Dinosaur Media, Revisited

I have, from time to time, mentioned the Dinosaur Media. Usually in the context of another newspaper biting the dust—a paper unable or unwilling to enter the 21st Century and to leave their liberal bias behind.

That trend does not apply to the print media alone. It also applies to the broadcast media. They have not made the transition to cable nor the web successfully. I need only to cite MSNBC as an example. It’s interesting that Microsoft has withdrawn from the operation of MSNBC. In coming months Microsoft will slink away from that cesspool completely.

It is not MSNBC that is in the news today. It’s CNN. The Washington Examiner reports on the shrinkage of CNN.

CNN, newspapers hammered as Americans turn to mobile news

September 28, 2012 | 11:10 am

Americans are fast turning to mobile devices to get their news, resulting in stunning viewership declines for CNN and existence-threatening readership drops for newspapers, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The winners: social network sites, online news and websites like the Drudge Report and Yahoo.

CNN is not the only one hurting: Newspaper readership has dropped in half since 2000, with only 23 percent of those polled saying they read a paper. Magazine readership, meanwhile, has dropped to 18 percent, and those getting their news from TV is down to 55 percent, a troubling trend.

As Americans turn away from traditional news platforms, they are embracing mobile delivery, either through cellular phones, computers or wireless tablets, said Pew. And that has naturally given the advantage to social websites like Facebook, traditional news outlets with established websites or web-only sites like Drudge and Yahoo. Pew, for example, included Drudge in their list of the top 18 news websites, reporting that 2 percent of those surveyed get their news most often, the same percentage as the websites for the Washington Post, USA Today and ESPN.

The article continues at the website.

Instead of being dispassionate observers and reporting the news without bias, the media has, for the most part, become nothing more than the propaganda arm of the democrat party and transnational liberals. The article by DOUGLAS MACKINNON appeared in today’s Investor’s Business Daily.

Mainstream Media: Public Enemy No. 1

By DOUGLAS MACKINNON, Posted 09/27/2012 04:43 PM ET

Mitt Romney can still win this election, but first he has to confront the largest single domestic threat to our liberty, our values, and our national and economic security — the mainstream media.

Most mainstream “journalists” unethically supported then-Sen. Obama in 2008, and most have doubled-down on that bet in 2012. And that biased and corrupt support may be the least of their professional sins.

The nation and world face an epic crisis made more dangerous by the proliferation of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and twisted minds who’d think nothing of using them to advance their cause or “theology.”

Yet, our mainstream media deliberately choose to ignore these exponentially growing threats while working in concert with the Obama campaign to ensure the president’s re-election.

Much worse, some in the media are themselves betraying national security secrets in an effort to make Obama look more “presidential” or harm the conservative narrative.

Beyond their leaking of highly classified information, the media are a real threat to security because they flat-out know:

• Public employee unions have decimated the finances of an expanding number of cities, counties and states.

• Poverty is rising, unemployment is accelerating, median household incomes have fallen and Obama has created a debt poison-pill that will cripple our economic future.

• Teacher unions are destroying the futures of poor and at-risk children, but the media look the other way to protect one of the largest special interests of the Democrat Party.

• Obama has no foreign policy, and his ineptitude, along with that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was exposed with the planned terrorist killings of U.S. diplomats in Libya — murders the president dismissed as “bumps in the road.”

Yet the media choose to attack Romney for rightfully calling on the president and Clinton to stop their campaign of appeasement and apology.

• “Green” initiatives such as Solyndra are paybacks to major donors, outright frauds or alternative energy “solutions” with one real purpose: to give liberals false talking-points while sucking hundreds of billions more out of taxpayers’ bank accounts.

The list goes on, but suffice it to say a case can be made that the mainstream media represent a clear and present danger to our well-being.

They also represent a clear and present danger to Gov. Romney’s chances for election.

Even in the age of the Internet, blogs, cable shows and alternative news, I maintain that upwards of 80% of Americans still get 80% of their “news” from the left-leaning mainstream media.

The bias isn’t limited to large metro papers. It continues in local and county wide papers as well.  Our local county weekly, the Democrat-Missourian, is owned by The McClatchy Company, the same company that owns the Kansas City Star. In fact if you subscribe to our county paper, you get the Star’s Sunday edition free. If you look at that paper’s website, you’ll see that it is woefully out of date. Under the “News” tab, the most recent article is dated August 24, 2012. I suppose they’re embarrassed to show their bias on the web, leaving that to their print edition.

We, as subscribers, can work against the liberal bias in our local papers. How? By writing Letters-to-the-Editor. Do your homework, check your grammar and spelling, have someone proof-read your draft and get your facts straight. If your local paper won’t provide fair and unbiased reporting of issues, do so yourself. I had a letter published last week and I submitted another this week. If you are unhappy with the presentation of issues in your paper, tell them and provide your view on the subject.

Who knows? Maybe even a dinosaur can learn when it’s faced with survival…or extinction.

Cass County Candidate Forum, September 25, 2012 – Part II

Today will be a continuation of yesterday’s review of the Cass County Candidate Forum. If you remember from my earlier post, with a few exceptions, I was not impressed with the candidates from either party. I reviewed the Commission candidates yesterday. Today I’ll review two others, the candidates for Public Administrator and Sheriff.

The candidates for Public Administrator are Melody Folsom (R) and Michelle Cornforth (D). Melody Folsom is the incumbent. Michelle Cornforth, from her bio presented during the forum is a recent arrival to the county. Her previous experience is as a social worker in Nevada, MO. From her resume, she appears to have sufficient experience for the office of Public Administrator. Melody Folsom has a public track record, Michelle Cornforth does not.

When they answered questions during the forum it was apparent the two had radically different approaches to the job. Melody Folsom viewed her position as a personal ministry to those she served. Michelle Cornforth made similar responses to every question—make sure the paperwork was done, t’s crossed, i’s dotted.

Folsom’s answers reflected her concern for her charges. She was, in essence, in a parental position and she viewed her job as that, to insure each individual received the care and services necessary to meet their needs.

I did not perceive any such approach from Cornforth. While it is important that the necessary paperwork be completed on time and properly, the position of Public Administrator is not bureaucrat hammering square pegs into round holes. I did not see any empathy to the public charges by Cornforth. Her presentation to the public at the forum was cold and aloof. My notes about her was, “Bureaucrat wannabe.”  I have no doubt Michelle Cornforth could insure all the paperwork was completed. It’s the CYA of the bureaucrat. But she would not view her charges as people as does Folsom. For Cornforth, they would be a file-folder with a name.

The other race I’m reviewing is that of Cass County Sheriff. Dwight Diehl (R) is the incumbent with 16 years experience as Sheriff and more years before that in law enforcement. He has memberships in numerous law enforcement organizations including associations at the state and federal level and has experience in the field as a police officer before being Sheriff. He has been innovative with citizen’s academies and has a long-standing personal relationship with the public.

The other candidate for Sheriff is Doug Catron (D). Catron, like Diehl, has years of experience in law enforcement. The most recent as an investigator for the Cass County District Attorney. He, like Diehl before him, attended the Sheriff’s Academy and served as a police officer during his career.

Apart from the similarities noted above, the two candidates have different approaches. Diehl, from his remarks, views the job of Sheriff as a Peace Officer. Catron, from his answers, views the job as political. When Diehl was asked questions concerning crime, he responded as a law enforcement officer. Catron responded as a politician.

For example, one of the first questions was, “What would you do when criminals from the metro area (Jackson County and Kansas City) come to Cass County and commit crimes?”

Catron responded as he did with most of the questions by declaring he would establish alliances with other law enforcement organizations and utilize intelligence from them. Diehl, on the other hand had a short, pithy answer. “I’d put them in jail.”

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between the two candidates. When asked what his priority as Sheriff would be, Catron said fighting drugs, prescription drugs and meth labs—all political hot buttons. Diehl responded that the number of local/state meth labs has been steadily dropping. There has been no drug-related murders in the county this year and few in previous years. He said the current emphasis was the inflow of Mexican drugs.

I was surprised that Catron was not aware of the changing environment of illegal drugs. His ignorance implied he was out-of-touch with current law enforcement trends and issues.

Of the two, I prefer Diehl for Sheriff. He is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and he views the job of Sheriff as such. Catron, on the other hand, is just another politician on the way to another political office. I like having a real law enforcement officer as Sheriff rather than a politician.

Cass County Candidate Forum – September 25, 2012

Cass County Candidates for office met the public last night in a Q&A session conducted by county Chambers of Commerce.  With a few exceptions, the candidates’ responses were best described as…uniformity, conformity and blandness. Most of those who followed their opponent answering a question said, “What he said…I agree with…” There was little presented to make a particular candidate stand out.

Most unsatisfying.

Let’s take the six candidates running for the three Commission seats: Cox vs. Wilson for Presiding Commissioner, Odom vs. Duncan for North Commissioner, Hoke vs. Scavuzzo for South Commissioner. The first question was how would they resolve the recently discovered million dollar plus overspending by the County. The common response was the new accounting software installed at the insistence of the County Auditor would solve all problems. The software had alarms to notify the Commission and County officials when an expenditure exceeded the budget or available funds.

Software alone will not solve the spending problems in the county. It is a tool, like all processes and procedures. Any tool can be misused or ignored. Relying solely on a tool is folly. It is the elected officials who use the tool that will solve problems.

Five of the six candidates must have rehearsed their answers. They all said the same and presented no other solutions.  Jeff Cox was the exception.  His answer to the question was to use the tool, the software package to prioritize spending. Those with the highest priority received funding, those with less or lower priority would have less. The county funds would have to be shifted to rebuild the state-mandated emergency fund that had been raided by the 2010 commissioners.  Cox has a track-record of responsible spending, budgeting and cutting taxes.

None of the other five candidates mentioned rebuilding the emergency fund except in passing and none spoke of cutting taxes to attract business. Some advocated using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to attract business to the county. TIF is a  temporary solution. Business may be attracted…for the duration of the TIF. Once the TIF has expired, marginal businesses move to the next TIF. Cutting taxes retains the incentive for business—and jobs, to come to the county and to remain.

Since the other commission candidates, Cox excepted, had no real platform nor plan to change the methods of county government, let me make some suggestions.

1. The 2010 commissioner raids on county funds were greatly aided due to a significant lack of transparency in government. The commissioners maintained an aura of secrecy that kept the public in ignorance. Minutes, if they can be found, are uniformly non-informative. Much as the minutes were summarized and contain no details.  It was not until this year that the written minutes used voice recordings as a source. 

If the Commission is to have transparency, those voice recordings must be archived and made available on demand to the public. I would suggest those sound recordings be made available through the county’s website within a week of the Commission meeting. In addition, publish the written minutes via a protected .PDF file on the county website. That would allow the public to compare the official written minutes to the source, the voice recordings. Sometimes the most significant items can be found in the sections that were summarized in the written minutes.

2.  By law, Commission meetings must be scheduled and posted in advance at the Courthouse. Why could those meeting notices not be posted on the county’s website as well?  More people have access to the internet now than have the ability to trek to the courthouse daily to see if there are any meeting notices. The meeting notice on the website could be accompanied by the meeting agenda.

3. Shift Commission meetings to the evening. When I attended the Commission meeting last week it was scheduled at 2PM.  The attending public was mostly retired folks (like me) and the self-employed who could take off for a couple of hours. Few others attended. They couldn’t get off work.  I propose the Commission schedule regular meetings in the evening around 7PM. In fact, all of the Commission meetings should be held in the evening except for emergency meetings.

Raymore city government is a good example for the county to follow. The council agendas are posted in advance. All meetings are announced in advance. The transparency of the council is very high.  There are lessons the county can learn by observing how Raymore conducts business.

I’ve written more about the Commission than I’d intended. The quote of the night came from Sheriff Dwight Diehl. He was asked what he’d do with criminals migrating from the metro area and committing crimes in Cass County.  “Put them in jail!” he said.

It was a very poor question.

I’ll have a few short comments tomorrow on the Sheriff’s and County Administrator’s race.

Tuesday’s Notes

Robert A. Heinlein created a science-fiction universe for many of his books. In that universe we would be in the middle of what he called, “The Crazy Years.” We have some fine examples of that just scanning today’s news items.

High school band marches with hammer & sickle

Posted: Sep 25, 2012 8:01 AM CDT Updated: Sep 25, 2012 10:03 AM CDT
By FOX News, By Todd Starnes

newoxfordbands.com / FOX NewsA Pennsylvania high school marching band is raising eyebrows with a halftime performance that commemorates the Russian revolution, complete with red flags, olive military-style uniforms, and giant hammers and sickles.

“St. Petersburg: 1917” is the theme for the New Oxford High School Marching Band. Ironically, the school’s athletic teams are called the Colonials and their colors are red, white and blue. The band’s website features a picture of the group with students holding a hammer and sickle.

“There is no reason for Americans to celebrate the Russian revolution,” said one irate parent who alerted Fox News. “I am sure the millions who died under Communism would not see the joy of celebrating the Russian revolution by a school 10 miles from Gettysburg.”


How is this for a surprise? Romney pulls in more campaign donations in HOLLYWOOD than Obama does in New York City aided by Beyonce.

Romney Eyes Hollywood Return After Successful Weekend Fundraiser

By DOMINIC PATTEN | Monday September 24, 2012 @ 11:06am PDT

Turns out Mitt Romney is a big fan of Hollywood. After pulling in $6 million in a fundraiser Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, the GOP candidate could be back in town soon. “This weekend’s event was very successful and there are plans to try to get the Governor back in Los Angeles again after the first or second debate for a similar occasion,” a source close to the Romney campaign.

The event pulled in about $2 million more than what President Obama raised at his most recent celebrity-hosted event last week in NYC with Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

And Obama is doing soooo good? All the while Romney gathers more money than Obama in Beverly Hills? Who’da thunk it!?


The more California taxes and spends, the more the state goes into debt like a 3rd world despot, people are voting—with their feet.

The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look

Tom Gray & Robert Scardamalia

For decades after World War II, California was a destination for Americans in search of a better life. In many people’s minds, it was the state with more jobs, more space, more sunlight, and more opportunity. They voted with their feet, and California grew spectacularly (its population increased by 137 percent between 1960 and 2010). However, this golden age of migration into the state is over. For the past two decades, California has been sending more people to other American states than it receives from them. Since 1990, the state has lost nearly 3.4 million residents through this migration.

This study describes the great ongoing California exodus, using data from the Census, the Internal Revenue Service, the state’s Department of Finance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and other sources. We map in detail where in California the migrants come from, and where they go when they leave the state. We then analyze the data to determine the likely causes of California’s decline and the lessons that its decline holds for other states.

The data show a pattern of movement over the past decade from California mainly to states in the western and southern U.S.: Texas, Nevada, and Arizona, in that order, are the top magnet states. Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah follow. Rounding out the top ten are two southern states: Georgia and South Carolina.

A finer-grained regional analysis reveals that the main current of migration out of California in the past decade has flowed eastward across the Colorado River, reversing the storied passages of the Dust Bowl era. Southern California had about 55 percent of the state’s population in 2000 but accounted for about 65 percent of the net out-migration in the decade that followed. More than 70 percent of the state’s net migration to Texas came from California’s south.

What has caused California’s transformation from a “pull in” to a “push out” state? The data have revealed several crucial drivers. One is chronic economic adversity (in most years, California unemployment is above the national average). Another is density: the Los Angeles and Orange County region now has a population density of 6,999.3 per square mile—well ahead of New York or Chicago. Dense coastal areas are a source of internal migration, as people seek more space in California’s interior, as well as migration to other states. A third factor is state and local governments’ constant fiscal instability, which sends at least two discouraging messages to businesses and individuals. One is that they cannot count on state and local governments to provide essential services—much less, tax breaks or other incentives. Second, chronically out-of-balance budgets can be seen as tax hikes waiting to happen.

The data also reveal the motives that drive individuals and businesses to leave California. One of these, of course, is work. States with low unemployment rates, such as Texas, are drawing people from California, whose rate is above the national average. Taxation also appears to be a factor, especially as it contributes to the business climate and, in turn, jobs. Most of the destination states favored by Californians have lower taxes. States that have gained the most at California’s expense are rated as having better business climates. The data suggest that many cost drivers—taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs—are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.

There is much more data at the website. I suggest you read the entire article and consider how you and your home state can take advantage of California’s folly and idiocy.

Furry companions (Updated)

One of our kids hurt herself. No, I’m not talking about our daughter, nor our son-in-law, not any of the grandkids. I’m talking about Snowflake—one of our two cats.

SnowflakeSometime Saturday while we were out she hurt her front leg or paw. We’re not sure which. She can hobble around a bit. Enough to get to the dinner/water bowls and the cat-box but little more than that.

She’s not running down the hall into the bedroom and leaping on the bed while I’m reading. She’s not chasing Amber our other cat nor is she participating in the usual daily cat races from down in my office, up the stairs around through the living room and kitchen then down the hall to our bedroom. She just snuggles up to us and seldom moves.

We have an appointment with a local veterinarian later this morning. I pray her injury is nothing more than a slight sprain. I miss her playfulness even when she gets irritating. I miss her pouncing on her mother, our other cat. I miss the cat races.

I know there are many people who don’t own pets, especially house pets. They can’t understand why people would want to live with smelly, shedding animals. I feel sorry for these people. They have a defect, a callousness about them at times. They perceive cats, dogs, hamsters, even horses as nothing more than simple animals, and unproductive animals at that. They are missing one of the joys in life.

Perhaps it is best that some people don’t have pets. They’d soon tire of them and after a careless moment, another cat or dog or whatever would escape to wander, fend for themselves and soon to die on a highway or to a predator.

For us, we’ll take Snowflake to the vet. We’ll have her injury attended and we’ll take care of her—as she would for us if she were capable.

UPDATE: We’ve just returned from the vet.  Snowflake had a fleshy growth where one of her front claws used to be. She was declawed before we got her. That growth, for some reason, had become sensitive. She didn’t have any apparent infection, nor fever.

A shot and a quick snip removed the growth and she appears to be walking much better. We’ll see after the pain-killer wears off.

All in all, we’re greatly relieved.

Friday Follies for September 21, 2012

This will be short today. Many events this week is catching up with me.  The cold front that went through last night isn’t helping.


G. Gordon Libby retired from talk-radio in July but stayed as a consultant. Yesterday, they celebrated his 20 years on the air.

G. Gordon Liddy Ends 20-year Radio Run

By Eddie Scarry on September 20, 2012 1:30 PM

Conservative radio show host G. Gordon Liddy has retired. His final show was in July but the party celebrating his two-decade career at Radio America was held last night in a small room at Capitol Hill Club.


Local boy does good.  Well, not good, great!  Tate Stevens, a local Belton residence and part-time CW singer, auditioned for the X-Factor this week.  The judges and the audience were at first astounded, then overawed. Here’s a video of his performance.

Ya did good, Tater!

Revelation and Observation

When people hear the word, Revelation, most will think of the last book of the Bible.  Their next thought is frequently the horror stories of the end of the world. Many even speak that name of that book incorrectly saying, “Revelations,” plural.

Rev 1:1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John:

As you can see, Revelation is singular and of Jesus Christ. I could go into more theology but that isn’t the theme for this segment of today’s post.

Yesterday, the Cass County Courthouse was a site of Revelation. The outside auditor’s report was officially presented to the public by the county Commission. A representative of the auditing firm reported on the most egregious errors discovered and answered questions from the two attending Commissioner. The County Auditor was added to the discussion and between him and the outside auditor revealed a number of revelations to the public including a $2,000,000 deficit in several projects started by prior commissioners.  The only sitting commissioner who served during the time in question, 2010, was not present.

Not only were the projects overspent, but over $1,000,000 could not be properly accounted for. Money had been spent with no invoice nor receipt to indicate why the money had been spent.

The first revelation: Four hundred thousand dollars had been paid to the BioFuels project but only $50,000, expenses and assets, could be accounted for. A visit to the site found only a used tank some piping and pumps. The prototype supposedly built by the funds was a failure. Where was the remaining $350,000?

The second revelation was in the Broadband project. $1.7 million had been spent and only $700,000 can be accounted for. Timesheets, invoices and receipts only totaled $700,000. Where was the remaining $1 million?

The next revelation was the disclosure by the outside auditor of conflicts of interest in these project by all of the commissioners at the time, 2010. The planned sorgum pipeline (biofuel) for the Justice Center’s power plant was routed through property owned by a commissioner. The two other commissioners were heavily involved in the engineering company designing the Broadband project. Money was paid to that company with no supporting documentation, nor, apparently a contract!  Cass County’s former Presiding Commissioner was later employed by that company.

The final revelation should not surprise anyone. During the followup Q&A with the public, it was revealed that the Department of Justice has started an investigation since the funds not accounted for were provided by the Department of Agriculture as part one of the “stimulus” bills approved by Congress. As one member of the public later remarked, “The only thing stimulated was the Commissioners’ pockets.”

The only serving commissioner from that time was conspicuously absent. That, too, raised a number of questions about his conduct

The mood of the audience was…enraged. Several members asked why those involved were not in jail or charged with fraud.  The short answer is that the current commissioners have no authority to do so.  All they, the County Auditor and the outside auditor can do is document what happened and turn that documentation over to the proper legal authorities.  That has been done. As one retired lawyer in the audience said, “While the wheels of justice grind slowly, they do grind very fine.”

Time will tell. I do expect, at some time in the future, some or all of those commissioners will be wearing orange jumpsuits with numbers.


The main stream media is trying to convince the nation the election is over, Obama won.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m a poll watcher. When a new poll is released, I ignore the publicly touted results and dive into the supporting data. I have found that most of the polls, with a few exceptions, are skewed in favor of the democrats.  The exceptions are Rasmussen and the Pew polls.  I’m not the only one to see the deception. The information below was mentioned by Rush Limbaugh earlier this week.

Demoralized as Hell, The poll the media isn’t talking about edition

by Datechguy | September 17th, 2012

For the last two weeks we have been treated to the narrative that Barack Obama is surging at the polls, Mitt Romney is in trouble and unless there is a massive change in direction it is all over.

Simply put this is a lie.

Of all the polls you have seen, there is one poll that has gotten no attention, it is a poll that has been taken monthly, it is a poll that Doug Ross spotted and promoted on his site. It is the Rasmussen Poll of party identification.

At no time during the year do the Democrats have a registration advantage vs republicans, the gap closes in July & re-separates in August. The low point for the GOP was July for 34.9 and the high August at 37.6 For democrats the high was 34.0 in June & July the low was 32.4 in Feb

What does this mean for November? It means a lot.

The Democrats won 2 election in this period 2006 & 2008 with a 6.9 advantage in 2006 & a 7.6 advantage in 2008.

There is no example of the Democrats winning since 2004 with an advantage less that 6.9.

The GOP won two elections in this period 2004 with a -1.6 disadvantage & 2010 with a 1.3 advantage. This means the GOP has proven it can win with not only a small lead but with an actual disadvantage. Additionally with an advantage of only 1.3 they pulled off the biggest house swing in my lifetime.

There is more at the website and further supporting information.  He uses similar techniques that I do. My attention is more towards MO state polls but our observations match.

The bottom line is that since 2010, the democrats have lost their numerical edge. However many of the polls still use sampling distribution between the dems and the ‘pubs from earlier years. The result is oversampling of democrats and skews the poll results in favor of the democrats.

This election is not a slam-dunk for Obama and the democrats.