Sunday, September 28, 2008
Hi, it's Tim from Pandora;
Today, thanks to the extraordinary support of many Pandora listeners, we took a giant step forward when the House of Representatives supported Pandora and Internet radio and passed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. Now we need your help so that the Senate will pass it also - and quickly... The finish line is in sight!
After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, SoundExchange and the RIAA are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio. The legislation would give us the extra time we need to finalize the deal.
Please call your Senators Monday morning starting at 9:00 (Eastern) and ask them to support the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008.
The person who answers the phone in your Senator's office may ask for the bill number - it's H.R. 7084 (if they ask for a Senate bill number, you can assure them that in this unusual case, the Senate is actually voting on the House bill number).
Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553
Senator Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
If the phone is busy, please try again until you get through. These calls really do make a difference.
Thanks so much for you ongoing support.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The great KOME-FM DJ Dennis Erectus has been hospitalized since having a heart attack almost two years ago, and his friends are trying to put together a collection of his great moments on the air to sell and help pay the bills.
They are asking fans to send any tapes of Dennis's old shows. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some and can help out.
Erectus, was wild and crazier than Howard Stern in the 80s and his shows were like weird Goth plays. They were a highlight on the San Jose radio dial, and helped KOME become a nationally known station.
He was doing overnight engineering at KEZR-FM and was on his way to the station after Thanksgiving dinner, when he had a heart attack, collapsed alone, and lost oxygyn to his brain.
He is beloved in the San Jose and San Francisco radio markets.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Dear Mr. Taxpayer,
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S.congressional leader and the architect of the PALIN / McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to email@example.com so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Minister of Treasury Paulson
Monday, September 22, 2008
I listened to a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking on the radio this weekend by the longest-running syndicated business show host, Bob Brinker, of "Money Talk," who has been broadcasting for two decades.
Brinker was largely blaming the current crash on Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) and President Bill Clinton for a 1999 bill that repealed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented banks from owning other businesses and creating a conflict of interest.
No problem there. Deregulation has allowed bank and money CEOs to play fast and loose with the American people's money, and is now letting them continue to have their jets and mansions, funded by the taxpayers.
But here's my question. I don't recall Brinker complaining about this in 1999 and encouraging his listeners to take action. Nor did I hear the man, who is a market timer, warning his audience to get out of the financials six months or a year ago.
But I admit, I may have missed these things. I'm not a religioius enough listener, so I need your help. Did any of you get warned by Brinker or another analyst to sell before the crash? If so, drop a comment here, so the rest of us can start listening to a prognosticator with a real clue, not just another person with 20-20 hindsight.
Brinker claimed yesterday to run a nonpartison show, but that's a lot of bull. I listened enough over the years to know he was a huge Bush supporter over the past two elections, so clearly his future money vision isn't that great, unless you consider flushing 10 billion a month into an Iraqi toilet a smart move.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I've always suspected that special interests took care of Spitzer....like HE was the ONLY politician using expensive hookers? No way. But he was the one taking on fraud in banks and insurance companies, including AIG.
This great article points out how the Bush administration helped its friends in the banking industry, while avoiding at all costs bailouts for the home buyers who were steered to predatory loans.
And you should have heard Rush Limbaugh today, trying to blame the problem on the Clintons for forcing banks to abandon policies of not lending to minorites!!!! and going too far the other way and making them lend to minorities who couldn't pay the bills.
That blowhard is worse than Hurricane Ike.
You know I listen to way too much commercial radio--so you don't have to. But when you really want to know about something complex, you usually have to turn to the noncommercial dial.
But, with all the talk about AIG's failure and the government bailout, I heard no one, until today, explain what AIG did wrong.
Finally, on Morning Edition, NPR economic expert Adam Davidson explained that the problem was AIG's fairly recent entry into bond default insurance, which it began a decade ago. The gist of it is this 70 trillion industry covers banks when bonds default, called credit default swap.
And unlike, say, when a house burns down and it doesn't mean that all houses in the area burn, when a bond fails, it shakes confidence in bond buyers and many fail together. Thus, AIG, which started this often cloaked level of insurance, takes a big hit.
The global economy is based on banks lending each other money all over the world, and if their insurance policies don't pay off, the system could seize up. That's why the government was compelled to help AIG.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Here is the New York Times' obit
Here is Wired Magazine's
I'm going to go listen to Dark Side of the Moon in his honor. Now there really won't ever be a real Floyd reunion. Sad days indeed.
Anyone have any special Wright memories??
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Here's a great NY Times column about Google's ad monopoly, and it's search to stretch it even further with a Yahoo deal. READ HERE.
The gist of it is that Google gives NO customer service and is arrogant when a customer tries to get help with Ad words or Ad sense or any of its businesses. I know. I've called and emailed to find out why this blog makes zero money, and been rebuffed.
I've been waiting for consumers to rise up and protest, and am glad to see it's happening finally. How about you? Have you cracked the Googleplex's walls and figured how to make your blog live up to the hype of creating riches...or anything??
In my dealings with the company that promises to do no wrong, I've found plenty that is bad. I hope the justice department hears plenty of complaints from others if they agree.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
While right wing rant radio hosts were doing another a pig in a poke and ignoring any issue deeper than fake charges and name-calling, NPR did some remarkable programming for the seventh anniversary of 9/11.
Terry Gross on Fresh Air had a self-proclaimed "conservative Catholic," ret. U.S. Army Col Andrew J. Bacevich talking about foreign policy, with a level of depth and insight you won't find anywhere else.
Now a professor at Boston University, Bacevich lost his son in the Iraq war and has written a potent book: The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.
Hear and read part of it at the link.
Among the points this West Point graduate made were that the move since 1776 of American globalism is less about the spread of freedom than about capitalist expansionism.
"The foreign policy implications of our present- day penchant for consumption and self- indulgence are almost entirely negative," he says.
He also did something you would never hear on reactionary radio: He praised Jimmy Carter for taking a stand during the energy crisis and asking Americans to cut back and be less wasteful and more contemplative about the overuse of resources. For that he was reviled by the right and by Ronald Reagan, who asserted that it was America's role to use whatever it wants, conspicuous consumption be damned. There will always be more, Reagan and his minions asserted. And there was more: more debt, more spending, more passing off the problems to future generations.
A truly refreshing take from a military man who still defines himself as a staunch conservative.
Later, NPR followed up with a report on the West Point class of 2002, the first officers to take charge after 9/11. Fascinating. Simply great radio. A college class on the airwaves.
It was impossible to switch back to the same old stupid talk about pigs and lipstick and really showed the lack of depth on commercial airwaves.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I was blissfully away from the electronic media for three days, perched with the best and the brightest entrepreneurs in the country, at the DEMO conference in San Diego. One of the 72 websites debuted was one that detected spin in the media, www.spinspotter.com, an interesting application that looks at printed media, and supposedly sorts out words that indicate bias.
LIke we need a Web site to do that?? Just turn on the radio, as I did today. It's all spin, lies and videotape.
The lipstick on a pig quote was all I heard about, one of the dumbest chapters in a media world that seems to have no bottom.
For the record, you can see in this story, that the expression "lipstick on a pig" was used by Dick Cheney and John McCain (who used it about Hilary Clinton twice). You could also hear the quotes at www.npr.org "All Things Considered."
BUT what I heard disgustedly today was hosts playing Obama's comments out of context (in fact, his talk has NOTHING to do with Sarah Palin or any woman. He was referring to the Republican party trying to pass off the same old ideas and dressing them up.
Any media member who played that quote without the context before it is at best irresponsible, but more likely just a shill for the Republican party, which has its claws into the broadcast industry nearly 24/7 (and they once called it the liberal media).
Barack Obama called it what it was, another Republican out of context hit piece, like the Swift Boat campaign that turned John Kerry into a coward, and George W Bush, who hid from the Vietnam War, into the President.
Maybe KGO-AM's afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.
Sadly, if he's right, we've become a country of horses asses...and no lipstick is going to fix that.
If only the Republicans could run a country as effectively as they run a smear campaign.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Check this picture, and start the goodbye Sarah clock.
Also, I have a friend who lives very near her in Juneau, who told me that the people there don't care for her much because they are more liberal and because she wants to move the state capital to the larger and more accessible Anchorage.
If that picture is for real....which I guess it is....I don't know what to say. According to reports, Palin's daughter is following in her footsteps. Sarah got married eight months before having her first child.
Finally, we have someone who makes George W. seem classy. And GW makes a lot of us miss Nixon. Sad days indeed. Most peculiar mama.
More Perez Hilton here.
And another Palin post here.
Man, talk radio is going to have a FIELD DAY with her. Maybe McCain IS a genius. No one will notice he's incontinent with her around.
I guess all this really brings one thing home. It's like our parents used to say when we were kids. ANYONE can be president.
This woman is one heartbeat away from it. If McCain won and she ended up the leader of the free world, that would be more outrageous than the most outrageous novel's plot line.
Then again, we have a president who can't pronounce the word NUCLEAR and speaks with a Texas accent even though he was raised and schooled in New England boarding schools. That's pretty ludicrous too.
I should have known. The drug addict Rush Limbaugh blamed the liberal media for his candidate's problems.
It's the same tactic he uses all the time, including when he was being investigated for his drug addiction (remember when he bought hillbilly heroin in a Denny's parking lot?)
Limbaugh blasted the media for ruining the life of Britney, uhh, Bristol Palin, by covering her pregnancy. He also claimed that the media kept hands off the children of Democrats.
He seems to have forgotten his own jokes at Chelsea Clinton's expense, recounted here by Molly Ivins:
On his TV show, early in the Clinton administration, Limbaugh put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, "Did you know there's a White House dog?" Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.
When viewers objected, he claimed, in typical Limbaugh fashion, that the gag was an accident and that without his permission some technician had put up the picture of Chelsea--which I found as disgusting as his original attempt at humor.
And here, courtesy of a great story in Fairness and Accuracy in Media:
LIMBAUGH: "You know the Clintons send Chelsea to the Sidwell Friends private school.... A recent eighth grade class assignment required students to write a paper on 'Why I Feel Guilty Being White". '... My source for this story is CBS News. I am not making it up." (Radio show, quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times, 1/16/94.)
REALITY: When Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called CBS, the network denied running such a story. Ellis Turner, the director of external affairs for Sidwell Friends, told Roeper: "There is no legitimacy to the story that has been circulating.... We're anxious to let people know that this story is not true." The essay topic would be particularly difficult for the 28 percent of the school's student body that is not white.
And today, in the guise of reporting about coverups, he mentioned Al Gore's teenaged son's problem with drugs and driving, and Joe Biden's son's problem with lobbying for the banking industry (he helped pass the worst bankruptcy bill in history, signed by George Bush).
Limbaugh got both of these stories from...duh...the mainstream media.
Monday, September 1, 2008
The last thing I heard Rush Limbaugh talk about last week was what a great job John McCain did in picking unknown Alaska governor Sarah Palin and keeping the pick a big secret.
He was implying, that McCain's campaign was better than Obama's because some press found out about Obama's VP pick a few hours before the message went out in text messages. (Not that McCain knows how to text, or use a computer.)
Anyway, the 17-year-old daughter of this potential VP is five months pregnant and the news broke on Labor Day (no pun intended).
I'm dying to hear what El Rushbo has to say about this one. Any guesses? Will he suddenly celebrate 17-year-old children running out and getting pregnant? Will he praise parents for not teaching about birth control and not supervising their teenagers? Will he claim, as McCain is doing, that the presumptive nominee really knew about the pregnancy when he was picking his vice? Will he claim that family matters should be kept out of the election, as Barack Obama has already said?
You tell me, I'm dying to know.
And what about the rumors that Palin's four-month-old, Trig, is actually Bristol's first born? That was floating around Mr. Bush's Internets Monday....and apparently triggered the Palins to tell the truth about their daughter
My bet? McCain didn't vet her carefully enough, anymore than the Republicans vetted what to do in Iraq, and she will be off the ticket, replaced by either Joe Lieberman or Mitt Romney.
Here's an interesting excerpt from a New York Daily News story about Baby Daddy Levi Johnston.
Besides his hard play on the ice, Levi Johnston was also a bit of a hell-raiser off it - another reason Bristol may have been smitten.
State troopers popped Johnston last year for snagging some king salmon out of season in Moose Lake, records from Alaska wildlife enforcement show. He had to pay $370 bail.
On his MySpace page, Johnston proudly declares: "I'm a fuckin' redneck."
"I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing," he says on the site.
He also warns that if anyone messes with him, "I'll kick ass."
The Web site, before it was removed, appeared not to have been accessed for a year.
On it, he admits to having a girlfriend.
On the part where it asks about children, he wrote, "I don't want kids."
Mark Okeson, the assistant principal at Wasilla High School, told the Chicago Tribune that Bristol started her junior year last fall, in the town where Sarah Palin grew up.
He said Bristol inexplicably transferred to an Anchorage high school midyear, leaving Levi behind.
"I never heard the story why," he said.
All of this would be moot, except for the hypocritical family values crowd, going on about abstention and claiming kids shouldn't be taught about sex. Now, they laud this 17-year-old for keeping her baby.
These are the same folks who think gays shouldnt get married or have kids and conveniently choose to ignore the fact that the Dick Cheney's daughter is gay and has a kid.
Who can blame us for pointing out the hypocrisy?