Thursday, February 26, 2009


Two months shy of its 150th anniversary, the Colorado newspaper announces its own death:
Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Rocky-owner Scripps, broke the news to the staff at noon (Thursday), ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper's future.

"People are in grief," Editor John Temple said at a news conference later.

Boehne told staffers that the Rocky was the victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.

"Denver can't support two newspapers any longer," Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. "It's certainly not good news for you, and it's certainly not good news for Denver."

Reaction came from across the nation and around the block.

"The Rocky Mountain News has chronicled the storied, and at times tumultuous, history of Colorado for nearly 150 years. I am deeply saddened by this news, and my heart goes out to all the talented men and women at the Rocky," U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement. "I am grateful for their hard work and dedication to not only their profession, but the people of Colorado as well."
The last issue of the paper is Friday.

Founded in 1859 by William Byers, the Rocky won four Pulitzers in the past decade.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is the year daily newspapering descends into a coma. This week the Philadelphia Inquirer went bankrupt. Now, word of two significant dailies possibly going nips-up. As Reuters reports:
San Francisco may lose its main newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, as owner Hearst Corp cuts a "significant" number of jobs and decides whether to shut or sell the money-losing daily. The privately held New York-based publisher already is considering shutting a second West Coast paper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in the face of a devastating decline in advertising revenue and big losses.
Wingnuts on both fringes will cheer the decline of American newspapering. They will realize, too late, that killing the tree means no fruit for anyone.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Hunter S. Thompson killed himself on Feb. 20, 2005. No sense mentioning the bats.
The Edge ... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others -- the living -- are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it's In.
Some may never live, but the crazy never die.


The cat that lived in the White House during the Clinton Administration died Friday. WCSH reports:
Socks had been suffering from cancer of the jaw. The cat lived in Washington with (Bill) Clinton's former White House secretary, Betty Currie.

Socks was the grand marshal of a parade in 2002, and was a fixture on the White House lawn with Buddy, the Clintons' dog.

Curry said she planned to have Socks cremated.
RIP, kitty.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Story o' the day, courtesy of The Associated Press and KSHB-TV:
Kansas City police say a woman's tightly-woven hair weave probably saved her life. KSHB-TV reports that the woman's boyfriend fired a shot through the back window of a car late last night. Police say the woman's hair weave stopped the bullet, and she wasn't hurt.
Yet another reason to salute the weave.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


More on Monday's chimpanzee attack that nearly killed a woman.

Travis was the chimp. His owner was Sandra Herold. He attacked Herold's friend, Charla Nash.

From The Associated Press, these new details:
In recordings of calls to 911 dispatchers released Tuesday, Travis' grunts can be heard as a frantic Herold cries that her pet is "eating" Nash and must be killed. The attack lasted about 12 minutes.

"The chimp killed my friend!" says a sobbing Herold, who was hiding in her vehicle. "Send the police with a gun. With a gun!"

The dispatcher later asks, "Who's killing your friend?"

"My chimpanzee!" she cries. "He ripped her apart! Shoot him, shoot him!"

After police arrive, one officer radios back: "There's a man down. He doesn't look good," he says, referring to Nash (a woman). "We've got to get this guy out of here. He's got no face."
Travis brushed daily with a Water Pik and knew how to use the toilet. In the end, he was still a chimp.


Nominations are posted for this year's Blogaroni Awards, the local equivalent of nothing else in the known universe.

This Simple Thoughts post has the contenders.

CHATTER and its bastard stepchild blog have five nominations, all in the Blog Post of the Year category.

We're partial to a couple of things written (as opposed to typed) this year -- this piece from last January about the presidential candidates and their oh-so-sexy natures; and this column from June about slogan-happy voters.

So if you're a local blogger and have the super-secret access code, zip over to this site and vote.

Congrats to all, luck to all.


A couple weeks ago at a South Bend, Ind., middle school, students acted like they were fighting -- for at least seven minutes, because that's the length of a student-shot video that was posted for a short time on YouTube.

According to the South Bend Tribune, there's a good reason the teacher let the students roughhouse in class:
[T]he substitute lives in a local home for people with chronic mental illness. The residents have bedrooms, eat meals together and enter the community daily on their own. She moved into a home like this in 1999.

She says she was diagnosed with paranoia. At age 60, she also touts a master’s degree. She has experience teaching in the classroom ...
The sub never told the district about her mental illness, though she worked in South Bend schools for more than a decade. The district never asked. It fired the substitute after the YouTube video surfaced.

The student who shot the video -- most likely on a cell phone -- is suspended; the school principal wants him expelled. Cell phones are prohibited in middle school.


A pet chimpanzee attacks a woman he's known for years, tearing off her face and then attacking a cop.

Travis, 14, was shot dead Monday in Stamford, Conn.

The New York Times tells it this way:
The woman, Charla Nash, 55, a friend of the chimpanzee’s owner, was being treated at Stamford Hospital and might not survive, the authorities said. ...

The attack, in the driveway of a sprawling home in a densely wooded neighborhood on the north side of Stamford, also brought a brutal end to the life of the chimpanzee, Travis, 14, a popular figure in town who had appeared in television commercials and often posed for photographs at the towing shop operated by his owners. He had escaped before, and in 2003 playfully held up traffic at a busy intersection for several hours, but had no history of violence, the authorities said. Travis’s social skills included drinking wine from a stemmed glass, dressing and bathing himself and using a computer.

Travis’s owner, Sandra Herold, 70, had raised him almost as one of her own children, but found herself lunging at him with a butcher knife on Monday to protect Ms. Nash ...
A police officer shot Travis after he opened the car door and attacked the cop.

Monday, February 16, 2009


For a little night reading, few things are better than Revelation. Acid without the blotter's metallic aftertaste, and just as challenging.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Just wait till the wormwood hits the river. You'll be begging for a flaying.


A Rasmussen poll shows people in a muddle about the stimulus package that President Obama signs into law on Tuesday.

Not quite four in 10 Americans (38%) think the plan will help the economy. Almost three in 10 (29%) think it'll hurt. Another 24 percent don't think it'll do much of either.

Some money grafs:
Middle-income Americans are more likely to believe the bill will hurt rather than help. Those with incomes below $40,000 or above $100,000 are more optimistic.

By a 49% to 24% margin, government employees believe the stimulus plan will help the economy. Private sector workers are evenly divided. Investors are less optimistic than non-investors.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters believe the bill consists primarily of new government spending while 31% believe it is primarily a mix of new spending and tax cuts. Only eight percent (8%) think the legislation consists primarily of tax cuts. According to news reports, the stimulus plan is made up of $281 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses and over $500 billion in new government spending.
Half of the electorate buys a too-simple talking point peddled on talk radio. Next thing you know, someone's going to claim that millions of Americans don't believe in evolution. Great.


A Gallup poll shows a state-by-state breakdown of belief in religion, and Vermont is in trouble if there's really a lake of fire.

According to the poll, only 42 percent of people in Vermont say religion is an important part of their lives.

In case you're wondering:

-- Missouri ranked 15th in the nation in religious belief. Almost seven in 10 Missourians -- 68 percent, to be precise -- said religion is important in their lives.

-- In Arkansas, 78 percent of people professed to be true believers.

-- For all the hype, godless California ain't so godless. Fifty-seven percent of Californians gave a fervent shout-out to Big G, who has already returned the favor.

Proclaiming the importance of religion to a pollster doesn't guarantee accuracy, but the poll is worth some thinking.

Friday, February 06, 2009


The Passion for Christ Movement has given us a great gift idea for Christmas 2009.

Order this shirt and wear it proudly. Give yourself a hand.