MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org
As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

Embedded in this posting is an article that notes an earthquake of a different nature (On March 17th, LA was hit with a 4.4 earthquake which jolted this author out of bed) and it exposes the corporate culture of a journalistic enterprise run by J-School graduates over the closure of a New Media hallmark after its purchase and mismanagement through to its process of “Going Dark”.

The issue centers on the process of how Clarity Digital Group (Examiner) out of Denver, CO decided to cease the operations of NowPublic – Crowd-Powered News at the end of 2013 and the defense of the process they employed.

This excerpted and edited from Politisite -

NowPublic – Were Intellectual Property Rights ignored?
Karl Gotthardt - March 17, 2014

NowPublic was a crowd-sourced citizen journalism site based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, founded by Michael Tippett, Leonard Brody and Michael E. Meyers in 2005.

In addition to its contributors, NowPublic also had a content-sharing agreement with the Associated Press. The crowd-sourced site was so successful that Time Magazine called NowPublic one of the 50 Best Websites of 2007.



NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site. NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site.

Mainstream media types may gripe about the absence of safeguards ensuring the validity of news reported by the blogosphere, but nowhere are the merits of citizen journalism more apparent than at NowPublic. At this "participatory news network," a.k.a. bastion of "crowd-powered media," anyone can write a story, or upload images, audio or video.

Whatever gets the most votes from the reading masses—the site gets about 1 million unique visitors per month—ends up as the lead story. (NowPublic has "guest editors," "wranglers" and an "actual news guy" who keep an eye on things, giving advice to contributing reporters and shepherding the best, most timely stuff through, but nobody on staff makes actual editing changes to the content.)

NowPublic now counts nearly 97,000 contributing reporters in more than 140 countries around the world. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic was there; eight contributors filed on-the-scene reports from London's Heathrow Airport during the August 2006 terrorism lockdown—while the regular press was forced to wait outside. On June 6 NowPublic's coverage of a storm in Oman made it to the top of the AOL and Yahoo news sites.
In September 2009 NowPublic was acquired by Clarity Digital Group. Clarity is solely owned by the Anschutz company, an investment company located in Denver, Colorado. According to reports, Leonard Brody assumed the position of President of the Clarity Digital Group and Michael Tippet became the CEO of NowPublic after the sale.

In December 2013 Clarity closed the NowPublic site and redirected it to www.examiner.com.

On 27 December 2013, Clarity Digital Group took NowPublic, a successful crowd-sourced citizen journalism site, off the web and failed to give notice to contributors to permit them to recover their intellectual property. While Clarity is within their right to remove any of its sites off the web, NowPublic contributors maintain that they should have received notice in order to recover their intellectual property.

NowPublic's Terms of Service stated in part:
"Unless otherwise stated for specific Services, You will retain ownership and all related rights in any original information or other content that you publish on the Site or through the Services. In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of these Terms of Service and the applicable license terms, these Terms of Service shall prevail to the extent of such inconsistency and such license terms shall be deemed to have been modified, in writing, by NowPublic and You."
However, unlike other crowd-sourced sites, Clarity claims that it has no obligation to permit access to the NowPublic content.

In a reply to Rhonda Mangus, a former NowPublic Advisory Council Member/Producer, Clarity Digital Group stated through its attorney, Deborah Shinbein:
Although we understand that the shut-down of NowPublic.com may have come as a surprise to you, we are baffled by your assertion that NowPublic or its parent company may owe you (or any other contributor to the site) any sort of reports, opportunity to access content, or anything else with regard to the site.

You have not been under a contract through which you were eligible to receive payments for your contributions since 2010, and any reporting obligations NowPublic previously had with regard to your contributions (if any) would have ended at the time your status as a paid contributor to NowPublic.com was terminated. We did provide notice to the individuals who were current (or recent) paid contributors to NowPublic.com, however you were clearly not among that group of individuals.
Attorney Shinbein's response speaks for itself and, among other matters, clearly raises the question as to why intellectual property rights were ignored by Clarity Digital Group. Additionally, none of the major NowPublic contributors we contacted were notified of NowPublic's intention to go off-line.

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, intellectual property is defined as follows:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, as well as symbols, names, pictures, designs and models used in business. Patents, trade-marks, copyright, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies and plant breeders' rights are referred to as "IP rights." Just as rights are acquired when a building or land is purchased, IP rights are "property" in the sense that they are based on the legal right to exclude others from using the property. Ownership of the rights can also be transferred.

Source: Intellectual Property Office
It should not come as a surprise to Clarity Digital Group that those who contributed to NowPublic would want to recover the content they contributed.

Current Industry Practice

It has been common industry practice for crowd-sourced sites to give notification to contributors and archive contributed material. As an example one can highlight Vizify's notification to its contributors which, unlike NowPublic, warned its contributors of its purchase by Yahoo and its impending closure.

While Vizify gave its contributors an opportunity to recover their material, no such notification was given to NowPublic contributors, nor was a sunset period granted to retrieve their intellectual property as was highlighted in the NowPublic Terms of Service.

As a consequence, references are gone, bios disappeared and personal footage and videos are unavailable and the tens-of-thousands of back-links to NowPublic content placed on sites over the World Wide Web.

nowpublic


Maireid Sullivan, a former NowPublic economics guest editor, noted that the Vizify notification to its supporters and contributors should be held up as an example of how to do business in the digital age.

To that, Edmund Jenks former NowPublic feature manager related:
When I first woke up and read the attached notice I thought to myself "Who the heck is Vizify?" than I realized that it was forwarded as a minimum example on how to close down an ongoing News Media web and portal.

Yes! This should be held up as an appropriate and civil way on a way a company treats those they provided a service for and had a relationship with.
NowPublic did not provide this opportunity to its contributors, nor was there ever any appreciation for the contributed material and its contribution to the success of the company. Those contributors, who have moved on to other sites, can no longer use the links to their articles, nor do they have the ability to republish them elsewhere. Nowpublic's blog syndication caused thousands of 'dead links' as Nowpublic linked each key word and a link to the story back to their personal sites. This action was beneficial as long as the links were live. Now that those links are 'dead', Google ranks such stories lower in search engines.

Aside from any legal considerations, Clarity Digital Group should do the right thing and make the material available to its former contributors.

Says Mangus:

"It's unfortunate that Clarity Digital Group has taken such a position. It should serve as a warning to present writers for Examiner that they could find themselves in the same situation if the Examiner decides to 'go dark' in the future."
[Reference Here]

To be direct, the corporate culture at Examiner is at the very least uncivil … and at worst vindictive. It is as if Examiner was being dragged into New Media against the wishes of the J-School trained management that conceptually implements and runs the joint.

If one were able to compare the internet savvy tools offered between the two sites – NowPublic versus Examiner – even though Examiner has improved over the years since 2009 through the purchase of NowPublic … the publishing portal and contributing community the site was constructed to serve at NowPublic would still outshine anything offered up by Examiner, Clarity Digital Group, LLC.

Of Note: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) served as a Feature Page Manager and Editor/Contributor to NowPublic through to the time the site was shut down at the end of 2013. He was continually in the top 20 (most often in the top 10 before appointment to Feature Page Manager – Motorsports) of a cast tens of thousands of contributors and his work was seen by about 1.75 Million viewers. He currently has been a multiple title Examiner in good standing since November, 2009 and has 27 Trophies in his Clarity Digital Group participation case located on his Dashboard.

(I should have noted my viewers as 17.5 million ’cause who would know after how the site was shut down and re-directed … okay, 175 million … and so on, and so on, and so on …)

… notes from The EDJE

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Sacramento Delta waterways. Image Credit: California WaterBlog

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Simply stated, people who wish to show their power under the name of "making a difference" through progressive political policies have over-stepped their bounds.

Political Progressives are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life and there are no limits to where they will go in order to show that they matter.

A case in point that received national attention when the President of the United States traveled and made speeches in California, was the confluence of a natural drought brought about through this winter's direction of the jet stream that has major water and snow bearing storm systems bypass California, and a political drought put forward through federal and state legislation to protect a fish that move beyond their normal habitat to get chewed up by pumps.

Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1

This excerpted and edited from a John Muir Institute of the Environment and Bodega Marine Laboratory University of California, Davis PDF report -

Delta Smelt Life History Model
A Contribution for the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program
Bill Bennett - 01/31/05

Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) are endemic to the northeastern San Francisco Estuary and Delta (Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1 - ABOVE). Formerly abundant they are now listed as threatened under the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts (ESA) and thus labeled a “Big R” (at risk) species for priority restoration by the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority. Much of the concern with delta smelt is over ESA restrictions on the numbers of these fish that are lost to freshwater export operations located in the south Delta (Figure 1). These restrictions are highly controversial because they can curtail export pumping and thus have a major influence on how freshwater is allocated to California’s agriculture and growing human population.

Delta smelt are one of six species currently recognized in the genus Hypomesus that occurs across the Pacific Rim (Saruwatari et al. 1997, Bennett 2005). Delta smelt are small (typically < 80mm total length, TL) translucent fish with a steel-blue lateral stripe and a pleasant cucumber-like aroma (Moyle 2002, Bennett 2005). They most likely evolved from a population of surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) isolated from the coastal marine environment as the estuary formed about 8,000 years ago. Although some aspects of their ecology are similar to other smelts and salmonids, delta smelt are not readily classified with other fishes using typical life history characteristics. They are primarily an annual species with rapid growth and high annual mortality during recruitment to the adult stage, but relative to other such species have low fecundity and spawn only once or twice within a protracted spawning period. Moreover, delta smelt hatch as free-swimming larvae and do not have the degree of parental investment provided by the majority of salmonids. Thus under the classification scheme provided by Rose and Winemiller (1992) and McCann and Shuter (1997) they fit somewhere in between an “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist.
[Reference Here]

These definitions are the hinge-points that progressive political power operate from. The beginning of this report outline findings that were the result of grant monies put forward to liberal education institutions by both the state and federal government in order to establish political beach heads of power (read global warming agenda, social justice agenda, control of human activity agenda).

In this case, the monies invested gave the impression that the world would end for a species of opportunistic fish (and the emotional health for some human beings) that threaten their own lives by swimming farther up the Sacramento Delta from San Francisco Bay that the species would normally be found because they are attracted by the noise of pumps. These pumps, as mechanical devises commonly do, chew up and make fertilizer out of the smelt as the fresh water is moved from the Delta to fields that grow food for human consumption.

Armed with this information based upon presumptions outlined in the UC Davis paper, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005. Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

The value of the Delta smelt? Besides serving as bait for attracting larger fish, the Delta smelt is not edible, does not eliminate pests or have any meaningful commercial value. Essentially nothing. Sometimes, despite environmentalist’s protestations to the contrary, certain species reach a natural evolutionary dead end.

Funny thing about the myopic vision of human activity governance. No matter how well intended the action, it can not stop the will to be “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist by a species of smelt.

Peter Moyle, UC Davis professor of fish biology, said he was stunned to find a delta smelt he could hold in both hands. Image Credit: Jacob Katz-Ragatz

This excerpted and edited from California WaterBlog -

Large delta smelt population found south of Delta
by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences - Posted on April, 2013

UC Davis scientists have found large populations of the federally protected delta smelt growing extraordinarily large in three Southern California reservoirs, hundreds of miles from its native waters. The smelt presumably colonized the lakes after being pumped from the Delta though the California Aqueduct.

The find, reported today in the journal Pelagic Papers, prompted immediate calls from San Joaquin farmers to remove the fish from state and federal lists of species threatened with extinction. Wildlife officials, however, feared the newfound populations in Pyramid, Castaic and Silverwood lakes would be swiftly poached to low levels because they are extraordinarily large, tasty and easily caught on dry flies.

Normally no bigger than a finger, the delta smelt caught by researchers were an arm’s length and as much as nine pounds, the pier-reviewed study said. Photos of the super-sized smelt went viral on social media within minutes of their online publication this morning. By noon, the fishing blog Fish Ogler reported runs on smelt flies at sports stores near all three lakes.
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Moyle and his colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences explored several explanations for the extraordinary size of the smelt found in the Southern California lakes, but reached no definitive conclusion.
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A spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns the drinking-water reservoirs, said its executives were aware of the study but unavailable for comment.
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“We never looked for the delta smelt down south,” O’Rear said. “I could never get my boss to approve travel expenses for any trip farther than Suisun Marsh.”
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Despite the unnaturally large size of the south state smelt, Moyle said he could immediately confirm its identity.

“It has a curious cucumber odor,” he said.
[Reference Here]

Okay, so the California WaterBlog posted this on April 1st of last year ... as humor.

The fact remains that protection of the Delta Smelt, a tiny, slender fish that resides exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a fertile area that serves as a transition for water originating in Northern California, and ends in water delivery West of the Delta for agriculture and South of the Delta for citizens of Southern California ... results in the diversion of tens of billions of gallons of fresh water away from vital agriculture and population needs and directly into the Pacific Ocean. A precious resource essentially wasted.

As usual, devastation to jobs and economic ruin mean nothing to Political Progressives who are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life. To them, the Delta smelt’s survival has a higher priority than the human condition.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

Image Credit: Ed Driscoll.com via PJMedia

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

The White House starts State of the Union Address day with executive action: an announcement that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for new federal contract workers. That tees up a 9 p.m. State of the Union Address speech that is expected to have a heavy emphasis on executive actions to strengthen the economy and help the middle class.

Expect President Obama spotlight ways to create opportunity by laying out proposals for an increase in jobs, manufacturing, retirement security, energy, skills development, and education - with a nod to promising to try to work with Congress to do more.

But the reality key to all of this 44th President's actions is to expand his inequality agenda by spending, and digitally printing even more money ($75 Billion per month in "quantitative easing") to perpetuate the real inequality of government power over the productive power of individual lives.

Less Democrat | Less Republican | More Constitution. Image Credit: tenthamendmentcenter.com

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media - 

The Economic State of the Union Is Weak
by Tom Blumer - PJ Media

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he will surely contend — as he did in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 — that “our union” is “stronger,” “getting stronger,” or at least “strong.”

It is no such thing.
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The five highest annual deficits the nation has ever incurred have been on Obama’s watch. ----
The national debt, at $17.27 trillion as of January 22, has increased by a jaw-dropping $6.6 trillion since he was first inaugurated. That this year’s deficit will be less than half of the official $1.4 trillion recorded in fiscal 2009 means, in his mind, that we can ramp up spending again. Outlays for the federal government’s operations plus interest are on track to remain above $3.5 trillion this year. That’s a ridiculous 30 percent above fiscal 2007, and virtually unchanged from fiscal 2009, when the so-called stimulus package was sold as a largely temporary spending ramp-up.

In his 2012 speech, Obama admitted that “the recovery is still fragile.” Two years later, in most of the U.S., it still hasn’t happened.
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In its recently released 2013 County Tracker based on late 2013 data, the National Association of Counties (NACo) echoed Obama’s early 2012 statement. Noting that the “recovery is still fragile in some parts of the country,”the NACo report described a still dismal situation:

About half of U.S. county economies had no recession or recovered their economic output (GDP) lost during the recession by 2013, most of them in the South. About 800 county economies, mostly in the South and Midwest, had no drops in employment over the last decade or were above their pre-recession levels in 2013.
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Given that the U.S. has 3,069 counties (Connecticut and Rhode Island, which are two of the country’s worst economic basket cases, don’t have county governments), that paragraph’s second statement is much more troubling. Only about 26 percent of them (800 divided by 3,069) have returned to or exceeded their previous employment levels. In other words, almost three-fourths haven’t.


CountyEmploymentRecoveryMap2013

The above National Association of Counties map shows us that 15 states have seen fewer than 20 percent of their counties achieve employment recovery, and that four of those have failed to get to even 10 percent.
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So what will Obama suggest to get the country back on track? Nothing which has a realistic chance of accomplishing anything.

More spending and stimulus, which might as well be the only page in the left’s and the Fed’s (but I’m probably repeating myself) macroeconomic play books, haven’t been the answers for the past five years. Why does any sane person believe they will somehow get us over the hump now?

An Obama-supported raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 will only throw more people, perhaps as many as 1 million, into unemployment lines while preventing new entries into the workforce – all at a time when labor force participation is at a 35-year low.
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No one has to recite any of the statistics noted above to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its friends in Washington. They know, and they obviously don’t care. If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing mightily to make 2014 their make-or-break year to pass economically ruinous illegal-immigrant amnesty. But to their eternal shame, they are.

Throw the ongoing and deepening confusion and chaos of Obamacare and the administration’s apparent nonchalant attitude as it crumbles into the mix, and the one thing you don’t have is a recipe for the economy to have anything resembling a strong year.

It’s impossible to know, but it may be that the stock market has finally caught on to what should have been obvious all along, as it shed about 3 percent of its value in last week’s final two days. One thing we do know is what CNBC’s Rick Santelli stated Friday afternoon: government and central bank strategies based on endless stimulus and artificial money creation “can’t go on forever.”

[Reference Here]

The main purpose of what was written in the founding documents of the United States was to protect the interests of both the smallest and the largest special interest groups that live here in this country - the individual. The United States Constitution, the Bill-Of-Rights, and the Rule-Of-Law combined with a power structure that broke down power in three separate and distinct branches so as to insure that the strongest level of power could be retained by the individual.

Unchecked and assumed powers to spend the monies collected from individuals, manufacture additional monies without a value basis, and expand the scope and power of government through regulations created by bureaucracies backed through the powers granted to the Internal Revenue Service (taxes) have tipped the balance of power in favor of the government.

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (a 28.2% increase in an anemic 2% growth economy) for new federal contract workers does very little except have this government spend even more money without the proper authority from the body that is Constitutionally responsible for spending, the House of Representatives.

Only 62% of able-bodied individuals are participating in the labor force (over 13% real unemployment when the available labor force is considered) due to the lack of jobs being created through the inequality of government growth over individual freedom to create and produce goods and services.

The issue around the inequality of income is the ability to retain what little income that is earned when we are governed by an entity that has run up nearly $7 Trillion of additional United States debt (Total debt = $17 Trillion - an overall 40% increase) in just five short years of this country's 237 years of operation.

The middle class in the United States remains under assault with the push by both political parties for "comprehensive immigration reform" which has its political strength from large businesses (who give big political donations) for even cheaper labor and an increase in the voter base through amnesty paths to citizenship.

This political activity, executive power minimum wage increases and the push for increased immigration, does not make sense in the face of the lowest labor participation rate since the late 1970's combined with the largest unemployment rate in a half a century.

Post State of the Union address UPDATE:

Utah Senator Mike Lee's Best Point In His Response To President Obama's SOTU Address:

Senator Lee offered a populist Republican explanation of economic inequality ...

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms: immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.

… [Inequality is - through example] guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.

Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.

… But where does this new inequality come from? From GOVERNMENT — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams immediately spun the story as a political pitfall for the possible presidential contender: "In a jam. A big problem for a man with big ambitions. Tonight, how a traffic nightmare on the world's busiest bridge has spilled into a full blown scandal with the power to damage Chris Christie's political future." Image Credit: MRCTV

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

Information released last week about a possible scandal in the timing and reality of a traffic study leading to the entrance of a main transportation bridge spanning from Ft. Lee, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York had the American media complex working overtime.

The issue raised additional attention because the traffic study/lane closure actions involved New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christie, thought of by the media elite as a front-runner for the Republican political party nominee for President of the United States in 2016 against the assumed Democrat political party, former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Emails were discovered that placed the lane closures in Ft. Lee, New Jersey as a trumped-up action for payback to the Democrat Mayor of Ft. Lee for not endorsing Chris Cristie's second term run for Governor.

As a result, EMT response to a missing child and a heart attack victim were delayed.  Even after being informed of the EMT problems his traffic study/lane closure actions were causing, it was asserted that an angry Governor Christie refused to lift his vindictive blockade.

In a series of emails, Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridge Anne Kelly discussed the closures weeks before they occurred, and appears to suggest that the closures were politically motivated.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote to David Wildstein, a Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. ”Got it,” Wildstein replied.

How Democrats React graphic. Image Credit: The Patriot Post

This excerpted and edited from NewsBusters -

There's Already 17 Times More Coverage on Christie Scandal Than in Last Six Months of IRS

By Scott Whitlock

In less than 24 hours [after these assertions came to light, and after Gov. Christie held a 2 hour news conference],the big three networks devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails."

Stephanopoulos later wondered, "One of the big questions right now, how much has it hampered his White House prospects?" Guest Matt Dowd insisted that, on a scale from one to ten, the controversy was already at a "four or five."

On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley sounded a similar alarm: "Tonight, a potential presidential candidate caught up in scandal. E-mails show massive New Jersey traffic jams were engineered by aides to Governor Chris Christie as political payback."

Since Wednesday night, NBC included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds.

As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured a scant five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.

Although the media downplayed the IRS controversy from July through December (it first broke in May), it's not as though there wasn't much happening. As the Media Research Center documented, many potential story leads developed.

In December, House investigator Darrell Issa announced that the FBI and IRS chief counsel is stonewalling the investigation. In October, newly obtained e-mails showed that the scandal-plagued Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the controversy, illegally gave Tea Party tax info to the FEC. That same month, it came out that an IRS official may have given confidential information to the White House.

These stories were buried by ABC, CBS and NBC, the same networks that have immediately deluged Republican Chris Christie, a 2016 contender, with coverage for his scandal.
[Reference Here]

The American media complex is neither Free or Unbiased.

Most people who listen to, or read information dispatches from AP, Reuters, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, BBC, and etc. do not know that they are getting their information from employees that all work from offices that can only be understood as a complex. The media complex, centered in the middle of the island of Manhattan, New York, is a four square block area above and below ground level around Rockefeller Center. The people who work for any of these organizations work just around the corner from each other, usually go to lunch and dinner with each other, foster professional relationships for future job opportunities, and to a high 80 to 90 percentile, vote for much the same large central government policies and politicians as America's Democrat Political Party embraces.

It is this herd-mentality and herd-proximity that has diluted the hallmark values of a free and open press. The Gov. Christie flap is just puts a magnifying glass on the level of bias and lack of freedom upon which an organization has to investigate, produce information, and broadcast it in a sufficient volume so that all citizens become informed.

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media -

No, Those de Blasio-as-Bane Parodies Make No Sense Whatsoever

Ed Driscoll - PJ Media - January 13th, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Plus #Bridgegate, Gotham City-style, when “De Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker blocked the Brooklyn Bridge with Occupy Wall Street,” the Daily Caller reports today:

Democratic New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker was arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge while participating in a union-organized Occupy Wall Street protest.

The incident occurred a little more than two years before de Blasio railed against the “immoral” and “not mature” actions of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s aides in conducting a disruptive “traffic study” on the George Washington Bridge for apparently political reasons.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, who became Council speaker last week after de Blasio and his aides lobbied Council members on her behalf, was arrested on November 17, 2011 while sitting with a group on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge chanting “We are the 99 percent” and “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”

Mark-Viverito, an eighth-district City councilwoman, and her group only remained in their position for a “few minutes” before they were arrested, but Mark-Viverito noted that “we probably would have been there you know 16, 17 hours.” SEIU 1199 president George Gresham was also part of the group.
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Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Ed Morrissey notes that the Feds may be probing Chris Christie over the use of Hurricane Sandy relief funds:

Christie burned a lot of bridges in that debate, and in his embrace (literally) of Obama in those final days of the 2012 election.  Ironically, it’s the Obama administration that is widening its probe into the use of those funds now. Don’t expect too many Republicans to rush to Christie’s side in this fight, except to point out that the $2.2 million difference between the two advertising campaign proposals amounts to 0.041% of the porkfest Barack Obama and Chris Christie demanded from Congress for Sandy relief.  There may be a lot of reasons why victims haven’t seen their Sandy aid yet, but this ad campaign isn’t one of them.

George H.W. Bush tried to make nice with Democrats in 1990 by giving in to a tax increase, only to have Bill Clinton(!) call him a liar and use Bush’s rhetoric successfully against him during the 1992 campaign:

John McCain spent virtually his entire career in politics playing the role of iconoclastic “Maverick,” which meant frequently siding with Democrats and pulling the rug out from Republicans, only to discover in 2008 that at election time, the media wing of the Democrat party plays hardball, for keeps, and in the midst of fullblown hopenchange fever cheerfully devoured his presidential campaign in 2008 without batting an eye. Similarly, Chris Christie has all too often as governor of New Jersey embraced Obama and offered very few coattails to his fellow Republicans, particularly when it mattered in the fall of 2012 during the Romney campaign. He too is in the process of having his presidential hopes devoured by the media left.

Charlie Brown never learned that Lucy will always pull the football away; why don’t Republicans ever learn that however much they cozy up to the left, they will eventually be fatally stung. It is the nature of the scorpion.
[Reference Here]

Perspective is everything. One has to stick one's head out from under the Media Complex rock that it is 'imposed' under via the traditional methods and look around in order to begin to find something that is more in-depth than the herd-media-news we get so easily.

... notes from The EDJE

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Monday, January 06, 2014

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

Book Cover Design - The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

What happens when one takes two very intense and busy motorsports Documentarians, put them out to engage and relate to all of the effort that goes into the three open wheel racing series that hold their seasons in North America, have them take all of their digital assets and arrange them into one reference resource?

What's created is a colorful, page turning book that goes by the title "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" with the tagline, Capturing the next generation of American open wheel talent, produced by Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno.

In this recap, Ron and Tony look at the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the USF2000 National Championship Presented by Cooper Tires/Powered by Mazda seasons. The three divisions are all part of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, where graduates from all three series have eventually gone on to race in the IndyCar Series, the top level of open wheel racing series in North America, or continue driving in other top level motorsports series.


In 300-plus pages, through Ron Bijlsma’s captivating photography and through Tony DiZinno's captivating words, the Ladder 2013 Yearbook attempts to tell the stories of each race weekend, the people who made their name and impact on the field, and produced starring roles.

Page Design - Teams & Drivers - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

In 2008, a similar effort was undertaken as a documentary by the title of "Driven To Race" by Cargo Productions (2010). Jeff Krueger and Brian Spillane of Cargo Productions were able to edit down 150 hours of footage shot across the United States and Canada and produce a still available feature-length documentary that followed only eight ambitious, young male and female drivers from around the world as they competed for the one thing that will move them up the ladder to a career in professional racing. The film focused, however, on only one of the established ladder series that was known then as Star Mazda Series ... the modern day Pro Mazda Series.

The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000, however, is much more expansive. As a book, one can refer to it on a whim, at random times, and can serve as an invaluable resource that provides unmatched, comprehensive coverage on the entire 2013 season of three open wheel racing series.

Page Design - Series Round Text & Results - 2. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

Between March and October 2013, Ron and Tony traveled around the U.S. and Canada to a wide variety of circuits. Ovals such as the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Milwaukee Mile were joined by classic road courses such as Sebring International Raceway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the brand, spanking new Circuit of the Americas in Austin and diverse street circuits in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Toronto, Baltimore and more.

Through this backdrop and through the three ladder series, Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno were able to capture a season’s memorable moments, and have this effort serve as a keepsake for all participants - drivers, teams, media, sponsors and fans alike - by providing a detailed look at the young talent racing in the American open wheel ladder system with The Ladder 2013 Yearbook.

To reserve your made to order copy, your order has to be made no later than January 20th 2013 or this project becomes stalled and unable to be available for your reference. In this New Media age one learns early on that not only does one become self-taught about modern internet communications, but one has to become self-published. Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno have their digital assets edited down into 320 pages of a book that is ready to go to print but need the orders (or support pledges) in-house before the minimum production run can happen.

Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and aid in the expansion of information on Ladder concept supported racing.

Page Design - Series Round Introduction - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

The biggest challenge in producing a yearbook like this is actually already behind Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno; the commitment of covering all 42 races and all the challenges that come with it are now met. This Kickstarter approach is literally set up to get to the final challenge of getting the book from their minds and laptops onto paper.

Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno are proud that it will be a self-published project which will allow for independence and total creative control over the book.

The biggest risk with this book project, of course, is that if the minimum threshold is not met, the book will not be printed.

AGAIN - Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and help produce a memorable slice of motor culture history.

... notes from The EDJE



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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Voice Top 6 Sing-Off Special Tweet-By-Tweet

And then there were six. As Season 5 of "The Voice" enters its final month, the remaining contestants take the stage on Monday (Dec. 2) to fight of America's vote, tackling two songs each.From left to right - Cole Vosbury, Will Champlin, Matthew Schuler, Tessanne Chin, James Wolpert, and Jacquie Lee. Image Credit: Zap 2 It via NBC


The Voice Top 6 Sing-Off Special Tweet-By-Tweet

Last night, the singing talent search television program The Voice was nearing the end of its Fall 2013 edition (fifth season) with just six singers left in the mix. Cole Vosbury - Team Blake Shelton, Will Champlin - Team Adam Levin, Matthew Schuler - Team Christina Aguilera, Tessanne Chin - Team Adam Levin, James Wolpert - Team Adam Levin, and Jacquie Lee - Christina Aguilera. CeeLo Green's choices as singer's to coach did not make it to this round so he is left to just sit and judge the performances of his fellow singing coaches.

The fun in New Media is that everyone is able to have and, more importantly,  express an opinion.

Using Twitter has its benefits primarily because it limits one to express these opinions to 140 characters or less ... including hashtag communications channel indexing.

Carson Daly designed a special RIDES Magazine edition of the KIA Soul transformed for The Voice - as it was displayed at the LAAuto Show - SLIDESHOW Link. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

Now that there are only 6 singers in the running to be crowned the winner of The Voice, each had to sing two songs in order to fill Monday night's two-hour episode: one assigned by their coach and one they can pick in dedication to a source of inspiration.

This The Voice judges chair replica was stationed in the KIA Stand at the LA Auto Show along with Carson Daly's The Voice KIA Soul! Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE as he registers his button push for Tessanne Chin as the winner of this Season Five of The Voice. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

The following is a Tweet-By-Tweet review of the evenings performances with added video links to each opinion entry:

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE What about Cole Vosbury on a Hall & Oats classic? #thevioce #finalsix #colevosbury #TeamBlake

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE WOW - gotta' love Tessanne doin' a Marley classic - THE BEST #thevoice #finalsix #tessanne #TeamAdam

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Matthew Schuler was saved last week and now we don't know why with a 1D choice of song - weak #thevoice #finalsix #matthewschuler #TeamChristina

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE WillChamplin takes on Sam Cooke and looses himself in a good way - winning #thevoice #finalsix #WillChamplin #TeamAdam

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE James Wolpert tackles the White Stripes and misses the mark on arrangement and command #thevoice #finalsix #JamesWolpert #TeamAdam

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Jacquie Lee takes on Janis Joplin and hammers it - She's just 16? WOW #thevoice #finalsix #JacquieLee #TeamChristina

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE First round to #Tessanne, #WillChamplin, #ColeVosbury, #JacquieLee, #JamesWolpert, #MatthewSchuler - #thevoice #finalsix #roundone

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Cole Vosbury continues with a blues theme without a hat - it is a little slow and unemotional #thevioce #finalsix #colevosbury #TeamBlake

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Tessanne, singing Katy Perry kills the electro-tinged power ballad - has to win it all - REALLY #thevoice #finalsix #tessanne #TeamAdam

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Matthew Schuler is given a Percy Sledge/Michael Bolton blues song - does surprisingly well #thevoice #finalsix #matthewschuler #TeamChristina

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Will Champlin is tasked with Avicii's "Hey Brother" - starts rough but finds itself by the end #thevoice #finalsix #WillChamplin #TeamAdam

 Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE Jacquie Lee sings a coach Aguilera song - "The Voice Within" - she is too young to match a 2002 Aguilera #thevoice #finalsix #JacquieLee #TeamChristina

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE James Wolpert does very well with a cheesy Meatloaf overplayed hit - moves up but this is it #thevoice #finalsix #JamesWolpert #TeamAdam

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE
Second round to #Tessanne, #MatthewSchuler, #JamesWolpert, #WillChamplin, #ColeVosbury, #JacquieLee - #thevoice #topsix #roundtwo

Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE
Best of The Voice season prediction - #Tessanne, #JamesWolpert, #WillChamplin, #ColeVosbury, #JacquieLee, #MatthewSchuler - #thevoice #topsix

So there you have it with video links - the winners will be updated here after tonight's The Voice Season Five finale when the votes are revealed.

UPDATES:



Edmund Jenks @TheEDJE
Round 1 performance by #MatthewSchuler leaves #Tessanne, #WillChamplin, #ColeVosbury, #JacquieLee, #JamesWolpert as your #topfive on #thevoice


Post Show UPDATE I:

On December 17th, 2013, The Voice winner is announced and the viewers voted for Tessanne Chin as the season five winner of The Voice.

Tessanne Chin: "Unconditionally" The Voice USA 2013 - The Live Top 6 Performances - YouTube video >>>

Post Show UPDATE II:


Capture - The Voice Rose Parade Float - Tessanne Chin, Jacquie Lee, and Will Champlin  - Dany TheVoiceIDF - 1-1-2014
Image Credit: Dany-TheVoiceIDF via YouTube

The Voice Winner Tessanne Chin Performs at the 125th Rose Parade

The season five winner of The Voice joined fellow finalists Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin as featured performers at the 125th Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

The trio performed Tessanne's single "Tumbling Down" while standing on top of a Voice-themed floral float that featured a large, red, "The Voice" judges chair decorated Rose Parade style.

The Voice Float in the Rose Parade (Tessanne Sing Tumbling Down at 5:30) Download - YouTube video >>>

Capture - The Voice Rose Parade Float - Dany TheVoiceIDF - 1-1-2014 
Image Credit: Dany-TheVoiceIDF via YouTube

This excerpted and edited from Yahoo TV -

'The Voice' Rose Parade Float Suffers Malfunction
By Lyndsey Parker | Yahoo TV – Wed, Jan 1, 2014 2:37 PM PST


Much of NBC's broadcast of the 125th annual Tournament of Roses Parade seemed like one long hype campaign for "The Voice's" float, ridden by Season 5 winner Tessanne Chin and her fellow finalists Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin. But when the float finally wound its way through the streets of Pasadena, absolutely nothing came up roses for the "Voice" trio.
----
And then there was the technical glitch that forced Hoda [Kotbe] and Al [Roker] to babble for more than five interminable minutes while Tessanne, Jacquie, and the "Adam lookalike" awkwardly waved and waited. For a moment, it didn't look like Tessanne would perform at all ("She's not singing?" Al barked incredulously), before, around the 5:30 mark in the video above, she finally got to belt a mere 47 seconds of her single "Tumbling Down." Sad trombone.


It seems this particular float's roses had their share of thorns.
[Reference Here]



… notes from The EDJE

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The ‘Bizzaro World’, Jack-Booted, Freak-Show Of HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Image Credit: itmakessenseblog.com


The ‘Bizzaro World’, Jack-Booted, Freak-Show Of HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius appears before Congress – Let the ‘Bizzaro World’, jack-booted, freak-show begin:

The Madame Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began her answers by proposing that the regulation that amends the law that insurance companies could not longer carry the policies they currently have with consumers – or face penalty – did not allow these consumers to have a policy. The fact remains that consumers could no longer KEEP the policy they had as the President promised.

After blaming the sub-contractors for all of the website problems, Kathleen Sebelius was asked for the name of who was responsible for the debacle – it took Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius over 3 minutes to finally place herself as the person who was ultimately responsible after trying to lay the responsibility at the feet of the sub-contractors.

Friends, meet your new ‘DADDY’ and decision-making ruler over the care for your life. We no longer can make any decisions on whither to expend effort and our own resources on health insurance – YOU MUST buy health insurance – and relinquish the specific decisions that effect the depth and level of actual care in our lives. The Government calls this LAW the Affordable Care Act … we call it ObamaCare.

It took the Madame Secretary nearly a half an hour to point out that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was, in fact, the LAW which we must all comply.

The Madame Secretary loved using the term ‘consumers’ for people having to purchase these Government mandated insurance plans – let’s just use the proper term of SUBJECTS! When it is the LAW we all must purchase the few plans (not tailored directly to our needs) mandated by a Government and not available on an open and free market basis, we are no longer customers or consumers.

Further, the Madame Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also loved using the term ‘Health Security’ to explain a benefit of the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare. These are two words that do not belong together under any philosophical construct. Our individual health and its care is never secure for it is at the will of God, genealogy, and the strength of our own habits – for a Government to assume it can MAKE health and its care ‘secure’ is a tyrannical joke.

Madame Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asserted that consumers/subjects are full of anticipation over the ability to review and purchase their new insurance plans – Anticipation? Let’s just say ANXIETY-riddled fear.

Lastly, there is no security over the information that is shared with any of the healthcare.gov websites – NONE! If there is no security over the government computers that hold the information held that WIKILEAKS exposed, how can anyone assume that their personal information is secure with an UNTESTED and transforming website that did not work since its launch on October, 1, 2013?

Health care is not a right as the politically progressive love to assert, it is only a process – at best.

This very ugly chapter in the history of our radically oriented Personal-Rights and Personal-Freedom based country is just beginning. It is pretty tough when the Supreme Court will not even affirm the basic tenants of the United States Constitution, let alone to have ANY political party stand for them - Democrat or Republican.

Presently - The Obama Administration dictates what constitutes a "grand-fathered" insurance plan ... you know "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan" ... all plans that deviate by as little as one dollar offered by a free-market insurance company to an individual is deemed CANCELLED. Whereas, a plan, no matter how it may change, sold to members of specific organized Unions are deemed "grand-fathered".

We are living in a non equal-access ‘Bizzaro World’, jack-booted, freak-show of a centralized government paradigm.


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Peter Brock At AutoBooks-Aerobooks

Peter Brock Book Signing AeroBooks-AutoBooks Burbank
Peter Brock - Brock's new book on the creation of the first Corvette Sting Ray tells the inside story, from the foreign inspiration to the adoption of prior dreams that never made it, to the actual design of the prototype that did. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Peter Brock At AutoBooks-Aerobooks 
By: Randy Berg

On an unassuming corner of Burbank California, there lies a book shop steeped in the history of the automobile and aero industries that seeded the area with creative gusto. Saturday morning coffee is a tradition with the locals. You never know who is going to stop by and what car you might see when you visit. The book store has great friends, and they don't mind sharing.

It was a great privilege to meet Peter Brock; the very influential automotive design icon from across many brands and eras. On September 7, 2013, Peter was able to introduce his latest book, "PETER BROCK - CORVETTE STINGRAY Genesis of an American Icon," to a group of automobile culture enthusiasts, journalists, and friends (which may all be people who share these same descriptions).



Peter gives much credit of the survival of the Corvette to Bill Mitchell; and understates his contribution to a formative period of Corvette evolution; the '63 Stingray. The book is coffee table worthy; chock-a-block full of beautiful pictures, original sketches, and personable Corvette history as it happened.

Peter Brock Book Signing AeroBooks-AutoBooks BurbankPeter Brock Book Signing AeroBooks-AutoBooks Burbank
Autobooks-Aerobooks Burbank, CA. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Jay Leno, Stewart Reed & Peter Brock Book Signing AeroBooks-AutoBooks Burbank
Jay Leno, Stewart Reed & Peter Brock book shopping. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Peter could write a few other books - parked out front was the beautiful  Superformance Brock Daytona Coupe based on his original design for Shelby. Thought ugly on first review, the design was an aerodynamic winner on the track. Success has followed Peter in each wind direction.

2005 Superformance Brock Daytona Coupe Peter Brock Book Signing AeroBooks-AutoBooks Burbank
2005 Superformance Brock Daytona Coupe Peter Brock Book Signing AutoBooks-AeroBooks Burbank
Peter Brock's personal 2005 Superformance Brock Daytona Coupe. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Corvette Stingray Peter Brock Book Signing AutoBooks-AeroBooks Burbank
Corvette Stingray. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Datsun parked at Peter Brock Book Signing AutoBooks-AeroBooks Burbank
Datsun 710. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Triumph TR4A IRS parked at Peter Brock Book Signing AutoBooks-AeroBooks Burbank
Triumph TR4A IRS. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store

Classic car parked Peter Brock Book Signing AutoBooks-AeroBooks Burbank
Citroën Traction Avant - Itself an innovative car (in 1934!) showcasing the first mass-produced front-wheel drive car. Image Credit: Randy Berg, Special Car Store
(ht: Special Car Store with edits by Edmund Jenks)

... notes from The EDJE

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“Rush”, The Film - An Automotive Lifestyle POV

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt - Entry ticket to a Brembo sponsored advanced screening to Ron Howard's "RUSH", a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, which will make its U.S. public release in selected theaters on September 20, everywhere else on September 27. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks


“Rush”, The Film - An Automotive Lifestyle POV
By: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications for The Motor Sports-Report

The film “Rush” is appropriately named and delivers a high-octane adrenaline rush that is non-stop and intense.   Director Ron Howard has given race fans a film that will rank with the all time greats of “Le Mans”, “Bullitt” and “Winning”.  He meets the standard of those iconic films and has set the current bar higher for race and car based films. This is not “Driven” or “Days of Thunder” this is the serious approach to racing films and it’s a checkered flag finish for “Rush”

Before Howard could deliver a film of this quality and magnitude he had to satisfy his investors and the studio that this project would have broad appeal to a general audiences as entertainment.  He succeeded by having Peter Morgan write a strong character driven story that has the 1976 Formula 1 Championship as its base. The intenseness is properly balanced between the action on the track and between the twin lead characters James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  The intensely level is into the “red line” of my tachometer and had me unable to sit still during some race scenes.  The track action shots seem to meld seamlessly with the CGI to where it is not an issue.

Race fans will not be disappointed with the F1 cars and the selected racetracks.  The scenes in the rain are the most impressive rather than the expected crashes. Many of the crashes are hard to watch because of the reality of death and major injury that was and to a much lessor degree are part of the sport.  While the 1950’s and 1960’s were the worst for driver fatalities it was still a major factor in 1976.  Director Howard communicates that fear and shows it needs to be heeded or pay a high price.

It terms of general audience appeal, Director Howard scores major points for exceptional entertainment without predictability and stereotypes.  Howard captures the essence of era’s style and attitude. The clothing is period correct as are the beautiful women wearing them. “Rush” features gorgeous women throughout the film that are not overplayed, Olivia Wilde is spot on as James Hunt’s wife.  

Serious consideration for “Best Supporting Actress” should be given to Alexandra Maria Lara for playing the role of Lauda’s wife. Alexandra Maria Lara is silent but strong during adversity and tragedy, yet she remains sensual and is a calming force.  She is the winner in the end…

Motor Press Guild photographers, journalists, and motor culture public relations operatives gather for a special screening of Ron Howard's 'RUSH' put on by Brembo. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

The heart of Morgan’s story is the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda to be the best in their sport and win the F1 Championship; each has their own unique style. Playboy driver Hunt is played perfectly by Chris Hemsworth. Hunt is a man absolutely willing to die on the track to win and who lives even more reckless off the track.

The casting is exceptional throughout but the choice of Daniel Brul (with an umlaut over the u) was brilliant, as is his performance as F1 World Champion Niki Lauda. Mr. Brul deserves a nomination for his depiction of a complex man, ever calculating and perhaps until now misunderstood champion.  Brul’s performance will also be remembered for how we are able to warm up to Lauda’s manner.  

Austrian by birth Lauda has a drive to succeed that is unmatched by his fellow top drivers.  Lauda takes every bit of his God given ability and finds ways to maximize it in what he is best suited for F1, the elite level of motor racing. He has even calculated his risk of death to be 20%.  Lauda is willing to chance his life at 20% but we learn not a single percentage point beyond.

Lauda is best at finding a edge over the competition at every level, design, weight, drag coefficient and tolerating pain… Lauda’s best strength though is his will.  He is stronger willed than the competition and is the upmost logical about every decision he makes. We get words of wisdom from him as well as examples of how to race to win and live to tell about it.  With all this going for him Lauda is respected but not liked by the fellow drivers, so states Hunt.  I appreciate that Lauda retains a “Gentlemen Racer” attitude but he backs down to no one.

This film is significant to Brembo as it tells the story of the 1976 season, when Lauda’s Ferrari with Brembo brakes was a key player in one of the most epic chapters of Formula 1. It was in 1975 that Enzo Ferrari first asked Brembo, the Italian manufacturer of high-performance braking systems, to equip his legendary Scuderia Ferrari with brake discs. Image Credit: RUSH, the film via Brembo

Background:

I know this era well having taken part by covering the first Formula 5000 and F1 Grand Prix of Long Beach for magazine.  By the time the McLaren team was racing at Long Beach in 1982 and 1983 I was with Jaguar Cars Inc. as West Coast Advertising &PR Mgr. Thanks to Leyland Bus & Truck, Jaguar was a sponsor of the Williams Team winner Alan Jones in 1981 and 1982 & 1983 a sponsor of the McLaren Team.

At Long Beach in 1982 Niki Lauda won with his McLaren MP4/1B-Ford with teammate John Watson finishing sixth.  For 1983 veteran John Watson won in the McLaren MP4/1C-Ford and Lauda finished second in his MP4.  During these years as a sponsor we had “meet the driver” events that I put on at local restaurants, affording all of us one on one time with the drivers. The film depicts how Lauda was always seeking an edge, ones that eventually got adopted into the sport, at this period he had found a new edge.  As part of his intense training and conditioning he now had a regimented diet.  

Lauda was not fond of these types of events so my time with him was brief but positive.  I had longer conversations with teammate John Watson who spoke of the planned meals Lauda ate three times a day, prepared by the team nutritionist for him. Watson was on it too but only for one meal a day.  It’s common these days, but for the time Lauda once again was a pioneer.  The competition between the cars and drivers was extremely close, so any edge counts.  Given the rigors of the sport it was conditioning that would help make enough of a difference for Lauda to repeat as a World Champion after 1975 again in 1977 and 1984.   

  

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