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The Editorial Section
New Kroger Alert!

Beware if you ever get seriously sick when eating something purchased from Kroger. Why? Well experience has shown that the company has been seemingly trained to pass the buck with intimidation tactics regarding responsibility when it comes to protecting your health.

They claim that the proper procedure is for you to contact the manufacturer of the product that made you sick. Well OK... But what if they asked for the remainder of the product themselves and then refused or negligently delayed (for a month) to follow up by sending said product to the maker for testing? OUCH!

How about a good ole anaphylactic shock from eating ice cream? OOO... your hands turn beet red, get hot and itchy, you have to set on the bathroom throne for hours with incredible cramps, then you start to sweat profusely, and to top it all off... your respiratory passage starts to close down! Sounds like Fun... Huh?

Kroger has a wonderful slogan this year 2012: “Right Store - Right Price”. I wonder if old Mr. Bernard Henry Kroger would have passed the buck of responsibility back when he was begging for customers in 1883? My vote says he would have genuinely felt bad if anything he himself sold you made you sick, and he would have done anything he could to make it right. But today, it is a different story - it just couldn’t be the store’s fault! Have you ever seen those packages of meat leaking out their slimy juices onto the other items around them? And how about those items that mysteriously get defrosted and then frosted again? Is that the manufacturer’s fault?

So... dear readers... now all 4 million hits of you... Beware! This is not 1883 anymore, and because of the apparent arrogance of the grocery giant, when you get sick it may not exactly be “The Right Store” for you. Oh, and “The Right Price”? Yes, it is gonna cost you in more than one way! You are going to be liable for your own doctor bills and medication!

But it is likely going to be your fault anyway according to Kroger’s viewpoint here. Why? Well you yourself are the one that ate it... right?

Editor Nashville Newzine

Kyle Dickerson - Nashville Newzine Staff Writer
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Go To Kyle's Page HERE.

Legacy
By Kyle Dickerson

Life changes daily. As we grow older our priorities shift, we learn new trades, become interested in subjects that bored us as children. We witness great historical events, the rise and fall of countries and governments, and through it all we are influenced by, as well as play a part in influencing, the story being created. One of the unfortunate truths of time is that the people we knew when we were young will grow old with us. We will see many of the icons we knew in television, music, and government pass away. We will watch new generations take over where the last left off. In the last year we have seen the passing of many public icons many of you reading this grew up with: Etta James, Davy Jones, Mike Wallace, Dick Clark, Adam “MCA” Yauch, George Lindsey, Robin Gibb, Richard Dawson, and, most recently, Ray Bradbury. That’s a small list, and one that only holds the names of those in the public eye. They have shaped our perceptions of society, shown us the cruel realities sometimes associated with life, and given us a piece of their existence to remember from here on.

Most would say that the family and friends who are intimate portions of our lives are far more influential than the names listed above. I would agree. While media plays a major role in how we view our world, it is hard to challenge the power of the opinions, beliefs, and actions of those we interact with everyday. So that got me to thinking. Just like George Lindsey, known for his role as Goober on the Andy Griffith show, there will be something - likely, many things - we will each be remembered for and as once we are gone. It’s our legacy. It is a statement of who we are and what we stand for. Will mine ever touch the hearts of the world, moving nations and causing great awareness? I doubt it. However, someone will remember each of us. Someone will remember the kind words we spoke or the harshness in our tone. They will look back and note that we were focused on providing and helping others or that we were greedy and self-seeking. The story is ours to write, and one that will leave a lasting mark on this world - even if for only one person.

So I ask myself the question, and you, as well: how do we want to be remembered, and what can we do to make that a reality? If you are over the age of 16, chances are you have already done things you wish could be wiped from the cosmic record. Anyone who says otherwise is either in denial or being dishonest. But that past record is not the focus. We cannot change those things, but we can change our future. If we are successful in the latter - successful in showing our growth and development - the whole of our legacy can overcome those shortcomings. We are human, after all.

I should note that the opposite can happen. There are many who have walked through this world and left behind them a story and imprint on the lives of others that was less than desirable. It is unfortunate to have a life remembered in a negative light. Because it is in our hands, what are we doing today that will build that legacy? Are our actions and words making us stand out because others respect us, or is the harshness of how we deal with people in our lives breeding a different opinion of us in the hearts of those we interact with. What will we be remembered for?

Terminal Technology
By Kyle Dickerson

A principle I was taught at a young age - and one I have heard repeated throughout my years in the workforce - is “work smarter, not harder”. As cliche as it has become, it is still sound advice. I have encountered more than my share of colleagues, supervisors, support staff, etc. that made it a personal goal to complicate the daily workings of life in the name of thoroughness and attention-to-detail. Yes, there is most definitely a time to delve deep into the intricate workings of whatever task you are currently trying to complete, but there is also a time to work more efficiently toward that same goal without creating more work for yourself. However, just like any concept, there are people who take any of the sides to the extreme. We have folks who will make a half-hour project last for a week, as well as people who will cram a thesis study into an afternoon. That last group is where a lot of concern is rising for some - not because they are losing that attention, but because they are using the guise of efficiency as an excuse to be lazy.

When I was young boy - a year or two ago - I remember being blown away by the incredible things that would be available to me by the time I hit high school. Thanks to Marty McFly, I could not wait to have my very own hoverboard, self-lacing shoes, an oven that cooked an entire meal in seconds... And what 16 year old boy wouldn’t want his first car to fly? How easy life would be when I no longer had to take those 15 extra seconds to tie my shoes before leaving the house. Can you see it? It’s there. Yes, I was just a small child, but so many grown adults are pulled in by the same factors - not a wish to be more efficient toward productivity, but rather a wish to put forth less effort toward most things in life. However, there is a line between the two camps.

Smartphone technology has been labeled as one of the greatest advancements in consumer tech in the last 20 years. I’m inclined to agree with that assessment. We - myself included - rely upon our phones to conduct business, keep in touch with family and friends, complete school assignments, download plane tickets, find venues, get the weather, read the news...the list goes on and on. And this is one spot where I feel the tech giants landed a winner in the area of efficiency vs. productivity. Granted, that same smartphone can become the idol of distraction, and that’s a slippery slope for some. However, with the linking of email accounts, the internet, phone service, GPS capability, and a virtual plethora of apps, smartphones have enabled users to conduct personal and professional business on the go from just about anywhere. What used to mean a trip home to check email or send in a report can now be done from a blanket in the park or the lobby of a restaurant while you wait for your table. Laziness? No. It’s an example of technology increasing our ability to be more efficient.

Riding that same line is the new personal mobility device from Honda - the Uni-Cub, a newer version of an older device. The idea is to offer a hands-free means of transport within a barrier-free indoor environment that consists of a footprint no larger than a walking human being. Sounds theoretically logical. However, one source referred to the whole thing as being a shot at fixing a non-existent problem. They have a point. This is not designed for people with disabilities, as most mobility devices are. It is also not designed for outdoor applications such as touring and crowd enforcement situations, as the Segway is. It is designed simply to allow able-bodied humans to sit and ride from one end of the office to the other...instead of walk...when they could...and probably should. Fun? Yeah, I bet it’s a lot of fun. It’s also an example of how technology can allow us to become lazy under, again, the guise of efficiency.

Those are only two examples, and neither of them are ironclad for either side. Many times the difference comes down to our own resolve and ability to self-police when it’s time to get things done. The technological achievements we have seen over the last several decades have meant greater health care, improved communication, faster emergency response times, and even improvement of the natural environment. It’s only when we allow ourselves to use that technology as a crutch that it becomes inhibiting. So, is technology a friend or foe? I think it has the potential to be either. That depends upon us. Take today and be productive.

Summer Jobs For The New Generation
By Kyle Dickerson

I remember my first real summer job like it was yesterday. Sure, I mowed yards long before this particular adventure, but the job I’m referring to was the first one that required a time clock, uniform, and multiple bosses to micro-manage everything. With my lime green shirt tucked into my less-macho-than-a-high-school-student-desires black shorts, I jumped into what I viewed as the adult workforce in the form of a buggy pusher at the local grocery. Hold in your jealousy - it wasn’t near as glamorous as it sounds. The days passed by and it wasn’t long before it was time for school to start back up, but those few months taught me a thing or two. I learned that hard work isn’t always rewarded by others, and that laboring with that goal in mind is setting one’s self up for disappointment. Instead, I came to understand that satisfaction came through knowing I was completing my task at or above the level that was being asked of me...and that others occasionally making note of that was simply an added bonus. Well, that and the meager paycheck that rolled around every other Friday. I should note that, at the time, I thought I’d struck it rich. There were many other lessons, but the point is that I was growing. New experiences were offering areas of success and failure, directly leading to growth as a young man.

In 2008, when our nation’s economy took a huge dive, many of the young folks in the workforce moved along, as well. This was in part because suddenly many of the menial jobs that so many students depended upon during summer months were being competed for with older, more experienced workers. However, the decline in younger people seeking out jobs to fill their time during summer break was already dropping before the economy change. One of the factors in this is that many students are applying for internships instead of paying jobs. With the intensified competitiveness of the job market, these young folks have noticed the value in having experience in the areas they wish to someday work. Because of that, they’ve become willing to give up the wages they would have earned for a few months in order to gain that valuable training that may make the difference in landing a larger job in the upcoming years.

Along with the influx of internships, the number of younger folks taking summer school classes has also risen. There was a point when summer school was thought of as punishment for goofing off too much during the regular school year. However, in recent years these extra classes have become a way for students to receive further prep work for college courses, standardized exams, etc. There are many high school Juniors and Seniors who opt to take these extra classes, in lieu of working, because of the advantage it can provide them when moving into colleges in their near future.

What we have is a younger generation that is making choices different than what we and our parents made. Summer jobs were, and still are, a way for so many to learn responsibility, respect, good work ethic, and generally how to interact with others in a professional setting. When I was young, if you weren’t working during your summer break, then everyone assumed you were up to no good. There was some merit to that. However, that entire construct has been broken down and remolded. Now, those same lessons are being learned through this active pursuance of career path training and preparation for the years ahead. I’ll be totally honest. When I was 18, there was no way you could have talked me into giving up time with my friends to work for free or sit through more classes. These young men and ladies are doing it out of their own desire for forward progression. Someone said this generation had no hope. Really? I wouldn’t count them out, just yet. If you ask me, their future is quite bright.

Ways To Save Cash
By Brian Estes

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With the economy the way it is these days, it seems almost everyone is trying to do whatever they can to save a few bucks. Maybe you’re a college student scarfing down Ramen, just trying to scrape up enough gas money to get around town. Maybe you’ve got a family of your own trying to pay on your mortgage. You might be a single parent working two jobs trying to make ends meet. Or perhaps you’re none of these. But with a little foresight and willpower, you can save cash and find a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the week.

Making the most efficient use of your cash will require you to pay attention to many variables, including your phone and cable plans, your shopping habits, and even your travel routes. But first, it’s best to come up with some type of budget. Sit and put some thought into it, and write it down in a planner if you have to. Then, you need to evaluate your expenses. When major companies want to save money, they cut costs. You should do the same. You can try dropping AT&T and switching to a cable telephone. Or better yet, consider dropping your landline altogether and just carrying a cell phone. Coupons are also a great money saver – grab a copy of the Tennessean, especially the Sunday paper, and start snipping.

There are some simple tips to saving cash. Need vacation ideas? Going on a giant cruise or heading overseas might put a bit of a pinch on your wallet. Maybe you could arrange a camping trip? Or if you’re not the outdoorsy type of person, why not plan a road trip? There are plenty of places in the local area to get away. Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro offers some interesting historical perspectives. 

You can save a lot of cash by cutting down on excess travel. Fortunately, the price of gas isn’t back-breakingly expensive like it was a couple years back, but it’s still capable of taking up a significant portion of your paycheck. When you go out, plan out your routes to make the most efficient use, and try to get as many things done in one trip so you don’t have to keep driving back and forth from the home to the grocery, back to the home, then to the gym, etc. Also, if you’re heading out somewhere with a group of friends who live nearby, carpool. Offer to ride a couple of buddies next time you head out, and maybe they’ll reciprocate down the road.

When you go to a grocery store, it often helps to pay attention to product placement. The items you see at eye level often aren’t the best deals. For example, when you browse down the cereal aisle most of the big name brands are within easy reach. But if you take a look at the bottom of the aisle you’ll probably see the third party cereals in the big bags which often taste nearly identical to the major brands. And they come at a fraction of the price.

You can also save cash by reducing the number of channels you get by changing your cable TV package. Or better yet, if you have even more costly satellite TV, like DirecTV, you can save money by scaling things back. Sure, it’s nice to have a choice, but do you really need 20 movie channels, 40 music channels, etc?

Everybody likes to save a little cash, but oftentimes it is easier said than done. Researching different ways to save is certainly a good first step. Aside from that, you just have to stick to your plan. But the satisfaction and the extra cash will more than make up for it.

Matthew Hemmer
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Times Are Hard
By Matthew Hemmer

In this challenging economic environment the thing I keep hearing from everyone is “times are hard.” I hear it so much that it seems like a mantra. The mantra of the vanishing middle class.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, initial claims for unemployment rose to a cool half million last week. Note the word initial in that statement. That’s not counting all the current claims on the books. That’s the highest number of initial claims since November and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better. Companies and businesses are getting more and more cautious of hiring new people for fear of the bottom dropping out.

What does that mean to us? Especially those of us who have jobs and are making our mortgage payments? It means that there are less jobs out there to go around so hold on to what you’ve got. Supply and demand is just as valid in the job market as it is in any other market. The amount of compensation you’re offered is dependent on what others are willing to accept. Any job is a good job, some pay is better than no pay and many workers are accepting less. People are entering the job market at the same rate of pay that they were getting 10 years ago. Taxes are going up, the cost of food is going up, everything seems to be going up.... but our pay. That has stayed the same in some cases, or actually gone down. I was making twenty five dollars an hour as a carpenter ten years ago. Now I’m happy to get fifteen, the salary of a laborer back then.

Temp agencies are doing a brisk business as employers are contracting more and more temps to meet demands and then cutting them loose when things slow down. Even then, there are more people applying to temp agencies hoping to land a permanent position with the contracting company. That puts the employers in the position of being able to work their “temps” in whatever conditions they want or need with no thought of responsibility to those workers. I was on a construction site that was working their tradesmen in a heat index of 117 degrees. If some one refused to work in those dangerous, potentially life threatening conditions, they were sent home and replaced. 117 degrees can and will kill you but they had people showing up every day, rolling those dice hoping and praying, that they wouldn’t be the ones to pass out. I spent an afternoon in an emergency room during this heat wave and there were no less than four patients waiting to be seen, two of them tradesmen, all suffering from heat related injuries, many more than the doctors are used to seeing. Everyone of them worried about whether they would have a job the next day.

That’s what it means to us.... all of us are worried about whether or not we will have a job the next day.... and according to the statistics from the Department of Labor, one in ten of us won’t. We live in one of the hardest hit regions of the U. S., the South, with some counties having an unemployment rate of twenty percent. One in five workers, many of them skilled, are without a means of support in those counties.

Not only are we losing our jobs but we are also losing our homes. Realtytrac inc., a firm that tracks home foreclosure statistics, states on their site that home foreclosures are on the rise. They haven’t hit the numbers that they had last year, in fact, they’re down almost a third from where they were last July but these new foreclosures aren’t due to shaky loans. These are foreclosures on people with good credit and good loans that have lost their jobs or had their pay reduced and just can’t seem to make ends meet. People like you and me.

 





Kevin's Korner - Commentaries on Life.
"It's All The Same...
Just Different"
Editor

You know, it wasn't very long ago when people were writing stories and chronicling important events in signs and symbols on the walls of caves in hieroglyphic Egyptian times. Well, O.K., only about four thousand years ago, that is. But, evidently there is still a strong urge today with that trend, based on viewing the walls of the New York subways and the L.A. freeways. Graffiti writers are still spraying out their messages of territorial claims and gang accomplishments. Obviously all still considered important events of the day.

Dipping back again in time, an impressive accomplishment for its day was the advancement of communication through the invention of the Gutenberg Press with removable type around the year 1440. A handy little gadget. Well O.K. a big clunky gadget that really capitalized on the progress of man's need to communicate with one another more efficiently. Then, around the time of the industrial era, along comes Thomas Edison with his neat little invention (actually the improvement on the invention of the Chinese) of the phonograph around the year 1880. Not exactly as I said – neat little invention - more like clunky big invention to reproduce pre-recorded sounds. Nonetheless, very impressive for its day. This opened the way for the gigantic 78 RPM (almost pizza sized) vinyl records that followed later on, which led the way to the 45 RPM vinyl records after that.

Of course man was not content to stay with that format for technological or commercial reasons and along came the 8 track tapes for the car! Yee Haw... now that was really cool wasn't it? Oh... you don't remember that one? Before your time? Well it was, as we would say today... “Sweet”! But of course, again, man being the little progressive creature that he is, wasn't satisfied with that invention and means of expression for very long, and this led to very “small” cassette tapes. Wow, you could even have noise reduction features on those little guys! And guess what? They needed noise reduction, unless you loved the sound of a room full of hissing snakes, that is.

Now I know so far, in this little journey down memory lane, we have skipped a few inventions and improvements, but that is not really the point here. And I don't want to digress right here because I only have so much space to fill and they tell me that I'm almost done. (Maybe for good?) Moving right along, then came the CD, the incredible compact disc... Sweet (no, strike that – I've already used that sappy overly used expression here earlier). The CD was truly a technological leap forward into the digital realm of sound storage and reproduction. At first it had its critics saying that the sound was cold and sterile, too crisp and not musical. Well maybe, but things have improved greatly on that issue with the expansion from 16 bits at 44.1k sampling rate to 24 bits at 96k and much beyond. If there is no noise in... definitely no noise out! (Unless you geeks and nerds want to get all self-aggrandized on us).

But wait... there's more! According to the leading manufacturing and recording industries, there is a real slump in the sales of CDs for listening to music. Yeah, we're on to another medium and format for expression … digital downloads to that really little, and we really mean little this time, iPod! Are you kidding me? You mean I don't have to even leave the house and go to the store to get my favorite recording? And what is cool about that, other than saving gas and hassle? I can audition the songs I like and only buy the ones I like instead of buying a whole album for just a couple of well-liked songs. Sometimes more than half an album was just filler.

So... what does all of this mean? It means that man has not really changed all that much! He still wants to write on the walls, just check out that two year old kid's bedroom walls before Mommy painted them. It's all about self- expression you know. Why do you think that Nashville Newzine is here and you are reading this online and not holding a big clunky paper? You are reading this aren't you? It's because newspapers are going in the tank the same way most of this other stuff has already gone in the tank. But the need for expression is still here, and will always be here. That's what we humans do.... Yes..... It's All The Same... Just Different!
(A Digital Transcription By The Editor)
"It's All The Same - Just Different"
Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
Gutenberg Press.
Edison's Phonograph.
Vinyl Record - 33.3 RPM.
8 Track Tape Player in Car.
Apple iPod - Music to Go.
I Discovered It As A College DJ.
By Brian Estes

Every Thursday afternoon, I would lug my heavy CD cases across campus of Middle Tennessee State University, all the way up a flight of stairs to the broadcast studio on the second floor. Of course, being the punctual person that I am, I would usually arrive early while the last DJ was finishing his set. One day he introduced me to a great new way to spin music over the airwaves. All it took was a few clicks onto Imeem.com.

So what is Imeem? Or, more accurately: What was Imeem? It was a site devoted to playing and discovering music, making playlists with all your favorite tunes, and connecting with other music lovers. Maybe you were thinking of buying a new CD, but are the 30 second clips really enough to judge? With Imeem you didn’t have to. But in December, the site ran into legal trouble and was purchased by Myspace, who integrated Imeem into Myspace Music. I examined the circumstances behind the site’s demise, and I’m not sure whether to cry for them or kick them.

The affair began when The Orchard Enterprises, a marketing company dealing in music and video entertainment, filed suit against Imeem for copyright infringement. Imeem had run into legal problems before, being sued by Warner Bros. in 2007 for hosting copyrighted content without permission, but their entanglement with The Orchard Enterprises would prove to be their last. Orchard’s complaint consists essentially of the same thing Warner was charging that Imeem was profiting off their music without permission. I snagged a copy of Orchard’s legal complaint off Scribd.com, which states Imeem was instructed to remove Orchard’s masters until a license agreement could be entered into. The complaint alleged that 44 albums and 3 master recordings were available on Imeem without permission. Imeem did not heed Orchard’s request to remove the infringed masters.

Orchard sought $150,000 per infringement, or to receive all of the profits Imeem received from the infringed masters. In the end, Imeem was fined 1.77 million, as reported by Pulse2.com. Imeem was forced to sell all its assets to Myspace for less than a million dollars, and was integrated into Myspace Music. The fan response was swift and dynamic. Users were concerned their playlists would be scattered to the wind. A message posted on Myspace Music said tech support was working on trying to resolve the issue. User playlists were eventually recovered, but the process took a few weeks.


For the most part, Myspace Music seems to be an adequate spiritual successor to Imeem. Simply type in the name of the artist you’re looking for, and you can pull up their Myspace page. Nearly every band imaginable is represented, from The Beatles, Metallica, and Radiohead to lesser known (but still brilliant acts, in my opinion) artists like Black Moth Super Rainbow, Armik, and Nawang Khechog. Sure, there could be some bands missing but you’d be hard pressed to find them. Even better, you can still play full audio clips and not have to be confined to 30 second clips. However, different artists utilize this in different ways. On Imeem, you could listen to the complete discography of almost any major popular artists. On Myspace Music, many bands only have a handful of songs available, if even that. Imeem’s demise was unfortunate, but the shame is that they failed to heed copyright infringement warnings on multiple occasions. Sites like Imeem are a great service to music listeners, and when they fall it’s the common music listener who suffers.