Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

Three Strikes:

Strike 1. The “Supreme” Court has shown us again why Congress fights so bitterly over “Supreme” Court Justice appointments. Think about it. Congress isn't arguing over who has the best credentials, the most honest judgments, nor the least bias. No. It just sounds like that. What our “leaders” really want is what their benefactors want. Which, of course, makes their benefactors the true leaders of our nation. And now it will be worse.

The “Supreme” Court just handed down a 5-4 decision that big money can spend even more on manipulating our minds during elections. This is a major setback in efforts to limit money in American politics.

This isn't about freedom of speech. This is about “freedom” to manipulate.

This will likely be a serious setback in our collective efforts to fix things. It doesn't have to be. But as long as Americans are so damn gullible, propaganda will succeed.

...And do you think the mass media is upset about this? Oh sure, all the way to the bank. We're talking windfall profits here for the mass media. The really big money can now vie for ad time – and of course, even further manipulate what you know.

(One more thing; Justice Sotamayor voted against this. It was those phony poser “conservative” judges who chose to radically change how we regulate our elections.)

Consider this:

The ratio of income of the rich to everyone else has been becoming greater every year since the 70s. If we let it, this trend will continue until there are only a few very rich and a lot of very poor Americans. The mechanism for this massive transfer of wealth is our manipulated economy – controlled by our manipulated elected officials and manipulated bureaucrats. Add to this; our manipulated “Supreme” Court. What's worse, if we continue to neglect this, things will only get worse and worse and worse.

We are only left with a couple of tough to accomplish options. But they are options we should have been pressing for all along. One option is to ratify an amendment to the Constitution to clean up elections. The other is to publicly fund campaigns. Now that these options are all we have left, we have the opportunity to focus on really fixing things... Or we could do what most of us have been doing my whole life; let them slowly take everything.

Strike 2. Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy's seat has been taken by a Republican claiming to be an Independent. He might actually be somewhat of an Independent, but don't expect the future Republican/Independents to be honest about it. It's now quite apparent; pretending to not really be a Republican is what it takes to win, and some Republicans will do anything (ANYTHING) to win.

Of course, we can't blame all this selling out on just Republicans. Democrats and Independents sell out to. Blue dog Democrats look to be especially susceptible to “contributions.” I guess everyone has their price.

Our elected representatives are capitalists. So much so, in fact, that they're up for sale themselves. But we're to blame for that. We've allowed an electoral system to continue to exist that we know is inherently considerably biased against honest politicians.

A candidate can't get elected in this country without taking campaign contributions from anyone who will give. Big campaign contributions, especially in the form of propaganda, cannot be passed on. Consequently, candidates cannot refuse what are in effect required bribes.

Moreover, manipulated decision making has been slowly designed into our electoral process. Which is why, in a State with a solid history of voting Democrat suddenly elects a Republican. People are vulnerable to massive campaign spending. (Of course, this isn't really news now, is it?)

On top of all that, Democratic Party momentum has faltered. America's broken system hasn't changed enough since the Democrats got a super-majority in Congress. A whole lot of potential Democratic voters stayed home in Massachusetts; impotently thinking that their vote doesn't count. Well... they're right. They're vote doesn't count much. But it does count some. And the powers that be just love it when those oppressed masses stay home and accept their pathetic fate.

A word of advice. VOTE! Help out with campaigns you can believe in. And remember, don't vote for the candidate with the most ads – especially if they are attack ads. (Somebody you shouldn't trust is likely paying for those attack ads – to manipulate your vote.)

Strike 3. The wireless communications industry wants to subvert net neutrality. This is the big one. The internet providers know that the future of the internet is wireless. They've been forced to put up with net neutrality on land lines. But they claim the wireless internet is different.

Hell yeah it's different. These are our airwaves. American airwaves are the property of the American people. And we want net neutrality!

This is not just a matter of money. This is a matter of being able to communicate. The collective intelligence of all of us on the internet just may be the greatest hope we have for dealing with the consequences of our actions of the past century.

Not that everything we did in the last century was wrong. It's just that everything has consequences. And it's time to pay the piper, unless we can figure out a new dance.

But figuring out how to deal with the worlds problems just doesn't seem to be all that important to the wireless industry. They want some of those windfall profits too. Hey, there's big money in drowning out the voices of those who won't pay for the privilege to be noticed. (read irony here)

Allow me to digress. Net neutrality on wireless networks is NOT a privilege! These are our airwaves! And we are the customers. Isn't the customer always right? Net neutrality is what makes the internet so special. It is a privilege for the wireless providers to get our business. Not the other way around.

A government is supposed to be on the side of the citizens. Federal regulators have no right to allow the degradation of the internet so that they can get a high-paying job later with the company they once made rulings over.

You never know. Federal regulators may not cave in – this time. They haven't so far. But we can expect that the internet providers will keep pushing and pushing – hundreds of times, if that's what it takes. We need to stay ever diligent.

If ever we are going to fix this inevitably collapsing mess, we'll need to communicate without restrictions.

Net neutrality is what freedom looks like.

Allowing big corporations to profit in any way they want is not.


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