Thursday, July 28, 2011

York PC 112: Page One: Inside The New York Times - A Documentary Film...

...that goes in-depth into the day-to-day operations of the New York Times.

Sourced from Google:

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Page One: Inside the New York Times

‎1hr 28min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Documentary‎
Director: Andrew Rossi - Cast: David Carr - : Rated 4.0 out of 5.0
"Page One" unfolds over the course of 2010, one of the most tumultuous years for print journalism since the invention of the printing press, with online media continuing to reinvent the rules and some of the oldest print newspaper institutions in the country forced to close or drastically reduce their operations. Along the course of the year, director Rossi was given unprecedented access to the editorial process at "The New York Times."

 Notes from Dan:

My wife and I just saw this film at the Glenn Art Theater in downtown Glenn Ellyn. The film is excellent, and kept me interested all the way through. It raises several questions, most of which have yet to be answered. I strongly recommend seeing this film.

The largest question that the movie raises is whether or not large ol-media organizations such as the New York Times will be able to survive, and also whether it matters if they survive or not. There are several arguments on both sides, with very good points. 

Personally, I think the answer on whether it matters if these institutions survive lies somewhere between the extremes of letting them die and keeping them in print. I think the print edition is accessible to those who can't afford technology, or are unable to adapt to modern web technology. I also think that a billion bloggers still can't match the focused investigative depth that a full-blown newsroom of the Times' caliber is capable of. There are very few in online media who can come close to the access and full-time devotion to a story such institutions are capable of.

Of course, those arguments only hold true if such institutions decide to follow a given story, and if they verify that their sources are in-fact accurate and that trusted insiders aren't abusing the institution. Judith Miller and the run-up to the Iraq war come to mind. The cost of that particular debacle to U.S., Iraqi, and international society has been immense and horrific. 

Old media also can't effectively cover the full breadth of global news or match the flash-speed of an online story gone viral. It's like comparing a battery of brilliant spotlights to the flashes of lightning in a massive thunderstorm system. They just aren't the same thing. One is tightly-controlled and narrowly focused, the other is wide-ranging and intensely-fast, but also erratic and un-controlled, without duration and depth. 

Trust is an issue with both forms of media, explicitly in the case of internet stories, and implicitly in the case of corporate-owned (and likely corporate-controlled) monolithic old-media. After all, it is just as easy to twist truth in reporting by omission as it is by saying outright falsehoods, and both are dangerous things in an open society that is truly citizen-governed.

My personal leaning is to have as wide as possible scope of headline information so that I can choose what to follow in-depth myself. I think this "big-picture" view is indispensable, and that the past ten years have exposed many things that are deep internal threats to our democracy and way of life, and even more importantly, to our future survivability as a species.

If we were still operating in an era entirely dominated by large-scale monolithic one-way media, there are many things that the large corporations and extremely-wealthy would have kept hidden from the masses. Without the resources of those institutions, we would lose the deep investigative power of a fully-developed newsroom. In the end, I think it will be necessary to strip the old-media from corporate hands and merge it with the new-media flash-mob zeitgeist of global information.

The interesting thing is, it seems to me that varying forms of exactly that are starting to come into being. The old-media and the top-of-class new-media are coming up with their own versions of just such organizations. It's the financial structures that have yet to be figured out in the most obsessive-compulsive capitalist society ever to exist on Earth. Even the Ferenghi on Star Trek would have a hard time competing with modern American and trans-national corporations.

Today, however, and in the next few years to come, the story remains to be fully-written. There are multiple plots involved, and it boils down to the very large few and the very small many, and how they interact. I believe that if either fails to value and support the other sufficiently, the whole system will break down. 

Given the stories I'm seeing in all forms of media over the last few years, I think that most people in either paradigm are in for some seriously-hard-knock schooling on this point. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, and that things will find a way to mesh that everyone can live with.

All the best,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Detroit: The Long And Winding Road...To Recovery?

A fascinating look at the number 1 city in the nation for urban agriculture, and a story for the rest of us to watch.

All the best,


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

York PC 112: Chicago Tribune Calls Empty Forecloures "Eyesores & Crime-Magnets"; I Call Them Opportunities To House The Homeless...

Here's the Trib article link:

Doesn't it strike you as criminally insane that we have millions of vacant homes at the same time that millions of people are in "tent cities" or street curbs? What is wrong with this picture? Have we become so callous and heartless?

Why are we not seizing these empty homes via eminent domain and helping Habitat For Humanity and other such charities stretch their strapped budgets?

There are empty houses. There are homeless people. There are construction workers short on jobs.

It's a simple solution. The banks should be donating these homes to States and Charities to pay back their bail-outs and get their property tax payments off the balance sheets, but I guess they're just too greedy.

All the best,


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Superman 2050 Adventure...

...and an adventure it is.

The performance I attended was in Link's Hall at the corner of Sheffield and Clark in Wrigleyville. Have you ever tried parking in Wrigleyville?

Link's Hall is a classic old brick building in the middle of everything. It's was a sultry 95 degrees out, and people are walking, biking, driving, riding scooters and motorcycles, dining on sidewalk patios under party lights. It was lovely chaos in the streets, and I was extremely lucky to find side-lot parking for $5.00 per hour just two blocks away and ten minutes before show time.

Did I say Link's Hall was old? As in so old it was 85 degrees plus inside? I have to hand it to the performers, because this show is all pantomime dance!

That's right, eight people on a four-by-ten foot platform three feet up transport you right into a better world using only tights-clad bodies in motion and voice. The only prop was a single pair of glasses.

I was flatly and joyfully amazed. The energy and cleverness was superb. The contrast between stark stage setting and brilliant imagination was surreal.

The show is being done in partnership with the Midwest High-Speed Railroad Association. ( MHSR Spokesperson Madelein opened and closed the performance, to great applause on both ends.

This was the production taping of the show tonight. It will be available on DVD through Theater Unspeakable soon. Superman 2050 is touring the Midwest exclusively via passenger rail, and has dates all over the region scheduled. There will also be a performance upcoming at Second City.

Hats off to Superman 2050 for promoting a better world through superior dance!

All the best,


Midwest High Speed Rail Association:

Link's Hall:

Theater Unspeakable: 
(Theater Unspeakable on Twitter: )

Second City:

Superman: 2050

York PC 112. Now, This Is Nuts, States Talking Immunity For Illegal Bank Foreclosure Practices, And Illinois Is In On It...

If it were my say-so, I would be talking siezing forclosures unsold after a year via eminent domain, to be donated to homeless families.

All the best,


Monday, July 18, 2011

York PC 112: Former Fox News Producer Claimed His Phone Records Hacked In 2008, Everyone Brushed Off "Book-Promoting Conspiracy Theory"...

Did you know that conspiracy theories exist BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS CONSPIRACIES IN HISTORY?!

The next time you're tempted to just ignore something as a "conspiracy theory," as Faux News would say so snidely, just think of phone hacking by the Sneerers-In-Chief, Faux News.

They've spent twenty years brainwashing people that what's great for corporate profits on Wall Street is Heaven for Middle Class America. Look around you at the empty strip mall shops and even empty strip malls. How about the one-in-seven houses that are foreclosed and empty? The tent cities in the warm states? The college kids who are lucky if they can find tables to bus? How's all that working out for ya?

Now they want to get rid of teachers, police, firefighters, garbage men, forest preserves, anything and everything that serves the public will be owned and operated by some huge corporate conglomerate. Do you really think any of it will be cheaper and safer? Do you really want at least a third of American kids to be illiterate and ignorant because we no longer have public primary education and their parents can't afford it?

Sure, if you're a billionaire who wants cheap labor that doesn't know when it's getting cheated. How many of you really think you'll be billionaires in ten years? Honestly?

Faux News propagandized the Tea Party from a small minority of extremists into a national brand in a year. Why would they so promote something that didn't serve the interests of their billionaire head honcho Murdo...?

That's why this story could finally be good news for America:

Wise up and rise up to the challenge, America. We still have a chance to save our country and our planet.

All the best,


York PC 112: Of President Obama And X-Chess...

Ya know, he always did remind me of that Vulcan, Tuvok, on Star Trek Voyager...

Let us pray...

All the best,


Saturday, July 16, 2011

York PC 112: Shadowy Group Writing "Corporate Wish List" Bills For Right-Wing State Legislators...

...which is a text-book-example of fascism.

Aren't you glad we have Dems in Illinois?

All the best,


York PC 112: Have You Had Enough Of Being Trickled Down On Yet?

Trickle-Down Cruelty And The politics Of Austerity:

All the best,


York PC 112: A Little Thom Hartmann In The Morning...

Thom Hartmann: Secrets the Rich don't Want You to Know:

All the best,


York PC 112: Playing With The Wake Up DuPage Logo A Bit...

Click on the logo above to view it full-sized.

Rise and shine, DuPage County! Your Country needs you!

All the best,


York PC 112: How The Fed Is Dogging The Economy And May Not Even Know It...

The Fed has a policy that is causing capital lending for small-to-medium-sized businesses - the major source of job growth when exiting a recession or depression - to dry up on a long-term basis. And YES, there is something we can do about it, and it's already under consideration in Illinois and several other States.

Read on:

All the best,


Friday, July 15, 2011

York PC 112: Activists Pave The Way For Low-Power Community FM Radio Stations

Very soon, inexpensive FM radio stations at the local community level may be broadcasting near you:

All the best,


York PC 112: DuPage County Central Committee Meeting Last Night...

...was overall a great success, I think.

We took care of on-going county business in pretty good order. Then we moved on to out-reach training.

I did feel a little slighted by not being recognized along with a few others for my work to improve DPDC online efforts, which I started on last year. I don't think it was intentional, however.

There was a lot of great information presented. I think it will make the whole organization much more effective soon.

All the best,


Thursday, July 14, 2011

York PC 112: Have I Underestimated The President's Chess Game?

After reading that President Obama left talks with the Republican corporate molls, I'm wondering if his plan all along wasn't to expose for all to see just how far the Republicans will bend over for their corporate elite masters.

Clearly, the current crop of House fool-tools are utterly owned. They couldn't find the good of the country if it bit them in the nards.

Even better is reporting this morning that an overwhelming number of the public places the blame for our economic woes clearly on Bushwack's shoulders, where it belongs.

All the best,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

York PC 112: Tea Party Group Admits They Want To End Public Schools

So finally they say it like it is, if you're not rich, they want your children to remain ignorant and illiterate, so that they can be made into more tractable and gullible serfs:

Are we going to let them? Not if I have anything to say about it.

All the best,


York PC 112: They Don't Call It "Depression" For Nothing...

Definition of DEPRESSION:


Definition of DEPRESSION

a : the angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon b : the size of an angle of depression
: an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as a : a pressing down : lowering b (1) : a state of feeling sad : dejection (2) : a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies c (1) : a reduction in activity, amount, quality, or force (2) : a lowering of vitality or functional activity
: a depressed place or part : hollow
: low 1b
: a period of low general economic activity marked especially by rising levels of unemployment"

A fascinating documentary and review article on the current economic crisis over two years and forty States. There are stories of the people impacted in the first half of the film, and great coverage of grass-roots activist groups that are directly working to help solve the problems with outside-the-box solutions from all over America.

All the best,


Saturday, July 9, 2011

York PC 112: I Will Never Support More Attacks On Middle-Class Americans...

The rumors are flying on Capitol Hill in DC that President Obama is considering supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Far too many of our Seniors and physically disabled folk are already one step from sleeping on curbs and eating pet chow. With the dismal job being done on the economy thanks to Republicans who see any progress on a green economy as a threat to their oil patrons and Democrats who don't know where to put the money they're borrowing to actually get long-term growth, I have had it with national-level politicians.

Our local people are far better than that.

If this President agrees to cuts in these programs, I will be voting for another candidate in the Primary, and if he is the Nominee, I'll be voting Green in the General election.

If these people are looking for cuts, they need to be looking at Iraq, Afghanistan, and a grossly-wasteful and bloated military budget that equals the spending of the rest of the world combined.

If you want to reduce healthcare costs, institute medicare for everyone, with working people buying coverage, and eliminate the horrible practice of making a profit off of people's misery so you can spend it on billionaires' yachts and massive advertising.

From \William Rivers Pitt, an article that says it best:

At some point, we have to draw a line in the sand. That point is now.

All the best,


York PC 112: Huge Win For Media Diversity And Competition...

Free Press Action Fund
Dear Dan,
We won!
Today, in a sweeping victory for communities across the country, a federal appeals court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to weaken media ownership rules.
Had these rules gone into effect, it would have unleashed a new wave of media consolidation across the country.
In 2007, the FCC ignored letters and calls from millions of Americans and tried to rewrite its media ownership rules to let companies own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in the same town. This change would have opened the floodgates to new media mergers, leading to even more layoffs in newsrooms while thinning out diverse perspectives from local news.
We sued the FCC for ignoring the public outcry. Today, we won. The court tossed out the FCC's flawed rules, but also upheld all other media consolidation restrictions and told the FCC it needed to do better to support and foster diverse voices in the media – all crucial decisions for our fight to build better media.
This isn’t just our victory – it’s your victory, too.
The court pointed to public comments from people like you as deciding factor in overturning the FCC’s attempt to change its rules. Today it’s clear: Your voice and actions make a huge difference.
This court decision should send a wake-up call to the FCC: It must listen to the public and stand up against media consolidation in all its forms.
But the fight doesn’t end here. Right now around the country, local stations are using loopholes and backroom deals to get around media ownership rules and consolidate their coverage of local news. This court case makes clear that the FCC needs to strengthen their rules and address this growing epidemic as well. Click here to tell the FCC to stop this covert media consolidation.
Today’s victory is a big moment for the movement to build better media. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Craig Aaron
President & CEO
Free Press
P.S. – We need your help sustaining our efforts. In court, at the FCC and in Congress we’re up against huge companies with lots of money and lawyers. We don't take money from government, political parties or businesses – so we depend on you. Help us fight the next media ownership fight. Please donate today.
P.P.S. – Read more about the details and background of today’s big decision.
Free Press Action Fund is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Learn more at