Before I went to listen to an album by Miles Davis called “Kind of Blue”, I have known about Miles Davis for some time. However, I only heard of one song by Miles Davis and I will get into that later as it does comes from this particular album. “Kind of Blue” which was released in 1959 has five tracks and the album itself is over forty minutes long. Each of the tracks is relaxing and comfortable to listen to. Because of the nighttime feel the tracks have, it felt as if the music have been performed at the nighttime settings like the bar or the city club. The only track I happen to know about prior to listening to the album was “Who’s That?” which is over nine minutes long and has a relaxing feel.

“Who’s That?” also happens to be the first track of “Kind of Blue” so it starts the album off very nicely. The track then makes a smooth transition to the next one called, “Freddie Freeloader” which makes it sounded like as if the first half of the track went on a brief break before picking it up on the second half. More importantly, the beginning of the track is also an alternate variation of “Who’s That?” which adds to the similarity. Then on the next track “Blue in Green”, the music is played with the slower and relaxed pace despite being shorter at over five minutes long. “Blue in Green” has more of a somber tone compared to the previous tracks as it has a somewhat tragic sounding theme. Afterward, the tone of the album changes when the next track called “All Blues” where the theme becomes suspenseful as the tension would rise as the music continues until the sounds of the saxophones raise their pitch to generate the excitement until it calms down to return to its suspenseful tone.

Another thing is that when it comes to how the album ends, “Flamenco Sketches” is a final track that gives off the impression of the sad ending to the story the album tries to convey through the sounds of music that were played. This track is much slower than the rest of the album and the theme is sadder than that of “Blue in Green” as it marks the end. It is a perfect way to end the album as the music closes to a satisfying theme.
The impression I have of the album is that I figured rest of the tracks after “Who’s That?” will be similar. To a degree, I was right as “Freddie Freeloader” started off as a slightly more upbeat version of the opening track. However, there are variations in other tracks that differs one from the other. As mentioned before, tracks such as “Blue in Green” and “Flamenco Sketches” are more depressing than the rest of the album as the theme tends to be more somber. Then in “All Blue”, the track is the most interesting in the entire album as the theme tends to shift from suspense to a more exciting build before going back to its initial tone. I enjoy the album and it’s a great listen. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys music.

Rating: 5 of 5

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The segment on “Shouting Fire” documentary is about the concerns regarding the freedom of speech and the hypocrisy involving the American history. Throughout the history, people would hold demonstrations and/or voice opinions that are unpopular. The example in the segment of the documentary have shown how during the wartime, there would be people getting arrested for committing “espionage” when they were actually protesting against the war during the time. This includes the famous case known as “Schenck vs. U.S.” where a man named Charles Schenck tries to discourage the prospective military draftees by handing them pamphlets to oppose the war. Schenck was then arrested and the case was brought to the Supreme Court where it was then ruled against him. It is ruled that while people are entitled to free speech, the speech used to endanger other people on the other hand does not fit the right to free speech. However, there’s hardly evidence that Schenck was trying to harm anyone but he still got convicted and sent to prison. This case would be known for its basis to the term “Shouting fire in a crowded theater”.

As the documentary would show, the issue with the right to free speech becomes much murkier when there was a case in which a rally at the Jewish community at Skokie was held by the neo-Nazis. As a result, there were questions of whether the rally should be held as while the demonstrators are entitled to the right to free speech, it is believed that the rally was made in order to provoke the Jewish community. The ACLU was reluctant to get involved in the case due to the internal conflict as much of the members are Jewish, leading to disagreements. This shows how the right to free speech applies to people whose beliefs aren’t agreeable and justifiably reviled and even then, their right must be defended as well.

Then in the next segment, the discussion is made about the right to express opinion and belief in certain places such as schools. What happened is that a student wore a shirt with a masking tape with his interpretation of a verse from the Bible. This action resulted in his suspension as the message on his shirt which read “Homosexuality is shameful,” was seen as disruptive in class. The student was asked to remove the tape from the shirt but he refused which led to the said suspension.

Lastly, there is the situation about Daniel Ellsberg where he leaked the Pentagon documents regarding the war in Vietnam to the New York Times newspaper. The risk Ellsberg have taken have been mentioned in the previous blog entry as the documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg” covers the details in the actions he had committed. Even then, this segment fits with “Shouting Fire” documentary as it tells you how the free speech is more of a two way street as the ways to express it can be unpopular and may result in controversies. Such controversies can even result in hypocrisies from people who believe they’re defending liberty as the reactions to the situations includes threats, it have been shown earlier in the video.

The main issue in regard to the right to free speech is that as mentioned before, the right itself applies to both sides in which the people would take. For example, the people who voice the opinions and expresses beliefs that are unpopular are generally entitled to the right even though it includes those with messages that can be offensive such as the neo-Nazis marching in Skokie and the student who wore a shirt with a religious verse written on it. The thing is that the student believes the school thinks his faith is offensive because he was asked to remove the tape from his shirt only to refuse. However, the issue was that the message written on the masking tape is the reason why the shirt was deemed as offensive. Though to be fair, even if the message on the tape wasn’t homophobic and quotes a more peaceful message from the Bible, the student still would have gotten into trouble. In the end, the message of the video is that the right to free speech isn’t as clear cut as people tends to believe as the situations can be difficult due to cases in which the rights are used by those that offend others.

http://www.enotes.com/schenck-v-united-states-reference/schenck-v-united-states-299524

https://bloggingpionated.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/reaction-to-the-most-dangerous-man-in-america-daniel-ellsberg/

In the show called “The Newsroom”, it portrays the behind the scene involving the news room itself. The protagonist is an anchorman named Will McAvoy who works for the new station “News Night” where much of his staff left after his tirade at the talk show. What happen in the talk show was that McVoy was asked a question on whether America is the greatest country and in response, the anchorman gave a vague answer. After being egged on by the panel, McAvoy saw a woman (later revealed to be MacKenzie) holding up the sign that reads “It’s not!” with another reading, “But it can be!”, the anchorman went to make a rant in which he goes into detail on the problem that kept America from being the greatest country it used to be. This in turn led to some media attention and repercussions two weeks later (during which McAvoy took a break) because the person who asked him the question happens to be a college student. As a result, the staff members and the executive producer feared at the news station may not go on for long after their anchorman’s tirade on television. Later on, a woman named MacKenzie McHale comes into McAvoy’s office where its learned that she is taking over as the executive producer. Not only that, she also tried to bring McAvoy back to the time when he was more determined to pursue truth than worrying about the television ratings.

“The Newsroom” demonstrates an interesting take on how the staffs of the news station does their jobs and the pressure that occurs when trying to get ready to present the news of the event that happens suddenly. Then there is a scene in McAvoy’s office where he and MacKenzie would have an argument on how the anchorman works which includes what MacKenzie believe how McAvoy abandoned his early principles of pursuing truth ever since his popularity grew because McAvoy didn’t want to offend anyone so he can maintain his ratings. In time, McAvory’s staff received a report of the BP oil spill and the anchorman made sure the facts are verified. In the end, when McAvoy reports the news of the oil spill, he even questioned the official affiliated with BP several times. After receiving additional information from a member of his staff, it enables him to expose the problem regarding the oil spill. At that point, MacKenzie said, “Welcome back!” as she believes that McAvoy have return to his old principles as the anchorman. This scene is important as it shows how important it is for the media to uncover the truth, even if it meant sacrificing the viewers who might disagree with the report.

The Pilot episode of “The Newsroom” is well done with some comedy being added in along with the dramatizations that were made. I haven’t seen the rest of the series but I enjoyed the interesting take in regards to the news station workplace as well. While it may not necessarily be a accurate portrayal what may went on, it does exhibit the pressure that occur when the report was made to the station which gives you a feel of tension of the situation. Overall, the episode was well done.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1870479/

The media have several news outlets in which the political views would differ. The news stations tend to have certain partisanships where they would support one political party over the other. There are also news stations that would try to stay neutral in order to report news without letting their partisanship getting in the way of responsible journalism. However, at the same time there are outlets that don’t serve to report news. These particular shows were broadcasted alongside the news station on television or radio in which the hosts would present information from the news and give their own spin. The hosts are often called political pundits who often come up with opinions and their political leaning depends on the news stations in which the shows are affiliated with. In this post, a comparison will be made between the news anchor Brian Williams and a political pundit Rush Limbaugh.

What both Brian Williams and Rush Limbaugh have in common is that they happen to host the media outlet that they work for. More importantly, they both present the information regarding the current events so the audience would know what was going on. The difference between the two however is that they do not have the same political leanings. The Nightly News with Brian Williams is generally more balanced as the reports on the campaign covers both Obama and Romney in a neutral light. However, as it was shown in one of the posts covering the day after the election, it indicates that the newscast is on the left-wing side. Even then, Williams mainly reports the news in which the reporter would give more information on what went on in the current events. The Rush Limbaugh Show on the other hand is right-wing and while Limbaugh does report news, some of the information would be cherry picked as long it fits what he believes in. Much of the time Limbaugh would make discussions where he comes up with the reason why Romney lost the election and points out how the voters made the mistake of voting for Obama.

This demonstrates how the media outlets can have different views in certain things, including politics. Due to the views in which various media outlets can have, this can lead to certain forms of bias in how the news would be reported. In the end, it also shows that while partisanships can affect the way news are reported, it is best to keep an open mind since it is difficult to be sure on whether the reports are done in the way it should be. Some outlets like the shows hosted by political pundits however aren’t something to be taken seriously due to the bias which leads to factual inaccuracies. While they can present some information that makes you wonder, the arguments they made generally makes it harder to take them seriously. This is what separates the news stations from the shows hosted by pundits. Although irresponsible journalism can happen, it still doesn’t change the fact that news stations cover the events that happens for report while the political shows hosted by pundits are what it should be described as entertainment.

11/15

In this edition of “The Rush Limbaugh Show”, the pundit said that the media revisions on the economical status had took its effect and played its role in the election. Limbaugh believes that the reason why Romney’s economic plans were ignored near the end of the campaign was that the people were convinced that the country’s economy is returning to form. He mentions that the media economic analysis was made about the economy were revised to make the situation seem positive. Limbaugh stated that it was reported the jobless claims have dipped to the lowest level in four years in the weeks prior to the election. Once the election has ended, the number of jobless claims has increased by approximately 78,000 in a week. He also went to mention that the layoffs in jobs in states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio weren’t reported until recently. The pundit believes that with the media spin on the economic status, Romney’s campaign became ignored and people went to re-elect Obama because of what they believe to be the improvement in the nation’s economic status.

Limbaugh does have a point about the information of the nation’s economic status being spun or withheld by the media until after the election has ended. Just like the post covering Limbaugh’s previous post-election segment the day before, when it comes to the timing of the information being reported, it does seem suspicious. I find the segment interesting and while the figures on the jobless claims are informative, it still doesn’t change the fact that I have to take what Limbaugh said with a grain of salt. Limbaugh would post information with factual basis, but often times they can get twisted.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/videos?uri=channels/456178/1704207

11/14

In this edition of “The Rush Limbaugh Show”, what happens is that this time the pundit has a conversation with a caller discussing the reason they believe why Obama was able to win the election against Romney. The caller claims that Obama discredits anyone who opposes him in the election and that he believes the scandal involving Petraeus was made public because the former director of the CIA was going to make a testimony about involvement in Libya. The caller then added that he believe that Obama and the members of his administration knew about the affair for a while but chose to announce it just before Petraeus can tell the public what went on in Libya. Limbaugh said that it wouldn’t doubt him as he also believes that the administration had known about Petraeus’ affair for months as well and that the liberals would use it to their advantage. This includes how the Obama administration asked Petraeus to resign from his post few days after the election have ended.

After making a discussion about the conspiracy involving Petraeus’ affair, Limbaugh got back into the original topic of the segment which is how he believes Obama won the election. The pundit gave a somewhat vague explanation by continuing to use the situation involving Petraeus’ affair as an example and said that Obama administration used the same tactics on Romney in the campaigns for the President’s re-election. Then Limbaugh went on to use examples on how the Democrats would use trivial matters to discredit Romney because that’s all they can do.

This segment is the only one that came closest to deal with the election related topics. Basically, Limbaugh had a discussion with the caller who brought up the topic about Petraeus’ affair as an example on the Democrat’s tactics to discredit opponents and the pundit agrees with him by stating later on that the same would be used on Romney during campaigns. The explanation that Limbaugh as I mentioned before is vague and I believe it served to rile up the listeners with different partisanships (as it is what the show generally does). Despite that, there is one thing I did find interesting. When it comes to how Petraeus’ affair was revealed after the election, the timing does look suspicious but the reason for that is something we’ll never know for certain as we can only speculate.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/videos?uri=channels/456178/1704066

11/13/12

In this segment of “The Rush Limbaugh Show”, the pundit and radio show host made another Christmas-themed parody “Baracka Claus” as he have done before. Before that, he comes up with the reason he believes why the Republicans will never win 40% of the Hispanic votes. Limbaugh would start off with his complaint on how the Republicans won’t be able to work with the Democrats as more Democrats were voted in. Then there is a statement he made on how Ronald Reagan won the election in 1984 with 37% of the Hispanic votes, showing that no Republicans have ever won 40% of the Hispanic votes. Afterward, Limbaugh then stated on how the Republicans gave the Hispanics amnesty by giving them citizenships and still lose votes anyway. The he continues his rant in regards to the history of the Republicans inability to win votes from the Hispanic population before ending it with the aforementioned “Baracka Claus” music parody.

On the other segment, Limbaugh practically claims that the news media covered up the story of the rising food stamps in Ohio before the election. He mentioned the rising food stamps in his previous segment the day before but this time the pundit went into detail on how raise happens from July to August at record pace. Then Limbaugh predicts that once the food stamps gets cut, the Republicans will end up receiving the blame.

The radio show is a little less interesting compared to the one aired the day before. The reason is that the segments were generally the same so there wasn’t really much to discuss regarding the post-election reaction from the pundit. I still find the show entertaining and as informative as the previous show so like before, I didn’t take it seriously.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/videos?uri=channels/456178/1703873
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/11/13/ohio_families_face_food_stamp_cuts_republicans_to_be_blamed