One of the things about the MSM is they have professional editors with years of experience in the News Business.  Because of this we are often told that this gives them the edge in promoting newsworthy stories that the public needs to know.

Now I’ll concede that I’m just a poor blogger with a few brilliant writes posting at our site and that our annual tip jar hits don’t’ compare with the expense account of a MSM reporter that sets the news agenda, but it seems to me this story just might be a tad more newsworthy than the attention it is being given:

ISIS Fighters, Having Pledged to Fight or Die, Surrender en Masse

That’s the headline at the NY Times (this and Weinstein this week?  Amazing!) and the body of the story is even more encouraging:

More than a thousand Islamic State fighters passed through that room this past week after they fled their crumbling Iraqi stronghold of Hawija. Instead of the martyrdom they had boasted was their only acceptable fate, they had voluntarily ended up here in the interrogation center of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq.

For an extremist group that has made its reputation on its ferociousness, with fighters who would always choose suicide over surrender, the fall of Hawija has been a notable turning point. The group has suffered a string of humiliating defeats in Iraq and Syria, but the number of its shock troops who turned themselves in to Kurdish officials at the center in Dibis was unusually large, more than 1,000 since last Sunday.

Given the threat of ISIS and the spectacular attacks they had achieved in the past you would think this story would be leading everywhere, particularly since the source is the New York Times from which all other media tends to take a lead.

Let’s take a peek and see.

Here are the top stories at CNN.com as of 12:02 PM sunday when I am writing this

Trump trashes outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker
Sen. Murphy: ‘Willing to move forward’ with GOP on bump stock ban
Tapper to GOP senator: Will you vote against NRA?
Zelizer: Tillerson should quit now
Russian police arrest hundreds in protests on Putin’s birthday
Charlottesville mayor slams white supremacists after another torch rally is held
Senator: Renegotiatiing Iran nuclear deal is a ‘fantasy’
Analysis: Supreme Court rookie takes on the chief
Spain’s PM considers dramatic measure for Catalonia
Marijuana is going mainstream

In fact there is no mention of ISIS at all on cnn’s home page

Hmm you would have thought CNN would have covered this.  How about NBC Here is the latest news there:

GOP Sen. Calls White House ‘an Adult Day Care Center’ After Trump Attack
Dove on Clean-Up Duty After Racially Insensitive Ad
Why Geography Stops Gun Control
White Nationalist Richard Spencer Leads Torch-Carrying Crowd in Charlottesville
Sanctuary Cities: Three States, Three Very Different Approaches
Jason Aldean Pays Tribute to Las Vegas Victims, Sings Tom Petty Song on ‘SNL’ TV
Deadly Ambush in Niger Highlights America’s Growing Mission in Africa

No sign of ISIS in the top story list but there is one two day old ISIS story one the page: Three Men Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack in New York but if you search for ISIS on the page every other result is the word “crISIS” (as in Puerto Rico Crisis).  M

How about ABC? What makes their newsworthy list? at 12:15 PM on Sunday(which gives you an idea of how long this post takes)

Resignations, fallout grow for embattled producer Weinstein
4th US soldier killed in Niger ambush identified
London crash that injured 11 was accident: Police
Hundreds of thousands rally against Catalonia secession
Kim’s murder trial to resume with lab visit
Rapper Nelly arrested for alleged rape
3 arrested during protest at Virginia University
Attack on Saudi palace in Jiddah kills 2 guards
Trump administration rolls back birth control mandate
Thousands demand Spanish-Catalan negotiations

Is there a mention of the story anywhere, let’s look at the search:

One story and that’s about migrant in Libya.  Nothing about ISIS fighters surrendering there.

Well how about CBS surely they will find the NYT Isis story worth covering

NRA leader weighs in on bump stocks, tells ATF to “do its job”
More than 100,000 are without power as storm surge pushes over beachfront highway and floods streets
Details revealed about Las Vegas shooter’s note
“First Ex” Ivana Trump on parenting and the president’s tweets
How Facebook ads helped elect Trump
Trump says Bob Corker “begged” for endorsement — and senator fires back

Or not.  And once again a search for “isis” brings 4 “crisis” results and a link to this video from their newscast: justice dept unseals details of 2016 isis plot in New York City.

Finally let’s try NPR.  They’re publicly funded so naturally they’re going to be right on top of news that matters there aren’t they?there:

Biloxi Faces Flooding As Nate Makes Second Landfall On Gulf Coast
Pence In Las Vegas: ‘We Are United In Our Resolve To End Such Evil’
Lawyer Lisa Bloom Resigns as Harvey Weinstein Adviser
Russia Investigations In Congressional Cliffhanger, Trump Jr. May Revisit The Hill

Come on!  Isn’t there even a mention of the ISIS on the page?

Apparently not.

So the question remains, Why isn’t the “Isis fighters surrender en masse” story the lead everywhere, or at least listed in the top stories anywhere in the MSM? The best answer comes from a fellow named Dodd

The MSM narrative is Trump is bad, Trump is childish and Trump is an incompetent failure and ISIS cutting and running 9 months after he vowed to destroy them just doesn’t serve advancing that message. I’l leave you with one last image Memeorandum at 12:45 PM Sunday Oct 8th the moment I finished this post.


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Harvey Weinstein image by DAvid Shankbone via Wikipedia

At first glance it’s looks like the Harvey Weinstein story, from a journalistic standpoint  seems more and more like the John Edwards Story, where liberal journalists were uninterested in telling a story that might harm their allies

An explosive scandal had been kept out of the press for months at a time when the man at the center of it was an important player in national politics. Why? Young thought it was because the Edwards camp so tightly controlled information that journalists weren’t able to find sources to corroborate the Enquirer’s reporting. Perhaps that was part of it. But the fact was, many editors and reporters just didn’t want to tell the story. They admired Elizabeth Edwards. They saw no good in exposing John Edwards’ sordid acts.

Journalists saw no good in exposing the sordid acts of a former, senator, vice presidential and presidential candidate.

And while there is certainly a bit of that in the Weinstein story the more I think about it the more it seems that this was all about capitalism in the Tina Brown vein.

About five years ago I did a series of piece of Tina Brown at Newsweek and Salon and her ability to coax millions out of liberals for magazine empires that never seemed to make a buck:

Unless I’m missing something all that happened is an attractive blond managed to convince some man into spending a lot of money to stake her in a business, she used said business to enhance her reputation and when she proved unable to succeed in it dumped it on the first sucker willing to take it off her hands.

It looked a lot like liberal were willing to throw away money to advance liberalism 

Alas, there’s only one Tina and probably lots of would-be media moguls out there with millions of dollars to throw away on glitzy media operations. Send me an e-mail and we’ll do lunch.

But if you decide instead to hit Vegas and blow your millions on blackjack and hookers, I’ll understand.

A while back a few of us thought that if liberals were willing to play angels to advance liberalism conservatives should think about it too:

Jimmie has calculated — and I agree with his calculations — that you could run a pretty spiffy little conservative New Media operation for $500,000 a year if you knew what you were doing. But the problem is connecting (a) people with $500,000 to (b) people who know what they’re doing in terms of online news.

If you grant that Jimmie and I are correct about this estimate, do the math yourself: For the $4 million that the permatanned RINO Charlie Crist collected during that single three-month span of 2009, you could fund eight spiffy little New Media operations for a year (or four such operations for two years). And FEC contribution limits do not apply to people making “investments” in news operations, so that the rich Republicans would not be restricted in their generosity toward New Media, as they are toward political candidates.

Soros has figured this out. Rich Republicans have not.

…figuring it would be a better investment than say 15-30 mil on  Luther Strange

But all the arguments that folks like us were a better investment than a Tina Brown presumed that the motive for such investments were to advance ideas rather than sheer capitalism.  For the establishment a guy like Strange was an investment in keeping the gravy train, a very capitalistic motive and as Stacy McCain noted yesterday the whole “liberal angel” thing with Weinstein seems to be all about capitalism too. (emphasis mine)

Rebecca Traister of New York magazine recounts her own confrontation with Weinstein’s violent abusive behavior — her called her an epithet and shoved her boyfriend down the steps at a party in 2000. She tries to explain why Weinstein’s behavior was never previously reported, including the fact that “there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or screenwriters, or for his magazine.” Talk magazine, with Tina Brown as editor, was published 1999-2002: “The cover story of the debut issue was an interview with Hillary Clinton.” In less than three years, Talk lost an estimated $50 million. This was simply another aspect of Weinstein’s power. He was willing to throw away money on a slick magazine with a big-name editor in order to buy influence among journalists. And guess what? It worked. Contrary to their own smug opinions of themselves, the journalistic elite aren’t the most ethical people on the planet.

That fifty million makes a whole lot more sense now.  Apparently this wasn’t a question of spending money as a “liberal angel” helping the cause of women, gays  and the left, it was paying the price for being a “lecherous devil” buying off journalists who readily decided their silence  was worth it for the job, the office, the prestige, the access , the parties etc etc etc all the while telling themselves they were fighting to save the world from the evil conservatives who were trying to oppress women et/al.

This was sheer unadulterated Capitalism and apparently Mr. Weinstein got his money’s worth for decades.

Update: accidently put a gallery from a previous post at the bottom and fixed two sentences with redundant words.


As I have no sexual secrets of rich liberals to keep for a price I have to make my buck by going places and doing interviews all the time hoping people like it enough to pay for it.

If you like the idea of new media on the scene at for these time of things and want to support independent journalism please hit DaTipJar below.




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Get out of here
You crazy voice
You’re the devil
Not my Father
Or some evil
Flesh desire
Let me be
I am free

Back in the dim and distant past known as last year, upon its rerelease yours truly wrote a review of contemporary Christian music pioneer Oden Fong’s 1979 classic record Come For The Children. Not so much a concept as timeline record, as Fong detailed life on earth spent following Christ as Lord and Savior prior to His return he noted, in the song “Crazy Voices,” how satanic and worldly distractions do their best to lure believers off course, with predictably disastrous consequences.

In a world seemingly gone completely mad, one where instant sports millionaires claim oppression while hellhounds murder innocents for the crime of concert attendance, what is good and acceptable finds itself drowning beneath torrents of vile social media and public discourse rage. The anger over what is happening is understandable by anyone with a heart. The expressions and ideas set forth to prevent future horrors are regrettably often as steeped in lunacy as the acts bringing on these outbursts, for they fail to address the root cause of evil, namely humanity’s inhumanity. Acts of violence are seemingly paradoxically properly addressed solely by an act of violence: a lone figure nailed to a bloody cross so none need descend from this earth into perpetual utter isolation and agony. We do not need more gun control. We need more Spirit-led self-control.

The crazy voices surround us all, sometimes screaming and sometimes whispering their lies. They proclaim they have the answers, the solutions to prevent future evil played out by bullets sprayed about, or bombs or transportation vessels or whatever weapons are available used with murderous intent. They have neither. The only answer is holding on to Christ’s nail-scarred Hand, emulating as best we can in our stubborn state of rumbling fumbling tumbling stumbling bumbling imperfect humanity Jesus’ love. Nothing else works.

Nothing.

The FBI annual report that violent crime, including homicides, rose significantly for the second consecutive year rated only a few passing references in the news.

Violent crimes increased nationally last year by more than 4 percent and homicides rose by nearly 9 percent, one year after violence rose nearly 4 percent and homicides jumped by nearly 11 percent. A total of 17,250 people were murdered in 2016, the FBI said, an increase of about 20 percent over the past two years alone.

“This is ominous,” said Mark Kleiman, a criminologist at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. “What you worry about is that the trend is broken, and the numbers are going to go back up. A 20 percent increase in homicides over the past two years is not trivial. We’ve got what looks like a serious problem here.”

In 2016, Chicago again led the nation in murders with 765–more than double the 335 people killed in New York, which has more than 5.8 million more people than Chicago.

Large cities–those controlled by Democrats and with populations of more than a million people–saw homicides rise by 20.3 percent, and all violent crime increase by 7.2 percent in 2016. The trend toward greater violence was felt in cities and towns of all sizes. In towns with populations of fewer than 10,000 people, for instance, murders rose by 8.4 percent, according to the FBI.

Crime is lower than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, but that gives little solace to victims and their families.

Here are a few more pertinent facts:

–Murder victims, as well as those arrested on murder charges, were disproportionately young, African-American, and male.

–The demographic group where a significantly higher rate of violence occurs–those between 18 and 34–is getting smaller. So the percentage of crimes committed by that age group should be getting smaller, but it’s not. It’s way up.

–More than three-quarters of U.S. law enforcement officers say they are reluctant to use force when necessary, and nearly as many–72 percent–say they or their colleagues are more reluctant to stop and question people who seem suspicious as a result of increased scrutiny of police, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/11/ferguson-effect-study-72-us-cops-reluctant-make-stops/96446504/

–The number of police officers and their starting salaries have declined since the mid-1990s.

Many theories exist about why violent crime is up. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has a good analysis: “People worry more about crime when they feel that the authorities don’t have their backs. When they feel confident that the government will make all reasonable efforts to keep them safe, that’s one thing. When they think that the political class has other priorities–or even sees them as expendable in the service of ‘social justice’ goals–they get their backs up. I think it’s also a recognition that things can go from good to bad pretty fast.”

What’s clear is that violent crime is getting worse, and it could go from bad to much worse if we don’t do something about it.

Update DTG;  I think Christopher’s piece is one of the most important stories that nobody is talking about.  It will remain pinned to the top for at least the next two days.  If you only share one post from our site this week, make it this one.

It was a real shock to see this story at the NYT titled Cuban Doctors Revolt: “You get tried of being a slave”

Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island’s Communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.

But the doctors get a small cut of that money, and a growing number of them in Brazil have begun to rebel. In the last year, at least 150 Cuban doctors have filed lawsuits in Brazilian courts to challenge the arrangement, demanding to be treated as independent contractors who earn full salaries, not agents of the Cuban state.

“When you leave Cuba for the first time, you discover many things that you had been blind to,” said Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez, one of the doctors who filed suit. “There comes a time when you get tired of being a slave.”

However I found these comments left by Times readers not shocking at all:

Some of these doctors feel that they are victims of injustice? They signed contracts, no? I can’t understand how they’re even being being heard by Brazil’s legal system. If they’re unhappy with the deal they agreed to, these whiners can return to Cuba.

That’s Steve B from NYC, I wonder if he will complain if the plows don’t come on time this snow season?

I wonder if this small group of doctors will pay back the Cuban government for their free education? The program seems like our Peace Corps; or similar programs in the US where if the government pays your tuition to become a teacher you have to do a few years of work in poor communities. They seem like a small selfish group out of a large pool of doctors who served. Don’t look to these folks to join up with Doctors Without Borders.

That’s Jerry from Chicago. If only those Cuban doctors were as woke as he is.

The free medical education that a large number of Cubans receive has always been in stark contrast to U.S., where the cost to become an MD, to that med student, could probably cover medical care for a Brazilian village for a year, and maybe even food and shelter. Cuban doctors have been part of volunteer missions, in addition to the arrangements like that in the article. This humanitarian mission– to provide health care to the world when it is asked for– has always been an inspiration. I seriously doubt that Cuba was paid for the doctors who have gone to hurricane wasted islands or to HIV ravaged countries. I am a little disappointed in these doctors in Brazil, but they are just human beings, susceptible to the pull of the dollar, like athletes who have defected. But they are not exploited slaves, and as was pointed out in the article, knew what they signed up for. Can you blame Cuba for trying to be compensated when it had that opportunity? It is a poor country that especially needs help now, after Irma.

That’s Kathleen from Pennsylvania who didn’t like athletes who defected want to make a buck, her comment is a NYT Top Pick

These doctors received a first-rate education totally free of charge, and call themselves slaves because they can`t profit from their training as much as they want? It sounds they were born in the wrong country.

That’s Richard from San Francisco, also a top Pick, I bet he’s a big fan of the Fight for $15.

These doctors have whatever rights they think they have to get more money, no argument from me ; however, lets not forget that their education was free.
Are they willing to reimburse the government of Cuba for their education? They should!. They would have to do it in here in the USA or any other country.
There are some lies on this article that they need to set straight and I will leave it at that. They can demand whatever they want without maligning the country that gave them what they have. Many of these doctors would never have made it to a university in the USA nor medical school as it is extremely expensive to go to medical school.
I know .. my daughter is a third year medical student and so far , her “bill” is close to 400K.
I do not feel sorry for them, $908.00 dollars a month is a fortune in Cuban pesos, about 22,700 pesos a month and readers, all is relative: many Cubans own their homes. there are no taxes to speak of; Cubans mostly need to worry about food ( not enough due to the embargo constraints) . And if they think that $3,620 a month per doctor is a lot, they are in for a surprise as that amount will not pay for a small surgical procedure in the USA.

That’s Lidice, New York City another top pick who apparently thinks her daughter should have gone to medical school in Cuba instead.

Remember these are all Americans, living in America most in big cities governed by Democrats, so remember that the next time Democrats ask you to vote for them because they are for the little guy.

Closing thought: I bet every single one of these people critiquing these doctors stand behind the take a knee protests by millionaire athletes.

Although I am a California man, I love hockey and have ever since I was a kid, transistor radio hidden beneath my pillow so I could listen to California Golden Seals game. I was devastated when during my high school years the Seals first moved to Cleveland and then “merged with” (translation: disappeared into) the then Minnesota North Stars, now the Dallas Stars. I was beyond ecstatic when the San Jose Sharks came to be, and have faithfully followed them since.

Joel Ward is a veteran forward on the Sharks and one of the regrettably few black players in the National Hockey League. A couple of days ago he said he might join in on the current spate of whatever you want to call it sweeping the sports world. He then demonstrated why you should love hockey even if you hate sports:

He put thought into the matter. Quote:

Over the last several days, I have been asked if I would consider kneeling during the playing of the U.S. national anthem. It’s something I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

As a black man, I have experienced racism both inside and outside of the sporting world. I have been pulled over by law enforcement for no reason. I have been looked at suspiciously because of the color of my skin.

I hold an immense amount of respect for the many players – across the sporting world – that have chosen to peacefully bring attention to a couple of big issues in today’s society, which are inequality and the use of excessive force against people of color in the United States of America. Make no mistake that racism exists and that people of color are treated differently on a day-to-day basis.

I also feel that the original message that was trying to be communicated has been lost. The focus has shifted to the act of the kneeling itself or to a protest of the flag itself or the military. What are we really talking about here?

I feel extremely lucky to be able to play this great game of hockey, but even within our own game, we can treat each other better than we currently do at all levels of the sport. There is still progress to be made.

And that’s where I want everyone to re-focus their attention – on moving progress forward. We need to be working on bridging the gap between people of all color, and between law enforcement and minorities. How can we be a part of the solution and not part of the problem – or be another distraction from what the real issues are?

Although I fully support those who before me have taken the lead in bringing awareness to these issues, I will not kneel during the national anthem like my brothers have done.

But now that I have the world’s attention, let’s meet at the kitchen table, the locker room or in the stands and continue the healing process. Let our collective focus be on bridging the gap between communities – on working to heal generations of unequal treatment of people of color in the United States of America – and not turning our backs on that which is hard to face head on.

I will continue to work within my community to help improve the lives of others, and I intend to partner with groups dedicated to bridging racial inequality and fostering a better relationship between law enforcement and people of all color.

If we spend more time talking about these real issues instead of the actions that are taking place in an attempt to raise awareness about them, we will be a much richer and stronger society.

Joel Randal Ward

“I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.” – Jackie Robinson

It’s something for both sides to think about. And act upon.

Thank you, Joel. And LET’S GO SHARKS!

Buried in all the news about the NFL is a paragraph in this observer piece by Ashe Snow that perfectly encapsulates what the media don’t get about Donald Trump and twitter

Tweets mean nothing. It takes no effort at all to send one. Acting like Trump actually spent all day Monday caring about the NFL because of what he tweeted is absurd. Does the media really think all he does is tweet? It sure seems like it. They would rather write dozens of articles about every single one of the president’s tweets than look into what he’s actually doing.

That’s the real secret about Donald Trump and twitter, he understand the media mind set, he knows that with just a few tweets he can send them down a rabbit hole all day while he gets work done, or to push them in a direction they don’t want to go, or get the heat off of a project that he is dealing with or lobbying for.

A great example of this has been the reactions on WEEI on Trump that I hear when I drive in and go home from work. For some reason the libs on the station think that Trump is obsessed with the NFL, the reality is that his line at the rally last monday was a throw away applause line and once he saw the reaction it only took a few tweets to get them and the left where he wanted. I doubt he spent more than 3-4 minutes a day on it, but the media was fully committed and while they were congratulating themselves over the NFL’s “victory” over Trump and taking knees in congress Trump was getting things done in Puerto Rico without worrying about the media butting in.

Politico reported, “Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.”

There is only one issue I have with the piece, and that’s this line:

I’m not defending Trump’s tweets. I wish he’d stop.

Snow is dead wrong there. Trump’s tweets are a valuable weapon against the left. Via twitter he gets his message out without them forcing them to react to him rather than the other way around and putting them into battles they don’t want to fight and baiting them into positions they can’t defend. Why do you think they keep attacking his tweets every chance they get?

Tweet away Mr. President, Tweet Away.

It’s “Banned Books Week.” Pardon my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas.

The folks behind Banned Books Week – a coalition of the American Library Association and allied groups – lost all credibility with me years ago when they conflated “banned” and “challenged,” especially when the challenge is to the use of a book in a curriculum. Get a clue: the challengers aren’t “banning” a book any more than the people who chose the book for the curriculum in the first place were “banning” alternatives.

In this country, you know what to do when a book is “challenged” and removed in school, and you think that’s a bad idea? READ IT YOURSELF. Read it to your kids. Write a review. Milk social media for all it’s worth. Give away copies on the steps of your local school. 

Quit complaining that other people are making choices for you. Make your own choices.

Yes, kids have a right to read. They also have a right to know that questioning authority – specifically the authority to choose curriculum resources – does not amount to “censorship.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more from her at ellenkolb.com/blog and leavenfortheloaf.com.

You can support independent journalism by hitting a writer’s tip jar – preferably DaTechGuy’s or Ellen’s

“We are moving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” my father said matter-of-factly.

I don’t think I knew exactly where South Dakota was, having spent my formative years in Denver, a truly wonderful place to live as a kid back then. I could obtain an occasional Coors beer—an exclusive adult beverage only available in the area around Colorado, where it was brewed. I could grab a train every weekend to ski. Life was good! No, life was great!

My family moved to Sioux Falls in 1966, the year I started high school, and left in 1969, the year I graduated. Our class was the first to spend all three years at Lincoln High, which had just been built.

Those years still provide my moral compass as a journalist and an educator.

This past weekend I was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Lincoln High, an honor indeed for someone who spent much of his time exploring the boundaries of teenage life in flyover country.

I thanked the committee who overlooked my smoking and drinking in the school parking lot, my suspension for fighting in the hallways, my arrest for car theft, and my protests against Vietnam.

I was one of the better students in the class of more than 600—technically No. 21 in the days when everyone knew everything about one another. No one got trophies for participation back then.

My main contribution at Sioux Falls Lincoln, however, was rock ‘n’ roll. I was the lead singer of The Trippers, a garage band before garage bands became vogue. We practiced in a basement because garages in South Dakota were too cold!

Along with other bands, The Trippers brought psychedelic music from the West Coast and rhythm and blues from Detroit. We traveled throughout South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota, playing small towns like Lane, a bump in the road of 25 people where hundreds turned out from the farmlands every Saturday to listen to rock music, to large venues where we played with Neil Diamond, The Turtles, and The Lovin’ Spoonful.

The Trippers had one recording, “Have You Ever?,” which made it into Billboard’s Top 100. Well, it made it to No. 99 for a week. The Trippers, a band of great desire and somewhat limited talent, were inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll halls of fame in South Dakota in 2010 and in Iowa in 2016. Here is a short video about the band:

In the 1960s, the radio provided the window on the world for the teenagers of Sioux Falls. KISD served up the top of the pops from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, with a lot of bubble gum in between.

It wasn’t an easy time. The 1960s almost tore the country apart because of war and race relations. Some of my classmates went to Vietnam. Fortunately, no one died, but many returned broken and unappreciated.

In a book I wrote a few years ago called “Flyover Country,” I told the story of the Class of 1969 and its students. The class produced doctors, lawyers, business people, and educators. It also produced criminals and con men. Many from the class died way too young. See https://www.amazon.com/Flyover-Country-Boomers-Their-Stories/dp/0761853324/

Most importantly to me, Lincoln High School sculpted me. It took a cocky kid from Colorado who wanted to be anywhere but South Dakota and made him into young man with an appreciation for people who didn’t complain about 100 inches of snow every winter or the vagaries of how the world treated them. If there was a job to do, it got done. If there was a neighbor to help, it got done. If there was a problem to fix, it got done.

I learned a lot about life in my three years in South Dakota. I learned about friendship and kindness. I learned about truth and trust. I learned about community and caring.

No excuses! No complaints! That’s what I learned in South Dakota; lessons I still hold dear today.

It’s also wonderful spending time with folks from flyover country. I saw an old friend, former U.S. Senator Jim Abourezk, a longtime liberal. He is an original. He and I don’t agree on much. But we can talk about politics as a discussion rather than an argument.

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 4.09.33 PM
Former U.S. Senator Jim Abourezk (right) and I have some apple pie in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I even saw a man with a T-shirt for Reagan-Bush in 1984 at a diner in Sioux Falls. Imagine wearing one of those outside of flyover country! It was a reinvigorating visit that will help me deal with the insanity of urban politics in Philadelphia.

Here is an added bonus. My cover of Light My Fire at the induction of the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame:

By John Ruberry

Much well-deserved criticism has been leveled at the BBC for compelling Doctor Who to go transgender by having, after 41 years, a woman take the lead role. Not because, as DaTechGuy himself noted two months ago, the best performer was hired, but because the Doctor Who franchise apparently needs more diversity.

Keep in mind that the most recent companion of the Doctor was a black lesbian with a Colin Kaepernick-style afro. Oh, I am not automatically opposed to a female Doctor. Let’s say Judi Dench wanted the role. Would I watch? Sure, I would. It would be the same for me if Meryl Streep grabbed the controls of the TARDIS. But that last one can never happen. An American playing the Doctor? And one from New Jersey? Imagine the uproar!

But I’m here to review a different TV show.

Y Gwyll, which is Welsh for The Dusk, is called Hinterland in English. It’s a production of S4C, a Welsh-language public television network in Britain. So far three seasons have been released. Hinterland is also broadcast on BBC Wales–which ironically produces Doctor Whoas part of its commitment to provide more Welsh cultural offerings there. And BBC One offers the show too.

So does a political agenda and enjoyable television viewing mix? In this case, yes, they do.

Hinterland is a noir crime drama, a genre that is very popular in Scandinavia, where some of the funding for the program comes from. It’s an expensive series to shoot as every scene with dialogue is filmed twice, once in Welsh and then in English. And there is much outdoor filming which costs more than controlled studio shots.

After ten years working for the London Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington) relocates to the coastal town of Aberystwyth in western Wales after a family tragedy. The laconic and brooding character lives in a caravan, what the Brits call a trailer home, in front of the stone ruins of presumably an old farmhouse. Does this symbolism mean that Mathias cannot rebuild his life?

In the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, which is set in Cardiff, we see a gleaming modern city, which is not surprising as the Torchwood alien-hunting team is led by a post-American time traveler from the 51st century. The Wales of Hinterland is one of collapsing old homes, crumbling walls, and failing farms. Yes, I love the cinematography here, but remember, I’m someone vacationed in Detroit two years ago to snap urban exploration photos. And in every Hinterland episode it seems to be early March–a stillborn spring. The countryside is gorgeous, reminiscent, to me at least, of the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Detective Inspector Mared Rhys (Mali Harries), a single mother is also burdened by a complicated past, is Mathias’ primary assistant; he is also ably aided by Siân Owens (Hannah Daniel) and Lloyd Elis (Alex Harris).

Hinterland is a slow-moving program–if car chases and gun battles are your Jones, then move along, there is little here for you. And it takes a while for the series plot to play out as a murder in the first episode of season one doesn’t begin to expand into other crimes until the end of that season. It builds from there as Mathias confronts Iwan Thomas (Geraint Morgan) who used to hold his job in Aberystwyth and whose past is as troubled as his own. Chief Superintendent Brian Prosser (Aneirin Hughes), Mathias’ recondite boss, discourages him from pursuing the Thomas angle in his investigations.

Season three was my favorite, as many loose ends are tied up. There are no plans for a fourth Hinterland batch–but the series hasn’t been cancelled either. But as Hinterland also receives funding from the European Union, politics could push the show out of its stillborn spring and into permanent winter.

Ah, politics. It really does ruin everything.

All three seasons of Hinterland are available on Netflix in the United States and in DVD form on Amazon.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.