Saturday, 18 October 2008

Dear Diary...

Chaser play

A little GIMP art, to emulate a five point chaser.

Below the break, to avoid driving casual readers batty.

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Friday, 17 October 2008


Tacitus tells off Peggy Noonan

...The outrage expressed by your readers hasn’t been incurred because you’ve shifted your support away from the only conservative ticket on the ballot this November.  You’re faced with reader outrage because you’ve expressed the same contempt for your readership that has traditionally been expressed solely by your colleagues on the other side of the aisle regarding conservatives - you extoll conservative virtues with one article and then damn the very candidates who embody those virtues with another, and not due to any substantive reason.  Rather, it’s because those candidates didn’t attend a university with a high enough U.S. News & World Report college ranking and don’t articulate their positions using the same ebullient language found in the stump speeches of Senator Obama.  You’re not sold on Palin or McCain out of lack of substance, but of lack of style...

Related:  Heeeeeere’s Jack M.
Once you were a revolutionary.

Now you're just revolting.

Tacitus link via:  Treacher

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Next weekend...

October Indy Blogmeet
(Art by Roberta X, of course!)

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Joe Sixpack and the Hyde Park set

For the Hyde Park set, Joe Sixpack is a person to pity, look down upon and soothe their “guilt” with offers of “government programs” and “tax credits” that amount to less than a net increase in income of $500 a year. Won't even get his kid braces. The Hyde Park set thinks Joe should have saved more money, got a better education and aborted at least one of his three children in order to be better off economically and live “the American Dream.”

Part of the Hyde Park set's problem is that they... really haven’t got a clue about Joe’s contribution to the economy. They complain about the price of arugala going up. Exactly who does Hyde Park think delivers the arugala to the super market?

What Joe Sixpack wants isn't more government hand outs. Joe Sixpack wants the economy to pick back up so he can deliver more arugala and make his own money. He wants the price of oil, thus, diesel fuel, to go down and stay down. Joe Sixpack has been around for awhile and he he has about as much faith in “alternative energy” vehicles as he does the government. There isn’t one yet that can pull a load of arugala over the Rockies. He sure doesn't have much faith in the government and the only thing he wants from the Hyde Park, arugala eating set is for them to open their wallets and buy more arugala.

Joe will be happy eating iceberg lettuce as long as he’s making enough money to pay the bills and get the kid some braces. And, he will live in the trailer and eat iceberg while he plans for a future where he might own a small fleet of trucks, maybe five or ten, where he’s delivering arugala two or three or ten times a day and his small business is making over $250,000 a year.

Joe Sixpack doesn't need a business degree from Wharton to know that any time the government is talking about raising taxes on anybody while simultaneously talking about increased spending, Joe is going to get screwed. Some candidate can give Joe a tax break that nets him $500 a year more in spendable income, but he's going to end up losing a couple thousand in the long run because companies paying higher taxes aren’t going to be buying as much product and are going to raise the prices on the stuff that Joe buys.

What's that $500 going to do for Joe Sixpack then?
And that’s just a sample. Read the whole thing.

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In Passing

Throwing ACORN under the bus...

Well, now I believe I’ve seen everything. From the comments to this post at Jake Tapper’s ABC blog (where a different commenter accused him of racism for quoting Ice Cube in the post title), comes this:


The BBC did a really good piece on the truth about ACORN saying that:




Posted by: Kellie | Oct 13, 2008 12:00:14 PM
A search of the BBC site didn’t yield any result resembling this story, but plugging "acorn “smoke screen” Republican" into Google turned up a bunch of links to lefty sites that variously claimed the Republicans are using the ACORN issue to
...create a smoke-screen to mask their [the Republicans'] larger drive to suppress Democratic voters across America
As an excuse for
new photo ID restrictions at the polls
a useful scapegoat for Republican culpability in the current financial meltdown
And, again
to distract the media from the voter disenfranchisement that the GOP is busy quietly instigating.
(All of which, by the way, cast ACORN as a well-meaning, innocent victim of Republican machinations.)

But, alas, no “ACORN is really a secret Republican plot.”  At least, not yet.

That must be tomorrow’s talking point. 

Tomorrow:  When the rising uproar over ACORN’s fraud makes its links to the Obama campaign a damaging liability.  When the Obama campaign decides to throw ACORN under the bus.

HT: “Slublog” (at Ace), for pointing me to the Tapper post.

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Thursday, 16 October 2008


No pie for you!

Sighted at Ace:
No pie for you!
Oh noes!  (Hi, Pixy!)

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008


More cat tales

Previously:  Some cat tales

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In Passing

Writing genre fiction can be liberating

Because I can[1]

...write a 12-book series with a premise that would never get me lunch in New York with a real editor, because it’s not a memoir about growing up a one-legged quadroon whose parents ran a fig plantation in Madagascar and converted the locals to a strange variant of Rosicrucianism that combined Freemasonry and Amway.

[1]  Actually, Lileks can (well, I suppose I could, too), but “I” worked better with the quote...

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The perception is: Your product sucks

Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan:

“The challenge is not really the content.  The challenge is the perception.  If the content were as bad as some of our critics say, listening would have declined precipitously.  It hasn’t. It has fragmented less than almost any form of conventional media.  The problem is, you must deal with the perception problem.”
To be fair (and not take the quote– from Emmis’s second quarter earnings conference call– too far out of context), Smulyan is talking about the perception of big market advertising agencies (“[They]are saying radio’s over.”) and of investors (“...If the [radio] industry is still viable, which we think it is, reaching 260 million people a week, then it's been oversold.”)  Both points are true (or arguably true).
“...Up until this time, there wasn't a perception that the radio industry was sort of dead.”
So why this perception.  What changed?  Dave Wilson:
...Consider the things drawing [consumers] away from free local radio.

Satellite radio offers hundreds more channels than free local radio. Internet radio offers thousands more channels than free local radio.  GPS devices let consumers get traffic and weather information instantly, without having to wait for the next report on free local radio.  And the list goes on.
...Programming is a very significant part of the puzzle, and that the changes that occurred in this area post-1996 have generally resulted in many listeners having a lower opinion of AM/FM radio.

...Local content is important to many, but...far more damaging than less local content, in my view, was the increase in the number of spots broadcasters had to run to pay off the loans they took out to buy up other stations.

...Broadcasters loaded up their schedules with so many spots... that listeners began to perceive that the ratio of spots to desired content was out of balance.

Radio’s collective behavior in this regard was typical of a monopoly...: abusing the consumer in terms of jamming more and more commercials into the mix.
And abused consumers will opt out, given any reasonable opportunity.

So who’s right? Seems to me that the ad agencies (answerable to their clents, and thus strongly aware of the effectiveness of any media they use) and the investors (any of whom can judge the quality of radio’s product simply by tuning in) have (re)discovered two things: Too many spots make each one less effective.  And, lousy programming makes people tune out.  Truths, not “perception.”

For Smulyan to say that “the challenge is not really content” is, shall we say, naïve?  Because content, far more than handwaving, statistics, or political action, does influence perception.  And for radio, right now, the perception seems to be, “your product sucks.”

Indianapolis Business Journal:   Embattled Emmis hanging in there
Audio Graphics news:   Radio Industry Needs to Stop Defending Itself
(added 081017) Mark Ramsey:   Radio “Beyond Acceptance”

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Press

While the plural of “anecdote” *isn’t* “data” are a couple:

First, Instapundit gets an email:

“Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true.  We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona.  Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae.  Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others.  People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into Obama is derided or flat out ignored.  The fix is in, and its working.”
Now, via Slublog:
“It’s unbelievable here.  I’ve been through a few election cycles and have gotten pretty used to the open sneering every time a Republican candidate appears on the television, but this year is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

“Anchors were openly cheering when the news came out that Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant.  Some of the comments were so over-the-top childish and nasty that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  They're obsessed with her.  They hate her even more than they hated Bush.  And they all talk openly about how “stupid” and “unqualified” she is...

“...The average person doesn't understand how obnoxiously left wing the average local newsroom staffer is.  The nightly newscasts they’re watching every night are being put together by producers who have nothing but disdain for the people watching.

“The irony is that these people are for the most part, some of the most ignorant, unimpressive individuals that you'll ever meet.  They know next to nothing.  They have no expertise in any area...

“ But they do think they’re both smarter than and superior to you.  Especially those of you who live in rural areas.”

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