by baldilocks

Red Pill–sort of

Since making a public New Year’s Resolution to minimize my time on Facebook and Twitter in order to finish my second novel, Arlen’s Harem, by February 1st, I’ve had minimize my time online in general.

The result is that I don’t really know what’s going on in the news right now, and it feels kind of good–I’m old enough to recall when the news cycle was a couple of weeks, rather than a couple of minutes.

Generally, I take two days off per week from the Internet Race-to-Comment, anyway, and when I come back, I have to spend an hour or two getting back in the loop. Three days of separation from the news-cycle fix nearly puts a news junkie in Low Information Voter (LIV) territory. But now, I don’t wonder why LIVs often seem calmer and happier: they don’t know that the sky is falling and, sometimes, it better not to know. Ignorance, bliss, you know.

The commentary race often gets bloggers in trouble anyway—if one is the slightest bit concerned about accuracy and about being original. That last concern is why I don’t comment on some topics and events—I have nothing new to say about them.

Staying away from shorter communications also has a positive effect on my ability to build a narrative. When I composed the bulk of Tale of the Tigers, I spent much of my non-typing work on it spinning yarns in my mind and connecting them to other parts of the novel. A handy, pre-smartphone tool was an mp3 player in which I could speak my story ideas without writing them down or having to remember them. (I made the grievous mistake of thinking through a story without out writing it down or recording it once…and only once.)

I’ve been semi-newsfree since about the 31st. Obviously, I’m going to have to watch the news a bit in order to post here and at my own blog. But, it feels good to know that I can still spit out 300 or 30K words without being fed by the Matrix.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 1, 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

Against the backdrop of the increasing politicization of football, the sports journos and announcers have failed to note some important issues during the national championship series.

The game between Alabama and Washington was played in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the conservative company liberals love to hate.

The company’s leadership donated money to oppose same-sex marriage and is influenced by Southern Baptist beliefs, including closing its restaurants on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The announcers dodged any discussion of these important issues.

Then there was the other semifinal game between Clemson and Ohio State, which was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

According to the New York Times, the university and its holding company have been the target of “state and federal investigations into allegations of shady recruiting, deceptive advertising and questionable financial aid practices.” The University of Phoenix has received millions of federal dollars from programs intended to help veterans and low-income students. But the students end up with heavy debt and few marketable skills. A Defense Department ban that prohibited Phoenix from recruiting on military bases was recently revoked, but the company remains under heightened scrutiny. The Times also reports that enrollment at the school “has been falling and profits shrinking, casting doubt on the future health of the industry.”

Hmm… I didn’t hear anything about the problems during the game, only the glowing ads promoting the U.

Then there’s the final matchup, which will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Raymond James Financial has had a number of run-ins over questionable securities practices.

In 2011, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered the company to pay restitution of $1.69 million to 15,500 clients for charging excessive commissions on more than 27,000 securities transactions. The trades were made in client accounts between 2006 and 2010. FINRA also fined the company nearly half a million dollars.

Earlier this year, the company was involved in a $350 million real estate scandal in Vermont, agreeing to pay the state nearly $6 million for violating securities laws. Here is some background on the case: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/money/2016/06/30/vt-reaches-595-million-settlement-raymond-james/86550308/

In a separate case, the company agreed to pay $17 million in fines for violating money laundering standards. It was the highest fine in the history of such investigations. Here is some background on this case: http://www.wsj.com/articles/raymond-james-to-pay-17-million-fine-for-anti-money-laundering-lapses-1463590634

The financial company will get a lot of good publicity during the game because it’s unlikely viewers will hear the rest of the story.


Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist who teaches media law.

One of the things I wrote in my first two weeks of blogging at DaTechGuy blog when it was still just a wordpress site with very few readers was this about Instapundit & the NYT:

I can’t think of the New York Times without thinking of my favorite writer Glenn Reynolds. Of course he is not a professional writer but a law professor who blogs for at Instapundit I am one of his many blog children. I never forget that when I started reading him in 2001 he used to have a quote on the top of his page saying “The New York Times of Bloggers.” I remember when he removed from his site thinking its absence enhanced his reputation.

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking, its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

BTW the link to the story above about the Times Stock Tanking is from 5 months ago, since that time when it “tanked” it has lost a further half of its value.I can’t think of the New York Times without thinking of my favorite writer Glenn Reynolds. Of course he is not a professional writer but a law professor who blogs for at Instapundit I am one of his many blog children. I never forget that when I started reading him in 2001 he used to have a quote on the top of his page saying “The New York Times of Bloggers.” I remember when he removed from his site thinking its absence enhanced his reputation. The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking, its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again. BTW the link to the story above about the Times Stock Tanking is from 5 months ago, since that time when it “tanked” it has lost a further half of its value.

Today when I went to Instapundit I saw this:

Now in one respect seeing a NYT ad at Instapundit is no surprise, after all despite Glenn’s regular critiques of the Times they’ve been advertising at his site since at least 2009 and he does link to them a lot, furthermore while his stats are dwarfed by the times (The 25% of the NYT total hits which come from China alone likely blow him of of the water)  his numbers are large enough that it’s a logical place to put ads.

But doesn’t it speak volumes that we’ve reached the point where the NYT is running banner ads at the top of Instapundit offering their product for a month for less than the price of 4 chicken nuggets at Wendy’s in the hopes of finding some of Glenn’s readers willing to give them a shot?  Of course this might have something to do with it:

as New York magazine reported in 1992:

Not long ago, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the 41-year old publisher of the New York Times, was greeting people at a party in the Metropolitan Museum when a dignified older man confronted him. He told Sulzberger that he was unhappy about the jazzy, irreverent new “Styles of the Times” Sunday section. “It’s very”—the man—paused—“un-Times-ian.”

“Thank you,” New York Magazine quoted Sulzberger as replying, adding that the Times’ publisher “later told a crowd of people that alienating older white male readers means ‘we’re doing something right.’”

It’s no coincidence that the punitive worldview of Pinch and Raines took their toll on the paper’s quality. Four decades ago, the Times was once praised by no less than William F. Buckley’s National Review as being “so evenhanded that it must have been deeply dismaying to the liberal opposition…Were the news standards of the Times more broadly emulated the nation would be far better informed and more honorably served.”

Today, as Matthew Continetti accurately noted in 2014, the Gray Lady is staffed by overgrown versions of the high schoolers in the TV series Saved by the Bell. “Someone always has a crazy idea, everyone’s feelings are always hurt, apologies and reconciliations are made and quickly sundered, confrontations are the subject of intense planning and preparation, and authority figures are youth-oriented, well-intentioned, bumbling, and inept.”

Perhaps if they haddn’t rejected those “old white male readers” in the early 90’s they wouldn’t have to pay Glenn to try to get those same people to take just a taste.

Update:  A great gift for the 11th Day of christmas and a wonderful way to start the year is an Instalanche.  Welcome Insty readers,  take a look around and be aware our newest podcast is now available to non subscribers (click on the fedora), of course if you want to hear it when it comes out you can subscribe below.

Be aware that if you live in Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, Montana or Missouri I’m looking to hire a part time (twice a month) writer from each of those states, details on the low paying low workload job here.

As for Glenn’s comment about who the Times should hire the NYT could of course hire a journalist part time who might appeal to Instapundit readers say a blogger that the President Elect trusts  but I don’t know if my reputation could take the hit.

 


2016 Fabulous 50 Blog AwardsToday begins the 3rd day of 2017 and a new chance to make our annual goal which requires $61 a day.

So if you’d like to help support our award winning independent non MSM journalism and opinion from writers all over the nation like Baldilocks, RH, Fausta, JD Rucker Christopher Harper, Pat Austin, and John Ruberry plus Monthly pieces from Jon Fournier, Tech Knight and Ellen Kolb and want to help pay their monthly wages (and the Cartoonist I’m looking to hire, details here) please consider hitting DaTipJar.




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. You can be listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog for as little as $2 a week. If only 130 of the 209K+ unique visitors who came in 2016 .07% subscribed at the same levels as our current subscription base we would make our current annual goal with ease. If we could boost that number to 260 I could afford to go to CPAC and cover major events in person all over the country and maybe take some of Da Magnificent Seven writers with me.

Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level