If Hurricane Sandy Hits Power Companies and Media Companies It Hurts Prepaid Campaign Ads

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It looks as if Hurricane Sandy is going to hit pretty hard, and there will probably be power outages, blackouts, and perhaps even news media companies which are down. Interestingly enough the mainstream media has made a tremendous amount of money on political ads during this 2012 election season. Probably enough to have those companies make a profit this year. That would sure be a change of venue, as there have been more and more mergers of newspapers, and less than stellar performance for cable TV networks, as the Internet takes its toll.

Still, I have a question; if Hurricane Sandy hits all the power companies and news media companies, and if they’ve already collected prepaid campaign advertising dollars, but are unable to play those advertisements, then they should refund the money. Now then, in mid-October it was noted that Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign and President Obama’s campaign together had spent over $2 billion. That is an all-time record in the history of the world for any election. That money obviously could’ve been spent for better things.

Is my sincere belief that if President Obama had lived up to his campaign pledges, taking care of the jobs and unemployment, and not spent us into oblivion adding $5 trillion to the US debt, that he could easily get reelected spending very little if any money, and not having to endure any close challengers. Due to these failures, he now has to spent $1 billion to defend his failed policies. Now then, there will be a winner and loser in this election, and the loser will have wasted $1 billion. Do you see that point yet?

Many have said; that money could have been better spent on cancer research, hiring teachers, or retraining workers for future jobs. Instead, that money got wasted in advertising telling us that they approve this message. But what sort of message is that sending to our children? That we can blow money in elections playing a popularity contest when we have real needs here at home. I don’t like it, and neither do many Americans.

Now then, I propose that all the Political Action Committees (PACs) and the campaigns themselves demand the money back from the media companies that were unable to deliver those messages for whatever reason due to the last minute Hurricane Sandy. Then I would ask those paying for the advertisements to graciously have that money sent from those media companies to nonprofit groups.

That would be the right thing to do. Personally, I don’t feel it is right to barrage the American people with BS, which most of these political advertisements are, and this would be a way to apologize to the American people and do something good for a change. Please consider all this and think on it.

 

Why We Love Bad News and How it Supports the Recession

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Many of us frequently complain about the negativity of the news, particularly now in the economic downturn. The conga line of bruising news blankets consumers in a headline bombardment that is probably making the problem worse.

Jim Lehrer’s NewHour economics correspondent Paul Solmon did an interesting piece on the cascading effect that consumer pessimism has on our willingness to spend. He said that we are in a state of “learned helplessness“. At the worst, continual bad news can even stimulate a state of depression, and people who concentrate on all the bad news work themselves up emotionally and become much more likely to make unwise decisions, like selling all their investments at a huge loss or halting their consumer spending entirely. Even people who don’t watch television or read newspapers are getting hit with nuggets of negativity through social networking and informal conversations.

When everyone is talking about recession, we all feel like something has to change, even if nothing has changed, says Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational,” People may be scared to spend money, scared about losing their jobs and in doing so will restrain their spending. Yet look closely. Consumer sales in entertainment, and drugs like Viagra have increased. Viacom’s sales were down from last year but still profitable. Best practice companies with a long-term view are weathering the recession quite well. Social networking in many forms is expanding rapidly.

Is the media negative? Media studies show that bad news far outweighs good news by as much as seventeen negative news reports for every one good news report. Why? The answer may lie in the work of evolutionary psychologists and neuroscientists. Humans seek out news of dramatic, negative events. These experts say that our brains evolved in a hunter-gatherer environment where anything novel or dramatic had to be attended to immediately for survival. So while we no longer defend ourselves against saber-toothed tigers, our brains have not caught up.

Many studies have shown that we care more about the threat of bad things than we do about the prospect of good things. Our negative brain tripwires are far more sensitive than our positive triggers. We tend to get more fearful than happy. And each time we experience fear we turn on our stress hormones.

Another explanation comes from probability theory. In essence, negative and unusual things happen all the time in the world. In his book, Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos explains that if the news is about a small neighborhood of 500 or 5,000, then the possibility that something unusual has happened is low. Unusual things don’t happen to individual people very often. That’s why very local news like a neighborhood newsletters tends to have less bad news. But in a large city of 1 million, dramatic and negative incidents happen all the time. But most people watch national or worldwide media where news reports come in from large cities at a large scale, so the prevalence of negative stories increase. Add the size of social networking communication, and we expand geometrically bad news. So from evolutionary and neuro-scientific and probability perspectives, we are hard-wired to look for the dramatic and negative, and when we find it, we share it.

What about our personal lives? Psychologist John Gottman at the University of Washington, found that there is kind of thermostat operating in healthy marriages that regulates the balance between positive and negative. He found that relationships run into serious problems when the negative to positive ratio becomes seriously imbalanced. He also found that the magic ratio is five positive to one negative.

Is there any good news in all this? According to positive psychologists we can change our habits, and we can focus on the glass being half-full. When we acquire new habits, our brains acquire “mirror neurons” and develop a positive perspective that can spread to other people.

To apply this positive psychology and brain research knowledge to our attitudes and behaviors with relation to our current economic conditions, we can encourage our news deliverers to present a balanced and multi dimensional point of view. Giving us the news, so that our brains are hard-wired into a negative state, will just reinforce the current negative economic climate. The best thing people can do toward a more positive, optimistic frame of mind is to avoid seeing and reading negative news about our economy on a frequent basis.

 

News And The Internet

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The use of online news sites have been extremely popular in the way the average internet user is able to keep up with the news on the internet, without the hassle of having to buy a newspaper, turn on the television, or the radio.

It is perhaps the most convenient way an Internet user can get his/her news on the Internet. Most of the major news organizations have online versions of their news on the Internet.

The Washington Post and the New York Times has articles from their newspaper online. The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) radio has transcripts of their radio bulletins online and Channel Nine of Australia has collaborated with MSN to jointly put up articles on the web.

Internet users have become net savvy enough to scour the web for alternative news sources. The Arab media company, Al Jezeera, has plenty of hits on its English news site, even though; it was lauded as anti-American by the Bush administration.

These are just some examples on how the news which internet users read online, are mostly from media companies which have already had their hand in the production of other forms of more traditional media before venturing onto the Internet.

Yet, with this in mind, it is not surprising that much of the information that an internet user reads from online news sites is mainly recycled information from these media organizations.

Those with the resources to produce their news segments in other forms of media, would also have the resources to run an online news site. The Washington Post has started charging for their articles to be read online, so that they can garner some revenue from their Internet media business, whilst the New York Times require their readers to register before they are permitted to read their articles.

Hence with the way internet news sites are evolving, there is really becoming only one way where the consumer can get hold of news from these organizations and that is to pay.

 

U.S. Aims to Sell Billion Dollar Arms to Taiwan

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The United States wants to sell an estimated 1.42 billion USD arms to Taiwan, such big deal with Taiwan from Trump’s administration creates a new tension for China.


U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on briefing said the administration had told Congress about seven proposed on sales on Thursday
“It’s now valued about $1.42 billion,” she said.
The department also addressed that the package they will be delivering Taiwan includes high speed Anti-radiation missiles, early warning radars​, torpedoes and missiles components.


Nauert said the sales presented U.S. “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” but there was no change to the United States’ long-standing “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.


Once Congress approves​ the sale, it will be largest economic deal with Taiwan from Trump’s administration. Former POTUS Barack Obama had made such a $1.81 billion deal with Taiwan in December, 2015.


Official has said the latest package ultimately  “upgrades to existing defense capabilities aimed at converting current legacy systems from analog to digital.”


Confirming the deal Taiwan defense ministry​  said the items included on the package will improve their air, ground and sea combat capabilities and will enhance it’s early warning system.
The ministry also said “We will as soon as possible discuss with the United States the purchase, the duration, the amount and other details, and plan the follow-up budget,” on Friday.