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.