Friday, January 22, 2010

Progressive Talk Radio Outgrows Air America

You might be surprised to learn that progressive talk radio is still doing well even as the Air America Network succumbs to the recession. Let's look at actual cases:
  • Ed Schultz Show - still on radio, and now on TV. Schultz was never on Air America. Air America is a network that has never carried Ed Schultz. Schultz was the preferred programming in his time slot for some stations that also carried Air America.
  • Randi Rhodes - still on radio.
  • Stephanie Miller - like Schultz, never on Air America, and still on radio.
  • Thom Hartmann - still on radio; new books coming out all the time. 
Of actual Air America Radio on-air talent:
New progressive talkers are cropping up, e.g. Norman Goldman., Nicole Sandler at Radio or Not.
Progressive talk radio stations continue, e.g. AM1090 Seattle KPTK.

Air America had a bad business model. Radio insiders tell me they were staffheavy, focussing on writing rather than entertaining, lively "talent". IMO this might work for the corporately funded NPR or Saturday Night Live, but radio is all about the on-air talent most of which (you'll note from the list above) ran their own operations or graduated to the Senate. It's worth noting that, unlike Fox, AAR didn't have a wealthy backer willing to loses millions of dollars for nearly a decade before turning a profit. AAR brought some nice publicity to progressive radio and its alumni include 1 more successful senator than Fox, but its departure just makes it another American in economic trouble.

It was a good experiment but nothing lasts forever. Enjoy Thom, Stephanie, Ed and all!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogger Disproves Global Warming; Scientists Stunned!

A blogger who struggled through high-school math has completely debunked the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change, otherwise known as "Global Warming".

"It was easy, really," said Barney Schtupnagel, "I knew it was a lot of hooey because, you know, how could people change the climate? It just didn't make sense. But I needed proof."

And proof Schtupnagel found, by cruising internet forums and thinking about the evidence in new ways.

"I found three ways in which scientists had accidentally increased reported temperatures," Barney posted on his Blog. "First, and of most importance, as scientists start using more computerized temperature measuring gadgets, they started recording more digits of temperature. What had been 58 degrees on a mercury thermometer would become 58.4 degrees on a digitial thermometer and then 58.4569 degrees on a high-precision CCD device. The inevitable result is a reported increase in temperatures, when there's really been no change at all."

"Another thing is that scientists keep using something called Centigrade instead of Fahrenheit. As Mrs. Tofula explained to our class last year, Centigrade degrees are bigger, so you know they're have to say the temperature is bigger.

"But the third and awesomely biggest thing was where I read that scientists were deploying more temperature gauges than ever, all over the world. Think about it! You know when you use a metal detector to look for pennies in the park? Well the more people with the most metal detectors you use, the more stuff you find. D'uh! Now that there is more scientists with more thermometers, you're going to find more temperature!"

Scientists were astounded, yet full of praise for this discovery. "My goodness! We certainly never thought of this!" said Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Linden. "One insight of this magnitude is customarily rewarded with a Nobel Prize, but surely young Schtupnagel has scored a trifecta! I shall definitely be nominating him for next year's Nobel Prize in Physics."

A few scientists were not so sure. "An announcement of this sort should not lead to a Nobel Prize in Physics," demurred Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. "I think it would be more appropriate to award an entirely new Nobel Prize in Global Warming Denial."

Dr. James Hansen, climate scientist and author of "Storms of My Grandchildren", was unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Jobs - By Edgar Allen Poe


See the workers with their jobs -
Living wage jobs!
What a world of satisfaction their labor foretells!
How our jobs, jobs, jobs,
In the day and in the night
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so laborously wells
From the jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs,
jobs, jobs, jobs-
From the jingling and Ka-ching!ling of the paychecks from our jobs.


See the family-supporting jobs,
Golden jobs!
What a world of happiness the work foretells!
In the day and in the night
How they sing out their delight
At the scribbled childrens' notes,
What a happy ditty floats
To the parents that labor, labor, labor
Hard at labor, hard at labor,
At the workbench, in the cube,
What a gush of loving labor wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
Family supporting jobs,
Yes the jobs, jobs, jobs,
Yes the jobs, jobs, jobs,jobs,
jobs, jobs, jobs-
Yes the rhyming and the chiming of the jobs!


Hear the loud alarum of jobs-
Exported jobs!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor,
Now- now to work or to never,
By the side of the pale-faced fired.
Exported jobs, jobs, jobs!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How we clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror we outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows:
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the jobless-
Who want jobs-
Who want jobs, jobs, jobs,jobs,
jobs, jobs, jobs-
In the clamor and the clangor of exporting jobs!


Hear the export of the jobs-
Offshored jobs!
What a world of solemn thought their departure compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace when they've flown!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within our throats
Is a groan.
And the people- We The People-
We who gather by the steeple,
All Alone
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Corporations glory in so rolling
On our human hearts a stone-
Corporations not man nor woman-
They are neither brute nor human-
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Blood from the jobs!
And his merry bosom swells
With the blood of the jobs!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the bleeding of the jobs-
Of the jobs:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To offshoring of the jobs-
Of the jobs, jobs, jobs-
To the sobbing of the jobs;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the jobs-
Offshored jobs, jobs, jobs:
To the tolling of the jobs,
Offshored jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs-
jobs, jobs, jobs-
To the moaning and the groaning of the offshored jobs.

(With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Food Rules, Omnivore Drools!

Michael Pollan, author of great books on food such as "The Omnivore's Dilemma", has come out with a new one: "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual"

Some of the Rules:

#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

#36 Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.

#39 Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

This all sounds like good advice, and ties in nicely with this weeks's Change The World Wednesday challenge:
This week, for seven whole days, read food labels and refuse to buy anything containing the following:
  • Hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives
  • Bleached or bromated flour
  • Any ingredients that you aren't familiar with and/or can't pronounce
When it comes to junk food, I recently discovered the pleasure of oatmeal bars as a replacement for heavily wrapped and processed "granola bars". It takes a few minutes to mix oats, butter, a little sugar, an egg and what-ever else you please, then slide it into the oven. What you get out is as healthy as just about any of those "power bars" that you buy for $2.50 at a store, and you don't even have to check the label to see if they've slipped in an ingredient that was "made in a plant". The money you save more than compensates for the time you spent in the kitchen.

Another of my food rules is always to use cream, not creamer. Cream tastes good and, in moderation, is not bad for you. The only reason you'd ever think that a clumpy white powder is a "creamer" is because it tells you that on the box. How credulous can you get?

New Rule: Any foodstuff that has to tell you what it is for, is not something you want to put in your body.

For example, "Energy Drink" tells you that it is something you have to drink, which suggests that its target market is the stupid. The word about "Energy" is doubly stupid; all foodstuff have some amount of "Energy" in it. The only substances that lack "Energy" are those at Absolute Zero and were you to ingest any of THAT in significant quantities, you would surely die. Come to think of it, you'd be unlikely to be able to "Drink" any of it since there are darn few things that are liquid when close to Absolute Zero. More to the point, the "Energy" in those drinks are typically either sugar or a stimulant like caffeine. You might as well suck on some sugar cubes, which are a whole lot cheaper, or have a spoon of honey, which has the added advantage of being something that your body might have evolved to process.

Screw it. I'm having an apple!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dirty F@#*ing Hippies Were Right!

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
---Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
As a child of a working-class conservative drunk in the 1960s, I never heard of Dr. King, but I knew hippies were bad because my daddy told me so. But now that time has passed, I realize ...