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Sunday, March 20, 2011

"I never supported any piece of legislation without the cooperation of at least one person on the other side of the Isle."

-Former US Senator Sam Nunn

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part II

Spring officially arrives at 4:21 this afternoon…

Solstice Super Moon over Las Vegas, almost. It was overcast in Las Vegas, but most of the country, with the best view here in the Southwest, the full moon not only seemed larger than ever before, but probably was to many Americans. The spring solstice full moon was actually closer to the earth than it has been in 18 years. Do not worry, the moon is not on a collision course to fulfill the 2012 prophecies, it’s simply the closest its normal orbit will be to earth for another 18 years.

Carson City Bus leaves this afternoon. An organizer says more than 700 students, parents, teachers and activists plan to ride all night in a bus caravan from Las Vegas to Carson City to call for the Nevada Legislature to provide adequate state funding for education. Progress Now Nevada official Michael Flores says 14 buses will depart Sunday night from the main College of Southern Nevada campus for the eight-hour trip. Participants are coming from southern Nevada high schools, Nevada State College, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and CSN. The protest on Monday comes with Gov. Brian Sandoval calling for deep budget cuts. The protest is expected to draw people from all corners of the state. Meanwhile today’s RJ is slanting the peril of the schools and of higher education is being overblown and the governor’s budget as reasonable. Their primary source is a man with no direct experience or expertise in running a school, conservative blogger and gadfly Chuck Muth.

The reason for unions includes a fire that occurred one hundred years ago this week, on March 25, 1911. On that day 146 sweat shop garment workers lost their jobs in the fire because the owner locked the doors with chains to make sure the workers did their “jobs”. It could happen again. An interview with the author with a book on the fire can be found by clicking here:

The news this morning is dominated by yesterday’s launch of coalition attacks on Libyan air defenses, and updates from Japan 9 days after the record 9.0 earthquakes and Tsunami, and the nuclear disaster triggered by the Tsunami. Coverage also included how both impact the US, and the US place in the world. The BBC focused more on France and Britain’s key role in the Libyan strikes, and the long term impact on Europe. The presidential election is on today in Haiti, between a matriarchal intellectual former first lady and a pop star, since both professional politicians were knocked out in the first round of the elections. There are shortages of ballots and other supplies reported, including ballots from a Senatorial election two years ago being distributed in error. Of course the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament did earn some of the news, but nowhere near what it would if there not two major news stories unfolding on opposite sides of the world.

Dracula may rise from the dead, if the Las Vegas Sun is to be believed. In this morning’s paper publisher Brian Greenspan warn that the nuclear power industry is lobbying in Congress to revive the corpse, laid to rest by Senator Harry Reid and President Barrack Obama with a stake through its heart early in the Obama Presidency, using the tragedy in Japan as a warning siren. The problem is that science has shown that Yucca mountain is not safe, that the transports are not safe and that the safest storage is not the pools used now, but at after an appropriate time in the pools, on site at the plants in caste stronger than the ones proposed for transport. With a Republican freshman dominated base in Congress, the lobbyist have found fertile ground for slogans, partial facts and panic driven appeal. The fear is that if Republicans gain the Senate and/or a Republican becomes president the Dracula of the nuclear dump will rise from the dead and draw the life  blood out of what is left of Nevada.

Slanted News.  Despite being “Sin City” with gambling, high per capita prostitution and adult clubs, record alcohol consumption, drugs and other images of Las Vegas, Nevada is really very conservative. And conservative media loves to bash President Obama. So it is that TV 8 had headlines like “War 3” and “Obama commits US to war in Libya.” Surprisingly I found FOX News to be far less bias than usual, leaning only in its implications that the president has gotten us into another war like Iraq. That is until Geraldo came on and kept leading his reporters by putting words into their mouths, omitting key facts and leaning coverage for a solid two hours last night. Meanwhile CNN seemed to play the same footage and have the same reports over and over again, instead of at least varying the footage and diversity of the reporters and “experts.” MSNBC had, in my view, the least slanted and best coverage, but focused on a few hours and then went back to prerecorded regular programming, with interruptions, instead of staying with two monumental stories, Japan and the start of UN actions in Libya.

Propaganda in Libya is in full swing including obvious contradictions. At one point Libya’s media was reporting the US hit hospitals, schools and mosques killing and wounding women and children. But the images showed young men in uniform and at least one officer being treated in hospitals. Images of cheering supporters in large crowds taped weeks and even months ago were shown as current and labeled live, along with repeated patriotic images of troops, tanks and even as they were being shot down, triumphant Libyan jets. I found an image of a small patrol boat as the audio mentioned their Navy to be amusing. The official releases said the country had honored a cease fire, at the same time as troops were attacking rebels in three cities, and police beating dissidents in Tripoli itself. Plus the resolution does not call for a cease fire, it calls for withdrawal and stopping all aggression against civilians. One reporter spoke of the constant jumbo-tron video and audio being so pervasive and continuous that after a while even westerners start believing the propaganda.

Could UN Intervention spread to other countries? Bahrain's opposition is asking for U.N. and American intervention as the government cracks down on Shiite protests. In a brief protest at U.N. offices in Bahrain's capital, 18 former legislators appealed for U.N. help to end violence against protesters and mediate talks between the opposition and the Sunni monarchy. They also called on the U.S. to pressure a Saudi-led military force to leave their country.

The Nuclear Industry is exploding. Having talked a budget cutting Republican Congress into eliminating loan guarentees for wind and solar from the budget, but to put 18 billion in guarentees in for the nuclear power industry, and to revive the Yucca Mountain Dump, power utility top brass must be fuming over the disaster in Japan, including how the Japanese owned nuclear companies (many with American names) will need to invest at home instead of in the US for most of the next decade.

The New Jersey Bus Tragedy could impact Las Vegas tourism. Sen. Charles Schumer is seeking an audit of all tour bus operators in New York following a fatal tour bus crash a week ago in New York City. The New York Democrat is asking the state Department of Motor Vehicles to do the audit. The state is already conducting unannounced inspections of tour buses since the crash. On Friday, all 14 buses stopped were put out of service because of safety concerns. The bus was returning from a casino junket. Las Vegas also depends on casino junkets from California, Arizona and Utah. How safe are the busses? This call for US Senate call for action could impact Las Vegas financially as well.

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part I

A new rule of thumb…computers will advance an entire generation every two years at the business and industrial level, with noticeable increases in technology in consumer devices every two years. This means all electronics, not just what we think of computers. Televisions, cell phones, microwaves, home electronics will advance at that rate for at least the next twenty years, according to scientist who work with INTEL and other chip or processing corporations.

Memristers, or Memory Resisters are the next advance in computer technology. It will hit the market on the low end in small memory sticks next year, which will exceed or meet any projected input speed for USB or other inputs. The potential is to replace almost all of the electronic systems within a computer, including hard drive, RAM, and all other memory systems. The Intel technology will allow the memristers can actually do all of the calculations that computers do now, only much faster (ten times the speed at one tenth the power). The memrister based logic chips can create processors that are so small they fit in a USB thumb drive, a watch, a remote control, a cell phone. The chips can do digital and analog chores, allowing it to the first computer to be able to begin to mimic the human brain. The problem is the cost of manufacturing equipment, and the time it talks for each chip to be manufactured (over a billion dollars for the imprint technology and over a one year for each chip). While consumers will see no increase in cost for the final products, and may see a decrease in product costs as what products do grow exponentially, but the cost to the consumer electronics and computer films may slow the two year cycle, at least from time to time.

Nevada is # 1…No, not in the NCAA, as the tournament has not been good to us, but in four key areas. We are the top in the nation in unemployment, bankruptcies, foreclosures, debt to asset ratio on property values, divorce and suicides (in fairness this figure includes people who may not live here but take their own lives here). We are in the bottom 3 in educational level, education funding, percentage of people who have college degrees and average wage per individual. We also have a governor who is active in cutting the social services needed to deal with our #1’s and funding to improve from the bottom of the barrel in education and wages.

All is well and the recession is over, if you believe the business news programs and publications. That’s because companies are making money (but not hiring in large numbers), CEO’ and Presidents are again receiving large paychecks and bonus’s, “the economy is good”, “consumers are buying”, Gross Domestic Products is up, and all the indicators that include the huge among American companies are investing overseas are up. “The rich are getting richer and the poor are poorer…in the meantime, in between time, don’t we have fun!”

Harvey Weinstein says the business has become “a comic book business,” where dramas like “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Mrs., Minniver”, “How Green is my Valley” and many of the classic films would not be made. The industry is about “Ironman” and 3-D and giving audiences what they will see. Meanwhile films like “Chicago” (musicals are dead), “Shakespeare in Love” (anything with Shakespeare it the name is dead in the US), “My Left Foot” (no one will pay to see disabled people) and “The Kings Speech” (too English and who cares about Kings who are not names Elvis) are successful, win awards and earn large amounts of money. That’s his niche. The next film he is helping finance and will distribute is about a falsely arrested Palestinian woman and is “controversial but so important to do.”

“I only buy the good songs” is the mantra of a generation, one that has lost the appreciation for long form music as a craft, art, social necessity and history of the role music plays in society. The iTunes generation has no patience to listen to the craft and messages of how music is a tapestry for images in your heart and mind. Of course it could be that modern artist are more interested in singles and “extended play” single.

“Leaders lead from the soul” writes Deepak Chopra in his new “business book”. Achievers, team builders, innovators, and a higher consciousness are all parts of true leadership. Where are we now, where would we like to be, how will you get there and how will you feel once you get there. His leaders should use the acronym he has developed using the world lead.
Look and listen to create a vision after deep listening and being open to understanding.
Emotional Binding with your team and your market
Awareness, know the need and best way to fulfill those needs (not wants but needs)
Doing, being a road model for action