Tag: Sad

Can We Gofundme This?

The Youngstown Vindicator will be shutting down at the end of August, making the Ohio town the largest in the US without a newspaper:

It was in the late 1920s that the Ku Klux Klan regularly began gathering outside the home of William F Maag Jr in Youngstown. Maag owned the Vindicator newspaper, which unlike others in this once prosperous part of Ohio, had been willing to criticize the racist Klansmen.

Men on horseback, clad in white robes and hoods, would burn crosses and flaunt rifles and shotguns, in an attempt at intimidation. It didn’t work. The men of the Maag family would stand outside their home, themselves armed, refusing to be cowed, as the Vindicator continued to expose government officials who were part of the Klan.

That defiance set the tone for decades of investigative, combative reporting from the Vindicator. The daily newspaper relentlessly reported on the mafia, the government, big business and even its own advertisers.

But no more. Soon after celebrating 150 years since its first edition came news that was devastating to many in Youngstown and the wider Mahoning valley. The Vindicator was shutting down at the end of August. For good.

The Vindicator’s closure means Youngstown will soon be the largest city in the US without a major newspaper, and is the latest blow to an ailing American news industry. According to the University of North Carolina, more than 2,000 US newspapers have closed since 2004, and at least 1,300 communities have completely lost news coverage in the past 15 years. In July a Pew Research Center study reported that the number of journalists in the US declined 47% between 2008 and 2018.


The Vindicator became known for tackling the mafia and corrupt officials. The work of De Souza and other reporters in the late 1980s contributed to almost 70 elected officials, mafia members and businesspeople being convicted of criminal acts.

Despite the quality of the coverage, sales have declined over the past four decades. From selling 100,000 copies in the late 1970s – 160,000 on Sundays – the Vindicator is now down to 25,000 editions daily, and 32,000 on Sunday. The paper has lost money for 20 of the last 22 years, Brown said, with a family fund covering the losses. Brown hoped to ultimately sell the Vindicator, but no buyers were forthcoming. He explored a paywall, but the numbers didn’t work. Neither did making the Vindicator online-only.

Well, this sucks.

The Saddest Thing that I Have Heard in a Long Time

At the Stem Highlands Range charter school in suburban Denver, CO, there was another shooting.

It barely qualifies as news these days, there seems to be a school shooting every week or so.

On the other hand, this comment by an 8th grader, Gianni, is positively heart breaking:

Her son, 8th-grader Gianni, chimed in. He talked about the gunshots he heard, about how everyone fell quiet, about how he “just sat there and prayed.”

Gianni said he wasn’t surprised by what happened. He was remarkably composed for a kid just hours removed from such a harrowing scene.

I always knew. I live close to Columbine. I always knew this would happen,” he told me. “It’s bound to happen sooner or later.

(emphasis mine)

F%$# the NRA.  F%$# Wayne LaPierre, F%$# the political cowards who dance to his tune.

I Hate Feet of Clay

Sen. Al Franken announced Thursday that he will resign from the Senate amid a growing number of women accusing the Democrat of kissing, groping and touching them without their consent.

Franken, who said some of the allegations were not true and others he “remembered differently,” was considered by many to be a “rising star” in the Democratic party that might have run for president in 2020.

“In the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” he said on the Senate floor.

“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said in reference to President Donald Trump and Republican Senate hopeful Roy Moore.

Why couldn’t this have been Joe Manchin?