Entries from June 2009 ↓

What Bill of rights? (II)

The LA Times published an interview with the Speaker of the California Assembly last Saturday. One response with from her is particularly telling:

How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Again we see a Democrat who does not understand democracy. She refers to free speech as terrorism. More importantly, she does not even understand that what she is actually bemoaning is the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. That means if we don’t like the government raising our taxes, we are constitutionally protected when we contact our legislators and tell them we will not vote for them if they raise those taxes.

We are in danger of losing our freedoms when people like California’s Speaker keep getting put back into office. Thankfully, she is up against a term limit and cannot be re-elected next year. This is why term limits are necessary.

(Hat tip: Hot Air)

Children make life worth living

Baileyluvudaddy

What Bill of Rights?

This afternoon I was talking with someone about faith and work. I told him I thought this was an interesting time in our country. I see Catholics and Christians in general being more vocal about their faith and their right to participate in the public sphere. At the same time, I see more opposition than ever against people of faith in this country, specifically Christian faith.

I considered that a bit more and realized that trend of Christians being more outspoken is in response to the trend of trying to deny Christians their right to participate in public affairs. I found the proof of that a few hours later. The state of Connecticut has taken the lead in trying to disenfranchise Catholics. Earlier this year some Connecticut legislators introduced a bill to force the Catholic church, and only the Catholic church, to change its organizational structure. The bill was unconstitutional as the first amendment prohibits government from interfering with the exercise of religion. A state mandating the organizational structure of a church is so obviously the exact kind of interference that the first amendment prohibits that the sponsors were forced to withdraw the bill after attention was drawn to it. The archdiocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut was instrumental in leading the opposition.

Not content to just violate one clause of the first amendment, the state of Connecticut has upped the ante. Its Office of State Ethics has launched an investigation into the archdiocese’s actions in opposing the unconstitutional bill last March. The government claims that the archdiocese acted as a lobbying organization for higher buses to take people to protests and using its web site to encourage church members to contact their legislators about the bill. The government is claiming the archdiocese was required to register as a lobbying organization.

Bridgeport’s Archbishop William Lori calls the investigation a violation of the first amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. I says that it is also a violation of the right to petition the government. Requiring people or organizations to register as lobbyists, especially when they are targets of proposed legislation prohibits those organizations from exercising their right of petition.

Who would have thought that in 2009 there would be overt government action in this country to suppress a churchi? Yes, Christians are being more vocal because they must if they want to preserve their own rights.

I’ve bought my last EA game.

Last week about protesters demonstrated in front of the Electronic Entertainment Expo against the release of Electronic Arts video game Dante’s Inferno.

The protesters, who came from a church in Ventura County, held signs with slogans such as “trade in your playstation for a praystation” and “EA = anti-Christ” as they marched and handed out a homemade brochure that warns, “a video game hero does not have the authority to save and damn… ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE. and he will not judge the sinners who play this game kindly.”

See? Those crazy Christians are radicals. They get all offended over a video game. No reason to take them seriously. In fact, you should go out and buy this video game just to show them how backward their beliefs are.

But wait a minute. Yesterday, EA revealed that they were behind the protest. They hired a marketing company to create a viral marketing campaign. They even created a tacky web site and paid the E3 protesters to pose as Christians and act outraged.

I can’t help but notice that there was so little concern from Christians over this game that EA had to manufacture the fake outrage. Religious bigotry has come so far that one of the largest video game producers embraces it as a tactic to sell video games. But how backward is that?

Christians are a huge market segment in this country. Why not embrace them? Dante’s inferno uses the most famous Christian epic poem in history for its inspiration. The idea of the video game is to battle and defeat demons. Sure, the game will not have much theological value, but the idea of defeating evil is one that appeals to Christians. Instead of making Christians into villains to exploit, EA should view them as potential buyers. EA has shown me what they actually think of Christians and it isn’t a good picture.

Today’s Tweak

Today’s Tweak Today mission is: Upload a photo of yourself holding an imaginary object. Now download another Tweaker’s photo and draw an object into the scene. Upload the composite!

I opted to put up a photo of Bailey. Here’s the before:

Holding something imaginary

Holding something imaginary

Fellow Tweaker leopicado came up with a cute one.

Look at the future Dancing Queen!

Look at the future Dancing Queen!

Yeah, I think it fits her. Thanks Leo.

Update: A second entry

An entry from sydtheskeptic

An entry from sydtheskeptic

Good one Syd.

Newspapers: “We’re not dead yet.”

When I see stories about the newspaper industry trying to save itself, I picture the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail were a man is walking down the street of a plague-stricken town with cart, hitting a small cymbal and yelling, “Bring out yer dead.” One man tries to put a body on the cart but the man over his shoulder says, “I’m not dead.” That not-quite-dead man is the newspapers.

The increasingly fast decline of the newspaper business is the clearest sign of how rapidly technology is changing and how it changes business.

Last week, newspaper executives colluded, er, met in Chicago and came up with a strategy to keep the industry alive. Here are their “five doctrines.”

  • True Value. Establish that news content online has value by charging for it. Begin “massive experimentation with several of the most promising options.”
  • Fair Use. Maintain the value of professionally produced and edited content by “aggressively enforcing copyright, fair use and the right to profit from original work.”
  • Fair Share. Negotiate a higher price for content produced by the news industry that is aggregated and redistributed by others.
  • Digital Deliverance. “Invest in technologies, platforms and systems that provide content-based e-commerce, data-sharing and other revenue generating solutions.”
  • Consumer Centric. Refocus on consumers and users. Shift revenue strategies from those focused on advertisers.

Problem is, they are starting with the wrong premise. The newspapers aren’t loosing readers only because the content is free online. The problem is that the newspapers publish yesterday’s news. That makes it even less valuable.

We subscribe to the newspaper for one reason. Coupons. We don’t read any of it. By the time I get the paper in the morning, I’ve already seen the news online. My wife is the coupon queen. We currently save more money with the coupons than we do on the subscription price for the paper. That may soon change.

Lately, we have been getting the grocery store weekly circular in the mail. Not much need to pay to get it again. And last Sunday, there was no coupon section in our paper. There are also now plenty of places to get grocery coupons…online.

On top of all that, newspaper publishing is just not economical. Business Insider figures that the NY Times could save money by giving every subscriber a free Amazon Kindle rather than deliver a printed version for a year. Printing newspapers is not a viable business model in the electronic age. They are going the way of the Dodo and the 8-track tape.

Update:
Just found this via HotAir:
Teamsters threaten to shut down Star Tribune

I hope someone tells the Teamsters that a vote to strike is a vote to lose their jobs. Talk about biting your nose to spite your face. The labor and distribution costs are exactly why the newspaper business is not sustainable. The Teamsters are only helping to speed up the process killing an industry.