Just some random thoughts that have been floating around in my cranium for the past few weeks…..
More and more Americans are turning to the internet to get their dose of daily news. And with good reason. The Internet isn’t tied down by electrical cords and pictures are now being streamed live from all over the world. Combine those pictures with first-person reports and you beat television into the ground like a grounding rod. Even raw footage (unedited) is more popular than the “washed” version the big TV networks present – all to fit a time restriction between commercials.
I’m not sounding the death knell for television news just yet. Far from it, really. I expect TV news programming to continue for many years to come, it will just slide down a notch or two from its lofty perch as the primary source for information in the 21st century. Newspapers and news magazines? Toast. Their work is always 24 hours old, at the very least, and if it were not for the obituary listings, most folks would not subscribe.
With the advent of the new media – a term first used years ago by my blogging partner, Jane Jamison at Uncoverage.net – comes the very same pitfalls as TV news. Political leaning – or even outright bias – is difficult to avoid. Putting a political slant on a news report can change the public’s perception of that event entirely. The days of totally unbiased reporting are long gone and I doubt we’ll ever see their return. Everyone has an opinion and they think you should know what it is. Some are even contractually employed to turn out politically slanted news reports to support a political ideology.
NBC News is probably the perfect example. Between the network staff and it’s cable division – MSNBC – you can easily document a VERY heavily slanted political ideology. What’s surprising, to me at least, is how far left that operation has turned over the past decade. What used to be a respectable network has turned into a working wing of the far left Democrat party.
I don’t believe in age discrimination, but what we’re seeing for writers and reporters today is far different from yesteryear. There was a time when the wisdom of age was a critical factor. Today, not so much. Snot nosed kids are being trotted in front of the TV cameras to deliver their “words of wisdom” to those of us in the huge majority, who see and hear just plain foolishness in their words.
And the same goes for writers. Kids with life experience spanning all of 20 years are cranking out their political feelings to an audience preparing for their 50th class reunion (like me!). What they think and what they have to say is of little importance to those of us who have lived three times longer and experienced far more in life that’s really important. Quite frankly, they don’t know what they’re talking and writing about.
I have to chuckle when I read a news report suggesting the US economy is “on the rebound”. Things are looking up. The great recovery is taking place. All of this based on a cherry-picked federal report indicating that last month’s car sales were the highest since “x” number of months ago. Meaningless drivel when compared to the big picture, but that’s how you take one positive and use it to create an impression in the minds of very impressionable people.
The fact of the matter is, this country is racing toward insolvency at every level. Major cities – and some counties – are filing bankruptcy. Many states are incredibly overburdened with debt and deficit spending. And the federal government insists on digging the hole deeper by printing and spending more money. As if borrowing 40 cents on every dollar isn’t bad enough. At the rate we’re going, it will take fifty years of exorbitant taxation to balance our federal budget…..if then. Not even having a federal budget makes that cheese much more binding.
But not according to the countries leadership. Get ready to hear – for the fourth Summer in a row – that it’s “Recovery Summer”. It never was a recovery summer and this one won’t be either. The worldly wise young writers and broadcasters will trumpet the news and at least half of the populace will believe it!
Probably the greatest mathematical hoax ever perpetrated on the American people is the percentage of Unemployment. A high number – anything above 5% – is bad. Any number lower than 5% is deemed “good” or normal or acceptable. So when the actual number climbs to 6% the math wizards in DC simply changed the formula – stopped counting those who were frustrated and gave up looking for a job – and produced a number that was below 5%!
If you ever want to know what the actual percentage of unemployed Americans really is, just research “U-6 Unemployment.” Here’s just one example from last August, as posted by the Washington Times:
“Recent reports show that unemployment is increasing in almost all states. However, the official numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are very misleading. The 8.3 percent figure (called U-3) for last month does not include those who have become discouraged or are no longer seeking work.
John Williams from Shadowstats.com estimates that the real unemployment rate is around 22 percent. This is because his methodology incorporates long-term discouraged workers who were defined out of official existence in 1994. It also includes the official BLS U-6 unemployment rate, which includes short-term discouraged workers.
Politically it is much better for incumbents to cite the much lower U-3 figure. After all, it is easier to defend 8.3 percent than 22 percent when seeking reelection.”
Heavily slanted news organizations, however, continue to insist that the more palatable, lower percentage is accurate. If you’ve been beating the pavement, trying desperately to find a job – and I know that millions of people are – this mathematical wizardry is of little consolation. (PS: The President whose administration invented this new math was William Jefferson Clinton.)
Today’s reported unemployment is 7.9%. The actual U-6 unemployment number is 15.4% – nearly double the “truth”.
Yet another hoax that’s commonly accepted as truth is the so-called minimum wage. Clearly a misguided effort to raise the hourly rate of pay for the lowest paid workers in America. The fallacy here is the thinking that by raising the minimum wage, workers will be better off. They’ll have more money to survive. The fact of the matter is, the worker who wasn’t worth the minimum wage before it was raised isn’t going to be worth the increase, either. Forcing small business owners to pay higher operating costs only increases the probability of no new hires! And perhaps even the layoff of one or two to offset the raise mandated by the government.
The higher minimum wage regulations are all part and parcel of the redistribution of wealth program we’ve been hearing so much about. Take from the rich and give to the poor. It doesn’t matter if they’re worth it or not, just give them more. Don’t consider the financial stress you’re putting on small business owners, especially. Just force them to spend more on overhead and reduce any profit margin that might exist.
Throw in a couple of tax increases at every level and put them right out of business.
I sure wouldn’t want to be a high school or college student looking for a summer job. They will be extremely scarce.
Oh, and one final note. My eight year old grandson plays youth ice hockey and just in case he becomes the next Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky, I thought it was important for you to know that he scored five goals in one game last week. Go, Riley, Go!
That is all.