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Archive for October 15th, 2009

Journalism student to be butt of newsroom jokes

This story is going to follow this budding journalist during his entire ca-rear:

A German man mooning at railway staff in a departing train got his trousers caught in a carriage door and ended up being dragged half naked along the platform, out of the station and onto the tracks.

The 22-year-old journalism student shoved his backside against the window of a low-slung double-decker train when staff forced him off in Lauenbrueck for traveling without a ticket, a spokesman for police in the northern city of Bremen said.

“It’s a miracle he wasn’t badly hurt,” the spokesman said on Monday. “This sort of thing can end up killing you.”

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Little guys take the fall for Durham Police incompetence

The Durham Police Department employee who claimed more than an entire year’s worth of overtime pay has been fired:

A Durham police officer in the center of an overtime scandal that led to the retirement of a senior officer was fired Wednesday, city officials announced this morning.

Alesha Robinson-Taylor has been on administrative leave with pay since Sept. 30, when a city audit into her claims of overtime was released.

Another police employee, Deputy Chief B.J. Council, has submitted retirement papers as a result of her approval of the $62K in overtime pay. But what about those higher up in the inept management of the department. What price will they pay for their callous disregard for taxpayers’ money? None, apparently.

Any dolt with two brain cells to rub together should have known that a person making $52,665 and claiming $62,583 in extra income via overtime was engaged in some kind of scam. So, either the police department hierarchy actually doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together, or they didn’t really care that $62,583 (that’s about 25 homeowners’ property tax, by the way) was being stolen from taxpayers. My guess is the latter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gold and Feinstein join irresponsible journalist list

My radio alarm is set to 850 The Buzz and I’m too lazy to change the station, even though I find the morning snark of Adam Gold and Joe Ovies tiresome. I just lean over and turn off the alarm within five seconds of hearing their voices.

This morning, though, I didn’t roll over quickly enough and had time to realize the discussion was of Rush Limbaugh’s bid to be part of an ownership group buying the NFL Rams. What I heard was appalling.

Gold was interviewing another pompous sports reporter, John Feinstein. Gold said “Limbaugh claims” never to have uttered certain racist remarks that have been attributed to him. Feinstein responded to the effect that he didn’t see how Limbaugh could claim that remarks said on the radio could be taken out of context.

Only problem: Rush never said the alleged racial remarks. They were made up and put on the Wikiquote Web site several years ago and were later used in a book by an irresponsible writer who didn’t check the provenance of the quotes. That book, in a perfect example of circular sourcing, is now used as the source for countless internet mentions of the alleged quotes.

Gold and Feinstein aren’t the only sports “journalists” who have made this error. The big question is, are they intentionally attributing these comments to Limbaugh, knowing they are spurious, or do they simply not know the truth? Either way, it’s an indictment of their professionalism.

One sports writer, when confronted with the truth about the made-up quotes, said Limbaugh didn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Huh? Another said it is up to Limbaugh to prove he didn’t say them, truly a new standard in journalism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Perdue’s Asia Trip a Good Investment?

The governor and her delegation leave today for visits to Japan and China. She says the goal is to generate jobs and investment in the state. Will it work? John Locke Foundation president John Hood analyzes the trip’s potential return on investment in this interview

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The Market Always Sorts Things Out

Over the past months we’ve seen many airlines impose bag fees. I’ve been holding my breath, waiting for some politician to say it just isn’t “fair” and use the power of government to force airlines to stop. That’s just the political environment we’re living in right now. But this Business Week story illustrates the beauty of the marketplace to sort things out. Consumers are making buying decisions and, based on recent passenger traffic figures, they’re rewarding two airlines that don’t impose the fees. In other words, consumers are expressing their displeasure with price and are backing it up with their wallets. This is the natural behavior that no government official or program can ever accurately predict. Bottom line: let the market work.

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Orange Commissioner Admits What Push for Drive-Thru Ban is Really About

Orange County commissioners are still considering a ban on drive-thru windows. Now they’ve voted to consult economic development staff. While there’s a lot of talk about how this move will help save the planet — despite data showing car emissions are miniscule — at least one commissioner is admitting what the potential ban is really about: forcing Orange County residents out of their cars. From the News of Orange County:

Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier said emissions are a small part of the issue.

“It’s a symbol of our car-oriented culture, and if we want to go where we need to go, we need to change our symbol,” she said.

In other words, the commissioner wants to use the power of government to impose her personal lifestyle preference on everyone else. Deciding whether someone drives, bikes, or walks is well beyond the appropriate scope of local government.

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