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Thursday, March 1, 2012

The difference between the parties

Warning: this was written to stimulate debate, passion, thought and open communication. There is something for everyone to not like in the post below. It contains broad generalities, which may no apply to any individual or group but may or may not apply as part of the larger canvas. Read it with the intent of understanding "noise", screens, filters and debate in mind...

A simple way of looking at the divide in American politics.

The Republican party was and is the party of the mob, gangsters and organized crime.

The Democratic party is the party of immigrants, workers and organized labor (no comment).

Republicans tend to be white collar or aspiring to become white collar.

Democrats tend to be blue collar or the lower class aspiring for higher pay and better living conditions.

There are members of both parties who are poor, middle class and wealthy.

While the difference may not be significant, Republicans do tend to be older and Democrats younger. There are people of all ages in both parties.

An increasingly large number of voters do not identify with either party, but most Ameicans who vote, still vote along one party line or the other.

Democrats tend to believe that we are our brother's keeper, supporting low cost education as a "need" not a "want", medical and social services as a "need" and no a "want", and believing whether they admit it or not "there but for the will of God go I."

Republicans tend to believe in bootstraps, the will and ability of all Americans to lift themselves up, and the phrase "its your bed, you lie in it." They see the services Democrats seek in government as belonging to families and churches, whether or not those cultures can afford or have the expertise to provide them.

Democrats believe that public safety is the state's responsibility and that the best way to approach safety is through prevention mixed with enforcement, attacking the root problems and finding the core cause.

Republicans tend to believe public safety means military, police, fire and basic services with most o the burden on the individual.

Democrats are a large tent of often disagreeing elements representing grass roots, special interests groups, working America, women, minorities and some say "socialist."

Republicans have a smaller tent representing big business, those who feel safe in their investments, mostly male, mostly white, almost all conservative.

Democrats are 60 to 70% female, depending on the surveys at any given time.

Republicans are 65 to 80% male, again depending on the survey.

Democrats tend to form organizations and govern by consensus from the bottom up.

Republicans tend to work from the top down, in a much more structured and descent resistant structure.

Democrats are more likely to be centrist, although they have their "left", "progressives" and even conservative wings of the party.

Republicans are increasingly leaning "right" and away from center (moderate Republican fell in this past election and those that remain are finding it hard to function in office. That brings us back to Republicans being a centralized party.

Both parties have overspent and led to budget deficits. The truth is the economy, wars, disasters and other needs lead to deficits, not over-spening Democrats or Republicans.

Democrats tend to be those who see a need for change, or who are in positions where they need assistance or change to help maintain or advance their families.

Republicans tend to resist change or seek to "turn back the clock" to a perceived better time. They too believe this in the name of their families and personal needs and positions.

Rural America, while having both parties, tends to lean Republican.

Urban America tends to have large percentages Democrat.

Suburban America tends to be Republican.

The 'haves' tend toward Republican while the 'have not's" depend on Democrats.

Except for California the growth areas of the west tend Republican (California is split much as the country is, but in elections leans Democrat). Established eastern cities and the once great "rust belt" lean Democrat. The south is in transition.

Democrats believe that we have "term limits", they are called elections.

Republicans tend to believe term limits are needed to "clean out" Washington and keep the other party from maintaining power (except when they are in power).

Moderates in both parties know the value of not having term limits, as they are the ones who compromise, and make legislation happen and work.  Its about history, relationships, ideologies and the "game" of politics.

Both parties have religious followers, faiths, and beliefs as a core.

Both parties take funds from lobbyist and special interests.

Both parties support the military.

Both parties have gotten us into wars, although statistically Republicans tend to be the ones who launch Americans into harms way.

Both parties have "blue bloods", "hot bloods", anger, resentment, hatred, discrimination, greed, corruption and do all groups and individuals.

Both parties believe that their vision is the one that reflects "Americans" and is best for America.

We have a two party system.

I hope that after reading this, and there are generalities to disagree with or get angry over concerning both parties in what I have written, I hope you will see the need to chill out, move toward center and start finding common needs and goals.

Or America suffers,

The two party system can work.

It has in the past.

Have we changed that much?

First posted 2-1-2009

Meet with CSN President Michael Richards

Orangutans use an iPad

Stress on College Students

Two new reports leave a question: Are college students too stressed out? Or are they just fooling around?

I am very interested in your feedback to this article or the radio show linked.

(From NPR's "On Point", click here to listen to the show)

Two sets of headlines were published recently on American college students. One set said college kids today are barely studying, and barely learning. The other set said they’re more stressed out than ever. Those sound contradictory.

So what’s going on?

Click on "read more" below.

The Best Man (Opening)

The Monkees - I'm a Believer [official music video]

The Monkees - Last Train To Clarksville

Book Burning...well, not quite.

85% of the books have been eliminated from the shelves at the Stanford University Engineering School. Any book not checked out in five years was relegated to digital or to a computer accessed book "order" system.

The trend is toward digital books, which update more often, are more accessible and fit the computer saavy of most incoming college students.

But it lacks one advantage.

The ability to discover gold in the books near or down the isle from the one you are seeking.

I have earned "A"'s on papers by introducing sources discovered in the stacks, deep in the stacks. When UNLV switched to a several story high robot system of access, it took away the ability to find dusty old books and discover what no one has discovered. The trend now is to find the same books or sources as anyone else using search engines designed to highlight the popular or most accessed. So, unique and often revealing and exciting sources, are fading into the dust of history.

And what is happening to these older books. Some are being "archived" in other buildings or boxes. Most are being recycled as paper stock.

It may be book burning, but to this researcher it comes close.

Cry for the Middle Class and Poor!

"I'll make you a ten thousand dollar bet" - Romney 2012

Marketing to "new" Seniors

Larger print, easier to handle packages, fewer shades of yellow and blues, diapers that look like underwear, a little gray and allot athlete...

When baby boomers call ADT Security Services Inc. with questions about medical-alert alarms, they get operators specially trained to be sensitive to their needs. Top of the list: Don't remind them that they've aged.

"Boomers are used to being independent, and they get agitated if you're talking too slowly," says Barry Primm, an ADT home-health team manager who trains new operators to speak quickly and get to the point with these callers. "They just want to get it done, fast and business-like."

The generation that sent diaper sales soaring in the 1960s, bought power suits in the 1980s and indulged in luxury cars in the 2000s is getting ready to retire: The oldest boomers turn 65 this year. To accommodate their best customers' needs, American companies are overhauling product lines, changing their marketing and redesigning store layouts.

But there's a catch: Baby boomers, famously demanding and rebellious, don't want anyone suggesting they're old.

For the complete story and examples of how companies are marketing to the Baby Boomers, go to Wall Street Students I suggest you go through the school library computer site, a subscription may be required and  your fees may cover subscription on-line.

Stage Fright

WOW! absolutley the worse experience I can go through. Okay, one of the most worse ones. My mouth goes dry, my hands sweat, and I suddenly forget to breath. I think its no big deal, but it is. I don't feel comfortable with eye contact. I don't like people looking at me, and I don't like the sound of my voice. By the time I get done I sure am thirsty. I will read on the exercises, do breathing techniques, and water. A glass of water is ok to have and sip in between slides or examples. For me its a good time to say, "any questions?" enough time to breath and drink water and recompose and no one even notices all that just took place with in me and my emtions. I hope it works for me this semester.

From a student

Vote for candiates who will keep Health Care Reform...Listen to this message

For those crying for the overturning of "Obamacare", which should be called National Health Care Reform, please watch the entire presentation on this link with an open mind.

George Burns on Acting

Acting is all about honesty. 
If you can fake that, you've got it made. 

-George Burns

Thanks to a business associate and friend from Maui I was able to see George Burns before he passed away. My friend and her husband came to Las Vegas, using my position as a write off, for her 30th birthday. She walked over to a roulette wheel and put $100 on number 30. It came up! Her husband dragged her from the table and they used the money for a first class vacation. Among the perks, they took my wife and I to see George Burns at the Rivierra. He did his song and dance without ever getting up from his stool. Music and comedy ranged from the 1890's to contemporary. "Oh God" what a performer!


Davey Jones remembered. The Bieber turns 18. A Future in the Clouds? Oscar Stunt Works. Disney goes GCB. Ted Turner is smiling. Oprah leaving Chicago.

Original Productions Spike TV 1000 Ways to Die Teamsters
 Photo: Paula Kaatz (seated) with other picketers as they protest outside the production offices of Original Productions in Burbank on Monday. Two unions, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees and the Teamsters Local 399, are staging a strike against "1000 Ways to Die," which is produced by Original Productions. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times.

1,000 Ways to Day ends production for the season. Production has been halted on the cable TV series "1000 Ways to Die" because of a labor dispute with crew members.

"Spike TV has confirmed that production of season four of '1000 Ways to Die' has concluded," according to a statement from the cable network. The shutdown comes less than a week after nearly 30 crew members went on strike, alleging their efforts to unionize the show were thwarted by their employer, Original Productions.

The company has questioned the right of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Teamsters Local 399 to negotiate on behalf of the workers.

Original Productions had tried to hire replacement workers, but they were unsuccessful in resuming production of the show.

The unions picketed outside the Burbank offices of Original Productions this week in support of the workers, who are primarily seeking health and pension benefits.

"We were effective in halting them from shooting, but that's not the goal here,'' said Steve Dayan, business agent for Teamsters Local 399, which represents casting directors, location managers and drivers. "What we wanted was for them to sit down and bargain with us for a fair agreement for the crew members."
Photo: Davy Jones in 1997. Photo credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times
Monkeying Around and Smiling, a 60's icon is gone. Davy Jones, who died Wednesday of a heart attack at the age of 66, was, from 1965 and on and off for the rest of his life, a member of the Monkees, a pop group invented for a television show: "Davy, the little short English one," as bandmate Micky Dolenz described him in one episode of "The Monkees," which ran from 1966 to 1968 on NBC.

Designed to channel the energy of the Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night" into an American sitcom, it was at once a product of old-school show business and an emerging Hollywood counterculture, created by Bob Rafelson, who would direct "Five Easy Pieces," "The King of Marvin Gardens" (and the revisionist Monkees movie, "Head," co-written by Rafelson and Jack Nicholson) and Bert Schneider, who would produce those movies along with "Easy Rider" and "The Last Picture Show." A human cartoon whose main attraction was the self-aware naturalism of its leads, the show was of two worlds, and, to a remarkable extent, was successful in each.

Although their success was undoubtedly an influence, it is too much to class the Monkees with such subsequent whole-cloth pop creations as the Archies, the Banana Splits, Josie & the Pussycats, the Partridge Family and, some would say, the Spice Girls -- though it is clearly the model on which Nickelodeon's successful, and not bad at all, "Big Time Rush" is based. Pop has always had its industrial wing. The band was itself split between, as it were, the raw and the cooked. Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork were Sunset Strip cowboys who came to the project as musicians looking for a break; Jones and Dolenz were actors. Dolenz had already starred in his own TV series, "Circus Boy," and Jones had been in the business since the age of 11; he'd worked on British television before taking over the role of the Artful Dodger in the musical "Oliver!" on the London stage. He coincidentally appeared with its Broadway cast on "The Ed Sullivan Show" the night the Beatles made their American television debut there, in February 1964.

When "The Monkees" went into pre-production, Jones was already signed to Screen Gems, the TV arm of Columbia Pictures, which produced the series, and recording for its record label, Colpix, a multimedia strategy that was not uncommon then and is standard practice now, in the post-Miley Cyrus world of tween television. Still, in the world the Beatles remade, it had become newly important for musicians to write the songs they sang, and to play the instruments on their records, and to be the people they seemed to say they were.

The question of whether the Monkees were a "real" band is a question -- a false question, the history of pop repeatedly shows -- that dogged them from the beginning; indeed, it was an issue between the group and their bosses, and within the group itself. (They came to actual blows at times over their meaning and direction; but such disunity is something they share with every band that ever was.) It has been enough to some to keep them out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and yet to the many more who watched their show, bought their records and, as late as last year, attended their concerts, it is entirely beside the point.

In Beatle terms, Jones was the Paul, the cute one, the one who sang the pretty melodies and let his music-hall roots show; he could dance, as well as sing. ("I Wanna Be Free," "Daydream Believer," "Valleri," "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You," and the Harry Nilsson-penned "Cuddly Toy" were among the songs on which he took the lead.) His Englishness, at a time when pop consciousness was dominated by the Fab Four -- many young American musicians who would have considered themselves authentic to the core strove to sound as if they were just off the boat from Britain -- gave the Monkees a kind of Limey cred.

That he was short -- at 5-foot-3, he had apprenticed as a jockey -- just made him a more comfortable fit for the daydreams of the little girls who bought Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine and pasted his picture on their walls or in their scrapbooks; he was a pre-teen idol, and the series' designated romantic lead. (If in Marx Brothers terms -- the other great influence on "The Monkees" -- this made him Zeppo, he also got his fair share of comedy to play.)

Still, becoming famous as a version of yourself is a hard legacy to escape. As a performer in subsequent years, Jones was often asked to play Jones: Once a Monkee, always a Monkee. Did this bother him? I don't know. But when there was Monkee business to do, he always showed up smiling.
Video and photos from the LA Times.

PHOTOS: Davy Jones | 1945-2012

Canadian singer and actor Justin Bieber gestures as he arrives to attend the annual NRJ Music Awards ceremony on January 28, 2012 in Cannes, French Riviera. How will the star celebrate his 18th birthday? 

Justin Bieber turns 18 today. He can vote, go to war, and gains control of his own money. More at Marketplace Money.

Kevin Tsujihara
 Photo: Kevin Tsujihara. Credit: Warner Bros.

Billions of DVD's headed or the Clouds. To get consumers excited about managing their movies online and steer them away from cheap rentals and piracy, Warner Bros. wants to lead the way in persuading people to convert billions of DVDs into digital files.

Warner Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara discussed the studio's new initiative, called "disc-to-digital" at the Morgan Stanley technology, media and telecom conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. It will allow consumers to use a variety of methods to turn their DVDs into digital copies stored in a virtual "cloud" that they can watch on Internet-connected devices.

"'Disc-to-digital' is the solution to unlock the value of existing libraries," Tsujihara said. "We're leading industry efforts to launch services so consumers can convert libraries easily, safely and at reasonable prices."

The first phase of "disc-to-digital," Tsujihara said, will let DVD owners take their discs into stores that will handle the digital conversion. Later on, Internet retailers like will email customers to offer digital copies of DVDs they previously bought. Eventually, consumers will be able to put DVDs into PCs or certain Blu-ray players that will upload a copy, similar to the way people turn music CDs into MP3 files.

Tsujihara didn't say when digital conversions would start or how much they would cost. He did mention that people who own standard DVDs will have the option of getting a high-definition digital copy for an extra fee. The potential audience is huge, the Warner executive said, given that about 10 billion DVDs have been sold in the U.S. and another 10 billion overseas.

"Disc-to-digital" could help to promote UltraViolet, the multi-studio initiative that gives consumers digital copies of new movies they buy on DVD. As the chief executive of Warner Bros.' parent company Time Warner Inc., Jeff Bewkes, did Tuesday, Tsujihara defended the rocky start for UltraViolet last fall. However, he added, "The launch wasn't perfect, I'll be the first one to admit it."

Persuading consumers to keep buying movies and building collections in the digital age is crucial to the bottom line of Warner Bros. and Hollywood's other major studios, Tsujihara said. Sales are 20 to 30 times more profitable than low-cost rentals from Redbox or Netflix.


Sacha Baron Cohen follows Oscars stunt with new Paramount deal. Fresh off a publicity stunt at the Academy Awards promoting his upcoming film "The Dictator," Sacha Baron Cohen has signed a new deal to produce and star in more movies for Paramount Pictures -- even after he slipped away without actually attending the Oscarcast.

After ginning up huge press coverage about whether he would be allowed to attend the Oscars -- including a phone-in appearance on the "Today" show -- Cohen walked the red carpet in costume as his "Dictator" character Gen. Aladeen. After promising Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officials not to disrupt the Oscars broadcast, Cohen was given sixth row tickets to watch the ceremony on the condition that he change out of his "Dictator" get-up and into formal attire, a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly said.

But after walking the carpet and throwing what he claimed were the ashes of deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il on Ryan Seacrest, Cohen never took his seat in the Hollywood & Highland theater. Rather, he was shown into a dressing room inside the theater, where he changed into a tuxedo and then went out a back door to a party off-site, the person confirmed. A spokesman for Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Oscars stunt provided a marketing boost to "The Dictator," which will be released by Paramount on May 11.

Under the new deal, Paramount will make Cohen's next film in which he stars as well. The agreement also gives the British star, who made his name on television with "Da Ali G Show," funds to develop new movie projects with his production company Four By Two Films. For the next three years, Paramount will have a first right of refusal on every movie developed by Four By Two.

How much is an Oscar worth? 15  Academy Awards have been sold off at action in recent years including the Best Screen Play "Citizen Kane", which earned over $500,000 at auction yesterday. But today's awards cannot be sold without being offered to the acadamy for just $1.

Ted Turner loves the ladies
 Photo: Ted Turner. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images. 

The mouth roars again. Ted Turner, once known as the Mouth from the South, still has no internal censor. The founder of Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network) who saw much of his fortune and stature diminish after Time Warner's botched merger with America Online, sat with the Hollywood Reporter to gripe about the past. His beloved CNN is no longer he news giant he built. His wallet is thinner but he does have four girlfriends and a lot of homes so things can't be that bad.

Place your bets. James Murdoch's resignation from as executive chairman of News Corp.'s News International unit started off another round of the media's favorite game -- guessing who will succeed media mogul Rupert Murdoch. While James Murdoch is still deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. and the third highest-ranking executive at the global media giant, his status has been damaged by the ethics scandal at the company's British tabloids. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reuters and Wall Street Journal.

Oprah to say Goodbye to Chicago: Chicago television station WFLD said Rosie O'Donnell, host of a talk show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel, is quietly shopping her house there. That means one of two things. Either O'Donnell's going to move her struggling talk show to New York (she's already overhauled it, fired most of the staff and got rid of the the studio audience, much to the chagrin of her bosses at OWN), or she's gearing up to throw in the towel completely.

Is it a TV show or a health drink? ABC's new series "GCB" is a soap set in Texas about a bunch of catty women who present one face to their neighbors at church every Sunday and another to each other. "GCB" used to be called "Good Christian ..." well, you can probably figure it out from there. Then ABC wanted to call it "Good Christian Belles" but that didn't work either, most likely because of the C word. Now they're stuck with "GCB," which can't be easy to market. The New York Times visits with the show's creator, Robert Harling, who used to write for the big screen but now can have more fun on television.

Playing ball with Redbox. While several studios are pushing for longer windows between when DVDs go on sale and when Redbox rents them, Comcast's Universal is apparently sticking with the 28-day approach. Details from Deadline Hollywood.

Fuggedaboutit. It's been five years since Tony Soprano ate some onion rings as the TV screen went dark, and people are still obsessed with HBO's mob series "The Sopranos." Vanity Fair revisits the cast to talk about the show's ups and downs and what they really thought of that ending. I loved "The Sopranos," but in my opinion "The Wire" was superior and stands up better over time.

Crazy for John Carter. As uncertainty continues to grow around Disney's new epic science fiction thriller "John Carter," the folks at Vulture present 25 burning questions about the film. The best one had to do with whether the film might appeal to women more if Carter was from Venus.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: An appreciation of The Monkees' Davy Jones. Robert Lloyd on NBC's new drama "Awake."

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I'm worth my own hash tag.

War in the China Sea? It is possible.

The Chinese Government controlled newspaper is calling for war in the Philippines and VietNam over what we in America see is illegal claims by China on International Waters, and over the oil, shipping and other resources the area "in dispute" represents.

The US has a treaty to protect our former "colony", the Philippines, and our relationship with VietNam is a good one, despite years of war.