Notes From The Margin

November 27, 2007

A couple of points for the Bajan Blogosphere.

I’ve been meaning to get this off of my chest and it really has been bugging me, there are a couple of major misconceptions floating around the blogosphere and it is REALLY beginning to tick me off.

 1. The offshore industry are not crooks.

If they weren’t there your taxes would be much higher. Yes I know you read stories from the net about how “unfair” it is that they don’t pay their taxes in their home domicile, but why should you worry about propping up government innefficiency in another country?  If they really want to shift those companies back onshore they should lower their taxes. The use of “offshore” jurisdictions is an accepted part of day to day life in the financial services industry. Just ask those banks in exotic locations like Vermont for their opinion.

 2. A lawsuit is not proof of being guilty!

Being sued in a civil suit is not proof of guilt, in fact being sued in a civil suit is not proof of anything!  In fact its common practice by lawyers to spread their lawsuit as far and as wide as possible. Up to and including suing the secretary who accepted the letter for her boss that might have contained the information that might be pertinent to the suit if the planets align the right way next Thursday.  Thats how you get things like the Kingsland suit.

3. Just because the BLP/DLP said it, doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea!

Come on! the number of partisan hacks that we have on line who disconnect any sense of intelligence from any facts is amazing. We’ve actually had people claim that Owen Arthur is infalible, that all of the development in the tourism industry occurred during Peter Morgan’s days forty years ago, and the list of absurdities goes on. And by the way, our pointing out flaws in your arguments is not proof of supporting the other side, we just aren’t supporting YOU.

4. The fact that you didn’t know about it, doesn’t mean that it’s a secret!

Let’s face it none of us know everything, but not knowing about something doesn’t mean that there is a great secret conspiracy to keep it hidden from the light of day!

5. Resorting to insults and invective are not only childish but you make the other persons point for them.

In case you haven’t noticed that’s why they leave those comments on the comment board, jackass!

6. Laws for defamation are not a bad thing (per se) !

They are supposed to stop people from publishing crap about people and rubbishing their reputations. Without them there would be no obligation to do even the slightest reserarch before publishing. (Oh, I’m sorry we are already in those circumstances in Bajan Blogworld.)

7. The more you allow party hacks to go unchallenged the more you undermine the credibility of your blog/media.

Starcom Networks gets this, just ask David Ellis. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to comment but certainly the blog owner should challenge all blatantly partisan opinions. Allow them free rein at the expense of your credibility. (Sorry, once again something we don’t worry about in the blogosphere)

8. The more you become a forum for the silly and the absurd the less the mainstream will pay attention to you.

Let’s face it the blogs no longer have the political force they had 3 months ago. They are no longer seen as “voices of the people” they are becoming part of an entertaining lunatic fringe that can be safely ignored.  We in the blogoshpere are poorer for it.

I’m sure this post won’t be popular, and will upset more than a few people, but I feel much better for getting that off of my chest.

Let the fireworks begin!

Marginal

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31 Comments »

  1. This article is bare junk.

    You and the others at the old media are alarm that that you have lost control of news in Barbados.

    We no longer have to sit and wait for what you consider to be news to be published. Stories which would never have seen the light of day have been esposed. Much to you and your buddies in the old medid’s chargrin.

    God bless BFP and BU.

    ….and there is nothing you or your buddies can do about it.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 28, 2007 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  2. And before I forget, David Ellis is an even bigger joke than this article. The most outrageous statements made on the call-in programns have been made by David Ellis. Why do think that Starcom recently had to pay out $70,000? You forget that already?

    Remember when he said that the Police killed one of their own and this was proven to be a big fat lie?

    David Ellis is not Paragon of balance as you would like to fool the people. Get you facts right.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 28, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  3. This is the response I pretty much expected.

    1. Don’t actually deal with any of the substance of what was said.
    2. I see that suddenly I’m a member of the “old media” or at the very least buddies with them. (That’s been the prime goal of this blog all along hasn’t it, to defend the old media! 😉 )
    3. Launch an attack on a third party who doesn’t agree with the “blog party” line either. (David Ellis’ reputation speaks for itself) This is commonly referred to in some circles as “Dragging a red herring across the trail”

    Hmnn I think I’m in good company with David Ellis.

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — November 28, 2007 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  4. Good article Marginal. Irrelevant comments Anonymous. I think that unregulated blogs have a role – the very fact that they aren’t fact checked means that some interesting material in the public interest comes up that would otherwise not stand up to the normal standards of professional journalism (and I don’t mean the Nation). However, both BU and BFP go too far too often to be seriously credible. The fact that 99% of the comments are ludicrously partisan and written by a collection of no more than 20 people means that I’ve recently stopped bothering to read most of them. Bottom line is that they are nowhere nearly as inluential as they clearly think they are. I, and many people I know, still read the blogs – and appreciate the blanket anti-corruption and anti-racism stand of BFP – but until they tone down the wild accusations and allow some opposing views through, they will never be very convincing.

    Comment by james — November 29, 2007 @ 11:53 am | Reply

  5. This comment is to James. BU is a blog where we write about how we feel if you don’t agree say so! You should not hold BU responsible for the comments made by whoever, it is freedom of speech for godsake. If we share our opinion others out there are free to share theirs. Usually what happens we find is the rabid partisan commentators are the ones who shout down the ‘others’ who prefer order perhaps like yourself. The question we have for James is what is so different to the call-in programs where the same people are known to call every day. Here is another question for James. What have you done as far as far as putting counter-views out there? We sit in the BU household and we marvel that people criticize Barbadians for being silent, then we have some people who come dare to come out and to share their views whether you agree or not but instead we seek to destroy those who would be pioneers to push the envelope and freedom of expression. Who do you think is responsible for it? We have news for you and others brother James. Forget the content of BU (we speak for BU) look at what has been happening. More bajan blogs are jumping out of the wood work every day, look at BU we have been able to attract comments from prominent people in our society and we can go on. Can’t you see what is happening?

    So brother James roll up your sleeves and jump in, and share your opinion. We see the stats and the numbers are significant enough to suggest that like the call ins a few people call but many more side on the side line. Maybe one day as you are suggesting we will have to stop because we are ineffective or on the flip side this could be the beginning of a movement. Why would you want to kill this thing in the bud at this embryonic stage?

    Comment by David — November 29, 2007 @ 1:34 pm | Reply

  6. Marginal we give you editorial license to correct some typos. BTW we do read you blog and find your articles educational even if you don’t suffer the same appreciation of BU

    Thanks

    Comment by David — November 29, 2007 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  7. In light of the feedback from you blog and James we decided to critique our last 13 articles posted on BU:

    1.The Cost of Living In Barbados
    2.Mr Richard Sealy MP Meets With Organisers Stokey Woodall & Friends
    3.What new QEH What?!?
    4.Democratic Labour Party Candidate Fingered In Confidential Memorandum
    5.Vaucluse Raceway Saga Thickens!
    6.Barbados Continues To Be A Haven For The Rich & Famous
    7.Of Concern To Barbadians
    8.Leaders & Leadership In The Caribbean
    9.Price Control By Another Name?
    10.Rihanna Does Barbados Proud By Winning Best Favourite Female Artist At The American Music Awards 2007~Congratulations!!!
    11.Pictures Of Vaucluse Raceway Under Construction
    12.Gay Tourists Coming
    13.Residential Electricity Costs To Be Subsidised

    If you care to we would appreciate specific feedback on the topics listed. Although we dont agree if you can put some specifics out there as fair minded people we might be forced to change our position.

    Thanks

    Comment by David — November 29, 2007 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  8. David, just to be clear. I don’t want to kill or even curtail the blogging movement. It is particularly good at raising issues and exposing stories that are not covered by our muzzled press. I even submit from time to time – not as often as I should but I do contribute to both BFP and BU. Nor do I have a problem with freedom of speech. It’s simply that regardless of the positions of the moderators, speculation is often treated as fact, rumour as indictment and guesswork as evidence. A little more fact checking and a little more journalistic rigour would add credibility. And as for partisanship, it’s difficult to write anything even slightly pro government (I’m not by the way but I’m still firmly undecided) without being shouted down either by the moderators for being a BLP stooge or by the rants of people like Wishing In Vain. If I had the time I would contribute more or start my own blog. I don’t and I haven’t and you may take that as an indication that I should do so or shut up. But I, like you, am using the internet to express my views so please do not take partial criticism as a wholesale indictment on blogs.

    Comment by james — November 29, 2007 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  9. We appreciate your feedback. We face the situation daily about whether to delete comments etc which goes to the root of freedom of speech. We have toyed with the ideas of just publishing our articles and curtailing comments. As you suggested the Internet is unregulated and can be difficult to moderate. We are open to feedback so feel free to send us an email(offline) if you fell strongly on a matter. We assure that the stories we publish are close to 100% checked given the constraints of our need to be discreet.

    Have a good Independence!

    Comment by David — November 29, 2007 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  10. DAVID

    You disappoint me.

    Why should you care what Mr. Marginal and Mr. James think about Bajan blogs. They don’t pay taxes for their mouts and they can say what they want.

    Do not encourage them, they are part of the old media who want to muzzle Bajans and only print or say what the BLP wants put out there.

    Quite extraordinary stories have been highlighted by the blogs which Marginal, James and their old media buddies would never bring to the Bajan public. Only sanitized news which the BLP feel comfortable with is what they want printed.

    All the corruption which these BLP crooks engaged in must be hidden, I think this is gist of Marignal’s article.

    It is unbelieveable that you are encourging these jokers to critique your articles.

    You are above them. Check Marginal stats and check yours, you are way ahead.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 29, 2007 @ 11:00 pm | Reply

  11. A very good blog article and I am afraid to say to many who contribute to BFP with comments are sounding off with very little content. A lot of Chicken Little about everything. I wonder who will be blamed for the earthquake. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 29, 2007 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  12. David,

    Thank you for responding and engaging in the discussion. (I would note that the sum total of BFP’s response is to hint that we were founded by the BLP to try to uncover who they are. (sigh! If it wasn’t so predictable it would be funny)

    For the record I should state that I read BU daily and I do find your articles to be generally better researched that BFP, I fully intend to continue to read them and to participate in the discussions there where I feel inclined.

    James has actually done a very good job of summing up my feelings with regard to the blogs. I think that BU is in danger of being hijacked to serve the agenda of people like Waiting In Vain and Frankology who this afternoon found a way to put a political spin on a story about an earthquake.

    I understand the difficulty of wrestling with the free speech argument. We faced that particular demon some time ago, and we came to the conclusion that everyone who makes a blatant partisan statement gets challenged.

    One of the reasons that I started this blog was that I found that if you disagree with something that is said by one of the commenters or have an alternative view an you are immediately branded as the enemy or the lackey of the Government. As you can see we have an anonymous comment that I am one of the “old media” who wants to suppress all anti government comment. Obviously he is not a regular reader. However, on BU and BFP people like that are almost the entire group commenting on the blog. You won’t get a “real” discussion going because everyone who is either neutral or supports the BLP has simply withdrawn because participating in the discussion goes nowhere. They will read to see what is being said but they will never participate.

    To be effective the blogs have to be taken seriously, they aren’t going to be taken seriously if they don’t behave in a serious manner. To the extent that blogs indulge in grand conspiracy theories and try to paint a civil suit as a criminal indictment or allow blatantly partisan comments from either side to go unchallenged, they make it EASY for the government(or anyone else for that matter) to dismiss the comment as “just some whack job who has a blog”.

    Why do you think there hasn’t been a SERIOUS attempt by the BLP to engage the blogs since William Duguid in the very early days? Because, rather than being “the cutting edge of democracy” the blogs and the comment forums that accompany them can be dismissed as being extremists.

    In closing I would say once again that I find BU’s articles to be of better quality than BFP and I’ve very flattered that you enjoy reading NFTM. I hope you can now better understand the spirit in which this post was written. If you wish to correspond offline you know the address.

    Marginal.

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — November 30, 2007 @ 2:12 am | Reply

  13. David I agree with the Anon who ask, “Why should you care what Mr. Marginal and Mr. James think about Bajan blogs.”

    ……It is not proven that their approach to blogging is any better than yours or BFP, what is better anyway? If they are confident that their approach will net whatever the intent is, then let them lead the way and demonstrate by whatever measurements that they are more successful than you. I don’t know if BU and BFP’s intent in starting a blog had anything to do with being taken serious by the BLP or other groups or persons in Barbados, any more than it most likely was the result of being fed up with the mainstream media’s refusal to investigate and report on any number of stories. Did you ever make mention that your approach to blogging was to rival the mainstream media? The approach of these two gentlemen is similar to the operators of the mainstream media, in that they take umbrage with the comments of some of your comment section contributors, as it these commentators have a captive audience. As one of the commentators I don’t need anyone to play protector over me, intent of keeping me away from posters that they deem to be undesirable, I am happy to report that I have brain and that I sift out the useful and useless comments and have no problem with anyone posting to the point of regretting their contributions lament with sorrow the dismal future of the Blogs. Bajans have been blogging in one form or the other since DOS bulletin boards, and have endured the doom and gloom prophecy that is being recycled by these two. They have demonstrated their disgust and formed their own blog, and if others felt the same way, they too should have been settled right here.

    Comment by Adrian Hinds — November 30, 2007 @ 5:32 am | Reply

  14. Marginal:

    Congratulations on having generated significantly more comment on this post than is the norm for your topics. I contribute my comments from time to time when I feel that I have substantive knowledge of the subject matter. I feel comfortable in doing so, since your blog does not seem to attract the type of hostile and partisan comments that BU and BFP seem to generate.

    I feel, however, that as the owner of the blog you have the right to determine what is your purpose in publishing it, and whether you should permit comments that do not serve that purpose simply to appear to have a liberal approach on the matter of freedom of speech. In short, as the owner you should reserve the right to judge what is permissible on the grounds of relevance, courtesy, and good taste. IT IS YOUR BLOG!

    Comment by Linchh — November 30, 2007 @ 7:03 am | Reply

  15. I can’t think of one article that Notes From The Margin has published that is even mildly critical of the government.

    Certainly nothing at all about corruption in government ranks.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 30, 2007 @ 7:49 am | Reply

  16. Marginal, what do you think about the Director of Public Prosecutions using the police to collect rent owed by his tenant? What do you think about the police coming for Ronja Juman in the middle of the night and taking her to the police station over back rent? What about the police performing a vaginal search on Mrs. Juman over the back rent?

    Should the Chief Justice have spoken to Ronja Juman in the middle of her case? Is that ethical?

    Was it OK for the police to be issued with a blank search warrant (which is posted on the internet if you haven’t seen it at BFP yet)

    Was it OK for the Director of Public Prosecutions to act in an official capacity during the same trial where he was a private witness against Juman?

    And finally, is it OK that neither your blog nor any of the Barbados press have carried the Juman story even though the legal documents are posted online for anyone to see or download?

    Is that the kind of story that you think BU and BFP shouldn’t carry?

    Your blog is neither hot nor cold. It is lukewarm gruel.

    Comment by Red Lake Lassie — November 30, 2007 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  17. Linchh: I agree with you, and that the very same applys to BU and BFP…. Their blogs, ….are their blogs.

    Red Lake Lassie: now what could you be hinting at? 😀 you could also answer the question yourself and give reasons why, in your opinion this Blog is lukewarm. 😀

    …My two cents on this Blog thus far, is that it is just like reading a newspaper, a good thing no doubt. 😀

    Comment by Adrian Hinds — November 30, 2007 @ 10:15 am | Reply

  18. This article is so daring to find fault with blogs who criticize the BLP, but you find no fault with yourself or the Nation News for ignoring major news stories like the abuse of power by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police. Ronja Juman was taken in the middle of the night an they stripped her naked and looked in her vagina all over back rent owed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Blank search warrant already signed by a judge and all the other court documents that prove this are posted online right now but you don’t tell about that story. You don’t tell about the Nation News not reporting for two weeks the 3S fraud story when other media were publishing this important story. When the president of the company that is building the hundreds of millions of dollars flyovers is said to be involved in kickbacks for highway building in Jamaica THAT IS NEWS ON THIS ISLAND.

    By your content, WE KNOW YOU. By what you don’t print, WE KNOW YOU.

    All can see WHO THIS NOTES FROM THE MARGIN ARE.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 30, 2007 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  19. Ah yes now I’m not only old media, I’m a lackey of the BLP government as well.

    🙂

    And this simply proves my point. Dissenting opinion is shouted down, all sorts of non arguments are trotted out. The dissenter is insulted and demeaned.

    This sort of reception simply means that the blogosphere will never engender REAL debate unless the blog owners foster it by not allowing crap to go unanswered. And by crap I mean blatently partisan statements from EITHER party!

    In a free for all the winner is the person who shouts the loudest, not the one who has the best idea.

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — December 1, 2007 @ 1:05 am | Reply

  20. No Marginal it simply means that your attitude is not suited to public scrutiny. If you are truly convince of your arguments and positions, insults and demeaning comments would not matter as much as it seemly does to you. I go wherever i can to find topics that i can debate argue etc. and it matters little to me what people think, and while it is nice that people sometimes would respond, i do not post with such in mind. But if you just want to prove points then you have. what next????

    Comment by Adrian Hinds — December 1, 2007 @ 2:08 am | Reply

  21. This chorus of protest and vitriol to a fairly moderate article by Marginal is almost, but not quite, difficult to believe. Read the article again people – Marginal is not saying that BFP/ BU are bad, merely pointing out that they have some flaws. Nor, as far as I can tell, is he claiming that his blog is perfect. The sad thing is that it appears that some people simply can’t take criticism. It’s this sort of online fascism along the lines of “how dare you criticise my favourite blog ?” that stifles people’s motivation to speak freely on the net incase they are shouted down. Just look at what net roots did for Howard Dean in the US. I will repeat what I said above since everyone decided not to read it: The Barbados blogging movement is particularly good at raising issues and exposing stories that are not covered by our muzzled press. It’s simply that regardless of the positions of the moderators, speculation is often treated as fact, rumour as indictment and guesswork as evidence. A little more fact checking and a little more journalistic rigour would add credibility. And as for partisanship, it’s difficult to write anything even slightly pro government (I’m not by the way but I’m still firmly undecided) without being shouted down either by the moderators for being a BLP stooge or rants of people like Wishing In Vain. The comments so far have ignored the issues raised and basically stated that notes from the margin is a BLP blog in league with the “old media”. Y’all need to drink an Extra Old and take a bit of constructive criticism without assuming it’s a government plot. Chill.

    Comment by james — December 2, 2007 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  22. Marginal does not criticize the government at this blog. He does not comment on stories that are embarrassing to the government. He doesn’t even breathe a word about some of the outrageous stories that do make it to the Barbados news media after the blogs have been publishing a story for weeks before the Nation prints it.

    Marginal is free to write about anything or not write about anything. It is his blog.

    However, we readers are free to speak about our observations that Notes From The Margin never writes about anything of real significance that is about Barbados. He writes about Venezuela, Guyana or the gas reserves in Trinidad. Or Rhianna or the new ferry service.

    Marginal, what is missing from your blog is plain to see. The question on everybody’s mind is why do you never write about anything that could be even mildly embarrassing to the Barbados government? Why do you never write about anything important that is being spoken about on the streets of Bridgetown?

    Why do you link to that BFPE blog when the writers constantly threaten to kill Adrian Loveridge or rape his wife? You have seen those comments posted everywhere by BFPE and you continue to link to that blog.

    Your readers see it all, Marginal.

    Comment by Leonardo DiArthur — December 2, 2007 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

  23. Thank you James, it would seem some people want to brand me as being the antichrist as well 😀

    Not to worry my skin is very thick where this is concerned.

    Adrian,

    What next? who knows? hopefully the article would have been thought provoking and maybe, it will have an effect. I really don’t think any of the people crying me down for not writing a “me too” blog are readers anyway.

    This has been a good discussion and if you look at the post on here called “Editorial Comment” back around the end of August, you will see my reasoning for writing this blog and also for challenging people and when necessary censoring them.

    https://notesfromthemargin.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/editorial-comment/

    Interestingly Leonardo “Editorial Comment” was written to explain why I censored BFPE who I’ll agree with you is a troll.

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — December 3, 2007 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  24. I hope your next articles will be sensible.

    Comment by Anonymous — December 3, 2007 @ 2:07 am | Reply

  25. Why do you link to BFPE when he is far more than a troll, he threatens to kill Loveridge and rape his wife.

    But you still link to the BFPE blog!

    Comment by Anonymous — December 3, 2007 @ 2:46 am | Reply

  26. I wouldn’t care if Marginal was Owen Arthur (or David Thompson for that matter) – if an article is well written and relevant it deserves some thought, or at least sensible commentary. I do agree though that BFPE are dangerous idiots.

    Comment by james — December 3, 2007 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  27. I will be sure to read the Ed comments you suggested.

    …..I have no requirements that information be well written and or relevant, and i try not to spend too much time questioning a person motive for contributing, ….I wish more would do so, in whatever capacity they know.

    Comment by Adrian Hinds — December 3, 2007 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  28. You removed BFPE from your bloglist.

    It was about time and they should never have been there in the first place when they started death threats against many peoples.

    Thank you for responding to the comments from readers about this.

    Comment by Anonymous — December 7, 2007 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  29. Hey. It is Saturday morning and I have just read your blog after reading two responses to a comment I made on B’dos Underground. Your article was like a breath of fresh air. Not everyone believes that one should keep repeating oneself to make a point. I never argue, I may change my mind if I listen to someone else’s opinion but that is rare.
    I thank you for your article since I came to this exact conclusion and only after following these blogs from sometime in October 2007. A good friend told me that the blogs were like aloes.I have come to believe that he was right.
    Things Barbadian include a really strange mindset.

    Comment by Rey. — December 15, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  30. Great article, sir. The blogs do have their place, obviously, but the ones that have become the personal soapboxes of the lunatic fringe have lost credibility and have now become the “Weekend Investigator” of the blogsphere….good entertainment but that’s about it. Notice that (as you said) Anonymous did not say a thing about your content. Atcually, you should take heart from that. When someone attacks you and NOT what you say, that is a sign that what you say is true.

    Comment by finally — December 19, 2007 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  31. “By what you don’t print we know you” (comment from Anonymous, Nov. 30th). Isn’t it ironic that he/she made such a comment on independence day? I cannot think of another comment that has ever demonstrated LESS independent thought – or shouted down someone for having independence of thought. My fear is that some of the blogs like BFP revel in lunatics such as Anonymous, who just use them to disseminate their bitter vitriol. No, I do not support either party – I think the days of blind party allegience went out in the 80’s. I vote for the best PERSON, so if a party wants to win they will soon learn that they need to fill their ranks with the best people, period.
    To show how silly Anonymous’ comment quoted above is: I watch CNN every day. I have never seen anything critical of Owen Arthur on it. Therefore, by Anonymous’ logic, CNN MUST be supporting the BLP.
    Get a life and get a clue Anonymous.

    Comment by it's me — December 25, 2007 @ 3:58 pm | Reply


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