Thursday, February 02, 2006

The next headline is a lie!

Dear readers,
Please don't believe the next headline about Prata and drug use.
That headline is a lie!
Yellow journalism is alive and well in Gray.
Read on to discover WHY that headline is a lie, and why I could almost get away with posting that headline.

Nathan Tsukroff


Prata may be a drug user

Here's how yellow journalism works.
You ask a question, then you write a story about the answer, not the facts that surround the answer.
For example, in response to a recent email from Prattle, I asked her if she was high on drugs or alcohol. She didn't reply. I then sent a follow-up email telling her I would take the lack of a reply as lack of a denial. She didn't reply to that email, either.
So now I can clearly tell you, our loyal readers, that Prata does not deny being high on drugs or alcohol.
Which is extremely misleading. And my statement becomes a lie itself. The reality is that Prattle chose not to respond because she considered my question to be ridiculous.
Which brings me to the garbage of an article she wrote about Foster being investigated by the office of the Maine Attorney General. Prata got part of it right - Town attorney Bill Dale said Foster is not being investigated. He also said that the AG's office was doing a "follow up" or "inquiry" to a "letter of complaint." 
A simple denial does not mean the investigation is not underway. And in fact, the dictionary defines an investigation as a ". . . systematic inquiry."
The correct article should have read "Foster denies he is being investigated. Bill Dale referred to questions from the AG's office as an inquiry or follow-up."
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's an investigation.
The real story here is Foster breaking the law by deleting a year's worth of emails, which are considered to be public documents. Whether or not you call the AG's questions about those deleted emails an investigation is irrelevant. Foster openly admits to those deletions. The only question now is whether or not the AG's office will consider his actions harmful enough to warrant the fines of $500 per deleted document.
Quack, quack.
Nathan Tsukroff

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The next Town Council order?

Town Council members appear to be following the lead of The Monument's editor and self-proclaimed "arbiter of what's right" in the town of Gray. There is no apparent dissention in the ranks from Foster, Upham and Crane.

Are they going to blindly follow Prata where ever she leads them? Without questioning her motives? Or are they in collusion with Prata?

They were elected in a democratic process to follow the will of the majority of townspeople.

They appear to believe this is an autocratic process where they follow their own will. And Prata cheers them on weekly!

What's next for the Town Council? Town Council Order #666 declaring Prata to be God?
Of course not. But the council members certainly have failed to show their independence from Prata or her influence, and Gray is the worse for that failure.
Nathan Tsukroff

A definition of mania

From the Merck Manual of Medical Information - Second Home Edition, online editon:

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Mania

Mania is characterized by excessive physical activity and feelings of extreme elation that are grossly out of proportion to any positive event. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania.

Manic symptoms typically develop rapidly over a few days. In the early (milder) stages of mania, the person feels better than normal, exuberant, and energetic.

A person who is manic may be irritable, cantankerous, or hostile. He typically believes he is quite well. A lack of insight into his condition, along with a huge capacity for activity, can make the person impatient, intrusive, meddlesome, and aggressively irritable when crossed. Mental activity speeds up (a condition called flight of ideas). The person is easily distracted and constantly shifts from one theme or endeavor to another. The person may have false convictions of personal wealth, power, inventiveness, and genius and may temporarily become delusional or assume a grandiose identity, sometimes believing that he is God.

The person may believe he is being assisted or persecuted by others or have hallucinations, hearing and seeing things that are not there. The need for sleep decreases. A manic person is inexhaustibly, excessively, and impulsively involved in various activities (such as risky business endeavors, gambling, or perilous sexual behavior) without recognizing the inherent social dangers. In extreme cases, mental and physical activity is so frenzied that any clear link between mood and behavior is lost in a kind of senseless agitation (delirious mania). Immediate treatment is then required, because the person may die of sheer physical exhaustion. In less severe mania, hospitalization may be needed during periods of overactivity to protect the person and his family from ruinous financial or sexual behavior.

Mania is diagnosed by its symptoms. However, because people with mania are notorious for denying that there is anything wrong with them, doctors usually have to obtain information from family members.

A definition of Prata

The editor of The Monument, Elizabeth Prata, is a very complicated person. But there are some actions about her that we can define.

She is the self-proclaimed watchdog of Gray.

She is the self-proclaimed "arbiter of what's right."

She does not admit to having any biases.

She sends emails at all hours of day and night, often at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning.

She is extremely defensive, and consistently replies to emailed letters to the editor to explain to the sender why and how the sender is wrong.

Her published articles sometimes stray from the important points, and she often fails to report all the facts.

I wonder what kind of personality these actions define?

Nathan Tsukroff