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The Newspapers Are Dying

I know it all supposed to be the fault of the Internet, but I don’t see that as even in the top ten of the problems of the print media. Badtux outlined a plan that would have given the newspapers control of their future on the ‘Net, but they didn’t understand the medium or how to use it.

News Writer at Stop The Press!, Susie Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla, and Athenae at First Draft cover the print media from a perspective of insiders, i.e. current or former print media professionals, so there’s no reason for me to get into that.

For me the key to understanding what is going on is the reason that the fall of the Rocky Mountain News has been followed by so many other papers’ reported as being in deep trouble. The reason is simple, debt load. The reason for the debt load is also simple, leveraged buyouts. When media consolidation began in earnest the debt for print media skyrocketed.

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March 4, 2009   7 Comments

Good Move

From an editorial to be printed in tomorrow’s St. Petersburg Times: Strong choice to lead FEMA

President Obama avoided one of the most egregious mistakes of his predecessor Wednesday by naming Craig Fugate, the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Unlike President Bush, Obama has chosen experience and competence over political connections to lead the national response to hurricanes and other emergencies. Florida’s loss will be the nation’s gain.

Fugate knows his stuff and has managed everything from wildfires to major hurricanes for the last 7 years. Now Florida has to worry about who will replace him, especially if he starts hiring some of his current staff. He will need people with experience in earthquakes, volcanoes, and Western wildfires, but he has done just about everything else. We may not do anything else right, but the state knows disasters.

March 4, 2009   6 Comments

Fair Trade

As I understand it: the President of the United States has sent a letter to the President of Russia that offers not to install the missile defense system [that doesn’t work] in Eastern Europe, if the President of Russian will pressure Iran not to build nuclear weapons [that they stopped working on in 2003].

Sounds fair to me – an equal exchange of paranoid delusions.

March 4, 2009   2 Comments

It’s A Start

Flag of Sudan

The CBC reports on the first real move by the international community to deal with the genocide in Dafur: International court issues warrant for Sudan’s president

Judges with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir over his alleged war crimes in the region of Darfur in western Sudan.

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March 4, 2009   Comments Off on It’s A Start

An Historical Note

I’ve noticed a rise in misuse of the Boston Tea Party on right side of the body politic. The incident was the direct result of a government BUSINESS TAX CUT to assist a favored company in undercutting the prices of competitors. Unless you are protesting tax cuts, especially business tax cuts, you really should avoid invoking this event.

March 4, 2009   2 Comments