. Congress needs to start taking care of the people that put them in office. They work for us, which is something they seem to forget. I dare any one of them to walk in our shoes for 1 year with no income, no savings, nothing left of any value to sell. Worried and stressed out day after day, which is destroying our health. Let them see how they are contributing to the suffering of the unemployed with their selfishness and heartless attitudes.

The long term unemployed will not stand by much longer waiting for the help we should have received over a year ago. There will be more of the same as happening in Wisconsin as we fight for our right of the pursuit of happiness. Congress needs to live the same way they expect the middle class to live. No more perks and freebies. They need to pay for their health care, (the same health care they choose for the country) no lifetime retirement for only working two years, pay their own way in life rather then the government giving them everything. Give up your American dream and live our nightmare.


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99er Rhonda Taylor to Speak at "Rally to Save the American Dream" this Tuesday

99er Rhonda Taylor will speak at the Rhode Island "Rally to Save the American Dream" this Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

WHAT: Rally to Defend the American Dream Against Republican Budget Cuts

WHERE: 1000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, RI

WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, at 4:30 PM

We’re demonstrating to support efforts by Senators Reed and Whitehouse to BLOCK Republican initiatives to make our poor and middle-class American taxpayers “foot the bill” (even more than before) for the damage caused to our economy by Wall Street Banks and their affiliates. We will also express our OUTRAGE over recent attacks by Republican governors on the state and local governmental foundations of our democracy!

We’re standing up to defend our schools, health clinics, fire stations, parks, libraries and more. If the Republicans’ federal “spending cut” initiatives pass, they will kill at least 700,000 American jobs!

Come out and show your support for a federal budget that invests in—not cuts—the American Dream and one which helps our state and local governments better survive the losses of revenue caused by Wall Street misdeeds.

For more information and rallies in your area to join, visit:

How we can EASILY rid ourselves of our “national debt boogieman” entirely!

Throughout our nation’s history, our nation has undergone numerous economic “boom and bust cycles”, and during the “bust” portions of those cycles “boogieman” arguments like the ones we’ve been hearing about our present “national debt” have been used to “morally justify” governmental actions that have devastated the livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans! But the fact is that none of those disastrous actions were ever really necessary, because our federal government is authorized by the US Constitution to “issue money” WITHOUT incurring any debt to do it. Earlier on, those “busts” were created (or at least made worse) by bank or government initiated contractions of our nation’s supply of gold-based and/or silver-based paper money. But nearly a hundred years ago, our Congress (and President Wilson) got duped by a group of Wall Street bankers (led by J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller) into enacting the Federal Reserve act of 1913 which established a legalized “Ponzi scheme” that required our government to borrow from the Federal Reserve in order to issue new paper money. That law CREATED what we now call our nation’s “national debt.” Subsequently, that borrow-in-order-to-create-money principle was ALSO applied to all federal government checks for “new” (non-revenue-raised) dollars and to new electronically created dollars. The bankers who sneaked that law through Congress knew very well that the US Government would ALWAYS spend more money than it received in taxes and thereby engage in “deficit spending.” So given that fact that our national debt get’s automatically “rolled over” each year, the US has been paying compound interest on EVERY new paper dollar, check-created dollar, and electronically created dollar it has issued through the Federal Reserve since 1914!

In principle, at least, when our government issues coins, it pays less than face value for each coin, and it pays it only once! But when our government issues new “paper money notes” (minted dollar notes, dollar checks, or electronically created dollars), it not only pays full face value for those notes, it pays compound interested on those notes FOREVER! This is INSANE! It’s a Ponzi scheme that is increasing our Federal-Reserve-created “national debt” at an exponential rate!

Our government can solve this problem EASILY by repealing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and its follow-on legislation. Our Treasury Department could then “create money out of thin air”, just like the Federal Reserve has been doing, but WITHOUT creating any additional debt burden on all future generations of Americans! Eventually, all of the US government bonds that comprise our present “national debt” will get paid off (with interest), and future generations of Americans will no longer need to be concerned about a “national debt” which will no longer exist. This will also enable our economy to operate a LOT more smoothly than it presently does, because our Treasury Department will be able to easily fill in money-supply gaps while “controlling inflation” by limiting the amount of new money it creates, just as the Federal Reserve has been doing (but without incurring debt).

And if you are wondering whether or not the rest of the world will honor US dollars that have no gold or silver backing them up, the fact is that they have been doing so for the past 40 years since President Nixon severed the last remaining relationship between gold and the US dollar in 1971.

So the easiest and most practical way to get ourselves out of this unnecessary “national debt crisis” is to REAPEAL the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and its follow-on legislation NOW!

Written by: Christopher Currie, 161 Lake Shore Drive, Pascoag, RI 02859

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