We citizens have one small chit in our Democracy- the vote. But without a robust and truly free news media, our vote is worth nothing.  Knowledge is power, and in an age of moneyed interests- interests that control the media itself- it is the only power, as exercised through our vote, we citizens have a hope of possessing.  Advance The Dialog is a tool for the public.  It asks the media to follow common sense Rules designed to elicit factual data, Calls Them Out when they do not, and holds them accountable in the performance of their duty as The Fourth Pillar of Democracy.

So Welcome to ATD.  I hope you will join me by adding Your Input to this site-  Vote on the issues.  Comment on my blogs.  And Call Them Out when they break The Rules!

Vote! (right): Ask the Question Poll- ACA Video of Week! (bottom): Twisted Statistics on Obamacare

I recently came across another story—the third in a few months—on economic turn around of the disadvantaged who live in cities. I considered adding it to the May 2015 blog on Minneapolis and Atlanta, but decided it deserved its own.


The NYT opinion piece is about the successful Houston nonprofit Neighborhood Centers, and its ‘bottom up’ approach to helping people lift themselves out of poverty. The author, David L. Kirp, writes that Neighborhood Centers “has enabled hundreds of thousands of poor residents, many of them immigrants, to move up the ladder of economic and educational opportunity each year. It’s … read more »


There is nothing more exasperating than seeing a news report on an important but esoteric subject that includes controversy and competing facts, and having no better sense at the end of it, what the truth is. Such describes the media coverage of vaccine safety which was recently elevated in the news after California made vaccination mandatory for children attending public or private schools.

I am not an expert in medicine, economics, the environment, or any other such field, any more than I am a journalist, and I can’t take time to become any of these just to prove that the … read more »


This is a follow-on blog to my previous one. The two, together, form a pair of bookends that give a ‘big picture’ clarity to how policies contribute to the deadly confrontations between blacks and the police, and the peril of underreporting them.

The Minneapolis Miracle blog covered the media’s failure to report on solutions to the underlying issues of economic inequality and concentrated poverty, solutions that could, at least in part, preempt crises that lead to police confrontations. This blog covers the equally underreported subject of programs aimed at containing the fallout from those crises once they’ve hit.

Anticipating civil … read more »

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In the quest for answers to Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore, attendant focus on unemployment and urban blight, and the role they play in the tragic encounters between blacks and the police, brought to mind a story reported in March on the ‘Minneapolis Miracle’, a story with proven answers.

The joint piece between News Hour and The Atlantic tells of a broad regional prosperity that resulted from shared wealth policies in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area in the 1970’s, and the subsequent decline after policies were rolled back. Though the Twin Cities still enjoys high ratings in both affordability and upward … read more »


An all time high of $4B in political spending was reached this past election, with another $200M in dark money, even though less people donated than in previous elections.  And money got results. Of the biggest spenders for House elections, 94% won; in the Senate it was 82%.  All this, according to a Nov. 10 News Hour report.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here are 2 things you probably know:
   There is too much money in politics.
   The news media reaps huge financial rewards from campaign ads.

And 1 you may not know:
   There was virtually no … read more »