Gay Patriot Header Image

Of Chapter Twelve & the Basque Language

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:40 pm - March 19, 2013.
Filed under: Blogging,Random Thoughts,Writing

It seems that on one day for each of the past six or seven weeks, I have become convinced that I will return to my old dissertation return and start blogging more. I’ll scribble some notes, as I did yesterday, for a few blog posts, save a few links and consider a few titles.

But, then, I’ll find as soon as I start writing, the words that come out are not those for the blog, but from the novel. I’ve been sensing for a couple months now that I’ll have to devote even more time to the book than I have since I started writing seriously in December — and realized that this weekend when I, having committed to sharing Chapter Twelve with a friend who was coming over at 3:30 Sunday afternoon, devoted nearly every minute of my free time to editing that chapter, wanting to get it right even as I knew I’d have to revise it yet again when I finish the first draft of the book.

And starting tonight, I expect to begin my studies of the Basque language, given its similarities to Old Dwarvish. In short, I am just not finding the time to blog as I had hoped I would. I am beginning to wonder if this is more draining than writing a dissertation because it involves more creative energy. And if it takes more out of me when I dip into my own memory to pull out images and ideas which have been simmering there since even before I began graduate school. I made my first stab at writing this six months before I submitted my application.

It’s not so much that I’ve forgotten about politics, but perhaps that I recognize that politics is not the be-all and the end-all. It is not the reason for living, but for creating an environment where we can live freely and in (relative) harmony with our fellows.

Don’t Blame Me, I voted for Meg Whitman

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:24 pm - March 19, 2013.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,California politics

California now leads nation in unemployment at 9.8 percent:

California Democrats now control every statewide elective office and have veto proof majorities in both chambers of the state legislators. They passed a $6 billion tax hike last November and the state’s carbon cap and trade and renewable electricity mandates are now being implemented. No state that has embraced the progressive policy vision more than California.

There is just one problem: California now leads the nation in unemployment.

Unclear on the Concept: the Pew Media Study

Monday morning, I woke up to an NPR summary of the latest Pew “State of the Media Study.”  Even in my half-awake state, what I heard seemed like the musings of leftists trying to explain why their favorite program is failing to accomplish anything worthwhile.  So when I got a chance, I decided to look into the matter further, and then I came across this article at the Huffington Post.    The headline there tells us all we need to know about the insularity of the folks who worked on the Pew media study.  It reads, “Pew State Of The Media Study: Journalism Cutbacks Are Driving Consumers Away.”

Let’s examine the opening paragraphs of the Huffington Post article in more detail.  The story begins:

Years of newsroom cutbacks have had a demonstrable impact on the quality of digital, newspaper and television news and in how consumers view that work, a study released Monday found.

Nearly one-third of consumers surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism said they have abandoned a news outlet because it no longer gave them what they had counted on, either with fewer or less complete stories.

Pew’s annual State of the News Media report delivered what has become a common litany of grim business statistics. Television news viewership is down. Newsroom employment at newspapers is down 30 percent since a peak in 2000 and has gone below 40,000 people for the first time since 1978. Newsweek shut its print edition and Time magazine is cutting staff.

“These cutbacks are real,” said Amy Mitchell, the project’s acting director. “And based on the data that we’ve collected, they are having an effect.”

Government coverage on local television news has been cut in half since 2005, the study said. Sports, weather and traffic now account for 40 percent of the content on these broadcasts; yet that’s just the sort of information readily available elsewhere. That’s a recipe for future erosion, Mitchell said.

So if we believe Pew, the media are failing primarily because of “newsroom cutbacks,” and that has put the media into a vicious cycle of shortages and decline.  Evidently, none of the folks at Pew thought to ask what caused the “newsroom cutbacks” in the first place.

Here’s a hint:  it wasn’t simply the economy.   Decades of biased coverage, selective reporting, agenda-driven campaigns, and the refusal to hold corrupt and cynical politicians accountable have taken their toll.  People aren’t buying what the press is trying to sell.  When was the last time anyone in the lamestream press asked an entrenched politician questions like these?

Lest you think I’m being too harsh on the insularity of the folks who worked on the Pew study, consider these additional facts.  It came as news to them that MSNBC is “almost entirely dominated by opinion.”  One wonders where they have been hiding during the last eight years.

But wait, it gets better.  Pew was also surprised to learn that “It’s getting harder to distinguish CNN from its more ideological cable news rivals,” according to another report about the study.   Newsflash to Pew:  CNN has been highly ideological for at least a decade now. And while the folks at Pew were busy putting the finishing touches on the study, Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow went off the rails in their sympathy for the high school football players convicted of rape in an Ohio courtroom.

Yet somehow, the folks at Pew somehow still want us to believe that viewers and readers are tuning out the media because cutbacks are placing limits on the ability of the press to cover stories adequately.

GOP Reaches Out to Gays

From the Shark Tank:

This past weekend, Congressman Trey Radel was the latest to joined the growing choir of Republican supporters for inclusion of gays into the Republican fold. Radel stated that he did not care what sexual orientation a person was, as long as they stood by conservative values and principles…

Although I do not confuse outreach to gays with support for gay marriage (and neither should you), this news is interesting for coming on the heels of shifts in public Republican support for gay marriage, such as Senator Portman’s. Also, Radel’s outreach fits well with the founding principles of GOProud.

(Note to Gay Left commentors: This post is Jeff talking, not Bruce or Dan. I’m a current Independent and former Democrat; never been a Republican, though I have some Republican friends. The tired remarks about gay Republicans that some of you may now want to utter will not hurt me; only make me roll my eyes. 😉 )