48 thoughts on “Tuesday, 10 December 2013”

  1. Wow, the site is really slow today. At least from where I am. My 15 tabs of weather downloaded in less than 30 seconds, but the little circle just keeps going for more than 30 seconds for each page here.

  2. I’m finding all the Word Press sites I visit daily to be slow, not just this one. I’m not getting 30 seconds, though. More like 10.

  3. This site runs WP, but it’s not hosted by WP.

    And I just got a slowish response. I’m not sure what’s going on.

  4. AM radio is dying an horrible death. Disney owns a lot of local AM stations throughout the US and runs their kids oriented programming on them. This weekend past, they took a slew of them dark, and asked the FCC to give them at least 180 days to sell them. Technically, if you do not keep broadcasting, FCC rules require that you write “cancelled” across your license and return it to the FCC for them to do as they want with the frequency. I never did think programming to kids was economically viable. Watching Disney movies back in my childhood could be the kiss of death, if it got out among your friends, who would use it as a reason to consider you a ‘baby’ (watching by going on a date with a girl ameliorated that charge, however). I cannot imagine it would be any different today, if you were found to be listening to the Disney station.

    A younger friend who has only been associated with radio for about 5 or 6 years, noted presciently that it sure appears that radio properties are falling dramatically in value, as everybody in the universe realizes they play waaay too many commercials and thus have little advertising impact these days. That does not even account for their terrific loss of overall audience in recent years. The fact that Disney had to take stations dark, rather than keeping them operating, indicates to me that there are no buyers out there.

    So far, out of more than a dozen stations Disney has had on the block for months, only 4 have been purchased by someone else, and even those had the plug pulled last weekend, until the official FCC transfer goes through. Those stations were bought by religious operators.

    Religious stations do not do well either, but they are funded by people who donate to the coffers of the church that owns them, so audience numbers can be considered unimportant. It is not unusual for religious stations in cities as big as Indianapolis and St. Louis, to have only a half-dozen or so listeners. Not very cost-effective missionary work. I would be surprised if those Disney frequencies go for much more than assumption of current operating deficits. Disney paid the going freight for those station 10 years ago, when they also owned ABC and all its networks and stations. The loss is likely to be really significant—multi-millions at least.

    I should note that Christian rock stations actually do quite well. It is the ones who preach or talk that do not.

  5. And here is a perfect example of the struggles big business makes for itself, as it gobbles up others, finally biting off more debt than it can chew.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-12-10/clear-channel-seeking-to-extend-1-dot-3-billion-of-loan-facilities

    Clear Channel’s interest expenses have surpassed its operating income in every quarter since the end of 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization have shrunk to $1.8 billion in the 12 months ended June 30 from $2.3 billion in 2007.

    “The company is just treading water,” Godfrey said. “Actual debt outstanding will increase a modest amount. They’re getting past their 2016 maturities at the expense of dramatically increasing interest payments.”

    They aren’t really “treading water”; they are sinking in quicksand. Already they cannot make their interest payments alone, so what do they do? Extend the term and offer to pay even more interest! Sounds a lot like the way the US government now operates.

    Mitt Romney and some others bought Clear Channel in 2008. It was profitable before that purchase.

  6. BTW, downloaded Windows 8.1 x64 yesterday from MSDN. Wow, 3.7 GB. I remember when Windows came on a dozen 5.25″ floppies.

  7. I’ll be working on kit stuff all day.

    When you get fed up, you can just say, “Truck this kit!”

  8. Not going to 8.1; been stung good once already and I’ve heard more such stories recently. Good luck with that.

    Got my second, formerly Windows 8 machine running Mint 16 now, with a hardened Virtual Box running the latest Crunchbang, which I kinda like a lot, and the Whonix Gateway and Workstation. Whonix has been problematic but I’m working with the developers, oh my!. and we’ll get to the bottom of it soon.

    Just dropped here from 34 to 24, overcast most of the day with light snow flurries and a brilliant “eye of Sauron” sunset over the lake. Mrs. OFD reports about six inches of snow in Morristown, NJ, where my first wife and I worked for a while back in the early 90s. She says drivers down there can’t handle it and are slipping and sliding all over the roads. And off the roads. Says the town is pretty; I remember finding out they did hangings regularly on the town common there back in colonial times. And guys would buy the bodies of hanged criminals, for what purpose, I shudder to think.

  9. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse-continues/5149698

    This is completely weird, even by the standards of the RC heirarchy.

    “The Archbishop has also revealed that Father Francis Derriman is still an ordained priest, despite the fact he was jailed for indecent assault more than a decade ago.

    He left the ‘active ministry’ in 1970, and was automatically ex-communicated from the church after getting married. ”

    He was excommunicated for marrying a woman, a perfectly normal thing IMHO, but not for sexual abuse.

    How can a guy remain a RC priest when he isn’t even a RC?

  10. It’s a stupid and ancient legalism that should have been dumped centuries ago; that’s how slow the Church moves on stuff. Technically, yes, he was/is still an “ordained priest” but having been excommunicated entirely, would not have been legally performing any clerical functions whatsoever. Rather than wait for him to grant his “consent” to being removed, they should have just outright dumped his sorry ass forthwith. If leadership was being properly exercised, I would have expected a communication from the Australian cardinal and/or the Vatican to this effect but clearly it was either not done or was done and ignored. If I was in charge, a lot of heads would have rolled by now.

    Ditto for other religious denominations and the public school systems who have similar or worse records of abuse among their practitioners and just as many if not more coverups.

  11. I just recently did a search for Internet radio stations, and was astounded at the sheer number of them. Just within Switzerland there are over a hundred. Where do they all get listeners?

    RC: Why is the organization so incapable of dealing with misbehavior by it’s hierarchy? I have never understood this. I would expect the priesthood to be so shocked by a member of the clergy abusing one of his charges that they would take drastic action. This sort of stunned incompetence – going on for decades now – is just inexplicable.

  12. Decades? Try centuries.

    I find it all too explicable. Apply Occam’s Razor and all becomes clear.

  13. I think you would be surprised how few listeners those ‘radio’ streams have. If the stream is Shoutcast and you can get the IP address and plug that into a Linux Firefox browser, I have found that it will give you the Shoutcast status screen with the number of listeners currently plugged in (don’t ask why this does not work on Windows, because I don’t know).

    There are a lot of variables, like is that the only stream outlet for that source, but in most cases it is. I have yet to find a station with more than about 5 listeners. Two and 3 is common, and I check all the stations I commonly listen to, or try out. One would not expect the people who stream their Winamp on shuffle into Shoutcast to have many listeners, but for real radio stations, you would think there would be lots of listeners. There isn’t in most cases.

    I should add that the most listeners I have seen on a stream is 45 for an Internet-only stream (not broadcast over-the-air).

  14. @Chuck: If there are so few listeners, why is it even worth their while? I mean, sure, setting up a stream is pretty low effort, but it isn’t zero. So what’s in it for whoever is behind the station?

  15. Probably the same thing that motivates folks who capture, edit, and convert TV series, posting them as torrents the day or day after they’re broadcast.

  16. I’m pretty old-fashioned here; we have a library of CDs across music genres from over the years and of course streaming from the computers of downloaded stuff. I’ve streamed live from internet radio a few times but not enough for a regular habit.

    People forget that A: the Church is a huge organization with well over a billion members and of course the accompanying clerical bureaucracy; getting even routine, small stuff done takes forever. And B: that other denominations and secular organizations also have had a history of these types of abuses but gee, isn’t it interesting that only the Catholic Church was run through the media mills. And they just busted a big ring of these assholes up in Kanaduh that included cops, teachers, ministers, social workers, etc., etc., probably the tip of the iceberg. Back in my Iron Age cop days we used to hear about trucker rings for this stuff. But if the media can find a priest somewhere that did his evil thing forty or fifty years ago, they’re somehow on it like white on rice. And the only folks who suffer from this, besides the victims of course, are the millions of ordinary faithful parishioners.

  17. Yeah, Bob is right: the number of people who record Letterman’s monologue and listen later, is probably small, but for them, it makes life more worth living.

    But no, currently, it is not worth it for broadcasters to stream, IMO. However, it is like FM radio in the ’50’s and ’60’s—what do you do with it? At one point, any existing AM radio station could apply for an FM allocation and was guaranteed to get it by FCC policy. Almost all stations did that, but FM was a loss for them until around the mid-70’s. Even then, AM was still strong. But it is nothing now, and AM stations are going dark and being torn down left and right. Stations that sold their FM frequency before the ’70’s because they were tired of dealing with the losing expense, should be ruing that day.

    What is streaming going to become? Nobody knows. I have very close friends in the industry who declare emphatically that streaming is NOT radio! Oh, yeah? I don’t listen to broadcast radio in the car anymore. I plug in the Smartphone. If it is overnight in Germany when I am coming home, I know Klassik Radio from Hamburg will have no commercials, so I listen to them all the way home. In the car, I cannot always tell poor audio quality from good, and sometimes listen to Russ DiBello’s stream of 95PEN (Russ was Famous Amos on New York City radio for more than a decade). He plays some really decent 60’s songs, very heavy on the R&B artists, but wow I wish he would back off on the processing. It is hard to take on a good sound system.

    The technicalities of getting streaming in the car are still for advanced users, just like recording the Letterman monologue. I know people who never could program a VCR to record programs later, and if they were not there to hit the record button, they did not get it (I know some who would hit record before leaving for the evening, just to get one program that they could not set up for advance recording). How big will that streaming technology become? I am betting it will ultimately eclipse FM. Things move faster today than in my parents’ generation. It took almost 2 decades for color TV penetration to become ubiquitous. It took less than a decade for cable TV penetration to outdo over-the-air. How long for streaming is still open to debate—especially when stream numbers for most originators are less than a dozen. That is known in the industry as a micro-streamer. And I suspect the vast majority of streaming is in that micro category. When you can hit a button in the car and get a streaming channel, like you can with your favorite over-the-air station, then that is when streaming will start taking off. And if AT&T is correct, wireless Internet everywhere is the future. That is where the tech guy who was out last week says they are headed.

  18. B: that other denominations and secular organizations also have had a history of these types of abuses but gee, isn’t it interesting that only the Catholic Church was run through the media mills.

    Dave, do you really, honestly not see the difference here? It’s the difference between organized crime and a kid shoplifting candy. The RCC has institutionalized child rape. Its official policy for at least a century has been to protect rapist priests at all costs. When one was caught, the church relocated him elsewhere, where he could continue raping children.

    Can you think of any other organization, government or private, legal or criminal, that would condone such activities, let alone actively support them? What do you think would happen to a made man in the mob (Italian, Russian or other) who was found to be a child rapist? Can you imagine a police department that found one or several of its cops were raping children would protect them? The normal human reaction to child rape is disgust and loathing. The fact that the RCC officially, as a matter of policy, has protected and encouraged these sons of bitches makes that church, in my opinion and that of many others, beyond the pale. It’s not just the media. It’s anyone who sees what has been and is going on.

    You also seem to be in denial about the prevalence of such activities within the priesthood. It’s not as uncommon as you seem to think. In fact, I’d be very surprised, given the color-of-authority aspect, if even 10% of raping priests have been outed. The fact is that an RCC priest is much, much, much more likely to rape children than a cop, clergyman of another denomination, or any other group you can name.

  19. And if AT&T is correct, wireless Internet everywhere is the future. That is where the tech guy who was out last week says they are headed.

    Having lived at home with a Clear Wimax modem for internet access for a couple of years, this is a mixed bag. It was 6 Mbps down and 0.4 Mbps up. It you are in a 4 or 5 bar area then life is great. If you are in a dead zone with 1 or 2 bars, life sucks because the modem continually resets daily, looking for a better signal (this is what happened after after we moved 5 miles).

    However, LTE is suppose to be better than WiMax. We shall see. I will not move to LTE for home or office internet access until I have a severe need.

    And I wonder what AT&T is going to charge for LTE access via a home modem? I pay $50/month each for my three AT&T DSL lines (1 at home, 2 at office).

    And will there be a bandwidth limit like 2 GB on the LTE?

    We do have a Clear Wimax modem at the office (with three bars) for emergency backup on cold standby using our Peplink 30.

  20. The RCC has institutionalized child rape. Its official policy for at least a century has been to protect rapist priests at all costs. When one was caught, the church relocated him elsewhere, where he could continue raping children.

    The RCC priesthood in North / South America / Europe needs to allow priests to be married like the priests in Africa. Half of the priests are doing it anyway with their housekeepers. That will help to weed out the pedophiles.

  21. And C: the vast majority of sexual abuse cases in religious denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, have been adolescent homosexual encounters with clergy, often consensual, or homosexual activities between clergy themselves. This gets routinely ignored and is undoubtedly the official policy of the media who’ve reported on it and the people who blindly repeat the conventional “wisdom,” i.e., that it’s all about, exclusively, pedophiles and child molestation and rape. A tiny, tiny percentage of clergy in a church of over a billion.

    The previous policies, if they can thus be called, of simply sweeping this stuff under the rug and moving clergy around to other dioceses are over; the current leadership, despite some stiff opposition here and there from entrenched homosexual interests and those who’ve enabled them, is cleaning house. This is not popular in the media, naturally, nor in the legions of shark lawyers who smell blood in the water from endless lawsuits and witch-hunts alleging pederasty and child rape. To blindly repeat the official line from the mainstream media and government district attorneys and parasite lawyers is itself a form of denial.

    And making statements like “half the priests are doing it anyway” is also wrong; I haven’t seen that at all, in the past fifty years, in a region of the country that is heavily Roman Catholic. Not helpful. The Church may at some point consider splitting its clergy among celibate, who may go on to bishoprics, and non-celibate, who may get married and have children, but that is way off in the future, most likely. It’s what our Orthodox brethren do now.

  22. Or they could just admit they’ve been lying about everything since the day the church was founded, fold the organization, sell off all their assets, and give the proceeds to the slew of victims of raping priests. That’d be the best solution all around.

  23. “… the slew of victims of raping priests.”

    Hard numbers and data would be helpful here. Along with the same sort of data from other religious denominations, school systems, and any organization that has the care of, or access to, children. Meanwhile plenty of data is available on the rampant homosexuality among mainstream Christian denomination clergy over the past fifty years, especially in the urban parishes, but of course the prevailing cultural zeitgeist in North America is that that is just fine and dandy. Celibacy was violated there, too, and not addressed, and again we can fault the church bureaucracies and hierarchies.

    As I’ve noted here in the past, I would have no problems hanging and shooting child rapists and molesters, no matter what their occupation or lack thereof. And I would have certainly addressed the issue of non-celibate clergy who violated their vows, one way or another; get with the program or get out.

    Meanwhile the government here could also “…just admit they’ve been lying about everything since the day” it was “founded, fold the organization, sell off all their assets, and give the proceeds to the slew of victims” around the world, but especially here in this country.

  24. Or they could just admit they’ve been lying about everything since the day the church was founded, fold the organization, sell off all their assets, and give the proceeds to the slew of victims of raping priests. That’d be the best solution all around.

    That is not the mission of the RCC or the Christian Church in general so it is not a solution. Remember, 24% of the USA population is RCC. From:
    http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

    Huh. I did not realize that 51% of the USA is protestant (78% Christian). And that 84% is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or some other religion. 16% are atheist, agnostic or don’t care. Interesting numbers.

    My son knew a guy in the USMC who had Jedi on his dog tags.

  25. Whoa—just stumbled across a super obscure stereo version of a Lulu song released only in the US on the Parrot label, a London Records subsidiary that was used to release London records in the US. Besides Lulu & The Luvvers, Parrot handled British groups The Zombies, Van Morrison’s Them, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jonathan King, Frijid Pink, Savoy Brown Blues Band, and Spanish group Los Bravos, in addition to American groups, Ides of March, the Flirtations, Joe Tex, and Canadian Terry Jacks. Always loved to see Parrot records coming in at the college radio station, because we knew it was going to be good.

    By 1963/4, almost all songs were being recorded on multi-track, even if they were not mixed for stereo. I do not think this song was ever released on vinyl as stereo—even on the 1967 Parrot album pictured on the video. So this stereo mix has to be recent. That’s a teenage Jimmy Page on guitar over on the right channel. Lulu would have been 14 when this song was recorded. She started singing at 12 and recorded her second most famous song, Shout, at 15.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqE9JpaFee0

    Good luck finding this song in discographies. There is not even a mention in Wikipeedja that she ever worked for London and Parrot, but lots of people have a copy of this 1964 vinyl single bearing record numbers Parrot used in 1964, so its existence cannot be disputed.

    If you have never seen Lulu in person, she is very short. Official figures say she is 5′ 1″, but she looked less than 5 feet to me when I saw her up close. She is incredibly attractive up close.

  26. Can you imagine a police department that found one or several of its cops were raping children would protect them?

    Yes, unfortunately. Most likely there would be internal measures, but at least in most of the cities I’ve lived in I’m pretty sure the blue wall would close to protect their “brother”. Unless one of the raped children was a relative of another cop. Cops and their families are privileged, you know, and are not to be subjected to the same affronts as the serfs.

  27. Dave, you really are in serious denial on this subject. After 35+ years working in newsrooms in 4 different places, including Chicago and Boston, and seeing those predators come to the surface in EACH and EVERY place—and then in a lot more other locations besides,—I don’t know how it is possible to conclude at all, other than this was a massive network of cooperative corruption that actually allowed the activity to grow and expand. Internationally, in fact. To maintain those acts were consensual—hell they contravene the most fundamental moral tenets of the RC church for priests—when scores and scores of kids—now adults—say they were not consensual, is really going off the deep-end in an attempt to justify what happened.

    The media is not responsible for your pain. As Bob noted, they have not come down nearly as hard as any group of citizens would, had they caught those priests in the act. I can tell you that nowhere that I worked did we EVER have to go out looking or make this stuff up. It came to us, when the kids were old enough and mentally strong enough to tell their stories publicly. Once a kid or two got the courage to come forward, the floodgates opened. We were gobsmacked at the number—and then groups who were near 30 or older started coming with accounts of stuff that happened ever earlier.

    Even today, the church does not take it seriously, in my own opinion. There are people in the hierarchy both here and in Rome, who, not only let this stuff go on, but knowingly supported its continuation and extension, and those bastards are still there—enablers just as guilty as the guys who committed the acts, and getting off Scot free.

    You are just pipe-dream-wishing other sects had equivalent scandals, because I don’t know of any that rise even close to the level of what the RC church faces in this blatant child abuse. Most of the other scandals we covered were clergy stepping out on their wives or stealing from church members’ credit cards, not invading children sexually.

    This is serious stuff. How anybody could defend an organization that has been so utterly derelict in dealing with such sobering, organized abuse of children, is beyond me. Especially when any underlying system purporting to be based on this fantasy guy Jesus is nothing but house-of-cards fiction. Even for RC’s who dedicate themselves to buying into the Jesus fiction, the RC church should be dissolved and restarted with no one currently involved in church administration or management taking part in the resurrection. But then, religion itself is as intimidatingly fascist as Nazism is, and practiced on children from their earliest consciousness. That alone constitutes child abuse, IMO. Before exposing children to so-called religious beliefs, either prove them with the same scientific certainty as is demanded from physical science or let kids come into such beliefs on their own.

  28. Lynn wrote:

    “Half of the priests are doing it anyway with their housekeepers. That will help to weed out the pedophiles.”

    In the Middle Ages towns in the Basque country insisted that newly appointed priests have a “housekeeper” so that they were less likely to chase the local women. And priests were well known for having lots of “nieces” and “nephews”, some of whom they supported financially. It’s time to get this in to the open – some guys will always be paedophiles but some are pushed that way because they can’t marry. Enforced celibacy is evil.

  29. OFD wrote:

    “And C: the vast majority of sexual abuse cases in religious denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, have been adolescent homosexual encounters with clergy, often consensual, or homosexual activities between clergy themselves.”

    Oh Please!

    Dave, it’s us you’re talking to. Please don’t insult our intelligence.

  30. But then, religion itself is as intimidatingly fascist as Nazism is, and practiced on children from their earliest consciousness. That alone constitutes child abuse, IMO. Before exposing children to so-called religious beliefs, either prove them with the same scientific certainty as is demanded from physical science or let kids come into such beliefs on their own.

    Wow. So much for the Constitution in the USA. Freedom of Religion is engrained in the Bill of Rights for sound reasons.

  31. All it says about religion is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

    In other words, congress could neither establish a national religion nor encourage or discourage any state from doing so and that congress cannot prohibit people from practicing their religions.

    In fact, that clause was a compromise. Without it, neither states that had an established religion nor those that didn’t would have ratified the document. But there is certainly nothing that prohibits congress or the states from taxing churches. In fact, I can and have argued reasonably that various laws violate the first amendment because they do encourage religion by giving it preferential treatment. Hell, until very recently I was not eligible to hold elective or appointive office in North Carolina simply because I’m an atheist.

  32. But there is certainly nothing that prohibits congress or the states from taxing churches.

    I agree. All charities should be required to file a publicly available tax return each year to show where they truly spend their contributions. And each charity should be required to justify each year their tax status, both income and property.

  33. In other words, congress could neither establish a national religion nor encourage or discourage any state from doing so and that congress cannot prohibit people from practicing their religions.

    BTW, the SCOTUS has been leaning towards the theory in the last 50 or so years that the USA Constitution, specifically the bill of rights, is applicable to all governmental entities in the USA. I doubt that SCOTUS would allow any state to designate a state religion now such as Maryland returning to Catholicism. The same with Counties and Cities.

  34. This bit of text from the 14th amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    As I understand it, this is the basis of “incorporation”, which is to say, States have to uphold everything in the Bill of Rights, because not doing so would “abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens”. The 14th amendment dates to the end of the civil war, so it’s been around a while…

  35. All charities should be required to file a publicly available tax return each year to show where they truly spend their contributions.

    I work for a non-profit. We do not pay sales tax. We do pay payroll taxes such as medicare, unemployment, etc.

    We in fact have to file paperwork with the IRS each year showing how we spent the money received. We have to include salaries of anyone over a certain dollar amount, monies we spent on scholarhips, fellowships, magazine publishing, etc. It is a very involved report and makes the 1040 look tame. The information filed is publicly available.

  36. We in fact have to file paperwork with the IRS each year showing how we spent the money received. We have to include salaries of anyone over a certain dollar amount, monies we spent on scholarhips, fellowships, magazine publishing, etc. It is a very involved report and makes the 1040 look tame. The information filed is publicly available.

    Where?

  37. The information filed is publicly available.

    Where?

    I believe that’s the kind of public record that is not readily available to the public. I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve worked with others who attempted to obtain the tax and other records for some big not-for-profits. As you might guess, the operative word is “attempted”, not “obtain”.

  38. What big name charity is hiding this information? Love the anecdotal “I’ve never tried it myself, but…” It’s not that hard to search online.

    For instance, I Googled “United Way 2012 financial statements” and got this list of financial reports for the United Way: http://www.unitedway.org/pages/financial-information/

    What information is missing?

  39. At one of the public TV stations I worked for, I had to sign an agreement I would not divulge my salary to anyone—including any prospective employer. Yet some regulation (not sure whether city, county, state, fed, or what) required them to print the names and salaries of every employee in the newspaper once a year. Very few people at the station were actually aware their salaries were a matter of public record.

  40. Love the anecdotal “I’ve never tried it myself, but…” It’s not that hard to search online.

    Interesting. I tentatively withdraw my comment. The “I’ve never tried it myself” was because I didn’t care enough about any to look into them, and was simply reporting what I had seen.

    About five years ago (maybe a bit more) that info wasn’t online, or not easily found online, or wasn’t complete, or something. The person I mentioned above had been filing FOIA requests and going through a lot of other channels to get info on some NFP and had been getting runarounds and roadblocks and incomplete information.

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