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  Sinclair/Tribune merger denied
Posted by: pbrower2a - Yesterday, 06:30 PM - Forum: Entertainment and Media - No Replies

Many of us know Tribune Media for WGN, KTLA, or WPIX -- at times, superstations from Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York City. Now that most of us no longer get the genuine WGN TV feed (with Chicago-area sports and the excellent news feed -- and living in Michigan, I loved getting Tom Skilling's weather report because it would show our weather forming off to the west as a variant of Chicago weather) it's not so interesting.

Sinclair Broadcasting Company, infamous for propaganda about as blatant as that of the old Soviet Union, if for the Hard Right in America, had been trying to take over Tribune Media (a fairly neutral news source) and transform it into a conduit for its right-wing propaganda. Well. "Stinking Liar" Broadcasting will not be taking over WGN, KTLA, or WPIX -- or 39 other TV stations, some of them bug players in some major TV markets (the biggest markets in which Tribune Broadcasting isn't a local broadcaster are Detroit and San Francisco) -- according to a decision by the FCC:


Quote:FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Monday he has "serious concerns" about Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would send the transaction through a lengthy administrative process often viewed as a deal-killer.

As originally proposed in May 2017, the $3.9 billion deal would see conservative-leaning Sinclair, already the largest U.S. TV station owner, gobble up 42 Tribune stations in key markets like New York and Chicago, adding to its existing footprint of more than 170 stations and giving the company access to nearly three-quarters of U.S. households.

But the regulatory review dragged on for more than a year, as Sinclair revised the deal several times, offering to sell off 21 stations in an effort to gain government approval. Critics took issue with some of the proposed sales, which were so-called sidecar arrangements that would allow Sinclair to keep a stake in the revenue and programming of the spun-off stations, as POLITICO reported on May 30. Another two of the sales would have been to a company with close ties to Sinclair.

Pai said the divestitures were a sticking point for the agency.

"Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair/Tribune transaction," the chairman said in the statement. "The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law."

The FCC's decision is a significant blow for Sinclair, which has been been a frequent target for Democrats and liberal groups disturbed by reports that it favors President Donald Trump in its coverage via "must-run" segments pumped to its network of stations.

It’s also a surprising turn of events for Pai, who was nominated for the agency's top post by Trump. The chairman had earlier revived a regulatory loophole known as the UHF discount seen as critical to the Sinclair deal. It permits broadcasters to count only half the reach of some stations when calculating their national reach — and allowed Sinclair to avoid vastly exceeding federal limits on media ownership with the deal.

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  Why are so many Millennials tattooed?
Posted by: sbarrera - 07-11-2018, 07:01 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (3)

So I had a conversation with my friend about tattoos and why they are so popular with Millennials that went something like this. It started with me explaining:

"You see, they were a Pacific islander custom which Europeans encountered in the Age of Discovery. This is why tattoos are associated with sailors. They then became a custom among Europeans of the lower orders, and were for a long time in the West associated with lack of respectability and the criminal underclass.

Then, in the aftermath of the Sixties at the end of the twentieth century, young people sought to break free of cultural norms. Getting tattooed and/or pierced was a rebellious act of individualism practiced by a minority of youth. By the turn of the century it was a fad. And now, it has become a conventional rite of youth passage. Which is why you see almost every young adult with at least some tattoos."

To which she replied, "Have you even talked with anyone who has tattoos and asked them why they have them?" I had to admit that I really had not. "It's because they feel like it's the only way in which they can truly express themselves," she continued.

"You mean that their personal bodies is the only space over which they have any control?" I'm thinking how the young generation must feel powerless in a world politically and culturally dominated by their elders.


So that's two different perspectives on the frequently tattooed Millennial generation. What do you think?

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  Trump's latest horrible Court pick
Posted by: Eric the Green - 07-11-2018, 12:35 AM - Forum: General Political Discussion - Replies (38)

Well I'm sure Galen is pleased with the nomination of Brett Kavenaugh for the Supreme Court. Which is a perfect indicator of how horrible it is.

Kavenaugh has indicated that a president should not be indicted or held to account for violations of law. Trump would not have appointed him unless Trump was certain that he would support his firing of Mueller and his obstruction of justice.

He has indicated that he is opposed to the right to birth control and abortion, even if it means women die as they did before Roe vs. Wade.

He is opposed to environmental protections and will vote to confirm deregulation.

He will confirm lawsuits against any gun laws.

He will uphold business in its fight against labor unions and workers rights.

He will support any repeal of internet neutrality, so only rich people can have fast internet service.

He will oppose affordable health care, and support insurance companies who won't insure people with preexisting conditions.

He will overturn same sex marriage and oppose gay rights.

He will uphold weakening of the voting rights act, uphold gerrymandering and uphold voter suppression laws.

He will keep the Citizens United decision the law of the land, so that big money has more influence in politics than regular peoples' opinions.

He will protect the right of corporations to have unsafe working conditions and wages on which people can't afford to live.

He will protect the right of business to provide unsafe and ineffective products and services.

He will support Trump's cruel immigration policies that are deterrents to immigrants.

The Republicans will ignore that fact that they unfairly forced Gorsuch onto the Court by not giving Garland even a hearing, and throwing out the filibuster. Now McConnell doesn't want the same principle that he declared then; that the Senate should wait until the people have spoken in the next election. Trump wanted to "delay, delay, delay" Garland's appointment, saying that in a TV primary debate. Now it's time to do that to him. 

If Republicans force this nomination and any other Trump nomination through before midterms, then Democrats need to pack the Court the next time they gain power.

Kavenaugh made promises to the Senate when he was confirmed after 3 years to the DC appeals Court on a 57-42 vote. He has broken those promises. He should be held to full account, and the fact that he was effectively appointed by the Federalist Society to uphold their extreme right-wing policies should be held against him. He should not get away with vague promises to uphold the constitution and precedent. His voting record on all these policies above is already clear. No senator or voter should be fooled by his statements now.

Trump worked and convinced Kennedy to retire now, promising that he would name his former clerk to replace him. This blatant power grab should be stopped. This power grab could be a roadblock to all progressive reforms for 40 years. It must be resisted now, and counteracted soon by any means necessary, legal and workable.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -- JFK

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  Who Can Beat Trump?
Posted by: Eric the Green - 07-09-2018, 03:10 AM - Forum: General Political Discussion - No Replies

The Washington Post is updating its ranking of 15 prospective Democratic presidential candidates, with Sen. Bernie Sanders maintaining his lead of the pack and Oprah Winfrey sinking to last place.

The news outlet updates its ranking quarterly, with the last tally posted in March.

(adding my horoscope scores, just for fun and reference)

Here’s the breakdown, from leader to least-likely:

1: Sanders: The independent Vermont senator will likely seek the Democratic nod in 2020 despite his refusal to run under the party banner as senator in Vermont’s August primary. (14-7)

2: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive, maintains 2nd place. (8-7)

3: California Sen. Kamala Harris, moves ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, who held the spot in the last ranking.

4: Biden falls to fourth, but still maintains substantial name recognition, as recent polling showed.(13-6)

5: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker holds onto fifth place, so far refusing to say even if he’ll toss his hat in the ring.(6-7)

6: New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also remains in place on the listing, though her connection with the Clintons is fraught, the Post pointed out.(7-12)

7: Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick moves up two notches; he’s promised to make a decision on whether he wants to run by the end of the year, the Post reported.(9-6)

8: Ex-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds onto his ranking, as he works in the relatively low-profile job of trying to elect Democratic governors to prevent GOP-controlled redistricting, the Post reported.(11-2)

9: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder moves up from March’s 12th place ranking, noting recently his nomination would pit “two guys from Queens” against each other in 2020, Fox News reported.(8-6)

10: Ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, breaks into the rankings as a billionaire who’s spending his dough on 2018 Democratic candidates so far.(8-5)

11: Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy falls from 7th place in March, keeping tabs on New York donors though he’s said he won’t run, according to The New York Times.(9-4?)

12: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sinks one notch in the ranking as he contends with a primary challenge from “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon.(11-6)

13: Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown dips from 10th place in March, though he maintains a big lead in the polls for his reelection over GOP challenger Rep. James Renacci, the Post reported.(19-8)

14: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in 13th place in the March listing, nevertheless “remains perhaps the most legitimate dark horse” in the race, the Post figures.(16-2)

15: Oprah Winfrey, who was in 14th place in the March ranking, comes in last in this listing, continuing to insist a run is out of the question.(10-3)

Related Stories:
Will Trump Face Hillary Clinton in a 2020 Run?(9-4, 9-11)
Dems Are Going Full Socialist, Helping Republicans
© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Read Newsmax: 15 Democrats to Watch For 2020 |Newsmax.com[url=https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2FNewsmax.com%2F&h=AT2x-xZAyngYo5GHKDYOpaduULtE-YCxm9WrmOXZF4wSMIHseprwYQ9yXkXpk5_5ghkEf8Pqh8YbP45FFZK7PBqfHXP7W8TUABEL192cQZwvG98dWf2kfHM_odljaFDA18GWSu2juA][/url]

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  Self-Driving Cars - Heaven or Hell
Posted by: beechnut79 - 07-07-2018, 11:03 AM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (11)

A story I found in the online edition of In These Times presents opposing views on the arrival of self-driving cars, referred to as autonomous vehicles, or simply AVs. Following my own comments I post a link to the story for discussion purposes only. On the old forum I had a thread dedicated to whether we ever will be motivated to reduce auto dependency. Not only has not much changed since many had to wait in long lines to get gasoline nearly a half-century ago, but the expansion of what became known as the exurbs actually tended to increase auto dependency. This is something we really need to do but don't seem to have the political will to do so.

I began to feel angry and anxious as I was reading this story. Our overwhelming dependency on the automobile has in many areas made it more difficult to breathe despite the pollution saved when many of the once ubiquitous smokestacks began to disappear from the landscape during our conversion from an industrial to an information and services based economy. Less car ownership would release a lot of pent-up physical energy through physical movement, one of the things many health and wellness gurus kneel at the feet of. 

A few years ago when gas prices shot up substantially, I was beginning to explore the idea of just how high they would have to get to produce a significant drop in consumption. Most said the price would have to get to at least $7 per gallon before you would begin to see this happen. Suburban areas would need to embrace higher density housing in order to make mass transit feasible there; something they have resisted all along. We obviously can't continue to build our way out of congestion forever.


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  What belongs exclusively to the current Fourth Turning?
Posted by: sbarrera - 07-01-2018, 05:17 PM - Forum: Society and Culture - Replies (10)

This was a fun topic over on facebook and I thought I would bring it here as well.

Assuming that the Fourth Turning began in 2008, what are some things that belong wholly to this era? Here are some which I can think of.

Smartphones. Specifically, the large touchscreen form factor smartphone that made its famous debut with the first iPhone in the summer of 2007. I remember seeing people that summer that had one. They were few and far between, but they looked like the happiest people I had ever seen, delighted beyond belief with their shiny black rectangles. I got my black mirror in 2014 and I can’t imagine life without it.

Social media. Yes, there were social media sites back in the early 2000s. I am willing to admit that I had a MySpace page. But the big wave of near universal adoption began when Facebook became open to all adults in 2006. It was 2008 when I noticed everyone around me was joining, and I jumped right on that bandwagon. With smartphones making it ever easier to share immediate experiences, there are now multiple services in widespread use.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe. This one belongs squarely in the current era, as Iron Man was released in 2008. Only a few months later, the leaders of the free world were struggling to prevent global economic collapse. Things keep getting messier and messier in the real world, but in the MCU films the good guys always manage to avert catastrophe. At least until the after-credits sequence sets up the next plot twist.

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  Maybe the trolls aren't so harmless
Posted by: pbrower2a - 07-01-2018, 10:06 AM - Forum: Entertainment and Media - No Replies

Our Hate Mail

Are these trolls? Actual threats? How can anyone tell the difference, anyway?

Up until the moment on Thursday he allegedly murdered five Capital Gazette employees, Jarrod W. Ramos was in many ways a kind of media consumer known to every journalist in America. He hated the newspaper, and he set up a pseudonymous account on Twitter to say so, again and again. There, the surly nonsense he directed at the newspaper’s reporters sat alongside the ominous allusions to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, all of it adding up — to what, exactly? A troll campaign? An actual threat? How could anyone tell the difference, anyway?

Journalists who aren’t murdered get stuff like this in their inboxes and voicemails and Twitter mentions all the time. It was hard to know last night whether this was a reassuring thought or a terrifying one. At HuffPost, reporters have been doxed more than once. They get death threats. They’re photoshopped into gas-chamber cartoons. They receive obscene abuse in virtually every medium, many examples of which are reproduced uncensored here.

(Not in this post -- the racism, sexism, homophobia, scatology, religious bigotry, and violence to which the trolls allude
is in the source. Journalists, the people who can tell us the truth about corrupt, cruel, and dishonest leaders and shatter personality cults, are at risk).

Check the link to the Huffington Post if you wish. I will not relay the filthy language and disgusting images.

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  Reality based reportage.
Posted by: Ragnarök_62 - 06-29-2018, 05:41 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (2)

We need more of this kind of reporting. Big Grin 

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  Unkind, Risk Averse and Untrusting
Posted by: beechnut79 - 06-26-2018, 01:38 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (13)

If this is today's society, can we change it?

Is it time for us to reassess how we've bee asserting ourselves in life? Do we know what it is we really want?

We have become more self-obsessed, more narrowly focused, as the public domain seems increasingly dangerous. This despite reports that incidents of personal violence have been decreasing. Seems like the opposite has happened as news programs are chock full of stories of mass shooting and murder-suicide incidents.

It is harder to help others than it used to be, and doing so in any structured way has become fraught with bureaucracy and barriers, so that where altruism still exists it is harder to express. Was this attitude originally fostered by the classic Smokey the Bear commercials? ONLY YOU can do it obviously applies to much more than just preventing forest fires. We have been thoroughly brainwashed to believe that we need to be constantly acting on our own behalf. We are also brainwashed to believe that we constantly need a purpose--something to strive toward. Leisurely pursuits seem to be more and more looked down upon, helping to make liars out of so many futurists who once predicted that the advanced technology most of us now kneel at the feet of would create increasing amounts of leisure time. Too much emphasis on work and productivity, however, can be aggressive and combative, and this in turn leaves us feeling weak and tired. Too little time and energy to explore what really turns you on and the higher purpose it can serve.

We increasingly devalue older people, while we live in an increasingly ageing society. Ageism still exists in employment despite laws that have been in place since the 1960s or 1970s. Employers have vast ways of getting around this so that any potential lawsuits can be very difficult. We have also devalued those who don't have high incomes despite the fact that racial or sexual slurs can cut off your livelihood as Roseanne Barr has found out along with many others.

A link to an Adobe articles which goes into greater depth can be found here:


Would love to hear some of your thoughts on all this.

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  On Homelessness
Posted by: beechnut79 - 06-25-2018, 08:03 AM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (5)

Not too long ago I discovered an article concerning the homeless problem. Apparently many feel that the ravages of the tech industry, which has displaced numerous jobs over the past 25 years or so, is largely to blame. I have said for years that the nature of the job and housing markets plays a big role in creating this problem, as there are fewer jobs available which don't require higher education and/or specialized training. When there was a stronger manufacturing base you could go into a factory job right straight from high school and earn a decent living, especially in the days when labor unions were strong. Not only that, but workers seldom got fired for anything less than real serious offenses. Not so today. I am posting a link to an article I just found today for discussion purposes. In large cities including Chicago, gentrification of poor and working class districts has been rampant, and many of the new residents haven't had a call to venture into the unknown; therefore are without a doubt highly unaware of the magnitude of the problem. And I lay much of the blame at the feet of restrictive zoning ordinances which are specifically designed to keep alternative housing such as rooming houses out. The revival of rooming houses, if there ever is to be one, would go a long way toward solving much of this problem, especially acute in places such as Chicago with the harsh winters. We need a rising of consciousness of the issue, opening our minds in relating to others, allowing more room for the growth of alternative methods of solving this issue. Where do we go from here?


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