Sunday, December 05, 2010

Double standard? Or just bigotry?

Under the heading "Palin has history of being a quitter" is this really rather stupid letter to the "editor": Referring to the fact some people in the Tea Party movement and in the Republican Party endorse Sarah Palin, a writer claiming to be Scott C. Wilson asks, "I wonder if it has occurred to them that they're supporting a person who has a recent history of being a quitter."
Yep, it's a fact that every time she has been elected governor, Sarah Palin quit. Every time. That is quite a record.
The alleged Wilson went on to conclude, "I might be a bit old-fashioned, but when you commit to something you're supposed to finish it. ..."
Now let us hold our breath and wait for the alleged Wilson to note Barack Obama quit his Senate seat with four years to go. (Of course, he actually wasn't often there in that seat even while holding the office, but that's another discussion.)
My number one question on the Sarah Palin matter is this: Why is all the opposition so filled with animosity? Why does no one say "I oppose Sarah Palin because she believes this, or that, or the other"?
No, it's always animosity, very seldom fact based. Sarah Palin is subject to personal attacks that are usually half-baked or hypocritical.
But that's just right for the Times Free Press Perspective.

Vulgarity reigns supreme

Once again "TheRant" demonstrates the small- and dirty-minded character of whoever edits the Perspective section of the Times Free Press.
On Sunday, 5 December, is this: "SARAH! Cause it's about time we have a president we want to see naked."
Besides the general lowness of class, it is moronically broad -- that is, general. I performed an unscientific survey and asked a very intelligent colleague, "Would you like to see Sarah Palin naked?" I was told in no uncertain terms, "Absolutely NOT!" And she also me told not to bother her any more.
Sure, there are lots of people, even otherwise taste-challenged Democrats, who lust after Sarah Palin, at least in their hearts, but is this really family "news" paper material?
By the way, we have had a president apparently many people -- mostly female people -- did see naked, some not at all willingly, according to reports.
While it might not really say anything about the country or society, it certainly does say a lot about the so-called "news" media that someone of that small caliber can be elected to any office.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big bad Wolfe, little worse editorialist

While the "news" paper can't seem to find any room, or qualified reporter, to report on John Wolfe's views or positions on any campaign issues, it always finds room to mention some failing.
In the Saturday, 30 October, issue, is a big mention on his campaign's not having its filings up to date, and a mention that his 2010 campaign is running with money left over from a previous campaign.
Really important stuff.
But what does John Wolfe stand for?
For that matter, what does any candidate in this or, really, any other race stand for?
Even the allegedly endorsing editorial -- Times editorial endorsements are just knee-jerkily for Democrats -- takes time for a sneer:
"John Wolfe may be fighting a losing battle in carrying the Democratic banner -- again -- in the District 3 race, but he is easily the best informed candidate around." Which is sheer nonsense, of course.
However, in the "debate" mentioned previously, Mr. Wolfe did show more knowledge about foreign policy than the two others who showed up.
However, Mr. Wolfe is woefully lacking in knowledge about, for example, economics, about the Constitution (even though he is a lawyer), and about the nature of human rights.
Come to think of it, that also, and better, describes the editorial writers of the Times.
I guess, if I had to choose between the Times and Mr. Wolfe, I'd take the latter. He, as evidenced by his late radio talk show, is at least willing to listen to other opinions.

Editorial points out a shameful fact

Despite the millions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours spent by candidates and campaigns, Tennessee again had a low voter turnout.
There are, of course, many reasons for that, including generally lousy, even terrible "news" reporting.
Another reason is the difficulties placed on ballot access by Tennessee election laws.
Still another is the lack of quality candidates and, in some races, the lack of any opposition to entrenched incumbents.
At least six legislative positions were not contested.
It is not possible to have good government -- if there even is such a thing -- without broader citizen participation.

Monday, November 01, 2010

No surprise: More bad reporting

In its continuing lousy coverage of the Third District race, this is a paragraph from a story on Sunday, 31 October: "Also running are tea party independents Savas Kyriakidis, co-owner of the Acropolis restaurant in Chattanooga, and businessman Mark DeVol, of Oak Ridge, along with several other independents."
Two gross errors: Mr. DeVol lives in Andersonville, not Oak Ridge, and three of the other independents have withdrawn and endorsed Mr. DeVol.
Only Don Barkman has not withdrawn, but he has campaigned almost not at all.
Normal people might think a "news" organization would know this.
And perhaps a genuine news organization would.

More TFP schizophrenia

Only slightly surprising, the Times has editorially endorsed John Wolfe for Congress.
We expect a knee-jerk endorsement for every Democrat, even Democrats who have not campaigned and who are almost totally unknown. (However, apparently strangely, the Free Press often endorses Democrats, at least locally, and it might prove some kind of open-mindedness missing from the Times editorialists but the Democrats so endorsed are nearly always terrible legislators.)
Here is the schizophrenic part: The "news" department continues its mistreatment of Mr. Wolfe (who is an elitist and fascist, but otherwise a nice guy).
In the Sunday, 31 October, edition is this "news" story: "David Wasserman, who follows U.S. House races nationally for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, ... said ... there's no contest in Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District. He said Republican attorney Chuck Fleischmann, of Chattanooga, is the heavy favorite over Chattanooga attorney John Wolfe, a perennial Democratic candidate."
Harold Stassen was a perennial candidate. Nelson Rockefeller was a perennial candidate.
John Wolfe ran in 2002 and in 2004. He did not run in 2006 or 2008.
"Perennial candidate" is, of course, a pejorative term, a sneer.
And about what we expect from this rag of a paper.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No answer from new editor

This is the kind, courteous, concerned e-mail I sent to J. Todd Foster, the new executive editor, who has, naturally, already offered and broken promises to improve the TFP.
Despite so far three attempts to e-mail him, I have yet to receive an answer:

Dear Mr. Foster,
Recently a tele-marketer called to try to sell me on the Times Free Press.
I laughed at the notion of subscribing and told her why.
First, I do get the Sunday paper, and every week I find one particular feature to be a shameful pile of garbage.
Again, this past Sunday, your very biased and/or dishonest editors allowed into your paper some anonymous filth no decent and honest editor would pass:
"The only difference between the tea party zealots and the KKK is that one group wears white cone heads."
"I took someone's advice and listened to Glenn Beck. Well, he's even crazier than I thought."
Sir, you're new here (or at least new in your position) and you might be forgiven for being ignorant of this fact: Just on the edges of the TFP circulation, three black candidates were endorsed by the Tea Parties in their respective districts.
You should know, but the "news" media have been shamefully ignoring of the fact, that black speakers and black members have been at many Tea Party events.
Your other editors, though, have been told this previously, yet this filth continues in your paper.
If you don't understand why your circulation is dropping, and will drop further, this is part of the reason.
A very few weeks ago, I sent e-mails to every editor listed on your Web site, and to several reporters, inviting them to an event with a syndicated columnist. I sent it twice.
Not one person -- actually one, who was courteous enough to send his regrets because of a funeral -- had even the simple courtesy to reply. And of course no "news" people attended, probably because the speaker's opinions did not fit the apparent prevailing bias of your staff.
Sir, even if you don't try to get honest news reporting, you could at least end the disgrace of anonymous garbage in "TheRant" each Sunday.
In the meantime, I'm trying to talk my friend into dropping it completely. Delivery has already been cut to weekends, but that kind of anonymous filth is not welcome in the homes of decent and honest people.
The only real quality there is the circulation department. Your carrier has been perfect.
Too bad about your news and editorial departments.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Morrison

Credit where it's due

As mentioned here previously, several times, the worst feature of a bad opinion section in a very bad paper is the execrable "TheRant."
But when, maybe two or even three times a year, someone manages to get in an intelligent comment, I must give credit. (Though I wonder how it got past the "editor.")
This was in the 24 October edition: "Two weeks before the election and the TFP sure touted the GOP bashing editorals and letters to the editor last week. Coincidence, I'm sure."
One of the very few credits to the TFP is the presence of two different editorial pages, the Times on the left and the Free Press on the right, in both senses.
Yet the Sunday Perspective section is always rather heavily weighted leftward, even though Steve Barrett usually makes sense and both Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams columns are usually featured on the Free Press editorial page.
The foul, hate-filled Clay Bennett cartoon sits prominently on the front page of the section and the racist Leonard Pitts, Jr., at the bottom of page 3.
But usually there is at least a pretense of presenting two sides -- itself a picture of part of what is wrong with the "news" media, that the media don't realize there are many more than two sides.
However, as The Ranter said, the previous week, every "Rant" and every letter was biased to the left, the Democrats.
The new executive editor, J. Todd Foster, invites readers to write him at ... but he has never answered me, so good luck.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Journalism' reaches a new low

Candidates for Congress in Tennessee's Third District, some of them, were invited to a "debate" by a local Tea Party organization Saturday, 16 October.
Three showed up, not including the Republican nominee, Chuck Fleischmann. By the way, please note that is a two-syllable name, properly hyphenated between the h and the m. An explanation follows.
So, appearing were independents Savas Kyriakidis and Mark DeVol, and Democrat John Wolfe.
According to the alleged reporter, Jessie Gable, who either slept through most of it, or who stepped out for a smoke, it "was pretty much a free-for-all against Republican nominee Chuck Fleis-chmann, who wasn't there to refute the attacks." Sic. Sick. As I have pointed out before, obviously no one reads the thing, so errors abound uncorrected. (The TV magazine has, for two weeks in a row, had some computer glitch that puts question marks alternating with every letter and space in one feature. It looks something like this: I?t?l?o?o?k?s?s?o?m?e?t?h?i?n?g?l?i?k?e?t?h?i?s? Even for the TFP that is incredible.)
"Democratic congressional nominee John Wolfe and independent Mark DeVol used the debate at Woodland Park Baptist Church to criticize Fleischmann."
Of course they did, among many other things they said.
"Wolfe referred to Fleischmann, who has stayed away from most multicandidate events, as the 'coward of the county.'"
Yes, Mr. Wolfe did, as he has before, noting that was a line from a country song (by Kenny Rogers?). I might not know who performed it, but even I know the source, and the "reporter" implies it's a gratuitous insult.
Mr. DeVol said Mr. Fleischmann was "up in Washington, D.C., picking out his furniture." That is a line Mr. DeVol has also used before, meaning, clearly, that the GOP nominee feels he has a lock on the seat, a feeling Mr. DeVol disputes.
The two independents "emphasized their conservative credentials to the audience of 100 or so people." There were many more than that.
"Indepent candidates Don Barkman, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries and Mo Kiah were not present."
Candidates Goodwin and Humphries both dropped out long ago and both have endorsed Mark DeVol. I alerted another "reporter" about that fact, weeks ago, but apparently no one at the TFP talks to anyone else while they're not reading their rag.
Mr. Wolfe gets dismissed this way: "Wolfe stumbled over the words 'Iraq' and 'Iran' in his answers. A group of his supporters clapped after almost every answer, although the audience was asked at the start to hold its applause."
Also not true.
The TFP has always disliked Mr. Wolfe and published lots of inaccuracies or criticisms over the years, and even the knee-jerk Times editorialists have not endorsed him. Mr. Wolfe just laughs it off, not expecting any accuracy or simple decency.
Fact is, though Mr. Wolfe has extreme and, in my opinion, often wacky, left-collectivist beliefs, he also had a lot of facts at hand, and he expressed his ideas and intentions to a much greater degree than he expressed criticism of Mr. Fleischmann.
And that was true of the other candidates, too. They spent their time telling us in the audience what they thought was right, was needed.
Only one other "news" medium even showed up ... well, one-and-a-half. Channel 61 "news" is run by Channel 9 "news." Saturday night, though, Channel 61's broadcast, because of some sporting event, appeared on Channel 53.
After a very superficial story, about like the TFP's, another story followed in which "major races," governor and Congress, were mentioned, but only the names of Wolfe and Fleischmann were reported! Incredible incompetence and/or dishonesty is obviously not limited to the paper.
As I had told the TV reporter, that Chuck Fleischmann did not show up has been beat to death. Every forum and broadcast talk show in the district has harped and harped on the fact.
No, the story was what those attending candidates said, what they promised, what they believed and intended.
Tennessee has the second-lowest voter turnout in these United States. One reason: Because of slovenly "news" reporting, the voters don't know they have more than the usual lousy two choices. (Tennessee has very restrictive ballot access laws, and while Tennessee men and women are risking their lives in Afghanistan "to bring democracy," we don't have "democracy" here.)
Independent candidates get next to no coverage, except for a couple Internet fora and the radio talk shows, which, in Chattanooga, are almost the only open news outlets.
Despite promises by the new TFP executive editor, nothing is improving; everything is still terrible and apparently getting worse.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Times editorial page 'editing' continues to degenerate

"Editor's Note" to a letter, published Monday, 11 October, that endorsed Mark DeVol for Congress uses a cliched and erroneous term.
Letter writer Jim Sims, of Red Bank, endorses Mr. DeVol at least in part because the candidate "is for eliminating Congress' retirement program."
Mr. DeVol, who also favors term limits, stresses that members of Congress are supposed to be public servants, that they are being honored enough by being elected, and that the huge benefits and perquisites cost the people too much and are not deserved.
"Urban myths" is what the "editor" calls that. Even if it were an error, it is not an "urban myth," which is a particular class of erroneous beliefs.
Then, though the "editor" deigned to try to contradict the Sims letter, no answer is given to a really stupid letter from Ann Benton of Signal Mountain.
Among other nonsense, she says, "... corporations are buying Republican politicians."
Fact: More corporations gave money to the Democrat national convention than to the Republican national convention.
Multi-billionaire George Soros has decided not to fund the Democrats this year because, he said, he doesn't "want to stand in front of an avalanche." But you know his heart, even if not his money, is with the Democrats.
She said Republicans want to "Demolish Social Security and Medicare."
Where is any editorial rebuttal to that garbage?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It must be asked again: Stupid or dishonest?

In a not very good paper already, quality takes another bashing with the continued presence of the garbagey "TheRant" each Sunday.
Even the new executive editor hasn't seen fit to get rid of it.
I hope everyone will write him,, and urge either new editors or a new feature. Frankly, either would be an improvement.
In the edition of Sunday, 26 September, is this shameful trash: "The only difference between the tea party zealots and the KKK is that one group wears white cone heads."
And this ugliness: "I took someone's advice and listened to Glenn Beck. Well, he's even crazier than I thought."
If "TheRant" has published any hatred like those aimed at the left-collectivists, I have never seen it. And even if I had, I would say the same thing: No quality "news" paper would publish such anonymous garbage. No decent, rational editor would allow it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Asking for help with an adjective

Self-righteous hypocrite is not quite the right terminology (and I'm serious about needing help finding the right word or words), although it might come close, for describing the author of a column in the edition of Sunday, 26 September.
Somebody named Garrett Gruener writes, according to the headline writer, "I'm rich -- and I don't mind if you tax me more."
There is an effrontery and, frankly, a dishonesty that would, of course, appeal to the left-collectivists of the "news" media and other Democrats, but which is highly offensive to working and producing people.
Mr. Gruener claims to be an entrepreneur, though I must admit I've never heard of him, or if I had I've forgotten.
Regardless of his fame or lack thereof, what is so irritating about that claim is this: If he really wants to pay more money to any government, all he has to do, especially since he is "rich," is write a check.
No, what he is actually saying is "I want you to be taxed more."
In fact, whenever you hear a "news" person or academic or other Democrat say "They voted to tax themselves," you know it's an untruth. What people voted for was an additional tax on others.
Anyone, rich or not, can always carry money or write a check to any government or governmental body, if they really want it to have more.
Decent people, including even the occasional Republican, but apparently not any Democrat office-holder, believe people ought to be allowed to keep their own property, their own lives, and even their own money -- even "rich" people, a term which keeps being defined downward during these Obama years.
Mr. Gruener, whoever you are, please keep your sticky hands out of my pockets, and Times Free Press "editors," please learn something about economics, about history, about honesty, and about morality. Please.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Amazing: TFP publishes front-page story on Libertarian Party candidates in Georgia

So-called "news" media usually bend over backward to avoid mentioning any new party or any candidate falling outside the narrow guidelines of the media's own preferences or the even narrower guidelines of the media's knowledge.
But on Saturday, 25 September, the TFP not only acknowledged the existence of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, it treated the party almost as if it were credible.
Naturally it had to find two "experts" who said the LP had no chance, that kind of self-fulfilling prophecy "news" media are so good at and good with.
Here is the rather telling lead: "Though Republicans and Democrats catch almost all of the headlines, John Monds, the Libertarian candidate for Georgia governor, sees factors lining up so his party can make a historic run in the Nov. 2 election."
The fact that Monds is honest and capable could help with the voters, IF the voters can learn of his candidacy.
The Republican has a real problem with ethical questions, at least some of which were brought up by his primary opponent.
The Democrat was already governor once and lost his re-election bid, having angered several constituencies.
The TFP is to be honored for doing its job. If the "news" media just had the decency more often to give voters the facts, the truth, our country might not be in such a mess.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Perfect, easy solution

Thomas Sowell, in his column published 5 September, says the federal government, specifically the State Department, has used taxpayer dollars to send the imam of that proposed New York mosque (which is NOT at “ground zero”) on a diplomatic visit to the Middle East.
Being thoughtful and sensitive, I have thought hard and come up with the perfect compromise that should satisfy everyone, or at least other thoughtful and sensitive people: Let the New York Muslims build their mosque, and let us close down the federal government.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Still more evidence

In the edition of Sunday, 29 August, is a story about black re-enactors of the mis-called "Civil War."
One of the participants was quoted as saying re-enacting was a calling. "It just kept calling me when I discovered the history, because this was never taught to us."
Another said, "My teachers didn't know that black soldiers fought in (the war), so they didn't teach us that."
"New scholarship" is credited, as well as the movie "Glory" and "Ken Burns' PBS documentary" on the war.
However, there was a man named George S. Schuyler who had previously written on that subject. Alas, he had also written his autobiography and called it "Black and Conservative," dooming it to obscurity in the left-collectivist controlled media and academia.
His autobiography can be found at
At Amazon, you can also find several versions of "Black Phalanx," a history of black soldiers from the Revolution onward. Highly recommended to serious historians and anyone just curious about that generally ignored aspect of history.

More evidence of left-collectivist racism

One more reason John Monds, Libertarian candidate for governor of Georgia, gets left out of "news" coverage: John Monds, Libertarian candidate for governor of Georgia, is black.
To rational people, his skin color is totally irrelevant.
To "news" people, though, it matters.
It matters because black people who stray off the reservation, black people who think for themselves, black people who don't follow a party line -- that party line promulgated by the "news" media -- are ignored, are treated as if they don't even exist.
Thoughtful humorist, and Georgia resident, columnist Ron Hart said, in 2004, "A recent Pew Trust poll told us what we already know: The major media in America are very liberal. They are out of touch with mainstream citizens and their reporting is agenda-driven."
He also said, "The major media are dying because of their lack of objectivity and their desire to use the news to achieve their agenda."

Remember November -- and forget "news" media

Unlearned (which is nicer than "ignorant") people might not be aware that, come November, the American people will have an opportunity to rectify a mistake made two Novembers back.
One mistake the people need to avoid this year is heavy reliance on the "news" media, perhaps especially the Times Free Press and definitely especially The Associated Press.
For example, in the TFP of Sunday, 29 August, there was a story of the three-way debate with the candidates for governor of Georgia, Republican Nathan Deal, Democrat Roy Barnes ... and, oh, yeah, Libertarian John Monds.
"Oh, yeah," because, as usual, the AP story barely mentions his name and, as usual, the points he tried to make during the debate get left to the bottom of the story which any local paper is likely to cut.
That happened to a candidate I was helping in 1998. Walker Chandler was running as a Libertarian for Georgia attorney general. In the debate, which Georgia public radio broadcast, the Republican and the Democrat just made fools of themselves, and resorted to some childish mud-slinging.
AP, as usual, mentioned the Libertarian as being present, then put his argument at the bottom of the story.
Next morning, when we couldn't find his name in the AP story in the local paper, Walker Chandler got angry at the sorry, dishonest coverage for the first time in the campaign.
I talked to the assistant managing editor and asked why. She said she had been in charge of laying out the paper that night. She also said her paper ordinarily moved that bottom-of-the-story mention of Walker Chandler to the top, since he was a local boy making good.
Alas, that night, being by herself laying out the paper, and being rushed, she didn't see his name, and the story remained in the lousy, dishonest format AP sent it.
Papers usually just clip the story where the space ends, and information at the bottom, no matter how important, just gets left out.
That, gentle reader, shows you how much "news" papers, including the Times Free Press, really care about content.
And that, gentle reader, shows you why "news" papers lose circulation every day, why "news" papers are being relegated to the dustbin of history as people seek their information from better, more immediate, more varied sources.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprise: No word from "anonymous"

But I will make one more comment.
Among the attempted insults was "your three readers."
Actually I have about seven: I, the two anonymouses, and three or maybe even four others who have commented.
We're open to the public, but we do have standards.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Anonymous name-calling

Recently some apparent coward wrote me a bit of hate-filled name-calling. I didn't read it all and obviously haven't published it -- not for the reason the person seems to ... I won't say "think," but feel.
No, I didn't publish it, not because it is an attack on me, but because it was anonymous and too general to respond to.
If the person had been paying attention, he or she would have seen a previous anonymous attack but with a specific point. Granted, some people thought I had made it up because it failed so miserably to hit its target, but I didn't.
This current attacker called me a "bully," which would be laughable, I guess.
I well remember my first encounter with a bully, two really big kids, monstrous fourth-graders. I was a scrawny little second-grader, so "monstrous" is relative, of course,.
After entering the boys' room, I was accosted by the bullies who demanded I say "yes, sir" to them. I said, "No, sir."
I got my head banged against the wall a few times but never said more than "no," dropping the "sir."
Maybe the bell rang, but the episode ended with my never acquiescing.
I have my name on this blog, and anyone who has paid attention knows my primary political doctrine is the ZAP, the Zero-Aggression Principle. I do not initiate force. By no rational definition can a sane person call me a "bully."
Here, on my blog, I can state a fact or opinion and someone can respond. If it's relatively civil and without obscenities, a response will be published -- IF it is signed.
Let me return to those school days: In junior high one day I shoved the school bully, who responded with a shocked look and almost tears in his eyes: "Why did you shove me?"
Like all real bullies, he was a coward and my little display of anger and even physical response so unnerved him, he never bullied me again.
So I know, from real life, what bullying is.
Bullying includes a government's telling individuals to live a certain way, or else.
Bullying includes threats, which governments are fully capable of carrying out.
Bullying includes intimidation.
How my stating facts and even opinions can be called "bullying" escapes my understanding.
So if this anonymous name-caller wants to write a third time, signing his or her name, and now I need some kind of proof, too, I will be more than glad to publish all three comments.
This is Monday, 16 Aug. By an interesting coincidence, I had planned to post this comment today replying to the anonymous hate post and found the second one sneering that I hadn't posted the first.
Well, here is why. If you have any courage, please respond. But I won't hold my breath.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Logic in "The Rant"

Out of many bad features in the TFP, "The Rant" is the worst, generally even worse, more ignorant or hate-filled, than the Times editorials.

For thoroughly fouled-up logic, consider this gem from 18 July: "People complain gripe and hate our government but seldom offer any solutions. Remember what nine years of war has cost our nation." (sic)

And this one, which has become one of the Democrat Party's talking points: "George Bush cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and 15 million people lost their jobs to pay for those tax cuts."

Perhaps the new editor will use some thought and eliminate this moronic anonymous garbage.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Two funny comments

In the usually abominable "Rant" of Sunday, 1 August, is this: "Overheard while giving out free U.S. Constitutions at Pops in the Park: A woman replied 'No Thanks, I'm a Democrat.' "

Almost as funny, if it weren't so sad: The TFP apparently has a new executive editor. His name is J. Todd Foster. "And I will share with you a pledge I made July 3 ...: We will give the news impartially, without fear or favor ..."

Yep, we've been seeing that same joke for many decades now. Originally it was on the Times, and was less true than even now.

OK, Mr. Foster is new. We'll give him a chance, but we're not holding our breath.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inside look at behind the scenes

Following is a slightly redacted e-mail sent from a TFP reporter to candidates in a certain congressional district race.
I'm leaving out the reporter's name and anything else that serve to identify individuals.


As you can see from this e-mail list, there’s quite a few of you running for the (redacted) Congressional District of Tennessee. My name is Red Acted and I’m going to be doing my best to cover each of you fairly in the run up to the election. (Yes I know it’s a bit late to send this, but I’m new here. Doing the best I can.) A couple of housekeeping notes.

  1. Please give me a good number to reach you the night of the election. By this number, please include your name, age and party affiliation. I know that’s redundant, but with so many of you in the race it will make it easier for me to keep track of things.
  2. A number of you have come in for editorial board meetings over the past few weeks and more than one has said they would release their IRS forms (I’m thinking specifically of Mr. X and Mrs. Y, but I wanted to expand this opportunity.) Any candidte that wishes to provide their most recent tax returns may e-mail them to me here or fax them to 423-668-5039.

Good luck to all of you and I look forward to working with you.

Of the candidates who told me about this, some wondered if the person was really a reporter, considering the poor writing style and spelling. I assured them that, yes, that is par for the course at the TFP.
Some also questioned the reporter's wanting to see their Infernal Revenue returns; so do I.
There is not, to my knowledge, any legal requirement for such a declaration. If there is, there shouldn't be; and if there is, it would be unwise, I think, to send it to a stranger.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Good point foolishly attributed

After some e-mail communication about the horrors of "The Rant," those frequently incredibly stupid and often just nasty anonymous short pieces, apparently the editors of the Sunday TFP are exercising a little more care.
But not much.
For example: "Thomas Jefferson said, 'Seventy percent of the people want free enterprise, 30 percent don't. So why is the 30 percent in charge?' Sound like today?"
It is a very good point ... but it is NOT something Thomas Jefferson ever said.
Any knowledgeable newspaper editor -- of which apparently there isn't one in the Tri-State area -- should know the term "free enterprise" was not in use then.
And that mythical editor should know that, at the time of Mr. Jefferson, mostly it was the free-enterprisers who were in charge.
OK, by no means one of the worst errors in this error-filled section of this error-filled publication, but another example of carelessness that calls into question every word in it.

Phooey on the people, raise them taxes!

Perhaps it would be like Adolf Hitler's declaring the Sabbath to be a holy day for the Chattanooga Times editorial page to support a rational economic policy (after all, it considers Paul Krugman to be an economist), but its editorial of Sunday, 27 June, is certainly one of its most fascistic and cynical.
In a time of high unemployment, high foreclosure rates, and general consumer worries, its editorial, "Fiscal reality begs tax hike," surely hits a new low even for these economic illiterates.
Chattanooga's mayor, Ron Littlefield, called for an outrageous tax hike, so outrageous that a recall was promptly initiated.
Even the members of the silly council objected ... but only to the outrageous amount, not to the horrible premise.
Still, the big government addicts who write the "down with the people" and "down with freedom" and "up with more government" editorials couldn't or wouldn't see the evil.
The Times will support big government under probably any circumstance.
And what is worse, calling the insanity "fiscal reality" really adds insult to the injury.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

He is but a man

No columnist, no economist, no thinker, no substitute talk-show host in the world stands higher in my estimation than the great, the extraordinary Walter Williams.
Despicable as the Times Free Press is, I still look forward to Sundays because most Sundays, Dr. Williams' column appears, right beneath one by Thomas Sowell.
On 23 May, though, I was reminded of the pageantry of a victorious general leading his troops into Rome to be greeted and adored. He would be riding in a chauffeur-driven chariot pulled by gleaming white horses, and right behind him would be a slave murmuring into his ear (in the King James Latin), "Thou art but a man ... thou art but a man ..."
Just in case your senses have been dulled by too much reading of the TFP, the point was to keep the general's feet on the ground, to keep his head from swelling, to remind him he was a mortal, not a god.
Alas, Walter Williams is but a man. His 23 May column is titled "Immigration and liberty," but, double alas, he doesn't present his usual impervious argument in favor of liberty ... nor in favor of immigration.
He begins, "My sentiments on immigration are expressed by the welcoming words of poet Emma Lazarus' that grace the base of our Statue of Liberty: 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' Those sentiments are probably shared by most Americans and for sure by my libertarian fellow travelers, but their vision of immigration has some blind spots. This has become painfully obvious in the wake Arizona's law that cracks down on illegal immigration. ..."
Then he blots his copy: "There are close to 7 billion people on our planet. I'd like to know how the libertarians answer this question: Does each individual on the planet have a natural or God-given right to live in the U.S.?"
No one is asking such a silly question.
It is a straw man.
Worse, it deviates sadly from Dr. Williams' usual position that an individual is self-owned, that it is the individual that counts.
Such a question begins, instead, with the premise of the nation-state, with individuals being merely components thereof.
Even more worse, his last sentence begins, "Most importantly ..."
As I have told clients and students, "importantly" is nearly always wrong. Correct use of "importantly" might be in this example: "President Obama strutted around importantly."
Walter Williams remains one of the greatest minds on Earth, however he is but a man.

Golden oldie reminds us

Looking back to Thursday, 6 November 2008, we can see a glaring reminder of just why so many reasonable individuals believe the Times Free Press to be a miserable excuse for a "news" paper.
In the Metro&Region section of that day the "journalists" and editorializers (so often the same people) were still basking in their accomplishment, there appeared this headline:
"Voters still relishing Obama's victory."
Bear in mind that the circulation area of this rag voted pretty overwhelmingly against Barack Obama and you will surely wonder what was going through whatever passes for a mind in the layout department.
Well, of course, some voters relished that victory, apparently including a large segment of the "news" media generally, but certainly including some pretty second-rate headline writers at the TFP.

Defending the indefensible

Following a post quite some time ago, "Racist Stulce endorses racist Bennett," I got an anonymous comment, to which I replied, and then I got this anonymous comment (also printed at the original post):

Anonymous said... I will apologize for my actual errors seeing as how I'm an engineer in the navy, not a writer like yourself. But, what I refuse to apologize for is my accusation of you personally attacking Bennett. If you reread your last paragraph, and can't see any attacks, you must be blind. To someone who knows personally that Clay is one of the most anti-prejudice and unbigoted men I've ever met, that looks like an attack. Yes, our CIC is black, so Clay draws him as a black man. That's the closest he's ever come to being a racist. Honestly sir, if you falsely accused me of being a racist, when all my friends and family know that I do everything possible to eliminate any racism or bigotry in my life and workplace, you'd get a good old fashioned military ass-chewing. And in mine and Clay's eyes alike, that is an attack.
Oh, by the way.. I'm remaining anonomous to save my family from any further personal attacks, thank you. I have the iron and resolve of a true american sailor, so please, don't challenge my courage.

I have no idea what those letters on the bottom line mean, but I left everything just as it was written. Let 'em hang themselves.
Apparently poor Anonymous doesn't really grasp English, judging not only by his spelling but by his complete failure to understand what I said originally, and in my reply to his first anonymous comment.
He tells me "don't challenge my courage," as if joining the Navy (note the capital) is conclusive proof. No, conclusive proof would be his signing his name and standing proud for what he believes, whatever that might be.
Certainly a lot of brave people have joined the military, although I knew a man in Arizona who joined the Navy to stay out of the range of North Vietnamese bullets ... and was made into a corpsman [which is NOT pronounced "corpseman"], was assigned to the Marines, and got wounded three times!
Again, I don't attack Clay Bennett, except as a lying and vicious racist cartoonist. He is a racist, as I have explained several times, apparently to no avail, not because he draws Pres. Obama "as a black man," but because he ignores black people who don't buy into the same vicious, fascistic, racist viewpoint he does.
A friend told me she thought Anonymous's first comment was a hoax, a put-on -- in fact, she accused me of making it up -- then on re-reading just decided that, if that is an example of Clay Bennett's friends, he doesn't need any enemies.
However, even if he doesn't need any enemies, he keeps creating them, with every new cartoon attacking honest people, attacking people who prefer freedom to his desired racist, fascist system.
I, though, will not be an enemy of Clay Bennett, the person. I am not an enemy of much of any person, although, alas, there are persons who consider me an enemy, and there are persons who want to make me some type of political peon, me and every other individual.
But Clay Bennett, cartoonist of hatred, racism, fascism, and, yes, dishonesty, will definitely continue to be a target, though not an enemy.
By the way, why does Anonymous think being an engineer is an acceptable excuse to be semi-literate?
P.S. It is possible, although highly unlikely, that Mr. Bennett draws his vitriolic cartoons at direction from an editor or publisher or somebody. But it probably won't save his soul.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why does Times publish falsehoods?

Again the question: Incompetence or Dishonesty?
Please see the link at the top of the blog.
Someone has a book and a film titled "Not Evil Just Wrong."
The nice people producing them believe, and want us to believe, the "global warming" scammers are not intentionally telling us falsehoods, that in fact the "global warming" proponents do also believe what they are saying, but are, simply, wrong.
Is that what we should in turn believe about the people who produce the Times editorial page?
That they believe their hogwash, but are just uninformed? Or dumb?
On said page for Wednesday, 21 April, there is a letter with this sentence: "Rep. Randy Neugebauer called Rep. Stupak, a leading right to life advocate, a 'baby killer' while Stupak was addressing Congress."
What Rep. Neugebauer said was, in fact, that the bill was a baby killer, and he explained that and apologized to Rep. Stupak, and some "news" organizations did report the facts.
Now if I, a very limited consumer of "news," can know that fact, why can't the editors of this alleged "news" paper know it?
And if they know it, why do they allow a falsehood into print on their editorial page?
Yes, I realize it follows their tradition of allowing their cartoonist and their syndicated columnists to call Tea Party people "racist," when any honest or sane person knows that also is a falsehood. (To repeat, just in Memphis and in Mississippi, there are three Tea Party candidates who are black, a fact easily knowable to "news" people in Chattanooga.)
The mis-called editors botch the heck out of grammar and punctuation and change well-written and accurate letters frequently. So why can't they correct genuine errors, why don't they avoid falsehoods?
The same letter continues the apparent falsehoods about some congressmen being called racially disparaging names, although no one has offered any proof, and at least one person who was with the alleged victims said it didn't happen.
Why, to ask again, though expecting no answer, why do the editors of the Times editorial page continue to publish blatant falsehood?
Letter writer John Bratton, of Sewanee, might be blind and honestly ignorant. He might have an excuse to write such inaccurate garbage.
The editors have no excuse. They must know they are publishing falsehood.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time to reign in incompetent editing

Yes, I know what my headline says, but the "editor" for letters to the Times, Wednesday, 7 April, apparently doesn't recognize homonyms.
His letter head reads "Time to reign in wild spending."
The otherwise intelligent letter contains the same mistake, though it was not necessarily the writer who did it, but a real editor would have caught the error.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dat ol' debbil weed

Straight from watching scenes of "Reefer Madness," Lee Anderson editorializes on "Crime and 'medical' marijuana" in the 29 March edition.
"A common argument in favor of legalizing marijuana is that legalization would reduce the big profits available from illegal sales of pot and therefore reduce drug-related crime.
"That claim appears to be on shaky ground in numerous states:
* Armed men recently broke into a Colorado site where "medical" marijuana was being grown legally. They bound the people inside, rifled through their belongings and made off with marijuana and guns.
* Three days later, five people invaded the home of a legal marijuana grower near Seattle and tried to rob him of his supply. The owner and a suspect were wounded in a shoot-out. But police say the victim, whose operation has been targeted for theft eight times, had nearly 400 marijuana plants -- far more than the 15 he is permitted under Washington's "medical' marijuana law. Ironically, four of the suspects are believed to have been smoking pot when they hatched the robbery plan.
* Another Washington man was beaten to death when he confronted a trespasser on land where he legally grew pot to 'treat' back pain.
* Meanwhile, California police have documented seven slayings linked to legal 'medical' marijuana in a one-year period, plus dozens of other crimes. In one case, a security guard was gunned down as he stood watch at one of Los Angeles' hundreds of 'medical' marijuana shops.
"'Whenever you are dealing with drugs and money, there is going to be crime. If people think otherwise, they are very naive,' Scott Kirkland, police chief in El Cerrito, Calif., told The Associated Press. 'People think if we decriminalize it, the Mexican cartels and Asian gangs are going to walk away. That's not the world I live in.'
"It seems the marijuana business and the crime associated with it are alive and well even in places where it is now legal."
Mr. Anderson is making the same mistake so many illogical people who are motivated by irrational religious prejudices have made: Ignore all other evidence and point to the bad stuff I don't like however nebulously associated it is.
People rob liquor stores, too; people hijack tobacco trucks.
Heck, people even steal newspapers, although that certainly is petty theft.
Do we, in those other cases, blame the stolen object?
Mr. Anderson's petty habit of putting quotation marks around the word "medical" in reference to marijuana just emphasizes his ignorant prejudice.
Even cocaine has medical uses.
Last I heard, the federal government, the very picture of schizophrenia, was giving marijuana to about half a dozen glaucoma patients.
A man I met several years ago told me he had been in a federal experiment testing whether marijuana would help his epilepsy. Parkinson's patients are given, in federal hospitals, a THC-derived medication.
Lots of things are bad for people and lots of things are bad for some people and not bad for others and there is no place for government to be involved.
Heck, it is very bad for one's health to read stupid and fascistic editorials. Should those editorials or editorializers be outlawed?

Down with "corporatist" politicians

Letter writer Amos Nance, of Jasper, Tenn., is one of those eagle-eyed, alert citizens whose vigilance will save us.
Editors put the head "Reform shows GOP to be corporatist" on his letter of Saturday, 3 April.
Mr. Nance wrote, "America will now find out that the health care reform bill was not the monster under the bed that Republicans said it would be."
That's an interesting comment considering that no one yet knows just what IS in the bill.
But Mr. Nance concluded, "The health care bill can help expose them for what they are -- corporatist."
Yep, I have here a report on how many corporations donated to help the slimy Republicans hold their national convention in 2008: 50!
See? Fifty greedy capitalist pig corporations gave money to the greedy Republicans.
The good guys, the common-people-oriented Democrats were given money by only 75 corporations.
So there!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

'Fact or fiction?' headline for fictive article

Emily Bregel continues propagandizing for nationalized health care.
Her front-page article on Wednesday, 31 March, is headlined "Fact or fiction?" and piles more fiction onto the piles she has already shoveled out for us.
Her very first sentence echoes her previous piles: "From the debunked 'death panels' rumor over the summer to a politician's prediction of 'Armageddon,' overstated or outright false statements about the impact of reform are drowning out legitimate concerns over changes in the nation's health care system, some local health industry leaders worry."
Naively thinking, or hoping, that Ms. Bregel just didn't understand the English language, I wrote her some months ago about her terminology:
Dear Emily (this was my second e-pistle; she finally answered my first one after I made three attempts),
Here is the way I heard it, many years ago: A congressman from Asheville, North Carolina, would stand up in the House to give a speech, but would first wink at his co-conspirators and say, "This is for Buncombe," which, as you know, is the county in which Asheville sits.
Then he would proceed to pile up a bunch of ... well, buncombe.
"Bunk" became the shortened form of "buncombe."
Here is what Wikipedia says:

The American Heritage Dictionary traces the passage of the words bunk (noun), debunk (verb) and debunker (noun) into American English in 1923 as a belated outgrowth of "bunkum", of which the first recorded use was in 1828, apparently related to a poorly received "speech for Buncombe" given by North Carolina representative Felix Walker during the 16th United States Congress (1819–1821).[2]

The term debunk originated in a 1923 novel Bunk, by American novelist William Woodward (1874–1950), who used it to mean to "take the bunk out of things."

Often the term "debunkery" is not limited to arguments about scientific validity. It can also be used in a more general sense at attempts to discredit any opposing point of view, such as that of a political opponent.

So, as you see, "debunk" is a pejorative term and not really suited to the use you gave it. It would be acceptable in an opinion column or editorial, but it is out of place in what is supposed to be a non-partisan, objective news story.

Naturally, she didn't have the courtesy to reply; and, perhaps also naturally, she continues to propagandize, to "report" dishonestly, or at least inaccurately,

Surprising accuracy in editorial

"Chattanooga not 'OK Corral'" reads the lead editorial in the Free Press for Tuesday, 30 March.
Lee Anderson was referring to a string of shootings over a very short period of time, and at that he was a little anticipatory: There were more shootings before the ink was dry.
However, Mr. Anderson was, accidentally, correct: Chattanooga is not the O.K. Corral.
The O.K. Corral, in Tombstone, Arizona, had only one shooting.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bregel strikes, part two

Included in the advocacy piece masquerading as Emily Bregel's "news" story is commentary from the Orwellian-named outfit called the Tennessee Justice Center (sic) in Nashville.
Gordon Bonnyman is identified as the executive director and apparently his idea of "justice" is being able to tap into other people's money.
The new Robin-Hood-Nanny-State law is welcomed by Mr. Bonnyman as a huge relief, according to Ms. Bregel.
"Those reforms, I think, are just fundamental to making the insurance system work right," Mr. Bonnyman is quoted, meaning he too is tickled other people will now be forced to hand over their money to spend as he sees more fit.
Frankly, I now need to see a stomach doctor because of the treacly approach by this terribly partisan "journalist."
She does, surprisingly, manage to bury some not-so-palatable facts in the bottom of the story relating that, surprise, surprise, insurance premia will have to rise, but I'll bet Ms. Bregel still has too little sense of both economics and morality to understand.

Bregel strikes again

She wears a costume as "Socialized Medicine Woman," but her secret identity is mild-mannered reporter Emily Bregel.
Ms. Bregel is, if not the official TFP point woman for nationalized health-care, at least the semi-official one, the chief "news" page advocate.
In the Sunday, 28 March edition, she has a front-page story headlined "Opening for those locked out of coverage."
Her centerpiece is a woman who had had treatment for breast cancer. Bregel sort of quotes her: "I think the (health care) bill's really flawed, but we all know that pre-existing conditions (protections) are a must-have."
In other words, she's saying, I'm tickled there is now a law forcing insurance companies to hand me money.
Well, now I want to go to my insurance agent and say, "Sorry, but I wrecked my car yesterday, and so now I want to add full comprehensive and collision to my policy."
Let's be serious: I need my car; therefore someone must pay for it. I can't. And, heck, insurance companies have lots of money, so, Q.E.D.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trever does it again

Albuquerque-based cartoonist par excellence John Trever originally published the below art 19 February, but it appeared in the Free Press on 22 March, still very appropriate.
Mr. Trever is one of the best cartoonists in the history of the medium.

Selfishness helped health-care nationalization pass?

Why did that monstrosity of a bill pass? Here, from the front page of the Monday, 22 March, edition, is one explanation.
Identified as a "Medicare enrollee" and, worse, "UTC professor" -- which implies some level of education or knowledge (or should, anyway) -- Sonia Young cheered the passage of socialized medicine with this explanation: "My feeling is it's not the best bill possible, but it's better than nothing. I have a selfish interest in it as a senior and a mother of a cancer patient."
Now ordinarily "selfishness" is a shibboleth of the leftists: They denounce us with that epithet when we try to forestall their attempts at furthering their fascist welfare state.
Because we want to keep the fruits of our own labor, because we want to make the decisions governing our own lives, we are "selfish."
However, for years I have been trying to tell everyone that greed and envy are the bases of the support the left has among the population.
The left-collectivist politicians have a lot of success buying our votes with our own money.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who's the moron?

As badly assembled as the TFP is, honesty requires us to mention that not all the nonsense and stupidity and dishonesty originates there. Some of it comes to the TFP via syndicates and other sources, including the shameful Associated Press.
But in the Friday, 19 March, edition of the FYI Weekend insert is something even an alleged "editor" of the TFP should have caught.
Each Friday, the last inside page is called "Punch Lines," and sometimes there are funny jokes and stories and comments.
For some reason, each edition contains some of the garbage known as "Dave Letterman's Top 10," though it is almost never funny.
Now remember this edition comes just after we changed our clocks ahead one hour for the "Daylight Saving Time" imposed by the federal government.
This is titled "Top 10 dumb guy ways to use the extra hour (sic) of daylight saving time," with a note these are the "winning entries in online contest." (God save us from the losing entries.)
Here are a few:
10. Watching "60 Minutes" twice.
5. Try to make VCR blink 11:00 instead of 12:00.
4. Lose an anxious hour of sleep wondering what to do with the extra time.

Granted, the stupidity came from those people guilty of the Letterman show, but surely SOME person at the TFP should have read the dumb things and found something a little closer to real life, something aware we LOST an hour Sunday morning.
But, as I have noted several times, obviously no one actually reads the stuff before it goes to the press.

What's yours is mine

Headline on a Friday, 19 March, letter from someone using the name "Rachel Wheeler": "Propaganda halts health care bill."
(Actually, it is only propaganda, propagated by the "news" media, that has allowed it to get this far.)
I question that "Rachel Wheeler" is the real name of the letter writer because surely no person would use a real name to make such dumb comments.
Here is the topper: "Why allow providers of essential services and products to accumulate great wealth?"
In other words, precisely because you have something I need -- or want -- you should hand it over for free.
Is "Rachel Wheeler" not obviously a product of the Dr. Spock generation?
And no doubt also a dedicated reader of the nonsense so prevalent on the pages of the Chattanooga Times.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is this blogger the only one who reads TFP?

As has been suggested before, if the Obama administration starts handing out "stimulus checks" to "news"papers, we need to hope the TFP will hire some copy editors.
As has been mentioned before, apparently no one at the TFP office actually reads the thing before it gets printed.
Other than the editorial pages, the worst "edited" part is the shameful TV Times, which seems to be made up of scattered bits and pieces just thrown together.
Example, from the Feb. 28 - March 6 edition: In the TV Trivia quiz, Question 1 is "On the NBC series 'Suddenly Susan' who was Susan Keane? (a) Brooke Shields (b) Kathy Griffin or (c) cancelled after the first season?" (sic, honest).
Oh, and to make it really difficult, beside it is a photo of Brooke Shields.
Question 4 asks which soda was "Radar" O'Reilley's (sic) favorite, with one of the answer choices being "Dr. Pepper." Well, OK, I once worked with an "editor" who kept a can on his desk constantly and he spelled it wrong, too. He was just bad enough to have qualified for the TFP. (For anyone who doesn't know: There is no period in "Dr Pepper.")
In the SneakPeek (upcoming film releases) of the Jan. 24 - 30 edition: "Edge of Darkness (R) Wide Release - Centers on a veteran cop Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) whose only grown-up child (Novakovic) is murdered on the steps of his home. The cop unearths his daughter's secret life and discovers a world of corporate cover-ups and government collusion. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma, is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone asumes that he was the target. But he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life ..."
In the edition of Jan. 10 - 16: "The Book of Eli (R) Wide Release - A lone warrior (Denzel Washington) who must fight to bring society the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption. Oldman has been set to portray the despot of a small makeshift town who's determined to take possession of the book Eli's guarding.. (sic)"
And it's like that every week.

Columnist Dowd needs remedial English, as well

New York Times columnist Moron Dowd was one of the first to point a scurrilous finger and call the Tea Party people "racist," with, of course, no evidence (not that that has ever stopped or even slowed her down before).
Moron Dowd has long been in need of remedial study in logic and ethics, but her mess that ran Sunday, 14 March, in the Chattanooga Times proves she needs some refresher also in English.
She wrote of wanting to go to Mecca but, being both female and non-Muslim, she wouldn't be allowed to make the trip.
"And that's when the paradox sunk in ..."
Sure, the wrong tense has crept into American (and I don't know about English; it's mis-spoken in the United Kingdom, but I don't know if that verb form is botched over there as it is here),
The Disney people (and don't we miss Walt nearly every day?) heaped coals on the heads of grammarians with "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," but Moron Dowd is supposedly a professional writer.
And those "editors" at the vaunted, but obviously over-rated, New York Times are supposedly professional, too.
But apparently none of them and only this Hillbilly blogger does pay attention, or care.
The word, Ms. Dowd, is "sank"; and, Disney people, your word is "Shrank."

Brace yourself: Here is a compliment!

So, OK, nobody is perfectly bad. Even the Times Free Press has one local writer who got it right: Steve Barrett.
His column of Sunday, 14 March, is a gem of good writing and common sense and even good reporting, all of which are in very short supply in the TFP.
A current issue in Chattanooga is the alleged "gouging" of people who ignore "No Parking" signs and get their cars towed -- and then owe big bucks to the towing company.
Chattanooga city government office-holders are wanting to pass a law putting a cap on prices the towing companies can charge.
Mr. Barrett talked to tow company owners to get some facts about their costs in being in business, and about their potential liabilities.
It's worth noting, too, that the towees have broken a law, and have usually blatantly ignored signs saying they could be towed and would be liable for costs.
Mr. Barrett even talked to the board involved and found a member who is quoted regarding the tow companies' costs, costs beyond those normal to being in business: "That point has never been brought up, and that's a very valid point."
The second part of his Sunday commentary concerns "The Security Myth," and a quote I've never seen before is worth repeating: "Security is mostly a superstition," said Helen Keller "on the nature of reality."
His next paragraph quotes The Associated Press: "The trustees project that the Medicare fund will be depleted by 2017."
Those trustees are the same people, government people, who run the Social Security System and will run the new nationalized health care scheme.
Thank you, Mr. Barrett.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No surprise: Front-page advocacy in TFP

Probably it's more than a coincidence the headline on the front-page story says "Numbers count for federal aid," with a sub-head reading "Results mean $1,480 for every person recorded in community."
Then, in great, objective journalist style, the story, bylined Dave Flessner, begins, "A postal milestone is coming to your mailbox, starting this week, and your response will be worth millions of dollars to local governments across Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia."
The "news," already announced by tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in advertising, including even an obscenely expensive ad during the Super Bowl telecast, is "the Census is coming."
Here is where the non-coincidence comes in: That very day, Tuesday, 9 March, USPS brought me a letter, very personally addressed:

Dear Resident:
About one week from now, you will receive a 2010 Census form in the mail. When you receive your form, please fill it out and mail it in promptly.
Your response is important. Results from the 2010 Census will be used to help each community get its fair share of government funds for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share.

Below, in six different languages, is the instruction to "Go to for help completing your 2010 Census form when it arrives."
In the U.S. Constitution are these words regarding the census: "Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
That sentence has, of course, been seriously amended, but the next is operative and relevant to the census: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct."
And that's it.
"Enumeration" means a counting, an ascertainment of how many people there are so that representation can be determined.
Those very intelligent and knowledgeable people who wrote the Constitution never intended to create a structure for redistributing assets, for handing around the produce of working people to others.
To reiterate: The Census was meant solely to count people in order to know about proper congressional representation.
Today, though, it is being sold as another "share the wealth" scheme, a "get your share of other people's money" arrangement.
Frankly, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to throw my Census form into the garbage.
And by the way: Wouldn't it be better and simpler in the first place just to let me keep my own $1,480 instead of promising me someone else's?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Racism wins again

Semi-professional columnist (he gets paid but does a lousy job) and professional racist Leonard Pitts, Jr., made some interesting points in his Sunday, 7 March, outpouring, and some of the points he didn't intend to make.
First, let me note a few facts that won't be found in the TFP, or much of any other "lamestream" media.
Essayist and thinker Glenn Harlan Reynolds wrote in a column, "What I Saw at the Tea Party Convention," of two people in attendance who intended to go home to Mississippi and run for office.
They, like so many others there, were not experienced in politics, but were moved by the evils being perpetrated in D.C. and other seats of government.
The two Mr. Reynolds named were (gasp) black!
All right, that's reality. Reality and truth have never been known to stop such people as Mr. Pitts (or cartoonist Clay Bennett).
No, Mr. Pitts insists on seeing racism even though it isn't there.
Sometimes seeing what isn't there is an ocular problem, but often it is a mental problem.
Now, as if Mr. Pitts himself didn't already have credibility difficulties, he begins his column quoting the clinically insane Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.
"A few words on the meaning of tea.
"They are occasioned by a recent commentary from Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. The commentary -- you can find it on YouTube -- scores the tea party movement as the outcry of people who haven't yet made peace with the fact that their president is black.
"Everything else, said Olbermann, is euphemism. Taxes? Socialism? Budget deficit? No, he argued, when you strip away the pretenses and rationalizations, 'it's still racism,' and they hate the president only because he is black."
Now Mr. Pitts is apparently not as loony as Mr. Olbermann: "My point is not that Olbermann's argument is wrong," and of course we would never expect him to disagree with the MSNBC house crazy, "but, rather, that it is incomplete.
"Yes, race is obviously a component, and a major component at that ..."
Well, it goes on, and just further proves Mr. Pitts should be at least an outpatient.
MSNBC reached one of its nadirs when some of its screechy commentators were nigh fainting over a video showing part of a body that was armed and, worse, armed at an appearance of President Obama.
The MSNBC hysterics just couldn't accept that some obvious racist, and probable Klansman, would DARE appear in the crowd of a black president (their words) wearing a firearm. What a horrible sight!
Fortunately other, and genuine, news organizations also had video footage of that man with the holstered weapon. And the other organizations showed the whole person -- who is (gasp) black!
Well, Mr. Pitts, who is also black, obviously makes a pretty good living -- a better living than he deserves -- playing that proverbial race card.
But Mr. Olbermann, who is white, obviously reported on too many football games without his helmet (to paraphrase Harry Truman on Gerald Ford).
His rants are so beyond the pale, I can't understand why even Mr. Pitts would bother to quote him.
"Liar" is a word I hate to use, but Mr. Olbermann is either willfully blind, meaning dishonest, or perhaps just so incredibly stupid that he actually can't and doesn't see what is in front of him.
What is equally blind, stupid, and racist is the editorial policy of the TFP that every week prints a hate-filled and either dishonest or at least very inaccurate column by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Columnist Magee joins the mad rush

David Magee was blessedly gone from the pages of the TFP for some time and no one I know or know of missed him. Alas, he's back, further polluting the pages of an already dismal paper, causing the deaths of countless innocent trees, and joining the throngs of economic and constitutional illiterates in the media.
Since his return as a regular columnist, his work has been boring but generally innocuous.
His column of Thursday, 4 March, while still boring, is not innocuous. He echoes the call for nationalization of health care.
"Health care costs are rising faster than inflation," he wrote, apparently ignorant of the causes of inflation, or, probably, even the meaning of the word.
His last paragraph shows his total disdain for the plight of the working and producing people, as well as his ignorance of both moral and economic consequences: "Sure, the fix may not be exactly right. It may not even be halfway there. Anything, though, is better than the current situation, which does not add up."
His attitude, similar to that of President Obama, is also similar to that of the Nazis toward the end of World War II: They knew the Allies were winning; they knew they would not have time or opportunity to kill all the Jews, but they were willing to kill as many as they had in their power.
Mr. Magee, Pres. Obama, and so many of the other unthinking left-collectivists know they can't completely socialize these United States; they know the coming elections will throw a lot of them out of office; but they are willing to collectivize as much of the economy as they are allowed, and destroy a lot of lives doing it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Editors offer divergent views

As most educated readers know, editorial writers are generally the fuzziest thinkers and dullest wordsmiths even in the generally fuzzy and dull world of journalism.
In the edition of Wednesday, 3 March, the leftist Times editorializer hewed to the demagogic party line that the evil Senator Jim Bunning is grabbing food and medicine out of the mouths of starving widows and orphans:"Sen. Bunning's cruel hold."
The rightist Free Press ditto titles his editorial "Senator calls Congress' bluff."
Mr. Anderson's position is "Sen. Bunning is now being denounced for blocking federal spending. Instead, he should be praised for proving that Congress' supposed 'pay-as-you go' rules are really 'pay-as-you-borrow-and-tax' rules."
The Times demagoguery contains such garbage as "Party of No" and "their blatant obstructionism," winding up with "... they don't seem to mind how many innocent Americans they hurt in the process."
In all the long years the Times has been proclaiming big, intrusive government -- and that's all the years I've been aware of its existence -- "innocent Americans" have seldom been the concern of its editorial writers ... or its "news" reporters.
"Innocent Americans" are the working and producing people whose money is forcibly taken to allow the demagogues to buy more votes ... and to make the economy even worse by excess regulation and red tape and taxation.
If editorialists really cared about "innocent Americans," they'd call for more actions such as Sen. Bunning's and for repeals of laws and restrictions.
They'd call for a free market that would create jobs and let people work.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Editor misses point of campaign finance

Jumping on the bandwagon of complaints about political campaigns and money, editor Lee Anderson (Thursday, 4 February) expresses his worry about "huge sums of money from corporations, labor unions or any other organizations that may be able to concentrate enough money to improperly 'buy' election decisions."
As is usual in this discussion, Mr. Anderson is worrying about the smallpox spots rather than the disease.
If politicians and office holders would simply obey the Constitution, if they would simply restrict themselves to creating laws that protected the rights of people, then there would be no problem.
The problem, the possibility of moneyed interests either buying elections or influencing legislators or bureaucrats, would not even exist if governments, politicians, and bureaucrats had not just taken, illegally, immense power and powers unto themselves.
Many interests give money to buy favors, and others give money to prevent further harm.
Chop down the size and scope of government, and the money question ceases to exist.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Astonishing! A clever 'Rant'

Mirable Dictu! There is one intelligent TFP reader who wrote to "Rant" and got a comment published:
They say Obama, Reid and Pelosi spend like drunken sailors. When I was a drunken sailor, I quit spending when I ran out of money!
It becomes even better when one realizes it was published the day before the record-shattering Obama budget was announced.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Moral" headline is right ... almost

"Care labeled a moral issue" is a headline on a story in the Metro & Region section of the Saturday, 30 January, edition.
A so-called "medical ethicist" named Larry Churchill is subject of the story because he is scheduled to speak (barring several inches of "global warming" keeping the roads closed to him -- essentially Tennessee has been shut down by a major storm) Sunday.
His topic is "What is Really at Stake in Health Care Reform" (sic).
In the story, bylined by the notorious Emily Bregel, apparently the TFP's primary advocate of a socialized medical system, he is asked "What is the greatest barrier to health care reform in the U.S.?"
Naturally, this academic, who doesn't have to live in the real world, cites the fact that a lot of people make their living, or, as he says, "a very good living," providing medical services.
Mr. Churchill, who as a Vanderbilt University Medical Center employee, makes a very good living, makes a heck of a lot more money than, even, Emily Bregel, but he still feels superior enough to tell the rest of us we are -- and of course I'm extrapolating here -- "selfish."
He would probably say "racist," too, since that's the current buzz word, the most-used trendy word to denounce us non-elites, us proles who dare to disagree with our betters.
Still, the headline writer got it right, though unintentionally, I'm sure: It is indeed a moral issue and the elitists, who won't forgo a penny of their income (forced from the pockets of working and producing people), are not only willing but eager to coerce all us proles into complying with their version of a moral code.
It is so strange to watch those elitists throw up their hands in horror if a high school valedictorian wants to say "Thank you, God": That, they say, is imposing a religious viewpoint, and that's a no-no.
When those elitists, though, decide on a moral code, it's more than all right to impose it since, after all, it was created by those elitists, those highly educated -- actually merely schooled -- superiors who are, by definition, our betters.
At least by their definition.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Racist Stulce endorses racist Bennett

Being morally and intellectually bankrupt, today's American left is able only to resort to vicious name-calling and denunciations of any proles who dare to disagree with our betters.
In the TFP edition of Wednesday, 20 January, former would-be Democrat candidate for Congress Terry Stulce has a letter to the editor.
In it he joins the finger-pointing chorus (it's not really a mixed metaphor: a vocal chorus is a waste to people who refuse to listen, but even those intentionally deaf might see fingers).
The erstwhile candidate, despite overwhelming financial support, despite spending about 10 times as much as his opponent, despite having the support of the Times editorial and news departments, lost the primary.
Even the other Democrats, at the rank-and-file level, were uncomfortable with his near-Marxist approach. The leaders, of course, were in lock step.
His letter appeared on the one-year anniversary of the reign of the Anointed One, and the new year continues to be as ugly as the previous.
For example, Mr. Stulce, rejected even by other Democrats, writes in support of cartoonist Clay Bennett, about whom a few opposing letters have recently been published.
Mr. Stulce and Mr. Bennett, bigoted and closed-minded to the last, continue to try to foist onto the public the untruth that the Republicans and the Tea Party movement are racist.
Mr. Stulce uses the technique of equating two not-necessarily connected positions to "prove" his own basically moronic point. He says, for example, that people, including the late President Reagan, who opposed so-called affirmative action are also anti-black. Consistently, the two ignore the fact, available to any honest person, that the leading public opponent of "affirmative action" is Ward Connerly, who is (gasp!) black.
Mr. Stulce claims, without a speck of evidence, offering not any proof, there have been "racial slurs" at "Republican rallies by 'tea baggers.'
It would be easy to claim Mr. Stulce is merely a lying pile of garbage, but it is possible that he is merely crazy, or -- to be kind -- merely blind.
Glenn Beck, who is probably the only broadcaster to make the effort, has had at least two programs whereon all the participants were black conservatives and libertarians and at least one anarchist -- anarchist in this case meaning probably "anarcho-capitalist."
There have been many people including speakers at the rallies and protests and Tea Parties who were black, but of course they were ignored by the "news" media, and certainly ignored by racists such as Messrs. Stulce and Bennett.
One of the black speakers, at a rally in Pennsylvania, referred to the previous November election as one where white voters of America showed they were not racist ... and black voters showed they are.
Black columnists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, both of whom are frequently published on the Free Press page of the TFP, are vehemently on record opposing the socialist-fascist policies of the Obama administration; how can Messrs. Stulce and Bennett ignore such prominent blacks, who are published in the same raggedy paper as Mr. Bennett's cartoons and Mr. Stulce's silly letters?
Obviously -- there is no other answer -- Messrs. Bennett and Stulce are racists. They are blind to the existence of blacks, those "invisible men" (in Ralph Ellison's words), who don't bow to the elitists, such as, by pure coincidence, Messrs. Stulce and Bennett.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Racist Bennett draws perfect picture of a leftist

Clay Bennett, who has shown himself to be a racist with his attacks on Tiger Woods (and, after all, he himself said that criticizing a black person can only be for racist reasons), has now given us an honest picture of today's "liberal," who is, these days, usually only liberal with other people's money.
In his cartoon in the Perspective section of Sunday, 17 January, he draws Sarah Palin on a TV screen, with "mute" in large letters and a caption of "Sarah Palin at her best."
Now, we could take that as meaning Women should be seen and not heard.
Or we could take as his meaning that his mind (using the term loosely) is made up and he refuses to be confused with any facts, that he refuses to listen to anything she might say, on any topic, because he has excommunicated her and that's it.
Really that typifies today's "liberal" attitude. Attack personally, but don't deal with any ideas or issues.
Mr. Bennett is a disgrace to any tradition of civil discourse, but he symbolizes both the "news" media approach and the leftist means of dealing with any other belief.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where stand the intellectuals?

About 2,500 years ago, an aphorism, translated from the Greek, said something to the effect "There is no idea so stupid that some philosopher won't support it."
Only a few decades ago, George Orwell said to some argumentative Communist, "You must be an intellectual. Only an intellectual could say something so stupid."
The term "intellectual," obviously used very loosely, today includes people in education, politics, and, most loosely, journalism.
It should include only people of intellect, people who deal with ideas.
Unfortunately it means, more often, people who can be and are called "elitists."
In the Sunday, 10 January, edition of the Perspective section is a perfect example of what I mean above: New York Times (and hence Chattanooga Times) columnist David Brooks pontificates that the real divide in the United States body politic is between the educated and the uneducated.
Naturally Mr. Brooks and other Times adherents are the educated (despite the poor quality of their respective papers). Those of us who oppose the various forms of involuntary servitude proposed by those intellectuals are, by definition, uneducated:
"Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.
"The educated class believes in global warming ..." despite record low temperatures, especially the last couple weeks but actually during the last three years.
Brooks, the educated, doesn't mention real weather but goes on to say "... so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise."
Yeah, us uneducated people ought not to pay attention to thermometers, shouldn't look out the window, should, instead, just listen to our betters, such as Mr. Brooks.
He goes on, mostly attempting to trash the Tea Party movement, but by serendipitous coincidence giving a nice lead-in to a column on the other side of the paper by Thomas Sowell titled "Intellectuals vs. society."
The once-again-great doctor says, "There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have played a larger role in society. When intellectuals who generate ideas are surrounded by a wide range of others who disseminate those ideas -- whether as journalists, teachers, staffers to legislators or clerks to judges -- the influence of intellectuals on the way a society evolved can be huge."
Intellectuals include, for example, Karl Marx, whose ideas led to the murders of hundreds of millions of people all across the world.
Non-intellectuals, as Dr. Sowell points out, include the Wright Brothers, who gave a lot more to people and the world than the Marxes and Brookses and the Mussolinis -- all of whom, interestingly, were in one way or another journalists.
Dr. Sowell also said this: "Intellectuals generate ideas and ideas matter, far beyond the small segment of society who are intellectuals. Ideas affect the fate of whole civilizations."
Then, next day, Dr. Sowell goes on, in a column titled "Good ideas vs. practical ones." In it he says, "If there is any lesson in the history of ideas, it is that good intentions tell you nothing about actual consequences."
Among the other sins of journalism is that those consequences are not reported as they should be.
We can still point out The New York Times and its adulation of Josef Stalin. That kind of miserable reporting was a good antecedent for its reporting of the most recent presidential election. The Times was just one of the "news" media slobbering (to use the very apt word of Bernard Goldberg) over Barack Obama.
Ideas most certainly do matter, and one of the problems in this modern day is that one idea, that of liberty, seems to have no place in "news" reporting or, apparently, in the minds of intellectuals generally.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Readership declines further

According to baseball folklore, during an early practice of the New York Mets, a fielder, trying to catch a pop fly, missed, and the ball hit him on the head.
Legendary manager Casey Stengel shook his head and prayed, "Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game?"
Surely the people who own and manage the Times Free Press must be asking themselves something similar: "Doesn't anybody here read this thing?"
I think not.
Here is one reason I thus think, a listing in the lamentable TV Times of 20 -26 December 2009:
A Story of David ** ('60,Drama) Jeff Chandler. DO NOT USE. King Saul unjustly accuses David of seeking his throne ...
Then in the next issue, in the regular feature called "tvtrivia" is this example. There are five questions, and a picture of someone named Katie Cassidy is inset with question 1: Who currently plays Ella Simms 'Melrose Place' 2009? (sic) Answer choices: (a) Katie Cassidy (b) Stephanie Jacobsen or (c) 6416? (sic, again)
Interestingly, the answer is ... Katie Cassidy.
Question 4: Why were Jerry and his pals sentenced in the series finale of 'Seinfeld'? (a) for disturbing the peace (b) a case of mistaken identity (c) or for helping out?
Honest, sic.
Here is the answer: 'Good Samaritan Law.'
Answer: No, nobody here reads this thing.
Maybe if the Obama administration does carry out the threat to shell out "stimulus" money to the "news" media, the TFP will hire at least one copy editor.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Speaking of vicious ...

For some reason, the first "Perspective" section of the year shows a retrospective of work by hatemonger Clay Bennett, staff cartoonist of the Times. (Interestingly, the editors chose not to re-run his nastiest cartoon, the one in which all us opponents of the Obama administration's collectivist ambitions are portrayed as Ku Klux Klanners.)
To be honest, three or four times a year, Mr. Bennett is not a hatemonger or vicious collectivist, and once or twice is even somewhat humorous.
But he seems to prefer to be vicious. For example, when Sarah Palin's book -- which has sold in the millions, and in fact advance orders forced her publisher to re-start the presses -- a Bennett cartoon showed a couple standing in front of a store with her book on sale, saying, "Shouldn't she read a book before she writes one?"
Now the caricature leftists and hatemongers have of people like Ms. Palin is that they are ... well, if not illiterate, certainly un-read.
Naturally only the elitists, our betters, such as Mr. Bennett, are the truly literate and knowledgeable. (They refuse to believe that Ronald Reagan probably read more books than any other president, of recent times, anyway.)
Ignore that Sarah Palin, to name one, actually has a college degree in ... journalism!
Hmmmm. Come to think of it, after reading such raggedy publications as the Times Free Press, I realize perhaps they have a point. Perhaps we should recognize journalism grads are probably among the least-educated people in American society.
They obviously don't know history, are even more ignorant in economics, seem not to have even a passing acquaintance with ethics and morality, and far too often don't even know grammar, punctuation, or style.
Yet these are the people who act as filters as to what you and I are allowed to learn as "news."
I can't imagine a circumstance in which I would vote for Sarah Palin. She is, after all, a Republican. But, even so, I do wish there were some modicum of fairness, of decency in how she's treated.
Childlike, I guess, I also wish there were more than a modicum of fairness, of decency in "news" generally.
And, while I'm at it, I wish I had a pony.

Viciousness gets uglier

Perhaps it's because I see mostly the left-oriented "news" outlets, and fewer of the right-oriented ones, though of course "news" media are mostly left oriented, but I cannot remember seeing the viciousness, the ugliness against leftists that I see, on a daily basis, against rightists.
Attacks on Sarah Palin, as noted often, have reached the point of insanity.
I have not seen anyone say "Palin says so-and-so on this issue and she is wrong for these reasons ..."
No, it's usually the kind of garbage Times cartoonist Clay Bennett dishes out: Personal attacks, but not necessarily with any basis in reality.
The left-oriented outlets, though, don't limit their nastiness to spews from only their own staffers. Here are four examples, listed in order in the moronic "Rant" column that worsens an already miserable Sunday opinion section:
Joe Lieberman is greedy, arrogant and vindictive and has chosen loyalty to insurance companies over his commitment to the American people. That's his legacy.
Obama, get a backbone! You're giving in to Republicans. You are being bought by insurance and drug companies. This is not what I voted for.
GOP senators and the right wing media inflating them now have blood on their hands, the blood of millions of uninsured men, women and children.
Jimmy Carter apologizes to Israel, good. Now, maybe he should apologize to the American people for being such a flake!

While at the same time bewailing environmental losses, leftist editors waste the lives of innocent trees with this stuff? And, still at the same time, moan and whine that they don't have room for the important news, that, apparently, they really aren't covering anyway?
Even funnier, they don't understand why people are canceling subscriptions.