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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guess the party

I've had to mute or fast forward through every stupid Obama ad. But more worthy of comment is an ad I saw for a candidate for attorney general. The ad discussed a school coach involved in sexual abuse, and how, since he wasn't a school employee, he couldn't receive the harsher penalty reserved for school employees who abuse student trust. And this candidate was going to fight to change that, or had fought to change that.

The one thing the ad didn't mention was that candidate's political party.

Of course, that was an ad from the Democratic candidate.

An example of bias in journalism

Here's an example of a common form of bias in today's paper:

Gas prices fell as low as $3.04 a gallon at some stations in Indianapolis on Tuesday, which sounds like good news but may actually be a sign of a worsening economy.

Some analysts say the price drop could mean the nation is falling deeper into economic turmoil, with demand for oil decreasing worldwide as consumers and businesses cut back consumption.

Did you see the following article several months ago?

Gas prices rose as high as $4.15 a gallon at some stations in Indianapolis on Tuesday, which sounds like bad news but may actually be a sign of a strengthening economy.

If you remember, gas prices were below $1 a gallon while southeast Asia was in a financial crisis, thus reducing demand, but that had little bearing on the U.S. economy. Certainly, these journalists were alive for that, and probably working then. They also saw rising gas prices in the strengthening 2003-2007 economy, and rising gas prices and a faltering economy as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Right now, gas prices are falling for multiple reasons, including a worsening world economy, reduced gas usage in America as a result of past high prices, and less speculation that oil prices will be higher in the future. But after we've endured years of articles where gas prices, all by themselves, were hurting families, then these same families benefit from drastically falling gas prices.

Let's go out to eat. Now pay up!

There's some truly hideous behavior out there, as this article on inviting friends to eat out demonstrates.

Think twice before accepting an invitation to a party. That's the lesson Tonya Bowman, 39, learned recently after a birthday bash for a newfound acquaintance at a pricey sushi restaurant.

While Bowman ordered economically -- rice, miso soup and tea -- everyone else acted as if money were no object.

"When the bill came," Bowman says, the birthday girl "smiled and made a big production by way of a toast, saying, 'Thank you all so much for my lovely birthday dinner. I really do appreciate it. You guys are great. Here's to you!' Then she just sat there, waiting for us to decide how to split the bill."

The bill for the birthday girl and her seven "guests" came to a whopping $3,450, which someone suggested splitting evenly. That worked out to $500 per person, plus tip.

Ah, the group meal. I have no problem with taking someone out to celebrate a birthday or other event (most often for me, that's a coworker's going-away party). But anyone who takes a group out to a RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED restaurant, especially if they aren't all Democrat-stupid-rich, is a total putz.

The article mentions that traditionally, if you invite someone to eat, you pay for the party. However, I'm used to going out in groups, where everyone pays. And never do we go out to these overpriced restaurants. (Just one benefit of not living in New York City.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Musicians complain too much

Here's one of many similar stories to appear every four years. Musician records song. Song becomes popular. All types of people like song. Politician uses song in public assembly. Musician b!tches and moans. Musician accepts royalties from ASCAP or BMI anyway.

Look, there are rules for how to use music at public performances, including campaign rallies. You pay a flat fee to the publishing organizations, ASCAP or BMI, and that money gets aggregated across millions of public performances, and goes to the artists. It's a simple system.

If musicians could decide on how their music could be used in public perfomances, all hell would break loose. A Mormon artist could demand a restaurant serving caffeinated beverages or alcohol not play his song, because he doesn't want to be considered to be supporting something in opposition to his beliefs. An artist who believes exotic dancing demeans women could demand his music not be played at the local gentleman's club. A Green Bay Packers fan could demand his music not be played at Soldier Field.

I suppose you could advocate a law requiring politicians to secure permission from the song's copyright holders, unlike all other public performances, but that would almost certainly be unconstitutional.