Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Removable Feast

Write a letter to your congressman, write to your M.P. Let him or her know what you think about this!

Below we see two views on what the public world thinks about the private people: the first story explains that the world of political people is focusing on private people who don't write letters to politicians; the second, from a major Canadian newspaper claims that the MSM is doing just fine and the people are not that important at all.

According to the U.S. government, the government is getting news and views from bloggers. Story two: according to the MSM the bloggers don't know nothing much of interest. Once again, the Canadian establishment infantalises the public and dismisses them as incapable of intelligent consideration, a mere decoration of democracy and good government.

Bloggers and readers are making a new democracy under the high held noses of the intelligentsia-- now more useless and irrelevant than they have been ever before. You, dear reader, are making democracy a living and vibrant thing in itself.

CIA mines 'rich' content from blogs

By Bill Gertz
April 19, 2006

President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.

The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.

"A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to ... people putting information on there that doesn't exist anywhere else," Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.

Eliot A. Jardines, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for open source, said the amount of unclassified intelligence reaching Mr. Bush and senior policy-makers has increased as a result of the center's creation in November.

"We're certainly scoring a number of wins with our ultimate customer," said Mr. Jardines....

"I can't get into detail of what, but I'll just say the amount of open source reporting that goes into the president's daily brief has gone up rather significantly," Mr. Jardines said. "There has been a real interest at the highest levels of our government, and we've been able to consistently deliver products that are on par with the rest of the intelligence community."

Mr. Naquin said recent OSC successes have included the discovery of a technology advance in a foreign country. Also, most data on avian flu outbreaks come from open sources, he said.

"Have we got coups out of it? Close to it," Mr. Naquin said. "But certainly we've had more insight than we've ever had before."

The OSC uses powerful computers and software technology to "sift" the Internet for valuable intelligence....

In the past, open-source reports were used mainly by intelligence analysts.

"But now our customer base literally ranges from the president to local police departments," Mr. Naquin said. The Fairfax County police use OSC products, as do police departments in San Diego, New York and Baltimore. The center also provides support to the U.S. military.

A Defense Department official said Chinese military bloggers have become a valuable source of intelligence on Beijing's secret military buildup. For example, China built its first Yuan-class attack submarine at an underground factory that was unknown to U.S. intelligence until a photo of the submarine appeared on the Internet in 2004.


The OSC is doubling its staff and bringing in material from 32 government agencies that also produce unclassified reports, Mr. Jardines said.

If you write a letter to your congressman or your m.p. or deputy, you might reach one secretary in some obscure department somewhere. Your letter, along with dozens of others, might go into a pile to gather dust or even a form-letter response sent back at your expense. If you write to the public, if you resonate in the world of people who vote, then the politicians must come to you to beg for your vote instead of you begging them to pay attention to you. Make the rotten bastards work for you. That's what we elect them to do. Politicians aren't leaders, they are our servants to carry out our orders. Politicians are cooks and waiters dishwashers. This banquet of democracy is ours to feast at. We choose the place and the staff, and they carry our our commands. If we don't choose the best, then we must toss them our and fill our government with better people who can do the jobs we expect them to.

We don't tell the cooks how to cook. We choose what we want, and the cooks do their professional jobs or they don't. That's the end of it. They ask us if we like it. We don't beg them to appeal to us.

According to Ted McKeough in a special to The Star:

NEW YORK—There have been plenty of commentators arguing that blogs will lead to the demise of "old" media organizations that publish newspapers, magazines and books.

ABC News columnist Michael S. Malone predicted the end of newspapers last year when he saw "the first links embedded in blogs. There was simply nothing in the physical world that could ever hope to match the ability to leap through cyberspace from story to story, file to file, with almost infinite extension." Or as former editor-in-chief of Merrill Brown put it: "The future of the news industry is seriously threatened by the seemingly irrevocable move by young people away from traditional sources of news."

Yet despite the proliferation and popularity of blogs, the obliteration of mainstream media as we know it is just not happening. Rather than resembling a steamroller, blogs are looking like the cheese on the bread that is mainstream media; or if you prefer, the icing on the cake.

As it now stands, the reason that so many blog links go to MSM is because, currently, the MSM is the dominant gatherers of news and content. No blogger can afford, individually, to, for example, imbed a journalist with the troops in the front lines of Iraq (or as most MSM outlets do, in the green zone). An exception to this has been Steve Marshall of Guerrilla News who produced a Sundance award winning doc while doing this on his own tab.

This will change when there are more bloggers at the places where news occurs. News will be something that is reported in real time, by the participants and direct observers. And the main media for this will be blogs, in real time. And with the use of aggregators and spiders, a second after someone posts something interesting, the world will have it.

Then the MSM will become republishers. And they will die.

posted by Brian Lemon at 4:36 PM

This editorial is based on two pieces from the MSM. Both came from blogs. You, dear reader, are becoming the media. In time we won't require the MSM for our copy. We will be the ones trained and professional and on the spot who write and publish the news. The politicians will more and more come to us for our commands.

When we meet on Thursday evenings at the Vancouver Public Library from 7-9:00 pm each week we conduct democracy in action. We by-pass the politicians and the MSM in favor of private people conducting their own public affairs. When a Canadian terrorist supporter hires on with the Canadian government it is bloggers and readers who make their opinions known on the Internet. We don't write letters to the editor of the Toronto Star. We don't write letters to our m.p.s. We blog, and the whole world knows in a moment that the Canadian government has a terrorist agitator in it's public office. We have power and we can and do use it. It's democracy.

Please join us on Thursday at 7:00 pm to discuss your views. We'll be in Vancouver, Canada. You, being elsewhere, can do the same kind of democratic agitating we do. Democracy isn't limited to Vancouver. It's for everyone. It's for you. You are democracy yourself. Exercise it. Don't sit at home reading the local paper. Don't sit in watching the news on TV. Walk to the library and meet your fellows. You're free to do that. Vote with your feet.

Join us. Meet us. We want to know your opinions. Write a letter to your blogger. Let him or her know what you think about this!

What's on the menu?


truepeers said...

Anyone who thinks the blogs did not play a significant role in the last Canadian election wasn't paying attention. What we may see in Canada however, is a conversation between blogs and MSM that is not as polarized as in the US. The fact that one of the most popular blogs during the last election was that of Andrew Coyne, an MSM pundit, might be evidence for this claim.

In any case, i like your description of politicos as cooks and waiters. I think it inevitable that the internet will become the primary arena for the exchange of opinion, if it isn't already, and such exchange is the fundamental basis for politics. Hence the politicians and parties will have to build relationships here.

dag said...

To be effective we have to be a physical force that motivates and guides our political establishments. It's one thing to write lovbely posts on the Internet, but we must be visible as people, known people with faces and voices, and we must make the world do our bidding, we the people. Aethereal poetry is fine and even fun, but we must be on the streets in our mulitidinous millions making demands that we must enforce. An atomic polity is less than useless, it's a slave population. a man here, a woman there, sweating brow furled, a post, a coupe. it's not enough. We have to be open and public and united in word and deed to make our societies rspond to our right demands for moral clarity and Human decency. That's not too much to ask. We have a right to demand that our public servants not be terrorist supporters. We have a right to demand and to enforce the demand that our public servants be law-abiding and non-violent. We might well have to form masses on the streets to effect that change from the current situation.

If our government supports HAMAS in any way whatsoever, we must demand it cease and correct its positons. We can ensure that by being known and being heard in public.

To our governors we must make it plain:

You cannot hire terrorist supporters!

There's no reason in all of this nation to sit back and wait for the government to come to its collective sense and make right the wrongs they commit. It is up to the people of this democracy to enforce change by vocalising in public, unitied and insistent, that we demand the right and legitimate rule of law. We cannot sit back and wait for the government to decide which laws to enforce and against whom at their leisure. If we do not act, then we are not democrats and free people. If we do not act, then we will not even be adults: we will be children and wards of the state.

No thanks, Big Brother. We, the people, are telling you what to do from now on, and if you don't act as we demand, then find another population to infantalise.

truepeers said...

Right, we've got to get our letters to Harper over the DFAIT scandal finished, in the mail to Ottawa, and up on the blog!

dag said...

Gung Ho!