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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Blog Post # 5: Where Students Money Goes

October 13, 2015 Leave a comment
  1. This infographic takes a wide angle look at college students money spending habits. The infographic reveals data on student spendings from food and drinks to marijuana. The infographic also reveals how students get their income, whether that be from a job, their parents, etc.
  2. The data in the infographic is all secondary data gathered by the graphics creators, Speedon Data. They gathered data from various sources including The National center for Education Statistics. They also gathered data from individual studies like “Market Focus- College Students,” and “Enrollment Fastfacts.” All of these studies were conducted on college students around the U.S.
  3. a. How do 99% of students spend money on food, shouldn’t it be 100%? b. Why are students seen as such a lucrative demographic?

Community Resilience

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Community Resilience refers to the adaptation that the population undergoes following a disaster.

There are many important communication strategies that need to be implemented in order to reach this sense of resiliency:

  • One of the most important concepts of communicating to stakeholders during and after a disaster is to make sure that they are going to trust and listen to the source of information. It has been found that audiences are more likely to listen to a familiar source. Therefore, sometime it is better to send out information through a local source rather than and unknown national source.
  • It is also important to keep messages short, simple, and easy to remember. Detailed plans are often less effective then short, direct ones.
  • Community members need to understand their risks in order to collectively and flexibly get through and overcome disasters. Along with this, make sure members of the community are involved and understand each step of the adaptation.
  • Make sure that those directly affected by the disaster have some sort of social support system directly after the disaster as well as in the months and even years to come. Many people may suffer from PTSD and will need this support to adapt to the “new normal.”

  • Give members of the community a chance to help out and have a say in certain decisions. This empowerment will help members work together for the common good of the community and feel that they have a part in the adaptation.
  • Allow members of the community to share their stories. This is a way for community members to relate to one another and understand that they are not alone. Members can reflect on what has happened and look forward to what is to come.  An interesting case study on this specific strategy is September 11th. Many people have shared their stories over the years and now 10 years later there is a sense of resiliency and oneness.
  • This article highlights the resiliency of 9/11 through story telling and refection

  • Finally, it is important to be prepared for uncertainty. You cannot have a plan for everything and therefore should have a plan to not have a plan.

    Disasters happen all the time and it is important for communities to learn how to work together and communicate with one another in order to adapt to changes and learn to cope with the “new normal.”

Blog #12: Interesting/Boring Class Discussions

This class has certainly been one that has taught me a lot. Heck, not only that but it has also made me aware of influences on my everyday life.

For starters I enjoyed the discussions concerning the way social networking affects our lives in ways of getting political news. A perfect example of this discussion becoming a reality took place last evening when I was checking my Twitter before beginning some homework. While, I was scrolling through the posts I stumbled across one stating that President Obama was to give a speech on an undisclosed topic. From here I quickly turned on the news and watched until reporters were able to confirm that the United States had the body of Osama Bin Laden. From there I continued to watch until President Obama came on to speak. Without the use of this social network, I would have never known what was going on. I related all of this information back to our political information sources discussions; it was very neat.

From here I was able to connect my life to another one of our interesting discussions.  This one was concerning the concept that Presidency had to do with strategy and image. After watching the speech given by Barack Obama concerning Bin Laden’s death I was able to explain the aspects of this interesting in class discussion to my roommates. I told them that this was going to be good for Obama’s approval ratings and re-election, just as 9/11 was a positive thing for former President Bush’s campaign. The connect I was able to make made this class not only more relevant to my everyday life but made me appreciate the discussions that I previously found enjoyable.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the book “The Selling of the President” and our discussions following that. Not only were they extremely interesting but also applicable to politics today. It opened my eyes about what exactly was going on.

While I found almost every aspect of this class to be interesting and worth my while I would not rate the discussions concerning Media Objectivity as one of my favorite. However, it was still some what interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on the matter.

All in all, this class included many topics and discussions that I found to be worth my while, not only as something that was enjoyable but something that I was able to relate to my life as well.

Blog 12: The take away blog

May 2, 2011 1 comment

Before I begin, I think I would be amiss not to mention the recent developments in the Osama bin Laden news cycle. As we know, The Navy SEALs managed to kill him by all accounts, and I spent a good six hours watching the real news getting updates on the whole ordeal. I feel it necessary to share a small portion of my mindset on the issue, since it does play a pretty large role in the political communication realm. When talking to my hippy-dippy ex-girlfriend, she texted me, “I like how Osama is a reason to start a fucking worldwide frat party.” While I am glad that the world is rid of a terrorist threat, a man willing to kill civilians to advance his hateful intolerance, my response to her was thus: “I was glad that they managed to kill a guy who spread hate, but singing ‘Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)’ in the streets was worthy of a douchechill.”

Whether the death of Osama bin Laden was the outcome of a carefully planned mission that was carried out on May 1st, or whether bin Laden’s been dead for a few days and President Obama decided to make the announcement coinciding with the 8 year anniversary of George W. Bush’s “Mission accomplished” proclamation for the sake of political vote pandering will be interesting to discuss. But as of yesterday, I think it’s less appropriate to celebrate bin Laden’s death as it is to celebrate, soberly, the elimination of a hateful man who sought to spread hate. If nothing else, let’s celebrate how hard President Obama got laid when he found out he managed to eliminate the number one face of terror during his presidency, something that hadn’t been done over 10 years. If he isn’t getting some, none of us should be either.

Perhaps the most interesting discussion I took away from this class was that of how soft news, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert managed to affect the news media and the citizens in our fine democracy. That their satire, be it of the news media itself or of the blowhard pundits that pontificate like Pharisees from their pulpits, can have such a profound affect on the voting public, how news stations cover the news and what journalists cover is fascinating. From the cancellation of Crossfire to Stephen Colbert’s ability to be adopted by college liberals and staunch conservatives alike shows the power of their pulpit.

Further, I think it’s important that I mention that from this class, I was able to determine precisely what the difference between what Stewart/Colbert do in terms of their comedy (satire) and what other comedians, such at Leno and Letterman do (pseudosatire) is. More importantly, the importance of understanding the difference between these two are, i.e. satire calls for change through comedy whereas pseudosatire fans the flames of apathy by giving up on the the tenants of democracy became paramount to me. Since I tend to consume my politics with the sugar of comedy coating its bitter political pill, to know what each’s goal is allows me to understand the political atmosphere and what the goals of comedy and democracy are. Rather than giving up on politics, this class has actually instilled a hopefulness that democracy can work, primarily because most of the comedians I respect actually believe in the tenants of democracy (save for late Carlin, who was as cynical as the come toward the end).

The paper that I wrote, on how comedy affects democracy, did precisely the opposite of what I expected it to do. Rather than further removing me from a democracy that I already haven’t been participating in (I think I’m the only person in class who didn’t vote in ’08), it made me proud to be part of a democracy. While it may have its flaws, it isn’t entirely hopeless, and researching and writing this paper, coupled with the discussions we’ve had about political comedy and its affect on democracy re instilled a pride in this nation that I had lost in the past few years. So thanks for assigning it!

Blog 11: is being a democratic citizen now the same as it was in the past?

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Being a democratic citizen in 2011 does not mean the same as it did when my parents were in their early 20s, simply due to the advancements of new media and the revitalisation of politics in this digital age. In today’s age, new media is used to activate voters. Individuals have a more direct role in campaigns, which allow for a seemingly closer relationship between voters, candidates, and even political parties.

During the presidential campaign in 2008, the candidates were able to reach voters on a more personal level. For example, Obama utilized Facebook, Twitter, mass text messaging and email to reach many of the younger citizens. With these new campaigning tactics, democratic citizens felt like they were more involved and felt like they actually knew Obama. Instead of established elites dominating political input, like they did in the days of my parents and grandparents, new user-driven technologies (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc…) have now allowed interaction to be seen as promoting the voice of the mass population.

If citizens miss an important speech or debate on TV, they can watch what they missed on their own time on the Internet. My parents and grandparents certainly did not have this luxury when they were in their 20s. When political speeches etc… were aired on TV, there was no way of ever catching that information again. So it feels as if democratic citizens in today’s age can be more involved in political issues because they can view them on their own time whenever they want.

A major difference in political involvement in the times of my parents and in 2011 is the way in which people communicate and promote political issues.  Citizen-campaigning has become much more predominate in modern times. For example, in the past, individuals were called by the telephone and asked to send money or pledge their support to a particular candidate. However, in present times people are offered the means to spread the information themselves (through media like social networking sites) which produces more socially driven political action. Institutions and elites (for the most part) do not necessarily drive political action during modern campaigns, as they once used to do.

Blog 11: Democracy Then & Now

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Democracy in the 1940s (around the time my grandparents were in their 20s) seems like an entirely different type of democracy than the democracy of my parents and myself. Back then, democracy entailed duty and service. Both of my grandfathers served in WWII, one with the army and the other with the Coast Guard, and were proud and willing to do so.

In speaking with my parents about it, both sets of grandparents contributed to their democracy as their paradigm demanded. They went to war when necessary and when the war ended, they retreated to the nostalgic notion of voting and contributing to the country’s cause in whatever way they could. One of my grandfathers worked at an American paper factory. Both of my grandmothers filled the stereotypical housewife role, caring for their children while their husbands dutifully worked toward the American Dream all while fighting the communist threat from abroad.

In the 1970s and 1980s, as my parents were growing up, democracy was more similar to that of my time. Because both of their parents had been in the war and bought very heavily into the idea of democracy, my parents had the notion that voting was very important instilled in them. When they turned 18, they voted and they’ve voted every year since then. However, as they grew up, there was a noticeable liberalization of their paradigms.  My parents weren’t too conscious of what was happening in Vietnam (they were barely teenagers when it happened), and they weren’t incredibly politically active until they had kids. I’m pretty sure it was because they were too busy watching Van Halen open for Black Sabbath, but if I had been around back then, I wouldn’t be politically active either.

My dad is much cooler than me because he saw this happen live.

At the same time they were growing up in a democracy, there was a noticeable shift in what it meant to be democratic. Lenny Bruce had just shattered what obscenity meant and George Carlin was pushing the limits of free speech with his Seven Words bit. Musicians like Frank Zappa had voting booths set up outside of his concerts, urging young people to make their voices heard and prevent the government from stifling free speech. Because democracy to me means being able to contribute to the system with words and actions unabated, these were huge paradigm shifts from the stuffy, overtly patriotic, “serve your country to prove your worth” mindset my grandparents had. Zappa’s move also preceded a much lamer attempt at the Vote or Die campaign that Diddy (or Puffy, or whatever he’s calling himself these days) began in the 2000s.

That liberalization of what democracy means goes further with my generation. Whereas my parents still vote actively and urge me to do the same, I find myself in a similar mindset as those of my ilk, that being one of cynicism over the system working. Like many other people my age, I didn’t vote in the ’08 election but, interestingly, was chastised for it by a lot of people my age. I contribute this to the sensational candidate many of my peers voted for, Barack Obama. The potential for change and of the first black President to grace the White House ever was an anomaly that hadn’t been seen in at least eight years prior. But the key of this fact is sensationalism. With the advent of the Internet, social networking and cell phones, my generation is used to exciting, instant access to things, be they change, entertainment or otherwise. I think this plays a huge role in how democracy is defined today.

Whereas the democracy of my grandparents took a steady approach to fighting its enemies (Communism) and stressed loyalty to the country, the democracy of my parents took a more radical, “rebellion is the truest form of democracy” bent. The current trend of immediate change works on an ebb and flow, with intense rebellion and desire for change that quickly gives way to apathy and cynicism as time goes by. If wants and needs aren’t fulfilled just as quickly as my online order for P90X equipment can be delivered, impatience settles in and a general discontent with the system begins. Then, rather than sticking with the system in hope that it might change over time, we abandon the cause, and look for something else to like on Facebook to cloak our general apathy as constant struggle to fix everything at once.

Blog 11: Democratic Citizen

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

In today’s day and age, my generation is constantly communicating. Whether it be through e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or text messaging, it is never too hard for a young person to communicate information. I think that being a Democratic citizen in 2011 definitely means something different than it did for my parents, and especially for my grandparents. If I wanted to spread political information, or obtain political information, I can simply go on the Internet and type in my search. Or, I could start a blog with my political opinions and viewpoints.

If my parents or grandparents wanted to spread their political viewpoints, it was a little harder. The Internet did not exist, and computers were barely in existence for my parents. My parents and grandparents could perhaps write an editorial in a newspaper or magazine to get the word out, but that takes a little more time and effort than simply lounging on your couch using the Internet. Also, to obtain information, they would have to either go to the library or read the newspaper, rather than use the Internet. The Internet is a huge factor these days in being a Democratic citizen.

Also, I believe that since more politicians are using social media, this is attracting younger people to vote that normally would not. In the 2008 election, more younger people voted than ever, mostly for Barack Obama, because of his use of social media in his campaign.I believe that his use of social media really engaged the younger generation. I think that this trend will continue, as younger people are becoming more and more interested in politics, and want a handle on their future. By voting, and spreading their viewpoints, these are ways that people my age can continue being Democratic citizens.