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Mainstream media shows its maturity and balance again

Here’s how you write a good political headline:

Ron Paul Emerging As More Of A GOP Contender

This is from a CBS Denver Affiliate December 21st 2007. I can agree with it based on my own heavy news reading, although I believe he’s already well “emerged.” Considering he’s done well for months and months of smaller polls and of course all the money he’s earned from a hundred thousand or more individual donations.

Now here’s how you demonstrate your bias and bullshit agenda (from a day earlier than the above):

Will Ron Paul Play Spoiler?

And you know what’s really great? This is CBS national news. So we have an affiliate that must have seen the national headline and editors said, “our program and site is better than that, better than our parent company.” Denver has had a reputation of a good news market in the past. I don’t know if it’s true always, but here it definitely is. CBS national news is also following leads from elsewhere. Yahoo guilty, along with the AP this time, which makes me ready to drop their email all together. Bye Bye Yahoo Mail!

Paul shaping up as spoiler in GOP race

I’m not going to spend time analyzing this. What’s the point? I’ll spend the time writing letters. Let’s just identify something. The Yahoo story is from an AP feed. Who wrote the headline? And why is the headline, not part of the URL? Instead the URL uses a quote from the biased story “news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071220/ap_po/anti_war_asterisk.” In the story, it states that Ron Paul was not long ago, an Anti-War asterisk in the race for republican nomination. What exactly does that mean? Can somebody tell me if this comes from common political jargon? An asterisk. And don’t get me wrong, if you write Hillary Clinton, blah blah “asterisk“, I’m still left wondering if that’s like “special candidate” or footnote? It’s anything but an informational label for someone, we know that. And we know that news is supposed to be facts, not labels and stereotypes. Why is this allowed, and then even worse, tolerated.
Let’s get something straight here. There are no such things as spoilers. People still believe that there are, and stories are manipulated that way. When you have two shitty candidates, you simply have voters in a 3rd, 4th and 5th group that just don’t vote. And they still have something called a write-in vote. Mickey Mouse is still doing well there too. So to say that one candidate has a function of merely pulling votes away from another, is false.

December 22, 2007 at 4:14 pm | media, politics, rants | No comment

Shooting at Ward Parkway: How the media unbalances crime

The wife and I came home this evening from our weekend with my parents in good old St. Louis. After getting settled in, unpacking and checking email, we find that Juri’s brother from Japan sent a concerned note about a Kansas City shooting. Immediately, I’m surprised that he would know about something like that. Shootings are common here. Shooting homicides are also too common. Probably 50 a year in the KC metro area. I’ll have to fact check that statistic though, it fluctuates. Why does he hear about this one though? Apparently, the echoes of another random act of violence in middle America was heard in Japan and China and likely other places. Thanks to the media, everyone in the world can be made to believe that random shootings are the world’s greatest threat.

Ward Parkway shooting CNN

Juri and I frequent this mall. We probably walk the same path as the shooter did once every two weeks. Starbucks, Target, and several shops in between. We might have been there today if it wasn’t for the trip to see my parents. But I’m not dwelling on that. I’ll be back at that mall in a matter of days. I’ll see Spiderman 3 or stock up on some cotton swabs. I don’t let my perception get too skewed by things like these. Why? Because reality is, there is more to be concerned about in my neighborhood in regards to smaller crime than there is with something random like this. When I went on a ride with the Kansas City Metro Patrol last year, the officers told me that they wouldn’t want to take their family to the plaza because it’s a dangerous place. Crime happens all the time there, in the garages around corners. They said “You know why you don’t hear about it right? Because the city wants you to keep shopping there, so the stories get buried or killed.”

That’s comforting!

Actually, our mall has done an excellent job over the past 24 months. We’ve lost our bookstore there, but we’ve gained several cosmetic upgrades, Old Navy, a big shoe store, several parking lot beatifications and the mall-goers have always been pretty pleasant. Security is also quick on the job there. While shopping on afternoon, I watched a man, having some sort of mental episode, shove a clerk at a kiosk onto the floor. It took about twenty seconds for two guards to show up and check on the guy and the clerk.

*Update*

I met with some public officials in Kurashiki, Japan this past week. We are preparing for a large exchange of close to 500 Japanese later in the summer. We talked about security and ensuring safety of the younger folks going on the trip. They immediately brought up the only scary Kansas City story they had heard about, the Ward Parkway shooting. They wanted to know how far the shopping mall was from the dormitories they are staying in. I assured them that they were safe as long as they didn’t watch the news.

April 30, 2007 at 12:49 am | guns, media, police, politics | 1 comment

Terror in the heartland

Thank goodness. Kansas City has a Anti-terrorism organization in place to help protect us. They are called the Terrorism Early Warning Group. At their site, you can get references as pointless as recognizing suspicious packages.

I suppose we are going to be safer now that this group will be first with the information on terrorist attacks. Hmm, let’s keep reading.
The TEW is not currently equipped to take direct reports about suspicious activity. In an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

So basically “terrorism” will be handled as it always has been.

Why is everything that used to be a disturbance, prank, playing music too loud, is now called a terrorist act? War on terror?  I encourage anyone who believes this garbage to read Blowback by Chalmers Johnson.  Man, back in the day, my friends and I used to blow off soda bottle bombs with a little of The Works and tin foil.  I wonder if I was 15 today and doing those sort of things, if I might be on some watch list. We all need to calm down.
Speaking of calm, let’s take it down to the soothing blue color in the Terror Threat Advisory. It means Guarded: General Risk of Terror Attacks. Are we at significant risk here? We’re guarded, things are pretty much handled.  By the way, here’s a clue that we are going to be yellow for a long time.  If you look on the websites that post this Threat Advisory graphic, they aren’t displaying the Advisory based on live real time data or anything. This is a static .gif file.  It ain’t goin nowhere. The country could explode and we’d still be at yellow.

April 10, 2006 at 10:55 am | police, politics, rants | No comment

Protect your identity says the media

Become a private citizen and consider the list of things you can do to protect your identity. I learned about that website from the EFF.

Or you could learn about your privacy from me and publish to the entire world all about yourself.  Steal my identity please. I’ll give YOU a bad reputation.

January 13, 2006 at 4:33 pm | humor, politics | No comment