Monday, December 26, 2016

News Notes For The New Year

1---Congrats to the UK football team for a winning season and an upcoming bowl game. Did you catch all the extra bonus money the coaches got for this?  Now, they worked hard and deserved some recognition, but did they work any harder than the players?  What money did the players get? Any bonus for them?
Is this to open the argument about whether college players should be paid?  Yes; don’t know where I stand on this, yet, but it’s an argument UK needs to hold.
2---speaking of coaches being paid, I know it’s a legal product and we all need one, but it just seems to me to be “unseemly” (for want of a better word) for Coach Cal to be pitching mattresses...or don’t you agree?
3---And Yes, living 3 months longer is important..but have you noticed that “big news” shared in very large letters on the top of buildings by a certain drug maker, hides the very small print that their drug increases life by 3 months on the average.
4---Have you noticed how quiet the pollsters have been since their defeat in the general elections..not even much soul searching, or where the mistakes were, or even promises to “do better." For another view on “the polls” read the obit for Louis Harris in the Sunday H-L, who can be considered the Father of modern polling, a term he disliked. Read why. (And congrats to the H-L for a most interesting year-end section of news pix of the year.)
5---Speaking of year-end, once again major news organizations are doing their lists of top stories of the year, before the year is over...running the risk of leaving out a major story happening, as it has, in the final days.
ABC ran its show on Dec. 20th, including the “hottest trends” of the past year. Now the “mainstream media” have been plenty critical of mixing news and entertainment (and correctly so) which some news programs and channels do. And NBC this Saturday will spend 2 hours looking back on the year’s “buzziest” stories. Sometimes “the media” is its own worse enemy.
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Forget The Protestors

Forget the party spokesmen, who have their own axe to grind.
Think about your own vote---and that of Kentucky’s.
Why do you keep putting up with letting your vote not count as much as one vote, say in California, or Texas, or New Jersey?  It doesn’t.
Nor does Kentucky’s. Our state is upstaged by many other states...or didn’t you notice how few national candidates visited our state during this year’s elections. (Coming in just to raise $$$$$ or landing at the Cincy airport, in N. Ky., doesn’t count.)
But aren’t our citizens’ votes just as good, and needed by the parties and their candidates just as much as other states???
There’s a simple...and complete answer...the Electoral College.
Set up by the Founding Fathers in an attempt to create a Meritocracy (where the office was supposed to seek the man and not vice versa) or at least in an attempt to keep down the rabble, (you and me), the “college” soon stopped working under its original purpose.
Electors were supposed to use their best, personal knowledge and judgment in the votes they cast.  But soon states required them to vote, by law, for whoever won the popular vote---absolutely opposite what the FF’s intended.
That approach is what we live under today...despite half a dozen elections (including the present one) where the leading candidate in votes did not win in the “college” and so lost. At last count HRC was 2.8 Million votes ahead, tho 27% of Republicans either don’t know that or don’t believe that. This is democracy?
Aye, there’s the rub. Because each party believes the College does or could favor them, they oppose a change.
PBS reported in the past 200 years there have been 700 proposals to amend the Electoral College, more than any other part of the constitution.
But only ONE change matters.
Either you believe your vote is just as good, no more and no less, than the vote of any other American citizen, regardless of where they live..or you don't.  The ONLY change that will live up to our democratic ideal "one person, one vote.” to get rid of that College totally and let the winner be declared by the popular vote across the country.
We’ve wasted over 200 years to make this change,
Let’s get started.
I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Media Mumbles...and Grumbles

Growing up in journalism, one of the first major things I was taught is...don’t get a name wrong. That was a major sin.
This week a Lexington TV station supered a well known UK player’s name as:  Crisco!
Isaiah is unusual, hard to spell for me, but Crisco?!!!!!!!!!
That capped a slew of bad spelling, typos, or what have you...such as “chld” for “child” and many more. The issue is not bad typing but who is proofreading? (The Herald-Leader gave up proof readers a long time ago, and its stories show that, too. I don’t care what the technical reason is, to have “is” hyphenated over two lines is just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.)
Speaking of of our best anchors either wasn’t paying attention, or...when a major story ended with the field reporter doing a length “tag” to the story, the anchor repeated the entire closing tag we had just heard. This is bad writing, bad producing, and just plain not paying attention...and it happens often.
Grammar errors remain, in abundance...and not just on local TV...I see, hear them on network television, on AP copy, in major papers...maybe even a minor reason for not trusting the media, except that these same errors are made by public officials, and ordinary citizens being interviewed.  (Are you paying attention, high school English teachers?)
Such errors creep into our ads, broadcast or print...with even less excuse.
As my old college English teacher, Prof. Henry Higgins told me...English is a noble tongue.  Too bad so many people who use it as a tool in their daily occupation seem to be tongue tied.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Let Me Tell You A True Story

Once upon a time, in a small town in a border state, there was a young boy who had a winter sore throat---nothing serious, his family dosed him with a mix of ginger ale and fruit juices, which he loved. But that was why on a snowy Sunday afternoon, he was in his second floor bedroom listening to a concert on CBS Radio.
Suddenly, an excited voice broke in, “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor!” and we were at war.
December 7th was my generation’s 9/11...and almost as many were killed that day as on 9/11...and in the years of war that followed, many millions more.
Looking back this week, on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, one still has questions.
Did FDR work to provoke the war?  Was a Kentucky admiral made the scapegoat of our lack of defenses at The Pearl?
Why didn’t the radar people know those Japanese Zeros were not our B-17s flying in from California? Did a midget sub really sink the Oklahoma?
On a larger scale, why did Italy, our ally in WWI become our Axis enemy in WWII?  (and how much of that was due to an ex-journalist named Mussolini---elected prime minister on a platform of making Italy great again, before he overthrew its democracy and became dictator...sorry about that, but it’s true, look it up.)
Today, with the passing years, history has changed again. Our Russian allies of WWII are “the enemy” while our foe, the Japanese are staunch friends. President Obama recently made the first trip to Hiroshima of a US president...and the Japanese prime minister has just announced he will be the first to visit Pearl Harbor.  Both visits should have have been made years ago.
What enemies now will be friends tomorrow?  What friends now won’t be in a decade?
Will a president elected by a faulty Electoral College system rise to greatness, or fail miserably and be impeached, as some experienced historians have suggested?
That small boy who heard the war begin in his sickroom has no way of knowing. He is certain of this---there were many heroes that day 75 years ago in a far-off American territory---they need to be remembered, and celebrated..and we need to remember what things we think are “true” today, may not be so in a very soon tomorrow.
I'm just sayin'...