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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Smell of Blood Taints Census Celebrations

The Census is the big news today...

For the first time in history more people live in the western "region" than the eastern "region." The slip is about one third of the way as you travel west, with west of the Mississippi qualifying historically as "west". 

For the first time in history New York lost representation, this time not one but two seats. California, for the first time ever, lost population and did not gain a seat. Texas and Florida gained big, with Florida now equal to New York state in representation in Congress (when Census distribution is put in place in 2012).

Union states lost big, while heavily Hispanic states gained.

Democratic states lost or stayed the same while traditional Republican states gained in population and future representation in Congress.

Republicans coast to coast smell blood, with their sights on gains, defeating "equil distribution" or "geographic distribution" proposals and even looking to weaken Democratic controlled districts.

Nevada gains seat in U.S. House of Representatives

2012:  Nevada will have 4 in the House, 6 in Congress, 5 in Electoral College...

WASHINGTON -- Nevada is getting a fourth seat in the House of Representatives, the outcome of a decade where the Silver State was the fastest-growing in the union, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday.

For the complete story and other news go to the Las Vegas Review Journal:

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The Doctor's Dog Will See You Now

New York neurologist Gayatri Devi, who specializes in memory disorders, brings Lola, shown, and Wolfie to the office.

Therapists Use 'Canine Assistants' to Comfort, Cheer Patients, Senses Anxiety Disorders

Animals are used in therapy. But did you know that doctors also use dogs to calm patients down, as a channel for patients to talk to, and a way of making the entire medical process more acceptable. The Wall Street Journal features several such medical practices from coast to coast in todays edition, with photos and video on-line (click here a link to the story, subscription recommended). (Photo: Mimi Ritzen Crawford for The Wall Street Journal)

The paper also featured a side bar (expanded by clicking here), on how one of the best known medical professionals of all time, Dr. Sigmund Freud let his Chinese Chow Yofi, and later his daughter's giant Wolfhound, have the run of his practice and used them in sessions with patients, often talking through the dogs (shown is a descendent).

E-literature Explained

FCC Net Neutrality Ruling Clear and Mud: Compromise unsure on both sides

NCTA: FCC Rules Appear To Be Consensus Compromise

Blogs and other services could become unaffordable or at the back of the pack in digital bandwidth and delivery.

Republicans say they will cut FCC Funding in the new Congress because the compromise goes too far in regulating business.

Free Speech groups call it a stiffiling of access to the communication of the future, a way of corporate censorship and class division building.

Verizon, USTelecom suggest FCC will regret decision

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/21/2010 3:08:30 PM

Comcast said the FCC's new network neutrality regulations appear to strike a "workable balance," while Verizon said they were likely to be harmful to "consumers and the nation."

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Comcast, its largest member, were generally on the same page.

NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow said that he agreed with the Republican commissioners--who voted against the rules--that they were unnecessary, but said since it had been clear there were three votes for rules that would have gone much farther, the association's goal had been rules that would avoid unintended consequences and that preserved investment and innovation.

Click on "read more" below for coverage from three sources of the decision made moments ago...

For Jimmy Stewart Museum, a Not-So-Wonderful Plight

INDIANA, Pa.—It used to be a wonderful life at the Jimmy Stewart Museum.
Every year before Christmastime, bus loads of senior citizens would come to the actor's hometown to see costumes and scripts from his 81 movies, his childhood bed and the red leather booth excavated from the acclaimed, now-shuttered Chasen's Restaurant in Hollywood. The Stewart family dined there on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Often, guests would stop in the museum's 50-seat theater for a special holiday viewing of Mr. Stewart's 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful Life," which tells the story of George Bailey, whose failing savings and loan was saved by the community, while he himself, distraught and about to leap from a bridge, was saved by his guardian angel, Clarence, on Christmas Eve.
"We could use a Clarence," says Timothy Harley, executive director of the museum. There hasn't been a single charter tour bus this month and none have been scheduled for the spring. In December, typically one of its busiest months, the museum had three smaller bookings. One was a chapter of the Red Hat Society, a network of older women known for their crimson headgear. Another was a student group.
Attendance has slid to about 5,000 this year, down from a peak of roughly 11,000 in the late 1990s, when the museum opened. That's far less than the droves that typically turn up for Groundhog Day, a tourist draw in nearby Punxsutawney.
Above, Brig. Gen. James M. Stewart, (USAF Reserve, c.1960.), who kept up his military career as reservist career after the war, despite an active life as a Hollywood star and producer. His family fought in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the War with Mexico and World War I, so there was never a doubt he would drop his glamorous Hollywood career and serve his country.

An age is fading, as the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas shuttered its doors, and in much smaller towns across the nation remembrances of the 20th century find the recession, and fading memories of a modern "me" generation, hard to overcome. The money is no longer there. Federal, state, local government help is not there, and endowments were hit hard by bank failures and the recession. And those who love what is being preserved are graying or an increasingly small minority of passionate "under 30's".
The Jimmy Steward Museum is modest and small, because that is the only way the actor would accept it. A decorated WWII Bomber Pilot despite being a major star before the war broke out, Stewart was as soft spoken, as polite and as kind as the characters he typically played ("Mr. Smith Goest to Washington", "Harvey" and "It's a Wonderful LIfe" to name just a few). He was, Mr. Harley notes, not only a Hollywood star, but a decorated military hero, a Boy Scout, as well as a good husband and father. 

Mr. Stewart's simple four words of advice to his twin daughters as they went off to college: "Be nice to everyone."

Below are items from Jimmy Stewarts father's General Store, with helping in the store while on leave from the US Army Air Corp.

It's a wonderful life ending