Don’t anger PBS or they will come at you…with numbers and facts. Here is the PBS response to Mitt Romney’s threat to cut their funding during the Denver Presidential Debate:
We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation.
- Two-thirds of voters oppose cuts to funding.
- 91% of American households watch PBS.
- 81% of children aged 2-8 watch PBS.
- A poll shows Americans think PBS is second most important use of public funds, after national defense.
They also say PBS cost each taxpayer $1.35/year, and for every federal dollar they raise another $6 from private sources. Could that be why Mitt thinks they can do without public funds?
All in all, I think Mitt would likely take back his PBS threat, if given the chance. Public Broadcasting is like the national parks, overwhelmingly supported by the public.
But don’t stop there, PBS has an entire website dedicated to this issue – ValuePBS.org – with more facts:
- PBS has a larger audience than HBO, Discovery, Bravo.
- 91% higher rating than CNN for news, public affairs.
- 236 million Americans watch PBS every year.
- 145 million stream PBS content on the web.
Continue reading PBS fights back – Americans love PBS and we have the stats to prove it
From The Wall Street Journal:
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have persuaded 11 more of their billionaire peers to promise to give away half of their wealth, including tech luminaries Gordon Moore (co-founder Intel) and Reed Hastings (co-founder Netflix).
The new 11 will join the Giving Pledge, a campaign Gates and Buffett launched in 2010 to try to kick-start a new era of American philanthropy.
From The Giving Pledge website:
The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations.
Each person who chooses to pledge will make this statement publicly, along with a letter explaining their decision to pledge.
Read the pledge letters of the existing 81 members (pdf) and the new 11 (pdf). Among the names on the list: George Lucas, Ted Turner, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elon Musk, Steve Case, Dustin Moskovitz, Michael Milken, and Michael Bloomberg.
More from the organization:
At an annual event, those who take the pledge will come together to share ideas and learn from each other.
The first annual meeting was held in Tucson, AZ, on Cinco de Mayo – May 5, 2011, and the second was held in Santa Barbara on May 9, 2012.
A timeline of the pledges:
New Poll of Likely Voters Finds Unity in Public Support for National Parks
According to a new public opinion poll commissioned by (two nonpartisan groups), national parks are cherished by Americans and an overwhelming 95 percent of voters want the federal government to ensure they are protected for the future and available for their enjoyment.
The new poll finds that more than 80 percent of voters have visited a national park at some point in their lives, and nearly nine in 10 say they are interested in visiting a park in the future.
You can count me in on that – our next trip is to Yosemite Valley in September.
Continue reading How nonpartisan are national parks? 95% of voters want them protected
We’ve written a number of stories about police officers interfering with citizens who are trying to record the actions of police in public places. In some cases, cops have arrested citizens for making recordings in public. In others, they’ve seized cell phones and deleted the recordings.
The courts and the Obama administration have both said that these activities violate the Constitution. And at least one police department has gotten the message loud and clear.
In a new legal directive first noticed by DCist, Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier explains the constitutional rights of DC citizens and gives her officers detailed instructions for respecting them. She addresses a number of scenarios that have led to controversy in recent years.
“A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make recordings as a member of the media,” Chief Lanier writes. The First Amendment protects the right to record the activities of police officers, not only in public places such as parks and sidewalks, but also in “an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present.”
Keep reading: ars technica – DC police chief announces shockingly reasonable cell camera policy
Continue reading Cell phone recording of police is ok – says Washington D.C. police chief, Cathy Lanier
I’ve got two maps for you. The first is the slippy map above from London Town:
I like the…hand-drawn feel of the map. Venues are shown in indicative locations rather than being geographically correct, as the details of London between the venues are missed out. This makes it a very poor map for navigating around London between the venues, but a good graphic illustrating just how many venues in London there are, and how they relate geographically to the major London landmarks. – Mapping London
Second, is the one you would pick up in the London Tube if you were going to the games. Created for the Olympics, the “London Summer 2012” map looks like a pretty cool brochure/souvenir for the games:
The maps feature key landmarks, the locations of Olympics related events (such as London Live) and shops, a selection of interesting museums and also more practical information such as public amenities, police stations and NHS walk in centres. The maps also include 6 discovery trails (round trips) to help explore different areas (such as the City; Spitalfields and Brick Lane; Regent’s Park; and the West End).
Two screenshots of it below – more at – Mapping London
Continue reading A brochure from the Olympics – the map from the London Tube
Even more interesting considering that both this Economist article and the Bloomberg exposé are currently blocked in China.
In recent years China’s leaders have become increasingly concerned that the public’s awareness of the growing wealth gap could lead to social instability. In Beijing, displays of gratuitous overcompensation are a daily reminder that some people, in keeping with a famous dictum of Deng Xiaoping’s, have indeed got rich first. Officials last year even went so far as to try suppressing ads that promote “luxury lifestyles”—lest the have-nots be inspired to rise up and storm the local Lamborghini dealership.
Perhaps even more troubling for the Party is the surge in scepticism over how such wealth seems to find its way into the hands of officials and their families, not to mention into those of their beloved Swiss bankers, English boarding schools and Australian estate agents. Particularly galling are the reports about the great number of officials who have taken to working “naked”. That is to say, many officials are working in China while their wives, children and, presumably, a chunk of the motherland’s money take residence overseas. A report released last year estimated that as much as $120 billion may have been transferred abroad by corrupt officials.
The Chinese media have been given greater freedom to report on corruption and the financial shenanigans of large companies of late. Which makes it all the more striking that reporting on the business activities of the Central Committee’s wives and offspring is still strictly forbidden.
So one can only imagine the consternation caused by yesterday’s sensational exposé by Bloomberg, which details the financial assets belonging to the family of China’s president-in-waiting, Xi Jinping…
More on this story – Wealth and power: It’s a family affair
Continue reading Communist party in China facing public anger as corruption gets exposed
Facebook will give investors and the world their first official look at its post-IPO earning for Q2 2012 at 2pm PST on July 26th, according to a brief note posted to its investor relations page just now. The company’s share price closed at $31.095 today, down $0.265 or 0.85%, but still closer to the $38 IPO price than its been for most of the time since its May 18th public debut.
The company pulled in $1.058 billion in Q1 2012 revenue with a net income of $205 million. Critics will want to see both of those increase and will likely focus on its mobile revenue. Facebook only began showing ads on mobile at the end of February, but monetizing the medium is believed to be the linchpin of Facebook’s future success.
Via – Facebook’s First Public Earnings, Q2 2012, Scheduled For July 26th
Continue reading Facebook’s first public earnings release, Q2 – July 26
April 11, 2012 – Ushering in a sweeping new era of public ownership and access to thousands of acres of Orange County’s most prized natural lands, the (Orange County) Board of Supervisors today accepted the long-anticipated final gift of more than 20,000 acres of pristine, permanently protected open space and parklands from the Irvine Company.
These lands have been designated both a California and National Natural Landmark and are part of a grand total of 50,000 acres of permanently protected open space and parklands located on The Irvine Ranch and donated to Orange County. This unprecedented gift was created through collaborative conservation efforts spanning over 100 years involving the Irvine Company, community organizations, municipalities, government agencies and environmental groups.
This exceptional 50,000-acre gift is over 10 times the size of Griffith Park in Los Angeles (4,210 acres) and almost 60 times the size of Central Park in New York (843 acres).
The vast donation of permanently protected land includes: Bommer Canyon, Crystal Cove State Park, Upper Newport Bay, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and Quail Hill. Today’s gift adds the spectacular Limestone, Fremont, Weir, Black Star and Gypsum canyons to that list.
More details about the donation – Donald-Bren.com
Continue reading Irvine Company completes donation of 20,000 acres of permanently protected natural parks