The Roanoke Slant

This file is a very brief journal and scrapbook and LTEs of some examples of the Roanoke Times slant. Comments to: lbhagen@roanokeslant.org

Friday, April 29, 2005

 

Virginia tax rating

Roanoke Times, 4/29/05, Pg Va 5: Virginia drops in tax rating despite per capita increase.
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Great Roanoke Times Slant! Our taxes are up 8% (3 times inflation), but not to worry, some other folks are up more than we are. And this increase only reflects one quarter of the new improved and increased tax rate we passed last year.
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Prior blog items:
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/tax-cuts-no.html
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Parental Notification Bill

Roanoke Times, 4/29/05, Pg A11: Senate to take up abortion bill. Would make it a crime to take a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion in contravention of state parental notification laws.
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This law is similar to the Mann Act of 1910 that dealt with transporting people across state lines for immoral purposes.
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The ACLU takes the view that it's a good thing that someone can transport your underage daughter across state lines for an abortion without your knowledge or consent.-
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/abortion-records.html
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Bush and Social Security

Roanoke Times, 4/29/05, Pg 1: Bush proposes lower benefits.
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Great Roanoke Times Slant! He could have headlined that Bush proposed an increase in benefits for the lower wage earners! And that higher earners benefits will grow at a slower rate. Of course the real issue is that everyone will be taking a 30% reduction if the 2-4-1 problem is not addressed, and the increase in payroll taxes will be huge.
Prior blog:
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/change-social-security-strategy.html
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Bias in Journalists

Roanoke Times, 4/29/05, Pg A5: Americans sense bias but trust journalists. 85% said they detect a bias in news reporting of which 48% identified it as liberal, 74% said reporters favor one side on political and social issues, half said media exaggerates or are too sensational.
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It appears that the objective of this blog of pointing out media-slant is compatible with the majority of folks. Too bad the media is so arrogant that they doen't care. Must be nice to have a monoply!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

Train Wreck

Roanoke Times, 4/27/05, Pg A5: Japan train wreck death toll rises to 81. Accident has caused much soul-searching over Japan's attention to punctuality and efficiency. Engineer trying to make-up 2 minute schedule shortage.
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History repeats itself as one reflects on a famous train wreck in South-west Virginia in 1903:
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The wreck of Old 97
They gave him his orders in Monroe Virginia,
Saying Steve you're way behind time!
This is not 38 this is old 97,
You must put her into Spencer on-time.
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http://www.blueridgeinstitute.org/ballads/old97.html
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

 

Toyota to help us out?

Roanoke Times, 4/26/05, Pg B5: Toyota may raise prices to help U.S. counterparts. Price increases intended to help U.S. manufacturers do better.
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Manufacturing 101: Money companies get from sales go to pay current expenses, taxes, shareholders and investment in new products and equipment.
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Manufacturing 102: Increased profit margins feed increased investment in R&D, new products and equipment that all result in increased competitive position for the future.
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Manufacturing 103: After owning GM cars for over 40 years, I paid approximately $3,000 more for a Toyota Camry than a similar size and equipped GM car last year (and so did a lot of other people). How is increasing the Toyota price going to help GM now or in the future?
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The answer to U.S. competitiveness is QUALITY and CUSTOMER SERVICE! The keys are: Design, Manufacturing, Dealership, Service.
If GM doesn't change -- it will suffer, and so will our domestic economy.
Outsourcing doesn't just happen there is a cause and effect.
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Social Security Hearings

Roanoke Times, 4/26/05, Pg A8: Social Security debate to heat up with hearing. Today's Senate hearing will bring together four leading S/S experts who have offered full-blown plans.
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Kudo's to the Roanoke Times for the first good and fair article I have seen them publish on this important subject! It's past time for all our representatives to stop trying to score points and to address this situation that directly affects every person in the Country.
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/change-social-security-strategy.html
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Judicial Filibuster

Roanoke Times, 4/25/05, Pg A 1 & 7: Frist explains his opposition to filibuster. Democrats filibustering and blocking candidates for the Appellate level courts.
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Roanoke Times, 4/26/05, Pg Va 8: Republican hypocrisy on the 'nuclear option'.
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The Editor, his media partners and Senate Democrats are in a bind. They cannot deny that for 200 years the filibuster has not been used by Republicans to deny an 'up or down vote' for a judicial nomination that has 51 vote support. They point to several cases where confirmation was delayed, however, they cannot define a case of denial by filibuster! The Democrats have done this 10 (ten) times in the last two years and are committed to continue to do so! Harry Reid (NV) and Chuck Schumer (NY) are dedicated to hijacking the 2004 election results and thwarting the results of the last national election and rejecting 200 years of Senate prescient.
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An interesting statistic: Looking at their first terms: It took three times (3X) longer for the Senate to confirm Bush's Circuit Court candidates than it did to confirm Clinton's! Apparently the Democrats feel that there's no urgency to having the courts properly staffed in a timely manner. Seems like they're always the ones quoting "justice delayed is justice denied".
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Tax Cuts NO?

Roanoke Times, 4/25/05, Pg Va 6: The lure of tax cuts vs. the reality of effects. Before swooning for anti-tax politicians, Virginians should weigh tax relief against the need for roads, schools and other public essentials. Tax relief is a coward's game.
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Two weeks ago The Editor was singing the praises of Tim Kaine, the Democrat candidate for Governor, who was proposing reductions in real estate taxes. Now he tells us that tax increases and big tax surpluses are a good thing. After all, the bureaucrats in Richmond know what's good for us and they will come up with wonderful ways to spend taxpayer money. The list is endless and priceless!
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Perhaps The Editor should consider the proper budgeting process: define needs, prioritize needs, estimate costs, establish priorities, establish a budget, determine funding sources and then make a plan! The Editor told us that this is what Gov. Warner is really good at! Then why not do it?
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/tax-surplus.html
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Monday, April 25, 2005

 

Republicans normal?

Roanoke Times, 4/25/05, Pg A2: Joe weighs in on Roanoke County supervisors. etc. etc. It shows that Republicans are, to some extent, normal.
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This describes much better than I can the basis for the Roanoke Times Slant. At least Joe's words were somewhat milder than Howard Dean and his Democrat friends.
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Hard-to-teach kids

Hard-to-teach kids
Roanoke Times, 4/25/05, Pg Va 7: Hard-to-teach kids remain an unsolved issue. Quoting N.Y. Times summary of N.Y. schools and criticizing Mayor for not fixing problems. In one NYC district 42% of 5th graders may fail and 52% of 3rd graders may fail.
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"Hard-to-teach" kids are everywhere, not just in center-cities. However in some center-cities it appears that they form half the class or more! N.Y. is spending 50% more ($12K per student per year) than the national average. They have the strongest teacher-union in the country. They have one of the largest and most expensive teacher-training school systems (SUNY) in the country. N.Y. has lowered the passing grade for the Regents tests (similar to Va's SOL's) down to 55%.
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It appears to a novice that we are reaping the fruit of social collapse. The school system cannot replace the family and Hillary's answer "the village" only seems to works well for elephants. A women, making minimum-wage and as sole parent, cannot provide a family structure to raise children in today's world. It worked for Murphy Brown (but she was making a five-figure salary)! Bill Cosby has commented on the basic family problems involved but instead of support he has been put-down by those who prefer to go with headlines instead of substance.
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If this problem is to be solved, men are going to have to take responsibility for the babies they make! They are going to have to make a home for their families and help support them for 18 years! A good start would be to stop calling women bitches. Sorry, that was so politically incorrect!
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Prior Items: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/longer-school-year.html
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Press protections

Roanoke Times, 4/24/05, Pg H2: The public needs press protections. For the pen to be truly mightier than the sword, Congress should enact a shield law for reporters to gather news without fear or intimidation. "Free-press" clause not sufficient. Reporters being forced to testify or face jail.
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It's certainly not clear how the "sword" relates to all this, but, in felony criminal cases no one should be excempt from being required to cooperate with the investigation and prosecution of criminals. The recent crisis with Catholic priests centainly should make it clear to the most casual observer that they should not be an exception either. To say nothing about Doctors who provide massive illegal drugs to folks for money. Reporters may have a key role in digging out wrong-doing but if they have first-hand knowledge about a felony they owe it to the victims and to society that justice be done by cooperating fully.
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Prior item:
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/free-press.html
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Assault weapons' sale

Roanoke Times, 4/24/05, Pg A14: Crime, assault weapons' sales unaffected by ban's expiration (enacted in 1994) . No surge in sales. No change in gun crime.
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When the expiration date approached the media was hysterical. All types of bad outcomes were imminent. Apparently another media-generated crisis fizzled.
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Some key facts about "assault weapons" always seem to elude the media. All automatic weapons (those that continue to fire when holding the trigger back) have been under Federal Registration since 1934. One cannot manufacture, sell or possess an "automatic" weapon without a Federal Permit. This was enacted into law during the Elliot Ness war with organized crime gangs in Chicago.
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The media always manages to hawk the false impression that these type weapons are wide-spread, everyone has one, and we need to enact yet another law to control them.
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Rights group wants Rumsfeld head

Roanoke Times, 4/24/05, Pg A6: Rights group wants Rumsfeld investigated. Human Rights Watch also wants to get all the brass from the Pentagon on down for the Abu Ghraib incident.
This on the heels of the final report defining responsibility at the prison.
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Ever wonder what The Editors friends at Human Rights Watch are doing about the tens of thousands of folks that Sadam exterminated? How about the current slaughter by terrorists of hostages?
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I don't remember them getting excited about Bill Clinton and Janet Reno over the incidents at Ruby Ridge and Waco where the Attorney General had direct and personal control of the situation and the outcomes (which weren't nice).
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They are so selective aren't they? And the Roanoke Times seems to enjoy giving them coverage at every opportunity.
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Prior Item: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/bias-who-me.html
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Syria out of Lebanon

Roanoke Times, 4/24/05, Pg A4: Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon to be done today.
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After 29 years of occupation and control and intimidation Syria is pulling out. The Editor and his wire service friends don't mention the connection with the Bush initiatives in the Middle East. Sometimes it's hard to see well with the type-glasses they wear. If this happened on Bill's watch it would be on Pg 1 with a very different slant.
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Friday, April 22, 2005

 

MTBE

Roanoke Times, 4/22/05, Pg A9: Continuation of Energy: Bill calls for MTBE phaseout. Also provides liability waiver for cleanup costs. Dem. Nancy Pelosi of Cal. upset.
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MTBE is a gasoline additive. California mandated by law that all gasoline in California contain MTBE ( plus other stuff unique to Cal. that helps drive their prices up). This was intended to help with their smog problems. Hello, new problem. Concept of unintended consequences arrives. MTBE is water-soluble and got into the aquifers and wells in many Cal. locations. It's not nice stuff to drink! Now that Cal. has this problem, that they caused and mandated by law, they want someone else to fix the problem and pickup the bill. Perhaps The Roanoke Times could run a bake-sale to help Nancy and her friends.
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Greenspan, Out of the closet, again

Roanoke Times, 4/22/05, Pg A9: Greenspan: Deficits threaten economy. Greenspan told Senate Budget Committee that deficits must come down or economy in years ahead could stagnate.
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Greenspan (the political hack in hiding) is back again in the Roanoke Times News because it appears that his testimony just might help support The Editors agenda. It has become humorous to watch how The Editor tries to manipulate Greenspan items as if he's doing a "pea under the shell" game. Just how dull does he think his readers are?
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Prior items:
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/greenspan-political-hack.html
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Energy Bill Zips

Roanoke Times, 4/22/05, Pg 1: Energy Bill zips through House. Reps Boucher and Goodlatte voted for the bill -
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Roanoke Times, 4/20/05, Pg Va 8: The worst of all possible energy bills.
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What's wrong with this picture? How could Boucher (the Democrat darling of the Roanoke Times) have possibly voted for the "worst of all possible energy Bills"?
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Whoops! Perhaps the Bill isn't the worst possible as The Editor claims!
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Prior Item: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/energy-challenge.html
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

 

Import Cheap Drugs

Roanoke Times, 4/20/05, Pg A16: Senate plan would let consumers order drugs directly from Canada. Safeguards proposed including listings and inspections. Reduction in patent protection included. Since we are outsourcing lots of other stuff, why not drugs? Reduction in the time a patent protects the inventor will help get off-shore and generic manufacturers producing quicker. This will reduce the big profits the drug companies are making. A good thing for all, Right?
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Perhaps we should be mindful of what it takes to invent a new drug and then get it approved and then support it and stand behind it for its lifetime. How many of the drugs that we will be ordering from Canada were invented there, were first certified and approved there and are guaranteed by them? The drug development industry is one of the highest risk activities in business and someone has to pay for the 15 year research and development (R&D) and approval cycles and the subsequent risk of general usage.
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The big profits include results like Pfizer, an industry leader, who is projected to loose nine Billion dollars in revenue in the next four years due to patent expirations alone. Reductions in their revenue and profit will surely result in reduced R&D and reduced hiring of our "best and brightest" to develop tomorrow's drugs. Not to worry, I'm sure Canada will take up the slack and when they own the patents for the new drugs, I'm sure they'll sell them to us "cheap" because they really like us and we're their friends!
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Perhaps cheap drugs are like free lunches!
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The Energy Challenge

Roanoke Times, 4/17/05, Pg H1, H4: Multiple articles on U.S. fossil fuel dependence.
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These are good articles about our very significant energy problem. Their shortfall is the lack of quantifying the magnitude of the problem. Our consumption is huge and most of it is consumer-based-demand. Our strategy has been to exploit cheap energy as a national competitive advantage. With our population growth (about 2+ million a year for the last 50 years) --- US population history data: http://www.demographia.com/db-uspop1900.htm
and the rise of energy consumption by Russia, China, and India a new strategy is required. Reduction in fossil fuel consumption must be a national priority. But like Pogo said: "we have met the enemy, and he is us!".
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Roanoke Times, 4/20/05, Pg Va 8: The worst of all possible energy bills. Long list of energy items that could be changed to improve things, then the punch line: We’re not doing good things because the Republican leadership is bowing to political donors.
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Once again The Editor feels compelled to take cheap political shots about a subject of great complexity and great national importance! Perhaps if Bill Clinton had followed The Editors directions for eight years things would be much better today and we could just continue to do what Bill did.
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The 4/19/05, R.T., Pg A5, article shows that Alternative fuel, ethanol, production doubled (that’s up 100%) during Bush’s first four years, however, producing large quantities of ethanol will directly conflict with food production.
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There are very complex trade-offs for the strategy we choose. Solar energy, wind, hydro-energy, and fuel cells powered by hydrogen obtained from water appear to be good directions based on what we know today, however, there are major technical, business, economic and social changes that will be required. The bridge from today to the future may require building many nuc-plants. Good people all over the world are trying to develop a fuel-cell membrane that lasts reliably for ten years at a reasonable cost. They also are trying to get the hydrogen process in place from water to the users vehicle. Great strides have been made on solar panels but we need to get the size and cost down and the efficiency up.
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The Editor could be helpful by educating folks about the real energy issues and challenges and save the cheap shots for the next election.
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Amplifying Bad Data

Roanoke Times, 4/19/05, Pg 1: Professor says study not meant to alarm. His study indicated that chlorinated tap water can react with some kitchen agents to produce chloroform, a probable carcinogen.
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Roanoke Times, 4/0/05, Pg A10: Obesity isn’t so bad, CDC now says
CDC reduced obesity from #2 to #7 among leading preventable causes of death in U.S. and all this in just one year! Talk about a good diet!
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These articles are just the latest in a very, very long list of false and or misleading data being broadcast and amplified by the media without regard for responsibility. One of the most serious examples was the early days of birth-control pills in which the media broadcast that the pill was a major cause of cancer. Many women changed to IUD’s and that turned out to be a health disaster. Then the media broadcast that not only did the pill not cause cancer but in-fact reduced the risk of several types of cancer.
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The lesson to be learned is that lots of data being broadcast by the media is not factual. In reality much of the "new immediate news" is suspect. The concept of proving a cause-and-effect relationship is usually very difficult, takes a lot of time, and is not conducive to hype and spin and "front page headlines".
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It would be helpful if "the media" presented data with more restraint and put warning labels on the veracity of the "news". If "experts" are misleading us with the above items, imagine how hard it is to accept complex hypothesis like: global warming, the real causes of cancer and the impacts of second-hand smoke.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 

Fox News is menacing journalism

Roanoke Times, 4/18/05, Pg Va. 7: The Editor's friend, W. Raspberry, waxing on about how bad Fox News is to journalism and what a threat it is to public confidence in the news and how great things were before they showed-up. "What bothers me is that journalism could become a battlefield of warring biases".
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Exactly! Before Fox we only had one story. Now we have another view, and that's a bad thing? For the past 20 years we've had the same story line and the only choice was which face or personality you wanted to get it from. Fox is not a journalistic or news threat, although it may be a "ratings" threat. Why is established media so shocked and paranoid about a conflicting view? What journalism schools did these folks go to where the only correct answer was vanilla and if you said chocolate or neapolitan you were wrong and out. Perhaps those "out people" are the folks who now work at Fox.
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America the Ugly

Roanoke Times, 4/18/05, Pg Va 7: Where's the 'we' in 'We, the people'? M.S. Leitch, RT columnist. "American men and women dying to fight an "enemy" - terrorism - that's not really an enemy, but a tactic used by desperate people who've lost all hope of sharing our world's resources, because we Americans have to have our individual tummy-tucks and our personal SUV's."
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This is a very wide-ranging view of what's wrong with America and most of its people. This person, Ms. Leitch, is apparently very unhappy with American society and the economic and social system that has evolved and most of these ills are "this President's " fault. If only we could get Bill Clinton back how quickly things would improve!
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Her war comments reflect the 'it's our fault', self deprecating, guilty conscience response that our adversaries so enjoy to employ. I don't know which Mullahs she has been listening to but the ones most quoted don't hate us for our resources, tummy-tucks or SUV's and their war upon us and others goes back well before "this President".
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Anyone who thinks "terrorism is not really an enemy" should visit 9/11 ground-zero where we lost more Americans than on Dec 7th at Pearl Harbor.
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Monday, April 18, 2005

 

Fairy Dust

Roanoke Times, 4/18/05, Pg Va 3: Fairy dust clings to Roanoke crosswalks. Efforts to clean up the brightly colored street crossings got only half the job done Sunday. Good Samaritans picking-up 20 tons of garbage "from the streets" and working to remove painted "artwork" from the street crosswalks "without police involvement".
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In some places they call unauthorized painting of public facilities graffiti. Instead of calling this "fairy dust" one might call it "heifer dust". Perhaps these creative folks (the ones with the spray-paint cans) could work for the City painting the Elm Street "slalom" course for the next Gran Prix or the arrival of I-73 whichever occurs first.
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And 20 tons of garbage from the streets -- what a joy to live in the Star City! No wonder Sunday's paper indicated folks were moving out!
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Perhaps the City should be spending money on picking up more garbage instead of building highway obsticle courses.
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Sunday, April 17, 2005

 

Change Social Security Strategy

Roanoke Times, 4/17/05, Pg A20: Democrats find dislike by public for their stubbornness on non-participating in addressing Social Security issues. They have decided to quit emphasizing that they will not negotiate with George W.
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Hopefully The Editor and his media partners will now join in a positive effort to address the 2-4-1 issues in a bipartisan way. The change is long overdue.
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Prior blog: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/its-2-4-1-stupid.html
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Tax Surplus

Roanoke Times, 4/16/05, Pg Va. 8: State collections rise, growing at 14.4% rate, healthy surplus anticipated.
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In 2004 The Editor hawked the need for tax increases in big print on Pg 1. Now that it's clear that the tax increases were not needed, the results are in small print buried in the Va. Section. This surplus is before the not-required tax increases kick-in! Just what the Richmond bureaucrats need is lots of "extra" tax money that should have stayed with the people who earned it.
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Prior Item: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/virginia-budget.html
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Friday, April 15, 2005

 

Bully Bolton

Roanoke Times, 4/14/05 Pg Va 8: Senators should block Bolton from UN Ambassador.
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The Editor and his media partners want a UN-friendly person as UN Ambassador and will do or say anything to achieve that goal. Jimmy Carter would be on top of their list. Their "big gotcha" on Bolton is that he was unpleasant and spoke harsh words to a CIA staffer. The Editor's claim is that the incident centered on the premise that the staffer would not change his views to Bolton's view. The Senate Subcommittee evidence (testimony and emails and etc.) is that the staffer did not solicit and coordinate input from multiple departments on a draft document, as he was directed, and then he LIED about it to multiple people! At the Roanoke Times I bet Ms. Z. would fire someone for that behavior (after she spoke harsh words too).
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Also in this article The Editor asserts, again, that George W. is responsible for North Korea nucs. I was hoping that he had read my 2/17/05 blog item and had then done the appropriate research to validate that Bill Clinton, his UN guy Richardson, and Jimmy Carter, were the folks we can thank for North Korea nucs.
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Blog item: http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/north-korea-nucs.html
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Not in this article is the "outing" of a CIA agent by name by Sen. John Kerry during the Senate hearings this week! How could The Editor have missed that. He was so into the "outing" of Mr. Wilson's CIA wife and so excited about seeing someone go to jail for doing it. So when is the trial for Sen. Kerry and can he have Martha's cell? Should be a short trial, it's on video!
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Blog item:
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/some-government-sunshine.html
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------------Late Breaking News Item---------------
Found: example of Employee Evaluation Form Bolton allegedly used for CIA agents: - (check items that apply):
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1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."
2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."
3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."
4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
5. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
6. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
7. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."
8. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."
9. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
10. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."
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If this is valid; Apparently The Editor is right -- It would appear that Bolton is insensitive and "does not suffer fools gladly"! Sounds like a good choice for the UN post to me!
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 

True Patriots

Roanoke Times, 4/7/05, Pg Va 8: True patriots in Congress, arise and reject controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act that threaten People's rights to read, talk, and associate without fear of government surveillance so long as no crime is being plotted.
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There is no doubt that we have been loosing many of our "rights" for a long time. Until 9/11 many of these rights were lost due to government controls of private land, endangered species and wetlands act, fighting organized crime, gun controls, drug use and trafficking to name just a few. So, after all that, what's with the panicked concerns with renewing The Patriot Act? Well: Folks can look at the books you checked out of the library; which is exactly what the radical-liberals did to Judge Bork. Folks can look into your computer, exactly what is done every day looking for child-porn activity. Folks can take video of you meeting with suspect people, exactly what was done to Mayor Marion Berry.
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Perhaps The Editor is having difficulty understanding that Americans do not want to be bombed, shot, gassed or nuc'd and until the danger from our enemies subsides we are willing to put up with some reasonable intrusions because we don't know what is being plotted and when it will strike.
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Sex-Ed

Roanoke Times, 4/10/05, Pg H2: Yet another in The Editor's quest to ensure we are all fully up to speed on all the types and details of sex and sodomy that young people are participating in. Somehow "the nations leaders are doing a grave disservice to America's youth"---- by not showing them how to avoid suffering the adverse consequences of high risk behavior. Perhaps The Editor should enlist a responsible and knowledgeable liberal leader like Bill Clinton to come out of retirement to head-up this effort!
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/04/fixation-on-sex.html
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Yet again The Editor has missed the opportunity to address the public policy decisions necessary to curtail the HIV+AIDS epidemic.
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See blog item: -
http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/hivaids.html
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Intimidating Judges

Roanoke Times, 4/10/05, Pg H1: The Editor rambling on about how bad Republicans are relative to criticizing judges. "Alarming and ugly intimidation against judges. The presumption that somehow we are going to threaten judges or demand certain outcomes from judges is antithetical to a free people under law says Rep Hoyer D-Md."
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The Editor and his friend had no such concerns when Judge Bork was being interrogated during his confirmation hearings. Also no concerns raised about bashing Judge Starr during the Clinton days.
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Isn't the "demanding certain outcomes from judges" exactly what the Democrats are doing during Judicial nomination reviews today and why they will not allow an up or down vote on these nominations?
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Halliburton in Iraq

Roanoke Times, 4/12/05, Pg A7: $122 million questioned in Halliburton contracts. Rep. Waxman of Cal. releasing results of Government audits of Iraq funding. VP Cheney once worked for Halliburton. Key items questioned involved subcontracts with Kuwaiti and Turkish organizations established at the start of the war.
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Amazing, if only California could execute contracts during adverse conditions like their earthquakes with only ( 1.1%) of the funds being questioned in hind-sight! The Editor and his media partners and anti-Bush friends continue to look for any excuse to cast Halliburton in a negative light due to the VP Cheney connection. One might thank Halliburton for their work, their support of our troops under fire, their support to the people of Iraq under war conditions. The Editor could also do an extensive piece on the number of Halliburton employees killed and wounded in Iraq. The last count I saw, quite a while ago, was 57 dead.
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If only The Editor and his friend Waxman were as eager to dig into the UN Oil for Food Program, the largest malfeasance in world history!
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Friday, April 08, 2005

 

Group considers lake plan

Roanoke Times, 4-8-05, Pg Va 1, 8: AEP submitted the SML shoreline management plan two years ago to FERC. Some don’t like it. FERC meeting in Bedford 4-7-05. Some groups said they don't trust AEP's judgement relative to shoreline management. Controversy has centered on docks.
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The war for control of SML is intense. On one side are folks who have valid concerns for the quality of water and the quality of life at SML. On the other side are the entities (individuals, companies and governments) that are collectively reaping hundreds of millions of dollars each year from development and exploitation of the lake.
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The concerned-folks can point to many examples of shoreline development, approved and supported by the three bordering counties, that they view as not reasonable, prudent, or responsible. Many of these folks, like myself, view AEP as the best alternative for exercising good stewardship of SML based on having the least conflicts of interest in establishing and executing long-range plans and procedures to manage the lake. Some of our complaints are that AEP does not have strict enough requirements and that in some cases they are not aggressive enough in enforcing the rules.
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Pays to look good

Roanoke Times, 4-8-05, Pg 1, 15: Heading: "Even Greenspan knows it pays to look good". An analysis by some folks at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis trying to correlate looks with success. Lots of: suggests, possible link, less clear, maybe they developed, study indicating, study suggests, etc, etc. The heading of the continuation of the article on pg A15 is: "It's unclear if there's bias".
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The Editor outdid himself again. This is a personal best! No where is Greenspan involved in this "study". The Pg 1 heading vs. the continuation Pg 15 heading and the fuzzy descriptors clearly indicates that this isn't fact, it isn't news, it's just more Roanoke Times heifer dust!
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A parallel "news story" of equal merit was the premise that the key to success at IBM in the 60's was a macho name. Key managers had names like: Spike Bitesel and Jack Armstrong. It was alleged that in order to get promoted one IBM'er changed his name to Studley Hungwell. Perhaps The Editor could run a version of this as front page news next week.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

 

U.N. Overhaul - YES

Roanoke Times, 4/5/05, Pg Va 9: "U.N. overhaul would not serve U.S. interests", by Peter A. Brown. This is a lengthy and detailed article describing how Kofi Annan and his U.N. cronies are working to undermine the U.S. and damage our national interests.
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What was The Editor thinking when he wrote this headline? The message of this article, direct and implied is that a U.N. overhaul is needed, necessary and should be done to get the U.N. to align with U.S. interests in supporting freedom and democracy and respecting American national sovereignty. Apparently if The Editor doesn't like the content of a story, he simply puts his slant on the title!
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Sandy Scissorhands

Waiting for the Roanoke Times to cover the Sandy Berger case. They were so into the Dick Clark accusations during the 911 hearings and the Ms. Rice confirmation hearings. Dick Clark was a Clinton security guy who claimed that the Bush team didn't have a clue about AlQueda. Burger, the Clinton nation security advisor ( and Clark's boss), during his preparation for the 911 hearings, stole highly classified documents from the Nation Archives. He cut-up some and then later returned some. Turns out the documents related to major lapses in Clinton national security. Apparently Berger was trying to cover for Clinton so that his lack of action would not come-up in the 911 hearings. Apparently The Editor prefers to "forget" this chapter of the story. He's so selective!

Monday, April 04, 2005

 

Fixation on sex

Roanoke Times, 4/4/05, Pg 8A, total column: Oral sex OK with teenagers; the small study implies they think doing it is not a big deal.
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Why is the Roanoke Times, supposedly a family paper that's read by hundreds of middle-school students in the Valley every day, so fixated on presenting such great detail about teenage sex? And what's with all the "statistics" about a few students at two schools in California?
One might wonder what The Editors motivation might be for selecting these types of articles. Is he a wannabe sex-ed teacher, or what?
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/family-paper.html
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Sunday, April 03, 2005

 

Funding Retirement

Roanoke Times, 4/3/05, Pg 1B: Working to Retire. Kudo's to those who developed a very good and extensive article on this major issue that affects all Americans. Perhaps one of the best Roanoke Times articles in years.
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There are several items that should have been highlighted: (probably were in the draft but never got past The Editor:
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I did not find the 2-4-1 problem. All current and future retirees need to focus on what happens when there are only two payees for each recipient of Social Security. A graphic showing this and the Social Security fund "burn-rate" would have been appropriate.
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The Norfolk Southern plan sounds like the Bush proposal to me! Two components: Tier-1 a Treasury Note account and Tier-2 a "privatized" account that can be invested in pension plan type securities. Comparing this to the Bush proposal would have been a nice touch!
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The Federal Employee plan was not covered. I believe their plan is very similar to the Norfolk Southern plan and also benefits from having a "privatized" component.
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The Roanoke Times retirement plan was not included. Interesting!
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/aarp-ss-attack.html
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Bashing ProLife (after birth)

Roanoke Times, 4/3/05, Pg H 1, 4: The God Racket. The President and Congress scurried to play God. Lots of nasty and personal editorializing about those who made a significant effort to keep Ms. Schiavo alive as long as possible. Tom Delay vilified because of his efforts and his remarks about Judges in the case.
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Perhaps a few facts might be injected into this vicious diatribe.
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The parents of Ms. Schiavo requested intervention on their behalf by: The Governor, The President, The State and Federal Senates, The State and Federal Congress and every level of Court up to and including multiple trips to the Supreme Court. The "politicians" and Judges did not unilaterally inject themselves into this situation! The media circus was initiated by and fed by the parents and their supporters.
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Many reasonable and prudent and respected people, including The Pope, did not accept the act of removing the feeding system.
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The Editor and his media partners are quick to condemn Tom Delay's views of specific judges in this case, however, they all joined in the vilification of Judge Kenneth Starr just a few years ago! Apparently back then bashing Judge Starr wasn't a threat to the Constitution or a potential violation of law as is being alleged by the Democrat Senator from NJ today.
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Concealed Weapons Responsibility

Roanoke Times, 4/3/05, Pg H1: Gun lobby seeks legal immunity. The Editor uses one-fourth of a page on the importance of being able to sue gun manufacturers and dealers for the improper use of firearms by the end user.
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The Editor is not keen however on his company being sued in arson cases where his newspapers are used to start the fire! He also is not keen on being sued to accept responsibility for the retrieval and recycling of the hundreds of tons of scrap paper he ships out into the valley each week. He also doesn't write much about the materials he releases into the air and the water and what his environmental footprint looks like.
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The bigger issue however is that The Editor still hasn't addressed "the most dangerous concealed weapon in our society". We need a focused effort to confront the spread of HIV+AIDS that is resulting in massive death and quality of life issues. The Editor and his media partners refuse to engage this issue, why? What are they afraid of?
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/02/hivaids.html
 

Longer School Year

Roanoke Times, 3/19/05, Pg VA 8: Governor Warner says high school performance troubling, also too many dropouts. Solution: Gov. Warner suggests longer school year.
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Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different outcome. The Editor, Gov. Warner and many others just don’t get it! Spending more time and money doing what doesn’t work is foolish. They need to spend a semester in a classroom with a significant number of youngsters who not only are dedicated to the premise that they shall not learn, but are committed to ensuring that others do not learn either. We need to focus on the teaching-learning process and classroom environment and develop systems that will allow those who want to learn to do so, and provide meaningful alternatives for those who do not wish to participate in the traditional educational process.
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/100000-k12-education.html
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Tuition Explosion

Roanoke Times, 3/19/05, Pg VA 1, 8: Tuition at community colleges to increase; have increased by 83% since 2002.
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Once again The Editor presents these massive increases in college costs without one word about the underlying elements of cost and what is causing them and what options are available to stop the hemorrhaging. Apparently college cost is no problem for The Editor and his associates and media partners. His answer: don't ask, don't tell: just raise taxes and fees!
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http://roanokeslant.blogspot.com/2005/03/vt-costs-skyrocketing.html
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