Where Did Ebola Go?

Posted in Politics, Society on December 2nd, 2014

Ebola Just Up and Vanished
Ebola Just Up and Vanished

Well, the simple answer is that Ebola hasn’t gone anywhere. Indeed, despite the now near complete media blackout, Ebola is progressing apace in West Africa.

What has happened is that the American news cycle has moved on because both Americans and Liberals, quite rightly, can’t sustain interest in fighting a disease that is endemic to West Africa and which poses only a limited risk to America.

The only reasons it made the news in the first place is because Obama, in the lead up to the 2014 elections, made a big, public deal about it and this resulted in Ebola reaching US shore and being very poorly contained. Once the combination of public outcry causing a tightening of containment procedures and the election being over, Ebola stopped being news.

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The Cola Wars 2.0

Posted in Food & Drink, Politics, Society on February 4th, 2014

The Cola Wars have been raging since the 1980s, with Coca-Cola and Pepsi targeting each other in advertisement after advertisement. Given that there were billions of dollars on the line it wasn’t too surprising how vicious the Cola War became for a while. Even so, some of us were surprised and a little concerned about the war over cold drinks “going hot” when, in 1989, PepsiCo purchased: 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer from the Soviets.

NOTE: The fleet’s purchase, along with PepsiCo being the US distributor for Stolichnaya was part of a countertrade arrangement that allowed Pepsi to be sold in the Soviet Union.

The fleet was nearly immediately sold for scrap. Interestingly, however, for a short period of time PepsiCo had the 7th largest submarine fleet in the world. 8-O

Shortly after that the Cola Wars calmed down a bit. Now, however, Coca-Cola has changed the war by politicizing it and bringing America as whole into the conflict. They did this with their 2014 Super Bowl commercial, “It’s Beautiful.”

Coca-Cola’s “America” The Beautiful

Some love it, others loath it. Few have no opinion about it. Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” almost seems more battle anthem than marketing. Perhaps never before has a simple television commercial so divided a population.

Americans v. Liberals

Whether they intended to do or not, Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial directly pit Americans and Liberals against each other. Americans have, at least, some discomfort with- and qualms about the message “It’s Beautiful” promulgates and/or reinforces and normalizes, while Liberals absolute love that message.

It boils down to whether the viewer loves America and her culture or loathes it in favor of foreign cultures. If the viewer believes that immigrants should strive to become Americans, bringing with them those parts of their birth culture that will add to America, they will likely find fault with the commercial’s underlying message. If, however, the viewer desires for immigrants to keep all or most of their birth culture after relocating to America. they will likely love it.

This is simply because Americans love their country, their culture and language, and convergence. Liberals, contrariwise, loath American culture but love diversity and plurality.

Godless Passive-Aggression

Naturally, the Atheists had to chime in because the song, “America The Beautiful” contains the refrain, “America! America! | God shed His grace on thee,” and any mention of the God(s) anywhere outside of the home or a church that isn’t a denial of the Divinity’s existence sets their teeth on edge. What was interesting about their interjections into the conversations were their acrobatic apologetics.

Reading the various displays of the Godless’ passive-aggression was actually amusing since they had to contort their comments to show support for the various oikophobes that fetishize diversity while still maintaining their Atheist “cred” by bemoaning the Godly reference.

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2014 SOTU Buzz

Posted in Politics, Technology on January 30th, 2014

Microsoft fired up it’s Bing Pulse tool for the second year in order to record real-time audience sentiment during Obama’s fifth SOTU speech. The online voting tool allowed viewers to share their opinions about the speech using a smartphone, PC or tablet.

This year, Microsoft is added some new functions to the tool, including an annotated graph feature that allowed viewers to click on spikes and/or dips in the real-time graphs to see the issues being addressed during the speech that have prompted major reactions.

SOTU Buzz

BING PULSE – 2014 SOTU

Last years SOTU Bing Pulse registered 12.9 million votes, according to Microsoft, and this year’s should have been at least as popular so these are the broadest political polls in existence at this time. The re results are also quite interesting.

Speechcrafting

Firstly, I have to give credit where credit is due. Whatever team of writers developed Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech did a very credible job.  The Overall Intensity Graph show a solid curve of interest that builds well, peaks, and drops off at the end, indicating a good denouement. The pacing of the peaks and valleys of engagement also shows a good pace to the speech.

A Telling Response

The listeners’ responses, broken out by political beliefs, is very telling indeed. There’s a huge and stark disparity between how Democrats viewed Obama’s speech and how both Republicans and Independents did so. It’s quite a dramatic difference.

Democrats held largely uniformly positive views of each of Obama’s talking points, only dipping below the 50% mark on the issues of the War on Terror and continuing to support Israel.  They’ve approval didn’t waver much throughout the speech either, showing far less mean difference in approval rating and engagement from one talking to point to the next than either Republicans or Independents. For the most part, however, while differing in amplitude, Democrats showed the same peaks and valleys of approval as both Republicans and Independents.

Republicans and Independents conversely were, by and large, quite disapproving  of Obama’s talking points during his speech, rising above 50% only when it came to the War on Terror and providing medical benefits to veterans. They were, in fact, both more disapproving of it than the Democrats were approving of it.

One point to make specific note of is that Republicans and Independents responded to the talking points in Obama’s 2014 SOTU speech almost identically. There was almost no statistical variation between them, whereas both differed greatly from the Democrats’ responses.

Women’s Needs

Interestingly, despite the constant contention that women have different needs and priorities than men, the responses and engagement of the respective genders was, talking point by talking point, almost identical. This largely held true even on those parts of Obama’s speech which would normally be considered “women’s issues.”

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