Watch dogs are good.
Whether they are in your yard, on your television or on the internet, someone watching while you go about your daily life is good. It is best if those watch dogs live by certain rules — not biting the postman or perhaps checking facts.
In a perfect time that never existed, media from print to satellite transmissions were vetted for facts. In the golden age of print there were fact checkers at everything from the local weekly to the New York Times and Time magazine. In a lot of cases there still are. That does not mean that nothing is ever printed that is incorrect, it merely means some effort is made.
These days the news beams to us from the magical space of the internet. We know not from whence it comes in many cases and often we can have no clue if it is true or not. If you believe everything you read on your computer then you must be certain that someone is poisoning the air with chemtrails and that aliens are here, perhaps next door, the twin towers were blown up from inside and someone is trying to steal your Easter eggs.
From wikileaks to wikipedia there are some holes in the universe through which about equal measures of truth and fantasy are leaking.
If a reader does not believe that we have gotten the facts straight, there is a phone number to call, an e-mail address, even a postal location. We are here and you can find us. And, by golly, you do.
On the other hand, there are so-called watch dogs out there who have no identity past an image-heavy website. What their credentials might be, what biases they may bring to the discussion and what their agenda is are unknown. Lake watchdogs are vicious and sometimes may even have the right idea but they bring a dog house full of unchecked facts into the public discussion upon which fallacious arguments and incorrect ideas can be based as if on the well-known foundation of sand.
Anonymity is the bread and butter of the web world. Interestingly, when we required those making comment on our website to identify themselves, the conversation took a significantly more relevant turn.
The watch dog internet discussion about planning and zoning, the schools and other important lake topics is being carried on by who knows who for who knows what purpose. A reading of the watchdog website would indicate that the author(s) are in favor of teachers unionizing and cities and counties around the lake not using the most important tool they have to attract business and industry — tax breaks and funding mechanisms.
The watch dogs seem to believe that a school is a democracy and that teachers should have a vote on management decisions. Isn’t the classic argument against teacher job action that it hurts education and the kids? A school, like any enterprise, is a top-down management challenge not a debating society.
Page 2 of 2 - The dogs also believe that tax breaks are unfair and should be withheld. Tell that to the people of Osage Beach and Lake Ozark who are looking at solid public service funded in part because they opened the funding-help door to Dierbergs, Eagles’ Landing and others. There may be a reason that the Camdenton area is lagging behind in the race for sales tax dollars — the barking may be blocking the voices of reason.
Whoever they are and whatever they want, the watch dogs are barking. It is yet to be seen if they bite.