Archive for July, 2013

Mass “communications” are a mess

Author: Barrett Rainey

At a time when we need more hard, accurate information from local and national media, we’re getting less. And it’s getting worse.

“News radio” isn’t “news radio” anymore. It’s “talk radio.” In too many cases, it’s “hate talk radio.” Dispense five minutes an hour of news on the networks and 55 minutes of B.S. Not the “hard news” information source it was created to be. And – at one time – was.

Television is even worse. A steady diet of news interspersed with personal – often political – commentary that would’ve gotten a reporter fired 20 years ago. There’s a place for such stuff but not when facts are being reported. In addition, have you noticed there’s no “live” network TV news in the Pacific Time Zone after 6 p.m. any day? Just features and reruns of mostly “talking head” shows that ran earlier. CNN – MSNBC – FOX – or any other.

We in P-D-T are also being ignored by most early morning network news shows. Oh, they’re out there. But starting at 3 a.m.! And most are not rebroadcast for the west coast in our area. ABC, NBC, CBS and other nets used to do recorded reruns. Now not many. Bean counters, you know. “Not economical.” “Hurts profitability.”

And newspapers. Ah, newspapers. The story there is harder to tell but the news ain’t good. Ridenbaugh Press proprietor Randy Stapilus did an excellent lead piece recently about the gutting of Oregon’s best newspaper the “Oregonian.” It’s going from daily home delivery to four days a week. Noting the paper is now owned by a national corporation, Stapilus wrote “The Oregonian will no longer be a true daily newspaper (at least not in the sense that distinguishes it from every weekly newspaper that also runs a 24/7 website). It will have a far smaller reporting and editing staff. There will be less local and regional news coverage. News consumers in Oregon will be taking a major hit.” Days later, 35 reporters were fired and management announced a move out of the long-time home near downtown Portland to smaller quarters.

Other major city dailies are taking the same hits. Some – as in Seattle – have gone out of business while others have shifted publication almost entirely to the web. Hundreds of smaller papers have been bought by large companies and decisions that used to be made locally now come from Chicago-Boston-New York and a corporation more intent on “return on investment” than the extent and quality of local reporting.

We have a little almost-daily, almost-newspaper here in the Oregon woods owned by a small company. Management continually reminds us “we’re a local paper here to report on local news” and “you can get your other news somewhere else.” Fair enough. Except I’ve noticed recently large national wire service stories – even on the front page. Several pages in each issue are entirely world and national news or syndicated material like advice and medical columns. The self-declared “localness” has been dilluted. Reporting staff smaller. Pages fewer. Local stories fewer and skimpier.

I can jump the verbal fence and argue on the side for management. “Costs and overhead – need to follow readers to the web – hard to attract and keep local reporters – corporate decisions out of our hands.” Obvious. True.

But the issue here is that – at a time when the world that starts just down the block and extends to outer space is getting more convoluted, changing daily and requiring more of our time to be accurately informed – we’re getting less. Less hard information. Less local. Less national. Less in-depth reporting. Less access. Fewer issues. Fewer hours of broadcast news. More reruns. Important facts we need are harder to come by and there are fewer of them available.

There was a time – not so long ago – when news operations were devoted to getting the news on the editorial side while the business side hustled the bucks to pay the bills. Get the story. Pay the bills. No more. Sadly, no more. Now, it’s more often a remotely-made decision “what can we afford to pay for and still turn a profit?”

In far too many markets, news “gathering” has given way to news “reaction.” Enterprise reporting – going out and finding the story – has given way to following up on what happened. Not finding stories that need reporting but doing wrap-ups and “what-do-you-think-about-what-happened?” “Digging” journalism is dying.

I’m not terribly concerned with fewer news organizations or even what platform they use to reach us. I AM concerned that “fewer” does not mean those remaining are “better.” I AM concerned that fewer broadcast hours or fewer pages or even fewer publications make getting the news harder to access. I AM concerned that too much news has become drivel passed off as “news.” I AM concerned government requirements for broadcasters to “serve the public interest” with local news and public affairs have been abolished. I AM concerned business decisions too often trump news decisions. I AM concerned that “celebrity” has replaced real news value.

But mostly I”m concerned that truly important daily upheavals in our lives – in our government – in our world – are not being fully and accurately reported. Who’s covering City Hall, the county courthouse, local courts, the school board regularly instead of waiting for “news releases?” Too many of the institutions for such reporting are being eliminated or curtailed at a time when their work is sorely needed. Too much of what we call “reporting” has become someone else’s opinions rather than the facts we badly need to form our own opinions.

In this time of rapid political and societal change affecting every one of us, we’re being poorly served by institutions we’ve relied on for important information: for facts – for perspective – for exposing lies – for getting the truth. In so many ways, our technology has already surpassed our ability to administer it. And our reduced, watered-down systems of public information aren’t helping us change that.

The dream – the reality

Author: Barrett Rainey

“Outside every silver lining
there’s a dark cloud.”

Our little burg-in-the-Oregon-woods is witnessing proof of that chronic pessimism.. A local, extremely entrepreneurial company has become so successful it’s gone now. And we’re left with our lining-less dark cloud.

Here’s what happened. About five years ago, local soccer moms Mandy Holborow and Sheri Price wanted to make more healthful snacks for their kids. Right here. Just across town. They finally decided on oatmeal laced with fruit. Put a handful in baggies to keep in the cupboard, take out and add the hot water. Soon, some friends wanted to try it so Mandy and Sheri whipped up more and passed around the baggies.

As word got around, more friends – and people they didn’t even know – wanted some. So, starting in the kitchen – and later expanding into the garage – the ladies cranked out more oat and fruit snacks. Voila! “Umpqua Oats” was born.

One thing led to another. Some local coffee shops and grocery stores added Umpqua Oats – by then in small, white styrofoam cups, selling for about $3 each – and things just kept growing. Seven flavors, too. So, Shari and Mandy took over a building that had formerly been a large department store. That meant seven full-time workers – another 10-15 as needed.

Today – just four years later – Umpqua Oats is an international business with product in a lot of major airports, many stores and hotels in this country and Canada. Airlines are interested for on-board snacks. Some already have ‘em. Sheri and Mandy are talking to public school food providers, colleges and universities, fitness clubs, motels and other places where people would like a quick, healthful snack.

Bottom line: each year since founding, sales have doubled. And more. Using the same very active marketing plan that has succeeded so far, outside experts think that doubling can go on for several more years at least. It’s now a multi-million dollar, international business and no one knows where it will top out. Or if.

WOW! Talk about a couple of local Oregon soccer moms putting our little burg-in-the-woods on the map! A growing payroll – dollars multiplying in the local economy – success that could draw spinoffs or new businesses.

Except – now they’ve closed and moved. Production is in California and corporate headquarters now in Nevada. And the empty retail building that used to be a department store – before it was home to a booming local industry – is vacant. Again. Former employees now unemployed.

Shari and Mandy – their husbands and kids, too – are living in a Las Vegas suburb. Production of Umpqua Oats is being handled by Honeyville Food Products in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Orders Umpqua Oats used to handle by the baggie over the phone are being replaced by fork lift pallet-loads out of a large warehouse going everywhere.

Product production demands now require a company with the right equipment and experience like Honeyville – experienced in large-scale packaging and assembly not available here.. Also necessary – a larger pool of labor. The active sales calls Mandy and Shari make in person are now several a week with destinations coast-to-coast and overseas. So, better air travel connections were necessary. Couldn’t do that here in the trees.

As for the spinoff economic “benefit” for our little burg, well, we can go buy a cup of Umpqua Oats at Safeway and say “We knew them when.”

The Northwest is full of little burgs like ours. Once flourishing with major industry – timber, fishing, mining – where things went bottoms up. A variety of reasons. Some – like Idaho’s Silver Valley – lost their “glory days” decades ago and they haven’t come back. Maybe they never will. Others – like Bend, Sisters and Redmond in Central Oregon – lost timber mills and forest products but made a largely successful shift to tourism with skiing, white water rafting, dozens of golf courses, large numbers of retirees and smaller entrepreneurial businesses. They became “service industry” towns.

The largest problem for a one-industry town like ours is that it takes so long to replace the economic underpinnings that created past stability. Timber has been here 150 years. Economics and technology dictated downsizing. Now, folks hereabouts are looking to the wine industry. That’s a hopeful future. But it takes a long, long time for a full-blown impact on the local economy. Nearly all the vineyards and wineries here are family-owned. The big names seen in California and New York aren’t here. Yet. Maybe never. Neither is the large, skilled workforce of field hands and vintners – at least not in large enough numbers to make a sizeable economic impact. May happen. Someday. But that someday could be many years away. People are working on it. But it’s a long-haul situation.

Like a lot of other small Northwest burgs, we’ve got some good economic development people at work. There are plans on the table. Things could look a lot better. Someday. But, again, it takes years. Often, a lot of years.

Umpqua Oats is quite a story. Outside of high tech startups today, a very unusual story of rapid success and a wide open future. Especially in the backwoods. Lots of folks hereabouts thought Mandy and Shari really had something. In fact, about a year ago, they told my Rotary club this was where they were born, where they started and this was where they’d stay. I’m sure they believed that. Then.

But business is business. Even in our little burg-in-the-woods. Good luck to ‘em.

Where’s the outrage?

Author: Barrett Rainey

Anyone who doesn’t believe the U.S. Congress – and more than a handful of states – aren’t screwing us over big-time isn’t paying attention. From student loans to national defense to control of our own health decisions – we’re being politically raped.

Taxes are being shifted to the least able to pay – personal rights are being attacked as never before in our times – anti-abortion Republicans are acting like safecrackers in the night – legislatures are running amok creating and passing bills with no prior public notice – Congress has turned its back on our repeated requests for action on dozens of issues we want solved – politicians at both levels are acting with a “voter-be-damned” attitude because they’ve perverted election districts to assure themselves near-lifetime job security.

No one – no one- can argue with these statements. Proof is overwhelming. Much of the congressional and legislative system is unresponsive to the electorate. And yet – something’s not happening. There’s no significant outrage. Anywhere. No one’s taking to the streets in numbers large enough to affect change. Recall petitions aren’t circulating by the hundreds. Few new faces are coming forward to challenge the bad guys – and bad women. Tens of millions of people are being hurt – some severely – and yet – silence.

Though I’ve been silent, too – stewing about this for many months – the North Carolina legislature finally sent me screaming over the edge this week. Late at night – with absolutely no advance notice – even to Democrats in the same legislative body – NC Republicans attached another Draconian anti-abortion rider to a motorcycle safety bill – a motorcycle safety bill – and rammed it though. No notice. No hearing. Not even on the agenda or bill reading calendar. Just whipped it out of the committee chairman’s drawer, slapped it on the table, waived the legal requirements for public notice and public hearings, and shot that sucker into the system. As we used to say, “wham-bam-thank you, Ma’am.”

North Carolina Republicans have used dishonest – and I’d bet illegal – maneuvers before in their handling of legislative matters. But never like this. And never with a subject that is of such deep, personal interest to millions of people in the state. Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas “lawmakers” have used this same underhanded “bum’s rush” scheme, too. All Republicans. The subjects are always the same: anti-abortion or limiting voting access for minorities. And many of them look you straight in the eye and say, “We’re doing the Lord’s work.” Yeah, if your lord’s name is Vader.

My Republican ancestors would be shocked to witness the type of conduct we’re seeing in the GOP these days. Many Republican friends don’t talk about politics as much as they used to. And I find my challenges to them on these scurrilous dealings getting a far less aggressive response – sometimes no response at all. That’s because – regardless of party – such conduct in public office is not defensible by thinking people. Were it Democrats, Tory’s or Whigs – I’d be just as pissed. You should be, too.

To our everlasting good fortune, Oregon and Washington legislatures have a reasonable balance of the two major parties. And it works. Idaho, alas, is a fiefdom for the elephants. From time to time, legislators there act like royalty dealing with the rabble as they ramrod some piece of partisan B.S. through to the governor’s desk. Democrats – being an endangered species within those borders – can only grimace and wish for better days. But – even there – the Republican heavies haven’t been as deliberately underhanded as their sisters and brothers in the Carolina’s, Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Yet.

As for the Potomac minions, their legislative sins against the citizenry continue to mount. Probably none so cruel as the sequestration – or maybe it should be called “economic castration.” Literally millions of Americans are being affected – some by loss of housing – some by loss of jobs – some by interminable layoffs – some by not getting to eat regularly – and all of us by a reduction in our military defenses and other government services.

New evidence surfaces daily of the tightening economic noose that exists simply because those who thought up this Frankenstein monster don’t have the guts to mount an honest effort to kill it. An end that could come with one simple piece of legislation. If the founding fathers – the ones our politicians are always quick to praise – had so little care for the country and operated in this manner, we’d all be speaking with a damned British accent.

Given the failures are real – given the tactics in some states have become legislative “hide-the-ball” deception against other legislators and voters – given women have become targets of wrong-headed, sanctimonious zealots masquerading as politicians – given many states are passing obviously unconstitutional prohibitions disenfranchising voters – given what used to be an open political process has now too often become a shell game played by do-gooders under the guise of “Christian” ethics – where is the outrage?

A friend tells me voters are just lying in wait – ready to pounce at the next national election – 2014. I doubt it. History has repeatedly proven off-year elections are low turnout. And a paucity of voters usually bodes well for incumbents – the despicable species that has perpetrated these grievances. They’re almost guaranteed renewal-by-election if history repeats itself.

So – again I ask – where is the outrage? Where is the anger? We are saddled with a congress and several legislatures savaging our rights, attacking our freedoms, ignoring our problems, creating barriers to economic growth and allowing our national defense to suffer because of child-like behavior as they fail to solve our nation’s financial problems.

But – where the Hell is the outrage? What the Hell are you going to do about it? What are WE going to do about it? Well?

We’ve aided their duplicity

Author: Barrett Rainey

Some years ago, I got a call from a friend who was serving in elective office. He’d decided to run for re-election and wanted to talk about his future plans.

I approached our coffee session with thoughts of what sort of fund raising would be needed, how to reactivate former volunteers, how to get him appearances in front of local groups and how many days were left for neighborhood walks and door-knocking. Typical election topics that must be discussed before announcing. Decisions that need making. I was prepared for what I thought the conversation was to be about. I was not prepared for what he had to say.

“My wife and I have decided to get a divorce,” he said. “Do you think we should do it before the election or after? What effect do you think it will have on voters? Will it make a difference?”


Needless to say, that morning’s pre-campaign discussion was about a subject that had not crossed my mind. But – at that time -it was central to his decision to run again. It could’ve been a killer.

Move the calendar up about 40 years. We have Sen. Vitter (R-LA) – reelected though he’s a multiple adulterer with a string of prostitutes. We have Rep.. Sanford (R-SC) – a long-term adulterer elected to Congress after his multiple intercontinental romps at taxpayer expense as North Carolina Governor while lying to his staff and constituents about it all. Ex-Congressman Weiner – forced out of office for sexual misbehavior on his smartphone – now running for mayor of New York City. Former New York Gov. Switzer is running for New York City Comptroller against a former madam he jailed when he was New York Attorney General before he was forced out of office for his own $80,000 prostitution activities. After which he had two national TV shows. And a best-selling book.

There are other multiple adulterers like Gingrich and Livingston – both ex-Speakers of the House – but you get the point. It used to be politicians were deathly afraid of even a hint of scandal or family problems. Many stayed in unhappy marriages because of fear of a tarnished public image. Now, they seemingly thrive despite outright escapades with hookers, South American girlfriends, sexting, adultery and other sins of the flesh.

Now I’ll be among the first to admit cultural standards have changed. We are – for the most part – a more accepting nation than we used to be. In most respects, we’re a more forgiving people. But have we lowered the bar for morality to the point we would shun a friend for some of this behavior but elect strangers to determine national governmental policies while committing the same sins?

We’ve become a culture of “celebrity.” Unfortunately, we’ve not established a “good celebrity” or a “bad celebrity” classification. Just “celebrity.” It often seems those who achieve notoriety through immoral or dishonest means reap even more fame and fortune than those who labor on our behalf in more laudable endeavors. A Nobel winner most often returns to anonymity following the honor while some bed-hopping politician or entertainer makes another couple of million. It’s a safe bet you can’t name the 1972 Nobel winner in science but you’ll likely be able to regurgitate the latest outrageous behavior of Lindsey Lohan. Celebrity. Nobel winners could use more of it. The Lohans of the world a lot less.

None of this is to say we don’t all err in some way. Many of us more than once. But why do we elect people to high office who are unapologetic – at least unapologetic with any real sincerity – for their outrageous affronts to good behavior and accepted moral standards? Why do we reject it from those we know on the one hand while enriching strangers with fame and fortune for behaving badly on the other?

We have a national Congress containing some really hard workers who are trying to do their jobs. They stand for the right things. They do the right things. But their dignified work is overshadowed – and in too many cases stymied – by the likes of Bachmann, Ghomert, Paul, Cruz, Walsh, Israel, Jones, et all achieving “celebrity” as wilfully ignorant, lying, road blocking miscreants.

To their ilk, you can add the Vitter’s, Sanford’s, Edwards’s and the rest of the “celebrities” who achieved their status despite immoral behavior and a sense that the rules didn’t apply to them as recipients of public trust.

Still, their rise in public life while betraying that trust, likely says more about we who elected them than it does about them. We’re the ones who – thus far – have accepted them. We’re the setters and keepers of the standards. Aren’t we?

Flip flops ain’t all bad

Author: Barrett Rainey

A few days ago, Barb asked me what I wanted for dinner and I said I was hungry for her wonderful goulash.

A couple of hours later, without paying attention that she had started dinner, I called out that meatloaf sounded even better.

Now, nearly everyone knows I had just “stepped in it.” Here she was draining spaghetti, browning hamburger and going through her seasoning checklist. Discussion of anything to eat at that moment was to be centered strictly on the goulash at hand and nothing else.

In this example, I had “flip flopped.” As I thought about her previous question in the ensuing 120 minutes, and as I rolled around the options in my mind, my thinking “matured.” I had new, more thoughtful – flavorful – visions. A change of mind as it were. Hasn’t that happened to you?

This little story about a threat to marital bliss is simple enough. But the process is much the same when some politicians change their mind about an issue. As a result, most are labeled “flip floppers.” It’s a quick, easy condemnation of someone in or seeking public office. At times true; at times not. At times good; at times not.

Take Ronald Reagan for instance. For much of his adult life, he was not only a Democrat but an ardent one, heading a labor union and walking picket lines. Then Barry Goldwater “appeared” to him and he was converted to Republicanism. A flip flop. But no one condemned him for it. Just a matter of adult reasoning. Personal choice.

Take former Oregon Governor Tom McCall. Republican by nature and philosophy, he put on a plaid tux jacket in the early ‘70’s and went to Idaho to campaign for candidate Cecil Andrus, a lifelong Democrat. Only the looney fringe couldn’t see the statesmanship and adult thinking, calling him a ”flip flopper” and a “traitor.” Actually he was demonstrating a level of adult political judgment he might not have shown in his earlier years, judgment that came with advancing age but which escaped the narrow-minded, flat-earth thinkers.

But this is a two-edged sword, this flip flopping. Sometimes, it can … and should … skewer the flopper.

Sen. McCain and his stands on abortion, wars and several other subjects come to mind. On record for years as pro-choice, even at the start of the 2008 campaign. Then he looked at some GOP polling midway through and changed sides. Classic “flip flopping.” Not because of maturity but opportunism. Not good.

Gov. Jindahl of Louisiana, is a flopper. Went on national TV decrying federal stimulus dollars then, seven months later, had a bunch of large, phony checks printed up with his statehouse official address on them. He flew around the state – at Louisiana taxpayer expense – handing out federal stimulus dollars masquerading as Louisiana tax dollars. That flip could cause whiplash.

As in so many other quick and often wrong labeling, there can be more … or sometimes … less truth when it comes to flips and flops. I give the benefit of the doubt most of the time. I like to think someone has added to life’s experiences and has rethought some previously held convictions; that the process of living longer has resulted in a better understanding of a particular issue.

Apply that to yourself. Recall some of your thinking when you were 15 or 25 or 40. Do you still feel that way or, like most of us, do you ask yourself “How could I have ever thought that?” Sometimes the flip and often the accompanying flop are just reflecting your own maturity and changing thought processes. Case in point: my mother was born Roman Catholic but died, at the age of 96, a 60-year Presbyterian. Somewhere in those years, as a thoughtful adult, she flipped.

Personally, I like an occasional change of direction in my politicians. Keeps me thinking. Them, too, I hope. The strident, never-going-to-change-my-mind-on-this kind of guy often doesn’t learn very much as he gets older. Since the only constant around us is change, we should expect some of that to rub off on in the way we all look at most things.

The doctrinaire, hold-one-position-on-everything approach isn’t showing me maturity when faced with the change we all have to deal with. Most of today’s problems won’t be solved by yesterday’s thinking.

But if flipping or flopping is tied to opportunism or playing to a certain base of support, that’s not healthy. (See McCain, Romney, Gingrich, Jindahl, Perry, et al) And it’s not good for anyone.

So you see, when someone tells you “so-and-so flip flopped” you’ve got to know more about the issue. And maybe you should know more about the guy that told you. Sometimes good. Sometimes not.

Two stories that aren’t

Author: Barrett Rainey

There are times when the American media is an invaluable source of information, education and entertainment. But it can also make a major ass of itself. When it does, we get duds like the twin excesses now available to all – regardless of how you get your daily fix.

I’m a harsher critic than most readers/viewers because much of my life has been spent in and around one form of journalism or another. But that was then and this is now. Professional journalistic standards are a whole lot different these days. Lower. Much lower. Where they exist at all.

We’re daily being inundated by two trumped up “stories” that are almost entirely media creations: the Treyvon Martin case and the miscellaneous travels of Edward Snowden. Neither justifies today’s coverage.

First, Martin. Yes, he was a teen – a black teen living in Florida. Yes, he was shot and killed by a guy who saw himself as some sort of neighborhood protector – a guy with a Hispanic surname. So what? How many teens. – how many Black teens – are shot and killed in Chicago every week. Last weekend alone there were 19 Chicago shootings – most of them teens. Two weeks before – 18. In any given month, in just that one city, 40 or more shootings. Name one dead teen. Just one. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

So why does the media put Treyvon Martin at the top of our daily reading and viewing list? Day after day after day? What’s so special about the Martin case? Why does it get the attention it does when children – 4-5-6-8 year-old children are being killed on streets and playgrounds and little ones in baby strollers in Chicago and elsewhere daily? Why Martin?

My own thought is the media outsmarted itself on this one. While a certain amount of coverage in Florida was to be expected, the shooting happened during an otherwise slow national news period. There were the elections. But -for the most part – elections don’t sell papers or snare viewers until very close to voting. So the national media picked up the Martin story because it wasn’t Chicago. Or Newark. Or Detroit. A black kid killed in a mostly white neighborhood in Florida was – different.

But – once picked up – various media found themselves stuck with it. If there were new details – any new details – in a story they’d deemed worthy of such attention for weeks and weeks and they didn’t keep up, the competition would. The number of papers sold and the number of viewers watching are just that important these days. So CNN and Fox – and now MSNBC – are wall-to-wall with day-long coverage of a story blown completely out of proportion. Two of the three cable news channels have all but wiped out other – far more important – news in daytime. And recap all night. This week, for instance, the last live CNN news is 5 pm (PDT). After that, it’s all Zimmerman. And Egypt? Arizona fires? Anything else? Not a word. Zip.

Then there’s Snowden. The leaker. What he did was wrong. Not treason by a long shot. But wrong. For reasons we don’t yet know, he violated conditions of his private employment while working with very sensitive classified government information. Regardless of how morally justified he may have felt, his actions were wrong. He should be tried and punished under the appropriate laws.

But the media has become obsessed with where he might be in the world. If the guy goes here, so do hundreds of cameras and reporters. If he goes there, so do they. They even go looking for him where he isn’t! Now they’re sitting at the Moscow airport to see which way he jumps next. Before this is over, we’re going to know which brand of aftershave he uses and how much deodorant he applies daily.

Snowden and his whereabouts are NOT the story. What he did IS. But, here again, media bosses believe they can’t stop now. If Snowden moves, and this or that network doesn’t move with him, whatever interested viewers there may be might go to the other channels to keep up. Or readers may drop the offending paper to pick up the one still chasing along behind. That’s media “bean counter think.” Not professional journalism “think.” Certainly not mine. Gotta keep the numbers up.

Both stories are media inventions beyond the basic facts involved. Both are getting unwarranted amounts of coverage. Not because they deserve it but because central players in both have been elevated to some sort of sick celebrity status. Because the media has made George Zimmerman and Edward Snowden larger-than-life, both will have books written about them – movies made of their “stories” – they’ll cash in on the celebrity whether walking the streets or sitting in their respective jail cells.

Snowden will eventually come home and will likely do some jail time. As for Zimmerman, that’s up to a Florida jury. I’m more interested in who shot the latest child in a stroller or the one with pigtails swinging on a big city playground. I want to know if they caught the bastard and if he’ll ever walk the streets again. But I’m not looking to the national media to tell me. They’re busy elsewhere.