Why blogging is important: Traditionally speaking most societies around the world revolve around some sort of caste system or in the West historically described as the Estates of the Realm referring to the Three Estates: the clergy (1st), the nobility (2nd), and commoners (3rd). This socio-economic relationship is shaped like a pyramid and for the most part continues uninterrupted despite centuries of political and economic revolution.
The political and economic revolutions that have shaped the Western World occurred as new powers and civic institutions arose to compete with the dominant Three Estates: The "4th Estate" and most recently the "5th Estate".
The 4th Estate refers to the "Press" defined by traditional outlets of TV, radio and print journalism. The rise of Democratic governments since the 18th century were the result of the ability to disseminate information (and propaganda) to shape thoughts independent of the hierarchy of the Three Estates.
Unfortunately, over time economic and political powers have subsumed traditional news media into the advertising arm of these various conglomerates of power. Very few news outlets remain independent and reporting verified, timely and relevant information that assists the public in making every day and long-term decisions.
So in comes, the necessity of a new "5th Estate" which Wikipedia defines as the "socio-cultural reference to groupings of outlier viewpoints in contemporary society, and is most associated with bloggers, journalists, and non-mainstream media outlets". In other words, the 5th Estate came into being with the advent of the Internet and the ability of individuals to report facts and opinions to a wide audience in an inexpensive and instantaneous method.
In Miami, we have a number of citizen bloggers that serve as voluntary watchdogs on the activities of public officials. Most are never paid a dime for their work while some were genuine, award-winning journalists long before publishing their writings digitally. Personally, I believe that the highest praise a blog can receive is when they are the center of a story by a print news platform.
Which leads me to celebrate the write-up by the Biscayne Times on Stephanie Kienzle, the watchdog blogger of VotersOpinion.com. We consider her a friend and important member of watchdog even if we don't agree on every issue.
Read about Stephanie and her coverage of the North Dade political scene:
A Fish-Eye and a Shark’s Bite Written by Mark Sell for the Biscayne Time
The singular work of watching over the City of Miami these past 5 years has gone to Al Crespo, the publisher of the Crespo Gram Report. This tell-it-how-it-is, no-holds-barred telling of the missteps by public officials at the outright villainy of the elected representatives gives hope that maybe if enough people are paying attention then those people can change their government.
This week the CrespoGram.com is celebrating its 5-year birthday. Happy Birthday!
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
|Rosa "Rosy" Palomino|
Candidate for City of Miami commission
I first began my political involvement with national politics. It was Rosy who convinced me I was wasting my time and that if I really wanted to help change policy I would do it by affecting change at the local level.
Since then we have worked on City of Miami issues from zoning, police, street repair, parks and more. I have learned through her and many other people I have met along the way about how a city should work. This is not the stuff of graduate studies but the simple, honest America that we were all told exists... somewhere. This is where America happens, every great tradition, every value elevated but also where every wrong headed social engineer gets their start.
On ongoing project I have combines the talents and knowledge of Bob Powers (he deserves a post of his own) and the business sense of Rosy Palomino in a weekly radio program "Miami After Dark" where we discuss current events, politics, and urban living. We host politicians, market makers and entertainers. We focus on how solutions that make Miami better.
For instance, on the last episode of Miami After Dark radio, we discussed with Sarah Schacht, a Seattle-based #OpenGov consultant about why governments go bad. The reason is very common and happens everywhere across the world. And the solution is also simple and easy (and cheap!) to implement with plenty of examples to follow. As Sarah said: "Governments are more alike than different".
Listen to our discussion with Sarah so you can get an idea why Rosa's perspective on how a city should work is the key to creating a freer and better society starting here in our own backyard.
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/miamiafterda…/miami-after-dark-ep-023
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/miamiafterda…/miami-after-dark-ep-023
But wait there's more about Rosy!
Rosy knows that if you really want to change your community you need to put yourself in positions where you can not only be heard. So she decided to run for office and I applaud her for it. She has the guts, the brains and the joie de vivre to tackle the challenges that will come her way.
Rosy filed to run for the City of Miami's District 2 commission seat since the current commissioner guy is term-limited (more on him another time). The commission district represents all the waterfront areas of the City of Miami: Coconut Grove, Brickell, Downtown, Edgewater, Midtown, Baypoint and Morningside.
Her campaign launch party is tomorrow night at The Grove Spot after 6pm. The invitation is below. If you are interested in what could be accomplished to make life, business and civics better than come by and meet Rosy. You won't go disappointed.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Hector Roos' Personal Election Recommendations
- Vote "NO" if you don't understand what the ballot means.
- Vote your Conscience. No one knows how you vote.
- Go ahead and vote, you can just leave any question blank you come across.
Vote NO on all County questions.
You are being asked for permission to have a reduction on the size of the green spaces at our parks in every question save the courthouse. And the Courthouse is a grant of money that is not attached to a plan on how to spend (this is exactly the wrongheaded kind of ballot question that gets us in trouble).
Vote YES on 1 and 2 to the amendments of the Florida Constitution. Vote NO on 3 to the allowing judicial appointments.
Proposed Amendment 1 is regarding putting tax monies we are already paying for in a "lock box" to go for nature restoration including our ever important waterways (the legislature right now just has a law requiring them to spend some of the money rather than a true financial dedication).
Proposed Amendment 2 is Medical Marijuana. My mother passed away this year to a very painful and debilitating cancer. Marijuana was the only medicine that gave her any pain relief. ALL pharmaceutical drugs she was told to take cause horrific side effects. This story is far too common. VOTE YES ON 2.
Proposed Amendment 3 if passed allows an outgoing governor the right to fill judicial vacancies without any electoral punishment for playing favorites. Imagine this power in the hand of any radical socialist who happens to make it to the governors mansion. A series of upcoming retirements could allow the next governor or two to transform the temperament of the courts.
Regarding Governors: No one has been more pro-business in Florida than Rick Scott but that doesn't mean he's perfect or automatically deserves re-election. Ask yourself if you feel that life in Florida has improved since Scott took office and vote accordingly. If you are not satisfied, I recommend you don't vote for Charlie Crist.
Regarding every other election (i.e. State House and local municipality): No one wants to say you're on your own but the reality is that these are the people who make the most decisions over your life and it comes down to whether you trust them to do the right thing when the lobbyist comes with an offer or their friends applies pressure to them.
Participate and make your world one voice stronger. This is a life best lived over time and you should think about political change over time BUT DON'T BE AFRAID TO DEMAND THE RIGHT CHANGE IMMEDIATELY!
Thank you for your time.