A Hypothetical Question

If you were a booster for a midlevel Tennessee school trying to drum up support for a big football game this weekend, do you think setting up a pep rally and blaring loud music during lunch hour in the middle of a bunch of high rise offices would help your cause?

Apparently MTSU is playing North Texas this weekend at the LP Field (the building formerly known as The Coliseum). So today they've decided to hold a pep rally downtown. The band and cheerleaders are down on Legislative Plaza at this very moment blaring loud music and giving out free ice cream.

I'm betting they make at least as many enemies as supporters out of this. I'm about 200 yards away and 20 stories up and the music is driving me nuts. It's worse than the time back in my apartment days when the trashy upstairs neighbors got into a fight at 4 AM.

I may just be a cantankerous, prematurely-old, stick in the mud, but I kinda hope MTSU loses now that they've completely disturbed my only quiet hour all day.


Bias Is Everywhere

Today Kleinheider at Volunteer Voters (website doesn't want to load again, so I can't currently link it) posted a map which shows the continental U.S. covered in a pox of red dots. Kleinheider doesn't comment himself, but he links back to the source.

Apparently this pox of red dots represents the 800 right wing radio stations in the U.S. and is supposed to indicate the conservative propoganda empire. Pretty map. What of it?

It just looks like someone drew 800 red dots on the map. But the inference is that they blanket the country. But based on the uniformity of it, I'm fairly sure they just drew them on. I find it hard to believe that the major urban areas have the same coverage that the more desolate areas of Arizona and Nebraska do. It would mean a lot more if they actually put the 800 red dots in the correct place that represents their broadcast market. But I suspect they just drew them in where they think it would best make their point.

Maybe I'm wrong. The center of each of those red dots may be the city the radio station broadcasts out of. It's certainly possible. But no one is saying, so I'm forced to draw my own conclusions. What exactly constitutes a right wing radio station anyhow?

I'm not so sure the Newsweek covers prove any real bias either. Doesn't the same company own the magazine in all those geographical areas? If they were trying to hide something, all of the geographical editions would avoid mentioning Afghanistan. All it really proves is that they think they'll sell more in the US if they have a celebrity on the cover. It's a more convincing argument than the map, but all it really proves to me is the political apathy of the American people. I'm a little suspicious of the fact that the European, Asian, and Latin American covers are all in English, but it is plausable enough.

Bias is everywhere. MRDTALK is biased too.


It Ain't So Bad

I did it back at the end of August. I became a NetFlix customer. I've been seeing the advertisments for years, but I was always a doubter.

I'm pretty impulsive and eclectic in my movie choices. Sometimes I want action, sometimes horror, and sometimes I'm just in the mood for a good romantic comedy. And you can't plan for those sorts of whims, so I just always stuck with my Blockbuster card. But the lady friend has been NetFlixing for a long time, and my brother just got addicted recently so I finally bowed to the peer pressure and used my two free weeks to subscribe to the three at a time package. (On a side note, what's up with a two week free trial period?? You can't exactly get a feel for how this works in two weeks because of the snail mail delays. You need at least a month.)

The verdict so far is favorable. They seem to have every DVD under the sun, so they're ready made for someone with eclectic tastes like mine. Right now my que of discs to watch is dominated by television series. Especially the stuff from the 80's and early 90's. I imagine most of it will be like all the other things I've seen and done for nostalgia purposes, not as good now as my then hormone addled teenage brain thought.

Poking around in their movie database is a lot of fun in itself. It has become a lunchtime hobby of mine following the various 'if you like that, you'll love this..' links and adding things to my que. It reminds me of the first few times I visited the public library as a child, back before I realized how very small the town we lived in really was. Or maybe the time I visited the library at the larger town next to us and realized they had a whole section devoted to just science fiction.

By now my que is up over 200 discs. It's something of an art arranging the priority and deciding what I want next. My biggest complaint is how I have to juggle the que to make sure I get successive discs from television series in the correct order and timing so I can watch them with as little delay possible.

My first choices......... Mat Hot Ballroom, Doogie Howser MD, and Dark Shadows, the Revival.

Coming soon..... Babolyn 5.


Flailing Around Isn't the Same As Debate

I noticed a rash of posts today from local conservative bloggers on the subject of Walmart and the bashing thereof. Glenn Dean and Mark Rose admit to a love of Walmart, and Music City Oracle brushes by Walmart on the way to bash liberals. In the interests of clarification, Dean and Rose also bash liberals, but they actually talk about Walmart in more than passing.

The gist of all the postings as I read them was… Walmart is doing good things economically with their cheap prices and liberal criticism of Walmart proves they hate poor people. None of them address what I consider to be the chief complaint against Walmart. Walmart has been accused time and again of using their size and retail power to dictate prices to their suppliers. To me, that’s a de facto monopoly.

My understanding of this tactic is that Walmart is often in a situation where they buy a large portion of a suppliers stock, so they tell the supplier they are paying X amount (generally significantly less than what anyone else would pay), or going elsewhere. The supplier either takes a loss, or finds another buyer. The only thing is, Walmart buys such a large portion of their stock, they can’t replace them. So the supplier either sells at a loss, or doesn’t sell at all. I don't have a problem with negotiating a better price because of volume business, but my understanding is that Walmart takes it to an extreme. I've seen documentation that supports this. But I'm willing to change my mind if anyone can prove otherwise.

My axe to grind here isn’t so much with Walmart. That’s a whole post of its own. I take issue with these bloggers using the Walmart as a tool to bash liberals, while ignoring the main liberal arguments. Sure Walmart has low prices that are good for poor people. But they also make people poor by refusing to pay what a decent price for the things they sell.

It’s a common blog tactic. Mention one good thing and use that good thing to bash critics everywhere. Just totally ignore the actual arguments the critics are making.

So my question for these folks is….. By your silence on the criticisms of Walmart should I assume you think the low prices and good facets of Walmart are outweighed by the bad? Or do you think these bad things don’t exist? Or do you just not want to talk about the bad things because you don’t know what to say? Or fill in the blank. Feel free to tell me why you didn’t mention them. Praise Walmart all you want, but if you’re going to use that praise to bash others, then you have a responsibility to address their concerns.

In fairness, I did find this, where Rose addresses another major criticism of Walmart. There may be others, I didn't look at their archives.


I Know How The Invisible Man Felt

Just what the hell does it take to get anyone to pay attention? I'll answer my own question.

Unless I say something blazingly stupid or delibrately antagonistic (usually if it's in the latter category, it's also in the former) no one gives a shit what I say in the blogosphere. Reminds me of an old saying.... "If you think no one cares, try missing a car payment." Why is that? I'm no genius, but the people I interact with in the real world occasionally occasionally credit me with some amount of useful insight. But not in the blog world.

I'm not talking about here on my own blog. It would be gratifying if people thought I was interesting enough to read, but I know most of my posts are inconsequential and overly wordy. I'm more concerned with comments I make at other places. I routinely read a lot of local blogs, and occasionally comment. Like this bit over at Tiny Cat Pants. Apparently I'm racist, but no one wants to tell me why. I specifically asked several people and only one took the time to respond.

So please, anyone, tell me why I'm ignored. Is it because I refer to myself with the same initial as our unpopular president? Is it because I never say anything worthy of comment? What? Because I don't comment often? Well I could debate the chicken or egg on that all day.