Monthly Archives: March 2011

Media Bias

Each side accuses the other of media bias.  Fox gets hammered by the Left and everyone else gets hammered by the Right.

But what is it exactly, that the media does that creates this impression of bias?  What is it that strikes someone as “unfair” and “unbalanced”?

For me, it’s not the truth of the story, it’s the profile of the stories themselves.  Rachel Maddow, for example, doesn’t lie, she just doesn’t run disparaging stories against Democrats.  Hannity same but reversed.

So, here is my example of bias in the media.  A bias in an organization that I think TRIES not to be bias.

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A Voice of Reason Comes From the Left

The money isn’t big; on either side.  The amount of money the Federal Government gives to NPR isn’t a significant portion of what the Federal Government spends.

AND, the amount of money that the Federal Government gives to NPR isn’t a significant portion of the money that NPR spends.

But it matters.  It matters because the act of giving that money is an act of explicit approval.  Approval for the way that NPR runs it’s business.

And many don’t agree.

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18 – 1

And so it appears that Wisconsin Democrats find themselves in Atari.  This should not be surprising.  Either to they themselves, state democrats as a group or the nation as a whole.

By fleeing the state and preventing a quorum, the Wisconsin 14 knew, they had to KNOW, that they were setting themselves up for failure.  True, they WERE able to block the vote.  But only because it contained fiscal portions.  It isn’t rocket surgery to know all you have to do it strip out that aspect of the bill and pass it without the required 20.

There will be yelling and much nashing of teeth.  But make no mistake about it, the Wisconsin 14 brought this on themselves.

Another Example Of Good Ideas Gone Wrong

I have come to understand that many of the friends and colleagues I disagree with are not disagreeing with me because they want bad things to happen.  On the contrary, I feel that those folks are just as interested in the welfare of our country and the people in it as I am.

Rather than mean spirited, they are well intentioned.  It’s just that each have our own version of the path to those intentions.

But, when well intentioned people craft laws in the dead of night and don’t read those laws, bad things happen.

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How Much Do Teachers Make?

As Wisconsin rolls on and other states join the fray, a common diversion from the battles over collective bargaining is that of teacher salaries.

Often the debate touches on the salaries of teachers.  Do public school teachers make the same or not as their private school peers?  It can be hard to tell.  But then I stumbled on this post from Mark Perry over at Carpie Diem.

Here is the money shot:

Amazing isn’t it?

First, let’s take a look at some numbers.

  1. First year teachers are bringing home 42k a year.  Yowza!
  2. Public school teachers NEVER make less than 27% more than private teachers.
  3. A first year public teacher makes the same amount as a 25 year private school teacher.

Look, $42,000 isn’t a lot of money.  And neither is $65,000 after 30 years in.  But it ain’t bad either.  And don’t forget, the public school teachers are gettin’ health insurance, pensions and tenure.

A pretty good gig.

New Milestone

My first 1000 hit week!

Thanks ya’ll!

Free Market

Here we see the power of the free market.

It was just several years ago that we couldn’t keep flu shots in quantity to meet demand. Today my grocery store offers it for free.

Charter Schools

There are a couple of topics that keep me in conflict; I admit it. I have tried over the last few years to resolve the issue but can’t really seem to come to a good conclusion.

Lemme explain.

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Right Law – Wrong Reason

Maybe not the wrong wrong reason, but not the main one either.  Don’t get me wrong, I love extending the school year, but I think it should be extended for other reasons:

Raleigh, N.C. — State lawmakers are considering a bill that would give local school boards more flexibility with when to start and end the school year.

House Bill 94 would repeal a 2004 law that requires districts to begin the school year after Aug. 25 and end it no later than June 10.

Under the proposed legislation, schools operating on a traditional calendar schedule would be able to open any time after Aug. 15.  The bill does not apply to schools operating on a year-round calendar.

Supporters of changing the law point to issues like a high number of snow days, especially in the western part of the state, and the challenge in making those up to meet the 180 days of school mandated by state law.

They’re right.  Snow days have been a massive problem here.  And with Global Warming creating more and more snow days here, it’s only gonna get worse.

However, I still think that we should extend the school year because it helps kids learn and quit pandering to tourism.

The 2004 legislation was the result of a group of business owners and parents who, in part, were concerned about how extending the school calendar into the summer months could affect local tourism economies.

Businesses at North Carolina tourist destinations depend on the summer months to boost their profits, and business owners say every week of the tourism season is critical.

Teaching our kids is critical.


Right-Wing Nut vs. Left-Wing Nut

One of my friends on Facebook posted something about Planned Parenthood a couple of weeks ago.  She tends to favor the Liberal side.  And while I trend Liberal on Social issues, I find myself taking middle ground on abortion.

We had a wonderful discussion.  While it was me debating 2-3 more Liberal friends, it was polite, engaging and civil.

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