Why Newspapers Are Failing

ORMOND BEACH – Today, Easter Sunday, while I’m watching how Navy Seals got our Merchant Mariner back from Somali pirates, I look and my local waste of paper did this.  On the “Ideas” page, or the editorial page for traditional readers, the lead editorial is entitled “history” with a ragged hooded cloak labeled “torture” hanging over the “t”.  I’d have put the picture in here but I couldn’t find it on line.  Under the picture a box contains: “NEWS ITEM: George W. Bush cites history, saying time will vindicate his policies”.  Then a heading “EDITORIAL”.  Then a headline “Beyond America’s ’dark sites’”.  Then another sub head “Nation needs truth and responsibility after reign of torture”.  The volume of effort to establish where we are going in this piece seems surreal to start with but from the above here I go with where my mind went.I’m on the “editorial” page looking for opinions, and I guess they are going to give me some “history” on “torture” because W said something about “history” but not about “torture”.  Then I see that there is something about “dark sites” and the giveaway on what this is all about and that is the “reign of torture”.

Since I know there is no case, I start reading to see how they are going to “make something up”.  My method is to scan the article for sources and then look at the last paragraph or so to see where they end up.  In this case, my method was inadequate so I had to read the whole thing.  I should get a medal.

Here’s what they did.  First they set the International Red Cross up as responsible for “monitoring nations’ compliance with the Geneva Conventions, including treatment of prisoners of war”.  This is true.  Next was the “charge” that detainees were not allowed to see IRC personnel.  Stop a second and tell me if (1) we had prisoners of war and (2) that the Geneva Conventions apply.  Be careful with your answer.  I know there are lots of international law of war experts out there but you’d be surprised how many people act like they are and ARE NOT.  While we are talking about the IRC, how many prison sites around the world do they “monitor” regularly?  As an example, do they monitor prisoners in China and complain loudly about not getting access?  Oh no, I forgot, the Chinese don’t mistreat their prisoners.  Funny I never heard much about Siberia when the Soviets sent people up there to “settle the land” or something like that.  So what other nations are in violation of the Geneva Conventions?  Have you heard of any?  It is funny that WE are the only ones who EVER violate that sacred gathering which made Vietnam a total war crime before it happened.

The IRC did get access eventually and wrote a report.  They leaked it to the press and “concluded” in it that prisoners had been “tortured”.  But this report was not quite enough for my editor so he refers to a book “Dark Side” by Jane Mayer, “who cited unidentified sources familiar with the report (IRC report).  Mayer also wrote that the Red Cross document warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. Government in jeopardy of being prosecuted.”  Notice that the author of the book uses the IRC “report” so I guess that qualifies as two sources.  Really?

To get to the point, they list the “torture” as solitary confinement, waterboarding, prolonged stress standing, beating by use of a collar (whatever that is), beating and kicking (I doubt this), confinement in a box (coffin but with air), prolonged nudity (could have been too much fun), sleep deprivation, loud music (these last two sound like college to me), exposure to cold temps and cold water (Navy SEALS do a lot of this in training), and prolonged use of hand cuffs and shackles (duh).

All the above techniques are labeled torture, deplored by the editor and any definition of torture is irrelevant since the IRC thinks the above was torture, no matter what you, and a lot of other people, think.  Therefore, investigations should begin so that the “punishing the perpetrators” can begin.  Bottom line: Mr. Editor is offended and he wants to punish those who have protected us for the last eight years to pay a price for something he conjures up while sitting at a keyboard.

This is just a small example of how the conventional wisdom that the internet is destroying the print newspapers is just NOT TRUE.  People like me don’t spend our money on this stuff.  We get it second hand.  The big boys are failing financially because they are intellectually bankrupt and print nothing but garbage on their pages.  People take their money to yard sales and do better.

-Bill Bramer

Retired Naval Officer


For movies opening December 9, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening December 9, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bounce Back (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and brief drug use) Romantic comedy about a charismatic relationship guru (Shemar Moore) who falls in love with a skeptical fellow therapist (Nadine Velazquez) he meets while on a book tour promoting his new best seller. Supporting cast … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Paging Norman Rockwell

  Paging Norman Rockwell by Amy Lignor   For those who may not have had the pleasure before – and all you true Christmas “classic” lovers who have always wanted to see it – Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is the most brilliant and beautiful place during the holiday season. Made famous by the original Norman Rockwell, whose museum is part of the line of historic buildings making up that classic Main Street, Stockbridge is dressed up … [Read More its Good for You...]


Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards

  Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards By Craig Lamb Every hardcore angler wants to go fishing at the first sign of warm weather in spring. The last thing any fisherman wants is cutting a trip short because of mechanical problems with an outboard engine.   The best way to avoid problems, and enjoy trouble-free time on the water, is by preparing ahead of time. That begins now. Preparing for extended storage efficiently and effectively … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]


We Are Still…All in This Together!

  We Are Still…All in This Together! by Amy Lignor   December 7, 1941. Sunday morning was lovely on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. A typical Sunday, in fact, where people were moving calmly and in a relaxed “weekend-mode” stance at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Headquarters. Just before the clocks struck 8:00 a.m., however, the country of Japan launched planes from six aircraft carriers in what would be considered the “first wave” of … [Read More its Good for You...]


Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]