Blogfather's blog

President Cruz could change our linguistics, phonetics & phonology

If Texas Senator Ted Cruz is elected in November, it "could" have a profound effort to simplify how we spell dozens of names.


Cruise becomes cruz
Booze become buz
Choose becomes chuz
Clues becomes cluz
Dues becomes duz
Fuse becomes fuz
Flues becomes fluz
Jews becomes juz
Whose becomes huz
Loose becomes luz
News becomes nuz
Ooze becomes uz
Ruse becomes ruz
Shoes becomes shuz
Twos becomes tuz

You get the idea - why don't you add any you can think of in a comment become

BTW: The most famous - but failed - effort was begun at the Chicago Tribune in 1917.

America started here, 394 years ago

This painting, The Mayflower at Sea by Gilbert Margeson, gives an idea of the peril the Pilgrims faced in attempting to cross the Atlantic in a leaky, old wine vessel in the Fall of 1620.(Photo courtesy of the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth.)

Anchored in Provincetown Harbor 394 years ago this week, after 66 harrowing days at sea in a leaking former wine vessel, the "Pilgrims", "Saints" or "Separatists " a they were variously called, signed the Mayflower Compact.

The Compact is often described as America's first constitution, but it is not a constitution in the sense of being a fundamental framework of government. Its importance lies in the signers' belief that government is a form of covenant between elected leaders and those governed, and that for government to be legitimate, it must derive from the consent of the governed. That was an original and astonishing idea at the time.

The Pilgrims, on their first day in Provincetown,  recognized that individually they might not agree with all of the actions of the government they were creating, but they understood that government could be legitimate only if it originated with the consent of those it claimed to govern. Therefore they wrote what we call The Mayflower Compact. 

Here is the short, simple beginning of America's democracy on November 21, 1620:

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

The Compact was signed by 41 of the Mayflower's 102 passengers (women, children and the 30 crewmen didn't get to vote). 37 of the signers were "Separatists" fleeing religious persecution in Europe. The compact established the first basis for written laws in the New World. Half of the passengers did not survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered.  Below is a copy of the original document.
The original document

'Twas the Day AFTER Christmas

Twas the day AFTER Christmas and all through Cape Cod,
The natives were friendly - that's exceedingly odd.

No stockings were hung anywhere with great care,
'Cause Cape women don't wear 'em, just long underwear.

The children were texting and playing with their Wiis,
So long we were worried that their noses might freeze.
And me in my Snuggie and Pat in her cap,
Were cuddled alone as she crawled on my lap.

When a noise in the drive make me check what it was,
In case of a visit from our friendly, local fuzz.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw out my "stash"

The moon was the hue of a old, seasick lizard,
Which one might expect 'cause we just had a blizzard.
When, what to my baggy, old eyes should appear,
But a drunken next door neighbor stumbling home with a beer.

Which just goes to show in this holiday confusion.
A wise man shouldn't jump to an erroneous conclusion.
And my New Year's Resolution concerning this bloggerel,
Is a promise to lay off any more of this doggerel.Mr. Ed was written by Walter R. Brooks, not a relative.
means a woman having a full rounded figure, pleasingly plump.

This (on right) is what a Ned Sonntag dream girl looks like - click on her cute little belly button.

Be nice to a tourist this week

"Everyone here was once a Tourist"*

That's what an old Cape Cod Chamber slogan reminded us when we were a less crowded than we are today.

But tourism is still Cape Cod's #1 industry, and brings in a majority of our annual income.

It all really begins next weekend, a three day event ending on Memorial Day.

In the last year on record, 2011, the Massachusetts tourism office says that total domestic and international travel output in the state, including direct, indirect and induced output totaled $26.9 billion, up 8.9 percent from the year before.

Tourism means over 200,000 people have jobs in the state earning $7 billion a year.

As many as 10 million visitors come to the Cape each year - 4,470,838 alone visited the Cape Cod National Seashore - all flashing gold credit cards and spending more each day than the average resident spends in a week.

Then just consider the impact all this money has on non-tourism industries here - the builders, plumbers, electricians etc. who earn their income servicing the countless seasonal tourism businesses here.

So, say "hello" to the next tourist you run into, and remember  these facts

  • They are only here for "the Season" which is Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
  • We don't have to build schools or hire teachers to educate their children.
  • Everyone except the Native Americans was once a tourist here themselves. That means you.*

The "Best" way to welcome tourists

Tell the tourists you meet about Best Read Guide Cape Cod which is distributed FREE in over 1,400 locations, including lodgings, attractions and highway information booths. Featuring detailed maps, town information, calendars, humor and a nature calendar in each issue, Best Read Guide is brought home as a souvenir by over 78% of its readers who spend over $300 daily during their average stay of 5 days on Cape Cod.

This is ten times the discretionary spending of the area's resident population. Our readers have annual incomes nearly double that of local people and Best Read Guide's readers eat out every meal rather than once a week.

Newspaper puts its money where Kathy Schatzberg's mouth is [Blogfather]

Cape Cod Times cover photo of CCCC President marred by Mammon

Front page "stick-on" ads are what passes for local news some days

By Walter Brooks

Today's editions of the Cape Cod Times came with a Melody Tent sticker covering Dr. Shatzberg's face.
If the Times' owner Rupert Murdock were Indian instead of Australian, worshiping Lakshmi would be kewl.
If, as G. K. Chesterton said, "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another," a great soul named Kathy Schatzberg passed through Cape Cod education since 1998.  For a decade and a half our community has had the world-class leadership of this wonderful, redoubtable educator.

So it was with sorrow I caught a look at today's Cape Cod Times front page where Rupert Murdoch's newspaper is apparently so desperate for dollars as his industry collapses that his publications must sacrifice their front page to bring in a few extra bucks.

In what may be Dr. Schatzberg's last photo on the cover as she retires in a month, it would have be nice to see her rather than a Melody Tent "stick-on" ad.

She really should have been spared this indignity which one hopes the newspaper will amend soon.

Suck a buck a day away

The local daily is rather expensive, now charging $1.00 for a newsstand copy for a newspaper which has half the local reporters it had a decade ago, and one which increasingly replaces local coverage with less costly (to the owners) wire service material which readers already knew about from television or online a day ago.

Mammon no - Lakshmi yes

Christianity has a record of decrying Mammon.  Jesus condemns it in his Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere in the Bible.

Now if that old Aussie goat Rupert were Indian worshiping Lakshmi as the Hindu Goddess of money would be fine.

The death of another great daily newspaper

New Orleans Times-Picayune no longer a daily as the industry decomposes

This great 175-year-old newspaper which survived Katrina announced it is laying off a third of its reporters and staff and will cease to be a daily newspaper.

The Times-Picayune in the fall will begin printing only on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, the frequency which will also be adopted by three other dailies in Alabama; the Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register.

In an article posted on its website,, Thursday morning, the paper reported that a new company would be formed called the NOLA Media Group, which would include the paper and the website.

The plans, reported last night by the New York Times, have been kept under wraps until today. The Times-Picayune, which has published since 1837, was bought by the Newhouse family in 1962 and later merged with the afternoon daily. Up to now, the paper has avoided some of the deeper cuts in the industry, in part because the newspaper played such a critical role in the coverage of Katrina. Below is what the newspaper trend looks like.

You might want to postpone your morning walk today [Blogfather]

Cape and Shore Shore are clobbered with torrential rains today

We'll make this brief. Below is what the radar looked like at 7:30 AM today, Thursday, May 10, 2012. That's Cape Cod next to the yellow stuff. See here.

I nominate Jim McManus for the Flackery Hall of Fame [Blogfather]

Aquinnah public relation's guy may yet turn dross to gold

   The Aquinnah Tribe's latest P.R. gambit was to vote Sunday to turn their Community Center on Martha's Vineyard into a slots, bingo and table games parlor. Art by the author.

The Issac Newton of Flackery may yet pull this one off

By Walter Brooks, A.K.A. The Blogfather

Round about the cauldron go: In Aquinnah wishes throw.
Eye of newt, Cromwell's peril, Gall of goat, we don't mean Cheryl's,
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil & bubble.
Double, double toil &  trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
One of Sir Isaac Newton's better known ambitions was to turn dross or base metal into gold. He never made it, but Jim McManus of the Boston Public Relation's firm Slowey/McManus might.

Jim is the P.R. man handling the Aquinnah Wampanoag's belated ambitions to be awarded one of the state's three casino licenses, and a month ago no one gave the Martha's Vineyard tribe any chance of succeeding.

Then McManus we assume threw the Aquinnah dross into his magician's cauldron, gave it a few stirs and perhaps a Shakespearean-like invocation on right, and at the very least the tribe is giving Governor Patrick a very bad headache.

First, the Island tribe met with selectmen in two Southeastern Massachusetts towns to discuss the sites for a casino on land they had options to buy.

Second, the Aquinnah launched a casino website although there was no casino.

Third, Freetown and Lakeville scheduled referendum votes to welcome (or shun) the Aquinnahs.

Fourth; Threaten not one but two federal law suits to throw an Indian Club into the State's Gaming Commission schedule and generally raise havoc.

Fifth, this past Sunday the wily tribal leaders held a meeting in Aquinnah and voted to turn their (rather shabby) community center into a "slots, bingo and table games" casino.

         Vote in our Poll:
       Will you visit the new 
          Aquinnah Casino?
The result so far is that Martha's Vineyard's moneyed seasonal homeowners are flipping their collective lids, and the late Art Buchwald and Walter Cronkite are spinning in their island graves.

Oh, and Deval Patrick bought a case of Alka-Seltzer while Edward Bernays is making room for Jim in P.R. Heaven.

And may the best man win [Blogfather]

"Is America ready for a 'White First Lady'?" - Robert DeNiro.

A Conservative, a Moderate and a Liberal walk into a bar, & the bartender says, "Hi, Mitt."

"Political analysts believe that elderly voters in Florida rejected Newt Gingrich because of fears that he would eventually leave them for a younger state." –Jimmy Kimmel

New Santorum campaign pin: "Life begins at Erection."

Jews and Christmas - Who are the real Christians today?

It's time to recall who Jesus really was and what he  looked like
He didn't shout "Ho, ho, ho," but more likely "Oy, oy, oy"

Here's looking at you Jesus: On left is a forensic reconstruction of a 1st century Jewish face
and Jesus on right as depicted by white Anglo Saxons 2,000 years later.

By Walter Brooks

My favorite Jewish Santa is Paul Rifkin who represents the ideals of a first century Jew named Jesus.
But with him it's not "Ho, ho, Ho." It's "Oy, oy, oy."

Paul in 1967 when he REALLY looked like Jesus.
Growing up in lily-white, upscale Litchfield County Connecticut, I was even then confused by the image of Jesus Christ as depicted in my Congregational Church like the photo on the right above.

I had an inkling that a first century Jew probably didn't look like he was hired for the job by Ingmar Bergman from Swedish central casting.

Later after I left the isolated womb of Woodbury, I heard at prep school the antisemitic rantings of some fellow students, and it began to dawn on my innocent mind, that many Christians were decided unchristian in their beliefs.

I had been taught in Sunday School that the historical Jesus was against corporate greed - remember the the story of him throwing the money-changers out of the temple in Jerusalem - and his attitude about tolerance, as when he said, "Let him that is without sin among you first cast the stone."

Who's birthday is it again?

Lest I be accused of more hypocrisy than usual, let me assure the reader that I love the idea of gift-giving, a yuletide tree and the rest.

But I also know that the historical Jesus would be appalled at today's excess. After all, it's a birthday party for Jesus, not a month-long sales event we celebrate today.

So who are the real Christ-like Christians today?

These are the characteristic required;

  • Selflessness - being willing to sacrifice your time and even your life for the good of your fellow men and women.
  • Altruism - doing things for no personal gain, giving to others.
  • Pacifism - Turning the other cheek.

Many will not agree with me, but I think I just described the "Occupy" folks both here on Cape Cod and across America today.

And maybe it's also those Muslims willing to die for freedom in Syria.

That's why our Christmas homepage photo is of my favorite Jew, Paul Rifkin.

But with Paul it's not "Ho, ho, ho." It's "Oy, Oy, Oy."

Photo sources: This image of Jesus around 30 A.D. on the left above was made for a BBC program broadcast during Easter week in 2001. It was created by a production team which took into consideration medical, archaeological, geographical and artistic evidence from the time Jesus lived in what is today called Israel.

We are celebrating
Jesus Birthday, aren't we?
Since Jewish heads are very different today compared to 2000 years ago, the team looked for a Jewish skull from the first century found near Jerusalem.

Using a plaster cast of the skull discovered from that era, forensic medical artist Richard Neave from the University of Manchester began to reconstruct the face by building up layers of clay to represent muscle, fat and skin. Details such as the hair were decided by considering the hair of men in the Middle East, which tends to be thick, dark and curly, together with hairstyles current in the time Jesus lived.

Not  your average Black Jewish face, and he wasn't Scandinavian

Dark-skinned pictures of Jesus have been known from the earliest times. The first picture on this page is a painting from the 1960s, artist and source unknown.
In 2004, Jesus was voted greatest black icon of all time by the New Nation newspaper, which prompted a debate about Jesus’ skin color.

Despite the common depictions in Western cultures of Jesus as a blond, blue-eyed hippy looking man, all reasonable evidence points to the fact that Jesus could not have been of Scandinavian extraction and certainly was a brotha of color,” said the newspaper.

The debate is not new. Throughout the last century, black theologians argued that showing Jesus as a white-skinned European is not only historically inaccurate, but profoundly alienating for non-Europeans.

Some 20 million Africans were taken as slaves to the New World by Europeans between the 16th and 19th centuries, and images of a white Jesus reinforce the idea that Christianity is a “white man’s religion”.

And Christmas is really Jesus' Birthday, not a month-long sales event, right?

A guaranteed way to get new customers

Everything I know about getting new customers I learned from clients

   Phil Barone who founded the Mill Stores taught me the only guaranteed rule to get new business.

When the fish are all gone, you need another pond

By Walter Brooks

After many decades in marketing including giving countless lectures at media conventions all overAmerica advising peers on how to do their selling and promotion, I must admit that the only foolproof method I discovered for attracting new customers was given to me by one of my clients right here on Cape Cod.

"The money is always out there
   - only the pockets change."
It was from Phil Barone who started the chain of successful unfinished furniture stores called Mill Stores  in Harwich many years ago.

I used to call on Phil when I worked for several different newspapers and magazines starting with The Cape Codder in the 1970s, MPG Communications in the 1980s, and for my own Best Read Guides in the 1990s both here and elsewhere in New England.

When I was working for a newspaper, Phil would buy pages of advertising for a year or two, then stop using whatever newspaper I happened to be working for at the time.

Phil grew from one store in Harwich to 14 in the region, see locations here.
After several years and a couple newspaper jobs, I started Best Read Guide, but this time Phil kept running ads long after the usual period, so I asked him why.

Phil's "new customer" theory - it works

Phil told me that every newspaper he advertised in had a "static" number of readers, in other words, he was reaching the same potential customers with each ad, so after a while he had sold unfinished furniture to everyone possible in that newspaper's readership, and vacation magazines like Best Read Guide have new readers every edition.

Since Phil always used a coupon or other device to test results, he was able to move on to another publication or medium as the results began to diminish.

That was then - This is now!

If that was true back during the glory days of the newspaper industry, think how more true it is today when newspapers on Cape Cod and elsewhere have half the circulations and market penetration they had in the past, see graph below.

Cape Cod's local daily has dropped from over 60,000 daily circulation to 46,000, and the weeklies have fared as badly. While the daily's circulation dropped by 14,000, over 35,000 new residents have moved to the Cape, which translates into their "market penetration" being half of what it was two decades ago.

Newspaper readership has fallen for the last three decades, and today only 15 percent of Americans under the age of forty still read a daily newspaper. That was 85 percent in 1940.

Then this Spring online news readership went ahead of newspapers.

You probably know why this paradigm shift occurred - it was caused by the meteoric growth of the internet and the explosion and ease of using online shopping on newssites like the ones on See the poll results which showed over half our readers shopping online or a combination of bricks and clicks.

The World is Flat - and so is Cape Cod - The Good News and Bad News

Most Popular Posts

Police and Fire News - 64,257 views
Cape & Islands News - 63,007 views
EXTRA... - 55,295 views
Cape Cod Court Reports - 23,485 views
Cape Cod History - 22,047 views.
The good news for businesses which promote on the web is that online advertising costs but a fraction of the cost of print, and online is the only form of advertising which has completely traceable results for them as well.

Couple this with the fact portals or newssites like this one are on a significant growth track adding new readership by double digits every year. An example is the real-time list of readerships shown on the right side of our homepage called "Most Popular Posts."

The bad news is that newssites like this one are stuck at "what the market will bear", and advertising rates for web portals cannot rise to anything near the levels of print, while providing better results for clients, until there is further deterioration of the print industry and marketers are more aware of the added values of online marketing.

If you are one of those businesspeople who are reluctant to move into the future, consider this warning from that famous news-hen Clare Booth Luce, "The money is always out there - only the pockets change."

Newspapers continue their 20 year drop in circulation

This 20-year view shows a steady slide in paid circulation.  Daily circulation, which stood at 62.3 million in 1990, fell to 43.4 million in 2010, a decline of 30%. Sunday circulation held up slightly better, falling from 62.6 million in 1990 to 46.2 million last year, off 26%.