Archive for local news

Twofer: Hispanics aren't casting ballots; the political "news" media is MIA


hispanics vote logo

I read the New York Times headlines every morning on my trusty New York Times app. When my barely-open eyes are able to focus, I link over to read the ones that grab me. Two very important headlines did just that, one about Hispanics, and one about the national "news" media:

Let's take them one at a time, starting with local journalists leaving beltway reporters in the dust with their mouths hanging open and their eyes popping out:


All politics is local, which may explain why The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chesterfield Observer both took David Brat’s Tea Party challenge to Mr. Cantor seriously [...] Congressional races are a mess to cover because there are so many of them... The math of covering someone who may become one of only 100 senators is far easier. [...]

No one wants to stray from the white-hot center of power for fear of being stuck in some forsaken locale when something big happens in Washington — which is why it has become one of the most overcovered places on earth.

That Beltway provincialism is now multiplied by the diminution of nonnational newspapers. The industry as a whole is about half as big as it was in 2007, with regional newspapers suffering acute cutbacks. [...] Plenty of reporters are imprisoned in cubes in Washington, but stretched news organizations aren’t eager to spend money on planes, rental cars and hotel rooms so that employees can bring back reports from the hustings. While the Internet has been a boon to modern reporting ... it tends to pin journalists at their desks.[...]

The quants took a beating on this one, partly because journalists are left to read the same partisan surveys and spotty local reporting as Mr. Cantor’s campaign staff, whose own polling had him up by more than 30 points.

That made MY eyes pop out. Well, actually, it didn't. It did, however, reinforce what I already knew about news coverage, and that's pretty frustrating. So what it really did is made me do this:

banghead gif

On to Hispanics, another frustrating report, because it examines why they don't make it to the polls, what's preventing them, and how change is inevitable. Fortunately, this piece has a happier ending:

One reason is that no demographic group is more marginalized in American elections than Hispanics. Many are ineligible to vote, while those who can vote often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. [...]

The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. [...] Eligible Hispanics are also less likely to vote than other Americans. A big part of the reason is demographic: Hispanics are younger than other Americans, and voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds become significantly more likely to vote as they age. [...]

The power of Hispanic voters is further diluted by geography... Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in noncompetitive states and districts, diminishing their role in the most important races.[...]

Hispanics are earning more clout in presidential elections. It is in those elections, not in the fight for Congress, where Hispanics could ultimately force the hand of Republicans.[...] In time, the political underrepresentation of Hispanics will end. The Hispanic share of the electorate will steadily increase... But for now, Hispanic voters will struggle to get their voices heard.

Please link over and read the parts I left out. These are two very important articles that answer a few questions, pose a few more, and explain why so many of our heads are exploding on a daily basis.


Nothing But The Naked Truth


beach b&w

Okay, here's one you won't want to miss. Drug smuggling. Boats. Maritime disaster. DEA. Police. Homeland Security. California. Nude Beach.

Got your attention?

A drug running boat carrying several thousand pounds of Marijuana is making it's way off the coast of Santa Cruz, California. Suddenly, without warning, the normally taciturn seas become choppy, then rise up further, breakers crashing over the deck of the boat. She takes on water and finds itself floundering. The captain puts out a distress signal, then limps his boat to the closest shores -- a nude beach. The marijuana runners escaped with some of their contraband, but couldn't take it all in their hasty retreat.

Three divisions of police, DEA and even Homeland Security agents arrive immediately, responding to the boat's distress calls before making land. Who said there's any fallout from a government shutdown?

But it seems they were moments too late. (Oh, maybe that's because of the slimdown).  The culprits were already gone when law enforcement arrived, as was most of the marijuana. Left behind were a few bails of the weed and some containers of gasoline.

Though questioning witnesses and recovery of some of the drugs went on for a while, most of the nude beach-goers were quickly dismissed after brief-less interviews. Evidently, none of them had much to hide from the officers. Rumor has it that the chief of police ordered his men to forgo any pat-downs on the witnesses as they were all naked. The police passed on demanding a strip-search, to see if any of them had taken some of the stash themselves.

Eye-witness reports weren't much help providing police with the outlaws' identities. When one of the nudists was asked if she could describe the criminals, she said, "I can't identify them for sure. They all were wearing clothes, if that helps."

The only thing copped at the scene by the cops, was perhaps a feel (for the situation), though no one's come forth to press any charges so far. Photos of the crime scene are still pending.

Here you go -- on the scene reporting -- nothing but the naked truth.


7 Year-Old Tale of Two Cities



Okay, we've all heard of Roshoman... oh, you haven't. It's a classic movie: the tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters -- a bandit, a woman, her husband and a woodcutter. Only two things about the incident seem to be clear -- the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. They all saw the same thing, but their perspectives on the event are totally different. And so it is with real life.

Take the 7 Year-Old Tale of Two cities:

Similarities: Two boys, both seven years old, both steal their family car and bot take it for a joyride.

Differences: One boy is Black. One boy is White. One boy becomes the featured guest on a popular morning show. The other is arrested, cuffed and put on the evening news, taking a 'perp' walk.

Can you guess which is which?

Here's the feel good story treatment:

And now here's the other child's story:

What's wrong here is what's wrong with our society. Race. We put a judgment on one kid, as well as cuffs, and we make a celebrity out of the other.  White kid cute.  Black boy, bad.

Both of these kids stole cars, drove them dangerously and put lives at risk, including their own. Let's stop this two sides of the law kind of treatment. Both kids should face some serious counselling. And so should their parents.

Just think if one of these kids had hurt you? Would it be so cute? We can't make heroes out of wrong doers. That too is wrong.


Video- President Obama Interviewed On Local L.A. Station: Tiger Woods- "On Another Planet" 2/20/2013