March 14, 2006

Media Influence?

I overheard a conversation the other day that was somewhat disturbing. Two "boomers" nearing retirement age were talking about the similarities between Islamo fascist fanatics and Christian fundamentalists. The two agreed that both groups were essentially identical. Both had their fanatics but the Christian fundamentalists were trying to take over our government and force their ideals upon the country. This went on for several minutes and included vague references to specific leftist websites. I considered jumping into the fray to debunk their black helicopter doom and gloom theories of impending theocracy. Unfortunately I was pressed for time and still had to battle 45 miles of rush hour traffic to get back to the warehouse.

I considered what they "feared". Christian fundamentalists. The fanatics of any religion, group or cause can and should be feared for good reason. Extreme viewpoints, right OR left, are not necessarily based on truth but on fear and ignorance. These two seemingly rational gentlemen were conversing about an irrational fear as if they were about to be handcuffed and forcibly taken to a church.

"Dem Christians is gonna take over the gubment and make us obey them 10 Commandments." (my sarcastic interpretation of their conversation)

Currently the government (local and federal authorities) actually enforces some tenets of those commandments. There's that murder thingy, uh...the stealing whatchamacallit and the uh....oh, the lying stuff, like under oath, just to name a few. There are consequences for disobeying those laws that the local and federal governments have deemed necessary to maintain order in our society. If you look at those commandments from a secular viewpoint, what really is there to disagree with? I suppose you could disagree with the commandment that says you should not covet your neighbors wife and his possessions. However it does seem to be a healthier practice not to engage in coveting. It seemingly could alleviate all sorts of friction between folks if we were just happy with our own "stuff" and respected the other folks and their "stuff".

Seems to me that the two gents and their conversation could easily have been excerpted from something you read in an opinion piece in Time or Newsweek or a 60 Minutes special report. Any MSM outlet would be proud to "uncover" the fact that someone's faith guides their decision making process. Headlines that question whether politics and religion should mix or even be allowed are common. Articles that mock individuals of faith are not printed on the opinion pages where they should be. This article is a good example of a journalistic hit piece. The entire story is laid out in a fashion that encourages the reader to think that the person being defamed is a nut job. This particular article by the Palm Beach Post Political Editor, Brian E. Crowley, shows an immediate bias (in my opinion) even from the headline.

It's no wonder the agnostic sheeple, who only expose themselves to the alphabet soup networks and liberal newspapers, are cowering in fear of religious fanatics. They have no clue what it means to be (according to them) "religious" or "spiritual". Those terms are tossed around in a self-aggrandizing manner. Being spiritual has almost become a secular term for someone who is in touch with their inner self.

"I feel I am a very spiritual person".

As for being "religious", that becomes a negative term. One does not want to be associated with religious zealots, do they? Therefore, one should avoid being pigeonholed as a Catholic or Protestant or Jew. One should be above all that nonsense and just be spiritual.

"I'm not a very religious person. I feel that I am more of a spiritual being than a religious one."

This way one does not have to answer any questions about what one believes or why. One can be assured that people will understand that one does not necessarily believe in anything other than oneself.

Two things you don't talk about with friends and family, politics and religion. If I was successful in my posting I will have ostracised both of those groups. I will then have dinner conversations all to myself and I.

March 13, 2006

Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air

The press release from McClatchy announcing they would be aquiring Knight Ridder for around 6.5 billion (with a "B") dollars was only slightly better than if the announcement was from MediaNews Group.

I work for a major metropolitan newspaper in the San Francisco bay area owned by Knight Ridder. That changed today. Although the actual sale is not complete, the parties involved have agreed to terms. One of those terms is divesting "12 Knight Ridder newspapers, mainly located in cities that do not fit the company's longstanding aquisition criteria, chiefly involving growing markets."

The Chairman and CEO of McClatchy, Gary Pruitt said, "These are terrific publications but simply do not fit with our long-standing aquisition and operating strategies."

The reason I said this news was only slightly better than if MediaNews Group made the purchase? With MediaNews Group we could have at least been assured that we would all have been fired mercilessly and the union dissolved (don't let the door hit you on the way out). With McClatchy as the buyer, things are less assured. The speculation that they will sell the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Jose Mercury News (the two largest Knight Ridder papers) along with ten other papers, leaves plenty of room for the rumor mill to churn. The last fatality caused by MediaNews Group was the aquisition of the Oakland Tribune in Oakland, CA. You can read some of the ugly stuff at the associated link. That would be a rather disappointing end to my nearly 20 year span at this job.

Fortunately there are really no horror stories (that I know of) regarding McClatchy. There is always a first. Hopefully that won't be the case here. What I think would be the ideal situation (in my non-MBA trained mind) is the following:
Tony Ridder, the former publisher and owner of the San Jose Mercury News purchases the paper. He does this by garnering support from "employee investors" and local venture capitalists. The "employee investors" would then have a vested interest in ensuring the production of the highest quality product possible. The better the product, the higher the return on their investment. This is all about investment anyway, why not have it benefit the people who rely on it the most?

Unfortunately for the time being, all we can do is speculate on the "who"s and "when"s of it all. Being at the bottom of the food chain on this multi-billion dollar deal relegates us to "please hold for the next available representative" status. We'll know the inside employee scoop just as soon as everybody and their brother knows it.

Trying to be optomistic in a pessimistic situation!

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March 09, 2006

Just Quotes Today

I am at a point of information overload with the MSM, talk radio, blogs, politics, etc. I could have spent the last few hours ruminating on a ponderous topic. The following quotes might lead a lead few folks to that particular fate. I have a TiVo'd episode of 24 to watch. That seems more important right about now.

However, I must say that I am amused at how easily I have just fallen for the marketing strategies of the company that has manufactured possibly the greatest invention of the last two centuries...TiVo. They have now manipulated me into using their product as a noun. How clever they must think they are.


"Do not let any one claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics." - George Washington

The modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion. He would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth.
- Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979)

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March 05, 2006

Oscar or Raspberry?

I felt it appropriate that on "Oscar" day I reference an outstanding article from David Kupelian, Managing Editor of WorldNetDaily on the movie "Brokeback Mountain". The article was first posted 12/27/2005. As the reviewers call the movie things like "profound", "amazing", "triumphant", this article strips all those misnomers away and exposes the movie for the Hollywood propaganda that it is.

Enough said to preface the article. It absolutely speaks for itself.

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March 04, 2006

American Spectator columnist hits home run

Ane excellent article, "Self-Appointed Clowns" over at The American Spectator. Brandon Crocker does a fine job of spelling out the ports deal and the politics that are being played.

If you believe that all the facts will come out in congressional hearings, and that our representatives will then come to informed and considered conclusions based on the facts, then you probably didn't watch the hearings on the NSA program, or on Hurricane Katrina, or the confirmation hearings for Sam Alito. Remember, the halls of Congress are not filled with statesmen; they are filled with John Kerrys, Ted Kennedys, and Chuck Hagels. The demanded hearings on the Dubai Ports World deal will not be used by many in Congress to learn the facts (which, for many, are immaterial), but to make speeches.

The amount of disinformation in the MSM is overwhelming. Each outlet is crafting a version of the story that fits their agenda. Most Americans are under the impression that the Bush administration has "sold us out" or turned over our ports to a nation with ties to terrorism.

As people who have been paying attention over the past week know, the pending purchase of P&O, which now operates six U.S. port facilities, by Dubai Ports World (owned by the United Arab Emirates), has nothing to do with handing port security or customs inspections over to a foreign company or country.

Follow the link, read the article, get informed, make your own decisions.

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March 02, 2006

Hillary the Hypocrite?

This woman is as pure as the wind driven snow, or wait, did I mean to say as evil as the hell spawn. She is neither though some may dispute that finding and agree with my initial assertion. She is, however, a hypocrite who has sold her soul to the political equivalent of the devil. Meaning this creature will do anything to further her political career and ultimate goal of becoming the first female monarch of the U.S. This article from is a shining example of the former prez and the first lady on the top of their amoral game. Play both sides of the field, get what you want, compromise anything (morals, national security, laws, etc.). Even though there is this brief quip of Bill Clinton mentioning that some 9/11 money went through Dubai, it does not sound as if he's repenting about anything.

"...the former president publicly turned on his old friends from the UAE last Friday in a speech at Auckland, New Zealand. DP World, he said, 'is from UAE, where some of the money from 9/11 was laundered.'

If Democrats in general are divided publicly and privately on this issue, so is Bill Clinton as an individual."

That certainly was not a bombardment of accusations heaped upon a "former" friend by the former president. It sounds more like an obligatory mention because there is so much media hype. It may be a glimpse into his true position of being conflicted on the issue. There is a multitude of American's in that same position. I would count myself as one of them. Still searching for the truth......

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March 01, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play