Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cold Dead Hands

Who cares about our 4th Amendment rights like when updated FISA laws that sought to allow warrantless wiretaps were being debated in Congress.  Very few around here seemed too concerned. But God forbid someone messes with the 2nd Amendment. And to show just how much our residents want to feel like they are still in the old west, South Dakota set a record for the number of concealed weapons permits that were issued this year.
A record number of concealed weapons permits were issued by the state of South Dakota than any previous year, according to a news release by Secretary of State Chris Nelson.

According to Nelson, 15,029 permits were issued by sheriffs statewide. That's nearly 17 percent more than the previous record of 12,855 issued in 2006. There are slightly less than 50,000 concealed weapons permit holders in south Dakota.

Be sure and remember that stat the next time someone cuts you off on 41st street and you feel like giving them the bird in retaliation as he might be one of the almost 10% of South Dakotan's carrying a concealed heater to prop up their manhood. Do you feel lucky punk?

UPDATE 1/1: I knew it wouldn't be long before someone took exception to this and The Constant Conservative didn't disappoint. He brought up a 10 plus year old murder case as an example of how concealed weapons are needed for our personal safety. Because as we all know, South Dakota is so dangerous and states that allow concealed weapons are so much safer.

I am not quite sure how this line in the 2nd Amendment, "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." translates into 50,000 South Dakotans having the right to carry a concealed weapon but I am sure Mr

Cashing In On The Digital Switchover?

I was writing a comment to a post that Pat Powers had today (apparently he doesn't read my blog either) over at the SDWC in regards to the old news on KSFY's negotiations with Goldenwest and all of a sudden it hit me. Are local stations like KSFY in this case and KELO with their recent dispute with Dish Network trying to cash in on February's government mandated digital switchover?

My original thinking on this was who cares if Goldenwest drops KSFY, i'll just use my rooftop antenna to pick up the station in the very rare case that they have something on that I can't find elsewhere. In my case that is no problem because my digital ready antenna is hooked up to my nice big HDTV with it's included digital tuner which will have no problem tuning in to KSFY's digital signal when the switchover happens. What if you are like what I can only assume is many folks in that you are relying on having cable or satellite to keep giving you your local stations without the need for getting a new TV or buying the digital converter box?

If that is you, you would be out of luck.

So with that being said, isn't is interesting that local stations, whom have had 16 plus years of exclusive broadcast rights guaranteed by federal law that mandates that cable and satellite companies cannot broadcast out of market stations, are only now starting to ask for payment for such signals?

Hmmm, their sudden interest in getting paid couldn't have anything to do with the fact that they have most of us over a barrel would it? Reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode dealing with "hand", they have it and apparently some are looking to cash in on it.

UPDATE 1/1 - Apparently neither side caved as KSFY is indeed no longer being broadcast on Goldenwest in Canistota. Goodbye KSFY you and your "Wheel of Felons" will not be missed.

The Joke Of The Day

The local media is finally reporting a story I wrote about 5 days ago with the article in this morning's Argus Leader about KSFY demanding payment from Goldenwest for the rights to re-broadcast their signal. My earlier post pretty much detailed my thoughts on the subject but what I found quite humorous from the Argus story was a quote from Goldenwest station manager Rick Reed.
"I want to try to provide programming that is fair and reasonable to my customers"

Being a current Goldenwest customer I would like to ask Mr Reed, when exactly are you going to start doing that? Is that your company's New Years resolution? If neither is the case I wonder if you were able to keep a straight face when you said it...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Of Course There's Nothing Fishy About This

Most everyone I am sure is aware that Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol is pregnant and that her baby daddy Levi Johnston's mother Sherry was recently arrested on felony drug charges. What you may not know is that her investigation and ultimate arrest was delayed until after the election by Alaska officials.
The trooper's affidavit indicates that Sarah Palin's candidacy factored into the investigation, with state officials delaying execution of a search warrant until this month, when Johnston was "no longer under the protection or surveillance of the Secret Service."

Could someone please explain to me why being under the protection or surveillance of the Secret Service has anything to do with delaying this other than it shielding Sarah Palin from the likely distractions it would have caused while being the GOP VP candidate?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

iPhone Now At Wal-Mart!

Big news! As rumoured a few months ago, you can now go into your local Wal-Mart and pick up Apple's legendary iPhone and save a whopping $2 in the process. The world's largest retailer now has the $199 dollar 8 gig version available for $197 and the $299 16 gig version can now be had for the bargain basement price of $297 (2 year agreement with AT&T still required).

So if you were waiting for this monumental event to finally arrive, you can now rush out to one of the 2500 Wal-Marts or 69 Sam's Clubs that have been pegged to carry this technological wonder and get your very own iPhone. But of course if you live in South Dakota like I do, the state with seemingly more Wal-Mart's per capita than just about any state,  you can disregard this post as it is still not available here...

More "Tolerance" From The Party With The Big Tent

Former Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman has brought out an oldie but goodie in an attempt to help him win his current campaign to get elected chairman of the Republican National Committee. He is distributing a CD first made popular by radio big mouth Rush Limbaugh with the hit song (if you are a racist that is) “Barack the Magic Negro” which is set to the tune Puff The Magic Dragon.

(h/t - The Moderate Voice. Video and accompanying lyrics via The Inquisiter)

SHANKLIN (Sharpton impersonator): Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

‘Cause he’s not authentic like me.

Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper

Said he makes guilty whites feel good

They’ll vote for him, and not for me

‘Cause he’s not from the hood.

See, real black men, like Snoop Dog,

Or me, or Farrakhan

Have talked the talk, and walked the walk.

Not come in late and won!

[refrain] Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically.

Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically.

Some say Barack’s “articulate”

And bright and new and “clean.”

The media sure loves this guy,

A white interloper’s dream!

But, when you vote for president,

Watch out, and don’t be fooled!

Don’t vote the Magic Negro in –

‘Cause — ’cause I won’t have nothing after all these years of sacrifice

And I won’t get justice. This is about justice. This isn’t about me, it’s about justice.

It’s about buffet. I don’t have no buffet and there won’t be any church contributions,

And there’ll be no cash in the collection plate.

There ain’t gonna be no cash money, no walkin’ around money, no phoning money.

Now, Barack going to come in here and –

You'd really have to get behind an RNC headed by such a fine upstanding guy as Saltsman wouldn't you?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I've Heard Some Real Whoppers Before But...

Oklahoma pastor Kenneth Wayne Huneycutt is accused of molesting 2 boys at least 15 times while they spent the night at his house and has come up with a "novel" excuse as to why he did it. He says the his blood pressure meds are to blame.
An Ada pastor accused of molesting two boys now claims his alleged behavior may have something to do with his blood pressure medications.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For

A few weeks back you may or may not remember the stink that those in power over at KELO-TV made regarding their negotiations with Dish Network about how much needed to be paid by the satellite TV provider to carry our local CBS affiliate. Not being a Dish subscriber because of some 100 year old trees in the line of site to the satellite, I didn't pay much attention to the story as it didn't affect me. It appears though that I am now being affected by a similar dispute between Sioux Falls' ABC affiliate KSFY and my cable provider Goldenwest whom has notified me that because of KSFY's payment demands, I may lose the channel as of 12/31.

When I was informed of this I did a little research and discovered that until just recently, most "over the air" (OTR) broadcasters like KSFY had given their signal to local cable companies for free but with their new demands, I would more than likely have to pay more to receive their ever increasing supply of crap.
Negotiations on a price for what's known as a "retransmission" agreement have failed so far. If new agreements or extensions to the existing free agreements are not reached by Dec. 31, KSFY and its popular ABC programs, such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Dancing with the Stars," could be dropped from the cable lineups of Garretson-based Alliance Communications, Clear Lake-based Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative (ITC), Highmore-based Venture Communications Cooperative and Woonsocket-based Santel Communications. Alternatively, if a deal is reached on a price, the cable companies are likely to pass the added cost on to their customers.

To be honest, I am not sure why local affiliates think that I should be required to pay for programming that they already give away for free with their OTR signal, but what the heck it is a free market right?

Back when the satellite companies first started carrying locals, folks would sign up using zip codes of friends or family in markets outside of the one they actually lived so that they could get their local channels for whatever reason. Say like me you were a Browns fan but lived in a Minnesota Vikings TV market, if you could convince the satellite company that your dish was mounted on a house in Cleveland, you would get Cleveland locals and as a result every horrible game that the Browns played.

Of course that practice was a big no-no because your actual locals would argue that you needed to support your neighborhood advertisers and that you needed your local news and weather. So as a result, they contractually made the satellite companies ensure that they only offered you out of market networks, and then only New York and LA stations, if your locals weren't available on the satellite or with an antenna.

Fast forward to today. Cash strapped KELO and KSFY are looking to get a few dollars from the TV providers and in turn their customers for providing a service that they also provide for free. As I mentioned before, since we are a free market society, should I then also be able to choose which channels I pay for?

With local tiny cable providers like Goldenwest this will not be possible as they don't even have the bandwidth to provide HD content let alone a selection of out of market locals, but if I have satellite or a major nationwide cable provider and I am being forced to pay for free network TV shouldn't I be allowed to choose which ones I receive? Why should I be made to watch our horribly produced local newscasts (can anybody say "Wheel of Felons"?) or have to watch another Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos game if I am being forced to pay for the privilege?

KELO and KSFY are within their rights to ask for compensation for their content so shouldn't I also have the right to chose whose content that I will pay for? I know that with powerful lobbying groups like the NAB and even the NFL whom controls everything that comes into your home, that this isn't possible but there is one thing I can chose. Paying extra for the constant stream of unwatchable newscasts and reality TV is something I will not do.

So the folks in charge at KELO and KSFY might want to be careful what they ask for as it will likely result in even fewer viewers than they have now. I can easily get the few network shows I enjoy as well as my weather forecasts online for free and will have no problem doing so.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What, 2 Years Or More Warning Wasn't Enough?

The RCJ has a story this morning detailing how Congress is talking to the FCC about pushing back the February deadline for the switch over to digital TV broadcasts.
According to Sen. John Thune, Congress has been talking with the Federal Communications Commission about possibly extending the Feb. 17 deadline for switching from analog to digital television.

Thune says it's at least being talked about because many Americans don't understand the process or haven't yet redeemed their coupons for digital converters.

"I think this is going to catch people by surprise and there's going to be a lot of people in South Dakota who are going to be impacted," the Republican senator said.

My question to Thune and the rest of Congress would be this. If someone isn't prepared for the switchover to digital broadcasts after all these years of warnings and the past year or so of seemingly constant media bombardment detailing the steps needed to change over, will a longer deadline make any difference?

I doubt it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Priorities?

At least the Vatican has their priorities in order...
Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or
transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest
from destruction.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Denver Plane Crash Via Twitter

If anyone questions the potential value of social media sites like Twitter in breaking news, the crash this weekend of a Continental plane on takeoff in Denver should serve as a good example.

Twitter user 2drinksbehind was on the flight and his first tweet after the crash summed it up quite well
Holy f***ing sh*t I wasbjust in a plane crash!

(h/t - Mashable)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And You Thought You Had A Bad Day

A deer from my old stomping grounds in Northern Ohio will probably have to be euthanized after getting his head stuck in this plastic container.

deer

Photo from Cleveland Plain Dealer

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Question Of The Day

A question for my Republican visitors.

The site FiveThirtyEight.com most often known for their polling and statistical prowess wonders aloud about the near term future of the GOP after the beat down they took in November.

Are the Republicans still a national party?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You've Got To Hate It When This Happens

So this Christmas you really make out when you get a brand new flat screen and a Wii. If that is you, please remember that the Wii controllers have a strap for a reason...



(h/t - Gizmodo)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dig A Little Deeper For The Collection Plates Next Week

The coffers of the Catholic Church, already more than 2 billion lighter from the scores of sex abuse judgements that have been levied against them since 1950, are in jeopardy once more.
Three men who claim they were abused by Catholic clergy in America have succeeded in naming the Vatican as sole defendant in a lawsuit and are hoping to force Pope Benedict XVI to give evidence in the case.

The 6th US circuit court of appeal recently ruled that although the Holy See, as a sovereign state, was immune from most lawsuits, the plaintiffs could proceed with their argument that its officials were involved in a deliberate effort to cover up evidence of sexual abuse by American priests.

Their case centres on a 1962 directive from the Vatican telling church officials to hide sex abuse complaints against clergy.

Another Milestone

Wow, I see Survivor ended another season last night. That means another in an unexplainably growing number of seasons in which I can honestly say I haven't seen one minute of the waste of film otherwise known as the godfather of reality TV.

Of course I still take pride in the fact that I can say that about every other primetime reality show ever broadcast as well.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SNL Mocks Blind Governor

SNL took a few pot shots aimed at New York Governor David Patterson, whom like his disgraced Illinois counterpart Rod Blagojevich, must appoint someone to replace Hillary Clinton. Hign on SNL's list of parity topics was Patterson's perceived unpreparedness for the job that he fell into when Eliot Spitzer got caught with his pants down as well as Patterson's past cocaine use.

Of course both subjects are easy and obvious fodder for SNL which became at least temporarily relevant again with their Tina Fey/Sarah Palin skits. But if you watch the Patterson skit, they came real close to crossing that imaginary political correctness line that I have a hard time tracking when they mocked Patterson's blindness.

What do you think, too far?

If The Shoe Fits

It appears that President Bush still has few in any friends in Iraq. In what is being called his farewell tour of the country he invaded liberated, he was attacked by a shoe wielding Iraqi journalist.
Mr. Bush got a size-10 reminder of the fervent opposition to his policies when a man threw two shoes at him - one after another - during a news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

"This is the end!" shouted the man, later identified as Muntadaral-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadiya television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Mr. Bush ducked both throws; neither leader was hit. In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt; Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam Hussein with their shoes after U.S. Marines toppled it to the ground in 2003.

Video of the shoe toss can be seen here.

UPDATE: Video now up on MSNBC

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Getting More Than You Bargained For

Incompetence has been given as one reason why John McCain didn't win last month. You may or may not agree with that but the latest oops coming from what remains of the McCain campaign isn't helping that perception much after one of an east coast campaign office's fire sale of their remaining assets.
The hottest item?  Blackberry phones at $20 a piece.  There were only 10 left.  All of the batteries had died.  There were no chargers for sale.  But people were snatching them up.  So, we bought a couple.

And ended up with a lot more than we bargained for.

When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.