Manel from Hispalibertas links to a long post by JR at Transatlantic Intelligencer on the Ukraine. JR says that Le Sabot Postmoderne/The Post-modern Clog, a blog that has been following the elections, is a propaganda site:
The friendly but fatuous style of the Postmodern Clog – and it is curious that this same style extends also to a large part of the commentaries on the site – lends itself perfectly to the purposes of propaganda. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the Discoshaman is in fact an English language editor working for the “Orange” youth organization PORA. He himself announces this in a post dated 24 November that is reproduced on Free Republic. Indeed, the title of the original post as reproduced on Free Republic is “Updates from PORA — The Revolution WILL be blogged”. The references to PORA have, however, been removed from the archived version of the post on the Postmodern Clog – as has the cheerful admission “I am writing from HQ”.
To those bloggers who have in good faith adopted the Discoshaman as their authoritative source on the Orange “revolution”, I would suggest the following: you have been used.
It wouldn’t be the first time a political party uses the internet for that purpose.
So, while some of what Friedman says is true, much of it is simply misinformation. But let’s make a more fundamental point: Friedman’s key contention is that America’s priorities are out of whack because we are not spending enough money on education and foreign aid. This claim is absurd. Let’s look at education spending first. Check out the actual data from the Department of Education. The U.S. spends more per capita on secondary education than any country except Switzerland.
. . .
Are there problems with our education system? Sure, but they have nothing to do with “priorities” as Friedman means the term; i.e., budgetary priorities. Our problem stems from the fact that we put the welfare of administrators and teachers’ unions above that of students. But on this topic, Friedman has nothing to say, and his newspaper bitterly opposes the only practical solution on the table, school choice.
while a Powerline reader points out that federal “general science and basic research” budget has risen much faster during the Bush administration than it did during Bill Clinton’s first term.
Dan has some thoughts on the blogosphere:
As much as we celebrate the “birth” of the blogosphere this year, I think we should also be mindful of its infancy and the danger and challenges the future is going to present. How we meet those will determine if, or how quickly this medium becomes a powerful tool for real democracy, as opposed to just another avenue for a pedagogy that purports to instruct and inform but does little more than actually stall the potential growth of a broader democracy in our time. Either way, the greatest laurels for “blogs” most likely rest in their distant future. And that’s a genuinely exciting topic to me.