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Sunday, April 8, 2012

We have risen! Happy Easter 2012!

Photo c) Art Lynch 2004

But I did not shoot the deputy.

Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a concept that is widely used and has high visibility in the accreditation and mission statements of businesses across the world. However, many people have difficulty clarifying the concept and knowing how to infuse it as a part of their professional and personal lives. It can be argued that critical thinking is not something that is merely added to our way of doing things, but should be the way we liveo our lives and learn. When critical thinking is as a necessity for everyday life,  learning substantive understanding will naturally result. 

The critical mind is the questioning mind. The extent to which we ask genuine questions and seek to answer them reflects the extent to which we take things seriously and think them through. The problem is that we rarely know how to systematically ask questions that probe content by searching out assumptions, concepts, purposes, information, inferences and solutions, points of view, or implications. We rarely seek out intellectual standards to evaluate the quality of their thought and the thoughts of others: questions that target clarity, depth, relevance, validity, significance, and accuracy. We should work to create a personal culture where we actively, reflectively, and fair-mindedly question concepts, content and each other. 
We need to cultivate important intellectual skills and abilities as well as virtuous dispositions like intellectual flexibility, empathy, humility, integrity, open-mindedness, and perseverance to name a few. There is a relationship between our ability to question and our ability to think critically. 

There is an intimate relationship between what it means to think critically and our success in life.

First posted 9-9-10

Faith and Poltics...why the litmus test? Is faith personal and between us and God?

President Obama hosts Easter prayer breakfast 
President Obama attends an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House. He speaks often about his faith and religious moderates generally give him high marks -- but some Republicans have accused him of waging a "war on religion." (Pete Marovich, European Pressphoto Agency / April 4, 2012.

The Power of Words

Religion and the Internet from CBS's Bob Shieffeer

Face the Nation

Check out today's Hangout. What do you think about faith and technology? Do you use any of these sites? Do you like to keep politics and religion separate? – Bob Schieffer talks with Jason Illian, founder of GodTube and current CEO of Rethink Books, Bobby Gruenewald, Innovation Leader at LifeChurch.TV, Rabbis...

Are camera's obsolete?

Mike Wallace: Newsman's death symbolizes passing of an era

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for access to the LA Times.

Mike Wallace, the 93-year-old pitbull of CBS' "60 Minutes," died this weekend in New Canaan, Conn.
CBS announced his death Sunday morning by lauding Wallace's brazen brand of reporting, which "made his name synonymous with the tough interview -- a style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago."

More than any other broadcast network, CBS has been most closely associated with its broadcast news team, which over the years has boasted such heavyweights as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite as well as Wallace. Each of the newsmen helped define CBS as a beacon for serious journalism.

“All of us at CBS News and particularly at '60 Minutes' owe so much to Mike," Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and a longtime executive producer of "60 Minutes," said in a statement. "Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn’t be a '60 Minutes.' There simply hasn’t been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn’t matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what he would ask next."

Wallace's tenacious spirit and blistering questions helped to build "60 Minutes" into a ratings juggernaut, and establish the program as the gold standard for broadcast journalism.

 "60 Minutes" has logged an unprecedented 23 seasons in Nielsen's annual ranking of 10 most popular programs.

The durability of "60 Minutes" proves that viewers continue to have an appetite for hard-hitting newscasts. The program still thrives in an era when the format that inspired it -- the once-a-week newsmagazine -- has lost relevance with the immediacy of the Internet.

Across America, newsroom leaders are struggling to redefine their magazines, newspapers and local TV and radio newscasts. They are doing so amid dramatically shrinking resources and the reality that readers and viewers probably already saw or heard a snippet of the news elsewhere.  Meanwhile, the lure of celebrity news, which drives ratings and Internet traffic, has become an irresistable urge for many in the news business.
Fewer news outlets are practicing the brand of investigative journalism that Wallace and "60 Minutes" helped to define. It is easier and cheaper for news outlets to turn to talking heads to fill air time.

Wallace, in contrast, honed his interview style on the ABC network TV news program, “The Mike Wallace Interview.” He also experimented on a local New York television guest show called “Night Beat.”
"Wallace’s relentless questioning of his subjects proved to be a compelling alternative to the polite chit-chat practiced by early television hosts," CBS said in its statement.

Wallace's last appearance on television was in January 2008. His sit-down interview on "60 Minutes" with baseball pitching legend Roger Clemens, who stood accused of using steroids, made front-page news.  It was a fitting finale that served to underscore Wallace's legacy.

CBS strives to maintain its edge in hard-news reporting. The network is revamping its "CBS This Morning" program this year with the installation of Charlie Rose, a move to inject a more serious tone.  CBS News chief Fager believes that viewers still care about news with substance.

Wallace's passing should inspire others in the news business to consider that, too.

Obituary: Newsman Mike Wallace dies at 93
'60 Minutes' surveys art market with Eli Broad, Jeffrey Deitch

PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2012

 -- Meg James

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part I

In its heyday the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., "the people's theatre", was a showcase for African American Artists, and the place to be to hear cutting edge big band, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues and Motown on the Potomac. The theatre first opened in 1910 and has had may great musicians perform there over the years including, Duke Ellington, The Supremes, The Temptations and Billie Holiday. The theater was the center of what was called "Black Broadway", a draw for Washington DC from the entire east coast and Midwest. the riots of the 1960's and 1970's, newer venues in New York and in the south and a shift to mainstream for African American artist ended the popularity of the aging theatre.   More than 30 years ago, the theatre went into disrepair and was forced to close. But now, money has been raised for its redevelopment and it will re-open this week. In a predominately African American City the reopening carries special meaning and significance. The exterior has been restored to it's 1910 glamour. Inside is a modern theater for modern audiences and technology.

Scott Walker
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks to an audience at a Waukesha County Republican dinner in Pewaukee, Wis., Saturday, March 31, 2012., Steven Senne / AP Photo
The presidential primary is over but there are plenty of hotly contested elections still to come in Wisconsin this year. Recall elections against Governor Scott Walker and those senators who voted to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees are in full swing. Not foreseen when the election process began over a year ago was the number of Wisconsin's who would join in due to other actions of the governor and state senator, including cutting medical benefits and cuts in programs needed by both farmers and industry in the state. is one of several sites which have published for the fist time records from the Negro Leagues of baseball. Rob Neyer, baseball editor at Baseball Nation spoke with NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday  about statistics from the Negro Leagues, recently made available for the first time. Most numbers are incomplete, but some records, including 92 wins in a much shorter season, home run records that exceed everyone but Babe Ruth, and how heated and close the games were.

In 1987's "Wall Street" Michael Douglas strolls the beach with his large cell phone. In "Lethal Weapon" Mel Gibson makes a call on a phone attached to a larger "portable" box.Early on, experts predicted about a million Americans would have cell phones by the turn of century. They were wrong. The actual number was more than one hundred times that estimate. Advances in micro-technology, decreases in size for the "bricks", shifts in what defines "self identity", lowering costs, massive marketing, texting and smart phones could not be predicted in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The rich man's mobile phone became the everyman's preferred form of communication for 300 million Americans by 2010. The concept goes back to the1940's, developed for World War II, but later released by AT&T as a car phone....with a larger box and antenna concealed in the trunk of the car. In 1983  Motorola demonstrated a prototype for the personal portable hand held cell phone, which would have cost four grand but faced regulatory obstacles. In

The Obama campaign is expected to start highlighting what they consider a long list of national security accomplishments, which includes ending the Iraq War, stepping up drone attacks against militants overseas, helping lead a successful NATO war that brought down the Ghaddafi regime in Libya - and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The GOP is already going after Obama for the continuation of a very slow and painful recovery from the largest recession since the Great Depression, despite improving economic figures in every measured area.

Easter Sunday at the Vatican included a call for peace specifically for Syria and around the world.

A proposed law in Tennessee will require creationism be taught along with evolution in all schools and in all textbooks  used in the state. Passed by a Republican dominated legislature, the state which was home to the famous "Scopes" Trial, will see creationism signed into law later this week.e

Indian statisticians have begun deciphering the results of the 2011 census. It's revealing a picture of a country where millions have access to the latest technology, but where millions more also lack basic sanitation and other services. But even in slum areas, people say they are optimistic about their future and hope to better their lives, even as the government struggles to keep up with basic services. The census may help determine if India is the most highly populated nation in the world, or if the dubious honor falls with China.

'60 Minutes' newsman Mike Wallace dies

Mike Wallace
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2012 | 7:49 a.m.
Mike Wallace, known for his tough interviews on CBS' news show "60 Minutes," has died, the Associated Press is reporting. He was 93.

Wallace was on the staff of "60 Minutes" when it launched in 1968 and was a mainstay of the program until his retirement in 2006.

Just prior to Hollywood's 100th Birthday...a key part of history meets the wrecking ball

There is no history left in the heat of capitalist

A birthplace of  Hollywood History, Pickfair, he original United Arts site named after Mary Pickford, has been leveled to the ground, to replaced by a new digital studio.

pickford building tear down facebook.jpg
The building was constructed in 1920 as a silent film studio.

Save the Pickfair Studios via Facebook

"This is about as bad as it gets. Sorry to have to share this with you all."
One of the most gorgeous old silent-film-era relics in West Hollywood -- the Pickfair Studios, on a plot of land known as "The Lot" -- just got ruthlessly gouged by a demolition crane.

The redevelopment gore can be blamed on CIM Group, the real-estate investor who owns the historic cluster of buildings. Protesters led by director Allison Anders have been aggressively rallying against the tear-down since early March. But despite their pleas, the first of four buildings reportedly scheduled for demolition...

... fell victim to the claw yesterday afternoon at Santa Monica and Formosa. A video of the gouging is "hard to watch," says one Facebook commenter.

Indeed. Hard to watch a cornerstone of Hollywood history come undone:

Silent-film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks moved onto "The Lot" in the 1920s to found United Artists, the first artist-run studio. On these 11 sunny acres, OG movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith signed onto the golden couple's label and filmed a string of era classics.
Lead protester Anders described the significance of the Pickford building (the old wooden one demolished yesterday) in an email at the end of March:
Mary was the first, maybe only, woman to ever have her own studio lot. Her films, her husband Doug Fairbanks pictures, Mary's brother Jack Pickford's were all made here. In the 1930s, after Mary and Doug divorced, Sam Goldwyn bought in and moved his studio to the lot, and after that Howard Hughes set up shop for awhile, and later most of us knew it as Warner Hollywood studios. Some of the films shot there include -- "Robin Hood", "West Side Story", "Some Like It Hot" , "Wuthering Heights", "The Best Years Of Our Lives"...(and I happen to love that the TV show "The Fugitive" was also shot here!)
Despite their loss, protesters say they'll continue to try and block the demolition of three more buildings on the land: the Writers Building, the Fairbanks Building and the Editorial Building.
CIM Group insisted in a press statement a few days ago that it "respects the history of The Lot" and intends to "honor it as part of a thriving studio campus." More from the company's explanation, with bold added:
All buildings designated as historic will remain. The re-development of The Lot, as has been done successfully at many other Hollywood studios, is necessary for the studio campus to evolve and remain competitive.

The land use, building design, and historic preservation at The Lot, formerly known as the Pickfair Studio, is governed by the Comprehensive Development Plan and Development Agreement adopted by the City of West Hollywood into the city's General Plan in 2007. Consistent with this plan, CIM is beginning the initial phase of the revitalization of The Lot's 11-acre site by removing two non-historic buildings and constructing a new 93,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art media office building designed for production and media companies. This new building is located on the southern portion of the property along the Formosa Avenue perimeter. At every stage of planning and construction, great consideration has been given to not disrupt the sensitive production operations on the property.
 For Video click here. (From the LA Weekly, click here)
[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]