Monday, July 30, 2007

R.I.P: Tom Snyder
Seventy-one is a pretty good clip, especially for a chain-smoker. Although these days, it may seem young: ["Broadcaster Tom Snyder Dies at 71"].

Huckabee wins Warren County straw poll

According to the Gov. Mike Huckabee campaign, the candidate won a recent straw poll in Iowa. I couldn't find any news about it under Google News, but here is some of text sent out by the campaign:

To be eligible to vote at the Warren County Straw Poll the voter had to be a registered Warren County Republican, or register as one at the Straw Poll.

The Warren County Auditor╩╝s office provided the Straw Poll workers with an up-to-date list of registered Warren County Republicans. Poll workers matched the voters name╩╝s to the list provided by the auditors office and then checked the name off the list to eliminate double votes.

The voting machine used was a Diebold, which uses no computer software and is 100 percent accurate. Over 100 people participated.

The campaign has also acknowledged that it will participate in the Republican version of the CNN/YouTube debate, scheduled for next month. The other candidates participating include Sen. John McCain, Rep. Pon Paul, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Thompson responded this way: "We'll answer questions from any American who wants to ask one and that includes one dressed up like a snowman."
It is kinda hilarious that the other candidates want to lead the free world and yet they can't face off in a debate which features real questions from real Americans, via video clips. Don't they look like a bunch of chickensh*ts? Here's former Gov. Willard Mitt Romney's response: "The presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman." Balk, baulk baulk, balkah ... McCain said this: "I just don’t think that questions from snowmen are appropriate in presidential campaigns ... But I think that this is serious: We’re in a war." But later, he agreed to participate.
There is now a Web site to galvanize support for participation in the debate: ["Save the Debate"].

Gravel's numbers
Speaking of the YouTube debate, according to this blog entry posted this afternoon by the USA Today [don'tcha just love blogs!], former Sen. Mike Gravel's video clip from the debate about campaign finance reform has been viewed more than 271,000 times: ["By the numbers, Gravel is ahead in post-debate views"]. Compare that to the other candidate numbers. Wow.

Short cuts
This is really cool: ["Plant Sugars Seen As Energy Substitute"].
This is cool, if you hate Hillary: ["No Hillary Clinton"].
An old friend complains about crime in his former local newspaper: ["Is the Journal spiking crime reports"].

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Doomsday for Dow Jones?
From stories posted over the weekend, it looks like tomorrow is the day the Bancroft family makes a final decision about whether they will sell Dow Jones/WSJ to Rupert Murdoch. Here are some of the corresponding stories: ["Bid for Dow Jones opposed"] and ["Family at war over Murdoch's Dow bid"].
I find it interesting that the Bancroft family is worried about editorial control. I mean, have they read the WSJ editorial page recently? They are to the right of Attila the Hun. How bad could a Murdoch ownership be? I don't know, but it doesn't look like it is going to happen.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Link roundup: The end of July edition
Here is a bunch of stuff I haven't had a chance to post. It's hard to believe that it is the end of July already. So far, it has been a pretty good summer. But, it will all be over in six weeks. Enjoy it while you can.

The answer is more debates
Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were reportedly talking about limiting debate participants the other night in this exchange caught on camera and hot mics, I believe by C-SPAN, after a recent debate:



If they are frustrated because they aren't getting enough face time or need more than 60 seconds to answer a question, and who can blame them for that, that is understandable. But, the answer isn't fewer debates or fewer people in the debates. The answer is more debates.
I'm not surprised that Hillary would try and limit the voices in the debate. She calls her speeches "listening tours" even though she doesn't do a lot of listening during them. However, I'm a bit taken aback by Edwards' move. He never looks bad in these things and Gravel and Kucinich going after the frontrunners only really hurts Clinton and Barack Obama, IMHO.

Here is another YouTube clip worth looking at, with Edwards really taking it home:


FCC Hearings
The FCC has been traveling around the country, holding hearings concerning problems with broadcast media consolidation. C-SPAN has aired a couple of the hearings and they've been pretty interesting to watch. Recently, they held one in Portland, Maine, the only hearing in New England. Dan Kennedy has a bit about the hearing here: ["Local media and the FCC"]. And here is a letter from a resident complaining about hearing: ["FCC didn't hear me"]. So much for these hearings being about the public talking about consolidation. As much as I enjoy working in the broadcast industry and respect many of my colleagues, for them to do this just to protect their corporate masters is just intolerable.

9-11
Congress finally passed a terrorism bill including recommendations from The 9-11 Commission: ["Congress Passes Major Anti-Terror Bill"]. I don't know if this means anything considering both The Commission and its report seem like quite the whitewash, especially when you look at some of the outstanding questions. Interestingly, at my job, I constantly get emails from Lee Hamilton's PR firm, pitching columns. Since we only publish local stuff at work, I wouldn't consider them there. I hadn't thought about whether or not I wanted to publish them here on Politizine. I usually just give them a cursory glance and then delete them.
Speaking of 9-11, this French official thinks Bush was involved: ["French officials suggests Bush was behind September 11"]. This blog post caused a furor at the Post: ["Blog post that made the N.Y. Post"]. And here is a Web site with a slew of resources on it: ["9-11 Review"]. One of those resources is this interesting picture of a woman waving from the plane hole: ["Person waving from the plane shape hole"]. As noted, if this floor was burning so hot that it basically melted the infrastructure of the tower, how could a person stand at the hole and wave for help? Of course, it could be a cool video trick. But I really wonder about this.

Carbon taxes
Roy Morrison continues his work on alternative energy, including a long report on building a sustainable electric grid in New Hampshire: ["EcoPowerHedge"]. Readers may recall that I linked comments by Al Gore promoting Morrison's carbon tax idea. Well, now another person has taken hold of it: ["Counting on Failure, Energy Chairman Floats Carbon Tax"].

Short takes
Here is a long piece about microchips worth the time it takes to read: ["Microchip Implants Raise Privacy Concern"]. And then there is this: ["Microchips mulled for HIV carriers in Indonesia"].
By accident, I found this pretty cool horror movie site: ["Bloody Disgusting"].
Another 2008 candidate? Possibly: ["General Zod 2008"].
Rightwing newspaper says it's time to go: ["Scaife-Owned Newspaper Calls for Iraq Troop Withdrawal -- Questions Bush's 'Mental Stability'"].
Kerry dishes some out: ["Kerry to Mitt: Who's flip-flopping now?"].
AP Poll: ["GOP pick is 'none of the above'"].
This guy isn't too happy: ["The Audacity of Fraud: How Barack Obama Is Losing My Vote"]. It should be noted that Foreign Affairs is published by the Council on Foreign Relations, the same think tank that is coming very close to suggesting that the United States basically absorb Mexico and Canada and make the best of it: ["Building a North American Community"]. GOP candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter was able to get his amendment to keep federal funds from going to the NAFTA Super Highway down in Texas: ["Hunter NAFTA Super Highway Amendment Passes House"].
Kristin Gore: Dad's not running: ["Gore Daughter: '08 Run Not Happening"].
Morse gets new radio gig
Chuck Morse, the author, two-time failed congressional candidate [aren't we all?], and self-proclaimed "rightwing extremist," will have a new gig on WBIX 1060 outside of Boston starting in September: ["Morse Code starting September 1"].
With things shaking up in the radio world down there - specifically, Howie Carr jumping to mornings at WTKK and no talent lined up to take the afternoon shift at WRKO - this is a good opportunity for Morse to try and tap into the afternoon drive time AM audience down in Framingham. Morse was last heard doing mornings down on WARL 1320, a 5,000 watt AM station in Attleboro and has a long history of on-again, off-again radio shows.
One of the neat things about Chuck is that while he is bats on some issues, he is dead-on correct on many others. As well, as I've noticed over the years, he likes to debate people from the opposite side of the fence. Folks like Noam Chomsky and his nemesis, Rep. Barney Frank, actually get airtime on his shows and that is a lot more than they ever get on other radio stations. In addition, he often gives dark horses and long-shots the chance to be heard [Disclosure: When he was on 1510 in the late 1990s, I was on his show a couple of times].
Of course, Morse has his work cut out for him. WBIX doesn't even post in the Top 30 of 12-plus numbers in Boston, according to the Arbitron diary: ["Market 11"]. In fact, looking at these numbers, Manch's WGIR-FM and WZID-FM, WUNR-AM's foreign language stew [and other foreign language stations], and Cambridge's tiny beautiful music station, WJIB-AM, chart higher. WBIX does have a trade deal with the Boston Herald, according to gossip I've heard. They get an ad in the Herald and the Herald gets a news sponsorship before and after news updates.
In order to make this work, a lot more promotion is going to be needed for the station. Here's hoping he has a good long run with this one.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Join a March for Climate Action!
Guest Perspective/ReEnergize New Hampshire

Dear Friends,
Imagine this: thousands converging on New Hampshire's capitol, uniting to demand national action for a clean energy economy and real solutions to global warming.
Join us for the March to ReEnergize New Hampshire to help make this vision a reality:



Global warming is serious, and people are catching on. We read it in the newspaper and hear it on the radio. Now it's crept into the centerfold of Vanity Fair and it's printed on our yogurt lids. It's a hit in Hollywood and a focus of classrooms across the country. Yet despite the buzz, we haven't seen actions that match the scale of the problem.
But with all eyes on the Granite State this primary season, we have the opportunity to make sure something is done.
RSVP here to join us for an hour, a day, or for the whole march: http://www.climatesummer.org/march
We'll gather on July 31st in Greeley Park in Nashua, ready to kick off five days of walking to call for the scale of action our country needs. We'll stay at farms where the bounty has diminished over the warming years and churches whose congregations have found faith in our ability as a community to confront global warming.
We'll walk beside Bill McKibben, founder of Step It Up and a guiding voice in this movement. Granny D will be there, who - at the age of 89 - crossed the country afoot for a cause of her own. Now at 97, she's promised us that she'll be back on the road.
You, your family and friends are invited! RSVP and bring everyone you know: http://www.climatesummer.org/march
On the morning of Aug. 5, we'll gather with thousands as we walk the last mile into the center of Concord and rally on the State House lawn. En masse, we'll make the loudest call to our leaders yet: we want clean energy, green jobs, and a strong economy to cut our carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.
We're writing this because we want you to be there too. We're just 25 college students who figured tight quarters and long hours was a cheap price to pay for our future.
So please, join us. Sign up to march for one day or all five. Prepare a meal or play a song. Make a few calls, and send this letter to everyone you know. Time is short, but together, we've got all the energy we need.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Sierra, Zo, Lindsey, Ian, Kelly, Maura & the whole ReEnergize NH Team reenergizenh@gmail.com. 610-220-5378

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hodes to endorse Obama
AP is reporting that Rep. Paul Hodes will endorse Sen. Barack Obama tomorrow morning: ["Obama Tries to Turn Clinton Words on Her"].
A note to the Obama campaign and others: People would really like more than 10 hours notice for an important event like your endorsement downtown. Sometimes, we can't completely alter our skeds around what you want to do. In the future, a good 24 to 48 notice would be really helpful. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Did Hagel win Monday's Dem debate?

The Draft Hagel folks think so:

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Winner of Monday Night’s Democratic Debate: Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

Boston, MA – At the first CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate held Monday, July 24, Democratic contender Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) was asked by a questioner: “If you had to pick any Republican member of Congress or Republican governor to be your running mate, who would it be? Without hesitation, Mr. Biden said: Chuck Hagel. When asked the same question, Democratic contender John Edwards (D-NC) said Chuck Hagel as well. Senator Chuck Hagel’s name continues to be batted around Washington political circles as a possible Republican, Independent, and now Democratic candidate for the ’08 election.
In a political environment immersed in hyper-partisanship and ideological polarization, one where political gamesmanship has become the watchword of the day in Washington, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) has managed to transcend partisan lines and earn respect across the isle.
In his own party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calls Senator Hagel a “solid, thoughtful, conservative Republican” whose voice is invaluable to the nation, and who is “an indispensable member of the Republican team.” (Lincoln Star Journal, May 18, 2007, by Don Walton, “McConnell says Hagel's Iraq warnings were right”)
Hagel is expected to decide whether to pursue a presidential bid in the next few weeks. For the sake of unifying this nation with true leadership, the “www.drafthagel08.com” movement continues to ask Mr. Hagel to enter the presidential sweepstakes. We are confident that, as president, Hagel can forge a bipartisan consensus to tackle critically important issues which have been mired in partisanship. These issues include extricating the United States from Iraq, immigration reform, and returning fiscal sanity to our nation.
Hagel is an accomplished mainstream independent-minded conservative voice that emphasizes realist internationalism abroad and fiscal austerity at home in the spirit of former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gerald R. Ford, and former Secretaries of State James Baker and Colin Powell.
Senator Hagel, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, maintains that the only way to end the bloodshed in Iraq is through a political accommodation. A Vietnam Veteran, Senator Hagel has called our misadventure in Iraq “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.” To bring the political solution to fruition, Senator Hagel supports establishing an international mediator with the “backing and authority of the international community to engage Iraq’s political, religious, ethnic, and tribal leaders in an inclusive political process.” (Financial Times, July 3, 2007, by Chuck Hagel, “Internationalize Iraq”). Senator Hagel’s position on the Iraq War is in sharp contrast to the major Republican Primary candidates who continue to support the failed policies of the Bush Administration.
Senator Hagel has shown his fiscal conservative stripes by breaking with his Party and by opposing the fiscally irresponsible prescription-drug program under Medicare. In addition, Senator Hagel is a steadfast supporter of states rights, vehemently opposing the President’s federal “No Child Left Behind Act.” What’s more, Senator Hagel opposes the President’s call for a Constitutional amendment codifying marriage, emphatically stating: “I don't think the federal government has any business in dictating what constitutes a marriage.”
It is for these reasons that we consider Senator Chuck Hagel to be the best candidate to reclaim the leadership of the mainstream of this country. We believe Hagel’s message will strike a resonant chord across the “great political divide.” We would be glad to speak with you at-length about the “Draft Hagel 08” Movement. For more information, please contact us.

Rich Rubino, Press Spokesperson, 781-990-1477
rich.rubino@drafthagel08.com
www.drafthagel08.com
Draft HAGEL 08 is not authorized by or associated with any candidate, candidate's committee, PAC, or political party.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dodd has another Talk Clock

Sen. Chris Dodd's Web site has another Talk Clock analyzing the amount of time given to the Democratic candidates.
Kudos to Sen. Dodd's campaign for posting another Talk Clock about who received the most time during tonight's debate. Interestingly, CNN Host Anderson Cooper got more face time than six of the candidates ... and double the time that Gravel and Kucinich received. Sigh.
Blogger targets Romney over sign
Channel 9 is reporting tonight that an Ohio blogger, spending some time in the state, attacked Mitt Romney over the weekend about him holding a sign calling Barack Obama "Obama Osama." Romney tells the kid to "lighten up a bit": ["Romney Feels Heat For 'Obama Osama' Sign"].
No debate commentary from me
I'm not going to offer any comment about tonight's CNN/YouTube debate because I didn't see the debate. However, here are some poll results on who people think won the debate.
With more than 18,800 voting on the Drudge Report, Obama received 41, Clinton, Biden 11, Kucinich 10, Richardson 8, Gravel 8, Edwards 5 and Dodd 5.
I thought I saw a poll on DailyKos earlier but I can't find it now.

Speaking of polls
DailyKos has a July Straw Poll with more than 14,000 people participating. Here are the results so far: Edwards 38 percent, Obama 26, Clinton 9, Other 8, Richardson 6, No Freakin' Clue 6, Kucinich 4, Gravel 1, Dodd 1, and Biden 1. Interestingly, Gravel has a bit more support than Biden or Dodd but doesn't have the coverage and doesn't get the donations that the other two receive.
The site also put together a favorable/unfavorable poll for the top four candidates. The numbers say a lot:

Edwards [14,045]
Favorable 79, Unfavorable 13, Undecided 7.

Obama [14,456]
Favorable 70, Unfavorable 11, Undecided 17.

Richardson [12,632 votes]
Favorable 51, Unfavorable 22, Undecided 26.

Clinton [14,077]
Favorable 38, Unfavorable 43, Undecided 17.

Oh, this is going to be trouble ...


Is this Romney's "Macaca" moment? Might be. Not only is it an insult to Obama but this lady can't even spell "Momma" right. Maybe she should go back to school.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another press release ...

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some interesting press releases I received which I can't really publish because they don't have anything to do with the town I cover. Here is another one of those press releases which is worth a second look:

Trees for Children: Planting Forests for Life

New Cuyama, CA- Home and Business Owners Nationwide are Creating Forests that are Reducing Global Warming.

Trees for Children is replanting the trees used in the construction of homes and businesses as part of its education programs with youth and adults. Through hands-on restoration projects, they teach people how to take responsibility for the planet by creating and caretaking forests that sequester excess carbon that contributes to global warming.

Our buildings are the single largest carbon contributor to the global climate crisis yet this understanding often takes the backseat to people's perception that vehicles are to blame. People nationwide are taking steps to counter their contribution to the climate crisis by taking responsibility for the buildings they dwell within.

The average new home requires 13,837 board feet of lumber, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and that's more than 90 trees on average. Has your home or business been replanted? Trees for Children, a non-profit project, offers this unique and viable solution for people to take responsibility for the buildings that house their families and their livelihood.

Trees for Children has a unique tree planting program occurs year round and is a vital part of a forest restoration demonstration and research program. They use natural water harvest techniques, mixed species tree plantings, weather windows, and tree protecting strategies to help ensure healthy growth of the forests they plant. They help to create permanent and diverse forest systems that bind carbon, build soil, slow water and wind created erosion, produce oxygen, and provide important habitat for native flora and fauna. All of this in an effort to bring balance the climate both locally and globally.

If you would like to consider having your home or business replanted, and receive a certificate that shares, "My Home/Business Has Been Replanted" please visit the Trees for Children website at www.treesforchildren.org to join many others who are taking responsibility for the buildings they dwell within. Together with our children, we can combat global warming as we Plant Forests for Life...

Friday, July 20, 2007

The GOP: 'Grand Obstructionist Party'
Republicans Continue to Block Will of the People on Just About Everything

Guest Perspective/Ray Buckley

It is sad and shameful times as Republicans are dragging their feet, holding up the legislative process, and standing in the way of progress on the issues most important to the people of New Hampshire and across this great nation. Sens. Judd Gregg and John E. Sununu continue to put their loyalty to the President and their political party ahead of the interests of the Granite State and our brave men and women in uniform. It is not surprising that in the latest polls, 66 percent of independent voters say they will vote in the Democratic primary. This dramatic shift is because Independents in New Hampshire strongly oppose the Iraq War and are pleased at how Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes are fighting to bring our troops home. The landslide re-election by Gov. John Lynch and historic victories by Democrats strongly indicates that Independents are realizing more and more which Party is fighting for them and which Party is more interested in standing in the way of progress. The UNH poll is a striking reminder of how the largest bloc of New Hampshire voters - Independents - continue to sway toward the Democrats during this decade. If Republicans stick to their obstructionist ways in Concord and Washington, we look forward to welcoming them into the Democratic Party, permanently.
In their first six months in office, Reps. Shea-Porter and Hodes have been keeping their promise to New Hampshire’s voters by working to change course in Iraq. Every step of the way, Republicans like Sununu, have shown that they lack the leadership and backbone to stand up to the President. Just one day after a new National Intelligence Estimate provided additional evidence that Republicans have failed to make our homeland safe and allowed Al Qaeda to rebuild, Sununu chose to protect George W. Bush and his disastrous Iraq policy by voting against an amendment that would have begun a rollback of U.S. forces within four months and redefined the U.S. mission in Iraq.

Earlier this week Gregg attacked New Hampshire’s Congressmen for being partisan and standing with the Democratic majority in their effort to win this war. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Bush has fed the American public one war rationale after another and passive Republicans, like Sununu, have stood by and watched while one lousy policy failure after another has been recommended. It isn't good enough anymore to say, '’Well, I supported some other amendment that didn't have a timetable, that didn't bring the troops home.”
Sununu not only tows the Party line by supporting failed policies in Iraq, he is in lock-step with Republicans down in Washington on just about everything. Recently, Sununu voted against expanding stem cell research and the Employee Free Choice Act, which would protect workers' right to organize without fear of harassment or intimidation. Sununu has made it clear that he stands with the president, and not the people of New Hampshire.

I’m not the only one questioning Gregg and Sununu’s continued participation in the GOP “Grand Obstructionist Party.” The Portsmouth Herald [
"Troop deadline is bit of sanity for Iraq war," July 19] called into question the logic behind their continued support for the current war policy - “‘logic, as best as we can reckon, that says if you think things are bad now, the Democrats' plan for major troop withdrawals will make things even worse. Instead of political posturing, Congress should focus on getting the policy right.’ Striving to get ‘the policy right’ is a remarkable admission well into the fifth year of war and occupation. Political posturing is a matter of perspective, but it's legitimate to ask what Sununu and Gregg - or Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins - have been doing all this time to get the policy right.”
Republicans in Washington will be held accountable for their obstructionism when they face the voters in 2008. Sununu will be forced to make a decision whether he is going to answer New Hampshire’s call to end this war or if he will continue to protect Bush and blindly follow these failed Iraq policies. Every obstructionist step of the way John E. will continue to alienate Independents and prove to voters that the only way to responsibly bring this war to an end and begin to repair America’s reputation here and abroad is to elect Democrats in 2008.
Ray Buckley is the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another strange and yet accurate PrioritiesNH.org vehicle

The upside down school bus above was parked outside Market Days earlier today.
Some of you may know about PrioritiesNH.org's campaign to raise awareness concerning the amount of American taxpayer money which is spent on the Pentagon. Around Concord, there is a Honda Element with a huge pie chart similar to the small one attached to this bus. The pie chart is probably about 15 feet wide and is wielded to the top of the Element.
Well, imagine my surprise this afternoon when I was checking out the annual Market Days festival and saw this bus parked right near the State House.
"What the heck is that?," I exclaimed before realizing it was a new vehicle by the group. It's actually pretty cool, beyond the fact that it makes a good point. It definitely turned this head.
Also seen at Market Days, tables for Rudy, Mitt, Hillary, and Edwards, both County Dems and GOP, a slew of political groups promoting one viewpoint or another, and people trying to draft Jeanne Shaheen to run for U.S. Senate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who is Dal LaMagna?

[Corrected, with editor's notes]
I don't know. He is some progressive from New York who is running for president who was just featured on the WMUR-TV Channel 9 11 p.m. News. But do a Google on the guy. No Web site for the campaign and very little information about the guy. Yet, he wants to be president? At least get a blog up, dude.
[Hey, dumbass blogger: If you typed my name correctly, you might have found my Web site here: http://lamagnaforpresident.com/]
It looks like he made his money inventing some special tweezers. He also donated some money to Robert Greenwald, the filmmaker responsible for that "documentary" about FoxNews, called "OutFoxed," which was riddled with serious flaws and inaccuracies.
[Interestingly, the Greenwald Web site, as well as others like Common Dreams and frontpagemag.com, spelled Dal's name incorrectly too!]
LaMagna is also a failed Congressional candidate. But hey, aren't we all? Hah! Abraham Lincoln once was, too! So, we're all in good company. LaMagna also supported "The War Tapes," the fabulous award-winning documentary about three New Hampshire national guardsmen.
Good luck to him. At least he got on the local evening television newscast.
One powerful commercial ... but what about the war?

Mitt Romney's new television ad, above, is a stroke of genius.
It's not about taxes. It's not about terrorism. It's not about infighting between the political parties. It's not about abortion. It's about the problems facing our children. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's new ad makes some good points about the cesspool some of our children are exposed to. Violent video games, offensive music, and pornography are not the best things for children to be involved with. Some may be involved with them, but it isn't a very good thing. This is kinda commonsense.
The ad may be Romney's "Morning in America" moment with rank-and-file Republicans. And it couldn't come at a better time for the guy. He's leading in New Hampshire. He's leading in Iowa. He's probably leading in Utah and Massachusetts. But outside of those states, there are problems. Elsewhere, Giuliani is still the frontrunner, with John McCain not far behind the two of them. The rest are way, way behind.

However, it is hard for one to take seriously any political ad which points to the violence our children are exposed to in film, music, and video games, while at the same time, ignoring the violence of the fraudulent Iraqi occupation. Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead. Thousands of American servicemen and women. Dead.
Think about the ad's context for a minute. It is unacceptable for our children to blow things up on video screens but it's OK for them to blow things up on computer screens when they get a little older.
It's OK to actually kill innocent people overseas but not to kill fake people in a game. It is unacceptable to listen to music which might help you relieve tension or forget the stresses of life but it is OK for you to release tension and take stresses out on others if you wear a military uniform.
What does that tell us? More importantly, what does that tell our children? What does that tell us about a presidential candidate who would combat the small things but ignore the huge ones ... or even worse, support the huge ones? It actually says a lot.

Monday, July 16, 2007

This just in ... Murdoch closer to getting WSJ
This just came in over email:

News Corp. reached a tentative agreement to buy Dow Jones at its original $5 billion offer price. The deal will be put to the full Dow Jones board Tuesday evening for its approval. The deal still faces its biggest hurdle -- getting approval from the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of Dow Jones's voting stock. For more information, go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118463978304868582.html?mod=djemalert

Why we shouldn't have nuclear power plants and other queries
What is a weekend without blogging like? Well, lemme tell ya. First, your hits drop because you don't update the thing and people see the same thing from Friday on Saturday and don't bother to visit on Sunday. Although, that theory could be busted because it seems like folks visit the sites on weekdays more than weekends. Anyway, not posting allows for time to actually get some life things done. I was able to do some cleaning at the house and even got in a beach day with the family. So, balance it out ... hours in front of a computer or hours roasting in the sun at the beach .... computer, beach ... computer, beach ... Well, you know which one I was enjoying.
And how about those thunder boomers on Sunday. Zowie, for sure. I would swear that some of them were really, really close, like down the street or around the corner. At least three or four of them had that firecracking sound that you hear when you're burning dry wood ... cackle, cackle ... and then, BOOM! That means they are very, very close.
And then, downpours of rain, like you are in the jungle ... or South Miami, where right around 5 p.m. every night, it pours buckets on your head for about 10 minutes and then, the storm moves on. Tropical, for sure. But, you know, the flip side is that everything is green and clean this morning.

But how about waking up to this out your window this morning: ["Strong Quake Rocks Japan, Nuclear Plant"]. Again, like I said in the previous climate change post, nuclear power plants are not the answer to global warming despite all the "concerned scientists" who are pimping them, while at the same time, complaining that people who challenge global warming are whores for Exxon. Nuclear just isn't the answer. So, let's scrap that one and find something else. Not unlike the desalination plant idea, I don't understand why someone hasn't started building thousands of solar panels across the entire Mojave Desert. That power could easily be piped around the region. That would surely reduce some of the emissions with little harm or danger to the environment, especially when compared to nuclear.

Is the Daily Kos founder a plant for the CIA? This guy claims that and more: ["The Truth About Kos"]. This looks like "crazy" Lyndon LaRouche-speak stuff but who knows these days. I mean, the site came out of nowhere and is now one of the biggest Web sites in the world. And what about banning people for questioning 9-11? I mean, come on. There are slews of legit people questioning the official story but not on DailyKos. I must admit how hilarious it would be to see this guy and Kos on a panel, broadcast on C-SPAN, debating whether Kos is a plant or not.

Speaking of DailyKos, I missed this one: ["My Initial Response to Being Banned by Markos Moulitas from Daily Kos"]. As I've said in previous posts, I really like MaryScott. And, actually, she is one of the reasons I was banned back in 2004 from the site. I was critical of John Kerry and I challenged one of her diaries. In it, she talked about all the great things we could expect from a John Kerry administration and how hopeful she was. I countered that with a stinging rebuke and got pummeled for it. Actually, I was a bit rude in my post and MaryScott and others uprated my post so it wouldn't be lost, just to show everyone how cruel I was. But, I stood [and stand] by my points. Kerry wouldn't have done jack for us regular folks and she was naive to think he would have. She clearly has come around to my way of thinking and, despite her popularity, was banished from the site. Thankfully, she had already created her cool counter site, My Left Wing, where people aren't banned from publishing whatever they feel like. Which, is kinda what the entire point of political discourse is, anyway, right?

Political short cuts
The 2008 campaign claims another victim: ["Gilmore pulls out of presidential race"]. I actually met Gilmore earlier this year and while he seemed like a smart guy, he didn't seem to have the fire in the belly for a national campaign. As well, his debate performance, if you will, didn't stand out enough to get into the middle tier of candidates running. Here is an editorial from one of his local newspapers, giving us a bit more to think about: ["Gilmore bid ends aptly"]. I like this line:

In his home state, he was never a favorite son as much as a retired uncle whose half-fulfilled “No Car Tax” campaign promise had left mixed political results and a party that has not fully recovered from its resulting fiscal fallout and infighting. As governor, his inability to get along with many in his own party, not to mention Democrats, left a legacy of a fighter but not necessarily of a winner.

Some speculate he may wait out his time and run for Senate next year in Virginia.

While some think John McCain may be the next one to go, think again. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has drawn a line in the sand for his exploratory campaign for August: ["Huckabee Says a Strong Iowa Straw Poll Showing A Must"]. I can't imagine, finally getting the guts up enough to run for the highest office in the land, putting yourself out there, and then deciding that some lame poll of activists - which is totally rigged for Mitt Romney at this point - is the determining factor of a candidate continuing his race. What does that say about our political process? Huckabee would be smart to go back into the New Testament and get some inspiration about how this world is really supposed to be. He might have a revelation, if you will.

I'm not going to pile onto McCain because, ya know, why kick a man when he is so far down at this point? It's so sad. I know what I would do to kick-start his campaign but, let him figure it out.
I never bought into the McCain thing in the first place although I know many who did. I thought the StraightTalkExpress of 1999 and 2000 was refreshing. My brother-in-law worked on his campaign and although Howard Dean gets all the credit for using the Internet as a campaign tool, it was actually McCain's campaign which used the Internet first [In 1997, a Boston Globe reporter credited me for being the first and then only Boston City Council candidate to use email to communicate or have a Web site]. His work on McCain-Feingold was commendable and might make up a bit for his role in the Keating 5 scandal. Despite what conservatives say, Money is not Speech. The bill wasn't perfect but it was better than nothing.
But for all the straight talk, McCain didn't change much on the issues. He has always been too conservative for much of the country. And some who know him and have worked with him in Washington, think he is completely bats.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh ... my ... gosh ...
The 'Honey, my father crashed the plane' edition

The FAA is investigating why my dad's ultralight crashed into a South Florida farm a couple of days ago.
My brother Simon sent me the link to this TV report, featuring our father's ultralight, which crashed into a local farm: ["Ultralight plane crashes in Homestead, no injuries"]. He seems a bit shaken up but unharmed, praise the Lord for that!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Radio, religion, family
Here is the latest on Howie Carr's jump from WRKO to WTKK. After getting back from vaca, Entercom officials had Howie read a letter saying he was not allowed to speak about the situation: ["Carr returns to the air, forced to read statement"]. And here's an article about the two stations starting to talk about advertising revenue: ["WRKO, WTKK dueling with advertisers over Howie"]. Adam Reilly has an overview of the situation here, with a great pun: ["Getaway Carr"] and also has a blog update about Carr on the air today: ["Carr returns to air, mocks WRKO"]. Typical Carr, hamming it up.

As a Christian and an American, this is disturbing: ["Hindu prayer shouted down in U.S. Senate"]. Who the hell are these people? What is their problem? If the government is going to not acknowledge a government-endorsed religion, which the First Amendment stipulates, then any spiritual leader should be able to perform the morning prayer.

R.I.P., Betty Schinella: ["Betty Schinella"]. I never met this woman in person but I did get to know her. Many years ago, when I first started out on the Internet with an AOL account, Betty contacted me after finding me listed as a user. She was living in Florida at the time and we talked via email and IM over a number of months and shared information about the family. It turned out, we were related - if I recall correctly, her husband is related to my father, as a second or third cousin. Betty spent a lot of time tracing back our family and I was able to pick up a lot from her. Eventually, I was able to trace our family name back to the early 1700s [Antonio Schinella de Conti, a Venetian philosopher from Padova, is a dead ringer for my grandfather]. I never would have thought about doing this had it not been for Betty suggesting that I do more with the Internet than just learn email or arguing in AOL's political chat rooms. Thank you, Betty, and the best to the rest of your family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Some more thoughts on the Carr deal
First, so much for "frivolous lawsuits," eh?: ["Carr files suit against WRKO for trying to stop deal with rival"].
Next, Dan Kennedy has a great overview of the decline at WRKO here: ["WRKO's long, painful decline"]. I agree with his point that giving Eagan and Braude the morning slot would have been a better move. This way, they could have offered Howie the Noon to 3 p.m. slot, where he would have easily creamed 'RKO's drug-dealing addict hypocrite Rush Limbaugh. WTKK would be a more powerful station than it already will be with Carr's morning show.

Lastly, before getting back to work, I'm going to rant a bit. I would be remiss if I didn't give Kennedy [and myself] a pat on the back for talking about this issue and the problems with talk radio more than 10 years ago: ["The Death of Talk Radio"]. Yours truly is quoted below:

Teaching people to think and act for themselves, and to take charge of a political process that they normally look at as something done to them, is a powerful thing. And in today's decadent talk-radio environment, that's happening less and less.

Take Anthony Schinella, who wants to talk about empowerment but finds himself shut out. Schinella got involved in talk radio through Jerry Brown's 1992 presidential campaign and the 1993 debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. He's a bright, articulate guy, and he espouses a hard-edged political view that's seldom heard these days. He's beside himself, for instance, that not one Boston talk show chose to focus on the recently announced layoff of more than 100 workers at Osram Sylvania, in Danvers, whose jobs are being moved to Mexico thanks to NAFTA.

But Schinella can't break in. He just left a once-a-week gig at Tufts University's tiny WMFO, and is starting a Sunday-morning show at the slightly larger WUNR (AM 1600). Yet he has few illusions about breaking into the big time. "There's no Triple A farm system," he says. "There's no place for me to go. There's a wall there." And he wonders who, in the post-Jerry Williams era, will talk about the Big Dig, a new baseball stadium, or any of a host of local issues. "When you limit the number of voices, you limit the real news that people get," he says. "You don't get news from Dr. Laura."

If I may say so, I think I made a good point back then and it only rings that much louder today. The chickens, as they say, have come home to roost. It just took a bit longer to happen. No farm teaming of local talk talent has left a shell of a station and has kept competition in talk broadcasting in the Boston area, the cradle of liberty, the Athens of America, from fomenting.
It may seem like tooting my own horn by running this quote again, but whatever. The point is this: Programmers could have given me - or many others in the Boston area - the opportunity to compete way back when, even on a small scale. But they didn't, despite the quality programming I/we had to offer. If they had, they might not be in a hole right now, mighten they?
There are holes everywhere, as Kennedy notes.
Instead of continuing to bang my head against a wall in Boston's radio business, I delved more into politics and later, got into the newspaper business and started working in that medium [I never really gave up radio or talk. I looked at every possible opportunity, from leasing local time to leasing satellite time to offering to sub for free, trying to come up with some way to get on the air. Nothing worked. It just wasn't meant to be, as they say].
When I found out about blogging in 2002, I started this site, which has been a ton of fun. All this work led me back to radio in New Hampshire, as a reporter, news director, program director and then, station manager, all in 2.5 years. And now, thankfully, I'm back in newspapers.
In the end, it all worked out. But for us radio fans out here, what shortsightedness, eh? Maybe I should copy and paste the entire "The Death of Talk Radio" article for posterity's sake on the site. It is a great example of media journalism.

Monday, July 9, 2007

More on Carr's jump
Tons of people are talking about Howie Carr's plans to leave WRKO for WTKK.
First, WRKO is saying they aren't going to let Howie go that quickly, via a press release from George Regan to the updated Herald story.
Over on the Boston Radio Archives list, there is a lot of talk about what Carr's New England affiliates are going to do. Doug Drown suggests that some stations might jump at a Carr morning show. Others noted that many of Carr's New England affiliates lost Imus and don't have permanent replacements yet.
The Radio Equalizer says WRKO PD Jason Wolfe went ballistic: ["PD Trashes Office"]. Somehow, I doubt this, but who knows.
Media Nation also has some chatting going on: ["Carr talk on WTKK"].
Carr to WTKK
Huge news in New England radio this afternoon: Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr has just been signed away from WRKO to be the new morning host at WTKK, according to the Boston Herald: ["Howie Carr jumps to rival WTKK"]. This is interesting, to say the least. What is good is that Howie realizes he is a local host. His attempts at national syndication have been a disaster, with little ad revenue and few stations outside of New England, according to some of my radio sources. His show does air on a number of New England radio stations and what those stations do after he leaves in September, remains to be seen. I know that many dropped his show after the syndicator [Was it Entercomm?] attempted to charge syndication fees for the show.
As well, Carr will now be on FM, which is a big deal when you consider that some listeners are abandoning AM radio [especially AM radio which doesn't challenge the listener]. Carr's listeners will follow him, which is trouble for WRKO. What do the put on in the afternoon? Sean Hannity? That would leave almost only morning local content and piped in, outsourced news.
Conveniently, Carr is on vacation.
Over at radio-info.com, here is some of the talk about the change: ["Breaking news, Howie to WTKK!!!"]. Here is the Boston Globe's take on the story: ["Carr jumps from WRKO to rival WTKK"]. A number of news sources, including Forbes Magazine [!], picked up the AP version of the story.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Almost missed ...
Here are some articles worth looking at from the WSJ
I'm catching up on my reading this weekend ... and a pile of WSJs that has been sitting in my dining room. There is about a month's worth, starting in early May and running through mid-June. And I got through them all, finally. I've been able to read it most mornings of late, which is nice because old news is, well, old. However, here are some articles that are worthy of posting even at this late date:

["A Musical Family Affair Revisited"] I noticed that the Sly & the Family Stone CDs had been remastered and re-released at Newbury Comics about two months ago. I didn't buy any, because they weren't on sale and I'm trying to save money. Plus, the "Greatest Hits" record is the best out of all of them because it has all the hot songs on it.
However, as I found out quite by accident with Isaac Hayes, there are some choice tracks hidden on albums. Most of what would be considered the throwaway stuff by Hayes is better than the singles. So, maybe there are some here from Sly, too. Here is the band's site: ["Sly Stone Music"]
.

One of the things I like about reading the actual print edition of the Wall Street Journal [or other newspapers] versus online editions is that you actually see the display ads in the newspaper. They just aren't the same on the Web.
For example, Nucor Steel had this great full page ad campaign in the May 3 edition. "It just makes sense to use something again. Instead of throwing it away," the ad states in big, bold letters on one of the first two pages. The ad then goes on to talk about how the company is the country's largest recycler, at 22 million tons, including 9 million cars last year alone. They joke, at the end, "Who knows, maybe we'll even use this ad again." So they do - on the next two full pages - repeating the exact same text! Hilarious.
Looking at its Web site, they reveal a bunch of stuff about the company, including that the steel industry has reportedly reduced emissions by 240 percent and is six years ahead of the Kyoto protocols. The stock is trading at about $60 per share, which is not too bad considering the steel industry.
Lastly, Nucor is also a leading example of not laying off workers, according to economic theorist Phil Hyde:
["Timesizing Working Models"]
.

["How to sink a newspaper"]. This guy, the publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, makes some good suggestions about what to do with newspaper Web sites ... and that maybe the free online news model is not the way to go. Or, some modifications need to be made so that we make sure that newspapers are properly staffed. This is the only way the news will be delivered properly.

Here is one article that makes me just a tad uncomfortable: ["To Create Buzz, TV Networks Try A Little 'Blogola'"]. I mean, OK, if some org. wanted to fly me out to wherever to check something out, I might take them up on it. But, to be a shill for them all the time? I don't know. I guess if you have a disclaimer on your site saying that you are not an unbiased, credible journalist, it would be OK to do this. But, if you are, you really should not be doing this. The flip of this is that if Hollywood reporters are doing this, why can't ordinary folks get some of the largess?

["Lawnmower-engine maker Once Had Lead in Hybrids"]. This is an interesting article about what could have been. Imagine, if a company kept working on this instead of, oh, I don't know, building Hummers. We'd have that sports car for $20k which does 100 miles to the gallon already by now! I can tell you from shopping for cars recently that it is pretty sucky that even the sub-compacts are not getting 50 or 60 miles to the gallon. Most are lucky to break 35! It is very, very sad.

["Iraq War memorial sparks fight over property values"]. Here is another important article focusing on the war issue from a different angle. The WSJ is really good at coming up with interesting ways of looking at stories.

["A Fight Over What You Can Do on a Cellphone"]. The issue of cellphone service and what you pay for has become a personal issue for me of late. For almost two years, I have been a happy Earthlink wireless customer. I got a great price on my late model Treo back in 2005 and really liked the service. But of late, I have been trying to downsize my bills in order to save money and pay for other things I need. Since Earthlink is analog wireless and not broadband, the Internet speeds were extremely slow and almost not even worth it. Since I bring my laptop almost everywhere, I can get email to it anytime I want, either at free hot spots or the free wireless near where I work. So, I realized I didn't really need the data package.
As well, canceling it would save me $40 per month plus taxes, or more than $500 per year [about 25 percent of a new car purchase over five years]. Not a bad chunk of change.

So, I called them and told them I wanted to keep my phone service but not the data service. They said, No. I was a bit taken aback. Paraphrasing, the phone attendant said: Since you have a PDA, you have to keep the data service on.
I said: No, I don't. I just won't use it.
He said: Sorry sir, we can't do that.
Me: Well, can you switch me to a per KB charge plan and I just won't use it? This would be the same as not having it.
Him: No.
Me: Do you realize you are going to lose my business if you don't do this because I will go out and get service from another company? Why can't you just shut off the data plan and let me keep my phone service with your company?
Him: I'm sorry, we can't do that. Plus, you can't use another service with your Treo. You'll have to buy another Treo.
Me: Hmm. OK, but I could go and get broadband service for the same price I'm paying you and at least the service I would be paying for would be faster.

Needless to say, my interaction with Earthlink proved that the old adage, The customer is always right, just isn't true any longer. It was very disappointing since I like them and I like their corporate mentality.
But, it all worked out. Since my wife needed a new phone - her 2001 analog phone was no longer going to be operable by the middle of the month, according to Cingular - it was a good opportunity to look at a new service provider. In the end, we chose a family plan from Sprint-Nextel. And, we received the same minutes, got snazzy new phones [one for free and an inexpensive PDA for me], and we saved money, too.
As we move along in this technological world, I have a feeling that this WSJ article just nips the tip of the iceberg. If anything, phone and data plans are going to probably go down in price, not up, as the companies will want to nickel and dime everyone to death for every little thing. The cost of the phone service will probably drop to virtually nothing, not unlike long distance has done. Along with it, the data plans will probably also drop.

["'Super Duper' Tuesday May Be Too Big to Matter"]. Last, but not least, something the WSJ is really good for: Charts, graphs, and all kinds of data. Data that is even better when it is political.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth, what's the point?
I'm sitting here watching some of the Live Earth concert wondering, what is the point of all this?
I thought I read somewhere a couple of months ago that they were going to try and figure out a way to make all the coinciding concerts carbon-neutral. That would seem like quite a task when you consider all the electricity the musicians are using all day, all the trash produced by the hundreds of thousands of people attending concerts, and the thousands and thousands of airline miles musicians, celebs, and fans burned through to attend the concerts.
This Brit newspaper kinda nails some interesting points on the head: ["Live Earth is promoting green to save the planet - what planet are they on?"]. You have to love this line:
Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse, has dubbed it 'private jets for climate change'.
And this one:
Indeed, Madonna's carbon footprint is dwarfed only by her ego - she has vowed that she will 'speak to the planet' at Wembley. In fact, an apology might be in order - for the superstar's energy consumption is only the tip of the iceberg in this epic vanity-fest.
Ouch. The newspaper later reveals that Madonna consumes about 10,000 tons of carbon annually. Or, how about a little more reality:

The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of Carbonfootprint.com, who specialises in such calculations. Throw in the television audience and it comes to a staggering 74,500 tonnes. In comparison, the average Briton produces ten tonnes in a year. The concert will also generate some 1,025 tonnes of waste at the concert stadiums - much of which will go directly into landfill sites.
Or this expert:
Collins says: "It is patently absurd to claim that travel of this nature doesn't have an impact. Each person attending the event will have to make a return journey to the venue, be it by air, rail, bus or car. This burns fossil fuel - precisely what we are trying to reduce."
Is the Daily Mail a Murdoch rag? I wonder. But either way, there are some pretty good points in that story. And the standard "one rule for them, another rule for us" shines brightly in this entire situation.

And, why won't Al Gore, or anyone else from the global warming crowd, debate these guys?: ["Global Warming Heartland"]. This group has been running small ads in the WSJ for months now, trying to get Gore to debate them on some of the issues. Maybe they are cranks. Maybe they aren't.
What we do know is that there are data out there to suggest that humans have nothing to do with this phenom. In fact, scientists state emphatically that these temperature increases have occurred on earth randomly six or seven times over the last 400,000 years. The problem is that they can't tell us what caused the rising temperatures previously, because, none of us were alive then. In addition, there were no machines then either, so it had nothing to do with industry or humans.
Personally, I believe in global climate change. We can see it happening. We can see that we get sunburns after 45 minutes in the sun when 25 years ago we could be out in the sun all day and nothing would happen to us. But, as a reporter, I have to question everything, look at data, and make my own judgment. And, after looking at a lot of this, I don't know what is actually causing global climate change. I also know that those who support the theory that humans are causing all these problems - and especially Americans, since we are 4 percent of the world's population while consuming 35 percent of the resources - refuse to even discuss any other theories or debate any of this with anyone. They just designate anyone who questions it, or any part of it, as a loon, even though scientists don't actually know. They use words like "this might happen" or "this could happen" or "this may be the cause" ... those are not absolutes.
In the end, it might not be human beings. There are others who challenge that humans are the ones causing this problem. Again, I personally do suspect that humans have a lot to do with the problem or, more accurately, are probably making the problem worse. But I don't actually know it to be fact. We can, as Americans and citizens of the world, all use a lot less. As I was reminded recently, the conservation theme isn't just "recycle," it's "reduce, reuse, recycle." Of course, that goes against American marketing principles so ...

Seriously though, I suspect that much of this global warming "hysteria," for lack of a better word, is an attempt by powerful people in the world to control how we live as Americans. The powerful global elite have been talking about these things for more than three decades. They ideally would like Americans riding bicycles to work like the Chinese do [well, those globalists who aren't in the car business]. Imagine riding your bike to work in say, New England's February. Yeah, some maniacs do it. But the rest of us? Not.
And why do you think they are shipping all the manufacturing overseas?
It isn't just about low wages leading to higher profits. It is about lowering our wage standards - which are plummeting for most Americans - and raising global wage standards. The rise globally is happening at a meager pace, BTW. But, how do you think all those Chinese are going to afford E! Hollywood News on their cable systems if they are earning 10 cents an hour, as the theory goes?
This is the myth of free trade, a theory which has had more negative effects on climate change than anyone not recycling a plastic bottle.
In the eyes of many of the world's powerful people, Americans have it too good. And, everyone should be close to equal or, more accurately, close to serfdom. Then, the Davos crowd and the people they pull up along the way will be way up here, running things as they see fit, while we are all down here, fighting over crumbs. This isn't a conspiracy theory; many of these people have publicly stated these theories for years and years and their comments have been well-documented in the alternative press.
If you talk to your typical Democrat [one who thinks Hillary Clinton is a Godsend] about stuff like this, you'll lose them ... quickly. But, at the same time, they point to PNAC's 1998 report that a Pearl Harbor-like terrorist event was needed against the United States as reason that George W. Bush is evil and had a role in 9-11 in order to jack up defense spending, control natural resources in the third world, overthrow Saddam Hussein, etc. They don't doubt that one for a minute. It really depends on which side of the bed you sleep on and nothing more. Most folks can't go beyond their personal, political space on anything. It would question their perspective and, we can't have that now, can we?
Personally, I think both theories have some merit because they are essentially the same thing, just different agendas: Powerful people trying to control weaker people. It has always been this way and it probably always will be. But, you can find small ways to carve out personal freedom for yourself. If that means changing all the lightbulbs in your house to save money and carbons, go for it. But if it means that I want to run my ACs at 65 degrees in the summer, then leave me alone [I don't run them that low but I'm just trying to make a point].

Shockingly, or, I guess not so, Sting [or Stink, as I call him, to irk my wife] admitted to the woman from "Today" that, as a rock star, his global footprint is huge. So true. Nice that you could admit it. But, at least Sting has done some things, as both he and his lovely second wife Trudie noted, via their Rainforest Foundation. You had to have loved her comments about the oil companies mucking everything up in Peru or wherever. Hey, Trudie, what does your Rolls Royce run on, BTUs from rice? How do your maids get to work? I'm not happy with the oil companies either but come on.
Later, Al Gore came on after thanking Melissa Ethridge for this great song which we didn't even get to hear [Who's editing this damn show?]. Gore urged us to sign a bunch of pledges. Paraphrasing, pledge that all the developed nations cut emissions by 90 percent while the rest of the world cuts them by 50 percent. Hmm. OK. So, you can kiss goodbye more U.S. jobs, probably millions more, which will leave the country for countries where the emissions are less stringent. That will put more of our people out of work. Why can't we all sign the same pledge and be equals in the world? Next. Paraphrasing, that no new coal-burning plants get built. Oh yeah, go off on the coal-burning plants without any alternatives except nuclear, which is not an alternative at all. You can just hear the WSJ editorial board and the lunatics who don't give a crap about the world wringing their hands in glee at the thought of building more and more terrorist targets and 100,000 year cancer camps, i.e., nuclear power plants. Watch the global warming folks get suckered into building more and more Seabrooks in the name of saving the earth [BTW, they already are: http://www.climatechange.org/]. Sorry, no thanks.
Maybe we should be thinking a little more creatively about combating global warming. How about building hundreds and hundreds of desalination plants which would convert salt water into fresh water. This water could then be piped to areas of the world without water. If we started now, this process might be able to curb 50 years worth of melting ice caps and glaciers which are predicted to flood Manhattan and Florida in water by 2060. And, the money spent, probably hundreds of billions of dollars, is surely a better way to spend the money than to turn the sands of Iraq into DU-glass. I don't know if this would actually work but combined with all the other efforts, it might work. It is also probably more doable than getting folks to stop buying SUVs.
So, again, I ask the question: What's the point? If it is for all the little 5 second PSAs about everything people can do to stop global warming, OK, that seems like a worthy effort. Some of us though have already replaced virtually every lightbulb in our house just to lower the astronomical electric bills we pay [we've replaced 10 of them in our house, sans the bathroom, where we need more light]. If it is to get us to recycle paper, most of us are already doing that even if some municipalities, like mine, don't offer corporate recycling. But really, after that, what is the point?
Sure, none of us want to fry. None of us want to drown after the ice caps melt. We all want a healthy world for our children and their children. But some of Gore's pledges aren't realistic answers to the problems and that's what we really need.

Update: What? Wolf Mother? Who the heck are they? Nice Zepp ripoff. They also should have let Crowded House play the entire version of "Don't Dream It's Over."

Update 2: OK, I'm less cranky. The Beasties just played "Sabotage."

Update 3: Oh yeah, "Girls on Film," by Duran Duran. Nice.

Update 4: Stink singing off-key fronting The Police. Yikes. I won't be paying $110 per ticket to see the reformed Police anytime soon.

Friday, July 6, 2007

UFO talk
I can't believe that "Nightline" is doing a piece on UFOs tonight. It could have something to do with this: ["Roswell theory revived by deathbed confession"]. Or this, which was mentioned: ["Out of the Blue"]. I'm going to watch this video after "Nightline."

Update: Shockingly balanced and free-of-ridicule segment there. Can hardly wait to watch "Out of the Blue" for myself.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hodes, Shea-Porter Keeping Promises

Guest Perspective/Ray Buckley

Granite Staters gathered yesterday for parades, family picnics, fireworks, and other Independence Day activities. Our state has much to celebrate, as Fourth of July marks six months of strong leadership from our two newly elected members of Congress, Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes. It’s been over a decade since New Hampshire sent a Democrat to Washington, and what a difference Rep. Shea-Porter and Rep. Hodes have made in advancing the agenda of New Hampshire’s working families.
Despite constant obstructionism from partisan Republicans, Democrats have worked hard to keep their promises to the American people. Rep. Shea-Porter and Rep. Hodes have demonstrated they are committed to taking care of our veterans, putting working families first, restoring accountability and oversight to government, and forcing President Bush to change course in Iraq.
This Democratic-led Congress has accomplished more in the last six months than Republicans did in six years. Having Rep. Shea-Porter and Rep. Hodes in Washington has made such a difference for working families here in New Hampshire. Both houses of Congress have passed energy legislation that strengthens our economy and national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Democrats have made our communities safer by passing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, and provided the American people with honest leadership and accountability by passing the toughest, most sweeping ethics reform in a generation.
Rep. Shea-Porter and Rep. Hodes also fought to raise the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, passed a balanced budget that includes tax cuts for the middle class, and kept their promises to the brave men and women who have served our country by passing the largest increase in veteran’s health care in more than 80 years. They have led the fight in Washington for a new direction in Iraq, fought to increase access to health care by reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and kept their commitment to promote the promise of science over partisanship by voting to expand funding for life-saving stem cell research.
As busy as their duties in Washington keep them, both make it a priority to make it back to New Hampshire nearly every weekend. This Independence Day, for example, Rep. Shea-Porter marched in the Merrimack and Raymond Parades and attended the Naturalization Ceremony at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth. Rep. Hodes marched in the Amherst and Lincoln/Woodstock parades and also greeted constituents at Colburn Park in Lebanon.
While Republicans like Sens. John E. Sununu and Judd Gregg continue to stand in the way of progress, our Democrats are working to make America safer and stronger, expand access to health care, fight for a new direction in Iraq, and end the culture of corruption that Republicans brought to Washington. The people of New Hampshire should be incredibly proud of Rep. Shea-Porter and Rep. Hodes for all that they are doing Washington. I know I’m relieved to finally have Representatives in Washington that are independent of the Bush Republicans and their special interest friends.
Ray Buckley is chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Monday, July 2, 2007

2008 money race
I was at the Rick Springfield/Eddie Money/Patty Smyth concert until late last night [more on that later] so I didn't have a chance to post a money update Sunday night. Here are some more second quarter numbers:

Obama: $32.5 million
Hillary: $27.5 million
Edwards: $9 million
Richardson: $7 million
Dodd: $3.25 million

No other Dem numbers were available. GOP numbers haven't been released yet either [but McCain is rumored to be reducing campaign staff]. Expect some later on today and I will update tonight or tomorrow.

Note: Politizine will be off towards the latter part of the week, enjoying some downtime, the Fourth of July holiday, and finishing up an analytical piece about the issue of the fairness doctrine.

Update: Here are some GOP numbers:

Giuliani: $15 million
Romney: $14 million [including $6.5 million he lent his campaign for the second quarter]
McCain: $10.4 million, which isn't too bad considering but since he spent nearly $24 million over the last six months, owes $2M and has $2M on hand, you can see why his folks are worried [What the hell did he spend that money on?]
Paul: $3 to $5 million [estimated by campaign staff on July 2]
Brownback: $1.5 million
T. Thompson: $473k

Sunday, July 1, 2007

'Useful' press releases
Occasionally at my new job, I receive some pretty interesting press releases. But because they are not focused on the community I cover, I do not use them much, despite the usefulness of the text.
Here is one I received last month from a CT insurance company which has been sitting around the house, waiting to be posted. It is entitled, "8 Answers to $3+ A Gallon Gas," and some of the points definitely deserve republication. The press release is quoted verbatim below with my comments in [brackets]:

* Smooth out your driving by avoiding "jack rabbit" starts and sharp braking. Both waste gas and can present a hazard for others on the road [As well, I would add, that sharp braking wears down your brakes, meaning that the driver will have to replace them sooner rather than later. This costs the driver more money in the long run and adds more brake shoes to landfills in a quicker amount of time. This is assuming that brake shoes go in landfills. Maybe they are recycled at this point, I don't know].
* It is estimated that every mile per hour driven above 55 MPH costs 1 percent in fuel economy. So, slowing down can be both safe and fuel-efficient. Maintaining a constant speed also maximizes your car performance. If road conditions permit, use the cruise control [This seems logical but I have experimented with long distance driving and speed limits and have seen little savings between the two. In fact, for whatever reason, the slower speeds seem to cause even lower fuel economy. I have seen this when driving on secondary roads, at speeds of 35 to 45 MPH, and then, calculated the mileage after filling the tank, and found significant MPG loss, in the neighborhood of 5 to 6 MPG when averaged out].
* Air conditioners can account for 10 to 15 percent impact on mileage. If you can't avoid it, don't turn on the air conditioner as the first response to heat. Start your drive with the windows open to exhaust the hot air our of the rear windows and then put on the A/C if needed [Again, totally logical point here. I would add that I know a number of companies are experimenting with solar panels on cars to see if the energy produced by the sun can offset some of the energy used in our new, higher-powered automobiles, so they can produce fuel efficiency in the future].
* Accelerate as you approach a hill, rather than hitting the gas and switching gears once on the incline.
* Lighten the car's load by removing all unnecessary items from the trunk, such as the bag of sand and shovel from the winter. Every 200 pounds of weight reduces gas efficiency by one mile per gallon [In other words, don't travel long distances with overweight people in your car or charge them extra for the shared ride, hah. This could also be an added incentive for some of us to lose some unwanted pounds ... you'll save money in the long run].
* If you have to carry a lot of baggage, avoid using a roof-top container, which will increase the air drag. If you drive a pick-up truck, the open bed will have the same impact, so put a cover on it [It would, of course, be better to do a bit of math first before going out and buying an expensive cover. If you are only going to save a few pennies per fill up, over time, there might not be much savings in dropping a bundle on a cover. But, maybe pick-up owners should have them anyway, to protect the life of the truck].
* Keep your tires inflated to the level recommended by the manufacturer. Incorrectly inflated tires impact fuel efficiency.
* Plan your trip routes and combined trips to minimize travel.

Here is another one, from New Hampshire, which talks about work distractions:

NFI Research NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Julia Stoddart

603-750-3020

julia@nfiresearch.com

Distractions at Work

Madbury, NH (June 19, 2007) - When it comes to workplace distractions, e-mail, the crisis of the day and personal interruptions top the list.

More than two-thirds (67%) of senior executives and managers say e-mail is the biggest distraction in the workplace today, according to a worldwide survey of 228 senior executives and managers conducted by NFI Research. Crisis of the day (42%), personal interruptions (31%) and changing priorities (30%) are the other top distractions in today's workplace.

"While e-mail is a great productivity tool, it can become a nightmare if not managed well," said NFI Chairman and CEO Chuck Martin.

Nearly half (46%) of business leaders get to work early to avoid distractions. The other top ways they avoid distractions are focus (41%), closing the door (37%), working at home (37%) and staying at work late (37%). More managers (28%) than senior executives (15%) say Web surfing is the biggest distraction in today's workplace. When comparing senior executives and managers to what is done to avoid distractions, 47 percent of managers say focusing is their main solution while only 34 percent of executives say it is.

"As a leader it can be tough to balance being available and staying focused," said one survey respondent. "When I really have to get something done, I will work from home or the library. Mostly when an interruption occurs, if I need to stay focused on what i am doing, I will look up and say is it something that can wait for an hour (or whatever the time frame may be)."

When it comes to organizational size, more executives and managers in large organizations say e-mail is the biggest distraction in today's workplace than those in small or medium organizations.

NFI Research surveys 2,000 senior executives and managers globally every two weeks. It has chronicled the transformation of business and countless workplace issues for more than seven years. NFI Research's membership represents some of the world's most renowned and innovative companies, including many members from Fortune 100 Companies.

Chuck Martin's new book "SMARTS (Are We Hardwired for Success?)" (AMACOM/American Management Association), which discusses the 12 Executive Skills, was just released.

Imagine, for a second, that you had a boss who hated both person-to-person meetings and telephone conversations, and required you to do almost all of your business communication via emailed memos. You might drive yourself insane ... or worse.

Lastly, here are two creative press releases from the folks at DemocraticMatch.com, the liberal dating site. The first, was actually sent in June. And interestingly, they haven't changed their name:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Edward R. Murrow Rolls Over in His Grave!

April 6, 2007:
Sounds of pounding, kicking, and bones splintering against pine were reported today, coming from beneath the startled feet of visitors to the gravesite of the world famous and beloved newsman Edward R. Murrow, known for his integrity and courage in reporting to the American people. Also heard filtering up from below, muffled and lispy yet clearly audible, were impassioned shouts of..."Cover The Real Stories" and "What Does Paris Hilton Have to do with ANYTHING?" "Bush, Cheney and their Oil Cabal are DESTROYING YOUR PLANET"... and then more quietly, as with a final effort, "fight you slackers"... then silence.

The flabbergasted gravesite visitors immediately fled and called the media to investigate - however they were otherwise occupied, dutifully distributing the latest press release from the White House.

This story was "dug up" by David Singelyn, founder of DemocraticMatch.Com liberal dating ~ where truth still matters.

####
End of press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Democratic Match may change name in protest of Iraq war funding

May 26, 2007:

To illustrate it's disgust of the Democrat's agreement on funding the Iraq war, DemocraticMatch.Com, the dating site for Democrats, has asked it's 25,000 members to vote on whether or not to change the website's name to eliminate the word "Democratic." David Singelyn, the website's founder has sent this message to all the members of Democratic Match:

We entrusted the Democrats to put an end to an immoral and illegal war, and they have let us down by agreeing to continue funding Bush's endless tragedy. Like a Tolkien nightmare, the Democrats ventured boldly into Mordor to cast Bush and his evil ring into the fire, only to come home wearing his ring on their own hands!

Besides the moral issue of supporting a war built on lies, there is the so-far undiscussed matter of Global Warming, which is accelerating beyond all predictions, and every 3 days we'll now be spending one BILLION dollars to secure even more of the substance causing the problem - OIL!

That's 100 BILLION dollars this year which we won't be investing in the wind turbines, solar panels, and reforestation that could RIGHT NOW be reversing Global Warming, the most serious threat mankind has ever faced! Who the hell is driving this runaway train? One week ago, We'd have said it was the Republicans - Bush, Cheney and their oil company puppeteers. This week, far too many Democrats have gone Gollum on us, and joined them in this utter insanity.

Therefore, we are asking our 25,000 members whether or not they would like to change the name of the site from "Democratic Match" to "Progressive Passions," or "Liberal Friends."

Democratic Match will be taking votes for the next week, and will then make a decision based on the votes of it's members.

####
End of press release

David Singelyn
DemocraticMatch.Com
PO Box 633 Lake Elsinore Ca 92530 951-442-9262

Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.