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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vos announces PayToPlay Center at UWMadison: Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership

Republicans Announce New Policy Center At UW-Madison
... Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other top Republicans have announced a new leadership center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that Vos said will "offset some of the liberal thinking" on campus. 
The speaker’s remarks came as UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank pledged that the new Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership would promote nonpartisan research....

Gee sounds unilateral, ahem, mean non-partisan, to me ... hahaha!

PRESS RELEASE In Unprecedented Move, JFC Republicans Allot Millions to Establish Partisan, Conservative Think Tank at UW-Madison Plan allots $500,000 for speakers to appear on other UW Campuses By State Rep. Chris Taylor - May 26th, 2017

MADISON – Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee allocated $3 million in state funds in an unprecedented move to use taxpayer money to fund a partisan, conservative think tank at UW-Madison called the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos stated in media accounts that this Center was designed to counter “left-leaning” research organizations and “liberal thinking” on campus.
This comes on the heels of a bill Vos is attempting to push through the legislature that unconstitutionally punishes students for exercising their First Amendment rights by the threat of expulsion.
The think tank will actually be controlled by a board dominated by exclusively Republican political appointees without a single Democratic appointment. According to press accounts, UW Political Science Professor Ryan Owens, a former staffer to Governor Thompson who has received funding from the conservative Bradley Foundation, is vying to lead the Center. A significant portion, $500,000, must be used to pay speakers for engagements at other UW campuses.

So you know him when you see him --

UW professors raised partisanship concerns over new center Updated: Oct 11, 2017 02:09 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. - Newly released emails show University of Wisconsin political science professors involved in the creation of a publicly funded policy center raised concerns about an emphasis on conservative speakers.
The Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership was announced in May and it received $3 million in the state budget.
E-mails obtained under the state open records law by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday, show that professors involved with the planning raised red flags early on.
One concern was over a tentative speaking list for a leadership event next month that was all Republican.

#WPR WI 1848 Forward: #Vos announces #PayToPlay Center at #UWMadison: Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership #DefeatVos

Monday, May 15, 2017

Did you ever wonder how someone makes up their mind? Others and George Lakoff

It's now May of 2020 and we are collectively in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have not updated or edited this collection.  I should.  Perhaps soon.  I have been thinking about this blog entry from May of 2017.  There is more to the story ... a few more insights.

Did you ever wonder how someone makes up their mind?  How they then become so resolute in what they "believe" to be the real truth or fact?

Over the past several years, especially since Scott Walker was elected governor of our state, I have been among the wandering wonderers.  Pragmatically people had beliefs, that although I felt were wrong, they held those beliefs nonetheless.  How does one go about affecting beliefs or changing a person's mind let alone a group?  So I kept the question in my mind and passively went about creating a record, in a blog, collecting facts over time to see if I could find "facts" that changed my mind or to say more accurately, refined my thoughts.

Along the way I collected so many stories from different people and disciplines that were independently interesting.  As I collected those stories it seemed they were only related to some small part of my question.

Many things were mulled over and then I encountered the following which I posted in January, 2012. My interest stemmed from curiosity about "Behavioral Economics".  The use of the word "moral" in the title also intrigued me since the politics of many to the right seem to believe they have "a better moral compass" than others.

TED : Dan Ariely - Our buggy moral code - explains ENRON, Politics

A month later I encountered from many sources, how at least one "social psychologist" had concluded from research that liberals did not like to see "animals or people harmed" but conservatives "ranked loyalty to the tribe" first among their values.  He added that these were tendencies and otherwise liberals and conservatives were not so different.  This was added to the blog in March, 2012.

MSNBC, CSPAN, TED, PBS - Moyers -How do Liberals & Conservatives View World - Haidt

Among other first collected stories another came from this TED talk and my subsequent reading of Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow.  He is a Nobel winner in Economics but professionally a psychologist. I learned we are neither rationale nor conscious, and rather easily biased by clever people. It slowly has sunk in and there were even a few guideposts about what clever people do to influence or at least get you to a point where you are more likely to listen and perhaps adopt or become more inflexible in your beliefs.  I put my blog entry out in September, 2012.

Added 03/13/2018

Think Politics - TED - Kahneman - Riddle: Experience vs Memory

The following blog entry was posted in December, 2013.  As a "sign-post" telling us where we were and where we are going. I have not encountered any story that better describe the differences in "political philosophy" between liberals and conservatives;  sort of whether they know it or not

Market Economy versus Market Society: Inequality and Civic Decisions - TED - Michael Sandel

September, 2015 - Two Hour Episode - PBS

A story of an optimistic man, biologist, originator of the field of "socialbiology"  and has changed our world view and the view of evolution and the human condition.  "We are a dysfunctional species.  ... [We have] Paleolithic emotions, we have medieval institutions, and on top of all that we have developed God like technology ... ... I have been a happy man in a terrible century."

E.O. Wilson of Ants and Men

October- November, 2015 - Six Episodes on PBS

David Eagleman (book and series) brings home conclusively how we are basically unconscious creatures.  Sad illustrations of how children deprived of nurture will never recover a normal life or intellect if the are deprived for the first 2-3 years of their life.

He also presents compelling insight as to how we are manipulated and genocide continues in our time.

The Brain - David Eagleman

This blog entry from January, 2016, is the product of a long study that began before 2011 by UW Professor Katherine Cramer.  The re-election of Scot Walker and the pending 2016 Presidential election brought the research into the fore.

Walker crafted messaging to exploit perceived differences that in reality did not exist.
“You’ve got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin,” said Walker on Wednesday at a capitol press conference. (April 7, 2011)
"The Politics of Resentment" = Scott Walker's political rise == rural resentment against the "liberal elite"

You need a toolkit and we often forget to be persuasive by listening and being creative ... from July, 2016 blog entry.
Psychology has a golden rule: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth? It's called "non-complementary behavior" — a mouthful, but a powerful concept, and very hard to execute. Alix and Hanna examine three attempts to pull it off: during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.
NPR: Invisibilia: Flip The Script > Dealing With Hostility, Anger, Confrontation - The Opposite

From the blog in March, 2017 about cognitive dissonance and why "you won't change your mind."
“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change,” Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schacter wrote in When Prophecy Fails, their 1957 book about this study. “Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point … Suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before.” ...
This Article Won’t Change Your Mind - The Atlantic

In May, 2017, I read this story and in many ways it motivated me to put this collection of stories together.  It will not be that "last story" by any means but it is rather like a capstone event.  In retrospect I feel many of the previous stories contained the same elements but like the "progressives" and the "conservatives" I could not see nor hear those elements.  Why could I not understand the points made by George Lakoff?  Perhaps I just had to "take the journey".

Perhaps his "clues" in how to operationalize your "hearing aid" was most important.  His message is not so seemingly obtuse as his field of study, Cognitive Science and Linguistics.

...Lakoff’s message is simple, but it is couched in the language of cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. The problem is that political candidates rely on pollsters and PR people, not linguists or neuroscientists. So when Lakoff repeatedly says that “voters don’t vote their self-interest, they vote their values,” progressive politicians continually ignore him. His ideas don’t fit in with their worldview, so they can’t hear him.
But a worldview is exactly what Lakoff is talking about. “Ideas don’t float in the air, they live in your neuro-circuitry,” Lakoff said. Each time ideas in our neural circuits are activated, they get stronger. And over time, complexes of neural circuits create a frame through which we view the world. “The problem is, that frame is unconscious,” Lakoff said. “You aren’t aware of it because you don’t have access to your neural circuits.” So what happens when you hear facts that don’t fit in your worldview is that you can’t process them: you might ignore them, or reject or attack them, or literally not hear them. 
... Our thoughts are chemical in nature, and occur within the confines of a physical body: we are not 100 percent rational beings.
So if you are going to craft a message that can reach people who disagree with you, you have to understand their subconscious worldview. Lakoff calls this worldview a “frame,” and claims that Republicans have done a much better job with framing over the past 30 or 40 years. Republicans understand the narrative that governs many people in this country, and they target their message directly to that worldview. Democrats, on the other hand, ignore the worldview and focus instead on rationality, facts and policies. 
... Lakoff gave a talk recently at the Center for Right-Wing Studies and pointed out that students who become Democratic operatives tend to study political studies and statistics and demographics in college. “Students who lean Republican study marketing. “And that’s his point,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a very different way of thinking.” 
The rest of the story, if you read it, will either be an "ah ha" moment or something you "just can't believe".

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’

WI 1848 Forward: How someone makes up their mind?  Others & George Lakoff - Radical #Conservatives vs #Progressives - #Kahneman #Ariely #Haidt #EOWilson et al

Friday, May 12, 2017

Voter Suppression > It begins anew with the Census - How GOP minority schemes to hold on.

Under count in the "blue areas" and over count in the "red areas" and then use "gerrymandering" to jigger the results more in favor of the minority GOP party. Toss in more difficult "voter id" laws and you have the GOP suppressing the majority.

Alternatively just do such a bad job that everybody ends up in court and the conservatives on the Supreme Court do the bidding of the "conservatives".

U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over funding of 2020 count By Tara Bahrampour

... The decennial count typically requires a massive ramp-up in spending in the years immediately preceding it, involving extensive testing, hiring and publicity. However, in late April Congress approved only $1.47 billion for the Census Bureau in the 2017 fiscal year, about 10 percent below what the Obama administration had requested. And experts say the White House’s proposed budget for 2018, $1.5 billion, falls far below what is needed. ...
Trump’s Commission on ‘Election Integrity’ Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression It will be led by Mike Pence and Kris Kobach, who have a very long history of making it harder to vote. By Ari Berman, The Nation

Two days after firing FBI director James Comey and creating a full-blown constitutional crisis, Donald Trump signed an executive order today creating a presidential commission on “election integrity,” based on his debunked claims that millions voted illegally in 2016.

Vice President Mike Pence will be the chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be the vice chair—two men with very long histories of making it harder to vote, especially Kobach. Given the lack of evidence of voter fraud, the commission seems designed for one purpose: to perpetuate the myth of fraud in order to lay the groundwork for enacting policies that suppress the vote.
Extreme Maps - Laura Royden, Michael Li 5/09/1717 - Brennan Ctr

Using data from the 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles, Extreme Maps finds that partisan bias resulting largely from the worst gerrymandering abuses in just a few battleground states provides Republicans a durable advantage of 16-17 seats in the current Congress, representing a significant portion of the 24 seats Democrats would need to gain control of the House in 2020. These "extreme maps" were all drawn in states under single-party control; the report finds that conversely, maps drawn by independent commissions, courts, or split-party state governments had significantly less partisan bias in their maps. 

Gerrymander in Wisconsin

Analysis indicates partisan gerrymandering has benefited GOP

The AP scrutinized the outcomes of all 435 U.S. House races and about 4,700 state House and Assembly seats up for election last year using a new statistical method of calculating partisan advantage. It’s designed to detect cases in which one party may have won, widened or retained its grip on power through political gerrymandering. 
The analysis found four times as many states with Republican-skewed state House or Assembly districts than Democratic ones. Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts. 
Traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Virginia were among those with significant Republican advantages in their U.S. or state House races. All had districts drawn by Republicans after the last Census in 2010.

#Gerrymander == #VoterSuppression #Pence > It begins anew with the #Census - How radical #GOP minority schemes to hold on.  2018 is #Dems critical -- We need a nonpartisan head of #CensusBureau ... #citizenship answer on #Ballot - silly 

#Trump #Pence WI 1848 Forward: #Gerrymander == #VoterSuppression begins with the #Census -illegitimate #GOP minority