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Peenie Wallie

Peenie Wallie: A firefly, swarms of which can be seen flickering at night in the rainforests of Jamaica. A confused jumble of politically incorrect rambling diatribes, worthless photographs, and disturbing videos.

CNN: The New Terrorists

CNN, still reeling from the Eason Jordan debacle where their chief potentate was deposed for deliberately, falsely, and repeatedly accusing the U.S. military of horrendous war crimes abroad, has now decided to attempt to foment fear and anguish at home.

In their relentless and despicable assault on the 2nd amendment, CNN cobbled together a hit-piece on the safest weapon ever sold in the United States. A weapon that is so safe, it has never killed a single person in the United States, since the weapon was introduced, shortly after WWI.

CNN, ever vigilant of the perils of living in the "free society", appear to have committed at least one felony, and possibly more, in their reckless assault on the 2nd amendment. They flew a talking head from Georgia to Texas to buy a .50 caliber rifle from a private citizen, and then returned the weapon to Georgia. The problem with this is that it's illegal for a Texas citizen to sell a firearm to a non-resident in a private firearms sale. A licensed FFL would have to be involved in the purchase. Even the BATF admits that a felony was apparently violated, according to Say Uncle. TriggerFinger has a roundup of links.

I'd like to point out that I posted on Feb 12th, somewhat presciently, that the next time the news media did a hit piece on the .50 cal, the blogs would be watching. Once again, CNN has stepped into it big time. Someone needs to sit them down and tell them to stop terrorizing the American citizens. Stop peddling fear about the dangers of a free society to the citizens. We don't need this kind of foam and spittle reporting that these left-wing liberals are peddling.

If CNN can't reign in their vociferous, liberal, talking heads and left-wing editors, and get their weak-kneed liberal tendencies under control, someone is going to carve this network into pieces and auction it off to the highest bidder in a Louisiana yard-sale.

  • Here's a link to the BATF web page, which lists the following: Report Illegal Firearms Activity: 1-80-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) Firearms General Questions:
  • The NRA guys still don't have a peep about this story on their website. Contact them here and tell them to get on the ball.
  • CNN's main phone number is (404) 827-1500. Call them and let them know what you think of their stories that deliberately attempt to terrorize U.S. citizens.

Let's all contact these people and make sure that this doesn't get swept under the rug. Let's get these CNN guys prosecuted. I guarantee you that if I were guilty of a similar crime, the BATF wouldn't be sitting around, tossing paper airplanes, and attempting to decide whether or not charges should be filed. I'd be in prison. Let's make sure the BATF treats CNN the same way that they would treat an ordinary "criminal" like you or me.

Posted on 02/22/05. Permalink.

Breckenridge, Colorado

This slideshow is a 17 Meg self-playing executable produced using Imagematics StillMotion PE. The audio track is "So Far Away" by Staind. Click on the photo above to download the slideshow. Click here if you need help.

Posted on 02/21/05. Permalink.

Blogs: Emergent Behavior In Complex Systems

Sharks are one of nature’s most perfect predators. They evolved over millions of years into perfect killing machines. Sharks have no known predators, except for other sharks. Interestingly, they have to swim constantly, or they die.

Many people have an irrational fear of sharks. My daughter said that sharks are “bad” and “mean”. But I told her that sharks aren’t inherently “bad” or “mean” or “evil”. They’re just hungry. They are basically swimming appetites with teeth. And, if we stay out of the ocean, the odds of being attacked by one are next to nil.

The sharks live in the same oceans with their prey, schools of smaller fish. The little fish don’t like the sharks, but they understand that they’re not going away any time soon either. So, the fish learn to stay alert at all times. They try not to do stupid things that would single them out for unwarranted attention from the sharks.

The Blogs As Predators

The blogs are a very interesting phenomena. For good or bad, the blogs clearly have a propensity to operate with a mob mentality.

It’s true that, when there is blood in the water, the blogs do have a tendency to go into something akin to a frenzy. There are some facets of the process that are somewhat disconcerting. Once they reach a certain critical mass, in their collective actions, they do tend to resemble a frenzied mass, not unlike a swarm of killer bees, school of sharks or piranhas in a feeding frenzy, or a mob of people.

By this I mean that, there is clearly a competition occurring in the nucleus of the blog. People want to get their story on the web first…post the most insightful comments…collect quotes to support their assertions…link and trackback as much as possible…cover the best angles…etc. The blogs that will get the most hits will be those that make the most posts with the most references with the best summarizations of the other posts, etc. So, there is clearly this clarion call to arms once the blood is in the water.

Furthermore, it is impossible to strike back at the blogs. You can only answer their allegations or stick your head in the sand, but you cannot strike back at the blogs. The reason is that they are too numerous and they operate independently. By the time Eason Jordan resigned, there were thousands of independent blogs all chanting in near perfect cacophony. “Release the tapes. Release the tapes.”

Trying to say that the blogs are backed by this group or that group is fruitless, as is saying that they are rank amateurs, with no journalistic integrity. You’re just shouting into the wind. There is no one accuser that can be singled out, prosecuted, or exposed to stop the bleeding. In the end, the charges must be answered to, or you must be prepared to suffer the consequences.
In the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter who owns and operates the web sites. Whether each one is backed by liberals or conservatives, gays or heterosexuals, Catholics or Jews. All that matters is that, their charges must be answered to.

Emergent Behavior

That the blogs behave as efficiently as they do, not by some grand conspiracy of design, but as a result of “emergent behavior”; behavior that arises in complex systems, that isn't readily explainable by the individual properties of the components. In 1984, no one knew that everyone would have a computers within 10 years. In 1993, no one knew that every computer on earth would need to be wired together in a global network. In 1997, no one knew that everyone on earth yearned to be posted their stories on the internet. And in 2000, no one was predicting the rise of the blogs.

The blogs are clearly a product of “emergent behavior”. When a non-trivial number of people start posting and cross posting stories on the internet, the phenomena that arises is infinitely more than the sum of the individual components. As the number of participants in the blogs increases, the resulting phenomena assumes properties that were not forseen. . The blogs are a self-correcting, multi-tasking, multi-threaded, massively multi-participant, online, real-time application.

That they behave similarly to complex systems found in nature was is not necessarily expected, but nor is it necessarily surprising. The fact that the behavior of the blogosphere in its excited state closely resembles an agitated swarm of bees or a school of feeding pirahanas to me means that the blogosphere has evolved to operate as efficiently as other complex systems have. It has realized a new point of equilibrium, that was not entirely predicted. It took the sharks millions of years to evolve. The blogs achieved the same result in a few short years.

The less for the MSM? Learn to live with the blogs, because they’re looking more and more like a school of perfect predators that aren’t likely to be going away any time soon. Maybe it’s time for MSM to start studying the lifeforms further down the food chain to crib from their techniques of survival.

Posted on 02/14/05. Permalink.

Social Security: There May Be An Elephant In The Living Room

The Social Security program tarnishes the U.S. balance sheets like a herpes sore on a beauty queen. But, up until now, no one has had the kahunas to actually bring it up. Mentioning the words "Social Security" has historically been viewed as political suicide. Mentioning the challenges facing the program was to subject oneself to extraordinary rendering at the hands of the AARP. Social Security is widely referred to as the “third rail” of American politics. As in the rail that carries enough electricity to kill anyone that touches it.

So, for Bush Jr. to mention it means that he’s either stupid, or crazy, or a true leader. He certainly raised the stakes on his presidency when he dragged the Social Security program into the limelight recently. Bush basically pointed out that "there is, in fact, an elephant in the living room". In doing so, he caught the Democrats flatfooted. Predictably, they collectively lambasted his plan as reckless, irresponsible, and financially insolvent, but then realized that they didn’t really have a plan of their own. So, right now, the Democrats are saying “there may or may not, in fact, be an elephant in the living room…we’re looking into it.” So, for the time being, it’s a Mexican standoff.

Who’s Right? Or…uh…what’s...uh…the deal?

Sometime around 1993, the feds decided to split FICA(Federal Insurance Contributions Act) into two components, Medicare and OASDI(Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance - this is what is commonly known as Social Security). To oversimply things, Medicare is for poor people, and Social Security is for old people(retirees). Medicare is financially destitute, and has been since it's inception. We won't even talk about Medicare. It's a freaking train off the rails.

The Social Security program, however, has always been self sufficient.That is, Social Security contributions collected from the payroll taxes have been more than enough to offset the expenses incurred by paying benefits for retirees. (Not too surprising when you realize that they’re confiscating 12.4% of every employee’s salary for three hundred million people.)

The problems with Social Security(OASDI) today are:

a) The surplus funds have been raided for as far back as anyone can remember. (I don’t care to get into a blame storming game of who tapped into the surplus first or who tapped it the hardest or who liked it the most. It really doesn’t matter at this point. The only thing we need to mention now is that almost all of it is, in fact, gone.

b) People are living longer.

c) There are less people entering the workforce. So, with less people paying for more benefits, there will come a day of reckoning, when there won’t be enough funds collected to cover the benefits paid out under the system.

The reality is that the Social Security program, as it was envisioned, implemented, and operated, up to this point in time, is an illegal Ponzi scheme. If you or I tried to start an “investment program” where the contributions of one group of people were used to pay off another group of people, we would be charged with a felony, arrested, and incarcerated.

Pyramid investment schemes and Multi-Level Marketing schemes have been around for some time. The problem with them is (1) they become unsustainable after only a few iterations and (2) they’re illegal because of (1).

So, taking contributions from people coming into the workforce to pay for an ever growing number of people retiring from the workforce, in the long run, isn’t going to work. This is, in a nutshell, what President Bush has had the courage to point out. Although Bush is right in asserting this, and on some level, even the Democrats can’t dispute this, their argument is that it won't happen for a long time, and Bush’s plan might make it worse, so let’s just not meddle with it at this point in time.

There is a certain amount of truth to this. Bush’s proposal is a bold, if controversial, one. Perhaps the best model of what he is proposing is Chile’s retirement system. In their system, workers are forced to set aside 10% percent of their earnings into a private retirement fund. Then, when they retire, they can receive distributions from their fund based on their life expectancy. This is radically different than Social Security because there are no surplus funds for the government to raid. Your money is set aside for you in a private account in your name. In Social Security, the money they withhold from your check is used to subsidize rice farmers in the Sonora Desert. So, I’m sure you begin to see the difference here.

There Is An Elephant In The Living Room

So, if it’s intuitively obvious to the casual observer that there is, in fact, an elephant in the living room, and a relatively large one, at that, why don’t we fix it? Or, alternately, why isn’t it in the news?

The answer, predictably, is a variety of reasons(It's a little long winded, but your retirement may depend on it, and, if not yours, then your childrens' surely will, so do it for them.):

• The American Association of Retired People(AARP) is vociferously against changing Social Security, for obvious reasons. These are the people who have paid into the plan all their life, and they feel that they are entitled to the benefits they were promised. Go figure. So, if you’re a politician, you don’t mention the third rail (Social Security) because the AARP will send you packing before you can say “Gericycle”.
• Not everyone in Congress is enrolled in Social Security. Up until 1983, Congress did not participate in Social Security. They have their own retirement plan called the Civil Service Retirement System(CSRS). If they were hired after 1983, they have to contribute to Social Security, but I assume it would be a more pressing issue if they were all subject to the financial whims of the same retirement system as the rest of us. Interestingly, Colorado, California, and Oregon public employees have their own retirement system: PERA, CalPers, and PERS, respectively.
• People, in general, are not great at long-range planning. Governments, in particular, are abysmal at long range planning. Governments, by their nature, are risk averse. In a bureaucracy, there’s no reward for solving problems until they become a full-blown raging crisis, and there’s a great incentive not to fix something unless it is a crisis. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Don’t go out on a limb. You get the idea here. So, Social Security, although it is clearly headed for a disaster, is not there quite yet.
• Privatizing Social Security has many inherent risks, and, in the short run, may cause more problems than it solves. If people start contributing to private savings accounts, and reduce contributions to FICA, then that destabilizes the current Social Security program, at least in the short term. Where would the money come from to make up this difference?
• You manage what you measure. Conversely, you don’t manage what you don’t measure, and Social Security isn’t on the books. I should back up here. The Financial Accounting Standards Board(FASB) is an organ of our government that writes rules for companies to follow when reporting their financial health. The theory is that we want to make sure we’re comparing apples to apples when we’re evaluating the prospectus of a company to make an investment through the stock market. About a decade ago, they decided that companies should show unfunded pension obligations as an unfunded liability. This was not a trivial accounting change. GM took a one-time charge of twenty billion dollars over the issue. Predictably, the United States government’s Congressional Budget Office(CBO), is not subject to FASB. So, they don’t show our retirement benefits as an unfunded liability on their books. If they did, they would have to take a charge of tens of trillions of dollars, which would require them to stick their neck out.
• Even if the CBO were subject to the rules of FASB, there’s nothing that says the United States has to have a balanced budget anyway. Until we require the CBO to play using FASB’s rules like everyone else, AND require the CBO to submit a balanced budget and, at worst, break even financially every year, it’s really a moot point. It really doesn’t make sense to talk about what we can and can’t afford to do, if we don’t hold the books to a certain standard of principles and hold the deficit down to a certain amount of money. Why not just double the benefits we’re paying out and stop collecting FICA contributions altogether? We’re already the largest debtor nation in the world. So what? What difference does it make? Obviously, other countries keep lending us money. Who’s to say it matters one iota if Social Security is financially insolvent or not?

The Ultimate Shell Game: Three Card Monte in D.C.

So, these are the challenges facing us today. And, this is why the Democrats and the Republicans find themselves in a standoff over the issue. Bush gets credit for mentioning the elephant in the living room, and for proposing a long-term solution to the problem. But, he also ran up record deficits over the last 4 years, so he’s partly to blame for our current financial catharsis.

The Demagogues get credit for stonewalling Bush, and forcing a more in depth study of the issue, which is certainly warranted. But they’re far from blameless though, as FDR initiated the New Deal program to begin with.

Both parties get an F-, though, for not suggesting the obvious. Namely, that it really makes no sense what-so-ever to have any discussion at all without forcing the CBO to adopt the FASB guidelines, signing a Balanced Budget Amendment, and showing Social Security as an unfunded liability on the books. Until we take these first, very basic steps, any pain associated with changes to the currently social security plan will be hidden as a footnote and kept off the books for the future generations to deal with. And we owe our children more than a shell game of benefits, financed by a Ponzi scheme. We owe them more than that, don't we?

Posted on 02/13/05. Permalink.

The Liberal Blogs: All Dressed Up, But No Place To Go

The liberal blogs (Talk Left, Kos, Atrios, et. al.) got Gannon, a whitehouse plant asking softball questions. Meanwhile, the conservative blogs got Eason Jordan, Betsy West, Josh Howard, Mary Murphy, Mary Mapes, and Dan Rather, just to name a few. While the liberal blogs are curled up under the porch, licking their wounds, the conservative blogs are dancing a jig. At best, the liberal blogs are the wallflowers at the dance.

Why is this?

Firstly, the mindless pseudo-intellectual drivel of the left won't stand up to close scrutiny. It never has been able to. The only reason they were able to hypnotize so many people for so long was that they owned all of the networks and the newspapers, where the news was a one-way feed. A push of poorly hashed out brain burps. Socialized medicine. Sensible gun control. Environmental scare tactics based on junk science. Campaigns to eat the rich. It was all just mindless demagoguery piped in through the various liberal media channels. Their rabid bleating would never stand up to a sound, logical debate. As the "news" becomes a two-way communication in the blogosphere, where the "audience" is allowed to reply in real-time to the slanderous lies, inuendo, and half-truths of the media elite, they're reeling and tripping over themselves, stumbling backward, like cockroaches from the light. (Sorry Eason - the truth hurts.)

Secondly, the liberal blogs really don't have a very large pond to fish in. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, LA Times, New York Times, etc., are puppets of the Leftern Socialists. The only news program on television that isn't owned and operated by the pseudo-intellectual liberal sycophants is Fox. So, there's only one real news channel for the liberal blogs to target. In theory, you’ve got Bush and his regime(John Ashcroft was the only man in history to lose a U.S. senate race to a dead man), but the reality is that the liberal MSM has a choke-hold on that job, and has had since Bush Jr. waltzed into office four years ago. Because all of the other networks are embarrassingly liberal, it isn't like there are a lot of rocks that haven't already been turned over for the liberal blogosphere to exploit. Any conservative voice in America already has every news network in the country trying day and night to skin them alive. So, the liberal blogs are basically sitting on their hands, whistling idly, and dreaming up new ways to peddle the same old warmed-over ideas: reasonable gun control, shutting down the economy to save the snail darter, and socialized medicine (where does it hurt? - not how will you pay?)

So, these two issues account for the difference in scalp totals on the opposite ideological ends of the blogosphere. They wouldn't have you believe it, but that's the case.

They argue that the conservatives are just inherently more evil, better at fighting dirty, and better financed, but that's just lipstick on a bulldog. The reality is that the conservative blogs are living in a target rich environment. I mean, come on. The high priest of CNN is at a tony soiree for the media elites and, in an open forum, he accuses the U.S. military of deliberately assassinating non-combatants without a shred of evidence? Hello??!!! Responding to unadulterated idiocy such as this is a slow-pitch-softball type of journalism. This is low-hanging fruit.

Finally, the myopic MSM, always looking to paint themselves as a victim, are lashing out at the blogs. They claim that the conservative blogs are a bloodthirsty, savage, and unrepentant lot. Obviously, they still don't understand the nature of their enemy. They're desperately waging a Quixotic battle with a windmill from the back of an ass.

The blogs weren't calling for Eason Jordan's resignation. At least, not the ones I was reading. They were calling for the WEF to release the tapes of the conference. Eason Jordan and CNN never have asked for these tapes to be released. Jordan "resigned" without mentioning the tapes. Obviously, there can only be one reason for this. Because the tapes would show exactly what the pundits claimed they did. Otherwise, he could have just said "I didn't say that...please release the tapes, and I will be vindicated." Eason Jordan deliberated slandered our troops to curry favor with the 2nd world countries of Europe and the terrorists that rule the oil-drenched deserts. He was pissing on the graves of the men and women that gave their lives to make this world a better place.

So, obviously, the left is going to be fighting a rear-guard action for some time, in a futile attempt to postpone the inevitable...the MSM will have to shed their liberal bias, or the blogs will destroy them. They can do it now, adapt to the new environment of the blogosphere, and save their companies, or they can continue to fall on their swords (witness Rather, Mapes, Jordan, etc.) and their companies will be replaced by less biased ones. It's their choice.

Posted on 02/13/05. Permalink.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today called upon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to “take an important step for public safety” and close the Golden Gate Bridge, which has been a popular suicide platform for more than 65 years.

“Several city supervisors want to ban handguns in San Francisco on the mere presumption that such a law would prevent crimes, accidents and suicides,” said SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Well, it is an absolute certainty that closing the bridge would prevent suicides, and perhaps many accidents, as well. And just for the sake of argument, one seriously might question whether any of the more than 1,300 fatal falls from the bridge since 1937 were cleverly-concealed homicides.”

As gun rights groups and activists, including many gay gun owners, began putting momentum to their efforts to defeat a gun ban initiative, Gottlieb turned his attention to the bridge and its horrendous body count. USAToday reported that suicides have tarnished the bridge’s reputation. The newspaper recounted how the San Francisco news media created a macabre circus atmosphere in the 1970s and again the 1990s as the body count approached 500 and then 1,000 victims, respectively.

“Social do-gooders have gone on the warpath repeatedly against firearms for the most tenuous of reasons,” Gottlieb stated. “The Golden Gate Bridge is a proven killer, and media fascination with jumpers is sickening. It has inspired hundreds of people to end their lives. Anyone can simply walk out there and jump, or be pushed. There are no barriers, no waiting in line, and there is nobody assigned to the bridge who can check the mental and emotional history of bridge visitors. It’s far easier to walk out on the bridge and jump to your death than it is to purchase a firearm in California. At least when a person buys a gun, he or she must complete a background check and endure a waiting period. But nobody screens possible Golden Gate jumpers. Unlike a gun, you can’t even use the bridge to defend yourself against a criminal.

“The only way to prevent future tragedies,” Gottlieb said, “is to close the bridge. We need to stop the growing body count. It’s up to the Board of Supervisors to act, and they should do it immediately. If it saves just one life, closing the Golden Gate Bridge is the right thing to do.”

If it saves just one life, isn't it worth it? Isn't it the right thing to do? Support sensible bridge-control laws...for the children.

Posted on 02/12/05. Permalink.

The Pot and the Kettle: Let the Name Calling Begin

I love that MSNBC decided to leap into the fray of the patricide imbroglio over at CNN. They were all over themselves, testing the waters, foaming at the mouth at Eason Jordan's transgressions from the safe distance affored by antillectual cowardice. Too bad the blog wasn't around when MSNBC was fabricating their hit piece on the ".50 Caliber Militia". Funny thing is, the ".50 Caliber Militia" does not exist now, nor has it ever. It was all a Fig Newton of their imagination. They made it up just to get ratings, and scare the sheeple of America into a bleating frenzy.

They wanted to drum up support to ban the safest gun ever introduced into the country. Number of people killed by this weapon in the United States since it became available, shortly after WWI, is...wait for it...0. Thats right. no one has ever been killed with this gun in this country ever. So, you can see why it has to be banned. There story centered on the fact that it might could be used to kill someone, and it sure makes for good ratings when we hold it up on television!

Nice try, MSNBC. Too bad your little fabrication didn't take off like you'd hoped. Keep it up. Your day is coming. The blogs are watching.

Click here to see MSNBC's pathetic hit and run attempt at sensational journalism to promote "sensible and reasonable" gun contol. Keep in mind, though, like most of MSNBC's stories, this one is a complete fabrication. Just do a google search for ".50 caliber militia" and you can readily such group exists. And I shoud know. I've shot a .50 cal. Make that a couple of them. And, for those of you keeping score at home. It's fun. It's LOTS of fun. (See above photo of me shooting a .50 cal down near the Colorado/Texas border in April of 2003.)

Posted on 02/12/05. Permalink.

Main Stream Media: A Requiem for the New Age

The beauty of the blogs is that no one owns them, and they aren't conrolled by any single power, at least at this point. They don't clearly fall under the direction of the FCC or the FBI or the DEA or the NTSB. As such, they're basically the embodiment of the "free press" our founding fathers originally advocated. They warned against "licensing of the press", which is, of course, the sole purpose of the FCC and the NPA of 1970. The blogs wouldn't be important, if it weren't for the collosal consolidation of thought that has occurred in the Main Stream Media(MSM). Specifically:

  • Newspapers - Most large U.S. cities are single-paper-cities. Legal monopolies (technicllay Joint Opperating Agreements) allowed by ill-conceived Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970). No competition of ideas in the editorial department. If you don't agree with me, you won't work here. Next.
  • Radio Stations - A massive consolidation of radio stations is undeniable, and bad for the medium. Clear Channel owns something absurd like 60% of all radio programming in the United States. So, if your thoughts disagree with theirs, you're not likely to be heard on the radio any time soon.
  • Television - Ditto with the radio stations. Massive consolidation of ownership equates to massive thought consolidation. Collin Powell's little boy ran the FCC into the ground during his tenure. When the rest of the country could clearly see that consolidation of thought would be detrimental to the medium, Powell punted and allowed still greater concentration of television station ownership.

All of these three mediums are, unfortunately, a one way push of ideas. From producer to consumer. Shut up and take it comes. This is the news...I'm going to read it to you know.

The only chance people had to refute the inuendo and half-truths that results from the consolidation of though, coextant with the consolidation of ownership, was to write letters to the editor. Then, the editor would decide if the letters were printed or aired. It was a rigged game, and the consumers of this facile news product were sick of playing.

Enter the Blogs

The blogs are a breath of fresh air. It's a chance for people to participate in a true two-way communication where a guy can hammer out a scathing rebuttal in his home office, and be the talk over the office water coolers all over the world the next day, if his ideas and facts check out, and make logical sense.

The line that separates news producers from news consumers, the journalist from the reader, the publisher from the subscriber, has been unequivocably eradicated, as Eason Jordan and Dan Rather learned the hard way. No longer will the talking heads be allowed to lecture down their pretentious noses to the huddled, unquestioning masses. Those days are over.

The MSM has lost their ability to censor the consumer of the news. Their relationship has been changed. The genie is out of the bottle. There's no turning back. The MSM will be forced to adopt or to wither completely.

Can The Old Media Survive?

Because people will still want to read their newspaper on the train into work and want the news read to them in the evening, the dead tree papers and the talking heads will still have a place in our society, but it will be radically different than the way it is today.

  • The talking heads will have to re-introduce themselves to the very basic principles of journalism. Make a least a half-hearted attempt to be fair and balanced for a start.
  • They will have to open their own windows into the blogosphere, allow viewers to post comments, and read them.
  • They will have to use the blogosphere to help identify stories from conception through resolution. They will have to work with the blog swarm, instead of against it.
  • They will have to post their stories online, and cross-link to other competing news sites to lend credibility to their "facts". Currently, their facts are often not entirely true, and they have suffered a tremendous loss of credibility due to this.
  • They can still have reporters writing stories, checking facts, but they will do this in very close concert with the blogosphere. Something similar to what Michelle Malkin did with the Eason Jordan story. She came to it somewhat late, but then hit the ground running. She got the big players to go on the record with quotes. That's journalism. That's what drives the blogs.
So, this is the only place where the MSM can add value to journalism. Using existing relationships to get people to go on the record with quotes, producing informed balanced opinions, etc., and adding them to their own blogs on the internet. Then, the talking heads will essentially read their corporate news blog the air. The newspapers can print the blogs onto dead-trees.

In the long run, news on the televsion, radio, and in print will become nothing more than a mouthpiece to report what is occurring in the blogosphere. The old media can survive in the new world order only by realizing this and adopting the new media and adapting it's methods to survive. If they don't do this, then they will find themselves as flatfooted as CNN, that didn't have a blip on Eason Jordan until he was forced to resign. Then, they were in the awkward position of reporting that he had resigned over an issue they had chosen not to cover. This will not be allowed to continue. If the mainstream media doesn't wake up, and adopt the blogosphere to their own purposes, then other news channels will rise to repleace them on television, radio, and in print.

Posted on 02/11/05. Permalink.

Death to the Talking Heads: The Implosion of the Main Stream Media

Another anti-llectual, liberal, talking head has fallen victim to the blog swarm. It couldn't have happened to a better person.

In some ways, the capitulation of Eason Jordan sets a new high water mark for the blog osphere. On January 27th, Eason Jordan made his outrageous assertions that the U.S. military was deliberately targeting non-combatants in the Iraq war. Although the major media outlets stuck their collective heads in the sand for as long as possible, a blog swarm ensued and Eason was forced to resign just two weeks later.

When blogs called publicly for the release of the tapes, main stream media yawned. Even now, as I write this story, searching for Eason Jordan's name on CNN's website brings up nothing. They still haven't covered the story they tried so hard to ignore.

The real story here is much bigger than Eason Jordan. No one that watches CNN should be surprised that their lieutenant is slandering U.S. troops in Iraq. You couldn't watch CNN and think that a soul in Iraq wants us there or that anything good has come from the overthrow of Sadam Hussein. It's obvious that CNN is, and has been, against the war in Iraq. Against Bush. But, this is intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

The story here isn't that Eason Jordan was caught accusing maliciously slandering the U.S.military and was forced to resign. The real story here is much larger. The real story is the rise of the blogosphere.

What is the blogosphere and what does it do?

A "blog" is an abbreviation for a "web log". Basically, an online journal, somewhat akin to a diary that is open to the public. People use "blogs" for any conceivable purpose, from sharing photographs and family news to sharing stories, news, or linking to interesting web sites. Frequently, others are allowed to post their comments to the web site also.

The resulting medium, is, essentially, a web of integrated documents. Each linked and cross linked to each other, with comments posted, annotated, and updated. Because it is hosted on the internet, it can be updated simultaneously from anywhere in the world, any time, day or night. The "blogosphere" is the sum of all of the blogs on the internet.

At first, the implications of this weren't intuitively obvious. Just like, when everyone started buying personal computers back in the early 1990's, it wasn't obvious that they should all be networked together. The internet didn't really reach critical mass until 1997. Once the internet became commonplace, people started sending emails and creating web pages and "web logs" or "blogs".

Each blog is, for the sake of argument, independently operated. One blog or two or five could disappear, and the blogosphere would remain in tact. The traffic would be routed to other blogs, the same way that the internet routes around hubs that drop out of the network.

Some comments have been made that it isn't always obvious who owns and operates the blogs. My thought is that this is immaterial. The MSM has been feeding us biased, liberal drivel for decades under the false premise of "objectivity", so how could this be any worse? If you don't like the ideas of the blog, you're free to move on to another blog. If you do like it, read it. It really doesn't matter who owns it or operates it. If the facts don't check out, it won't survive.

But, only fairly recently has the nature of the blogs really come to be understood and utilized appropriately. The blogs allow people to share information instaneously across time and space. So, they link and cross link to each other's documents, building a news story in the process, in a "grass roots" manner.

Because the overall picture is shaped by many different authors, each person brings their own expertise to the story. The facts are assimilated into an unassailable rock-solid news story that anyone can follow.

The beauty of the blog is that it is self-correcting. The more people that read it, the stronger it becomes. If anyone one earth sees the story and can refute any one portion of it, they do so. Any person can sit down at a computer, day or night, and click through all of the facts, from personal, eye witness accounts, to photographs, to news stories, etc.They post comments, link to other evidence that contradicts the premise, etc.

Most of these blogs are run by people in their spare time. They don't get paid for what they do. They do it because, like most of us, they're tired of having some talking head reading lies and half-truths from a teleprompter. Collectively, they are destroying the MSM. The reasons for this, once you understand the nature of the blogs, are obvious.

The blogs have an infinite number of resources across the globe working day and night to break a story. To shove the lies back down the throats of the talking heads we all love to hate. There is no possible way that the MSM will ever be able to respond effectively to the blogs. You can't possibly have one reporter, or two, or five, or even a thosand, go out and do a better story on the Eason Jordan story than what the blogs did. The blogs assimilated the information from every person on earth, distributed it across a few thousand websites, that each had thousands of viewers a day.

The Eason Jordan story began with the seed of a single person(Rony Abovitz) posting his eye witness account on a web site, expressing his displeasure with Eason's disparaging comments toward the U.S. military. In the old world order, that would have been the end of it. No news site wanted to touch the story with a 10 foot pole.

But that seed was observed by the blogs, evaluated, and analyzed. The story began to grow as others corroborated his observations. Eventually, the blogs laid out every eye witness account from Davos, every person's response to the eye witness accounts, and called for the release of the tapes, a boycott of CNN, and Eason's resignation.

So, we begin to see the blogs as this network of inter-linked web sites, updated constantly, by an infinite number of resources laboring around the clock, in perpetuity. The blogs have gained the most media attention when they do something spectacular like forcing Dan Rather's resignation. But I think the blogs are more interesting when they're out of the spotlight. When they don't have something juicy to chew on like the Easongate fiasco.

Sharks have to keep swimming or they die. They have to have oxygen flowing through their gills all the time, so they have to swim all of the time. (Some actually sleep in caves with their mouths open to catch an underwater current, but I digress.) Blogs are like sharks. They're predators, and as such, are always on the hunt for a story. They see every single story in the world. Every potential story is kicked back and forth between one or two or three people and, if it is important enough, it gets kicked to more and more sites. Each blog decides, independently, if the story has legs or not. If it's worth covering. If the facts are true. If the topic is newsworthy. So, it isn't that the blogs got lucky and stumbled onto the fact that Dan Rather had rushed forged documents onto the air to try to stop Bush from getting re-elected. It wasn't serendipity that caused the blogs to stumble across the story of CNN's potentate slandering the U.S. troops.

Once a story is elevated, it turns into a frenzy that is difficult to imagine. Each story that rises to the top of the blogosphere draws a level of scrutiny and analysis that the main stream media cannot conceive of. Essentially, every fact is checked by everyone of earth. This is true because, even people that don't read the blogs are deliberately introduced to them. If you see a story on a blog, and know of someone that's an expert on some particular aspect of the story, you run the idea by them. Email them a link, and bring their expertise to bear on the story.

In a matter of days, the blogosphere can construct a story that the main stream media couldn't put together in a lifetime. And, the beauty of it is, the MSM doesn't get it. The blog authors are viewed as a bunch of amateurs, hacking away in their living rooms. Perhaps Jonathan Klein said it best when he claimed that "Bloggers have no checks and balances . . . [it's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."

Death to the Talking Heads: The Implosion of the Main Stream Media

Today, Eason Jordan of CNN was forced to resign. Barely a month ago, CBS fired or asked to resgin Mary Mapes, Betsy West, Josh Howard, Mary Murphy, Mary Mapes, and Dan Rather, after the blogs pointed out that they were using forged documents.

People are tired of being fed liberal inuendo and half-truths by the talking heads under the false guise of objectivity. Main Stream Media, as we know it, is dead. They just don't know it yet.

The bloggers are evaluating every story in the world, and, once a story catches on in the blogs, moving with inconceivable speed in all directions. In short, the MSM is facing the most perfect journalistic system ever conceived in the history of the world, and they think that they're up against a bunch of pajama clad hacks. (I don't even wear pajamas. ;)

So, turn off your television. Cancel your subscription to that dead-tree newspaper. And welcome to the world of real, honest journalism. Here's some of my favorite blogs to get you started:

Posted on 02/11/05. Permalink.

Eason Jordan: Has Anyone Seen My Dignity? I seem to have misplaced it.

Jackson's Junction has video of Joe Scarborough's thoughts on Eason Jordan's malicious slander of the U.S. armed forces.

Fox says "The Crime Here is Intellectual Cowardice", hosted by Johnny Dollar's Place.

Why don't you send Eason Jordan an email and ask him to release the tapes. If he didn't make the outrageous claim that U.S. forces are deliberately murdering and torturing journalists, then releasing the tape(s) from the Davos, Switzerland meeting will vindicate him. Why on earth would he not call for those tapes to be released? You can ask him yourself. His e-mail address is CNN's main phone number is (404) 827-1500. Ask for Eason Jordan and the operator will put you through.

Posted on 02/10/05. Permalink.

CNN: Reporting The News When We Damned Well Feel Like It

Just what did Eason Jordan know, and when did he know it? Eason Jordan, the disengenuous potentate running CNN, admitted that he had exclusive, inside knowledge of Sadam Hussein's atrocities, and deliberately concealed the information. Nice. That makes me feel better. I wonder when he knew the North Koreans had nukes? I wonder what else he knows that he's sitting on? I'd bet dollars to donuts he's not sitting on any bombshell stories that would reflect poorly on Bush. Any takers?

Posted on 02/10/05. Permalink.

Eason's Fables

At a cozy meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Eason Jordan, the mental dwarf of CNN, indicated that American soldiers were deliberately targeting and killing journalists. That is, if you believe what Richard Sambrook of the BBC, David Gergen of Harvard, Senator Christopher Dodd, and Rony Abovitz have stated.

Eason Jordan is a deeply stupid little hypocrite. If he truly believed the U.S. military was deliberately assassinating the press, why wouldn't he be running stories on it? This is an extremely serious accusation. To say that our military is deliberately slaughtering non-combantants, particularly if they are liberal talking heads under the employ of CNN, is a very serious accusation. If he truly believed this, then why not whip up a little MSM-style damn-the-facts investigation, forge a few documents, and have a talking head go on the air with it? The fact that this hasn't occurred is reasonable proof that even he doesn't believe his outlandish claims.

So why would he make false charges? Well, lets consider his audience. The welfare states of Europe and the oil drenched desert dictators love this sort anti-American breast thumping. When you live in a country that doesn't stand for much, anti-American sentiment fills the void of patriotic zeal.

These synchophants and socialists encouraged Eason Jordan for standing up to the U.S. Military, even if it was only a whispered lie between weasels and scallywags. When David Bergen and Barney Frank called him on the carpet about his ludicrious, callous accusations, what did Eason do? He began to crawfish, squirming in his seat like a school boy. Shortly thereafter, Mark Adams of the World Economic Farce announced that the session titled "Will Democracy Survive the News?" was "off the record" and the tape won't be released. Nice. You can't make up stories any more absurd than this. Send Mark Adams an email and let him know your thoughts. His email address is

Posted on 02/09/05. Permalink.

California Highway 1: San Francisco to Pismo Beach

Here's a slideshow of what will probably be the last of my California photographs. These photos were all taken between San Francisco and Pismo Beach. Some of the specific places I shot were the 49 Mile Scenic Drive, the Great Highway, Pescedero State Beach, 4 Mile Beach(Santa Cruz), Monterey Bay, the Carmel Valley, Big Sur, the Pacific Valley, San Luis Obispo(Slow-town), Lompoc, and Pismo Beach. (The pictures of the Sand Dunes are Pismo Beach, which was, of course, the ultimate destination of Bugs Bunny when he missed that left turn at Albuquerque). The Blue Prelude on the beach is my car and that's me on the red ATV doing donuts in the dunes.

Unfortunately, Canon is in the process of repairing my EOS 20D in Irvine, so I was forced to shoot these photos with my backup camera, the Canon Pro-1. Be forewarned - this is a miserable camera. Stay away from it at all costs. The designer should be severely pummeled with a dull 9-iron. Most of it's shortcomings, however, can be mitigated by shooting stationary objects using a steady tripod. The audio track is "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5. The slideshow is a 9 Meg self-playing executable produced using Imagematics StillMotion PE. Click on the photo above to download the slideshow. Click here if you need help.

Posted on 02/09/05. Permalink.

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