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MM: Who Needs TV For News?

Moscow Minidoka: I know I'm probably in the minority (my wife and I haven't had TV in the house for over ten years now), but I get all my news from the radio, print, or internet, so I don't really pay any attention to the cable news noise machine. I did use to be a Rush listener back in the 1990s when I was young and very right-wing, and I enjoyed his show while spending long hours driving tractors. I listened to him recently and found a different show than when he had Clinton as his whipping boy. His voice is different, due to his deafness, I suppose. But his tone *does* seem more extreme than I remember it… less funny, less taking the piss out of authorities than I remember, and just more… angry, I guess. Extreme. Maybe that's because I've mellowed and turned away from seeing the world in black-and-white terms, maybe it's because he's actually gotten nastier with his deafness and painkiller addiction and too soft a life… or maybe both.

Question: Where do you get your news?

A roundup of Hillyard stories

If you haven’t been up to Hillyard for some time, be prepared for things to have changed. Market Street - the main stretch - was closed down for repair and restoration for a long time and it emerged with new sidewalks, parking stalls, street lights and planters.
Several organizations, like Youth For Christ and the Northeast Youth Center have moved into the neighborhood and restored buildings and opened businesses.
The neigborhood plays host for many festivals and gatherings throughout the year, including the Hispanic Heritage Festival and the Hillyard Fair and Parade.
There are more than 20 churches in the area and students in neighborhood schools such as Shaw and Rogers succeed in many different ways.
The neighborhood has a strong sense of pride, community and history, which becomes evident when someone needs help: Hillyard Lions Club raised money for swim fees, The Hobo Bulletin began publishing a newsletter online to help people stay connected, and there have been countless fundraisers for neighbors and business owners who needed help.
I have a feeling the Hillyard Blog will be busy.

Dogwalk: Social Media Lacks Real News

The evening broadcasts have been deteriorating for some time now. I often wonder how people get their news if they aren’t armed to the teeth with computers and all the variations thereof. I don’t have any of those fancy gadgets, just my computer and I do have to rely on it for a lot of what I need to write a post. That’s because the papers, all two of them, are lacking/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: How much of your news do you collect from the social media?

Bernard Schwartz has passed away…

Good morning, Netizens…


If I told you an 80 year-old Hungarian-American named Bernard Schwartz had passed away of a heart attack at his home, most of you reading this would toss your hands in the air and go, “PHTT! So who is Bernard Schwartz?”


Well, it happened. Actor and once Hollywood heartthrob Tony Curtis passed away Wednesday of a heart attack. Born as Bernard Schwartz, the son of Hungarian immigrants, he spoke Hungarian as his primary language until the age of 5 and rose through the ranks of Hollywood to become an enduring American movie star.


In his own words, beautiful women and money were among the primary motivations in Curtis’s life. Having been married six times, each to beautiful starlets of the time, given his humble beginnings in life Curtis achieved his goals.


Another of our American greats is gone. Rest in Peace.


Dave

The before and after of Haiti…

Good morning, Netizens…


Cartoonist David Horsey has never been particularly shy about speaking what he believes is the truth, and in this cartoon, he has illustrated the before and after of Haiti with exquisite anguish. Haiti was poor, empoverished, before the quake, and with most of its infrastructure in ruins, its leaders disorganized and people dying in the rubble, the abject misery of Haiti is little more than pitiful hands reaching upward toward the sky pleading for help.


People around the world, to their credit, have already begun a massive rescue effort, with ships and planes arriving as quickly as limited infrastructure can handle them. Still, there is not enough space to store the food, medical supplies and drinking water. The streets are littered with dead bodies, and more bodies buried beneath tons of rubble. People are still digging with their bare hands and raw implements, looking for loved ones in the tropical heat.


One cannot begin to assess the scope of the disaster. All we can do is wipe the tears of sorrow and compassion from our collective eyes and reach down beyond our reality and simply pray for Haiti.


Haiti was poor before the quake, and will remain poor for the foreseeable future. All we can do is reach out our collective hands and uplift those who had so little to begin with.


Dave



Saturday morning news… oh dear.

Good morning, Netizens…

O Lord, please spare me new news reporters at KHQ-TV! It seems like every two weeks (somewhat exaggerated, but not by much) news reporters and anchors at KHQ change, which means just as you were getting used to their brand of news on Saturday mornings, since they offer the only news available in lieu of kiddee cartoons, what you see is what you get.

The latest import, Jennifer Rohrar, seems to follow the logic that apparently rules how personnel are chosen at the station. They must not know anything about Spokane issues and news and they must have TEETH. Extra points are given if they can correctly pronounce the word Spokane.

Oh, my word. There is hardly a sentence that goes by but what Mz. Rohrar doesn’t exhibit a set of whitened monster chompers that would do an angry wolverine justice. This isn’t your typical good morning smile, no way. It is a baring of the fangs, and it takes place about every 30 seconds or when there is “dead air” time. It’s reflexive: if you don’t know what to say, simply flash your pearly whites, giggle and everything will be okay.

What is unfortunate is that I cannot recall who preceded Mz. Rohrar at KHQ. I gather the folks at KHQ don’t really care about establishing long-term relationships between the studio and their audience, even on
Saturday mornings when the kiddies monopolize the television to watch cartoon shows. Otherwise why do they continue to change news anchors as if they were old socks?

Or perhaps KHQ is already atop the national trend: nobody gives a crap about mainstream news these days.

Dave

What is a patriot?

Good morning, Netizens…


As you whip yourself into rising from bed this morning, ask yourself if you are a patriot. Cartoonist David Horsey poses that very question, as viewed through a very small prism, and perhaps the results are not what you might think. If you constrain your personal definition of the word patriot to where people are either in favor of Green Technology or a continued addiction to foreign oil, I believe the limits imposed are sadly limiting.


I remember quite a few patriots, because my definition refines the question even more. My patriots are so defined because they have given themselves of the ultimate gift they possess, their bodies, their health and even their lives in the defense of liberty, such as that may be. Some of them are living among us while others lay in repose in their graves beneath the trees. Some unfortunately live along West First Avenue in hellish existences, and their needs for the most part going unheeded by the very veteran’s agencies that we pay to protect and serve them. Some even weep real tears when Old Glory marches down the street, and I with them. These, the unsung patriots, have come to represent everything I know of such men and women.


However, having made that statement, and when viewed through the lens of David Horsey’s incredible wit and skill, given the choices thus submitted in this cartoon, what would your results be? Would you stand on liberal versus conservative politics or make a different decision? Is a policy of energy independence considered being a patriot​?


Dave

The King’s English in review…

Good evening, Netizens…


KREM-2 News needs a copy editor in the worst way. Quoting from their article titled: City of Spokane Responds to the Zehm lawsuit, I quote from the second paragraph:


The lawsuit, which names the city and nine police officers, was filed earlier this year and was recently amended by the plaintiffs.  <SP> Attornys for Otto Zehm’s estate and his mother <SP>field the federal lawsuit in March.  The suit claims police not only violated laws but state laws too, including Zehm’s right to privacy after his death.


End quote.


Since this is the fourth or fifth time in as many days that I have found egregious and glaring use and spelling gaffes in their news copy, I cannot help but wonder what is going on at KREM-2. In these days, when nearly every word processor and some text editors have spell checking built in, you would assume that it would catch the misspelled word “Attornys”. Since the word “field” probably was a typographical misspelling of the word “filed” the spell checker would have done little good.


One hopes that eventually someone will rise from the rubble with a good working command of the King’s English or at least carefully edit the news on their web pages.


Dave

The economy falls on its prat…

Good morning, Netizens…


David Horsey occasionally errs or otherwise make mistakes, and in today’s cartoon he understated the obvious.


Our national economy is not a truck wreck. It is a train wreck, one that has reached across not only our entire country, but has impacted other countries. The spin doctors, of course, will always attempt to put a positive side on it, but facts are facts. Our economy is crashed and burned.


There are some who are saying we should not be spending money as wildly as we currently are, and they may be right.


Dave

The Obama Magic Show…

Good morning, Netizens…


In this morning’s David Horsey cartoon we have the famous Obama Magic Show, featuring adulations by the Democrats and starring Humpty Dumpty as The Republican Party. The real question remains to be seen whether the Republican Party will be able to put itself back together again, isn’t it?


Now the real magic act which desperately needs to take place to save the show is when Obama gets the national budget back into some semblance of order, isn’t it? It might happen; if it does, poor Humpty Dumpty will have to put himself back together again, but this time sans Rush Limbaugh and perhaps a more moderate Republican Party.


If not, brace yourselves for another go-round of the Right Wing Republican majority. That, too, could happen.


The next 100 days may be the telling point.


Do you think Obama will continue to pull rabbits out of his hat?


Dave

Retrospect on Blogfest 2009…

Good morning, Netizens…


Before this week gets moving along too quickly, I should extend a warm thank you to Dave Oliveria and the various netizens of Blogfest 2009 for the warm and fascinating afternoon, not to mention the pizza, the pop and the camaraderie. Since this was the first time I attended one of these events, I had no preconceptions about my limited role in it; actually I was ambivalent about the entire event, right up to when I met Dave Oliveria for the first time.


My darling Jeanie had invited me, and despite a full load of work on an otherwise hectic weekend, I felt honor bound to at least make an appearance. Within minutes of my arrival, however, I soon felt as if I were attending a family reunion: someone else’s family, that is, and I stuck around to see if that first impression was durable enough to last over time. Like portions of my real-life adopted family, however, it took people less than 10 seconds to welcome me to the fray, despite the fact only a few of them actually remembered who I am, why I write or how I came to enter their lives. They were not strangers very long, which is the “other” reason these Blogfests have been held 5 years in succession.


It did not take very long to understand why the terms blurker and blogger both apply to a wide variety of the kindly people who made themselves right at home with one another. They talked about their Avatars, those cute pictures and images that represent their faces in the Blog world, about Bob being given the boot and inevitably, the news about Northern Idaho, but most of all they talked about their places in the sun.


It was only mentioned a few times that Huckleberries Online is a national phenomenon, or that these people, some of whom have been blogging on Huckleberries since its inception over 5 years ago, are like virtual Town Criers going forth from house to house carrying and discussing the news. Is this the “new journalism” of which we have read so much? In the face of the inexorable deterioration of print journalism as we have known it to be for most of our lives, I continue to feel that something of substance will have to come along to take its place in our lives, and perhaps Huckleberries Online may be a harbinger of our futures.


Doug Floyd said it: “Why is it people will buy an expensive glossy magazine at the grocery store, but will not walk out onto their front porch and pick up the morning paper?”


That, my friends, seems to be the question which Dave O. may have answered. Granted, nobody understands it, even those people who feed and sustain it each day. However, it is a self-sustaining feast, a virtual cornucopia of ideas and truly a virtual community, for which I am delighted to have attended.


Dave

When bloggers take over the reporting

Interesting article in the Washington Post about the vacuum that is created as newspapers shrink coverage.

Here’s how it ends:

Many bloggers say that far from being able to replace professional reporters, they actually suffer from the diminished flow of state news. “What I can’t offer on my blogs is the relationships, the institutional memory, the why, the history that reporters who know the capital can bring to their stories,” says Waldo Jaquith, who blogs on Virginia politics and runs a site, RichmondSunlight.com, that tracks every bill. “Newspapers can describe the candidates for governor in a more balanced, deeper way because you don’t have a dog in the race. We bloggers do.”

 

A combination of media revolution and economic collapse is dismantling our news infrastructure, especially at the state and local levels. “Someday, people will wake up to the depletion of the press corps,” Gibson says. “I don’t know if the result will be corruption or demagoguery, but the interests of the people are not being represented anymore.”

 

But as long as people buy property, look for jobs, send kids to school and pay taxes, they will need credible information about state government. Something will rise to fill the news vacuum, someday. In the meantime, the lobbyists are getting the news they need. The voters, not so much.

 

Thoughts?

 

Paul Harvey passes away…

Good morning, Netizens…


Yesterday Paul Harvey passed away, leaving the radio airwaves bereft of one of its longest-running voices. His legendary machine-gun style of news broadcast, which was known around the country as “The Rest of the Story,” Harvey had been heard nationally since 1951, when he began his “News and Comment” for ABC Radio Networks.


He died Saturday in Arizona, surrounded by family and friends in the hospital, according to ABC Radio Networks. He was 90 years of age.


What a path this man walked! In 2005, Harvey was one of 14 notables chosen as recipients of the presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was an inductee in the Radio Hall of Fame, as was Lynne, his late wife and producer.


At the peak of his career, Harvey reached more than 24 million listeners on more than 1,200 radio stations and charged $30,000 to give a speech. His syndicated column was carried by 300 newspapers.


I first heard Paul Harvey in the late 1950’s using a crystal radio I built myself out of spare parts, and once I was given a real transistor radio, I naturally continued listening to his morning show each morning.


Perhaps Harvey’s most famous broadcast came in 1970, when he abandoned that stance, announcing his opposition to President Nixon’s expansion of the war and urging him to get out completely.

“Mr. President, I love you … but you’re wrong,” Harvey said, shocking his faithful listeners and drawing a barrage of letters and phone calls, including one from the White House.


In 1976, Harvey began broadcasting his anecdotal descriptions of the lives of famous people. “The Rest of the Story” started chronologically, with the person’s identity revealed at the end. The stories were an attempt to capture “the heartbeats behind the headlines.” Much of the research and writing was done by his son, Paul Jr


Harvey was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa, Okla. His father, a police officer, was killed when he was a toddler. A high school teacher took note of his distinctive voice and launched him on a broadcast career.

While working at St. Louis radio station KXOK, he met Washington University graduate student Lynne Cooper. He proposed on their first date (she said “no”) and always called her “Angel.” They were married in 1940 and had a son, Paul Jr.

They worked closely together on his shows, and he often credited his success to her influence. She was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997, seven years after her husband was. She died in May 2008.



Good bye old friend.



Dave

Is the Inauguration already over?

Good morning, Netizens…


My goodness, according to David Horsey’s cartoon this morning, they haven’t finished cleaning up the mess from the Obama Inauguration yet and now some members of our Congress are already warming up their election campaigns?


Wait a minute! They haven’t even torn down the massive platforms from which Obama made his inauguration speech, and the seats where all the illuminati of Washington’s unwashed masses sat posing for the cameras, and now some of these same people are campaigning?


Oh, dear!


I conceive of a new federal law that says no candidate may begin their election campaigns until the trash from the previous campaign and/or inauguration has been cleaned up. Does that make sense to you?


Dave



James Dean meets Schwarzennger…

Good evening, Netizens…

David Horsey seems a bit obtuse in this morning’s cartoon.

Most opinions of the current debacle unfolding in California are that Governor Schwarzenegger took the path of least resistence to try and save his state economy. It is either take the Stimulus Package and hope for the best, or face certain bankruptcy. Much like everything else taking place across the country, Republican Boehner does not like that. That means despite the Stimulus Package beneath his arm, Schwarzenegger will still have to massively cut the size of state government and raise taxes.

Could it be this time the tax increases will be across the board, instead of simply the rapidly-fading Middle Class?

That might be what is coming in the future. That or bankruptcy.

Dave

Seen and heard department…

Good morning, Netizens…


Yesterday afternoon while engrossed in a series of mundane tasks, my own beloved wife became snarled up in a police matter that left me laughing. A person whom I shall hereby refer to as “the tallywhacker wagger” was standing on a public street downtown during rush hour exposing himself and waving his appendage at people stopped at the street light, not to mention yelling obscenities and other diatribes at anyone willing to listen.When the light turned red, they had no choice but to observe his antics.


Being the only responsible member of my family, dear Wife called the Police Department and reported the miscreant, as it was obvious to her he was in need of professional help, if not more help than they could offer. However, who do you call when confronted with a tallywhacker wagger?


When the police called her back and asked her to come a few blocks away to identify the individual, she did so, later saying of the circumstances, “By then he had his clothes back on, but I was certain they had the right guy.”


My hunch is someone forgot to take their medication, but it made a good story nonetheless. My poor wife, who typically is unflappable, had been flapped, unfortunately.


Dave

The funeral for journalism?

Good morning, Netizens…


In this morning’s David Horsey cartoon from the Post-Intelligencer, he asks a question perhaps no one in the Blogosphere wants answered, that being what will the press conferences of the future look like when all the newspapers have closed and shuttered their doors? Will there be a band of bloggers asking the questions? Will any newspaper reporters survive the economic downturn to perform the hard research and ask the hard questions?


So much of the news we read in this blog comes from well-established traditional news sources such as the Associated Press, McClatchey and various other news wires. Even the news we obtain about our City Government comes traditionally from local and regional sources. If, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer closes its doors in March, as it appears possible, who will stand up to ask the hard questions?


I submit that perhaps President Barack Obama is too quick to embrace the alternative forms of the news media, for inherent in the existing news media, even a cursory examination of its history, bespeaks decades of experience, acumen and the absolute adherence to the principles of good journalism that formulate the basis for news reporting as we once knew it to be.


As more major news sources shutter their doors for good, who will stand and ask the relevant questions of the future? It is both sobering and a sad commentary on our lives that there was no economic aid for failing newspapers in the Economic Stimulus Package. The news, particularly the print news media, it seems, cannot compete with the list of crooked bankers, dismally-performing auto manufacturers and mortgage companies, all of whom will receive handouts from the Stimulus Package.


Don’t look now, but our national priorities are on review, and I submit they are tragically wanting.


Dave



David Elton’s surety bond $400,000…

Good evening, Netizens…


I first met David Elton face-to-face early in the morning at Starbucks on the South Hill last winter and suffered some of Starbuck’s wretched coffee. Ironically, despite the fact David was distracted by holding several other simultaneous conversations and playing competitive chess at a high level he managed to hold a fairly cogent conversation with me before I finally drifted away into making my early-morning runs.


I believe that was the only time I ever met David Elton face-to-face. It isn’t to say he is a stranger to me at all, after nearly 500 e-mail messages and countless telephone conversations, I feel I have a fairly comprehensive understanding of his capability and well as the nature of his bipolar affliction. It seems almost Orwellian that he is both one of the most engaging, convivial persons I have met in my walk through life, and simultaneously one of the more-dramatic cases of bipolar disorder I have witnessed. One can be both.


I believe when David Elton was arraigned on today various felony charges, relating to his threats against City Council President Joe Shogan and Betsy and Stacey Cowles that perhaps I understand him better than most people. Did David Elton, as charged, present a clear and obvious danger to himself and others, as he has written? I submit that depends upon your perspective about bipolar disorder.


Annie M., a severe Schizophrenic patient I knew over a decade ago, who were frequently hospitalized at Eastern State Hospital for repeatedly attempting to kill either herself or others, once stated in a rare moment of lucidity, “Just because you are crazy as a loon doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Sometimes it means you are more loving and empathetic than those around you, just unable to remain that way all day long.”


Eventually Annie M.’s horrific Schizophrenia was cured by medication. She went on to marry, have a family of her own and finish her Doctorate at Washington State University. Her degree? She won honors in abnormal psychology.


Tonight David Elton is in the Spokane County Jail with his surety bond set at $400,000 by Judge Judge Patti C. Walker. It seems to me that, instead of arguing his case before Judge Walker, the highest and best use of Justice would have been for David to request immediate mental health treatment rather than jail time. I join with many others in the hope he gets the care he needs and returns to productive living soon.


Dave

The chicken or the egg?

Good evening, Netizens…

Todays’ David Horsey cartoon opens a frequently-visited portal of discussion, that being Rush Limbaugh. Is he, as the cartoon suggests, an entertainer, or is he such a major part of the Republican Party that he surpasses entertainment?

As David Horsey suggests, isn’t it how deeply Rush gets into his roles?

Dave

Who is the GOP?

Good morning, Netizens…

When I first glanced at David Horsey’s cartoon this morning, I merely snorted to myself somewhat in derision. Do you remember the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in Chicago, President Obama’s former minister? If you modify the cartoon slightly, doing away with the trunk and big ears, but keep the comment. Is the GOP going to be the socialist party of the future? Good question.

Dave

Who cares?

Good morning, Netizens…

Who cares?

Bob Kirkpatrick raises the ogre of life upwards toward our collective eyes, from the perspective of a Veteran and then asks quietly, “Who cares?” Perhaps a trip to the Deludia Annex is mandated. You are rounding a curve in the road, and up ahead there is a road sign that says, “You are entering the Deludia Annex”, and in a most-introspective moments you realize you have lost track of a generation of warriors and heroes, all of whom have fallen on very hard times indeed courtesy of the Veteran’s Administration. They are laying collectively in the roadside debris and excrement of life, gasping and pleading that the promises once made to them by our own benevolent Uncle Sam be kept. A quick reality trip to http://yak.deludia.com/viewtopic.php?id=14 will not give you warm-fuzzy feelings. However, it raises one man’s question, one that mandates an answer.

Who cares if one more soldier burns alive with Agent Orange disease while the VA bureaucracy is fiddling?

Do you?

Dave

Aliens responsible for Global Warming?

Good morning, Netizens…

This morning, David Horsey takes an unexpurgated view of the cause of Global Warming. Since no one, either Republican nor Democrat, seems to be responsible for allowing it to happen, and until recently, no one from either party wanted to dedicate resources to combatting Global Warming, it stands to reason that Aliens must be responsible for it, right?

Oh. That’s cool. The Aliens are admitting they are responsible and what is the government doing about it? Do you care?

Dave

Tom Daschle withdraws…

Good morning, Netizens…


In the ongoing saga of high-flying members of both houses and both political parties who have been caught cheating on, or at least improperly filing their taxes, Tom Daschle (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000064) has been caught as certainly as a fly in amber in the cross-hairs of public censure. Almost a certain shoe-in for the position of the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama cabinet, he withdrew his name once it was discovered he had problems relating to unpaid taxes. He was not the only one caught in the web.


In this morning’s David Horsey cartoon, we revisit the ostensible scene just before Daschle withdrew his name from consideration, but it does raise the question of who vetted Daschle as a candidate for Obama’s cabinet, doesn’t it? It strikes me as utterly odd how many people were considered for cabinet posts who had tax problems, and I wonder why no one caught them before their name(s) became fodder for public outcry.


On the more-positive side of things, at least we found out about it before he was appointed to a cabinet position and served a few months, or perhaps even years in office.Now that would have really created a stink in the Obama Presidency, wouldn’t it?


Dave

He was just kidding…

Good morning, Netizens…

Today we feature a first taste of the satire of Bob Kirkpatrick, an old friend and ally, who has begun yet another humorous insight into Americana at http://yak.deludia.com that bears some careful introspection.

He will become a frequent-flier in the Virtual Ballroom in the coming days, as he is always a cut above being on-point, a very funny man, which is hard to do since he has multiple myeloma, a wretched form of cancer, but as always, is putting up a good fight. Talk about insight into the Veteran’s Administration, he has it!

Dave

Alas, poor Bill…

Good morning, Netizens…


The “official” cut line for this picture reads approximately, “Former President Bill Clinton, center, and daughter Chelsea Clinton, right, look on during a ceremonial swearing-in for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Monday, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
(February 02, 2009)”


However, given Bill’s slightly-reddened face, which may or may not be a normal course of consequences, and that Chelsea cannot see Bill’s other hand from where she is standing, perhaps a better quote from Hillary, who is about to take the oath of office, might be, “Bill, get your filthy hand off my backside, you lecher!”


I want to know, how does she stay married to Bill, after his ostensible affair with Monica Lewinsky? Well, according to this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDVPq1mYqwI they all have gotten on with their lives. Hillary is now sworn in as Secretary of State and Bill? There are still rumors circulating about what he is going to do now.


In 2006 Ms. Lewinsky Lewinsky graduated with a masters degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics. (http://www.lse.ac.uk/)


What do you think former President Bill Clinton will do now that Hillary is Secretary of State?


Dave

The greatest tribute…

Good morning, Netizens…


The talking heads today are occasionally talking about Jennifer Hudson’s story, about her compelling performance of the Star Spangled Banner before the Super Bowl yesterday, and some even mentioning the murders of her mother, brother and nephew who were brutally murdered in October of last year, ostensibly murdered by the singer’s brother-in-law, William Balfour, who has been charged in the crimes. Despite the fact that Jennifer Hudson lip-synched her performance yesterday, as that is an order of the NFL, she gave the performance of a lifetime before an audience of billions around the globe.


The hulking football players, great clad heroes of the coming battle, appeared to be touched, as was I.


However, the truly greatest significance of Jennifer Hudson’s performance came not from her considerable talents and tremendous vocalization.


No, for what brought tears to my eyes, insufferable old sentimental poop that I am, is that after countless wars, thousands of young people in far-off lands willing to give their lives for their country, and all the strife and anguish that it implies, Old Glory, our great American flag is still there, floating in the breeze, to give us all pause to consider how very fortunate we are. For a time there, a mere dot in the face of history, perhaps others were reminded of the great sacrifices that flag represents, and we as a Nation might be grateful to be here, and to live in the greatest free country in the world.


Dave

Where does it all end?

Good morning, Netizens…


All the doctors of the world have gathered together and using the most-modern technology available have examined the patient, the world’s economic health, drawing nearly the same conclusions. The patient is dreadfully sick, and it all began here, with the United States of America banking industry. It is a particularly ugly, dangerous cancer, and now it has spread throughout the entire world, affecting the world economy.


Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s David Horsey introduces us to a portion of the banking industry where the cancer began, and one hopes, ultimately ends. When banks were failing, when they first approached the federal government asking for bail outs, ostensibly too broke to continue business without additional revenue, the high-flying CEO’s of these same banks were paying themselves huge bonuses and salaries despite the wretched fiscal conditions their banks were facing.


When our government magnanimously handed out what is essentially free money, over which there were few restrictions and no visible schema by which these “loans” would ever be paid back to the American taxpayers, they were hiring foreign workers while they laid off American employees.


While it is perhaps easy to paint these bankers, as David Horsey aptly has done in this cartoon, as uncaring, greedy and self-serving individuals, the ultimate question still remains—how do we cure the patient? The real backbone of the American economy has always and perhaps will always be the middle-class and small business owners of American society, who pay a disproportionate share of the taxes, provide the bulk of jobs to American wage-earners and give our economy long-term stability.


I submit that the first real test of President Barack Obama’s first term of office, nay even his first 100 days, will be how and when he excises the cancer that is threatening the global economy and has reduced the net worth of our entire nation. Without pointing the finger of retribution or blame, he must heal the patient. Fail at that, the only persons who seem certain to survive the economic chaos are those who got rich while the rest of us watched our savings and investments dissipate, while Rome is burning Nero is playing.


I feel trepidations. Do you?


Dave

Banks used bailout money to hire foreign workers?

Good evening, Netizens…


In this Sept. 26, 2007, file photo Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, talks to reporters in his Capitol Hill office in Washington. U.S. banks that are collecting billions of dollars in taxpayer loans to stay afloat sought government permission to import thousands of foreign workers for high-paying jobs in the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found. The job losses anger lawmakers like Sen. Charles Grassley, who is pushing legislation to make employers recruit American workers first, along with other reforms to the visa program. Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)


Had I not read this live off the Associated Press Wires, and then confirmed it several other ways, I would have not believed it possible. Major U.S. banks sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers into the country for high-paying jobs even as the system was melting down last year and Americans were getting laid off. The dozen or so banks now receiving taxpayer bailouts totaling more than $150 billion, requesting visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years. These were not, by any means, entry-level positions, but senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists according to the AP article.


The article then went on to state as factual that “as the economic collapse worsened last year — with huge numbers of bank employees laid off — the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP’s analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in the 2007 budget year to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.”


It appears unknown how many foreign employees were actually hired, nor how many of the recently-hired foreign workers were laid off once the big layoffs in banking began.


Additional investigation by the Associated Press discovered that none of the banks that have received federal bailouts would comment publicly on their foreign hiring policies, nor would they state for the record how many foreign workers they still employed. There were several instances cited by the Associated Press where Americans were laid off, only to be replaced by the foreign workers under the US Department of Labor’s H-1B program which allows foreign workers to obtain visas.


Although several people, including the Senior Republican on the House Finance Committee were angered, the old adage about closing the barn door after the cattle have all fled seems apt. Suddenly, upon reviewing several sources of information, the previous comments made about “oversight” on how the bailout money is spent seem vacuous, empty and devoid of any purpose other than for appearance’s sake.


The banks were using our taxpayer money to hire foreign workers while Americans were laid off. Will this be allowed to continue under President Barack Obama’s first 100 days? That remains to be seen.


Dave

Bipartisan government in action…

Good morning, Netizens…


David Horsey takes a long, hard look at bipartisanship this morning, and drew what I believe is a accurate sketch of what has already begun taking place in Washington. It seems that everyone on both sides of the political aisle want to wrap themselves in the robes of being bipartisan, but the proof is in the pudding. The 244 to 188 vote in favor of the economic stimulus package, strictly along Democrat party lines, certainly made Pelosi angry.


According to the New York Times, Pelosi is quoted as saying, “I didn’t come here to be partisan. I didn’t come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest.”


That doesn’t take the sting out of the vote, where not one Republican voted in favor of the economic stimulus plan put forth by President Barack Obama. It doesn’t take the bite out of Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s comments only days before the vote was taken. It doesn’t bring any of the House or Senate Republicans into the list of those favoring the economic stimulus plan, despite Obama’s attempts to reach out to them.


Dave