Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dave Barry reviews 2009

Courtesy Robbie Cooper of UrbanGrounds:

Dave Barry gives his usual recap of the major news events of the year, punctuated with his usual wit.  The first sentence, as it should, nicely sets the stage for the rest of the column:

It was a year of Hope -- at first in the sense of ``I feel hopeful!'' and later in the sense of ``I hope this year ends soon!''

As Robbie did, I particularly enjoyed this excerpt from February's happenings:

Congress passes, without reading it, and without actually finishing writing it, a stimulus package totaling $787 billion. The money is immediately turned over to American taxpayers so they can use it to stimulate the economy.

No! What a crazy idea THAT would be! The money is to be doled out over the next decade or so by members of Congress on projects deemed vital by members of Congress, such as constructing buildings that will be named after members of Congress. This will stimulate the economy by creating millions of jobs, according to estimates provided by the Congressional Estimating Office's Magical Estimating 8-Ball.

Take some time to enjoy the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Proof neither side has a monopoly on hate or compassion

How do you get a whole bunch of people on the left to show how much compassion they really have for other people?  Well, apparently the only thing that has to happen is for Rush Limbaugh to be admitted to a hospital with chest pains.

And then, the rejoicing on the left begins!

I really hate to link to this stuff, but you have to see some of this stuff for yourself if you need convincing.  Plus, I will not quote these comments unedited.

From (sigh...) Democratic Underground:

TheCowsCameHome
Maybe there is a God after all.
(the text of this message was deleted by the poster before I got a chance to quote it)

BlueIdaho
I'll say it...
That fat bastard deserves to drown in his own hatred.

joeunderdog
Seriously folks. Please send sympathy cards to the hospital.
Never has it had to admit such a despicable load of **** onto its wards. Do the other patients get a reduced rate now?

From Twitter:

Bane117 Rush Limbaugh rushed to hospital w/ chest pains. Santa actually listened this year. (link)

netsharc Rush Limbaugh's been hospitalized, God, prove your existence by killing him please?  (link)

23jr Yessssssss!!!!!!!!!! Rush Limbaugh admitted to Honalulu hospital with chest pains.  (link)

Oh, I'm gonna stop there.  This whole thing is just too infuriating.  Stay classy, libs.

And to my readers:  just remember that when the media and the government cry out that the Republicans are spreading hate--and they will--you know that sadly, there appears to be enough hatred to go around.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I guess we won't be seeing Tori Amos at any Tea Parties anytime soon

Courtesy Contact Music through Fox Nation:

Add Tori Amos to the list of celebrities who think they're smarter than Sarah Palin without anything to justify that belief.  Says Ms. Amos, should Mrs. Palin choose to run for office again, then she will run against the former governor.  Quoth Ms. Amos:

If Palin runs again, I'm going to run on a Republican ticket. What I know about Middle Eastern policy could fit on a thumbnail, but I still know more than she does. You have to ask, how could a nation nearly vote in somebody who isn't qualified for the job?

Like I said, Ms. Amos offers no proof to her assertions, but given that Governor Palin has been to the Middle East at least twice and has made numerous statements about events ongoing there, and given that, to the best of my knowledge, Ms. Amos has no qualifications to talk about Middle East policy, it certainly appears to me that Tori Amos is yet another celebrity who is compelled to made statements she can't back up simply because she hates Sarah Palin.


Plus, her chances of winning on a Republican ticket are roughly the same as my chances of winning six gold medals in Vancouver.

An exercise in how NOT to make friends: Time Warner Cable Austin

Let's face it:  Time Warner Cable in Austin has not done a great job of keeping customers happy in recent times.  From the KXAN/LIN TV debacle to the continual removal of channels from non-converter-equipped homes (highlighted by what used to be called KLRU2), Time Warner has developed a habit of cutting services for those not willing to kowtow to Time Warner's demand to rent a converter box for the newly raised price of $7.99 a month.

So you'll understand if I am not surprised by Time Warner's latest staring match, this time with KTBC/Fox.  I don't need to write much about this, as pretty much everyone else has already covered it, from the Statesman to Jim McNabb (who writes much better media-related stuff than I do) to the Austin Business Journal.  Both sides have websites up denigrating the other party.  Fox's website is full of testimonials from people promising to dump Time Warner if they drop Fox, and Time Warner's site proudly states that a vast majority of their 500,000 unique visitors told them to "get tough" with Fox.  (The site does not state whether all 500,000 visitors voted.  I sure didn't.  Mrs. Snowed asked me to click "roll over", and the site's response was "are you sure?"  Nice push-polling, Time Warner.)

(I will point out, and you can see here for confirmation, that I did correctly predict the exact date that the KXAN issue would resolve.  I am not currently making predictions regarding the Fox issue.  I also don't know the winning lotto numbers or whatever else you might want to know; otherwise, I wouldn't be begging people to hit the tip jar.  It's right there on the right of this page, you know...)

So with the potential loss of the Fox stations hanging over their heads, what does Time Warner propose to do next?  Well, first of all, they raised their prices again (my basic went up from 16.95 (my information last year saying 19.95 was erroneous) to 19.99, and I've already mentioned the converter price going up a dollar a month as well), and on top of that, they are back to their old games of moving channels to digital only (see note below).  On the chopping block for those without converters* this time are:  ABC Family, CMT, Oxygen, Style, and TruTV.  No date is given for the changeover.

Yes, I know Time Warner Cable is a business, and I further know that transmitting channels only via their digital package is much more economical for them.  That doesn't mean I have to like how basic/standard cable customers are treated by TWC.  As I've said before, about the only thing keeping me with them is WGN America.  If WGN ever gets pulled, I may finally dump Time Warner, as I've only been threatening for over a year.

But before I forget, there is a silver lining:  Time Warner has heard your agonizing, and to show you their appreciation, do they have a deal for you!  (Warning:  NSFW/language.)

*The page linked says customers can also use a "CableCARD-equipped Unidirectional Digital Cable Product", which, as far as I know, for most people, means absolutely nothing.  Is your set so equipped?  Neither is mine.**

**Of course, non of my sets are even HD-ready.  Have I mentioned I have a tip jar?

Edit: The Time Warner PDF page linked above is updated every so often, and so the channels listed are no longer shown at that link.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas wish for President Obama

Just so you know, I don't want anything bad to happen to people with whom I disagree politically.  I don't want some of their policies to come to fruition, but that's different.  And so, in this holiday season, I hope for our president that he has a blessed Christmas for himself and his family.

And I hope he can get his elf back.



And if you would like to spread the Christmas cheer for others, please visit the Salvation Army and donate.

Donate here!

An open letter to Chris Matthews: Give it up already!

Dear Chris Matthews:

You are obviously getting desperate for something, be it attention, validation, I don't know.  When you aren't experiencing leg tingles, pining after President Obama, or openly musing about the death of a political opponent (in your mind, as he probably couldn't care less), you apparently have some sort of fixation regarding Sarah Palin.  I truly don't understand why seeing her gets you so wee-wee'd up.

But seeing her certainly does have that effect on you, to the point that you are grasping for straws in an attempt (usually futile) to make her look bad.  But, really, critiquing her signature?  Get a grip, sir.  I know you have a remarkable propensity for insulting or generally looking down on conservatives--see, for example, this video in which you badmouth Bobby Jindal before he has even spoken a word:



So maybe I shouldn't be surprised that you are saying things about Sarah Palin such as "She doesn’t write the book, and then she scribbles some indecipherable sign on the book as a signature."  Again, read the story at this link.   While it goes into much more detail, I invite you and anyone else to compare the following two signatures and tell me your thoughts:

 

Maybe it's just me, but one of those signatures does indeed look like an indecipherable sign.  It isn't Sarah Palin's.

Mr. Matthews, have you considered that perhaps looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to go after conservatives has made you appear to be, well, incredibly petty?  Or are you so bitter that this is the only enjoyment you still get out of life?  Either way, I pray that you find peace this holiday season, along with some good old human kindness.

(Via @ChiBarb per this tweet)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sarah kills 'em with kindness (Part 1 of some large number)

Note:  I realize I'm about the 4378th person to post this in the last twelve hours, but I feel a compulsion to post it anyway for the benefit of those people who only read my blog (hi, Dad).

Sarah Palin's unannounced appearance on last night's Tonight Show to give William Shatner a little bit of payback for his readings of her writing was one of the funniest things I have seen in a while (though a lot of Conan's monologue last night had me rolling as well).



The best comment with regard to this video came from Allahpundit:

Somewhere Chris Matthews is watching this and thinking, in all seriousness, “She can read.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why the Travis County Healthcare District couldn't care less what you think

I think I have the Travis County Healthcare District (now called Central Health by some) figured out, or at least their decision to continue to use property taxes to fund abortions regardless of the number of people opposed to using their money to fund a procedure that they find morally repugnant.

A lot of residents are not happy about this; according to KVUE,

One woman produced a stack of over 10 thousand petitions from Travis County residents who were opposed to using taxpayer money to fund abortions -- she reminded the board managers that's twice the number of people who voted for the healthcare district in the first place.

Of course, the unelected board didn't care what people thought, and so they voted unanimously to continue to fund abortions despite the rumblings that they may be in for a legal fight.

But I think I know why this board doesn't care what individual people, in whatever numbers, think about it.

Let's start by looking at the FY2010 budget for the district, or Central Health, or whatever they want to be called.  (Maybe they figure that a nondescript name such as "Central Health" will make people forget they're being taxed to pay for it.)  The total operating budget for the upcoming year is $98,027,945, based on a plan to reduce property taxes to $0.0674 per $100 of property value (which, I'm guessing, will still result in a tax increase due to continually rising appraisals).  The budget set aside for the three abortion providers' contracts is $450,000, or 0.459% of the total budget.

Now let's consider a typical Travis County home.  Per this site, the median home price in Travis County earlier this year was $218,000, so we'll give our typical home that value.  We'll also assume it has a homestead exemption because, well, mine does.  Therefore the taxes for FY2010 that will go toward the healthcare district will be:

$218,000 x 80% (due to the exemption) x ($0.0674 / $100) = $117.55

And thus the amount of money that our typical Travis County homeowner will be putting toward funding abortions is 0.459% of $117.55, or a whopping $0.54.

So, at 54 cents per opinion, even having 10,000 people opposed to abortion doesn't matter to the board.  10,000 votes might matter, but since this board isn't elected, it's moot in this case.  Such is life in deep blue Travis County.

p.s.  Mrs. Snowed would like to be refunded her 54 cents now, thank you very much.

p.p.s.  Though the board doesn't have to answer for this, three Austin City Council members (Randi Shade, Laura Morrison, and Sheryl Cole) may, based on this tweet from Laura Morrison:

(You can get to the Twitpic here.) 

Update 8/11/11:  Trumped by state law, Central Health has reversed this decision.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Palin opines on climate; libs' heads explode

It doesn't take much to set some Palin-haters off, apparently.  All Sarah Palin has to do is to write an op-ed ("Copenhagen's political science", published 9 Dec 2009) for one of those newspapers she allegedly doesn't read (right, haters?) pointing out that valid questions have been raised about whether the cause of global warming is primarily anthropogenic.  (This, of course, refers to the ongoing "Climategate" scandal.)

Governor Palin pulls no punches in stating the almost certain results of this Copenhagen conference:

The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.

She continues, later in the column, on this theme (the links were in the WaPo column webpage, and apparently they copy right over):

President Obama's proposal calls for serious cuts in our own long-term carbon emissions. Meeting such targets would require Congress to pass its cap-and-tax plans, which will result in job losses and higher energy costs (as Obama admitted during the campaign).

This, as one might expect, has caused all sorts of people to crawl out of the woodwork to either defend Mother Earth or slam Sarah Palin, or both.  I'll list a couple of the usual suspects.

For example, Gawker.com, which I truly don't want to link but will anyway, has published a column adopting both prongs of this attack.  Its premise appears to be "the science is settled, and so say people who just might be in a darn good position to benefit in a cap-and-trade-based world economy, though we won't say that, and besides, she's an idiot, so shut up."  With that premise in mind, the columnist (Ravi Somaiya--yeah, I've never heard of him in a discussion of leading climate experts either), presents what is marketed as a total fisking but takes several things out of context, ignores the "Obama admitted' quote entirely, and presents the opinions of other columnists as unquestionable fact.  I'd fisk it back, but time is short.  Maybe later.  Instead, I'll just point out that the column is unreadable as a whole due to the tone of superiority present throughout.  One can almost picture the columnist's nose in the air as he types.

And, of course, Al Gore, whose mansion uses more energy in a month than you probably do in a year, has to defend, well, mostly his own reputation.  In an interview with bastion of objectivity MSNBC, he said, "the deniers are persisting in an era of unreality. The entire North Polar ice cap is disappearing before our eyes ... what do they think is happening?"  This seems to be leaning more toward the insulting Sarah Palin and all those poor misguided souls who agree with her, as the science in his statement is, well, pretty much nonexistent.  When you start your argument with an emotional appeal, you don't exactly have a great foundation.  Add to that the fact Al Gore has returned to his I'm-smarter-than-you tone of voice that worked so well for him during the first presidential debate of 2000, and you have a completely unwatchable interview.  Luckily, it was on MSNBC, and therefore most people missed it.

Now, of course, there are some people who would hate Sarah Palin if she were to discover a cure for cancer, simply because she doesn't fit their mold of a woman to emulate.  However, to use one's hatred for her to discount her point is ridiculous.  For starters, just take a look at some of these brilliant comments at the WaPo column, which have not been edited in any way by me:

mrbwood wrote:
To read from palins mindless followers that she is right on about this point is disgusting. WAPO should be ashamed of it self. go out of business already
12/9/2009 11:01:49 AM

ryan_heart wrote:
Heck, in Alaska, we shot them wild glaciers from helicopters.
12/9/2009 2:25:26 PM

stinejc1 wrote:
Wow, why would anyone let this bimbo post in a legitimate paper? This crap belongs in the Washington Times.
12/9/2009 2:22:15 PM

petersd wrote:
The Washington Post needs to re-examine its editorial policy. Climate change deniers ought not not recognized as legitimate participants in newspaper-born political debates. Their views are marginal at best and dangerous at worst, and the Post ought not give them a forum from which to propagate their delusions.
12/9/2009 1:42:00 PM

I especially like that last one.  Why should we have a debate?  Just shut up.

The only problem with that chilling approach to discussion is that the science is certainly not settled.  For example, see this data-heavy piece that shows how much temperature data has been manipulated to support the AGW theory (hat tip:  Ed Morrissey/HotAir, Conservatives 4 Palin).

So, does Sarah Palin have a valid summation to her column when she says, "The president should boycott Copenhagen"?

You betcha.

And no amount of ad hominem attacks against her will change that.

Edit 12/09:  Sarah Palin has responded to Al Gore in a Facebook note.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sarah Palin charms in Washington, D.C.

Apparently we need a few more Gridiron Club dinner speeches from Sarah Palin to help some more Washington power-players to see her as something other than the stereotype perpetuated by people on both sides of the aisle.  Governor Palin, in keeping with the traditions of the annual dinner, was self-deprecating in most of her remarks, with a few gentle jabs at others, including her audience ("It is good to be here and in front of this audience of leading journalists and intellectuals. Or, as I call it, a death panel.")

According to Don Surber, who covered this a full 2½ days before I did*, the remarks are off the record, so of course a full transcript can now be found via the LA Times at this link.   Her remarks are worth a read; however, some of the comments left at the blog are not worth your time at all.  The blog entry, though (written by Andrew Malcolm), is quite complementary of her showing at the dinner, as can be seen thus:

And she appeared to succeed...[i]t was a refreshingly different look at Palin, who's more often quoted as a media scold and harsh critic of what's-his-name in the White House.


(Hat tip:  Dr. Melissa Clouthier)

* I need some sort of announcer for my site:  "Yes, it's Snowed In, where you can get yesterday's news...tomorrow!"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Travelgate, this isn't

In case it isn't obvious at this point, there are some people who are looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to talk down Sarah Palin and her wildly successful book (one million sold as of today!).  Case in point: the most recent so-called controversy is that Sarah Palin doesn't ride in a bus everywhere she goes, and, horror of horrors, she even stays in hotels.

I could go on about how silly a non-story this is, but someone eminently more qualified to comment on this, namely, Sarah Palin herself, already has done so:

It’s really comical at this point! Despite all of the important events happening in the world today – the president’s speech tonight on the strategy in Afghanistan, the Senate debate over health care reform, the disturbing details of the “Climategate” scandal, the continuing challenges facing the world economy – the media is concerned about my travel and lodging arrangements on my book tour?! Does this sound familiar? It should. The media showed the same out-of-proportion obsession with my personal arrangements, clothes, and hairstyles last year instead of focusing on the crucial issues involving the election.

So what is this news “story”? That I fly on an airplane to complete some of the stops on my book tour when it’s impractical or physically impossible to reach the next event on time by bus. Some news outlets are behaving as if my travel was a secret that they didn’t know about – despite the fact that I’ve tweeted about my flights and at least one local newspaper reported on the arrival of my flight into Rochester, NY. What’s even funnier is that these same media outlets think it’s shocking that we stay in hotels. I guess they expected us to pitch a tent alongside the road. We love the great outdoors, but such an arrangement is hardly practical for a book tour. Using common sense, it was determined that traveling by plane between some stops would save time and energy and allow me to go to more events. Economically speaking for HarperCollins, it’s more efficient to travel by charter, and I am very grateful to the publisher for providing my family and me with this incredible opportunity to shake hands with as many Americans as possible on this book tour.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why my flight and hotel logistics warrant news coverage, join the club. They can, of course, report on whatever they like, but in my opinion CBS loses whatever professional integrity it still has when it links in its report to a website devoted to the bizarre conspiracy theory that I’m not the real mother of my son Trig.

I’m truly humbled by the response to my book tour by everyday Americans, and if traveling by plane means that I can meet more of these wonderful people, I’ll travel by plane (or bus or train or canoe or dog sled or whatever it takes). Please enjoy the photos below!

- Sarah Palin

Gotta go to the link to get the photos.

Of course, some people are never going to take Governor Palin's word for it.  Luckily, there are others to put this lame attempt at a smear on the governor in its proper context, like Josh Painter:

Obamas' Date Night via Air Force One - $56,518.00 per hour (paid for by taxpayers)*

Palin Book Tour leg via Gulfstream jet - $ 4,000.00 per hour (paid for by publisher)

Observing media deny that it is biased - PRICELESS (Media's demise paid for by media)

* Does not include price of second C-17, three C-21A Lear jets, five Helicopters, the Presidential Motorcade, 44 Marines and more than 20 Secret Service personnel on each C-17. Price of NYPD and NY Port Authority overtime pay also not included.

If nothing else, the endurance of this really-not-very-controversial not-controversial-at-all story of Sarah Palin's travels illustrates the obsession some in the media, as well as more than a few bloggers, have with her.  I mean, really, given the tenacity with which such outlets as Entertainment Tonight pursue anything that puts her in a bad light and the way that some people seemingly have personal vendettas against her (you know, people such as "CelticDiva", Andrew Halcro, the recently exposed Jesse Griffin, and, of course, Andrew Sullivan), I would say that the level of obsession has now officially reached "crazy stalker ex-girlfriend" level. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

How NOT to attract customers to your restaurant on Sundays

On Sunday morning, as we usually do, we, the Snowed family, had had a great morning at our church and were walking back to the car.  And what do we find on our windshield but a flyer advertising specials at a nearby restaurant.

Okay, I'm sorry, but I find placing flyers on windshields of cars in church parking lots to be incredibly tacky.  (I don't really care for it the rest of the week, either, but I find this worse.)  Mrs. Snowed came right out and said this made her much less likely to visit this restaurant in the future, and I tend to agree with her.  To me, finding a flyer on my windshield after church is about the same as getting obtrusive sales calls at home during dinner.

But maybe I'm wrong.  Has placing junk advertising on people's windshields while they are at church become an acceptable technique?  Am I being overly sensitive?  Or do you believe this is annoying, if not invasive?

Another Austin radio change: 92.5 FM

The oldies format has returned to Austin's FM airwaves, courtesy 92.5 KXXS.  Less than a month ago, the station switched, along with its simulcast partner, 104.9 KTXX, to sports/ESPN; now, the station has adopted Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel (ending its simulcast with KTXX).

The True Oldies Channel is a satellite-based station which plays songs from the late 50s to the late 70s (see, for example, their recent playlist using this link) and claims to have a much larger library than most terrestrial oldies stations.  Whether that is true remains to be seen, but according to at least one person who has already heard the format here in Austin, nary a human voice has been heard.  (Aside:  I don't necessarily think that constitutes much of a problem, given people's use of iPods and the link, and also given Bob FM's success despite (or because of) their being mostly jockless.

This change to KXXS represents the first real return of the oldies format to Austin, since "Oldies 103" became Bob FM in 2004.  Sure, there have been rather half-baked attempts to bring oldies back to Austin before, such as KITY (whose website still erroneously claims to have a translator in Austin) or Majic 95.5's subchannel, KKMJ-HD2 (which, last I heard, was playing 60s-70s oldies, but I can't verify, as I do not have an HD radio), but KXXS is the first real attempt at an oldies format on FM in Austin.  Oldies 103 consistently pulled top-ten ratings in this market, so this could be a pretty good move for KXXS, though the target audience of oldies may be getting too old for advertisers' tastes.

KXXS has filed with the FCC to move its city of license from Elgin to Sunset Valley; this can only help its penetration in the Austin market.  The oldies format should also be a draw for listeners of stations which have recently switched to all-Christmas music (Majic, The River), and so I would not be surprised to see a major improvement in the ratings for KXXS in the near future.

Update 8/15/11:  People looking for the oldies format should check out 98.9 in the future; see here for details.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2009 Online Red Kettle

Once again, the Salvation Army is allowing for the setup of virtual red kettles for online donations, for those people who are either:  1) done with their shopping; 2) so averse to shopping that they will wait until December 24th to think about entering a store (and if you are related to one of these types, my condolences to you); or 3) those people who prefer to plan out their donations in advance.

So, if you would like to donate through my virtual kettle, you can do so by clicking the kettle below:

Donate here!

Thanks in advance for your donations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Opinion: Tina Brown's analysis of Sarah Palin, followers based on total ignorance

In case you weren't watching MSNBC this morning (yeah, neither was I), Tina Brown appeared on Morning Joe.  Tina Brown, if you don't remember (as I didn't), is apparently some sort of journalist/author/expert-on-everything*; she is apparently also one of the many liberals who thinks they have a unique insight into the minds of conservatives.  (MSNBC seems to attract these types for some reason.)

Anyway, Ms. Brown chose to focus her piercing insight into the minds of people with whom she disagrees on the current very popular book tour of one Sarah Palin.  Apparently Governor Palin and President Obama have quite similar approval ratings, and this just would not stand, and so Ms. Brown stated that Gov. Palin's confidence is based on "total ignorance", and that there was "no substance to any of her arguments."  Video follows:



Let's get this straight, Ms. Brown:  the lion's share of Sarah Palin's popularity is not about hating anyone else.  (I'm not gonna speak for everyone, though Ms. Brown seemingly has no problem doing so.)  Sarah Palin represents the direction in which we would like this country to go:  smaller government (particularly less governmental intrusion into our lives, such as, for example, cap-n-tax, healthcare takeovers, etc.), energy independence using all resources (rather than kneecapping ourselves), and basically allowing business to do what it does quite well on its own, which is to create jobs and resources without the government's help.

And to say that Gov. Palin is not knowledgeable is pretty darn ignorant, to say the least.  Look, for example, here, here, and here for some examples of substance-rich, well-written columns about real issues.

So who's operating out of total ignorance here, Ms. Brown?

*Information from Wikipedia must be taken with the usual several grains of salt.

How NOT to attract customers with your junk fax

As a public service to junk fax spammers, I present the following list of things you shouldn't do if you want to attract customers, based on the incredibly dumb fax I pulled off the machine this morning.

Things Not To Do:

1.  Send junk faxes in the first place.

Well, that seems rather obvious, doesn't it?  I mean, it is possible, if you're clueless enough to put your contact information on your fax, for the recipient to sue you (this site shows how).  But let's assume that you've already decided to send your junk fax and deal with the consequences, of which you are sure there will be none.


2a.  Don't put your contact information on the fax except for a toll-free number, or
2b.  Be located somewhere other than the United States.

This just screams out "I am not to be trusted!" for US customers.  Heck, why not just include a solicitation for me to help you get my long-lost relative's money out of Nigeria?  (Aside:  our company actually did just receive a similar fax.  Apparently e-mail is too advanced for some people...)  Let's face it, there are not a lot of things that most companies need for which they need to contact foreign entities.  And that is particularly true for the service offered in today's offending fax (more on that later).

3.  Use misleading information/make your customer think they'll be getting something for nothing.

What, do some companies just not read their faxes before responding with "Golly gee, that sounds like a great idea!" or something?  Today's offender, yellowpage-texas.com (no link--it's not worth it), is offering, of course, the wonderful opportunity to have our company listed on their website.  And even better:  their offer includes free submission to Google!  Um, yeah, the real Yellow Pages (and AT&T's online site, yellowpages.com) already list us, thanks.  And, actually, so does Google.  And it has for years.

Oh, and I didn't mention:  this wonderful submission to this other non-AT&T-or-any-other-reputable-company-that-I-know-of site costs only $89 per month (!!) for two years.  That's rather hidden in the small print.  So, if someone responded to this and thought it was free, they'd be on the hook for $2,136.

Now, if those three items weren't enough, this last one's way over the top:

4.  Use a blatantly insulting gesture as your logo.

Seriously, what were you thinking?  This company decided it would be great to flip AT&T's traditional Yellow Pages logo (and isn't it still trademarked?) upside-down and assume no one would notice.  Well, first of all, if the two fingers are pointing up, it no longer means that you are letting your fingers do the walking (remember that?  I'm old), but also, in some countries, it is a very insulting gesture

The UK, as anyone who has watched Are You Being Served? knows, is one of the countries in which this gesture is seen as an insult.  And where is yellowpage-texas.com's parent company based?  You guessed it:  Manchester, UK.  I'm quite sure that the owners knew what they were doing:  they were basically flipping the bird to prospective clients and assuming no one would notice.

So, there you have it, junk fax senders.  Happy spamming!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Entertainment Tonight whines: Sarah won't talk to us!

Remember Diane Dimond?  She is probably best known for breaking the Michael Jackson scandals that dogged him for the last 15 years of his life.  She worked on a couple of reputable news networks (or quasi-reputable, in the case of MSNBC) for a while.  But now poor Ms. Dimond has fallen on hard times, apparently, as she is slumming with that bastion of hard news, Entertainment Tonight.

Currently, ET has Ms. Dimond following the Sarah Palin Going Rogue tour.  (Here's the link one more time.  Disclosure:  if you buy using the link, I get money.  So buy it!)  For the past several days, Ms. Dimond has reported on the thousands of people waiting to greet Governor Palin at these stops, and has talked about how much people love her...

...until today, that is.  Today's report featured Ms. Dimond complaining that Sarah Palin is staying away from the media, that she's not talking to them, blah blah blah.  (From there, she went right into saying that Gov. Palin had talked with Barbara Walters, and others, completely destroying her previous point.)

Gee, I don't know...why wouldn't Sarah Palin want to talk to Entertainment Tonight?  Surely it couldn't be because of stories like this one (a story teased multiple times by Ms. Dimond on yesterday's show), could it?

Note:  I have only been watching Entertainment Tonight this week because of Sarah Palin.  So there.

Not another one: is a format flip coming...to 102.3?

Rumors have appeared that Clear Channel may be about to pull the plug on 102.3 the River

The River, which debuted on KPEZ almost four years ago, started out as strictly contemporary Christian, but has added some family-friendly adult contemporary music in recent months/years.  (They were playing Sara Bareilles's "Love Song" over a year ago, I know.)  Mrs. Snowed was a big fan of the River, and I would listen to it occasionally when I wasn't listening to Bob or whatever.  102.3 had a much better signal than the three different much-lower-power stations serving the Austin area with the syndicated "K-Love", and because the River was a commercial station, it wasn't always asking you for donations like Candle 88.  (True story:  someone once related to me that Candle 88, in the midst of what seems to be an ongoing pledge drive, said that if listeners didn't pledge, they were grieving the Holy Spirit.  Yikes...)  So the loss of the River may be a sad development, at least for Mrs. Snowed and other contemporary Christian listeners.

Anyway, what I have heard so far (with no verification whatsoever, so take this for what it's worth) is that 102.3 will go all-Christmas on Thanksgiving Day, and once the holidays are over, so is the River.

I'm sure the loyal listeners of the River will not be thrilled to hear this, but keep in mind that these are just rumors...there were rumors circulating about 105.9 for years before that CC finally dumped its format, so this may turn out to be totally unsubstantiated.  We will see.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Entertainment Tonight Spotlights Palin-Hater

Sure, anyone who has watched Entertainment Tonight recently has seen that they have covered Sarah Palin's book tour.  (Also, anyone who has watched this show in years has my sympathy.  But that's another story entirely.)  Of course, every episode I have seen that showed the Going Rogue book tour (have I mentioned I get paid if you buy through this link?) just had to include clips of Levi Johnston, publicity hound and father of Gov. Palin's grandson.  (Hey, did you know he did a photo shoot for what's essentially a porno mag?  Who freaking cares?)

But their show tonight (19-Nov) appears, at least to me, to show where ET's political leanings lie.  Sure, they spent a couple of minutes highlighting the many, many people who waited to see her today, but they spent most of the show hyping an article about a "new book" that would supposedly shed some light on what Gov. Palin is really like.  The title: The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power.  (If for some strange reason you don't like Palin but frequent my blog--hi Dad--you can click that link to buy the book, and I'll get paid for that link too.)  As far as I'm concerned, spotlighting this book is not equal time (Levi got enough of that this week); this is simply a cheap shot at Sarah Palin during her moment in the sun.

Why do I think it's a cheap shot at her?  For starters, the book doesn't even come out until April.  Secondly--and ET didn't think this was worth mentioning--the author, Geoffrey Dunn, is a frequent contributor to the ultra-left Huffington Post.  This casts a bit of a shadow, at least in my mind, on the idea that this book could display anything resembling impartiality.  I see this book more as a smear job.

And why do I think it's a smear job?  Mr. Dunn has, in recent weeks, had an obsession rivaling that of self-described conservative Andrew Sullivan (no, still no link, Andi) with Sarah Palin.  He has already posted columns on HuffPo detailing so-called lies from Going Rogue that he managed to determine despite not having read the book.  And no, I'm not going to link to them, either.  Instead, I will direct you, dear reader, to Conservatives 4 Palin's takedown of Mr. Dunn on all counts.

So with this kind of track record, what has Mr. Dunn done to deserve a multi-minute spotlight from Entertainment Tonight?  Apparently, the only criteria for getting such attention is not liking Sarah Palin.  Such is the state of our media at present.

KGSR to 93.3; 107.1 to flip to Regional Mexican

Following up on Tuesday's entry:

Emmis Austin announced today that KGSR, currently at 107.1 FM, will move to 93.3, replacing the defunct Hot 93.3, effective tomorrow, 11/20, at 5pm.  This will make KGSR's format available to many more people, since 93.3 broadcasts at twice the power.

In order to help listeners make the transition, KGSR will broadcast on both the 93.3 and 107.1 frequencies for ten days.  Then, on Monday, 11/30, 107.1 will move to a Regional Mexican format, apparently in an attempt to fill the void left by BMP's blowup of multiple stations three weeks ago.

You can read the press release, and more information, at the Statesman's website.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Kos diarist openly plans smear campaign against Palin

Via Conservatives 4 Palin:

Bob Johnson, diarist of no note at Daily Kos, plans to perpetrate an act of defamation/libel under the guise of "satire".  Meh.  Bob Johnson apparently wouldn't know satire if it hit him in the face.

Quoted in full, since, as he freely admits, he's going to try to destroy the evidence without being caught.  (As of now, this entry has already been erased, though C4P has screenshots.)  All emphasis his, including the word "fictional". 

Undercover subversive satire project: Please participate quickly!

Digg this! Share this on Twitter - Undercover subversive satire project: Please participate quickly!Tweet this submit to reddit Share This

Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:25:51 PM PST

NOTE: This diary will self-destruct within the hour. Copy the dialogue box below the fold and post it across the Internet.
BarbinMD's current front pager on Palin's latest idiocy got me thinking about a little payback for Palin's part in promoting the "death panels" nonsense.
By linking to the Politico story on Palin's appearance on Limbaugh's radio show, highlighted in Barb's post with this graph:
Palin painted the race as part of "a clearer and clearer picture that what Americans are seeking – even in a district there in New York – they are seeking common sense conservative solutions to all the problems that we are facing."
... and suggesting the fictional copy block, below, contains the full Palin quote, we will be giving Palin a dose of her own medicine. Most people will read the quote and believe Palin really did say something that inane. And I would love for her to have to refute it the same way she had to refute Tina Fey's "front porch" quote.
PALIN: I think it (NY-23 race) made a clearer and clearer picture that what Americans are seeking – even in a district there in New York – they are seeking common sense conservative solutions to all the problems that we are facing.
LIMBAUGH: What kind of "common sense conservative solutions" are you talking about?
PALIN: You know, Rush, like all these contracts let out willy-nilly under the stimulus package to repave roads and the like that could have gone directly to hard-working Americans who would've been more than happy to pave their own roads like the streets in front of their homes themselves with stuff they could have bought from the Home Depot so we could have not only been repaving the roads but also stimulating our economy by having millions of hard-working Americans, regular Joe Six-Packs, buying paving stuff at Home Depot or their local hardware stores and the like.

Again, please note: Sarah Palin did not say this. This is a lie. This is defamation. This certainly is not satire, as its intent is to mislead.

Please do not let this falsehood become ingrained in culture the way the "I can see Russia from my house" quote (from Tina Fey) has.

Robert Stacy McCain writes so I don't have to

Fellow blogger (a much more well-known one than I am, of course) Robert Stacy McCain describes what he expects the media to do in covering the book tour of Sarah Palin (hey, did you know she has a book out, and did you know I get paid if you buy through this link?) in this American Spectator column.

Salient points, which Mr. McCain fleshes out quite a bit more than I will here:
  1. They (the MSM, that is) will ignore Gov. Palin's popularity (even as people are lining up hours in advance for her book tour events).
  2. They'll focus on the crazies.
  3. They'll postulate that this means that the Republican Party is in trouble.
All this is par for the course for most of the media, I suppose, but we may as well call them out on it.

As an added bonus, Mr. McCain takes a well-deserved shot at self-described conservative (since no one else will still do it) Andrew Sullivan, best known these days as Trig-Truther #1.  Money quote:

We look forward to Andrew Sullivan's next book, Inside Sarah Palin's Uterus: The Most Shocking Scandal Ever.

It's worth a full read.  Check it out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Todd and Don Show" to return

590 KLBJ announced today that the "Todd and Don Show" will return to its lineup.  (Strangely, KLBJ previously had an article on their site announcing this change themselves, but now it's gone, so here's KXAN's article, and here's the Statesman article.)  The show, pulled in July over controversial racial remarks made by Don Pryor, will return to KLBJ's lineup on December 7.

Emmis, owner of KLBJ, issued the following press release:

Earlier today, Hispanic leaders and Emmis Austin Radio management met to discuss cultural sensitivity issues and a commitment to open communications and improved relationships. Emmis Austin Radio presented a plan of action which includes mandatory diversity training for all on-air personalities, producers, and station management, at all six Austin radio stations owned and operated by Emmis. Emmis announced that The Todd and Don Show will return to the KLBJ-AM airwaves on December 7, 2009, with a transformed perspective on community history, expectations and cultural sensitivity. Hispanic leaders were updated on Emmis Austin Radio’s progress in these areas so far, and were assured by Emmis that efforts to better serve the entire Austin community would be ongoing.

Hot 93.3 to flip?

All Access is reporting today that the entire Hot 93.3 air staff has been let go.  The station is currently still running CHR/Rhythmic without jocks, apparently.  No other information has been confirmed as of this date, but unsubstantiated reports are that the station is going to jettison its current format on Friday (I'm already getting hits to this blog entry from people checking into that possibility), possibly in favor of an FM Talk format...

...which makes little to no sense to me, given that we already have FM Talk available via 98.9 KXBT, and also (kinda) via translator K259AJ 99.7 (simulcasting 590 KLBJ).  It also makes little sense given KDHT's top-ten ratings in a tight Austin market.  But I guess we'll see.


(Thanks to tweep @Kent_Ahrens for the tip.)

Update 11/19:  It's not going to be FM Talk.  It's going to be KGSR.

Apparently the media doesn't like Sarah Palin...

(Hey, in case you haven't heard, Sarah Palin has a book coming out today.  There's a link over to the right of this screen.  I'll get a pittance if you buy through it.  If you like me, go for it.  If you don't like me, buy it anyway and have a book-burning or something.)

Just this morning, I've seen several items that appear to have been shown by some MSM outlets to counterbalance the phenomenal sales of Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue.  It's as though they feel that it is their personal mission to try to keep Gov. Palin down, in some sort of attempt to make President Obama look better.  Let's check out a few of them, shall we:

Last night, Naomi Wolf appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live"and, among other things, insisted that Sarah Palin was part of a "cabal" of people carrying water for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove.  Luckily, as NewsBusters reports, there were others to try to speak rationally about the former governor.  (If memory serves, local station KVUE had a Belo-circulated report that showed a different clip in which Ms. Wolf whined that all Governor Palin has been doing has been to "play the victim card", which only speaks to Ms. Wolf's opinion instead of saying anything about Gov. Palin, who, of course, has had a lot to say about policy and other things.  But that doesn't fit Ms. Wolf's skewed perception, does it?)

This morning, ABC's "Good Morning America" showed portions of Barbara Walters's interview with Sarah Palin (and since I haven't seen said interview yet, I'll reserve comment).  And what headline did they tout right along with the Palin interview?  Of course, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that President Obama has an approval rating of 56%, which is miles away from the recent sub-50 ratings he's been pulling.  And there's a good reason for this:  as HotAir.com reports, this poll was skewed 14 points in favor of Democrats over Republicans.  Way to be fair, ABC.

Apparently CBS did not get an interview with Sarah Palin this time around, and I don't wonder why (see Couric, Katie), and so they felt that a good balance to the interview on ABC would be to give a spotlight to a completely undeserving Levi Johnston, father of Gov. Palin's grandson.  Others have fact-checked Mr. Johnston's changing story before now, and I can link to them later if need be, but suffice it to say that I generally don't believe pretty much anything Mr. Johnston is currently saying about Gov. Palin, and I further believe that he is on a mission, possibly guided by people with an agenda, to destroy the grandmother of his child in whatever way, truthful or not, he can.  (That, and I'm tired of seeing his smug face all over the media.  If ever there were a person deserving of my "useless celebrity" label, he is one.)

Meh, that's enough of that.  Besides, Robert Stacy McCain has already covered a lot of this evident bias against Sarah Palin in this American Spectator column.  Look into this, and judge for yourself.

Sarah Palin on Oprah: Comments

For the first time in a long time, I watched Oprah yesterday to see her interview with Sarah Palin.  I will admit I've watched Oprah before, unlike some others (the last time, I believe, was when Dave Ramsey was on).  I will also admit I haven't been too thrilled with Oprah since she openly endorsed Barack Obama for president, but that is her prerogative.  I think the "did Oprah snub Sarah" story was overblown (and so did Sarah, according to yesterday's interview), but given the hyperpartisan environment present in the 2000s, such a story was inevitable.

Enough with the preliminaries.  I'm sure there are another thousand people who want to speak their piece (yes, that was used correctly) about this interview, so let's get to it.

First of all, Sarah Palin gave a great interview with Oprah.  Yes, I'm a huge Palin fan, as anyone who reads this blog regularly (hi, Dad) knows, but I'll admit she's not always had good interviews before (see Couric, Katie).  This one was good.  Sarah was charming and personable, and she gave good answers to almost everything Oprah asked.  (No, she didn't answer Oprah's question about 2012.  I can totally understand why; would you want a three-year campaign?  It was bad enough watching Obama run for two years.)

Now, I know that some people slammed Oprah's interviewing in this episode, but I thought her questions were mostly quite fair.  She covered a majority of the topics that needed to be covered.  The only issue I had with her questions were that she re-asked Gov. Palin about her reasons for resigning immediately after she had just answered the question.  And, really, must we revisit that again?  Apparently some people simply refuse to accept the truth of the matter.

So, all in all, I'd say this interview was nicely handled by both Oprah and Sarah.  Of course, others will see things differently (for example:  if you must, you can see some rather nasty comments at Oprah's site's own write-up of the interview).  But with a few more interviews like this one, I totally believe that the real Sarah will triumph over the false characterization propagated by many with an agenda.

Video of almost the entire interview (while it lasts):

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3 (Couric interview clips omitted due to CBS copyright)



Part 4



Part 5



All this, of course, is to promote Gov. Palin's book, Going Rogue, easily available to you via the link on the right side of the page.  Note:  I do receive an incredibly small kickback commission for each copy sold via this link.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An exposition on a pejorative, and why what I learned doesn't matter

Earlier today I had a long and drawn out Twitter conversation with someone whose opinion, though I disagree with him a lot, I generally respect.  The crux of the conversation was whether the current trend among liberal columnists, politicians, and basically everyone else of using the term "teabaggers" to describe conservatives, or people who have taken part in tea parties, or both, or whatever, is a pejorative.  If one looks at the definition of "pejorative", one sees the following, courtesy dictionary.com:

–adjective
1. having a disparaging, derogatory, or belittling effect or force: the pejorative affix -ling in princeling.

By that definition, it can easily be seen that the way that "teabaggers" is used most often is a pejorative.  Some people--and for some reason a lot of them seem to be employed by the same network--are in love with the term.

Anyway, my online friend (we live in the same city, but we've never met) said that if the term originated with the tea partiers themselves, then it isn't a pejorative.  I challenged that point, and he pointed me to a Wikipedia article proving that there were protesters who fully knew the double meaning of "teabagging" and used it on their signs and webpages. 

Until today, I was unaware of anyone on what would be considered "my side" using that term that way.  I thought about it for a while (after I had to call off our debate for the day job), and I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. It is not acceptable to me, as a father of young children, to be around a movement where it is necessary to use stupid double entendres to make a point.
  2. Thus, had I known about what I learned today back then, I would have disavowed it.  Sigh...ignorance is bliss.
  3. Yes, I would so have done.  You think I want to expose my children to that kind of language?
  4. Most importantly, the fact that some very few people on my side used that term at one time does not make it open season on using it and still holding on to whatever shred of decorum is left in political discourse.
And my final conclusion about the whole thing:

Seriously, y'all using that term, grow up.  And that goes for you too, President Clinton.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dishonorees #3, 4, 5 and 6

I continue to be somewhat surprised and disappointed at the number of people who run afoul of Snowed In's Theory.  The term to which my theory refers is a pejorative little term ("teabagger") used by people who apparently have little of value to say.  It's very frustrating to hear the term quite so often, and yet there are certain places--and networks--where it is commonplace.

And thus it is that two people from MSNBC, along with a guest, think that using pejoratives to define your political opposition is the funniest thing since David Letterman made a tasteless joke about a Palin daughter.

One such dishonoree--you knew this day would come quickly--is Keith Olbermann, who is so wonderfully objective that there is an entire website set up to him, and this website documents his recent (probably not the first, but the first I've seen documented since I wrote the theory) foray into the land of bad taste, a land with which Mr. Olbermann is quite familiar by now.

Also, as documented by Kathleen McKinley in a nice post here, Rachel Maddow and frequent guest Ana Marie "Don't Call Me Wonkette" Cox are frequent users of the offending term.  (There may be a silver lining to this portion of the story...see the end of this column for more.)  I could have documented Ms. Maddow's use of the pejorative term myself, except that I have seemingly blocked the short period of time during which I had MSNBC from my mind.  :)

Like I said, this is MSNBC about which we are talking, so the use of a term such as "teabagger" from its on-air personalities shouldn't surprise me.  But I expect more from our public officials (except my esteemed representative, Lloyd Doggett, from whom I expect little and yet still manage to be disappointed) than to disparage their political opponents in such a manner.  And thus I found myself a little shocked, I suppose, and very unhappy to hear that none other than President Obama has dishonored himself and his office with a quote such as "Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care?"  Lest anyone think this quote must have been made up, it was supplied to the NYTimes by a Dem representative, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, as reported by the National Review Online.

So, in case there was any question regarding what President Obama really thinks of people with whom he doesn't agree, let's make it clear:  President Obama has no respect for you whatsoever.  If you want to disagree with this, disavow the slur above.  And don't come back at me with "well, your side has said blah blah blah..."  Yeah, so that gives our president an excuse to drop down to the level of some of his critics?  The president has the responsibility to be above that kind of thing.  The end.

Ugh.  Let's move on to a better portion of this sad story.  The above-mentioned Kathleen McKinley, aka @RWSparkle (well worth following, by the way, as she is better spoken than I, and she also blogs more regularly than I apparently will be this month) challenged Ms. Cox in the post cited above to stop her use of the term "teabaggers", as shown in the following Twitter exchange (snipped so as to hold on to what little shred of a G rating this blog still has):


RWSparkle @anamariecox I have a better idea. Why don't you stop using the crude term "teabaggers" in Tony Snow's memory?


annamariecox RT @RWSparkle: Why don't you stop using the crude term "teabaggers"? // if you donate to fight colorectal cancer, I'll never use it again.


RWSparkle Why don't u stop using the crude term"teabaggers"? //RT @anamariecox if you donate 2 fight colorectal cancer, I'll never use it again// U GOT IT!


RWSparkle EVERYONE NOTE! @anamariecox promised not to use "teabaggers" anymore if I contributed. I'm the TOP contributer http://tinyurl.com/ycneyyx


RWSparkle @anamariecox I'm taking you at your word. Tony Snow would approve. A good thing to do in his memory.

If you approve of this, you should consider donating as well.

Epilogue:  since I started writing this thing, I have seen confirmation that Ms. Cox has invoked the offending term once more.  Way to keep your promise.  (courtesy this tweet from RWSparkle)  People should still donate, but Ms. Cox needs to be called out for this.  This may end up as a new corollary:  once a dishonoree, always a dishonoree.  I certainly hope that doesn't hold up as true, but nothing I have seen so far from any dishonoree has changed my perception.  Such is life in the Age of Hope and Change, I suppose.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snowed In's Theory: New Dishonoree

About a month ago, I wrote about my theory about people who can't refer to their political opponents in a civil way:

Snowed In's Theory:  Anyone who uses the term "teabagger", or any form of that word, to refer to Tea Party or other protesters who are concerned about the direction taken by government is not interested in having a meaningful discussion about issues.

Its corollary was along those lines, as corollaries usually are:

Corollary:  Statements, articles, and/or interviews in which this theory comes into play may be ignored as a whole.

Recently Jim Hightower wrote some tripe at his website, jimhightower.com, entitled "Goofing Up Health Care Reform".  If you know anything about Jim Hightower, you know he is no fan of conservatives.  However, in his first paragraph, you can almost imagine the spit flecking from his mouth as he decries those evil tea partiers:

America's shouting match over health care reform has turned completely goofy ­ and I'm not talking about confused seniors at teabag rallies getting red-faced with anger after being told by the right-wing scare machine that "government is trying to take over Medicare."

The rest of the column decries the Democrat senators who don't lean far enough left to suit Mr. Hightower, but since, as far as I can tell, the use of the phrase "teabag rallies" is done by people who want to imply the more offensive "teabaggers" but can't bring themselves to use the actual term, the theory still applies, and thus the whole column is not worth my time, and possibly yours, as stated by the corollary to my theory.

And so, Jim Hightower, you are officially the second dishonoree who has run afoul of Snowed In's Theory.  However, given what I know about your extreme political leanings, you might be proud of this.

(Still no dishonoree graphic.  If anyone wants to make one, I'd be happy to consider it.)

Austin Radio Changes Coming

RadioInsight.com reports that massive changes are coming to the Austin radio landscape on Monday, November 2.  Many, but not all of the changes involve Spanish radio stations flipping to English formats, courtesy the financially troubled BMP Radio.  Here's a quick summary of the changes:

  • 1490 KFON:  switching to an undisclosed format from Tejano.
  • 1530 KZNX:  moving its local programming to 104.9 (see below).
  • 92.5 KXXS:  switching to an undisclosed format.
  • 98.9 KXBT (formerly KHHL):  apparently switching to news/talk.  A possible website, 989BigTalker.com, has been registered this week.
  • 99.7 K259AJ:  the former Hot 93.3 translator is now simulcasting 590 KLBJ.
  • 104.9 KHHL (formerly KXBT):  flipping to sports, possibly as "104.9 the Horn".

I'll be listening Monday and intend to update as I learn anything, but if you know something, feel free to comment.

Check out RadioInsight.com's entire report for more information.

Update 10/31:  It appears from a RadioInsight.com update (same link as before) and an Austin American-Statesman article that 1490 KFON will keep its current format, which is listed as Spanish oldies by the Statesman and Tejano by RadioInsight.com.  92.5 KXXS will remain a simulcast of 104.9 with the new format.  Meanwhile, former KVET morning host Sammy Allred will have a daily show on news/talk 98.9 KXBT.

Why I'm Missing Stuff in the First Place

Blogging will return to normal shortly...I've been out of town for my grandfather's funeral.  Godspeed, Grandpa.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stuff I Missed

Well, this is what happens when one's day job eats into time that could be spent blogging.  (Given that the day job pays better*, that is probably the better choice with regard to my time management.  But that's a discussion for sometime around never.)  In any case, here are the stories I would have mentioned earlier if I had had time, but since I didn't, I'll just link to people to did it for me, and you can read it from them.

Rachelle Friberg adds yet another voice to the growing chorus stating that the Republican Party of 2009 does not represent true conservative values, as evidenced in NY-23, where the powers that be chose liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava as their candidate over Doug Hoffman, who is now the Conservative Party candidate.  As she states very well, this same divide is shown in that some of the Republican establishment (who, I suppose, think they know what is best for the party) have seen fit to try to throw Sarah Palin under the bus as well, despite the fact that what she says resonates with many.  And so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to see her endorsing Doug Hoffman.  Ms. Friberg includes Governor Palin's entire Facebook note, but you can also see it here.

Since then, several other people have weighed in to state their opinion on the happenings in NY-23, given the Palin endorsement.  Conservatives 4 Palin compiles some of these opinions here.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration apparently went right off the deep end with regard to its hatred of Fox News, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air states.  My favorite quote:

Meanwhile, how bad is this for the White House?  They now have all of the broadcast networks on record defending their competitor as a news organization.  That reinforces reporting Fox News will do in the future, to the detriment of White House efforts to marginalize them.  Plus, obviously, they look completely foolish in having to back down from their threat.

Finally, Adrienne Ross has an update on her crusade against the defamation of Sarah Palin with regard to a display linking her to the banning of books (which, as I said earlier this week, she never did, or even tried to do).  I suppose it's a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.  Check out Ms. Ross's update for details.

With luck, I can get back on top of my workload eventually, so that I can give these types of situations the attention they deserve, not just from me, but from you, the loyal, well-informed reader. 

*Tips might change that.  Tip jar's to the right, with many thanks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Now the Palin-haters have a book for their Christmas lists, too!

Since I know that some of my long-time readers do not share my admiration of all things Palin (such as, for example, my own parents), I present the following in an attempt at equal time.

As reported by the Guardian:

Coming out the same day at Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue:  An American Life" (which still sits at #2 in the Amazon.com bestseller list and is currently available for $9...order your copy--or mine--today!) is a not-nearly-as-rosy look at the life of Sarah Palin, entitled "Going Rouge:  An American Nightmare".  (I'd link to Amazon for that as well, but not surprisingly, they aren't listing it yet.)  As can be seen, everything is made up to look similar to Governor Palin's cover:



Going Rouge is a compilation of contributions from people who think, as the title implies, that the advent of Governor Palin's policies (or their perceptions thereof) in American would be a nightmare.

Hey, you know what?  More power to the publisher.  We Palin-supporters can see the power of capitalism at its best (particularly since Going Rogue will blast Going Rouge out of the water in sales), and you Palin-haters, or non-supporters, or whatever, can believe what you want about her, despite the fact that you're all completely wrong.  (Hey, I said this was an attempt at equal time; take what you can get.)

On a completely unrelated note, I am accepting essays for an upcoming compilation book entitled "Nightmares From His Head:  A Story of the Race Card and Government Takeovers".*

*I might be kidding.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How NOT to make people sympathetic to bicyclists' causes

Want to make people unsympathetic to the cause of bicyclists on the streets?  Only follow the rules when it suits you.

Anyone who drives on never-to-be-widened-ever-ever-ever Manchaca Road (see page 142 here for details) knows that it has the tendency to get backed up going southbound during afternoon rush.  So, it was no surprise the other day when I noticed a long line for the Stassney light.  However, in this case, there was an extra backup in the right lane.  (Thankfully, I was not in the right lane.)  As it turned out, there was a bicycle in the right lane, and cars were waiting to get a chance to move to the left lane to get around it.  That's all well and good.

However, as I sat at the Stassney light (the backup was enough that I did not make the light), I was rather surprised to see the same bicyclist riding up the sidewalk, but only until the light turned green.  At this point, he jumped right back into the right lane of traffic, cutting off several vehicles that, I assume, had just gone through the trouble of trying to pass him earlier.  I can only guess that at that point several of the drivers affected were not too happy about this situation, and about the bicyclist in general.

But Snowed, I hear you cry, it's legal to bike on the sidewalk!  Yes it is, per Austin City Code Section 12-2-13:  "Except as provided in Subsection (B) [a section that lists specific exceptions, not including any portion of Manchaca Road], a person may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk." Again, that's fine.  However, the bicyclist in question ignored Section 12-2-14:  "A bicyclist exiting from an alley, driveway, or building shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or sidewalk area, or to a vehicle on a roadway."  The drivers I mentioned earlier were cut off by the bicyclist, in total violation of this section.  I myself have almost hit a bicyclist who jumped onto Manchaca Road without even looking, about two feet in front of my car.

So, Snowed, isn't it legal for him to simply ride between the cars at a light anyway?  No, it isn't, per Section 12-2-16 (B):  "A bicyclist may not ride a bicycle between vehicles traveling or standing in the same direction within marked lanes of a roadway."  The proper thing to do would have been for the bicyclist to wait in line at the red light with the rest of us.

Again, I have nothing about bicycles on Austin streets; I simply think more people would be inclined to treat bikes nicely if their occupants know and follow the law.

A Teacher's Crusade Against a Palin-Slandering School Library

Adrienne Ross, who runs the blog Motivation: Truth, is a public-school teacher who happens, as I do, to support Sarah Palin.  To her surprise, she saw a display during "Banned Books Week" which read "Sarah Palin + Banned Books = Censorship."  This referred back to the long-dispelled myth that Sarah Palin sought to ban books.  As might be expected, Ms. Ross was surprised, and not in a good way, by this display, and she wrote about it; you can see her original thoughts here.

Well, as can be seen in the previous link, Ms. Ross had more than enough information to refute this display's assertion, and she attempted to speak to the librarian.  As days went by, she worked her way up the chain to the superintendent in an effort not only to have the display removed (because eventually it was anyway--Banned Books Week, as you might imagine, only lasts a week) but also retracted.  As of her last writing on this subject, this effort has been futile; you can read about it here.

Perhaps it's just me, but I can't imagine a similar stonewalling occurring in a situation in which the maligned person was, say, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.  Maybe I'm wrong, but this is a country in which a supposed news organization is taking time out of its day to fact-check comedy shows.

Hopefully I will be able to follow up with good news; in the meantime, I'd recommend checking out Ms. Ross's blog to all my readers.

Edited to add:  Thanks a lot, Blogspot, for the way you shortened the title in the URL.