Most ObamaCare Questions Are Still Unanswered;
Let’s Take The Time To Find Out What Public Wants

Will President Obama or Nancy Pelosi or anybody please tell Marian and me how the “Affordable Care Act”, also known as ObamaCare, will affect us near-term and long-term when and if the complex national health plan has its glitches worked out and its impact explained to affected Americans?

One friend of mine, a participant in one of the very highly respected non-governmental health care insurance plans, already knows how the “Affordable Care Act” will affect him:  A $600 increase in annual premium cost and an increase to $1,000 in medical expenses which he must pay before his health-care plan kicks in.

Consider the program to make your local librarian so well and quickly trained in the “Affordable Care Act” complexities that he or she can answer your ObamaCare questions.  Intended to be helpful, but as I see it, imposing an unreasonable burden on the librarians—and a sign of near-desperation on the part of government officials assigned to the job of explaining ObamaCare to the public.

Republican party spokesmen have suggested that the implementation of the “Affordable Care Act” be set aside and the next year be spent in developing a much simplified, understandable health care improvement programs which the American public can understand and afford.

A very sensible proposal, as I see it.

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Let Muslims Kill Other Muslims,
Concentrate On Al Qaeda Threats

As the Syrian war drags on, with widening divisions among the forces seeking to unseat the Assad regime, what The New York Times describes as “sectarian strife” continues in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Translation:  Islamic sects which might better be described as terrorist organizations rather than religious factions are, of course, behind the continuing violence in Afghanistan and Iraq—followers of rival Islamic sects trying to blow up each other in Iraq and Taliban terrorists trying to seize effective control of the government in Afghanistan.

President Obama has pledged to promptly remove American troops from Afghanistan and leave behind in Iraq only enough military forces to help train the Iraqis to fight their own bitter battle between the Shiite minority which controls the government and the Sunni majority whose members think that blowing up Shittes is the best way to address their problem.

As I see it, the continuing Muslim terrorism in the Mideast is a problem we simply can’t help solve.  I believe our efforts in that perpetually violent-wracked part of the world should be confined to those situations where we can predictably be representing American interests—as in efforts to monitor and strike when we can against the Al Qaeda terrorists—who are primarily motivated by their hatred of America.

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To This Veteran, Media Objectivity And Precision
Too Often Missing From Today’s Reporting, Editing

My respect for what used to be journalistic fundamentals predictably makes me perhaps react differently than the majority of media viewers or readers when I see or hear those fundamentals ignored today.  Some recent examples.

A recent headline read:  Giving break to offenders is benefit to them, others.

The headline might well have carried quotation marks to indicate that it was not the opinion of the headline writer but of someone quoted later on in the news story.  (But there is also a good chance that it does represent the opinion of the headline writer.)

Other examples involve the careless use of crowd numbers.

A recent story of the Eagles concert in the new Pinnacle Bank arena in Lincoln referred to a “near-capacity crowd,” leaving readers with absolutely no idea of how many people were at the concert.

And a recent story and headline stated flatly that 14,000 people turned up for a parade in Omaha designed to focus attention on the breast cancer problem.

The fact is that no one has any idea of exactly how many people showed up for the parade.  Long experience as a reporter taught me this journalistic fundamental:  Don’t accept sponsors’ unsupported claims to how many people attended an event, whether a rock concert, a parade or a political rally.

A reporter’s effort to accurately estimate the crowd attendance is much more reliable than a promoter’s claim.

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Laugh-Provoking Media Malpractice

To end today on the usual up-beat or humorous note, I offer another example of media malperformance:  An unintentionally humorous headline:

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