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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We the corporations, in order to form a more perfect union...


Advice for my COM 101 students

The grading gets much harder form her until the end of the term.

Be sure your sources are academic, as indicated by the professor and earlier on this blog.

Make sure you have the required minimum number of sources and extra sources.

Make sure you have he evaluation sheet, thumbnail//keynote outline, full outline and references after outline as well as inside the outline where they are used.

Rehearse your speeches.

Make sure you are within the time limits specified.

Make sure you have the required number of visual aids and that they are used as indicated in the text, lecture and critiques.

If you have a doubt, run it by me well in advance of your speech date (references or any other question).

Use the writing center, communication lab, library and other resources available to make each speech you best yet.

Reread the entire book in preparation for speeches and in study for the final.

Grading gets harder, but this could also be a fun time in the class. Enjoy it! Trust me other students have found it to be the best part of the semester.




Walking Dead Tall, Pumping CARS II, Arkham City Batman Dark Video Game, News Ratings Up


ArkhamCity

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

With the new Batman video game Arkham City, a Hollywood studio may finally have a true interactive blockbuster and also the respect of notoriously skeptical gamers.

On sale today, Arkham City from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has garnered unanimously rave notices, ranking as the best reviewed video game of the year on the compilation site Metacritic. Sales expectations are well above the 4.3 million units that the game's predescessor, Arkham Asylum, sold in 2009. Pre-orders are twice as high, said the studio, as is interest among gamers, according to research firm Ipsos OTX.

Like many other media conglomerates, Warner and its parent company, Time Warner, have tried to build a successful video game business for years, initially with little success. But while others retrenched from or exited video games, Warner stuck with it. The studio best known for movies such as "The Hangover" and "The Dark Knight" spent hundreds of millions to acquire development talent and brands not closely tied to its movies.

That effort is creating very strong results this year. April's ninth Mortal Kombat game, which came from the studio's acquisition of Midway Games, was a solid hit, with more than 3 million units sold. Arkham is poised to be a blockbuster and expectations are high for November's Lego Harry Potter: Books 5-7. 2011 will bring Warner Interactive's nearly $1 billion in sales and be its most profitable year, said unit President Martin Tremblay (despite the failure of summer games F.E.A.R. 3 and Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, as well as more modest expectations for November's Lord of the Rings: War in the North).

Matching the 2011 performance next year will be difficult, Tremblay admitted, but the studio has several big guns in the works. The only game announced for 2012 is the downloadable title Gotham City Imposters (a Batman-related fighting game), but people familiar with the studio's plans who requested anonymity because the titles have not been announced confirmed several other games coming next year. They include a sequel to 2008 hit kids game Lego Batman, which will be released close to the movie "The Dark Knight Rises"; a Hobbit game that will likely launch several months before December movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"; and a game featuring an unidentified DC Comics superhero.

Nonetheless, Tremblay said, the company probably won't exceed $1 billion in video game sales until 2013. While no games have yet been announced for that year, sequels to both Mortal Kombat and Arkham City are likely among the key releases the executive has in mind.

Lasseter pumps the gas. Pixar Animation creative chief John Lasseter is fighting back against the bashing "Cars 2" took from critics. In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, he said the film was great and not a cynical attempt by Pixar parent to pump money out of the animation house with subpar product. “This is not an executive-led studio,” Lasseter said, adding, “we are honest with each other and we push each other. No amount of great animation is going to save a bad story. That’s why we go so far to make it right.”

Glass houses. A former Screen Actors Guild staff member who blew the whistle on his boss for funnelling business to family members was guilty of the same thing, union records show. The revelation is the latest embarrassment for SAG, already under the microscope from the Department of Labor for allegations of kickbacks. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Get in the ring. Viacom and Google will resume their legal battle over whether Google-owned YouTube violated copyright law by failing to vigilantly police the site for Viacom content posted by users and remove it. Google won round one and now Viacom's appeal is starting. A preview from the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital.

Walking tall. AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead" returned strong for its second season, attracting 7.3 million viewers and a record 4.8 million among adults 18-49. More on the numbers from Variety. Meanwhile, Fox is developing a drama based on the horror-comedy hit movie "Zombieland," according to Vulture.

Who says broadcast news is dead? The Associated Press reports that for the 2010-11 television season, ratings for the three evening news programs actually went up for the first time since the 2001-02 season. The story didn't bother to actually include any ratings or what the percentage increases were for the past season, so it is hard to say if this is something worth noting or a fluke.

No more crying Wolff. Writer Michael Wolff, who tried to turn AdWeek from a trade magazine about who lost what account to what agency into the in-house magazine for Michael's, the midtown New York restaurant favored by media bigwigs, was bounced as editor of the publication. His switch to a more consumer-oriented approach to the media business failed to attract new readers and alienated old ones. Wolff, who wrote a Rupert Murdoch biography, also used Adweek as a platform to pontificate on the News Corp. scandal. New editor Jim Cooper is a trade veteran. Coverage from the New York Times and New York Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Hollywood connection to Kabbalah. Fox's "X Factor" hasn't lived up to ratings expectations.

— Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. Twitter.com/JBFlint


From the LA Times Company Town Blog 

Internships

Hi Prof. Lynch,

Thanks for forwarding our internship information to students and people in your department. To give you the quick update, so far this fall 70 students have gone through our training program. Interns across the country have organized events on their campuses from canned food drives to support local food banks to collecting hundreds of petitions to get National Geographic to clean up its paper mill to participating in a health care panel with the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services.

We're doing one more session of our fall civic engagement internships where students go through a 5-week training program to learn how to organize a campaign on campus and engage their peers on issues that matter to them. The deadline to apply is Friday, Oct. 28.

We're also doing interviews for spring internships to begin in January. The deadline for early spring applications is Nov. 18.

Could you make a quick announcement to your students again about our program? Feel free to forward the info below.

Thanks again,

Marites Velasquez
Field Organizer
The Student PIRGs


Student PIRGs Activism Internships

If you want to make a difference and learn valuable skills, join our team of interns and volunteers. We've got plans to take on the problems our country faces - and with your help, we can win.

2011-2012 Campaigns:

  • Energy Service Corps
  • Defend the Environment
  • Save Student Aid
  • New Voters Project
  • No Hunger, No Homelessness
Find out more and apply for a Student PIRG internship at http://www.studentpirgs.org/internships

Deadline for fall internship applications: Oct. 28; Deadline for early spring applications: Nov. 18

Las Vegas Speedway "Risks" were known...Risk Haunt Indy Racers




As track officials try to piece together the causes of Sunday's 15-car crash that killed driver Dan Wheldon, race-industry officials, drivers and families are questioning whether the risks were too high. Matthew Futterman has details on Lunch Break.
Ancient Rome had bread and circuses...spectators crowed in to watch gladiators die for their sport. We are not that far, not yet...but we do pay big money to see fights, accidents, and even death...right here in Sin City, Las Vegas...

LAS VEGAS—Sunday's IndyCar Series race here was supposed to be a showcase event for a struggling sport undergoing a transformation.
Essential to attracting new crowds, said IndyCar Chief Executive Randy Bernard, was increasing the excitement—and risks—on the racetrack.
Promotional materials for the Las Vegas race on IndyCar's website predicted "the wildest race of the season" because the track was unusually "fast and smooth."
[IRL]
In the materials, one driver, Ryan Hunter-Reay, said, "All it takes is one mistake by one driver, and it could be huge consequences. This should be a nail-biter for the fans, and it's going to be insane for the drivers."
Now, as track officials try to piece together the causes of Sunday's 15-car crash that killed driver Dan Wheldon, race-industry officials, drivers and families in the sport are questioning whether the risks were too high.
After taking over the Indy series in March 2010, Mr. Bernard tried to make Indy racing more exciting, like its more popular cousin, Nascar. The Indy circuit packed more cars into each contest, for instance.
Mr. Bernard also started using side-by-side restarts. The restarts, which occur after the course is slowed by a yellow flag, meant cars were closer together, raising the possibility that their exposed wheels could touch and result in crashes.
In an interview in June with the Globe and Mail newspaper, Mr. Bernard said the change to restarts would mean more "carnage and wrecks," adding that "danger will be an important element of the sport."
"I'm sorry if my comments are interpreted this way," he said in an email Monday. "Danger has been an inherent part of the sport since 1909. I don't know if what I said was taken out of context or I misspoke, but if you know me, you know where my loyalties lie, and I'm very respectful to the drivers and the sport."
In an interview, Jody Scheckter, a former Formula One driver whose son Tomas was in Sunday's accident, said that for the past few years he has been concerned about safety of the IndyCar contests and is encouraging his son to stop racing Indy cars. "Now I'm going to have to push harder," he said.
Asked if Sunday's race was run under dangerous circumstances, Chris Powell, president and CEO of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, said, "We allow the experts at IndyCar, or whatever sanctioning body we might be dealing with, to make those decisions."
Racing driver Dan Wheldon, who racked up 16 wins in a decade-long IndyCar career, died Sunday in a fiery crash involving 15 cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jonathan Welsh has details on Lunch Break
"Not only did they have practice and qualifying on Friday, but they had testing on Thursday. And then two different test sessions earlier this summer. So theExperts at IndyCar were more than aware, or acutely aware, I should say, of every nuance of Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the drivers took the green flag," Mr. Powell added.
Before coming to IndyCar, Mr. Bernard had developed a reputation as a marketing whiz who turned the once-obscure sport of bull-riding into a nationally televised phenomenon. Purses expanded up to $2 million.
By the time he left, Mr. Bernard increased purses for the PBR world finals to $2 million from $1 million, and created bull-riding events shown on major networks including CBS and NBC.
"Now we have guys making over $100,000 a year as a bull rider, which in the past was unheard of," said Jack Carnefix, a spokesman for Professional Bull Riders Inc.
Mr. Bernard was recruited with a similar mandate to the Indy circuit. To steal fans back from Nascar, he brought the Indy circuit to tracks around the country that hadn't seen the low-slung cars for more than a decade.
Though Nascar cars move at slower speeds than their Indy counterparts they generally race in tight packs and bump up against one another.

Deadly Speedway Crash

Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Dan Wheldon's car flips in a deadly crash.
Some of Mr. Bernard's efforts appeared to be paying off. This year, Indy races on Versus drew the most viewers since the cable channel started airing races in 2009.
For many longtime racers, as well as some sponsors, the Las Vegas race—the league's season finale—was to be the culmination of many of those efforts.
Leading up to the event, the league sparked buzz around the rivalry between two of the top drivers who would be competing for the league title. It held a parade of Indy cars on the Las Vegas Strip and a drivers' blackjack tournament. The closing gala was to be held at the Mandalay Bay casino on Monday evening.
Media attention focused on a publicity stunt: Mr. Bernard had offered $5 million to any driver who could start in last place and win the race, splitting the money with a fan. Mr. Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, took the challenge. Mr. Wheldon spent time before the race granting interviews to Extra and other media outlets in Los Angeles.
"The buzz in Vegas was amazing before the race," said Silvia Pierson, a chief operating officer for Apex-Brasil USA, a Brazilian trade investment promotion agency that sponsors IndyCar. Apex brought 150 business people to the event Sunday.
The crash at the Las Vegas 300 occurred shortly after the beginning of Sunday's race on a bright Nevada day.
Several cars near the front of the pack became bogged down during the 11th lap as Mr. Wheldon began threading his way from last place through the field of 34 cars.
His race car struck another and flew into the air at high speed before smashing into a wall. The car, No. 77, then exploded in a ball of fire.
In the wake of the accident, many people in the car-racing industry emphasized the overall safety of the sport. Deadly crashes are relatively rare.
"The league is very responsible and has been doing a fantastic job and staying ahead of the curve on the safety side," said Mario Andretti, a celebrated former racer. "But it's a never-ending project."
Next year the league is introducing its first major car redesign in many years, which Mr. Andretti said he expects will be safer due to a variety of new features.
Others said there was growing trepidation over the direction of Indy racing.
Mr. Scheckter, the former Formula One driver, said he has been concerned about regulations that have the effect of encouraging cars to maintain speed around corners, which can bunch cars together.
"You have four cars abreast sometimes, and that just seems completely mad," he said. "It's exciting because the cars are riding close together, but it's very dangerous."
Before the race in Las Vegas, drivers noticed very smooth corners, he said, a sign that cars would keep up fast speeds even as they turned through the oval race track.
"Racing in a pack has become more common in our league," said Larry Foyt, who runs the AJ Foyt Racing team. "The thing is it's exciting and the fans like it. But we've got to look and see, this form of racing maybe it's not right for our cars."
—Kevin Clark, Matthew Futterman and Jim Oberman contributed to this article.
Write to Alexandra Berzon at alexandra.berzon@wsj.com


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If Herman Cain were President (and had his way)...

www.crooksandliars.comSteven Perlstein's wonderful analysis in Friday's Washington Post of Herman Cain's business ideals and how they play into the larger economic landscape is not to be missed.

GOP Debate tonight in LV (CNN)


Esquire's Charles P. Pierce previws tonight's GOP debate in Vegas.
www.esquire.com

Star wars deleted 'Anchorhead' scene with text commentary

Star Wars Deleted Magic - Part 1

Cain has strong ties and support from Koch Brothers, little in voter campaign donation base


As Herman Cain Surges, Corporate Media Ignore His Koch Connections

As the GOP campaign progresses, David Koch, and his brother, Charles -- two of the richest men in America -- will likely be felt in ways large and small.
 
Photo Credit: A.M. Stan
 
 

etition 
 



UPDATE: Since we went to press with this article, the Associated Press published a piece about Cain and his corporate sponsor, David Koch (via Americans for Prosperity and the AFP Foundation). The AP is a non-profit organization funded by the nation's major news outlets.


With two major polls showing Atlanta businessman Herman Cain now moving ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to claim the top spot among the contenders for the GOP presidential nomination, media are beating a path to his door. Given Cain's clear and strong connection to the billionaire newsmaker David Koch, you'd think that Cain's longstanding ties to the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, which is chaired by Koch, and its sibling organization, simply known as Americans For Prosperity, would be a meaty topic for enterprising reporters. Apparently not.

Mainstream media outlets have also ignored the checkered past of Cain's campaign manager, Mark Block, who was banned from participation in Wisconsin politics for three years, 2002-2005, because of campaign law violations.

Significant players on Cain's campaign staff are draw from the ranks of Americans for Prosperity or related organizations, beginning with campaign manager Mark Block, who served for six years as director of AFP's Wisconsin chapter. And Cain himself, before launching his presidential campaign, was a frequently featured speaker at events hosted by the Americans For Prosperity Foundation.

At AlterNet, we've been keeping tabs on Cain's Koch connection for more than a year, detailing his ties to Americans For Prosperity, as well as to Prosperity 101, a Koch-linked "worker education" program presented to employees of participating companies in their workplaces, mostly in Wisconsin, during the 2010 mid-term elections that yielded victories for Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson, and a bevy of Tea Party candidates for Congress and the Wisconsin state legislature. We reported the involvement Mark Block in a voter-suppression scheme in Milwaukee, during his tenure as Americans For Prosperity's Wisconsin director. And, in June,  we laid out the reasons why a Cain campaign makes good political sense for the interests of Koch and Americans for Prosperity. Here's an excerpt:
When Cain's presidential candidacy was launched, it's likely that his AFP-linked backers never expected he would win the GOP presidential nomination, but that he would make an effective messenger for pushing the party further to the Koch positions. As it looks now, Cain could do even better than that, given the weak GOP presidential field. With each contest in primary season, contenders win delegates to the national convention, where the party platform is laid. Cain will likely do well in New Hampshire -- he could even win the state, as Patrick J. Buchanan did with his populist rhetoric in 1996. And with that win, and strong showings in a few other states, the Buchananites won control of the GOP platform, causing the nominee, Bob Dole, to run on a platform he could hardly stomach.
Below, we offer a rundown Cain's own Koch connections, and those of members of his campaign staff, as well as their significance in the battles currently raging over tax cuts for the wealthy, and collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Herman Cain, Republican presidential candidate - The GOP frontrunner likes to tout his former role as CEO of Godfather's Pizza; he's less vocal about his former position in Americans For Prosperity, which dates back to 2005, for which he served as leader of the "Prosperity Expansion Project." It's difficult to know just what this project is (or was), since any description of it appears to have been scrubbed from the Americans For Prosperity Web site. Since then, Cain has been a featured speaker at virtually every conference the Americans For Prosperity Foundation has sponsored.