The Sociological Effects of Credible Threats

I wanted to throw up this morning after reading of a guns/drugs arrest outside of Denver and a “connection with a possible plot to kill Senator Barack Obama during his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night,” as the New York Times reported.

memeorandum

Call me paranoid, call me a skeptic but my first reaction to such shocking headlines is concern. Not necessarily for the safety of Barack Obama — but for the way the fear factor is amplified among the throngs of people at the Convention and the proof that any derelict who gets pulled over can make headlines across the world by claiming to be involved in a plot against the first black candidate with a decent chance of becoming president.

In fact, the reporting in the CBS4 article with the uber-dramatic headline above is so very hasty and unprofessional, it is cringeworthy. And I’m not going to nitpick on the ridiculously misinformed and misspelled URL [OK, fine, it is after all: http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/assisination.plot.obama.2.802827.html]. Officials aren’t saying much, although Denver’s U.S. attorney is expected to make a statement this afternoon, but at least we have this ландшафтthorough exclusive interview by CBS4 reporter Brian Maass:

One of those suspects spoke exclusively to CBS4 investigative reporter Brian Maass from inside the Denver City Jail late Monday night and said his friends had discussed killing Obama.

“So your friends were saying threatening things about Obama?” Maass asked.

“Yeah,” Nathan Johnson replied.

“It sounded like they didn’t want him to be president?”

“Yeah,” Johnson said.

Below, the actual TV news clip from CBS4 Denver:

PHOTOS: Lollapalooza 2008

Caught a bit of Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago and had a wonderful time. Only *really* experienced Radiohead (aurally from across the street) and Rage Against the Machine (from the side of the stage). Both were awesome. Enjoy the photos below.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Still Paying For NetFlix and I Don’t Know Why

I’ve been a NetFlix subscriber on and off since the service began… or at least soon after the demise of Kozmo.com. I’m probably on my sixth or seventh e-mail address (since I historically have closed every account within a year and then been tempted to open a new one based on some freebie offer for new accounts). But I just don’t watch many movies and if I am going to take the time to sit still and be entertained by anything other than a baseball game or a computer I’m most likely to go to the theater. Yes, even though I have viewing rights to my roommate’s killer diller digital projector.


I’ve had the same two movies for 3 and 4 months respectively and have yet to watch either of them despite taking them with me on vacations, excursions, and other potentially boring rendezvouses. I even downgraded to the $8.99/month plan but still can’t find the impetus to watch these films OR return them OR quit the membership. Perhaps it’s because of Netflix’s “watch now” on your computer capabilities — although I’ve been expecting they’d open it up for Mac OSX users (like myself) and as far as I can tell — they still haven’t, in spite of promises made months ago.

What percentage of your video viewing is Netflix / Blockbuster / TiVo / on demand / torrent / hulu / Joost nowadays?

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If Hillary Can Ask You to Pay Back Her Debt Then So Can I

Hillary Clinton went some $10-15 million into debt just to finance her own charade of a much-too-long campaign. Now, with the help of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, she hopes that those who already donated to either Obama or her campaign will pony up yet again to help her get out of her self-prescribed debt.

Well, aren’t we all in a little bit of debt these days? Me? I’m not looking for millions, but even a couple hundred would help me stay in the black. And what’s more, I’m not asking anyone to pay me on top of some publicly paid salary — I actually do all this blog stuff out of the kindness of my narcissistic little heart. But you can PayPal all your pennies to andy@netzoo.net or hook me up with something from my Amazon Wishlist. I’ll let you read it when I’m done if you’re nice. So there! I’ve got nerve too, Hillary!

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How Much is McCain Paying to Advertise on This Blog? Will it Be Easy to Block Such Ads?

I had to chuckle this morning when I revisited a year-old post about Lara Logan (it’s been receiving traffic lately in the aftermath of her appearance last week on The Daily Show) and found this John McCain for President Google image ad at the bottom of the page:

why is john mccain advertising on my blog

SearchEngineWatch points to a couple interviews in which Google Ad execs predict that both candidates Obama and McCain will depend heavily on Adwords bidding wars and that the Clinton campaign was inconsistent with it’s usage of Google’s Adsense and Adwords platforms.

According to Adsense’s cost-estimate tool, the keyword Obama costs an estimated $0.88 – $1.23 per click (CPC). So, essentially the party who wishes to advertise on a website contextually relevant to the keyword “Obama” would have to outbid other potential advertisers. “Barack Obama” scored similarly on estimated CPC, but the estimated CPC for “McCain” is $1.23 – $1.85 — signficantly higher, implying that someone is driving up the bidding to advertise on websites/blogs featuring the word “mccain.” It comes as little surprise to find Barack Obama ads at the bottom of my posts that feature McCain. Yet, in the instance of the Lara Logan post, I’m betting that the McCain ad was picking up the “Iraq” keyword and advertising on that (Obama-related posts appear to be plastered with pro-Obama Google ads).

Continue reading “How Much is McCain Paying to Advertise on This Blog? Will it Be Easy to Block Such Ads?”