Dean Clough

November 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: New News

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS

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Happy Thanksgiving Week Monday, made extra special this year by The World Cup occurring simultaneously.  Sportswashed or not, and even without beer, it is an amazing exhibition of sport on the grandest scale. 

But here, away from the desert and certainly not without beer, I'll say that, if Keith Raniere hadn't ruined the term, I am on the vanguard among those that indulge on news and media.  Because it feels like I am not the only one that was fed up with the status quo in the news and social media worlds:

  • Forced false equivalency ("Inflation Falling: How That Could Hurt Dems in '24")
  • Unwarranted left or right bias
  • The multi-dimensioned awfulness of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now, the Chinese brainwashing tool TikTok
  • Advertisements masquerading as news
  • Fake friend coffee klatches masquerading as news (i.e., morning shows)
  • Corporate/political shills masquerading as experts
  • News sources that aren't (i.e., "I get my news from my phone.")

The result is that there's a lot of anecdotal change on my radar screen, including podcasters bemoaning Twitter, widespread criticism of The New York Times (a leader in false equivalency), and a general search for alternatives, for both news and non-toxic social media experiences.

So today, in a mercifully short post and without any comment, I share with you 3 new news sources whose tires I've been kicking, and their own description of what they're trying to accomplish. 

Semafor
In our increasingly interconnected world, journalism needs to deliver common facts to divergent audiences. Our biggest stories, and greatest crises, are global: from climate change to pandemics, rising inequality to supply chain disruption, political instability to the influence of social media. In response to those challenges, we’re building a new kind of trusted news source for this interconnected world, based on journalistic transparency and a platform that delivers shared facts while giving voice to a range of informed, competing views.
The Flip Side is on a mission to help bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives. 

We’re a one-stop shop for smart, concise summaries of political analysis from both conservative and liberal media. Our goal is to become a news source for liberals, moderates, independents, conservatives, and even the apolitical.

It’s hard to convince liberals to watch Fox or conservatives to watch MSNBC. But if everyone takes 5 minutes a day to read The Flip Side, we’ll have a starting point when talking to our friends and neighbors.
Jessica Yellin breaks down the biggest stories for you every week, separating the news you need to know from the noise you can ignore. She promises facts, not panic attacks.  

Jessica Yellin is an Emmy, Gracie, Peabody and Webby award winning journalist. She is past Chief White House Correspondent for CNN. She has reported for ABC, MSNBC and started her career at WTVT and CFN in Florida. She has interviewed Presidents, reported from the White House and around the globe and now, on Bulletin, for you.

After having looked at all 3 over a number of days, I will say this:  each is trying to address most or all of the problems I list above.   While I am personally sticking with the best-in-show Economist, any or all of these 3 sources might be viable alternatives for you.  Whether they last is a different conversation.

FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Hunter Deuce had something to add to my post on awful cars.  Actually, a lot of something.  But his better half, Fi, spoke up, as well.  

A 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano Platinum?  I can empathize with your troubles, pal. 

Growing up, my father was a Lancia nut - Lancia was a division of Fiat back then, and they had quite a bit of success on the Rally circuit, winning (a number of) World Rally Championships.  Fun to drive?  Oh, hell yeah.  These things were the perfect Italian touring coupe - you could blow down the freeways cross-country, but they were small enough and handled extremely well, making them a joy to drive through winding country and mountain roads.
 
The downside?  Constant maintenance.  I mean ALL.  THE.  TIME.  At one point my father owned five of them, with two or three on the road and a couple he kept for parts.  The electrical systems were always giving out, so much so he had a bypass ignition switch installed in them in case the car simply wouldn't start (which happened often).  You had to constantly keep an eye on the oil pressure as well as the thermostat to make sure the car didn't overheat.
 
But they looked great - there was the Beta Coupe and, my favorite, the Spider Zagato - the Targa top roof panel and fold down rear roof was great in the summer.  But man, were they unreliable. 
I must admit, leaving out Lancia or some kind of other Fiat product from any list of the worst cars was an oversight by yours truly.  So yes, I am on such a gratitude kick that I am thankful even for Hunter Deuce.

I guess this couple has some bad car PTSD they're dealing with, because Fi added:

I didn’t own any of the cars you show but I did own one close.  A tan 1980 Ford Fiesta that I bought on my own for 2K.  I also had to use an El Camino which I (couldn't) stand.  A station wagon made into a truck! 

Luckily, Ford only imposed the Fiesta on America for a few short years, and the El Camino?  Well, the less said the better.
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Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

KLUF

I'm really on a winning streak at KLUF.  Here - and as a high-resolution download to boot - is the classic Rumours from Fleetwood Mac. 
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Fun Fact:  Stevie Nicks has been quoted as saying she was snorting so much cocaine at the time of this album that her doctors said she must stop immediately or "her nose would fall off."  You go, girl!