March 6, 2011

Citizen Huffington

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:09 pm

The Wrap is reporting that Arianna Huffington dared writers to go ahead with a planned strike because no one would notice. Does she honestly think that if they did the folks who just paid $315 million won’t notice that the backbone of the online publication has been removed?

The Huffington Post writers are on strike! People are starting to notice.

If the deal has been signed and witnessed, obviously Arianna can do the Liberace routine and cry (about the strike) all the way to the bank. If the deal hasn’t been finalized the folks shelling out the money might have cause to wonder if they should sign on the dotted line.

It’s a cliché to say that the Internets is a vast new frontier that is still trying to define itself and so a writers’ strike now will be historic no matter what the outcome.

There is no mention of the strike (that we can find) on the Huffington Post site. This brings to mind the strike at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in the late Sixties.

The comic strip La Cucaracha, done by Lalo Alcaraz, has been parodying the Huffington Post strike by depicting events at the fictional “Riffington Post.”

At this point some folks may want to post a troll comment that says that if an online columnist reports on the Huffington Post strike, it is just a case of sour grapes because he never got an offer to join their posse.

As a rogue/rebel/loner columnist, who wants to buck the Internets trend and imitate the old newspaper concept of “three do journalism” as done by Walter Winschel and Herb Caen (it’s perfect for the new skim fast media), we could also sign up to go provide photo coverage of local high school games in the Berkeley area for some local news sites. We know we would do a good job because we’ve done that for various small daily newspapers and our efforts pleased the editors, but we were getting paid. Doing it again (for practice?) just doesn’t appeal to us. We’ve been to the Academy Awards and are not very much interested in seeing if we could get a media pass to do it again.

There are some things we would like to do and see and know that we could subsequently bang out an online column that would be of acceptable level quality.

We noticed that there has been some recent student protests in Berkeley last week. If we were there, we would hike up to the campus to see what’s happening, but since we are on location (reporting live from the Cow’s End Café in Venice CA, today) we’ll have to send folks to the local Berkeley news sites such as Berkeley Side and Berkeley Daily Planet.

If Aggregator Websites get the chance to cross post some demonstration arrests news from Berkeley, fine. If they don’t, “Sen loi G. I. (as the natives used to say in Saigon)”

Sure, it might be fun to win the Internets “Prom King” popularity poll and get some wider readership, but there is a certain freedom available to one of the few adherents to the three dot school of columning that appeal to this particular writer. If we get a plug from (for example) Mike Malloy on his radio show, or from Brad Friedman on his Bradblog site, that means we will see a higher number of hits listed for our efforts. It’s just a different number to us. If not, well, (as Ned Kelly once said), “Such is life.”

The folks who contribute (or should that be past tense “contributed”) to Arianna’ big online aggregate site, had to please the master, but it probably required a good amount of close proof reading, polishing, and html-ing. We can be much more loose and informal and jump from topic to topic. We don’t have a “beat” to report. We have the luxury of being able to pick items we think fit in the day’s effort, write it up, copy, post, and depart.

We extend sincere good wishes to the writers on strike and the union supporters in Wisconsin. (Is there a link to a place where we can send pizzas to the striking writers?)

We note that Keith Olbermann posted an item, on Fok News (his new blog) mentioning how much easier it was to deal with management when he had a union to back him up.

We can say we second the motion from personal experience. Do Republicans honestly believe that an individual employee could have fought unfair treatment by management at a large International News Service (that comes early in the alphabetical listings of such organizations) all alone? Do they really think an individual could get a company to say “Yes, that was unfair” and recant and relent with no one else on their side? Well, it a different ball game when the union shop steward says “when he backs down, let him save face” because if he doesn’t back down, they will strike just to protect you from unfairness regarding working on a holiday. (He did back down, they didn’t strike, and the day after my holiday, I waked in and handed in my resignation.)

Perhaps we will do a future column about how wonderful the world looks to self reliant Republicans who have completely lost touch with the reality.

What if all the striking writers from their own Aggregate website and make it a big success? Would some company offer to buy them for $315 million, and if they did would the writers reap the rewards of their labor? We hope they do because it might teach some greedheads to respect the workers.

Additonal links for more information about wrtiers’ strike

Walter Winchell has said: “Gossip is the art of saying nothing in a way that leave practically nothing unsaid.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Ally Oop,” “Take the money and run,” and the Peanuts theme music. We have to go get the information we will need to know for a visit to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard CA. Have a “do not cross the picket line” type week.

January 6, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Them That’s Got and Stan Getz Edition

And This Day in Hell…

“Them that’s got shall get,
Them that’s not shall lose…”

– From “God Bless the Child (That’s Got His Own),” by Arthur Herzog Jr. and Billie Holiday, and recorded by her for Okeh Records in 1941.

“Free market capitalism — as a faith — really is an inverse of Marxism. It is a theology that believes their system will bring paradise on earth and moral perfection. When their system is in power in the real world, their true believers claim that any problem only happened because their ideology has not been applied with sufficient purity.”
– Larry Beinhart, “The Fall of a Free Market Prophet,” Common Dreams, Dec. 7, 2008.

“Sometimes the Invisible Hand is all thumbs.”
– Jared Bernstein, C-Span, April 16, 2008.

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”
– Ernest Hemingway [Bush reversed the formula, but it's still true today.]

So far we’ve seen the Top Dogs – underline ‘dogs’ – of Wall Street and Detroit parade before Congress insisting they need our tax money to bail them out. The former ‘Masters of the Universe’ have made so many stupid short-term decisions they have shamed their MBA parchment into so much worthless sheepskin accorded to those who can pay the tuition, or have the family clout, to squeeze them through college. To add insult to injury, the bankers who have fleeced us for billions in the name of providing credit to keep businesses going have refused to use our money to provide credit to keep businesses going, instead financing bonuses for themselves, luxury retreats at pricey resorts, and apparently precipitating a sit-down strike by 300 union workers at a Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago last month. Not only were these people unceremoniously fired and given one day to clear out, the company reneged on its contract to provide wages and vacation pay owed them and the severance pay they were guaranteed. That’s right – Republic refused to pay wages and vacation pay already earned and blamed it on the Bank of America, while they hastily moved their Chicago equipment to Iowa. BoA received $25 billion of our tax dollars to avoid just this kind of situation. Fortunately, thanks to nationwide publicity for this sit-down strike, and support from near-President Obama, the Republic workers finally received their back wages and other pay, but let’s see this for what it was: A naked attempt to bust the union, and it was mostly successful. Republic’s union workers are still out of a job and the company has set up a low-wage non-union plant in Iowa. (Incidentally, inquiring minds would like to know: who is paying the salaries of Republic’s top executives and how much do they make?)

Morality and ethics hardly exist in the corporate boardroom but, if this isn’t wrong, what is?

How to correct it? Let’s hope President Obama takes a page from Franklin D. Roosevelt, especially his Economic Bill of Rights speech delivered January 11, 1944, during the Second World War, which included:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

As FDR concluded: “All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

“America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.”

If we have those rights, the economy will take care of itself.

What Does Late Jazz Sax Player Stan Getz Have to Do with Our Economic Meltdown? Read on:


March 17, 2008

Daily Kos Writers’ “strike” Gets Ugly

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , — Volt @ 4:52 pm

Alex Koppelman, Slate, March 17, 2008

On Friday, a diarist at the liberal blogging landmark Daily Kos put up a new post calling for Hillary Clinton supporters to launch a writers’ “strike” at the site.

In the post, diarist “Alegre” wrote:

I’ve been posting at DailyKos for nearly 4 years now and started writing diaries in support of Hillary Clinton back in June of last year. Over the past few months I’ve noticed that things have become progressively more abusive toward my candidate and her supporters.

I’ve put up with the abuse and anger because I’ve always believed in what our on-line community has tried to accomplish in this world. No more. DailyKos is not the site it once was thanks to the abusive nature of certain members of our community.

I’ve decided to go on “strike” and will refrain from posting here as long as the administrators allow the more disruptive members of our community to trash Hillary Clinton and distort her record without any fear of consequence or retribution. I will not be posting at DailyKos effective immediately. I will not help drive up traffic or page-hits as long as my candidate — a good and fine DEMOCRAT — is attacked in such a horrid and sexist manner not only by other diarists, but by several of those posting to the front page.

Read More Here

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