straight talk

Neocons will hate this book. Moderates will feel enlightened and emboldened. Liberals will enjoy the occasional pot-shots at Neocons and want more.

Straight Talk from the Heartland : Tough Talk, Common Sense, and Hope from a Former Conservative by Ed Schultz

Ed Schultz is conservative turned liberal talk radio host. His show is syndicated on over 30 affiliate stations in the United States and Canada. The cover of his book, Straight Talk From the Heartland, proclaims that his is the fastest growing talk radio show. Not being a talk radio listener, I missed out on the hoopla surrounding this guy. However, having read his book, I’m now interested in hearing what he has to say on a regular basis. In the midst of his at times bombastic ranting (a trademark of talk radio), Schultz displays a keen intellect and average-guy understanding of the socio-politic-economic realities of life in the 21st century world. Neocons will hate this book. Moderates will feel enlightened and emboldened. Liberals will enjoy the occasional pot-shots at Neocons and want more.

The book is divided into two parts. The first describes Schultz’s transformation from hard-line conservative to left-of-center talk radio host. He outlines the events that brought him to his current ideology and lays out criticism of leaders on the Left and the Right, but mainly the Right. The second part is Schultz’s vision of what holds us together as a country and how these “pillars” are becoming unstable. At the end of each pillar section, he reiterates his main points, making this a handy crib sheet for those who may not wish to read them in detail.

My copy of this book has a handful of paper scraps sticking out of the top, marking the pages that have a particularly insightful or amusing comment. Here are just a few:

On Homeland Security:
“Minnesota, which also shares a border with Canada, has two nuclear plants within thirty miles of Minneapolis. Do you know who lives in Minneapolis? Prince! I am willing to make some concessions for homeland security. I am not willing to sacrifice the funk.” p.73

On Corporate Malfeasance:
“We need Ashcroft to stop spying on the librarians of America, and start focusing on the criminals again. And I’m not talking about Martha Stewart. We need the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to grow some fangs, and start going after the big guns.” p.131

On Class Warfare:
“…I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating class warfare. Every good job I ever had was working for a rich man. Mr. Gates, I don’t mind the big paycheck, but could you at least give me a computer that works? Anytime any company dominates its industry like Microsoft does, there’s little motivation for the company to improve and give the public cheaper and better products.” p.135

On the “Liberal Media”:
“A journalist has to know enough about a topic to explain it to his audience. If he gets it wrong, people will know. So these people see the inner workings of government. They see the problems, they witness the disasters, and pretty soon their experiences tell them things need to change. A liberal is a compassionate proponent of change. So if journalists are liberals, maybe it’s reasonable to assume it was their life experiences that changed them. That’s how it worked for me.” p.201

On Talk Radio:
“Nowadays, it’s all too easy to get caught up in media frenzy. It feels like a new disaster is breaking every hour or so. I know this firsthand: I live, and work, in the bullet-point culture, too. My show is fast-paced. We paint in broad strokes. I provide solid information and opinions, but there’s no time for nuance — even if the President did nuance. So is talk radio the best place for in-depth news? Nah. It’s news delivered with equal helpings of entertainment, advocacy, and opinion, to help the medicine go down. Not all media is created equal.” p.220

Article first published as Straight Talk From the Heartland by Ed Schultz on Blogcritics.org

email priorities

If it takes me three weeks or more to reply to your email, it’s because I love you.

If it takes me three weeks or more to reply to your email, it’s because I love you.

The Gay Librarian writes:

The Gay Librarian has a very bad habit of, call it procrastination if you will, putting important personal things on the back burner until he has more time to give them the attention they deserve. An email from a friend he hasn

my life

I wrote an email to a friend recently, catching up a little since the last letter, and I thought that it might be appropriate to reprint some of it here.

I wrote an email to a friend recently, catching up a little since the last letter, and I thought that it might be appropriate to reprint some of it here.

About a month after I moved out here to Washington, I had started to become accustomed to the different terrain (including the sight of an espresso bar on every corner) and pace of life. But, my adjustements were quickly thrown off course when I began to realize that the sun was sinking much faster every evening. Pretty soon, the season had shifted so that it is full dark by the time I leave work at 5pm. It gets dark early in the winter in Kentucky, too, but we had at least 45 more minutes of daylight and dusk than what I’m getting now. I feel sleepier and I’ve been frequenting those espresso bars more often than I used to.

For the past two months, I have been singing with the community women’s chorus. We have done two concerts and had great fun besides. It’s not the same fun I had singing with the Berea shape note group in Kentucky, nor was that the same fun as I had singing with the Mennonites in college, but it’s music, which is always a guarantee of a good time. When I look back at the girl who could barely carry a tune in a bucket and certainly would never think of singing anywhere more public than her private shower, I am amazed to be where I am now.

I went hiking with some folks from church the other week, and I realized two things: 1) I’m really out of shape. 2) I never was in shape for the kind of hills they have here. Oy! The hike we went on had an elevation change of 1,000′, and we were still 400′ or so elevation from the summit before I had to turn back. Even then, I was afraid of my legs collapsing under me. I’ve decided that next quarter, I’m going to pay the fee and start going to the faculty work-out lunch things. My hope is by next fall, I’ll be able to finish that hike and not hobble around with sore joints and muscles for two days afterwards.

blog ethics

If you are a librarian, why do you blog? For whom do you blog? One researcher is on a quest to find out.

If you are a librarian, why do you blog? For whom do you blog? One researcher is on a quest to find out.

From the WEB4LIB listserv:

An Invitation,

I am a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I have recently started a project that seeks to determine what ethic (if any) is at work in the blogosphere. Also, I am trying to uncover any “duties” bloggers think they may or may not have and to whom.

Please consider visiting http://blogethics2004.blogspot.com and sharing your opinion by commenting on some questions I have posted there.

I will be posting a completed research paper on the site in January for your open comment. I may use quotes from the site in that paper.

Many thanks,
Martin

Martin Kuhn
Roy H. Park Fellow, Ph.D. Student
Journalism & Mass Communication
University of North Carolina
CB#3365