To Buzzflash

This is crap. We at The Agonist were fighting for net neutrality and blogging about it long before Buzzflash ever knew what it was. Just look at the archive of articles in the Agonist Net Neutrality Section.

More to the point: We are not going to be like the cable networks and TV networks and disapprove ads we don’t like politically. That would makes us hypocrites and that we are not.

I love Buzzflash. But they are simply wrong on this one. Not only are they wrong, they are just unaware of the record.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • We wait eagerly the ads of the Good Guys of NSA, CIA and Pentagon informing how they spy us day and night to save us from Bad Guys; the ads of Lieberman and other republicans and the ads how “you can actually breath CO2 !”.

    By the way, does it feel odd there in commie China – to be spied less than in the USA?

    — There are no income taxes in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

  • The human rights abuses of China and the sheer number of people killed since 1945, let alone the disgraceful treatment of Tibetans and Falun Gong practitioners, who are now kept in ‘concentration camps’ as living stockpile of human organs for the party elites would make any comparison with the real freedoms enjoyed in the USA and the west simply odious!
    Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.- A.J. Liebling.<Hence my love for the Agonist.>

  • If blogs are going to exist, they’re going to need some financial model. This kind of advertising shows up all the time in the New York Times and no one complains.

    If money like this is being used to help spead the liberal word, so much the better.

    Independent Illinois Grassroots:

  • depending on which year the history started. Occupying Americas killed about 90 million Indians.

    Something else is subjective too.

    At the moment Russia and China have civil war, and some other countries have external wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latter seem to have one war too little, according to the news.

    The governments of the West collect more data on their citizens than the former spy king DDR. Every tenth citizen of DDR reported to Stasi. Are the western governments just curious or panicking?

    Human organs, in Brazil they fetch them from the street kids. You can buy them too there. I mean, both organs and kids. I think that they sell organs in China to foreigners too.

    In China they see their country as the State of Peace. If I remember right, they haven’t lately attacked anybody. I’m not sure the same applies to Australia. The observable peacefulness of China might be caused by the recent (3 centuries?) weakness of the country. And the things might normalize in their foreign policy.

    — There are no income taxes in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

  • No-one is denying that China is a mass of contradictions, but it’s treatment of its own citizens in matters of personal freedom is twisted. Just on the news last night villagers were shown who have had their traditional lands overrun by party members who are building huge mansions, one such mansion a copy of a French mansion!!!

    Sure the little people in the USA and Australia do it tough but not as tough as the Chinese. There is a two tier society in China, and the huge three problems are HIV/AIDs, environmental degradation and the gender imbalance. When these get out of hand, the Chinese war dragon will awake to focus their population on the enemy outside…
    Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.- A.J. Liebling.<Hence my love for the Agonist.>

  • If blogs are going to exist, they’re going to need some financial model.

    … misses the point of blogs. Blogs are not politics, blogs are not journalism. Blogs are what happens when the irrepressible human desire for self-expression finally meets a technology made for it.

    And the growth of blogging is not the least bit related to the profit motive. Humans love to yak, and they love to tell you their opinions, and blogging has given them the ultimate soapbox from which to do so. This will continue and accelerate without the injection of a single additional dime.

    What will flourish with “commercializing blogging” is commercial blogging.

    I think that’s called “TV”.

  • I see your point but don’t agree. I mean, some blogs can be like that — I guess, you could call it the “diary” model — but that doesn’t mean they all have to.

    I don’t really think you’re going to get people devoting a lot of their time — increasingly in a professional way — without some means of support.

    If you want to call it “commericializing”, fine. For a lot of these blogs though it’s more a question of survival. Blogs increasingly are taking the role of traditional media. For liberals and progressives, this is a good thing. But if you’re going to make it someone’s “job”, they need to live on something.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Independent Illinois Grassroots:

  • If you create a blog for profit, then corporate propaganda is perfectly welcome. If on the other hand you create a blog to help the public see the truth about the latest deceptions perpetrated by our corrupt corporate/political culture, then you can’t just let the enemy’s propaganda stand unopposed.

    Thus, accept all ads that are not obviously fraudulent (from a strict legal perspective). Meanwhile, reserve the right to highlight what appears to be intentionally deceptive (though technically accurate) aspects of any add you choose.

    It’s your sandbox; you make the rules.

    If a sponsor can’t deal with having their deceptions highlighted, described and explained for the benefit of the rhetorically challenged masses, then they can stop running their propaganda anytime. If MacDonald’s wants to run a burger ad on my proper nutrition site, they can expect their ad to be in a box with something like a Surgeon General’s cigarette warning. Same should be true for a telco company running an ad that propagandizes against Net Neutrality.

    In the case of the telco ads, I would go a step further: Include “Propaganda Alert” next to the ad, with a link to a page that describes the rhetorical techniques used to deceive the casual reader. Make it an educational tool that not only neutralizes this bit of bull, but helps people recognize similar crap in the future. You might even run a contest to see who can write the best parody of the ad, thus making an intellectually stimulating game of it.

    See? Fighting evil can be fun!

    “Death before being dishonored any more.” – Col. Ted Westhusing

  • Where does the money come from that finances all these political blogs? Some of them have ads, while others (like Huffington Post) don’t appear to have any.

    Is it just a matter of the relative financial independence of the founder? For some, as in Arianna’s case, clearly money is no problem. Others, like Agonist, Kos, etc, may solicit ads, or advertize books, or simply ask for donations. Still others are extensions of other media, like The Nation. Financial models are diverse, and costs are limited to how much time and money the blogmeister wishes to spend on it. And how fast they type…;-)

    But no matter what financial model you employ, it’s important to remember that in your sandbox, you make the rules. If you want to maintain your personal integrity (and your reputation with your readers), then you should seriously consider what to do about ads that clash with your sense of honesty and fairness.

    Reminds me of what Ben Franklin said about trading essential liberty (in this case integrity) for a little (financial) security. In the end, you get and deserve neither. Thus, if a “liberal” blog continues to run anti-Net Neutrality propaganda ads, it begins to lose its reputation for intellectual honesty. At that point, why not run ads for Republican crooks? Cigarettes? Oil companies? Hell, you might really rake in some dough, until all your readers are gone. And then your sponsors, having achieved their real objective, will disappear, mission accomplished.

    If the money is tainted by dishonesty, then simply turn it down. Whatever you gain in the short term isn’t worth losing your good name.

    “Death before being dishonored any more.” – Col. Ted Westhusing

  • I agree with you on the personal freedoms found in China although I’m not sure if your example is the right one…power elites have grabbed land for personal gain from those less powerful all over the world since time eternal…ask the Aboriginal people.

    The “chinese war dragon” though, I’m not sure, what is that?

  • from reliable mainstream sources of your claims against the Chinese re: Falun Gong being kept in Con. Camps and used as human organs. Love Firefox, Hate IE

  • Those in death row are used as organ donours after their execution. I don’t have read any numbers and none of the sources has claimed that the practise is political or especially related to the communist party. Nihilist and related to bribery, they say.

    I see the religious aspect of Falun Gong just as a disguise for a distraction movement financed by American tax payers (CIA).

    — There are no income taxes in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

  • Like almost everybody else.

    The historical narratives are based on the psychological need to believe that the reader represents the Good Ones and especially the losers were The Bad Ones. You seem to have swallowed the sugar bait of positive ego. Vomitting it out will be intellectually painful.

    You are being spied on more than an average Chinese and you somehow manage to call it ‘real freedom’. To me it seems that you have internalized the regrettable development in the West after 9/11 and try to explain it away by arguing: “But there is at least one place on earth which is worse! Thus the degrading conditions in the West are ok.”

    — There are no income taxes in The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

  • I was replying to Graham, not you. I am much more in agreement with you Gandalf, than with Graham. That’s why I wanted to see some documentation. Love Firefox, Hate IE

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