Friday, January 11, 2019

Jayme Closs news conference somewhat sad

Jayme Closs, the missing teen in Wisconsin who escaped from her captor and found help, is a beautiful, good ending to an event that claimed her parents and kept her in captivity for several weeks.
    This was a perfect ending to what could have been even more heart-wrenching. It's not the happiest ending because her parents were killed in this event.
    But what will seemed out of place was the news conference held at 11 a.m. EST today, Dec. 11, 2019. 
    The police and justice officials holding the news conference were elated at the outcome. No one could be happier.
    But the news conference opens with nearly 15 minutes of one police or justice official after another stepped up to the microphone to commend the investigative efforts of the various departments during the period the teen was missing.
    I do not understand that. Their investigative efforts were fruitless. They had no leads. They were nowhere near to locating Jayme or her kidnapper.
    I certainly call their efforts short of being outstanding.
    I understand that they were trying and that many people were combining efforts to find Jayme. For their efforts, they should be commended. But the results of their efforts were fruitless.
    But it was Jayme herself that broke the case wide open. It was Jayme's bravery and survival instincts that saved her.
    The police departments didn't find Jayme. Jayme found them.
    Even though the news conference is a joyful thing, it sure could have been handled differently into who should get the credit.
    The credit goes to Jayme.
 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Democrat politicians are hypocrites

It's Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, and President Donald Trump, Senate Minority "Leader" Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have made their pitches to the American people in special prime time spots on the nation's networks about the need for a "wall" or "barrier" along the southern border of the United States.
     While they accuse Trump of childish temper tantrums, I find Schumer and Pelosi, and a few other Democrats as well, acting as hypocrites. 
    Years before, Schumer, Pelosi and other Democrats voted several times for a wall along the southern border. Since Trump has been elected, they took a 170-degree turn in their stance. 
    Why? Because Trump was elected. And they try to call Trump childish?
    The walls were never built when Schumer and Pelosi voted for them. You can fool some presidents some of the time.   But you're not fooling Trump.
    That's one reason people voted Trump into office. We knew he'd shake things up and try to drain at least some of the swamp.
    And like rats on a sinking ship, the Democrats are squealing.
     No need to talk more on this. We know what the Democrats are trying to do. We've seen their organized work last year with demonstrations on streets and inside the sacred walls of Congress' hearing rooms, and the attempts to smear reputations of others they don't agree with.
    And they think Trump is juvenile?  They should look in the mirror.
    Enough said.
 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Be careful what TV news feeds you

Walter Cronkite was a true journalist, a real TV anchor, and editor of his nightly news broadcast. So were many others, including Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. But that's not the case anymore.
     An anchor was what the word implied: an anchor, anchored in a newsroom, sometimes in New York and other times in Washington, D.C. They relied on a network of reporters worldwide, who gathered the information, put it together for a piece of the airtime their anchor afforded to it.
     A recent promotional spot aired by NBC (recent to me, it may have been aired many times before and I just didn't see it) the network referred to Lester Holt as their “NBC Nightly News” anchor.
     That made me think about the structure of the broadcast news organizations today.
     Lester Holt is not an anchor in the true sense of the term. I would bet he isn't even the editor-in-charge of the program's content. It shows how distorted and diluted the news has become overall.
     There was a day when the news was presented through the anchor by reporters on the scene, without opinion or slant, and left up to the viewers to make up their own minds about the information they are getting.
It was a direct reflection of the guidelines of earlier newspapers: News presented “without fear or favor, bias or prejudice.”
     Now I must admit the newspapers, even the largest of them, have been constantly violating those principles over the last decade. Even if the stories presented were on facts alone without the interjected opinions, quips and odd looks by the reporters, newspapers and television have slanted their coverage by omitting and ignoring covering some stories.
     It is a sad day for dedicated journalists such as myself. Because, as a retired journalist, I see how stories or ignored, and others skewed to direct the readers/viewers opinions to a pre-determined judgment that may or may not be accurate or true.
     If you don't believe me, record a television newscast, put all the words into writing. The, strike out all the “descriptive” and opinionated words that are not actual facts and see what you have left. The half-hour broadcast would be reduce to less than 10 minutes.
     The rest is opinion terms, sometimes mostly uninformed and inaccurate predictions of what would happen next, and statements how good or bad people should feel about what happened.
     Back to the original focus of this editorial.
     Lester Holt is NOT a news anchor. He IS a corporate showboater. NBC flies him and a crew to the scene of a developing story they think will highlight point of view to be promoted later. Besides the fact that officials have to spend time and support (funded by your tax money of course) to a crew for TV coverage that could have been better spent taking care of the event, it appears to demonstrate to viewers that the network doesn't really believe their local level reporter cannot handle the coverage they are paid to do, or just plain showboating to the public to try to get higher viewer ratings which, in turn, of course, translates to getting more money for commercials.
    Either way, officials should not be cooperating in providing and supporting a “glamorus production” of a broadcast by any network. They should give reporters the facts, of course, but not assisting in a production.
     No, Lester Holt is NOT a new anchor. He IS a showboater. The true facts of the news are buried beneath the haze and sour smell of the show coating.
     If the other news “anchors” and going on scene on the other networks, then they fit into the same category.
     So, a word of advice to you: Do NOT believe everything you are hearing and seeing on the network news shows. It doesn't have the credibility of true factual news content anymore. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Endorsing Rep. Lloyd Smucker for 11th Congressional Dist

I watched the debate between Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R) and Jess King (D) for the 11th Congressional District of Pa. that aired Tuesday, 10/30/2018, on WGAL-TV.
    I must admit that King, who is the challenger, appeared more informed and more confident handling the debate than Smucker.
    I consider myself an independent voter, leaning on the conservative side of many issues. I am of the mindset that Social Security was a trust fund and should be maintained, and that we should have a single-payer health system and get rid of all the greedy, profit-making insurance companies involved. A Medicare-for-all concept and have it paid for through payroll taxes instead of billing every month for insurance.
    I believe in border security and a providing a LEGAL way for immigrants to enter our country and to prevent entries that are illegal. I believe in a well prepared military for our protection. I believe in LESS government running our lives instead of people relying on government.    So you see, I am on both sides of the spectrum.
    King nearly had me convinced to endorse her as the best choice for 11th Congressional Dist. seat, based on her knowledge and general appearance. She appears she won't be "manhandled" and can take charge.
    But doubts reared its head when the pair debated their source of funding for the campaign. Smucker says King was taking funds from out of state. King says Smucker is taking it out of state, too, but it's from PACS, which she won't do.
    While King tries to smear Smucker with the "PAC card," a majority of her funding is coming from Democratic Party sources in California and New York.
    Worse than PACs, it's the decisions and actions of the Democratic Party that brings a dark cloud over civility and ethics in the political arena.
    It was the Democrats who launched a huge smear campaign against the then Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh. It was so obvious how it was orchestrated. Why no one has been held accountable for ethics violations for attorneys, or perjury charges is mind-boggling for me.
    It was the Democrats who vowed to fight any nominee for the Supreme Court brought by President Donald Trump. We're not talking qualifications here. We're talking 3rd grade juvenile attitudes.
     It was the Democratic Party that paid for protestors to appear at hearings and rallies. It was the Democratic Party that promoted and sometimes paid for protestors to harass Members of Congress and other officials at public places such as restaurants, theaters, shopping malls, and elsewhere.
    It is the Democratic Party that appears like a bunch of uncivilized bullies and brats that want to take the toys home because the game didn't go their way.
    It is the Democratic Party that Jess King is aligned with, and unfortunately at this point in time it is not acceptable to me, a voter.
     Donald J. Trump was voted in as President of the United States to shake up the Washington power structure on behalf of the electorate. As rats scramble and squeal when in trouble, so have the Democrats. The more they squeal, the better the swamp is being drained.
     There's no reason to stop the shakeup until it's complete.
     So, I endorse Lloyd Smucker to continue as our 11th Congressional District Representative.
 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Shame on York mayor for trying to stop cop lip-sync video

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich has objected to a video produced by several sponsors as York City Police Dept.'s answer to a fund-raising lip-synch challenge being held by numerous police agencies.
    According to TV news sources, the mayor backed an objection by the local NAACP that the owner of Maple Donuts, one of the sponsors, is "racist." The mayor did not want the Peoples Bank Stadium to play the video publicly. The York Revolution was one of the sponsors.
     Below is the copy of the letter I wrote to Mayor Helfrich and delivered to his office at city hall Friday morning, Aug. 31, 2018.
      --------
 
Mayor Helfrich:
     I was born, raised, and worked and lived in York from 1941 up to the Riots of '69, and continue to love the city, even though its lure and infrastructure has been declining the past few decades. So I write this to you based on my love and concern.
     I saw the news story break about your response to a video made by your police department as a fund-raiser for a worthy cause and you apparently had it pulled from YouTube, based on an allegation that the company making the doughnuts is run by “racists.” It was your response because, as I understand the reports, the local NAACP complained.
    (Editor's note: The mayor did not try to have it removed from YouTube, but wanted the Peoples Bank Stadium not to show it to the game's crowds.)
     I thought you would have had more “gumph” than that. A group feels offended because a businessman's views are opposite theirs and you make the judgment that it's racist. The trouble with politicians today is that everything must carry a label and if the label isn't your view, you try to silence it.
     There are too many ways to combat your actions to mention them all. First, there's freedom of speech. Second, I believe the actions (including statements) of a group or person that ultimately hurts or destroys a business, allows for that business to sue for compensation.
     Most importantly, your own police department had the good heart to help with a fund-raiser with a video that played on the decades-old joke theme of a cop eating doughnuts. So they go to a doughnut shop. A simple doughnut shop. Oh, no, someone gasps, that shop owner is a racist!
     Well, we can't have that! We'll have to sit them all down and train them to be more aware of such things.
     I don't know who the owner is but I'm guessing it's the same company that used to advertise on billboards with double-meaning phrases based on news of the day and their products. “Free O.J!” is the one I remember, which of course could be taken two ways, free O.J. Simpson (who was on trial at the time) or free orange juice at the doughnut shops.
     So, since you want to play the sensitive little mayor and accept all the accusations coming from various people and groups, let me tell you this: I am offended by you and your lackadaisical, corrupt city government every time I come into the city because of the neglected condition of the city's roads and streets. I'm dodging potholes, intentional depressed manhole covers, ruts, hundreds of utility cuts with replacement road asphalt that has sunk down or has been raised too high, etc., which would give any visitor to York the impression York doesn't want you there in the first place ... at least not in a good quality car. I am offended at how you and previous administrations have left the infrastructure continue to go to hell.
     I have heard the stories of how long it takes a city employee to do simple projects, after it takes weeks to get started from when it was reported.
     I had hoped when you were voted into office some things would change, and you would have made an effort to change the perception of the city and its government for the better. But instead, it seems you carry on the tradition of the past few mayors ... promote and help for block parties, special events, etc., but ignore the physical infrastructure and let it deteriorate all the more.
     Why don't you, first of all, have a spine and stand up for your own police department on a good cause?
     Why don't you push for things that will make York inviting to people, besides the planned promotion efforts?
     Fix the streets and have your traffic signals responsive to varying traffic flow times.
     Push aggressively and publicly to stop the gun violence by getting the criminals off the streets.
     This big push-back over a police fund-raising effort is a joke and you, like a traditional muck politician, are spending far too much time and effort on such matter.
     My statements here will be public. And no, you're not going to silence this one.