Friday, 13 March 2009

Just a Moment of Reality

So I kinda figured would happen sooner or later....someone finally sat down and discussed this recent report of child homelessness. There were fantastic numbers utilized for the public report about five days ago. They believed that almost 1.5 million American children (one in fifty)....were experiencing homelessness in 2005-06.

The amusing thing that we learned today? The folks doing this fantastic study....did not use the federal definition of homelessness.

Almost every single news source...went with the original story. It was so sad and so tragic. The bait and the hook were employed however.

At the time...I kept sitting there and wondering...did they count in those kids who are staying with Grandma's house...because of family issues or lack of money? This fabious number of one in fifty would work then...but you can't consider this group of kid's as homeless...especially if Grandma or Grandpa are protecting them.

So rather than using a simple definition of homelessness...already established and accepted by the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development....this Massachusetts-based organization used a standard adopted by the Department of Education that includes children who are "doubled up."

You can guess what doubled-up means....its housing with Grandma. Its pretending to be homeless...even when Grandpa's got you completely covered.

How big a difference? 1,170,000 children. So bluntly, we are back to a realistic number of 350,000...out of 350 million.

I'm not proud of the 350k number. I don't like it. But it infuriates me that a bunch of dimwits sought to overwhelm the public with bogus information...pretending to be "right", when they weren't. Its called 'cherry-picking'...the environmentalists do this all the time.

In this case...they desperately wanted to call Grandpa's unacceptable. They wanted the extended family unit to be worthless and not acceptable. They wanted people to find 'wrong' with moving back in with the the relatives. They sought something that was not ethically right. This is what bothers me most.

All across America tonight...there are parents with their kids...who've moved back in with the Grandpa. He has extended his roof, his protection, his warmth, and everything of his kin. He wants little in exchange. He is taking them in....because its the right thing to do. He wants these close relatives in a place where they are comforted and taken care of. Sadly, this is a southern trait...which I suspect these Massachusetts folks don't really grasp or want to have any part of. Southerners have this passion for protecting their kin...down to the last breathe, if necessary.

So there in the evening are going to sit and pause over the concept of homelessness and how some folks tried to devise their mighty numbers. You will think about some woman in Ripley...sitting there in the kitchen and sipping coffee...while her father plays with the grandkids. Her husband is late from the Piggly Wiggly job that he took last month...and he's got the $1100 check for the month...which helps in rebuilding their lives...but it'll be months before they are prepared for the next step. She knows the wings of the mighty old house are protecting her. Any fool that might dream of this as being mostly a fool. She's living in paradise....she will gladly admit so.

The State of NPR

As most of you know....I'm a love/hate NPR enthusiast. There are various things about NPR that really tick me off, and makes me want to give it up. There are other elements....that I will praise and give them five stars. I'd really like to see them out from under the government and actually performing like a legit network. The problem is....they would go bankrupt in less than a year.

This week.....Ellen McDonnell....NPR's director of morning programming....sent a office memo out....that hard times had finally hit. As of 1 April....NPR is canceling all newspaper subscriptions.

The curious thing I find about this....this network has serious issues with salaries that are way beyond what you'd consider for a government agency. The top five salaries at NPR?

1. Managing Editor Barbara Rehm, $383,139.
2. All Things Considered host Robert Siegel [pictured], $350,288.
3. Morning Edition host Renee Montagne, $332,160.
4. Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, $331,242.
5. NPR afternoon programming director Richard L. Harris, $190,267.

What the boys are that the charity operations have curtailed their yearly donations drastically. So the government funding side of the house is now carrying the weight....and it really wasn't intended to have a significant number of $100k employees.

Could NPR survive with a bunch of guys making $60k to $80k? Washington? No. That's part of the problem with NPR and its Washington/New York production effort. If I were the organizational boss...I'd smile at everyone and announce the movement to Louisville, Kentucky in six months...either pack and move with us...taking a fifty percent pay cut if you make more than $100k a year....or find other employment.

I think as 2009 continues on...we will find more and more little cuts for the NPR staff. It'll eventually be difficult to keep their prospective and they will realize that they are working for a government charity unit with no potential.

Cramer versis Stewart

So if you watched the Comedy Central show last night...."The Daily Show" got a dose of Jon Stewart versus Jim Cramer.

So folks will say that Cramer got what he deserved. So will say that Stewart is trying hard to pretend to be a real journalist when he's a comedian. I pondered the comments and watched the clip....barely eight minutes.

The truth is that the Financial news sector is mostly bogus. About half of the information they hand factual and within reason. The other half? Its mostly without fact or reason. If in the midst of an interview with an idiot CEO....none of the news sector folks will ask tough questions or make pointed judgments. That will never happen.

The serious nature of Jon Stewart? This is what I often wonder about. This is the one guy who could probably come on every night.....and as bold as Will Rogers.....set reality in America into its place. Does he do it? No. About once in an entire 30-minute show.....he'll show that rare moment of Will Rogers. He could willingly take on both the Republicans and Democrats.....but generally....that just won't happen.

The act on Cramer? To be honest....Cramer isn't the guy to take strong defenses. He's not a 4-star debate artist. What Jon Stewart accomplished looked decent.....but in measurements....its a six on a scale of ten. He took on a decent argument and then tossed the guy around for seven minutes. I can't say too much to pat Jon on the back.

So I'm waiting. I'm waiting for Jon to come out of the shadows and take on just about everyone....from the Saudis, to Barney Frank......from the New York Times to Warren Buffet.....from the Limbaugh crowd to Nancy Pelosi.

Comedy Central and the Daily Show? They have built his skills up and made him a decent artist at what he does. But when you have the brush of Picaso, why would you paint a half-ass drawing? So I'm waiting....and I may have to wait a long damn time....but I've got patience, and know that Jon's going to come out of the shadows and darkness sooner or later. It'll be worth the wait.