Friday, June 29, 2007

The Waaaah Factor: Calderon on Senators' "Grave Error"

From the Houston Chronicle:

"President Felipe Calderon of Mexico today blasted the U.S. Senate's rejection of the immigration bill, calling the senators' action "a grave error" that avoided a "sensible, rational and legal solution....""'s Allan Wall did an exhaustive piece exploring the Immigration policy of Mexico in his "Memo From Mexico: Learning About Immigration Policy From Mexico"

Wall lives in Mexico legally but is an American citizen.

It's good to see that Mexico has not made any "grave errors" and has such a "sensible, rational solution," to how immigration should be handled (sarcasm, for those who don't recognize it).

"Somebody's Gotta Say It...."

...and Boortz certainly did at Nealz Nuze this morning. :)


Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw! ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Council Bill 2007-217 ~ A resolution accepting the term sheet between the City of Springfield and McGowan-Walsh...

...for the purchase and redevelopment of the Heer's Building, and directing the City Manager to negotiate a Redevelopment Agreement with McGowan-Walsh in substantial conformity with the terms set forth with the term sheet.

First reading bill, not anticipated to be voted on.

UPDATE: Access to the bill is now available by clicking on the hot link of Council Bill 2007-217, found on the Upcoming Council Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's happened to fairness???

Now, if I'd written a blog piece with a title like that it would probably be about the "Fairness Doctrine," and would have been a bit of sarcasm.

I didn't write this blog entry.

About two weeks ago one of my most favoritist people asked if he wrote an article about capitalism would I post it on my blog for him. That person was my brother. Knowing my brother as I do I figured it would be something worthwhile and I couldn't wait to read it. At long last, last night he sent me the article.

My brother lives in Joplin, Missouri with his wife and son. He also has a daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren who love their grandpa to make movies of them. I am on the receiving end of many of these short movies.

Anyway, with no further "ado," my brother's blog article on capitalism (oh, and by the way, he said I could use his name but I was afraid if I did the Editorial Page Editor of the News-Leader would have a glory fit or something, we can't have that!):

What's happened to fairness???

According to, capitalism is:

"An economic system based on a free market, open competition, profit motive and private ownership of the means of production. Capitalism encourages private investment and business, compared to a government-controlled economy. Investors in these private companies (i.e. shareholders) also own the firms and are known as capitalists."

Investopedia says:

"In such a system, individuals and firms have the right to own and use wealth to earn income and to sell and purchase labor for wages with little or no government control. The function of regulating the economy is then achieved mainly through the operation of market forces where prices and profit dictate where and how resources are used and allocated. The U.S. is a capitalistic system."

...and it's a good system, the greatest in the world. I have always supported it, and I suppose I still do, but, here lately it seems to me that, for this system to work properly, there needs to exist a certain amount of "fairness." It also seems to me that the term "dirty tricks" would more accurately describe the situation today. It seems to me that nowadays the only basic concern of any business is to do whatever it takes to separate the average consumer from as much of his money as possible and as quickly as possible. Often this can and does involve "dirty tricks."

Are too many of us too gullible and easily manipulated by these money hungry conglomerates??? I'm certainly afraid that may be the case for a larger than should be percentage of our population. Has business decided it is easier to prey on the weak and ignorant in society than to make a fair and reasonable profit from fair and reasonable people???

Now, I'm sure that many reading this will think maybe they are too smart to be taken in by these "dirty tricks," and that may well be the case, but I fear that if the percentage of those who "don't get it" grows too large, then we all pay. In fact, I think we are all paying now.

Have we all lost our sense of value? Do we question things that don't seem to make sense? Do we demand an answer to obviously ridiculous charges? Or, do we all simply "shrug it off" and go about our daily lives?

Just what am I getting at anyway? Lets start with some "stupid tricks"

Burger King... and "Stackers"

For quite some time the Burger Kings in our area were running their double cheese burgers as a "manager's special" for 99 cents. I noticed, while that was going on, (full disclosure, I love Burger King double cheese burgers) they had a new ad campaign for their new menu item, the Stacker.

Turns out that a Quad Stacker (4 meat patties) ran $4.49 for the sandwich only, so I was trying to figure out why I should pay $4.49 for a Quad Stacker when I could buy 4 double cheese burgers (8 meat patties) for the same amount? I think in the end I decided I should do it to help them pay for the cute advertising they did for the Stackers... (the cute, rough, little bitty guy) but then I came to my senses and ate a bunch of 99 cent double cheese burgers (one vice I can't seem to shake).

Something else in the realm of burgers that has been bothering me is the super deluxe, ultimately cool burgers we can buy.

Take a Ruby Tuesday's, for example, or pretty much any nationally recognized "fun," casual eatery that offers great burgers. These great burgers generally run about $6 to $8 a piece (for generally about a 1/3 pound burger). So, I did a little math, the problem being how much would it cost "me" to make the same burger?

No doubt, they have a nice large selection of very delicious sounding burgers. Let's take a simple one, like, maybe, a bacon cheese burger. I don't know about anyone else but we usually have some cheese and bacon on hand, but if not, the cost would run about $2.50 for the bacon and about $1.75 or so for American cheese slices. Now, "we" catch cheap, greasy ground beef on sale often at 99 cents a pound, but let's go all out and get some nice, ground chuck on sale for say $1.69 a pound. That's a total of $5.94 and the good part, I can make not one, but three 1/3 pound Bacon cheese burgers now! I'll even have cheese and bacon left over for tomorrow!

But that's too simple maybe...

Let's look at one of their tricks that's actually a pretty good one. Take that gorgeous TRIPLE PRIME BURGER (their caps not mine). What they tell us is it's fresh (that's a good thing) USDA prime (also a good thing) ground beef... hmmm... isn't that what I catch on sale for 99 cents a pound??? (not Prime of course...). BUT! It also contains prime tenderloin, prime ribeye and prime sirloin, "blended" (my quotes) and it's grilled to make the "finest premium burger".

What is it that they do not tell us???

Wouldn't it be interesting to have the percentages at hand??? I'm guessing this baby will set you back about $12, if not more, so I'd kinda like to know what percentage of the burger is prime ground beef and what percentage is made up by those other wonderful (and wonderfully expensive) cuts of beef. That's all I want to know.

Of course burgers are silliness maybe, but I think there is much more going on than over-priced burgers...

Being a news and market watcher myself, I have seen and heard plenty about the sub-prime lending market and its current "problems," but it took me a little while to ask myself, "What is it?" "Who does it affect?" I guess it turns out that it, it being mainly predatory lending for the purposes of this article, effects many of the most venerable members of our society. Those who may genuinely want to participate in our economy at a higher level but for whatever reason may not be blessed with a large income.

From what I have read myself, some lenders intentionally lead many people into higher interest loans than they should be paying, due only to their ignorance of the market. They intentionally over charge both interest and as many fees as they can tack on without ever caring a whit about what the eventual outcome may be to the borrower. On the contrary, it seems many of these loans are made with the hope that the borrower will default so the lender can pick up the property for a song.

Not everyone in the world spends alot of time understanding the difference in a fixed APR and an adjustable APR. I think nowadays, when it comes to business, the word adjustable should get your attention quickly because it seems the adjustment will usually go in their favor, not yours.

At any rate, this isn't a book, it's a blog entry, so I'll just say I think predatory lending is much worse than what we will ever see reported on the TV or hear on the news. It is business intentionally stealing from customers. Does that make sense? I have a hard time understanding it myself. I guess maybe it's more like business stealing from customers who allow them to, through ignorance or otherwise.

So, burgers are silliness, and hopefully, most of us are too smart to be taken on bad loans.

What about something that affects all of us???


Ever looked at your gas bill? Of course you look at the part that tells how much you owe this month. But I mean have you ever really looked at your gas bill???

Mine is kinda "funny" looking.

Take this month as an example. We have an electric water heater and a gas stove (range) in the kitchen. We also have a gas furnace which of course, we are not using currently.

I, (apparently being a person with too much time on my hands) began to wonder just what a "Customer Charge" was. I mean, I understand that I pay for the gas I use and I understand that I pay more for it than the gas company does. That is capitalism, after all. A fair profit on products and/or services rendered.

What I was wondering is, if the gas company is selling their gas to me at a higher price than they paid for it, thereby making a "profit" then what exactly is a "Customer Charge"???

So, we called (actually my wife called, she's great on the phone :)

"What exactly IS a "Customer Charge?" she asked. I, personally, was a little confused by the answer:

"It's a charge that the federal government allows us to charge."

So, my wife says, "Oh... Well what is it? I mean what is it for?" The answer???

"It's a charge that the federal government says is ok to charge our customers."

OKAY... As it turns out, coincidentally, I suppose, an explanation of this "Customer Charge" now appears on the back of our statement. What does it say, you ask???

"Same fixed charge every month designed to allow (company name) to recover a portion of its costs associated with maintaining customer accounts."

That IS a quote off my bill, but to me that sounds more like, "padding our profits at your expense."

I always kinda understood that the way it worked was that those costs came out of the profit you made in selling your product and that if you could not make enough profit to cover your expenses and still have some profit left over then maybe you should close the doors... must just be me...

AND... if you'll look hard you can find this same, somewhat mysterious charge on your electric bill and water bill, as well (TWICE on MY water bill! No kidding!)

But what really gets me is the percentage of the total bill that this "Customer Charge" represents!

On my latest gas bill the $24.62 "Customer Charge" represents a whopping 62% of my $39.61 bill! 62% !!!

Electric bill??? "Customer Charge" = 11%, plus they add in the "Franchise Fee." Doesn't that sound like something they should be paying???

Water bill??? "Customer Charge" 31% of the total "water" bill. Waste water charges. Customer charge??? You bet! Separately... representing more than 68% of the total waste water charge!

What gives here?! I'm ready to scream!

Which leads me to the cable company... lol.

Once again a simple question, or actually more like a simple answer for us. Let me explain...

Our cable bill runs like $105 a month (makes me feel like an idiot but we pay it). That $105 a month covers a package deal that includes 3 components, basic cable, digital cable and high speed internet access.

So, I was thinking... What is this Digital Cable part of the package that we are paying $30 a month for??? It's our extended channels. We have some channels in the 300 to, like, 394 (even though there are actually about 32 channels there...) so, we talked and we thought and we decided that, out of those 32 channels we occasionally actually watched about 5 of them. So, we thought, we'll just drop the digital part of our package because we felt like $30 a month was a bit much for 5 channels.

We called the cable company (my wife called, actually, as I said before...). Yes, sure they could drop the digital portion of our package but it would only lower our bill by $5 a month... WHAT?! You mean I pay $30 for it but you're going to charge me $25 a month to drop it?!

Yep... That's the way it works.

Credit card companies???

Did most of you know that a few years ago there was no such thing as an "Over limit fee"? Do most people understand that if you pay the minimum payment on a $2,000 credit card balance that it'll take you, like, 20 years to pay it off?!

Do most people understand that it's a bad idea period to carry any credit card balance at all? We all know someone who got themselves in a little trouble with their credit card(s) so they refinanced their house and paid them all off. Only problem is, we also know someone who then ran their credit card(s) back up again... So now they have the same trouble they started with plus a second mortgage to pay. Brother...

My wife and I had an epiphany a few years ago, about money and the way it works for and against you. We try to make it work for us now and do a pretty good job of it. We owe no one. In fact, we may have swung too far to the other extreme now. Example: I tear all of our paper towels off the roll, cut them in half, fold them once and put them in the napkin holder. It saves us 50% per year on paper towels, ridiculous??? Maybe. I also cut our bounce dryer sheets in half, same deal. Oh well..

So am I a conspiracy nut? Am I an alarmist? Am I just naive? I don't know... Am I???

Should we all ask more questions and complain more loudly about being victimized by those who pretend to "serve" us??? I think so...Until then, being a capitalist, I think I'll invest in utility companies. Now, that's capitalism...

(by Scott Phillips, shhhhhh!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Heers Building: The Money Pit?

I realize that this is all "water under the bridge" now, but I found it very interesting and it never hurts to refresh our collective memories about how the City of Springfield has gotten into the position and circumstance in which they find themselves regarding the Heers Building.

This link takes you to the October 16, 2006 City Council Meeting Minutes.

See under "MDFB loan" how Vaughn Prost had been approved by Great Southern Bank for a loan extension and how Bank of America had issued two letters of commitment to Vaughn Prost. At least one of those letters of commitment was for nearly $20 million. The Great Southern Bank loan extension was contingent upon the City of Springfield's approval. The City refused to approve it.

While Carlson abstained from the vote...:

"Mayor Carlson noted that he would not be voting on the proposed bill, as he had a connection to Great Southern Bank."

...he did not abstain from commenting:

"Mr. Prost responded the amount owed to Great Southern Bank was $2,840,000. Mayor Carlson suggested Mr. Prost could pay the loan, noting that he would then own the building. Mayor Carlson remarked that Mr. Prost had been given two extensions on the project."

I wonder why Carlson was so catty? I mean, look at the summary above...Prost can pay the loan, then he'd own the building? Prost claimed he had two letters of commitment from Bank of America which implies he could have soon paid off the loan. He couldn't have paid off the loan that night but surely he would be able to shortly, that is, if the letters of commitment from Bank of America were reliable. Prost even gave a copy of one of the letters of commitment to the City Clerk that night.

I can't help but think Carlson, or the City "powers that be," wanted this vote to go through that night because he/they didn't want Prost to pay off the loan and become full owner of the building. I suspect Carlson/the City wanted the City to own and control the building. Why?

"Council Bill 2006-371. Special Ordinance 25077 was approved by the following vote: Ayes: Griggs, Jones, Wylie, Manley, Whayne, and Collette. Nays: None. Abstain: Wright and Carlson. Absent: Deaver."

Today, the consensus seems to be that the City was between a rock and a hard place and that they had no other option but to pass Council Bill 2006-371 to keep the Heers Building from going into foreclosure. The minutes from this October 16, 2006 meeting seem to suggest that they had other options but chose not to consider them.

If the City had agreed to the Great Southern Bank's extension of the loan to Vaughn Prost and the letters of commitment issued to him by Bank of America had been honored, Vaughn Prost could have conceivably paid off the Great Southern Bank note, would be the full owner of the Heers Building and would have continued to develop it.

The City's approval of an extension seems like an option that should have been given more consideration than it was given. As Carlson, himself, said, the loan had been extended twice to Vaughn Prost...was there some sort of limit to how many times it could be extended? Doubtful. Apparently the City felt confident enough in Vaughn Prost's ability to pay the loan to associate with him in the first place and to extend the loan twice. Why couldn't they have considered extending it one more time?

Great Southern approved it. The City didn't.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sara Lampe, "Out of the mouths of babes"

Steve Helms wrote a letter to the editor of the Springfield News-Leader in response to Sara Lampe's "Voice of the Day" column. Find Lampe's column here, and Helm's letter here.

He writes:

"I almost got the impression that we would be better off if no one over 12 years of age was in charge."

I too "almost" got that impression. We can trust children to be more honest, simple and blunt about the truth, about what is important than adults? My gosh, the implications!

Think about the education of the fourth grade children to whom Ms. Lampe directed these sober questions. Think about their life experience. Think about the insight their lengthy lives have afforded them.

I couldn't help but think that this is part of the problem with our national conversation today.

We'd all like to take everything down to its most basic and simple foundation and decide whether it is right or wrong, whether it should be the ultimate priority or secondary.

What is interesting is that sometimes doing the things that you think will help someone isn't the thing that will help them in the long term.

I used to try to start garden plants inside the house in a sunny window. The seedlings would shoot up, sometimes spindly, sometimes seemingly healthy. What my experience was, however, was that the first time I set the tray of seedlings out on a sunny day the elements to which they'd never been exposed would kill them and it didn't seem to matter how spindly or healthy those plants seemed to be. They couldn't withstand the smallest wind because they had been so protected inside the house.

Likewise, my mother is in poor health. The most helpful thing to do would seem to be to make everything easy for her, make her comfortable, expect less of her, but in the long run doing those things has the opposite effect. Making things easy for her causes her to get weaker, rather than stronger, feel worse rather than better. I learned this from experience.

Sometimes the most simple things aren't the most healthy or the right things to do.

Children come up with simple ideas because, through no fault of their own, they are young and simple. I'm not saying children are stupid but certainly one could admit they are less than informed about complicated issues and therefore their solutions to the complicated problems that face our country and our world are overly simple. I expect an adult to consider the more complicated aspects of an issue.

Lampe wrote:

"A good bit of my 31 years working with children was spent talking in order to teach ideas. The children I taught also taught me, however. When I stopped to listen to children's thoughts and ideas, I was always amazed at the clarity and truth of what they said. Children speak simply and honestly about what is right and what is wrong. I believe there are many lessons to learn from children if we stop to listen."

Considering that these children have been exposed to a teacher's ideas and that teachers have spent a great deal of time "talking in order to teach ideas" to these children, should it be a surprise that a teacher would be amazed when the teacher's ideas are repeated back in the simple and limited language of a fourth grade child? She certainly would be "amazed at the clarity and truth of what they said."

I was amazed at the juvenile thinking that went into Lampe's column. Of course we should listen to children, but to pretend that their opinions or voices are somehow more clear, truthful and honest and that they understand right and wrong better than adults or are more trustworthy than adults who have considered the complexities surrounding any particular issue is silly.

Lampe writes:

"The old expression, "Out of the mouths of babes" comes to mind. Children tell the truth, and the truth is sometimes hard to hear."

One would think so, especially when the one listening or a like minded teacher has put the words in the mouths of those babes or, at least, influenced their conclusions.

The words of children might be difficult to swallow by those who have put more in depth thought into the issues they are speaking about. Perhaps not because one disagrees with the foundational idea put forth in their words but because the adults listening realize the issue is more complicated than the fourth grade child can articulate or grasp and that there is no consensus on the best way to resolve those issues.

I would also add that what Lampe seems to celebrate when coming from simple children has oftentimes been written off when coming from political opponents of the Democrat party as too simple, as not considering the "shades of gray." Is Lampe attempting to disregard the complicated arguments put forth by more conservative adult voices by offering to over simplify the issues in reducing them to the foundational concepts of a fourth grade child? Interesting.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I serve a God who heals the sick

Some readers who happen by this blog might not think so, and you are each and every one welcome to your opinion, whatever your opinion

I still serve a God who heals the sick.

I've heard several testimonies this week I'd like to share.

First, I have an Uncle who is 81 years old and is a retired Military Chaplain. He isn't and hasn't been in the best of health and his balance is not that great, but when his little great granddaughter lost her helium balloon a short time ago his reflexes kicked in and my Uncle ran to catch that balloon. When he did, he lost his balance, fell and hit his head on a concrete curb. His brain swelled and in short order he was scheduled for a surgery. My Aunt, also 81 put him on a prayer chain and notified the family and all of the family was praying for him as well, anyway, those of us who pray. He ended up not even having to have surgery. The swelling has gone down and he is recuperating nicely.

Then there were a couple of testimonies I heard in my church on Sunday.

"Peggy" was diagosed with having cancer, then it was changed to a diagnosis of 4 hernias and she had surgery. During the surgery the Doctor noticed a large spot on one of her lungs. He wanted to do another scan to see what that large spot could be. Peggy went home and had a long talk with God about it. She was happy, she was at peace and she didn't expect that spot to be anything other than scar tissue. When she went back to the Doctor and they did the scan to check that spot, there was no spot. The Doctor told her he didn't know what happened but that spot had been there and now it wasn't. Peggy told him she knew what had happened. :) He said, well he did too, but he couldn't open that conversation.

The other testimony from my church is about "Sarah." Sarah was told that she wouldn't live to be 50 years old. She's suffered with diabetes and weight problems since I have known her. To make this story short and sweet, Sarah celebrated her 50th birthday a couple of weeks ago and then last week, as the icing on the cake, so to speak, the Doctor took her off of all her medication. Sarah doesn't need it anymore. How sweet it is. :)

All of you readers of this blog who believe in prayer and believe that the God you serve heals the sick, I have a prayer request for you.

My Mother is sick. My Mother is scheduled for surgery and has been having a very difficult time. I know of just the Physician to heal her. I know of a Surgeon who can right all wrongs without ever picking up a scalpel. I know of a Comforter who can take away all pain and confusion.

You see, I serve a God who heals the sick.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I've been very busy caring for my Mother the last couple of weeks. She is going to be having a surgery soon and has had many appointments and been very weak, in fact she even fell about three weeks ago. There's been little time for blogging. Little time for anything else.

I'm taking a short vacation. ;) Will be going tonight to visit my Dad in Arkansas then right back home tomorrow night. My brother and sister-in-law are tending to Mother in my absence.

Don't forget your Dad for Father's Day. Remember the good things, forget the bad and know that the decisions you make now are all yours. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Recommended Reading 6: Ross to Carter: Don't Rewrite History

My friend, Suzi Brozman, of Atlanta JT Online, wrote an important article on the debate over Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, back on May 11 and I missed it until this morning.

In Ross to Carter: Don't Rewrite History, Brozman highlights the lessons which Ambassador Dennis Ross, who negotiated in the Middle East on behalf of the first President Bush and President Clinton believes have emerged.

Suzi has been writing since she was a teenager and was recently added as a full time staff member to JT Online. Congrats, Suzi!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

An Item of Interest on the Springfield City Council Agenda

Item 18 - Council Bill 2007-183

City of Springfield, MO - Upcoming Council Meeting Agenda


PURPOSE: This ordinance was drafted to help the city deal with the number of open parking violations within the city, primarily in the downtown area. This ordinance allows our Police Department and city staff to attach an immobilization device, commonly called a 'parking boot,' to vehicles with open parking violations. If an officer or other city staff observes a vehicle with an open parking violation they will be authorized under this ordinance to attach the immobilization device to the vehicle. Accompanying the device will be a statement informing the violator of the provisions of the ordinance and providing contact information on where to go to obtain a release. The violator must obtain a release from the Police Department in order to remove the device. The Police Department will release the vehicle upon payment of a $50 fee, plus payment for all of the violator's open parking violations.

The ordinance also state that it will be unlawful to remove the device before obtaining a release, or to damage the device. If the device is damaged this ordinance presumes that the registered owner of the vehicle caused the damage and holds that person liable for the costs of repair or replacement. The owner may provide information as to the actual cause of the damage to escape this liability. If the vehicle stay immobilized for a period of 72 hours, the City will be authorized to have the vehicle impounded.

Submitted by City Attorney, Dan Wichmer Approved by City Manager, Bob Cumley

Friday, June 01, 2007

More on Immigration Debate

Carried from another blog's comment section because the blog owner did not wish to have the "serious" discussion continue there.

I could have found Ron's email address based on information given me and sent this to him privately but there are some things that need to be said in the open about this issue.

Ron of CHATTER, you replied:

"You’re selling too many journalists short when you say you “get the feeling” they “never regret” what they’ve written. Journalists don’t stop being humans when they take jobs in the mainstream (or alternative) media."

What I actually wrote:

"I do apologize for being overly blunt at times at my blog, but even during those times when I think I might have been hard on, in this case Tony Messenger, I remember WHY I was overly hard on him. I simply don’t take blanket statements and generalizations about wide groups of people well and I see it all the time in his and the other editorialist’s columns in the News-Leader.

Why do I get the feeling that they (see immediately preceding paragraph) never regret making these blunt statements about others, never caring who they’ve hurt in the process while I am laying in bed unable to sleep at night because I’m afraid I was too hard on Tony or someone else?"

I think it was obvious who I was talking about. I was very specific. I'll be more specific. If there's ever been an apology made by any News-Leader editorialist for implying that any person who might oppose the comprehensive immigration bill that is before the Senate, or any person who supported the Missouri English language law has no reason but ignorance and xenophobia for their opposition and support of same, respectively, then I have missed that apology.

Those were harsh words and they were delivered at ALL Missourians who support the Missouri English language law, see this if you need your memory refreshed.

According to this May 2, 2007 Rasmussen Report, 60% of Americans favor all government documents being printed in English and only 29% of Americans disagree with that. The same report says that only 36% of Americans prefer a Presidential candidate for 2008 who wants to expand legal opportunities to illegal aliens for the purpose of finding jobs. As far as those who oppose this comprehensive immigration reform Rasmussen found that those who favored an enforcement first policy also favored a generous policy for LEGAL immigration...sorta shooting in the foot those who claim that people who oppose the current comprehensive immigration reform bill are bigoted xenophobes.

The Rasmussen Report Poll is in sharp contrast to this New York Times poll, Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support in Poll - New York Times.

The immigration issue has been treated unfairly in the media. People who oppose this comprehensive immigration reform bill have been treated unfairly in the media. Certainly, there may be a few people who oppose the bill for less than optimal reasons but to present the entire group of supporters of the English language law in Missouri as bigoted xenophobes is over the top, in my opinion. Show me an indication that one of the News-Leader editorialists has had a few sleepless nights over making this unfounded and outrageous charge and I'll apologize, in fact, I'll apologize anyway, but I will apologize for taking part in a dialog that has such vitriol at its center. I'll apologize for being sucked in to such a terrible argument, for not ignoring such an ignorant charge and stooping to involve myself. I've always had a problem with keeping my mouth shut when I feel someone is being unjust.

And I'm not the only one who does this. Look at the recent exchange between Larry Litle of Simple Thoughts of a Complex Mind and Doc Larry of Lost Chord, some people on the left, including Doc Larry, took offense because they perceived that Larry Litle was accusing everyone on the left of celebrating Jerry Falwell's death. They wanted to defend themselves against the charge.

People, not just me don't like condemning generalizations and will defend themselves against them. I'm no different than anyone else and I don't think Larry Litle wrote anything particularly untoward, certainly not anywhere near as untoward as I have seen coming from Doc Larry in the past, but that's different? No, we know it isn't different, the only difference was that Larry Litle made an effort to clarify himself, the News-Leader's "Our Voice" editorialist hasn't, unless I missed it and you'd like to point it out to me?

I've not issued a sweeping generalization about journalists not being human and I think you know that. Let's make the argument about the argument just this once. Please.

An "Our Voice" editorialist once wrote about HB808, "We don't care..." whether you call it a voucher bill or a tax credit bill...well, I don't care whether you call the "Our Voice" piece that smeared every Missourian who supported the English language law as a bigoted xenophobe an "article," a "column" or an "editorial." It still smells.