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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama (example of target YouTube in 2012 elections)

Raul Limon on a bad day

Raul Limon, one of my students from Casting Call Entertainment, now working at the Goreatorium on the Las Vegas Strip.

Too Many Mitts: Largest Newspaper at the heart of the Conservative LDS state endorses Obama for President

President Barack Obama speaks about the choice facing women in the upcoming election, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Tribune endorsement: Too Many Mitts
Obama has earned another term
First Published Oct 19 2012 12:13 pm • Last Updated Oct 20 2012 09:58 am
Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state.
But it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son. After all, Romney managed to save the state from ignominy, turning the extravaganza into a showcase for the matchless landscapes, volunteerism and efficiency that told the world what is best and most beautiful about Utah and its people.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out.
If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, "is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found.
And what of the president Romney would replace? For four years, President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.
In the first months of his presidency, Obama acted decisively to stimulate the economy. His leadership was essential to passage of the badly needed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Though Republicans criticize the stimulus for failing to create jobs, it clearly helped stop the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs. The Utah Legislature used hundreds of millions in stimulus funds to plug holes in the state’s budget.

Can the Libertarian Message cut through Romney-Obama clutter?

The Third-Party Factor: 

Will 2012 Look Like 2000?

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in September.
Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in September.
Jim Mone/AP
As the presidential race enters its final weeks, there are many factors that could affect the outcome: a great — or terrible — debate performance by one of the candidates on Monday in Florida; the next jobs report; or the presence of third-party candidates who are on the ballot in almost every state.
Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who's running on the Libertarian ticket, is on the ballot in 48 states.
In an ad on his YouTube channel, he makes his pitch this way: "If you'd rather rebuild roads, schools, bridges and hospitals here at home instead of building them for others halfway around the world, you're a libertarian," he says. "If you're the kind of person who talks about ending warfare and welfare in the same sentence, you're a libertarian. If you think your body, your love life and your private business are no business of the federal government, you're libertarian."
Johnson doesn't have much money, but he does have some experienced — unpaid — help, including Roger Stone, the colorful Republican operative who, among other things, is famous for tattooing an image of Richard Nixon on his back.
Stone says calculating Johnson's potential impact on the 2012 race is not so simple.
"This is a candidate who is opposed to the Afghanistan war, who wants to legalize marijuana ... who wants to repeal the Patriot Act, so I think he appeals to certain left-of-center voters," Stone says. "But he's also someone who proposes balancing the federal budget now ... who would do away with the Federal Reserve and wants to return us to a sound dollar, so he has appeal to certain right-of-center voters.
"So ... ask me the state and I'll tell you who I think he pulls from."
What about in Colorado, a battleground state with a Mountain West libertarian streak and maybe many young Ron Paul supporters?
"Because Colorado has a marijuana initiative on the ballot and Gov. Johnson has endorsed it and the president has had no comment, I think that he disproportionately probably pulls a few more votes in Colorado from the president," Stone says.
But if Johnson could hurt President Obama in Colorado, in other battlegrounds, like Nevada and New Hampshire, Stone sees Johnson pulling votes away from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. This theory has been utterly rejected by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
"We don't have a third-party candidate that's anywhere near the name recognition or the popularity of Ross Perot or John Anderson," he said in an interview on CNN. "I just don't see that happening. In fact ... it's almost a nonfactor."
Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode (right) visits a barber shop while campaigning in Lynchburg, Va., in September.
Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode (right) visits a barber shop while campaigning in Lynchburg, Va., in September.
Don Petersen/AP
To which Stone responds: "It just aggravates me as a lifetime Republican that the Republicans — on the one hand, the national chairman says Johnson's a nonfactor, but the Republicans, in truth, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with paid lawyers and private investigators trying to bump Gov. Johnson off the ballot in Ohio, in Virginia, in Iowa, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, in Oklahoma," he says. "What's wrong with an election?"
Johnson isn't the only third-party candidate with the potential to mess things up for the two major parties. In the battleground state of Virginia, former six-term Rep. Virgil Goode is running on the anti-immigration Constitution Party ticket.
Although Goode is on the ballot is 26 states, Virginia political analyst Bob Holsworth says he's really a local phenomenon.
"That phenomenon is that this a person who's been in state politics in one way or another for over 30 years. He's very well-known and very well-liked in a small slice of the state," Holsworth says. "And that's the kind of state where sort of a rural Republican populism probably plays a lot better than the corporate Republicanism of Mitt Romney."
Goode is from southwestern Virginia — exactly where Romney needs a big vote total to offset the president's strength in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
"There is a real nightmare scenario for the Republicans associated with Goode's candidacy," Holsworth says. "Because no one expects Goode to get a lot of the vote. But in a race that could be razor tight here, if he gets 1 percent or 2 percent of the vote, most analysts, including myself, believe that the majority of that vote is going to come out of Mitt Romney. So there is that potential that Virgil Goode could be, in some ways, the Ralph Nader of 2012."
Republicans were hoping this presidential election would look like 1980, when Ronald Reagan — after a great debate performance — began to pull away from the unpopular incumbent, Jimmy Carter. Democrats were hoping the race would be more like 2004, when the incumbent, George W. Bush, developed a small but durable lead over his challenger, John Kerry.
But right now, this race is looking much like 2000, the nail-biter of a contest that went down to the wire — and way beyond. And where Nader — with just 1 percent of the vote in Florida — made history.

Try to understand where others are coming from

When you speak, debate or post on a blog keep in mind that there are others who have screens/filter, life experience, views or even traumas you may not be aware of.

For example being too honest in a discussion about rape, may harm or create a reaction you could easily misinterpret from someone who has been raped or who may be close to someone who has been raped.

On a common gathering topic, if you talk about how celebrities have no right to an opinion or say and continue to harp on how celebrities do not know what they are talking about, be aware that an actor, family member or friend of a celebrity may be in the room. As you now I sit on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, so I can argue with knowledge and experience on educated, world traveled and intelligent most (but not all) actors and celebrities are. Do not believe media hype.

All professors are not liberal, and even those who have liberal leaning views, may have conservative views on some issues and be middle of the road on most. And professors, like actors, are more likely to be well traveled and educated even if your view of intelligent may be different than theirs.

Attack instead of consider the views of others seems to be a trend that could tear apart our democracy and our civility.  Not acknowledging the validity or experience of another post or another point of view cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

It is why we teach and hope to pass on "critical thinking" in this and other classes.

The truth is not one sided, and not vested in any one person.

Experts in any given field will disagree on most issues, so it is vital we all agree to disagree.

By this point in the term you should have learned not to believe slogans, sound  bites, things repeated too often around the dinner table or office. Do the research and keep your mind open. If you disagree, contribute without attack or confrontation. We have learned about persuasion, the fallacies, demographic differences, screens and filters (Noise), differences in individual experiences, and the importance of being tolerant and open minded.

Above all we should have covered and worked together to understand the experience, point of  view and reasons behind the views of others.

To say that it is OK not to allow people to no have insurances for financial reason, because insurance companies refuse to carry them or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age or physical conditions is not the way to have a discourse. To propose a future and a way to transition to a healthier society would be a positive way to proceed on the same argument. Not everyone has money. Not everyone can afford Whole Foods or have the transportation to go to places that offer healthier eating. Not everyone is literate or speaks English. These are realities that should be acknowledged and not attacked.

One sided or unfeeling attacks t fly in the face of critical thinking.

In Critical Thinking you should put yourself in the others shoes and acknowledge the other side. It does not mean you have to accept any alliterative view, but you do need to know it, acknowledge its value and then use your knowledge in your balanced argumentation to support your points or agendas.  It is a requirement of the course within speeches. It is also something that is key to a democratic society.

I am really surprised that there are a few students who take this as a personal insult or attack to disagree or to have and post an opposing view to their own.

I find it hard to question that perhaps there is a need to protect those who are already sick, were born with the wrong color skin, are the wrong sex or through no fault of their own are poor. But I know there are those who empathy is structured differently or who have a different priority or view of how the universe should work.

I do understand.

However civic public discussion must be two sided, and open to opposing views for it to fit the purpose of this blog, most courses and our need to regain a civil society.

Respect, not inquisitions.

Understanding age and those who are different in any way is part of the process of open critical thinking.

Most courses I teach require this understanding and encourage an open mind, not attack, of others.

I am open to other views, and welcome those different than the ones I state openly on the first day of classes I teach or in my public communications.

I hope that most of you know that the "news and views" in this blog are not all my own. Some are written by others (acknowledged in the post), gleaned from media, presented to be a "devil's advocate" or presented to create two sided discourse (not argumentation), interned to assist in speech topics, content and to provide a platform for applying the concepts of the course (Communication, media and Critical Thinking) in the wider context of society.

For my CSN Com 101 students focus on your persuasive presentation and final. Critical Thinking students, feel free to contribute your ideas and topics, and use this discussion as it relates to the readings.