Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The continuing immigration non-debate

I'm finished (for the time being) with trying to convince people that there are legitimate arguments that are made every single day for non-support of ILLEGAL immigration.

The latest attempt I made to discuss a legitimate argument related to immigration, legal and/or illegal, came in the form of sharing a legitimate reason why Missouri's language law might NOT be "nothing but talk," as the Springfield News-Leader presented it.

That attempt was a perfect example of what I wrote in this blog piece in summation of the intentions of the News-Leader, but it is much broader than just the News-Leader, this attitude applies to just about any non-discussion of the issue between just about any two debate opponents, I wrote:

"By summing up Republicans or those who support an English language law in such a way (as IGNORANT XENOPHOBES), by polarizing people in such a fashion they do not seek debate, they do not seek to truly represent the two sides of the ILLEGAL immigration argument, they do not seek balance or diversity of thought, what they seek are vitriolic and angry responses which they can then use against those who supported the English language laws and would like to see our borders enforced against illegal aliens."

For a further example of this in play read the exchanges in the comment section here.

No matter how I tried to stick to the general topic of non-English speaking legal immigrant voters, my opponent, "hillbilly," tried every way possible to insert Hispanics or, as he called them, "browns" into the discussion, as if it was my intention to single them out when that was never my intent.

In my own opinion the entire discussion on his part was an effort to somehow turn the conversation in such a way as to be able to call me a racist, a bigot, a xenophobe. By doing so he had the luxury of ignoring my legitimate argument supporting an English language law in Missouri. If he could manage to find a single reason to call me a racist, a bigot or a xenophobe then my credible argument would not stand, it would no longer be credible. So instead of taking the argument I made at face value and addressing it, he worked to discern a less than honorable motive for my support of such a bill (and failed).

The discussion was going nowhere and never would have gone anywhere. There can never be real discussion about the ILLEGAL immigration problem we face in the United States or in Missouri when the argument cannot even begin to be about the argument but, instead, always becomes about the motive of the debate's opponents.

Dr. Andrew Cline is continuing his discussion on "What a Quote Means" at The Rhetorica Network, for those interested in that aspect of the discussion. I plan to continue to read his entries, he's a good "source." ;)

UPDATE: For another example of how the immigration debate always turns to anyone who opposes the current comprehensive immigration reform bill is a bigot, read the comment section here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dr. Cline replies to my previous entry

Because this is an important issue to me and I want to be fully understood in the position that I am taking regarding the Springfield News-Leader, I have decided to post Dr. Andrew Cline's comment to my previous entry: On Dr. Andrew Cline's "What a Quote Means," here as a primary entry rather than in the comment section, along with my response to him. Cline wrote:

re: "criticized" all journalists as having an agenda

Yes, but not in the way usually meant by those stuck on simplistic ideas of political bias in the news media. The truth is more complex and far more interesting. And, in a very important way, it is far more harmful to journalism's purpose than the occasional instances of political bias (that break both ways). I left that last line--the one you quote--hanging there for a reason, which I hope will become clear as I continue discussing quotes.

Well, Dr. Cline, I don't know what your definition of "simplistic ideas of political bias" means (yet). I don't know that people are as "simplistic" in their opinions or their determinations about media bias as you may think they are. It has been my experience that oftentimes people have a better understanding of what is going on in our culture than they are given credit. At least I am hopeful that this is the case. I like to think, rather than being "simplistic," that not all people are able to accurately articulate their thoughts and are caught in traps set up by their political opposition because they are unable to state those thoughts well. When they inarticulately reply they are then set out for display by their opponents and are misrepresented by their later sensationalized words.

I have been watching the immigration debate for some time. There is no debate. What there is is an effort by those who are sympathetic to the cause of illegal aliens to paint anyone less sympathetic than they as a bigot, as a racist, as a xenophobe. There is an effort to shut debate down, not listen to debate, not consider the views of the other side.

The Springfield News-Leader has been using this tactic for some time. They threw chum into the water over the weekend and then this morning in their most recent Our Voice column they stated:

"It allows us (Missourians, but they have already identified Republicans as the ones who support this bill) to say that we're so afraid of immigrants of a different color, and we're so ignorant of existing state law and how the state conducts its business, that we'll make an unnecessary change to our constitution because it makes us feel better."

By summing up Republicans or those who support an English language law in such a way (as IGNORANT XENOPHOBES), by polarizing people in such a fashion they do not seek debate, they do not seek to truly represent the two sides of the ILLEGAL immigration argument, they do not seek balance or diversity of thought, what they seek are vitriolic and angry responses which they can then use against those who supported the English language laws and would like to see our borders enforced against illegal aliens.

The ILLEGAL immigration debate has nothing to do with race but no matter how many times those who disagree with the News-Leader repeat that it will never make a difference because the News-Leader's ears are closed. They are COMMITTED to continuing the erroneous charge that anyone who is concerned about our borders is a racist, bigoted xenophobe.

When the News-Leader becomes a sensational rag with no respect for its readers who have a differing viewpoint, when the News-Leader's "subtlety" is as subtle as a rhetorical nuclear bomb, one has to wonder if they are in the news biz to educate the public or to propagandize it.

Just look over the flavor of the online edition of the News-Leader over the last weeks. It CANNOT be missed. Unless you happen to be one of those people requiring a brick to the head.

I thank you for your reply. It isn't my intention to drag you into this discussion about the News-Leader but since I have been very disgusted over the last weeks with the News-Leader's coverage I naturally, couldn't help but consider your words from that viewpoint.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Dr. Andrew Cline's "What a Quote Means"

(or "everyone is entitled to their own opinion...")

Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal: What a Quote Means

Bingo. I found this interesting on a number of levels. Oh, okay, maybe on only one level.

I read it through the jaded eyes of considering our local daily newspaper's recent onslaught of controversial editorials.

Think about that.

If I may quote Dr. Andrew Cline of The Rhetorica Network from the above article:

"...what does a quote mean?

It means whatever the journalist intended by its use."

I'd really like to see Dr. Cline touch on what does the choice of a source mean next...? (and perhaps he has in a previous entry, I'll have to look into that.)

Naturally, I understand an editorial is not the same as a news report and in this particular local paper they publish these editorials under the heading of "Our Voice," but if it is the paper's voice shouldn't they simply give their voice? Give their straight opinion on the matter?

In giving their voice they also try to persuade and manipulate the reader to accept their qualitative sources as reason to join them in the opinion they hold. Their choice of sources can be one-sided to make the point the paper wishes to make or by choice of the quotes used from varied sources, they can direct the reader to draw the same conclusion they hold.

So taking, for instance, this "Our Voice" column, the "Our Voice" writer uses the Southern Poverty Law Center as the paper's sole quoted source. Indeed, they chose to summarize the local Minutemen Chapter member's commentary rather than quote him. At least the paper cannot be charged with taking him out of context, since they didn't quote him in the first place. We finish reading the article not knowing what local Chapter member Tom Franiac said at all, only knowing what the anonymous newspaper writer determined him to have meant by words he said that went unreported.

Now, I could have summarized Andy Cline's article by saying, "it became obvious" that Cline "criticized" all journalists as having an agenda. That would be a valid interpretation of his answer to the question, "What does a quote mean...? It means whatever a journalist intended by its use," but would that really be what Andy Cline meant? I don't think that is what Dr. Cline meant at all and if I wanted to I could ramble on a little longer and this could become an entry about moral relativism, your truth is as valid as my truth...right?

I like this Patrick Moynihan quote, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."

Facts are much safer than opinion, facts are much safer than quotes and the truth is the truth when evaluated from the standpoint of fact rather than opinion.

(...and you can quote me on that.)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Springfield Minutemen and Councilman Burlison's proposal on city immigration reform, in his own words

Last night I sent an e-mail to Councilman Doug Burlison. In that e-mail I told him that I was dismayed with the treatment he had received by the News-Leader in an "Our Voice" section editorial. I received a reply from him and I will be sharing parts of that reply. However, before I do that, I also want to address some other issues I had with the article published in the Springfield News-Leader.

Just supposing that some readers of JackeHammer may wonder why it is so important to me to write this, I will tell you that it is important to me because the truth is important to me. When I see an egregious misrepresentation of my fellow citizens published in the city's foremost newspaper it angers me. It angers me because there are likely some people in this city who will believe whatever opinion the News-Leader offers simply because it is in the News-Leader or simply because it is in a newspaper.

I have no reason to believe that the News-Leader will make necessary corrections because they are too busy hiding behind anonymous editorials, squealing that it's "just our opinion." But I don't write this entry out of anger (I wrote my angry piece earlier). I write this piece because the citizens of Springfield, Missouri deserve the truth.

In that editorial the anonymous News-Leader writer implied that the Springfield Chapter of the Minutemen had "arrived" in Springfield a year ago, as though they were outsiders who came in from another city or another state. According to the article they came here to "rail" against illegal immigration and they've tried to "insert" themselves into the "local" debate. The News-Leader also claimed that most of the attention the Minutemen have received has been negative.

These errors and misrepresentations were all in the very first paragraph of the article.

1). The Springfield Chapter of the Minutemen is made up of local members. They didn't "arrive" in Springfield, they were already citizen voters of Springfield.

2). I suppose one could say they "rail" against illegal immigration, or if one was not trying to give the impression that they are a bunch of outsider extremists one could say they are addressing or confronting the issue of illegal immigration.

3). They've not "inserted" themselves into the "local" debate because they were already a part of the local debate. Becoming a member of the Ozark Minutemen Chapter did not change that. They have been a part of the local debate and they remain a part of the local debate.

Some of the Springfield Minutemen's members are former or retired police officers, some are first responders, some are paramedics, and others are concerned citizens simply wishing to have a voice on the issue. These citizens have played vital roles in their community, have played roles of immense value here and are respectable citizens who deserve to be treated with respect.

4). Negative attention? From whom? I have not been aware of any negative attention other than at the News-Leader.

In fact, they have received quite positive attention from Newstalk KSGF, whose web site provides a link to their web site. Vincent David Jericho has embraced them and played a role in bringing the chapter here by his encouragement. Jericho has reported on the strict vetting process that the Minutemen Corps goes through before accepting a member. Members are expected to pay a $50.00 fee to cover the cost of the background check that each member must undergo before being accepted as a member.

THAT doesn't sound negative.

The Community Free Press recently published a story about the Ozarks Chapter of the Minutemen. It was in the May 9 issue, here is an excerpt:

All Minutemen members must pass a background check and an interview. The membership process is designed to weed out people who are racist or have other tendencies that might make them undesirable for membership.
"I want to stress that we are not racist, and we are not opposed to legal immigration," Wilburn said. "We have strict standard operating procedures and do not tolerate racism of any form."

THAT doesn't sound negative.

I didn't think this KY3 - News story treated the Minuteman Chapter "negatively," or this one either. As a matter of fact, excluding the News-Leader I'd say most press and media outlets have treated the Springfield Minutemen Chapter positively, not negatively.

Looking at the second paragraph of the News-Leader article we find that apparently, according to the News-Leader, the Minutemen should not be trying to affect city policy, at least it's implied, then, but a few short sentences later the News-Leader cites the Southern Poverty Law Center,

"which tracks hate groups of all sizes and colors. The Minutemen aren't a hate group, but a new class of what the SPLC calls "extremist nativist" groups. They're dangerous, the SPLC says, because they tend to target people, or groups of people, rather than policies."

So, while the SPLC is identifying the Minutemen as a group which targets people, or groups of people rather than policies they are busy themselves...targeting the Minutemen as people, as a group, calling them "extremist nativists," claiming "they're dangerous." Rather than debating the ideas the the Minutemen have for solving problems created by illegal immigration the Southern Poverty Law Center chooses to label them and call them names.

My question is, is the SPLC trying to affect city policy and is that okay with the News-Leader?

Is the SPLC a dangerous group because they are targeting people or groups of people rather than policies, and, if so, why doesn't the News-Leader identify them as such? Or why doesn't the SPLC monitor themselves?

You see, the Minutemen, by appealing to Councilman Burlison are trying to affect city policy, the Minutemen via Burlison are offering a proposal to address problem issues caused by illegal immigration and instead of being thanked for their effort at approaching the issue as good citizens, by law, by policy, by requesting enforcement of existing policy, they are accused of "targeting people and groups of people." It is not the Minutemen who have targeted people or a group of people, indeed, it is the Southern Poverty Law Center who has targeted the Minutemen. "Oh, what a tangled web we weave..."

Now, the real issue, and yes, I'm finally going to get to what Doug Burlison wrote to me in that e-mail, is what are the points of the proposal Doug Burlison has pledged to bring to the Council? Shouldn't that be the issue? Rather than an attack on the Minutemen and the implication that Doug Burlison has been led down some primrose path to do the bidding of "extremist nativists" who according to the SPLC are "dangerous?" Geesh. Let's get to it.

Doug Burlison, who feels it is "obviously time for some clarification," wrote:

"I am proposing that we pass an ordinance that requires locally licensed businesses who knowingly employ undocumented workers to: A. Receive a warning, B. Pay a fine of $500 for every undocumented worker in their employ, C. Pay a fine of $1,000 for every undocumented worker still in their employ, and D. Forfeit their license to operate in the city for one year if the previous measures have failed to bring about responsible business behavior.'

That is the proposal on which Councilman Burlison is working. That is what the Springfield News-Leader could have been giving serious consideration. That is focusing on policy rather than on people or groups of people. Dangerous? Perhaps it might be viewed as dangerous to those who continue to break the law "knowingly" however, for law abiding citizens there is no "danger" in this proposal.

Later, Doug wrote:

"It has been said that as a municipality, we should not deal with federal issues. Historically, this is what is communicated when we do not have the will to tackle touchy subjects....

" If we, as a city, do not involve ourselves with federal issues, why do we have a D.A.R.E. program? Why do we have “Sister Cities” when involvement with international communities is clearly a federal responsibility? The truth of the matter is that illegal immigration has not been purely a federal issue for years, now. Local communities have been affected in a big way, and to turn a blind eye to that would be shirking the duty that as a city councilman, I have been elected to serve.

"It has also been said that we already have laws on the books that address these issues. If that is the case, then the problem we have is the lack of any will to enforce said laws. Citizens of this community have tried over and over again to have officials respond to allegations, yet the only response they get is a litany of excuses as to why they can do nothing. My proposal is designed to be more specific so that local law enforcement has a clearer mandate from it’s citizenry to act on violations of this ordinance.

"It has also been said that local law enforcement does not have enough resources to deal with new arenas of enforcement measures. Since these laws were allegedly already on the books, I wonder if we, the people, could be given a list of which laws we already have, but cannot afford to enforce?

"It has also been alluded to that this is not a widespread problem in Springfield. If that is the case, then the costs of enforcement should be pretty minimal. The truth is that this is a problem, but it is not a prevailing one in Springfield at this point. Illegal immigration is widespread in the cities of some of our southwest Missouri neighbors, so now is the time for this ordinance to pass in Springfield, not just as a punitive action against existing situations, but just as much as a preventative measure against future problems.

"...Do I believe that we should have a totally documented society where periodic guards detain us and ask, “May I see your papers, please?” Definitely not. Do I seek to punish the illegal immigrant with imprisonment or deportation? Not on Springfield’s buck. Do I seek protection for my fellow citizens from unscrupulous
businesses that exploit cheap undocumented labor? You bet. Some may call this type of activity pure capitalism, kids on the playground call that sort of thing cheating. Finally, can I wait until the federal government gets it’s act together on immigration while good companies are losing business, good people are losing jobs, and good families are suffering? I don’t think so."

This is not a man who has been "convinced" by the Minutemen to follow down a primrose path. This is a man of conviction who deserves the respect that his proposal warrants.

I thank Councilman Burlison for sharing his views with me. It was an honor to share them with you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The News-Leader, the SPLC: Extremist non-nativists?

News-Leader editorialists lack credibility

According to this anonymous News-Leader article:

"Now the Minutemen are trying to affect city policy. They've convinced new Councilman Doug Burlison to try to add Springfield to the list of cities with special anti-illegal immigration ordinances. It's a bad idea. It's bad because the city's police force can't afford to enforce the laws on the books, let alone new ones. It's bad because the debate over illegal immigration belongs in the federal arena, and local police officers don't want to be shoved into that intense discussion. And it's a bad idea because the source of the proposal is a group that lacks credibility."

First of all, back on May 21, the News-Leader published another anonymous editorial all about how bloggers should not hide their names, need I really say more? I mean, here is the News-Leader talking down their noses at bloggers who choose not to identify themselves publishing editorial columns anonymously day in and day out. In that article we're told:

"But too much of the conversation going on in the "blogosphere" is anonymous, and we want to do our part to put an end to that...."

"We hope that more bloggers and forum commenters will realize the value of putting their names on their work so that the conversation gains credibility."

I guess there isn't any value in putting one's name on one of these anonymous editorials that the News-Leader regularly publishes? If putting one's name on a blog enty or comment lends "credibility" to the piece then apparently the News-Leader doesn't care much for its own writers' credibility?

Now, let's remember that it's the News-Leader's opinion that the illegal immigration debate belongs in the federal arena and it is the News-Leader's opinion that local police officers don't want to be "shoved into that intense discussion," further, it is the News-Leader's opinion that the Minutemen group "lacks credibility." That said, it seems the News-Leader's primary reason for opposing new illegal immigration policy being discussed and considered for possible City policy is found here:

"It's bad because the city's police force can't afford to enforce the laws on the books, let alone new ones."

Is the News-Leader actually suggesting that as a city body the City Council should not change any of its policies for dealing with crime in Springfield because "our city's police force can't afford to enforce the laws on the books, let alone new ones?" So, the solution to our police shortage and the ongoing problems with dealing with the police and firefighter pension shortfall (according to the News-Leader) is to just not burden them further by dealing with timely topics and problems when they arise rather than seeking a solution for the real problem, which is that we need more police officers and we need to stop the bleeding loss of the ones we currently have!?

Thank GOD the News-Leader is only a misguided opinion giver rather than a force of "credibility" when it comes to city management.

The Springfield News-Leader gives no good reason to oppose the actual policy that Burlison is considering and planning to bring to City Council, in fact it doesn't even touch on the content of the policy. Was their intention to give their readers information about the policy which hasn't even been proposed yet or was it to disparage and discredit the Minutemen and Doug Burlison?

I think Springfieldians are smarter than anonymous editorial hit men at the News-Leader.

If the News-Leader wants to be "credible" then they should cover the issue and not single out the Minutemen or City Councilmen who they didn't endorse in the first place for their ire, then they should do away with anonymous editorials, I mean, what's good fer the goose....

Furthermore, are the SPLC trying to "affect City policy!?" Maybe they should get themselves a representative elected by the people to a City Council seat, afterall, that tends to garner one a bit of "credibility" in the community, now doesn't it?

And when, according to anonymous, the SPLC says...:

"The Minutemen aren't a hate group, but a new class of what the SPLC calls "extremist nativist" groups. They're dangerous, the SPLC says, because they tend to target people, or groups of people, rather than policies."

Is the SPLC "targeting" the Minutemen "group" rather than the policies of which the Minutemen are supportive!? OH MY!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jerry Falwell, liberal bias, freedom of speech and stuff

Jerry Falwell was certainly a controversial figure. Is there something wrong with that? I happen to think that it is respectable to stand up for one's convictions.

For the sake of supporting a man who stood strong on his convictions, I want to share an excerpt from an article at Baptist Press, Falwell recalled as 'friend'. Franklin Graham spoke at Falwell's funeral, I cite that portion of the article:

Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called Falwell "a giant of a man. He was a man of faith, a prophet of our generation. I'm going to miss him."

"People have asked me, 'Franklin, did you agree with Jerry Falwell?'"

Every time he opened the Bible I agreed with Jerry Falwell," Graham said to applause. "And you know what? He opened the Bible a lot."

Graham said Falwell was "a man committed to the Gospel. I guess that's what connected me to Jerry so much. He believed with all of his heart that Jesus was the way, the truth and the life, and that there was no way anyone could approach a holy God except through Jesus Christ. He believed it.

"Calling Falwell "controversial," Graham ticked off a litany of social issues championed by Falwell, such as the sanctity of marriage and human life.

"He believed in the Gospel. That's controversial.

"He believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. That's controversial.

"He believed in the sanctity of life; he was against abortion. That's controversial.

"He believed in the family, and who would've ever thought that would be controversial?

"He believed in marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

"He believed that moral decay weakened the fabric of America. That's controversial.

"He believed that political leaders should be men and women of integrity and of character and of biblical values.

"He believed in the local church. God bless him," said Graham, who noted the impact Falwell had on his own family because all of Graham's children attended Liberty University.

I will note that recently in a local newspaper article a Professor at Missouri State University was treated very sympathetically after he took part in the grilling of Emily Brooker ( Tony Messenger) .

A part of the sympathy for this professor was due to his ongoing resolve to stand firm for what he believed, "He won't back down from his causes, liberal or not," writes Messenger. The professor didn't care if his convictions were liberal or not. Why should we care that Jerry Falwell's convictions were conservative or not? He stood for what he believed.

In America one has a right to do that.

One also has the right to embarrass oneself by painting a person who took part in abusing a young woman for her religious beliefs as a victim. One has the right to claim that the Alliance Defense Fund took advantage of MSU's "toxic" social work program because they filed a lawsuit for an razed and abused student, Emily Brooker. You know, not unlike what the liberals comparable advocate, the ACLU, does on behalf of liberal plaintiffs every day of every week? I can't help but wonder if Messenger has ever accused the ACLU of "taking advantage" of circumstances....

The law suit the Alliance Defense Fund filed on behalf of Brooker was settled by MSU rather than fought.

Liberty University does not use taxpayer funding. It has had ups and downs financially. Missouri State University does use taxpayer funding, just a little aside...humor me.

One day before the funeral of the late Jerry Falwell, Sarah Overstreet of the News-Leader wrote a damning article about Jim Bakker found here. She flat out stated that a new Bakker venture is the same old shell game that he played years ago in South Carolina, where he was convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. Where is her evidence? There is none. She doesn't need it. His past is enough to condemn him forever. Interesting.

I'm beginning to get the impression that the Springfield News-Leader is anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-traditional values, but you know what? They don't pretend they are anything else. They regularly put their stamp of approval on all sorts of liberal causes du jour with a few alternative viewpoints in the form of conservative blog quotes, conservative readers' letters to the editor, etc. and this is supposed to placate the conservatives in town and cause us to proclaim what a balanced newspaper they are. Gee, thanks. We're very impressed. We're very placated.

Just remember, the News-Leader has a right to publish from whatever bias they care to, and you and me and your next door neighbor have a right to either buy the paper or not. I wouldn't silence the News-Leader any more than I'd silence Newstalk, KSGF. I like freedom of speech, that's why I exercise it. I'd encourage you to exercise it too.

One thing I've learned in all my years of on-line debate and discussion. You really can disagree with people and like them. I disagree with the News-Leader and don't particularly like it. I disagree with Messenger but find him a likable sort of guy.

Liberals feel just as strongly about their viewpoints as conservatives do and it takes all kinds. We could all do better at honing our arguments and expressing ourselves. We could all do better at being open-minded to discussion...BUT, all that said, Tony's article on Kauffman really did smell, and that's all I can say about that. ;)

Monday, May 21, 2007

More about City of Springfield: Pretty in Pink?

I was quoted in the News-Leader, Sunday edition, I guess. See Opinions.

Since what small amount of anonymity I was retaining is now lost (it was intended to be kept private and was shared in a private email between Tony and I), there is a thing or two I'd like to add.

First things first. I write for free on my own blog. I don't write for free elsewhere, of course considering the fact that I have quoted Messenger on more than one occasion without paying him a dime how can I complain? I'm a lowly citizen journalist, no training. If I have any talent for writing it is purely a gift from God.

What Messenger doesn't know is that I'm not exactly certain whether I understood the information I read in the Springfield Business Journal correctly or not. I'm not much with math and certainly am no expert on understanding the City's new budget.

I have long questioned however, the amount of money the City spends on parks and their continuing interest at throwing more money in that direction while being unwilling to allow the Police and Firefighters' Unions in Springfield their way in allowing the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service to provide for mediation. The City has not been able to find a solution to the Police and Firefighters' pension shortfalls and the idea of the Council viewing taking a 1% sales tax to the voters as the solution to the problem doesn't sit well with me. It seems like "passing the buck."

I interviewed both Tony Kelley, the President of the Firefighter's Union and Greg Wheelen, the President of the Police Officers' Association, some time ago (in fact, before the April election in which three new members of Council were elected) and according to Tony Kelly, "We've asked for that (mediation) for the past several years and especially during this pension dispute, we've asked for it on multiple occasions and we've been denied....Federal tax dollars pays for that service, all you have to do is request that, they come in and they'll mediate."

When I asked Kelley why the City has refused to allow for mediation he said the City doesn't feel that a mediator can make a good decision because they don't know all the history.

Kelley went on to say that he was hopeful that the City will "come back to the table."

Greg Wheelen, the President of the Police Officer's Association told me, "The thing that we are looking for is open communication." Wheelen was discouraged. He said that they can meet all day long but when they get told the same thing over and over again that they're just not getting anywhere. Wheelen said, "I'm not saying the City hasn't met with us, they have met with us but as far as making any headway towards a solution there's not been any good ground made in that direction."

At tonight's City Council meeting City Council Bill 2007-147 was read. I'll be writing more about it later...but not fer free. ;)

Recommended Reading 5

The New Media Journal Was Ron Paul Right or Wrong To Say America Caused 9/11? by Scott Malensek

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Liberal bias in the Springfield News-Leader? Surely you jest!

I did a word count on Tony Messenger's Sunday editorial, Riding out the storm: MSU's Kauffman gets his voice back, 2,250 words. That's TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY words spent in an eloquent effort to paint Kauffman as an unwitting and undeserving victim of the Christian right and the Alliance Defense Fund, oh, and let's not forget conservative radio talk show hosts who "ride the short bus."

This might be a reason why the conservative readers of the Springfield News-Leader believe that the News-Leader has a liberal bias.

2,250 words spent in telling the compelling personal story of Frank G. Kauffman. 2,250 words which include epitaphs hurled at Kauffman by:

"angry people all over the world, many of them claiming to be Christians."

One gets the impression that it was those evil evangelical, right wing, intolerant Christians and the evil Alliance Defense Fund which *might* have ruined a good man's life.

Kauffman admits Emily Brooker was:

"...subjected to unrelenting questioning about her religious beliefs. She was threatened with not being able to graduate. She was intimidated and scared."

And Kauffman admits to:

"...sheepishly, he says — participat(ing)..."

But that's okay because he's a liberal who "won't back down from his causes, liberal or not."

Taking a stand on social issues is commendable for a liberal, intolerant for a conservative. Don't believe me? Just ask the late Jerry Falwell.

We get it, Tony, we really do.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

City of Springfield Council Bill 2007-147

On the: Upcoming Council Meeting Agenda:

Council Bill 2007-147:

Originating Department: Police


To amend Merit Rule 18.1(a) Entrance Salary Rate on Initial Employment, by allowing the Police Department to implement a lateral hiring program for police officers.


The shortage of police officers here and nation wide has increased the need for a Lateral Transfer Program. The purpose of the program is to attract more qualified police officer candidates and shorten the training program. A lateral hiring program has been developed by the Police Department that would allow a police officer from another city or employees with prior law enforcement experience (with a minimum of 2 years experience and 600 hours of P.O.S.T. police certification to hire on at a beginning salary higher than the minimum rate. Because of prior training and experience, the Lateral Transfer Program consists of a shorter Academy (shortened to 30 days) and Field Training (shortened to 30 days), enabling the employee to be on the street working in a much shorter period of time. To attract recruits, they would be hired at a step higher than step 1.


The Chief of Police, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources and the City Manager, will determine initial salary rates of lateral transfers based on program criteria.

This bill was submitted by Chief of Police, Lynn Rowe and approved by City Manager, Bob Cumley.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

City of Springfield: Pretty in Pink?

According to a May 14, 2007 Springfield Business Journal article, the City of Springfield has $39.3 million in special revenue funds as a part of the proposed 2007-08 budget. Of that $39.3 million, $17.4 million will go to the Springfield-Greene County Parks Department.

Also included in the budget is $15.5 million for the Springfield Fire Department.

Okay, $17.4 million to the Parks Department, $15.5 million for the Springfield Fire Department. Anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

The Police Department will receive $22.3 million if the budget is approved.

Vincent David Jericho of KSGF reported this morning, see Podcast's for May 17, 2007, that we are currently short "close to 50" police officers and are currently losing police officers at a rate of 3 per month.

It was announced today that the Springfield Fire Chief, Dan Whisler is resigning and Jericho added that Major Steve Ijames, 2nd in command at the Police Department is leaving too.

According to Jericho a Springfield 33 News broadcast last night reported that Chief Lynn Rowe is going to be appealing to the Mayor, the City Council and the City Manager for more funding to try to entice officers from other areas to locate in Springfield.

The obvious question to me is, what good will it do to continue to beautify Springfield, improving our parks, building lovely greenways for cyclers while losing police officers and first responders? At what point can we consider ourselves to be putting lipstick on a pig? If at some point we are no longer safe to walk the streets of our city who is going to care about beautiful parks and greenways?

On May 10, in The Springfield News-Leader, Wes Johnson shared insight regarding the police and firefighter's pension shortfall, predicted to come in at around $4 million for next year, Honea is the assistant city manager. From Johnson's article:

"Honea presented a number of options for generating the additional $4 million.

- Ask Springfield voters to boost the sales tax as much as 1 percent....


"...Carlson noted that freezing pay increases for city employees would reduce morale.

"Some employees say the pension problem is with the police and fire department, so why should we have to pay for their problem," he said.... (emphasis mine)

Later Johnson reports:

...Instead of cutting city workers' pay, the study recommended a 5 percent across the board pay hike for the city's salaried employees." (again, emphasis mine)

Why should the city have to pay for "their problem," indeed? Oh, I don't know, maybe because they made a promise in good faith?

Community Free Press - Midweek's City Council Roundup for the April 9, 2007 Springfield City Council meeting found here has this tidbit:

Council Bill 2007-107, which is supported by police and firefighters and will allow the city to lobby to be added to Senate Bill 624, was added to the agenda. Council claimed being a part of this enabling legislation would allow the city to take up to a 1 percent sales tax, intended to fund police and firefighters’ pension shortfalls, to the voters, if the council decides it’s necessary.
“All this is, is an opportunity to have that in our tool box if the time comes and the Council deems it necessary,” Gary Deaver said.
Burlison was the only member to vote no on the bill.
“If we pass or sign onto enabling legislation like this, we’re really not going to be looking at other efforts to fix this problem,” he said. (emphasis mine)

I have a sneaking suspicion that Councilman Burlison was right. I don't think the Mayor feels he should have to stay within a budget and do the hard work to ensure that police and firefighters will be drawn to work in Springfield or to stay here if they have been drawn here. Why should he or his pet projects have to suffer if he can cry enough crocodile tears to convince the voters that without the taxpayers agreeing to that 1% sales tax that the city will be forced to make cuts the people might not like? But, is it the people who won't like the cuts or is it someone else?

Carlson, Collette, Chiles, Wiley, Manley, Whayne, Deaver, and Rushefsky all voted to approve being added to St. Louis, Missouri's legislation enabling them to take an up to 1% sales tax to the a last resort, I was there, I heard it.

They should have listened to Burlison. I think he was right. Now that they've lobbied to be added to St. Louis' enabling legislation and assuming they got added, they can take a sales tax to the voters to fund the police and firefighters' pension shortfalls.

I used to play a little game on the computer called "Balloon Pop," this freaky little voice would come on periodically and say. in a whining yet cute voice. "it's too easy," well, it's too easy once you have the option of taxing the people rather than balancing a budget to not just tax the people.

On the up side (there's always a silver lining, you know?) At the last Council meeting the City's Finance Department was issued an award for their presentation of the budget. The only problem is, good things don't always come in neatly "presented" packages. Just ask that pig, you know, the one in the bright, pink, waxy lipstick?

The next City Council meeting is May 21, 2007. The new agenda has been posted at eGov Home. Be there or be..........taxed?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Recommended listening: Vincent David Jericho

Follow this link KSGF Podcasts > Home and listen to the Vincent David Jericho May 10, 2007 program from the 6:00 hour through the 7:50 podcast segment. If you do this today, May 10, you will click on the "Vincent David Jericho This Morning" link, if not look for it in "This Week" or the "Best of Jericho" links.

Jericho addresses some serious issues this morning pertaining to the fact that Tony Blaiir, our staunchest international ally in the war on terrorism will soon be resigning and the effects it will have both internationally and domestically.

He touches on the "Castle Bill" which presumes that a person breaking forceably into your private property does so violently and can be presumed to be a dangerous threat to your person. The Castle Bill allows citizens the right to defend themselves with deadly force without legal repercussion under such circumstances.

We are in the middle of serious times in our nation and they are going to get even more serious. We have to be willing to fight for what is right and hold fast to our convictions. We cannot afford to surrender to Islamic fascism and turning a blind eye to the direction our country is being taken by politicians who have no back bone is not going to save us from defeat.

If you love America, the America of old, the idealistic America that believed in freedom and truth, justice, free speech and yes, religious freedom even when you didn't necessarily agree or like what was being said, then you must listen and not allow America's freedoms to be defeated.

Love him or hate him, Vincent David Jericho is raw and honest. Disagree with his philosophy, argue against it, challenge it, debate it if you can.

If you have an argument or comment keep in mind that personal attacks against his character or his family are not welcome. If there are comments made that only attack his character or his family then you will be exposing the fact that you cannot argue against his philosophy and that his concerns are legitimate. Think before you comment, I don't especially enjoy seeing people embarrass themselves here.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Glorifying God? Good question

This morning I write in consideration of an entry at p.o.s. 51, specifically, "I’m Back…I Think."

An excerpt:

"...If you’re holding on to something…anything…you aren’t giving yourself to Him (God).

Now, in reality, this is a tough thing to do. I’ll spend my whole life trying to recognize the things I’m holding on to and giving them up one at a time. But I’m committed to doing that."

I agree. I know I regularly assess my life in an effort to try to bring it in line with God's plan.

It's a constant battle in the Christian life to both remain aware of current events and yet remain "sold out" to God. To not get over-invested in the world.

How involved and how much head room should a Christian give to things that are going on in the world when their goal should be all about what is to come...our treasures laid up in Heaven?

That is a question I have grappled with throughout my entire Christian walk. I wrote about it here and find myself regularly returning to that entry and regularly referring to it in other entries, such as this one.

Sometimes the Christian life can seem like a balancing act. It is vitally important that each of us regularly examine our hearts the way God required of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13:

"11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (NIV)

p.o.s. 51's writer is correct when he writes:

"...our purpose - the reason God created us - was to bring Him glory."

The balance, for lack of a better term, has to be, in my opinion, about whether what we are doing, are we doing it honestly? Are we doing it according to scripture? Are we giving God the glory for the talents we use in the world? Do we hold the things we involve ourselves in loosely?

If God impressed upon us tomorrow that He wanted us to give up the thing in life that we most enjoy, could we make that sacrifice for God? If the answer is no, if it is true that we enjoy our work, our play, our habits, our routine or our politics more than we enjoy God, more than we love God, then we have a problem.

Each Christian is set apart by God the moment they accept his gift of salvation from sin and the gift of life made available through the blood of Christ and his resurrection. Our lives are truly no longer our own. We were bought with a price.

Though it seems these days that I am spending less time blogging about God and more time focused on other issues, He is always in my heart. He walks with me wherever I go and believe me, I often hear that voice asking, "What are you doing here, Jacke?"

It is important that when that question comes that I look at it honestly because God already knows the answer. God asks this question because He wants us to know the answer too.

Springfield City Council Agenda for May 7, 2007

Following is the City of Springfield City Council Agenda for May 7, 2007. At the time of posting it had not yet been posted to the City's website. I post it here in the interest of getting the agenda to the public as quickly as possible and I would encourage its sharing in all media forums:

Springfield City Council May 7, 2007 7:00 p.m.



Note: Sponsorship does not denote Council member approval or support.

* * * *


2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. – April 23, 2007.



5. Swear in Dr. Robert Spence and J. Howard Fisk to the Airport Board.

6. COUNCIL BILL 2007-124. (Carlson) A resolution recognizing Edgar Allen Walton for thirty years of dedicated service as an employee of the City of Springfield.

7. Presentation to City Council from Reverend Gary Hay, Pastor, Hope Community Church.

8. Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Finance Department.



11. COUNCIL BILL 2007-125. (Wylie) A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 1-1600, Zoning Maps, by rezoning approximately 7.712 acres of land generally located on the West side of the 900 block of South West Bypass, more particularly described in this ordinance, from an R-SF, Single Family Residential District to an HC, Highway Commercial District with Conditional Overlay District No. 2; and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 2. (Both Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.) (By: Hoppy LLC; West Side 1000 South West Bypass; Z-02-2007/Conditional Overlay District #2.)

12. COUNCIL BILL 2007-126. (Rushefsky) A special ordinance authorizing the Director of Planning and Development to accept the dedication of the public streets and easements to the City of Springfield as shown on the Preliminary Plat of Westwood Hills 3rd Addition, generally located on the West side of the 900 Block of South West Bypass, upon the applicant filing and recording a final plat that substantially conforms to the preliminary plat; and authorizing the City Clerk to sign the final plat upon compliance with the terms of this ordinance. (Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the Preliminary Plat. Both Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend that City Council accept the public streets and easements.)

13. COUNCIL BILL 2007-127. (Whayne) A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 1-1600, Zoning Maps, by rezoning approximately 1.74 acres of land generally located at 1414 West Elfindale Street, more particularly described in this ordinance, from Planned Development District No. 46 to Planned Development District No. 319. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.) (By: MO-Tex, LLC; 1414 W. Elfindale St.; Planned Development 319.)

14. COUNCIL BILL 2007-128. (Manley) A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 1-1600, Zoning Maps, by rezoning approximately 0.17 acre of land generally located at 1826 South Pickwick Avenue, more particularly described in this ordinance, from an R-SF, Single Family Residential District to a GR, General Retail District, subject to conditions. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.) (By: CSI Properties, LLC; 1826 S. Pickwick Avenue; Z-7-2007.)

15. COUNCIL BILL 2007-129. (Collette) A special ordinance authorizing the issuance of a "Use Permit" for expansion of an existing residential care facility within an R-MD, Medium Density Multifamily Residential District located at 2828 South Meadowbrook Avenue on certain conditions. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.)


17. COUNCIL BILL 2007-130. (Carlson) A special ordinance adopting a budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, for the fiscal year July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 and providing that certain amounts shown in the budget document are appropriated for the various departments specified in said budget, and declaring an emergency.

18. COUNCIL BILL 2007-131. (Carlson) A special ordinance setting a preliminary levy tax on real and personal property for current expenses and debt retirement of the City of Springfield, Missouri, its boards and agencies, for the fiscal year 2007-2008, and declaring an emergency.

19. COUNCIL BILL 2007-132. (Manley) A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, on behalf of the City of Springfield, Missouri, to enter into a license agreement with Carlisle Power Transmission, to allow existing improvements to remain on rights-of-way to be dedicated by the Final Plat of Carlisle Industrial Subdivision; and approving a developer’s agreement with Carlisle Power Transmission and ReLoad Mo, Inc. to provide a 15-foot temporary construction easement along Scenic to offset part of the required fee-in-lieu of the sidewalk required by the Preliminary Plat of Carlisle Industrial Subdivision and authorizing payment of the remainder of the sidewalk fee-in-lieu through the Neighborhood Initiative and Housing Preservation/Development Program Fund of the 2006-2007 Capital Improvements Program, and amending the budget provided for the Planning and Zoning Department of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for fiscal year 2006-2007 in the amount of $30,100. (Staff recommends approval.)

20. COUNCIL BILL 2007-133. (Whayne) A general ordinance amending Chapter 106 of the Springfield City Code, Traffic and Vehicles, Article I, In General, by amending Section 106-53 for the purpose of authorizing the City Manager to close Commercial Street between Lyon Avenue and Washington Avenue vehicular traffic, subject to certain dates, times and conditions.

21. COUNCIL BILL 2007-134. (Carlson) A special ordinance amending the budget for the Department of Building Development Services for the fiscal year 2006-2007 in the amount of $163,000 for the purpose of acquiring design services, purchasing furnishings, and hiring contractors to remodel areas for the department to provide improvements in customer service.

22. COUNCIL BILL 2007-143. (Wylie) A special ordinance declaring the necessity of condemning right-of-way over, under, and through the properties herein described for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a public street, stormwater improvements, and for the relocation, construction, maintenance, and operation of gas, water, electric, telephone, fiber optic, and communications utilities, including necessary fixtures and appurtenances for the Republic Road - James River Freeway - Glenstone Avenue Improvement Project #J8P0692C.


24. COUNCIL BILL 2007-135. (Rushefsky) A resolution approving the Rountree Neighborhood Rain Garden Project.






30. COUNCIL BILL 2007-110. (Wylie) A general ordinance amending Section 1-9 of the Springfield City Code, City Limits, by annexing approximately 1.18 acres of private property adjacent to the existing City limits, located generally on the North Side of the 200 block of East Cardinal Street and more fully described in this ordinance, generally referenced as Annexation A-2-07, and amending Section 46-1 of the Springfield City Code, Election Wards, Precincts and Council Zones, Ward Boundaries, by adding this property to the ward and precinct assigned by the County Clerk.

31. COUNCIL BILL 2007-111. (Wylie) A general ordinance amending the Official Map of Springfield, adopted pursuant to General Ordinance No. 1478, by changing the name of a segment of US Highway 160 to West Bypass as shown thereon.



34. Ms. Kathleen Vaughan wishes to address City Council.


36. The City Manager recommends the following appointments to the Airport Board: Louis Griesemer with term to expire June 1, 2009; and Thomas R. Barr, and Richard L. Bottorf with terms to expire June 1, 2010.

37. The City Manager recommends the following reappointments to the Springfield/Greene County Park Board: Thomas R. Samsel, and Leslie A. Peck with terms to expire June 1, 2010.

38. The City Manager recommends the following reappointment to the Police Civilian Appeals Board: James R. Craig with term to expire May 1, 2010.

39. As per RSMo. 109.230 (4), City records that are on file in the City Clerk’s office and have met the retention schedule will be destroyed in compliance with the guidelines established by the Secretary of State’s office.



42. COUNCIL BILL 2007-136. (Deaver) A special ordinance approving the plans and specifications for the James River Power Plant Trunk Sewer; authorizing the award of the construction contract to Herion Company; authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into this construction contract with Herion Company; and amending the budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, in the Public Works Department for the fiscal year 2006-2007 in the amount of $1,170,000.00.

43. COUNCIL BILL 2007-137. (Manley) A resolution authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to make application for funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), through the Transportation Enhancement Program, for the purpose of providing streetscape/pedestrian facilities for the Boonville Avenue Streetscape Phase 2 North, Boonville Avenue Streetscape Phase 4, Walnut Streetscape Phase 3, St. Louis Streetscape Phase 2, Campbell Avenue Streetscape Phase 1, and John Q. Hammons Parkway Streetscape Phase 1, all funds to be requested on separate applications.

44. COUNCIL BILL 2007-138. (Deaver) A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, on behalf of the City of Springfield, to accept grant funds in the amount of $9,100.00 from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Division of Highway Safety (MODOT) for the purpose of funding a temporary part-time employee in the Police Department to assist with the processing of accident and driving while intoxicated reports.

45. COUNCIL BILL 2007-139. (Manley) A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, to accept two grants from the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and amend the budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, in the Parks Department by increasing the Parks Fund 2115 for the fiscal year 2006‑2007 in the amount of $10,500.00.


47. COUNCIL BILL 2007-140. (Wylie) A special ordinance to accept the bid of C-2 Projects, LLC in the amount of $71,866.15 for the construction of sanitary sewers in Sanitary Sewer Joint District No. 144 of Section No. 12, located in the vicinity of the 2700 Block of East Galloway Road in the City of Springfield, Missouri; declaring the work to be necessary; stating the intention to pay for all or part of the improvements from the proceeds of bonds; specifying those costs and expenses to be specifically assessed against the properties in the district and the method by which the costs will be apportioned; defining the boundaries of the area(s) in Sanitary Sewer Joint District No. 144 of Section No. 12 that will not have special sewer districts established; setting forth the manner of payment, the lien of the assessments and the duration of the lien; setting forth the interest rate to be charged on the tax bills; authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, of the City of Springfield, Missouri, to enter into a contract and to approve the bond for said improvement; and authorizing progress payments to be made to the contractor.

48. COUNCIL BILL 2007-141. (Wylie) A resolution approving the plans, specifications and the bid of Hartman and Company, Inc., for the construction of National Avenue and Primrose Street Intersection Improvements, Plan No. 4PW5416.

49. COUNCIL BILL 2007-142. (Chiles) A resolution approving the plans, specifications and the bid of MTS Contracting, Inc. for construction of Maintenance Sidewalk Construction Project 07A. (1/4-Cent Sales Tax Sidewalk Project in the period 04-07).


51. COUNCIL BILL 2007-116. (Manley) A special ordinance authorizing the Director of Planning and Development to accept the dedication of public streets and easements to the City of Springfield as shown on the Preliminary Plat of Carlisle Industrial Subdivision, generally located at 2601 West Battlefield, upon the applicant filing and recording a final plat that substantially conforms to the preliminary plat; and authorizing the City Clerk to sign the final plat upon compliance with the terms of this ordinance. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.)

52. COUNCIL BILL 2007-117. (Deaver) A special ordinance authorizing the Director of Planning and Development to accept the dedication of public streets and easements to the City of Springfield as shown on the Preliminary Plat of Elmer Subdivision, generally located at 1309 East Republic Road, upon the applicant filing and recording a final plat that substantially conforms to the preliminary plat; and authorizing the City Clerk to sign the final plat upon compliance with the terms of this ordinance. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.)

53. COUNCIL BILL 2007-118. (Carlson) The special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to make application for a $75,000 Emergency Shelter Grant with the Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Family Services for the purpose of subgranting to eligible homeless service providers; to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services; to accept said grant; to enter into subcontracts to carry out the grant objectives; and to exercise any and all powers necessary to implement the grant. (Staff recommends approval).

54. COUNCIL BILL 2007-119. (Whayne) A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept a grant from State of Missouri’s School-Age Community Grant Program for the School-Park (SPARC) Program for Ed V. Williams Elementary, and amending the budget provided for the Parks Department of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for fiscal year 2006-2007 in the amount of $20,000.

55. COUNCIL BILL 2007-120. (Carlson) A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, to enter into and accept a grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the purpose of renewing the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program, which will be the fifth renewal of this Program, and amending the budget provided for the Parks Department of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for fiscal year 2006-2007 in the amount of $190,939.

* * * * END OF CONSENT AGENDAS * * * *


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Top Ten Reasons the News-Leader could be in Trouble:

Okay, Tony Messenger at the News-Leader was having a little fun with a David Letterman Top Ten list so I was in the mood to play too. I thought I might as well post it here.

Here, according to JackeHammer are the

Top Ten Reasons the News-Leader could be in Trouble:

10. Your neighbors won't pick them up, they blow into your yard and the recycling plant won't even take them.

9. Toilet paper is more bio-degradable (think green!)

8. People prefer magazine glossies for paper mache projects

7. Kites can be had fer a buck at the dollar store

6. Due to the local school system your children can no longer read the funny pages anyway

5. No one makes paper hats out of newspaper anymore

4. The writers have so little to write about they are forced to start quoting toothless Ozarks bloggers

3. The Community Free Press is more interesting

2. America's bravest return home to a crowd of 2,000 cheering Patriots but the story is buried on page 5

....and the No. 1 reason your newspaper could be in trouble...

(drum roll please)

Desdinova: Super Villain of the Ozarks buys out yer paper and turns it into a conservative talk radio station