30 April 2015


Over the past two days, listening to NPR has reminded me why my main reason for listening is to try to understand the liberal mind.

Yesterday, there was a report on the efforts made by FaceBook, Google, Amazon, PayPal, and others to facilitate donations to Nepalese Earthquake Disaster relief.  (I actually used FaceBook today—it was simple, efficient, and done in about 45 seconds.)  Essentially, these big outfits are using their trusted systems to collect donations and to then forward them to appropriate agencies.  Since many of us have already recorded accounts with one or more of them, it simplifies the donation process and speeds the delivery of the donations to the people who are doing the work. I got my receipt from the relief agency about 2 minutes after I made the donation through FaceBook.

So, of course, the first thing that occurred to the NPR host was this:  “Putting on my cynic's hat, I have to ask, what are these companies getting out of this?”  Really?  REALLY?  That’s the first thought?

Not, wow, that’s really thinking outside the box.  Not, welcome to the efficiencies of the digital age.  Not, “Good for them!”   Bah!

The other was a report on the growing demand from parents to send their children to charter schools.  Think about it.  Parents are asking, even demanding, that their children be allowed to go to charter schools.  This is especially so in Philadelphia which is in the midst of a 10 plus candidate brawl for the Democratic Party nomination for Mayor.  NPR has been hosting all of the Democrat candidates (the Republican candidate is running unopposed), an hour at a time, to give their views and to answer some call in questions.  The host of Radio Times, Marty Moss-Coane, is a decent journalist who asks great questions and will make an effort to GET GUESTS TO ACTUALLY ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT WAS ASKED!

But in the promos in other morning shows, the NPR position is clear—why should mere parents be allowed to demand something the teachers’ unions oppose?  I mean, that money flows outside the control of the union bosses and the politicians and if government and unions aren’t in charge of grassroots education, think of the dire consequences.  Voters may decide that other important services ought to be put back in their hands—health care, for instance.

I listen to NPR because 40 years ago, a senior officer who had lots of experience in intelligence, one who I trusted so much that I would have followed him to hell and looked forward to the trip, told me I should.  “Always listen to what the enemy is saying, Lad.  Eventually you’ll be able to figure out what he is really saying!”