Dear Old Media (CNBC)… Sincerely, The Ron Paul Faithful

Ron PaulFollowing the Republican debate last week CNBC placed a poll on their website asking visitors to cast their vote on which candidate they thought won the debate.  After a few hours Ron Paul had accumulated 75% of the votes.  CNBC promptly took down the poll and left an “Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful”  in its place.

We all know that American journalism and mass media is heavily skewed and censored, but this sort of one-way media manipulation just irritates me… and I’m not even a diehard Ron Paul supporter.  One of my good friends, Nick, is a diehard Ron Paul supporter, so he emailed the following letter directly to CNBC.  Even though this is off-topic for my blog, I feel strongly that Nick’s letter should see the light of day beyond some CNBC executive’s email trash bin.

Dear Old Media,

In response to your “Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful,” you only gave half of the story.  While many of the claims you made were not outright false, your analysis of the situation is incomplete.

First, let’s stop with the childish implications of “hacking”.  Nobody is hacking anything and you know it.  Millions of Internet transactions take place securely every day that would be much juicier targets for hackers than a silly Old Media poll for which there is no gain and which is censored as soon as Ron Paul pulls ahead, as many of them have been – this is not the first.  Just admit that several thousand real people took the time to go to your website and vote in your poll.

The Ron Paul Faithful will admit to organizing to vote in your poll.  You claim this amounts to “…a well-organized and committed ‘few’ [throwing] the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of ‘the many’…”  Perhaps, though I hope for the future of this great country and its future generations that we are a well-organized majority.  That point aside, your claim is hypocritical because this is exactly what the Old Media and the “legitimate” polling organizations (as you call them) have been doing all along.

The Old Media is itself the well-organized minority that is throwing the results for the majority through censorship, misleading data and half-truths.  Take for example the amount of questions and response time that Ron Paul is granted during these debates.  He is consistently granted the least amount of time out of all the candidates, despite polling higher and raising more funds than many of them.

Let us also examine the “legitimate” polls that you reference to imply that Ron Paul’s support can’t be so high.  As you well know, these phone polls are unscientific and biased.  You are claiming that the opinions of a few hundred Republicans with land-line telephones represent the opinions of the majority.  Furthermore, the polling companies regularly leave candidates like Ron Paul off their list of poll choices, naming only “mainstream” candidates to choose from.  These polls that you swear by and reference so often represent the opinions of the majority no better than the poll that you took down when you didn’t like the results.

So who is the well-organized minority that is trying to sway the majority?  Is it really us, a sincere group of citizens trying to get the word out concerning our candidate?  Or is it you, an Old Media giant and biased polling community who tries to enforce their personal choices of “mainstream” candidates on the citizens of this country?  We were not given equal voice in your format so we organized and took voice in our format, the Internet.  We’d do it again.

The Old Media seems to have forgotten the meaning of, and it’s responsibility to, unbiased journalism.  If you are going to present an editorial as news because it is more entertaining, you must strive to give equal time to all opinions.  Otherwise, just go back to reporting the facts and keep your predictions and opinions to yourselves.  When a well-organized few has such an effect on the opinions of the many and on the outcomes of our political process, I get very worried.  You do the entire nation a great disservice.

The Ron Paul Faithful

If a Woman with No Arms Can Do It…

If she can do it, we can do it.  Let her story be your inspiration the next time you feel overwhelmed.  She has no arms, but she still has a mind filled with passion and purpose.  These qualities have allowed her to overcome her physical limitations.

Google Owns My Identity: 16 Things They Know About Me

Google Owns MeI am a huge Google advocate.  I love their products so much that I use almost every one of them on a fairly regular basis.  Much of my computer based productivity is performed online via Google’s offerings.  In fact, based on my excessive use, I think Google may know almost as much about me as I do.  I’m surely not the only G freak out there, because most of my friends and colleagues have an email address too… 😉 something I’d like to think I had something to do with.

A vast number of articles have been written on the topic of Google’s privacy policies.  I know because I’ve probably read most of them.  Many of these articles discuss the specifics how Google stores and secures their user’s personal information.  Sure, I like to know that my personal data is secure…  But have you ever actually compiled a detailed list of your personal information that Google does know?  I just did, and it’s slightly startling!

Here are 16 things Google knows about me and how they acquired the info:

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6 Digitally Traceable Tracks We Unconsciously Leave Behind

Digital TracksWe live in a world of constant connection where the products of our existence interrelate in such a way that we rarely leave a clean slate behind us.  Many people fail to see the correlation between technological convenience and disruption of privacy.  Even when nobody is watching, it is quite plausible that a computer somewhere is.  The data tracks we leave behind are traceable, and when the dots are connected, the trail leads right back to us.

I have compiled a list of 6 digitally traceable tracks we unconsciously leave behind as we trek through our daily routines.  I have also included a hypothetical example of how easy it can be to track someone down online by tracing their online affiliations and dabbling with the information that is found.

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15 Things 2007 College Freshmen Do Not Remember

FreshmenThere are several things this year’s incoming college freshmen don’t remember that most mid to late twenty-something’s will never forget.  It’s a clear sign of the inevitable change in the times.  I was recently reminded of this when I spoke with an 18 year old college freshman at my cousin’s wedding last week.  We were joking around about the old-school selection of music the D.J. was playing.  I made a sarcastic comment about the D.J. stealing my old 80’s – 90’s radio recorded mix-tape collection in order to construct his wedding reception dance mix.  The girl looked at me with a puzzled face.  “You recorded all your music off of the radio?” she asked.  “Oh man!” I thought.  “I’m getting old!”

In reality, most 2007 college freshmen were born in 1989 and probably barely remember any the following… it’s scary:

  1. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
  2. Ronald Reagan
  3. The Cold War and the Berlin Wall
  4. Hardback (Funk & Wagnalls) encyclopedia sets
  5. Getting tangled up in a long kitchen phone cord
  6. Setting the record timer on your VCR
  7. When Michael Jackson and the moonwalk were cool
  8. Recording music off the radio
  9. Desert Storm
  10. A floppy disk
  11. Windows 95
  12. The Nintendo Entertainment System (and Duck Hunt)
  13. The Oklahoma City Bombing
  14. The O.J. Simpson Trial
  15. Life before the World Wide Web