Monday, February 26, 2007

At last, good news

There's hope for our culture. In a survey of readers, the Star-Telegram reported that nore than 10,000 surveys arrived in response to the invitation to help decide if the comics lineup needs improvement. Online readers returned 6,307 surveys and an estimated 4,000 others were mailed.
The results for the "Bottom 10, combining "Drop It" and "Don't Care" and comparing with their totals from "A Favorite" plus "Keep It":

1. Doonesbury (62 percent thumbs down vs. 33 percent thumbs up).

If that's not encouraging enough, Broadcasting & Cable reports that 18,000 media employees lost their jobs in 2006.

Cheap Political Theatre

Virginia apologized for slavery. It was a political performance worthy of what we expect from the French Party, formerly known as the Democrat Party.

Just as the Academy Awards focus more on the international nature of films, echoing the Cannes film festival as a Green Message Machine and endorsement of innane acting and self-congratulatory ego fest for films no one cares about, the French Party is enamored of their role of echoing French anti-American sentiments. Hence the apology for slavery.

The U.S. has already apologized for slavery with more than just meaningless and devisive grandstanding. There was rarely an American family who did not have a family member fighting on either side of the Civil War.

Read the casualty rates at the 10 costliest battles of the Civil War. Those aren't apologies? Look at the regimental losses, the human suffering, the debilitating injuries, the maiming and amputations, the disfigurements. Hardly an American family was spared. Those aren't affirmations of the need to abolish slavery and atone? 412,175 dead aren't apologies enough?

Obviously not to the French Party. Of course, the French never apologized for Vichy France, the Nazi collaborationists, but the French Party, like the French, are indifferent to reality, or decency, or honesty. Intellectual Elitism is a unique European disease that has led to two World Wars. And it has infected the French Party who are determined to facilitate a third one.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Feb 20, 2007 - When a French judge was interviewed by Radio Netherlands he was candid. Eric Halphen, vice president at the Paris municipal court, says that most French politicians are corrupt and there is not much anyone can do about it.
We meet judge Eric Halphen in a Paris café. He says corruption is everywhere in French politics. High and low, on the left and on the right. But convictions are the exception. A thief who steals a purse on the metro will be convicted to 18 months in prison, a politician who embezzles millions to a two-week suspended sentence. France has a real problem.

The judge knows what he is talking about. From 1991 to 2001 he was investigating the flow of illegal funds in the RPR, the predecessor of the current ruling party UMP. The alleged crimes were committed during President Jaques Chirac's term as RPR chairman and Mayor of Paris, the scene of the crime. Things went wrong when Mr Halphen wanted to call Mr Chirac as a witness in 2001: France's highest court ruled that a head of state can neither testify nor be prosecuted. The judge was removed from the case, resigned from the magistrature and became an author. However, last month he returned as vice president of the Paris municipal court.
Just in time for a vote to establish Presidential immunity while in office in the constitution.

The judge believes that barriers "are being created to protect the president from prosecution. Someone who committed a crime prior to being elected president will enjoy immunity for his entire term in office. A ruling president who runs over a child in the street cannot be prosecuted. The amendment is also being presented as a judicial reform, but that is not true either. No judges will be involved, in future politicians will decide whether a president must resign.

The judge believes presidential immunity is a symptom of France's corrupt political culture. "

What a surprise. And this, folks, is the model for the Democrat party.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ole Joe Biden will be a keynote speaker for trial lawyers meeting somewhere. Not that he's ever, ever going to be president, but he is on the Judiciary Committee. No, they still love Edwards.
Edwards was a principal beneficiary of the group’s giving in the 2004 campaign. Lawyers’ contributions accounted for almost two-thirds of the money he raised during the first quarter of 2003, when he surprised pundits and rivals by out-raising the rest of the field. By the end of the campaign, more than $10 million had flowed to Edwards from lawyers, many of whom were plaintiffs’ attorneys
Whot a surprise.

Of course, no matter what Joe does, the Delaware media seems to like him. They're counting on his -- don't laugh outloud -- charisma.

Rewarding the Infamous

The Dixie Chicks won 5 Grammies, an example of a politicized entertainment industry rewarding the group's political loudness. The infotainment business is also rewarding another political hack - Former Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Finneran has a radio talk show, as notes, just five weeks after pleaded guilty to federal charges. (The crime was perjury.)

They go on to note other public figures on the radio.
Former congressman and Massachusetts Port Authority head Peter Blute did a stint on WRKO after being photographed on an infamous "booze cruise" paid for with public money.

In Rhode Island, former Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci went on the air after he was forced out of office in 1984 for pleading no contest to assaulting a man he thought was his estranged wife's lover. Cianci won his old job back in 1990, then was convicted in 2002 as part of in a federal corruption investigation.
Cianci was colorful and corrupt. Only briefly a radio talk show host. Since he's currently still in the slammer, he was rewarded with a musical. Corruption is rampant in Rhode Island.
Allegations of impropriety are as common as full-moon tides in the Ocean State, and sadly, those allegations have been proven true with alarming regularity. Over the past fifteen years one governor has gone to jail; the mayor of another of the state’s largest cities has served prison time; and two state supreme court justices have resigned amid charges of unethical behavior.
In comparison, Blute looks like a choir boy.

Maybe the infotainment industry can get the Dixie Chicks elected. It would have to be in Rhode Island, though. The voters there don't seem to be too particular.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good Riddance to more Union Rubbish

Three more snotty reporters have been fired by the Santa Barbara News-Press. They thought they were immune after an overpass demonstration.

Predictably, a Teamster spokesman calls it "a blatant bare knuckled attack" and confirming that an unfair labor practice charge is being filed today with the National Labor Relations Board. yada yada yada

The comments at the story are insightful. Of course, there is the predictable, it's "terror tactics." Many urge a boycott of advertisers.
Everyone knows it's not subscribers that support a paper. Their fees barely pay for the delivery. It's the advertisers. Any advertisers who support this kind of behavior should be boycotted.
Which is why readers can complain all they want about a newspaper and it does them absolutely no good.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Newspaper Industry News - New York Times

The Schulzberger family is pulling $100 million out of Morgan Stanley after a London- based managing director of Morgan Stanley Investment Management who has been trying to incite a shareholder revolt against Sulzberger. As a result, the New York Times family finances are now public.

"Morgan Stanley had been the longtime custodian of the family's assets, including its stake in the Times company - which, based on recent share prices, is worth close to $640 million.)" Hassan Elmasry, the Morgan Stanley director, is in charge of Morgan Stanley's American and Global Franchise Strategies Portfolio, an $11.5 billion investment fund that owns about 7.6 percent of the Times' nonvoting shares. He wants the family to company eliminate its dual shareholder structure, which he believes fails to provide adequate oversight of management.

He has a point. The stock is now down to $24, down 40 percent from two years ago. In addition, the New York Times has made some spectacular mistakes. (They bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993. They bought the Telegram & Gazette for $296.3 million in 2000.)
Recently Robinson announced an $814 million writedown on the Boston Globe and another New England paper - an accounting charge that highlighted a past financial misstep.
CNN Money goes on to note that "Elmasry's cause will be strengthened if he succeeds in lining up Bruce Sherman, the head of Boca Raton-based Private Capital Management. He is the largest owner of Times stock outside the family, with an 18.5 percent stake. Sherman also, of course, was the activist shareholder who forced the sale of newspaper chain Knight Ridder to McClatchy (Charts). He has had discussions with Elmasry but has not yet decided if he wants to jump into the fray.

Bloomberg News reports that the families (Sulzberger and Ochs) control the New York Times through Class B shares, which have a 1 percent economic interest in the company yet carry the right to elect nine of 13 board members. The Class A shares, owned by others including Morgan Stanley, elect the other four directors.

It's good to know that the New York Times is vulnerable.