Presty the DJ for Sept. 26

The number one song today in 1960:

The number one song today in 1964:

Today in 1965, Roger Daltrey was fired from The Who after he punched out drummer Keith Moon. Fortunately for Daltrey and the Who, he was unfired the next day. (Daltrey and Pete Townshend reportedly have had more fistfights than Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.)

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Sept. 26”

Advertisements

Anthemgate

Rich Galen begins by telling the story of how we got to yesterday:

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit during the traditional playing of the National Anthem during last year’s pre-season games. Kaepernick said, when asked about his then one-man protest:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Over time, as happens so often, it is not the issue Kaepernick was protesting that has become the source of dispute, but the fact that he and others are protesting at all.

The thing about protests is, they don’t do much until they do become the focus of the discussion.

Rosa Parks first got thrown off a bus in 1943 for entering through the front, and not the rear, door.

But, we didn’t know about that at the time. In 1955 she was arrested for having violated Alabama law by refusing to give up her seat to a White man when the bus was full.

“I did not get on the bus to get arrested; I got on the bus to go home.”By then she was a member of the NAACP which took up her cause and the Civil Rights movement in the United States got a huge boost. And, the 1943 incident became part of the Rosa Parks story.

For the half-century since Rosa Parks was arrested, the Civil Rights Movement has been at least as much of a point of disagreement as civil rights themselves.

Is Colin Kaepernick the NFL equivalent of Rosa Parks? Those are the kinds of things you can’t know until well after the fact.

We do know that Kaepernick was not released by the 49ers for his actions. He, in effect, released himself this past March when he opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Whether he is still a free agent because of his actions is a matter of some discussion on sports talk programs across the nation.

The other night – also in Alabama – Donald Trump told a political crowd, according to CNN’s report:

“Team owners should fire players for taking a knee during the national anthem. Trump added that if fans would ‘leave the stadium’ when players kneel in protest during the national anthem, ‘I guarantee, things will stop.'”

Sounded just like Voltaire.

Before Sunday’s early games just about every team had some players who stood, some who kneeled, some who sat on the bench and one – the Pittsburgh Steelers – stayed off the field until the Anthem was finished.

In the NFL game played in London (9:30 AM Eastern time) several players on both sides knelt for the National Anthem, but they all stood for “God Save the Queen.”

SIDEBAR

Maybe that’s the answer. Play “God Save the Queen” before every NFL Game just like they did before 1776.

END SIDEBAR

… Unlike Rosa Parks – and many other Civil Rights leaders – no NFL player is likely to be arrested, attacked with a fire hose, or lynched.

For his part, Donald Trump got back on Air Force One after his speech, glowing with self-appreciation on the ride back to Washington, DC, reinforced by his staff chattering like a group of bad angels perched on his shoulder: “You were terrific, tonight.”

Thus, reinforcing Trump’s bad behavior.

Do I agree with these protests? No. Nor, do I agree with Donald Trump’s taunting the players because of them.

I have, in fact, put my life at risk to defend the players’ right to protest, and for Donald Trump to be able to continue acting like Donald Trump.

And, so have many of you.

As far as Kaepernick and his lack of employment are concerned: Every time I see someone saying the NFL needs to stop blackballing Kaepernick, I ask whether that person would want his team to sign him. I have yet to get an answer.

This could be said to be one giant diversionary tactic on the part of Trump and the NFL. Trump is trying to rev up his base, perhaps to divert attention on what he hasn’t accomplished — the Mexican wall, immigration reform (whatever his position is on that today), ending ObamaCare, cutting taxes, cutting the federal debt, ending the North Korean and Iran threats, stomping out radical Islam, and all the other things he promised and has so far failed to deliver upon. (Those are Congress’ fault? That’s not something a leader would complain about.) Trump accomplished nothing to Make America Great Again through inserting himself into something he should have stayed out of.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this …

“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month,” Goodell said in the statement.

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”

… perhaps to get everyone’s attention away from the claim by the attorney for NFL tight end-turned-murderer Aaron Hernandez that he had severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which doesn’t put football in a very good light. The NFL is also being cynical by making players stand on the field for the National Anthem when it could deflate this issue by having the players in the locker room while it is played (as used to be the case).

Facebook Friend Kevin Binversie says:

No doubt most Americans agree with Mr. Trump that they don’t want their flag disrespected, especially by millionaire athletes. But Mr. Trump never stops at reasonable, and so he called for kneeling players to be fired or suspended, and if the league didn’t comply for fans to “boycott” the NFL.

He also plunged into the debate over head injuries without a speck of knowledge about the latest brain science, claiming that the NFL was “ruining the game” by trying to stop dangerous physical hits. This is the kind of rant you’d hear in a lousy sports bar.

Mr. Trump has managed to unite the players and owners against him, though several owners supported him for President and donated to his inaugural. The owners were almost obliged to defend their sport, even if their complaints that Mr. Trump was “divisive” ignored the divisive acts by Mr. Kaepernick and his media allies that injected politics into football in the first place.

Americans don’t begrudge athletes their free-speech rights—see the popularity of Charles Barkley —but disrespecting the national anthem puts partisanship above a symbol of nationhood that thousands have died for. Players who chose to kneel shouldn’t be surprised that fans around the country booed them on Sunday. This is the patriotic sentiment that they are helping Mr. Trump exploit for what he no doubt thinks is his own political advantage.

American democracy was healthier when politics at the ballpark was limited to fans booing politicians who threw out the first ball—almost as a bipartisan obligation. This showed a healthy skepticism toward the political class. But now the players want to be politicians and use their fame to lecture other Americans, the parsons of the press corps want to make them moral spokesmen, and the President wants to run against the players.

The losers are the millions of Americans who would rather cheer for their teams on Sunday as a respite from work and the other divisions of American life.

I understand that this is not technically a First Amendment issue, because the NFL is the employer of all the protesting players, and the First Amendment protects us from government abrogation of free expression. It is certainly an issue in the spirit of the First Amendment, however. (How many people would like to be fired from their employer for doing a non-work activity on work time, such as picking up a child from school, making a personal phone call, or, heaven forbid, making a social media post during work hours?) I also understand that the First Amendment doesn’t include protections from the consequences of someone’s free expression. But on the other hand, the First Amendment doesn’t protect anyone from being offended or feeling disrespected at someone else’s free expression.

Trump fails again here because, unlike everyone else in this idiocy, the president swears to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That includes the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with him.

It is also true that the U.S. flag is not Donald Trump. (Thank heavens.) I don’t think kneeling is necessarily disrespect. Sitting, as four Packer players did during the National Anthem before Sunday’s Bengals–Packers heart attack — I mean football game — is disrespect, intended or not.

The U.S. flag and the National Anthem frankly are less important than the U.S. Constitution is to this country. Ask yourself this question: What if the United States of America was a Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton/Charles Schumer/Nancy Pelosi wet dream, where the government took every dollar of our work, gave conservatives no right to free expression, allowed us no gun rights, gave us no rights against unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination, and didn’t let us elect our leaders? Would you still love your country if it wasn’t worth loving?

Facebook Friend Michael Smith lays out the myriad stupidities:

Fact 1: The “kneeling” fad started with the San Francisco 49ers and this “protest” has spread to the NBA via the Golden State Warriors and MLB’s Oakland A’s. What do all these teams have in common? They are all from California, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, where social justice warrioring is less of a hobby and more of a full time job.

Fact 2: The paradox of the wealthy progressive is at play. The “protesters” are by and large, a very privileged group – being millionaire athletes. Their very existence disproves their premise that America is inherently racist.

Fact 3: These “protests” are narcissistic. The leader of the Golden State Social Justice Warrior basketball team’s opposition to “racism” is Steph Curry – the son of a millionaire former NBA player, Dell Curry. Steph went to private schools as a kid and to college on a full ride scholarship (even though his family was of significant financial means) due to his on-the-court skills and who, in June of this year, signed a 5-year, $201 million dollar deal. People accuse Trump of being a narcissist (with good reason) but these protests by highly compensated athletes reek of narcissism as well.

Fact 4: The “protesters” cannot seem to articulate what it is that they are actually protesting other than to mumble a bunch of generalities ending with the word “Trump.” The “protests” are also dripping in hypocrisy – athletes feel free to directly attack certain people but when they catch a little return fire, they claim to be the victims. Yesterday, Curry was quoted as saying:

“It’s surreal, to be honest. I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals, rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.”

These “protests” aren’t principled – they are purely political. Curry quipped, “I’ve played golf with President Obama,” Curry said. “I’m pretty sure I won’t get a tee time invite during this regime.”

No doubt where Steph stands.

Look, I sort of agree with Curry about one thing – that this is beneath the Presidency – what Steph Curry, Colin Kaepernick or Bruce Maxwell think should not occupy one second of his time. By and large, the professional sports market is just that, it is a market for people with very specific talents, primarily talents possessed by minorities but other than for entertainment, professional sports is inconsequential to the pressing issues of this country. That is why I think it was beneath the office for Trump to engage in a petty and stupid fight with privileged millionaire pro athletes about fake issues.

Facebook Friend Devin Rhys adds three more points:

1. A lot of people whining about have never been in the military and are using the military to justice their snowflake whining. We didnt serve to protect speech everyone loves. We served to protect the speech everyone hates.

2. A lot of people supporting the protests (players and such) arent brave. Doing something that everyone else is doing is being a sheep, not being brave. The Army ranger in Pittsburgh is more of a hero than anyone kneeling could ever be. …

4. President Trump was a jackass for making this bigger than it was. This entire weekend was his fault.

(Yes, the order was correct. Devin is a 49ers fan, and points three and five were about his sad-sack team.)

It was pointed out in our own house that all the NFL Anthem kneelers are accomplishing nothing by their protests. And they’re not. In fact, as Kennedy Democrat Vince Lombardi put it:

“Our society, at the present time, seems to have sympathy only for the misfit, the ne’er-do well, the maladjusted, the criminal, the loser. It is time to stand up for the doer, the achiever, the one who sets out to do something and does it. The one who recognizes the problems and opportunities at hand, and deals with them, and is successful, and is not worrying about the failings of others. The one who is constantly looking for more to do. The one who carries the work of the world on his shoulders.”

Protesters aren’t really doing that merely by protesting.

The real bottom line comes from Facebook Friend Nathan Schacht:

The Packers made $441 million in revenue last year, $244 million came from national TV revenue. Until those advertisers care, the NFL won’t.

Facebook Friend Jason Wisniewski adds (capital letters his):

Out of 1696 players in the NFL only 43 protest the national anthem. That is less than 3%. Over 97% of players DON’T protest. Teams like the VIKINGS, COWBOYS & LIONS to name a few have ZERO players protesting.

I am not going to let less than 3% of players ruin the sport I grew up on and love that keeps me sane. I will NOT boycott the entire NFL over this.

He lost his way by rooting for a Packer rival after that, but he started in the right direction. There is already too much politics in our world, and it’s quite unfortunate that Trump decided to insert more politics into sports.

My Facebook feed was full of promises Sunday to never watch the Packers or the NFL again. Why do you care? Why do you care what Kaepernick thinks, or any of the Packers, or Trump, or Goodell, or what any other celebrity (and politicians are unfortunately celebrities) thinks on this or any other issue? I honestly do not care what NFL players do during the National Anthem, or their reasons for standing, kneeling, sitting, raising fists or anything else.

This is the latest sad example of where we have sunk to as a country, when someone else’s free expression is an affront to yourself if it represents a point of view contrary to yours.

Irony Inc.

James Wigderson has some fun at a former daily newspaper’s expense:

“Profit? Fiscal year? Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Beware, my dear Zilkov. The virus of capitalism is highly infectious. Soon you’ll be lending money out at interest!” – Dr. Yen Lo, The Manchurian Candidate

The Capital Times was founded because the Wisconsin State Journal wasn’t left-leaning enough. Yes, wee know, that’s hard to picture, but that’s The Capital Times story and they’re sticking with it.

The newspaper was born in 1917 after the business manager of the Wisconsin State Journal, William T. Evjue, resigned over the paper’s increasingly strident attacks against U.S. Sen. Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette to create The Capital Times. As governor, later a senator and the founder of Wisconsin’s progressive movement, La Follette established a reputation as a champion of the underprivileged and an opponent of powerful business interests, but he came under attack like never before for his opposition to U.S. involvement in World War I.

Of course, The Capital Times supported the war anyway, as they remind us, but they were the good progressive newspaper. Just ask, Editor Emeritus Dave Zweifel,  wrote in his “Plain Talk” column in June:

As the founder of this paper, William T. Evjue, would often lament in his column years ago, “The trend toward the concentration of financial, economic, political and military power continues. Are we headed for a dictatorship of wealth?”

If Mr. Evjue only knew what’s going on today.

As readers of The Capital Times, we often ask the same question, “If Mr. Evjue only knew…”

We had some fun recently perusing The Capital Times’ 2015 IRS 990 form for the Evjue Charitable Trust. We were shocked, shocked to find capitalism going on there.

And we mean capitalism, starting with the granddaddy of them all, JP Morgan Chase & Co., founded by the great robber baron himself, JP Morgan. Old Evjue and Fighting Bob must be spinning in their graves faster than a high-speed Dremel Rotary Tool.

That was hardly the only investment that made us chuckle. The Capital Times may have been against war profiteers during World War I, but they’re investors in Halliburton, General Electric, and Raytheon now. And they love Big Oil, investing in Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. They’re even invested in Phillip Morris and McDonalds for some healthy cash.

And for a relaxing Cap Times, they make it Suntory time.

There are also investments in drug companies, Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart Stores, and even Union Pacific Corp. You know, all those small mom & pop companies struggling to make their way in a brutal capitalist society.

Our favorite investment is in Tiffany & Co. Nothing says progressive values like being the Tiffany news company in Madison.

Associate Editor John Nichols recently wrote a column saying how socialists are free to be socialists again. The proof was the popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign.

“His presidential candidacy confirmed the appeal of such a politics in a 21st century that has been characterized by rampant inequality and the corrupt excesses of crony capitalism,” Nichols wrote, in a publication fueled by wealth inequality and the corrupt excesses of crony capitalism.

The Madison Capital Times, one of the loudest voices of liberalism in the country, sounds a little different these days.

Struck by mechanical and editorial employees five weeks ago, the Capital Times stunned this liberal-oriented community by bodly advertising for reporters and editors to replace its striking employees and welcoming back into is newsroom strikers who broke from the picket lines to return to work.

This is the newspaper that in its 60 years of existence has been a colorful and aggressive foe of conservatism, governmental corruption and pettiness and individuals such as Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

This is the newspaper that led numerous fights for civil rights, including a wrenching battle for an open housing ordinance in Madison, that strongly advanced the progressivism of Sen. Robert M. LaFollette and that vigorously opposed U.S. involvement in Vietnam, well before that position became popular.

This, embarrassed liberals in Madison have noted, is the newspaper that has staunchly lined up with union leaders to lift workers into better living and working conditions.

“It is a great disappointment to see our own newspaper not offering protection, as it has done so often in the past, but actually collaborating in abuses against workers who built the Capital Times up to what it is,” said Ron McCrea, a striking copy reader and vice president of the Madison Newspaper Guild.

Ironically, the strike was not originally aimed at the Capital Times’ management. The strike began when, on Oct. 1, a union representing editorial employees struck the Wisconsin State Journal, the city’s morning paper, and the International Typographical Union struck Madison Newspaper, Inc., which owns the Capital Times and also owns the plant that prints both papers under a joint operating agreement.

Capital Times guild members, along with pressmen and mailers, walked out in sympathy.

However, about 60 per cent of the State Journal Association, the guild’s equivalent at that paper, have gone back to work, and the morning paper is now operating with most of its staff back on the job. And the printing plant is sufficiently automated to get along without the ITU.

But with the strike still nominally on, most of the Capital Times workers remain out.

The future of the Capital Times had been in question even before the strike.

The afternoon paper’s circulation has declined to about 39,000 from a peak of about 50,000 a generation ago. The State Journal, by contrast, circulates about 79,000 daily and 126,000 on Sunday, and management says the Sunday figure is up 4,000 from a year ago. In addition, the Capital Times has sold its radio station and entered the joint operating agreement under which its parents prints the State Journal.

Thus, to some, the Capital Times’ stance is no surprise.

“The problem is, basically simple: regardless of editorial orientation or ideology, if you get into a problem of [newspaper] economizing, the ideology is likely to make a marginal difference,” says one veteran labor economist in Madison.

In a lengthy, biting reflection on the strike printed last week, executive editor Elliott Maraniss said McCrea and his fellow strikers should stop invoking the heritage and traditions of the Times and build their own.

He speculated that the strikers had a death wish, either for the paper or the union, and used as an analogy a person who commits suicide because he or she fears murder.

At the same time the liberal Madison community does not appear overly concerned about the strike and its impact on the future of the paper. Miles Capital Times editor and publisher, expressed surprise that there has been so little mail decrying the possible fatal impact of the strike on the paper.

There is little solid evidence that circulation has dropped off substantially – spokesmen for the two papers say it is less than 1 per cent – and there is no noticeable drop in advertising.

One reason, according to some observers, is that the paper has lost some of its feistiness in recent years.

The liberal community was outraged last year, for example, at the papers tactics in helping to defeat a popular Democratic state representative who was speaker of the state assembly.

Following that, the paper switched positions on Archie Simonson, the judge who was recalled after his statements on the bench linking rape to sexual permissiveness and provocative women’s clothing. The paper first attacked him editorially, then expressed sympathetic concern for his right to make such statements.

Mayor Paul Soglin, a product of the campus radical movement, became a villain to the paper when he leaked his 1978 budget proposal to the Madison Press Connection, a weekly being produced by the strikers, and said he would not grant interviews to reporters who replaced them.The general softening of the liberal tone perhaps has been inevitable, said a University of Wisconsin professor who has watched Madison, politcal and social changes for years. he noted that the heroes and adversaries in past Capital Times news and editorial columns have gone and it is getting more difficult for the paper to identify their successors.To replace those past causes and personalities in order to hold its traditional readers, the professor said, the Capital Times apparently felt it had to appeal to the liberal and radical causes of a younger generation.Because of that, he suggested, the newspaper bean hiring from a generation of reporters arising from the campus unrest of the late 1960s. For the most part, he noted, they were hired from strongly left-leaning college newspapers and the underground press.

This also has brought, in the view of a Madison labor expert, a clash between reporters and management. He notes that union members perceive management as being ideologically akin to them and thus “soft” bargainers during labor negotiations.

Readers unfamiliar with the Madison media scene will note that The Capital Times is described as a daily newspaper in the Post story. That was then, this is, well, later then, as Isthmus reported:

“It’s been no fun dying on the vine,” says Ron McCrea, senior news editor of The Capital Times.

McCrea, 65, knows something about dying. He presided over the death of the strike paper known as the Madison Press Connection in 1980 and then went to work for the Washington Star, which abruptly shut down in 1981 after 128 years. …

Buoyant wouldn’t be the right word, but he was definitely upbeat about the paper’s announcement that it will cease publication as a daily on April 26 and shift to onilne publication and two weekly print editions (one news, one arts) to be distributed free in the Madison area.

“We took practically every step imaginable to sell the paper [to new readers] in the last few years, and it didn’t work,’ he says. The Capital Times, which approached 50,000 circulation in its heyday, has dropped to less than 17,000 and had become, in practical terms, a boutique journalistic product sustained by its very profitable half-ownership of the Capital Newspapers publishing conglomerate.

Things were getting so bad, McCrea says, that sources were becoming reluctant to give story tips to Cap Times reporters because the paper’s readership was so small and the larger papers might ignore its scoops.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the experience of talking to people about a great story we’ve had, and nobody has a clue that we published it,” he says.

Perhaps the low point was the paper’s failed attempt to woo new subscribers in Madison’s “blue” neighborhoods on the near-west and near-east sides.

The mass home delivery of free papers produced precious few subscriptions, despite these being strongholds of John Kerry and Ralph Nader voters who presumably share The Capital Times‘ liberal philosophy.

“We thought this would be a rich target for us to fill out our circulation, but people just weren’t buying,” he says. “Some people even complained that we were littering! They asked that we take the papers away.”

McCrea’s conclusion: “You can only do so much before you finally have to face reality.”

Reality is online publishing and those two weekly editions. The move will save Capital Newspapers a ton in newsprint costs and result in perhaps 15 of the paper’s 60 newsroom positions being eliminated, in addition to other job cuts in production and delivery.

“I do feel upbeat because I’ve been there when they’ve simply folded the paper and told people to go home,” he says. “This is war by other means. Online is clearly the future of journalism.”

McCrea says the paper is being “very, very humane” in handling the job cuts by offering a buyout package that includes from ten to 52 weeks of salary, depending on longevity, some health-insurance coverage and other benefits.

With a few exceptions, all employees will have to apply for newly posted jobs by Feb. 18, McCrea says. The new staff will be announced on March 10. Those who aren’t hired will receive the same severance package as the staffers who accepted the buyout.

McCrea’s endorsement of the impending changes carries weight, given his long history at The Capital Times. He was a strike leader in 1977, when five unions at what was then called Madison Newspapers Inc. walked out when management unilaterally introduced new printing technology in a particularly brutal fashion.

“Madison Newspapers laid off half off its printers in one blow, [regardless] of seniority, with women and the disabled first,” he recalls “Those who returned to work the next day were told that their pay was being cut by a third. They were just bleeding in total despair.”

The striking unions failed to shut down the two dailies, which doomed the strike from the beginning. McCrea became editor of the strike paper, the Madison Press Connection, whichnever rose higher than 12,000 in circulation and folded in 1980 after employees went payless for five months.

The strike formally ended in 1982 when the last two unions finally gave up. All five unions were decertified, though the strikers had the satisfaction of collecting $1.5 million from MNI as part of their settlements. The two papers remain union-free to this day.

McCrea went to work as press secretary for the newly elected Gov. Tony Earl in 1982, but when Earl lost his re-election bid in 1986, McCrea found himself unemployable in Madison. He left town to work at the New York edition of Newsday (since shuttered as well) before he made his peace with the Cap Times and returned to the paper in 1995.

There was no clearer sign than McCrea’s return that the extraordinary animosity of the strike had finally passed.

But the damage had been done. The strike had put the proudly progressive Capital Times on the same side with the then bluntly anti-union Lee Enterprises, which owns the other half of the publishing company. McCrea admits the strike cost the Cap Times readers it never regained.

The decision to cease daily publication was tightly compartmentalized within top management. The staff was kept in the dark until the announcement, and even senior news editor McCrea didn’t know it was coming. He says he had no role in drawing up the job descriptions for the new online paper and its weekly news and arts editions. …

A third-generation newsman, McCrea has the proverbial news ink in his veins. “I don’t have the warmth of feeling for Web readers that I do for newspaper readers,” he admits. “I tend to think that newspaper readers bring more worldliness and wider life experiences to their reading.”

The Cap Times has announced that the two weekly print editions, each with an expected circulation of 80,000, will be distributed free. Is the company’s goal to target Isthmus audience and advertisers?

McCrea says his bosses deny this. “We all love Isthmus,” he says. “We did focus groups a couple of years ago, when we were looking to refashion The Capital Times one more time. In the focus groups, everybody just loved Isthmus. Everything they wanted was already in Isthmus. We came away feeling a little dispirited.”

That doesn’t put such questions to rest. In the compartmentalized world of Capital Newspapers, advertising strategy wouldn’t be shared with editorial staffers like McCrea.

Yeah, well, every media outlet competes with every other media outlet for advertising and for eyeballs. That too is economic reality.

So is this: The aforementioned Madison Press Connection, according to the always-accurate (and never biased!) Wikipedia: …
… evolved from a strike paper to one of the few cooperatively organized and owned daily newspapers ever to exist in the United States. … The staff was initially made up entirely of striking employees of MNI, with the exception of cartoonist Pete Wagner, whose controversial work spurred his firing within two weeks of being hired, but who was rehired when the staff voted to keep him in spite of numerous cancellations by irate readers. Wagner left the paper after ten months and was later replaced by Mike Konopacki, who specialized in labor-related cartoons. The Press Connections cooperative structure was credited as the reason for numerous journalistic risks that corporate media avoided, including the publication in 1979 of an article purporting to provide the “secrets” of building an H-bomb.
… but, requoting from the Isthmus story …
… never rose higher than 12,000 in circulation and folded in 1980 after employees went payless for five months.
All of this, of course, is a demonstration that economic reality trumps (!) high-minded ideas about cooperative leadership, social justice, socially responsible investing, etc. The Press Connection died, and The Capital Times eliminated four of its editions, because as with any enterprise, for-profit or non-profit, if more money goes out than comes in, it’s not long for this world. As Margaret Thatcher was fond of saying, the facts of life are fundamentally conservative.

This morning’s reading and homily

James Wigderson:

It’s interesting to watch how so many on the left, advocates of a “complete separation of church and state,” applaud wildly whenever House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Catholicism is questioned. It was questioned again by Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Erica Jordan at the CNN “Town Hall Meeting” in August.

George Weigel, writing for First Things, says Ryan’s position on the Church’s social doctrine deserves more than a “gotcha” moment.

Speaker Ryan is a longstanding advocate of decentralizing and (as he puts it) “customizing” social welfare programs. That means abandoning one-size-fits-all attempts to address poverty and looking to the states, where a lot of the creativity in American government resides these days, for approaches that actually empower the poor, because they treat poor people as men and women with potential to be unleashed, not simply as clients to be maintained. Proposals to decentralize social welfare programs and give the states the funds necessary to conduct all sorts of customized efforts to empower the poor—crafted so that each “fits” the vast array of distinct circumstances we find in impoverished America—strike me as a sensible application of the social doctrine’s principle of subsidiarity. That principle, first articulated by Pope Pius XI in 1931, teaches us to leave decision-making at the lowest possible level in society, closest to those most directly affected by the policy in question. Paul Ryan thinks Washington doesn’t have to decide everything; Pius XI would have agreed.

The fact that poverty remains a serious problem in the United States after the federal government has spent $22 trillion dollars on social welfare programs over the past fifty years should have taught us all something about the complex problems of empowering the poor. No one with any sense or experience imagines that he or she has the silver-bullet answer to poverty in all its social, cultural, economic, and political dimensions; I know my friend Speaker Ryan doesn’t think he does. But unlike those who insist on measuring an official’s or a party’s commitment to the poor by inputs rather than outcomes (an approach that tends to instrumentalize the poor and render social welfare policy a cash transaction rather than a human encounter), Paul Ryan and reform conservatives like him are willing to face the fact that there is no direct correlation between magnitude-of-dollar-inputs and success-of-human-outcomes when it comes to anti-poverty programs. Inner-city Catholic schools (the Church in America’s most effective social welfare program) demonstrate that time and again: They spend less than the government schools, and their students learn much more—and not just in quantifiable, standardized-testing terms.

Weigel concludes,

Paul Ryan is no more the reincarnation of Simon Legree than Sister Erica Jordan and her fellow Sinsinawa Dominicans are the reincarnation of Ingrid Bergman/Sister Mary Benedict in The Bells of St. Mary’s. Keeping that in mind would help foster the thoughtful debate that the Speaker, and the country, would welcome.

To be fair, Ingrid Bergman was hardly Sister Mary Benedict, too.

The nuns of Sinsinawa are known for their wonderful bakery which you can order online. We strongly recommend the Sin-a Mound and serving it with coffee. Yes, it’s terribly decadent and lives up to the name.

We also suggest a visit to their beautiful chapel in Sinsinawa, WI. In such a beautiful location in southwestern Wisconsin, we hope the nuns take a prayerful moment to reflect on the role of the Catholic Church in society. In that moment, perhaps they’ll remember which political party is hostile to everything they believe, including: the importance of human life at conception, the mission of Wisconsin’s Catholic schools, the defense of marriage, and even the protection of an individual’s right to practice the Catholic faith against the power of a coercive state.

In that moment of prayer, perhaps they’ll remember that Ryan is not an enemy, and that the Catholic Church is about more than how much is spent on any government program.

(The Sinsinawa cinnamon bread is to die for, by the way, particularly if you make a fried egg sandwich with that bread and your favorite breakfast meat.)

A previous employer of mine (the best employer I’ve had) was run by an order of nuns. Some of the faculty were big fans of Catholic social teaching more so than the church’s positions on, as previously listed, abortion and marriage, and other issues on which the church can be said to be socially conservative. Since I’m not Catholic (and have become a target of some Catholics, as you know), I have to say it’s up to their church as to who they define as Catholic. But it seems to me the Sinsinawa sisters and Ryan should have more in common than not. As a Christian, as I’ve written here before, all the

As a Christian, as I’ve written here before, it seems clear to me all the Christian responsibilities Jesus Christ laid out in the four Gospels are not governmental responsibilities, not societal responsibilities, not even church responsibilities, but individual responsibilities.

Presty the DJ for Sept. 24

We begin with an odd moment today in 1962: Elvis Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, declined an invitation on Presley’s behalf for an appearance before the Royal Family. Declining wasn’t due to conflicting film schedules (the stated reason) or anti-royalism — it was because Parker was an illegal immigrant to the U.S. from the Netherlands (his real name was  Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk), and he was afraid he wouldn’t be allowed back into the U.S.

Number one in Britain today in 1964:

Number one in Britain …

… and in the U.S. today in 1983:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Sept. 24”

60 years ago tonight

On a Monday night at Milwaukee County Stadium 60 years ago, the Milwaukee Braves took on the St. Louis Cardinals in an effort to clinch the National League pennant.

Here, not in a MP3 file, is how Braves announcer Earl Gillespie called the bottom of the 11th inning.

Foreshadowing alert: Here’s the finish (not narrated by Gillespie):

Gillespie and Harry Caray, then the Cardinals’ announcer, both were known to exclaim “Holy Cow!” They probably both said that this night, though for different reasons.

The next afternoon’s Milwaukee Journal reported thusly:

Presty the DJ for Sept. 23

The number one song today in 1957:

The number one song today in 1967:

Today in 1969, the Northern Star, the Northern Illinois University student newspaper, passed on the rumor that Paul McCartney had died in a car crash in 1966 and been impersonated in public ever since then.  A Detroit radio station picked up the rumor, and then McCartney himself had to appear in public to report that, to quote Mark Twain, rumors of his death had been exaggerated.

(Thirty-five years to the day later, in 2004, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor issued a statement denying his death after a Des Moines radio station announced he had died from a drug overdose, then correcting to say Taylor had died in a car crash.)

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Sept. 23”

The end is near! (again)

I have a busy weekend ahead, announcing a football game tonight and a football game Saturday afternoon, both here.

It is possible that those might be the last two football games I announce, because of this apocalyptic news the Washington Post reports, which of course requires music first:

A few years ago, NASA senior space scientist David Morrison debunked an apocalyptic claim as a hoax.

No, there’s no such thing as a planet called Nibiru, he said. No, it’s not a brown dwarf surrounded by planets, as iterations of the claim suggest. No, it’s not on a collision course toward Earth. And yes, people should “get over it.”

But the claim has been getting renewed attention recently. Added to it is the precise date of the astronomical event leading to Earth’s destruction. And that, according to David Meade, is in six days — Sept. 23, 2017. Unsealed, an evangelical Christian publication, foretells the Rapture in a viral, four-minute YouTube video, complete with special effects and ominous doomsday soundtrack. It’s called “September 23, 2017: You Need to See This.”

Why Sept. 23, 2017?

Meade’s prediction is based largely on verses and numerical codes in the Bible. He has homed in one number: 33.

“Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the Bible],” Meade told The Washington Post. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I’m talking astronomy. I’m talking the Bible … and merging the two.”

And Sept. 23 is 33 days since the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, which Meade believes is an omen.

He points to the Book of Revelation, which he said describes the image that will appear in the sky on that day, when Nibiru is supposed to rear its ugly head, eventually bringing fire, storms and other types of destruction.

The book describes a woman “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” who gives birth to a boy who will “rule all the nations with an iron scepter” while she is threatened by a red seven-headed dragon. The woman then grows the wings of an eagle and is swallowed up by the earth.

The belief, as previously described by Gary Ray, a writer for Unsealed, is that the constellation Virgo — representing the woman — will be clothed in sunlight, in a position that is over the moon and under nine stars and three planets. The planet Jupiter, which will have been inside Virgo — in her womb, in Ray’s interpretation — will move out of Virgo, as though she is giving birth.

To make clear, Meade said he’s not saying the world will end Saturday. Instead, he claims, the prophesies in the Book of Revelation will manifest that day, leading to a series of catastrophic events that will happen over the course of weeks.

“The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,” he said, adding later: “A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.”

Meade’s prediction has been dismissed as a hoax not only by NASA scientists, but also by people of faith.

Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, first took issue with how Meade is described in some media articles.

“There’s no such thing as a Christian numerologist,” he told The Post. “You basically got a made-up expert in a made-up field talking about a made-up event.… It sort of justifies that there’s a special secret number codes in the Bible that nobody believes.”

Meade said he never referred to himself as a Christian numerologist. He’s a researcher, he said, and he studied astronomy at a university in Kentucky, though he declined to say which one, citing safety reasons. His website says he worked in forensic investigations and spent 10 years working for Fortune 1000 companies. He’s also written books. The most recent one is called “Planet X — The 2017 Arrival.”

Stetzer said that while numbers do have significance in the Bible, they shouldn’t be used to make sweeping predictions about planetary motions and the end of Earth.

“Whenever someone tells you they have found a secret number code in the Bible, end the conversation,” he wrote in an article published Friday in Christianity Today. “Everything else he or she says can be discounted.”

That is not to say that Christians don’t believe in the Bible’s prophesies, Stetzer said, but baseless theories that are repeated and trivialized embarrass people of faith.

“We do believe some odd things,” he said. “That Jesus is coming back, that he will set things right in the world, and no one knows the day or the hour.”

The doomsday date was initially predicted to be in May 2003, according to NASA. Then it was moved to Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the Mayan calendar, as some believed, marked the apocalypse.

Morrison, the NASA scientist, has given simple explanations debunking the claim that a massive planet is on course to destroy Earth. If Nibiru is, indeed, as close as conspiracy theorists believe to striking Earth, astronomers, and anyone really, would’ve already seen it.

“It would be bright. It would be easily visible to the naked eye. If it were up there, you could see it. All of us could see it. … If Nibiru were real and it were a planet with a substantial mass, then it would already be perturbing the orbits of Mars and Earth. We would see changes in those orbits due to this rogue object coming in to the inner solar system,” Morrison said in a video.

Doomsday believers also say that Nibiru is on a 3,600-year orbit. That means it had already come through the solar system in the past, which means we should be looking at an entirely different solar system today, Morrison said.

“Its gravity would’ve messed up the orbits of the inner planets, the Earth, Venus, Mars, probably would’ve stripped the moon away completely,” he said. “Instead, in the inner solar system, we see planets with stable orbits. We see the moon going around the Earth.”

And if Nibiru is not a planet and is, in fact, a brown dwarf, as some claims suggest — again, we would’ve already seen it.

“Everything I’ve said would be worse with a massive object like a brown dwarf,” Morrison said. “That would’ve been tracked by astronomers for a decade or more, and it would already have really affected planetary objects.”

Some call Nibiru “Planet X,” as Meade did in the title of his book. Morrison said that’s a name astronomers give to planets or possible objects that have not been found. For example, when space scientists were searching for a planet beyond Neptune, it was called Planet X. And once it was found, it became Pluto.

If Charlie Sykes can appear on Wisconsin Public Radio and the world hasn’t ended (and if you’re reading this you can assume the world indeed hasn’t ended), I doubt Meade (of whom I’ve written here previously) is correct, since Harold Camping (twice), the MayansJames Hansen, the blood moon prophets, and the eBible Fellowship, among others, couldn’t get it right. (That includes me, since I claimed that a Chicago Cubs World Series win and Donald Trump’s getting elected president were surely signs of the end times.) I keep repeating Matthew 24:36 (and apparently some people need to actually read it), in which Jesus Christ says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

The first time I recall a prediction of The End was in the late 1970s, when Pope Paul VI died and his successor, Pope John Paul I, died after just a month in office. That brought up St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes, listed on always-accurate Wikipedia as …

… a series of 112 short, cryptic phrases in Latin which purport to predict the Roman Catholic popes (along with a few antipopes), beginning with Pope Celestine II. The alleged prophecies were first published by Benedictine monk Arnold Wion in 1595. Wion attributes the prophecies to Saint Malachy, a 12th-century Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland.

Given the very accurate description of popes up to around 1590 and lack of accuracy for the popes that follow, historians generally conclude that the alleged prophecies are a fabrication written shortly before they were published. Certain theologians in the Roman Catholic Church have dismissed them as forgery. The Catholic Church has no official stance on the prophecies, however.

The prophecies conclude with a pope identified as “Peter the Roman”, whose pontificate will allegedly precede the destruction of the city of Rome.

And what pope are we on according to Malachy? The last one!

112. Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End. …

Popular speculation by proponents of the prophecy attach this prediction to Benedict XVI’s successor. Since Francis‘ election as Pope, proponents in internet forums have been striving to link him to the prophecy. Theories include a vague connection with Francis of Assisi, whose father was named Pietro (Peter).

Assuming Malachy was incorrect (or even if he isn’t), for those who want to plan for such things, A Brief History of the Apocalypse provides future dates of the end(s):

2017: The “Prophet Gabriel” supposedly told the Sword of God Brotherhood that the “dying time” will come in 2017, and only members of the cult will survive. Everyone else will “perish in hellfire.”

So maybe the end is after Saturday but before Dec. 31. Riiiiiiiight.

Sept. 28, 2020: George Madray predicts a Yom Kippur Parousia in 2020.

“Parousia” is a Greek word that apparently now means “second coming.” If correct, that means no one will ever get a chance to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president again. And though Pope Francis is 80, he certainly could live three more years …

2022: James T. Harmon’s Rapture prediction #4.

… or five more years …

2023: Ian Gurney predicts in his book The Cassandra Prophecy — Armageddon Approaches that the “final date, Judgement Day, the end of mankind’s time on this planet, is less than twenty two years away” from 2001, which means that the world is set to end by 2023 at the very latest.

2025: In this post, Georgann Chenault, a frequent poster on Usenet, wrote “I think the rapture of the church will be before 2025.”

Nov. 13, 2026: According to an article published in Science magazine in 1960, this was the date that the world’s population would reach infinity, a result of the so-called “doomsday equation.”

2033: Believed by many to by the 2000th anniversary of the Crucifixion, this is a date just begging to be targeted by doomsayers whose prophecies for 2000 and 2001 will have failed.

2035: The Raëlians are working hard to establish an embassy in Jerusalem in anticipation of the 2035 arrival of aliens called “elohim”, who will usher in a New Age. However, their arrival is contingent on the completion of the embassy.

2037: In her book The Call to Glory, psychic Jeane Dixon wrote, “The years 2020-2037, approximately, hail the true Second Coming of Christ.” The Battle of Armageddon is to take place in 2020.

2040: Pyramidologist Max Toth predicts the physical reincarnation of Jesus Christ occurring in 2040. Like other pyramidologists, he used the dimensions of the Great Pyramid’s passageways to predict future events.

Futurist John Smart of Acceleration Watch (formerly Singularity Watch) estimates that a technological singularity will take place around the year 2040, when technological advancement reaches asymptotic levels. After this apocalyptic event, a new era of balance and compassion will begin.

ca. 4,500,000,000 AD: The sun will swell into a red giant star, swallowing Mercury, Venus, Earth, and perhaps Mars. This will be the true end of the world!

One of those predictions is bound to be right. Right?

 

Presty the DJ for Sept. 22

Britain’s number one song today in 1964:

Today in 1967, a few days after their first and last appearance on CBS-TV’s “Ed Sullivan Show,” the Doors appeared on the Murray the K show on WPIX-TV in New York:

Today in 1969, ABC-TV premiered “Music Scene” against CBS-TV’s “Gunsmoke” and NBC-TV’s “Laugh-In”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for Sept. 22”

%d bloggers like this: