Democratic and critique combined equals democritique. That is what I am doing here. And invite you to join me in. Critiquing popular democratic society and culture to discover and publish the truth.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bush Admininstration PR Spending is an Obvious Obfuscation of Truth

For a short season I worked in what amounts to a boiler room for the Republican Administration of President Bush. The company is called Infocision Management based out of Akron Ohio. I hated it.

And it was not so much that we were calling people at home and at the office with the latest "urgent issue" that required major funding to manage. It was the little lies that we were expected to tell the prospective donors.

For instance, we called people at the businesses and told them that they had been selected as "businesman, businesswoman, or business person of the year". That is great sounding isn't it? Wow, the unsuspecting donor prospect would think, little old me; businessperson of the year?

What we were not telling them is that they were among a list of thousands of prospective "business persons of the year". And that if they decided to accept the award, they would of course want to make a donation to the Republican Party. And once they did this, they were eligible to attend a rewards banquet at their own expense. And be hit up for some more cash again in the future.

This story broke some time ago when one of the business persons went to the press to let them know that after attending one of the awards banquets, he discovered that there were approximately 2000 business persons of the year recieving the same award. And this was just one of the banquets. In other words, there really is not a business person of the year, just a bunch of suckers who payed for a little ego stroking.

This just tells me that if a goverment needs to spend money on PR, that they forgot the best possible PR Strategy. Being Honest and Transparent. Either that or they need to figure out some way to spin the truth of what they are doing so well that the truth is obfuscated. Remember the Armstrong PR Fiasco? They paid this fellow to do some PR on the down low for the Healthy Start Program.

Or the Talon News Scandal? Where it was determined that the Press Office of the President had given some fag with absolutely no Press Experience a set of Press Credentials just for the sole purpose of asking questions within Press Conferences that were designed to mislead the Press.

I know that there are times when an elected official or goverment entity may need advice on how best to relate to the public. As typically these are administrative types who just are not well versed in communications. But the massive amount of PR Contracts that the Bush Administration and related agencies have created indicates to any thinking person that this administration is not hiring PR Agencies so that it can learn how to relate better to the public. It is doing so to cover up some very bad decisions and corrupt programs.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Citizens Concerned for our Future

Citizens Concerned for our Future

This is a new blog that will further the cause of democracy while keeping a watchful eye on the doings within the US Governent and the World.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Talon News Website and the George Bush Presidency

Reuters reported on News.com that the News Website Talon who had sponsored a reporter who had been given White House Press Credentials has closed for restructuring. If you haven't seen the story, here is the gist of it, according to Reuters and news.com:

"Talon, which could not immediately be reached for comment, came under fire after its White House reporter, who identified himself as Jeff Gannon, asked a politically loaded question at a White House press conference and was accused by critics of being used by the Bush administration to spread conservative propaganda.

Since then, Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, has been linked to gay porn Web sites and prostitution, and photos of him naked have circulated on the Web.

Questions have been raised about how he was able to get coveted White House press credentials working for a little-known organization and working under a fake name, but the White House has denied giving him special treatment."

Apparently the operator of Talon was quoted as saying he "can only take so much beating" over the page's political slant, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

If I am not mistaken, this is the same presidency who hired Ketchum Public Relations to pay William Armstrong to editorialize in favor of some program it had created and sponsored.

And the same presidency who has started a war on terrorism that has resulted in the deaths of many of our soldiers overseas.

Maybe I am just naive, but it seems to me that I heard our President take an oath to Defend and Protect the Constitution of these United States. With that oath was a promise that all the provisions of the Constitution be protected.

Although, I am not a lawyer, it seems to me that such actions either by the White House Staff or the President himself are completely in opposition of that oath and our Freedom of the Press. Here's how I break it down.

Freedom of the Press as a basic right means that the Press should be free to print the news as it sees fit, but also to remain free of manipulation by the government. While there are legitimate journalists out there who likely have been denied entry into the White House Press conferences, this group of so called journalists parading as a legitimate news organization (Talon and Guckert) were granted entry into these Press conferences under false pretenses with the express purpose of manipulating the views of the other reporters present.

Although I do not recall which major network reported on this topic last week, I do recall that they showed this particular reporter (Guckert) and I use the term loosely had the opportunity to ask a number of questions during the time that he was in these conferences. It now appears that he, his backers, and the White House Press Staff were all in collusion to manipulate the perceptions of the real reporters and by default all Americans and others who rely on them to get the facts on the state of our society and government.

If this is indeed the case, then our President could be compared to the Talon and it's staff. At least in the notion that neither of these parties seem to have much respect for openness, honesty, or the ideals that are the foundation of our constitution.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Appreciate your freedom of expression

Usually, we Americans and others who live in democratic and free societies don't give much thought to the fact that we can express ourselves freely (when done within reasonable limitations). This story in the Online Journalism Review Nepalese bloggers, journalists defy media clampdown by king serves to remind all of us that the freedom to express oneself is a precious liberty that was hard won by our forefathers.

And that although people who believe in a sovereign God such as those who fled the monarchy of England so that they could have freedom of religion and the people who fought the American Revolution and wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence died so that we could enjoy this freedom; not everyone sees things the same way.

It may be that the Nepalese King has his reasons for the media clampdown. And that these reasons are very good. But that does not relieve him of restoring the democracy that was in place before February 1. Nor does it relieve him of the accountability for repressing the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression that so many of us take for granted.

I personally just read this story and was reminded just how much I appreciate my freedom to post on this blog and say anything that I want to...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Indian Gaming Commission Reports on Economic Development

Yesterday the Indian Gaming Commission reported on the positive economic development that their casinos bring to regions both locally and nationally. It was and still is a superlative example of PR. The report was presented to the National Press Club in Washington DC. It was immediately picked up by the Associated Press and then spoonfed to the local and regional News Media.

Here in the Youngstown/Warren Regional area one of our local papers; the Vindicator picked up the story and printed a teaser on Page One. With the report summarized for their readers in the National News Section. For the uninitiated that is Section A.

Coincidentally, there is some talk here of bringing a casino to our area. It is thought by some narrow-minded individuals both in government and the private sectors that this could help our region to cope with some apparently desperate financial difficulties. This is Ohio by the way, if you are not familiar with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Area.

So here goes my take on this story. First off, Gaming is another word for gambling. Gambling is not good for anyone but the house. Any person with half a thought in their head knows this. If you are the house in a gambling endeavor, you will win enough to pay all the bills and then some.

But what about the gamblers? The sadly misled people who actually think they have a chance. What is the economic benefit to them? And then lets take it a step further. What about the people who need work? Will working in a casino and making a living wage really help them or our community in the long run? Or will it stifle the innovation and entrepreneurial drive that actually lifts people from poverty and fear? And creates real jobs with real products and services?

Personally, I don't care if people choose to gamble. I have made my own choices on the issue for myself.. I know for a fact that any revenue that gambling creates is typically offset by the virtual business desert that forms around these casinos. Just check the history of Atlantic City, Biloxi, or any number of cities or areas that have foolishly welcomed "gaming" as an economic panacea.

No matter what the IGC says in their reports or the AP and local media tell you, the long term result of welcoming and supporting these all inclusive gaming resorts is the deterioration of every other type of service business within a large radius of these operations.

Here's why: All inclusive gaming resorts seek to do one thing with all their might. Get people to come in and stay. And of course gamble. They use entertainment, free or reduced priced lodging and food, and any other service a "guest" at their resort would ever need. With one goal in mind. To get people to come and stay. And gamble.

So what do you suppose happens to the hotel down the road? Can it really compete with a mega resort with prices that are unregulated and subsidized by gambling revenue. Can the restaurant? Or the Dry Cleaner? The Clothier? Or any other merchant? How does the local business compete with an all inclusive mega resort that offers every possible thing that it can to get people to visit and stay all the while subsidizing it's operational costs with the revenue from the suckers who are gambling there?

Well they can't and won't be able to. But that fact didn't keep the Vindicator and the AP from publishing as fact the Indian Gaming Commission's report. Whether it is a factual report or not is really of no concern. What should concern anyone who is reading this is that the AP didn't bother to provide a fair and balanced report. They just took the IGC's word for it.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

NHL Labor? Dispute

Watching the evening news tonite and the NHL officially anounced that the season for this year is scrapped. Or for those of you who prefer your blog posts without slang, canceled. Over a labor dispute. If you haven't heard the story, essentially the NHL officials want to impose a salary cap on each team. Only 42.5 Million dollars per season. If I understand that correctly it means that each team can only spend 42.5 million dollars per season on paying the players.

The NHL teams want to spend 49 Million dollars per season. And because these two parties could not come to an agreement on this issue, the entire season is canceled. The parties involved will not make the revenue that would have resulted from simply compromising. And going ahead with the season that was scheduled. Ironic that due to a disagreement about how much money to pay the players, everyone loses.

More ironic (in my opinion) that this is called a labor dispute. Despite the fact that no one involved is actually called a laborer. No, it is about players, managers and officials. But no where are any of the involved parties called laborers. And with good reason, cause I guess this season, none of these people is going to be working.

Such is the beauty of living in a democratic society. Players, Managers, and Officials get into a "labor" dispute over how much to pay grown men who "play" sports for a living and no one can see the big picture sufficiently to compromise so that their livelihoods are not affected.

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Introduction to Democritique

I figure this is the best possible way to "vent". Myself, your host here is an American born citizen. Not really from the upper class, but also I didn't lack for anything when coming up. My parents are still together after over 40 years. I went to school and was afforded the opportunity to attend college.

I have nothing to complain about when it comes to my own life. My problems for the most part are of my own creation or the creation of circumstances and powers that are beyond my control. But I am not interested in discussing my personal problems here. I leave that to my prayers.

I started this blog because the society we live in is sometimes deceptive and perpetuates myths, legends and old wive's tales that serve no purpose other then to steer people off course in their lives. And I hate it.

Sometimes the lies are started and sustained by our governing officials. Sometimes by the mainstream media and news organizations. Sometimes our popular entertainment options such as sports and music or TV and Radio idolizes people who are not the best role models. Whatever the source of mistruth or deceptions is, my intent with this critique of society at large (democratic society) anyway is my way of shining some light on the dark places.

Thus the term and title democritique. Initially I thought to critique the media on one blog, and maybe government on another and perhaps entertainment on yet another. But in truth, I am not so interested in maintaining all these different blogs to accomplish what I believe is a singular purpose. That is to provide myself and any other interested and responsible party with a forum to intelligently and diligently dissect the deceptions that our modern democratic society foists upon us.

If you care to join me in this endeavor, you are welcome. Let it be known from the start that not everyone who posts here will or attempts to post here will succeed. I will be editing this blog regularly and quite frankly, if the point of view that is espoused is, in my opinion; unrelated to the topic or just simple spam, I will likely delete it simply to maintain a flow of thoughts.

Don't let that discourage you from participating though. Dialogue is the most likely route to complete truth. So let's find and publish it together.

 
Copyright 2005 Dwight Stickler.
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