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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The web you may never see, Republicans dominate the Intent. NPR's Weekend Edition.

The Republican Party and conservative right are winning hearts, minds and hardselling propoganda on the Internet.

Most of what is on the Web you may never see.

Teenagers comment on issues close to them.

And a poet looks at the decade ahead..

Four thing to be heard on todays edition of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday.

99% of what is on the web will not show up on search engines. Find out why and how to get around the limitations.

Inside the mind of three teenagers, topic ideas for papers and observations of their world.

Republican politicians make their social media push...Do Republicans dominate the Internet?

How will we define the decade ahead?

Sunday Morning News and Views

It’s Howdy Doody Time!

Dec 27, 1947 the Howdy Doody Show premiered on NBC. The puppet and its characters became a true nostalgic positive icon for the entire Baby Boom generation, although many others like Bozo and even Scooby Do replaced him with the youngest of the baby boomers.

The Health Benefits of Notaligia.

CBS Sunday Morning interviewed George Dewey of McCann Erickson on the truth and application as revealed by Draper, the fictitious 1960’s advertising executive in “Mad Men”.  He knew that you need to appeal to the core of American values, which are based on the best of the past, as we perceive and remember it.

The story was on Nostalgia in advertising. The man from Petridge Farm, Mr. Whipple when he returned, the use of the Island of Christmas Past from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” in Verizon’s McCann Erickson ads against AT&T and the iPhone.

Nostalgia for centuries was considered a disease and depression, a part of soldier’s shell shock condition, women’s suicides or divorces. Psychologists are split on if it is healthy or not, but many say it is. Look at the good in your past, and use it to give you the energy to move forward and know what you are capable of. They say it helps you see through the debris and keep only the stuff worth putting back on the shelf.

The story also visited the University of Chicago and a study of how small interacts with the brain faster than sounds or sights, and can be the best way to change people’s behavior and change. It could be smell is the most therapeutic of the senses to reach nostalgic positive memories and calm down the mind and spirit. Odors do vary since people have differing memories by region and nation. Positive smells ten to be flowers in the east, fresh air in the south, meat cooking in the west, farm animals or cooking in the Midwest. Eastern European cultures find garlic, meats, and what we might think of as the smell of decay in an old -fashioned market s positive, comforting and heart warming. Fish is a positive in fishing communities, a negative as you go inland.

People want to feel at home. It works for therapy, relaxation and to regroup. An attitude of only looking at the future leads to stress and too often failure.

Good News from 2009

As you review the New Year, be aware that all the news is not bad. We will not have to go through it again. Recovery is expected to begin in earnest by mid 2010. Sharks attacked fewer people this past year. Studies have found that men are more attracted to women who reveal no more than 40% of their skin. Men with scars on their face are more attractive to women for short-term relationships. Clean-shaven men with good skin and longer ring fingers are most attractive for marriage. There is a correlation between finger size and financial success…yes, in that area longer is better. The human brain has shrunk ten percent in the past ten thousand years, but what is missing are things we no longer need now that we are higher functioning individuals and less animal-like. Scientist have found 30,000 planets have been found that could support human life. More people are going to church or other religious services on a regular basis than a year ago. Birth death rates are down in countries that track such events. While there are noted exceptions, the amount of wars and level of crime actually decreased during 2009. Oh, and energy use is down.

The Internet.

There may be reasons to swear by the Internet and list is as the driving force behind rapid chage over the past ten years, good and bad There may be reasons to suspect it as part of the reason behind declining test scores, a change in how we think and our priorities, the antithisis of democracy in how rumor and faslehood can become preceived as fact. It opens doors and closes just as many as we sit before out computer screens where once we would sit down and talk with others on the front porch or in our living rooms. Charities, live theaters, music groups and even political organizations have been forced to trace feet on the ground or in the seats, actors in the overall live interactive world, for keyboard punching, video game playing micro-communities spanning blocks, cities, nations and continents.

Blogging has brought change across the globe, along with Twitter reports from China, Facebook coverage of major events and of course, text messaging. NPR has had a series of stories on how the Internet has changed the world in the unofficial 40 years since if founding.

I am old enough that I remember playing "Star Trek" where each university had a starship or Klingon Cruiser. I recall destroying the University of Kentucky flagship on behalf of the Klingons of the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle.

It was black and white, highly pixated, slow and you had painstakingly enter three dimentional coordinates in Fortran. But it was live and connected colleges across the US (and military bases, as I later found out). We even used punch cards and large reels of fast moving data tape in huge air conditioned and static resistant clean rooms.

We have come so far in 40 years!

Where will be be five, ten, fifteen or forty years form now?

Your phone is spying on you

A world view of the past ten years and America.

The BBC looked at what they have declared the even to the Decade, the 9-11 attack. Their panel was honest and open in a way that would American audiences either yelling at the top of their lungs or calling for an advertiser boycott.

An economist who was the former director of Communication for the UN, from India, painted us as waging a war of power and profit, and dictating what other countries should look like, do and how they should act. The anti-dictatorship, pro- Civil Rights world or president Clinton, who is help in high regard in the world, has changed to “might makes right” and religious fervor overtaking Democratic rights. We face what he called the “hundred year war” or if Islamist have their way the “millennium war.” because the US cannot achieve its stated goals in less than two and probably may more decades, if at all, and we support unpopular regimes in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and even parts of Europe. He feels that the New Federalists, the military and right wind Republicans have crippled the US government and are dictating a policy of world control if not dominance. We are increasingly being mistrusted if not hated as a result. Even under Obama, we are stuck under the Bush Doctrine of action first, US interests first and an “our way or the highway” mentality.”

This was countered by the other guests, who did work with Obama during the campaign. An American political scientist has a far more American view, although American conservative would all him liberal. By international standards he would be called conservative and American-centric protectionist. He said the US was angry and reacted the way “the enemy” wanted to by simply being American and “don’t tread on me”, just as we reacted to Pearl Harbor. Americans supported, and most still do, the invasion of Afghanistan and our current war there. We supported the invasion of Iraq because in the hurt of the event, we trusted out president and intelligence services. Interesting, since President Bush was not elected and we were very split as a nation prior to 9-11 (an event that took Bush from unpopular and mistrusted to leader of the Free World and our almost unanimously supported president).

Obama has been under attack more than any other president, except possibly Nixon and maybe Bush. His allies attack him in areas of health care, Afghanistan, the economy and his not “keeping” campaign promises. If you go back to his actual campaign, he has kept his promises and except for Gitmo, is on timeline. He never said anything could be solved quickly, that we would pull entirely out of Iraq, or that we would pull out of the Middle East. The primary reason for criticizing him appears to be that he is a Constitutional Lawyer and scholar and governs more according to the Constitution than the way Bush or Reagan did, or with the idealistic agenda of Clinton or Carter (who was also a constitutionalist, which lost him support very early in his presidency).

It seems the American people do not want a president who governs in the way the founding fathers’ intended or wrote into our constitution. People want an aggressive, powerful CEO and probably would accept a dictator if we were to have one.  Also involved in the issue is that Americans have become a polarized, celebrity gossip and quick to criticize people. Where once we were simply isolationist and looked at things with the turn the other cheek and forgive those who trespass against us biblical perception, today we seen to want to throw stones regardless of who has or does not have sin, and to be quick to condemn and attack without mercy or even an attempt to understand. Why is that? How did it get this way?

News of the Day

The underpants bomber was in great pain (or highly medicated) when a judge formally informed him he is charged with trying to destroy and crash a jet liner and murder its passengers over Detroit Christmas day. The explosives were sewn into his underpants, so when they went up in flames so did some rather private areas, with maximum and potentially lethal burns. He received immediate treatment, so the prognosis is good.

Not only was security stepped up on travel, adding to the woes caused by bad weather, but a major new regulation was put in effect requiring as you board a plane headed for the US, while security is high, full body searches may be performed with far greater frequency, regardless of who you are or your point of origionation. All passengers who travel from foreign countries by plane to remain seated the final hour of their flight. I guess you need to hold up your hand, as the teacher and get someone to hold your hand if you have to go to the bathroom.

The US is looking at how the terrorist watch list is being used, how to use it without discriminating or leading to false violations of civil rights, how the alert system works and what can be done to increase Homeland Security without further eroding out privacy or our rights. For the president could be just as difficult a political landmine to work with as health reform and Afghanistan.

Iran is in the middle of the largest protests since last spring, nation wide. And it has turned bloody. Police and military have reportedly fired on crowds in at Tehran and at least two other cities, leading to casualties including deaths, and igniting an anger that has led to the torching of cars and businesses. There are at least five dead, including an elderly man who was shot clean through the center of his forehead.

A nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi may have been killed in today’s potests.

The riots began against religious ceremonies marking the 7th Century death of Mohamed’s Grandson in a religious war, making him one of Shiite Muslims greatest martyrs and beloved saints.

There are no confirmed report on events in Iran, because foreign journalist are forbidden to report on it and banned from many areas where protest may be taking place.

We remain at war. An American serviceman was killed this morning in Afghanistan, the victim of a roadside bomb.

Governor Jim Gibbons will be spending the week between Christmas and New Years in a Reno courtroom, sitting opposite his wife, First Lady Dawn Gibbons. The divorce trail will be hotly contested on the rights and eventual possessions of their 23 years marriage, and is liable to bring up many of the allegations and issues that have haunted the governor since his campaign, including his alleged affairs.

Nevada and Florida are not only hard hit with top heavy housing, bank foreclosures and unemployment, but also lead the nation in percentage of their population moving out of state. While the number of people actually leaving remains small, for both states this repesents a reversal of decades of consistent growth. For Nevada the recession ends a long trend of four of the five fastest growing cities in the country being with in the state, most often Las Vegas, Henderson or North Las Vegas, with Sparks and even Reno occasionally leading the list.

Wild horse advocates are citicizing the BLM and Forest Service for routing wild horses to private land, where the group is not allowed to monitor the relocation of the animals. The BLM says it is being done on land where collection is safer for both the animals and those who are collecting the horses.

It lasted just a tick over 26 seconds, but still goes down as  a new world record. Takuo Toda of Japan reached the holy grail today in the world of paper only flight. He flew a four inch craft, using Orgigami rules (no paste, cutting or non-paper used), for 26.1 second, short of his own personal goal of thirty seconds. His best was 27.9 seconds, but that plane had some tape on it. His long term goal is to launch something of his design from space and built it in a way that it will survive reentry.

Financial News and Views          

Michael Holland, president of Holland and Company says the best way to predict the Stock Market is to predict what is happening will continue. He says the Santa Claus Rally of the last few days will not be undone over the next few days, but is not an indication of the New Year itself. There will be a Tsunami of cash that is being held back by world wide investors that will eventually break loose, but there is no way or predicting when that will be. The smart money is betting against the dollar continuing to gain in the world market. He says the bailout in China, many times larger than ours and done by a Totalitarian state, worked. Jobs have been corrected and the recession very much overturned.

BET Founder Robert Johnson, now chairman and CEO of the RTLO Companies, was on Wall Street Journal report talking about how banks are being brought to recessed minority neighborhoods, and how African American businesses are benefiting even in a recession. The fundamental core of what makes this country so great, including the economic values of entrepreneurs are still out there. It is more difficult now, but the will and drive has never been higher. His company is the second highest holders of hotel properties, owns 24 major automotive dealships (primarily in the Midwest) owns banks, is involved in gaming in the Caribbean, owns sports teams and has a major private equity firm. He says that minority businesses operate on the thin edge of the economy and are in major straights now, since traditional bank lending is now tight to non-existent for any small business. He feels that president needs to have a summit with minority business to see how minorities can be helped, since minority businesses are located mostly in the core cities with the highest levels of unemployment and most problems in home ownership. Banks have been closing in minority areas faster than in any other area. There is an “under banked” mentality where people go paycheck-to-paycheck, use “payday” high interests lenders, or simply stockpile cash. One major problem for all society is that Americans are basically financially illiterate as a people.