Obamacrats Eye Bailout of Print Media

France, the model upon which Obama is reshaping America into mediocracy and public obeisance to government, has already decided that its print media are ailing and needing of a bailout, so the government is injecting millions of Euros into the industry’s advertising pages.

Poor print media. Hit on one flank by the cyber-reality of free competition and the concomitant loss of paying readers, and on the other by the flight of classified advertisers to free sources like Craigslist and display advertisers to online resources, they hardly know what to do. Why not turn to the guy whose elected they mandated through their pages?

Obama, of course, is more than willing to oblige. He’s having trouble silencing Fox News and other critics through the traditional Democratic devices of mockery and demonization, so why not own a few newspapers and magazines here and there, at least figuratively speaking? (Probably a waste of money, though, since the traditional media are already his lapdogs.)

Argentina has a long history of supporting its print media through the purchase of advertising. Problem is, as government ad dollars rise, the print media’s watchdog goes to sleep and critical stories recede from the pages of the newspapers. This is what a study by the Neiman Journalism Lab showed:

Their analysis found a ‘huge correlation’ between, in any given month, how much money went to a newspaper and how much corruption coverage appeared on its front page. For example, if the government ad revenue in a month increased by one standard deviation — around $70,000 U.S. — corruption coverage would decrease by roughly half of a front page.

Many people today probably take newspapers for granted, but it was once again Thomas Jefferson who summed up the correlation between press and freedom best: "Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."

Of course, it was also Jefferson who foresaw our nation’s eventual Frenchification: "When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."

Sacre bleu! 

Stupid as the Driving Force of Our Lives and Culture

I stumbled upon a blog called zippitydodah and further titled/subtitled "Reflections in a Petri Dish: As the Landfill Burbles with the Toxic Wastes of a Disintegrating Culture, I’ll Be the Voiceover" that proved both interesting and perceptive–and refreshingly written.

No byline accompanied the article, but it was written in the first person. The commentators seemed to know the author by name, though I never discerned who was who in the back and forth of the dialogue. Names didn’t really matter, though.

The article I read was entitled "The Rise of the Stupids and the Fall of Rome," and in it author guy posits that stupidity reigns in Rome, i.e., the United States of America. (I agree.) In fact, author man goes on to personify this trend as a ruling deity named Stupid.

I won’t go into more detail but will quote a couple of paragraphs from toward the end of the article, which I hope all of you read. Here goes:

The impressive and indomitable force of stupid, [sic on the comma] reigns supreme over the land. Stupid is genius. Stupid is God. Stupid is as stupid does and stupid does what it pleases. Stupid will kill itself before you day after day and then rise from the dead to lead the legions of stupid to the place where stupid rests.

They have not yet opened the gates of the chittering worlds that wait behind them, in the coliseums where you have been marched, at the behest of Stupid. There is still a semblance of order and the highways of hope are constructed by the hour and woven out of the words of the liars who have led you to this place. The true beauty of Stupid is that it will never occur to Stupid what it cost and what was lost. Perhaps Stupid is indestructible and is the heir to a kingdom that only he can see. Some certain and profound confidence motivates Stupid and only Stupid knows what that is.

Frugalista Means a Survivor in Our Time, Now Lawsuits Ensue Over Trademark

Frugalista is a term that came about in response to our currently challenged and challenging economy. In fact, it’s widely used by bloggers, but now comes word from TechDirt that one blogger has sought to trademark the word (long after its initial invention) and her lawyer is sending other bloggers who use Frugalista letters to cease and desist.

Okay, I’m waiting for my letter!

New Twist on Lying Under Oath: ‘Truthful, But Inaccurate’

Leave it to the government and its worshipping at the altar or George Orwell DoubleSpeak to come up with this one.

After Judge Joan Lefkow ordered a new trial for four convicted drug traffickers when she determined a government witness had lied, federal prosecutors have asked her to reconsider since the witness’s testimony was actually "truthful, but innacurate."

Try that the next time a judge accuses you of false testimony.

Txt Spk Is Good for You (4U), TechDirt Claims

Michael Masnick of TechDirt.com has been blogging on and off about how the use of text speak (txt spk) on Twitter and other social media outlets is actually improving young Americans’ writing and use of English. He further maintains that, for the most part, the txt spk generation knows when to write Twitterlish and when to use more formal English, though he admits that his contemporaries blow it sometimes.

I’d like to believe the studies he’s posted, but I taught English at the university level for almost 12 years, and I found precious few who knew how to correctly construct sentences, paragraphs and essays–the majority of whom could’ve cared less that they were butchering English and making themselves un-understandable.

Anyway, I guess the debate will continue, but as Masnick points out, with the advent of the Internet (which he consistently misspells by not capitalizing) and the social media, at least young people have a reason to write.

Thank heavens for little favors, eh?

‘Makku’: Iraqis Come Up With Perfect Word for Bad Times

I stumbled upon a report by someone named Deborah Amos, who was returning to visit Baghdad for the first time in four years.

While the details were revealing in that the mainstream media report only the gory details to discredit Bush–and now only successes to burnish Obama–what really struck me was Ms. Amos’s discussion of everyday life in the Iraqi capital. Here:

The word makku unites Sunnis and Shiite alike. It means "there isn’t any." This was the first Iraqi Arabic word I learned back in 2003 and is still uttered in almost every discussion. Makku jobs, makku water, makku electricity. These complaints have only gotten stronger in my four-year absence.

Here in America, we can say, "Makku money, makku jobs, makku future."

Don’t Leave Home Without It

From the city of Belvedere, Calif.:

City Council order reads: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash."

Now, I realize it often seems like my dog is pulling me while I’m walking him, but the leash is on his neck, not mine. I’d never make it in Belvedere.

Welcome to the New World of Abbreviated SubSpeak

Okay, so SubSpeak doesn’t really describe what’s happening to the English language in the new world of instant electronic communication, but I was (vainly) trying to come up with a variation on George Orwell’s famed DoubleSpeak (the language politicians use). I mean, if we went around talking in text abbreviations, then SubSpeak might apply, but TextSpeak might even be better.

However, my whole point in creating SubSpeak was to castigate the texting phenomenon as something sub-human, or at least as sub-human communication–a sign of 1) irreversible decay in interpersonal relationships and 2) the imminent demise of the English language and people who know how to use it to beautiful effect.

Anyway, I got on this topic after reading an article in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled "Quick! Tell Us What KUTGW Means." Through the course of the article, I learned many abbreviations, but being someone who sees no purpose in texting and uses cell phones only for emergency calls, I was definitely a parvenue to SubSpeak (which I intend to remain).

Anyway, KUTGW means "keep up the good work."

Gee, I’d really love to see that as a subject line in an e-mail after working my  butt off on a project for six weeks. How about coming over and telling me in person?

Here’s my contribution to the subject: URE.

Translation: Use Real English. (Another:  CIP, Communicate In Person.)

(The article must’ve been widely read. It mentioned a site where one could find translations of electronic abbreviations, and each time I went there, NetLingo.com was not operating. It might’ve crashed from the sudden onslaught of visitors. Another site, dtxtr.com, allows you to enter either the abbreviation for a translation or the full English for an accepted abbreviation.)