Friday, December 31, 2010

Johnny D selects the NFL 2011 Hall of Fame Class

As the regular season closes, thoughts turn to the playoffs, and ultimately to the Super Bowl. Each year during Super Weekend the new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced. What follows is the 26 names that have survived so far. This list will be cut down to 15 in early January. From those 15, the panel will get together on super weekend and give us the 6 to 8 names that will be our new members of the HOF.

Getting from 26 to 15 should be relatively easy.

Jerome Bettis RB (1993-2005) - is a shoe in. He’s currently top 5 in lifetime yards. More importantly he’s a media darling.

Tim Brown WR (1988-2003) – No worse than sixth place in any career WR statistical category.

Chris Carter WR (1987-2002) – Like Tim Brown he’s tops in WR statistical categories

Don Coryell: My first exemption. While Air Coryell was amazing, I simply don’t feel that Don made a significant impact on the league.

Roger Craig: RB (1983-93) - Less than 8200 yards over 11 seasons. A good RB, not a hall of famer!

Terell Davis RB (1995-2001): 7,607 yards over 7 seasons. If this guy had played longer he’d have been really something, or he’d have faded away.

Dermontti Dawson (1988-2000): Replaced Mike Webster in Pittsburgh, and didn’t miss a beat. Named to the 90’s all decade team, 7 time pro bowler. It’s amazing that he wasn’t a first ballot inductee.

Edward Debartolo Jr. Owner: presided over a great dynasty. This one is a tough one. I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the NFL. He’d be an on the bubble candidate for me.

Richard Dent DE (1983-1997): 137.5 sacks putting him #6 on the all time list.

Chris Doleman DE (1985-1998): 150.5 sacks. #4 all time

Marshall Faulk RB (1994-2005) Tenth all time RB with 12,279 yards rushing.

Kevin Greene LB (1985-1999): 160 sacks over 15 years. Only two men are credited with more sacks.

Ray Guy P (1973-1986): I love Ray Guy too. He’s 71st among all punters for career average punt. 42.4 yds. Not HOF numbers

Charles Haley DE (1986-1996): 23rd all time in sacks. While I believe that sacks is not a statistic that tells us how good a D-lineman truly is. I believe Haley is on the bubble. His time is not due.

Lester Hayes CB (1977-86):

· 5× Pro Bowl selection (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)

· 1× First-team All-Pro selection (1980)

  • 5× Second-team All-Pro selection (1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)
  • NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
  • 2-time Super Bowl Champion(Super Bowl XV, Super Bowl XVIII)
  • 1980 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • Raiders single season leader in interceptions with 13

Cortez Kennedy DT (1990-2000):

Curtis Martin: RB (1995-2005)

Only three men have rushed for more yards. Only six men have more rushing Touchdowns.

Art Modell: Modell has been an owner in this league since 1961. Owners, in my opinion, deserve to be inducted, and an owner, even one that moved the beloved Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore deserves recognition after being an owner for nearly 50 years. That being said, among this group of candidates I must pass over Mr. Modell.

Andre Reed WR (1985-2005):

Eleventh all time in reception yards, Tied 11th all time in touchdowns. For me Reed is on the bubble. Wide Receiver is a tough HOF position.

Willie Roaf T (1993-2005):

Simply on the strength of being named to both the 1990s and 2000s all decade team, it would seem willie is more than deserving of induction.

Ed Sabol: Contributor: I voted on the website for Ed many times. I think his contributions thorugh NFL Films should be recognized. If there were a separate category for owners and other office type contributors then I’d consider him a shoe in. The fact that he’s up against football players pushes him off my ballot.

Deion Sanders: Deion needs no numbers nor explanations. First to third down he shut down opposing Wide Receivers, on fourth down we had the chance to see him run back a punt for a touchdown. First ballot inductee, anything else would be a travesty!

Shannon Sharpe TE (1990-2001):

Paul Tagliabue: Great commissioner. Players deserve spots more than the commissioner though.

Aeneas Williams CB/S (1991-2004):

George YoungContributor: A fantastic career, yet not enough spots available to spare for George.

After reviewing the 26 I had to eliminate 11 to get down to 15. Actually I eliminated 12. Once I was down to 14, I looked at the 12 eliminated and decided to advance Andre Reed.

Jerome Bettis

Chris Doleman

Curtis Martin

Tim Brown

Marshall Faulk

Willie Roaf

Chris Carter

Kevin Greene

Deion Sanders

Dermontti Dawson

Lester Hayes

Shannon Sharpe

Richard Dent

Cortez Kennedy

Andre Reed

I believe that the NFL Hall of Fame needs to induct more members per year. Look at these 15, I can’t imagine eliminating 9 of them to make a class of 6. I am going to create a Hall of Fame class of 10 for 2011. I will eliminate 5.

Lester Hayes. I hate to remove this guy from the list, I thoroughly enjoyed the way he played the game. Looking at his accomplishments he just looks to be a step below some of the other names we have here.

Marshall Faulk immediately comes to mind. His stats are great, his contribution is great. I just believe he’s not quite as great as some of the others here.

Kevin Greene. While his stats are definitely top notch, I watched him play here in Pittsburgh. While he was able to gain stats he wasn’t nearly as dynamic a linebacker as Greg Lloyd was on the other side of the defense. I can’t, in good conscience, make him a hall of famer when he wasn’t even better than his teammate for a good part of his career.

Andre Reed, While he’s got several impressive entries in the record book he’s just not a member of that elite group called a Hall of Famer.

Shannon Sharpe. It’s my list I get to decide. He certainly is worthy, but looking at the other names on the list, I find him to be less deserving than the others.

Here’s my Final Ten

Jerome Bettis

Chris Doleman

Tim Brown

Curtis Martin

Chris Carter

Willie Roaf

Dermontti Dawson

Deion Sanders

Richard Dent

Cortez Kennedy

Now that I’m down to Ten. If I were forced to trim this list to eight I think I know who I’d eliminate.

No matter who you’d eliminate here, it would be brutally unfair.

I’d leave Chris Doleman and Cortez Kennedy out. Both are very deserving, yet if I have to eliminate two, they’d have to be the choices.

There you have it, the Johnny D class of 2011 Hall of Famers will be

Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Chris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Curtis Martin, Willie Roaf, Deion Sanders.

I’ll be glad to hear your opinions. I’m glad that I went through the list the way I did. Until you do, you have no idea what a difficult job the selection committee has. All 26 men are deserving (well maybe not Tagliabue or Sabol). I recommend that you contact as many of the men on the selection committee as possible and try to influence them.

Here are the men that select our Hall of Famers.


Kent Somers, Arizona Republic


Len Pasquarelli,


Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV


Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News


Darin Gantt, Rock Hill Herald


Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune*


Joe Reedy, Cincinnati Enquirer


Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer


Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*


Jeff Legwold, Denver Post


Tom Kowalski, Booth Newspapers

Green Bay

Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


John McClain, Houston Chronicle*


Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star


Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV

Kansas City

Bob Gretz,


Edwin Pope, Miami Herald*


Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

New England

Ron Borges, Boston Herald*

New Orleans

Pete Finney, Times-Picayune

New York (Giants)

Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record

New York (Jets)

Gary Myers, New York Daily News


Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange


Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News


Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

St. Louis

Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

San Diego

Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune

San Francisco

Nancy Gay,


Mike Sando,

Tampa Bay

Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune


David Climer, The Tennessean


David Elfin, Washington Times


Darryl Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At Large

Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange

At Large

Jarrett Bell, USA Today

At Large

John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine

At Large

John Czarnecki,*

At Large

Dave Goldberg, AOL Sports/Fanhouse*

At Large

Peter King, Sports Illustrated

At Large

Ira Miller, The Sports Xchange*

At Large

Len Shapiro, Miami Herald*

At Large

Vito Stellino, Florida Times Union

At Large

Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated

At Large

Charean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram

* Also serves on the Senior Selection Committee.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crystal Bowersox – Farmers Daughter .. Johnny D’s Advance Review

Crystal Bowersox, American Idol’s season 9 runner up, has her debut CD completed and it will be released on Tuesday December 14.  I’ve managed to obtain copy of the CD and I have spent the last two days listening to the 12 tracks. 

Those of you that follow Idol Chatter at (here) know that Crystal has been my favorite topic of 2010.  I’ve been very vocal in my Criticism of Ms. Bowersox.  I’ve expressed on several occasions that her CD would be a great disappointment to her fans. I’ve said that the comparisons to Melissa Etheridge and other established female singers is completely unwarranted and that Crystal has a very weak voice and is not strong enough to be compared to such great voices. 

Well, early yesterday I come to possess a copy of her cd.  Immediately I listened to track #4, Farmers Daughter.  I’ve seen a performance of this song on YouTube and was not impressed.  I spouted off that her stubbornness to have Farmers Daughter switched to the first single released would be her demise.  Well, this version is a little more polished than what I’ve heard on youtube,  Yet I still don’t like it.  It would seem that Crystals mom didn’t like being a mother and was an alcoholic.  Even worse, her mom on one occasion beat Crystal til she broke bones.  The story is a disturbing one. I’m sure we all are stirred when hearing a story of child abuse.  My heart goes out to Crystal for what she had to endure in her formative years. I feel for her that, even now, a well grounded relationship with a loving mother is something she’ll never know.  I’m even more thankful for the love my mother gave me and I’m reminded how much I miss her.  There’s just disconnected emotions here.  Perhaps I’m over critical, I have been accused of that once or twice before.  In my opinion, Crystal should have listened a few times to a song like Alive by Pearl Jam.  If she could have captured a bit of Eddie’s expressiveness this song could be a huge hit.  As it is, it is a very amateurish presentation.  As I listen to this first song I have to give her credit that her vocals are well delivered even if I’m not approving of her happy humming.  In fairness, I’m giving this song a tie.  Every bad song on this CD will be a win for me. Every good song will be a win for Crystal and her supporters on Idol Chatter.

So, after I’ve checked out Farmers Daughter I start the cd at track 1.  Riding With The Radio is a sunshiny song that from the beginning reminds you of a countryish / rock song blasting from a classic 60s convertible riding down a country road.  Some of the lyrics are a bit clumsy but it’s mostly a fun tune.  Light in mood and sweet in tempo.

“If you wanna sing a song then just sing it.

If you wanna bring a friend just bring him”

Very nice.

Track 2 is a cover.  Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it’s Worth”.  This song suits me just fine because I get to criticize Crystal.  I think it was a bad choice of a cover for her.  It’s a song from the sixties that, to my thinking, had some significance in the sixties.  Crystal, for me, accentuates the “going down” in a way that really means nothing.  It’s as if she has something she’s trying to say but refuses to let us in on it. 

At this point, Crystal is 1-1-1 … a win with Track one, For What it’s Worth is definitely a loss, and Farmers Daughter is a no contest. (she doesn’t win and i don’t win)  My internal scoreboard is prepared to deliver a TKO to Crystals CD and I’m looking forward to it. 

Next up, Holy Toledo.  A song we heard a snippet of during the week of three on Idol.  Remember, she went home to Toledo and performed at “Bowerstock”.  It starts out…

“Living life from day to day,

reading books from page to page,

I know life is just my stage.” 

I’m drawn to the tenderness of her voice from the start. The simple guitar and the tender backing vocals draw me right in.  Of course we’re brought to the chorus with Crystal questioning “How do I get to heaven from here”.  A very cliché type of lyric but it really serves this song well.  As the song moves toward the end she goes higher in her register demanding to know “how the hell am I going to get to heaven”.  Singing High notes was a a spot where I had believed Crystal was lacking during her run on American Idol.  Here on this song she sounds just fine.  Holy Toledo and Farmers Daughter were two songs that going in I had resolved to find fault with.  After listening to both, Holy Toledo has switched lists. It’s now one of my favorite songs on this CD.

Crystal is winning right now 2-1 with Farmers daughter still a no contest.

Track 5, Lonely Won’t Come Around.  This starts out almost like the cutesy music you’d hear on a song by The Script or Train. This is a song that I totally can’t describe.  A quick tempo and a lightness of heart that I was not expecting to hear from Ms. Bowersox.  i wish I could remember what I thought of this song the first time I listened. I’m on about the 8th play of the disc now and I’m liking this one a lot.  If there’s any song to compare it to I would say it’s All I wanna Do from Sheryl Crowe.

Track 6, Hold On.  Within the first 30 seconds you know that this is the song Kara and chad Kroeger wrote for her.  I went to the net and checked her twitter page and found out that I was right.  This song will be a hit for her.  You have to figure that her label will make sure that this single gets a shot at radio.  With Kara and Chad writing it you’d think that it almost has to.  It’s true what many have said about this cd.  Six tracks in and even my uncultured ears hear the Country influence to these tracks. There’s a lot of music backing her and her voice is just right all the way through.  Great production here as well.  the end of the song is fantastic. 

Crystal’s ahead 4-1 but there’s still a tie where the song “Farmers Daughter” is concerned.

Track seven “On The Run”.  Even more of a country sound coming at us.  A playful bluesy feel to her voice as well, some harmonica in there then a deep gravelly “i’m on the run”.  Quick step through the hopscotch quick licks, back to the lyrics with that playful edge to her voice “I’m just looking for some fun”.  Never during her run on American Idol was she ever even as close to sexy as she would be if she were standing across the street from it.  Now she’s sauntering right down the middle of that heralded avenue.

Kiss Ya.  Here’s a rock tune.  Perhaps this is what some AI viewers were thinking of when they would say that Crystal can sing Janis Joplin.  While i believe this is far from Joplinesque (i just invented a word) it is certainly a rock tune.  This song is top three on the album for me. I really think this could be a mass media hit if it weren’t for her insistence on the word “Shit” making a starring role in the chorus.  There’s some nice keyboards and some good ad lib by Crystal two and a half minutes in. You notice about now that she has chosen backup singers wisely as well, they really do add something special to this song. 

I forget the score now. I do know that I have one win. 

#9 Speak Now.  I feel for Brian Mansfield right about now. Finding something unique to say about every song on a CD is hard work.  In short, this is an enjoyable song, a bluesy feel, a story teller kind of song. I really like the crescendo that Crystal takes us to at the end of the song. I know that Lee Dewyze is the one that performed with Chicago on the finale of American Idol, but I could very easily see Crystal doing that song with a full band like Chicago.  Just imagine a great horns section being added to this song! 

I remember now, the score is 7-1 crystals way with one tie on the song Farmers Daughter.

Crystal’s due for a bad song, I mean, come on, seven out of nine songs are good so far.  This tenth song has to be crappy.  Wrong again!  Mine All Mine.  I am no expert but this sure feels like it leans more toward a country song.  A wonderful piece of piano in there and that certain guitar sound that I think they play horizontally with the steel tube running along the neck of the guitar.  Crystal shows us her girly side.

 “no one else will do,

Baby are you mine all mine”.

  I can see her in a southern belle ruffled dress swinging on a rope swing from an old oak tree by a lake, day dreaming about a mister right in her future. 

Dammit, 8-1-1.  Now we’re up to Mason.  A song that Crystal wrote with her husband Brian Walker and they sing this song together.  It’s a country song, rich guitars and very warm music. Lyrically this is the best song on the disc. Hell, THIS IS THE BEST SONG ON THE CD, and, there’s a sharp pain where my negative opinion of Crystals ability used to reside at the base of my skull. This song had better be released as a single.  the song starts with both voices then the music joins them

“I wanna be your mason baby,

I wanna build a life with you.” 

Brian:  “I wanna take all this love i feel

and make a love that is stronger than steel with you”. 

This is an excellent duet.  The chorus is just beautiful.  It’s the sort of song that makes me want to find a woman to love just to sing to her.

So we’ve made it through 11 songs, I’ve taken a huge beating and am down 9 good Crystal songs, one bad crystal song (and that’s the Buffalo Springfield cover) and one “no-decision” the abused childhood song Farmer’s Daughter.

Now Arlene.  My imagination goes here, is this some feminist anthem?  I could really get myself worked up in a lather and go over the top with criticism of something like that.  To be honest, even after the very first listen, I figured I’d probably like the last song. 

Well, it’s hard not to like this song.  Arlene opens to a single rich guitar.  The opening music goes almost thirty seconds before Crystal’s voice comes in.  I’m not very good at finding an interpretation for songs.  To my small mind I’d believe that Arlene is the name that Crystal has given to the girl that lives inside the mirror of her bathroom medicine cabinet.

“her diesel’s humming,

she’s gaining ground,

she don’t need another man just hanging around,

she knows that money don’t equal wealth,

if you want it done right,

you’ve got to do it yourself”

To my friends from Idol Chatter, I humbly forfeit.  We’ve spoken about record sales predictions and how I believe that she’ll sell as few as 25,000 units her first week and that this album will leave her merely a memory from the season nine Idol competition.  I am now of a mind that if this album does not receive critical acclaim, on the same level if not greater than Adam Lambert from season 8, there’s something wrong with the average music listener. 

As we ended Idols season nine I had pounded my chest and declared that Crystal had no shot with the Folk Rock sound that she was most likely to bring with her first record.  Well it would seem that me, and most Idol fans were totally wrong. Crystal has brought us an album that is practically equal parts rock and country with a healthy dose of blues and just a touch of that feminist or folksy feel.  I wish I could remember the names of my friends on Idol Chatter that insisted that Crystal was a totally unique artist and preached to the rest of the group that we were silly to attempt to pigeon hole her.  You, my friends, were totally right and I was totally wrong. I’m very glad. 

I would remind you that back in January of 2010, when I first saw Crystal perform during Chicago auditions, I predicted she’d be huge. As you can see, as we will all see, Crystal has a big future ahead of her. 

I’d be glad to hear your thoughts,



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christians have something new to be upset about… Fox News is there to back up the 700 Club.

Layout 1So I’m watching O’Reilly factor tonight.  He has two gorgeous blondes on the show with him and they’re going to have an intellectual conversation about the Atheist Billboard that we’ve all seen decrying The Myth of Christmas. 

Blonde number one did some research about this billboard, she claims that the organization’s website puts forth the following argument.

"atheists feel alone at Christmas. They feel closeted, they can't  come out to the people that they love at Christmas time who are Christians."

then the Blonde in the red top  "Christians feel alone at Xmas, because they have to be tolerant of every religion except Christianity".  Is that similar to how a smart person has to be tolerant of a stupid bimbo when she says something stupid at a dinner party.  We smart folk just ignore the foolishness that the airhead goes on and on about.  It’s more polite, wouldn’t you agree. 

A few minutes later Blonde in red top says this "In a recent poll 91% of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit". Then, towards the Atheists "Get over it"  O'reilly: "Get over what?" .. Blonde in red "Get over the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans don't believe in your billboard".   Why do the Atheists bother her so much?  Can she be so intolerant of another point of view? 

Well Blonde in red, congratulations on fighting on behalf of the majority.  Look, right now I'm leaning towards Atheism and away from Christianity.  The idea that there is no supreme being just seems to be more believable to me than believing in God almighty.  You do know, that even though the Christians believe in "an invisible guy in the clouds that listen to your prayers, judges your sins, but forgives even murderers who ask for forgiveness", an atheist is viewed as foolish for believing that there is no guy in the clouds that can save lives of dying cancer patients if he chooses but doesn't save every single one, but, the ones that god doesn't save, his ambassadors on earth (priests and pastors) sell you on the fact that "god called her home". Does that mean that the cancer patient that achieved a remission wasn't "called home" by the invisible guy in the clouds.

Look, I envy Christians their beliefs. I envy them that they have the faith to believe the stories that I find difficult to believe.  I do not put you down for having faith in, to me, completely ridiculous stories.  The fact that Christian holidays and stories completely mirror those of pagan religions that are older than Christianity is totally lost on most Christians.  The fact that Christians have such contempt for any other religion (in most cases) speaks to the value of ignorance in breeding faith among Christians. 

While I currently have more faith in the idea of Atheism than I do in Christianity, I also believe that the billboard encouraging Christians to see the ridiculousness of the Jesus birth as myth is in poor taste.  While I'd not do it myself, I don't think  that the Christians should get very upset.  After all 91% of all Americans believe the Atheists are wrong.  Perhaps the 9% are onto the more believable story.  My question for the 91% that believe in God, why worry about what less than 9% of people believe? Be a little tolerant of the minority opinion.  Your mom, and your priest, will tell you it’s the Christian thing to do. Tolerance is a virtue after all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Will ending Bush tax cuts hurt small business? -

It's hard to find the facts about all of these taxes. I started searching tonight for information as to how much taxes would be generated if the Bush tax cuts for single people earning 200k or couples earning 250k per year. Well I couldn't find a number, but I did find an interesting article that debunks the assumption that the 250k earners are made up of "50% of all small business owners". Once again, common sense rules the day. It would seem that 98% of all small businesses have an adjusted gross annual income less than 250k. This does not mean yearly sales, we are talking adjusted gross income.

I love watching Bill O'reilly and keeping up with what the Right wants us to believe. His is not a news show, even though it is broadcast on a cable news channel. He pretends to be a journalist but he's actually nothing more than an entertainment talk show host. He takes creative liberty with the news on many occasions. How does he get away with this. Simple, he presents a story that is much more appealling than the obvious.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tax Cuts … Duh

Monopoly-Guy-248x300Okay, so I’m watching the O’reilly Factor tonight and Billy Boy has a cute FOX correspondent with him. They show a clip of a Democratic  Congressman named Sherrod from Ohio.  In this clip, Sherrod is obviously addressing two hot topics that our congress is debating this month.  The Tax cut for americans making 250k or more per  annum, and extending unemployment compensation benefits for the  over nine percent of americans that are acknowledged to be unemployed.

The congressman says that he believes that the money spent on extending unemployment compensation will directly benefit our country’s economy while he believes that the 10 thousand that the tax cut would save high earners would simply sit in their savings account doing nothing to spur our economy. 

Billy’s guest says that she’s heard from Macroeconomists that have argued both sides when it comes to benefits of the tax cuts to the lower upper class.  Immediately Billy Boy decided to interrupt Blondie and interject “isn’t it widely accepted as fact that the Reagan tax cuts spurred the huge growth of the 80s”, “isn’t it true that immediately following Bush’s tax cuts that followed 9/11 there was growth”.  It was an admirable attempt by Billy Boy to keep the message flowing that he wants to flow.   The actual economic truth is that aid to lower income people spurs much more spending in our stores and restaurants than a tax cut for the wealthy.  Think about it, don’t wait for some talking head from the television or radio to tell you what to think.  That guy that is awarded an unemployment extension is using that money this week to buy xmas presents, and put food on his table. He’s going to take his kids to the movies this weekend to see Yogi Bear. 

Most of economics is small people with small needs carrying out their lives.  Economics isn’t difficult.  Ask a trickle down economist if the growth that Reagans regime presided over would have been possible solely with tax cuts and absent the massive deregulations of trade laws as well as the weakening of monopoly laws.  An honest economist will point out that the weakening of justice played an equal role in the economic boom, along with keeping the FED under strict control. 

95% of us are controlled by the top 1% of us (earners).  We don’t have to give them everything they want.  There is such a thing as a revolution.  Revolution starts by you deciding that the entities in control are treating you unfairly. It’s time for the average American to realize that we’re getting a raw deal and to look for things in our power to tip the scales back in favor of justice and fairness.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore |

A Boot to the Head ...from Michael Moore

A great blog from Michael Moore. Whether you're Dem or GOP please read. As a working man/woman, you may feel overwhelmed and believe that your vote doesn't really matter. Think of this, if you're a rich man or a corporation you can pick up your phone and call your Senator, and several others and talk to them about what you think they should do. If you're not rich, and you're not a large corporation, the only time you get to speak directly to your elected officials is when you go into that voting booth. Please don't give that away. If not for yourself, do it for all the rest of us that are just like you! We need each other.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will the acceptance of homosexuals be the downfall of this society?

So I'm watching this video clip where a Texas television station aired a segment speaking to the fact that President Obama has appointed more openly gay individuals to positions than both of the last two presidents combined.  After the news anchors introduce the story they bring in a radio talk show host to run with it. 
He criticizes that Obama supports gay marriage and runs down the fact that christian conservatives are against Mr. Obama's stance on accepting Gay people.  Yes, there still are parts of a christian world that thinks that simply because you are gay you should not be able to work in important, president appointed jobs. 
Then they go to the recorded calls from the radio talk show's listeners while the video keeps showing images of men putting wedding rings on other men. 
"Homophobia is the new racism."
"It will be the fall of the United States."
"Goes back to the bible, it's (gay) why god destroyed the earth.  If Obama was a christian he wouldn't even be doing this."
After several callers, some were pro gay that I haven't quoted here the talk show host returns and here's where he delivers the line that inspired me to write about this clip. Will the acceptance of homosexuality, in this society be the downfall of America. 
The usual claim that "hollywood caters to the gays" comes from the TV news anchor.  The radio anchor then speaks to the fact that Obama has placed twice the gays than his previous administration has.
I think it speaks well of our society that, it would seem, a greater percentage of gay people have come out in recent years.  I believe that this means that, while there are many bigots still, a greater percentage of us are able to see a gay person as a person, just like ourselves, who happens to be gay.  I actually enjoyed this clip, I really like seeing these closed minded people uncomfortable that gay people are getting ahead.  More interesting is that this radio host after all that he says claims to "accept the gay lifestyle". 
The truest statement here is "Homophobia is the new racism".  We white folk are now getting a peak into what being a black person felt like 40 years ago.  I cringe as I watch these television personalities (radio too) speak of gays.  It strikes me that it must have felt the same way to be a black person 45 years ago to hear the word "Negro" and even worse said on television describing your race. Also the condescension in the tone of these people, as if their amazed that a gay person is really a person at all. 
While many are urging more traditional people to be accepting of this foreign lifestyle what is heartening to me is that a greater number of people view this piece of video from Texas and believe that this is what is abhorrent in our society, not homosexuality.  I'm glad that many of us are realizing that fear of homosexuals is merely a tool that the religious right uses to polarize all of us.  If we keep an "us versus them" mentality we can remain important.  Because the religious right needs to keep their followers fearful of something different.  Without that they would lose their following. 
I am glad that I live in a time where bigots and homophobes have to whisper their opinions.  While I sometimes am uncomfortable with the ways of the homosexual culture, I'd rather feel that queasiness than know that people have to hide who they really are for their whole life.  How horrible would it be if I had to hide my love of women from the rest of the world? That I couldn't bring my girlfriend home to meet my mother for fear that my father might turn his back on me forever.  What a horrible thing that would be?
This is why it’s important for media to show homosexuals.  It’s important for straight people, especially parents to see gay people.  I know, myself, that recently I watched an episode of Glee where the gay boys father confronted a friend of his son.  He defended his son even though he struggles with his son’s sexuality.  In viewing that scene I “felt” all three sides of the scene.  The father, the son, and the friend.  The friend was uncomfortable and just wanted the gay friend to be more normal.  What our society has done to this point is we’ve expected the gays to make our lives comfortable at the expense of their freedom, their happiness.  Now, we straight people are experiencing some discomfort as we learn to incorporate our neighbors lifestyles into our shared society. As we become more of an open, accepting society, we’ll be better for it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lebron James, Damaged Legacy, and he doesn’t even know it.

Lebron James first game with the Miami Heat comes to us tonight. Have you seen his new Nike commercial?  Taken lightly it’s a painfully funny attempt at boosting Lebron into stardom in the general sense, not just the basketball world.  I believe that this commercial is one of the most over-produced sports ad I’ve ever seen.  Lot’s of different sets, and different costume changes for Lebron.  There’s even a guest spot for Don Johnson and even some great special effects.  (there’s a shot where he’s having his Chosen 1 tattoo removed from his back).  With all of this rambling by Lebron, there is no sign of humility.  Humility from a superstar is something that we all want. Michael Jordan completed an entire career without ever being filmed “bathing” in his greatness.  There’s a scene in this video
Where Lebron rides his SUV by a huge banner in Cleveland “We Are All Witness”.  We have Don Johnson in his Miami Vice role advising Lebron “Be patient, after a while the temperature drops and everything is free and easy”.  Even this simple advice is shown contempt by this wayward superstar.  In the commercial lebron replies “Should I be writing this down”.  Can you write Lebron?  You certainly can’t reason! This commercial, just like everything that has come out of Lebron’s mouth and all that we see from his behavior shows nothing but contempt from this golden spoon biting athelete.

From the time Lebron entered the NBA up until this free agency move I have been “on the fence” where Lebron is concerned.  I’ve given him credit as being one of the most talented players to come into the NBA.  I’ve watched his accomplishments with a degree of awe and have been excited about what he offers the game.  If you remember, it was he that was excited to play for “his” Cavs.  He led us all to believe that Cleveland is where he wanted to be as a professional.  Cleveland has done a great deal to put a championship supporting cast around him. Obviously, all of their efforts fell short of King Lebron’s expectations.  He’s decided to team up with some superstars in Miami, turning it into the Justice League building the superfriends used, and wage a full frontal assault on the doors of Basketball Superteam status.  Well this is where my support ends.  I find myself secretly hoping for a season ending and career shortening injury for the King. 
As I viewed this commercial I had the Dan Patrick Show on television in the background.  He had sports commentators calling in giving their opinion.  Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports says "He (Lebron) has Harvard problems and he has community college friends (advising him)".  This is true, but, even more telling is the fact that Lebron James is a young man with a history of taking the easy road.  He went straight from High School to the NBA. Avoiding the difficulties of NCAA and satisfying the requirements of living that life.  In Cleveland, he had a team looking to build a winner around James.  Now, he's found a new shortcut.  If he and two other league superstars join up an a single team we can win several rings.  Oh boy, another shortcut, Lebron jumps at that.  I don't have a problem with Lebron making the choices he has, what I do have a problem with is that Lebron thinks that he is entitled to be handled with kids gloves. 
This commercial, meant to repair Lebron's image, serves exactly the opposite purpose.  He asks questions that all have answers that are negative to Lebron's image.  At one point he says "I am not a role model", then shows lebron eating a donut. then he winks and says "Hi Chuck".  Who is this kid to try to show up Charles Barkeley?  Simply because you're not happy that the likes of Barkeley and Jordan have  spoken out against this coordinated free agency move to Miami doesn't mean they are wrong. Again, it leads back to humility.  Something seriously lacking with Lebron James. 
In the end, here’s what I can say, before decision 2010, when James took up 60 minutes of ESPN air time to announce he’s going to Miami, I had a mostly positive image of Lebron James, since then I’ve had a decisively negative impression of the Basketball Superstar.  After this commercial, my view of Lebron is even more negative. 
There’s nothing more disappointing than wasted talent.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

P.T. Barnum has taught me some very interesting lessons recently.
One very interesting one is that P.T. Barnum has been wrongly credited with claiming "There's a sucker born every minute".  In reality this phrase was made famous when a competitor of his stated it after Barnum outfoxed this scoundrel. 
A man named George Hull, in 1869 had devised a hoax that would convince people that there were giant humans roaming the Earth millions of years ago.  Once he had crafted this “giant prehistoric human” fossil he sought funding.  A group of investors headed by a banker named David Hannum provided two-thirds of the necessary capital.  While Hull was getting all of this lined up, Barnum created a fake prehistoric giant of his own and put out the word that he had bought the original from Hannum and that Hannum's giant was a fake.  When Hannum filed a lawsuit against P.T. Barnum Hull stepped forward and admitted that it all was a hoax.  "The judge ruled that Barnum could not be sued for calling Hannum's giant a fake since it was a fake after all. Thereafter, Hannum's name was lost to history while Barnum was left with the misplaced stigma of being the one to say "There's a sucker born every minute." David Hannum
And the rest is history. I thought this was very interesting and if you do too, I'd encourage you to read for yourself the account (here) as written by R.J. Brown who serves as the Editor-in-Chief at  It is a fascinating site with tons of interesting information.  I'm losing myself in the presidents section right now.  I'm reading Abraham Lincoln's First inaugural Address. This site has the inaugural address of every single president.  That's just awesome. 

Edit:  I've just found a blog where the writer shows photos of the cardiff giant and also tells a bit more about Harrum. It appears there was a movie made about Harrum starring Will Rogers.   Here's the URL:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Muff VS. Love

So, today one of my facebook friends posted on their profile a simple request. Reply with the name of a song that includes the word love in it, but remove the word love and replace it with Muff.
Well, there were tons of replies some very funny. Myself, being the way I am, I decided to google songs with “Love” in the title and i got a very long list. Too many songs to list on her page so I thought I could do it in a blog entry. So here you go. Hope you find this as funny as I do.  They’re listed in chronologic order. 
•Benny Goodman - Taking A Chance On MUFF (1943)
•Mills Brothers - You Always Hurt The One You MUFF (1944)
•Perry Como - Prisoner Of MUFF (1946)
•Mario Lanza - Be My MUFF (1951)
•Four Aces - MUFF Is A Many Splendered Thing (1955)
•Elvis Presley - MUFF Me Tender (1956)
•Tab Hunter - Young MUFF (1957)
•Elvis Presley - A Big Hunk O' MUFF (1959)
•Tymes - So Much In MUFF (1963)
•Beatles - MUFF Me Do (1964)
•Peter and Gordon - A World Without MUFF (1964)
•Supremes - Where Did my MUFF Go (1964)
•Dixie Cups - Chapel of MUFF (1964)
•Beatles - Can't Buy Me MUFF (1964)
•Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders - Game of MUFF (1965)
•Supremes - Stop! In The Name of MUFF (1965)
•Supremes - You Can't Hurry MUFF (1966)
•Beatles - All You Need Is MUFF (1967)
•Lulu - To Sir with MUFF (1967)
•Supremes - MUFF Child (1968)
•Paul Mauriat - MUFF Is Blue (1968)
•Henry Mancini - MUFF Theme From 'Romeo And Juliet' (1969)
•Jackson Five - The MUFF You Save (1970)
•George Harrison - Give Me MUFF (Give Me Peace On Earth) (1973)
•O'Jays - MUFF Train (1973)
•Paul McCartney - My MUFF (1973)
•Eagles - Best Of My MUFF (1975)
•Captain and Tennille - MUFF Will Keep Us Together (1975)
•Bellamy Brothers - Let Your MUFF Flow (1976)
•Ohio Players - MUFF Rollercoaster (1976)
•Diana Ross - MUFF Hangover (1976)
•Paul McCartney - Silly MUFF Songs (1976)
•Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your MUFF (1977-1978)
•Bee Gees - MUFF You Inside Out (1979)
•Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called MUFF (1980)
•Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - Endless MUFF (1981)
•Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen (No More MUFF on the Run) (1984)
•Stevie Wonder - I Just Called to Say I MUFF You (1984)
•Tina Turner - What's MUFF Got to Do With It (1984)
•Whitney Houston - Saving All My MUFF for You (1985)
•Foreigner - I Want to Know What MUFF Is (1985)
•Huey Lewis and The News - The Power of MUFF (1985)
•Bon Jovi - You Give MUFF a Bad Name (1986)
•Robert Palmer - Addicted to MUFF (1986)
•Steve Winwood - Higher MUFF (1986)
•Peter Cetera - Glory of MUFF (1986)
•Whitney Houston - Greatest MUFF of All (1986)
•Def Leppard - MUFF Bites (1988)
•Phil Collins - Groovy Kind of MUFF (1988)
•Nelson - (Can't Live Without Your) MUFF and Affection (1990)
•Taylor Dayne - MUFF Will Lead You Back (1990)
•Roxette - It Must Have Been MUFF (1990)
•Madonna - Justify My MUFF (1990-1991)
•Mariah Carey - MUFF Takes Time (1990)
•Michael Bolton - How Am I Supposed To MUFF Without You (1990)
•Mariah Carey - Vision of MUFF (1990)
•Color Me Badd - All 4 MUFF (1992)
•Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything for MUFF (But I Won't Do That) (1993)
•Janet Jackson - That's the Way MUFF Goes (1993)
•Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting - All for MUFF (1994)
•Celine Dion - The Power of MUFF (1994)
•Jennifer Lopez - If You Had My MUFF (1999)
•Beyonce Featuring Jay-Z - Crazy In MUFF (2003)
•Usher feat. Young Jeezy - MUFF in This Club (2008)
•Eminem feat. Rihanna - MUFF the Way You Lie (2010)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning Twitter

So I’ve recently started using Twitter after having set it up well over a year ago.  I never really understood it, at least how it would work for me.  Since then Twitter has gotten HUGE. There have been some Twitter scandals involving professional athletes and lots of other happenings with celebrities and the like.

Back in early June I became aware that this years World Series of Poker was underway and as I scanned the poker news websites that I’m familiar with I found that most poker players that I am a fan of update twitter often.  So I dusted off my twitter and added Gavin Smith, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and a few others.  I set up Gavin to update my cell phone as well as  This became very useful.

I still have no clue how to use #hashtags and I don’t know how to figure out a way to see if anyone out there has sent me a message using @jdesab if they aren’t someone I’m currently following.  I also need to figure out what lists are.  For now, the people I’m following numbers right around 40. 

I’ve also come to believe that next time I’m in a project management position I’m going to use twitter to keep in touch with my techs. I’ve skimmed some articles in the past written on tech republic about the usefulness of Twitter, yet until getting my hands dirty with it I really Wasn’t seeing it.  You can keep track of several people from one page.  Of course telephone conversation is still necessary for complex issues or help, but managing a team can be easier if they are simply tweeting their status from time to time.  Also, if you know that your team has your tweets delivered to their phone, you can disseminate information to large (or small) groups very easily.  I also think it’s even more useful as a tool in upper management.  What better way to play the role of a fly on the wall and see what sort of info is being passed among your front line supervisors and their team. 

There’s even more interesting possibilities for twitter.  As we move into more and more internet capable gadgets and appliance we can set up twitter updates from the most interesting things.  My friend Hans has hooked up his toaster to tweet when it begins and finishes toasting.  You can follow it here  Hans has written an exceptionally interesting blog describing how he set his toaster up on twitter but also how this technology is a sign of things to come in the future.  I highly recommend taking a couple minutes and reading his blog. (click here)

I’m still learning and exploring but I really think this is a cool application. 

my twitter =


Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Political Email Debunked Muslim Postage Stamp from US Postal Service


Today I received an email letting me know that there’s trouble afoot. President Obama is selling us Americans, and our culture, out to those damned Muslims.  It seems that radical leftist bozo in the White House directed the Postal Service to create a stamp that commemorates a Muslim holiday. 

The email goes on to ask me to “adamantly and vocally boycott this stamp.” All that I have to say at the post office is “NO thank you, i do not want that Muslim stamp on my letters”. 

Further it goes on to name all of the horrible things that have been done by radical Muslims. 

For the record I’ll say that I don’t really like Muslims and to my way of thinking this is silly for our country to have this stamp available.  But, we’re a large country with diverse Cultures, I’m sure there’s many a Muslim walking around that will think it’s really cool that their country is acknowledging their culture.  The interesting thing here is that this emails real message is to watch out for that Obama bastard, he’s selling us out to the Muslims.  I decided to investigate the origins of this stamp and discover what role Barrack Obama played in bringing this stamp to the public. 

First, I must inform you, when you visit the post office, if you want one of these commemorative stamps you have to ask for it specifically.  Therefore, the need to ever correct the teller and refuse the stamp is alleviated. You would only ever get this stamp if you expressly asked for it.

Second, this 44 cent stamp went into circulation September of 2009.  However, the basic stamp design has been around over 9 years longer. 

This 34 cent stamp was originally issued August 1, 2001.  42 days before the bombing of the World Trade center.

Even more interesting, it was re-issued in October of 2002 as a 37 cent stamp. 

What’s very interesting about the October 2002 version, accompanying the issuance the White House posted the following item explaining the stamp.

Obviously, George Bush thought it was ok to issue an Islamic themed stamp not once but twice, why is it a slight on Obama that it’s being issued again 8 and 9 years later? 

Look, the right puts a lot of effort into their emails.  I’m sure many of us get mad at those damn liberals all the time.  Wouldn’t it feel better to get mad over something that Obama truly has earned? 

As I said from the outset, I’m not excited about this stamp, but then again, I’ve never been excited about a stamp except for one time when a relative sent out Christmas cards that had their baby’s face where the postage stamp would go.  You can breathe easy, this is not the dreaded final word that Barrack Obama is really a Muslim activist planted here to destroy our country. 

My advice to you when you see an email like this.  If it interests or angers you, go to and paste the subject line into their search field.  If it’s bogus, more than likely snopes knows.  Before you forward, validate.