Thursday, May 23, 2013

More media malpractice

Here we go again, with a typical liberal media "news story" about public schools.
This story is a tear-jerker about two of Brevard County's 82 schools closing.
It contains almost no useful information.
It claims the closings are because of $30 million in "budget cuts" but offers no facts to support that contention.
According to the state Department of Education, Brevard County schools had $531 million in revenue in 2009-2010 and the amount has gone up every year to $548 million this year.
Even if the mysterious budget cuts exist, some politicians had to decide to close schools as one way of staying within their budget. Who made the decision and why? There was nothing else that could be cut in the district budget of a half-billion dollars?
Then, why those two particular schools?
Are they old? The story doesn't say. There is one mysterious reference to one of the schools "reopening" in 1997.
Are the schools failing? The story quotes one parent as saying one of the schools is a "No. 1" school, but doesn't tell readers whether that is true or not.
Did politicians close a new school that is doing a good job?
If they did, telling readers why that decision was made would make interesting reading.
Instead, it is a bunch of mawkish baloney about kids being inconvenienced by having to attend a different school. Except that one of the kids is quoted as saying he is looking forward to making new friends.
Apparently, Florida Today has no editors, or this waste of precious news space never would have seen the light of day.
Or, more likely, this was another editor-generated story, where hapless reporters were told to "go out there and write a sob story about schools closing because of budget cuts."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Infernal Revenge Service

When I was an editorial page editor in the 1990s, the head of the IRS came to visit one day.
She swept into our conference room grandly with the usual retinue of about a dozen yes men.
During the conversation, I asked her how many people she employed. I don't remember her answer but my next comment was:
"I'm looking forward to the day when we can put the entire IRS in a room this size."
The jaws of her yes men dropped as if on cue.
But she answered smugly, "I don't think that's going to happen."
I explained my hope that passage of the Fair Tax would make it happen and we moved on to other things.
Since then, the IRS has only grown and with Obamacare it will grow even more. So, maybe she was right.
But it remains an arm of the government that is available,  to any president unscrupulous enough to employ it, as a vehicle to punish political opponents.
Saint Franklin of Roosevelt was one of the first to use it for such purposes, as he and his New Deal gang waged a war on capitalism.
It was also FDR who began withholding income tax from paychecks, another disaster for good government. Imagine writing a check to the government each month for your taxes and how that would affect public policy for the better.
In light of recent events, an independent counsel, the likes of Ken Starr, clearly is needed to determine who unleashed the IRS on conservatives this time. It is highly unlikely that the scapegoat who was fired is the instigator.
Only the low-information voter would put any stock in Obama's assurances that "We're going to fix it."