November 30th, 2011
By Barry Secrest
The devil is always in the details, it would seem.
Huffington Post essentially crows that Fox "has dropped primetime viewership by 30% " in the "demo for primetime." So what exactly is "the demo for primetime?" I really don't know and truly don't care, but it's probably some screwy little idiosyncracy that has no true weighting on the actual facts.
Those facts being that a Conservative nation loves Fox News and therefore, Fox News completely obliterates the competition.
When I scrolled through the results I immediately started laughing.
From shows ranked in ratings from 1 through 14, Fox was on top with Bill O'Reilly leading the way at number one, and my personal favorite, Hannity, coming in at number two. By the way, Sean Hannity runs a great show, but his interviewing skills?
The guy is Spartacus. Hannity has an incredible talent in drawing people out and learning what their views are and more important,"why."
It's a definite talent and Sean pretty much slays the competition in that regard.
But the numbers for Fox were nothing if not daunting for the other networks. MSNBC and CNN brought up the rear in a very artful way.
Below is the story from Huffington:
November's cable news ratings are out and here we go again! Like clockwork, Fox News dominated the ratings. Still, every network had an interesting story to tell.
Fox News saw its numbers drop by double digits in primetime, total day and A25-54 viewers compared to 2010. This isn't totally surprising, since that was a major election year, but the drops were steep; for instance, the network was down 30% in the demo for primetime.
MSNBC's primetime programming brought in bigger ratings than last month, which tipped the ratings war scale between the network and CNN back in its favor. MSNBC attributes its ratings climb to the reshuffling of Lawrence O'Donnell's "The Last Word," with Ed Shultz's "The Ed Show."
CNN however, experienced ratings growth of its own across the board. Compared to November 2010, CNN grew 4% in Total Day viewing. Anderson Cooper's "AC 360" 8:00 p.m. airing also improved over 40% in total viewing, compared to this month last year. (Piers Morgan, unfortunately, saw his ratings slide a bit below the numbers Larry King was posting on his farewell tour in 2010, though he has managed to top King's ratings overall this year.) CNN also beat MSNBC in the daytime.
How did individual shows fare? Below, see the top 30 cable news programs of November.
November 30th, 2011
By William Wan
The Chinese have called it their “Underground Great Wall” — a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal.
For the past three years, a small band of obsessively dedicated students at Georgetown University has called it something else: homework.
Led by their hard-charging professor, a former top Pentagon official, they have translated hundreds of documents, combed through satellite imagery, obtained restricted Chinese military documents and waded through hundreds of gigabytes of online data.
The result of their effort? The largest body of public knowledge about thousands of miles of tunnels dug by the Second Artillery Corps, a secretive branch of the Chinese military in charge of protecting and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
The study is yet to be released, but already it has sparked a congressional hearing and been circulated among top officials in the Pentagon, including the Air Force vice chief of staff.
Most of the attention has focused on the 363-page study’s provocative conclusion — that China’s nuclear arsenal could be many times larger than the well-established estimates of arms-control experts.
“It’s not quite a bombshell, but those thoughts and estimates are being checked against what people think they know based on classified information,” said a Defense Department strategist who would discuss the study only on the condition of anonymity.
The study’s critics, however, have questioned the unorthodox Internet-based research of the students, who drew from sources as disparate as Google Earth, blogs, military journals and, perhaps most startlingly, a fictionalized TV docudrama about Chinese artillery soldiers — the rough equivalent of watching Fox’s TV show “24” for insights into U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
But the strongest condemnation has come from nonproliferation experts who worry that the study could fuel arguments for maintaining nuclear weapons in an era when efforts are being made to reduce the world’s post-Cold War stockpiles.
Beyond its impact in the policy world, the project has made a profound mark on the students — including some who have since graduated and taken research jobs with the Defense Department and Congress.
“I don’t even want to know how many hours I spent on it,” said Nick Yarosh, 22, an international politics senior at Georgetown. “But you ask people what they did in college, most just say I took this class, I was in this club. I can say I spent it reading Chinese nuclear strategy and Second Artillery manuals. For a nerd like me, that really means something.”
For students, an obsession
The students’ professor, Phillip A. Karber, 65, had spent the Cold War as a top strategist reporting directly to the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it was his early work in defense that cemented his reputation, when he led an elite research team created by Henry Kissinger, who was then the national security adviser, to probe the weaknesses of Soviet forces.
Karber prided himself on recruiting the best intelligence analysts in the government. “You didn’t just want the highest-ranking or brightest guys, you wanted the ones who were hungry,” he said.
In 2008, Karber was volunteering on a committee for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Pentagon agency charged with countering weapons of mass destruction.
After a devastating earthquake struck Sichuan province, the chairman of Karber’s committee noticed Chinese news accounts reporting that thousands of radiation technicians were rushing to the region. Then came pictures of strangely collapsed hills and speculation that the caved-in tunnels in the area had held nuclear weapons.
Find out what’s going on, the chairman asked Karber, who began looking for analysts again — this time among his students at Georgetown.
The first inductees came from his arms-control classes. Each semester, he set aside a day to show them tantalizing videos and documents he had begun gathering on the tunnels. Then he concluded with a simple question: What do you think it means?
“The fact that there were no answers to that really got to me,” said former student Dustin Walker, 22. “It started out like any other class, tests on this day or that, but people kept coming back, even after graduation. . . . We spent hours on our own outside of class on this stuff.”
The students worked in their dorms translating military texts. They skipped movie nights for marathon sessions reviewing TV clips of missiles being moved from one tunnel structure to another. While their friends read Shakespeare, they gathered in the library to war-game worst-case scenarios of a Chinese nuclear strike on the United States.
Over time, the team grew from a handful of contributors to roughly two dozen. Most spent their time studying the subterranean activities of the Second Artillery Corps.
While the tunnels’ existence was something of an open secret among the handful of experts studying China’s nuclear arms, almost no papers or public reports on the structures existed.
So the students turned to publicly available Chinese sources — military journals, local news reports and online photos posted by Chinese citizens. It helped that China’s famously secretive military was beginning to release more information, driven by its leaders’ eagerness to show off China’s growing power to its citizens.
The Internet also generated a raft of leads: new military forums, blogs and once-obscure local TV reports now posted on the Chinese equivalents of YouTube. Strategic string searches even allowed the students to get behind some military Web sites and download documents such as syllabuses taught at China’s military academies.
Drudgery and discoveries
The main problem was the sheer amount of translation required.
Each semester, Karber managed to recruit only one or two Chinese-speaking students. So the team assembled a makeshift system to scan images of the books and documents they found. Using text-capture software, they converted those pictures into Chinese characters, which were fed into translation software to produce crude English versions. From those, they highlighted key passages for finer translation by the Chinese speakers.
November 30th, 2011
Cr edit note: There are limits, and this would be one of them....job well done by the Deputies.
A 103-year-old woman and her 83-year-old daughter got a last-minute eviction reprieve when sheriff's deputies and movers decided they couldn’t uproot the women from their longtime Atlanta home.
Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies and a moving company hired by the bank showed up at Vita Lee’s Penelope Road home on Tuesday, according to a report on WSBTV.com. Deutsche Bank apparently holds the mortgage that is being serviced locally by Chase, the station reported. The planned eviction was reportedly the latest move in a legal battle that dates back years.
But when the men saw the frail woman, they opted to leave instead of carry through with the forced move, WSBTV.com reported.
The reprieve comes just three weeks shy of Lee’s 104th-birthday. Lee said she just wants to live out her last days in the place she has called home for more than half a century. "I love it. It’s a mansion," she said about the modest house.
Still, the stress of the situation was apparently too much for Lee’s daughter, who reportedly was rushed to the hospital. Lee said she hopes now the bank will leave her alone.
"Please don't come in and disturb me no more," Lee told WSBTV.com. "When I'm gone you all can come back and do whatever they want to."
More news and other features from MSNBC:
November 30th, 2011
YouTube / Trump
November 30th, 2011
The Daily Beast
Valerie realized that sex was wrecking her life right around the time her second marriage disintegrated. At 30, and employed as a human-resources administrator in Phoenix, she had serially cheated on both her husbands—often with their subordinates and co-workers—logging anonymous hookups in fast-food-restaurant bathrooms, affairs with married men, and one-night stands too numerous to count. But Valerie couldn’t stop. Not even after one man’s wife aimed a shotgun at her head while catching them in flagrante delicto. Valerie called phone-sex chat lines and pored over online pornography, masturbating so compulsively that it wasn’t uncommon for her to choose her vibrator over going to work. She craved public exhibitionism, too, particularly at strip clubs, and even accepted money in exchange for sex—not out of financial necessity but for the illicit rush such acts gave her.
For Valerie, sex was a form of self-medication: to obliterate the anxiety, despair, and crippling fear of emotional intimacy that had haunted her since being abandoned as a child. “In order to soothe the loneliness and the fear of being unwanted, I was looking for love in all the wrong places,” she recalls.
After a decade of carrying on this way, Valerie hit rock bottom. Facing her second divorce as well as the end of an affair, she grew despondent and attempted to take her life by overdosing on prescription medication. Awakening in the ICU, she at last understood what she had become: a sex addict. “Through sexually acting out, I lost two marriages and a job. I ended up homeless and on food stamps,” says Valerie, who, like most sex addicts interviewed for this story, declined to provide her real name. “I was totally out of control.”
“Sex addiction” remains a controversial designation—often dismissed as a myth or providing talk-show punchlines thanks to high-profile lotharios such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Tiger Woods. But compulsive sexual behavior, also called hypersexual disorder, can systematically destroy a person’s life much as addictions to alcohol or drugs can. And it’s affecting an increasing number of Americans, say psychiatrists and addiction experts. “It’s a national epidemic,” says Steven Luff, coauthor of Pure Eyes: A Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and leader of the X3LA sexual-addiction recovery groups in Hollywood.
Reliable figures for the number of diagnosed sex addicts are difficult to come by, but the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, an education and sex-addiction treatment organization, estimates that between 3 and 5 percent of the U.S. population—or more than 9 million people—could meet the criteria for addiction. Some 1,500 sex therapists treating compulsive behavior are practicing today, up from fewer than 100 a decade ago, say several researchers and clinicians, while dozens of rehabilitation centers now advertise treatment programs, up from just five or six in the same period. The demographics are changing, too. “Where it used to be 40- to 50-year-old men seeking treatment, now there are more females, adolescents, and senior citizens,” says Tami VerHelst, vice president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. “Grandfathers getting caught with porn on their computers by grandkids, and grandkids sexting at 12.”
In fact, some of the growth has been fueled by the digital revolution, which has revved up America’s carnal metabolism. Where previous generations had to risk public embarrassment at dirty bookstores and X-rated movie theaters, the Web has made pornography accessible, free, and anonymous. An estimated 40 million people a day in the U.S. log on to some 4.2 million pornographic websites, according to the Internet Filter Software Review. And though watching porn isn’t the same as seeking out real live sex, experts say the former can be a kind of gateway drug to the latter.
“Not everyone who looks at a nude image is going to become a sex addict. But the constant exposure is going to trigger people who are susceptible,” says Dr. David Sack, chief executive of Los Angeles’s Promises Treatment Centers.
New high-tech tools are also making it easier to meet strangers for a quick romp. Smartphone apps like Grindr use GPS technology to facilitate instantaneous, no-strings gay hookups in 192 countries. The website AshleyMadison.com promises “affairs guaranteed” by connecting people looking for sex outside their marriages; the site says it has 12.2 million members.
This year the epidemic has spread to movies and TV. In November the Logo television network began airing Bad Sex, a reality series following a group of men and women with severe sexual issues, most notably addiction. And on Dec. 2, the acclaimed psychosexual drama Shame arrives in theaters. The movie follows Brandon (portrayed by Irish actor Michael Fassbender in a career-defining performance), a New Yorker with a libido the size of the Empire State Building. His life devolves into a blur of carnal encounters, imperiling both his job and his self-regard. In perhaps the least sexy sex scene in the history of moviedom, Brandon appears to lose all humanity during a frenzied ménage à trois with two prostitutes. “It’s a foursome with the audience,” says director and co-writer Steve McQueen. “What we were doing was actually dangerous. Not just in terms of people liking the movie, but psychologically.”
However powerful and queasy Shame’s odyssey into full-frontal debasement may be, the film only begins to tap into the dark realities connected with sex addiction. Take it from Tony, a 36-year-old from the affluent Westside of Los Angeles, who found his life thrown into turmoil by compulsive sexual behavior. “I was crippled by it,” he says. “I would go into trancelike states, lose track of what I was doing socially, professionally, spiritually. I couldn’t stop.”
He was ashamed of his tireless efforts to find women. “I was meeting girls on the basketball court, in the club, pulling my car over to meet them on the street,” Tony recalls. It took joining a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous 12-step program for him to realize that he wasn’t alone.
He also learned that his fixation on sex was a way of avoiding his insecurities and tackling the emotional issues that first led to his addictive behavior. “The addiction will take you to a place where you’re walking the streets at night, so keyed up, thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll just see if there’s anybody out there,’” he says. “Like looking for prey, kind of. You’re totally jacked up, adrenalized. One hundred percent focused on this one purpose. But my self-esteem was shot.”
Most treatment programs are modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, but rather than pushing cold-turkey abstinence, they advocate something called “sexual sobriety.” This can take different forms, but typically involves eradicating “unwanted sexual behavior,” whether that’s obsessive masturbation or sex with hookers. “We treat it very much like sobriety for an eating disorder,” says Robert Weiss, founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles. “They have to define for themselves based on their own goals and belief systems: ‘What is healthy eating for me? Can I go to a buffet? Can I eat by myself?’ We look at your goals and figure in your sexual behaviors and validate what’s going to lead you back to the behavior you don’t want to do.”
Although sex addicts sometimes describe behavior akin to obsessive-compulsive disorder, research hasn’t directly correlated the two. But a growing body of research shows how hypersexual disorder can fit into other forms of addiction. At the Promises treatment centers, clinicians have observed a number of sex addicts who have relapsed with drugs or alcohol in order to medicate the shame they felt. Severe depression can also follow after an addict starts to confront the condition. “I realized I was not comfortable in my own skin,” says Valerie, who checked herself into four months of treatment for sex addiction at Del Amo, a private behavioral-health hospital in Torrance, Calif. “My depression came from the fear I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. Fighting the obsession and rumination, the fear of loneliness and abandonment.”
Sex addicts are compelled by the same heightened emotional arousal that can drive alcoholics or drug addicts to act so recklessly, say addiction experts. Research shows that substance abusers and sex addicts alike form a dependency on the brain’s pleasure-center neurotransmitter, dopamine. “It’s all about chasing that emotional high: losing yourself in image after image, prostitute after prostitute, affair after affair,” says the Sexual Recovery Institute’s Weiss. “They end up losing relationships, getting diseases, and losing jobs.”
Here’s what the experts will tell you that sex addiction is most decidedly not: a convenient excuse for sexual indiscretions and marital truancy. Chris Donaghue, a sex therapist who hosts the show Bad Sex, says Tiger Woods, for example, does not qualify as a sex addict, despite his well-documented sexcapades and treatment at a Mississippi rehabilitation center specializing in sex addiction. “Because he didn’t honor his integrity and marital boundary does not make him an addict,” Donaghue says, adding that people will say, “ ‘Because I get in trouble, because I cheat, I’ll just blame it on sex addiction. That’s my get-out-of-jail-free card.’ ”
Contrast Woods’s wild-oats sowing against the experiences of Harper, an Atlanta-born television executive who found himself caught in the grips of sex addiction for four years. After joining an online dating service, Harper fell into a pattern of juggling multiple relationships, sexting incessantly and focusing almost singlemindedly on hooking up. He discovered he could usually get his partners into bed on the first date—sometimes within the first hour of meeting. “And these weren’t desperate women,” he says.
But the fleeting ego gratification Harper derived from his conquests came at a steep price. He describes himself as living in a “stupor.” Friendships suffered, and he felt “pathetic” about his sexual urgency. The worst part, he says, was that his sex drive ultimately changed “what I think is normal,” as his tolerance grew for increasingly hard-core forms of pornography. “It really is like that monster you can’t ever fulfill,” says Harper, 30, who has avoided dating for the past eight months and attends a recovery group. “Both with the porn and the sex, something will be good for a while and then you have to move on to other stuff. The worst thing is, toward the end, I was looking at pretend incest porn. And I was like, ‘Why is something like that turning me on?!’ ”
The potential for abuse of online porn is well documented, with research showing that chronic masturbators who engage with online porn for up to 20 hours a day can suffer a “hangover” as a result of the dopamine drop-off. But there are other collateral costs. “What you look at online is going to take you offline,” says Craig Gross, a.k.a. the “Porn Pastor,” who heads XXXChurch.com, a Christian website that warns against the perils of online pornography. “You’re going to do so many things you never thought you’d do.”
Exhibit A: “We see a lot of heterosexual men who are addicted to sex and, because culturally and biologically women aren’t as readily available to have sex at all times of the day, these men will turn to gay men for gratification,” says sex therapist Donaghue. “Imagine what that does to their psychology. ‘Now am I gay? What do I tell my wife?’ ”
That wasn’t the issue for Max Dubinsky, an Ohio native and writer who went through a torturous 14-month period of online-pornography dependence. He says a big problem with his addiction was actually what it prevented him from doing. “I couldn’t hold down a healthy relationship. I couldn’t be aroused without pornography, and I was expecting way too much from the women in my life,” recalls Dubinsky, 25, who sought treatment at the X3LA recovery group and is now married.
If discussion of sex addiction can seem like an exclusive domain of men, that’s because, according to sex therapists, the overwhelming majority of self-identifying addicts—about 90 percent—are male. Women are more often categorized as “love addicts,” with a compulsive tendency to fall into dependent relationships and form unrealistic bonds with partners. That’s partly because women are more apt than men to be stigmatized by association with sex addiction, says Anna Valenti-Anderson, a sex-addiction therapist in Phoenix. “We live in a society where there’s still a lot more internalized shame for women and there’s a lot more for them to lose,” Valenti-Anderson says. “People will say, ‘She’s a bad mom’ for doing these sexual things. As opposed to, ‘She’s sick and has a disorder.’ But very slowly, women are starting to be more willing to come into treatment.”
Addicts and therapists alike say they hope a greater awareness of the disease will eventually help addicts of all genders and ages come forward and seek treatment. Many are likely to find that “sex addiction isn’t really about sex,” as Weiss puts it; it’s about “being wanted.”
X3LA’s Steven Luff says, “Sex is the perfect match for that. ‘I matter right now. In this moment, I am loved.’ In that sense, an entire culture, an entire nation is looking for meaning.”
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