Blogs: Crucial or a Waste of Time? → Washingtons Blog
Blogs: Crucial or a Waste of Time? - Washingtons Blog

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blogs: Crucial or a Waste of Time?

Crucial for Spreading Accurate Information

We've all seen it.

A story that bloggers have bird-dogged for many months, gaining so much traction that the mainstream media is finally forced to cover it.

David Steele - former 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer - says that blogging is crucial for saving our country.

Dan Rather points out that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations. As I wrote in July:

This fact has been documented for years, as shown by the following must-see charts prepared by:


This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades:

The mainstream media are rabidly pro-war and refuse to disclose that many of the "independent" pundits they interview are actually lobbyists. The mainstream press has become lazy, and most of the stories are fed to them by PR firms.

People want change - that's why so many voted for Obama. But as Newsweek's Evan Thomas admitted:

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring....

"If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am). . . ."

In other words, many editors, publishers, producers and reporters think of themselves as being part of the establishment class, and so do everything they can to protect those in power.

No wonder trust in the news media is crumbling.

On the other hand, as I wrote a year ago, it is possible to get direct-from-source news on the web:

Many of the world's top PhD economics professors and financial advisors have their own blogs...

The same is true in every other field: politics, science, history, international relations, etc.

So what is "news"? What the largest newspapers choose to cover? Or what various leading experts are saying - and oftentimes heatedly debating one against the other?
And as award-winning investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill said recently:
I think we're in a moment where corporations are more dominant over newsgathering and news production and disseminating information than they've ever been.

Contrary to that, though, you also have this sort of "citizen journalism" rising up, where you have people that are staring their own blogs or their own web sites.
So the blogosphere is certainly vital.

A Waste of Time

On the other hand, even with all of the millions of bloggers exposing what's going on, the powers-that-be are ignoring us.

Even with high-level economics and financial experts demonstrating that the economy cannot recover until the big banks are broken up, the government is letting them get bigger and bigger. For example, an all-star cast of well-known experts says that we must break up the big banks, with people like Simon Johnson blogging about this daily for one of the world's most popular news sites (Huffington Post). And yet nothing is changing.

Even with top security experts showing that the never-ending "war on terror" is harming our national security, and that covering up for the torturers and war criminals is making us less safe, the Obama administration is continuing the never-ending war, and has swept torture and war crimes under the rug.

I could go on and on, but if you've been paying any attention, you know that our country is headed in the wrong direction, no matter how many thoughtful writers point out the direction we should be headed.

Moreover, the blogsphere is not a "free market" of ideas. Whistleblowers and many of the hardest-hitting blog posts get attacked or buried by the powers-that-be. Because of this censorship, there may be a highly educated minority of millions of Americans, but the majority still gets their news from the mainstream media, including the mainstream news websites.

So blogging may be doing nothing but blowing off steam, and draining the energy which should be used for massive protests and strikes. Indeed, maybe we are just shouting within the Matrix, in an artificial environment. Maybe we are having as much effect as protesters in government-approved "protest zone" - miles from the media, let alone the real events they are protesting.

Knowing stuff isn't enough. Being smart isn't enough. Indeed, being informed and smart but failing to take action to protect ourselves is a recipe for disaster (and perhaps even extinction).

Maybe we need to get outside the cyber-playground and the designated protest zones, and shout with our real, physical voices at real, physical people before anyone will actually pay attention.


  1. It is useful because I learned a bunch more about politics than I ever thought I would and this has spurred me to be more active in every aspect of my life.

    It is frustrating but I have to credit the internet and blogs for informing me from the point that I got interested in politics after the 2000 election.

    The powers that be are still kicking our butts, but it did change me.

  2. I get blind-sided by questions like this posed as they are, framed in the far-too-simplistic world of empirical humanity.

    My question in return is, toward what end? -what logical development in the future is anyone looking to grow out of the burgeoning scientific-bureaucracy of this loose collection of bloggers?

    My Great Aunt remembered the the East Boston Flying Club, -which eventually became that hideous abomination -now know as Logan Airport.

    Is the immediate question here -just a question soliciting some personal invention of some positive good that might possibly develop in relation to -everything else hideous- that is going on?

    Or is it a question asking, is this newer scientific-bureaucracy of bloggerdom more worthwhile than all the other obviously failed scientific-bureaucracies of the past?

    No member of the human species is biologically or psychologically constructed to thrive, nor even exist happily, within any scientific-bureaucracy, if that latter question -is the question at hand.

    And scientific-bureaucracies, like bloggerdom, cannot withstand the causes of entropy inherent to human nature effecting upon them. The result is always some sort of tyranny.

    History is a proven indicator of reality and our human constraints here.

    If there is some desire to see the former question concerning the personal invention of some dreamed-up social good that might arise out of the blogger-phenomenon and the invention of this new scientific-bureaucracy bloggerdom represents, also, similarly invented by the Jesuits in their monasteries, then we have to try to examine our current cultural-state, which is not sustainable, dreamed up as has been couched in -endless economic growth, -endless knowledge expansion, and possibly -some manifest destiny in the Star Trek realm.

    Beam be up, Michael Rivero.

    What is the point of being a blogger? This is the question that needs to be answered to address this question.

    Is there an insurrection in the offing?

    Is there some blossoming of culture some enlightened-few might be working toward?

    Is there the liberation of some unforeseen human ability bloggers are seeking?

    I am not so easily swayed by the day-dreams of the technology-set.

    If there is anything to blogging, it is most-likely found in the apparent desires of bloggers like Alex Jones and Michael Rivero who portray themselves as all-seeing, all-knowing near-gods, geniuses, -building a cult-following, leading their flock of apparently moronic worshipers to wherever they might follow in a Huey Long populist way.

    Michael Rivero is currently commanding his flock to be RATIONAL BEINGS, whatever that might be. He wants everyone to STOP BELIEVING, and to SIMPLY BE RATIONAL. Huh?

    Unfortunately, most people are not well-versed enough in philosophy to understand that the idea of what is rational, is just a vast and wholly faulty belief system exactly like every other belief system.

    Bloggers will only further delude humanity is my instinct. There is plenty of censorship on the Internet going on by bloggers seeking to keep holy -only the truth as they want it to be expressed. Bloggers lead, -but- they are leading humanity as it has always been led, helter-skelter -down the road to hell and self-destruction ever faster...

    Or so would be my greatly humbled prediction.

    My prediction is greatly humbled -because- with all I have learned, and read, and studied, when I look closely in the mirror now, I more so than ever, just see a vastly deluded male primate living way beyond the cultural means afforded to any of us.

    I long for the jungle because these ubiquitous and failed scientific-bureaucracies have made the planet uninhabitable for men like me.

  3. Blogs etc. are critical as fleshed out by Albert Jay Nock's discussion of the "Remnant".

    An example of what happens to someone in the mainstream media who tangles with those in power is C. Amanpour (sp?) and Bill Clinton during one of his Phil Donahue style shows. She "disappeared" for a long time. I have no expectation for the MSM other than to get an idea of what the enemy is up to.

    So... thank you for what you do. It helps me remember I am not alone or going crazy.

  4. I agree about Rivero, but I still like his site mostly for the headlines. Yet the guy, who tends to blame everything on either Israel or religion, is hardly someone who really is "rational" (being anti-God doesn't make one rational! Atheists do not have a patent on being rational).

    But if the blog has a specific audience, then it can be valuable. for instance, mine is about living in the rural remote (and, because it's just getting to be garden season, I've been heavy with politico-economic commentary). What I want are folks willing to live outside the box, not "foment revolution" if you know what I mean.

    Alex Jones, IMHO, is a waste of time. We need solutions, not fearmongering.

  5. I very rarely rely on the traditional television outlets for news anymore, so obviously have they become instruments of the ruling class, And that includes PBS, who today is nothing more than a bullhorn for the fashionable amorality of the academic professoriat and the Muslim hating bias of the power-addicted Charlie Rose. But until the blogs become the organizing principle for the mass demonstrations and strikes that will be required to restore democracy to the United States, they simply
    will be a device for angry people to vent their frustrations. At one time unions used to serve as this organizing principle but they have been emasculated, now having strength resembling that of unions in the Deutsche Arbeitsfront of National Socialist Germany.

    Andrei Vyshinsky

  6. thanks G.W. for the wake up calls.
    there are tipping points in politics and society
    what was discussed with friends over coffee is now widely available
    to facilitate social change.

  7. I'd say all four choices contain a kernal of truth. In my more cynical moments (which are very often nowadays), I'm inclined to say that #3 is most accurate.

  8. I concur with the other commentators, especially about Rivero and AJ. I read Rivero because even a blind pig catches and ear of corn now and then.
    I stopped blogging after 5 years simply because as a trained investigator, I felt like I had given the prosecutor all the evidence to make the case ironclad. It was frustrating to see it used, but they were never gone after. Of course that did not stop them from going after lil ole me. I agree with George Washington completely on Obama's picks for posts. He provides good warning to take care of your family in these times, which is a true service.
    I don't think this country will ever recover or "move on" to become less racist and less warlike unless 911 is re-investigated. Therein lies the lie that built Bush nation. And we all continue to live with the consequences.

  9. I would most likely be blissfully ignorant without the Internet and thoughtful bloggers. Whatever the odds are against our society becoming truly civilized, they would be much worse without this kind of resource.

    Thank you!!!

  10. Anonymous wrote:

    "...3. It is a waste of time, because the powers-that-be do whatever they want, no matter how loudly the people speak out."


    So to avoid this in the future, tactics must change or we become insane as a result of repeating the same cycle.

    Case in point. The bank bailouts, lack of prosecutions for high level executives, traders, law makers failing responsible oversight/policing of the markets, etc.

    Somehow, "the people" MUST draft a set of directives which state in unequivocal terms what is required to be done immediately to rectify the above and outline what the outcome will be if these are not dealt with swiftly and without delay.


  11. About the Boskop link ... I'm not saying it's untrue but it's also not proven:

  12. I would say #1 & #3 most reflect my opinion, but I refuse to surrender to "the powers that be" and give up. If nothing else it lets me vent my frustration anonymously. If I actually said what I thought out loud at my neighborhood social club (bar) I would probably loose all of my friends. I live in a very red part of a blue state.
    It’s not easy…

    One more thought on MSM coverage:
    What is it with "we must hear two sides of the story" at the same time? That is why I like The Rachel Maddow show. She tolerated that format when her show first came on but realized it was not productive, so she will have opposing opinion guests on back to back rather than have a shouting match. She's a perceptive lady.
    No, just give us the facts to back up your decision and we will agree or question it. If you don't agree, do your own research!
    We don't have to be spoon fed everything we hear (unless you watch fox). I think they are still working on the bottle (and it's not milk) and haven't graduated to the spoon...I don't know if the day will ever come that they can move on to solid food!

  13. Loved the Freudian slip typo in one of the above quotes: "... people that are staring their own blogs or their own web sites."

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Debi put this up on our sidebar and I'll take it for encouragement. It's been hard to keep going over the last few years, but even when it seems we're howling in the desert against a sand storm, perhaps the MSM is lacking trace minerals and elements that we're supplying.


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