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Archive for January 3rd, 2013

Reality Bites: NC State Explains The “Blow” Of New Tax Hikes To Employees

Today’s NC State Bulletin carries this item headlined “The Lowdown On Taxes.”


Posted: 03 Jan 2013 08:18 AM PST

There’s probably a way to say this that softens the blow but we’re all adults, so here’s the short version: taxes are going up.

The hike that affects most employees is a 2 percent increase in the amount individuals contribute for social security. The rate returns to 6.2 percent starting this month. Last year’s lower rate was a temporary measure enacted by Congress to help stimulate spending.

Also, social security taxes will now be paid on the first $113,700 of income, up from $110,100 last year.

If you make over $200,000 a year, you’ll also pay an additional 0.9 percent for Medicare. People earning less than that will continue to pay 1.45 percent.

Income tax rates will stay the same for individuals earning less than $400,000 and couples earning less than $450,000. Higher earners won’t know the exact amount they owe until the IRS publishes the tax tables for 2013. Until then, payroll will use the 2012 tables.


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Finally, some reason among the journalism professoriate

One of my great disappointments over the past 10 or 15 years is the utter silence among journalism professors and j-school deans regarding the deterioration of journalistic standards, and by that I mean the rampant liberal bias that has infected every aspect of mainstream journalism.

Following outrage after outrage we get no condemnation from the men and women who are supposed to be training journalists and policing its standards. In many cases they actually defend the outrageous behavior on the grounds that a free press is worth some irresponsibility on occasion. The problem is, it’s not just on occasion, it’s almost universal.

So you could have knocked me over with a pica pole when I read the reaction of The Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins in this story about the publication by the New York City area’s Journal News of the names and addresses of all gun-license holders in a couple of counties in its circulation area:

“Just because information is public does not make it newsworthy. People own guns for a wide range of law-abiding reasons. If you are not breaking the law, there is no compelling reason to publish the data,” said Tompkins.

“The problem is not that The Journal News was too aggressive. The problem is that the paper was not aggressive enough in its reporting to justify invading the privacy of people who legally own handguns in two counties it serves.”

In the ultimate irony, the newspaper that feels owning a gun is worthy of social stigma has hired armed security to guard its offices after it got some angry emails. That irony, however, is lost on the arrogant editors of the paper and, presumably, the entire Gannett corporate structure, which seems to support this bit of journalism.

The paper has gone after the records of other counties in its circulation area, but, heroically, one has refused to provide them.

Picture 1

The Journal News has been working hard at damage control since first publishing the lists. They seem to think that their publication of the names and addresses is mitigated by the fact that you can’t “search” by name or address. That’s just absurd. All you have to do is zoom in on a street and hover over the red dots that signify a gun permit. The resulting pop-up shows you everything.

As Tompkins, The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online, says in his comments above, editing involves not just printing whatever the hell you want just because you want to. It also should includes some judgment and reason, two commodities the editors of the Journal News seem to lack.

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Wake County’s Loss Is State’s Gain: McCrory Names Tony Tata Secretary of Transportation

Congratulations, General Tata. Kudos, Gov. -Elect McCrory.


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“It shows just how meaningless a high school diploma is”

From Carolina Journal comes Barry Smith’s report on North Carolina ranking 26th nationally in terms of the percentage of students who graduate within four years. The ranking is for the 2010-2011 year. JLF Director of Education Studies Terry Stoops assesses what North Carolina’s graduation ranking means, and doesn’t mean.

Stoops said he is concerned about what graduating and obtaining a high school diploma actually represents, since a significant number of high school graduates entering the state’s community college system need to take remedial courses.

“Sixth-five percent of high school graduates that enroll in North Carolina community colleges immediately after graduation have to take one or more remedial courses,” Stoops said. “These remedial courses are math, reading, and English, so the basics.”

Stoops added, “You would suspect that those who graduate from high school that don’t go on to higher education also lack the basic skills of reading, writing, and math.”

“It shows just how meaningless a high school diploma is,” Stoops said. “A high school diploma doesn’t indicate mastery of the basics. It’s clear from those remediation rates that a high school diploma doesn’t indicate any mastery of skills or knowledge.”



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Time To Ban Machetes?

Since the Left insists on blaming the weapon, not the person who commits heinous acts, I’m just wondering what the reaction will be to this story and this allegation against a Raleigh man.

Police have charged a 32-year-old Raleigh man with robbing a Han-dee Hugo’s convenience store and two women in it while armed with a machete on New Year’s Day.

Derek McPherson of 2302 Fox Ridge Manor Road was charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting an officer.



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