How eBooks Can Save Journalism


At the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), Michelle Bachmann said a lot of things that weren’t true. She said she got the information from a self-published book, Presidential Perks Gone Royal. It’s written by a Republican lobbyist.

Bachmann trusted a book’s facts. Nothing wrong with that. However, with the filters for publication down, lies and truth are indiscernible. Promotional muscle is all one needs to propagate self-published propaganda.

Journalism used to show us the truth. That happened in this case. But for how much longer? How long are people going to keep paying for something as boring as facts?

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Why There Are Pirates in Somalia

Reading Time: ~3 minutes

In 1991, a memo was written. It was signed by Larry Summers, who would eventually go on to become the director of the National Economic Council for the Obama administration, where he would mostly ignore Obama’s direct orders to reform banks. At the time of the memo, he was the Chief Economist of the World Bank. The memo was leaked.

While it remains a controversial little piece of paper that just about everyone has disowned, it states something that many developed countries have known for decades: the east coast of Africa is a great spot for dumping nuclear, and otherwise highly toxic, waste.

In fact, it’s also a great spot for illegal fishing, even if you’re actually impinging on another country’s sovereignty and one of its only sources of food. After all, most countries that fish there have plenty of firepower to guard both the ships dumping chemicals into the ocean and the ships fishing out the waters on the coast.

This goes doubly for a country that hasn’t had a functioning government since 1991, like Somalia. Sure, there’s an “interim government” that proudly claims to control 60% of the capital city of Mogadishu, but that’s not really my idea of a functioning government.

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The 3 Reasons All Young Adults Are Liberal

Reading Time: ~20 minutes

JobCrater2Last month, I wrote a fairly innocuous piece on my Open Salon blog. To say the least, I was surprised by the waterfall-velocity at which comments flooded the article. At first, I was determined to respond to all of them, but soon gave up. What was the point of responding to a comment if I had to write something that was as long – and took as long – as an actual blog post?

As I pondered the deluge, one sentiment from conservatives struck me: that I was too young to understand the wisdom of conservative ideology. As if my neocortex needs to evolve for another ten years, until finally developing that Personal Responsibility Radar that seems to be a byproduct of age.

As if, given the fact I haven’t paid too much in taxes makes me unqualified to speculate about how our country spends the money. I understand, and sympathize with some of the more burnished conservative talking points. Yes, government could be doing a better job. But could private sector companies be doing a better job than the government? Sure, if you want those jobs done overseas. After all, that was the corporate solution to the Great Recession. And how are the workers at Foxconn?

More like job craters, eh? Hahaha.

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The Stratification & Marginalization of Occupy Wall St.

Reading Time: ~3 minutes

I wouldn’t make the claim that I’m involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Having graduated from college a whole year ago (with a job!),  I found myself standing at the window that most baby boomers and seniors are occupying – the window of sneering marginalization.

As the movement failed to go away, however, I started giving it a bit more credit. That’s when I started reading things about it. My initiation began with a pleasantly snarky article from The Washington Post that read, “Despite having no single leader and no organized agenda, the protesters insist they are on the verge of translating their broad expression of grievance into a durable national cause. ”

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Elizabeth Warren’s Blog Problem

Reading Time: ~3 minutes

I was stunned when I first read the article on entitled “5 Video SEO Tips To Help Elizabeth Warren Beat Scott Brown.” No, not because I actually found the article that rivteing – although the points were salient – but because I had never actually thought about the intricate relationship that the internet had – or could have – with political campaigns.

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The Never Ending Parties of Our United States

Reading Time: ~3 minutes

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in Commons and you forgot to call a friend for company. If you’re reading this and you’re sitting next to a friend, that’s kind of awkward, isn’t it? Unless it’s lunch, I guess. Maybe you accidentally picked this up thinking it was the New York Times. Either way, lean over to the nearest person and ask them this: “Hey, what’s a Republican? What’s a Democrat?” If you hear qualifier adjectives such as stupid, elite, naïve, etc. try to stop them and have them start over. What, exactly, are the values that make Republicans and Democrats so different?

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Hope and Change Are No Match for Our Generation

Reading Time: ~3 minutes

On a potentially fateful Wednesday, President Obama delivered his first State of the Union address. I sat back, listened to it, and mentally dismissed everything as an exaggeration or an empty promise. It took me a day to consider why I possessed this defensive mechanism.

The answer is simple: our generation essentially gained sentience (pinpointed as somewhere between middle school and growing unseemly hairs) underneath the ignorant grip of the absolute worst presidential administration in the history of our country. We have been raised on a diet of complete and utter political suspicion. George W. Bush lied to the American people about matters for which he should be imprisoned. Everyone knows that. There is proof, too. However, as a nation, we have slowly withered into apathy, cynicism, and helplessness.

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