Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Moral Scold Rush Limbaugh

© Stan Spire 2009

Yesterday on his radio program Rush Limbaugh was upset that some women were taking pole-dancing lessons as a form of exercise, not as a way to earn money. And he was also chastising women who lost their jobs on Wall Street during this Dubya Depression for finding work as strippers.

He stated women were naturally innocent but men could corrupt some of them.

June 2006. Returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic, Limbaugh was detained at the Palm Beach International Airport for having prescription drug not in his name in his luggage. The drug was Viagra.

As a Conservative, Limbaugh is against pre-marital sex. At the time he was detained at the airport, he was single. The divorce from his third wife was finalized in December 2004.

Doper Scold Rush Limbaugh

© Stan Spire 2009

Last week on his radio program Rush Limbaugh ridiculed people who smoke marijuana. He said about half the questions sent in to President Obama during an online town hall meeting pertained to legalizing pot.

If Obama succeeds with his economic plans, claimed Limbaugh, then capitalism will be ruined and there will be no chance for anyone to get ahead in this country. He commented that maybe that’s what the Liberals wanted, people out of work, stuck at home, doing a doobie.

October 2003. The National Inquirer revealed that Limbaugh was being investigated for illegally obtaining the prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone. After other news outlets picked up the story, Limbaugh admitted on his radio program that he was addicted to painkillers and he was entering rehab.

He was in trouble for “doctor shopping,” feeding his addiction from getting prescriptions from different doctors. As a Conservative, Limbaugh had attacked the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). The ACLU, due to the issue of a patient’s right to privacy, supported Limbaugh in his fight against the authorities, arguing that the prosecutor had illegally seized Limbaugh’s medical records, a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Need HDTeeVee

© Stan Spire 2009


I’m watching my small TeeVee set one morning with its analog screen and digital converter box to pick stations OTA (On The Air). There’s some sort of doctors program on, this day devoted to women’s issues.

The distaff doctors are discussing yeast infection. There’s a dynamic animated segment showing how yeast multiplies and spreads.

I’m not getting the full effect!, I suddenly realize. If I had a high definition TeeVee with a cable hookup, I could completely appreciate the details of yeast infection while eating breakfast.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Public BS: Bag Your Begging!

© Stan Spire 2009

Put a sock in it, PBS-TeeVee. Two Public BS stations – one here in NENYland and one across the lake in the state now known at Buy Vermont – are driving away viewers with almost constant begging for money.

Ever hear of the law of diminishing returns? Do you think you can extract more $ out of people? OK, you have to raise money to keep in operation but after a while your relentless begathons just turn off people. 2 AM and I tune in to find you still pleading for bucks.

Especially when you interrupt the usual programming to put on for the nth time the doo-wop special. That music is dead and you’ll be dead, too, if you piss off viewers by pre-empting programs they like to follow every week.

Anyway, why do we need two Public BS stations in this area? Most of the time they show the same programs.

Good Job! Here’s Your Reward

© Stan Spire 2009

Today (3/15/09) the Plattsburgh Daily (news)Paper ran an editorial reassuring the reader that everything was financially hunky-dory with its operation.

This was a follow-up to an article that appeared the day before that announced all employees at the Paper would have to take a five day unpaid leave next quarter. The editorial repeated the same theme that was in the article: We’re doing OK here in the Plattsburgh area, but we belong a corporation with “disparate properties” that perform disparately and we’re helping out.

Loosely translated: Other papers owned by our corporate masters are doing bad and to help them out we’re sharing the pain, despite doing our job and remaining profitable.

So are any of the corporate greedpigs at the top taking any cuts? Are they sharing in the pain? Or are they still riding around in their limos and private planes?

That’s the evil of corporations: they go on buying sprees – in this case newspapers – and local control is taken away. If the Plattsburgh Paper didn’t belong to a corp, it would be plugging along, making a decent profit, and no one would be screwed out of five paid days.

A corporation can be a vampiric octopus, its tentacles getting into local businesses, sucking away as much $ as possible. And if things go south, the business has to close – oh well, the greedpigs made some profit before the trough went empty.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Corporate Overlords Screw Peon Employees

© Stan Spire 2009

So who pays when big government or big business screws up? The average joe or jane.

Some corporations went on a buying spree, paying top dollar for newspapers all over the country. Sure, they ended up with heavy debt loads, but hey – the economy will just keep on growing and the newspapers will generate the needed $.


The ironical part is that some papers in smaller communities are doing OK, still generating profits. But those profits ain’t high enough to help pare down the corporations’ heavy debt.

So the corporate masters squeeze more money out of each operation. Trimming down the width of the paper, publishing fewer pages each day. Another trend is putting employees on unpaid furloughs.

It was announced today (3/14/09) in the Plattsburgh (news)Paper that next quarter its employees will have to take a five days off, no pay.

In the article the publisher says the Plattsburgh Paper has maintained a strong advertising and circulation base. But the paper is a part of a large group and so it’s doing its part to help out.

Large group = greedy corporation.

So even thought the local paper has already been doing its part to maintain profits, it still has to suffer for the sake of the fat overlords at the top of the food chain.

I wonder how many employees stuck with unpaid furloughs are going to be influenced – or just outright pressured - to keep working off the books for the sake of the greedy corporation. Or maybe the whip will put to their backs to get more done on the days they are paid.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Boycott Vermont

© 2009 Stan Spire

On the upside of lousy DeeTeeVee reception: less exposure to annoying ads repeated ad nauseam.

Like WCAX-TeeVee across the lake in Burlington and its insufferable Buy Vermont spots. Some yahoo going on how it’s important to support his local business. Vermonters should only support Vermonters.

Well, screw you. Why don’t you secede from the US and become completely provincial?

I’m so sick of this Buy Only Vermont irk being on 24/7 that I’m making a list of stuff I ain’t going to purchase, from Green Mountain Coffee to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream to Vermont maple syrup. Keep your crap in your own state and just buy it among yourselves. After all, you don’t need New York or any other state as part of your market.

While you’re at it, Vermont, why don’t you just inbreed among yourselves? Until the flatlanders showed up to diversify the gene pool, you were on the way to becoming a tribe of sap-sucking troglodytes.

The Future Of Television: NO SIGNAL

© 2009 Stan Spire

DTV: the big rip off.

Around this region analog broadcasts have been phased out for the digital format. Before this crap hit the air circulation propeller there were all sorts of TeeVee spots pushing the change.

“Did you ever notice,” proclaimed one spot, “how most things are better with digital?”

The spot proclaimed that digital was the future of television. But not to worry: you can still receive TeeVee signals over the air free of charge if you buy a digital converter box for your old-style analog set.

So I got a box and hooked it up. Now my reception is worse than ever. Sure, there are times when I can pick up all the channels. But just now every station is missing, the all-too-familiar NO SIGNAL message floating across my black screen.

The TeeVee spot didn’t lie: most things are better with digital. But not broadcast television.

With the digital switchover stations moved from the lower channels (VHF, 2-13) to higher frequencies (UHF band). The trouble with UHF reception is that it doesn’t penetrate and cover as well as VHF. Even then I had good reception with the analog UHF broadcasts. In fact those stations came in better than the low numbers. As for digital UHF – to use the technical term, it sucks moose.

To compete with cable and satellite TeeVee, local broadcasters can split their signal into separate channels. For example the Vermont Public BS station is on 33.1, 33.2, 33.3, and 33.4. But when you split the signal into sub-channels, each one is weaker than a stand-alone main channel. Falling rain or snow can affect reception. Also, there’s the digital drop off: around 40 miles away from the transmitter the signal dies out.

Before the local stations switched to digital, one of them showed a map of this area, NENYland and Vermont. Areas indicated in orange meant that reception problems would probably occur. There was plenty of orange.

With all the mountains and hills in this region, many people are having trouble picking up the digital signal. Some are being forced to get cable or satellite hook-ups.

An outdoor antenna would probably improve my reception but no go, my landlord won’t allow it. And with my limited budget, I don’t want to spend more money for “free” TeeVee. And cable is a rip off for what they charge.

The great guvbiz thinkers had planned on the economy staying robust during the changeover, expecting more people would get cable or satellite. With the present depression, forget it.

Once the switch is complete, big government and big business will benefit. The guv will auction off the VHF frequencies to biz and everyone involved will make lots of money.

While I watch NO SIGNAL float across my black screen.

What the hell – it’s only TeeVee.

It’ll be interesting to see how this screw-over affects the ratings. I hope the numbers go right down the crapper.

Some are saying that they’re glad there’s still radio. Well, surprise, high definition digital radio is being proposed, complete with inferior reception.

Wait and see how the guvbiz conspiracy screws the pooch on that one.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homeland Insecurity

© 2009 Stan Spire

Item in the news: a NENYland resident is in legal trouble, facing charges in the murder of a nude dancer across the border in Canada.

Adam Morris, who was also busted for child porn, admitted in court here in the US that he hid the dancer’s body in a gravel pit near his home. Basically, he pled guilty to evidence tampering. He faces extradition to Canada to stand trial for murder.

So after the big push with Homeland Security, how did this suspect get the corpse across the border? What about all this talk of training screeners to detect terrorists and others hiding something by judging their facial expressions? Instead of the pseudo-psychological voodoo training, how about popping open a trunk now and then to look inside?

In the Plattsburgh (news)Paper article it was mentioned: “Morris, who appeared in a two-piece, orange, county-issued outfit, with chains around his middle and handcuffs…”

This is what passes for high society coverage here in NENYland; the latest fashion trends among its noble citizens.

Provide Free Content; Screw A Reporter

© 2009 Stan Spire

Originally when I launched this endeavor it was the Anti-Press Ezine (APE for short). I had an email subscription list with a lot of readers, but my host went on to other things and so here I am with this blog.

I got tired of the Anti-Press bit, especially with using the editorial “we” that made me sound too important or just suffering from multiple personality. So I decided to have a new identity for easier “branding.” Thus I became Stan Spire. (If you’re good at anagrams, you’ll see how I can up with that name.)

Anti-Press started as being a counterpoint to the local press, the daily Plattsburgh (news)Paper. Then it expanded to be “anti” about lots of stuff, the media and anything else that irked me.

It’s been claimed that bloggers like me are responsible for the crisis in the newspaper industry. Newspapers are folding, young readers aren’t replacing older ones –- blah, blah, blah, sob story. Of course, no one ever gets to the heart of the matter: that most newspapers suck.

But that fact is ignored. Instead, the unwashed masses are told bloggers are killing newspapers because we provide free content. We don’t charge. We’re not greedy for-profit corporations.

So when a reporter is kicked to the curb, blame it on the bloggers.

Take a good look at your local newspaper. Is it like the daily here in Plattsburgh? Are you finding more free content being published, letters, opinion pieces, photos, from the readers? The Plattsburgh (news)Paper now features a full page of photos taken by “citizen journalists,” images of class field trips, awards ceremonies, whatever. Not great photojournalism but hey – it’s free!

The Plattsburgh Paper used to run a feature called “Speak Out.” Readers could phone in and rant about anything. But someone had to go through all the messages and try to decipher the semi-coherent diatribes from the hillbillies. That was too costly.

So “Freak Out” – I mean, “Speak Out” – has returned after years of a well-deserved slumber. Thanks to email the stake was pulled out of SO and it lives again. This time the unpaid filler can be inexpensively harvested: just copy and paste the rant onto the page.

And there’ are also special requests for readers to participate, like “Write A Letter To President Obama.” That fills up space.

After a while enough suckers – I mean, citizen journalists – will be producing a good share of the paper. And with enough “news” material surrounding the ads, why bother having so many reporters and photographers? They cost money. They can be disagreeable, unlike some untrained sap so happy to see his name in print, proud that his anonymous comment or uncredited pic got in da paper.

When it comes to all the free content putting professional journalists out in the cold, don’t blame the bloggers.