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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Mainstream Media" just isn't getting it - New York Times on President Elect Trump

OK, I've taken the year off basically and there have been reasons for that, but I want to weigh in on the subject of Traditional Media that has evolved into Corporate (shill) media and their personal biases against anyone and anything that doesn't toe their line. They don't represent a spectrum of opinion and they have chosen a role of Issue Creationism. Instead of providing information about the relevant current events that effect the public's lives, they are trying to create issues and formulate public opinion based on the issues they create.

I've also been hearing and reading a lot about what the Establishment and Status Quoers define as "Fake News" and "Fake News Sites". This all has evolved because people are seeking alternative sources of information, because the Establishment media has done what I describe above. The Establishment Media has narrowed their focus to the issues that define the Global Corporatists' agenda and seek to delegitimize anything that doesn't have a viewpoint through that prism. Make no mistake, those who push the "Fake News" meme are outing themselves as Global Corporatists. They should be called out on it.

I had the opportunity to listen to an audio from President-Elect Donald Trump's meeting with the New York Times (NYT) today. NYT felt a need to do a play-by-play description of the interview, which is fine, but goes a lot to the heart of the issue of what we saw with the traditional press's reporting of the elections this year.

What we have seen is that the traditional press has blurred the line between what should be editorial content versus the newsworthy actions that have taken place. There is a pride with traditional "old school" media that leaves no room for the reality of evolution and new technology. It is a sword that they are in the process of falling upon.

Mr. Trump believes he was treated unfairly by his hometown newspaper -- and as he states other media outlets. NYT and other media seem to take umbrage with the depiction, feigning innocence, teling the reading/listening world that they were only doing their job. Well, that would be perfectly fine, if they had covered the Hillary Clinton campaign with the same fervent gusto in editorializing Mr. Trump on every issues he brought forward or was brought forward against him in this campaign, instead NYT chose to fill a role as advocate for the Hillary and the Democrats.

Personally editorializing, I have no issue with NYT, or any other media outlet, being an advocate for a candidate, candidates, or issues; but they should be honest and upfront with the utmost transparency about where they stand. NYT, and other media outlets, have made the mistake, it seems, to believe that the news is about them and not the subject they are reporting on. Think about an artist. That is what a journalist is supposed to correlate with -- literature. Think about the portrait they are painting. Think about a fine work of art. In the Mona Lisa, I don't see Da Vinci's face in the picture. Yet, these self-important "journalists" seem to believe that part of their job is to now interject themselves into every subject.

NYT's presentation drips with the irony I describe above. We, the public, are supposed to look up to NYT, because of who they are. Their reporters tell us so in the lead up to the excerpts of this interview. The reporter (Ross Douthat) says that (his personal opinion, but he doesn't say it is his personal opinion - so is he speaking for everyone?) their is a fundamental surrealism about the man, Donald Trump. The reporter says he doesn't have a disrespect for the man, then he goes into Mr. Trump's background as a celebrity and businessman. Then he talks about how this meeting wasn't a formal and traditional meeting of a President and they aren't in awe of him.

Right there, from the get go, shows how biased and disrespectful this whole situation is. What made a Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton seemingly so awe inspiring? versus Mr. Trump? You see, that is this journalist's opinion, and it shows that the reporter isn't going to give Mr. Trump a fair shake, because he is essentially saying he doesn't respect him.

The reporter, Mr. Douthat states that he expected Mr. Trump to come in and be gracious (to the NYT) in a way he wasn't gracious to other media outlets in a recent meeting. Personally, I have learned, that isn't part of being a journalist. It is about having some sort of respect commodity. You earn respect by producing relevant information that has value. When you produce worthless opinionated tripe, then you aren't going to be respected. You are even entitled to have an opinion, if it is fair, justified, and constructive creating value.

To show the NYT's representative conceit, the reporter goes as far as to say that he expected Mr. Trump to be conciliatory showing deference to what a jewel the NYT is. Why should Mr. Trump be conciliatory. He won the Presidency in spite of all your newspaper did to try to keep that from happening. Your paper should be the ones who show conciliation in some form by at least going back and showing some humility in how wrong you had it about this election on so many accounts.

Mr. Trump even says that the NYT is a jewel. Not to put words in his mouth, but I believe he is speaking to what NYT was and represented, not the current iteration of what I believe are entitled, self-important pseudo-journalists who seem to feel that just because they work for the NYT they have been anointed as experts in the realm of whatever it is that they are reporting on. It doesn't work that way in the real world. In the real world you earn your position by creating value. Journalists create value by having credibility. Credibility comes from getting "it" (the news) right more than you get it wrong. The NYT got it completely wrong when it came to this election and that sinks their credibility rating. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past if you self-destruct your present.

I can go on and on, but you can go to the link to the article below and listen to the tone. It's basically another round table discussion on Trump. This is much of what personality and issue information has become. The media plays snippets of events and a group of people sit around and hash the subject matter out based upon a context they create through personal opinion. This is the echo chamber. This is where the lack of depth on issues comes from. Why not just throw a camera/microphone up in a bar. This is fine as an adjunct to news issues for further discussion of pertinent issues, but this is not news reporting.

I'll be back...

Audio: Inside the Room With President-Elect Donald Trump [The Run-Up]
- New York Times - Michael Barbaro - November 23, 2016

Edits had to be done because my batteries were running low on my keyboard and so I had to proof read and re-edit. Peace to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Real Hillary Clinton - Bill Still report

Good afternoon, I’m still reporting on - NBC Crew - Crooked Hillary’s Massive Meltdown at Sept. 7th Forum

Remember the Sept. 7 Commander-in-Chief Forum where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appeared separately but back-to-back for 30 minutes each?

According to an email forwarded to us late last night, which originated from a Comcast email address, the technical crew for NBC which produced the event is now speaking out about what took place moments after Clinton walked off the set – a massive profanity-laced tirade aimed at NBC’s host, Matt Lauer.

It turned out that Clinton had been fed all the questions for approval in advance of the forum.
But then, after the approval, Matt Lauer had had a change of heart and he started his questioning with an unapproved line concerning Clinton’s use of an illegal private server for her sometimes classified, work-related emails.

According to a Comcast official (the parent company of NBC Universal) who apparently was quoting those on the set:

“When Matt posed the one legitimate question about the FBI investigation concerning her homemade server and the unsecured emails, we could see she was beginning to boil.”

According to an NBC Associate Producer of the Forum, as soon as Clinton got off the set, she exploded.

“Hillary proceeded to pick up a full glass of water and throw it at the face of her assistant, and the screaming started.”

“She was in a full meltdown and no one on her staff dared speak with her – she went kind of manic and didn't have any control over herself at that point.”

“How these people work with this woman is amazing to me. She really didn't seem to care who heard any of it.”

“You really had to see this to believe it. She came apart – literally unglued; she is the most foul-mouthed woman I’ve ever heard … and that voice at screech level … awful!”

“She screamed she’d get that f… Lauer fired for this.”

Referring to Donald Trump, Clinton said:

“If that f - - - ing bastard wins, we all hang from nooses! Lauer’s finished...and if I lose it’s all on your heads for screwing this up.”

So, Crooked Hillary fears the gallows, eh? Interesting.

Her dozen or more aides were visibly disturbed and tried to calm her down when she started shaking uncontrollably, as she screamed to get an executive at Comcast the parent company of NBC Universal, on the phone. Then, two rather large aides grabbed her and helped her walk to her car.

Matt Lauer was massively criticized for the rest of the week on air by the Clinton campaign and the rest of the MSM as having conducted:

“an unfair and partisan attack on Clinton.”

According to the email, calls were made to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post and Twitter executives with orders to crush Matt Lauer.

One staffer on the Clinton campaign told the NBC staff that they all fear Clinton’s wrath and uncontrollable outbursts, and one described Hillary as “an egotistical psychopath.”

Since Hillary does not allow any staff to have cell phones when she is in their presence, no footage is available.

Interim DNC chairman Donna Brazile, the first black woman to hold the position, was singled out by Hillary during the rant. She screamed at Donna:

“I’m so sick of your face. You stare at the wall like a brain dead buffalo, while letting that f - - - ing Lauer get away with this. What are you good for, really? Get the f - - - to work janitoring this mess - do I make myself clear?”

A female NBC executive said that Donna Brazile looked at Mrs. Clinton and never flinched, which seemed to enrage Hillary all the more. The executive continued:

“It was the most awful and terrible...and racist display – such a profane meltdown I have ever witnessed from anyone, and I will never forget it.

“That woman should never see the inside of the oval office I can tell you that. She was unhinged and just continued to verbally abuse everyone – she was out of control.”

Why did Lauer ask his rogue question? According to sources close to Lauer, because:
“… the American people deserve an answer from the former Secretary of State.”
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good Day.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hickory, NC in the national news again

How the China Shock, Deep and Swift, Spurred the Rise of Trump

Many assumed the U.S. would withstand the import threat as it had with Japan, Mexico; devastation in Hickory, N.C.

HICKORY, N.C.—In the late 1990s, this furniture-making hub seemed sheltered from the disruptive forces of globalization. Laid-off steelworkers from West Virginia, Tennessee and beyond streamed here for new jobs building beds, tables and chairs for American homes. The unemployment rate fell below 2%.

These days, Hickory is still suffering from a series of economic shocks, none more powerful than China’s rise as an export power. The invasion of imported furniture drove factories out of business, erased thousands of jobs and helped drive unemployment above 15% in 2010.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Buffalo's Sinkhole resolved update - WMNC-FM radio 92.1 - Richard Garrison report

Hickory City Council held a regular meeting Tuesday night, the open session was only about 15 minutes to deal with an 11- item Consent Agenda, and two informational items along with a Public Hearing concerning a proposal to designate the former Lyerly Full Fashioned Mill as a Historic Landmark in Hickory, the "mill" was constructed in 1930, and operated until 1957 according to city officials, and has mostly been unused in recent years, and in 2007 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A recent Catawba County Tax Office assessment shows the property to have a tax value of 2-million, 840-thousand, 100 dollars.

No one in attendance spoke for or against approval of the Public Hearing, and city council voted 6-0 to unanimously approve the measure. Council member Jill Patton was absent Tuesday night. Next after approving several appointments to Boards and Commissions, Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright motioned for city council to go into a Closed Session, and after more than one hour, Council members returned to open session to announce a decision to authorize the taking of the "sink hole" property along Highway 70 in Hickory, to begin to make repairs along with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, with an estimated cost of 2.2 million dollars, Hickory City Council decided in Closed Session as an economic development to appropriate $550 thousand dollars of the $ 2.2 million dollars to make repairs to the property.

This property is the former site of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, where in 2002, a brand new Chevrolet Corvette was consumed by the first sink hole, and some time later a second sink hole opened on the property in which the restaurant was closed due to an unstable foundation on the property. Many longtime Hickory residents will remember when this sink hole and loss of the restaurant occurred, along with lawsuits from the former owner of the restaurant filed against the city, as well as an apparent lack of understanding between the restaurant owner and the city as to who was responsible to "FIX" the sink hole and allow Buffalo Wild Wings to resume business. This was never resolved to the satisfaction of the property owner and Buffalo Wild Wings closed permanently at this location as a result. Due to the "Loss" of a brand new 2002 Chevrolet Corvette, "swallowed" beneath the property, this sink hole episode received International attention from various internet sources at the time. Later, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was forced to "close" the portion of roadway in front of the restaurant during heavy downpours due to unusual flooding conditions.

This area was for many years "signed" by the NCDOT, "Roadway" subject to flooding, drive carefully, as a warning of potential dangerous driving conditions during heavy rain in the immediate area.

According to Mayor Wright, these "repairs" beginning in the near future with the start of the process Wednesday, should improve driving conditions along Highway 70 in Hickory when completed. This highway is heavily traveled due to its proximity to Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory, along with many busy shopping areas, and businesses.

For WMNC News, I am Richard Garrison reporting.

Richard Garrison

Buffalo sinkhole issue to finally be resolved after a decade

According to sources, City of Hickory will spend $2.2 million in conjunction with the NCDOT to fix the former Buffalo's sinkhole out on Highway 70 Southeast. The sinkhole originally occurred in 2002 and was fixed before re-occurring in 2006 and worsening over time. Flooding has happened in that immediate vicinity due to blockage and that flooding has caused intense damage to adjacent properties near the site. No timetable was given about when work will begin.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Alive and Well and James Thomas Shell

Here is my 50th birthday musical playlist. We'll talk politics later.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

On behalf of Larry Pope - Hickory City Council - May 3, 2016

I know I have been taking a sabbatical and haven't reported on anything in a while. I've been working on my house, gardening, working, and working on several other projects that have been on the backburner over the past few years. A couple of weeks ago I lost a good friend in Larry Pope. He was a true champion of the forgotten people in this community. The people who basically are afforded no representation in the current broken political system.

I spoke on Larry's behalf at the Hickory City Council meeting the other night, May 3, 2016. Larry had recently championed the cause of fixing the issues related to Hickory's Public Housing. Funny thing is that I relate how Hickory Incorporated has chosen to move back towards the status quo over the last several weeks versus allowing the Western Piedmont Council of Governments to merge Hickory Public Housing into their Public Housing System due to a lack of media attention from Charlotte media and no attention by the ZEROES here in Hickory. Now, this morning, we are presented with another article by the Charlotte Observer -- Sex-for-rent accusations prompt lawsuit against Hickory public housing agency - Charlotte Observer - May 5, 2016. Funny how things come together.

Below is my presentation. I want people to understand that I did not randomly come up with the word "nemesis" at the end of this presentation. That was the term Mayor Wright used on Monday during an interview with Hal Row on WHKY during his Monday Morning Meeting with the Mayor. That Larry was his nemesis and some people said that Larry was his nemesis and he was Larry's nemesis. I never heard Larry say such a term over the years I knew him.


Link to Youtube video of presentation

I stand here tonight with a heavy heart over the loss of a good friend. He was so much more than an associate. He was truly a friend. Much of my desire and ability to write has been taken away over the past several months by anxiety from anger, not because of any certain thing, but because of the uncertain. I'm getting older and I know death is certain and the loss of so many around me has done nothing to allay my apprehension about death. There is a paradox of fighting the darkness or embracing it. I have no fear of death, only an apprehension of whether I have fulfilled my life or wasted it.

I'm not here to speak for myself. I am here to speak for my good friend Larry Pope. He was a man who lived with no fear. He walked everywhere in this city. He rode the bus inside and outside of the city's boundaries anywhere he pleased. He had many who wanted to help him, but in the end he sought as much independence as any blind man could be afforded.

I prayed and asked Larry to give me his words tonight. The words are a little more filtered than Larry might have presented. Not because I think what Larry said was wrong, but because of my own comfort level. So, I'm not up here to ask any of you to resign or to ask Chief Adkins to put anyone in jail. I am up here to try and bring thought, respect, and resolution.

Yes, Larry could be a little overzealous. Yes, a little melodramatic at times. But, close your eyes and see what you see in this room. Do you feel a little lost without your sight. I think we all have sight here tonight, but how many of us can actually see. Larry may not have had physical vision, but he saw many things that many of us couldn't.

I can't fill his shoes and no one in this community can. As a white man, I have no right, but I do pray that some people in the African American community will carry forward Larry's mission. Not looking for a pay off or a pay out, but to truly help others.

I was at Larry's funeral last week. It was so uplifting to see the people in this community that truly loved and supported Larry... and I know Larry supported them as well.

As a Libertarian, I have come to not believe the government. Government has come to represent itself over the will of the people. Larry Pope also, to a great extent, was a Libertarian. But, in envisioning where Larry was coming from, his challenges, I understand Larry's need for government. That is why Larry fought so hard on issues for the handicapped.

I hope that Attorneys Crone and Dula understand that Larry did respect them. Chief Adkins and City Employees, you know that Larry respected y'all. Mayor, Council, as hard as it may be for y'all to believe, Larry wanted to respect y'all.

Many people thought what Larry asked for was petty, trite, frivolous... I saw him come up here so many times and I watched people roll their eyes. I saw people turn beet red. I saw people who obviously tuned him out. I saw people want to rebuke and challenge him when he had gone back to his seat after saying his piece. And there were a few that listened, and I appreciate it when representatives listen, but my perception is that they never made a point of getting their fellow representatives to understand what they are here for.

I am blessed to be able to stand up here on this night and make this prepared statement. Larry didn't have that option. Yes, he could be long winded and repeat himself. That happened because of what I convey to you above. He couldn't see your body language like I could. Like so many of us could. He was emphatic about getting his point across. He could see what so many times y'all refused to see. How many times did Larry ask me what y'all looked like when he spoke on his issue of the night.

Hickory Incorporated's story line in 2012, during the Ward Referendum, was that the Ward Representatives wanted to represent all of the people of Hickory. In the subsequent years, how many of you have represented Larry Pope? You continued to dismiss him... How many of you have represented the interests of the South side, Ridgeview, or those in poverty? You haven't and thus you were justifying the unjustifiable to keep your adulterous system.

Yeah, what I have said above is harsh, but it isn't a charge against your personal being, unless that is who you desire to be and what you want to represent. What I am relating to you above is the result of your actions.

I remember being at the Lakeland Park debate during this time. Joe Brannock and I talked about moving Persons requesting to be Heard back to the front of the agenda. I'm not trying to out you Jill, but she said, (Paraphrasing) "...never, because of what Larry Pope would do if that happened." Well, something happened over the subsequent months and she and Sally Fox championed the cause and pushed it through over the Mayor's objections... and to that I would like to say Thank You Jill... and I don't think anything has happened over the subsequent time to say that the decision you made was wrong.

At Larry's funeral, Hank got up and spoke and related how Larry had befriended him and taken him to his house to eat, when Hank first went to work for the Hickory police department. In Hank's words, Larry had befriended Hank when he didn't have to. Hank said if there was anything that Larry's family needed that he'd be there for them. Larry's brother told you Hank, "Do the right thing... represent Larry... represent us." It's time Hank. It's time to be a friend to Larry. It's time to do the right thing.

You know, many people thought years ago, and over time, that Larry Pope was a wildcard that just liked shooting off at the mouth. That wasn't the Larry Pope that I knew. Larry listened intently and with interest about what people had to say. We had a meeting that several people of all walks of life attended and after the meeting, one of the gentleman, who everyone would know if I said his name, said, "Larry didn't really say much." We had to point out that the Larry that speaks before the Hickory City Council is only one version of Larry Pope.

Now, I'm going to come to a point. Larry has championed a cause about fixing issues related to the Hickory Public Housing authority. You dismissed him outright until some embarrassing issues came to the light. Then, and only then, you looked to take action. Seems that some time has gone by and the real media in Charlotte, since we have none here in Hickory, hasn't reported on it of late, so some think they can slink back to the status quo.

Larry came to you with this issue. There were issues that Larry experienced firsthand and many other issues were voluntarily brought to Larry by people effected by the Housing Authority. Larry listened and reported these issues and what did you do? You took him off of the Housing Authority board and when Larry was off of the board, then all of these people that worked at the Housing Authority were subsequently fired... Now that's the Carolina Way right there. That's the Hickory Way that the bosses love and the people know and hate.

Funny thing is that Larry was dismissed from the Housing Authority board, but now we are told that the Mayor has no authority over the board. He's the one that appoints these board members. He was the one who appointed Larry. He was the one who chose not to reappoint Larry, after Larry brought issues forward.

Seems like to me when you can appoint and dismiss Housing Authority board members, like you did Larry, that you have the ultimate authority. Of course at the last meeting you said that you didn't want to dismiss friends/board members to which Brad seemed to wholeheartedly agree. That is your choice. That has nothing to do with a lack of authority.

I truly hate to bring this up, but logically what we've heard sounds like a lot of throw it up and see what will stick defenses. Summarily, it seems like you've dismissed the finding of HUD in relation to "Misappropriation of Funds", as no big deal. "Nobody stole any money."

Misappropriation means that you took money intended for one purpose and used it for another. It isn't armed robbery, but it is most definitely wrong. And guess what? You are using your authority and your political capital to qualify this issue and dismiss it all as no big deal.

Larry took a smell test and he passed it along to me and others. You know what it smells like. It smells like money. I smell some stinky money. I smell some "Let's make some money off of some poor people" money.

It's been brought up before. You see it on the Hickory Public Housing Authority Website -- Unifour Capital Ventures. So they are going to privatize the housing authority and reap the benefits, then -- as Larry told me and others -- these board members are going to have paid board positions and then no one can dismiss them... and no one will have authority over them. Who really is going to look out for the poor people living in these places?

HUD gave money to the citizens of Hickory to build these apartments for low income people and you are going to allow someone to take them over for free and look to make a profit off of a gift. What if this entity continues to be mismanaged? Are the citizens of Hickory going to be expected to bail a future catastrophe like that out? I can go into many other reasons why this is all a bad idea.

I was with Larry when he spoke with The Western Piedmont Council of Governments about this issue and them incorporating Hickory's Public Housing into their Housing Management system. He asked me to be his eyes in that meeting. Those people were genuine. The COG's Housing Management system is regional. It's obvious that Unifour Capital Ventures wants to be regional also, thus the name "Unifour".

Like I said, I smell money. There is no "goodness of the heart" to all of this. If it was a "goodness of the heart issue", then they wouldn't be fighting tooth and nail to maintain their positions and they would say that they've done the best they could and the COG can have it. I smell stinky, tainted money.

A few months ago, three Council members went to Greensboro. At least two of them came back wanting to turn the housing authority over to the COG. Now the Mayor wants to maintain the status quo. Jill and Hank, I hope you will stick to your guns.

I'm going to wrap this up for now, but I'll be back. The people of this community for some reason are held to a higher standard than our elected officials and the City's management. I've seen it time and time again where people like Larry are told that they've got it wrong and they don't have the information. Well, who's providing the info?

Y'all providing us bad information? Seems that's on y'all.

Your average citizen is expected to adhere to the strictest of standards, but Hickory Incorporated has shown no accountability to the standards that they expect of citizens. It's called the spirit of the law. You do whatever you want and everyone is supposed to accept it as the gospel. Most of us aren't afforded such a luxury. Like Orwell said, "Some of us are a little more equal than others."

We have a broken political system in this country from the top to the bottom. Elected officials only worry about getting re-elected. Every decision is made based upon how it will effect electability. What about doing the work of the people and the community.

I've heard it said that we are sore losers. Well, it's hard to be gracious in defeat when dealing with sore winners. You've gotten everything you wanted. Tell me what y'all haven't gotten? Sure you had to fight harder than you wanted, but you got it. Had to cut corners and tell some whoppers, but you got what you wanted. Heck, with the machine y'all have built, you don't even have to worry about keeping your stories straight, they're going to vote for you anyway.

Look at what we've dealt with. Getting arrested on trumped up charges. People calling to threaten your boss about allowing you to be employed. People telling us they are going to beat us down, if we stick our head back up. Hey Paul, I'm still standing. Where are you?

They say those who laugh last, laugh loudest, and those who send out unsolicited pictures of celebrations and victory cigars eventually have them stuck where the sun don't shine. There's a lot to be said about winning with class. It helps others lose with dignity. Like Jock Ewing told JR on the old television show Dallas about subtlety. "Without it , you turn competitors into enemies and enemies into fanatics."

At the end of the day, I want you to understand that Larry Pope was not your nemesis. I am not your nemesis. Larry loved the politics. Personally, I loathe politics, but understand the reality. If you feel that we are your nemesis or others are your nemesis, then you are your own nemesis.

God bless Larry Pope