Friday, June 26, 2009


my life is complex, in the wrong at best, judged and defintiely a test.
backroom in the pack soon, addict swoon for a gram of that yesterdays tune. Back ways paid my math plays. I say but my friend stays. What do I do now, who knows how to do anything but allow, a protest is words that speak. Failing the time I know its not free but I cant stop that feeling tinge which is weak. Pain stains the back way of my brain. Metaphors, images and sting rays play rewind in the slow motion time. Drop dime but pop nine. a pround fine now a doing line swine. From the top to quick low faster to More not less to pass this test. Master to the servant says plenty of blood lets. Needles and happy dermics, once pure now a nightmare, and everyone else asks how he got there. Judge but dont stare. Not to budge just relax the guilt care. The director says action and you lower the eyes here.

We must stand above the surface, above the last chance of the advanced, creation is the key, purpose is the me, the way is the He. Faith is the plea.
Modern skeptics and brain sceptics. I stain with hectic, anxious and full of wreck it. Packed with emotion, tight like a bottle, large like an ocean.

Assume nothing but believe it. I steep over and peep a little while the blinding face of the password and distaste is obvious upon my weeping face. The shake. The sand. The vomit. The band. The key. The lock. The sunrise. The walk. The gun. The store. The money. The poor. The drugs. The craze. The addiction. The taste. The beast. The in. The laugh. The sin. The sickness. The loss. The repetition. Where am I right now and why? Thats one thing you can never understand when high.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Information on Definitions on Government Stuff - Russ L

Focus groups- Tool for exploring public opinion. Small groups brought together to talk about issues or candidates at length or in depth. Used to explore how ordinary people think about issues and how they react to the language of political appeals.

Ideology- Not the same as public opinion. System of beliefs in which one or more organizing principles connect the individual's views on a whole range of issues.

Issue public- Group of people particularly affected by, or concerned with, a specific issue. Issue's are relevant to them for specific reasons.

Mass public- Ordinary people for whom politics is a peripheral concern. Usually are not ideological.

Measurement error- The error that arises from attempting to measure something as subjective as opinion. Reason for in-depth reporting. Includes errors such as sampling error, selection bias, method of asking a question etc

Political efficacy- The belief that one can make a difference in politics by expressing an opinion or acting politically. Gets greater with higher education.

Political elite- Activists and officeholders who are deeply interested in, and knowledgeable about, politics. Have well-structured ideologies that bind together their views on policy issues.

Public opinion- An essential element of all conceptions of democracy. This is the aggregation of people's views about issues, situations, and public figures.

Sampling error- This is an error that arises in surveys as a result of relying on a representative, but small, sample of the larger population. Variability because of chance differences in demographics, etc.

Selection Bias- Another error in which a sample systemically includes or excludes people with certain attitudes. This is because the place where the samples are taken from are prone to certain demographics or attitudes.

Socialization- The end result of all the processes by which social groups give individuals their beliefs and values. This occurs through institutions of a society such as family, religious institutions, schools etc. Can also occur indirectly when someone observes or imitates others. MOST IMPORTANT SOCIALIZING AGENT IS FAMILY.

Why might we be skeptical about polls? We might be skeptical about polls because of various forms of error or miscalculations that may occur. Some of these are sampling error, selection bias, measurement error. It's hard to accurately measure something as subjective as opinion.

What do good pollsters do to try to address the reasons for skepticism about the validity of their polls? They use a large amount of techniques to ensure samples mirror the population. Also find ways to avoid selection bias by making sure their sample is completely random, such as random number dialing. 95% of the time a random sample will generate opinions that fall within 3 percent of national opinion.

Is public opinion well-informed? Ideological? Consistent? Public opinion is uninformed, only a third of adults over 36 can identify the political party of their state legislatures. Young adults are even less informed. They are too umotivated to cover the information cost; the time and mental effort required to absorb and store information. COMPLETELY UNINFORMED.

Public opinion is NOT IDEOLOGICAL either. Most people's views are not firmly connected by a unifying ideology. Even when these beliefs are firm, which is rare, there isn't a strong belief that connects their various different views. The mass public is completely unideological, but political elites are the ideological ones.

Public opinion is NOT CONSISTENT. This is because people often have not thought about issues, and send contradictory messages. This is explained by ignorance, and a misunderstanding of politics. People tend to just guess at what they think sounds right. Some people say Americans tend to be hypocritical. I.E supporting freedom of speech but not wanting a member of their least favorite group to be allowed to give a speech. THE BOOK BELIEVES that Americans view rights as flexible and practical. They are prepared to make trade-offs on a case-by-case basis.

Political Parties

Critical elections- Elections that mark the emergence of a new, lasting alignment of partisan support within the electorate. These mark realignment of the government, which occurs about once every thirty years. Usually triggered by a social crisis or something that divides the existing parties and increases participation in politics.

Direct primary- Has only really occurred in the US. This method of election is a method of choosing party candidates by popular vote of all self-identified party members.

Divided government- exists when a single party does not control the presidency and both houses of Congress. This was the case early in George W Bush's presidency and most of the eighties and nineties. It is confusing because the parties attempt to manufacture responsibility- blame bad things on the other party and good things on their own, even when it is completely untrue.

Machine- A highly organized party under the control of a boss, and based on patronage and control of government activities. Machines were common in cities in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This was also known as the urban machine.

national convention- Quadrennial gatherings of party officials and delegates who select presidential and vice presidential nominees and adopt party platforms. Extension of the direct primary to the presidential level after 1968 has greatly reduced the importance of these.

Progressives- Collection of political activists, politicians and intellectuals at the turn of the century. These were Middle-class reformers who weakened the powers of the 'machine' and attempted to clean up elections and government. Main effect was to undermine control of public employment and nominations, in order to stop political parties from keeping their firm hold on the system.

proportional representation- Electoral system in which parties receive a share of seats in parliament that is proportional to the popular votes they receive.

Realignment- This happens about once every thirty yrs in American history. This is when the pattern of group support for political parties shifts in a significant and lasting way. Four stable characteristics describe a party system: The identities of major parties, parties' relative balance of strength, the major issues, the party coalitions (general demographic of supporters)

single-member, simple plurality system- United States relies almost exclusively on this system. Country is divided into geographic districts, and the candidates who win within their districts are elected.

ticket splitting- this explains the eras of 'divided government' when a different party controls the Congress than the president is. This occurs when a voter votes for candidates of different parties at the same election.

two-party system- System in which only two main parties compete for office. This is the US. Although third parties regularly arise, one of the two main parties candidates' always gets the white house. THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM IS UNUSUAL IN FOREIGN DEMOCRACIES.

party systems? There are six party systems...
1. Jefforsonian- Federalism vs. Anti-federalism (Democratic-Republicans) Debated about the strictness with which the constitution should be read and interpreted. The election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, was the main of the era. After Adams lost, and Jefferson, democratic-republican, won, the federalist party dwindled and soon faded away. By 1816, the United States was technically a one party system, “the era of good feeling”. Slavery was also an issue, the one party system didn't result in much great governing.

2. Jacksonian – Occurred once Jackson ran for president in 1824. John Quincy Adams was given the nod after Jackson didn't get the majority of electoral votes, even though he got the popular vote. Jackson came back and won the next election. The parties during this period were Whigs (started by Jackson) and Democrats. The main difference between them was that the Whigs wanted the government to promote national economic development by investing in 'internal improvements'. The Democrats also believed in more power to the president than the Whigs. Both parties contained active opponents and strong supporters of slavery. This is a period in which national conventions were used and very important, they are still used but not as important. The Democrats were the dominating party over the Whigs.

3. Civil War and Reconstruction – Slavery was a main issue during this time. How to deal with slavery in new territories was a key debate of this time. The Whig party died out during this period after Democrats passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing settlers to bring slaves into Kansas and Nebraska. Eventually, the remainder of the Whigs, disaffected Democrats, and Free Soil Party members came together to create the Republican Party. Parties eventually became so organized that they led to the creation of the urban machines in many big cities, and these machines ended the era.

4. Industrial Republican- Industrialization and urban poverty were big issues during this time. The Progressive party came to exist from those who wanted reform, the urban middle-class mainly, and the populist party, comprised of agricultural people who supported popular vote and working class, came to exist. Severe depression hit the country in the 1890s and Democrats were blamed. Reforms of the progressives that targeted real corruption but also weakened the mobilizing agents bringing low class and status people into politics. A major depression, the Great Depression, as usual, is what ended the Era.

5. New Deal – Franklin D Roosevelt became president in the beginning of this era, during the Great Depression. This is after Republicans lost almost all hold of Congress and FDR easily won as the Democratic candidate. He was determined to fight the Depression with a much more active and forceful use of the federal government. Democrats soon became the party of the 'common' people. Democratic dominance over the Republicans marked this period. Foreign policy was also a key part of this time period. World War 2, dealing with Asia, and the Cold War were all in this time period.

6. Unnamed current party system. - It is unclear when this new political time period began to occur. Scholars are puzzled by the transition, but the elections of the last 1960's mark the estimated start of this period. Electoral coalitions have changed, meaning that anyone could be voting for either party. Issue agendas have also changed; crime, abortion, gay rights, porn, school prayer, affirmative action have all become issues. Foreign policy has also lost it's consensual, nonpartisan character. Different parties could win any different election.

Why do third parties face an uphill battle in the US? Citizens are usually set on one side of the spectrum when third parties come into play. Only once the party has replaced one of the two parties, such as the Republicans and the Whigs, the party becomes prominent. Otherwise, parties usually disbanded are are assimilated into one of the two major parties.

What are the reasons for the decline of parties since the beginning of the Progressive era? The party system was unable to contain or adapt to new pressures during the Progressive era. As industrialization took hold of the nation, party divisions only seemed to get in the way. Corruption and excess of the urban machine spawned many third parties and interest groups to destroy their influence. The Progressives also undermined two principal resources used by political parties to maintain power; control of public employment and control of nominations. Direct primaries weakened control of nominations and influence that parties could extend over officials and officeholders. Later, during the New Deal era, racial divisions and different views would also weaken the Democratic party fundamentally.

What are the reasons for the revival of parties?


Affirmative action redistricting- Efforts to create majority-minority districts, this has generated considerable controversy. These districts have unusual shapes to allow for these districts. Often result in accusation of gerrymandering. According to the case of Shaw v. Reno, this redistricting might be constitutionally questionable.

Bloc voting- Occurs often in ethnically diverse constituencies in which groups vote as blocs. Voting in which nearly all members of an ethnic or racial group vote for the same candidate or party. This is an obstacle in districting. When voting is racially polarized, African Americans are very unlikely to win unless they are a majority in the district.

Casework- An activity to which modern representatives of congress devote a great deal of attention, this is also known as constituent assistance. Efforts of members of Congress to help individuals and groups when they have difficulties with federal agencies and problems are not solved through normal channels. This is effective at the polls and is an overwhelmingly successful and satisfactory process.

Coattails- this is the positive electoral effect of a popular presidential candidate on the congressional candidates of that party. Many congressional candidates ride into office on the president's coattails. This effect has decreased significantly from the middle of the century with ticket-splitting and the decline of parties and also the manufacturing of blame on the president's party.

Constituency service- This includes district service and constituent service. This is the effort by members of Congress to secure federal funding for their districts and to help constituents when they have difficulties with federal agencies. Includes federal projects or grants. Candidates will often help constituents of different parties and businesses because there may be significant benefits.

Filing deadline- The latest date on which a candidate who wishes to be on the primary ballot for office may file official papers or pay required fees to state election officials.

Frank (“the frank”)- the free use of the U.S mail by representatives and senators for sending communications to constituents. This has grown through the last century with increased technology. Also higher during election years, obviously.

Gerrymandering- Congress drawing the lines of state districts, during redistricting, for partisan or other political advantage. Very common charges against Congress.

Incumbency advantage- The electoral advantage a candidate enjoys by virtue of being an incumbent, over and above his or her other personal and political characteristics. This grew from 2 percentage points before 1960 to 12 points in more recent elections. This is due to five factors; the weakness of political parties in the mid-twentieth century, the growth in resources available to incumbents, changes in the activities of representatives, campaign funding disparities, and more responsive incumbents.

Majority-minority district- the requirement to create these was caused by a 1982 amendment to the Voting Rights Act and subsequent decisions. These are districts in which a minority group is the numerical majority. This adds liberty and equality to the voting process and is a great effect of the redistricting process.

Open seat- A House or Senate race with no incumbent, because of death or retirement. These are the hardest fought primaries

Professional legislature -Legislature whose members serve full-time and for long periods. An example is Congress, the world's foremost example of this. Characterized by stability and voluntary service.

Reapportionment- The allocation of seats to the states after each decennial census. This means that a census is held every decade, and after the census the 435 seats in the House of Reps are redistributed to the states based on their populations.

Redistricting- Drawing new boundaries of Congressional districts, usually after the census. Refers to the actual changing of congressional districts within states, not the entire state as a whole. This is also done in estimated close proportion to the population of the areas in the states. The smallest states do receive a minimum of one seat in Congress, a minimum guaranteed by Article 1.

Safe seat- A congressional district certain to vote for the candidate of one party. Given that the great majority of House districts are drawn to favor one party or the other, party-line voting will determine the winners in such safe-seats.

Why has the incumbency advantage grown since the 1940's? The representatives in the house are very electorally sensitive and work very hard at serving their districts, representing policy concerns, and attempt to eliminate any basis for a strong challenge against them.

Greek Play Analysis - Russ L

by Russell L

In this monologue, I am Zeus, king of the gods. I am speaking to Eros, the god of lust, love and desire. Eros, a deceitful god, has been playing tricks on me, and I am angry about it, giving him a neurotic rant.
This takes place in ancient Greece, on Mount Olympus. This is where most of the gods gather, and a private argument is occurring between Zeus and Eros.
The scene that preempted this one is one in which Zeus is having a conversation with Prometheus, discussing his plans in life, and his intention to seduce some more mortals. Prometheus then “spills the beans” about a prophecy in which a mortal woman would lead to Zeus' doom. This prophecy incriminates Eros, as he is in charge of all matters of love and lust in the lives of the Greeks.
I, Zeus, am about to punish Eros severely, or find someone to punish who is responsible for the bleak prophecy. I'm already annoyed at Eros, as he has made it difficult for me to have a good time with mortals in the past. I am on a witch-hunt, looking for the person responsible for my planned demise.
My objective is to obtain a confession and/or apology from Eros about my current state of affairs. I want to find out the truth behind the prophecy of my doom and put an end to it!
The obstacle in this piece is to convince Eros to tell me what he knows and to scold him for his deceitfulness. I want Eros to let me be myself with women and also to stop his tricks. I need him to stop my impending doom as well.
Venting, debating, convincing, scolding and whining are the tactics that Zeus is using.
The climax of this monologue is the line “Why can't these women ever be in love with me?” Earlier lines in the piece seem dramatic and climactic, but this line denotes a shift in the way in which Zeus is talking. In the first part of the piece, Zeus is angry and scolding Eros. At about the middle, in this line, Zeus starts to rant about himself and becomes very neurotic and whiny, rather than angry directly at Eros.
Zeus begins at his most angry, then becomes more of a logical debater, then at the end is in a humorous neurotic and frustrated rant. So he basically becomes less angry and more frustrated and whiny as the piece progresses.
The author's objective in this selection, and in the entire play, is to satirize the ideas of Greek mythology. At the time when this was written, people were struggling between a new school of philosophical thought and the old ideas of polytheistic mythology. By writing this piece, Lucian ridicules the idea of Greek gods by presenting them as flawed, average people who are overly arrogant and petty.

The Opposite Gender - Russ L

Flickering eyelashes while flaunting new fashions
I try on new clothes and find new passions.
Where did the man go who I see in my dreams?
Why is my life unstitched at the seams?

Give me a chance to make it all right,
forget fate and fly forward to fight.
The truth is I can't find it on my own,
lost and alone, broken heart and home.

Like a wanderer, a lily floating down
a class five river that's sure to drown.
But I'm just a lily, drifted far downstream.
Weather and worry are an unstoppable team.

On the road again, in the plateau of life,
die from boredom or die by the knife.
Like a blue wind caught in the trees,
Like a growing shrub stuck in a freeze

MySpace My Space My Spaces - By Russ L.

Entrepreneurship Essay 2
Russell L

DeWolfe and Anderson capitalized on a great idea when they created MySpace. The most important factor in the success of MySpace was the perfect timing of its launch. Just as the idea of social networking was beginning to take off, DeWolfe and Anderson created a site that would capitalize on this new trend in a new way, with greater potential than its competitors. At the time, the social networking market was just developing, with sites such as Friendster, Tribe and Facebook. Although these sites were fairly successful, the creators of MySpace realized that there was an immense opportunity for a more broad social networking site, as the existing ones were all niche sites. Basically, instead of just applying to college students or online daters, MySpace would appeal to everyone and have many more options available. This was a breakthrough idea, and inherently had vast potential and a unique aim.
According to the article, DeWolfe found that sociological trends are as important to monitor as technological trends. This is how the idea was formulated. The new technology of the Internet opened many new opportunities for entrepreneurs, but the successful opportunist found the sociological needs that were unmet within the new trends. MySpace took the already developing trend of social networking and expanded it in several unique ways. MySpace expanded the target audience, opening the doors to anyone who wanted to have their own online profile. Just as importantly, MySpace greatly expanded the content that was associated with the social networking trend. Instead of just a profile, users would express themselves, share music, photos, art and play games. This brought all the functions of the other sites together and added even more, in one convenient social networking site.
The original recognition for the MySpace opportunity was made when DeWolfe and Anderson received a constant stream of requests through e-mail to join the social networking sites. These invitations led them to investigate the new trend for business opportunities. After analyzing the sites, the two decided that the current social networking sites were too niche-based and didn't have much potential to become huge. So, they formed the idea to create MySpace.
The creators of MySpace used the same e-mail invitations that had alerted them to the social networking trend, but with a new twist, to propel the company to new heights. Instead of just getting regular people to invite their friends to MySpace, the creators got bands to create their own pages, which was hugely innovative, and an important step in the success of the site. Once bands created their own pages, they would invite fans, stream music and express themselves, bringing them closer to their fans and providing them with free publicity. This, in turn, attracted many more users to MySpace, especially due to the e-mail invites that people would receive from bands. As this example shows, the DeWolfe and Anderson created a successful site by having a good sense of what the people want, and figuring out how to provide it to them.
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