NASCAR Decline

I've been reading a few articles on the decline of #NASCAR and I have a crazy theory. NASCAR is the canary in the coal mine for the economic decline of the middle class BECAUSE of economic inequality. The rich will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

"... it could be an even bigger indicator that NASCAR’s mostly self-induced problems aren’t able to be solved by those currently in charge. 
And boy, are there a lot of issues. Racing costs have skyrocketed as stock car racing has become a sport dominated by engineers. Car sponsorship used to cover racing costs but NASCAR’s declining and aging audience and companies’ move away from a traditional advertising model with the proliferation of the internet has made an owner’s business-to-business connections more imperative than ever."


It All Started With a Dream

A dream to write something meaningful on the internet for my friends and family.

In 1996 I heard that you could use Microsoft Word to create web pages. I think you can still see some of my old efforts at The Howell Report on the Internet Archive. It was crude but I was intrigued by the power. I could write something at home and anyone in the world could read it! Amazing!

Before long I was using HTML editors like Adobe PageMill and Microsoft FrontPage then quickly graduated to Dreamweaver, Homesite and BBEdit. Now I do most of my work in Notepad++. I have made my way through a variety of blogging platforms. Starting with Movable Type. I've used WordPress (both .com and .org), Tumblr and many other's I can't remember right now.

Now I'm back to Blogger. I got tired of constantly updating my WordPress installation to stay ahead of the hackers. Not that they can't hack this stuff either. It's just harder and the payoff is so much lower. So, no reader comments, no dynamic content of any kind. Just a bunch of stuff I've written.


Like a Phoenix

It's In The Cards
Rising from the ashes is The All New and Improved The Howell Report. I had this mess on self-hosted WordPress. I got tired of fighting the hackers. Going to give Blogger a try.

I exported my database to an xml file. It would not import into Blogger. So, I'm going through my old database line-by-line and entering each post into Blogger.  There's only a few hundred so It shouldn't take too long.

The Howell Report is really, now more then ever, more then you wanted to know.


Journalism Under Fire

Anyone who cares about journalism should pay attention to the next few months. Journalism is under fire in the age of Trump.

Here's a great episode of the podcast On The Media that explores the new challenges to journalism.

Recognize Your Enemy

In this ThinkProgress article by Ned Resnikoff he explains Trump's disinformation strategy and provides some tactics for journalists and citizens to fight back.
"Second, journalists need to understand what Trump is doing and refuse to play by his rules. He is going to use the respect and deference typically accorded to the presidency as an instrument for spreading more lies. Reporters must refuse to treat him like a normal president and refuse to bestow any unearned legitimacy on his administration. They must also give up their posture of high-minded objectivity — and, along with it, any hope of privileged access to the Trump White House. 
The incoming president has made clear that he expects unquestioning obedience from the press, and will regard anyone who doesn’t give it to him as an enemy. That is the choice every news outlet faces for the next four years: Subservience and complicity, or open hostility. There is no middle ground."


The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration is a live double-album release in recognition of Bob Dylan's 30 years as a recording artist.

Recorded on October 16, 1992, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, it captures most of the concert, which featured many artists performing classic Dylan songs, before ending with three songs from Dylan himself.

The house band for the show were the surviving members of Booker T. and the MG's: Booker T. Jones on organ, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, and Steve Cropper on guitar. Joining them is drummer Anton Fig filling in for the late Al Jackson, plus drummer Jim Keltner. Longtime Saturday Night Live bandleader G. E. Smith served as the musical director.

The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, which reached #40 in the US and went gold, was released in August 1993.


Can NPR Adapt to the Digital Future?

An interesting Politico article today about NPR and podcasting.

NPR has an opportunity to pivot to a digital future but doesn't seem to have a road map for getting there.
"I've been in public radio for almost 25 years, and this is far and away the most exciting  ever," said Davidson. "When I got into the field there was only one career path—work at a local station and hope you get a job at NPR. Now there are so many paths, so many companies to work for, and it's been a little heartbreaking for those of us who love NPR to see NPR largely sitting on the sidelines of this exciting moment."
NPR is forging ahead down many digital trails including podcasting and other on-demand audio services like NPR One.

More info