October 31st, 2006 - 8:03 am
VodkaPundit is proud to join the Project Valour-IT competition today. As you can see at the homepage, Valour-IT is a Soldiers’ Angels drive:
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at home or in military hospitals. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the ‘Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse. The experience of CPT Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered severe hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important this voice-controlled software can be to a wounded servicemember’s recovery.
There’s a lot more information at the link. The current drive is a competition between the four services, and we’re signing on with the Air Force team because (a) I work for them, and (b) John Noonan asked really nicely. Like the header says, Aim High–the Army’s kicking our butts. Here’s the donation button:
October 24th, 2006 - 7:10 am
Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler, better known as the Regular Guys on Atlanta’s 96 Rock, are apparently in danger of being fired by Clear Channel again. A couple of years back, they were let go for accidentally airing a (very) blue conversation with a porn star. This time around, they’re on the verge of being canned because of Political Correctness. From Wachs’ blog:
All of this current mess took root, to my knowledge, in March, when the first national Hispanic illegal alien protests were taking place. We were doing our show in Orlando, from Braves spring training. Listeners started calling us on the air to get our opinion of the boycotts that were going on throughout the metro area and in other major cities across America. As the calls increased in volume, it became the only topic that day as it was on many talk shows across the country.
At one point in the show, we asked a producer to go down the hall and invite Yogi and Panda from Viva 105.7, also owned by Clear Channel, on the air to discuss the issue since some listeners had told us that they were exhorting their audience to boycott and take the day off. They agreed to come on and were ushered into our studio with our board operator, and we had a spirited discussion on the air.
In subsequent days, they complained to local Clear Channel management that they had been “disrespected” and that we should be lectured and punished for being in disagreement and making humorous comments about their point of view, all of which occurred exclusively on the air. Clear Channel management told them on more than one occasion that the opinions we express on the air are fair game, as are theirs, and protected not only by CC company policy, but also the 1st Amendment, and that if they didn’t want to look bad on the air, perhaps they shouldn’t agree to come on our show in the future. Nonetheless, the complaints continued unbeknownst to me through the year.
Wachs goes on to recount how he recorded the Viva hosts yelling insults at him in Spanish in the company bathroom, and while he doesn’t say so in his post, I assume he played back that recording on the air. That’s not the kind of bathroom humor you’d normally expect to hear on a morning yuk-yuk show, but I still have a hard time seeing how playing it back would be a firing offense. However…
This sparked another round of complaints to the company, who offered reasonable solutions to satisfy their ongoing and baseless grievances, but, insisting it was about the “honor of their culture,” Mr. Tapia and Mr. Carias went ahead and filed the criminal charge in Fulton County Magistrate Court against me and then filed civil complaints in Superior Court of Fulton County, GA against the company for “negligent hiring” and harassment and invasion of privacy chargess against me personally, omitting in the affidavit the salient fact that all remarks made about them and immigration were on the air, never off the air.
I have been more than willing, at the company
October 20th, 2006 - 8:20 am
Earlier this week, I put up a long post at From The Bleachers, my football blog, regarding a column by Florida Today columnist Peter Kerasotis (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can read the details here, but in brief, I spotted a flat-out lie on Kerasotis’s part and pointed out clear photographic evidence to that effect.
Since then, something in the neighborhood of 5,000 people have read my post. Kerasotis himself replied with a beyond-lame excuse (which I appended to my original post), and has since stopped responding to emails asking for a retraction. Florida Today executive editor Terry Eberle (email@example.com) and sports editor Ralph Routon (firstname.lastname@example.org) have also failed to respond to requests for a retraction.
I’m bringing the subject over here to VodkaPundit because it’s no longer about football. It’s about integrity and responsiveness in the mainstream media. As I said in an email to Routon, as a columnist, Kerasotis is certainly entitled to his opinions about the football game, but he isn’t entitled to his own facts. Kerasotis alleged in print that a dangerous incident occurred after the game, when no such thing ever happened.
Three days after Kerasotis’s fiction was clearly pointed out to him and his editors, no retraction, correction, or apology has run, and all of the above are refusing to respond to readers. Why not? Since when are people who work for newspapers suddenly higher beings who don’t have to live up to basic standards of truth?
Stonewalling is awful in a politician, but we expect politicians to lie to us. So what does it say about the MSM when a newspaper does the same thing?
October 1st, 2006 - 2:53 pm
High-tech detective work apparently has found the missing “a” in one of the most famous phrases ever spoken.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, now can be confidently recast, according to the research, as, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The discrepancy has been widely debated for years by historians, academics and fans of space travel, with the “a” sometimes appearing in parentheses in government documents and Armstrong being listed on unofficial Web sites as being guilty of a momentous flub.
The missing one-letter word was found this month in a software analysis of Armstrong’s famous phrase by Peter Shann Ford, a Sydney, Australia-based computer programmer. Ford’s company, Control Bionics, specializes in helping physically handicapped people use their nerve impulses to communicate through computers.
On Thursday, Ford and Auburn University historian James R. Hansen, Armstrong’s authorized biographer, presented the findings to Armstrong and others in a meeting at the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. They repeated the presentation at NASA’s Washington headquarters, which has long backed Armstrong’s version of the phrasing.
“I have reviewed the data and Peter Ford’s analysis of it and I find the technology interesting and useful,” Armstrong said in a statement. “I also find his conclusion persuasive. Persuasive is the appropriate word.”
Here’s the entire article. Full disclosure: Dr. Hansen was my history professor at Auburn, and is a prince of a guy.