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Why Newspapers Are Dying

The Pensacola Beach Blog has the story of further staff reductions at the Pensacola News Journal. You hear all kinds of excuses for why newspapers are dying, many which focus on the effects of the Internet, but this is really suicide caused by corporate management more interested in Wall Street, than Main Street.

What people miss is the fact that the newspapers that are cutting their staffs aren’t losing money, the papers are making a profit, but it isn’t as big a profit as analysts on Wall Street think they should be making.

Of course, the loss of staff means a reduction in reporting, to the point that the local reporting is being replaced by wire service stories. You don’t buy a local newspaper to read wire service stories; you buy to read about what in happening in your area. The AP isn’t going to cover local government budgets or elections. They aren’t going to cover the school board meetings. They don’t care about high school sports. Even with all of the resources of the Internet you need a local paper to find out what is going on in your little town. Every time they reduce the local reporting, they reduce the need to buy a local newspaper. It is a slow and painful way of committing suicide.

October 31, 2008   4 Comments

RIP Louis “Studs” Terkel 1912-2008

A master observer of life in the United States has died at 96.

Check out his Wikipedia entry as a starting point, and then start reading his books if you want to know what it was like in 20th century in the words of the people who lived it. He collected the stories of regular people, oral histories, their stories in their words. Not famous or well-known people, just regular people.

He wasn’t all that interested in the people in high places, because the real history happened to the mass of people, and those were the stories he told.

October 31, 2008   2 Comments

Can These People Count?

The Democrats need at least 10 more seats to get a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.  The “pundits” keep saying 9 based on the supposed 51-49 seat Democratic majority in the Senate, but LIEberman is one of those Senators and anyone who thinks he will vote with Democrats is kidding themselves.

There are 49 Democrats plus Bernie Sanders and LIEberman.  Sanders is a dependable ally, while LIEberman should not be allowed to hold any position of responsibility or trust based on his preformance and statements.

Even with 60 Democrats elected, I wouldn’t expect Harry Reid to be able to come up with a majority for any bill to the left of Ghengis Khan.  I assume that Harry will continue to respect Republican holds on bills while ignoring those of Democratic Senators, as he has done for the last two years.

Nothing much is going to change without a major change in the Congressional leadership, the powers that be intend to maintain the status quo, as always.

October 31, 2008   3 Comments

All Hallowed Evening

Jack o' lanternWhether you celebrate Celtic New Year’s Eve [Samhain], the evening before All Saints Day [Halloween], or the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 [Reformation Day], have a happy one.

Wikipedia does its normally thorough job of covering all of the bases on the holidays that share October 31st.

I’ll include my remembrances of Halloweens past.

These “harvest festivals” aren’t fooling anyone and they are more in the tradition of the “pagan” Samhain, than the “Christian” replacement, Halloween. You should get with the “program” and have the congregation start nailing their complaints about the way things are run to the main door of the sanctuary. 😈

October 31, 2008   Comments Off on All Hallowed Evening

Halloween Cat Blogging

I’m Not Evil

Friday Cat Blogging

It’s only the black cats that are evil… well, and the fluffy white cats who hang around with evil geniuses… OK, so some people are nervous about calicos… I guess Ted means you have to include the tuxedo cats… but no one thinks brown and beige tabbies are evil.

[Editor: Ted is found at Poor Mouth , and he is proud to be listed with evil cats everywhere. Despite appearances Excise is more of a klutz that evil… I mean: is that face evil?  Really?  You think so?

Friday Ark

October 31, 2008   14 Comments