Some quick takes on the events of the day…
The decline of newspapers
This one’s not too difficult to figure out.
1. Online sources are instantaneous, and even though many newspaper’s websites attract great amounts of traffic, they haven’t figured out a revenue model yet. Certainly, they could run teasers of stories, and offer a subscription, or set up a small fee basis to continue reading the story. In fact, if they all did this, their problem of how to monetize their websites would be solved.
2. Original model was based on high-priced advertising from real estate, auto dealers, and department stores. However, even before the current housing meltdown, most real estate agents would tell you that the only reason ads were placed was that the clients wanted them. They were never cost-effective. As to the car biz, again, even before Craigslist, there were “Auto Trader” pubs that generally did a better job. And, department stores have been feeling the pinch for a long time, and just cut back.
3. Thus, the ad model is being hit with the double-whammy of declining business and declining rate base, since subscribers are leaving in droves.
4. Crummy demographics. Most people under thirty don’t use newspapers, and the publishers are turning off the rate base that remains with an ever more elitist Leftist editorial bent.
5. Bad management. Every interview of a newpaper exec is full of platitudes about how the business is changing, but that print must still be at the core of what they do. And, no mention is ever made of changing the editorial policy.
Trans-fats banned in California
You just have to love government, right? With industry and legal residents leaving the state in the largest numbers yet, and with many institutions—including schools—struggling to keep their heads above water, I’m sure it’s a great comfort to know that restaurant meals will be somewhat healthier. Bear in mind that many disagree with the hysterical conclusions regarding trans fats being related to coronary heart disease, anyway.
No word, though, on how this will affect the real major health problem: Obesity, especially childhood obesity.
But, like the State’s infamous proposition 65, the trans fat ban will assure job security for legions of bureaucrats.
While it’s easy enough to bash the agency, the fact is that they had to come up with a way to provide emergency housing for 150,000 people, and many manufactures pulled out all the stops to supply trailers. Were there problems? Of course, but given the gigantic size of the undertaking, what do you expect?
More than that, there were simple enough ways to vent the trailers, and all of this is lost on the chattering classes. Somehow, if I were given a free place to live, I might be more hesitant to bite the had that fed me. No doubt, the growing class action suits will become big news items in the near future, but the end result will be that the next time the Feds need trailers, unless indemnity is guaranteed, the manufacturers will rightly refuse the “windfall” business.
The JonBenet Ramsey case
On July 9, 2008, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy stated that DNA tests conducted by Bode Technology Group revealed that skin cells left behind on JonBenet Ramsey