Most people in Gaithersburg don’t realize the city will hold an election this fall, says Mayor Jud Ashman, at least not until he tells them. That’s the mayor’s finding after knocking on many residents’ doors. Continue reading
Mary Corey, leader of The Baltimore Sun newsroom, died Tuesday of breast cancer. She was 49.
Ms. Corey had worked at the newspaper since graduating from college. She rose through the ranks as a reporter and editor. In 2010, she was appointed to the newspaper’s top editorial position, directing both print and online editions.
An obituary may be found in today’s editions of The Sun.
Note: An interesting discussion — mostly about mental health issues — follows this brief post.
It’s nearly a week now since the tragic shooting and loss of innocent life in Connecticut. Like many, I’m hesitant to write about this most recent mass murder out of respect for the families, and because so much information is unknown.
Two observations stand out, however, regarding television news coverage:
First, a great deal of speculation has been aired about mental illness. Never before have the words “autism“ and “Asperger’s” been spoken so often on television in such a short time. It’s probably misleading to even classify autism and Asperger’s as mental illnesses, at least not without clarification. They certainly should not be associated with conditions such as Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I’d wager that many people are hearing about Asperger’s Syndrome for the first time, and half-baked information is apt to create an undeserved stigma for both autism and Asperger’s. Continue reading
So, does this reporter win a Pulitizer, or what?
You want to know what an obsolete bachelor’s degree feels like? Long time ago, as part of my journalism major at University of Maryland, I took a class on news photography. Although 135 mm film and Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras were state of the art in the 1960s, the journalism class provided us with older Yashika Mat cameras.
Today, I unboxed the very latest Canon digital camera. It can make an amateur photographer like me feel like a pro! Photography has come a long, long, way since I took that class.
Here’s the shadow side of cable TV news:
“Where was Obama tonight? He should watch — well, not just ‘Hardball,’ Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O’Donnell], he would learn something about this debate. There’s a hot debate going on in this country. Do you know where it’s being held? Here on this network is where we’re having the debate. We have our knives out. We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed.”
That was Chris Matthews on the MSNBC post-game party after the Obama-Romney debate Wednesday night. Continue reading
Being “Freshly Pressed” is the best thing that can happen to a blogger, short of going viral. (But it doesn’t put you in a class with Adrianna Huffington or Matt Drudge.) Human beings thrive on recognition and affirmation.
Freshly Pressed focused my attention. It prompted some overdue housekeeping around the blog, clean-up and improvements that are hopefully invisible to the reader.
It also reminded me of the largeness of the digital world. One little blog is like a star in a galaxy, or sand on a beach. Though insignificant in the grand scheme of things, one blog can shine light in the darkness, or — like a grain of sand — irritate the complacent and powerful.
UPDATE QUEBEC: One man was killed and another injured in a shooting outside a victory celebration for Pauline Marois, the Associated Press is reporting. Ms. Marois, leader of Parti Quebecois, was not injured. Police arrested a 62-year-old businessman, who will be charged today.
The MSM is definitely irrelevant!
They held an election in Quebec this week, and the Parti Quebecois won with 33 percent of the vote, enough to form a coalition government and run the province. The only reason I know all this is because of a post and a thread of comments on Clarissa’s Blog. Blogging beats MSM, again.
Seems to me the Quebec election ought to be newsworthy in America, if only because the Parti Quebecois allegedly advocates separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. Possibly many U.S. citizens would need a map to find Quebec, or even Canada. Hint: Canada spans the continent from Atlantic to Pacific, directly north of the U.S.
Hard for me to say how serious Parti Quebecois is about separation, since the myopic U.S. media totally ignored the election. The consensus appears to be: It ain’t going to happen. Howsoever, the French-Canadian party apparently has some interesting positions, not limited to preservation of the French language. Their platform makes many Canadians downright distraught. Continue reading
The beautiful people on CNBC, the Wall Street propaganda channel, chat happily about how high stocks might fly, and the price of gold and oil. It’s surreal.
Even as they talk, the economy of the Western world is teetering on the edge of chaos. Students protest daily in the capitals of Europe against draconian austerity plans designed to screw the middle class and working class, and especially the younger generations. European governments seem intent on staving off default by cutting deeply into funding for education, arts and humanities. As you can see, ConsterNation is an international state of mind.
You need direct European sources to keep up with events over there. For instance, news and photos of the book protests in Rome can be found at this Italian blog by Italian novelists. If you can read Italian, you could look at their main blog.
Baroque in Hackney reports that students in London will mount a similar protest on Thursday. Ms. B even provides the address where you can go on Tuesday to help make life-sized books for the demonstration, if you happen to be in London. If not, there’s plenty of time to get there by Thursday. It’s a small world, so they tell me.
“With Arts and Humanities a particular target for UK cuts this is a literal display of literary resistance.” — Ms. B
For more inside information (and videos) from the U.K., you could look at Coalition of Resistance.
Until recently, the U.S. cable channels had been reporting on the debt crises in Greece and Ireland. But as the contagion threatens to spread throughout the southern half of Europe, coverage in the U.S. has all but disappeared. You’ll not likely see film or photos of protests in Europe on CNBC, or any other news channel.
Could the U.S. news blackout on European protests be a conspiracy to keep Americans from knowing the extent of economic turmoil, at least until after the Christmas shopping season? When did I become so cynical? Maybe the news blackout is to prevent protest fever from jumping the Atlantic and infecting U.S. students. Maybe it’s to prevent panic.
Let’s go to the NUMBERS.
Even as the beautiful TV people talk, unemployment in the U.S. is 9.8 percent, officially, and possibly twice that much, in reality. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for their service they will receive a 1.4 percent pay increase, the lowest in many years. The price of gasoline is $2.97 a gallon, where I live, and more than $3, in urban areas. The snow is knee-deep, or higher, in Buffalo, N.Y.; and the temperature is going down to 30 degrees tonight in Orlando, Florida.
And Lily, the golden retriever, has about a one-in-three chance of balancing a dog biscuit on her nose, tossing it in the air, and catching it in her mouth. I had to add the true story about Lily and the dog biscuit for a little comic relief.
No one can predict the future. But let me make a few guesses. The temperature will go up later this week in Florida, and the snow will melt in Buffalo, by late spring.
But across America, it is entirely possible that unemployment will remain above 10 per cent and gasoline will remain above $3. For how long? Forever.
And what will the austerity plan agreed to by the U.S. government and the Wall Street tycoons look like? I will not hazard even a guess.
— John Hayden
- Irish Brace For Strict Austerity Budget (npr.org)
- Three injured as Greek police clash with protesters – Reuters (news.google.com)
- Factbox: Anti-austerity protests around Europe (reuters.com)
- Portugal grounds to a halt in general strike protesting austerity measures (telegraph.co.uk)