Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Warning! Truth!

I'm not really a "journalist". I don't produce much (if any) that's "original" information. I don't think most bloggers are. Oh, occasionally one is in the right place at the right time to cover a story no one else has written about yet, but that's not often. That's not the number one reason most people blog. What bloggers do includes many things, one of the most important being they spread the word on stories that wouldn't normally get as wide a distribution without the attention of bloggers. While not everyone is interested in MY local news (such as this case of a domestic dispute climaxing in a murder-suicide), some things that happen in my town are interesting to the entire world. Blogs spread the word outside the local area.

Blogs also express different ideas about the same subject. Take two examples: Ward Churchill and Eason Jordan. Both are of interest to me because Ward Churchill preaches his gospel of hate in the University of Colorado system that I help support with my taxes. Eason Jordan "slimed" the US military, something that I have a deep interest in, being a military retiree, living in a military garrison town. My local newspaper, the Colorado Springs Gazette, covered the story fairly well, but only the blogs I read provided ALL the details, from a dozen different angles.

Blogs let us all "spout off". It's nice to get published in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the newspaper, but blogs give us the same option on EVERY issue, not just one or two that fall within the newspaper's space and editorial restraints. Blogs also cover more subjects, in more detail, than any newspaper or pure "news" website could ever do. As someone said, blogs are a distributive network of millions of people, each expert in something. I'd rather think of it as a million different individual intelligence agencies, each collecting, analyzing, editing, collating, and reporting information on any and every topic imaginable. Such close scrutiny acts as a fact checking and a fact verification process, a distributed news outlet, and an alternative source of education in daily life.

It's fun being a blogger. It's also worthwhile when bloggers can find and correct misconceptions, fraud, mis-statements, and downright exaggerations (John Kerry's Presidential aspirations, for example). Blogs serve a multitude of useful purposes, but just as in the mainstream media, those purposes require careful monitoring and constant self-correction. The Blogosphere does a much better job of that than the Legacy Media ever did!


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