The Roanoke Slant
This file is a very brief journal and scrapbook and LTEs of some examples of the Roanoke Times slant. Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 18, 2005
$100,000 K12 Education
Roanoke Times, 3/18/05, Pg 10A: Nation's public schools in debt by $250 billion. Average spending is $8,000 per year per student.
Education has traditionally been a states-rights responsibility, however, during the past twenty years the federal government has played an ever increasing role. The No Child Left Behind program reflects many taxpayers concerns that they have invested $100,000 in each graduating high school student and it's not clear that the result is consistent with the cost! The focus needs to be on what's going on in the classroom and the teaching-learning process and environment.
Changes need to be made even if they're insensitive and not politically correct.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Gasoline $2 a gallon
Roanoke Times, 3/17/05, Pg 1: $2 a gallon gasoline climb to record levels. OPEC oil princes on the rise. Senate vote opens way for oil drilling in ANWAR.
The authors of the article did a good job of relating the price of gas to people and businesses that are adversely affected by high fuel costs. However a key item was tucked way back in Pg 12A. $2 a gallon is not historically high relative to inflation and to other things like the cost of the Sunday edition of The Roanoke Times.
Also, it would be appropriate to contrast the costs in U.S. vs. Canada, England, Germany and France. And this would be an excellent opportunity to emphasize that renewable and green energy becomes more attractive as oil gets more expensive. And it would be nice to highlight that of the $2, about fifty cents or 25% of the cost is TAXES!
Teen nudist camp
Roanoke Times, 3/17/05, Pg Va 5: ACLU wants to give teen nudist camp new exposure in court. ACLU in court pushing for allowing youngsters 11 through 17, both boys and girls, to spend time with their peers and away from their parents.
Perhaps The Editor, The Roanoke Times, and others who are strong supporters of the ACLU should reflect on how far way from "mainstream family values" that organization has wandered, and rethink just how much support you should continue to be giving them.
Restrictions on Boy Scouts
Roanoke Times, 3/17/05, Pg A7: Senators's bill would lift government restrictions on Boy Scouts use of federal facilities and land.
It is amazing that the ACLU, gay activists, The United Fund and other misguided people have discriminated against the Boy Scouts because the Scouts object to having gay people be scout leaders. One would think that anyone looking at how the Catholic Church's experiment with gay priests has worked out would be convinced by now that having gays as scout leaders would not be appropriate. Several years ago a gay scout leader in Bedford became a poster-example of the issues involved. However, The Editor and the Roanoke Times threw a blanket over the case and left us all in the dark.
The basic concept is simple, there are things that are inappropriate because they represent unacceptable risk. If you would not let your teenage Girl Scout daughter go camping with a 25 year old male scout leader, why would you let your teenage son go camping with a gay scout leader?
Senate agrees on Social Security
Roanoke Times, 3/16/05, Pg A5: Senate agrees on Social Security problems, not cures. Voted 100 to zip that there's a problem! Greenspan says fix S/S before 2008 when baby-boomers start retiring and suggested raising the retirement age AGAIN. Picture of folks demonstrating against Bush's plan.
The 2-4-1 Problem; one hundred to zip! The Senate even gets it! When was the last time there was a 100 to zip vote? Now can The Editor and his media partners get it? When you get down to two workers paying into the system for each receiver -- there's a problem! Now let's hear from the Democrats, The Editor and his media partners how they want to fix the problem! We're waiting!
No child left behind
Roanoke Times, 3/16/05, Pg A11: New round of exams test teachers' patience and schools' budgets. Requirement to test students in reading and math every year from third through eighth grade. Currently one-third of schools are not measuring up to requirements. GAO says up to $53 billion required from 2002 to 2008.
The Editor continues to appear to want better results from our schools, but he just can't cope with the Bush education initiative. It appears that the cost is about $18 million per year per state. As a big proponent of raising taxes that should be a piece of cake for The Editor and the really good news is that we all will know more about educational performance for each and every school!
Coalition fractures in Iraq
Roanoke Times, 3/16/05, Pg1: Headline with Picture of Italian Premier stating Italy will start withdrawal from Iraq in Sept 05. Multination force dropped from 300,000 in early 2003 to 172,000 and falling. Fresh crack in Bush's crumbling coalition. Coalition is unraveling.
How dramatic! The George Patton phase of the war is over. The George Marshal phase is well underway. The Iraqi's have held their first election and have started their Constitutional Convention. The Iraq army and police are well started on taking over their duties. All the coalition partners, including the U.S. have planned to scale down during 2005.
So -- what's with the falling, the fractures, the crumbling and the unraveling?
Looks like things are on a proper path for a free and independent Iraq!
Terrorist kills 3 in traffic
Roanoke Times, 3/16/05, PgA13: Three killed by assault rifle in traffic. Gunman kills three people in traffic while firing an AK47 type weapon from a moving vehicle.
-Iraq and Baghdad? ----- No ---- Dallas TX
Perhaps Rumsfeld didn't send enough troops there!
Click for prior blogs on terrorist attacks
Monday, March 14, 2005
Greenspan, the Political Hack
Roanoke Times, 3/14/05, Pg VA 7: The quote within the featured Washington Post commentary article is that Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. (the Daschle replacement) called FED Chairman Greenspan a Political Hack.
Very interesting! The Editor and his media partners were very happy when Greenspan was negative about Bush-41 items and they were elated when he sat next to Hillary at Bill's State of the Union addresses! But alas, now that Greenspan agrees with "just a few" of George W's positions -- he is now just a Hack. How fast he fell from left-wing grace and with name-calling too! It's now clear why The Editor has been "hiding" Greenspan:http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/hiding-greenspan.html
Bias? Who? Me?
Roanoke Times, 3/14/05, Pg1, 4: A study of media coverage of the Iraq war done by Columbia Univ. School of Journalism. The study found things were quite "balanced"; and CNN and MSNBC were "evenhanded".
The Paper and their media partners can't even do a study on media bias without a slant. The anti-Bush anti-War big full court press started with the Kerry election kickoff and didn't ebb until the election (Iraq not U.S.). A good measure of the negative slant is the Abu Ghraib prision issue. The slanted media made every effort to make it appear to be another Dachau; while many folks thought the pictures looked more like rush-week at some frat house. In fact, lots more folks have been hurt and killed during fraternity hazing than anything that happened at Abu Ghraib while U.S. was there. What happened when Sadam was in charge is of course not covered anywhere!
Another good measure of the media slant is to look for the lack of coverage of the good things that have happened! How many schools are open? How many towns are operating normally? How many hospitals are operating? How is the quality of water and food for most of the people? How many cars are operating? How many TV's are there? How many cell-phones are there? How many newspapers are being published? We certainly don't want folks to know anything about these positive accomplishments, do we?
A key objective of this blog is to build a history of Roanoke Times slant so that folks can peruse the history of their coverage and then reach their own conclusions without depending on Columbia Univ.!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Some government sunshine
Roanoke Times, 3/13/05, Pg Horiz 1: The Editor waxing eloquent about too much classification in government documents. He uses the example of the "blacked out" name of a FBI agent as a prime example of this horrible situation.
However, he took a very different view when CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson's identity was made public relative to her husband's trip to Africa! Then he deemed not "blacking out" her name as a major federal crime. The Editor and his media partners demanded a federal criminal investigation. They got one and now they're crying because news-people tied to the "outing" are being required to testify before a Grand Jury.
Once again The Editor's slant and his drive to have it both ways is in the sunshine!
Public Health Policy Priorities
Roanoke Times, 3/13/05, Pg 10: Health officials looking for avian flu. Heeding federal recommendations, the state is urging local health facilities to conduct "enhanced surveillance" for the avian flu that has killed 46 people worldwide since 2003. People with symptoms will be interviewed and there will be required testing under some circumstances.
The U.S. has lost hundreds of thousands of people, and millions have died worldwide from HIV+AIDS and these types of Public Health procedures and policies are not visible anywhere. At what point will The Paper and their media partners start asking why we are not conducting "enhanced surveillance" for the most dangerous concealed weapon in our society
Click to view a more complete blog item on this subject::http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/hivaids.html
Suicide Terrorist kills at hotel
Roanoke Times, 3/13/05, PgA9: Gunman kills 7 at hotel
Suicide Gunman kills seven people at a religious service held at a hotel
Iraq and Baghdad? ----- No ---- Wisconsin
Perhaps Rumsfeld didn't send enough troops there!
Click for prior blogs on terrorist attacks:
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Adoption in U.S. NOT
Roanoke Times, 3/12/05, Pg A3: Report: Adoption process unfriendly. We recruit and then when people call they're treated less than enthusiastically.
It's clear that The Editor and the article's authors "don't get it"! It's not the phone etiquette stupid! Thousands of adopting couples are spending up to $50,000 per child to adopt from off-shore "outsourcing". Two very major reasons not even listed in the article are: U.S. and state laws give the natural parents all sorts of legal "rights" for years after the adoption, including in-home visits and taking the child back! What adoptive parents are willing to signup for this type of heifer-dust?
Prospective parents cannot get a complete medical status of a child. As an example click to see NY HIV issues: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/hivaids.html
The Editor and The Paper could work toward changing this situation, however, it might involve not being politically correct and maybe even insensitive. And therefore, American babies will continue to be in foster care and couples will continue to "outsource" off-shore at great expense.
VT Costs Skyrocketing
Roanoke Times, 3/12/05, Pg VA1: The Va Tech Board to consider a 9 percent raise in tuition and fees.
Nowhere is there one word about why costs are rising more than three times faster than inflation. A real "news"paper would make it their business to help taxpayers, parents and legislators understand the reasons for this runaway financial situation. If "news"papers aren't doing that -- what are they doing?
Click for prior Public College funding blog items:-http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/freedom-for-public-colleges.html
Friday, March 11, 2005
Terrorists after Judges
Roanoke Times, 3/12/05, Pg1: Killings spark manhunt
Terrorists are killing Judges and their families in their homes and in the Court House.
Suicide terrorist kills Judge's husband and mother.
Terrorist kills three in Court, one on Court steps and one in attack on Federal Officer.
-Iraq and Baghdad? ----- No --- Chicago and Atlanta
Perhaps Rumsfeld didn't send enough troops there!
Bush Clean Air
Roanoke Times, 3/11/05, Pg 6A: EPA Orders smog cut in 28 states. The new rules will result in the largest pollution reductions and health benefits of any air rule in more than a decade.
Half of front page devoted to Explore Park being "closer to" turned over to a St. Louis company -- whatever that means?
Why wasn't this major positive change in Environmental Standards highlighted on page one? Hello -- Because it is being implemented by the Bush Administration and they're the bad guys!
The Editor's agenda and slant is showing yet again! Even USA Today devoted 20% of its front page to this story and we-all know how they feel about Bush!
Police the Terrorists
The Roanoke Times, 3/11/05, Pg A3: Police arrested in killings.
Police officers acting as hit-men accused of kidnapping, torture, murder and providing police intelligence to other criminals.
Iraq and Baghdad? ----- No -- New York City!
Sometimes it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, whereever you may be.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
AARP S/S Attack?
The Roanoke Times, 3/9/05, Pg 1, 6: Bush's Social Security allies battle mighty AARP. AARP is the arch-enemy to Bush's S/S plan spending $10 million so far. Bush supporters -- attack -- undercut the AARP -- etc. -- now shifting the debate to the young!
How dramatic! And, The Editor still doesn't get it! It's the 2-4-1 Stupid!
Two payers for each recipient is a disaster! The AARP should be informing their members about what the impact of doing nothing is to them and to their children and grandchildren. Having Bush and Greenspan and others explain this is not "attacking" anyone. And questioning why AARP is not presenting the 2-4-1 problem to their members is also not an "attack".
Also, the debate doesn't have to be shifted to the young -- they already "get it"!
Click for prior Social Security blog items:
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Roanoke Times, 3/6/05, Pg 1, 3: Senate maintains minimum wage.
Ed Kennedy says minimum wage should be above poverty, but then votes against a 21% increase because the Senate would not support his proposal for a 40% increase. Are these Senate Democrats for real? How do they rationalize this kind of obstructionism to someone who will now continue to work for the current minimum wage, and who could well have used a 21% pay raise?
Brawley Sharpton Fan Club
Roanoke Times, 3/8/05, Pg 2A: Sharpton want FCC to ban artists who romanticize urban violence. Big article with nice PR photo!
The Roanoke Times Brawley Sharpton Fan Club is promoting this bad actor again (scroll down to see my 3/3/05 blog). If the FCC were to even think about taking Sharpton's advise and discard the first amendment by banning artists that say bad things The Paper would go hysterical! So why is The Editor publishing this stuff?
And, talking about banning someone for saying bad things -- take the time to look into Sharpton's participation in the Twany Brawley case! How can The Editor continue to be a leader in the Sharpton Fan Club?
Click for prior Brawley Sharpton blog items:http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/brawley-sharpton.html
Monday, March 07, 2005
The Roanoke Times, 3/7/05, Pg 1: Italian journalist disputes U.S. account of shooting, alleges four play. Freed "hostage" hurt and escort shot and killed at Iraq/U.S. military checkpoint.
Now, let me get this straight:
An avowed communist journalist, who works for a communist newspaper, is "taken hostage" in Iraq. Is shown on television pleading for her life, but after release says she was treated well and was never in real danger. The Italian Prime Minister pays big bucks of his own money for her release. She is then driven, at night, down one of the most dangerous roads in Iraq, through a roadblock, without coordinating with Allied forces, and she thinks "we were out to get her". Are these people trying to insult our intelligence or is it just working out that way!
Get the "Mercury" Out
The Roanoke Times, 3/7/05, Pg A6: Groups want no mercury in schools. The claim is that mercury can cause problems with sleep, sight, hearing and memory. Any "loose" mercury found in a school is cause to evacuate the building and call in the HASMAT team.
During my time in high school science classes it was common practice to pour some liquid mercury from a beaker into our hand, then rub a dime coin on it, on both sides, until it was amazingly shiny. Almost all the folks my age that I have mentioned this to have also done this.
Thanks to the Roanoke Times we now know why we can't sleep, need glasses, can't hear and have memory problems!
And we all thought it was just because we're getting old!
Sunday, March 06, 2005
It's The 2-4-1 Stupid!
The Roanoke Times, 3/6/05, Pg H 1, 3, 4: Multiple articles focused on the premise that there isn't a problem, but if there were we just need to raise taxes, and whatever George W. is proposing is really bad and how dare he put asunder what FDR put together!
Back to basics: when FDR initiated S/S there were 43 workers to every recipient and life expectancy was about 60. In other words, FDR had lots of people paying into a retirement fund for people, most of whom, would never collect a cent (just like my Dad)!
But we are faced with: It's The 2 - 4 - 1 Stupid!
With only two workers paying for each recipient (2-4-1) the tax burden will be crushing.
The Paper and their media partners should stop the anti-Bush bashing and participate in a meaningful discourse on defining the problem and the available options. It's not clear why The Editor doesn't get it? Almost every person under 50 that I have spoken to gets it! And us old folks already on S/S are pretty sure we'll be gone before the big reductions in benefits kick-in, at least we hope so!
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Social Security 2-4-1
The Roanoke Times, 3/4/05 Pg A3: Frist changes course on pushing for vote on Social Security reform Bill this year.
Let's throw in some heifer dust distractions so The Editor doesn't have to address the real issues. Bill Clinton would summarize it as: It's: 2 - 4 - 1 stupid! We will soon only have 2 workers for each one person on Social Security! My wife and I are both on S/S. We only had two sons. I hope you have two extra who can help pay our way! I wonder who's going to pay into their fund? How many grandchildren do you have and do they look like they'll be good workers?
Silence is Approval
Cannot find in The Roanoke Times , 3/2,3,4,5 a repudiation of the viscous diatribe by Sen. Byrd of West Virginia on the Senate floor 3/1/05. Senator Byrd, reading from a prepared script, directly equated Senate Republican's to Adolf Hitler's Nazi behavior in taking over Germany. Many news organizations have covered this incident.
Apparently The Editor feels that what was said is OK with him and his team! I'm sure there would have been a page one repudiation if the roles were reversed!
So much for bipartisian harmony and civil discourse in Washington!
The Roanoke Times, 3/5/05, Pg. Bus. 7, 8: Gasoline to pump more from wallet, squeeze for low-income folks. This AP story focuses on the price of gasoline, $1.93, and the worldwide demand for oil.
The Paper could well use articles like this to develop a positive focus on national policy for energy independence. Our energy policy for many years is to exploit the low cost of fuel in this country compared to Europe and others. Two dollars a gallon for gasoline is cheap compared to other countries. It is also NOT historically that high. I first purchased gas in 1952 for 30 cents per gallon. That's equivalent to $2.10 in today's value (http://woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us/research/data/us/calc/
It's time for the Times and their media partners to stop worrying about appearing to support a Bush initiative and to support constructive bipartisan actions.
HIV+AIDS in Africa
The Roanoke Times, 3/4/05, Pg 8A: 80 million Africans may die of AIDS by 2025. The UN report says $200 Billion is needed to save millions.
My 2/22/05 blog on HIV+AIDS points out that we, The United States, with all our resources and technology, cannot form the policies and procedures and laws to protect ourselves; so how can sending $200 Billion to Africa save them? We all need to get back to the basics of Public Health policies invented to contain the Typhoid Mary epidemic 100 years ago. When will we do that? When will the Roanoke Times and their media partners join in this effort? After all, this is by far the most dangerous concealed weapon in our society.
When author Isak Dinesen, seriously and terminally ill with syphilis, was "Out of Africa" and back to Denmark, penicillin was not available. However, even when it became available, The Public Health policies for communicable diseases was the key to shutting down the world wide epidemic. When will we decide to shut-down the spread of HIV+AIDS?
Click to view prior HIV+AIDS blog item:http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/hivaids.html
Kudos for Greenspan Coverage
The Roanoke Times, 3/4/05, Pg 1: Greenspan touts tax simplification.
The AP article with photo covers the FED Chairman's comments on the need for tax reform to an Advisory Study Panel. He outlined the need for tax reform and discussed several options that should be considered to both simplify the code and to assist economic growth.
Kudos to the Times for getting Greenspan onto the front page. Greenspan, who as FED Chairman, probably has more control over the path of our economy than the President. His views on interest rates, social security and tax issues impact every American and therefore deserves prime coverage.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Roanoke Times, 3/3/05, Pg 1A and 10A: The page 1 story about music from a computer game concert in "littletown" Illinois included a major heading with a photo. In small print on Pg 10 is a very brief AP summary of Greenspan urging Congressional action on Social Security suggesting urgency that dovetails with Bush's call for action.
The Editor has an interesting priority for Pg 1 news? Appearantly hiding Greenspan has become a major effort for The Editor (see my blog item 2/17/05). Perhaps it's important to The Editor to create the illusion that the only person in the US who thinks Social Security needs fixing is George W.! Greenspan's emphasis on there being only 2 people paying into the system for each person collecting is very graphic and was not missed by my two sons!
The Roanoke Times, 3/3/05, Pg Va 1 & 3: Sharpton urges VT audience to become active citizens. Most of the extensive article, with PR pictures, are quotes of Sharpton's vilification of Pres. Bush.
It is disappointing that a person of Sharpton's character is invited anywhere. His rise to media-fame is based on the Twana Brawley case in 1987, up-state NY. Sharpton and his two associates pretended to be "advisors" to Brawley but instead were proved in a $395 million lawsuit to not have her interests at heart and were proved to be very, very bad actors.
See: CNN: http://www.cnn.com/US/9807/13/brawley.verdict.02/
And People Magazine 7/4/1988 and many NY Times articles.
There are many fine people of color throughout our society that could well represent the African American community. Many are outstanding leaders in economic, social, business and government venues. Why do editors and the media in general choose a person like Sharpton to be the spokesman for this group of Americans, and who gave them permission to do so? Where was that vote taken?
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Escaped from Death Row
The Paper, 3/2/05, Pg 1: Death Penalty for juveniles outlawed by Supreme Court. The editor published, on the front page, very nice pictures of twenty of the young men who are now off death row. This took-up 7.5 X 16 inches or 120 square inches of the front page. A highlight of the story is that the ruling was greeted with enthusiasm by numerous folks.
It's interesting that The Editor chose to present a "high school year book style " decoupage of these young men, all looking so nice, like the boy next door.
Perhaps a better presentation would have been a decoupage of two photos of each of the murdered victims. One as photographed by their family and one as photographed by the coroner.
It's not clear to me that the death penalty is a deterrent, however, it is clear that 16 and 17 year olds are just as responsible for their actions as is someone 18 years old. If you are stabbed or shot to death you probably won't notice the age difference, why should the law?
Junk Mercury Science
Paper, 3/1/05, Pg 6A: Study: Mercury lowers IQ, pay:
This long, complex, conflicted and convoluted article attempts to connect the dots between mercury, lead, lower IQ, reduced earning potential, losses in national GDP, etc.. A Mount Sinai group released its "findings" to Environmental Health Perspectives in hopes of influencing the power-plant debate legislation in the Congress.-
This article is a good example of what happens when you let good feed fall into a pile of heifer-dust and then you try to sell it as "enriched fodder".
However, as with most "studies with a mission" there is an accepted premise that high levels of lead or mercury in your blood is a bad thing! But stating lots of disparate statistics and quotes from numerous sources is not science. Page one of every statistics book informs the student that one cannot use statistics from historical data to demonstrate or prove a "cause and effect" relationship! However well meaning the original authors might have been, this article is pure propaganda with the political objective to influence policy. It is "junk science" and is a disservice to those who work diligently at real science.Why do editors at news organizations cut down perfectly good trees to publish this stuff?