2014 SOTU Buzz

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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Beautiful Or Cynical?

This video of one of the most elaborate marriage proposals that I’ve ever seen showed up in my Facebook newsfeed a while ago. While I doubt, given its source and the seriously high production value, that it’s real, it struck me somewhat oddly.

Because of the way I think I’m forced to wonder, if this was a real proposal, is it perhaps the most beautiful and romantic proposal in recent public memory or an equally egregious case of one person cynically manipulating another for his own ends?

Since I know that my mind doesn’t work like most people’s, why don’t you readers tell me what you think of this proposal?

Was his proposal beautiful and romantic or cynically manipulative

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For the record – in case you couldn’t guess – I found it to be a cynically manipulative ploy because it forced the women to either accept the proposal or both a hugely public scene and basically tell her friends and family that she didn’t respect their opinions.

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Are We A Disapointment?

The American EagleA recent Gallup Poll showed that most of America’s adult residents continue to say they are proud to be an American, including 57% who are extremely proud and 28% who are very proud. That pride, however, didn’t extend to how the government and the courts have behaved in recent years or to believing that the Founding Fathers would approve of the way the United States has turned out after 237 years.

When asked, “Overall, do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out?”

  • 71% said that they’d be disappointed;
  • 17% said, “No habla ingles;”
  • and 12% said, “Shit, Nigga! What the fuck do I care about what some bunch of old, dead Crackers be feeling? They was slave owners, ya know?”

Some think that this doesn’t bode well for our nation’s future. Others are just scratching their heads and wondering how so many can be so proud of being America while at the same time believing that America of today would disappoint those whose vision and courage gave rise to her.

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Sterilizing the 3 D’s

[SinglePic not found]In the case the three “D’s” are the disabled, degenerate, and dependent – the three meta-categories of people that no sane member of any society wants to reproduce.

The question is whether or not it’s ethical to encourage them to get sterilized so as to avoid their propagating the vast host of problems such breedings cause society.

Barbara Harris, the founder of Project Prevention – formerly known as C.R.A.C.K. (Children Requiring A Caring Kommunity) – thinks so, specifically when it regards drug addicted women – and a few men. Her organization offer cash incentives for such people to undergo sterilization procedures.

Others think that Harris and Project Prevention are hellish in nature. They claim that she’s taking advantage of women who are not able to make an informed decision about their health. They’ve called what she’s doing bribery. They’ve claimed that she’s taking away these drug addicts’ right to reproduce. And – of course – they’ve brought out the old canard of racism.

The Question Remains

Is it ethical to offer drug addicts money to be sterilized?

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Personally, I find no ethical problems with offering anyone, especially the mentally disabled, the morally degenerate, and dependent, money if they’re willing to be voluntarily sterilized. I find it a far more efficient and moral choice than Planned Parenthood’s counseling these sorts to have abortions and any form of contraception that requires a regimen of intake is unlikely to be effective for these people.

Is it eugenics? Certainly, of a sort. I see reason to be bothered by that. Eugenics, when practiced on a voluntary basis, is no sin insofar as I can see. Killing unborn babies in order to save them from a nightmarish life is another story, as is ignoring their plight.

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Good Spock Or Bad Spock?

As I’ve said before, fandom is not limited to guys. There are geek grrls as well and they’re just as likely to take their love of Sci-Fi to extremes as the guy geeks are. Of course the results are often more pleasing.

The original Star Trek series seems especially with the geek grrls of fandom and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock has always had a strong following among them.

Good Spock, Bad Spock
Live Long and Prosper!

The babe in this picture presents us with a choice. Who is better, the classic “good” Spock or the more saturnine “bad” Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series‘ episode #39 “Mirror Mirror“?

This being the Internet and a blog to boot, people must have an opinion on this – so what’s yours?

Who's Better, Good Spock or Bad Spock?

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This is really part of what’s good about science fiction; there’s a little something for everyone in it. 😉

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