Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I would like to thank all of you who have viewed or commented on my blog. I started this blog in April and this has been a great ride. I would like to look back at three events that defined 2008:

  • The economy: The collapse of the subprime housing market led to the deepest recession in decades. I believe that if the economy were not in a deep recession, then John McCain may have been elected president. Notice that I stressed may because there were a whole lot of other factors that would have swung the election either way.
  • Terrorism: While the surge saved American soldiers' lives in Iraq, the war on terror continues. Radical Islamists bombed hotels in Mumbai while Hamas terrorized Israel with rockets, prompting Israel to go to war in Gaza. On the home front, leftists like Cynthia McKinney and others continue to support terror groups by speaking out against the PATRIOT Act.
  • The decline of Old Media: Major media firms were in financial trouble in 2008, especially NBC and the New York Times, both of which, as documented in this blog this year, have criticized America in their "news" coverage. Broadcast TV networks are losing viewers to cable and the internet. Another reason for the lack of viewership: the continued lack of decency in prime-time and late night TV. As I mentioned in this blog this year, Bill Maher's bigoted comments toward Catholics represented the huge amount of indecency on television in 2008.

Here are my three things to watch for in 2009:

  • The battle for the traditional family. While voters in California, Arizona, and Florida approve measures banning homosexual marriage, the incoming Obama administration could pack the Supreme Court with anti-family, pro-abortion justices if vacancies open up due to retirement or other reasons. Since justices are appointed for life, expect any decisions by an Obama-influenced court to have an impact for decades. This is one reason why we need our leaders to stand up for traditional American values.
  • Iran. With the war in Gaza comes more anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-American sentiment from Iran. Iran continues to build nukes and sending weapons to Hezbollah and other groups. The big question: will Iran's quest for nukes stop with a bombing raid on its reactors? If so, by whom? If Israel does not bomb Iran, then the US will. If not the US, then Israel. I believe there will be some sort of action against Iran in 2009, though I am not sure if it will be a military action or a coup against the current regime.
  • The DTV transition. On February 17, 2009, all analog full-power television broadcasting will stop and the digital era will begin. There are still many questions about the transition: Will cable systems be completely ready by February 17? How many viewers will broadcasters lose due to the transition? Will the $40 government coupons be effective in preparing antenna-only households for the transition? One thing will be certain: The digital transition will be crucial to the future of broadcasting.

2009 will be an adventure. I hope and pray you will join me as we blaze new trails here on this blog. Regular blogging will resume Friday. See ya next year and God bless. :)

Evening Trio--12/31/08

Politico: Gaza attack reshuffles Israeli political deck

Terror in Mumbai: Voice of America: Pakistani Militant Confesses to Planning Mumbai Attacks

Christian Science Monitor: Tennessee spill revives coal ash controversy

Morning Trio--12/31/08

Daily Telegraph (UK): Gaza truce hopes fade as Israel rejects ceasefire calls

L.A. Times: NASA report details last moments of Columbia crew

AP: Just a second, 2009--the Earth needs to catch up

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I would like to say to all of my faithful readers a very Merry Christmas. I am very grateful to God and all of you for making this blog what it is. Unless anything major comes up, regular blogging will resume tomorrow. Your comments are appreciated and--as I usually say when asking for comments--keep it civil and clean. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The First Christmas

Christmas is not about a man in a big red suit. It is about the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. From Luke 2:1-20 (KJV):

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in
a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

This Christmas, remember why Christ was born. Jesus came to earth to die for our sins. Neither the Jews nor the Romans killed Christ. It was our sins--the things that go against the will of God--that put Him on the Cross. He rose from the dead on the first Easter, ascended to Heaven forty days later and is coming soon. The best Christmas gift you can receive is the gift of eternal life. Accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and repent of your sins and you will receive the gift of eternal life with Christ in Heaven.

If you want eternal life and a life free from the bondage of sin, pray this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. Forgive me from my sins. I believe that you died for my sins. I want to turn away from my sin and ask you to come into my heart. I want to follow you, Jesus, as Savior and Lord. In your name, Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, amen.

Evening Trio

WKYT: Four Killed In House Fire

AP: More snow, ice vexes travelers in northern states

Christian Science Monitor: Seattle’s salt-free snow response raises hackles

Christmas Eve 1968: A Lesson For Our Time

Forty years ago today, Christmas Eve 1968, the crew of the Apollo 8 orbited the Moon. While orbiting, the astronauts read the first ten verses of Genesis 1 in the King James Version of the Bible. A huge television audience on Earth watched the stirring reading.

Here is the full text of the reading:

William Anders: "We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Jim Lovell: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Frank Borman: "And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."

Forty years later, while we bicker over whether or not climate change is natural or man-made and bicker over solutions, remember the One who created the heavens and the Earth. He is still in control over the universe and is on the throne today.

Afternoon Trio

Bloomberg: U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rise to 26-Year High

Fox News: Senate Could Reject Illinois Appointment, Minnesota Victor

Michael Reagan: Left, Right Both Out of Step on Obama's Tapping Warren to Pray

Morning Trio--12/24/08

BBC: Guinea plea to end attempted coup

Daily Telegraph (UK): Hamas fires at Israel, threatening hopes of renewed ceasefire

Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart to Settle 63 Suits Over Wages

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Evening Trio

AP: Bush pardons 19, commutes 1 prison term

Fox News: Obama Chic: Oahu, the New Western White House?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Bona ‘Bo’ Ball, 71, put Appalachia in stories

Afternoon Trio

Jerusalem Post: Abbas to Mubarak: PA won't agree to Israel invading Gaza

AP: Obama chooses Lincoln's Bible for inauguration

MarketWatch: New-home sales drop to 407,000 in November, off 2.9%

Tuesday Morning Update

Due to Internet outages yesterday afternoon and this morning plus other commitments, I was not able to post my usual "trio" posts. If all goes as planned, I will have an Afternoon Trio post later today. Also, I will have a special Christmas post later this week. Thanks for your continued loyalty. Your comments are welcome.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Evening Trio--12/20/08

Bloomberg: Mullen Seeks Up to 30,000 More Troops in Afghanistan

Wall Street Journal: Warner Music Content Disappears From YouTube

Lexington Herald-Leader: Meeks' 46 carries Cats in rout

Morning Trio--12/20/08

BBC: Most 'do not believe in nativity' (In the survey, 70% of Brits and one-fourth of British Christians doubt the Nativity occured. How sad.)

L.A. Times: Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to void gay-marriage ban (Atty. Gen. Brown took an oath to defend the laws and Constitution of California. He is violating his own oath--and the will of the majority--by asking the court to overturn Proposition 8.)

Wall Street Journal: Bill Clinton's Complicated World

Friday, December 12, 2008

Evening Trio

Baptist Press: Richard Land: Bush not 'theologian-in-chief'

Chicago Tribune: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan asks court: Remove Blagojevich

AP via WKYT: Winter Weather Causes Major Issues

Afternoon Trio

AP via Courier-Journal: Snow in eastern Kentucky has roads slick

Wall Street Journal: White House Shifts as Auto Rescue Stalls

eWeek: Microsoft Issues Advice on Internet Explorer Zero-Day Attacks

Update: FLASH FLOOD WARNING until 8am...NO SCHOOL in Letcher County

The FLASH FLOOD WARNING continues for Letcher County until 8am this morning. There have been several reports of running water in Letcher County. Numerous reports of standing water have been reported in Letcher County. However, water has started to recede. The winter weather advisory has been canceled. Due to the snow, ice, and floods, there will be NO SCHOOL in the Letcher County and Jenkins Independent districts today.

Elsewhere, many other districts in Eastern Kentucky are also closed due to snow. The hardest hit areas for snow are in Breathitt, Lee, and Wolfe counties, where up to a half-foot of snow fell in parts of those counties.

I will post updates when needed. Post your comments in the comments section.

Morning Trio--12/12/08

Wall Street Journal: Rescue Bid for Detroit Collapses in Senate

L.A. Times: Belgium arrests 14 in anti-terrorism sweep

Lexington Herald-Leader: Turner's career brings him to Pikeville with CBA's Miners

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Evening Trio--12/11/08

National Weather Service: WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Eastern Kentucky until 6am Friday

Kentucky Weather Center: Big Easy to Bluegrass Snow Thoughts

AP: Former Kentucky player accused of mortgage fraud

Afternoon Trio--12/11/08

Kentucky Weather Center: Heavy Snow Band Likely To Develop (While Old Media is discounting the possible effects of the storm here in the Commonwealth, Chris Bailey's blog is blowing away the competition.)

Courier-Journal: Beshear proposes 70-cent cigarette tax hike

TechCrunch: Google To Take Chrome Out Of Beta

Morning Trio

Wall Street Journal: Newsweek to Cut Back Staff, Slim Magazine in Makeover (This comes in the same week that Newsweek published what it calls the "religious case for gay marriage." Contrary to what Newsweek states, the Bible condemns homosexual marriage. Read Romans 1:26-29. Sin has consequences not just for individuals, but for businesses and nations. Newsweek is facing those consequences.)

NPR: NPR Cuts Jobs, Cancels Programs

Kentucky Weather Center: Thursday Travel Troubles (Chris Bailey's blog has been consistent in forecasting major storm systems like today's system.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Evening Trio

National Weather Service: FLOOD WATCH for far SE Kentucky Thursday

WYMT: Heating Problems Closes Letcher Co. School

Bloomberg: Obama Calls for Blagojevich to Resign as Governor

Afternoon Trio

Voice of America: Universal Declaration of Human Rights Marks 60th Anniversary

Don McNay: Outliers and hatred against hillbillies

Kentucky Weather Center: Winter storm threat continues

Morning Trio

Bloomberg: Democrats, White House Agree on $15 Billion Auto Plan

Bluegrass Policy Blog: Where Mitch McConnell earns his pay (Editor's note: McConnell and Bunning have the guts to speak out against this crappy bailout. Make no mistake: I am for the auto workers. But giving aid and comfort to corrupt unions and corporate bigwigs who fail is wrong.) Kentucky Basketball: A Flickering Light

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Evening Trio

MarketWatch: Ford tries a new tune

Terror in Mumbai: AP: Tearful Israel mourns 6 victims of Mumbai attack

BBC: Israel convicts top Palestinian

WCYB "most likely" to be dropped from local cable lineup

My cable and Internet provider, TVS Cable, which serves several counties in Eastern Kentucky, recently notified its customers that it will "most likely" drop Tri-Cities TN/VA NBC affiliate WCYB (licensed to Bristol, VA) as of January 1, 2009. This is due to a retransmission consent dispute between WCYB's ownership (Bonten Media Group) and TVS. WCYB is asking TVS to pay cash to carry its signal. In the past, WCYB had not asked for a so-called "carriage charge." If negotiations fail, TVS will drop WCYB and replace it with a MyNetworkTV affiliate. However, NBC programming will not be affected because TVS will continue to carry WLEX in Lexington.

Under federal law, every three years each broadcast station must choose between "must-carry," which allows cable operators to broadcast local stations for free, or "retransmission consent," which forces cable systems to pay cash or ask for other considerations. In recent years, there have been standoffs between cable ops and broadcasters over the retransmission consent provision. One notable example is Time Warner Cable's decision to drop ABC stations from their lineups for a few days in 2000, during the May "sweeps".

TVS Cable serves counties in portions of three TV markets: Knott (its home base), Perry, Breathitt, Wolfe (in the Lexington market), Leslie, Letcher (in the Tri-Cities market), and Floyd (in the Charleston/Huntington, WV market). Recently, TVS has expanded its area to cover the entire city of Whitesburg, which was served by Comcast, which had more Tri-Cities stations on its lineup. Over the years, many Letcher Countians went to the Tri-Cities for shopping and other attractions, thanks in part due to advertising on Tri-Cities stations. However, that caused a loss of tax dollars from Kentucky businesses. With this potential drop of WCYB, I expect some consequences for Tri-Cities advertisers and local consumers.

But this dispute also shows that there is volatility in the Old Media sector. The major broadcast networks are losing viewers to cable networks, DVDs, video games, and the Internet. I have stated over the past few months on this blog that Old Media has showed a lack of balance in its news coverage and has lacked efforts to attract younger viewers to newscasts. That means advertisers, which are always looking to target the all-important 18-34 demographic, are moving away from newscasts. The result: Broadcasters are losing money.

I will post updates on this dispute as warranted. Your thoughts?

Afternoon Trio

Terror in Mumbai: Times of London (UK): Britain and US rush to mediate between India and Pakistan

AP: Pirates fire on US cruise ship in hijack attempt

The Swamp: Mel Martinez bowing out after one term

Morning Trio

AP: Panel warns biological attack likely by 2013

Terror in Mumbai: BBC: India asks Pakistan for fugitives Obama Could End Abstinence Education in Fight Against AIDS