October 9, 2006

Google and YouTube: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

Is the old mainstream media monolith being digitally rebuilt?

The travails of Michelle Malkin, other conservatives, and those speaking out against Islamofascism at YouTube are becoming well-known, and appalling.

The combination of BizzyBlog Internet Wall of Shame member Google with YouTube could be an early indicator of the formation of a digital replacement to the old “Mainstream Media” firewall that prevented a lot of thinking outside the liberal box before the odiously misnamed “Fairness Doctrine” went away. If searchers can’t find you and YouTube/Google Video won’t display you (there’s little reason to believe that Yahoo! or other search engines will be more open), your access to the rest of the world will be artificially limited vs. those who have politically correct content. The only solution will be to set up viable alternatives of both. It can be done, but it would be a huge challenge that shouldn’t be necessary.

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UPDATE: Isn’t that special? The YouTube vid that Michelle linked to at the end of this posthas been removed due to terms of use violation.” Her latest on Google’s campaign giving patterns and other related matters is here.

UPDATE 2: Patterico is upset at the cheap-shot journalistic style and the ‘fraidy-cat hypocrisy of the New York Times piece linked above, as he should be.

UPDATE 3: Professor Bainbridge is speculating, as I did above that an attempted politically-correct chokelhold by Google-YouTube might give rise to a competitor, a rough equivalent to what caused Fox News to come along in the cable-news world. Well, Fox DOES own MySpace, which would appear to be a pretty good platform from which to launch a video service.

UPDATE 4: Mark Cuban still thinks Google is crazy. Some of his commenters think he is.

A Note to Hamilton County Government Officials on Ohio Learn & Earn

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:34 pm

(to the tune of the old “Nestle’s Quik” commercials)

An S E L L O U T,

Will not pass OL&E,

Ever.

Alan Greenspan: Housing Market ‘Worst May Well Be Over’

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 4:12 pm

Oh, the 527 Media won’t like this:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. housing market appears to be emerging from its recent travails and the “worst may well be over,” former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was quoted as saying on Friday.

“I suspect that we are coming to the end of this downtrend, as applications for new mortgages, the most important series, have flattened out,” Greenspan said at an event in Calgary, Canada, sponsored by BMO Financial Group, according to a transcript BMO made available.

Green Hypocrisy, and a Simple Solution

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:52 pm

Peter Glover at TCS Daily tries to make what I believe would have been an unfair point 5 years ago, but which is perfectly valid now. Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand the reason why he’s relatively suddenly right:

Green Hypocrisy at 30,000 Feet

They sit in economy class occasionally wiping their clammy hands. Their eyes dart furtively about. They wonder whether the stewardess or passenger next to them might have become suspicious. Some even grow moustaches or beards – to cover the ‘giveaway’ sweating top lip.

But they are not terrorists. At least not in the modern sense of wanting to blow up the airplanes they travel in. Far from it, for they love nothing more the sense of self-importance international jetsetting offers. Travelling that delivers them in far-flung destinations where they can evangelize their ascetic ordinances to thousands of fellow worshippers. But while travelling their chief fear is that they will be found out. Who they are, what they preach – and expose their moralistic hypocritical behaviour.

They are the Green Bigots, leading environmentalists, those at the vanguard of the fight to change our lifestyles, restrict our foreign flights, who insist we do our ‘bit’ to cut greenhouse gas emissions while they rack up thousands of airmiles on business and pleasure trips.”

As the UK’s The Sunday Times has recently revealed, “In the past year the directors and chief executives of groups such as WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association have crisscrossed the globe, visiting the Falklands, Japan, Africa and Brazil.” The ST’s environment editor points out, “All are running high-profile campaigns to persuade people to change their lifestyles and cut emissions of carbon dioxide.”

Fair enough. But I believe that as long as the enviros aren’t chartering their own jets, they’re not doing any (theoretically) demonstrable harm to the environment. That scheduled flight they are on is going to leave whether they are on the plane or not.

But ….. there is a way to avoid getting on the plane in the first place, and I don’t see any evidence that the uber-sophisticated enviros are taking advantage of it. I am talking about web-based meetings. Enviros should be scheduling 80%-90% of their meetings and conferences in this manner. If they’re not doing this within a year or so, I will have to conclude that they are guilty as charged — that they are more interested in jet-setting than they are in “saving” the environment (which, just to be clear, is doing just fine and is in no need of “saving”).

WSJ Notes Employment ‘Whoops,’ But Should Have Gone Further

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:47 am

From a subscription-only editorial today:

The Labor Department released its September jobs report on Friday, and some wags are calling it the “whoops” report. The “whoops” is a reference to the upward revision of 810,000 previously undetected jobs that Labor now says were created in the U.S. economy in the 12 months through March 2006.

So instead of 5.8 million new jobs over the past three years, the U.S. economy has created 6.6 million. That’s a lot more than a rounding error, more than the number of workers in the entire state of New Hampshire. What’s going on here?

Our hypothesis has been that, due to the changing nature of the U.S. economy, the Labor Department’s business establishment survey has been undercounting job creation from small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs. That job growth has been better captured in Labor’s companion household survey, which reported 271,000 new jobs in September after 250,000 new jobs in August, and a very healthy total of 2.54 million new jobs in the past year.

The Journal missed the fact that there is STILL a 3 million-plus job difference since January 2002 between the Household and Establishment reports (see this post showing a difference of about 4 million last month before the “whoops” adjustment). Labor’s “whoops” adjustment recognizes that the error is in the Establishment report, and raises at least these two current questions:

  • How many more jobs has the Establishment Survey missed in April through September of this year? It would appear, based on the 12-month revision of 810,000, that there may be 400,000 unreported Establishment Survey jobs created in the past six months.
  • Now that the Establishment Survey has been shown to be flawed, will the 527 Media give at least equal, if not greater, billing to the Household Survey’s usually-higher number of jobs created? I would suggest that they should; given that the Household Survey will ordinarily make the employment news look better, I’m going to “guess” that they’ll continue to ignore it, even though they have to look at it every month for the unemployment rate.

Some British News the 527 Media Must Think We Can’t Use

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:06 am

The UK National Health Service is lurching towards crisis:

A rising number of protests against cuts in the NHS is threatening to rival the 1990s rebellion against the Tory’s poll tax, campaigners have said.

They claim action could increase as the impact of the overhaul in hospitals in England begins to hits home.

Rallies on Saturday in Huntingdon, Huddersfield and Southampton followed events in other areas in recent months.
….. “An extraordinary grass roots movement against government policy on hospital closures and privatisation is putting thousands of people on the streets every weekend in villages, town and cities the length and breadth of the country,” said Geoff Martin, head of campaigns at pressure group Health Emergency.

“There’s been nothing like this since the spontaneous rebellion against the poll tax in the early 90s.

(For those who don’t remember, the “poll tax” was a fixed tax imposed on each adult [with some exceptions for lower incomes] that the British government put into place in 1989 and 1990. It was so unpopular that it led to rioting in some cities, and it was a major factor, if not THE major factor, that led to the end of Margaret Thatcher’s term as Prime Minister.)

When healthcare becomes an entirely public good in a rapidly changing world, these kinds of conflicts are inevitable. Add this to the very long list of reasons for the US not to allow itself to get sucked into nationalized healthcare.

Nuts to ACORN

Filed under: Business Moves,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:01 am

As noted back in August, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), seems to be around voter-registration fraud “amazingly” often. The post cites numerous instances in 2004 and one from this year.

Porkopolis reminds me that back in the mid-1990s, ACORN, a pro-minimum wage increase advocacy group, tried to convince the State of California that it didn’t need to pay its employees ….. the minimum wage.

So if they aren’t there already, add ACORN to your “progressive” “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” list. The REAL list is so long that it’s a wonder that Peter Schweizer, author of the book by the same name released last year, was ever able stop writing.

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UPDATE: There are so many examples of ACORN voter-registration fraud cited at this Belleville, IL newspaper link (HT SoxBlog at Hugh Hewitt) that you’ll want to save the article to your hard drive for future reference. Current ACORN-iness is particularly strong in Missouri, particularly St. Louis. A shocking YouTube video (shocking only at how readily people are stating that they are doing things that are clearly illegal; HT Pub Def Weekly via Gateway Pundit) shows that ACORN is clearly working to register people to “vote for Claire McAskill” (Democrat candidate for US Senator), and is not paying some of the people working for them.

UPDATE 2: Porkopolis links to a Fox Journal page, where you can find a link in the middle of the page to a “Hits and Misses” video that (eventually, at the end) discusses ACORN’s minimum-wage hypocrisy.

I’ve Heard of Seller’s Remorse, But This Is Ridiculous

Filed under: Business Moves — Tom @ 7:56 am

If you haven’t heard about this, it will probably be one of those “put down the coffee before you spit it out” stories.

News Corp. bought Intermix Media, the owner of MySpace.com for $580 million in July 2005.
At the time, as this recent Forbes article indicates, more than a few people thought that New Corp. “had overpaid for a faddish web site” (the Forbes article puts the price tag at $650 million).

Which makes it intensely comical that MySpace.com’s founder is now saying the deal should have been done for $20 billion — yeah, with a B (HT Techdirt).
On March 17 of this year, News Corp. was worth $56.6 billion.

Yeah, MySpace is “obviously” more than one-third of News Corp’s value (/sarcasm).

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UPDATE, 4 PM: “News Corp says judge rules MySpace deal was lawful

Eliot Spitzer Comes Out

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:51 am

From the New York Times (may require registration):

Mr. Spitzer, who is running for governor and holds a commanding lead in the polls, made his strongest declaration yet in support of gay marriage in his remarks to the Empire State Pride Agenda, the state’s leading gay lobbying group. He told the audience, “We will make it law in New York.”

If elected, Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, would be the most prominent state official in the nation to call for the legalization of gay marriage, though Democratic candidates for governor in California and Massachusetts have also expressed support.

….. “We will not ask whether this proposition of legalizing same-sex marriage is popular or unpopular; we will not ask if it’s hard or easy; we will simply ask if it’s right or wrong,” he told a crowd of nearly 1,200 gathered at a Midtown hotel ballroom. “I think we know in this room what the answer to that question is.”

Here’s a benchmark: The supposed nonpartisan Center for Politics headed up by newly-discovered Democratic hack Larry Sabato hasn’t bothered updating his “Crystal Ball” on the New York’s governor’s race in months, and says that it’s a given that Spitzer “will easily top 60% of the vote.” According to Bloomberg this past week, Spitzer is leading his Republican opponent John Faso by a margin of 3 to 1.

Those two tidbits, and the fact that there is no Conservative Party candidate this time around lead me to suggest that if Spitzer gets less than 70% of the vote, it will be because of backlash against his aggressive pro-gay marriage stance. If he comes in below 60%, the backlash will have to be evaluated as having been signficant. The results on November 7, and the response, will be interesting.

Positivity: Birthday boy defies rare illness

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

In Lancashire, UK:

A plucky Preston youngster has just celebrated his fourth birthday despite suffering a rare illness which needs constant medical attention.

Neil Lockhart Halsall, of Waterloo Road, Ashton, is battling the condition, called severe right main bronchus bronchomalacia, which severely affects his breathing and caused his right lung to constantly collapse. It was diagnosed when he was just seven-months-old.

Neil also had a hole in his heart and a problem with a major artery but has fought back from the brink of death several times, under going a revolutionary operation at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to patch up his lungs.

The procedure, which had been performed only once before, saved his life. He had special tubes, known as stents, placed in his lungs to keep his airways open.

But, despite his problems, he is a lively happy little boy who loves playing with his toys and runs around like any other child. The only outward sign of his illness is his laboured breathing and the fact that he tires easily and has to sleep every afternoon.

On Friday, he was presented with a cake at his new nursery, St Pious, in Garstang Road, Preston, and celebrated his latest milestone with all his friends.

His proud grandmother Michelle Halsall said: “Every day we have him is a bonus. He loves playing as much as any other child. He particularly loves playing with his football – although we know he’ll never be a footballer.