Category Archives: Newspapers

Greensboro News Record receives “F” for article and opinion citing flawed Education Law Center report, Media and so called researcher bias, Report very subjective, F for “effort”???, News Record also receives 4 Orwells for repeating Big Lie

Greensboro News Record receives “F” for article and opinion citing flawed Education Law Center report, Media and so called researcher bias, Report very subjective, F for “effort”???, News Record also receives 4 Orwells for repeating Big Lie

“[I]n the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.”…Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf

“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells

 

 

The Big Lie.

Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup described the stated unemployment rate as a big lie.

He was correct.

Websters New World College Dictionary

“The official dictionary of the Associated Press”
Lie definition (noun)

“anything that gives or is meant to give a false impression.”

The Greensboro News Record, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has a reputation for employing liberal bias and attacking Republicans.

They have done so again and apparently have not fact checked or reasonableness checked their source.

From the Greensboro News Record June 8, 2015.

“Report: State gets an F for education spending”

“In its annual report card, the law center gave North Carolina a B for spending a greater share of funds on high-poverty school systems. But the state received an F for its effort, or how much it spends on education compared to the overall fiscal capacity.

North Carolina also ranked No. 46 for its overall investment in K-12 public schools, according to the law center’s report.

Some states including North Carolina have gradually started increasing post-recession school funding, but some say that’s not happening fast enough.

“The issue of fair funding is one that we have to work on, on a continual, annual, year-to-year basis,” David Sciarra, the law center’s executive director, said during a press call. “Even if you build in substantial fairness over time, it can quickly erode.”

A joint report released by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund, raised questions of funding equity. Public school systems in many states are seeing poverty levels swell while funding remains stagnant or in decline.”

“That report notes it’s important to not just increase funds for schools but ensure funds are used efficiently and effectively.

“School funding decisions are too often made out of political expedience and not on the basis of student need, population or fairness,” Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund, told reporters. “This leads to a corrosive culture of disinvestment that cheats children and entire communities out of the bright futures they deserve.”

That reality, Henderson said, creates two school systems — one for the wealthy and influential and another for low income students. The problem exists nationwide, he said.”

http://www.greensboro.com/news/report-state-gets-an-f-for-education-spending/article_47dbd87a-0e3a-11e5-9e92-6b15098a0c2a.html

NewsRecordNCedSpending

Effort???

Who defines effort and why is that the headline?

Then the News Record has the gall to produce this next Orwellian piece.

From the Greensboro News Record June 11, 2015.

“Grading the graders”

“State Republican lawmakers, who are so fond of “accountability” that they’ve mandated a letter grade for each public school, got report cards of their own this week.

A new national study on school funding gives North Carolina an F for not spending on K-12 education what it can and should invest. In other words, the Education Law Center, which advocates for educational opportunity, flunked the state for its reluctance to fund its public schools adequately.

Further, the annual report ranks North Carolina 46th in the nation in its overall spending on public schools.

Small wonder. Even as the state has gradually begun to increase school spending, it still languishes below pre-recession levels. During the 2008-09 school year, North Carolina spent $5,896 per student; in 2014-15, it spent only $5,766 per student.”

“It means fewer teachers and teacher assistants. It means larger classes. It means funding that fails to keep pace with growing enrollment. It means the discontinuation of the N.C. Teaching Fellows program, which attracted quality students to become teachers.”

“To lawmakers’ credit, they did raise teacher salaries — though little, if any, for veteran teachers. And they have funneled more money to the poorest schools, earning a B in that category. But those slices for the needy still come from a smaller overall pie.”

http://www.greensboro.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/grading-the-graders/article_3605b0d6-0fb0-11e5-a3a2-77e923801679.html

From the NC House Republicans.

“NC House Republicans- State education spending: the facts”

“The North Carolina House Republicans have released some useful information regarding the latest budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by the Governor.  Equipped with useful charts and answers to some of the liberal left’s most outrageous claims, information packet is chocked full of documented, factual material that is easy to share.

We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the Republican-passed budget: “They’re going to decimate the whole public education system in this state!” and “This proposed budget will set back this state 25 years!” and “Cuts near this magnitude will dramatically eviscerate the ability of this state to provide a constitutionally-sound education to all of the students of our state!”

Do those claims sound familiar? They should — they’re from over two years ago. On February 24, 2011, Democrat representatives Mickey Michaux, Rick Glazier, and Ray Rapp all clucked that under the Republican budget the sky was falling. Former Governor Perdue, for her part, warned that 20,000 teachers would be fired, class size would double, and the Republican budget would “result in generational damage” to North Carolina’s public schools.

But none of it happened.

Not only were all our teaching positions fully funded, but according to the Department of Public Instruction’s own figures, North Carolina’s public schools actually added 3,198 state-funded education jobs this school year — and 7,811 total teaching jobs since Republicans have held the majority in the General Assembly. And significant education reforms enacted over the last two years have already begun bearing fruit: last year, North Carolina’s high school graduation rate surpassed 80 percent – a first in the state’s history and a 12-point jump from six years ago.

It’s shameful how the hyper-partisan teachers union — the largest and most organized group of paid lobbyists in the state — and their mouthpieces in the media continue to scare hard-working teachers and parents with wild claims that never seem to materialize. Let’s cut through the wild rhetoric and look at the facts.


I heard on the news last week that you cut education by half a billion dollars!

Nope. The amount spent on education programs will actually increase by $400 million next year. Total spending on public schools, community colleges, and universities amounts to $11.5 billion (that’s more than half of the entire state budget) and of that, $7.9 billion will go to K-12 education. That figure is up from the $7.7 billion we spent last year on K-12 (an increase of 2.1%) and the nearly $7.3 billion spent two years ago.

This year’s state budget will spend more money on public education in North Carolina than we have ever spent.

Source: Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2013″ (Senate Bill 402) and the North Carolina General Assembly’s  Fiscal Research Division’s report “North Carolina Public Schools Expenditures, FY 2003-04 to FY 2011-12” For a printable PDF of this chart, click here.


But this week, the newspaper said that the increase isn’t even enough to keep pace with inflation or the growth in the number of students.

The new budget keeps pace with both inflation and the growth in the number of students: economists forecast inflation at 1.5% for the coming year and the Department shows stable growth in student enrollment — averaging about a half percent over the last five years. That’s a total of 2%, which is about where we are in terms of the increase in K-12 appropriations over what it was last year. So when you look at it from that perspective, by fully keeping pace with growth, K-12 essentially breaks even next school year.


I hear we rank near the bottom in terms of how much we spend per student. What about the children?

According to the most recent data compiled by the National Education Association (page 55, Chart H-11), North Carolina taxpayers spend $8,757 on each student per year, something bureaucrats call “per-pupil expenditure.” New York state spends the most at $18,616 per-pupil; New Mexico ranks in the middle of the pack at $10,203 per-pupil; and Arizona spends the least at $6,683 per-pupil. The report puts us North Carolina at 45th. Sounds terrible, right?

What the partisan media doesn’t tell you is that North Carolina public schools receive among the highest percentages of their funding from state dollars, ranking 11th in the nation and 2nd in the Southeast (according to that same DPI report).

In the US, K-12 education is funded by three sources: federal dollars, state dollars, and local dollars. Here in North Carolina, the federal government provides only about 16 percent of K-12 funding, with state government picking up most of the tab at 60.1%. Local governments contribute less than a quarter of the cost of educating our children.

State, federal, and local funds combined, North Carolina spends approximately $12 billion on K-12 education every year — and that does not include the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on school buildings and the debt used to build and maintain them.

In other states, education is funded primarily by local governments — with property taxes and bonds — and not with state dollars, as we do in North Carolina. The fact remains that our county and city governments could choose to spend more on educating our children, but they don’t.

Why is this important? It’s not really, except to say that when the media casts blame on the General Assembly for not spending enough on our children’s education, there are many other significant factors to consider. And of course, it’s easy for the media to point fingers, especially at Republicans.


So where does all that state money go?

According to the DPI report, of the $7.2 billion the state spent two years ago on K-12 programs, 90% of the entire amount goes to pay teachers and administrators and provide them benefits. This figure doesn’t include the tens of billions of additional dollars the state pays out to retired teachers and administrators in monthly guaranteed pension checks and lifetime healthcare benefits.


But why did you cut teacher pay?

Contrary to rumors spread by liberal advocacy groups, teacher pay has not been cut. Period.


But you couldn’t give teachers at least a 1% raise?

The legislature sets the base pay for public school teachers in North Carolina. The actual pay level for teachers is determined at the local level. Local governments can always decide to pay teachers more.

But local governments seem to have other priorities than our teachers. For example, in the City of Asheville, the unelected school board gave its retiring superintendent a gift of $175,000. City school board members were under no obligation to pay him anything (he wasn’t owed a buyout payment because he quit his job). That $175,000 gift for a retiring administrator (that’s on top of his generous monthly pension) could have equated to an additional $875 in pay for every teacher in Asheville. (Note: most school superintendents in North Carolina make in excess of $100,000 in annual salary, not including benefits and pension.)

Curiously, also in Asheville, its City Council just voted to give $2 million dollars to a non-profit group that runs a local art museum. That $2 million dollars could have been spent giving every one of Asheville’s teachers an additional $1,000 annual pay raise — every year for the next ten years.

Local governments could do more, but they don’t. And they escape accountability in the media by blaming Raleigh.

Anyway, last year the General Assembly did give teachers a small bump in their base pay — 1.2% and the first one in four years. But there’s a good reason there wasn’t a pay raise this year: it wouldn’t have been financially responsible. It didn’t get widely reported in the media, but this year the General Assembly had to plug a $500 million budget hole created by unexpected Medicaid cost overruns, and wasn’t able to do as much as most legislators wanted to. With nearly 100,000 active teachers and nearly 1,800 central office administrators in North Carolina’s public schools, every 1% raise equates to an extra $180 million in spending — and after paying for the Medicaid cost overruns, there just weren’t any taxpayer dollars left to spend.

What has gone unreported is that the state budget does include a reserve fund for future pay raises for both teachers and state employees. If there isn’t another surprise, House leaders have said that teacher pay raises will be their top priority next year.


How have the teachers pay raises compared to other state employees?

North Carolina’s teachers have done markedly better than other state employees in terms of pay raises. Over the past 20 years, base salary increases for North Carolina’s public school teachers have far outpaced other state employees:While there is no raise for teachers this year, everyone (including teachers) will see larger paychecks. Thanks to this year’s tax reform efforts, everyone’s take-home pay will increase because we’ll all be paying less in state taxes.


But the bottom line is that teachers just don’t make enough.

According to the teachers union, the average annual salary for a North Carolina teacher is $45,947. But like with any job, you can’t just look at base salary — you really have to look at the entire compensation package. In addition to their base salary of $45,947, a teacher receives an average of $4,931 in health insurance benefits, $5,383 in state pension benefits, and $3,139 in Social Security contributions. That’s a total annual compensation package of $59,400 — for working ten months out of the year.


How does this compare to what other people make?

When you divide a teacher’s base salary (not including benefits) of $45,947 by the total number of weeks actually spent working (44), you get an average weekly wage of $1,044. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly wage across North Carolina is just $673.

This $673 weekly state average wage includes the relatively higher wages in Durham County ($1,225) and Mecklenburg County ($1,103). But the $1,044 average weekly wage of teachers in North Carolina is significantly higher (in most cases $400 higher) than 98 of the 100 counties in the entire state.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. For a high resolution PDF of this chart, click here.


I read on Twitter that the General Assembly increased class size. Is that true?

Not exactly. The General Assembly removed the one-size-fits-all class size mandate and gave the authority to make these decisions back to the local school district, where it belongs. Local teachers, principals, and superintendents have a much better sense of where available resources should be focused. By selectively increasing class size, for instance, a superintendent might be able to hire an additional teacher if she decides that’s the best fit for her students. This efficient targeting of resources and enhanced flexibility will help protect programs that individual districts consider more essential.


What is the average class size in North Carolina?

According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, North Carolina’s average class size was 19 for elementary students and 21 for secondary students. Both are lower than the national average of 20 and 23, respectively.


I heard that you guys ended teacher tenure. That’s why most people enter the teaching profession in the first place!

Ending guaranteed lifetime tenure is a way to ensure that only the best teachers are hired and retained. Tenure for public school teachers doesn’t work the same way it does in higher education, where a professor must wait ten years and then be approved by a majority of his or her academic peers. Under the tenure system in North Carolina, a teacher automatically received guaranteed lifetime tenure after just four years.

In order to keep their tenured status, teachers in north Carolina only needed to receive satisfactory evaluations in just one year out of three. For example, a teacher could receive failing back-to-back evaluations in years one and two — but if they could show adequate improvement in year three, the clock would be reset and their tenure would continue.

Not surprisingly, the system has been abused in many ways, stifling excellence in our classrooms. It also typically took nearly ten years to remove poor teachers from North Carolina’s public schools because of the exhaustive paperwork required, the bureaucratic entanglements, and lengthy court appeals. The teacher tenure system was so broken that only 17 of North Carolina’s 97,184 teachers were fired for cause last year.

The budget replaces this outdated tenure system with a contract system based on job performance and the best teachers will be rewarded through a merit pay system. There is $10.2 million in the budget to reward high-performing teachers with $500 bonuses. These measures will better ensure quality instruction by identifying ineffective teachers who need to be retrained or replaced.


Why did you end the extra pay for teachers with master’s degrees?

The budget does phase-out new pay supplements for teachers who earn a master’s degree, unless that advanced degree is required for their position. If a teacher is already collecting this extra pay, or their master’s degree will be completed by April 1, 2014, they will be grandfathered in and will still collect that supplement. It’s important to note that other state employees don’t get raises just for earning a master’s degree.

Interestingly, research has shown that teacher performance and student outcomes have no bearing on attaining an advanced degree. According to theCenter for American Progress, a liberal research and advocacy organization, “teachers with master’s degrees … are no more effective, on average, than their counterparts without master’s degrees.”


But I heard from my neighbor, who’s a teacher, that Republicans are cutting 9,000 positions this year.

The General Assembly authorizes a certain number of positions for each school district, and it’s up to the school district to hire people to fill those positions. Sometimes they do, but in many cases they don’t — so the positions remain vacant. Think of it this way: as a business owner, you’d like to hire 100 new employees, but your revenues don’t meet expectations so you only choose to hire 25. Can someone legitimately claim that you fired 75 people?

And under the former Perdue administration, these vacant positions continued to be funded — despite the fact that in many cases there were no actual employees working in the jobs. School boards got to keep the extra cash — nearly $300 million statewide — and spent it however they wanted, often hiding expenditures for items like cars for coaches and administrative assistants. The new budget eliminates this so-called “K-12 flex cut” for local districts to bring more transparency and accountability to the budgeting process.

The point here is that “positions” are different than people. Especially vacant ones.


What about these vouchers I’m hearing about? My tax money will go to send kids to private school?

Yes. The budget expands school choice in North Carolina by creating a new pilot program that awards “opportunity scholarships” to 2,000 low-income students in the 2014-15 school year. Only those children who already qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program would be eligible for the grants.

Locally-based private scholarships have worked very well in North Carolina, and the Opportunity Scholarship Act aims at replicating these successes at the state level. For example, the Charlotte Children’s Scholarship Fund, which benefits low-income and predominantly African-American children, saw student performance in reading and math increase by six percentage points after just one year in the program.

As we’ve seen, it costs $8,757 a year to educate a child in North Carolina. Opportunity Scholarship grants for 2014-2015 will be in the amount of $4,200 — leaving $4,557 additional money back in the public school and relieving them of the burden of educating the child. For more information on North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Grant program, click here.


OK. What else does the education budget do?

A number of significant new reforms have been enacted. Among some of the highlights:

The budget provides funding to implement critical school safety measures, such as resource officers, and expands the use of technology and innovation in schools. The budget also adds $23.6 million to continue funding the Excellent Public Schools Act, which will strengthen student literacy, improve graduation rates and increase accountability. Tuition for out-of-state students at our public universities has been increased in order to keep tuition more affordable for North Carolina families. And the State Board of Education is now required to work with community colleges to create specific programs in high schools (e.g. engineering, technology and other high-employment vocational fields) to better prepare young adults for employment.

Although we might disagree on how to get there, we all want only the best for North Carolina’s students. To be sure, change can be uncomfortable, especially for institutional bureaucracies and certain entrenched liberal special interest groups. But by moving forward together, we can give our students even more opportunities to grow and prosper so they are prepared to lead our state to a brighter future.””

http://www.ncgop.org/nc-house-republicans-state-education-spending-the-facts/

For telling Orwellian lies and misleading the public, I award the Greensboro News Record 4 Orwells.

Orwells4

 

 

 

 

Warren Buffett Greensboro News Record offer to purchase from Roy Carroll, Rhino Times Owner, News & Record has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories

Warren Buffett Greensboro News Record offer to purchase from Roy Carroll, Rhino Times Owner, News & Record has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories

“The (American) press, which is mostly controlled by vested
interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.”… Albert Einstein

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”

 

 

I already liked Roy Carroll, a local businessman who has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Greensboro and who resurrected the Rhino Times.

Now I love the man.

From the Rhino Times February 26, 2015.

“A Letter to Mr. Buffett

February 26, 2015

Since resuscitating the Rhino Times, hardly a day has passed without someone asking me to take the Rhino to a daily publication so that they could get fair and balanced local news and editorials.  Since day one of owning the Rhino, I have studied doing just that; however, the thought recently occurred to me that it might be advantageous to just purchase the News & Record.  Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the Greensboro News & Record, along with the Winston-Salem Journal and a list of other daily publications across the country.  I believe the News & Record has turned its back on mainstream Greensboro and taken a hard left turn, and, while I don’t know this for a fact, I would surmise that the paper’s readership and ad sales numbers are bound to have taken a downward turn as well.

Under my business plan I would return the News & Record to a “middle of the road” publication, using the Rhino Times to complement the News & Record with its typical political commentary and coverage of city, county and state news.”

“Dear Mr. Buffett:

 

I first would like to introduce myself.  My name is Roy Carroll and I own several Greensboro businesses, including Snap Publications, the parent company of the Rhino Times, a local weekly news publication.

 

Speculation is that you are not satisfied with the financial performance of several of your newsprint publications since you acquired them.  If that is correct, I would ask that you seriously consider the enclosed Letter of Intent to Purchase the Greensboro News & Record.

 

Please understand that this is not a publicity stunt but a bona fide offer.  I have developed a business plan to turn the News & Record around and to hopefully make it a viable business.  The plan involves utilizing the synergies that could be created between both publications being located in the same city, and consolidating senior management, advertising sales and distribution.  I envision changes to the editorial team that would result in potentially the most cost savings and revenue growth.

 

Over the course of several years, the News & Record, in my opinion, has drifted far left of center in terms of its coverage and stories.  I believe that this drift far to the left has hurt the News & Record in terms of readership and ad sales.  Under my business plan, I would prune back some of the writers that have gone so far left of center and hire writers that were less dogmatic in their far left of center news coverage and opinions.    Don’t get me wrong, I value opposing viewpoints and would promote healthy debates on important topics.  Publishing opposing viewpoints is productive and, in my opinion, a responsibility of a local daily.  Actually, most Greensboro citizens see themselves in the political center.

 

I’ll give you a classic example of what I’m saying.  I’m sure you have research detailing the unfortunate state of the local Greensboro economy.  Over the last four or five years we have somehow lost our way in terms of job creation and wage growth.  While our peer cities were actively recruiting new businesses on the back side of the recession, Greensboro, in my opinion, had the wrong people and possibly the wrong economic development structure in place.  As a result, there have been virtually no net jobs created in Greensboro.  You would think that a responsible local daily would be all over this issue, regularly writing about the lack of job growth and local economic development, especially since it hurts everyone in our community, including the readers and advertisers that the News & Record relies on.”

Read more:

http://www.rhinotimes.com/a-letter-to-mr-buffett.html

I have criticized the News Record as well.

From Citizen Wells February 22, 2015.

“There are numerous variations of the AP January 2015 jobs report from around February 7, 2015.

The Greensboro News Record regurgitated their own version in print. I could not find an online version so the print edition is provided in full below.

The News Record has been diligent in fact checking the employment data and record of the NC Republicans in power but when it comes to Obama and the national economy, anything goes.”

I am disappointed that instead of fact checking the AP article and presenting the truth, they regurgitated it.

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/ap-january-jobs-economy-report-lies-inaccuracies-misleading-statements-greensboro-news-record-regurgitates-sloppy-reporting-bias-or-orwellian-lies/

 

 

 

Citizenfour wins Oscar, Edward Snowden documentary, Laura Poitras film about NSA spying revelations receives Academy award for non fiction films, Citizen four Snowden pseudonym

Citizenfour wins Oscar, Edward Snowden documentary, Laura Poitras film about NSA spying revelations receives Academy award for non fiction films, Citizen four Snowden pseudonym

“His earlier thought returned to him: probably she was not actually a member of the Thought Police, but then it was precisely the amateur spy who was the greatest danger of all. He did not know how long she had been looking at him, but perhaps for as much as five minutes, and it was possible that his features had not been perfectly under control. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself — anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.”…George Orwell “1984″

“A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected. Nothing that he does is indifferent.”…George Orwell, “1984″

“The US government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me,”…Edward Snowden

 

Edward Snowden and I have several things in common.

I hope that we have the opportunity to converse.

From the Guardian February 23, 2015.

“Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour wins Oscar
Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden and the NSA spying revelations carries off Academy award for non-fiction films”

Citizenfour has won the Oscar for best documentary, for its director Laura Poitras, editor Mathilde Bonnefoy and producer Dirk Wilutzky.

Collecting the award, Poitras, flanked by journalist and collaborator Glenn Greenwald, said: “The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.” Poitras thanked Edward Snowden for his “sacrifices”, and added: “I share this award with Glenn Greenwald and the many other journalists who are taking risks to expose the truth.”

“When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honour and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”

Guardian defence correspondent (and Citizenfour star) Ewen MacAskill said:

“Congratulations to Laura Poitras. When she filmed Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and myself in Hong Kong, it never occurred to me she had something as ambitious as CitizenFour in mind.

I did not even give much thought to why she was filming: just assumed she wanted a record of events for some undisclosed reason, maybe a low-budget film to be used by privacy campaigners. It came as a surprise when I finally saw it, the sheer professionalism of it, and I had no doubt from that point she would win an Oscar.

Good news for Laura. Good news too for Snowden: he can treat the Oscar as one of his biggest endorsements yet.”

Citizenfour chronicles the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that burgeoned into the wider NSA spying scandal. The Guardian and theWashington Post simultaneously began publishing Snowden’s leaked information in June 2013, with both publications winning a Pulitzer prize in 2014 for Public Service journalism. The film’s title derives from the pseudonym Snowden used when he first anonymously contacted Poitras.”

Read more:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/feb/23/edward-snowden-documentary-citizenfour-wins-oscar

AP January jobs economy report lies inaccuracies misleading statements, Greensboro News Record regurgitates, Sloppy reporting bias or Orwellian lies?

AP January jobs economy report lies inaccuracies misleading statements, Greensboro News Record regurgitates, Sloppy reporting bias or Orwellian lies?

“The (American) press, which is mostly controlled by vested
interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.”… Albert Einstein

“the Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”…George Orwell, “1984”

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984”

***  See footnote below  ***

***  Update below  ***

There are numerous variations of the AP January 2015 jobs report from around February 7, 2015.

The Greensboro News Record regurgitated their own version in print. I could not find an online version so the print edition is provided in full below.

The News Record has been diligent in fact checking the employment data and record of the NC Republicans in power but when it comes to Obama and the national economy, anything goes.

I am disappointed that instead of fact checking the AP article and presenting the truth, they regurgitated it.

From the Greensboro News Record February 7, 2015.

“Job gains reflect growing recovery
WASHINGTON — A resurgent job market in January signaled that the U.S. economy is finally regaining the kind of strength typical of a healthy recovery — with hiring accelerating, wages rising and people who had given up their job hunts starting to look again.
Freer-spending consumers and steady economic expansion have boosted hiring for the past three months to the most robust pace in 17 years.
In January, employers added 257,000 jobs, after 329,000 in December and a sizzling 423,000 jobs in November, the government reported Friday. The November and December gains were much higher than the government had first estimated.
“The labor market was about the last thing to recover from the Great Recession, and in the last six months it has picked up steam,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association. “The benefits for the middle class are now solidifying.”
The average hourly wage rose 12 cents to $24.75 in January, a jump of 0.5 percent — the sharpest since 2008. In the past year, hourly pay, which has long been stagnant, has risen 2.2 percent. That’s well above inflation, which rose just 0.8 percent in 2014.
The accelerating job and pay growth now make it more likely that the Federal Reserve will begin raising the short-term interest rate it controls by midyear.
Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, predicts that the Fed will raise rates from record lows in June.
Investors responded to the better-than-expected figures by selling U.S. Treasurys, sending yields up, a sign that many think a Fed rate hike might be more imminent than they thought before. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.94 percent from 1.81 percent shortly before the jobs report was released.
Stock investors appeared nervous about a Fed rate increase, which could pull down stock prices. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 60 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,824.
The unemployment rate rose last month to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent. But that occurred for a good reason: More than 700,000 Americans — the most in six years — began looking for jobs. Not all of them found work, which swelled the number of unemployed. The influx of job hunters suggested that Americans have grown more confident about their prospects.
Fueling the burst of hiring has been a pickup in economic growth and falling gas prices that offered Americans more money to spend. The economy expanded at a 4.8 percent annual rate during spring and summer, the fastest six-month pace in a decade, before slowing to a still-decent 2.6 percent pace in the final three months of 2014.
There are now 3.2 million more Americans earning paychecks than there were 12 months ago. That additional cash tends to boost consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of economic growth.
Americans are feeling better about the economy. Consumer confidence jumped in January to its highest level in 10 years, according to a survey by the University of Michigan. And consumers increased their spending during the final three months of last year at the fastest pace in nearly nine years.
A more confident, free-spending consumer could lend a spark that had been missing for most of the 5½-year-old recovery. Americans have been largely holding the line on spending and trying to shrink debt loads. Signs that they’re poised to spend more have boosted optimism that the economy will expand over 3 percent this year for the first time in a decade.
Retailers added 45,900 jobs in January, hotels and restaurants 37,100.
Though jobs in those industries typically offer lower wages, companies have boosted pay as they have scrambled to fill openings. Hourly pay has risen 3 percent in the past year for retailers and 3.4 percent for hotel and restaurant employees.”

The employment numbers used below come straight from the US Labor Department.

It is important to note that every January the Labor Dept. rectifies ( A term used in “1984” ) the data.

Beside each January you will find “1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.”

First lie/inaccuracy: There were 3 million not 3.2 million more people working since last January.

Error of omission: Over 1.3 million of those gains in employment in the last year went to Hispanic/Latinos.

Misleading: “The labor market was about the last thing to recover from the Great Recession, and in the last six months it has picked up steam,” “The benefits for the middle class are now solidifying.”

Misleading:  “More than 700,000 Americans — the most in six years — began looking for jobs. Not all of them found work, which swelled the number of unemployed. The influx of job hunters suggested that Americans have grown more confident about their prospects.” That is all conjecture. Remember from above: “1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.”

Did you know?

Of the approx. 6 million new employments since Obama took office in January 2009, 4,511,000 were Hispanic/Latino!

We have barely, if at all,  recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession and 75% of the job growth went to Hispanic/Latinos!!

The large numbers of young people entering the labor force are the reason that the percent of population working has dropped under Obama. I will examine this more in detail and report soon.

Approx. 9 million people net have entered the population counted by the BLS for employment population since Obama took office. That is the people turning 16 years old subtracted by deaths. That is the reason for the increase in those not in the labor force, not baby boomers as some would have you believe.

There was an increase of over 12 million not in the labor force since Obama took office.

According to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, the unemployment rate is a big lie.

“The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment”

“Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.”

Read more:

http://www.gallup.com/opinion/chairman/181469/big-lie-unemployment.aspx

The consumer spending noted in the AP report is inaccurate as well, but after seeing the jobs misportrayed, you will not find that surprising.

Reread the article above and see if it squares with the facts and let those reporting this Orwellian crap know that you do not appreciate it.

As noted above, there are millions of young people entering the labor force each year and getting disproportionately clobbered by the economy and jobs market. More on this to come.

***  Footnote added 9:45 AM  ***

The Labor Dept. shows approx 15 and a half million more people added to the employment population since Jan 2009.

Obviously some of those are aliens, legal or illegal.

***  Update Feb 23, 7:40 AM  ***

I meant to include this important “rectification” to the AP article.

“The labor market was about the last thing to recover from the Great Recession, and in the last six months it has picked up steam,”
There were approx. 1.8 more people employed in the last 6 months. 50 percent of those, approx. 900,000, were Hispanic/Latino.

Orwellian US government BLS and media feed dumbed down population, Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?, Economy is strong and jobs are plentiful?, Ignorance is strength

Orwellian US government BLS and media feed dumbed down population, Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?, Economy is strong and jobs are plentiful?, Ignorance is strength

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”…Aldous Huxley

“Not every item of news should be published: rather must
those who control news policies endeavor to make every item
of news serve a certain purpose.”… Joseph Goebbels

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

The same dumbed down low information people who believe the lies about the Ferguson incident believe the lies being told about the economy and jobs situation.

Sadly, even so called more educated folks believe and regurgitate reports on the economy and jobs provided by the BLS and mainstream media.

Once again, thanks to Zero Hedge for this article.

“Should You Believe What They Tell You? Or What You See?”

“Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass, why the Honey Boo Boo show was canceled, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, whether I’ll get a better deal on Chinese slave labor produced crap on Black Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, fantasy football league standings, the latest NFL player to knockout their woman and get reinstated, Obama’s latest racial healing plan, which Clinton or Bush will be our next figurehead president, or the latest fake rape story from Rolling Stone. The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.”

“The level of data massaging by the government and their co-conspirators on Wall Street and in the corporate media is a futile attempt at a happy ending that will never come to fruition. The intensity and relentlessness with which the state and its quasi-state minions attempt to paint a false picture of economic recovery is equal parts arrogance and desperation. The arrogance is a function of successfully pulling off the greatest heist in world history from 2003 through 2008 with no adverse consequences, no criminal charges, no penalties for their crimes, and more power and wealth than they had prior to 2003. The only way to stop sociopaths is to throw them in jail or kill them. In our dystopian paradise of greed, they were rewarded with trillions in rescue packages by their cohorts in crime at the Federal Reserve and in Congress. They’ve paid themselves billions in bonuses for gorging at the Federal Reserve trough of QE and ZIRP. The desperation is borne from the fact that after $7.5 trillion of debt added by the Federal government and $3.5 trillion of debt created by the Federal Reserve since 2009, the Greater Depression for average Americans deepens by the day.

The men pulling the strings behind the scenes are drunk with power and their hubris allows them to believe their own infallibility and blinds them to the dire consequences for our country when their debt Ponzi scheme fails. But, as we grow ever closer to the day of reckoning, they will use every means at their disposal to paint a positive picture, regardless of the facts and reality for the average person. The examples of twisting, distorting and outright lying about the economic reality of our times are endless. These are some of the major false storylines peddled by our benevolent corporate fascist leaders:

The BLS reported 321,000 jobs added in November and the unemployment rate at 5.8%. Jobs are plentiful, based upon these statistics.

A skeptical critical thinking individual might ask a few questions or point out a few inconvenient facts the government purveyors of propaganda might not want us to ponder:

  • The non-manipulated, non-seasonally adjusted number of jobs in November FELL by 270,000. The BLS added 600,000 jobs as an adjustment to achieve the headline grabbing result.
  • If the jobs market is so good, why is the labor participation rate at a 30 year low of 62.8%?
  • Since 2007 the number of working age Americans has risen by 17 million, while the number of employed has risen by less than 1 million, but the unemployment rate is about the same.
  • Why would almost 14 million working age Americans leave the labor force since 2007 if the economy is booming and jobs plentiful, with 1.2 million leaving in the last 12 months?
  • Why would payroll tax receipts be flat with last year if millions of new jobs have been created?
  • If the country has really added 8 million jobs since 2010, how could real median household income FALL by 2.3%?”

 

“According to the government reported figures, the economy hasn’t been this strong since 2007. GDP has supposedly grown at greater than 4% over the last two quarters.

Anyone who is sentient knows consumer spending accounts for 68% of GDP. Capital investments that lead to long term prosperity continue to decline as a percentage of GDP from 20% in 2000 to 16% today. We’ve chosen consumption and financialization over savings and investment. This fact leads to some observations:

  • If GDP has actually grown by 20% since 2008 how does this correlate with a 6.9% decline in real median household income?
  • GDP has been goosed by a $69 billion increase in government spending, with the majority going to the military industrial complex. ISIS has been a godsend for our GDP and arms dealer profits.
  • GDP was increased retroactively by $500 billion last year based on a new way the government accounts for intangibles.
  • The surge in consumer expenditures over the last two quarters has been in the purchase of services. The higher costs for Obamacare are a boon for GDP. Are they a boon for your bank account?
  • The trade deficit has fallen as exports of petroleum products have temporarily provided a boost to GDP. The collapse in oil prices will reverse that trend rapidly.”

 

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-11/should-you-believe-what-they-tell-you-or-what-you-see

 

Obama and Democrat party ideologues responsible for D68 childrens deaths, Enterovirus spread by illegal children from Central America, Greensboro News Record editorial example

Obama and Democrat party ideologues responsible for D68 childrens deaths, Enterovirus spread by illegal children from Central America, Greensboro News Record editorial example

“It’s easy to look back and realize what a jerk Hitler was. But at the time, Hitler looked pretty good to the German people, with the help of the media. He was TIME Magazine’s Man Of The Year in 1938. The German people assumed they were safe from a tyrant. They lived in a Republic, after all, with strict laws regarding what the government could and more importantly could not do. Their leader was a devoutly religious man, and had even sung with the boy’s choir of a monastery in his youth.”…whatreallyhappened.com

“Barack Obama is endangering the children of the US and now our troops. Where is the outrage?”…Citizen Wells

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

Forget the irresponsible actions of Barack Obama for a moment and the subsequent threats of Ebola and ISIS to this country.

We have an epidemic of Enterovirus D68 in this country and it is killing, crippling and making our children extremely ill.

We know for a fact that D68 was rare in this country prior to this year.

We know for a fact that Enterovirus D68 was found in the child population of Central America in 2013.

We know for a fact that there is no vaccine.

And we know for a fact that Obama was warned about not screening the illegal immigrant children for disease.

We also know for a fact that Obama requested help from governors  in dispersing these children all over the country.

We know for a fact that the children were dispersed all over the US.

Some areas of the country protested.

This is not your father’s Democrat Party.

Many people have supported Obama because of his skin color, white liberal guilt or just because of the modern day left agenda.

This is no different than supporting Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s because of his rhetoric about a greater Germany.

The Greensboro News Record presented one of the most irresponsible and apparently party line editorials that I have ever read recently.

“The United Nations counts 641,000 refugees living in Jordan and 609,000 in Turkey, thanks to Middle East conflicts.

Kenya hosts 534,000 refugees. Chad has 434,000 and Ethiopia 433,000. These are poor African nations.

In North Carolina, leaders in two counties have passed resolutions saying they don’t want any refugees, not one, from the crisis along the border with Mexico. “This issue is not of Brunswick County’s making, and is much larger than Brunswick County, and Brunswick County does not have the excess resources necessary for relief,” its resolution said. Surry County commissioners adopted a similar statement.

Brunswick and Surry are not among the four North Carolina counties listed by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement as having received 50 or more young people this year as part of the recent crisis. The four are Mecklenburg, 536; Wake, 188; Durham, 180; and Wayne, 55. The total for North Carolina is 1,648.

Opposition stems from concern that these children may be eligible to enroll in school and receive other government services. But their presence in North Carolina is not only a reality; it is a legal and humanitarian necessity.

They arrived at our border to escape dangers in their native Central American countries. This was not a matter of poor border security; they wanted to be taken into U.S. custody. Under a 2008 law, they are entitled to legal due process — an evaluation to determine whether they qualify for asylum. This takes months, if not years. In the meantime, many are settled with family members or other sponsors in every state.

Should they be crowded into concentration camps on the border, or should communities across the country share in the responsibility of caring for them? Any county can declare it had no role in creating the problem, but it’s an American problem. It belongs to all Americans.”

“So, perhaps we can emulate many poorer countries and share a little space with people who have nowhere else to go.”

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/opinion/n_and_r_editorials/share-some-space/article_2fe775a8-48e7-11e4-8ad5-0017a43b2370.html

Ever heard of Ellis Island?

Many of our ancestors were screened for health issues there.

Some were rejected.

Why? Because people had more damned sense then and we had real leadership.

Instead of blindly following the agenda of Obama et al, the News Record owes their readers an apology.

This is another example of irresponsible party ideology.

And it needs to stop.

Wells

 

For more information:

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/npr-enterovirus-d68-mystery-largest-outbreak-of-ev-d68-ever-recorded-this-is-different-this-year-something-is-different-how-stupid-andor-obama-biased-can-you-be/

 

 

 

Obama newspaper endorsement triggers apology, Billings Montana Gazette apologizes to readers, Obamacare, Scandals, NSA spying, Failure to approve Keystone XL pipeline

Obama newspaper endorsement triggers apology, Billings Montana Gazette apologizes to readers, Obamacare, Scandals, NSA spying, Failure to approve Keystone XL pipeline

“The function of the press is very high. It is almost Holy.
It ought to serve as a forum for the people, through which
the people may know freely what is going on. To misstate or
suppress the news is a breach of trust.”…. Louis D. Brandeis

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From the Washington Examiner July 1,  2014.
“That bad, huh? Newspaper so disappointed in Obama it apologizes for 2008 endorsement”

“President Obama has so far been a major disappointment to even his most ardent supporters, his approval numbers steadily falling to fresh lows.

And the president is apparently such a disappointment, that the Billings Gazette in Montana felt compelled last week to apologize to its readers for endorsing him in 2008 over Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

At least we were “winning battles in Iraq” when George W. Bush was president, reads the editorial, titled “Gazette opinion: Obama earned the low ratings.””
“The editorial contained a list of what the paper’s editors consider the president’s mistakes:

— The scandal over NSA spying on Americans

— Obama’s “war on carbon” and his failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

— The failure of diplomacy in Iraq that put the country on the brink of civil war.

— The Bowe Bergdahl swap, which made the administration seem incompetent.

— Mismanagement of the Department of Veterans Affairs that led to to veterans dying before they could receive medical care.”

Read more:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/that-bad-huh-newspaper-so-disappointed-in-obama-it-apologizes-for-2008-endorsement/article/2550355?custom_click=rss