An expression of personal freedom designed to educate people about the meaning and importance of freedom and personal responsibility. Topics will include current events, historical analysis, gun control and firearms rights, education, politics and more. I write in support of freedom lest darkness fall upon our society in the form of dwindling rights, apathy and oppression.
I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.
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You MUST buy a Kindle
If you enjoy reading, you really must get one of these. I carry mine with me all of the time and read at least 5 books per month on it.
Books I Am Reading
A Feast For Crows This latest installment of Gearge R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series isn't quite as gripping as the previous books but is still a pretty good read.
Phantom Book 10 in the Sword of Truth series continues to keep the reader riveted while repeatedly emphasizing the duty and importance of self defense.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed A follow up to Guns, Germs, and Steel that explains the geographic, environmental and socio-economic reasons that can cause civilizations and communities to collapse.
I’ve been following the Iranian post-election protests and riots via social networking sites like YouTube, Twitter and others. Last night while the streets of Tehran were filled with people chanting “Death to the Dictator!” after a clearcase ofelection tampering, CNN was running a fluff piece about whether or not Obama is more popular than effective. Los Angeles based TV news programs talked about illegal aliens working at a car wash, a newsworthy discovery on par with finding tools in a hardware store. FoxNews ran a story about a peeved Sarah Palin. A continuous scan through all available satellite TV news channels revealed similar drivel, with nothing of substance about Iran.
I find this disconcerting given Iran’s important role in the Middle East, their efforts to become a nuclear power and their influence on international policy. Iran is one of the world’s most powerful theocracies and their government has more or less been an enemy of the United States for decades. When their people protested a rigged election, did battle with police and chanted “We want freedom!” in the streets they were mostly ignored by American news networks. This lack of coverage is even more disappointing now that the Iranian election protests have spilled over into large American and Europeancities.
I realize that there are logistic difficulties in placing reporters inside of a nation that is hostile to foreign press, but this didn’t entirely stop the BBC. Their reporters managed to capture video footage of the protests and were even briefly arrested while reporting on this story. They managed to get enough footage out of the country that Iran has since been actively jamming the BBC communications satellite.
CNN is a very active user of the Twitter microblogging service and used to seem savvy about social media. They were one of the first Twitter users to achieve over a million followers and at one point had 45 official twitter accounts. Why did they not improve their coverage after being twittered with thousands of requests for this? At the very least they could have put a political analyst in front of the camera to discuss what was happening. For many hours, the 2nd most popular trending topic on Twitter.com was #IranElection and the 3rd most popular was #CNNFail. I am surprised that an event of global significance combined with this much social media outrage wasn’t enough to motivate them to cover the story.
The more that I use the internet, the less use I have for main stream media and entertainment. I found dozens of videos on YouTube covering the Iranian riots while they were actually happening. There were hundreds of photographs of the riots on web sites like Flickr. I even found live clandestine coverage on twitter purportedly from a protesting Iranian student as police assaulted a university. I’m beginning to think that traditional news media outlets no longer have much to offer. They are slow, unwieldy and subject to the bias of advertisers and network executives. Television news networks often worry so much about ratings that they focus on entertainment as often as information. "News" stories about “American Idol”, “24” and Obama going on a date with his wife get nearly as much coverage as events of global significance. Once upon a time they may have cared about facts and integrity, but stories like the Dan Rather incident have shown us that their slowness is not caused by diligent fact checking.
If traditional media networks do not find a way to more effectively leverage emerging internet technologies they will soon find themselves without viewers and sponsors. UPDATE: CNN's coverage has improved today and they even acknowledged the criticism they have been receiving from the internet/Twitter. Ironically, #CNNFail is still in the top ten list of trending topics on Twitter, and comments there indicate twitterers are either too busy watching the internet to notice CNN's improved coverage or are still angry that it took them so long to start covering this issue.