It’s time to change the name of the United States to the United Socialist States of ACORN.

Illegal immigrants voiting for the Democrat/Socialists with the help of “community organizers” such as ACORN.
Election boards dominated by the Democrat/Socialists disgard more than 25 percent of US soldiers’ ballots. Major manufacturers are “nationalized” by the new one-party system.

Note to cool, trendy Obama supporters: Only U.S. Citizens over 18 are allowed to register to vote. Illegal immigrants and felons (in most states) do not have the right.

It’s not who wins the votes, it’s who counts to vote,” Stalin.

ATLANTA — The Obama  Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s system of using Social Security numbers and driver’s license data to check whether prospective voters are citizens, a process that was a subject of a federal lawsuit in the weeks leading up to November’s election.

What’s wrong with a real ID check? 

“This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote,” Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said. 

The decision comes as Georgia awaits word on whether a law passed in the spring that requires newly registering voters to show proof of citizenship will pass muster with DOJ. Under the law that takes effect in January, people must show their proof up front just as everyone does when paying with a check.  

The Soviet Plan
Lessons were learned by watching the socialists take over Russia and transform through class and race warefare. The one-party Bolshavics took control and held it for 70 years before the people of Poland, Georgia and Romania took down the tyrants. Lessons were taken and used to prepare the American liberals for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and political insiders.

These observations are published in Pravda: 

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes.

America has traded places with the USSR. It’s time to congratulate the Democrat/Socialists and change the name of America in the spirit of “truth in advertising.”

It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

Citizen Journalism gains status at the Washington Times, meanwhile more big cuts at the big publishers

The Washington Times promotes the  return of citizen journalism. 

 

Now this is what is called freedom of speech. Is this freedom the result of reality shows and especially America Idol? After all, rank amateurs turn out to be very good singers. 

At the same time, the cuts and shutdowns continue.

The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines.

Staffers were told of the impending layoffs last week, according to three people who attended a meeting on the topic. The cuts will take place over the next several weeks, the sources said.

The expected cuts are the latest attempt to reduce expenses at the paper, whose parent Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in December.

The Washington Times’ news gathering is about to become a whole lot bigger as the newspaper launches one full print page per day of news stories reported and written by average citizens in local communities. The citizen journalism project, set to debut Monday,(today) is a new take on a traditional idea.

Community-driven news has been a long mainstay in American newspapers. The Times’ version ramps up the intensity and the outreach, focusing on six communities within the larger Washington area: academia on Monday, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs on Tuesday, the District on Wednesday, local military bases on Thursday, faith communities on Friday and the charitable and the public service community on Sunday. The citizen journalists’ work will be showcased in the A-section as an additional page of Metro coverage and will provide a natural complement to the work of the newspaper’s reporters and editors. “We know there are many issues and communities we have not been able to fully cover within the confines of a newsroom budget, and we are excited to empower citizens within those communities to provide us news that will interest all our readers, ” Executive Editor John Solomon said. “While we are expanding our reach through this project, we will not be diminishing our editorial quality. Citizen stories must meet the same rigorous standards for accuracy, precision, fairness, balance and ethics as those written by our newsroom staff,” Mr. Solomon said. Each citizen journalist is provided a set of rules for their reporting and newswriting, as well as copies of The Times’ policies governing ethics, anonymous sources and other journalistic standards. While the project calls for some first-rate news wranglers, The Times also is tapping into some of its own editorial talent known for its savvy – and heart. Former Editorial Page Editor Deborah Simmons, a veteran newswoman with close ties to the local community, is supervising the coverage for the District, the suburbs, academia, faith and the charitable communities. Longtime Times columnist Adrienne Washington, a staple on local TV and radio, also will be a part of the outreach and the editing. “Deb and Adrienne are pillars within the Washington community and their journalistic prowess, community ties and passion for news are perfectly suited for this project,” Mr. Solomon said. “This is a groundbreaking project, and I’m excited to be on the launching pad. Readers know our bylines. Now we’re flipping the script.” Grace Vuoto, editor of The Times’ new Web property BaseNews.com, will edit the Thursday citizen journalism page on military base news. “Grace is leading the way in providing citizen reports from every military base in the world through BaseNews.com, and the Thursday page is an ideal extension,” Mr. Solomon said. The idea of community journalism in a print format is actually a new take on an old tradition, said Al Tomkins, a media analyst with the Poynter Institute. “Rural and county newspapers, community weeklies – they always had space devoted to the community news, written by someone local. That kind of coverage was and still is incredibly popular,” Mr. Tomkins said. “It takes its inspiration from a simpler time. But it remains an effective way to give a voice to the voiceless.” The new citizen journalism page is one of several changes launched in the past few weeks in The Times’ print edition. By Jennifer Harper | Monday, April 13, 2009

Will the rabble be able to follow the AP stylebook? (I know that is going through many of the “professionals’ minds.”

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens ‘assassinated’ by Democrat Party prosecutors and media alliance

A political assassination took place last year, and America’s “journalists” failed to report it.

Did you read about any of this in your major daily newspaper?

At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

The straw that apparently broke Holder’s back was the discovery of more prosecutorial notes that were not turned over to the Stevens defense team as required by law. The notes were discovered by the new prosecution team, which was appointed in February.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

 

 

In a move first reported by National Public Radio, NPR, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has decided to drop the case against Alaska’s former U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, Republican, rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial,” Holder said in a statement Wednesday. “In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.”

In a separate statement, Stevens’ lawyers praised Holder’s decision and said it was “justified by the extraordinary evidence of government corruption in the prosecution of Senator Stevens.”

The lawyers, Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary, called the case “a sad story and a warning to everyone. Any citizen can be convicted if prosecutors are hell-bent on ignoring the Constitution and willing to present false evidence.”

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he has called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

 

Statement From Ted Stevens

“I am grateful that the new team of responsible prosecutors at the Department of Justice has acknowledged that I did not receive a fair trial and has dismissed all the charges against me. I am also grateful that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made rulings that facilitated the exposure of the government’s misconduct during the last two years. I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come.
 
“It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair. It was my great honor to serve the State of Alaska in the United States Senate for 40 years.
 
“I thank my wife Catherine, as well as my family, friends, and colleagues in the United States Senate who stood by me during this difficult period. I also want to thank the great number of Alaskans who offered their prayers and support.”

Newspaper journalists and most broadcast news departments are not the government watchdogs they promote themselves as. In fact, they are fascilitators and  often public relations agents for the Democrat Party.

This is why online Webs, blogs and social communications sites have become so popular.

Dems to ban modern firearms, labeling them assault weapons?

This is the big one. Hillary is discussing how the Mexican border is our problem because so called “assault weapons” are flowing from the USA to Mexican drug lords. 

Funny, I call them home defense weapons.

Here comes the government gun grab, take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights to own firearms and protect their family’s lives and do it for Mexico? How gullible do they think we are? 

We all know that the Mexican drug gangs have military, fully automatic weapons from China and Eastern Europe and are exporting tons of drugs and scores of people every day over our borders. Why would banning modern home defense firearms from Americans stop or even slow the drug violence and human trafficing? 

It’s “new speak” coming from the Obama/Orwellian Big Brother/Big Sis government. 

The progressive Democrats are going to ignore a major tenant of the Constitution out of fear, I believe of a civilian backlash.

Tip of the day: Buy guns and bullets. They are the new gold. 

 

 

The Obama administration didn’t waste more than a month to seek to reinstate “the assault weapons ban” (really the modern home defence firearm band) that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

PHOTO Wednesday Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Obama administration will seek to reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.
Wednesday Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Obama administration will seek to reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.

(AP Photos/ABC News Graphic )

“As President Obama indicated during his campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

Really, why can’t we stop the flow of humans and drugs along the border?

“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

How are Americans to defend themselves, with only 150-year old gun technology against Mexican drug runners and a well armed new U.S. socialist police state?

Imagine the government making a law that kept new computer or cell phone technology from the public?

Which country’s citizens is Obama concerned about?

People are calling Obama a socialist — so join me — says Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan El Presidente, Hugo Chavez, on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the “only” way out of the global recession. “Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States,” Chavez told a group of workers in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar. 

Note to Hugo, Obama is a socialist, you are preaching to a follower of Big Brother overseeing all the good workers paying half or more of their earnings to the government.

Even a New York Times reporter asked Obama to speak up on his socialist “progressive” political views.

 

 

The controversial Venezuelan leader, who taunted the United States as a source of capitalistic evil under former president George W Bush, added that the United States needs a leader who can take it to a “higher” destiny and bring it out of “the sad role that it has been given, as a murderous, attacking power that is hated all around the world.” 

Chavez said that people are calling Obama a “socialist” for the measures of state intervention he is taking to counter the crisis, so it would not be too far-fetched to suggest that he might join the project of “21st century socialism” that the Venezuelan leader is heading.

Time is up for Obama to blame Bush. The stock market crash is all Obama’s

As 2009 began, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic. On March 2, the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The alarming message here is that President Obama’s policies have become part of the economy’s problem. Investors with “skin in the game” aren’t falling for the socialist trillion dollar spending plans from the Democrat Party in full power in Washington D.C. They have it all for two years minimum. 

After five weeks in office, it has become apparent that Obama’s Big Brother spending policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal cycle of economic recovery. From punishing business and eliminating legal deductions to wasting scarce national treasury, Obama is creating more anxiety and less confidence in the economy — and is helping prolong what may have been a minor recession.

In fact, by historic standards, two successive quarters of negative GNP will have not been reached until the end of March. And early numbers point to growth in January.

The “blame Bush” game is over and has been since the election last November. In fact Congress has been ruled by the Democrat Party the past two years. Bush and Cheney were lame ducks. Had there been a vice president groomed for the presidency, there may have been more blame to pin to Bush. 

Former President Bush warned of the financial problems eight times the past two years and was downplayed by the Democrats in power, aided by the mass media. Barney Frank in fact, was as guilty as Ken Lay of Enron for “happy talk” about Fanny and Freddie bad loan policies.

 

 

 

The Democrats who now run Washington don’t want to hear this, because they benefit from blaming all bad economic news on President Bush. And Mr. Obama has inherited an unusual recession deepened by credit problems, both of which will take time to climb out of. But it’s also true that the economy has fallen far enough, and long enough, that much of the excess that led to recession is being worked off. Already 15 months old, the current recession will soon match the average length — and average job loss — of the last three postwar downturns. What goes down will come up — unless destructive policies interfere with the sources of potential recovery.
– Wall Street Journal

 

 

Another 50 thrown under the bus at the Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch is reducing the size of its newsroom, laying off more than 45 people effective on April 3, management of the newspaper announced today. No foolin’. 

“These are challenging times for many industries, including the newspaper industry,” said John F. Wolfe, publisher and CEO, who explained the changes to the staff. He’s the one who owns five suits. 

“We avoided staff reductions as long as possible long after many other news organizations took such action.”

While the newspaper readership remains strong and stable, Wolfe said the economy and market forces have pushed advertising revenue steadily downward. And advertising revenue provides the majority of funds needed to pay salaries and buy paper and ink.

Editor Benjamin J. Marrison said the newsroom staff reductions will hasten a restructuring of the newsroom to put a sharper focus on local news, local sports, enterprise reporting, and building a more robust online presence at Dispatch.com. Haven’t we heard that before? 

He said the reductions will result in some changes in the news pages in the coming months, which he will explain to readers in his “Inside Story” column as plans for those changes are mapped out.

“We will have a smaller but no less dedicated staff working each day to bring our readers the news of central Ohio,” Marrison said. “Our mission remains the same: to provide compelling, relevant, timely and accurate reports about this community. We’ll be working even harder now to make that happen.”

Maybe there is time for “senior editors” with two suits to get hired on at the Obama comunications/propaganda center for “Fairness.” 

Journalists can feel better knowing that soon, the Dispatch won’t be contributing to global warming. 

Maybe it can be called a hate crime to layoff reporters? 

On another front–the biggest losers in the media game–McClatchy News can’t even get pennies on the dollar for some of the papers they spun off from their horrible investment in Knight-Ridder.

A McClatchy spokesman said the company may not be able to recover $5.3 million owed by newspapers it had sold to companies that have recently filed for Chapter 11. That’s putting it mildly. 

The write-off pushes McClatchy’s fourth-quarter loss to $27 million, or 33 cents per share, up from the $21.7 million loss the company reported in February, according to a regulatory filing late Monday.

The company declined to say which papers still owed it money, but three former McClatchy properties filed for bankruptcy protection this year: The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, owned by Brian Tierney’s Philadelphia Media Holdings, and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, controlled by the private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners.

The McClatchy stock teeters on the prospect of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. You can smell death in the boardroom. 

Chronicle’s chronic losses lead to major cuts at the Bay Area’s largest newspaper — papers coast-to-coast cutting staff

The San Francisco Chronicle ready for some major “right sizing.”

After some more streamlining in addition to a new printing process off site, the largest newspaper in Northern California should begin to be profitable again.  

In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

Frank J. Vega, chairman and publisher of the Chronicle, said, “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper – and we have not for years.”

Vega said plans remain on track for the June 29 transition to new presses owned and operated by Canadian-based Transcontinental Inc., which will give the Chronicle industry-leading color reproduction. That move will save a few million annually due to the reduction of highly paid pressmen.

If the reductions can be accomplished, Vega said, “We are optimistic that we can emerge from this tough cycle with a healthy and vibrant Chronicle.”

The company did not specify the size of the staff reductions or the nature of the other cost-savings measures it has in mind. The company said it will immediately seek discussions with the Northern California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853, which represent the majority of workers at the Chronicle.

“Because of the sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and these dire economic times, it is essential that our management and the local union leadership work together to implement the changes necessary to bring the cost of producing the Chronicle into line with available revenue,” Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Hearst vice chairman and chief executive, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, said in a joint statement.

From the Newsosaur:

SF Chron cost-cut target equals 47% of staff

If the San Francisco Chronicle had to slash enough payroll to offset the more than $50 million operating loss threatening its future, nearly half of its 1,500 employees would be dismissed.

That’s the magnitude of the challenge facing the managers and union representatives who were tasked today by Hearst Corp. to find a way to cut the paper’s mushrooming deficit – or else.

After losing more than $1 billion without seeing a dime of profit since purchasing the paper in 2000, the Hearst Corp. today threatened to sell or close the Chronicle if sufficient savings were not identified to staunch operating losses surpassing $1 million a week. Without significant cost reductions, the losses would accelerate this year as a result of the ailing economy, said Michael Keith, a spokesman for the paper.

To wipe out a $50 million loss, let alone make a profit, the paper would have to eliminate 47% of its entire staff

Meanwhile, on the East Coast:

The latest Hartford Courant (former Times-Mirror newspaper) layoffs were announced last night – political reporter Mark Pazniokas is among those cut from the newspaper. We’ve been told these names as well – please correct us if we have anything wrong: Jesse Hamilton of the Washington bureau,  Religion Reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, Business Reporter Robin Stansbury, Environment Reporter David Funkhouser, reporters  Steve Grant and Anna Marie Somma, sportswriter Matt Eagan,  itowns editor Loretta Waldman, itowns reporter Nancy Lastrina, administrative assistant Judy Prato, Marge Ruschau, Features copy editors Adele Angle and David Wakefield, and library staffer & researcher Owen Walker.

We’re told that editor/reporter Kate Farrish resigned earlier this week as did editor John Ferraro.

Denis Horgan is calling it the Mardi Gras Massacre.

Paul Bass has more in the New Haven Independent.

Now, back to Texas:

Memo from San Antonio Express-News’ editor

From: Rivard, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:44 AM
To: SAEN Editorial
Subject: We are canceling this morning’s news meeting for obvious reasons.

Colleagues:

By now you have read Tom Stephenson’s message to all employees. Every division of the Express-News will be affected, including every department in the newsroom. Incremental staff and budget cuts, we are sorry to say, have proven inadequate amid changing social and market forces now compounded by this deepening recession.

It is not lost on us as journalists in this difficult moment that we have built an audience of readers, in print and online, that is larger and more diverse than at any time in our century and half of publishing. We have done that at the Express-News through a commitment to excellence and public service. Now we must find ways to maintain these high levels of journalistic distinction even as valued colleagues depart. It is an unfortunate but undeniable fact that declining advertising revenues are insufficient to support our operations at current levels. At the same time, more and more people have become accustomed to reading us at no cost on the Internet. As a result, we are reducing the newsroom staff by some 75 positions, counting layoffs and open positions we are eliminating.

As a first step to securing our future and continuing to serve the community, we are undergoing a fundamental and painful restructuring of the newsroom staff. We will have fewer departments and fewer managers, and yes, fewer of every class of journalist. After we reorganize and consolidate additional operations with the Houston Chronicle, we will then turn to finding new ways to create and present the journalism we know is vital to the city and the region. There is every indication the community we serve recognizes our importance and wants the Express-News to succeed.

The newsroom leadership team will begin now to meet with individuals whose jobs are being eliminated. Brett Thacker and I are working with these editors to carry out such notifications as swiftly and humanely as possible. No one is being asked to leave the Express-News today unless you so choose. March 20 will be the final day for those whose jobs are being cut, at which time they will then receive involuntary separation packages that include two weeks’ pay for each year of service up to one year’s pay, along with other benefits. Some production journalists involved in the consolidation project with the Houston Chronicle will be asked to stay on until that project is completed in the coming months. Those who do stay until the completion will receive their separation packages at that time.

We have worked to preserve the size and depth of our newsroom in every imaginable way these past months and years, but events beyond our control have overwhelmed those efforts. Newsrooms become like families, but companies in every industry reach a point where they face fundamental, sometimes harsh change in order to preserve their viability. We are at that point. Most of you read yesterday’s news regarding the San Francisco Chronicle and recently became aware of pending staff cuts at the Houston Chronicle. Our intention is to get through these difficult days and work to remain an indispensible source of news and information through the recession and beyond.

Hearst purchased the Chronicle in 2000, but soon afterward felt the impact of an economic downturn in the dot.com sector as well as the loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites. The problems have been exacerbated by the current recession.

In the news release, the privately-held, New York-based company said that the Chronicle has had “major losses” since 2001.

Back on the West Coast, there is no safe haven.

Sacramento Guild bracing for job cuts

Woe is us, McClatchy warns

Media Workers Guild – 12 Feb 2009

Sacramento Bee employees should expect a serious wave of layoffs in early March, as well as other cost-cutting measures now being considered, including wage cuts and mandatory furloughs as McClatchy Newspapers’ financial crisis worsens, company representatives told the Guild’s bargaining committee in a 90-minute session Thursday.

Mercury Bargaining Bulletin 9

 

Mercury News wants $1.5 million cut from wages and benefits

 

California Media Workers Guild – 10 Feb 2009

Mercury News negotiators said Tuesday they need to find $1.5 million by cutting wages and benefits paid to Guild members annually in the face of the economic woes facing the company. The company’s announcement came at a bargaining session Tuesday that kicked off an effort by management and the Guild to expedite the process of reaching a new contract to replace the one that expired October 31.

“Given the losses the Chronicle continues to sustain, the time to implement these changes cannot be long. These changes are designed to give the Chronicle the best possible chance to survive this economic downturn and continue to serve the people of the Bay Area with distinction, as it has since 1865,” Bennack and Swartz said in their statement.

“Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve,” they added. “But without specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle, and, should a buyer not be found, to shut down the newspaper.”

The Hearst statement further said that cost reductions are part of a broader effort to restore the Chronicle to financial health. At the beginning of the year, the Chronicle raised its prices for home delivery and single-copy purchases.

Hearst owns 15 other newspapers including the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio News-Express and the Albany Times-Union in New York . Hearst announced Jan. 9 that in March that if a buyer is not found it will close Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has lost money since 2000.

Vega said readers and advertisers will see no difference in the Chronicle during the discussions with the unions.

“Even with the reduction in workforce, our goal will be to retain our essential and well-read content,” Vega said. “We will continue to produce the very best newspaper for our readers and preserve one of San Francisco ‘s oldest and most important institutions.”

The Chronicle, the Bay Area’s largest and oldest newspaper, is read by more than 1.6 million people weekly. It also operates SFGate, among the nation’s 10 largest news Web sites. SFGate depends on the Chronicle’s print news staff for much its content.

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 21 daily newspapers covering an 11-county area.

The Chronicle’s news staff of about 275, even after a series of reductions in recent years, is the largest of any newspaper in the Bay Area.

“While the reductions are an unfortunate sign of the times, the news staff has always been resilient in San Francisco ,” said Ward Bushee, editor and executive vice president. “We remain fully dedicated toward serving our readers with an outstanding newspaper. We are playing to win.”

The area’s other leading newspapers – the Bay Area Media News Group that includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune – also have seen revenues decline sharply and cut staff.

These problems are a reflection of those faced by newspapers across America as they experience fundamental changes in their business model brought on by rapid growth in readership on free internet sites, a decline in paid circulation, the erosion of advertising and rising costs.

Advertising traditionally has offset the cost of producing and delivering a newspaper, which allowed publishers to charge readers substantially less than the actual cost of doing business. The loss of advertising has undermined that pricing model.

In the case of the Chronicle, Vega said the expense of producing and delivering the newspaper to a seven-day subscriber is more than double the $7.75 weekly cost to subscribe.

At the beginning of the year, in an effort to evolve its business model and offset its substantial losses, the Chronicle raised its subscription and newsstand prices, taking a cue from European papers that charge far more than their American counterparts.

“We know that people in this community care deeply about the Chronicle,” Vega said. “In today’s world, the Chronicle is still very inexpensive. This is a critical time and we deeply hope our readers will stick with us.”

The challenge the Chronicle faces, Vega said, is to bring its revenues from advertising and circulation into balance with its expenses so that the newspaper can at least break even financially.

“We are asking our unions to work with us as partners in making these difficult cost-cutting decisions and reduction in force to ensure the newspaper survives,” Vega said.

Michael Savage will have some candid comments on the layoffs. What about the content of the Chronicle’s “news?”

The union reps “negotiate” their fate:

Cost-Cutting Talks Begin – 

Guild leaders met with representatives from The Chronicle and Hearst Corp. this morning to discuss the company’s cost-cutting proposal.

We opened the meeting by underscoring our commitment to our membership and the community to do all we can to reach an agreement that will keep The Chronicle open and return it to profitability.

The company seeks a combination of wide-ranging contractual concessions in addition to layoffs, the exact number of which the company said it did not yet have. For Guild-covered positions, the company did say the job cuts would at least number 50. Other proposals include removal of some advertising sales people from Guild coverage and protection, the right to outsource — specifically mentioning Ad Production — voluntary buyouts, layoffs and wage freezes. 

We plan to closely analyze this proposal over the next few days and explore every possible alternative. Meetings will be held to discuss details with members of the bargaining unit. An informational membership meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m.tonight (Tuesday Feb. 25) at the Guild office, 3rd floor conference room.

Management reiterated its commitment to keeping The Chronicle open and to working with the Guild to secure a viable future. Despite the difficult economic environment, we are confident that by working together we can find solutions to any problems that confront us.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact your shop steward or e-mail Unit Chair Michelle Devera, Local President Mike Cabanatuan or Unit Secretary Alissa Van Cleave.

In solidarity,

Michelle Devera, Chronicle Unit chair, michelleatsfchronunit@gmail.com
Michael Cabanatuan, Local President, ctuan@aol.com
Alissa Van Cleave, Chronicle Unit secretary, vancelave44@hotmail.com
Wally Greenwell, Chronicle Unit vice chair
Gloria La Riva, president, Typographical Sector
Carl Hall, Local Representative

The Goracle speaks about global warming to our leaders

During a rare snow and ice storm in Washington DC on Jan. 28, the Goracle  (Al Gore) spoke of the crisis of man-made global warming.

 

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

This story by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post will  be  the turning point on the greatest hoax of the last 100 years.

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, January 29, 2009; A03

 

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that “would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth –

and this is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions. “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate

vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy,” he beseeched.

“Geothermal energy,” the Goracle prophesied. “This has great potential; it is not very far off.”

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. “I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand,” the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future — and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. “The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it,” he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. “What does your modeling tell you about how long we’re going to be around as a species?” he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. “I don’t claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator.”

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases

such as “unified national smart grid” the way he once did “no controlling legal authority” — and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes.

“Tennessee,” gushed Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Gore’s home state, “has a legacy of having people here in the Senate and in public service that have been of major

consequence and contributed in a major way to the public debate, and you no doubt have helped build that legacy.” If that wasn’t quite enough, Corker added: “Very much enjoyed your

sense of humor, too.”

Humor? From Al Gore? “I benefit from low expectations,” he replied.

The Goracle’s powers seem to come from his ability to scare the bejesus out of people. “We must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization,” he

said. And: “This is the most serious challenge the world has ever faced.” And: It “could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force.”

Though some lawmakers tangled with Gore on his last visit to Capitol Hill, none did on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican, agreed that

there will be “an almost existential impact” from the climate changes Gore described.

As such, the Goracle, even when questioned, was shown great deference. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), challenging Gore over spent nuclear fuel, began by saying: “I stand to be corrected,

and I defer to your position, you’re probably right, and I’m probably wrong.” He ended his question by saying: “I’m not questioning you; I’m questioning myself.”

Others sought to buy the Goracle’s favor by offering him gifts. “Thank you for your incredible leadership; you make this crystalline for those who don’t either understand it or want to

understand it,” gushed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who went on to ask: “Will you join me this summer at the Jersey Shore?”

The chairman worried that the Goracle may have been offended by “naysayers” who thought it funny that Gore’s testimony before the committee came on a morning after a snow-and-ice

storm in the capital. “The little snow in Washington does nothing to diminish the reality of the crisis,” Kerry said at the start of the hearing.

The climate was well controlled inside the hearing room, although Gore, suffering from a case of personal climate change, perspired heavily during his testimony. The Goracle presented

the latest version of his climate-change slide show to the senators: a globe with yellow and red blotches, a house falling into water, and ones with obscure titles such as “Warming

Impacts Ugandan Coffee Growing Region.” At one point he flashed a biblical passage on the screen, but he quickly removed it. “I’m not proselytizing,” he explained. A graphic showing a

disappearing rain forest was accompanied by construction noises.

The Goracle supplied abundant metaphors to accompany his visuals. Oil demand: “This roller coaster is headed for a crash, and we’re in the front car.” Polar ice: “Like a beating heart,

and the permanent ice looks almost like blood spilling out of a body along the eastern coast of Greenland.”

The lawmakers joined in. “There are a lot of ways to skin a cat,” contributed Isakson, who is unlikely to get the Humane Society endorsement. “And if we have the dire circumstances

we’re facing, we need to find every way to skin every cat.”

Mostly, however, the lawmakers took turns asking the Goracle for advice, as if playing with a Magic 8 Ball.

Lugar, a 32-year veteran of the Senate, asked Gore, as a “practical politician,” how to get the votes for climate-change legislation. “I am a recovering politician. I’m on about Step 9,” the

Goracle replied, before providing his vision.

Prospects for regulating a future carbon emissions market? “There’s a high degree of confidence.” The future of automobiles in China and India? “I wouldn’t give up on electric vehicles.”

The potential of solar power in those countries? “I have no question about it at all.”

Of course not. He’s the Goracle. He and his entourage jetted to Davos, Switzerland! 

He can afford his carbon credits, he owns the company. It’s like the Stienbrenners “buying” tickets to see the New York Yankees. 

Now the famous NASA “climate change scientist” has been disgraced.

One of Al Gore’s favorite salesman is  James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute. Hansen’s former boss, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, has come forward with some news … Theon is skeptic of man-made global warming and his former employee James Hansen is an embarrassment to NASA. Theon says, “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made.” He goes on to say, “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

There’s more to chew on here,  it is good to find out who is on the  Al Gore PR payroll.

Most trusted media? Not newspapers.

Besides skiing, wine gulping and dining 24/7, there are some presentations at Davos. I know, it is hard to believe.

Two thirds of people in the Western world don’t trust newspaper articles.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, began a session saying that trust is an issue for the press as well as government and big business. Edelman found that trust in business magazines and analysts fell from 57% to 44% and from 56% to 47% respectively. Trust in TV news is down from 49% to 36% and in newspaper coverage from 47% to 34%.

The least trusted businesses: Banking and the auto business. In general the U.S., India, U.K., Poland and China, there is much more trust in business than in government. The French, Germans and most of Europe believe  in Big Brother over the private sector. The sad part, the U.S. is moving toward the French.

The Communist Party of the United States celebrates Obama’s inaugural — the people’s inaugural

Let the transition to socialism in the US begin. Why hide the Democrat/MSM agenda any longer? 

History will mark 2009 as the start of the United Socialist States of America (USSA). 

Is this just hype from right-wing nuts? 

Check on this yourself at cpus.org

 

A People’s Inaugural
by Joe Sims, 01/20/2009
Reprinted from the People’s Weekly World

Huge crowds, unprecedented in U.S. history, gathered in Washington on Tuesday, to celebrate and welcome President Barack Obama to the White House. Pre-inaugural estimates of up to 3 million participants seemed on mark, with newspapers like the Washington Post calculating 2 million people on the Mall.

With many participants both with and without tickets unable to gain entry, the overall numbers are likely higher. “I had tickets and couldn’t get in,” said a New York City teacher whose story was echoed by many others.” We got here early but it was just too big.” Her family managed to watch President Obama’s speech at Union Station.

“You have to conceptualize this as a populist inauguration,” said political analyst, University of Maryland professor and long-time activist Ron Walters to the Washington Afro-American. “You have people coming here from all over the world; people coming from across the country – many bunking in with relatives – just because they want to be a part of history.”

As the millions gathered to observe the festivities, Wall Street stocks tumbled in the worst Inaugural Day plunge in a century, accenting the cloudy economic horizon and giving emphasis to President Obama’s people-oriented themes. The stock market plunged over 332 points or 4 percent, wiping out January gains amid growing fears of bank instability.

The president’s speech seemed to anticipate these problems and was a continuation of themes struck during the presidential campaign. Obama said, “Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”

Moments later, tracing the sacrifice of previous generations, he continued, “For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.”

Even the poet Elizabeth Alexander, says The New York Times, speaking after the president, highlighted working class themes: “Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.”

Still the event and speeches, with these touches and emphasis, spoke broadly to the nation about the economic challenges ahead and marked a sharp break with policies of the Bush administration and even a direct rebuke, as President Obama made particular reference to not sacrificing ideals for expediency in foreign policy. “We reject as false the choice as between our safety and our ideals,” he said.

After the swearing-in Obama attended a traditional luncheon hosted by Congress, followed by a legislative session where several Cabinet appointments were approved. The huge outpouring of citizens from all over the country for the inaugural ceremony is sure to help hasten the approval of the president’s legislative agenda. According to press reports the first act of the new administration was to order a halt, pending further review, of all of former President Bush’s pending presidential regulations.

The inaugural parade extended into the afternoon, featuring a trade union float, representing the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the teachers union, the first in many years at an inaugural. Over 200 workers marched and called for passing the Employee Free Choice Act. That is the act that will put pressure on all but the smallest businesses to become unionized with open ballots. Employees will not be able to vote in private.

Rupert Murdoch tells journalists: Shape up or risk extinction

Rupert Murdoch is a media genius. He has an instinct for fair and balanced news. Of course,  members of the elite, liberal media (former monopolies) would say he is just a rich conservative who buys up media. I’ve seen the smears against him for the past 25 years. Now his empire includes FOX, the Wall Street Journal and You Tube. 

This is what Mr. Murdoch has to say: 

“It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account.”

Mr. Murdoch points out  the media reaction after bloggers debunked a “60 Minutes” report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

“Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. ’60 Minutes,’ he said, was a professional organization with ‘multiple layers of checks and balances.’ By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as ‘a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.’ But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.

“Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone,” he continued. “A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let’s be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves.”

Reported by Charles Cooper of CNET.

Update: Dan Rather now works for Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban is under investigation  for insider trading by the federal SEC.

“My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it’s not newspapers that might become obsolete. It’s some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper’s most precious asset: the bond with its readers,” said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., owners of FOX News.

UPDATE: Dec. 21, 2008

Some 500 managers and nonunion workers at The Seattle Times are being asked to take a week off without pay as financial troubles mount.

This is one of many JOAs that allow two mastheads to remain “independent” while all the marketing, promotion, advertising, publishing and distribution are joined in one economical operation. It is a form of monopoly, exactly what Mr. Murdoch was discussing. 

 

Company spokeswoman Jill Mackie said workers can take the time off in a weeklong chunk or a day at a time between now and February. She declined to say how much money the Times expects to save from the mandatory time-off program.

It’s the latest in a series of dire steps by the company, which has had three rounds of layoffs this year.

“There are very few areas remaining in which we can pursue necessary savings,” wrote Seattle Times Senior Vice President Alayne Fardella in a two-page memo sent to all nonunionized Seattle Times employees Friday.

“It has been and continues to be a long and difficult fight for our survival.”

The memo says the time must be taken off before Feb. 28 because the company needs to achieve cost savings early in the year.

The Shagged Sheep — One party PC journalism is here. Watch the attack on Mark Steyn

THE SHAGGED SHEEP Print E-mail
 

This is a long piece but it does have underage sex
and bestiality in it. So enjoy! — Mark Steyn

The other day I had an e-mail from M J Murphy, who blogs as Big City Lib,
saying only this:

I think you owe Dr. Miller an apology.

There followed a link to a post called
Steyn Gets Punked By 28-Year Old Literary Hoax:

Remember the kerfuffle between Mark Steyn and journalism professor Dr. John Miller
from a few weeks back? Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone”
from illegitimate sources like the infamous Little Green Book:
Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.*
[*UPDATE: M J Murphy has quietly revised this paragraph,
and so the airbrushing begins

Actually, I don’t think Dr Miller has accused me of any such thing, though
I admit, given his shifting accusations, that I’m no longer quite sure what
he’s accusing me of. Just to recap, said “kerfuffle” arises from this passage
in a
review I wrote for Maclean’s of Oriana Fallaci’s final book The Force Of Reason:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on
romantic matters: “If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine
and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy
her any longer.” I’ll say. I know it always ruins my evening. Also: “A man who has
had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat.
He would commit sin.” Indeed. A quiet cigarette afterwards as you listen to your
favourite Johnny Mathis LP and then a promise to call her next week and swing
by the pasture is by far the best way. It may also be a sin to roast your nine-year-old
wife, but the Ayatollah’s not clear on that.

A cheap joke en passant. Indeed, insofar as I dwelt on the ovine fornication,
it was to suggest to La Fallaci that, even for us flagrant Islamophobes, it was
not perhaps the most useful avenue of attack:

I enjoy the don’t-eat-your-sexual-partner stuff as much as the next infidel,
but the challenge presented by Islam is not that the cities of the Western
world will be filling up with sheep-shaggers. If I had to choose, I’d rather
Mohammed Atta was downriver in Egypt hitting on the livestock than flying
through the windows of Manhattan skyscrapers. But he’s not.

And that’s it. That’s all I said. And no one would remember had not El Mo’s
sock puppets included the sheep-shagging line in the
dossier they submitted
to the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission. Whereupon Dr Miller …actually,
I’m not sure he is a doctor: He calls himself “
The Journalism Doctor”, but the 
title seems to be entirely self-conferred. Anyway, at this point, Doc Miller, Prof Miller,
Herr Baron von Miller or whatever he is got interested in the case and asked the British
Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal if he could intervene. Silly ol’ me assumed that he
wished to intervene to argue the cause of free speech. But no: he wanted to intervene
to argue that I was not a “responsible journalist”, and so it was entirely appropriate for
the state to censor me.
As Rory Leishman
notes, since this thought-police racket got going, “Most journalists have
either condoned censorship or cowered in silence.” Canadians who still value liberty should
know that, if they rely on anemic PC flunkeys like Professor Miller, they’ll lose their country.
At any rate, the BCHRT gave him the bum’s rush, so Prof Miller surfaced a few weeks ago and
kept returning to the subject of the sheep-shaggers line. His complaint is in an apparently endless
process of evolution. But let’s go through the story so far:

1) First, insofar as I understand his initial argument, he advanced the curious line
that the ruling from the Ayatollah was not widely cited, and therefore it was improper of me to use it.

After it was pointed out that in fact Khomeini’s views on the post-bestiality buffet,
child sex and other arcane points of Islamic law are known to many (especially
those 
on
the receiving end), a couple of weeks later he revised his line of attack:

2) Now his argument was that I’d concocted it out of whole cloth. The J-Doc declared
boldly that Steyn “gave no citation for the quote, and I suspect it was made up.”

In fact, as anyone who reads the passage above can see, I attributed it to Oriana
Fallaci’s book. The disinterested observer might conclude that Professor Ethics-Bore
had never so much as glanced at the offending article but had simply taken the Sock
Puppets’ word for it. So the E-Bore was obliged to revise his argument yet again – and
decided to accuse me of what he appeared to have done himself:

3) Now my sin was that I “clearly accepted someone else’s word for it”.
Evidently, it wasn’t all that “clear” when he was accusing me of making it up,
but a drowning ethics prof can be forgiven for clutching at straw men.

At any rate, that makes three different complaints. As I wrote:

That’s the great thing about the self-appointed “Journalism Doctor”:
When he diagnoses you, he provides his own second opinion.

Now, on Prof Miller’s behalf, M J Murphy has revised my crime yet again:

Dr. Miller accused Steyn of taking material for “America Alone” from illegitimate
sources like the infamous Little Green Book: Sayings of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

As I said, the sheep-shagging passage is from a review of La Fallaci’s book in Maclean’s.
It’s nothing to do with America Alone. There is no mention of sheep shagging in
America Alone. There is no mention of any Little Green Book in America Alone.
There is, indeed, no mention of Ayatollah Khomeini in America Alone. Prof Miller
and Mr Murphy and their
enthusiastic chorus boys at Law Is Cool are welcome to
check for themselves.

But, leaving that aside and forgiving M J Murphy for confusing America Alone with a
book review in Maclean’s, if you return to the passage up above, you’ll see that neither
Oriana nor I refer to any Little Green Book.
We cite a “Blue Book” – or “Libro Azzurro”, in La Fallaci’s original Italian. That’s the
color we’re nailing to our mast. We’re singing the blues, and it’s you fellers who are
smelling the green. Indeed, the guy who brought up the Little Green Book is Prof Miller
in his
response to me. I never mentioned any green book. Like I said, I’d rather be blue.
So, if M J Murphy and the excitable schoolgirls at Law R Cool have proved The Little Green Book
is a “hoax”, the person who’s been “punked” is Professor Miller.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t describe The Little Green Book as a “hoax”. It would be truer
to say that it is a somewhat lurid and condensed version of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s work.
Nevertheless, if you read M J Murphy’s post, you’ll find that Marvin Zonis
of the University of Chicago declined to provide an introduction for it. Professor Zonis
is evidently regarded by M J Murphy as a greater authority in these matters than I am,
so please keep his name in mind.

However, as it happens, I didn’t take “someone else’s word” for anything,
whether it was the word of Oriana Fallaci or the compiler of The Little Green Book.
When it comes to the Ayatollah Khomeini’s views on sheep shagging, my gu
ide for many years has been a book called Resaleh Towzih al-Masael. The author is
a chap called …Ayatollah Khomeini. Let’s go back to the original offending quotation
from my Maclean’s book review:

Signora Fallaci then moves on to the livelier examples of contemporary Islam –
for example, Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Blue Book” and its helpful advice on romantic matters.

Well, here’s a clue:

Hmm. Here’s another clue:

But how can that be? We all know: “There is no Blue Book.”
The Lord High Checker of Facts has pronounced.
As it happens, Resaleh Towzih al-Masael has been published in Iran in several editions.
But the most popular was the paperback edition published by Nashr I Sharia’t of Tehran.
It sold for 120 rials. It had some 350 pages, approx 5×7 inches, with a blue cover,
featuring a picture of its ever more famous author. A souvenir hardback edition marketed
as the perfect New Year gift was subsequently published by Rashidi with a plain blue cover…
almost every year this book is published in a different color. But many versions of the “Blue Book”
are still out there:

  

 

In the relevant passage in her book, Oriana recalls first seeing excerpts from the
“Blue Book” in 1979. That’s what it was back then: A blue book. The blue book
in revolutionary Iran. It certainly wasn’t a “little green book” as that wasn’t published till 1980.
So when she and I refer to the Ayatollah’s “Blue Book” we’re referring to that Nashr I Sharia’t
edition of the Resaleh. It was translated into English, unabridged, by J Borujerdi and published
in 1984 by Westview in London and Boulder, Colorado under the title A Clarification Of Questions.

I was given it a couple of decades ago by the Iranian gal I was then dating.
She had a copy of the pocket paperback with the Ayatollah on the cover, and once,
when she read out a bit to me, I expressed skepticism that it could really be that wacky. 
So a few weeks later she presented me with the English edition. As she explained, these
were not just some personal musings from the Ayatollah but a kind of moral compass for
the Islamic state. So I didn’t need to “accept someone else’s word for it” on having sex with
nine-year-old girls, because, like anyone else who’s taken even a cursory interest in the
subject, I’ve known for a long time that, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, girls could be legally
married at the age of nine. Article 1041 of the Civil Code states:

Marriage before puberty by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking
into interest the ward’s interest is proper.

“Puberty” is defined as “nine full lunar years” – although, in practice, girls as young
as seven can be married on the say-so of a doctor. The justification for all this is in the
highly elaborate rules of Islamic life. They may sound unlikely to M J Murphy or Prof Miller
but the Ayatollah’s “clarification of questions” doesn’t strike most devout Iranian Shi’ites
that way. Mr Borujerdi, the English translator, was an Iranian émigré living in Cleveland,
and he gave an interview about the book to David Remnick (now the editor of The New Yorker)
in The Washington Post in 1985. It’s not available online but M J Murphy and Prof Miller
and the Law R Cool nellies are welcome to go to their local reference library and check it out.
It’s the Aug 21 issue, page B1:

“I did the translation because it gives a very close understanding of the Shiite
view of the world,” he said. “The Bantam Press published a very slight version five
years ago called The Little Green Book’-just 6 percent of the original-but that was really
a joke book, to poke fun at Khomeini and debunk Islam at the beginning of the hostage
crisis. In Iran, this book is mandatory for every literate person, a kind of guide to living.”

So this is the real deal, not the sensationalist précis but a serious, scholarly 
“unabridged translation” designed to provide “
a unique picture of the belief structure of Shi’ism“.
Mr Borujerdi had no difficulty finding eminent academics to provide an introduction – namely,
Professors Mehdi Abedi and Michael Fischer of Rice University in Houston. But he also consulted
on the translation and interpretation with many other scholars, among them Professor
Wilfred Madelung of the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, Professor Wheeler
Thackston of Harvard’s Near Eastern Languages department, Professor William
Darrow of Williams College, Professor Vincent McHale of Case Western,
Professor Merlin Swartz of Boston University …oh, and Professor Marvin
Zonis of the University of Chicago. That would be the same Prof Zonis
who was unhappy with The Little Green Book, and thus made M J Murphy
unhappy, too. But Prof Zonis is cool with A Clarification Of Questions, so
presumably M J Murphy will also be satisfied?

Resaleh Towzih al-Masael/A Clarification Of Questions consists of almost 3,000
“problems” for which Ayatollah Khomeini provides answers, plus a few follow-ups
he dealt with in subsequent editions.

So, just to bring the deplorably unicultural Prof Miller up to speed,
the easiest way to get a flavor of the Ayatollah’s book is simply to 
sample the
contents pages:

THE UNCLEANS
1&2. Urine and stool
3. Semen
4. Corpse
5. Blood
6&7. Dog and pig
8. Infidel
9. Wine
10. Beer
11. Sweat of an unlawful ejaculation
12. The sweat of a camel that eats uncleans

Hey, Multiculti Man, that would be you at big hit sound number 8: “Infidel” –
right behind “Dog and pig” but, if it’s any consolation, ahead of “Sweat of an
unlawful ejaculation”. But hang on: ejaculate-wise, the Ayatollah’s just getting
cranked up:

PRECEPTS OF EJACULATION
Things that are unlawful for an ejaculator
Things that are loathesome for an ejaculator
The bath of ejaculation…

So just to reprise:

Did I cite Oriana Fallaci accurately? Yes.

Did she cite Ayatollah Khomeini accurately? Yes.

Is there a volume by the Ayatollah commonly known as the “Blue Book”? Yes 

Does it include rulings on sex with nine-year olds and what to do with a shagged sheep? Yes.

Did either of us mention a Little Green Book? No. In fact, the translation Oriana cites
pre-dates The Little Green Book by a year.

I think Professor Waggy-Finger is doing what they call “projecting”. He’s accusing me of
everything he’s been doing himself. I took “somebody else’s word for it”. Er, no. That
would be you, taking the Sock Puppets’ word for it on my book review. I didn’t check the
“primary source”. Er, no. That would be you, cavalierly announcing there’s no such thing as a
“Blue Book”. To be more charitable to you than you deserve, you assume that Oriana Fallaci
and I so want to think the worst of Islam that we’ll fall for any old hooey. Actually not. On the
other hand, you so want to think the worst of us blowhard provocateurs that you assume we’re
as ignorant of Islam as you evidently are. 

Please follow this on SteynOnline.com

 

 

Bottom-up change of America by Obama — Lowering the middle class

Trickle up poverty,  a phrase coined by someone who deserves an award or something, is probably not well liked by the far right. Why not try trickle up economic support?  Most of us consider ourselves “middle class.” I’d imagine even Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh think of themselves as middle class, on the upper end, of course.

For political “big tent” purposes, the middle class is now about 80 percent of the country, including the  millions who don’t pay income taxes. We now know that  Joe the Plumber will soon be too rich for middle class status or Obama’s tax cuts. Welcome to the new lower middle class.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bill McGurn unpacks Barack Obama’s “tax cut for 95% of the people” hooey. The short version:

Now, if you have been following this so far, you have learned that people who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won’t actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.

You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to pay Paul is now transformed into Paul’s tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans come together under the rhetorical umbrella of “Making Work Pay.”

All of this is breathtakingly dishonest. (As Al Gore would say I think we need a lock box.)

Welcome to the world of MSM-lapdog-ism. But I can’t blame the MSM. McCain was too frozen in country club Republican politics to respond.