Butch Lugrod’s Manopia

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Posts Tagged ‘kill it before it grows

Nothing fair about this doctrine

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Every year around this time, folks in Congress start talking about the fairness doctrine.

In 2007, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a close ally of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told The Hill, “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

The fairness doctrine is anything but fair. It is not fair to broadcasters and it is not fair to consumers. This is the government dictating the composition of political content over the airwaves, which is a somewhat scary proposition. Says Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY):

“The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.”

Who says it has to be consistent? I would much rather just live with broadcast pornography than having the government restrict or regulate the political content over our airwaves. The Democrats have a serious fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. These broadcasters are not doing anything to discourage or exclude left wing hosts from being on the air — they are simply reacting to what the market demands. The margins made in radio broadcasting (and television, for that matter) are razor thin. Trust me, if there was a profit to be made, then there would be dozens of prominent liberal hosts heating up the airwaves. Air America tried it, but they had terrible hosts and even worse marketing. It was a big failure. Until the left can actually put forth decent radio content, they are going to continue to be marginalized as fringe media.

Over on the television side, flamboyantly liberal hosts have had a mixed record. Only recently has MSNBC started to make some inroads into this market with Keith Olbermann — but this was after years of experimenting with washups like Chris Matthews, Phil Donahue and Bill Press.

The left is yet to find an an answer for talk radio, so they think that regulating it is the solution. The right wing is successful on the radio not because of ownership, management, or “unfairness.” They have been successful because they have been able to put together a long string of successful and interesting (you could also say fiery) hosts who have been able to find audiences. Like him or not, Rush Limbaugh is successful because he approaches politics with a sense of humor, irony, and intelligence. Where is the left’s answer to Rush? There has to be someone out there. Bill Press is just too boring to listen to, so don’t bother. Al Franken does not have grasp of the issues or the right type of humor for the medium — lets face it, Franken’s humor is just way too angry for mass market appeal. He could find an audience, but it is going to be the same limited audience that likes the anger of Michael Savage.

Today, there is less need for the fairness doctrine than ever before. Citizens have virtually limitless access to differing points of view on their 900 cable channels, the internet, satellite radio, etc. Instead of regulating, the left needs to consider competing. They have the audience, they just need to find the talent.

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The GM-Chrysler Debacle

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So, General Motors wants an extra $10 billion from the Federal Government so that it can finance a merger with Chrysler. This is a horrible idea. First, it is the government — my government — financing the destruction of a major American corporation. Those jobs will disappear; maybe not right away, but they are definitely going away. This is not how my tax dollars should be spent.

Second of all, it has yet to be explained to me how exactly this would benefit General Motors. Chrysler has almost no properties that could interest GM. It is generally held that the Jeep line is the crown jewel of the Chrysler lineup, but it is definitely not worth $10 billion. What else can GM point to that would add value to their bottom line?

  • The Dodge Ram? GM already has strong truck lines in the Sierra and the Silverado.
  • The 300? I think Cadillac has this covered.
  • The Dodge Charger or the Challenger? The Camero, Corvette, and Pontiac G8 are probably better.
  • Minivans? There is some value here, but this is a market that is being overtaken by crossovers, of which GM already has a strong lineup.

All that GM would get out of this deal is the cash that Chrysler has left on hand, Jeep, and a bunch of automobile lines which are inferior duplicates of what GM already produces (some are even duplicates within the Chrysler family!)

The American people would lose the following:

  • Jobs(!)
  • $10 billion
  • Choices in the market

Contact your member of Congress and tell them that you oppose this deal.

Written by Butch

October 29, 2008 at 10:53 am

It’s been a bad week for beef

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Courtesy of FARK.com, here are some delightful news stories involving cows:


“Cow drowned into the sea for being impregnated by human”

The cow, which is five months pregnant, was thrown out to the sea about 3 kilometers from land Monday. The villagers believe the animal was impregnated by a village elder.

During the ritual the man, who was caught red-handed having sexual intercourse with the cow two months ago, joined the boat trip in order to throw away his clothes to to symbolize him discarding his sins.

And then this gem:

Lightning strikes only once _ but kills 52 cows

Lightning struck only once – but 52 cows are dead at an Uruguayan ranch. The newspaper El Pais reports that the cows had pressed against a wire fence during a storm when the lightning bolt struck in the northern state of San Jose.

It includes a great photo.

Written by Butch

October 25, 2008 at 3:36 pm