I don't know if Obama's people are directly behind the production of this video or not, but they've definitely had the upper hand when it comes to visceral appeal. Think of this as a love song from a suitor and you can appreciate how powerful a campaign device like this can be. Betcha they're hoping a lot of Hispanic Texans are going to watch this during the next month.
The next one by Hillary's people would be great too... if she were running for president in the 1976. What were they thinking?
Maybe she's just trying to woo elderly Republicans.
And, I think Obama has the crucial 6 through 12-year-old demographic sewed up with this one.
One way to make everyone look (Click photo to enlarge).
D.C. cop enforces Washington's decency code. No more than 6 inches above the knee may be exposed. Meanwhile, 1922 was the year that a senate investigation into illegal cash payoffs for oil leasing rights began in what became known as the Teapot Dome scandal.
Lacrosse, Wisconsin (AP): For as long as he can remember, Brad Williams has been able to recall the most trifling dates and details about his life.
For example, he can tell you it was Aug. 18, 1965, when his family stopped at Red Barn Hamburger during a road trip through Michigan. He was 8 years old at the time. And he had a burger, of course.
"It was a Wednesday," recalled Williams, now 51. "We stayed at a motel that night in Clare, Michigan. It seemed more like a cabin."
To Williams and his family, his ability to recall events — and especially dates — is a regular source of amusement. But according to one expert, Williams' skill might rank his memory among the best in the world. Doctors are now studying him, and a woman with similar talents, hoping to achieve a deeper understanding of memory.
Williams, a radio anchor in La Crosse, seems to enjoy having his memory tested. Name a date from the last 40 years and, after a few moments, he can typically tell you what he did that day and what was in the news.
How about Nov. 7, 1991?
"Let's see," he mused, gazing into the distance for about five seconds. "That would be around when Magic Johnson announced he had HIV. Yes, a Thursday. There was a big snowstorm here the week before."
He went on to identify correctly some 20 other events including the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978, the toxic-gas leak in Bhopal, India, in 1984, and Billie Jean King's victory over Bobby Riggs in tennis' "Battle of the Sexes" in 1973.
"I've always been this way," Williams said. "Growing up, I never really had reason to think I wasn't like everyone else."
[T]he relative success of countries like Denmark and Iceland is outstanding evidence that the best way to ensure high levels of welfare spending (in tiny, ethnically homogeneous countries) is to let the capitalism rip -- from the always interesting Will Wilkinson.
Once again, a few articles and posts I've enjoyed recently:
The combination of complexity and comprehensibility adds up to genuine interest, and genuine interest cannot exist without both -- From Wray Herbert who has a interesting piece on interest. Read it here.
Jeremy Dean discusses the persistence of memory as a double-edged sword aiding survival, yet sometimes "weigh[ing] heavily on our minds; thoughts, like ants, scurrying: endlessly searching for who knows what." But as Jeremy points out, the double-edged quality isn't so mysterious when we give it a little thought. An experience of mine illustrates this well. When I was a child my hand was badly injured in a closing garage door. It's fine now, but thinking of the accident still induces a physical cringe decades later. It's rare that I can close a certain type of garage door without momentarily thinking about it. I will never injure myself that way again.
The Situationist has another very interesting post. Here, they offer an excerpt from an article in the January/February Yale Alumni Magazine:
[Irving] Janis studied several policy fiascoes, including the Bay of Pigs, the failure to protect Pearl Harbor, and the escalation of the Vietnam War. In each case, the participants “adhered to group norms and pressures toward uniformity, even when their policy was working badly and had unintended consequences that disturbed the conscience of the members,” he wrote. “Members consider loyalty to the group the highest form of morality.”
Participants in those critical decisions, Janis found, had failed to consider the full range of alternatives or consult experts who could offer different perspectives. They rejected outside information and opinion unless it supported their preferred policy. And the harsher the preferred policy — the more likely it was to involve moral dilemma — the more zealously members clung to their consensus: “Each member is likely to become more dependent than ever on the in-group for maintaining his self-image as a decent human being and will therefore be more strongly motivated to maintain group unity.”
Janis suggested several steps for preventing groupthink, though he cautioned that they were hypothetical. His recommendations include careful impartiality on the part of the leader as to what decision the group should make; formation of competing teams to study the same problem; and giving “high priority to airing objections and doubts.”
Commenter Rachael asks some good questions about what might be going on here:
RE: the whole Boss/Employee thing, I'd have two (far too sciencey) questions:
1) Do the people actually find the joke funnier or do they just know they should laugh because it's the boss?
2) Is their mood upon entering the conversation likely to be different? Maybe the boss gets slightly annoyed whenever an employee stops them for questions/time. I think in general people are pleased to be addressed by a someone they perceive (for whatever reason) as higher up than they are.