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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jillian's Notes

While this is from a previous semester and different text, it is a good preview of things that will need to be researched and learned over the course of your communication studies. Please take the time to review these notes as you advance this semester.

Thank you Jillian!

-Art Lynch

Speech Notes (Partial)

Semantic Noise~ any noise that disrupts the symbols being expressed (i.e. language)

Transactional Model~ 

(For the model used in class, and on the tests,  refer to Jillian's Notes on Angel under Course Content, Resources and Study Material, 16. Reviews, Jillian's Notes.  The following are alternative ways of conceptualizing and understanding the basic communication model.)

Transmitter, sender, encodes message to the Receiver, audience, who decodes the message. The message is sent along a channel (media) and is disrupted by noise, interference, and screens. Three types- internal (thoughts, how you feel inside), external (things that happen outside of the body that you can’t control), and cultural (everything else that makes you-you!) When the Receiver becomes the transmitter, they are sending feedback. Same filters, screens, and interference will/can occur.

Informant message is also known as Feedback.

Alphabet is also known as sybols or codes.

*Communication is transactional, ongoing, and constant… it is universal, dynamic & always changing*

2 Main points of an intro speech~ build enthusiasm for a speaker & the audience

Impromptu Speech~ be as specific as possible, use what you know

Prep time~ arrange thoughts & prep (for Impromptu), organize quickly & clearly

Recency~ using the most current information, facts, stats, etc., listeners deserve to know

Cognitive restructuring: change the way your brain thinks

Podding: the process of seeking out the information that you want to see/hear. Being bias and looking only for things that will support your beliefs. (won’t allow contradictions)

Cacooning: similar to podding, but shutting yourself off (out) to everything around you. (won’t allow disruptions)

Absolute Truth: (Plato) there are truths that just are & you can’t explain them (fundamental) those who don’t have absolute beliefs just don’t get it.

Relative Truth: (Socrates) truth changes over time, can be interpreted differently. There are levels to truth and gray areas. (Relativism) Lets all agree to disagree/ compromise

Semantic: lack of clarity about what your words/ symbols mean ( “I love you”)

State anxiety: uneasiness caused by a situation, such as speaking in front of an audience

Presumption~ the belief that most people, most of the time are comfortable with the way that the status quo is functioning

Demographics: numbers, collected & used to identify an individual, group, or market (collected data) 2 Most Common: Age & Sex, then Psychographic (everything else)

Verbal- words (actual)
Vocal- how words are said (singing for example to the Greeks)
Visual- anything else that you see/hear

Proofs: (why people can be convinced of things)
Ethos~ credibility, perception of power
Logos~ Logic
Pathos~ Emotion
Mythos~ culturally held beliefs

Proposition- main point, or thesis

Generalization~ An inadequate number of examples to warrant the claim
Sign~ An inadequate number of indicants to warrant the claim
Cause~ A claim that a partial cause id entirely to blame for something
Analogy~ An unwarranted comparison in which you are comparing things that are not alike.
Authority~ A belief that citing an authority decides an argument or citing testimony outside of the authority’s field of competence.
Principle~ Applying a general statement to which it was not intended to be applied
Shifting the burden of proof~ Arguing that the opponent must disprove your claim
Irrelevant Reason~ Arguing a reason that it is irrelevant to the claim
False Dichotomy~ An argument that invalidly divides the world into two parts
Slippery Slope~ Arguing that one action will inevitable lead to similar, but less desirable actions
Fallacy of Qualifier~ An argument that neglects to identify its criteria for evaluation of fails to qualify its claim.

Fact- (proposition of) statement that asserts a particular claim to be a certainty

Value- (proposition of) statement that declares a principle, standard, or moral claim

Policy- (proposition of) statement that outlines a specific course of action

Graphs ~ bar- useful in comparing and contrasting items and information
~ line- used to illustrate changes or growth over time
~ pie- shows relationships among parts
~ mountain- when you want to accentuate the differences in a line graph, you fill in the spaces in between the lines and create this

Purposes of visual aids: emphasize key points, break down complex information, help people in the audience with different learning style.

*An informative speech MAY be persuasive, but a persuasive MUST be informative*

Why do you pause during a speech? ~ emphasize a point
~ allow time for laughter
~ transition

*According to the book, you shouldn’t use contradictions such as “can’t” and “don’t” during your speech, it takes away from the strength of the “NOT”*

*85% of the population have a fear (anxiety) of public speaking*

Persuasives speeches must inform
Informative speeches may persuade
Education is repetition

3 types of Informative Speeches
1. Descriptive
2. Explanation
3. Demonstration

1. Hands stay @ sides, natural and relaxed
2. Raise hand/hands above waist level to emphasize A point.

When choosing a topic:
~ appropriate to the audience (make them want to listen-“What’s in it for me?”)
~ appropriate to the room (setting)
~ appropriate to the environment
~ Time limit (length of the speech- too much info?)
~ Something new (not boring or the same old news)

Designs for speeches:
• categorical- divided by category, grouping like things together
• causation- divided by the cause
~ problem solving solution- sales people use
~ problem cause solution- establish problem & then come up w/a solution
~ cause solution- here’s A, now here’s how we get to B
• sequential- in sequence (order)
~ motivated sequence (have to)- why it’s in a particular order
~ chronological- time
~ sequence- easy to follow
• refutative- go against (refute) the norms, shoot holes in the other side
• spatial- distance, comparing relationships by size
• stock issue- elephant in the living room, gorilla in the closet. *issues most people are most likely to be thinking about*
• comparative- comparing A to B (i.e. cell phones) this is not helpful unless you truly know what you need.

EYE Contact~ distributed, sustained for at least ½ a second, don’t stare at just one person and avoid the lighthouse affect *Don’t talk to the wall, floor, notecards, visuals, the podium or God.*

Dogmatism- rigidity of belief

Ethnocentrism- tendancy of a group (culture) to believe that its way of thinking or doing things is somehow better then anyone elses. (i.e. religions & freedoms)

Bias~ tendency to feel one way or another about something, opinion changes often
Prejudice~ PRE-judged, not always bad, you have prejudged something to the point that your opinion may never change.
Stereotype~ assuming because you look a certain way or do a certain job that you fit one mold, profile

Empathetic listening is listening to provide emotional support

Comprehensive listening required the listener to understand the message

Physiological~ Body (heart rate, sweating, dry mouth, etc)
Psychological~ Mind (losing your train of thought, unable to think clearly, etc)

Connotative meanings for words or phrases are emotional and subjective

Denotative words carry little or no emotional Impact, and simply describe solid objects or ideas, the dictionary meaning

Audience Adaptation~ ability to modify your message to meet the needs of your listeners.

Idioms or idiomatic expressions are phrases that carry peculiar or particular meanings for a particular culture or group.

Egocentrism refers to the reality that people pay closer attention to issues that affect them

Assimilation~ the tendency to feel that someone you in general agree with or who has an ethos help positive to you has views closer to your own then they actually are, and to accept those views without question as being the same as your own.

Surveys are not evidence. They are tools to use in understanding an issue, audience, and concept or to estimate response, information, and tendencies. In other words they are ways to take the temperature of a particular group or environment at a particular time. Polls are a form of surveys.

Claims- a statement that you want your audience to understand, think about, and act upon. (the points you want your audience to get)

Evidence- 5 major types, information used to clarify or support a claim
~ statistics- raw numbers, central tendencies, probabilities, trends
~ testimony- relies on the expertise of others
~examples- stories real or hypothetical, include events, people, or objects that illustrate your claim
~ principles- some kind of truth or some kind of guideline for behavior
~ emotional appeals- efforts to motivate an audience by stimulating their needs and drives.

Priming is the concept form psychology that says we are better able to receive information if we are first prepared for it

Status Quo refers to the current system or status of events or beliefs

The Burdon of proof is on the speaker or sender. The text refers to Burdon of proof as the speaker’s responsibility for creating a solid argument supported by evidence and research.

Directory~ Non academic (i.e. Encyclopedia, National Geographic)
Secondary~ school text book or other books, tv, or radio reports. Not juried or researched, typically NOT academic. Info is just being presented
Primary~ Straight from the source (the horse’s mouth), from someone or something that was “there”, documents, autobiography, BBC, .gov sites, ONLY 2 newspapers~ Wall Street Journal & New York Times
Juried~ checked for truth, scientific journals for example

Liberal- Pro change
Conservative- resistant to change

Narrative Coherence: is “it” logical, does “it” make sense?

Narrative Fidelity: does the story “ring true”?

*According to the book~ you write the body of the speech first, then the conclusion and last the introduction*

First posted 12-14-2006

Hard times bring 'Hard Times' to Reseda High

Its hard times for schools, with local property taxes plummeting and a "no new taxes" mentality among voters. In LA, at least, an innovative way to earn money is now expanding..."rent a school." The LA Times Company town has the following about one such high school and MTV...

Company Town


From the John Travolta musical “Grease” to the current Fox hit “Glee,” L.A. County schools have long served as locations for TV shows and movies. But few schools have gone Hollywood as much as Reseda High School.

The San Fernando Valley high school is in the second year of hosting the MTV comedy “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” The series not only films primarily at the school and surrounding Reseda neighborhoods, but has its base camp and production offices on school property. 
The unusual arrangement gives producers, who mainly film on weekends and after-school hours when students aren’t in class, ready-made sets and allows them to keep their costs down by not having to shuttle back and forth to a studio lot.
“It’s a huge savings to us because everything is in walking distance," said Craig Cannold, a producer on the show. “The school has been great to work with.”
For Reseda High the benefits are strictly dollars and cents: School officials say the production will generate about $60,000 for the school this year alone --  bringing in sorely needed revenue at a time when many schools are faced with budget cuts and layoffs.
“Our school needs the money," says Neezer McNab, assistant principal at Reseda High. “If this helps some teachers keep their jobs, then I’ll do what I can to keep this happening.”
Photo: Cast members on the set of MTV's "The Hard Times of RJ Berger," which is filmed at Reseda High School. Credit: MTV

'Airplane' and 'Naked Gun’s' David Zucker Pens Tribute to Leslie Nielsen


It was summer 1979, a full three weeks before the start of shooting for Airplane! and our casting director had finally had enough. Lloyd BridgesRobert StackPeter Graves and now Leslie … who?
At least audiences had heard of the first three, but this guy -- it was true, when it came time to select an actor to play Dr. Rumack, my brother Jerry, Jim Abrahams and I remembered: "This one guy, he's been in hundreds of television shows, and I think he played the captain of the Poseidon. What's his name … ?" Our research revealed that the actor's name was Leslie Nielsen. Jim, Jerry and I were thrilled when he agreed to meet, not because he was "funny" but because of his long résumé of serious films and TV. To us, he was hysterical. The long list of straight dramatic acting roles demonstrated to us that he would be perfect. When we watched those movies, we laughed.
At our first meeting, he mentioned proudly that he had done an episode of M*A*S*H*.
We assured him we wouldn't count this brief comedy experience against him. But when he read theAirplane! script, he "got" its unconventional nature and offbeat style. We heard later that he told his agent, "Take whatever they offer; I'd pay them to do this."

For the rest of Zucker's tribute to Leslie Nielson, go to Hollywood by clicking here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

SAG Holiday Party for entire industry and community

You're invited to “Screen Actors Guild Holiday Mixer 2010”

Dec 06, 2010 
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Tommy Rocker's Cantina & Grill
4275 Dean Martin Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89103

Event Details: Free Admittance and 1 Raffle Ticket Non-Hosted Bar/Food (at Happy Hour prices) Additional Fundraiser Raffle Tickets available (CASH ONLY) Please wear your most festive holiday attire! We decided to throw a party where everyone can relax and enjoy...Read more

Want company? Share this event on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope you can make it!

Screen Actors Guild, Nevada Branch  

iPads and Apple big winners this Christmas

Consumer-electronics and technology makers are looking forward to the post-Thanksgiving sales boost. During the past three years, the sector has made a third of its annual income, on average, during the holiday season, according to data from NPD Group. Apple could be one of the merriest manufacturers around, NPD finds, as 11% of consumers say they are likely to buy the company's iPad tablet computer by the end of the year. In addition, the iPhone remains the best selling full smart phone of the holiday, despite being tethered to only one carrier, AT&T.

Photo: Legit Reviews, click here.
R. Murdock/ Mr. Burns source click here.

Internet accuracy: Confusing two great co-stars

Do not trust what you read or see in the non-juried world of the Internet.

As I search photos, videos and information on the web I am finding that many sources are wrong..including confusing "Airplane" co-star Peter Graves with Leslie Nielson, and not just in that film.

Graves played the captain. He passed away earlier this year.

Leslie Nielson become 3rd "Airplane" star to die in 2010

Leslie Neilson: Leading Man to heavy to comedy, Canada's favorite son of a Mounty gone at 84


Leslie Nielsen (1926–2010)

Leslie Nielsen was raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His father was a mountie and a strict disciplinarian. His mother was Welsh. Leslie studied at the Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto before moving on to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. His acting career started at a much earlier age when he was forced to lie to his father in order to avoid severe punishment... See full bio »

Click read more for bio and additional coverage of the passing of Leslie Nielson.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part III

It would be nice to have a six month or one year vacation from politics, but reality sets in and the new Congress, new governors and state houses, the deliberate attempt to continue the "just say no" campaign that kept Republican going and helped create the illusion of failure in what has actually been a successful first two years of the Obama Administration, the reality that the presidential race begins with the conclusion of the 2010 election balloting. Money has to be raised, experts hired and listened to, positioning to be made and PR to be spun starting almost immediately for anyone who has any desire to be president in 2013 (inauguration year for the 2010 election).

Sarah Palin is on a book tour of states that happen to be key primary and caucus states should she decide to run for president. She has been shifting to greater substance, and being honest that her team now is not the one that would follow her to the presidency. She has been training on policy issues and history as if she was going to run for national office. 

From Oregon, where an unsuccessful terrorist bomber was thwarted in his attempt to kill hundreds of people at a Christmas Tree Lighting, comes the equally immoral news that someone deliberately torched an Islamic Center at Orgon State University. What happened to freedom of religion and tolerance?

The head of the FTC says that the US will not follow the Israeli or Russian security measures to assure that travel is safe. Profiling, behavior monitoring, other forms of research are used instead of the pat down and invasive scanners now being used in America. How much of what is done is cosmetic, designed to make travelers feel safe? 9-11 is over nine years ago. Should we be looking at "who let that guy on," " who is our enemy," and "how can we stop them long before they get to the airport?"

A key senator in the issue of terrorism trials says he doubts the Justice Department  will get congressional approval for a civilian trial for the alleged Sept. 11 conspirators. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says he believes he has the votes in the Senate to block alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from a civilian court. Graham says the Sept. 11 suspect known as " KSM" and his alleged conspirators should be tried in military court at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Graham says civilian courts may be the right venue for some terrorism cases, such as low-level al-Qaida operatives and the accused Christmas airliner bomber.

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part II

Garry Moore

Garry Moore hosting To Tell the Truth in 1974.
BornThomas Garrison Morfit, III[1]
January 31, 1915
Baltimore, MarylandU.S.
DiedNovember 28, 1993 (aged 78)
Hilton Head, South Carolina,U.S.
Cause of deathEmphysema
OccupationEntertainer, Game show host, Comedian
Years active1949—1977
SpouseEleanor "Nell" Borum Little (1939-1974)[1]
Mary Elizabeth De Chant (1975-1993)[1]
Gary Moore, now there is a name blast from the past, a leader in the early days of variety television. On this date in 1993 television host Gary Moore passed away at 78. His television variety show helped launch a diverse group of careers, including Carol Burnett, Johnathan Winters, Don Knotts and Barbara Striesand. Moore hosted "To Tell the Truth" and "I've Got a Secrete" when they were top rated programs watched by tens of millions of Americans. He was, according to CBS Sunday Mornings, the perfect TV house guest, never shocking, always congenial and inviting.

Wiki-leaks did it,. defying the American government they released thousands of documents that President Obama says will put American foreign policy in dager and potentially cost American lives. Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries have been pushing the US to launch military raid on Iran. North Korea was to ship missiles capable of hitting as far away as London from Iran in exchange for food and the technology to build nuclear weapons. The US has spied on members of the United Nations, right down to collecting DNA samples and, of course, highly personal information concerning sex lives.

Republicans plan to block any action in the lame-duck session of Congress. A leading Republican lawmaker is rejecting the Obama administration's assertion that ratification of a new arms control treaty with Russia is so pressing that it must be dealt with by the lame-duck Senate. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona said Sunday that the Senate has much more urgent business to attend to in the weeks before it breaks for Christmas. He said the treaty, known as New START, is extremely complex and can wait until the Senate reconvenes with newly elected members in January. The Obama administration has said ratification is an urgent national security priority. Kyl said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that delaying a vote would reflect the reality of considering a major treaty in three weeks amid important domestic issues.

At least two Republican Nevada lawmakers are planning legislation targeting illegal immigration. Assemblyman Don Gustavson is pushing for a bill based on the controversial Arizona immigration law being challenged in federal court. And Assemblyman Pat Hickey wants to require employers to use the federal E-Verify system to determine whether employees are authorized to work in the U.S.

Voters go to the polls in Egypt today, with violence and both voters and independent observers denied entry to some polling centers. Over 5,000 candidates are running for 500 positions. Hundreds of candidates opposed by the government have been barred from running, despite the courts decision that they should be able to run. The courts have been barred from the process entirely.

Despite poverty and the earthquake aftermath , elections are going on as planned today in Haiti. Haitians are going to the polls to elect lawmakers and a new president, amid the rubble of January's earthquake. They're also dealing with a cholera outbreak and fears of election violence. Ninety-six candidates are competing for 11 Senate seats and more than 800 more are running for the 99-seat lower house. At many polling places, voters have been turned away because workers couldn't find their names.

A U.N. special envoy to Myanmar (a.k.a. as Burma) says he told its military government it must address criticism of recent elections, which critics charged were rigged. Vijay Nambiar, who is also chief of staff for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, spoke Sunday to reporters as he was ending a two-day visit. He said he listened to as many parties as possible about their hopes and concerns at a critical time following the Nov. 7 polls and the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. He said that for the transition to civilian rule to be credible, concerns about the elections have to be addressed as transparently

Three out of four firefighters in America are volunteers, represent what may be the last vestige of an age of barn building and local militias.

There is no evidence that any foreign terror group was directing a planed bomber attack by a Samali born descent 19 year old at the Portland, Oregon tree lighting ceremony. The bomb was part of  sting by law enforcement, where the FBI replaced the actual weapon with a fake bomb.

North Korea says it will be "merciless" if U.S.-South Korean military exercises get too close to its territory. A U.S. super carrier group and South Korean destroyers have taken up position in the Yellow Sea for joint military exercises. The united show of force comes just days after a deadly North Korean artillery attack. North Korea is threatening another "merciless" attack. South Korea's Defense Ministry has ordered journalists to leave the front-line island of Yeonpyeong, citing the high tensions with Pyongyang. The Defense Ministry says "the situation is not good" on the island. North Korea has surface to surface missiles in place along the boarder and their coastlines. 

Meanwhile, China is calling for an emergency meeting of regional powers involved in nuclear disarmament talks, including North Korea.China is now making an offer to bring parties to the table over the tension with North Korea. Japan wants to respond cautiously, but are non-committal to China due to its own conflicts with its primary rival in far, only North Korea has agreed to the summit, sending its envoy to China this morning.

Sen. John McCain is calling on China to take stronger action to rein in North Korea. The Arizona Republican says China isn't playing a responsible role in either the Korean peninsula or the world stage. McCain says North Korea's recent actions should lead to discussions about a government change in the North, though not through military action. McCain said that while the threat posed by North Korea is more dangerous today because of its enhanced nuclear capabilities, he believes the North will stop at the verge of war and then ask for economic aid and other assistance, as it has in the past. McCain appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

People in Nevada are drinking more wine and hard liquor, and smoking more cigars, but the use of beer and cigarettes is declining. That's according to financial experts trying to predict the state's tax future collections. The Technical Advisory Committee thinks liquor tax proceeds will increase by 1.1 percent next fiscal year.

A former Las Vegas jail inmate isn't taking kindly to being called a "naughty girl" on a reality TV show. The woman is suing truTV's owners after the program "Inside American Jail" showed her acting provocatively behind bars. The woman claims she was subjected to ridicule for the way she was portrayed after her DUI arrest.

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part I

The BBC this morning was dominated by two stories: China, Korea and Brazil.

In Brazil a large military force has taken 13 of the city's hillside shanty towns, where the drug culture runs things and crimes from drugs to murder are rampant. It took only hours to take the area, using helicopters, specialized military equipment and crack well trained troops. Now comes the door to door weeding out of the drug dealers and king pins, in the densely populated and tight nit cardboard and tin "towers".

Off Korea's western coast massive joint naval operations are underway, sabre rattling by the US and South Korea planned months ago but times to respond to the fatal shelling of a Korean island, town and military base. North Korea claims the island, as it is within what they claim to be their waters (using the same far above International standards that China uses). As most people do not seem to know, South Korea has been in a "hot" war with its Soviet created northern brother for over 60 years. Incursions, sabotage, shelling, and even military exercised that are in fact mini-invasions testing each others defenses. The addition of the confirmation of nuclear refinement by the north and threats to use surface to air missiles against "invasion"by this weeks' naval exercises have the peninsula tense. Koreans in America are also tense, as many of their relatives live within conventional shelling distance from North Korea, including the city and suburbs of Soal.

China has stayed out of the fray, although I suspect there is behind the scenes diplomacy underway. China needs North Korea, but North Korea has for the most part ignored China, Remember before China backed North Korea against the US and the UN in the Korean War (now called "conflict" or "police action") and took more American lives in battle in one day and one week than at any other time in US history, North Korea was a Russian ally.

Meanwhile China has used military powers to assist Chinese ships passing through and even interfering with islands that have been Japanese since the 19th Century. As they do with the Republic of China (Taiwan), mainland China claims these Japanese Islands as Chinese soil. Japan cannot go to war by a constitutional restriction written by the US after World War II, but can defend itself against attack. If they do the US can be drawn into a boarder war over the islands, because of our strong defense treaties and agreements with Japan (in exchange for limiting the Japanese military to a defense force).

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen says his government has completed 10 days of negotiations on an EU-IMF bailout of his debt-crippled country and expects European financial chiefs to ratify the deal Sunday in Brussels. Cowen says in a statement issued by his office that talks which began Nov. 18 in Dublin with International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank experts "are concluding today" in Brussels. He says the Irish Cabinet met late Saturday to approve the plan. Cowen says he expects finance ministers of all 27 EU members to "adopt" the loan plans for Ireland, and for the plan to be published this afternoon.

Germany's president says the "inconceivable crimes" of the Holocaust require all Germans to act forever on behalf of Israel. President Christian Wulff toured the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem this moring. It marks his first visit to Israel since assuming the presidency in July. The 51-year-old Wulff is the first German president to be born after World War II. The Nazis and their collaborators murdered 6 millions Jews during the war. Wulff is being accompanied in Israel by his 17-year-old daughter, various diplomats and lawmakers. He will be meeting President Shimon Peres and other senior Israeli officials during his two-day visit. Then he will head to the West Bank, where he will meet Palestinian leaders and visit Jesus' traditional birthplace in Bethlehem.

President Bill Clinton handed President Bush a country without out a debt, with a surplus to last four years. But then two wars, the "financial crisis", recession, a near Depression, social security and medicare in danger due to the rising cost of health care (long before so-called Obamacare) have led to a record and spiraling deficit. Economist say it will stabilize, but never return to the levels of the Clinton years. The financial crisis was caused by a borrowing, credit card, mortgage, gamble on growth and consumer spending driven economy, which has grown geometrically since the 1970's (40 years in the making). The US is now a debtor nation with other nations, including China, investing in the US and with it in a position to dictate a reduction in our record high defense budget and curtailing of our 20th century fixation on controlling the rest of the world economically and militarily.

Republicans are expected to drag their feet and stop any progress during the lame duck session of Congress, including food safety, extending unemployment coverage, extending or ending the Bush tax cuts, and some shifts in health care law (changes that are bipartisan, but might weaken the argument against health care laws that passed this past Republicans are set on not making the changes so they can attack them when they have the majority in the house in January. Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal has been passed by the house, and move on to the Senate, however the entire defense bill may be blocked Republicans seeking to kill the provision. To add to it all the government runs out of money this week, with little chance to see the usual interim stop gap passed during the short lame duck session.

CEO's admit that hiring and growth are occurring outside "the developed markets" (read the United States).

So tax relief will not create American jobs, unless the Americans are those who live in South and Central America, Asia or African.

Unemployment is expected to sit at near 8% or higher until at least the end of 2012...driven in part by the will of those who seek the White House (the powers behind, not the candidates) to put a Republican in the White House that November.

Sales are up from this time last year even though discounts are not as deep. Hottest selling product include the iPad, Google's new smart phone, children's dolls, clothing and devices that link your computers with televisions.

The iPad is appealing this year to all ages, and has taken off as a business tool for corporations as well as entrepreneurs. Teens and young adults love the iPad for movies, media, Facebook and other non-phone based communication. Annalists are already calling this the iPad Christmas.

We are not the only country where money and wealth wag the dog. Swiss state broadcaster SF1 says exit polls indicate that a proposal to revise the country's tax system has been rejected by voters. SF1 says exit polls show 58 percent of voters opposed the plan in a referendum held today. According to the polls 42 percent backed the proposal by the Social Democrat party to introduce a minimum tax across all Switzerland's 26 cantons, or states. Polling group gfs.bern said earlier this month that initial enthusiasm for the plan evaporated after heavy campaigning by business groups who warned it could harm the Swiss economy. Several prominent billionaires also spoke out against the proposal and threatened to move abroad if it was accepted.

What are the happiest places to live in the world? Near the water helps reduce stress. Sunny weather helps, but social coherence and support more than counters for weather or geography. Religious faith helps, but overall health carries an even stronger value. Drive troughs, fast markets, smart phones, wired coffee shops all reduce happiness and add to stress. Time sitting down for a meal in a public place, talking face to face, taking your time shopping and living in the psychical moment always help.The happiest person socializes 7 hours a day. Married people tend to be happy. Friends, if they are happy as well, boost your own happy ratio by ten percent. Friends at jobs, and socializing with those you work with, are ways of finding happiness with your job and growth. Experiences provide much longer term happiness than possessions. Learning the arts, new languages, to play a sport or to seek out continuous growth in your own knowledge help raise your happiness ratio.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Tragedy That Shouldn't Happen To A Hero Dog

Johnny Crawford/Atlanta Journal & Constitution/AP
Target (right) and Rufus became heroes when they kept a suicide bomber from taking lives in Afghanistan. A third dog, Sasha, was killed in that attack.

Sgt. Terry Young says that when he was a U.S. Army medic in Afghanistan, soldiers were drawn to stray dogs who wandered onto their base in the Paktia province, searching for food and warmth.

A suicide bomber launched himself into those barracks last February. Three dogs who had been essentially adopted by U.S. soldiers, and named Rufus, Sasha and Target, snarled and snapped at the bomber. The man who had come there to blow himself up cringed at the loyal ferocity of the dogs and set off his bomb outside. Five soldiers were injured, but no one died.

Target ended up coming home with young and retiring to live with a family here in the US. But, use to the wide open spaces of Afghanistan, and like most dogs, Target had to explore the neighborhood.

Target strolled through the doggie-door of the Young family’s home and out into her neighborhood. She was found and taken to the animal control center, and later identified by Sgt. Young from an online photograph.
But before Young could take Target home, someone at the center made a terrible, thoughtless error, for which the worker makes no excuses. Target was mistaken for another dog and euthanized.
Sgt. Young wept  as he told reporters how his 4-year-old daughter cries and says, "Daddy, bring Target home." A dog who saved warriors was killed by a careless mistake. But Target risked her life to save others and lived to feel the love of a family. She died in the line of duty.
For the full story in print and read by the dulcet tones of NPR's Scott Simon, click here.

A Boy An Icon For Childhoods Lost In Holocaust

"This photo has become an icon. This is a photo that represents so many survivors whose childhood was robbed away from them by the German Nazis. And this boy stands for that childhood that went missing." 

-Dan Porat

The photo was included in what Porat calls a "victory album" submitted by SS Gen. Jurgen Stroop to the Nazi leadership in Berlin. Stroop was in charge of moving Jews from the ghetto to death camps. He promised to do it within three days; it ended up taking him more than four weeks. For more on the story of "the boy" and what he represents in history and in today's psychie, go to NPR's Weekend's Edition by clicking here.

One thing is known. The boy is younger than 10 years old, because he doesn't have a Star of David on his clothing.