The Most Important People in Cable News…

2016-03-26_11-33-18It seems I have been hearing a lot of background talk about the cable news anchors. Many seem to be troubled by all the young females who are now figureheads in that media. I don’t have a poll to prove it but I hear most of these comments coming from women.  They just seem to be the most disgusted. Maybe its because too many guys just like watching the eye-candy instead of trying to listen to a knowledgeable source.

I personally have never been that very impressed with any of the talking heads of news, even the network variety. The main skill for that job position has always seemed to be to look good and to be able to read a teleprompter.  But, even I have noticed the drastically lowered bar in this area.  The graphic to the right show I am not the only one, especially but not exclusively for Fox News.

I am old enough to remember when most news organizations both print and video attempted to remain unbiased in their reporting. It was a shock to hear ABC’s David Brinkley say to what he thought was an off mic how little he thought of President Clinton.  It sent shock waves throughout the industry.  But then Fox News, owned by a very conservative Rupert Murdock came upon the scene and changed everything.  They aggressively fought to become the news rather than just report it. Since their ratings went up because of their bias others quickly followed. Now it is rare indeed to NOT hear a Brinkley type comment come from every “reporters” lips.

Things have changed drastically of the last couple of decades in how and what we receive as news.  The cable news networks now seem to be more of a beauty contest than anything else.  Every anchor and most reporters are young and mostly attractive women who have probably had little or no experience in investigative journalism or any journalism for that matter.

Maybe all of this is what has been driving so many to the Web for their daily news. I admit that I spend probably an hour a day perusing my pre-chosen websites to see what is happening. I just can’t stomach the video version much any more. That is except for the PBS Newshours.  I just prefer my news without all the eye-candy.

Now to get to the opening question of this post, who is the most important person in cable news today?  The answer seems to be the makeup artists for the talking heads and all those young blond reporters.

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Meet the new workers’ movement that is terrifying the wealthy and the powerful

2015-03-30_09-35-17They aren’t actually anything new, just a variation on long-standing labor-organizing practices that have come back into prominence. “Micro union” is a recently coined term of art for bargaining units that encompass one category of workers at a business — the cosmetics workers at a Macy’s, for example — instead of the more traditional model of organizing all the workers for the business into one single bargaining unit. In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided a group of certified nursing assistants at a nursing home constituted an appropriate bargaining unit in themselves, in a decision called Specialty Healthcare. In 2013, that decision got the stamp of approval from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 2014, the NLRB applied its logic to the aforementioned Macy’s cosmetics workers. Since then, union critics and business interests have been scrambling to respond. Retail industry groups told The Hill that the NLRB’s Macy’s decision would “pave the way for micro unions at thousands of retail stores around the country.” Isakson has made multiple attempts to pass his bill rolling back NLRB’s decisions, with the backing of GOP heavy-hitters like Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

SOURCE: Meet the new workers’ movement that is terrifying the wealthy and the powerful.

Micro-breweries are quite the rage right now and I admit I am one of their fans.  When we travel I often order local beers when I come across them. It is nice to see these types of cottage-industries rising up again. It is even nicer to see the micro trends more to work unions. One of the big problems with unions in the last half century or so is that they just grew too powerful for their own good.  They quit looking out for the workers and instead become just anti-owner organizations.

You don’t need giant unions to help you get your fair share from an employer. micro-unions seem to be a natural evolution in employee-employer relationships. But the thing that will make micro-unions effective is that all workers in an indirect way support the right of an employee to address grievances with their employer. They do that by not frequenting establishments that lord it over their workers. They do it by not rushing in to snap up a job after a worker has been fired.  Money talks…

The sad thing in the last few decades is that American business have been thriving with increased sales but not sharing their prosperity with the ones who generate it. We seem to be a owner-society now. Those with the money demand more and more of the pie. I hope micro-unions will reverse this trend…

Fashion is Out….

High Heels 1This is no longer a trend – it is now a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for consumers of all ages, for it to go away anytime soon,” he said. Millennials’ tendency to rent instead of buy is also turning the retail industry upside down.

SOURCE: Rebellious millennials are turning into a huge problem for retailers – Yahoo Finance.

It appears from the above article that millennials (19 -35 years olds) are turning away from “fashion” and its annual almost dictated changes. They are giving up the high heels, yes especially the seven-inch ones, for more comfortable athletic shoes.  They insist on not be dictated to as to what they wear or own.  And to that I say “Good for you”.

I have read elsewhere that the suit and tie standards are dropping rather dramatically across the business world. Marketing is a very powerful force in any capitalistic society. What will happen when most of us become immune to their dictates?

Special courts…

Around the country, special courts are set up for former military members who have been charged with crimes after returning to civilian life, and who may be struggling with PTSD. Judges, lawyers, probation officers and others work together to treat or punish each defendant. Special correspondent Spencer Michels reports on how the new approach can offer troubled veterans a path forward…. JUDGE JEFFREY ROSS: Our goal is to find an outcome which will both prevent recidivism, keep the public safe, keep the victims from being re-victimized, but also deal with the person’s background and the reasons he that he committed the violent conduct that we were just addressing. SPENCER MICHELS: Using federal grants, as well a local funds, courts rely on the VA to coordinate physical and mental care, plus weekly court dates for vets in trouble. It’s up to the vet to comply. KYONG YI, Department of Veterans Affairs: We often meet with the veteran when they’re in custody, develop a plan for where they’re going to go when they’re coming out, especially if they’re homeless.

SOURCE:  Special courts take on criminal cases of troubled veterans.

It is about time our criminal justice system returned to treating those who break the law because of circumstances some say are beyond their control differently.  It is good to hear that many veterans are being treated instead of incarcerated. I’m sure PSTD has deadly effects of some of our returning soldiers. But are the vets the only ones who could benefit from this special judicial attention?

Couldn’t these same sets of parameters apply who those who grew up in abusive families, or those due who live are in areas with destructive gangs. Couldn’t taking into account these conditions also result in less recidivism? Wouldn’t it be great if this new way of looking at returning soldiers’ crimes could be applied to others.

Just giving special attention to someone, rather than just shoveling them through the system, almost always has positive effects.  This phenomenon is known as the “Hawthorn Effect” was discovered almost a hundred years ago in a Western Electric plant near Chicago. Here is a little about that from Wiki:

The Hawthorne effect (also referred to as the observer effect) is a type of reactivity in which individuals improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed

The crux of the message is that if you pay special attention to people they will usually react positively. I am very glad to see special attention given to our very distressed returning vets and would like to see that applied to a much wider variety of our citizens….