Review of Reason

Reason with Sensibility In An Age of Capitalist Fancy, Madness and Delusion

Literacy in America Online Media Gets Illiterate


Uncle-Sam-DunceOnline Media Getting Illiterate

Where I am over worked, in toiling without an editor, I wonder what every one  else writing is doing. For once upon a time it was bad though you had to track down drunken print journalists, in order to find a citation of their sources, and references and paragraphs. Today it seems like it is getting worse where in electronic print, they publish a few lines of text without photos and call it a short. Where all in all journalism is not what it once was, that amounts to the cheap miserly blurbs of few one line quips of a stale story they get from someone else.

Recently I came across the brilliant yet loose remarks and comments in an article called “Bogus Literacy Statistic Becomes a Weapon in Attack on Detroit” (by Jacob Levich, MR Zine [Monthly Review Zine] August 14, 2013).  An article by a fresh talents up and coming writer who continues to leave me thinking and guessing,  or was that guessing and thinking.  For though I liked his OPed editorial slant perspective about the bane of an America a long dark history steeped in racism.

Though in mention of racism, who would have guessed that the first Black man elected president would also be the most aggressively reactionary right wing president in many years. As I call President Obama (President Obomber), and as I guess and suppose people in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, don’t count as they don’t vote in America, and no one in America speaks English, not to mention some form of foreign language.

In country I call functionally illiterate, illiterate, or simply dumb, dumber and stupid, as I am not interested in advancing the racist views concerning minorities in this country, by holding those minorities back. Nor am I interested in advancing any of the many corporate agendas for privatized and or education reform, to put more money in their coffers, by what allows the public education system I grew up under, for lack of a better word fail. Where failure is not an option, as a fair, solid, reasonable, public education system that provides the best possible education to all students is the only realistic option, in what today does not exist.

In review of the article I am asking as to what editors do these days, as it seems like editors are not editing, nor writing these days, so in that I guess they are schmoozing, in the national pass time of social climbing. Where they as misdirected colleges graduates, go out into the world in order to get, find, beg borrow and steal, some money to pay off those students loans they racked up without having more to do.

Frankly I read the articles and found inconsistencies, in what normally I might of ignored as there are many inconsistencies in articles these days, but in that there were references to several other articles in what bordered on lies, I decided to check it out as in “What the heck as these folks doing”.


Back where it all began with me was beginning to get a headache, where the original article:

“Bogus Literacy Statistic Becomes a Weapon in Attack on Detroit
by  Jacob Levich, “Scrambling  to plant a stake in the heart of Detroit’s once-vibrant democracy, pundits, pols, and journos are touting a dubious statistic in order to cast doubt on the ability of black citizens to govern themselves.”.

Never followed up what was written after the reports it is thought relied upon were decided to be “bogus” when actually were taken out of context and misapplied to the circumstances in question.

1. Where I checked out the articles provided as sources, where the first stereotype found to dispel, was that all citizens of Detroit are not Black, that Detroit still is a regional economic engine much of the state and country depends on.

(Detroit 82.7% Black or African American; 10.6% White (7.8% non-Hispanic whites, 2.8% Hispanic whites); 3% from other races; 1.1% Asian; 2.2% from two or more races; 0.4% American Indian; 0.02% Pacific Islander. Wikipedia)

2. Where citing   “In recent weeks numerous new stories and op-eds” (ibid. MRZine) I followed up the stories mentioned of “here” ” here”, and “here”:

Which alleged “cited a ‘2011 study’ purporting to show that 47% of adults in Detroit are functionally illiterate”, that I found unspecified as I did not find those articles written much better than the article I found earlier.

BANKRUPT, BUT NOT BROKEN, August 13, 2013, parroted that Detroit is roughly 47 percent illiterate and only 10 percent college educated but failed to mention that as such Detroit was above the national average (I think).

The national education averages are:
2 yr College Grad.        6.48%
4 yr College Grad.        6.02%
Graduate Degrees         8.97%

Where Detroit appears to have a better than average educated population depending on how that is considered, as a straight 10% of the population mentioned does not correlate to how the statistics are collated and presented.

Disappointingly these media outlets merely added to the confusion, in what makes no sense, as in fact these stories were not based on statistics but on third hand secondary analysis. In what was erroneous concluded, in what was raised once before, the single parent issue exploded years ago, in 1991-1992 over the TV show Murphy Brown which ignited the very same national debate during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, which got and the illiterate Vice President Dan Quayle who opened his big trap.

From The Detroit News: for Detroiters From The Detroit News

Detroit’s unemployed workforce that is roughly 47 percent illiterate and only 10 percent college educated.”

The high-tech firms that are landing downtown are a great benefit to the city, but they’re not much help to Detroit’s unemployed workforce that is roughly 47 percent illiterate and only 10 percent college educated.

Wednesday, 07 August 2013, The Killing of Detroit, by  Ralph R. Reiland, the New American, reporting that

“In 2011, the National Institute for Literacy reported that 47 percent of the residents of Detroit were ‘functionally illiterate’ *** The U.S. Department of Education reported that ‘only 7 percent of the eighth graders are grade-level proficient in reading and only 4 percent are grade-level proficient in math” in Detroit’s public schools, reports Terence P. Jeffrey at”.

Minneapolis utilities debate is a distraction , Star Tribune, by Tom Horner and Tim Penny, August 10, 2013 – 4:49 PM, concluding  in a slew of lies and dceptions those statistics”means that:

“nearly half the adults in the city can’t perform simple tasks such as reading an instruction book, reading labels on packages or machinery, or filling out a job application” which is not true as one issue was not specified in the other.

Where allegedly “In 2011, the National Institute for Literacy reported that 47 percent of the residents of Detroit were “functionally illiterate”(which also was not stated; and,

Improperly stated “This illiterate half of the city is ‘not able to fill out basic forms for getting a job, those types of basic everyday things,’ , in what explained Karen Tyler-Ruiz, Director of the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund.”

As “it’s not getting any better for the next generation coming through Detroit’s  schools — the public schools with the highest per pupil expenditures in Michigan. reports Terence P. Jeffrey at”

All in all where Intelligence agencies are getting to know every nuance of the average resident, the news media is getting worse and worse, in informing, and explaining to the average people what the heck is going on.

Where Jacob Levich, stated, “I was immediately skeptical: it simply defies common sense to think that nearly half of Detroit can’t read a newspaper or pass a driver exam.  So I spent some time researching the source and methodology.”

Where his article had a Fletch Kincaid result of:

Readability Formula Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level    14
Gunning-Fog Score                 15.7
Coleman-Liau Index                 12.5
SMOG Index                            12.1
Automated Readability Index  13.8
Average Grade Level           13.6

Text Statistics
Character Count        3,266
Syllable Count           1,138
Word Count   680
Sentence Count        27
Characters per Word            4.8
Syllables per Word   1.7
Words per Sentence            25.2

This article of mine had a result of

Readability Formula      Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level     10.9
Gunning-Fog Score      12.7
Coleman-Liau Index     10.6
SMOG Index   10.2
Automated Readability Index    9.9
Average Grade Level    10.9

Text Statistics

Character Count           6,428
Syllable Count  2,247
Word Count     1,436
Sentence Count            70
Characters per Word    4.5
Syllables per Word       1.6
Words per Sentence     20.5

But where the New York Post (see below) wrote the test results were even lower in what has not changed in a hundred and 12 years as the average education in 1901 according the US dept of education was six years then, just as many newspaper now. In what even at college grad level precludes most people from legal redress and access to the courts in their birth rights as citizens. Where the failure has not been the education system but the short term myopic, cheap,  economic political, social system which has no respect for honest manual labor, and no systemic method to deal with its beyond specific ages. Where on job age discrimination is alive and rampant, and jobs are dead ends to no where. where in order to change the system and what exists we should not accept what it presents as the standard by which to go by. Where Forbes magazine says it was party to spreading misinformation that was common on white supremacist web sites.

“We tried to track down the research on the National Institute for Literacy Web site and couldn’t anything remotely relevant. (One thing we did find while Googling is that this same “new” factoid, variously sourced, has been a staple of  white supremacist Web sites for at least a decade.)” (Forbes, Erik Kain, 5/06/2011 @ 4:15PM |4,797 views, Detroit Literacy Numbers Questionable).


resident meets a ‘harsh’ critic By Carl CampanileMay 6, 2011 | 4:00am

President meets a ‘harsh’ critic

Christopher Cannizzaro, who was just 10 months old on 9/11, recalled of his exchange with the president Photo: AFP/Getty Images Brian Cannizzaro

A 10-year-old boy whose firefighter dad died on 9/11 was thrilled to meet President Obama during yesterday’s wreath-laying ceremony, but that didn’t stop him from offering the commander in chief a critique of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

“He said, ‘How do you feel about Osama bin Laden being dead?’ ” Christopher Cannizzaro, who was just 10 months old on 9/11, recalled of his exchange with the president.

“I said he could have done something a little less harsh.” But the Staten Island boy was beaming when Obama greeted him.

“It meant the world to me to meet the president,” he said. Christopher fist-bumped Obama and handed him a prayer card bearing a photo of his father, Brian. Brian Cannizzaro was a member of Ladder Co. 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Christopher’s mom, Jacqueline Cannizzaro-Hawkins, said Obama touched her son’s metal chain, which carried a photo of his hero dad. “It was an amazing moment. He talked to my son. He said Christopher resembled his dad,” she said.

The Cannizzaros were among the four 9/11 families that Obama greeted during the wreath ceremony. Jacqueline said she put in a request with the Fire Department to be there.

“This renewed my faith in the country. People never forget 9/11 — especially the president,” she said. “I told the president, ‘Thank you. Thank you for seeing it through.’ And thank God for the Navy SEALs.”

Readability Formula Grade

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level      7.4
Gunning-Fog Score   8.2
Coleman-Liau Index 9.2
SMOG Index            8.2
Automated Readability Index   5.6
Average Grade Level                7.7

Text Statistics

Character Count       1,252
Syllable Count          439
Word Count             295
Sentence Count        21
Characters per Word                4.2
Syllables per Word   1.5
Words per Sentence 14.0

Share and Enjoy

Author: Andrew Stergiou

First online publisher of a literary art journal in the world.

Leave a Reply