Let’s Pretend That We Have Media Diversity in Our Country

by Norman Horowitz

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public…” — Adam Smith, 1776

Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers are all members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). As an executive of Columbia Pictures and MGM/UA, I attended meetings of the MPAA.

In my opinion, the MPAA solely serves the interests of their major members. It is an association of gigantic companies who abuse the system as much as possible in order to maintain their market share and profitability without seriously violating the law — and, when possible, attempt to change the laws to their benefit. Were you to attend one of their meetings and mention something like their responsibility of serving in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity,” they would need to send out to have the phrase explained to them.   Continue reading “Let’s Pretend That We Have Media Diversity in Our Country”

Sarah Palin and Froot Loops

by Norman Horowitz

Almost all Americans are familiar with Sarah Palin (SP) and Froot Loops (FLs), but not everyone notices the similarities:

  • Both SP and FLs are good to look at.
  • Both SP and FLs come in a variety of colors.
  • Both SP and FL’s look sweet but have little “nutritional value.”

SP was and is a fanatic supporting “drill, baby, drill.” FLs (and Kellogg’s) are, I gather, silent on this issue.
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SP continues her rants in support of big oil and regularly repeats this in paid speeches.

Glibness is easy. Specificity, not so easy.

Taking cheap shots at the President is also easy. Creating alternative economic policies for the country is not so easy.

SP is still a very young woman who has (for whatever reason) captured the “hearts” of many Americans; however, in my view, she will never capture those who as a rule do not consider eating FLs. I’d prefer some granola, oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat.

Bottom line: Had either Al Gore (AG) or John Kerry (JK) been elected President  our dependence on foreign oil would have been reduced. AG has spent a lifetime warning about the polluting and economic dangers of dependence on foreign oil. JK is battling today to wage war against climate change and unshackle the potential of new energy sources. They were right all along. They should have been heard long ago. They should be heeded today.
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The Way Most People Do Most Things

Robert Paul Wolff, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has a delightful blog called “The Philosopher’s Stone.” A few days ago, he wrote an enchanting little post that he has allowed me to re-post here:

Inasmuch as today is my seventy-seventh birthday, I feel an obligation to pass on to you youngsters some of the great wisdom I have acquired in more than three-quarters of a century. That, I believe, is the traditional role of the old men and women of the tribe as they sit around the fire in the evening. The readers of this blog are the closest thing I have to a tribe, so herewith a pearl of wisdom. As is appropriate on such occasions, I begin with a story from long ago.

Back in the early seventies [when the late unlamented Richard Nixon was as yet an undisgraced president], I was sitting around with several UMass colleagues gossiping, as was our wont, about a mutual friend. He had just been elevated from the faculty to a Deanship, and we were speculating about what sort of administrator he would be. Since he had not even served as a Department Chair, we had no track record on which to base our speculations, so we were very much at a loss. Then Zina Tillona, a Professor of Italian in the Romance Languages Department [since phased out as part of a long, tragic world-wide assault on the Humanities] offered a bit of folk wisdom that, with the benefit of many years of hindsight, I now recognize as truly profound.   Continue reading “The Way Most People Do Most Things”

Yes, Governor, Race Matters

Posting is less frequent this week because I’m traveling. — AWO

Sarah Palin and the NAACP have been going back-and-forth this week over whether racism has played a role in the tea parties. Instead of commenting on their debate per se, I want to clarify a misconception that many Americans hold, a belief that makes it difficult to make any progress in this debate.

“Any good American hates racism,” according to Palin. If that’s the case, then Palin should explain why she thinks there are so many bad Americans.

I’m reminded of a reader who corresponded with me after the 2008 election. He passionately opposed Barack Obama’s campaign. The only silver lining he could find after November 4 was that liberals could no longer argue that racism was alive in America today. I beg to differ.   Continue reading “Yes, Governor, Race Matters”