Monday, April 27, 2009

Things to look at

Devvy Kidd

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Find the missing attorney generals

Funny article in the Washington Times -- "States prepare to combat stimulus strings".

What is so funny about this article?

Well, in the above article, as in many others, a singularly odd phrase keeps cropping up -- "send a message"; and now conservatives are supposedly happy that state legislatures are "sending a message" to Washington D.C. about the tenth amendment, by passing 10th Amendment Resolutions, but that is crazy.

If the Federal Government is in violation of the 10th amendment, should not the states' attorney generals take the Federal Government to court?

Starting with the Civil War, can anyone point to a single historical instance of state legislatures combatting federal incursions by passing resolutions. The anwer is no?

So what the heck is really going on?

If states were serious about asserting the 10th amendment, they'd put their attorney generals on the job, same as when they wanted to get their share of tobacco settlement money and sue microsoft for anti-trust violations.

This is obviously some kind of fence straddling ploy on the part of participating states; and in a large regard it is working, as nobody from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washinton Post, Salt Lake Tribune, or any other major regional daily paper seems to be questioning the irregular approach.

Once again, main stream journalist have abdicated their responsibility to bring these important issues to the attention of the public; instead, preferring to concentrate on off color tea bag sexual innuendos, and whatever else fill air time but requires no research or other journalistic effort..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two Views of an American Tea Partier

Last week, nearly 1/2 million Americans held a peaceful demonstration against government spending and higher taxes, which may have had the unintended side effect of triggering a psychotic schism in actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo.

Garofalo's interpretation of the event seemed to be in sharp contrast to that of other observers who saw saw middle class Americans exercising their first amendment rights in a peaceful demonstration.

". . . Let's, let's be very honest", said former Saturday Night Live cast member Garofalo, ". . . this is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."

As seen by Janeane Garofalo As seen by normal non-psychotic Americans

Garofalo appears to have acted independently -- veteran civil rights leaders Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and NAACP spokespersons were silent about the Tea Party demonstrations.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"I'm a black woman, I'm a Democrat, I attended a Tea Party and I was shocked . . .

Heard on Sean Hannity 20, April, 2008 from a woman who identified herself as Lorell:

"I'm a black woman, I'm a Democrat, I attended a Tea Party and I was shocked to learn that I am a redneck and a racist."

Lorell went on to say that she wasn't the only non-white at the demonstration, "It was the rainbow tribe with an attitude out there."

Her comments were in response to charges of racism against the tea partiers by actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo. According to Garofalo:

". . . Let's, let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know you can tell these type of right-wingers anything and they'll believe it except the truth . . ."

Kevin Jackson, of "The Black Sphere" said, "As a black man, I love it when ignorant white women like Janeane Garofalo speak for all blacks. It's thrilling to me that Janeane would take time out of her busy Hollyweird life to protect me and my peeps -- the downtrodden, the oppressed...the lowly Negro."

Read the rest of his comments on Garofalo at the following link:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nepolitano Document Resembles Bad UFO Report

With all the furor surrounding the document titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment", I am surprised nobody had commented on the amateur quality of the writing.

My first impression is that it is either a hoax or it was written by summer interns without adult supervision.

To get an idea how badly this document is written think of a UFO "documetary" on the bad science channel, or the way dumb people try to impress Judge Wopner on "People's Court", by using big words and formal sentence structure.

Awkward sententence structure, no facts, mis-used and over-used adjectives, and an air of pompous pseudo-science; or, to be more accurate, pseudo-security.

Here is an example:

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

Weird. "Paranoia" is a psychiatric judgement. "Concern" would sound more professional.

They also use the word(?) "antigovernment". I'm not kidding.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Earning Reports: Score Google-1 News Dinosaurs-0

History should record the decrepit state of American Newspapers on April 16, 2008. While Google reports "stronger profits", the nation's largest newspaper publisher, Gannett, reported a 60-percent drop in earnings. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd whined that Google should "just write us a big check."

But why should anyone write the New York Times a check?

When Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was nominated for vice-president, all Maureen Dowd could write were sarcastic articles about NASCAR, hunting, and Walmart.

Ironically, Ms. Dowd's column abouit Google is titled "The Dinosaur at the Gate" (referring to Google), which is damn funny but also demonstrates the myopia of northeast journalism. Since the obvious dinosaur is the New York Times.

Miss Dowd is a Pulitzer Prize winner. She has been joined in her derision of average working class Americans by fellow Times columist and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman.

However, most of America has never heard of either one of them. Their influnce is diminishing, along with Times circulation and advertising revenues, and it shouldn't be long before they want a federal bailout too.

The State of Journalism - April 15, 2009

Does this explain why CNN ratings are in the toilet?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bend Over, Here it Comes

An open invitation Tea Party was held in Canton, Ohio, on 15 April 2009.

Many participants expressed displeasure with the changes Barrack Obama and Congress made this year.

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said the Tea Parties were not a grass roots movement.

Where the hell did he get his Nobel Prize? A box of crackerjacks?

Thanks to Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Glen Beck, who were kind enough to come over to all our houses and make these nifty signs for us. Not.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tea Party Words

Words from Eugene Kane in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal.

"The tea parties will be political rallies led by folks such as Newt Gingrich and other Republican leaders but will also feature polarizing media figures such as Sean Hannity."

Question. What is wrong with political polarization?

Observe a herd of cows standing in a field. That's about as non-polarized as you can get.

Is this a good thing?

They're all headed for the slaughterhouse.

In modern newspaper columnist language, "polarization" is ipso facto bad, and that's a shame, because the type of polarization referred to by Eugene Kane is really just diversity of political thought, and we thought the media loved diversity. Then again, to stretch the cow analogy, maybe what Mr. Kane is telling us is that all animals are equal, but animals who support President Obama's policies are MORE equal than the rest of us.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is this a Good Example of why the New York Times is Going Broke?

Click on the link below to see what a member of the New York Times editorial board wrote about the Northport, Long Island Tea Party:

The editorial, written by editorial board member Lawrence Downes, presents a negative, very cynical view of the Long Island Tea Party. I don't happen to agree with this editorial, but I support the right of Mr. Downes to write it.

I would also like to note, however, that the New York Times, and similar newspapers, are in deep financial trouble. They are running out of money because people won't buy their printed editions, and people won't pay to suscribe to their online editions, and people are finding cheaper and better places to advertise.

The New York Times is in terribly weak financial condition.

If you read the Downes editorial, you may come to the same conclusion as me, and that is that Mr. Downes doesn't live in the same America as me. He's spent too much time isolated in top floor conference rooms with too many other cynical journalists and editors.

This is a good time to pull the plug on newspapers. A 5% drop in revenue and readership would take many of them over the edge.

April is about to become "Tax Freedom" month but April 15, 2009 should also become Cancel-Your-Newspaper day and more important Pull-Your-Small-Business-Advertising day.

I'd like to put things in perspective. This analogy is for football fans (and everyone else). Long ago, coaching legend Tom Landry told his players not to do the end zone dance for two reasons -- (1) You should never look surprised to be in the end zone; and (2) Never anger your opponents or give them anything to use as motivation.

Therefore . . . accept that "journalists" like Lawrence Downes are going to write negative editorials about Tea Parties (it's not a big deal, he works for a dinosaur newspaper that no one pays attention to anymore). Don't waste your time complaining about negative coverage (a guy like Downes lives for your complaints, he savours them). Just pull the plug on traditional journalism. Cancel your subscription. Pull your advertising. Tell local businesses to do the same. A few more percent loss of circulation and advertising revenue will create a new chapter in the history of many regional daily newspapers -- chapter 11.

It's where they belong.

Next Time Your Newspaper Uses the Word "racist"

Check to see if it was used correctly.

Here is the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition of "racism":

Main Entry: rac·ism

Pronunciation: \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm\

Function: noun

Date: 1933

1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

2 : racial prejudice or discrimination — rac·ist \-sist also -shist\ noun or adjective

Example of misguided use of the term "racism":

Friday, April 10, 2009

Limbaugh -- Newspapers Print Endless Phony Stories

An ad on the front page of the Los Angeles Times is made to look exactly like a news story. NBC paid for it.

Many journalists expressed anger about the unorthodox use of the Times front page, but radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed a different view.

"Newspapers print endless phoney stories," said Limbaugh. "There's probably more accuracy about the NBC story than there is in your average front page story."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Will History Forget What Happened in Rockford?

Like most of what we publish, the real point of this post is to ask, "Where were the media?"

The story of what happened to David Hale is a barely discernable ripple in the tide of events that will soon join together to become a raging river on April 15 of this year.

Nonetheless, his story is very important.

David Hale is organizing a TEA Party in Rockford Illinois. That stands for Taxed Enough Already. There hasn't been any violence associated with the Tea Party Movement that sprang up since mid February 2009. It's just a (huge) group of mainly middle class people who are concerned about the future of their country . . . working people . . . small business people . . . people who obey the law.

The trouble started when David and a group of citizens assembled for a planning meeting at the East branch of the Rockford Public Library.

Now East branch Library, like most modern libraries, has a web page, but the page doesn't really say much about meetings.

What the Rockford East Branch web page says:
Located in the former Barnes & Noble building on State St., the new East Branch offers a coffee shop, meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi, quiet study rooms, special areas for children, young adults and adults, and an expanded collection of books and media.

The Rockford Library Policy Manual can be found at the following internet location .

There's really nothing in the Rockford Library Policy Manual that addresses the question of whether a group of individuals can meet at the library for the purpose of planning an event.

But David Hale and the other Tea Party Organizers were asked to leave the library. In fact, the police were called, and to avoid a confrontation and bad publicity, David and his group left voluntarily.

The Real Question

We think that the real question is this -- where is the news media in all of this?

Tea Party organizers from coast to coast, according to their internet posts, are dealing with questionable government policies and decisions that affect first amendment right of students to peaceably assemble.

In California, Tea Party Organizers were told they could not distribute petitions at their event. But doesn't the first amendment guarantee "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances"?

Should U.S. media document incursions of the First Amendment by local governments?

Did Dr. King deal with similar problems when attempting to organize demonstrations in the early nineteen sixties? Was this documented by the media?

Where is the historical context? Where is Katie Couric to investigate and to compare the treatment of David Hale's group to the treatment of anti-war and gay rights protestors?

Questions for the Rockford Public Library

  • Is there a rule against people pushing a couple of tables together in the Rockford Library, if they are working on a group project? Where is that rule published? Has that rule ever been enforced before?
  • Does the Rockford Library distinguish between a group of people meeting together to plan an event and a group of people meeting together to work on a school project, in terms of library usage policies?
  • Under what circumstances does the Rockford Library call the police?
  • Under what circumstances does the Rockford Library ask a group of individuals to leave the library?
  • Were the police called by an employee of the Rockford Library on the night that David Hale and other Tea Party event planners came to East Branch?

What are the real rules?

How do you separate the rhetoric about the second amendment from the actual accepted interpretation?

A good place to start is the First Amendment Center Web page (

The first Amendment Center has the following to say about freedom to assemble :
As a general rule, the government cannot ban speech — including public protests — because of the protest’s “content,” or subject matter. Government can restrict the time, place and manner of the speech in order to meet a higher need, such as public safety. What a demonstrator might say without challenge at noon in the public square likely would have First Amendment protection, while that same speech at midnight under an apartment building window likely would not.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm. We're wondering if ANY of this is on the radar screen of national media.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Obama Gets A Pass

"Few people would have predicted that someone like me would one day become an American president," Obama said.
- USA Today, Opinion -

Someone like me?

Is there anyone as the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, or Associated Press who looks at a statement like that critically. Does a "journalist" remain in America who will challenge this rhetoric?

Abraham Lincoln grew up more disadvantaged than Barrack Obama. Whatever does Obama mean?

Maybe Barrack is still stuck on "color of skin", when the rest of America has moved on to "content of character"?

So what does Barrack Obama mean by his chosen phrase, "someone like me"?

Someone who fires the president of General Motors?

Someone who apologizes to the rest of the world for America?

Someone who just used the power of the government to put America's grandchildren's grandchildren in debt?

Or is little Barry Obama still hung up on the color of his skin?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Should Regional Daily Newspapers Survive

A March 18, 2009 article by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney in "The Nation" calls for (among other things) a $200.00 tax credit for Americans to encourage them to subscribe to newspapers and thus help to save the "great regionly daily" papers in America.


What''s really worth rescuing?

What do large regional newspapers do that is so important the government needs to rescue them?

Send your answers to

The Nichols/McChesney article is short (four pages on the internet), but they used the word "crisis" fourteen times in their article.

Analysis of a "crisis"

What's the crisis?

Seriously, Nichols and McChesney are supposed to be "professional" journalists?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines crisis as follows -- "An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change"

Is this a bad thing?

We don't think the Nichols/McChesney article covered this topic very well, because they didn't really talk about essential functions of regional daily newspapers -- functions that would be difficult or impossible to duplicate?

What is the real job of a newspaper?

We think a newspaper is supposed to gather and distribute news.

So where is the problem? If the New York Times closes its doors, what will happen?

Disagreement with the Nichols McChesney Position

A number of publications, bloggers, and just plain old private citizens disagree with the Nichols/McChesney position. Here are a few.

McClatchy Watch ( -- This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company.

The Danville Register & Bee - Life at a Media General Newspaper ( -- Life at the Danville Register & Bee...when a male reporter at a Media General newspaper filmed the breasts of local business women without their knowledge or consent and showed the video around the newsroom - several people objected. We were all fired. He was not. This is what happened. I'm one of those journalists who was fired for taking a stand. Why am I writing this? Because.... Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.