JJ here, while Dakinikat is off seeing her oldest daughter get married, I’ve got the honor of taking her place on this morning’s reads!
Over the past few weeks you have seen that I have a fondness for cartoons. Not just the political/editorial ones, but all cartoons. I have hundreds of yellowed and crinkled newsprint cartoons stashed away in drawers, boxes, plastic bags and the few that are very special, I still have taped to my fridge. Some have little messages scribbled on them, maybe an extra doodle drawn to represent something specifically funny, like an inside joke within the family.
I did not limit it to cartoons, there were many times an article would pop out at me, begging for it to be clipped. Of course, I would make my little editorial comments in the borders…And it wasn’t just me who would do this, my mom would do it too. Sometimes I would get a surprise letter in the mail, and in it would be a newspaper clipping of a cartoon or an article that she thought I would laugh like hell at, for example say….about some group of midgets in drag, robbing a Burger King….I am not kidding on that one!
And lets not forget clipping obituaries or recipes…or historic moments. (The attic of our hundred year old house in Newtown, Connecticut had a newspaper from when the Titanic sunk, when FDR was elected for his first term, and when FDR died.)
So when I moved nine years ago from the big city to Banjoville, I expected to have our newspaper, the “legal organ” of Union County published once a week, on Tuesdays. Except for Election Day…that always means a Wednesday delivery.
Since then I have been able to print out a cartoon here or there, but is isn’t the same thing. There is something magical in the feel and look of newsprint, am I right? If you are “lucky” it will smudge your fingers a bit, and as the time goes by, the edges start to curl up…and the dirt and grease marks get darker and darker…the paper gets yellower and yellower. It is a way to mark the passage of time.
The reason I am waxing romantic about newspapers is they are becoming a thing of the past. Like the big dinosaurs, one day they will all become extinct. Yes, in small towns, the weekly is the main form of local news, but in huge cities, residents are finding that they will no longer receive that daily pile of newsprint.
New Orleans is now possibly the only major city in the US without a daily newspaper. The Times/Picayune has stopped its daily print news…opting for the “digital” version. (You can still get a print paper a few days a week, but there is no guarantee it won’t disappear all together.)
Another newspaper died today. Not just any paper; the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which has been publishing since 1837. Officially, it is merely cutting daily print editions to Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, but what with letting over a third of the staff go, NOLA.com will be something, but it won’t be a newspaper, despite the absurd claims from its publisher that this was some sort of “adaption to the digital era.” Really? In the digital era I know, the only thing lame about papers is that they only come out once a day; will letting them sit in the box for three days make them somehow more appealing, as keepsakes, perhaps?
If the newspaper industry were serious about going digital, rather than just reaping larger profits and putting yet another squeeze on its long-suffering employees, it would not be leaving in place any of the absurdly costly and wasteful process of printing and delivery, which will continue to be massive and now underutilized investments. No, what the bloated and mismanaged conglomerates that now own our newspapers want is slow death and golden parachutes for all concerned, and the less any actual journalism gets involved, the better.
The parent company of the Times-Picayune is Newhouse, and they have decided to forgo the paper’s paper, and of course, a number of their employees…
As revenue began to dry up from all three of these previously reliable sources, the corporate leadership of virtually every major daily decided to tackle the problem the same, self-defeating way: cutting staff, eliminating departments, and turning once-useful functions over to the sales side; most notably car reviews. Each false economy eroded the only intrinsic value of the legacy newspaper: its credibility, stability, and connection to the community. To maximize “shareholder value” in the short term, newspapers casually threw away the very things that readers actually valued. To no one’s surprise, a decade or two of essentially selling pink slime and calling it hamburger did end up causing plummeting circulation, which is now used to justify yet further cuts in the product quality. What, pray tell, is worse than pink slime?
Sadly, a lot. Fox News viewers have once again been found to be less informed than the comatose, and back in the days after Hurricane Katrina, the Times-Picayune heroically countered their malevolent misinformation even when its presses were literally underwater. When I was in New Orleans a year later, the local reverence for the paper was still apparent; until dark, papers littered the tables of every corner pub and coffeehouse. But all the Newhouse executives could see in this improbable renaissance was declining margins, grabby unions, and a daily torrent of comment abuse from the (white) readers outside the city. So they canned it, but just partly, for show.
Yeah…what about that. I know lots of people who do not have internet, or iPads or SmartPhones…or e-readers. WTF (where the fuck) will they get their news?
I will quote the last paragraph of this excellent post on FDL:
The death of the Times-Picayune is unremarkable, I suppose, given the recent deaths of papers from Seattle, Denver, and elsewhere. But those papers left at least one daily community voice in their wake. New Orleans is now the only major American city that I can think of that’s lost its only daily paper. Journalism is dying in America, by a thousand cuts of Bain-style “creative destruction,” and it’s no great leap to think that on some level it’s being done deliberately. I think it was Jefferson who said he’d rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers, but it seems our corporate overlords have decided they’d like to try it the other way around.
And sadly, NOLA is not the only city losing a print paper. Alabama Media Group, a new digitally focused company, will launch this fall with expanded online coverage and enhanced three-day-a-week newspapers
Wow, it’s an epidemic!
A new digitally focused media company — the Alabama Media Group, which will include The Birmingham News, the Press-Register of Mobile, The Huntsville Times and al.com — will launch this fall to serve readers and advertisers across the state, according to Cindy Martin, who will become president of the new organization.
The change is designed to reshape how Alabama’s leading media companies deliver award-winning local news, sports and entertainment coverage in an increasingly digital age. The Alabama Media Group will dramatically expand its news-gathering efforts around the clock, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week. The newspapers will be home-delivered and sold in stores on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only.
(You see what is happening, no more newspapers, post office or social security, don’t laugh, it is coming!)
A second company, Advance Central Services Alabama, will handle production, distribution, technology, finance and human resources, and will be led by current Birmingham News President and Publisher Pam Siddall. Both companies are owned by Advance Publications, Inc.
Driving these changes are rapid advances in how readers engage with news content across all platforms, print and digital, said Martin, who is currently the President and CEO of al.com.
Eventually the only form of “news” will be the kind of crap we see on the “cable networks” or online, which will be bought and paid for by corporations…aka people…who will put their own spin on things. No…wait a moment, that is the way it is now!
(emphasis mine BTW)
The change in organizational structures across all departments will lead to a reduction in the overall size of the workforce. Details are still being worked out, Martin said.
“There are always painful choices when you begin a process that will lead to people losing their jobs,” Martin said. “But at the same time, we must position ourselves to be sustainable businesses going forward. The new companies we launch in the fall, we believe, not only achieve that, but will serve our growing audiences and advertisers better than ever before.”
Yup, you bet your ass it will…serve up the latest news, in style! (Or cloaked in whatever shade your advertisers prefer.)
Tailor your news to fit your audience, right: Daily Caller Doling Out Guns To Its Readers Now Through Election Day
The Daily Caller, the proudly racist and rabidly right-wing website of adult Pee-Wee Herman doll and epic media failure Tucker Carlson, is no longer going to pretend that it cares about decency and decorum. The website that set of many alarms following the Trayvon Martin murder and the racist responses that its users plastered all over the place, is now offering one handgun per week from now until election day.
Here’s the actual announcement:
The Daily Caller will be giving away one gun per week until Election Day – November 6, 2012. The FMK9C1 is an American-made high capacity 9mm designed by Jim Pontillo and manufactured in California. Each gun is engraved with the Bill of Rights and comes in one of three colors.
To enter this week’s contest, simply sign up below to receive updates from The Daily Caller. Our DC
Morning emails are an informative and amusing way to keep up with the latest news. To enter the giveaway you must complete the form below agreeing to all terms and conditions associated with the contest.
I swear, the country is going to hell in a big ass hand-basket. Actually, that is not true anymore, who the hell carries a hand-basket now a days? The country is going to hell in a touch screen…made in China…and brought to you by the Koch Brothers.
Now, since I wrote so much about the end of an era…let us have the rest of today’s links in a news dump…
Chen Guangchen is talking about his horrific ordeal: Chen Guangcheng Sits Down With Anderson Cooper: ‘My Suffering Was Beyond Imagination’
And, another former house arrest activist is finally giving her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize she won, over two decades ago: Suu Kyi to give Nobel speech, 21 years late
The amendment was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). In November 2011, anti-choice senators refused to allow the Shaheen amendment to come to the floor, so the 2012 NDAA was signed into law with the ban in place. Today’s vote affects the FY 2013 NDAA.
There are some 400,000 women in the United States Armed Forces; they and their families receive health care and insurance through the Department of Defense’s Military Health System. The department currently denies coverage for abortion care except when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered. Unlike other federal bans on abortion coverage, the military ban provides no exception for cases of rape and incest.
As a result, those seeking safe abortion care after rape or incest must pay out-of-pocket for such care at a military facility. But because physicians on military bases are prohibited from providing abortion care, it is not actually available to military women in need even under the narrow conditions technically allowed. As a result, servicewomen are often forced to choose between taking leave and traveling far distances to an American provider, seeking services from a local, unfamiliar health care facility (if abortion is legal and they are not in a combat zone), having an unsafe procedure, or attempting to self-induce an abortion.
The Shaheen Amendment, if passed by Congress and signed by the President, would address one of these issues by bringing the military’s health insurance policy in line with the policy that governs other federal programs, such as Medicaid and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and as a result enable servicewomen to receive insurance coverage for abortion care.
The amendment is strongly supported by military leaders, physicians, and servicewomen themselves.
“Women who put their lives on the line fighting for our freedom shouldn’t be denied reproductive health care services,” said Gale Pollock, Major General, US Army (Ret.).
Well, lets see what those Conservative Women do to support their fellow women…place your bets!
(And I said the rest of this post was going to be a link dump.)
Waterboarding got another pass this week, state secrets must be protected: A Court Covers Up – NYTimes.com
Secretary of State had some words about Iran: Clinton: Significant Differences Remain Over Iran’s Nuclear Program– VOA
Some guy is taking the flea circus to another dimension, well it is actually not fleas, but ants. BBC News – Artist Ollie Palmer on staging an ‘ant ballet’
Some other guy in South Dakota is running for office, and his credentials are quite extensive: ‘I’ve Ridden An Ostrich. I’ve Done Lots Of Stuff.’: SD Congressional Candidate’s Amazingly Bizarre Campaign Ad | Mediaite
Jeff Barth’s ad:
…features Barth talking to the camera as he walks down a long path. The first thing you’ll notice is that the way the camera backs away from him makes the whole thing seem like the viewer is desperately trying to get out of a conversation with a crazy person. The second thing you’ll notice is that Barth has done a lot of weird stuff in his life. As he walks, he lists such accomplishments as having “learned chess in Iceland,” being in Germany to watch the Berlin Wall get built, and having daughters with “straight teeth and husbands.”
And lastly, remember that penguin that escaped from its cell? (No this is not a nun story.) BBC News – Tokyo keepers catch fugitive Penguin 337
A young penguin which escaped from a Tokyo aquarium has been caught after more than two months on the loose in the Japanese capital.
The Humboldt penguin scaled a wall and slipped though a fence at the Tokyo Sea Life Park in March.
It has since been spotted several times swimming in a rivers running into Tokyo Bay, but had eluded keepers.
The one-year-old fugitive was finally recaptured on Thursday evening.
Two keepers went to a river after a sighting of the penguin was reported in the morning. They managed to catch it later that day on the river bank, a spokesman for Tokyo Sea Life Park told the BBC.
At least the little bugger is back safe. I don’t know about you, but I am curious…how the hell does a penguin scale a wall?
Please…can somebody explain that to me?
Can you believe that tomorrow is December 1st? I sure can’t.
Yes, Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice or what every you and yours celebrate during the Month of December is here at last!
There are a few things I would like to see this Holiday shopping season.
The Merry Marijuana Chia Pet Tree…you know the old favorite! Only this one comes with top grade patented Chia Weed Seeds and a high voltage lamp…Light bulb not included. Just soak your Merry Marijuana Chia in water, rub your Chia Weed Seeds into the Merry Marijuana Chia, put your Chia in a special out-of-the-way place under the high voltage lamp provided…and watch it grow!
Or if that doesn’t float your boat…then perhaps this family fun night activity will be just the ticket.
Happy Fetus Gingerbread House! It comes complete with a full variety of Happy Fetus shaped candies, representing all colors and creeds. From Black to Brown to White to Yellow to Green…no ethnic or extraterrestrial fetus will be left out.* A hearty joyful holiday family treat that is sure to please.
Oh, and don’t forget to read the small print!
*Ratio of colored fetuses reflects the percentage of abortions per race of mother. Black and Brown Happy Fetus Candies are purposely meant to be higher in number compared to White, Yellow and Green Happy Fetus Candies. A great way to teach your kids math…as well as the values associated with the pro-life lifestyle.
Alright, lets light this candle!
Just a few links for you tonight…
If any of you missed Dakinikat’s post about Apple and Siri’s anti-choice stance…then take a look at it!
Now, here is the response from a PLUB Crisis Center: Crisis Pregnancy Center Congratulates Apple’s Siri For ‘Embracing’ An Anti-Choice Position | ThinkProgress
…one crisis pregnancy center in Boise, Idaho is simply “thrilled by the recent discovery that Siri does not promote or provide abortion information or referrals”:
Brandi Swindell, Founder and President of Stanton Healthcare, states,
“We applaud Apple iPhone’s 4S Siri and are thrilled that Siri does not list or refer to abortion clinics. Numerous lives will be saved as a direct result. Siri is setting the standard for all organizations — no one should ever refer anyone to get an abortion. […]
As a woman I’m delighted that Siri is embracing a position that promotes the dignity of women and upholds human rights in the womb.
“It is my hope that Apple remains steadfast and does not cave under any pressure brought by the abortion industry to start marketing abortion clinics.” Swindell states. “This is a huge win for women and a significant step in the right direction.”
I think we must send a special Happy Fetus Gingerbread House Kit to Brandi Swindell don’t you? (Personally, if my name was Brandi Swindell…I’d change it.)
Sticking with the PLUB agenda against women and a woman’s right to choose, the Senate’s anti-choice/pro-life members blocked an important bill that would have made abortion coverage available to military members in cases rape and incest. Why All 100 Senators Should Support Access to Abortion in Cases of Rape in the Military | RH Reality Check
UPDATE: This afternoon, Wednesday, November 30th, 2011, anti-choice members of the Senate voted to block the Shaheen Amendment from coming to a vote.
This article was co-authored by Lucy Panza, Women’s Health and Rights Program policy analyst at the Center for American Progress.
The Senate is currently considering the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which will authorize funding for the nation’s defense for the next year, and negotiations over which amendments will be included in the bill may be settled as soon as today. One of the amendments that deserves attention is Senate Amendment 1120, offered by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The amendment would permanently remove the ban on military insurance coverage for abortions to end pregnancies that result from rape or incest.
The Shaheen Amendment currently has 12 cosponsors. It should have all 100. This amendment should be entirely non-controversial and should appeal even to those who generally oppose abortion but are sympathetic to its need in cases of rape or incest. Even the Hyde Amendment — the original ban on government coverage for abortion — allows for abortion in those circumstances. Thus, as it currently stands, civilian government-sponsored health insurance, such as Medicaid and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, covers abortion in cases of life endangerment of a pregnant woman and when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Yet military government-sponsored health insurance, known as Tricare, only covers abortion care in cases of life endangerment. This means a servicewoman — someone who has volunteered to serve our country and defend our rights in a time of war — is not entitled to the same government-sponsored health care coverage that her civilian counterpart receives. That is the unacceptable situation that the Shaheen Amendment would correct.
This is not just a theoretical problem. According to the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office’s FY 2010 Report, 3,158 sexual assaults were reported in the military last year, of which 27.7 percent, or approximately 875, were rape. However, underreporting is rampant — DoD estimates that 86 percent of military sexual assaults go unreported. That means there may have been closer to 6,250 rapes in 2010. About 5 percent of first-time unprotected sex results in pregnancy, but that number can rise in the context of repeated acts of sexual assault. Based on those factors, we estimate that upwards of 300 military rapes resulted in pregnancy last year. Furthermore, recent research suggests that junior enlisted women are much more likely to be raped and, at the same time, to have the fewest financial resources. DoD reports that more than half of military sexual assault victims are 20 to 24 years old, and the overwhelming majority earn less than $23,000 per year — barely above the federal poverty level for a family of four. Thus, the servicewomen least able to afford to pay out of pocket for an abortion following a rape are the most likely to need it.
I just can’t understand these assholes…Who would block coverage for a military servicewoman’s abortion due to rape or incest. Unbelievable!
I guess that is just the way things are changing for women’s rights.
Let’s move on and talk about backward ass thinking, Kentucky church bans inter-racial couples ‘in the name of the greater unity’ | Pam’s House Blend
What century is this? This story intrigues me because it makes me wonder how many houses of worship are this racist in this day and age? At Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky, an inter-racial couple, Stella Harville, who is white and who was baptized there and a member of the church as a child, brought her fiancé, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe, to sing at a service. And then this happened:
Dean Harville said Melvin Thompson, who had been pastor for many years, told him in August that his daughter and her fiancé couldn’t sing at the church again.
Thompson stepped down as pastor in August, citing health issues, but he refused Harville’s requests to drop the issue, Harville said.
The new pastor, Stacy Stepp, said the couple could sing at the church if they wanted, Harville said.
In early November, Thompson proposed the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage, according to a copy of the recommendation supplied by the Harvilles.
The proposal also said “parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services” or other church functions, with the exception of funerals.
The recommendation “is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve,” the copy supplied to the Herald-Leader read.
Alrighty, then. So you can show up if someone dies, but not in any other context. Where is that in the bible? By the way, Thompson told the newspaper after this blew up that “the proposal has been taken out of context.” He declined to elaborate what all of this actually meant, you see.
Racism…plan and simple!
Oh, this reminds me…better make sure we have “creamy coffee” colored Happy Fetus Candies in the Happy Fetus Gingerbread House Kit…don’t want to leave the interracial fetuses out of the loop!
And last, but not least…Cops, movers refuse to foreclose on 103-year-old woman | The Raw Story
In a heart warming story just in time for the holiday season, a 103-year-old woman in Atlanta avoided foreclosure of her home Tuesday afternoon, thanks entirely to the kindness of strangers from a Shiply ‘s house moving service.
According to WSBTV Atlanta, movers hired by Deutsche Bank AG and police were ready to go through with the bank’s request to remove Vita Lee and her 83-year old daughter from their home.
However, when they first got sight of Lee, they had a change of heart and declined to go through with it.
Yes Virginia…sometimes people do have a heart!
“I saw the sheriffs who came to put them out, take off and leave,” community activist Michael Langford said to WSBTV. ”I gave all glory to God.”
Yes, I will say Amen to that…
nd Lee decided to give Deutsche Bank a message if they pondered to still go through on the foreclosure.
“Please don’t come in and disturb me no more,” she reportedly said. “When I’m gone you all can come back and do whatever they want to.”
And that is all I have for you tonight!