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Friday, June 29, 2012

A quick analysis of this week's thoughts

I posted my analysis of yesterday's Supreme Court decision and we can discuss that if you want but I want to first describe my experience with that. The posting of my blog was the same and but I soon found out that I couldn't comment because I don't have a Facebook account. Not being able to respond to any criticism or the rare compliment is going to make it pretty awkward. In the old format I pretty much knew who to respond to and the ones to ignore After reading the comments by posters unknown to me; I really didn't know what to expect. Evidently the posters feel the same way about me because I've only received one comment and it was from Jessica. I saw a lot of posts that would have been deleted pretty quickly under the old format. In the old format, I pretty much knew who to respond to and the ones to ignore. The first two days prove that using real names doesn't necessarily promote civility. I'm going to have to find a new way of searching because I used to just check out the avatars and the poster's name and that made it easy scrolling through the latest comments. I believe we can only view the latest 50 comments, then they disappear. That's no good.Hopefully the newness and the kinks in the system, will work itself through, but I'm not liking what I'm seeing right now.

I've seen and heard a lot of comments and about free health care but that's been pretty much the theme when it comes to anything government. For some, buying a postage stamp is considered socialism. It's as if we're having a civil war between the private and the public sector. I wonder if the same people dislike their next door neighbor because they are a teacher, firemen, police officer, or an IRS agent. I was having a good discussion with a poster at ViCad the other day and he said that me we didn't used to have public assistance in the old days,so families and friends took up the slack. I showed him where we've had public assistance since colonial days but I'm sure it didn't change his mind but I'll never know because he didn't respond.A commenter was asking if paying the fine was cheaper than paying for health care. I bet he's probably one of those complaining of people getting free health care.  I can certainly understand the uneasiness of too much government but it seems to me those distinctions are too extreme. I've been saying for quite some time, that this year's election will be about the role of government. I've been asked several times for my definition of how much is too much government.It's supposed to be their idea of making me admit that I want more government. My reply is “that’s a loaded question with an anticipated  numeric answer." The simple answer is whatever takes to make it effective.

 We still have the silliness,the idea of holding the Atty. General of the United States in contempt prompted the Congressional Black Caucus to bringing charges of charge as a reprimand against  Rep. Darrell Issa.  It was defeated 259 to 161, with 24 Democrats siding with all Republicans but it was put in the record.

It's not all bad because Congress just sent President Barack Obama a comprehensive extension of highway and infrastructure projects, along with a one-year extension of low student loan rates that were set to double. I may be wrong but this what the country wants. I don't think constituents mind the partisan battles as long as at a given time both sides will compromise and send the president a needed jobs bill.

Once again you know my "no real rules" policy; if you don't like subject change it to something you want to discuss..... It's open thread Friday.


Edith Ann said...

Well, let's talk about the new Advocate stuff.

First, it is annoying as all get out. Fully 50% of the comments posted are posted by Advocate staff. As someone who does Facebook, it is very second nature to type a quick comment in response to something someone else has posted. They are capitalizing on that 'behavior'.

Look at the comments. Every punk doper wanna be is posting on the bath salts story. It is unintelligible at best, and stupid at worst.

The Advocate will see numbers go up, perhaps, and numbers sell advertising (what was it--the Victoria Advocate reaches 770,000+ households every day? Sure...), but the quality has fallen to somewhere near ZERO! Folks who want to have intelligent discussion and debate won't tolerate this for very long. This will rum the rest of who's left off.

And, and now you know, Mike--perhaps you should have declined. You can't even participate!

Mike said...

That's what ran off the original posters,the second round and so forth....I have a comment I'm itching to answer but can't.

I feel like the old joke "Tie an Italian's hands behind his back and he'll be speechless."..:-)

I can't respond!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike said...

I can see this putting me in a disadvantage because a poster can distort the meaning or message of my blog and I will be powerless to dispute their claims.

Tophat said...

Well, Chris said wait until it was up and running. I waited, I saw, I remained uninterested in what potheads have to say- less interested after seeing no ability for any person that does not worship Facebook to participate.
So be it-

Mike said...

I just saw a couple more things that I didn't like....If you're going to post a long comment, you better double check it because the option to delete and RE Post is gone...It's not a biggie but the author of the blog no longer has the option of deleting a poster.

It sought of reminds me of the ol' message boards and the mindless comments at the end of some big time blogs.

Edith Ann said...

Since it is open topic day at Mike's--

Tell me why, when something works out to the favor of the Right, it is God's Will, but when the Left prevails, God is not given the credit?

Do the folks on the Right think God only answers their prayers?

What must they think when God answers prayers from the Left?

I'm going over to Juanita Jean's and I am going to ask the same questions to see if I can get an answer. This is really bothering me.

born2Bme said...

MIke, I wouldn't give the VA freebies like that. If they won't let you even comment on your own blog, screw 'em.

Mike said...

I was thinking the same thing when I saw what, I presume to be a preacher, on his knees banging his head on his bible he had placed in front of him.... Justice Roberts used to be revered by the conservatives as much as Ronald Reagan but if you read the blogs, some hate Roberts as much as they do President Obama.... Glenn Beck is selling “Coward" tee shirts with a picture of Justice as Roberts on it.


I am going to give them a little time to iron out the glitches but I won't post another blog until they do...I hate not being able to defend my post.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Let me start off by saying that I'm so glad to have your and Edith Ann's blogs around because my days with VicAd are through. Your forums over here are intelligent, respectful, and hence so are your posters. You are an example of what the VicAd does NOT do. Well done, my friends!

Secondly, I am very surprised by the SCOTUS ruling on the the ACA, but if they have ruled it constitutional, albeit under the tax levy codes (who saw that one coming), I can respect their ruling and now the hard work - real implementation - begins. So be it. It will be interesting to see the effects/fallout/benefits (?) a decade from now....

All I have to say in conclusion about the new VicAd forums is that it looks childish and that loon Kenny boy is back. And that tells me all I need to know about the quality. Period. Mike, it isn't worth your time or effort. I feel free and like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I have stood my ground and refused to play their games. It is indeed liberating. I hope you will try it.

Mike said...

You were no more surprised than I was by the SCOTUS ruling but for some occasional remarks ,I'm ready to put that behind me and move forward.

Thanks for the kind words.

Since I can't comment on my own blog,I feel as thou I'm a defendant without a

Sugar Magnolia said...

"A defendant without a lawyer" - never forget that a defendant has a constitutional right to defend oneself in court. Of course, the defendant that does so has a fool for a client..... :D

Legion said...

The new Vicad Sucks, enough said.

Edith Ann said...

Thanks for the compliment, Sugar! I thought I was posting from my EA Facebook account, but apparently, I'm not. Mike can't see my comments.

On the Advocate, folks would post a comment, not always long, but usually contributing in some way to the 'conversation' there.

On Facebook, folks respond like they would text--short, incomplete sentences, texy language (lol!).

Look at the Advocate comments. It's like wading through a group of junior high school girls! I hate to say it, but between all the goo, I'm out!

If I were you Mike, I'd pull the blog and move it over here before it gets any worse. I guarantee you, you'll have better comments!

Tophat said...

VicFacerate aka Victoria Advocate (at a time) was an exceptionally good local, regional newspaper. It is now a tweeterbook with facial flavoring

It is no longer a hard copy newspaper with decent internet access to news, reader comments and opinions.

Reminds many businessmen of a time (not long ago) that a media company relied on its own sources and resources to carry out its mission.

It now relies on a third party (of questionable motives and business practices) to increase its viewings.

I wish VA every success, but I fear it would be identical to American Airlines relying on UPS to deliver its passengers and increase ticket sales. Faulty business plan, but I suppose it does support at least the appearance of that a plan exists.

Edith Ann said...

It didn't take but a couple of days for the Advocate forum to turn into Facebook!

I go to look this morning, and we're got Abe Cochran giving a shout-out to Mike Austin and six of the last seven 'comments' are questions from the Advocate staff and Chris Cobler.

If you will remember back, there was a time that Cobler was promoting the Advocate as a social networking site. Lots of folks indicated at that time they would not like that. We already had a social networking site.

It will eventually settle in, but it'snot going to be the same. I've come and gone several times, one more time won't make a difference.

Mike said...

EA,Legion,Sugar,born and Tophat

I don't think that it is a mere coincidence that we have come to the same conclusion about the new format.

We now have to scroll past 5 VA Staff comments and skip a shout out to another poster just to read a comment.

I don't know anything about FB but I trust EA is correct, so it's is going to take to 2 0r 3 years just to get where we were.

If you were not have a fan of FB prior to the transition; you certainly aren't..FB has its place but this is not the use of it.

The ones preaching about anonymity aren't even posting.

Mike said...

It's embarrassing to hear that Texas will be the first state to not take the 100% federal funding for the first 3 years of expanded Medicaid on 10th amendment principals, so Rick Perry can look macho to his fellow GOP governors...Texas is being used as the model because it has so much to gain since it has the most uninsured people.

Another thing I heard: What influence will the new SCOTUS ruling have on new law students?Will the current test answers on the mandate be wrong in future years or we still have different answers based on ideology?

You see the new ruling has been taught that the mandate using the New Deal model would have been constitutional but this new ruling stopped the government powers to expand the commerce clause.

I still can't get over Senator Rand Paul thinking that it's not constitutional just because the Supreme Court said it was...Can Senator Paul refer to a higher authority?

born2Bme said...

I hope Perry is just blowing smoke right now. There are alot of people in Texas that just aren't going to agree with him.
Somehow I feel that his next election is not going to go so smooth. People now know how dumb he really is.

Edith Ann said...

I think this is as good a place as any to share a modified version of a comment I made to you, Mike, in a recent email. This pretty much sums it up as I see it.

Cobler has been the driving force behind the whole 'social media' aspect of the forum since he hit town. Remember, his professional focus was internet rather than print. The whole Poynter Institute job was about internet media. He would have been the editor of an online newspaper. When the Poynter job fell through, he came here, and has been trying to replicate what he wanted to do for Poynter.

Remember the gathering for the bloggers? Remember the Tweet-up that had 8 people there? I figure the VA owners thought they were catching the wave of the future, and wanted to be on the leading edge. Problem is, we're not the New York Times, we're podunk. 32,000 circulation in an 11 county area where the Advocate is the only daily paper and should have at a minimum, twice that number. I remember commenting on a blog by Chris where he was requesting friends over on Facebook. He was as silly as a girl making his plea to the masses for folks to friend him! THIS, THIS MESS has been his agenda all along. He just envisioned it working a little better than it has. He didn't factor in the variables--for one, the Facebook 'style' of commenting.

In the past, when it was just the VA and there was a change in the format (4 or 5 by now?) the bumps eventually smoothed out and everyone got happy again. I think that will happen again, but it will take a little longer. And every time we have made adjustments, we have lost folks along the way. This time will be no different. The late Don Mader—like him or not-- did predict the Advocate would be reduced to the lowest common denominator. I think we are just about there. The commentors we lose are many of the ones who truly brought something to the forum. I don’t care what illiterate potheads think. And Tim Delaney is no longer there to remind us that we need to contribute to the community conversation.

I think I'm done now.

Mike said...


You absolutely right, the hospitals, doctors, and potential insures will rail against Perry as they did when he tried to make young females take the HPV vaccine, which if better handled would have been a good thing. And if did not include a huge payoff for a single drug company who wooed the Texas governor with large contributions.

Edith Ann said...

If the teachers of Texas vote for that moron next time, I will then be convinced they are part of the reason we are 47th in the nation, and I will quit blaming iot solely on Perry.

born2Bme said...

Maybe Perry thinks he'll be asked to be VP? LOL

Mike said...

Romney will need someone who is willing to work to get a whole lot of things done on day one...:-)Rick Perry is putting Texas in contention for the race to the bottom on education and health care,so his plate is pretty

Edith Ann said...

And any spare time he has, he's riding around with DPS in thos speed boats. That, and packing boxes to move back into the Governor's Mansion.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Lord have mercy, I agree with you born2beme! I do hope that now people are seeing the "great and wonderful" wizard of Oz as the little man behind the curtain.

Don't blame me! I've said it time and again, but I voted for Kinky, and then for Bill White! I tried my best to get Dick Perry out of office. But, born2beme, I think you're right. The next election will tell the tale, and I don't think it's going to have a happy ending for Perry. We can only hope!

As for the Crapocate, Time Delaney is sorely missed, and I suspect Joe Patrick Bean, rest his soul, is flipping in his grave. I believe Edith Ann is right, and I was thinking the same thing, this has actually been a long time coming with Peaches at the helm. This is now the "social media" spot for Victoria, or that is what Cobler wants to think. With his posse of high-school journalists and a Facebook requirement, I'm sure he can't understand where he went wrong! I'm sure it makes total sense to him. Of course.

I know I've said it before, but one more time for venting sake: I AM DONE!!!!!

Sugar Magnolia said...

Duh....make that TIM Delaney. Of course I know y'all know what I meant.

Jeez, I need more java...

Mike said...

lol..We wouldn't have half of the rude posters if Joe "the online sheriff" was still in charge.

I swear the people who tweet make a lot more sense and they are limited to 140 characters but they often provide good links and a lot of humor.

This FB format is going to a lot of granny giving a shout out to the grandchildren..:-) nothing wrong with that but makes it pretty boring....You can make a comment and it will get lost in the maze.

I don't think blogs are that important in a FB format because posters just want to post and run.

Edith Ann said...

Okay, Mike, go to my blog and click on the Facebook box. You will be able to see my blog and how the the link to my blog is presented. (You may have already done this at some time) FB users can link to anything. FB has 'notes' where you can write longer things, but it is designed for small postings. It IS similar to the VA forum, but yet very different.

In otherwords, nobody 'blogs' on FB. That's what blogspot and wordpress are for. It is a social network, somewhat of a news source, but the news is only valid (ha) if you are a fan of some news source. I can tell you the other news sources so not ask a million questions of their readers like the Adovacte does. I sometimes think that the Advocate folks think everyone sits on their computers, iPhone, iPad and whatever 24/7 just waiting for some pithy tidbit to be posted! And when it is, how many times are we disappointed?

Mike said...

Thanks EA,that answers a lot of my questions.

Sugar Magnolia said...

I do believe the social media thing, as in Facebook, Twitter, etc. have gotten way out of hand and the mentality of TPTB at the VicAd cannot deal with in-depth, intelligent discourse. They want everything in 140 characters or less, with little thought given to the subject matter nor dissenting opinions. The more I think about this, the more I can see the big picture now and all the VicAd has been leading up to. Seems Peaches' vision has now been realized. He has Facebook posters (very few, though) posting small, inconsequential tweets, "friends" who follow him and the VicAd to chime in with their "atta boys", which he and his cub reporters so desperately fish for (shameless) and NO real thought or discussion.

It's simply pitiful to witness a majority of the postings made by the staff, asking (begging) for feedback and compliments. Absolutely pathetic.

Sugar Magnolia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sugar Magnolia said...

Sorry, seems I double-posted that last comment, don't know how, so I removed.....

Yeah, time for more coffee, can't seem to get going today. Yeesh...

dale said...

EA said

"Tell me why, when something works out to the favor of the Right, it is God's Will, but when the Left prevails, God is not given the credit?"

Would it possibly have something to do with the "unclean hand". The right is clean. The left, not so clean. God would never suggest we compliment with the "unclean". ;)

IS this "newest cob" change the final straw? Even in baseball, you are only allowed so many foul balls until you eventually hit a home run or strike out. Game over.

Mike said...

I don't know dale, it could be seen as Republican narcissism..:-)

I prefer to see as conservatives believe in proportionality and liberals favor fairness.
They both might be related to reciprocal altruism.

Are you talking about baseball or softball because many there are options after continuing to hit foul after foul in baseball...The batter could ground out, fly out, single,walk, get on an error or get an extra base?

Edith Ann said...

Now, Dale--that is the same excuse folks used for eons about left-handed people! Left handed folks are sneaky, dishonest, evil!

Yeah, three stikes and YOU'RE out!

No, God answers the prayers of ALL who petition him, not just libertarians or republicans. Actually, God is apolitical. He is about justice, but there are no political parties mentioned in the Bible.

I understand that the right thinks they have exclusive use of Him--and frankly with a lot of the shenanigans and tawdry sex scandals that side seems to get caught up in, He probabaly does spend a lot of time dealing with republicans--but He's the Dems' God, too! He just doesn't have to spend quite as much time with us. Don't confused intense supervision with 'He likes us better!'

dale said...

You are right.. that is softball with the foul limit. With the Vicad, they are playing under baseball rules. Yet surely they have met the limit. The last year I played softball the 2 homerun limit was initiated. (To make things fair, supposedly.)

EA, neither the R or D have an exclusive to God. But according to Aggie lore, it will be the Fightin Texas Aggie Band who will be playing at heaven's gate.

Edith Ann said...

Sure, He might let them play at Heaven's gate, but we all know God is a Longhorn. That gorgeous sunset is burnt orange, not maroon. It's a concession. See, He's about fairness.

However, back to the matter at hand--just about every LTTE or comment from someone who is anti-Obama, or anti-Dem, or anti-healtcare reform contains some form of "God help us all!" or "God save us!". We don't typically see that from the Dems.

Mike said...

They'll play until the past Bevo's get tired of listening to that noise, unless they play several chords of “Fight Texas."...:-0

Several of my friends are joined by a religion but split on political ideology, so I choose to keep my politics secular.

Mike said...

I guess there's a bright spot with the new format...Someone criticized me or my blog but I'm not able to read it...I'm guessing it's  because I don't have FB account. ...Who knows?

Edith Ann said...

Someone named Clint Jackson. Looks mighty suspicious! He's made two comments on two Advocate stories,and there is no other activity on his FB account. Look very suspicious! No Friends, not other activity.

Mike said...

But using real names was supposed to make it all better.

Sugar Magnolia said...

"But using real names was supposed to make it all better."

Aye, Mike, and there be the rub!

This new incarnation of the Crapocate is just the final "thud" of the long, painful downward spiral.

Hey, at least we'll always have Paris.

Oooops, sorry, that was another Mike.... :D

born2Bme said...

So, what I'm reading here is that there are comments that we cannot see? Why is that?

born2Bme said...

I'm logged into my FB account and still can't see Clints message. Do we have to "friend" VA or something?

Sugar Magnolia said...

I looked at your and several other blogs on the VicAd, and see nothing under "comments", nothing when I click on "comments" on the blogs. I thought there at least used to be "unverified comments" that we could click on to see comments by the lowly posters who have not been given favor by Herr Cobler for using Farcebook (no, not a typo), but I don't even see those anymore. Seems he wants to remove all traces of the ones who refuse to play his game. That's just my opinion.

And, another thing....Peaches is the editor, is he not? So if he's spending all this considerable time doing the Facebook, twitter, storybuilder (whatever) thing, WHEN exactly does he get the time to do his JOB? You know, EDITING???

Oh, yeah......that's right.....

Edith Ann said...


When I go to the Advocate page, and scroll down to comments, the comment from Clint is like the third one down. When you click on 'more comments' it is still there.

Now, when I am signed in as EA on Facebook, I cannot see my own comments. But signed in as my non-blog account, or not signed in at all, I can see what I wrote.

I know servaeral folks commented on the "What does Independence Day mean to you?" blog, two who are banned posters, but it is showing no comments.

Who the hell knows? I don't think the Advocate knows, but it is getting very old to keep reading the pleas from the newbies for folks to comment on their stories!

born2Bme said...


Yes, when I go back to read the comments, I can see Clint's comment, but it's not under the story, like they used to be. I didn't know if that was the whole comment or just a short preview.

I really, really, really, dislike this FB thing. How is it going to hold any intelligent person's interest? I want something to read, not just short sentences.

When you think about it, Chris is just trying to access more people "friends", which spreads his advertisement to a much larger area. I'm not going to play that game. I don't want my FB page littered with all the nonsense and my email box inundated with notices

Edith Ann said...

This much I have figured out--until they delete a comment, it appears in its entirity (?) on the 'more comments' page.

I haven't figured out the secret code to if and when it appears on the actual story or not.

But what you read on the 'more comments' page is it.

Not a lot of need to go any further.

born2Bme said...

I wonder if you have to actually post at the bottom of the story, to get it to show under the story?
As opposed to posting from FB.

Edith Ann said...

Who knows?

Mike said...

Confusing but be sure to let know if anyone figures it all out.

I thought they were working on the system while leaving a portion of it up. The reason I thought this was that all the comments were coming up in different order with some deleted and some remaining.

EA, I have a patent for "who knows" if you're talking about the new format for ViCad..:-)

born2Bme said...

Mike, did Jessica ever send a reply to your question?

Mike said...

Short answer ...not really because she said I should be able to

born2Bme said...

In other words...don't bother me about this and get a FB account so you don't have to worry about it.

Mike said...

I would like to think they are working on the problem but they are overwhelmed...:-)

But unless I'm seeing it wrong, this format is not suited for a discussion because of the comment restrictions either by FB or those the limited amount of comments that remain for us to see. EA says we have to go to something called "notes."

born2Bme said...

Just figured something out. If you are signed in to FB, then you can click on comment under the story. It has a option to post to FB. I unchecked that and it just posted under the story, not on the comments page....unless it post's it later.

So basically, the comments on the comment page or posted to FB, while others aren't..

born2Bme said...

oh, and MIke. I cannot find "notes" anywhere.

EA, where do you find "notes"?

born2Bme said...

well nevermind, it finally did show up on the comments page. Sure did take a long time.

Edith Ann said...

born--well, going to look to answer your question, I have no clue! I can't find 'notes' anywhere!

They have changed the FB format, as you know, and the only place I see anything that resembles 'notes' is on a group page that I am a member of , and they are now called 'docs'.

Your best bet is to do what I do--write the blog at blogspot or wordpress and then post a link on FB. FB is just not set up to favor bloggers, except by linking to a blog.