Health update

Countess is in the hospital – she has had a serious cold or the flu the past few days.   This morning she indicated  she was having trouble breathing and needed an ambulance.   It was serious enough they admitted her.  It sounds like her condition is getting worse.   If you believe in the power of prayer, this would be the time to ask God for help.

I have the same malady, but not yet as serious – but it is a struggle even to go to the bathroom or fetch water.  I may wind up in trouble if I fall and nobody knows…

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Weekly Standard to fold?

Of course, CNN hopes so.

The publication is currently owned by reclusive Conservative Philip Anschutz, who also runs the Washington Examiner.    The Weekly Standard is most associated with neocon Bill Kristol.   The publication remains firmly #nevertrump and recently volunteered to be an official Facebook “fact-checker”.   Their only friends live in “the swamp”, feeding from the trough of Federal money borrowed from China.

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More year-end syndication changes

We already have Laura Ingraham and Michael Medved going away this month and NBC Sports is ending most of its programming.

Fox News Radio, which used to carry Bill O’Reilly, Brian and the Judge, John Gibson and Tom Sullivan – never got traction on terrestrial radio, only on SiriusXM.   A large part of the reason was probably that Clear Channel’s Premiere (Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity) has been “repping” the Fox lineup to radio stations.  That is a pretty clear conflict of interest, but the industry has lived with it.  Talk Radio Network was frozen out in syndication partly because they were repped by Westwood One (later acquired by Cumulus Media) that had its own competing lineup, but Westwood One owned no radio stations.  Once merged into Cumulus, the same conflict of interest comes into play.

The current Fox News Talk lineup is very weak.  Todd Starnes used to be a fill-in and weekend host.  Brian Kilmeade is still going strong, but without Judge Napolitano.   The other hosts I know nothing about.

Fox News is moving their affiliate representation to Westwood One (Cumulus), but that won’t solve the issues.  News Corp owns no radio stations to form a critical mass of listeners.  The only substantial station that carries Kilmeade is the Cox Radio flagship WSB-AM in Atlanta, but they air the show from midnight to 3 AM as inexpensive filler programming.

In other news, Glenn Beck’s “the Blaze” and Mark Levin backed CRTV are merging their streaming operations.   Countess follows this more closely than me and says health problems and Levin’s father dying might be why CRTV is no longer as important.

Out West, Armstrong and Getty is a syndicated Conservative talk show, but not well known beyond California.  They are ramping up to try to capture some Laura Ingraham affiliates, but the rest of the country doesn’t much care about the lost cause of being a Conservative in California.  Liberals hate monocultures, unless it is their political beliefs system.

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NBC Sports radio to end most daytime syndication

When Cumulus Media acquired Westwood One in 2013, they acquired the NBC Radio trademark.    NBC (operated by RCA) had dominated radio for the first two decades of network radio.  WNBC and the Talknet network were abandoned when GE acquired the TV network.    The NBC Radio intellectual property was sold to Westwood One, where the trademark was kept alive by pretending that Dirk Van’s First Light syndicated morning show was a production of NBC News.  Dirk retired in 2015

In 2012, Westwood One decided that there was not enough sports talk radio so they started NBC Sports radio, competing against ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports and the brand new CBS Sports Radio, which was syndicated by Cumulus Media.

When Cumulus acquired Westwood One in 2013, it left them syndicating two competing sports talk networks.  CBS Radio was not happy that the sports talk shows they produced had a direct conflict within their syndicator.  Few affiliates adopted NBC Sports radio, and no major stations.

In 2018, with Cumulus through bankruptcy and CBS out of the radio business, it was logical for Cumulus to wind down NBC sports radio. Probably only to protect the trademark, Westwood One will continue to do a three hour show from 6-9 AM and refeed those recorded three hours to the West Coast.   Morning drive is the time of day radio stations are least likely to want syndicated programming.   

The new shortened lineup will appear January 1, 2019.   Most syndication contracts require 30 days notice if the syndicator plans to change programming, as stations have already sold advertising.   So several spork talk hosts will be having a sad holiday season.

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Miami Herald unloads on Jeffrey Epstein

Alex Jones has made the same accusations for years that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein ran a pedophile sex ring that procured underage girls for leaders in the Democratic Party, including flying Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private plane to Epstein’s private sex island.

However, it appears that their motivation for publication is they found a very indirect way to work Donald Trump into their headline.

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Censoring critics of censorship

Most of you probably know that Apple kicked Alex Jones from the iTunes podcast platform despite it being one of the most popular podcasts.

I clicked on a link on the Infowars podcast to subscribe to see what happens (using an old iPad with a dying battery that is not being replaced).   It wanted to reinstall Apple News and Podcasts, both of which I deleted following the Alex Jones action.

Since his podcast is still gone, I was motivated to submit a rating for both apps, only to find out that both apps are no longer allowing reviews.  It appears that Apple is prepared to kill its entire podcast platform rather than counter the Alex Jones audience, who I guess Apple believes are just Russian trolls employed by Putin.

On the Infowars web site, they have a button that points to a conventional RSS feed.  Interestingly the audio files are still being stored on Apple’s servers and downloaded from there .   Apple is just blocking your ability to find them.

If you click on an RSS feed, it may or may not do anything, depending on whether your computer (or mobile device) has an RSS player app or program.

Looking over the RSS players, most of them rely on third parties to curate and organize available podcasts, meaning the player will also be subject to pressure to limit what you are allowed to listen to.

A few RSS readers still will allow you to enter a raw RSS URL that isn’t found in a search engine, bypassing the censorship. One that worked easily on Android is called Podcast Go

It might be possible to create an RSS parser on a web page so that no RSS software is required at all. First, I will see if someone built this before reinventing the wheel.

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Laura Ingraham and Medved leaving talk radio

Both plan to go the podcast route to achieve Fame and fortune

Michael Medved will be replaced on the Salem Network by Countess’s favorite opinion guy, Sebastian Gorka

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Who are the fascists?

While looking over my Google selected news, I stumbled on this story in Charlotte

The Charlotte Business Journal had published a picture of a random man attending the Trump rally holding up a “finish the wall” sign.

Well  the social justice warriors went to work, possibly because he exhudes a little immigrant karma or reminded them of the guy from Florida.

The call went out to identify the guilty party, and it was discovered that he owns a restaurant called Krazy Fish.   The call for boycott was immediate, with the flood of out of state “reviews” from people who have never been within 1,000 miles of Charlotte.

It is located in a somewhat sketchy part of Charlotte called Plaza Midwood.   As we were getting ready to go to vote, I told Countess the story and could see right away we had a dinner date.

Plaza Midwood is for lack of a better term – bohemian.  It is an old neigborhood fighting off bulldozing by developers.   It exhudes hippy, left wing, dope smoking, massage parlor, drinking until 2 AM culture – not exactly where we spend a lot of time.   But Countess’s face said we were going there.

With my “I Voted” sticker on my forehead, we walked in their door, and without blinking an eye Countess announced “We are here because of the Boycott”.  The owner immediately perked up and was effusive with gratitude.  He explained what I already knew – that his online presence was being hammered.  He felt necessary to say he isn’t a racist – his manager is black and he has an openly gay worker.

He explained that it was one of his regular customers who identified him to the online Lynch mob, and told him that she would never eat there again.

Mr Prisco is the son of Italian immigrants and clearly agitated by what happened to him.  He may well have heard stories from his parents about the black shirts that terrorized Italy under Mussolini.

In a bit of irony, Countess noticed a news stand by the door handing out the free Creative Loafing magazine.  Every big city has one – alternative news and entertainment with personal ads in the back along with escort services, massage parlors and specialty glass vendors.  Creative Loafing ceased publication this week due to the lack of a viable business model.

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Old Charlotte

The places in Charlotte NC where you are most likely to find the pre-invasion “carefully Urban planned” New South city is to venture to the “wrong side of the tracks”.   There you find people who have lived in Charlotte for generations, mostly descendants of slaves freed after the Civil War – who came to the relative safety of a big city during the brief period of time called Reconstruction when Republicans controlled the South and encouraged blacks to vote (for Republicans) and hold political office.

A digression in history that I didn’t know about until a week ago is “what caused Reconstruction to end suddenly?”  I remember my elementary school US History book in Pennsylvania having asterisks but my teacher glossed over it.   What happened in 1876 may well reverberate in this election or in 2020.

Unlike the fiction that Al Gore’s “stolen election” in 2000 was unique or awful, 1876 was much worse.  Republican Rutherford B Hayes lost in the popular vote to Democrat Samuel Tilden and the post war electoral college was a mess.  Democrats won the popular vote in three Southern states amid violence against Republicans and fraud, but the electors were controlled by Republicans who refused to vote for Tilden, leaving both candidates without a majority.   

To get past the deadlock and potentially reignite the Civil War, Democrats agreed to let Hayes become President IF the control of the South was returned to white racist Democrats, who were subsequently brutal in enacting Jim Crow laws to suppress black voting and expel Republicans from office.

So back to today, we went to a semi-legendary drive-in that has been featured on cable TV and had a cameo in a hollywood movie.

Charlotte has a vibrant Greek immigrant community, many of whom created successful restaurants providing affordable food to the people on the West side of the tracks.  This drivein is  virtually identical to the one I worked for in 1974 in Statesville.

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The reality of racial fear

This Tuesday, one of the more important US House races is our district.  The District runs from South Park Mall, most of South Charlotte and Matthews, then all of the lightly populated counties that border with South Carolina, over to Fayetteville (Home of Fort Bragg).

In the primary, our district ousted the Republican incumbent in favor of the candidate backed by the rural counties – Charlotte minister Mark Harris.  Those voters are Republicans who used to be Democrats before the Democrat party was taken over by George McGovern, Bernie Sanders and Jesse Jackson – and may well return if Democrats allow Conservatives back into the party.

Mecklenburg County is dominated by the City of Charlotte, increasingly controlled by Democrats, which translates into race.   The mayor, city manager, police chief, fire chief and soon to be county sheriff are black.  The fear is palpable and didn’t start yesterday.

You may have heard about a school shooting near Matthews NC in the past few days.   Why the story is dying quickly nationally is there is no white villain.  One black student shot and killed another black student.  The school has consciously been made “diverse” by the county, combining poor black and Hispanic children living in apartment complexes with predominantly white upper middle class areas.    This has resulted in two things.

Those who can afford it, send their children to private Christian schools that have the power to expel students who are disruptive.  Matthews is trying to set up a publicly funded charter school separate from the county School system, but getting legal pushback from the county School system (CMS)

The alternative is you flee Mecklenburg County – either to South Carolina or to Union County.   The map shows just how strong this force is.

The yellow area is Mecklenburg County – almost completely undeveloped.  The moment you cross the county line, it becomes wall to wall high density subdivisions who attend Union County schools.

The people in Southern Mecklenburg county are not voting for a Republican preacher, even many moderate Republicans.   Mr. Harris won the primary with a huge majority of pro-trump voters in Union County, where Monroe is the biggest city.

The wild card is the Eastern counties of the district.   The further East you go, the larger the proportion of poor, rural blacks surviving on subsistence farming.   The dirty little secret is they are socially Conservative and quietly oppose the gay rights agenda due to strong religious beliefs and a peceived shortage of heterosexual black men not in prison or headed there.   In 2016, they stayed home and would not vote for Hillary.  They will decide this election, and Republicans are ignoring them.   President Trump should have gone to Fayetteville, not Charlotte.

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