Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seeing positive public policy opportunities in a deserved object of ridicule

My comments follow the article.
------------
The Hill

GOP launches sarcastic 'friend czar' Facebook application
By Christina Wilkie
October
21, 2009

The GOP has unveiled a new tactic in its ongoing effort to dominate social media sites like Twitter and Facebook: a sarcastic Facebook Application that assesses a "tax" on Facebook users deemed to have more than the average number of friends.

Read the rest of the article at:

------------

If you see the trees for the forest in this story,
you'll see an opportunity...


If only I knew someone who could write computer
code so that
we could make Social Media applications
that cross platforms and bundled all the info on
selected Facebook, Twitter, myspace, blogs,
websites, et al into a dynamic version of a
Google Alert, creating a forum for news and pithy,
sarcastic or trenchant comments about civic issues
of mutual concern.

Whether that's longstanding, intractable
issues in
all our individual regions of Florida, or more recent
issues, like in the case of South Florida,
the highly
suspect Miami Port Tunnel; the taxpayer bailout
of the Marlins Stadium and the already ballooning
costs of that rip-off; the expansion into Broward
County of I-95 tolls -Comm. Sue Gunzburger
has written me that she agrees and doesn't
approve of the
plan to change the commuter
lanes into toll lanes
; the Broward School Board's
entrenched culture of corruption, where members
feel emboldened enough to rip their own auditors
in public for actually bringing waste to light; the
continuing lack of proper and vigorous enforcement
of Sunshine Law violations by Florida cities,
counties and their Advisory Boards, as has become
an institutional practice in my town of Hallandale
Beach
, made all the worse because the city attorney,
who draws his salary from the wallets and purses
of city taxpayers, yet just sits idly by, just winking
at everything...

You could share news, tips, first-hand observations
and photos, plus receive alerts when someone
whose past comments you deem trustworthy adds
something new about the individual issue you follow.
And it's with you wherever you go.

Plus, with individual issue applications, it puts you on
record as being AGAINST them so that like-minded
people could arrange Meet-ups once in a while to see
whether there were sufficient numbers to support more
direct citizen action, whether in the form of ballot
initiatives, PAC formation, et al, and not be dependent
on press accounts of events or rallies to determine
whether there was broad or just sporadic support
for your particular position.

No longer would you be left to ponder whether a
particular sentiment about some public policy issue
was shared by just you and a few of your friends,
something you wonder about when the civic and
public policy events you attend are often full of
articulate and very well-informed people, but the
public hearing, forum or summit doesn't receive
any press coverage at all.

For instance, to cite something I'm all too familiar
with personally, and have previousdly written about,
the Tri-county Transportation Summit I attended
on Feb. 21st in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward
Convention
Center, which drew hundreds and
hundreds of smart and savvy citizens
from all over
South Florida, but which received
zero media
coverage afterwards, on a slow news
weekend.

When everyone's an informed and empowered
watchdog, and it doesn't genuinely matter whether
a news reporter shows up or not to give your meeting
validity, it makes it infinitely harder for the the
entrenched crowd and their professional mouthpieces
and flacks to try to frame the public debate and
manipulate the media.

The press actually benefits, too, by having access to
a whole new universe of well-informed (if opinionated)
people to interview to give stories some meaningful
context, so that the Tyranny of the Usual Media
Suspects
could be ended and no longer monopolize
public discourse.

For instance, to cite one glaring example, the Florida
media's continually quoting of Steve Geller regarding
almost any aspect of gambling in the state, but
conveniently neglecting to mention how much he
and his PAC have received in political contributions
from that very same industry, especially from
The Mardi Gras.

He's not an objective observer, but the press seems
unable to actually go 'cold turkey' on his quotes.
Please give him a rest.

There's a market here in Florida just waiting for someone
to fill the vacuum, as I'd happily pay a few bucks a month
to stay better-informed on the public policy issues that
I'm most interested in.
Just saying...

Meanwhile, some media folks aren't letting the bad
economy get in the way of a good idea whose time
has come.
Mediabistro's dcfishbowl, which I subscribe to,
had this post on Tuesday that caught my attention
and which I followed-up on.
--------------
dcfishbowl

Allbritton to Launch DC Metro News Website
By Matt Dornic
October 27, 2009 08:35 PM
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlDC/online_media/allbritton_to_launch_dc_metro_news_website__141469.asp

The New Republic

The Owner of 'Politico' Is Going After the 'Post.' Again.

By Gabriel Sherman
October 27, 2009
http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-plank/the-owner-%E2%80%98politico%E2%80%99-going-after-the-%E2%80%98post%E2%80%99-again


The Albritton's family owned WJLA-TV, the ABC
affiliate in Washington, D.C. and created one of the
great tools for any Beltway news junkie, NewsChannel 8,
http://www.news8.net/, which
provides
in-depth
coverage of local news in the greater Washingon area:
The District, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.
It also re-airs all ABC News programs on weekends,
and Nightline the following morning at 10 a.m.

I've made pretty clear my strong feelings about this
area desperately needing a similar 24/7 Local News
operation here, so that context and information that
reporters actually know can actually get on the air
in something more than just small bits their alloted
time during a regular newscast.

Would've been nice to watch the myriad Marlins
Stadium hearings from home on TV with an expert
analyst in public financing, a la what Steven Brill's
Court TV used to do so well in high-profile trials.

Reminder, Monday morning is the next meeting of
the South Florida Regional Planning Council,
SFRPC
,
http://www.sfrpc.com/council/agenda11-09.htm

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