July 09, 2007

Support Your Favourite Blogger

Let me pitch a story to you, if you don't mind.

I have now been blogging for more than four years. Here is the guts of my very first blog post way back in Feb, 2003:
Who are we? Where are we going? What kind of world do we want to create? ...

The industralised behommeth [sic] of 21st Century "Civilisation" races at full steam towards a destination most thinking people no longer wish to attain... Who built this cursed machine? Who controls it? Should we be trying to stop it, destroy it or re-direct it? Or should we just be jumping off?!?

After centuries of disenfranchisement, subjugation and de-humanisation, the Internet promises to re-empower the individual and unite ordinary people around the globe. Personal web sites like Blogger give us a medium to make our voices heard like never before. This Blog is my voice on the Internet.
At the time, I wasn't too sure exactly what I wanted to do with a blog, or what I wanted to say. But I knew I wanted to say something.

Then came the Iraq War invasion. Like you, perhaps, I was shocked and awed. In fact, I was totally gob-smacked, just plain dumbfounded and disgusted by what my own country was doing. Two months into the war I wrote this:
We are now witnessing the collapse of the myriad Bush administration myths about why the USA had to invade Iraq... So now it it time to ask: WHY DID THEY DO IT?

The answer, obvious enough once the other myths are exploded, is OIL.

So, what now? Iraq is perhaps the only nation on earth capable of seriously challenging Saudi Arabia as the World #1 oil exporter. The Americans will clearly want to maintain control of this oil for the next hundred years (or at least until it is all gone). The obvious fix would be to "sell" all the Iraqi's oil to the USA at very attractive prices. In return, the USA will give the Iraqis ... what? Hmmn... How about ongoing military and administrative support? Well, that won't be necessary once the Iraqis regain control of their country and set up a stable, model democracy, right?

Hands up anyone who thinks the instability in Iraq will be resolved anytime soon.
If the truth was obvious to me, a relatively uninformed middle-aged nobody, way back then, why couldn't the whole world see it? Why couldn't our politicians admit it? Why was the media silent? Why has it taken us four long years of lies, and over half a million deaths, to reach this point of public outrage? How on earth did Bush, Blair and Howard manage to get re-elected?

The disturbing answers to these questions tell us much about who we are, what we have become, and where we are going.

I have now spent over four years blogging nearly every day against Bush, Howard, Blair and their Big Money backers. It has been a process of learning and self-realisation as much as a politically-oriented campaign for truth and accountability.

The knowledge I have accumulated has been quite shocking, in many respects, and almost always depressing. Much that was dismissed, just a short time ago, as wild Conspiracy Theory, is now accepted as common knowledge. I have learned a good deal about politics, business, and Western society, but I have learned far, far more about human nature.

Again, it is mostly depressing: human beings, for the most part, are greedy, self-centered, cowardly, lazy, stupid and cruel. They are capable of rising above such weaknesses, certainly, but not while opportunistic leaders continually exploit them. As a result, blogging can be an extraordinarily depressing experience.

What to do? If I could walk away from it all, wipe my hands, and be done with "the short-lived passions of men", I would do so. But I have kids. I need to give them a future. And I cannot abandon the millions of innocent people around the globe who suffer every day because of our own governments' ruthless greed. So I blog on. I blog on.

I am pleased to say that my own journey has been just one of countless personal awakenings across the Internets. Over the past four years, I have encountered many fine voices of reason and compassion, from all corners of the earth. Such noble efforts restore one's faith in humanity. Individually, we bloggers may struggle and grow weary, complaining that no one hears our voices, feeling ineffectual. But together, we are most certainly making a difference.

In the USA, in particular, the media would never have uttered a word of truth on Iraq if not for the bloggers: Australia has benefitted (by extension, as usual) from this elevation of consciousness. There are civil wars now raging in the newsrooms of papers like the New York Times and Washington Post. Much is at stake. Rupert Murdoch straddles the globe like a colossus, determined to push his radical pro-business agenda. The old print and TV media empires are disappearing as fast as the business models that fueled their rise. What will rise in their wake?

The answer, I suspect, is up to us - the bloggers, and those who read them.

For too long, media empires have not only reported the news but also shaped it. Some would argue that it is impossible to report news without lending at least some slanted perspective on it. But voices like Murdoch's have gone far beyond that, working actively within political and business communities to create mutually beneficial power cliques, destroying opponents, stifling dissent and perpetuating lies. For the wingnut masses, this has become a form of entertainment. For the unscrupulous, it is a path to riches: sell your soul and climb aboard.

Bloggers clearly shape the news rather than reporting it, but at least our biases are (usually) plain for all to see. And our motives tend (usually) to be purer. True, we do feed off the content provided by "real" journalists, who go out on the road and report actual facts. But I don't think such journalists are our real competitors, and I don't think such journalism is actually "in danger" from bloggers, as many analysts claim.

It's the opinion-shapers in the media who are really endangered by the blogosphere. And that is largely because they have destroyed their own credibility. Just compare your favourite bloggers with the hate-filled cash-for-comments on talkback radio! Or look at the abysmal record of anonymous editorials in major newspapers over the past four years. Reading the news is one thing, but understanding what it means is another. Most people don't have the time to pore over every little story, research background stories, seek out connections, and join the dots. Who are you going to trust for such analysis?

Which brings me to my pitch.

I have never made a cent out of blogging. I have a wife and three kids (aged two, nine and eleven), plus a live-in mother and a cat. I work full-time in a soul-destroying wage-slave office I.T. job, which depresses me no end in its own right, but at least it gives me time to read the news and blog.

If I had my 'druthers, I would become a full-time blogger and a serious freelance investigative journalist. And I would write a book based on my experiences of the past four years. Beyond that, I have a few ideas for a new website.

On the other hand, if I cannot make any money out of blogging, there is a real chance that I will have to set it aside. Like I said, I have a young family to take care of. If I were to add up all the hours I have spent reading the news and blogging over the past four years, it would come to many months - others have spent such time advancing their careers, or profiteering from stocks and real estate deals. Know what I'm saying?

Today I have finally added a "donations" button to the sidebar. If you enjoy reading this blog, and if you appreciate the positive change that blogs are bringing to media and politics, please consider making a small Pay Pal donation.

Even if I get only one dollar, after all my efforts to date, that would mean something. At least I could tell my wife (who has very little patience with politics) that it is not all just a waste of time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you mentioned how could anyone relect bush a second time around, he wasn't elected at all it was a rigged election, the computer programmer actually went under oath and said he wrote the prgram to hack the votes for the 2004 presidential elections, watch that here and also the 2 hour long HBO show on teh hacked presidential elections.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-55298778264345748

and this one:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-365586126885215066&q=hacking+d

and then why our us government bombed the twin towers and tower # 7:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

and you have to watch this:
BBC Covers the Collapse of WTC7 20 minutes before it actually
happens!!!!!

http://www.911blogger.com/node/7004


last but not least


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5547481422995115331

Amanita said...

At what point does it begin to occure to the US population (in particular, bloggers such as yourself who care so deeply) that you are witnessing historic events akin to the collapse of the Roman Empire, or any of the other world cultures that have collapsed in written and unwritten history.

Bill Moyers wrote a mind numbing public statment to that effect several years ago-the process has gone on to long, we have advanced into the no-return zone to deeply.

I suggest a re-read of Orwell's classic 1984-to remind you. Orwell's premonition did happen, and continues to happen, and deepens, broadens and worsens.

I suspect return is impossible. If the forces in our government can murder JFK on tv with impunity, de-stabilize governments
world wide as routine policy for the last 100 + years, succed at the demolition of the towers as if it were childs play (need I go on), you can assume that anyone, anywhere who present anything in the way of a real threat to the unfolding control of this culture will not be tolerated.

The rogue philosopher, Ayn Rand gave an insightful understanding when she commented that a culture is mearly the reflexion of the predominate philosofical climate.

It is not, nor ever has been the man in the street who effected cultural destiny, for we are only spectators. It is first the philosophers, then the cascade of participating players (powered elite, politicians, media ect) who truly effect the outcome. I repeat, it is the philosophers who
lead a culture.

The current philosophical paradimn is Materialistic Reductionism, in one form or another. We are witnessing the playing out within our (world) culture of the struggle for values.

Religion (pretty much all of it)has forfeited any right to voice in the discussion. Science, or that is, the science establishment has arrived empty handed.
Conventional scientific thought ostensibly obstains from the foray, but no befor firmily establishiong the unassailability of the Western Scientific paradigm, which is, to wit, that values are unknowable, life is fundamentaly meaningless, played out in an accidental and uncaring universe.

You are wittnessing a crisis of valuse.

There is no longer a playing field for men who believe in values. That field has ben usurped (granted, by default) by those who believe that means justify ends.

Still, within every human heart, to what ever degree, there resides the secret belif that life does matter) but another belief, that ends justify means, rendures his good intent impotent.

Your leaders have, over the course of many generations, become convinced of the futility of meaning, and hence have opted for the remaining options, of power and comfort.

Now, what is left is a cesspool of human compromise. The cause is the default of philosophy. Man will learn, but there is not likley to be an easy transition.

In pragmatic terms, the system has psychically eroded to such a degree, has deteriorated in composition to such a tragic level that one can find little, if any reason to hope for a meaningful reversal.

Such is not likley. You have read many of the pertinent authors who have described (not the problem-but) the synptoms.

For exampl, the well researched book "The Clintons" by Rodger Morris. This is a commentary on the (then) current state of cultural/bueaurcratic/ political affairs of America.

Need one say more than what Morris makes so clear. Ii's gone, the America of your childhood fanticies and adult hopes.

The dumbing down of America happened thrugh what ever mechanisims. The culture, as a whole has all but lost the will or capacity to think abstractly.

Still do almost all Americans believe in the media, in meaningfulness of the 2 party system and elections. It's all gone. Retrieval is (I suspect)all but impossible: not becouse a nation-wide awakng of fear clould not make a difference, but becouse
a radical change would not be tolerated. Both Kennedys, King and a host of others got it in the head.

It's to late for philosophy and ideas to help America. Re-read Orwells 1984. The setting is English epeaking England- and America is renamed.

Clearly the machine can now rig elections. The media is completly controlled. The population can no longer think meaningfully.

Change? Fox, in Mexico was marginalized to the point of irrelevancy, not withstanding the fact that his party is almost as corrupt as all the others.

Look at venezuela: the helpless masses, incapsble of abstract thought or action, elected their periaha.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Americak forfieted her freedom. Running from their fear after 9/11, mainstream america applauded as their rights were stripped from them.

Homeland Security-newspeak.

Does not Katrina bring home the ugly truth. Our leaders are inept. The system can only respond with Law Enforcment-nothing more-and certainly nothing less! By plan or default-that is the status.

Likely, it will not come down to a military coup. Likely, there will be more of the same game plan that already worked so well.

Oklahoma City was just another step. Mc Veigh, Oswald, 20 Islamic terrorists? It is now an obvious formula. Who? Who cares. If you knew the names and the department, what good would it do? The bureaucracy has stood mute infront of this administration's crimes: mute and incapagle of response.

Likely there will be amother event: perhaps a small neuclear event staged in a major city. Thats all it will take to declare marshal law and suspend elections. Yes, look for another event.

Meanwhile, keep on believing in your personal capacity to live the future you want. Our beliefs do effect the events of our lives.

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