Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogs - Real News?

ephemeral
e·phem·er·al
adj.
  1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: “There remain some truths too ephemeral to be captured in the cold pages of a court transcript” (Irving R. Kaufman).
  2. Living or lasting only for a day, as certain plants or insects do
hebdomadal
heb·dom·a·dal

adj.

Weekly.

Sorry, I had to look those up when reading an article. There is always something new to learn. Why use hebdomadal though? I have never understood the purpose of using words that someone has to look up when another would convey the same connotation. I think it is an ego thing, but maybe I'm just cynical.

If you can't tell, I read the news often throughout the day. (Don't tell my boss.) When I come across an article that peaks my interest or something I have a comment on, I just email it to my personal account so I can remember later. That is why most of my posts will be in reference to some sort of news article. On with the post...

The author of All The News That Fits Your Views seems to think that blogs aren't and will not be a legitimate news source. I agree, mostly. My general view is that a blog is a way for someone to strike up a conversation, not try to change the world. I started this one so that I could speak to people outside of just my area. I have traveled enough in my life to appreciate and learn from different views and cultures. Blogs allow people who would normally never speak to each other to have a voice. Also, there is always the hope of having our 5 minutes of notability. (Didn't want to use fame, just want to be heard.)

As far as being a journalist...
Bloggers are people. Men, women, educated, kids, etc... Having a blog allows a person to speak and express their opinions and views. On politics, some could be considered more legitimate than others. In my opinion, some could be better journalists than a few of the talking heads I see on television.

My opinion on the piece, I think Matt Harrison is incorrect. Bloggers have the ability to be journalists. Although, there is quite a bit of crap out there, hopefully this isn't an example. We will probably never become sources of original news, but we can at least match some of the opinions expressed by the "true" journalists on CNN, FoxNews, etc...

(This was more a flow of thought post than something thought out. I tried to keep it somewhat structured.)

NSA Phone Spying

Unless you have been living in a hole, you have heard about the NSA having access to phone records from some major providers. The obvious concern that most people, and the media, are speaking about is the privacy issue. Yes, the security of the nation is briefly discussed, but at least from my exposure this is not the main topic. So here is an article that I found interesting. David Ignatius writes a very logical piece addressing how we arrived in this situation.

I feel that Mr. Ignatius' article follows a plausible and reasonable flow, as opposed to the other ideas that the government is out to get us. Yes, I do believe that some law makers want to increase government control, but in reality they were doing what they felt was necessary. (Please, not "road to hell paved with good intentions" comments.)

I'm not defending everything that has happened as a result of September 11th, but decisions have to be made. The truth in life is that a lot of the time there isn't a clear cut right or wrong, and life doesn't stop to let us figure it out.
Someone may tell you that they are about to kill your family, while another just says they are joking, are you going to wait for better intelligence or act? (Extreme, I know, but so is life. Also a habit I use to get my points across.)

Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sorry It Is Taking So Long

Sorry I'm taking so long to write again. I've been busy. I have a whole list of things I want to talk about. Not everything will be about politics, and also I am going to try to address events that I feel demonstrate thoughtful action as well. I don't want this to just turn into people complaining all the time. Well, I should hopefully be back on tomorrow or Wednesday for a few posts.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My First Blog - Federal Government Interference

Please excuse misspelling, grammar, punctuation errors and any other improper writing methods I may use. What can I say, I'm more of a computer geek than an English major. On to my first post...

Recently the media, and as a result politicians, have been focusing on websites like MySpace.com as a breeding ground for child molesters. In what is probably a good faith effort to protect children, some of those politicians are trying to introduce legislation to make it mandatory for schools and libraries to block certain "social networking" sites. I am not arguing whether this should be done or not, but whether the federal government needs to be involved. I realize that politicians face their constituents' questions of "what are you going to do to protect my child?" But is this the best way?

First, I feel this is more of a show piece than something that would be effective. Are there any studies or evidence that children are having contact with predators while at school or libraries? Pure conjecture on my part, but I feel most of these encounters probably happen when the children are at home on the computer. (But, like the school and library issue, that is my opinion without any facts.)

Second, and most importantly, this is something that should be handled on the local level. Communities should be allowed to govern the rules that their people live by, as long as it does not violate liberty or other laws. Schools should be responsible for their computer networks and what is allowed and not. We, the public and citizens, could spend the rest of our lives trying to come up with federal legislation to prevent crime, but if we do not address it locally on our own, then we are being irresponsible and welcoming legislation like this to take away our freedom.

So, while I feel the intent is good, this is a situation where the reaction of politicians is causing them to overstep their bounds.

I hope I wrote this post clearly enough to convey my view point. Let me know what you think, and especially if you think I'm wrong. I don't take offense easily. Just try to make a logical explanation on what you think and why. Thanks for reading my first post, and hopefully there will be more.