I'm proposing a new page for newspapers ("Page Nine" regardless of the page it runs on), that covers stories afresh, not the way news rooms typically flavor things. It would help reduce the distrust so many readers feel. It could be the most read page in the paper, a light breath of fresh air.
Here's a casual sample. It might make you say, "We'll NEVER run that!" but the page will be built around ad revenues from right thinking mainstream businesses.
Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
"The Uninvited Ombudsman"
The Uninvited Ombudsman Report, No. 8
by Alan Korwin, July 17, 2006
Mexican Mapping Nonsense
Congress Threatens Internet
The lamestream media told you:
National Guard troops will be used to update maps of the U.S.-Mexico border, since the original work was done 150 years ago. "Accurate maps will help U.S. government agents find their way around rugged terrain and show where the area they are patrolling ends and where Mexico begins," reports Mike Madden, at the Arizona Republic Washington bureau, with a straight face.
The location of the border is precisely set by treaties (signed from 1848 to 1970), and agents in the area use global-positioning satellites, not maps, to find their way. Border and Customs officials refused to comment for the front page story.
The article does not ask whether the announced mapping is appropriate, a good use of limited resources, of if it will have any impact on the massive illegal immigration taking place, though it does mention that the Guard has no legal authority to determine the international boundary. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is working out details of the assignment, exactly what parts will be mapped, and when work will begin.
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
In the biggest slap-in-the-face yet to a public infuriated by a hopelessly porous southern border, it was announced today that National Guard troops being sent to the Arizona-Mexico line, instead of protecting the border, will make maps to determine exactly where the border is.
Mexicans illegally poring across the border literally by the millions do not have any trouble finding it.
Foreigners found illegally inside the United States are not impacted in any way by exactly where they crossed over.
No cases exist where Mexicans flooding into the United States were caught, and then claimed they were still on their side of the border.
It is believed that U.S. agents pursuing suspects sometimes step over the lines, which the maps will not affect. Mexican military units have crossed into the United States as well, with no repercussions.
The lengthy "news" report, violating the most basic ethical principles, carries the government's plan without question, skepticism or even a raised eyebrow, enforcing the belief held by many that the lamestream media has given up its role as watchdog for the more comfortable role of lapdog.
"The government's devotion (sic) of military time and money to making better maps underscores how difficult patrolling and securing the border is," reporter Madden fecklessly relates.
"There's parts of that border that are very, very poorly marked and very difficult to discern," said Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, head of the Pentagon's National Guard Bureau, according to the reporter.
A quick look at an investigative tool known as a road map, however, shows the entire border is a perfectly straight surveyed line, with a single jog of direction in the middle, and a tiny portion that follows the Colorado River in the west.
Hopelessly remote areas of poorly marked treacherous terrain, cited as a problem, are not where illegals are poring in, notes one observer, since pregnant women, children and even physically fit men can't cover those 40 miles on foot. No plans for marking the poorly marked border, which would be illegal, are involved.
"The government is lying to your face," says one insider who prefers to remain nameless, accusing the media of propagating the lies. "They said they're sending troops, but they're only going to make maps so they can find their [backsides]. You've all been taken for suckers. The Mexodus is being supported, not stopped."
The report did not indicate how long the mapping will take, what it will cost, or if copies will be provided to Mexico for their use in determining where the border is.
Phoenix Mapping Service, an Arizona-based cartographer (map maker), assures callers that they have maps of the exact border location, in different scales, several projections, in topographic, political, road, relief and satellite imagery, in paper and digital versions. Most sell for under $20. Global positioning satellite systems, available in any quantity for immediate delivery, cost a bit more.
In the interest of full disclosure, the Uninvited Ombudsman's friend Jim runs Wide World of Maps, available online at maps4u.com.
The lamestream media told you:
"Web Wagering Under Attack In Congress -- Gamblers who prefer their laptops to blackjack tables won't like what Congress is doing," reports Nancy Zuckerbrod for the Associated Press.
In an effort to enforce its ban on online gambling, Congress is seeking to control forms of payment used to settle gambling debts on the Internet.
It would also authorize unnamed law enforcement officials to "work closely" with web service companies to block access to gambling websites.
Opponents say it would be better to regulate the $12 billion industry and tax it, rather than attempt to close it, which they say would be impossible. Most gambling sites operate outside the U.S., though most gamblers are within our borders.
In condemning online wagering, the AP found a professor at U. of Illinois who calls the Internet, "the crack cocaine" of gambling. They also implicate disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who had represented gambling websites.
Online lotteries have been left out of the proposed ban, because state governments rely on them heavily to supplement their incomes. Horse racing has also been omitted, due to pressure from southern horse-breeding states that derive significant money from the sport. If these had been included in the ban, the bill would fail, experts say. An amendment to ban those gambling operations was killed.
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), who was unsuccessful in getting exemptions for dog racing and jai-alai betting, popular in his state, calls the bill unfair.
The next day, Zuckerbrod reported that the House had passed the bill, saying, "Internet gambling is big business and growing. But lawmakers are hoping to stem that growth."
The CEO of the thoroughbred racing association acknowledged the bill would likely move gamblers away from banned sites and to horse racing sites allowed if the bill becomes law.
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Under the pretense of protecting people from themselves, and from the cardinal sin and addiction of gambling, Congress has begun to flex its muscles for eventual total control and censorship of the Internet.
"This has nothing to do with gambling," said one political insider who wishes to remain anonymous. "The government recognizes the tremendous political power of the web and, fearing that power, knows it must exercise control over it. The focus on gambling is a sucker punch. "
The unbridled freedom of the web has already removed people from office, newscasters from their thrones, and exposed those in power to the righteous wrath of their constituents in a way never before possible without bloodshed, according to industry experts.
Enormous shifts in wealth have also been attributed to the unregulated and free growth of the Internet. Entrepreneurs, with boundless freedom at their side, have concocted ways of attracting money that no one knew existed, which would have been impossible in a heavily regulated environment. The web stands as a testament to the economic wisdom that says freedom is the ultimate driver of the abundance and prosperity America enjoys.
In classic fashion, government fears and resists that freedom, and now threatens to quash it, calling it dangerous, unbridled, addictive and harmful.
Violating basic ethical principles that require telling the full truth, the AP story merely outlines congressional plans for stamping out gambling sites it disapproves of, and doesn't mention obvious implications for the health and well being of the world wide web at large. To its credit however, AP does mention that government plans to keep government gambling sites open.
"The threat the Internet poses to those in power must inevitably lead to efforts to control it by the ruling classes," a Congressional staffer noted, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The new gambling proposal is a way of testing the tools for closing individual websites on an as-needed basis, putting a serious chill on others, stopping and confiscating payments, enlisting law enforcement to the task, and announcing that the days of Wild West digital freedom are coming to an end."
Congress has been working on the project for more than a decade, focusing initially on pornography, also an easy target because of moral implications. Mrs. Hillary R. Clinton, while in the White House, promoted the idea of "gatekeepers" for web content, an idea that was tossed out but not forgotten. No constitutional authority for regulating morality exists however.
Efforts to stop political speech before elections, proposed and pushed into law by Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.), were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision that left everyone but congressional leaders in a state of shock. The Bill of Rights requirement that, "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press," had no apparent effect, causing confusion and disorientation among constitutional scholars nationwide.
Regulatory efforts for the web are also underway using the power to tax. Implying that it has the power to tax free speech if it appears on the web, Congress has enacted a five-year moratorium on taxing the Internet, and when that expired, it renewed it for three more years. Experts disagree on when Congress might decide to end the moratorium, and control web content by levying taxes of unknown size, complexity and burden.
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation and various web watchdogs believe the web is too robust and too entrenched to be successfully attacked by the ruling class," says one industry observer. "Behind closed doors, Congress laughs at that. The steps for total control of web content are well underway."
Iron-clad web regulation is already a done deal for Communist China's one billion people, where industry-giant Google has designed and implemented tools for totalitarian control of web content. Historically, one of the first things power-hungry regimes do when taking over a population is to disarm the public and place strict limits on what can be said, broadcast or published, with prison time and even execution for violators.
The ongoing push to restrict MySpace.com will be covered in a future Page Nine report.
See the official Journalist's Code of Ethics here:
Compare it to the news you see every day.
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The Uninvited Ombudsman
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