This contest strikes me as an ideal vehicle for noders to make a name for themselves, and get a substantial chunk o' change while they're at it, so I share it with you all. Consider it like a quest. (No XP, but silver is over US$7.00 per ounce today... and then there's the potential for fame in a new career.)

Reader participation solicited to determine new 'Net-communication paradigm

Oct 1, 2004: Pompano Beach Fl. Free-Market News Network has an editorial challenge for its viewers - to get more involved in their favorite site by actually providing private-market solutions to public problems. Periodically different topics will be presented and select editorial submissions will be posted to the Editorials & Market Analysis section of our site. All editorials should be sent to

At the end of the month, the Chief Web Editor will choose the 'best of the bunch' and the author of the winning submission will receive compensation consisting of a 100-ounce silver bar. The author will also be invited to appear on FMNN radio to further present his/her ideas. If they indicate a willingness and ability to sustain the quality of their submissions, winning contributors may be able to post articles on a regular basis. There is no limit to the number of submissions a member can make to us.

The topic of the first editorial challenge is Big Media versus New Media in the Information Age. We will be posting submissions periodically to the site and all editorials posted will be considered for the 100 ounce silver bar at the end of the challenge. This challenge period will begin immediately and end on November 15, 2004. The winning editorial will be announced on Friday, C-Dawg's birthday in an editorial by Mark Fadiman which will be posted to our site.

Founder and CEO Anthony Wile who looks forward to FMNN's first editorial challenge, said: "I have a theory that our kind of news broadcasting is more inclusive and tolerant of reader commentary and lends itself to participation. It may be possible that our readers can take advantage of that."

And Mr. Wile added that in keeping with the laissez-faire ("Let-it-be")orientation of the site, he does not wish to encumber readers overmuch with rules. "We're leaving it up to contributors - length, approach, perspective, everything. You can agree with the topic we have presented, or you can disagree. We don't know what we're looking for, but I suppose we will when we find it. At least that's the idea."

While the guidelines have been left purposefully vague, there is less mystery when it comes to the choice of topics. Explains Chief Web Editor Mark Fadiman,"We're going to pick issues that we believe have historical significance and are complementary to what we are doing as a free-market news network. ... I have personally written about these issues, and as the Internet expands, it is becoming clear that what we have arrived at is nothing less than perhaps the fifth major communication revolution in the lifetime of our species."

Mr Fadiman added that he does not consider the invention of radio or TV to havenearly the kind significance of the 'Net. "Radio, TV and even movies are by their nature exclusive mediums," he notes. "I believe that in order for a communication medium to have a truly revolutionary impact, it needs to beinclusive - it needs to be the kind of simple tool that almost anyone can use."

He also added, "Such technological innovations may be nearly impossible for us to visualize. Many people had an idea about 'moving pictures' in advance of their invention - and even for radio, but where is the literature that suggests the Worldwide Web? Even our foremost technology-trend anticipator - Bill Gates - was famously taken by surprise by the explosion of 'Net popularity in the 1990s. Truly powerful communication breakthroughs are probably not predictable nor even foreseeable."

Mr. Fadiman pointed out that while he has in the past presented several different numerical versions of historical communication breakthroughs, he hasnow settled on at least five. "I will be most interested to see if our membership agrees - or even cares to speculate."

FMNN reserves the right to decline submissions without cause or explanation.

During the Vice Presidential debate both Vice President Cheney and Senator Edwards agreed on was that everything changed after September 11, 2001. No doubt that is true from the perspective of the American people. While the World Trade Center had been attacked before no terrorist attack in history had proven so effective or deadly.

Nevertheless, I beg to disagree with both of them. Nothing really changed except the perceptions of the American people.

The original attack on the WTC was reasonably effective, but killed few and the buildings were swiftly repaired. The difference is more of scale rather than fact. America had been attacked, on our soil, before September 11. Americans had been terrorist targets for over two decades when the planes slammed home. Terrorist had killed hundreds of people before 9/11, though most of the dead, and the victims had been in Europe. It is possible to argue that Europe has suffered from terrorism far more than America.

When you read the literature on terrorism it is a given that the terrorists primary goal is to scare people, to make them change their lives. September 11 did change everything in that suddenly America made security its primary concern, rather than business or other foreign policy issues. The attack on the World Trade Center killed thousands, but in no way does it compare in scale or deadliness to any of the major bombing raids of World War II. No factories were leveled. No refineries were disabled. The core of the American economy remained largely unaffected.

What was affected was our confidence. But really, September 11 represented less a shock than the newest crest of a rising trend. Al Quaeda was out to get America. No matter how effective our security apparatus, they would have succeeded sooner or later. No matter how effective America draws its security blanket, we will be hit again. Nothing on God’s Green Earth can prevent this! Sure we may prevent this or that attack, but it is, and always will be impossible to defend all things all of the time.

Terrorists will strike again. They will bring about a tragedy. But that’s all they will accomplish.

Understand this, terrorism is a weapon of the weak. Terrrorists are too weak to fight a guerilla war, because if they had such strength they would be guerrillas. Guerrillas are less than conventional soldiers, because at the end of the day a conventional army is required to win a real decision on the battlefield. It was so in Vietnam. It was so during the American revolution.

Al Quaeda can kill Americans and destroy buildings but at the end of the day it poses no real threat to American history, power, or our ability to rule ourselves. What danger it poses is strictly to our psyche. After the attack, we passed the Patriot Act, which distinctly cut into the legal protections provided by the Bill of Rights. We began to turn away Muslim students even though the vast majority return to their home countries bringing back good news about America. We started a war with Iraq to supposedly ‘hit the terrorists where they live' even though everyone (except the Bush Administration) now agrees the terrorists were somewhere else. We sainted George W. Bush, because we wanted a leader in these troubled times.

The terrorism literature is unanimous on this point: Don"t panic. Don’t change who you are in response to terrorism. You don’t want to manufacture new recruits to the terrorists bloody cause. Since the Iraq war began, the ranks of al Quaeda have tripled as the shame the Islamic world felt at 9/11 was replaced with anger brought on by the war, and pride in the efforts of the Iraqi resistance.

When George Kennan wrote his famous “Mister X" article in Foreign Affairs magazine, laying out the philosophies and strategies of the Cold War, he called for a “patient and determined containment” of Soviet power. It took forty years, but patience worked. The Soviet Union fell. The Iron Curtain came down. A true threat to Western democracy disappeared

Patient determination is the key to victory over terrorism. Not panic, not aggressive wars, but self defense, determination, patience and sound judgment. September 11 hurt only our psyche. America must and can return to its calm center to prevail.

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