Monday, December 12, 2005

Dreamworks Business Model Fails - Studio Purchased By Paramount for $1 billion

Dreamworks SKG -- the studio that produced the great movie "American Beauty" -- was purchased by Viacom / Paramount for just north of $1 billion.

"When Steven, Jeffrey and I started the company and had to put an entire infrastructure together from day one, we had hoped to be able to make enough films to rationalize the cost of being our own distributor," David Geffen -- the "G" in SKG said Sunday."

I wonder if this would not have been the case, had Dreamworks concentrated on producing very low budget movies of up to $1 milllion, each.

Time writer says she may have given tip to Rove's lawyer

It seems that Rove may have been unintentionally warned before his testimory. Check this story out

Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times
Monday, December 12, 2005

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Washington -- A Time magazine correspondent acknowledged Sunday that she may have unwittingly aided the defense of Karl Rove in the CIA leak investigation by telling the White House aide's lawyer about a conversation Rove had with one of her colleagues about CIA officer Valerie Wilson.

The tip, offered over drinks at a Washington restaurant sometime during the first half of 2004, apparently led Rove to correct testimony he had given to a federal grand jury in the case, according to a first-person account by Time reporter Viveca Novak, posted Sunday on the magazine's Web site.

NY Senator Hillary Clinton's Rein Can't Be Challenged By A Weak Pirro

The bottom line in this Newsday article is the Senator's a certain choice for reelection and may just be the best Presidential candidate the Democrats have, even if she does not run.

Study: Whites automatically React More Negatively to Blacks Than to Whites. (The Cure? Diversity)

This article was from the November 2001 "Monitor on Psychology." The full article can be read with a click on the title of this post.

Social psychologist Russell Fazio, PhD, of Ohio State University, has been examining a related phenomenon he calls "automatically activated attitudes" toward those of different races. He was the first to develop a measure estimating whites' positive or negative associations to and evaluations of blacks, without having to directly ask them for this information.

The technique tests the extent to which briefly flashed pictures of black or white faces influence the speed at which participants identify the meaning of a positive or negative adjective. The research shows that many whites automatically react more negatively to blacks than to whites, even though they claim they don't consciously hold such views.

Understanding hate crimes

In research suggesting why some people may turn their ethnic discomfort into drastic action, psychologist Jack Glaser, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, Yale University political scientist Donald Green, PhD, and journalist Jay Dixit took the novel approach of joining in a white racist Internet chat room to discern attitudes there.

In a study in press in the Journal of Social Issues, the team "chatted" with white racists by describing fabricated threats to their white hegemony, ranging from immediate local threats to more abstract national ones. Included in the chats were scenarios of blacks competing with whites for jobs, moving into the neighborhood or marrying white women. (The team went to great lengths to protect respondents' confidentiality, Glaser notes.)

The closer blacks came to "invading" whites' cultural turf, the more violent the responses, the team found. Job competition didn't pose an enormous threat, for instance, but the possibility of a white-black marriage created major sparks.

"The more extreme responses seemed to be about a threat to their cultural integrity," Glaser notes.

This seems to imply that as American society becomes more economically diverse, and intermarriage rates continue to increase, hate crime rates by those anti-social whites may rise as well. I hope that this is discouraged by stronger law enforcement, education, and treatment of this behavior as a mental illness. The real remedy is greater diversity, so that people "get used to each other" as Star Trek's Doctor McCoy once said.

Study: Blacks Four Times More Likely to Be Hate Crime Victims in LA County When Compared to Their Representation of That County's Population

For the full report, click on the title of this post.

Edward Dunbar Ed.D.
University of California at Los Angeles
and Pacific Psychological Associates

Findings from an ongoing study of hate crime occurrence in Los Angeles County are presented for the years of 1994 and 1995. Content analyses of data from the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission included 1459 hate crimes cases; this encompassed events reported to both law enforcement and community-based organizations. The behavioral analyses of the crime events were considered in terms of victim impact, as was determined via impairment ratings provided by Victim-Witness Assistance staff (a Los Angeles County agency). Key findings are highlighted below.

Severity of Impact

Findings indicated that base rates of victimization varied significantly by race/ethnic groups; most notably African Americans were four times more likely to be the victims of hate crime activity when compared to their demographic representation in Los Angeles County.

When comparing hate crimes motivated by race/ethnic, and religion to sexual orientation, hate crimes against gay men and lesbians were more severe (as measured by the behavioral characteristics of the event, e.g., more perpetrators, more serious attack).

When examining the hate crimes based on race and ethnicity, African Americans were the targets of more severe hate events, (e.g., physical assaults).

The majority of hate crimes were committed in public locations. Those which occurred in the victim's neighborhood were typically more violent.

Law Enforcement Reportage:

The behavioral analysis of the hate crime revealed that more severe hate acts (e.g. aggravated assault, sexual assault) were predictive of the victim not reporting the crime to law enforcement agencies.
It was found that in sexual orientation hate crimes, that significant differences for both gender and membership in a visible race/ethnic minority group were related to lower law enforcement reportage rates.
County Victim Witness Assistance staff also reported that few if any hate crime victims utilize state-funded medical and mental health services subsequent to crime victimization.
Perpetrator Behavior and Characteristics:

Less than five percent of the hate crime perpetrators were identified as members of organized hate gangs or associations.

Psychologists call for assault on hate crimes - From APA

While the story may have taken a new level of visibility recently in an article featured in this blog this report reveals that the mental health community has considered this matter as far back as 1998. The full report can be see with a click on the title of this post. For what has been done since then, keep your eye on this blog.

By Jeannine Mjoseth
APA Monitor staff

Hate crimes constitute a unique class of violence against a person's identity, demanding distinctive psychological, legislative and policy responses, psychologists said at a briefing co-sponsored by APA and the Society for the Psychology Study of Social Issues. The briefing, timed to correspond with a larger White House Conference on Hate Crimes, was attended by representatives from 24 House and Senate offices, including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) who recounted his experience as a hate crimes survivor during the civil rights movement.

Four distinct motives underlie hate crimes based on sexual orientation, according to research by Karen Franklin, PhD, forensic psychology fellow at Washington University’s Washington Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training. Such hate crimes are motivated by self-defense, where perpetrators interpret the victim’s actions as a sexual proposition; ideology, where perpetrators view themselves as enforcers of social norms that deem homosexuality unacceptable; thrill-seeking, where perpetrators commit assaults to alleviate boredom; and peer dynamics, where perpetrators aim to prove their toughness and heterosexuality to friends, she found.

When addressing ethnically based hate crimes, the highest rate of crime occurs when nonwhites rapidly move into previously all-white enclaves, said Donald Green, PhD, professor of political science and director of the Institute for Social Policy Studies at Yale University. “It’s not just how white the neighborhood is but also how rapid the changes are,” he said. Green, who helped train the New Haven, Conn., police department how to deal with hate crimes, says such crimes probably will increase in the suburbs in the next few years as more minorities move there, and it is important for the police to be prepared and respond appropriately.

Victims of hate crimes undergo higher levels of psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anger, than victims of other crimes, said Greg Herek, PhD, research psychologist at the University of California, Davis, who spoke on the impact of anti-gay/lesbian victimization at the briefing. Herek, whose research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, attended the White House conference as APA’s representative.

Hate crimes can cause victims to view the world and people in it as malevolent and experience a reduced sense of control, Herek said. According to his research, hate crime victims needed as much as five years to overcome the emotional distress of the incident compared with victims of nonbias crimes, who experienced a drop in crime-related psychological problems within two years of the crime.

“We need special policies for hate crimes because they have a special impact on the victim and the victim’s community,” Herek added.

Hate crimes occur in the context of ongoing harassment and are less likely than other crimes to be reported to the police, he said. For example, one-third of hate crime victims reported the incident to law enforcement officials, compared with 57 percent of the victims of random crimes, Herek found.

Lower levels of hate crime reporting is due, in part, to victims’ fear of future contact with the perpetrators, said Edward Dunbar, EdD, clinical psychologist, from the University of California, Los Angeles, who studied hate crimes in Los Angeles County. In the most serious cases of hate crimes, like sexual assault and assault with a deadly weapon, people are much less likely to go to law enforcement agencies, he said.

Legislation and APA action

At the White House conference, President Clinton commended a new federal bill (S. 1529) that would expand federal prosecutors’ ability to prosecute racially motivated violence by removing unnecessary jurisdictional requirements and make hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender or disability a federal crime. Both APA and SPSSI have been actively involved in coordinating the conference and promoting the bill.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), builds upon the 1994 federal Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, which requires stiffer sentences for hate crimes in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim or the property belonging to someone based on actual or perceived race, religion or ethnicity.

To date, 38 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that intensify sentencing penalties if the defendant chooses a victim based on his/her perception of the victim’s race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender.

In 1991 APA approved a hate-crimes resolution urging Congress to recognize and address hate crimes as an important policy issue. APA’s resolution opposes harassment, violence and crime based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or physical condition. APA also encourages researchers, clinicians, teachers and policy-makers to help reduce and eliminate hate crimes and to alleviate the effects on victims. APA has increased its role in promoting federal initiatives against hate crimes through the efforts of the SPSSI and its public policy office.

For more information on what APA is doing to combat hate crimes, contact Jeanine Cogan of APA’s Public Policy Office at (202) 336-6153.