Friday, December 26, 2008

Who gets bailed out?

There are two bankers with opposing facts.

One banker, from Chicago, said that bailout money was going to banks that were in control of their assets, banks that made the right decisions that kept them stable enough to survive the current banking crisis, allowing them to take over management of banks that failed.

Another banker, from Springfield, who sits on the board of trustees at a local bank, said that bailout money was going to banks that were struggling so they could pull themselves out of the current crisis by shoring up their defaulted loans.

One of these opinions is correct. The truth is that Treasury Secretary Paulson gave money to some banks, and those banks in turn bought out some banks that were struggling, and also bought banks that were not struggling.

As the title of the program implies, the Tangible Asset Recovery Program (TARP)appeared on the surface to benefit home owners who were lured into sub-prime adjustable rate mortgages. They, and other defaulting borrowers have yet to receive a dime.

The first $350 billion was dolled out and the results were not as congress expected, so when it came time for Secretary Paulson to ask for more, congress thought they could open the books and question him about what was done with the first half of the money.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apartment living is becoming dangerous

The big three most dangerous apartment complex neighborhoods are the buildings surrounding Ladley Court north of Stevenson Drive, The MacArthur Park Apartments, and now, just graduating from burglaries to violent robberies, the apartment buildings on Seven Pines road just east of Chatham Road.

Ladley Court is surrounded by Stanton, Taylor, and Stevenson, and holds the record for the highest number of gun related crimes in a small area.

The MacArthur Park Apartments are bordered by Maple Ave., West Iles, S. Lincoln Ave., and MacArthur, and had the widest variety of incidents requiring police, but not nearly as many gun crimes in the same period.

The Seven Pines area is bordered by railroad tracks to the north , Westchester Blvd to the south, Chatham road to the west, and eventually turns into Shiloh Drive to to east. This area had a few burglaries until a man was robbed and beaten in his own apartment by people who came to visit him. The incident was reported on today.

Oddly however, other crime reported over the rest of Springfield seems to have somewhat of an even distribution. Vandalism and burglaries on the north and west appear to happen outside the main perimeter of apartment complex neighborhoods, with vandalism occurring the closest, and more heinous crimes graduating outward. It's just a guess. comments are always welcome.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sock and Awe! is a hilarious game with morbid beginnings.

I first discovered this on

I only heard about it because I now have time to listen to Kramer on WMAY from noon to 3pm.

Palm's Dirty Little Secret

If you go to Staples or Office Depot, don't be fooled into getting a Palm Tungsten E2.

If you look closely on the top left edge, you will see an expansion slot for an SD memory card. It will have a piece of plastic where an SD memory card will go. Don't be impressed by it. The Palm Tungsten E2 is only capable of reading an SD memory card no bigger than one Gigabyte.

Not only that, it has Bluetooth, and so does my stupid Sony Ericsson phone, so I thought I would see if I could link the two together, Nope.

You would be better off splurging on an iPhone, unless you wanted nothing more than a calender in your pocket.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lisa Madigan Speaks

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan held a press conference today discussing a motion to have the IL State Supreme Court remove Governor Blagojevich and replace him with Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.

The press conference was carried by all the cable news networks except for ABC, and CBS and CNBC. All the cable news networks cut off the press conference, while WGN held its cameras steady.

The A.G. filed a temporary restraining order against Blago. She also said that the state has nearly one billion dollars in Medicaid payments that need to be made to providers, and without a signature from the acting governor, the payments cannot be made.

The temporary restraining order keeps Blago away from his ink pen regarding any actions with the Tollway Authority, and other potentially costly decisions he would otherwise make.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Into Infamy

There's more at my VLOG on YouTube


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Science Education

The introduction in Clair T. Berube's book "The Unfinished Quest: The plight of progressive science education in the age of standards," divides students into categories of motivation. students had different reasons for working toward the goal of finishing school.

Many had been trained by modern society to seek was expected and to deliver exactly that, nothing more, nothing less. Many only wanted to know what I wanted, so they could make me "happy" and therefore acquire a good grade. Indeed, grades were what made their worlds go 'round. Sometimes I would assess their understanding with no grades attached. Most of them did not like this at all, and wanted to "get something" for their troubles, and that something was a grade. But there were also some students who argued with me, came up with new ways of solving problems, who were actually delighted when they were given something to figure out, and who displayed their teenage rebelliousness through their intellect, which is the very best kind of rebellion indeed. My goal as a science educator became then, and still is now, to uncover each student's sense of rebelliousness and authority questioning (critical thinking skills) hidden deep within them. The best scientific discoveries were achieved through this mindset, instead of the current educational sheep herding mentality, which is rewarded and is so prevalent in the United States today. Our schools reflect the society we live in, and we are being led around by our necks like sheep in the dark.

After the author divides the students into the above described categories, she divides "modern educators" into two sides of the argument that science education is going in the right direction, and those who "fear that it has gone tragically astray."

The author reaffirms my experience and suspicions about American Education.

Do we already have creative brilliant minds in America? Of course we do. Do we already have good schools that employ progressive teaching and learning pedagogy at the highest levels of learning? Yes to that also, but many of these schools are limited to the wealthiest suburbs or to private prep schools.

I can name two of them: Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois. and Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. There are countless schools like these across the country. If you never heard of them it's because they won't advertise in your choice of reading material, television or radio.

Perhaps you should reconsider the value of your favorite newspaper, magazines, or television and radio stations.

But my personal beef is with that camp of educators who believe that science education is just fine the way it is, or they relegate it to the last item on their education budget behind sports.

Cuts in public education budgets forced many schools to seek corporate sponsorship, but corporate sponsors compete for only the most publicly visible spaces, the sports arenas.

The Unfinished Quest raises the issue of the September 11, 2001 Attack on the World Trade Center, and our lack of creative solutions to problems, instead of our current method of only reacting to crises.

Another quasi-solution was placing vending machines in the school cafeteria. What ever profits there were may go to programs, but the money would be coming from the students. A hidden form of socialized funding, because the students that can't afford anything from the vending machine would still benefit from the students who can afford to make vending purchases. Socialism disguised as free-market capitalism.

I was inspired by the article in this morning's Illinois State Journal Register

Just an FYI: This morning's headline in the State Journal Register, "High schools failing science," has been changed online to "High schools lack science equipment."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Using Digg on your blog

Go to and set up an account. It's free. What's so great about If you look at the bottom of my blog page you will see a window with stories from that I clicked on while browsing interesting news articles.

Digg allows you to create that little window for your blog, but it also frees up your blog space to write about more than just a couple of interesting news stories.

The two top diggs in my window down below right now are actually not news items, but postings on the Rants and Raves for Springfield, Illinois. Normally, those wouldn't even show up as "Diggs" unless you manually add the web address.

Now that they are on, they will be more visible and more likely to spread virulently on the Internet. If you add Diggs to it it will move higher on the list of popularity, and be read by more and more people.

You should try to add your own posts to too.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Congratulations Shoppers

I want to congratulate the shoppers who defied National Buy Nothing Day and shoved their way into a new first in American history. Trampling a Wal-Mart employee to death.

Bob Schieffer of Face The Nation said it best "...the Long Island incident marked the first-ever Black Friday shopping fatality."

Visit for Mr. Schieffer's full comment.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Okay, I'll throw them a bone, but for a good cause.

I was glancing through a copy of the State Journal Register when I came across an editorial by Ginny Conlee, charman of the Hope Institute board of directors. I sighed to myself and decided to give the State Journal Register kudos for publishing the editorial.

The Hope Institute is a special needs school bordered on one side by Lake Springfield and for years has only one narrow two-lane road (Hazel lane) in and out. Neighbors on the road were concerned about their safety and property so they opened a new wider road to the school.

Since the construction of the new road, the neighbors, it seems, are clamoring to close the old road entirely to make it a dead-end street. Doing so would definitely increase their property value, while at the same time decreasing emergency access to the Hope School.

I'll attempt to embed a Google Map here with links to the articles.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another Product Failure from Shopko

Jumbo Laundry bags. These bags appear to be made of Nylon, but I suspect they are made of polyester instead. They failed immediately when I started filling them with my laundry.

They were made in China "exclusively" for a company called JMK Sales in Bridgeview, Illinois 60455. I Googled the company but only found a manufacturer for Illinois Industrial Tool, Inc. which does not appear to have anything to do with knit laundry bags.

They were on sale.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today on my way home from work I found some people protesting against contractors who bring temporary or part-time non-union workers from out of state who get paid next to nothing and probably don't get any benefits.

What little money there is leaves the state when the non-union non-local workers go home to Kentucky or Alabama or where ever. Money that would otherwise boost the economy right here in Springfield by people who live here.

Do you wonder why the economy is going south? Contractors will have to lower their prices because they are paying lower wages! And those wages are going to be spent somewhere other than where the contractors are building.


I did a video interview but the wind totally blasted my microphone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Testing Google Docs 'Form'

In Google Docs, I discovered there is a form you can create for surveys. It even stores the results and displays them on a spreadsheet and shows graphs for you too. I'd like to test it here. Google docs will automatically generate the code you need to embed the form in your blog or website. When it generates the code, the iframe size is adjustable, the default height for mine was 310 by 1094, but since it scrolls, I want to adjust it

I hope you participate. When I get enough results, I'll try to see what they look like when I publish them. I checked into it and right now it doesn't look like the results are quite as dynamic as but it's still free.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stop H8

Springfield Protests Proposition 8 ban on Same Sex Marriage.

Video also available through a link at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still wondering about the future.

I still like to read the State Journal Register because they have career journalists on hand who work full time to get their stories and photos. For a while I even had the notion of applying for work there. But the tide is going out for good on the old media, thanks to the Internet.

I wonder how many generations it will take before subscriptions to actual hard-copy newspapers fall into the red zone of being cost-prohibitive? Would online advertising be sufficient to support the structure that remains after the printing presses have ceased forever?

Remember radio? Radio is still a good hands-free form of entertainment, but AM is dominated by right-wing conservatism, a philosophy which proved its worth over the last eight years in the political spotlight, and evidenced by the presidential election of 2008. Unpopular.

As for FM radio, it depends on the artist and not the genre.

Genre radio is old hat. The Internet has exposed us to the reality of music. That there are really good songs, not really good types of songs. We as an audience can no longer accept being pigeonholed into arbitrary categories of Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, Lite-Jazz, Classical, Heavy Metal, Blues or Big Band.

I occasionally listen to Amy Winehouse, Bjork, Tom Waits, Dethklok, Muddy Waters, Pete Seeger, Ozzie, Tchaikovsky, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. No radio station will be able to keep me as an audience for very long.

Local Broadcast television is not doing too well either. The local news anchors most of the time are repeating the national news when they can't find local stories. Most of the remote news crews were once Union and are now gone.

During the time slot used by local news broadcasts I'm watching PBS. I'm already searching blogs and YouTube for local video on my computer instead of watching television. The Internet provides weather reports too. I don't know what the local broadcasters have left to hold up against the Internet. I think they are in worse shape than newspapers. Popular shows can be watched at

Barack Obama said change is here. This change is bigger than just politics. We are about to usher in a whole new cultural structure, the likes of which we can't yet imagine. Biggest of the changes is perhaps that there may be no such thing as mass communication anymore. Sub-cultures will re-arrange under totally different flags.

Philosophies will shatter and pieces from different ideologies will combine into never before seen colors.

People will be different in unheard of ways, because they will have their own custom-designed preferences thanks to the Internet. Everyone will be a stranger to everyone else, so we will simply have to shed fear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feedburner to the rescue!

I finally figured out how to get all the headlines for all of my blogs to update automatically without having to manually edit my website!

Hooray for FeedBurner! They were recently acquired by Google, and the basic services are free. I just started using it today, so my results are sloppy to say the least. When I have time later I'll tinker with options.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Drinking Librally Celebrates Tonight

Liberals in Springfield? Tonight at 6:30 pm Thursday at the Brewhaus, 617 E Washington. Come any time after 6:30.

I wish I could be there, but I go to work when everyone else goes home, and I can't plan anything more than three days out. I've missed countless monthly meetings with REALL (The Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land) and the Springfield Area Freethinkers.

All these groups have members that are very rare in this area and it makes me sad that I miss out on actual intelligent conversations that otherwise would only take place after paying a tuition fee at the Unversity of Illinois at Springfield.

After listening to WMAY syndicated Hate Radio last night, these groups have become more important now than ever because the Right-Wing Radical Fundamentalist Christian Terrorist Racist Bigoted Homophobes are planning political machinations in revenge for the election of Barack Obama.

You can connect with these groups through

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The retired win in Sangamon County

Springfield is basically on a fixed income rolling toward assisted living. Personally, I can't account for a community that is in such a state, voting Republican. There may be one exception, a very short horizon.

People who think that if they support and emulate characters like Gordon Gekko, they will become like Gordon Gekko,

Gordon Gekko: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you. (Wallstreet, 1987)

The problem is Sangamon County is not Wall Street. They are all big fans of the so-called "free market" but it takes money to make money, and most of your money is being gradually siphoned away by national franchises that have institutional investors based on Wall Street for real.

The point is that they are supporting a philosophy that belongs to their masters, not themselves. The other people they see reaping the rewards they themselves desire don't live in our neighborhoods, they only see them on television.

So the local political structure remains the same and so follows the economic structure. The Gordon Gekkos of the world would scoff at our community because according to the U.S. Census, there are only a tiny few people who barely come close to being excluded from the tax break promised by President-Elect Obama.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

AT&T and Sony Ericcson Fail Again

The timing of this post should give you clue. It's Sunday, November 2nd around 4:17 AM.

My old LG cell phone on the Sprint Network would have automatically updated to the correct time by now and I would still be in bed for another hour.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take a crack at reality. Truth Pill Time

Okay folks, the news media has been at again, the public is filled with misinformation and terror. The fastest way to make someone change the channel is to tell them something they don't want to hear, so AM Talk Radio, Newspapers, and Television networks are exercising their decades of scientific research on how to keep us watching and listening to them, by telling us what we'd rather hear, than the truth.

Check out these videos at

Take your medicine before the election.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

McCain-Palin, McCarthyism and the new "Blue Scare"

The "Red Scare" turns into a "Blue Scare." Only it won't be allegations of communism, it will be allegations of liberalism.

The first Red Scare was right after World War I, the second Red Scare, McCarthyism was right after World War II, and now we face the potential for the third wave, or "Blue Scare" following the war in Iraq.

Instead of focusing on Communism, the invisible threat will be made of anyone acting in a peculiar way that doesn't reflect absolute loyalty and patriotism.

The McCain-Palin team are carefully polishing the final touches on the Bush Administration's engineering of an absolute monarchy which was finally established in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson

When their revolution is achieved, Neocons will initiate a cultural culling reminiscent of the accusations of the blacklisting that resulted from the hearings of the House Unamerican Activities Commission.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Required Reading

In the late eighteen hundreds New York was filling with immigrants from around the world who came to make a better life for themselves. How the Other Half Lives explores poverty during a time when poverty was a temporary condition for most people.

The key ingredient is not in this publication, but is in the differences between then and now, of opportunities and constructed impediments to opportunities to escape poverty today.

The immigrants of that time learned how to escape poverty, and many of them who managed to escape, were able to cut the rope or break the ladder behind them, to unfairly impede competition, and maintain the level of poverty and lack of progress that exists today with such tools as Patents.*

How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the tenements of New York
By Jacob A. Riis

* An inventor should have the right to a reasonable royalty for the use of an invention. Patents should be owned by the inventors and not bought or sold as a commodity. Any new technology should not be prevented from being used by anyone, including the inventor. Reasonable Royalty is defined as a percentage of net profit that does not impede the use of a product.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Republican death squads in America

If Barak Obama wins, Republican supporters may go on a murdering rampage. So keep secret your support of Barak Obama until the coast is clear.

The vicious attacks by AM Talk Radio and Fox News has raised the level of fear in Republicans to such a degree that violence is eminent.

This is the beginning of a madness never before seen among the vicious and hateful. They can't stand to hear simple questions that cause them to think about themselves.

This is the message:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fox News links Obama to ACORN

So? That's good. A.C.O.R.N stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

What's wrong with that, Fox News?

Here's an info link.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Window Fan Fails

My window fan stopped working yesterday. I had it since August. I went to the company website ( and they didn't even have it anymore. They stopped making it.

I bought it at Shopko on Wabash back in August. It was the last one of its kind on the shelf.

It worked great for a while. It automatically turned off when the room got too cool. It had expandable panels on the side to fill the window space. It offered some privacy, and this is the best part, the fans are independently reversible. You flip the one or both switches at the bottom and the fans spin in the opposite direction respectively.

The one downside about it was that it filled a space large enough for potential burglars to remove it and crawl through the window, so I had to remove it every morning before going to work.

Two nights ago I was pushing the one button that changed the temperature sensitivity to turn it off, and it stayed off. It never came on again. Something in the electronics failed.

There was a three year limited warranty, but honestly, does anyone deal with shipping costs for something that will probably break again soon anyway?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Statue Dedication Going On Now

Angel of Hope statue dedication is going on right now in Washington Park near the Carillon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Advice for the future

The future will be brightest for those who know how to hunt, those who know how to sew, those who know how to farm, those who know how to preserve food without refrigeration, those who know how to make fire and those who know how to make the tools necessary to perform the aforementioned tasks.

• My T-Shirts from Fruit-of-the-Loom and Hanes are getting holes under the arms, but instead of simply replacing them, I'm going to stitch them up.

• If I buy bottled water, I refill it with tap water and reuse the bottle for at least a month, if not more.

• I don't buy soda anymore. Nobody needs soda.

• No fast food. The grocery store is the best place to get nutritional meals. There is far more variety at the deli counter than you will find any any restaurant. More variety of prices too.

If the big banks want to hold the rest of us hostage, let's turn the tables. Pay off your credit cards, then close the accounts and cut up your cards. If you bought it with credit, you really didn't need it.

It may be a while before we are finally performing shadow shows on cave walls again, so let's do our best to delay that for as long as possible.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TV Review

This poll is designed to make you think about the public or semi-private places you visit that have televisions which are tuned to Fox News.

If you can't see the poll below, then visit
to take the poll

Do you believe people actually watch this garbage and nothing else for the majority of their information? Over and over again I hear of people in Springfield, Illinois not watching anything but Fox News. Disgusting pigs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Demand that the Bailout Legislation Be Rejected

Demand that the Bailout Legislation Be Rejected

We are witnessing a bankers' coup d’etat. In the name of saving the economy from a crisis created by their own greed and immense profits, the biggest bankers have taken a country and a people hostage.

“Give us your money and tear up what’s left of your Constitution or we will sink your economy,” is the message from Wall Street and the Bush Administration. “Give us the power and money we demand or you will be left jobless from a new economic depression."

Under the pretext of the banking crisis, the Bush Administration is changing the way this country operates. This is not simply taking trillions of dollars from the people and giving it to the richest bankers to do with as they see fit.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Worst Phone in the world?

I only had two phones in my life, but I never imagined that I would have this kind of problem. My Sony Ericsson W580i cannot withstand humidity above 90%.

I was a Sprint customer for a couple of years until I lost my phone. Terrified that it had been stolen I tried to contact Sprint Customer Service to have my phone shut off, but they told me that they were switching to a new billing system and they couldn't shut off my service for at least two days. After that I switched to AT&T.

From the kettle into the fire.

I paid a lot for my new phone and service through AT&T. Not long after I started having the problems featured in the YouTube Video:

To see the fully annotated version of the video, you must actually go to YouTube to view it.

I bought my phone at the AT&T store next to Best Buy out on Veterans Parkway.

The first time I took the phone in to show them what was wrong, it mysteriously stopped malfunctioning and worked normally.

The second time I told them about the problem they told me to try and let it dry out, so I left it alone for a few days, and sure enough, it started working normally, but since then I had to keep it in a plastic bag so it would stay dry.

The final time it malfunctioned because the humidity was above ninety percent, and by then the warranty had expired. The clerk only gave me the 800 number for AT&T customer service and I have to wait for a new replacement, and pay for it. If I have the same problem again, I don't know what to do but avoid the worst of the cell phone manufacturers and service providers. Any comments?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Try making your own polls at

Take this poll. I discovered a neat new tool called PollDaddy
I thought I would give it shot to see how comprehensive it is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

RE: Report: 'Monumental' problems among city's African-American students

This is in response to the following story in the Illinois State Journal-Register.

Report: 'Monumental' problems among city's African-American students

Once upon a time there was a single breadwinner in the family and the other parent stayed home and took care of the children.

Well folks, times have changed since you retired. If both parents are around at all, they both have to work to make ends meet.

If you keep voting like it was the 1950's and "Father Knows Best" is the standard under which you assume everyone is living, things are going to continue to get worse.

It's time you looked up from what ever senior special your eating at Old Country Buffet and looked around, because if you don't you'll soon have to choose between higher fences around your gated communities, or more prisons.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Senator Indicted for Corruption wins state Primary!

Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was indicted for corruption. Still he managed to "win" his senatorial primary against six contenders. Coincidentally, John McCain has picked The governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as his Vice President.

May I stick my finger down my throat now?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Iraq Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter

Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter shares his insight into media, the government, and Iran

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cable Tightens Its Belt

Now the National Geographic Channel, probably one of the most aesthetic and educational channels on cable, has been moved to digital cable channel 450. Basic Cable viewers are now unable to experience the high quality production work of people who have the most respect for the environment.

The channel perhaps needed to be moved to digital to take full advantage of high definition video signal, but denying a majority of the cable subscribers such good programming may be dire for the company itself, as well as the overall behavior of an audience denied the education provided by the National Geographic Channel.

Does Comcast Cable hate the environment? Maybe, if they get their kicks blocking environmental programming from the basic cable audience?

Do we need Comcast to get access to National Geographic? No. we can now go to

The Internet Prevails again, proving that even cable television will subside along with the rest of the old broadcast television, radio and print media. Goodbye Comcast. Lots o' luck.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Old Media tries to fight back.

The old media suddenly awoke from dirt being shoveled onto its face. Looking up it finally realizes where it is and is trying to claw out of its grave. Viacom is suing YouTube. The Internet is killing the cable and satellite television star.

A judge ruled in favor of Viacom getting information on all the YouTube viewers of Viacom's video clips posted on YouTube.

At first I was furious that a judge would violate everyone's privacy like that. According to Wired Magazine, Viacom thinks its content is more popular and that YouTube made most of its money from Viacom video clips.

If I were a judge and heard that statement used as an argument, I would let Viacom role back into its grave by allowing YouTube the opportunity to prove that the overwhelming majority of its videos are user created, and finally shine a light on Viacom's tombstone, you know, like the scene from A Christmas Carol where Death points a finger at the grave of old Ebenezer Scrooge, only for Viacom, they're decades too late.

Here are some links to more information

Friday, June 27, 2008

The end of old media

I turned on CNN for a few minutes last night and again I heard Barak Obama mentioned along with Jeremiah Wright. I turned it off.

I saw a blonde woman on the cover of Newsweek. I had an inkling of who she was, but I had to squint to see that it was John McCain's wife.

I'm over forty years old, but does that mean I should care about what's on television or featured in magazines like Newsweek or Time? No. I was around when the Internet first started, and there are people who can't even envision the world without it.

Yesterday I saw Jack Cafferty on CNN talk about how Michael Dukakis's presidential campaign was ruined because he rode around in a tank. What he failed to mention was that George Bush rode in a tank too, but the news media failed to cover that as much as Dukakis. It was the news media that ruined the Dukakis campaign.

They are trying the same strategy with Barak Obama, and they are failing. Why?

Because since the birth of the Internet, each wave of young people leaving their parents homes and striking out on their own are not subscribing to newspapers, magazines, or surprisingly, even cable television.

The new trend is to subscribe only to Cable Internet Service and nothing more. And coming soon, rumor has it, AT&T will up the anty by providing Internet access at speeds faster than cable television.

The next generation will not be watching television based news and the networks know it. You can see and hear the desperate attempts to create ever increasing situations of conflict where none should exist. They claw and scrape to create enemies and fools of public officials and foreign governments, and it will make no difference because everyone now has access to multiple sources of information and opinions that balance the emotional with the factual, exposing the old media's adoption of the Swift Boat Strategy from the 2000 presidential campaign.

So, it looks like I already waved goodbye to television news. It's been almost a week since I sat through a whole evening news show, and I don't miss it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Methemphadvertising and the decline of the main-stream media.

Pew Internet research finds further evidence of main-stream media decline.

More people are now able to see media spin when they go online and watch political speeches from start to finish at YouTube, then share the video clips with their friends at MySpace and Facebook.

The “main-stream” media are paper publications, radio and television, all of which are limited by time and space. Because of these limitations, the main-stream media must only select portions of political speeches or news stories they deem “newsworthy.”

Consequently, they choose portions of information that serves their own agendas.

The main-stream media agenda is simply to survive in a competitive environment. They did that at first by trying to make friends with the largest portion of its audience.

Unfortunately, when you try to please as many people as possible, you wind up on the wrong side of all of them, because people more easily remember negative things that positive things. It’s just human behavior.

So the main-stream media chose to make friends with only audience members that could best help them survive, advertisers.

The main-stream became dependent on advertisers like Heroine ever since the late nineteenth century when newspapers could not longer just depend on their own sales revenue.

Cable television began as a non-advertising television medium. It was supposed to be the biggest threat to the broadcast networks in the late 1970’s and Ted Turner almost had ABC, CBS, and NBC completely over a barrel when he launched CNN. Cable was standing on only subscription revenues.

And cable television had no commercials, do you remember that? But low and behold, satellite television came along and cable had to become publicly traded on the stock market, and shareholders demanded growth and more money, so cable television buckled and started running television commercials. CNN, Fox News and other cable news networks are now no different than any of the broadcast networks because they too are addicted to Methemphadvertising.

The advertisers are of course, the drug dealers who make the networks do their bidding, or they hold back the “stuff” (advertising).

Now, Pew Internet Research has reported "A record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others."

The broadcast, cable, radio, and print media are suffering from the addiction of advertising dollars as their only source of survival, and people are walking away because they are all tired of little sound bites and slogans.

There is no withdrawal from Methemphadvertising, only death.

PEW RESEARCH: The Internet and the 2008 Election

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dunkin Donuts pulls ad over a keffiyeh?

This Dunkin Donuts ad pulled over criticism from conservative pundits like Michelle Malkin and others ( do the conservative pundits have to say about Senator John McCain's daughter? (

More on the Keffiyeh at Wikipedia.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The old news media is self-destructing.

Bloggers! Your day is arriving sooner than you may think. The old main-stream news media is self-destructing.

More and more, the alternative information sources are pointing at a the mistakes and complicity of the main-stream news pundits.

A recent Friday on PBS, Bill Moyers struck gold.

BILL MOYERS: What about the experts who predicted that the war would be quick and bloodless? They were terribly wrong but they're still on the air today pontificating. I mean, there seems to be no price to be paid for having been wrong about so serious an issue of life and death, war and peace.

GREG MITCHELL: You can't be wrong enough I think is what the-

JOHN WALCOTT: Well, again, they are celebrities. And, you know, Tom Cruise can make a bad movie and go on and get paid, you know, millions for the next movie. It's the same phenomenon. A name is what matters. --Bill Moyers Journal, June 6, 2008

Bill Moyers is not alone in ringing that bell. Week after week, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report regularly lampoon the news media.

The ripple effect began with Scott McClellan's new book "What Happened." Stephen Colbert explains:

If you still watch network television news or read the paper, you're doomed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Black Sheep Cafe

When I was a young adult, there was nothing like the Black Sheep Cafe here in Springfield. While it's sad that the venue is under attack by Springfielders, It is becoming clear that the word Springfielder has become an expression; a description of a class of people not much different from Indiana Hoosiers. Surprisingly, people from Indiana are proud to be called Hoosiers.

I always go against the grain though it may not look like it at times. Ever since I returned to SPFLD I’ve felt those old agonies of summers with nothing to do. Every summer day I and my friends lamented “What are we going to do today? … I don’t know.”

This was more than twenty years ago. Of course I was broke and my parents worked and had no time to chauffer us around and they dolled out a pittance for an allowance. Nobody in Springfield at that time had the imagination to appeal to such a group of kids and provide them with a place to make new friends.

After so many decades, we finally have The Black Sheep CafĂ©, but I’m in my forties now. It’s too little too late for me. The fight will be long and hard for them, and there will be agent provocateurs who will try to put them down, and it will happen sooner than later because of the “Springfielder.”

Springfielder” as evidenced by past behaviors, has become a word that describes a combination of behaviors and decision-making that falls in the area between tradition and bigotry, influenced primarily by selfishness and an inability to defer gratification and consider long-term consequences of decisions.

Like bulldozing and paving over the richest soil in the world for White Oaks Mall and other shopping centers, covering the downtown building facades with cheesy aluminum siding in the 1960’s and 70’s, then removing it, tearing down the old state capitol before rebuilding it, giving tax increment financing to outside corporations who get a free ride while they plunder the local economy, then close up shop and leave when the honeymoon is over.

Instead of putting a left-turn arrow light at MacArthur and Lawrence intersection for east and westbound traffic, they put up a sign with a flashing yellow light that states “High Accident Intersection.”

And on and on…

So I wish Black Sheep all the best, but there is one more problem. When I was a young adult, it was all about hanging out with friends and listening to music. When I was finally kicked out of my parents house, I regret every day that I didn’t go to the public library and better my education, for free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Food prices overseas falsely linked to Ethanol by news media

In Haiti and other countries, years of importing U.S. grain at prices below the cost of growing it locally, forced local farmers out of business and the local farm land changed ownership.

Then, one day, oil prices went up, gas prices followed, and then the cost of shipping grain overseas went up.

Suddenly, there’s nobody to locally grow cheaper crops, and the land is no longer owned by farmers.

Massive propaganda is being put out by the oil companies to blame Ethanol for the cost of corn while people are mostly complaining about the cost of rice.

This is what years of donating food has done to other countries. It has forced people into a state of dependence by making it impossible for them to grow their own food, and now we are starving them.

The organizations at risk of being exposed for this strategy are mentioned in the story

World Bank
United Nations
Asian Development Bank

The goal is the rearrangement of property ownership. The Strategy is to artificially manipulate food prices to the disadvantage of local farmers in developing countries, for the purpose of acquisition by multinational food growing corporations.

The points of manipulation are fuel prices by the oil companies, and food prices by the commodities brokers.

Monday, May 05, 2008

SJ-R question

I was wondering if the items under the heading "State Capitol Notebook" in the Illinois State Journal Register are really objective journalism? Senator Obama after all, is not the only Senator in the race for President.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nationwide Trucking Shutdown May 5th

The interviewed a trucker at a protest in Washington D.C. who said there was a plan for a nationwide trucking stoppage on Monday May 5 as a protest against high gas prices.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

C'mon People!

How many times do I have to keep repeating this?

1. You can't blame the Democrats in the House of Representatives for inaction. The Democrats do not have a working majority, they only have a simple majority. A working majority is more than a two-thirds majority, so they can be allowed to follow through on their promises without being blocked by arcane rules.

A fifty one percent majority only shifts the ranking members of the house from one party to the other, then the ranking party is made to look bad because they still don't have enough votes to do anything.

A Quagmire makes for a totally irrelevant government that appears to only be in place to divert the public's attention away from those who are really in control.

Did you ever wonder why all the poll and election results are split down the center within a ten percent margin between them?

This government is done, all that's left are the corporations.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How it might have been

It might have turned out like this if nobody paid attention to what was going on:

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Internet Killed The Television Star

Why are television news reporters being so nice to Senator John McCain? noted recently that McCain has been getting the red carpet treatment and softball questions on the broadcast networks, as well as cable news networks. It's shocking to see the media fawn and flatter a political candidate.

Following the November 2008 election, there may be no more broadcast television as we know it. The results of the election will throw mud in the face of the mainstream commentators.

The news media needs McCain so it can create content and justify its own existence. It's fast becoming totally irrelevant. Most viewers have enourmous quantities of information from the Internet with which to hold up against what these people are saying, yet the television personalities continue to operate under the assumption that most of their audience is stupid, has yet to adopt Internet technology, or never will.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Did anyone else wake up to a shaking and rumbling experience this morning at 0440?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Suddenly in Springfield

There's talk of spending millions of dollars on infrastructure replacement in Springfield, Illinois. The trend has been to use the claim of infrastructure maintenance necessity to justify sudden massive increases in utility rates in the city.

I contend that such maintenance requirements are common knowledge and should have been included in already existing taxes and fees. Therefore, I conclude that corruption is rampant on a scale that requires federal intervention.

The city of Springfield has an old generation that spent huge amounts of money to build Springfield right after World War II, and when they were done, they sat back and retired, and complained bitterly about taxes.

They didn't want to pay taxes and their politicians promised not to raise taxes, and now that they are all dying off, they can go peacefully without a worry for themselves, or so they thought.

Suddenly, money is needed to fix things. Now water, sewer and other city service charges are doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. Why? Those idiots didn't want their taxes increased to create a surplus for such needed maintenance. If they allowed for a gradual increase in taxes to maintain a budget surplus in anticipation of repair or infrastructure growth, there would be no issue here. The money would be available.

If the budget was planned properly and there was still a need for sudden increases in fees by the city, than a federal investigation needs to be initiated, and people jailed for stealing the money.

So what is the solution? Leave Springfield, Illinois. Move out. Those who leave now will join others who left when schools were desegregated.

The commutes to work will be longer and harder. Sales taxes locally will be the only way to shore up the city coffers.

The flipside is the gentrification of Springfield. The only people who will stay will be those that can afford it. But I have bad news. More than two-thirds of the population of Springfield earns less than ten dollars per hour.

Allegedly local business owners have influence with local politicians. Did they influence local politicians into keeping past utility rates too low? Do the majority of these local business owners actually live within the Springfield city limits?

If the majority of the local business owners reside elsewhere, they might be inclined to think they will suffer no long-term consequences for dangerously low utility rates and city taxes. They can pull up stakes and move elsewhere, that's why most of them only lease the property upon which they do business.

Except for farming, SPFLD's well of commerce is drying up, my friends.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I saw someone throw trash out their car window.

2:00 PM Friday march 28, 2008
I saw a Brown Rusty Chevy Caprice Classic, License Plate # X89 1660 heading west on Stanford with two male occupants. When they reached the Wabash-MacArthur intersection, the passenger threw trash out the window over the top of the car. A Brown paper bag (contents unknown), and something like a little white plastic cup (probably for dipping sauce)were the projectiles.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Brain Flight from SPFLD

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Springfield, I thought it would be easier to get a job here. I have BA and AAS degrees, you would think those would be easy-ins for me here, but that wasn't true.

I wound up working for a temp agency that placed me in a minimum wage clerical position. When I finally was hired in a real job that matched my skill level, it was a company based in another state that hired me for a local position.

At first I couldn't figure out why I was having so much difficulty. I didn't want to leave the state, but I was getting close to deciding that I didn't have a choice but to leave for a bigger city. It wasn't until I began to think about what these employers in Springfield were thinking when they received my resume, then it dawned on me they must be thinking "Why on God's green earth is a college graduate applying for a job in Springfield of all places?"

Employers here must be so used to seeing their own children and their childrens' friends planning on leaving town after graduating and only coming back to visit on holidays and funerals, that there must be something wrong with someone who has two college degrees applying for a job in Springfield.

So, now I work in Springfield for a business from out-of-state where the profits leave the state instead of the highly qualified employees. Oh, the irony... and morons.

Friday, February 29, 2008

City of Springfield

Springfield, Illinois: Where all of the effort goes into getting the job, not doing the job.

(This slogan is not copywrite protected. I encourange anyone to make T-Shirts and Bumper Stickers)

Did you know that nearly all jobs in Springfield that are salaried or pay over $10 per hour are taken by people who do not live in Springfield? They either get the job and immediately move out of town, or live in the same town where their boss lives (obviously going to the same church) so they get the job easier.

And now we are seeing the consequences of this. People who are working in Springfield, don't really care about Springfield's infrastructure because they don't live here, i.e. lack of patronage at local upscale restaurants, the fairgrounds electrical mess, City water Light and Power, street problems and lackluster police work.

Time to pass a law that states: If you work in Springfield, you must live in Springfield. This would clear up the rush-hour traffic issues, among many other issues.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Moon Unit

Well, I spent some time away from the idiot box last night. Stood out in the cold with my camera.
Lunar Eclipse

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun with Google Maps

I'm having too much fun with Google Maps.

I'm collecting crime info and posting it on Google Maps. You can see the map if you visit and click on Crime Map (when you reach the menu page.)

An interesting pattern is emerging.

I try to keep it updated daily with information I read about in the paper.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


The truth about the subprime mortgage industry

I’m sure you heard about being able to get loans with bad credit. It was all the rage after the Enron and Worldcom scandals. The banks and money lenders were getting paid anyway, if not by the people who borrowed the money, then by the tax payers.

Does anyone remember the Lincoln Savings and Loan Scandal? Remember Senator John McCain’s involvement in that? That little steaming nugget will be dredged up soon enough; it’s not the story right now.

Lending money to people who are known not to afford it has been reported in the news as a “disaster”, reported as a “mistake,” and journalists and pundits alike have been scratching their heads wondering why it was done. Why were all those poor people allowed to borrow money they couldn’t pay back? What were those bankers thinking? Were they stupid?

No. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were investing in living, breathing people who would be forced to sweat and toil to pay them back, plus interest of course, as long as they lived, and if they didn’t, it would be their children’s burden.

It’s like switching investments from stocks to bonds or gold during hard-times. You can switch your investments from manufactured commodities to entire living, breathing families to pay you back, because it’s the law.

Another word for it is indentured servitude. If you have a credit card, a mortgage, a car loan, or are mandated by your state to get car insurance, or you pay rent, you qualify as an indentured servant if your expenses exceed your savings.

Debt Equity is the possession of the living breathing entity (in this case, multiple generations of families) that pays the money, not the money itself.

Banks and other lenders can track you down anywhere in the country with the help of their police (you don’t have any police.) because you need money to try and emulate the so-called “American Dream” as taught in public schools. As comedian George Carlin said “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

This is the dirty little secret of the “free market economy” that republicans desire so much. They keep complaining that regulations are keeping down the power of the free market. Regulations are the products of lessons learned from deaths and disasters. Just pick up a book by John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, or Mark Twain and you can read about what it was like when the economy was really free.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


We'll be celebrating Charles Darwin's birthday at the Pasta House this Sunday night at 6. For details and a flier, visit

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Insurance Industry

I’m tired of reading complaints about being forced by the state to wear helmets and/or seatbelts. I’m tired of reading about the smoking ban too. All these regulations are supported by lobbyists for the insurance industry because it translates into lower costs for them.

Did the new-found savings to the insurance industry translate into lower insurance premiums for consumers? This is a question you can only answer for yourself by looking at your old statements, and listening to them boast about their vast holdings. I think you may become outraged.

Have you heard of the Flood Insurance Modernization Project? The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is collecting survey information of rivers and lakes that flood in the state.

This information will show the location and size of previously flooded areas in the state, and will determine whether or not future government Funds will go toward projects within those areas.

Do you live in a flood area? Maybe they think you do. Does your insurance company think you do? Did your home insurance change recently? Are you covered for any kind of water damage anymore? You might want to make sure the status of your farmland hasn’t changed also.

Just like everything else, the industrialists can once again say GOTCHA SUCKA! And they got the government they hate so much, to once again do it for them.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The evolving perception of media power

Media Matters ( has once again launched a campaign to squelch media pundit Chris Matthews of NBC’s cable network MSNBC for expressing his negative opinion about Senator Hillary Clinton while under the sheep’s clothing of objective journalism.

Broadcast television before Cable was so limited by time that they only had room for straight news. Through this limited capability, journalism was given its reputation.

Suddenly, cable television had so many channels that it didn’t know what to do with them so they invited experienced talent from talk radio. Talk radio talent was a good choice because now the cable news networks had to fill twenty four hours a day.

The old guard television news anchors held a firm grip on their reputations while they had a limited amount of time, but they soon faced competition from their inflammatory talk-radio-to-television-gatecrashers.

The public perception is that what was once considered straight news has now become stained by opinion journalism. The truth is that most information is biased. All news was only covered by one perspective, that which was allowed by the gatekeepers.

We live in an era now where we must understand that an opinion is an opinion, and we can sit back and say “Well, he has his opinion and that’s okay.” A few years ago, during the period between the invention of cable and the birth of the Internet, most of us would still have a problem with that statement.

Today, I have my own media outlet. In fact, I have at least eight. If there was a topic that interested me, I would look it up, find as many differing positions as I could on it, and decide for myself. If it’s interesting enough I might write about it?

So who gives a rat’s ass about Chris Matthews or what he’s saying about Hillary?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things are getting desperate

How do we know things are getting desperate?
  • $12.50 for lunch at the Sunrise Cafe.
  • Snooty comments like "Some people think they own the whole world." from people who work at the Bean Counter.
  • Asking for a ten megapixel camera at Circuit City and getting sold a six instead, and with the wrong type of memory card. Now they can't sell my mother a digital camera because they don't have it in stock, nor do they have it at the warehouse.
  • Ridiculously overpriced green bell peppers at County Market that are now rotting.
  • Schnooks doesn't even have space on their shelves for #1 small coffee filters.

Now with the city paying up on it's civil rights violations, things are really going to get stinky. But apparently not stinky enough to prevent the creation of a brand new job at the Lincoln Library on 7Th and Capitol.

The librarians were so suddenly surprised by the brand new job that they didn't have time to apply for it. The position was already filled!

The risk assessment for the position is that there appears to be a potential for Repetitive Motion Injury due to computer mouse clicking at Solitaire.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Since the State Journal Register turned off its comments for the story
"Girlfriend: No warning from policeSays boyfriend always shoots for New Year’s" for obvious reasons, I'll comment here: The combined comments of both police and girlfriend result in the conclusion of "Ambush."

"Several officers in the area at the time “heard a number of gunshots being
fired,” police said, and upon investigation found
Wells armed with a handgun."

“When he went out, (his gun) went Pow! Pow! Pow! [And then I
] Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! And then I heard him say, ‘They
shooting at me!’ and I heard the back door opening. He said, ‘They shot me!’
And, bam, he hit the floor,” Stapleton recalled Wednesday."

This has to go down in the record books as the fastest investigation in the entire history of the world.