No Post today

I did some system updates on my webserver yesterday. Now, I’ve discovered some things are broken.  This blog, for instance, was off-line until just a few minutes ago.

I’ve more to fix. I’ll have a new post later today, or tomorrow depending on how long it takes me to fix what I’ve broken.

Friday Follies for October 19, 2012

I don’t know how many of you read The Daily Caller. It’s an on-line news outlet that NewsWeek Global would like to emulate. It was started two years ago by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel. I subscribe to their daily e-mail newsletter. Today’s email has some interesting information for Missourians.

Here’s just a short list from today’s Daily Caller with Missouri news items.

I note this as an example how the print media can, successfully, make the transition from newsprint to digital distribution. Tucker Carlson’s partner, Neil Patel, knows how to successfully market on the internet. Carlson has twenty years experience in Journalism and is one of the few journalists outside FOX who is not a liberal.  Between the two of them they have created a successful product.

I am not endorsing The Daily Caller. You’re intelligent enough to make that decision for yourself. I suggest you visit the site, compare it with others, and then make your decision. You needn’t be dependent on local newspapers for your information. There’s a whole world of information available if you just look for it.

Another print MSM outlet heading towards extinction

Two items caught my eye this morning. First, Newsweek announced they are going all digital, a new digital newsletter called Newsweek Global. Newsweek is throwing in the towel and is being absorbed into The Daily Beast—a liberal internet outlet. The last print edition of Newsweek will be the December 31, 2012, issue.

Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast. — The Daily Beast.

When I was in college living in a dorm, we were provided with discount subscriptions to a number of news magazines from Time, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and others at about 1/3rd of the usual rate. I subscribed to Time for several years. At that time, in the mid-1960s, network news on the TV was only 15 minutes in the evening, usually from 6:00pm to 6:15pm. The news expanded to a half-hour a few years later as the Vietnam war grew. Most of our national, political and world news came from those magazines.

Even at that time, we could see the political bias. Time Magazine was more conservative, the others more “liberal.” Over the years, Time became just another liberal media outlet.

I’ve called the print media, the dinosaur media for a number of reasons. First, they’ve failed to adapt to changing technology. Second, they’ve failed to adapt to the changing political environment—rather they acquired the idea they are the leaders of social and political evolution. Unfortunately for them, evolution takes its own path regardless of the intentions of the MSM.

The MSM has refused to acknowledge that their failure is not solely due to technology. Their failure is their refusal to acknowledge the changing political and social environment. The current generation is NOT that of the ’60s. The current generation is the child and the grandchild of the ’60s and they’ve seen, personally, all the failings of the ’60s generation—including their slavish devotion to Marxism and Socialism.  It is easy for the child to see the failures of the parent.

This new transition by Newsweek to an all-digital mode will end in failure as well. It retains the subscription model and will retain its leftist bias…two of the failings that killed the print version. Failure to learn and adapt is a powerful contributor to evolutionary extinction. It’s the content and management, not solely the media, that is leading Newsweek to join other print news outlets that have closed over the last decade.

The second example is from the UK. The Guardian and the Observer newspapers are about to abandon their print media outlets as well.

Guardian ‘seriously discussing’ end to print edition

The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers is close to axing the print editions of the newspapers, despite the hopes of its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger to keep them running for several years.

The Guardian and Observer publisher has spent the last few years battling to stem losses of £44m a year. However, it has been slow to make savings and any money that it has clawed back has been spent on expanding its US and online operations.

The drivers toward the extinction of the print paper in the UK includes those of the US media with some additions.  The unions and Britain’s welfare state has sucked the profits from the papers.  The move towards a digital-only media is an attempt to shed significant portions of the paper’s expensive union workforce. Whether that move will be sufficient is unknown at this time. The unions are more powerful in the UK than in the US and in many areas practically own the government.

The idea of content subscription for information is evolving. Some, like Rush Limbaugh’s newsletter, are successful because of their unique content. Limbaugh announced recently that his newsletter will be available digitally at a reduced price. I’m unsure if there will be reduced content. We will know when we compare the printed version next to the digital version.  I would suspect they will be the same. The difference in price will be due to the cost difference between the printed version and the digital version.

However, for most information, people do not need subscription to acquire information. Limbaugh and others like him, survive due to their unique content that is unavailable elsewhere. For the MSM, it’s different. For every subscription MSM news-outlet, there are ten or more free news-outlets with the same information.

I expect within a few years, Newsweek will join the other dinosaur media—like the Rocky Mountain News, et. al., into extinction.

Aftermath…

It seems almost obligatory to review last night’s debate.  Frankly, I’m not all that enthused. The outcome was exactly as I expected. Romney faced two debaters—Obama and Crowley. The moderator was biased. We knew that going in. Obama lied and Crowley supported the lies. That was expected as well. The MSM claims Obama won. ‘Pub pundits like Charles Krauthammer agree. The rest of us disagree.

I think Ed Morrisey writing for Hot Air said it best.

Video: Luntz focus group unloads on Obama after debate

posted at 8:41 am on October 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In my estimation, last night’s debate was a draw.  Both men did what they needed to do for the debate, but neither had enough of a breakout performance to make much of a difference in the race. I’d expect to see very little impact to the Mitt-mentum that developed after the first debate, for reasons which I’ll address in a moment.

That wasn’t the conclusion reached by Frank Luntz’ focus group of former Barack Obama voters, and now undecideds, in Nevada.  That panel overwhelmingly chose Mitt Romney as the winner, with observations about Romney’s presidential mien and Obama’s defensiveness and lack of vision for a second term.  But one woman, whom (as Luntz jokes) bears a strong resemblance to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, neatly sums up the status of many undecideds, as well as Obama’s big problem with these debates:

“I was not undecided between Obama and Romney.  I was undecided between Romney and not voting.”

That’s the problem for any incumbent President in the final days of the election.  They get almost four years to make the case for another term.  If voters are still undecided with three weeks left to go, the best an incumbent can hope to do is convince them not to vote at all.  That has been the explicit campaign strategy of Team Obama since Romney wrapped up the nomination in May — to make him so toxic that the protest vote against Obama stays home.

Unfortunately, that strategy collapsed after the first debate, and its collapse made the strategy obvious enough to be offensive.  Last night, Obama finally decided to show some passion about wanting a second term, but he still hasn’t explained why he wants it or what he’ll do with it, even during last night’s debate.  The only case he offered was that he wasn’t Mitt Romney, the same argument that Obama used before the first debate.  And he spent most of the evening speaking with an oddly high-pitched tone, as if he was offended that he even needed to go that far.

Obama gave those undecideds no reason last night to vote for him or to stay home on Election Day.  That’s why nothing that happened in the debate will change the trajectory of the race.

Meanwhile, if you’re unimpressed with a Fox focus group, you can always balance that out with MSNBC’s focus group of undecideds from last night.  Final score there: Obama 1, Romney 1, with the other six abstaining from a choice until after the next debate:

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for an Obama victory claim.

‘Nuff said.

Law violation or 1st Amendment violation

First let’s be clear—I am not a lawyer! Yes, I’ve read a bit about law and legal theories. That does not make me a lawyer. Not even close. However, the story below raises questions in my mind. Is the act a violation of law or was the consequence of the act a violation of our 1st Amendment rights?  You decide.

In Mesquite, TX, a man was found guilty of a  drug violation. His girlfriend was skimming through Facebook and found a photo of the undercover cop involved in her friend’s drug case. She copied that photo and spread it around. She’s now been charged with “retaliation.” I’m unsure exactly what that means. I’ve not heard of an equivalent in Missouri.

Actions have consequences. We all know that. On the other hand, is it a crime to spread public information? The undercover cop’s photo on Facebook was, since it was publicly viewable, public information. If the cop did not want his photo passed around, why did he allow it to appear on Facebook? I don’t believe Facebook makes any guarantee of privacy.

From the other side, did the woman pass the photo around to “out” the undercover cop? Perhaps. Probably quite likely. Can that be a crime when the cop made no effort to conceal his face and appearance from the public? Good question.

I can see the woman being charged if the undercover cop did NOT allow his photo to appear on Facebook and the woman tracked him down and took a photo for the express purpose of exposing him. If that had been the train of events I could see a charge of retaliation being levied against her. But that is not what happened.

I doubt this story will make much news nor will it be followed by the MSM with all their legal pundits examining every iota of the tale.  It is, however, a cautionary tale for all of us—do not place anything on the internet that we do not want anyone to know. There is no nor will there ever be any privacy on the internet.

Police: Woman Arrested For Spreading Facebook Photos Of Undercover Cop

October 15, 2012 6:40 AM

MESQUITE, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) – A North Texas woman has been arrested after being accused of posting Facebook photos of an undercover policeman who testified against her friend in court.

Mesquite police arrested Melissa Walthall, 30, for allegedly posting the photo of the officer, who authorities say recently testified in a drug case against her friend. Her Facebook post identified the person as an undercover officer, according to a federal affidavit.

After a caller tipped off Mesquite police to Walthall’s Facebook post about a week ago, an investigator found that it posed a “viable threat to that officer’s safety,” the affidavit said.

The Dallas Morning News reports that her friend, George Pickens, 34, was upset about the officer’s testimony and found his photograph on Facebook while researching him online.

Pickens’ brother, Bobby Stedham, used the photo to make fliers, and the two men planned to display them like garage sale signs, according to the affidavit. Police reported finding them while searching Pickens’ Dallas-area house.

Stedham, 26, has been charged with retaliation, and Pickens faces federal drug and weapons charges, based on items police reported finding during the search of his house, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Mitch Landry, the deputy executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association in Austin, said his organization has discussed with its members the perils of social media — particularly for those involved in undercover work.

“Our best advice is — if you don’t want that information out there, don’t have those accounts,” Landry told the newspaper. “There’s no way to be truly anonymous if you have a Facebook page.”

Many police departments have not yet developed social media policies and guidelines for their officers. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, for example, has an electronic etiquette policy that prohibits such things as vulgar language or sending obscene messages. It does not address the use of social media.

Continued on the website

I don’t know what policies our local police departments and Sheriff’s office may have. It would be very prudent for them to review those policies or if none exist, to create them to cover circumstances like this. In my mind, I would have difficulty finding the woman guilty of passing along public information. Did she go looking for it? Yes. But she did not take the photo herself. Nor did she physically stalk the officer to acquire a photo. She did what any of us could do in a few minutes online. My opinion is that the undercover cop should have no expectation of remaining anonymous when he allowed his photo to be uploaded to Facebook and then allowed it to remain there.

Any lawyers out there who’d like to present an opinion?  I’m curious.

Trends

The world came close to nuclear war fifty years ago this week. That crisis was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I was in high school at the time in Southern Illinois and I  remember those times well.

I was reminded of this with the arrival of today’s Morning Bell from the Heritage Foundation that spoke of the anniversary of that crisis. That e-mail caused me to remember the runup to that crisis—of reports of Russian bombers and then IRBM missiles being based in Cuba. Those reports were followed by the release of reconnaissance photos by our Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson.

As the crisis grews, we examined the missile coverage mapped in our local daily paper. I remember noticing St. Louis, 90 miles to our northwest was within range of those missiles. Our local Red Cross distributed plans for building fallout shelters and a number of our neighbors built them.

We also practiced “duck and cover” in school…handy during tornado season but that practice suddenly acquired new meaning. I remember standing in our yard one clear, cool afternoon and watched four B-52s circling far overhead. during lunch-time at school we brought our maps to see where there were likely targets in our area.

To say that everyone was tense was an understatement.

If it weren’t for the events last week, those memories would be just that—a remembrance of a long past event. But, now, we see just how important it is to have competent people as our national leaders. Joe Biden’s maniacal antics last week brought that home.

This idiot—Joe Biden—is next in line to lead us in a crisis!?!?

For all the multitude of reasons to remove Obama, Biden and the democrats from power, the revelation of Joe Biden’s instability is sufficient reason why the nation must wrest power away from the democrats.  We fear that it’s likely in a crisis Obama will do nothing. On the other hand, if Joe Biden rose to the Presidency, he, in a crisis, would do anything!

The revelation of Joe Biden has helped change the trend of this election. That trend shifted after the first Presidential Debate. Biden’s arrogance, disrespect and strange behavior during the VP Debate increased that trend. We all hope and pray that tomorrow’s 2nd Presidential Debate will accelerate the trend towards a ‘Pub win three weeks from tomorrow.

With the increased tensions in the Middle-East, with a resurgent, militaristic Russia, with continued Chinese resource imperialism in the South China Sea, the last thing we need is continuing incompetence in the White House.

Politics…as usual

I attended a local candidate forum yesterday evening. This was the second of three forums scheduled before the election in a few weeks.  There wasn’t anything really new. 

The ‘Pubs spoke about individual liberty, personal and governmental fiscal responsibility and service to people.  The dems spoke…well, of everything else.

Once dem candidate running for the state Senate bragged about being a union member—as if that was something to brag about. He wasn’t clear want he wanted to do in Jeff City other than toe the dem party line. Another dem running for the legislature spoke about “cooperation.” He, too, wasn’t clear why that was a good thing nor who would cooperate with whom. Every time there’s “cooperation” in Jeff City, it seems our taxes go up, the state spends more, and there is less liberty for everyone.

At the local level, the ‘Pub candidates spoke about service to the people, insuring the county spent no more than the revenues it received and methods of implementing real transparency in government. I noticed the dems didn’t once speak about service nor serving the people of the county. One bragged about getting more federal funds as if that was something to brag about.  Being a government bureaucrat, to me, is not an endorsement of competency.

The two candidates for Sheriff is an example. current Sheriff Dwight Diehl simply read the Sheriff’s Office Mission Statement he created when he first took office 16 years ago.  Throughout the statement, the constant theme was service, respect, enforcing the law and maintaining the peace.  When Diehl’s opponent rose to speak, he repeated the same tired theme from his last forum appearance—build alliances, cooperate with other agencies. At no time did he mention service nor serving the residents of the county. The contrast between the two was stark.

The forum ended at 8PM. I arrived home when the Ryan-Biden debate had been on for thirty minutes.  It was disgusting!

Instead of being a one-on-one debate, it was Ryan against Biden and the moderator.  All the speculation about the moderator’s bias before the debate was verified. Biden appeared to be a laughing, grinning fool, constantly interrupting Ryan as did the moderator.  I watched about 10 minutes of the farce and turned it off.

Question: why are the debates always organized by the partisan MSM? Why can’t there be at least one debate organized by us or at least a neutral party?  As lib as he is, at least Jim Lehrer treated both Romney and Obama equally.

From the reports from CNN and FOX, Biden’s and the moderator’s antics have back-fired.  The liberal core thought it was great. Everyone else, including the independents and undecided thought Biden’s performance was arrogant, condescending and disrespectful. The early morning reports today appear to confirm those opinions. Ryan held his own against the laughing hyena and his handler.