Category: Responsibility

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The Interview Heard Around the World

Today, Tucker Carlson released perhaps the most important interview of our time—and one not sought by traditional, Western news media outlets, if I correctly understand things. Recorded on Feb. 6, 2024, the journalist sat with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

My wife and I watched the first 55 minutes of the more than 2 hour interview; we will finish it tomorrow. My interest: Context and record-setting straight by Putin and the questions Carlson poses. The liberal American news media cannot be trusted to get the facts—for reason nobody openly discusses, because maybe for fear of being called homophobic. Sharpen your nasty labels, baby, and let’s get to it.

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You Can’t…

Irony is sometimes what you make it—or not. You decide, regarding my explanation about the Featured Image. Yesterday, I walked by the Sun Bum display inside Ralph’s and gaped. Hillcrest is one of San Diego’s homeless hangouts, and the street folk have, ah, sticky fingers. Yes, thievery.

Local street sleepers are blamed. Meaning: The supermarket doesn’t trust the bum, which is why so many items for sale are in locked displays. Buying batteries? Ask a clerk. Personal hygiene products? You will need assistance getting access to some of those, too. I could go on, but you get the point—right?

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I Stand with Texas

The Featured Image might seem to you an odd choice for this post’s title but I must disagree. Suddenly, on my walks, I see many more American flags displayed—and in places that are new to my eyes, like this one outside a North Park market. Makes me wonder: Are some San Diegans quietly, but affirmatively, expressing their patriotic support for Texas’ standoff with the Federal government?

Under a program called “Operation Lone Star“, Texas seeks to “hold the line to defend the Southern border”. Bolstering that effort, Governor Greg Abbott has mobilized state national guard units as part of a vanguard laying razor wire and blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from processing immigrants. A Supreme Court ruling favors Federal efforts to cut (and remove) the razor wire. Abbott and his attorney general are defiant.

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A Life Reduced

For Dec. 9, 2023—before encountering the problem delaying new posts—I had planned to share some sightings in Hillcrest that same day. I had ventured there to drop off at FedEx a box containing my wife’s Galaxy Tab S8. For holiday sales, Samsung offered insanely generous $600 trade-in against the S9 Ultra, which I ordered for me and Annie happily inherited my S8 Plus. Expect a future first-impression about the larger tablet.

The homeless are prominent fixtures along University Avenue in, ah, Hellcrest. Used to be that street dwellers had crusty, weathered appearances; many had problems with alcohol, drugs, or mental illness—perhaps all three. But during the past 12 months or so, particularly, more of San Diego’s homeless appear to be new to the streets, older in age, or both. Many of them cart along more belongings—shopping carts carrying real possessions, not the debris collected hunter-gather style by long-time wanderers.

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Ten Years Ago: Pitch for ‘Responsible Reporting’ eBook

Looking through Google Photos, I came upon the Featured Image (Chromebook Pixel), which was posted on the defunct Google+ seeking response from other folks on the social network. At the time, sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, I conceived an ebook concept tentatively titled Be a Better Blogger that would eventually become Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers (published March 2014).

I initially sought to raise $10,000 crowdfunding, generating really nothing. I was satisfied with the eventual ebook, which concepts and writing guidance hit the bullseye. My concerns about news reporting exploded in importance during, and following, the 2016 election cycle. My advice about branding, reporting, and sourcing all proved to be spot-on accurate.

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The Immeasurable Value of Books

The third weekend each month, the book sale room opens at the University Heights branch of San Diego Public Library. Of course, I would forget and come happenstance while walking somewhere else on Sunday about 90 minutes before closure. Inside I went, searching for older titles to take home.

Current cultural, progressive values are imposed all about us, with the greatest casualty being history and how the past is revised and censored to match these same norms. The Telegraph gives good example with Nov. 20, 2023 story (headline and dek): “Roman emperor was trans, says museum. Elagabalus will be referred to as she after claims in classical texts that the emperor asked to be called ‘lady’. Except: “Some historians believe these accounts may simply have been a Roman attempt at character assassination”.

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Tangled Web

Belated topic time: Few months ago, I changed copyright on this blogsite and my Flickr from a Creative Commons non-commercial variant to All Rights Reserved. I did this in response to so-called artificial intelligence algorithms scraping content from websites for various purposes—improving learning models being one of them.

Some of that content can and likely will be repurposed for profit and in manner outside my artistic control. Software developers, many of them large tech companies—think Apple, Google, and Microsoft, for starters—can claim plausible deniability. “Hey, we didn’t know that would happen”.

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Death of a Republic

Foreshadowing is a common storytelling technique. Perhaps in a movie with what I call a “French ending”, the handsome hero stubs his toe early on, only to later die of blood infection. A different kind cuts across genres: In the classic trope from American cinema, a sidekick is introduced with intriguing backstory and quickly developed character, which signals that his or her death is imminent.

My question: What does a hearse parked across from the polling place in North Park foreshadow? The death of our constitutional republic? Or of democracy, if you prefer? Judging by the advanced ages of the people choosing to vote in person, on-call ambulance wouldn’t be unreasonable precaution. Hearse is a bit much, but, hey, surely someone will croak while voting somewhere. “Be prepared” is the Boy Scot motto and that of undertakers everywhere.

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WCSH Sets Standard for Responsible Reporting

Last night’s mass-casualty shooting in Lewiston, Maine, is somewhat personal. For starters, I graduated from the high school, and today one of my sisters reminded me that when teens we bowled at the alley where the killer started his rampage. Additionally, as a journalist, the reporting about the tragedy interests me, and I am simply stunned by how measuredly responsible the team at News Center Maine has covered the ongoing story.

I have periodically watched the live stream from the station’s dedicated app, on Roku, or from the web browser on my laptop. Last night, when some national news services reported 22 dead and more than 50 injured, the anchors explained they understood that numbers were being reported elsewhere but News Center Maine would wait for official—thereby, verifiable—figures from law enforcement. Hours later, the local station reported 15-20 dead, as provided by police to NBC News. Eighteen is accurate, not 22.

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Finally, a Good Use For Cloth COVID Masks

Talk about a day-making moment and wonderful way to kick off first day of the new month. As my wife and I walked down the alley separating North and Campus, in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, she stopped and excitedly exclaimed about seeing cantaloupes growing in a community garden.

I saw the masks, smiled, and pointed them out. The Featured Image is for context. The companion is the money shot, so to speak. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture both, yesterday. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/1200 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 11:48 a.m. PDT. The second: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/340 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:48 a.m.

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A Solitary Sign

This is different and, honestly, refreshing. In my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, We Believe signs are almost always some variation of rainbow color text on black background professing sentiments like “love is love”; “black lives matter”; and “science is real”—among others.

Today, along Shirley Ann Place, my wife and I passed a placard seemingly meant as an antidote to the others. Given the community’s liberal leanings, and the plethora of the other signs, I must admit surprise seeing one so blatantly contrary. We live where views dissident to progressive feelings-based beliefs and values simply are not tolerated.