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Saturday, July 14, 2012

50 Years Ago, Communications Went Global

On July 12, 1962, AT&T's satellite Telstar 1 became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe. But the satellite soon began to malfunction. Cold War radioactivity scrambled its instruments. Host Scott Simon talks to engineer Walter Brown, who helped build the satellite.

When DIRECTV Drops (Censored)

Viacom and DirecTV continue to spar: Battle of the video giants!

DirecTV subscribers looking to plop the kids in front of the TV to watch Nickelodeon this weekend will likely have to use Netflix instead.
Although talks between the satellite broadcaster and Viacom Inc., parent of cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1 continue, reaching a deal before the end of the weekend seems unlikely. DirecTV subscribers have been without Viacom's channels since Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the war of words continues. Viacom has been bombarding the airwaves and newspapers with ads critical of DirecTV and encouraging its subscribers to switch to other distributors. It even made an ad spoofing DirecTV's popular commercials about what happens if you don't have its service (see above).
DirecTV is countering with its own campaign about how it is trying to draw a line in the sand on rising programming costs with Viacom, as well launching new ads promoting itself versus rival satellite broadcaster Dish, which has been very aggressive in trying to woo new subscribers.

DIRECTV is Dropping VH1 (Big Ang Sent Ya)

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Excerpt: Harlem Children's Zone

Tree of Liberty

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

-Thomas Jefferson

What does this mean?

Is it being used properly today?

Is it applicable today?

Is it calling for the violent overthrow of the government?

Is it limited to the situation and time when it was written?

Is it meant as a justification for democracies send military into battle?

Did it belong on Timothy McVeigh's T Shirt worn in Oklahoma City?

Does it apply at modern day "tea parties"?

Can it be taken as threat against the life of the president?

Can it be taken as a threat against the life of any government elected official?

Does  it justify terrorism?

What are your further thoughts on this popular T shirt slogan?

What communication concepts, terms, ideas and practices apply to its use?

Does this overuse of  what is a small portion of just one of the thousands of historic writings of Thomas Jefferson mean we are bypassing change through honest discourse, debate and the Democratic process?

Can the extremes of  our political and society be resolved without a literal interpretation of the "tree of liberty" quote?

First published 9-2-09

Structures, Organization, Designs for Informative Speeches

Designs/ Organization structures
1.     See previous week’s note postings
2.     See textbook (as always)
3.     Use appropriate and best design for your topic / goals
4.     All designs may be used but the four best for informative are
a.     Spatial
b.     Sequential
c.     Categorical
d.     Comparative
e.     Causation
5.     Spatial Design
a.     Effective for describing places, locations or locating subjects within a physical setting
b.     Ordered by physical location or size, or special relationship or connection
c.     Determine a starting point and proceed in an orderly manner
d.     Complete patterns of descriptions to satisfy an audience need for closure
6.     Sequential Design
a.     Move audiences through time
b.     Effective for showing times steps
c.     Effective for showing change over time
d.     Effective for placing in historical perspective
e.     See previous notes and text for types of sequential design
f.      Includes random sequence, sequence, motivated sequence and chronological designs
g.     Chronological puts main points in order of time
h.     Sequential orders main points in terms of place in a particular process or puts them into a numbered order so that the audience may follow a process
7.     Categorical Design
a.     Appropriate for subjects with natural or customary divisions
b.     Suggested that 2 to 5 categories be used
c.     Begin and end with the most interesting categories
d.     Tie category relationships together
e.     See previous notes and text for additional information
f.      Main points do not have to have an inherent relation to each other
8.     Comparative Designs
a.     Helpful with new, abstract or difficult subjects
b.     Helpful for describing changes
c.     Helpful contrasting differing issues and proposals
d.     Best to relate one topic to something the audience already understands
e.     There are three types of comparative design
1.     A literal analogy draws subjects from the same field of expertise
2.     A figurative analogy draws subjects form differing fields of expertise
3.     Comparison and contact design points to similarities and/or differences
9.     Causation Design
a.     Explains a situation, condition, or event in terms of the causes that led up to it.
b.     See previous notes and text for types of causation design

Detailed PowerPoint explanations:  click here.

Unit 5 notes: click here

The Making of Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection from...

Millennials and Budgeting for the Future

Hilary A. Doe

Hilary A. Doe

What do the reports from the President's Fiscal Commission, and all the competing budget plans teach us? Americans are searching for answers to questions about our economic future. The recession, heightened economic insecurity, and a changing world keep us asking, "What will the period of American economic growth look like?" How will we strengthen our country's fiscal future while investing in our people? What types of jobs will displaced autoworkers find? Who will invest in new companies and Americans' ideas? Commentators like David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, and Joe Stiglitz have put forth their visions. Deficit hawks, social security advocates, and now, even the President's Fiscal Commission have weighed in. The truth is, however, that new workers, entrepreneurs, and leaders will be the ones to define our future in new terms. And the generation of Americans that stands to inherit the consequences of our actions has put forth a plan of their own.

The largest-ever generation of Americans -- the Millennial Generation, born between 1980 and 2000 -- has designed the future that they want to inherit. A movement of young people nationwide convened in communities across the country and online to articulate their values, their priorities, and provide concrete answers to the questions about the American economy, as well as American education, energy policy, foreign policy, our democracy, social justice, and health care. Through the Roosevelt's Campus Network'sThink 2040 program, thousands have contributed to a shared vision for 2040 -- A Blueprint for the Millennial America. Released today, The Blueprint paints a vision of an America that invests in jobs and infrastructure, that curbs the federal debt, and that strengthens a flexible social safety "trampoline" to better respond to the 21st century challenges Millennials face.
Think 2040 participants identified rising debt, economic instability, and chronic unemployment as key challenges to address. The Blueprint highlights key priorities for America's future to rebound and eventually flourish. In order for every American to have the opportunity to thrive, we must build a "trampoline" society that bounces people who fall behind back to economic stability, through fostering entrepreneurship, increased community ownership, and a reformed banking system. Millennials want to start with local change, which embodies their bottom-up philosophy toward spurring America back to prosperity.
Best of all, in communities nationwide, young people are already working to achieve their Millennial America, remaking America's economic identity. Local economies have always shaped the American dream. Even in this "information age," local endeavors are at the center of youth efforts to reshape America's future.
This community-focused approach stands at the core of the Roosevelt Campus Network's mission to engage, empower, and promote the next generation of progressive leaders. Through the Roosevelt Campus Network, the nation's largest student policy organization, young people engage identify challenges in their cities, states, and nation, then campaign around their own policy solutions to solve them -- a sort of grassroots, student-driven think tank that fosters the next generation of American activists and thought-leaders.
The bottom line: Millennials are speaking for themselves about the future that they want to inherit. We are looking to our leaders to listen. We are looking to our communities, America's thought-leaders, and activists for guidance and support as we pursue our vision. We are hoping to learn from the past, build toward the future, and design an America reflective of our values and our priorities. We are your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors, your co-workers, and your best bet at overcoming the 21st century challenges that we face with a comprehensive vision we can get behind, support, implement, and achieve.
Read our vision at Roosevelt's Think 2040: Blueprint for the Millennial America and contribute your voice to the conversation at
Contributors: Manpriya Samra, Tarsi Dunlop, and Zachary Kolodin 
Follow Hilary A. Doe on

Cut Education and raise tutition, but not taxes: Nevada GOP

State GOP Plan for attacking budget crisis  includes 7.5 percent cuts to state spending on higher education and K-12 education, tuition increases but not tax increases. It rejects the notion that previous cuts have sliced education to as low as it can be in costs. Republicans want wage and other concessions from employees in all K and higher education, and most state positions (beyond the furloughs and cuts already made). It rejects Democrats plans to tax or ask for advance payment of taxes from gaming and mining. the Republicans are only asking the Nevada Gaming Control Board to raise another $4.2 million by increasing the investigation fee for licensees from about $80 to $115 per hour. The Republican proposal borrows from the property fund, potentially increasing future debt. 

Meanwhile the Nevada Resort Association announced tonight that the gaming industry won’t agree to a Democratic plan to obtain $32 million more a year from casinos to help balance the state budget. 

First published 2-12-2010

 "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither."

Hanging Chads

10 years ago on 12-12-2011, the 2000 presidential race finally came to an end, as by a margin of only one vote, the US Supreme Court decided not to require a recount in the land of the "hanging chads", Florida, giving the contested and tight vote to George W Bush. His opponent, Vice President Al Gore, easily won the popular vote but in the all important electoral college the race teetered on one state and a small number of disputed votes. Later in a complete recount, non-binding since the election had been certified, it was found that Gore did win a majority in Florida.

Trust and Distrust