Thursday, March 14, 2013

Democrats React, Republicans lead (in the wrong way)

Part 1
I just read a bit of a Salon post that mentioned Texas' educational standards in light of how history standards (to take one example) can be propaganda. It makes me think of other issues such as the successful Republican takeover of the the Supreme Court, the murder of our post offices, and media consolidation.
I'm not trying to say I am the smartest boy in class or that I am a fiend about reading and watching all the reporting  that happens on issues, but I saw so many problems coming from our government long ago that seem to only reach the mainstream way after they should. Let's start with media since they are half the problem here. I was working toward my 1st Class engineers ticket right before the Reagan folks led the change to so much of broadcasting. I worked in an old-style radio station - KGNC in Amarillo, Texas. We had 4 farm reporters and 5 news people! I mean local, full-time in the studio or out in the world gathering news just for KGNC; now that's old style. The retooling of broadcasting in America included a LOT of slacking in regulatory areas that had been highly effective in providing a diverse and fair media.
One of the biggest blows was to end the Fairness Doctrine which provided the best separation of FACT from mere OPINION that we had. It provided a citizen with a soapbox to respond from whenever broadcasters stepped away from reporting and entered the world of editorializing. Equal time had to be provided, by law, to the airing of opposing views. Now you can't find news; it's all opinion. We just choose who we get our opinions from. And the check on editorializing is so far gone that we have actual lying media outlets serving propaganda! And it sure as hell ain't just Fox news. The lying propaganda element is in all the networks. You can see it in CNN, ABC (et al) and even NPR. Part of the lying propaganda is to pretend that problems came out of nowhere, all of a sudden. Who knew? Who could have seen that coming?
By the way, before I mastered the 1st class ticket it was done away with. Even the bleedover that you hear from a powerful station stepping on a nearby (in frequency) station is now legal because engineers with a 1st class ticket are no longer required to prevent such deprecations. A money-saving gift to the big guys who dispensed with a lot of engineering staff. A fuck-you-finger to the little guys whose signals are stepped on.
By the way, Congress under Republican leadership and lots of dough from the big broadcasters carved up the frequency allotments on the left end of the dial - you know where the public stations are -  and gave lots of bandwidth to Christian broadcasters (who fuckin' love to step on NPR). During the Clinton administration the FCC made a big give-away  of new kinds of frequency allotments and also let XM and Sirius radios merge into a monopoly. Now this monopoly can charge you extra for XM plus (where you can get baseball) and Sirius plus (where you get the NFL). When charging you and deciding what you can hear they act as two stations, but they are one giant monopoly.
The destruction of the commons - the ideal that there are some things that God gave us all - is a major Republican goal. It runs from the somewhat abstract (the electromagnetic spectrum) to more concrete things (air, water) to the prosaic (highway rest stops and picnic areas).
They want to allow private citizens to own these things, don't kid yourself. The simple amenities of a decent society - parks, rest areas, public restrooms, etc. - will be gone in a Republican world. And the ones built with taxpayer dollars will be stolen and sold for private profit. This is a MAJOR problem I have with Ron Paul's Campaign For Liberty. I loved son Rand Paul's filibuster about the unConstitutionality of killing Americans with drones, but I don't accept the ideal that individuals deserve control over things that were built up by taxpayers. I don't want to live in a world that denies parks to children unless their parents can pay a fee. A nation that allows a bankrupt vampire named T. Boone Pickens to own water rights all over the country is sick. The tragedy is that it's so obvious what an sick and evil world the Republicans want to create AND THAT DEMOCRATS PLAY ALONG IN THE NAME OF COOPERATION AND BIPARTISANSHIP and give it all up piece by piece.
Gutless. Without guiding principals. Willows in the wind. Democrats.
And I haven't even begun on the stupid practice of paying money to run advertisements on TV and radio during election seasons. It's a give-away to big media outlets who we should just tell - you are going to run x number of debates when we tell you to or you lose your license. Period. The elctromagnetic spectrum belongs to WE the People!

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