What’s Going on With This Blog?

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE: August 6, 2010…Resurfacing for a bit…My beautiful betta Trooper passed away a couple of weeks ago after a vain attempt at curing whatever ailed him.  Probably old age…Rest in Peace, Trooper…Your beauty and grace lives with me…

Still learning about stocks…am totally immersed in this…With inflation that will eventually clobber us, must learn how to make money!

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HULU — “An evil plot to destroy the world”: A Mainstream Media Creation (FOX, NBC et al) to Squeeze Out Independent Media Content

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

If you any doubts about how the mainstream media is playing us, then here’s the proof that they indeed are.  It’s easy to see when you take a look at Hulu. Most of the uniformed world think FOX (News Corp.) and NBC/GE are “enemies”  but we see that they’re working together to suck the air out of independent media content available on the web.

Hulu–“An evil plot to destroy the world.”  I didn’t originate this description; Hulu did. It’s in their ad which features the obnoxious Denis Leary jabbering away about TV content turning your mind to mush and snarking at a “brain dead” (those are the ad’s words) geek who’s getting a stream of green stuff passed into his ear.  Before he’s through, Leary says that the folks at Hulu are  “aliens” and then winds up with the tag line, “Hulu…an evil plot to destroy the world…Enjoy.”

The ad is up at the company blog under the title “The Evil Plot Continues.”  Go see for yourself…(and be sure to “click” to see the full ad after the initial clip is over or click here for the video without the blog post.).  This week, Hulu has released a “Video Panel widget”:

To continue to deliver on our mission to connect audiences with their favorite content wherever they are — or, as Denis Leary would say, on their “bliggety blogs, facey spaces and tweety pages” — we are releasing a new embeddable product this week: the Video Panel widget.

The ad is supposed to be a cool joke aimed at the younger crowd, but in reality, it may not just a joke!  A couple of weeks ago I happened to be watching CNBC and caught an interview with the young CEO who was talking about how successful Hulu had become and how it would be even more successful as it closes in on YouTube, which is currently the top video site.

And who’s behind Hulu?  According to Hoovers (with my bolding):

Hulu Company Description

When the rich and famous name their offspring, anything is possible. NBC and FOX had a digital baby. And they called it Hulu. Initially formed as a joint venture between NBC Universal (a unit of GE) and News Corp. (the parent of FOX), Hulu.com is a video site that features video from more than 100 content providers. Offerings include TV shows from FOX and NBC, as well as from subsidiary cable channels such as Bravo and the SCI FI Channel. Hulu also shows films from studios including Sony and MGM. Content — all total, some 900 TV series and full-length movies– is streamed on demand, free of charge the day after its broadcast debut. After a nearly five-month long beta version, Hulu.com was launched in 2008.

And, there’s another player now: Disney/ABC.

Disney Buys Into Hulu. YouTube Should Be Worried.  (4/30)

As the initial exclusivity for NBC and Fox content expires, Hulu will be adding Disney/ABC videos and TV shows to its distribution mix as well. Hulu is becoming the preferred distribution channel for the big media companies. And it is succeeding in attracting the fickle Web audience. This should worry YouTube, which is still casting about for a business model that will pay for its enormous storage and bandwidth costs. The media companies cannot ignore YouTube just yet, but by strengthening Hulu they can give it their best content first.

A couple of days earlier, this article provided some extra background:

Hulu Now The Number Three U.S. Web Video Site. Soon To Be Number Two.  (4/28)

Just last month, we wrote that Hulu had gained some 10 million viewers to become the fourth largest video portal on the web. Now, it’s slain another rival to the list: Yahoo, to move into #3 — at least in terms of videos viewed.

To be clear, the new March U.S. numbers released by comScore show that Hulu is still slightly behind Yahoo’s video properties when it comes to unique viewers. But the NBC and Fox-backed Hulu should pass it any day now in that category as well. Meanwhile, the number two player, Fox Interactive Media (which runs MySpace), is slipping just as quickly as Hulu is rising in videos viewed. It could well be as soon as this month when Hulu moves into the number two web video position.

Needless to say,  I wondered about the name. Silly me for thinking it was a take-off on “hula” or something Hawaiian. NOOOOOOOOOO, it’s actually a Chinese name! From Wikipedia:

The name Hulu comes from two Mandarin Chinese words, hulu (simplified Chinese: 葫芦; traditional Chinese: 葫蘆; pinyin: húlú; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “calabash, bottle gourd” and hulu (simplified Chinese: 互录; traditional Chinese: 互錄; pinyin: hùlù; Wade-Giles: hu-lu) “interactive recording.”

The company blog explains:

In Mandarin, Hulu has two interesting meanings, each highly relevant to our mission. The primary meaning interested us because it is used in an ancient Chinese proverb that describes the hulu as the holder of precious things. It literally translates to “gourd,” and in ancient times, the hulu was hollowed out and used to hold precious things. The secondary meaning is “interactive recording.” We saw both definitions as appropriate bookends and highly relevant to the mission of Hulu. [4][5]

(Here’s the link to the above-mentioned blog post at Hulu with a picture of the young group (mostly of Chinese background?) who worked on choosing the name: http://blog.hulu.com/2008/05/13/meaning-of-hulu/.) (Note: For all their care, it seems that “Hulu” has some unusual meanings in other languages anyway. For a sampling, see:  Hulu Translates To “Cease” and “Desist” in Swahili. Oops.)

My next stop was a visit to the Hulu site at http://www.hulu.com/.  The “News” channel has a few sub-sections, but I just looked at the Politics section closely. Of course, it varies day to day, but it certainly is NOT a comprehensive news site…an awful lot of clips featuring unchallenged spin from the Administration and cable talk shows on the day I looked.  Hulu is entirely commercial content, so you won’t see any original “ads” or political discourse from the peons here, like you see at YouTube.

Who’s running Hulu for NBC, FOX, and Disney?

The CEO is one Jason Kilar. From Business Week:

Jason Kilar serves as Chief Executive Officer of Hulu, LLC. Mr. Kilar has been Chief Executive of online video joint venture of NBC Universal, Inc. and News Corp., since July 9, 2007. He serves as Special Advisor of KBL Acquisition Corp. IV*. He served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Application Software at Amazon.com Inc. since May 2003 and was responsible for Amazon’s Marketplace business. From February 2002 to May 2003, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Worldwide Application Software of Amazon.com Inc., where he joined in May, 1997 as a Product Manager. From October 2001 to February 2002, Mr. Kilar served as Vice President of Marketplace of Amazon.com Inc. and served as its Vice President of Books, Music, and Video & DVD from February 2001 to October 2001 and serves as its Vice President. He began his career with The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for Disney Design & Development. He serves on the board of Management Leadership for Tomorrow. He has been Director of AdReady, Inc. since November 28, 2007. Mr. Kilar received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School…

The company is providing  investment capital for Hulu is Providence Equity. Of course, there’s a “global presence”:

Working collaboratively from offices in Providence, New York, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi, our 74 investment professionals pursue opportunities as a unified team across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Our sector focus and international mandate enable us to dedicate our full resources to building global leaders in the media, entertainment, communications and information industries, regardless of location.

The large “team” running this firm has some interesting names on the roster.

Michael K. Powell, now a Sr. Advisor for PE, formerly FCC chairman during the Bush Administration

In addition to Kilar, there are a lot of people with Harvard ties, work history with some of the large investment banks (with a number of them with a history at Morgan Stanley), and other interesting backgrounds. Here’s a sampling of some of the names I peeked at…there are many others with similiar ties on the long list of “the team”:

  • Chief Compliance Officer Fred Franklin (who “served for ten years as Assistant Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement”)… from Bear Stearns

So, it looks like the total capture of the minds of the younger generation by the mass media will be complete if most of them gravitate to Hulu.  If YouTube can’t survive, will the creative video we see there dry up or become fragmented across many smaller sites?

Hulu is just another piece of the puzzle as the media “clamps down” to control what media content users see.  Scary, very scary indeed.

***

*KBL Acquisition Corp. IV is involved in “miscellaneous”  investment services but is a big player in the healthcare industry (also KBL I, II, III)

Hulu Company Profile.

GE media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

News Corp. media holdings (From Columbia Journalism Review site)

Disney media holdings (corporate site)

The Past Week: May 10-16, 2009 (The Smugness of Obama; Soros and Chinese Cars in the U.S.?; Cinie Sums It Up re: Bush/Obama; Gibson, the World’s Largest Dog, Recovers from Leg Amputation; Harold Pinter Adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Chicago Correspondent Leslie saw this on the cover of the local “free” newspaper and thought The One looked awfully smug. She captions: “I guess I really pulled one over on them.” Grail Guardian added this comment: “Hmmmm. Is there anyone left that I haven’t thrown under the bus yet?”

I guess I really pulled one over on them Obama from Leslie

***

The recent news that GM will be selling cars made in China here in the U.S. by 2011 came just before the news later in the week about the dealer closings.  But there’s an interesting twist to the story, as reported by China-Motors.Ru:

Chinese Cars – Soros help to Chery take USA market

Miliarder Georges Soros considers{examines} injection of hundreds millions dollars in Chinese Chery to throw out on the market of the USA cheap Chinese cars.

“Chery” – a copy of the South-Korean Spark sold in the USA in partnership with GM. GM has begun litigation against Chery Automobile Co. Having accused Chery in a piracy of the car, created Daewoo, and Chery should change the name of the car for the USA.

MORE

Can’t vouch for the accuracy of the story, but these days nothing would suprise me…

***

My favorite post of the week comes from Cinie’s World.  It’s titled It’s The Medical Records, Stupid. The section which grabbed me because it summarizes EXACTLY how I feel:

I have always been struck by the cozy, lovey-dovey relationship Georgie’s Ba’ Bruh has always seemed to have with “Obamacans.”  When I first heard of Republicans for Obama, I was like, “what’s up with that, huh?”  Why would a group of Republicans get together in 2006 to encourage the “most liberal Senator in the history of…liberals and Senators” to run for President after the guy had only been voting against their interests on a national basis for a couple years or so?  Sure, coulda been just another Axelrove AstroTurfing campaign, but, if it was, why weren’t real Republicans yelling their heads off about it?   Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney are not exactly shy about slamming one of their own for being too buddy-buddy with the other side.  Why did all the black Republicans endorse this “most liberal Senator, blah, blah, blah, either explicitly, or tacitly?  Why did so many registered Republicans switch party affiliation to vote for a community organizer, (a phrase they utter with all the dripping sarcasm, venom and contempt a mother uses to describe her law school-grad son, the “rap singer”’s career choice) in the primaries and caucuses, then neglect to switch back, swelling the ranks of Independents while depleting their former party’s numbers so significantly it’s now a shell of itself?  In fact, didn’t the guy Al Franken called a “big, fat, idiot,” encourage that?  Operation Chaos, anyone?  Why didn’t the sleazy Obama ploy plea for Republicans to become Democrats for a Day cause the “liberal media” and the “progressive blogospherians” who supported him with a blind fury to turn their backs on, and wash their hands of, him?  How come the Barackamedian’s biggest laugh on his Rock Star Tour campaign trail come from his oft-related response of “Thank you, why are we whispering?” to Republicans’ hushed confessions of “I voted for you”?

I think this says it all, Cinie!

***

Here’s a story about Gibson, the world’s largest dog, who stands about 7 ft. tall on his hind legs. This wonderful Great Dane was diagnosed with  cancer in one of his front legs and to save his life, the leg was amputated.  But, he’s going back to his work as a therapy dog as soon as he recovers. Let’s send all  our best thoughts to Gibson for a speedy and COMPLETE recovery! (Yes, that’s Oprah he’s greeting…)

Visit Gibson’s website at http://gibsondog.com/index.php.

Gibson

Gibson

***

Finally, I happened to find the 1990 Harold Pinter adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” last night on Indieplex, which starred Robert Duvall and a young Natasha Richardson in a role that was much different from “The Parent Trap” made about 8 years later and was aired earlier this week.  The combination of seeing the late actress who died so tragically only a couple of months ago, along with the horror of this story, was too much for me and I had to change the channel after a short time.  The “guide” called the film “sci-fi.”  Frankly, with the misogynist in chief in the White House playing fast and loose with women’s issues, and a general feeling that we’re in the “colonies”–well, it didn’t seem very “sci-fi” to me…

***

THE PAST WEEK

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (May 16, 2009) Cactus in Bloom! Gorgeous!

“The Bailout” by Cartoonists

In Search of the American Personality: Warnings from the Nuremberg Trial Rohrschach Inkblot Tests

The Past Week May 3-9, 2009 (Chicago Suits Pressure Wells Fargo; Push for a Single-Payer Advocate at Baucus Table; David Cameron Interview Re: British Politics One Year Away from Election)

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (May 16, 2009) Cactus in Bloom! Gorgeous!

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

If you’ve ever thought that the desert was dry and boring, there are some pictures up at Open Range Ramblings in this week’s Saturday Sanity that may change your mind.

So, head on over to Open Range Ramblins for some cactus eye candy!!! ENJOY!!

Here’s a sampling…

Cactus Flowers

Cactus Flowers

“The Bailout” by Cartoonists

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Grail Guardian shipped us a bunch of cartoons on the subject of  THE BAILOUT and the general state of the .  Here are a couple and more will be sprinkled here in the future…Cartoonists DO say it best!! Thanks, GG!!

Bailout1

Bailout2

In Search of the American Personality: Warnings from the Nuremberg Trial Rohrschach Inkblot Tests

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Last week as I waited for nearly two hours to see the doctor, I picked up a magazine called Monitor on Psychology.  This publication is issued by American Psychological Association and I was intrigued by a the title of one of the stories inside — “In Search of the Nazi Personality.”

I took a lot of notes, figuring that the article wouldn’t be online. But, to my surprise, it was.

It’s a fascinating overview of how psychologists and psychiatrists have attempted to analyze the minds of the Nazis who took inkblot tests while in Nuremberg prison during their trials.

From Monitor on Psychology – Time capsule (the bolding is mine):

In search of the Nazi personality

The Nazi Rorschach responses have captured psychologists’ imaginations for decades.

By Nick Joyce
Print version: page 18

It’s true: Hermann Goering, among others, took inkblot tests in Nuremberg prison. What’s less certain is what the results of these tests mean.

In the aftermath of World War II, Allied forces captured and detained many of the remaining Nazi leaders, including Goering, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer. The Allied leaders in charge of the Nuremberg trials sought psychological profiles of the Nazis and asked psychologist Gustave Gilbert, PhD, and psychiatrist Douglas Kelley, MD, both Americans, to collect the data using psychological tools such as the Thematic Apperception Test, Rorschach Inkblot Test and the German translation of the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test. Even though the tests played little role in the trials, the scientists were searching for answers to a question that still lingers today: Were the Nazis evil men or merely ordinary people who did horrific deeds because they were ordered to do so?

Both examiners found all of these men legally sane, but had different views on how to interpret the data.

…Gilbert was attuned to the socio-cultural context of the Nazi leadership. He claimed that the Nazis were raised in a culture that had a primary value of deference to authority to which all other reason and intelligence took a backseat. He concluded that democratic leaders should be trained as critical thinkers to prevent that same kind of blind obedience.

In his 1947 book, “Twenty-two Cells in Nuremberg” (unknown publisher), Kelley wrote that although some of the Nazi prisoners showed some pathology of personality during the examinations, he did not believe they were mentally ill. Kelley cautioned that a Nazi-style government would be possible even in America because it was a “socio-cultural disease” and not a product of insane leaders…

At the time Gilbert and Kelley were publishing their analyses, Molly Harrower, PhD, a Rorschach authority, tried to gather a panel of 10 experts to add their insights, but none agreed to do so because at the time, there was little chance that the world wanted to see these men as anything but pathological.

Thirty years later, Harrower believed the political environment had changed enough to allow for an objective evaluation of the results. She used a double-blind procedure to have 10 Rorschach experts interpret the Nazis’ results and matched control responses from clergy and hospital patients. Harrower arranged four groups of reports, two with all Nazis, one with clergy and the last with patients. The responses of the experts noted no similarities in the Nazi protocols nor signs of mental disturbance, indicating that Nazi leaders were seemingly no different from average Americans.

Harrower’s findings are not definitive and there has been discussion about methodological problems and other factors. But, she published her final work, as part of a book called  “The Quest for the Nazi Personality” in 1995, more than 60 years after VE-Day.

The interest in the personality of Nazi leaders continues unabated.  One has to wonder what psychologists will be saying about the “Obama culture” — followers and leaders — that we’ve seen take over America over the last year…

 

UPDATE,  JULY 2014

How time change!  Compared to the GOP, Obama looks like a saint….

The Past Week May 3-9, 2009 (Chicago Suits Pressure Wells Fargo; Push for a Single-Payer Advocate at Baucus Table; David Cameron Interview Re: British Politics One Year Away from Election)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Early in the week, my mother mentioned how Hart Schaffner Marx, the suit maker based in Chicago, were on verge of going under because Wells Fargo no longer wanted to back them.

My immediate reaction was that there’d be pressure put on Well Fargo.

Well, Chicago Correspondent Leslie sent this along which proves me right…although it wasn’t very difficult in today’s climate to think of this scenario. From WBBM 780 Chicago:

DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is threatening to pull state business from Wells Fargo & Co. unless the bank stops trying to liquidate a company that makes suits for President Barack Obama.

Giannoulias made the ultimatum outside a Hartmarx Corp. factory in Des Plaines Thursday. Chicago-based Hartmarx is the nation’s largest maker of men’s tailored clothing.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 23. It employs about 3,000 workers represented by the Service Employees International Union.

Giannoulias spokesman Scott Burnham says Wells Fargo is custodian of an $8 billion state portfolio.

We’ve explored Giannoulias’ actions in the past here at IA. See:

IL State Treasurer/Obama Ally Giannoulias Planning to Challenge Roland Burris–Report from Our Chicago Correspondent; Medicare Musings

Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

***

The folks over at HealthJustice continue pushing for single-payer to be included in the discussion about the “reform” of healthcare.  Their latest update:

Fax The Finance Committee Again
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

fax The Senate Finance Committee is hearing about health care reform, insurance-company-style, once more on May 12.  Thanks to courageous protests by the Baucus 8, there is a better chance that a single payer advocate will be at the table.  Three names are proposed: Rose Ann deMoro of CNA, Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.  Sen. Schumer of New York has tentatively agreed to ask Sen. Baucus to inslude a single payer voice if — and here is the rub — another senator will also ask.  The Senators to target are Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Kerry of Massachusetts and Rockefeller of W.Virginia. So crank up those fax machines once more, especially if you are from these states, and lets blast the faxes to the White House and to the Senate Finance Committee members this weekend.  We have sent 27 thousand faxes to Congress so far.  Let’s send another 27 thousand just this weekend. Go to this page on 1payer to send your free fax. Send one. Send all.  Demand a seat at the table.

This game about needing to ask another senator has been pulled before, course.  We needed one Senator to get the ball rolling to fight the “selection” of Bush in 2000, remember?

Anyway, I’ve been emailing and faxing courtesy HealthJustice and I hope many readers will do the same!

***

The Independent (UK) has an exclusive interview with the probable successor to Gordon Brown, Tory David Cameron.  It’s an interesting read and the next year before the election should be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.

…To the Tory leader and his party, this must be what waiting for power is like.

As it stands, Gordon Brown’s Government is reeling from setback after setback. The Prime Minister’s authority appears to be draining away. He is openly ridiculed by members of his own Cabinet, his expenses claim left open to question, his Government’s policy dictated to a minister by Joanna Lumley, the economy trapped in recession.

SNIP

It is Thursday 7 May, and in exactly a year’s time, if the polls are right and if Mr Brown is not ejected from office before then, Mr Cameron could be standing on the steps of 10 Downing Street having overnight brought to an end 13 years of Labour government.

Let’s recall how Obama and Cameron met during Obama’s summer tour of Europe.  At the time, this happened:

Breaking: Tory Leader David Cameron “Hearts” Obama, Talks about “Progessive Goals” Achieved by “Conservative Means”

At the time I wondered “Are Cameron and the Tories following Obama’s lead, or is it the other way around?”

***

THE PAST WEEK

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (May 9, 2009) ROADRUNNER in the Yard!

A Black Blogger’s Take on Obama’s Ambivalence toward the Real Problems in the Black Community

Tidbits from the 100 Days Debacle/Join the W.A.M. ACTION Against the Mainstream Media

Kurdish Women “Bend It Like Beckham” Pursuing Freedom

The Past Week: April 26-May 2, 2009 (Cap & Trade Speed Bumps; Tiny Houses; Obama’s Unchecked Spending Could Doom Health, Energy Plans)