Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bush's Legacy: most reviled president parodied

President Bush, art urinal, by Clark Sorensen. From EXHIBIT: 'DOWN THE DRAIN' -THE LEGACY OF GEORGE

AP photo

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thoughts on the state of the struggling newspaper industry

I'm moved enough to make a few comments today about the state of the struggling newspaper industry today. Here are my observations for better or worse:

Online Classified advertising is proving to be more profitable than print Classifieds.
Back in my publishing days, we depended on those print classified ads to help anchor the publication(s) with a steady flow of cash. Legal ads were also desirable because they were a steady income too.
Another reason why the classifieds do well is that we’re in the 21st Century and an increasing number of readers prefer to take care of business instantly. We are a nation of people who “want it now” and not later. It isn’t just the younger set that are tuning in to their daily newspapers online. Canny older consumers are finding that the deals online often beat anything around where they live.

I’m not surprised to see the newspaper industry struggling right now. The whole country is struggling in this depression. Couple that fact with the changing demographics of readers who now go online to get their news and do their shopping, and it becomes apparent that the web (in the end) is what’s going to save newspapers.
As odd as that may sound, I can foresee the majority of newspapers in the next ten years shifting their revenue emphasis to online products, while still maintaining a paper edition (in minimum local runs) for traditionalists and baby boomers like me, who still enjoy holding a newspaper and having the ability to cut items out of it for future posterity (just one reason).

As tough as the times are, there are newspapers hanging in there. One of the challenges facing newspapers profit lines is the publications that went public are now finding themselves leveraged to the hilt and drowning in debt-service.
A good example is the now bankrupt Tribune Company. Every single entity they own has been making money! Prior management (or mis-management if you will) took care of that by loading the companies up with debt. Has the lesson been learned? We’ll see.
    The current owners (particularly the Sam Zell's and private equity firms of the world) are not “newspaper types”and could care less about the obligations a publication should have towards it’s readers. Unlike the families who started many of the nation’s newspaper chains, these new owners have had only one thing in their minds - profit first, second, and third.
Little niceties like ethics, and fair and honest reporting, are still be taught in colleges, but when the students graduate they find a whole new reality often awaits them.
I have no sympathy for the new breed of owners who ignore everything that’s important about newspapers and equate them with something called a “profit center.”  If they lose all their equity and the bond holders take a beating during these bankruptcies, oh well. Cry me a river.
There’s still hope for newspapers. Watch and see which ones come up with a balance between integrity, emphasis on the reporters giving on-the-spot coverage that cannot be outsourced, and the addition of user-friendly online components that the 21st Century reader looks for.
As it Stands, I may be considered an “old time” journalist for the era I worked in, but I have made peace with the changes the newspaper industry is making, and still believe in the power of the written word!

Google image

Farewell to a great actor - Ricardo Montalban dies

I'm going to miss Montalban. I loved the commercial he did for the Chrysler Cordoba "..soft Corinthian leather..."

He was often cast -- and stereotyped -- as a Latin lover and later was best known as Mr. Roarke of 'Fantasy Island.'

He was respected for his work to improve the roles and image of other Latino actors.

The Los Angeles Times has written a nice tribute to this one-time Latin lover and actor.

Montalban suffered from a painful spinal condition in his old age, but remained active in trying to raise the profile of Latinos in Hollywood.

Click here for the whole story.

photo by Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Harold was horrified when he saw the suicide!

via Google images

Global Warming: The world is changing rapidly...

NO SNOW: this image shows Mount Hood in Oregon at the same time in late summer in 1985 and 2002.

Image: Gary Braasch ©

Dog owner says rules about droppings stink!


The city of Seattle gets about 41,250 pounds of poop per day and owners are objecting to a poop pick-up with a scoop, law.

Talk about a crappy controversy!

What's to be done in this city that has 45 percent more canines than children!

You'll have to read this article in today's Seattle Times to decide.

Google image

Palin's is today's candidate for "Worst" person in politics!

Gov. Sarah Palin's latest sacrifice on the altar of big oil is going to be the Cook Inlet beluga whale if she gets her way.

The state of Alaska, under Palin's direction, is suing over the increased protections for the white whales. She's opposed to them because her buddies in Big Oil are. They are opposed to anything that will stop oil development in the state, regardless of the cost to the environment and the animals who live there.

Palin has plans for expanding the Anchorage port so her cronies-in- crime can get more room for oil cargo ships and barges. What I really find reprehensible is what Denby Lloyd, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said to reporters, "The beluga whales population is stable and beginning to recover." What an outright lie!

In numerous scientific reports released last year, warnings went out that the beluga whales population may be as small as just 375 whales! Why does Palin think that they were placed on the "endangered species list?" It doesn't matter however, as long as people in the right positions lie and get away with it, sans Denby.

Once the deed is done, and there are no more beluga whales, it's too late to say, "Opps!"

Palin is my candidate for the WORST PERSON IN THE NEWS today...with apologies to Keith Olberman.

AP photo

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eric decided to let the other guy share his fish...

photo via Google amazing images

Fast-tracking another appointment? Geithner getting Pass?

Let me see now. Roland Burris gets the green light from a corrupt governor to be the next senator from Illinois (filling Obama's old seat) and every Democratic (and of course Republican) senator said they wouldn't let him take a step onto the senate floor.

Obama quietly passes the word to senator Reid and suddenly Burris is golden and being hailed as the next senator from the great state of Illinois!

But that's yesterday's news. How about having a Treasury Chief that didn't pay several years back taxes?

Better yet, how about a Senate Finance Committee that is fast-tracking his confirmation? One senate Republican blocked it temporarily, and it doesn't look like he's going to be confirmed during Obama's inauguration.

 The feeling among the "good ol boys" on the committee is, "What's a measly $34,000 in back taxes?" They've been grinning happily for the cameras and talking about "honest mistakes."

Gee, I wonder if I failed to pay $34,000 in back taxes if the IRS would think that's okay? Somehow, I don't see getting any special treatment like this Gaithner has. And he's going to head up the IRS! This guy is supposed to be such a financial genius, but he can't even keep track of his own finances? What about knowing financial laws? His people say there was some question on whether he even had to pay taxes while working for his last job. A question that Geithner couldn't answer? That sure doesn't bode well for our new financial guru!

Can you say, "double standard?" Doesn't it feel good to know that whoever runs this country one thing isn't going to change? I'm referring to political corruption, the backbone of our capitalistic society.

AS IT STANDS, I guess that's why I smile every time I hear all of this talk about "change" coming to America. What a laugh!

photo by Alex Wong/Getty images 

Foot-in-mouth moments: Palin rails against press

For someone who was just going to go back to her job in Alaska and get out of the limelight, Palin has done anything but.

She's been in the news lately complaining about the mainstream press, bloggers, and everyone else who she doesn't like.

She actually has a few good points, but their buried in her rants against people like Katie Couric.

The Los Angeles Times takes a critical look at her this morning. Click here for the whole story.

photo by Stephen Morton/Associated Press

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fun Illusions:How many Eagles and Pandas can you see?


Eagle Hint: There's more than four.     Panda Hint: There's almost 12 bears.

Eagle image from and the Pandas are Google images.

This blog toured by worldwide academia today!

Who reads this blog?
I’m still researching that. Today, I thought I’d name where some visitors were coming from. One thing that was quickly apparent, this blog is popular with public schools, colleges, and universities across the USA and the world.
It’s funny how things travel in cyberspace. One email to the next. A link to your blog travels around the world, and suddenly strangers are reading you stuff.
I’m also adding a couple of unique visitors who stopped by just today.
Going to school with me today are:
Albuquerque Public School; Drake University; Utah Education Network; Saskatoon (Canada) Board of Education; Fairfield Public Schools; Bridgeport Public Schools; Austin Independent School District; Range High School; Hamilton-wentworth Catholic District School Board (Canada); Flagstaff Unified School District; Carnegie Mellon University(!); Angus College2 (United Kingdom); Thames Valley District School Board (Canada); DOD Dependents Schools-European Region-APO, Armed Forces; Eastligh College (United Kingdom); Hillsdale Baptist College, and Stockport Education Services (United Kingdom).
Unique Visitors
How about the Archdiocese of New York? Goodwill Industries; South Carolina Budget & Control Board; Kent County Council and Bridgend County Council and Dorset County Council, all from the United Kingdom, read my post on recycling.
Someone from the State of Nebraska/Office of the CIO stopped by for a read. Unisource Business Networks (Schwerz)Ag, from Bern Switzerland, checked in and someone from Vietnam Telecom National (out of Hanoi) paused to view too.
My last count shows about 350 visitors today and still counting. Thank you all for coming by. I’m learning something everyday!

Bill's Presidential Foundation-aka Clinton Memorial-causing some uneasy moments during Hillary's secretary of state confirmation in the senate today...

image from

Senate caving in to seating Burris as next senator from Crimeland USA, otherwise known as Illinois!

As the senate goes through the motions to seat Roland Burris today, I'm struck by how high corruption reaches into the halls of Congress!

How could a governor involved in a scheme to sell a senate seat get away with appointing someone to the Barack Obama's old job?

Why was Burris Blago’s senate pick?

Burris donated $4,500 to Blago’s campaign for Governor, he even donated as early as June which was the same time Blago was deep in scandal. Basically  Blago just got his damn way. Lets not forget that Burris and ex-Black Panther, Bobby Rush, were trying to inject race into this whole thing.

This guy is from old school Illinois politics, he isn’t even “Change”.  This type of distraction is what Blago wanted. This whole situation is very apparent to me. Obama didn't want the distraction this appointment was causing so he basically told Senate leader Reid and others to cave in, and let Burris have his way.

As usual, back door deals continue to be the modis operandi of our politicians, from the bottom to the top. I'm disgusted at the way this is going down. Secret deals are made and everything is supposed to "go away."

photo courtesy of HistoryMakers

Monday, January 12, 2009

I hope one of you guys have an eye out for Sarah Palin

Update on Movie Theater Gunman by informed reader



Yesterday I spoke to Jim personally.( Had his cell phone number in mine all along, but didn't realize it) He explained the actual details of the incident differed greatly to the news report.
He was released from jail 72 hours ago and is on house arrest. The attempted murder charge was dropped. He was and is licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
It was not PTSD. He was not the one throwing popcorn nor was he the once confronting another patron in the theatre because of their loundness.
He was being beaten by a small mob having gotten involved when the a woman was punched in the face defending her husband who was defending their family.
It made great headline news the day after Christmas Day but his story is far from over.
Posted by Anonymous to As It Stands at January 12, 2009 4:11 PM

I want to share this rare insight on a man who has been described as a "crazed gunman." The moral of the story is don't judge someone unless you've walked in their shoes. This guy is an Iraqi veteran, and I suspect he has PTSD. I think this should be considered when authorities sentence the man. He served his country. As a combat veteran myself, I can't help feeling for this man who made a mistake. AnonymousI put a post up yesterday on his story and this person submitted the following comment:
Anonymous said...

The last time I saw Jimmy (James Joseph Cialella) was at a church service where I am an associate pastor.
         I'd not seen him for quiet a while and he told me he'd recently returned from serving in Iraq, just gotten married and was looking forward toward getting his degree. I remember thinking how awesome it was that he'd pulled his life together, as I remember the struggle he had in his late teens and early twenties.
       I'd have had him home for a cup of coffee afterwards, but my wife and I had already made plans for our Sunday afternoon.
We're in Florida at the moment with family and it was a considerable shock to see Jimmy's pic on the Internet with the accompanying story regarding what he did (allegedly) at the Riverview Movie Theatre.
       I'd introduce Jim to our Sr Pastor on this particular Sunday who thanked him for serving in Iraq and warmly invited him to return again soon. I forwarded the news piece to my Pastor, and later on in a follow up phone call he said something to the effect that he was glad he preached a good message that day considering that Jim did not shoot us at church.
       So here it is, a guy who I genuinely like being commented on as a crazed gunman. I don't know how that makes me feel about the kind of people who I believe the best in until the prove themselves otherwise.
Guess I just wanted to share the human side of this guy who's life will never be the same, as he walks out the consequences of his criminal insanity in accordance with the letter of the law of the land in which we live.
       Bless you and if you do not know that Jesus loves you and has a plan for your life, I'd encourage you to consider this fact for yourself.

December 30, 2008 6:21 PM



Some great record albums from between the 20s and 40s



via Google images

My list today is really very simple...


National safety group urges cell phone ban while driving

When California passed its first cell phone law, I knew that it just didn't solve the problem. People were still texting while driving, which was actually more dangerous!

After some guy caused a train wreck that killed over twenty people, California lawmakers hastily added texting to the misdemeanor list. My gripe is that people ignore these laws everyday. I still see the same amount of people playing with hand-held cell phones as their driving.

One of the reasons is the ridiculously low fine imposed. A ticket for $20 bucks, or even $50 bucks is chump change to most people. It sure isn't going to deter people from yakking on the cell phone as they hurtle down the road.

A national safety group is advocating a total ban on cell-phone use while driving, saying the practice leads to fatalities. I really think this is a well-written article. Click here for the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slow Driver Stories? You should have seen this guy!

image from humor-in-photos

Today's Big Coal column travels through cyberspace

I received an interesting email this morning from Charlie Peters,
 who read today's Times-Standard column on coal:
 Big Coal:energy source should be cleaned up or shut down
 Mr. Peters forwarded my column to the Honorable
 Darrell Steinberg to read, along with his own comments - as follows:

California CalEPA Secretary Linda Adams, signed a MOU with the UN in China on earth day. China gets about 50% of the world carbon tax and the China government gets a 50% tax of the credits.
** China goods and services may increase
** We pay the carbon tax and EXXON, GE, Wal-Mart, BP, DuPont, GM, IBM, Microsoft, SHELL and friends may all share in the public/private partnership of corporate and NGO welfare.

Point of contact
Charlie Peters

Clean Air Performance Professionals

84 Hoy Ave
Fords NJ 08863

Point of contact telephone number
(510) 537-1796

Point of contact fax number
(732) 738-7625

Point of contact e-mail address

Vendor or product information
CAPP is an award winning international coalition
interested in protecting personal property and the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing this information
 as a free and open service to the public. The EPA does not endorse any company
 or product identified on this or any subsequent pages listed herein, and makes 
no claims regarding the accuracy, validity, or effectiveness of this or any other
 product or service represented by these data. 

Today's As It Stands in the Times-Standard: Big Coal

Once upon a time, I believed the future of coal looked promising.

That was in 1980, when I was the regional editor for the National Woodstove and Fireplace Journal, a trade magazine.

I wrote a number of articles on how clean-burning anthracite coal was, and in general promoted coal, along with wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

Since then I have learned that coal has more problems than benefits. The most recent argument against using coal came up in December, when a major coal-ash spill coated a neighborhood in Tennessee near the Kingston Fossil Plant.

For the rest of the story click here.

Lighter side of sports: The GarabageTime All Stars

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...