Death of the newspaper (and, oh yeah, the mall too)

Powerful article on Mediate about the decline and fall of the newspaper industry and the mall during the Aughts, and why the two are linked:

The blossoming of the Internet in the Aughts, a time of political and economic instability, has hastened (though not completed) the demise of many cultural components tangential to its core functionality. The slow sublimation of newspapers is understood to be its victim; the evaporation of malls, America’s once dominant retail touchstones, is not. Both industries are sliding down similar slopes, pushed by the same hand.

The lesson is simple: the goal never changes, though the path to achieve it often does. For decades the goals of community and convenience were met by shopping malls. That’s simply no longer the case.

Wow, a lot to think about in there.

Merry, merry…
(via randomnyc)

Merry, merry…

(via randomnyc)

Ohhh summer, how I miss thee…
randomnyc:

 Central Park, Summer 2009.

Ohhh summer, how I miss thee…

randomnyc:

 Central Park, Summer 2009.

When I worked downtown (some time ago) I would see these rats all the time…funny the first time, really boring every time thereafter…
This one is more impressive than most I’ve seen…
randomnyc:

Wall St, 2009.

When I worked downtown (some time ago) I would see these rats all the time…funny the first time, really boring every time thereafter…

This one is more impressive than most I’ve seen…

randomnyc:

Wall St, 2009.

Last minute gift idea for lawyer parents with creative offspring…I know it’s hard to believe but, yeah, lawyers really can have creative children, I do…
thedailywhat:

Kinda Cool Idea of the Day: For the cost of a couple weeks worth of coffee, the wonder-mongers at Shidonni promise to turn your child’s most wild-ass drawings into one-of-a-kind plush toys.
Check out the process below:




Place your order by tomorrow to get your one-of-a-kind stuffed whatchamacallit in time for Christmas.
[via.]

Last minute gift idea for lawyer parents with creative offspring…I know it’s hard to believe but, yeah, lawyers really can have creative children, I do…

thedailywhat:

Kinda Cool Idea of the Day: For the cost of a couple weeks worth of coffee, the wonder-mongers at Shidonni promise to turn your child’s most wild-ass drawings into one-of-a-kind plush toys.

Check out the process below:

Place your order by tomorrow to get your one-of-a-kind stuffed whatchamacallit in time for Christmas.

[via.]

Can’t. Get. Enough. randomnyc.
randomnyc:

Madison Ave near 27th St, 1890.
(via straatis)

Can’t. Get. Enough. randomnyc.

randomnyc:

Madison Ave near 27th St, 1890.

(via straatis)

In another life I used to defend the cases that get filed when one of these beautiful, ethereal floating objects slams into the ground on landing, turning the basket on its side for a moment…or hits an electric wire…
Or terrifies a few cows that start running amuck in their field and in doing so lose some weight and thus some of their value…
Nobody has better stories than lawyers…
theworldwelivein:

The largest hot-air balloon gathering in the world, Chambley, France. (via gbatistini)

In another life I used to defend the cases that get filed when one of these beautiful, ethereal floating objects slams into the ground on landing, turning the basket on its side for a moment…or hits an electric wire…

Or terrifies a few cows that start running amuck in their field and in doing so lose some weight and thus some of their value…

Nobody has better stories than lawyers…

theworldwelivein:

The largest hot-air balloon gathering in the world, Chambley, France. (via gbatistini)

Fortune favors the brave…

This is an excellent - if short - expose at the Work Matters blog on one of the legal industry’s ailments: a failure of courage in the practice of law.  Here’s a bit of it:

As lawyers, we often do — not what is needed — but what others cannot criticize: We take the unneeded deposition, file the meritless motion, pile on the repetitive witness.

I see lawyers making their lives and the lives of those around them much harder than necessary, on a routine basis, just to avoid the possibility that someone could question whether they did everything necessary in the handling of a particular matter.  In fact, I can’t say I haven’t done it myself.

Stop doing that, trust your judgment - if you believe it trustworthy.  Ah, and therein lies the rub.

It’s been a tough year for Wall Street…and Main Street…really, any street you can think of…for me, though, that giant wreath hanging on the Stock Exchange represents the indomitable spirit of the American way, freedom, democracy and capitalism…no, it wasn’t our best year, hell it wasn’t our best decade, but we’re still here…
There were so many touching moments after 9/11, of course, but one that was extremely emotional for me was when Wall Street went back to work six days after the attack…when I see that wreath it takes me back to that moment in time…
In the words of Ronald Reagan:

I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

So do I…
randomnyc:

Wall St, 2009.

It’s been a tough year for Wall Street…and Main Street…really, any street you can think of…for me, though, that giant wreath hanging on the Stock Exchange represents the indomitable spirit of the American way, freedom, democracy and capitalism…no, it wasn’t our best year, hell it wasn’t our best decade, but we’re still here…

There were so many touching moments after 9/11, of course, but one that was extremely emotional for me was when Wall Street went back to work six days after the attack…when I see that wreath it takes me back to that moment in time…

In the words of Ronald Reagan:

I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

So do I…

randomnyc:

Wall St, 2009.

Another ding in the public trust…

The big story today: Senator Max Baucus of Montana apparently nominated his girlfriend for a United States Attorney position last March.  Here are some juicy details from the New York Times today - which, strangely, isn’t featuring this story at the top of its site “above the fold”:

The girlfriend, Melodee Hanes, worked for Mr. Baucus as his state office director and as a field director between 2003 and 2009. Mr. Baucus and Ms. Hanes were separated from their spouses at the time they became romantically involved in the summer of 2008, said the spokesman, Tyler Matsdorf. Ms. Hanes eventually resigned from her position, Mr. Matsdorf said, and both she and the senator subsequently divorced their spouses.

Senator Baucus has served in Congress since 1974 and, as you may recall, is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and thus one of the most important and powerful people involved in our government’s ongoing effort to pass health care legislation.  Which makes this little fact so disturbing:

When Baucus ran for his sixth term last year, his campaign raised $11.6 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly half of the funds came from out-of-state donors, including millions from health care and other industries overseen by Finance and Baucus’ other committees.

Just 5 percent of Baucus’ re-election funds came from Montana donors.

Which makes sense, if you think about it, since Senator Baucus hasn’t owned a home in Montana for most of the time that he has represented that state in Congress. 

So, several things.  First, the idea that Senator Baucus failed to perceive the massive conflict of interest and ethical failure that resulted from the nomination of his girlfriend for the stated position is ludicrous.  Senator Baucus knew exactly what he was doing.  And, the thicket of conflicts created by Senator Baucus availing himself of health care industry money is absolutely incredible.

I’m not sure why there isn’t a clamor for Senator Baucus to resign.

[P.S. - From CNN today, where the story is also buried:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement about the development, saying “Max is a good friend an outstanding Senator and he has my full support.”

A Democratic leadership aide defended Baucus saying, “she withdrew of her own accord and is not the nominee. There’s no real issue here other than that the press likes a good story where they can use the word “girlfriend.” It’s doubtful that there’s any ethical and certainly no legal issues.” 

So, the “liberal press” is pumping this up in order to use the word “girlfriend” that’s the real issue here.] 

Gifts for lawyers…

Here are three good ones.

Or, you could try giving yourself the gift of happiness in 2010, or even a pizza place.

Here’s an idea: give yourself new partners for the new year!

For your peers tasked with end of year collections, you could give them a Pulling Teeth metal sculpture.

Whatever you do, though, don’t give yourself your clients’ money.

Happy holidays!

Yeaah…
randomnyc:

Rockefeller Center, 2009.
(via Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

Yeaah…

randomnyc:

Rockefeller Center, 2009.

(via Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

Our vital national interest

I’m pretty sure Michael Moore and I are not of the same species - I just don’t see how it’s possible.  Here are some of Moore’s profound words of wisdom for President Obama, written prior to his speech last night announcing a large increase of United States troops to Afghanistan:

Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters.

Yeah, so, incredibly, Michael Moore seems to believe that President Obama would send 30,000 American citizens into harm’s way in order to curry favor with political enemies.  Wow - how did he support and vote for Obama in good conscience believing him capable of such calloused and horrible abuse of power?  Here’s another pearl of awesomeness from Mr. Moore:

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

Who in their right mind could possibly believe that leaving Afghanistan to the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden is a course of action that benefits our country or the world?  Who can, in their right mind, ignore the mortal threat that lingers in Afghanistan and Pakistan after what happened on 9/11? 

President Obama informed us last night that sending those additional troops is in our vital national interest.  I believe that Obama is a man who does not take the use of force lightly, and thus I see reflected in his words an awareness of a significant threat to our country’s security emanating from Afghanistan, a threat even greater than I, in my vast imagination, could conjure. 

If Michael Moore and his ilk weren’t so blindly allegiant to a course of action for our country that avoids armed conflict at any cost and denies what is so obvious - that there are those in the world who would do us great harm given the chance - they too might appreciate the grave danger that exists in Afghanistan: it was, after all, the very Obama that they worked so hard to elect who was telling us last night, both in what he said and what was implied, that in increasing our troop presence in Afghanistan, he was taking the only rational course of action.

Our vital national interest, indeed.