Redefining Freedom

From Marketing Technology Blog: 

The Senate has passed a media shield law that defined journalism and where the only protected class of journalist are those involved in legitimate news-gathering activities.
From a 10,000 foot view, the bill seems like a great idea. The LA Times even calls it a “Bill to protect journalists”. The problem is the underlying language that allows the government to define what a journalist is, who a journalist is, or what legitimate news-gathering is.

This is troubling. Historically, there was a very low - virtually nonexistent - threshold of what constituted journalism.  

Back when the Constitution was written, any average person on the street who could borrow or afford a printing press was a journalist. If you go back and review some of the single page papers that were printed back then, they were atrocious. Politicians were smeared with absolute lies to misrepresent them to the public in order to bury their political aspirations. Being a journalist didn’t require a degree… you didn’t even have to spell or use proper grammar! And news organizations didn’t appear until decades later as newspapers began to buy up the smaller circulations. This led to the news media moguls we have today.
The first journalists were very much just citizens getting the word out. There was zero legitimacy to who they targeted, how they acquired the information, or where they published it. And yet… our leaders of our country… who were often the target of these attacks… chose to protect the rights of free speech and journalism. They chose, intentionally, not to define what the press was, how news was gathered, or by whom.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats really care about freedom - they just want power. There's not much distinction between the parties now. 

Net Neutrality - Why You Should Care

Net, Neutrality, obama, FCC, open, internet, steve, wozniak, woz, free, press, freedom, first, amendment, netflix, comcast, att, at&t, cable, modem, DSL, t1, t3, high, speed, data, wireless, wired, sprint, t-mobile, verizon, google, apple, android, iphone, ios, smartphone, os, ipad, searchImagine the following scenario: General Motors - the car company - owns several construction companies in the Midwest, and finances the building of roads and highways across Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky. They receive tax incentives to build, maintain, and improve these roadways, are granted exclusive rights to the roadways (so no one else can build a competing roadway), and they charge anyone who wishes to use these roads an access fee.

In an effort to bolster car sales, GM proposes the following rules: anyone who drives a GM car or truck (Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, or Saturn) is allowed to use the roadway for free. People who drive cars made by Ford or Dodge pay the same nominal fee, and anyone who drives a foreign car pays an additional "domestic roadway compatibility tax" that is a percentage of the value of the car being driven.

Because Toyota has been such an frustrating competitor to GM, all cars manufactured by Toyota are prohibited from being driven on the GM roadways. Anyone who owns a Toyota vehicle must instead purchase a "GM Roadway Authorized Vehicle."

Ridiculous, right? I'm sure most people would agree that this sort of scenario would be completely unacceptable. Even though GM did build the roadways, they did so while collecting kickbacks from the government (also known as your tax dollars), and then they turned around and charged you an access fee to be able to use the roads. There is no reason why GM should be allowed to limit what brand of automobile can be driven on the roadways. However, this is the same thing that is happening with Net Neutrality rules.

On Tuesday, the FCC announced new Net Neutrality rules that are so toothless, so vague, and so full of loopholes that the Internet Service Providers shouted with glee. Now, Comcast, AT&T, and other ISPs can dictate what you do on the internet, where you can go, and how quickly you can do it. What does this mean now?

It means that sites such as Netflix and Hulu - sites that ISPs hate because they use bandwidth - could be severely limited or even banned by an ISP. Or, they could instead promote their own video subscription site to the exclusion of other sites.

Another aspect of the failed Net Neutrality rules is that it doesn't offer consumer protection for wireless Internet access. What this means is that AT&T could prevent iPhone owners from browsing sales on Verizon's website, or that Sprint could prevent users from visiting, requiring them to use Sprint's services to check sports scores and news. You think that's far-fetched? How eager do you suppose AT&T is for iPhone users to watch Netflix over their 3g network?

Finally, changing these rules gives improved access to rich, established companies who can afford to pay higher access fees, leaving other sites to battle through a bottleneck to reach the end user. This means the next Internet start up, won't.

For more information about Net Neutrality, including commentary from industry experts, see the links below:

The only people who are happy with these rules (or who want to do away with them altogether) are the Republicans and the Industry. That's a sure sign that the consumer is getting hosed.

Net Neutrality is just the start of it. What's to stop a company from limiting access to anything critical of a bill that they like, or a politician that they endorse? The internet is about the free exchange of ideas, no matter how wacky or ridiculous. Letting business dictate what we can do online is dangerous, unAmerican, and just plain wrong.

The Fairness Doctrine

bah. blanket ignorance, that's what it is.

here's what they say - that the conservatives have a corner on the market, and that they're indoctrinating the world through evil talk radio. in order to make things more fair, the opposing viewpoint should be given equal time to present their views, in order to create a better-informed electorate.

they say, and i quote, "The issue is liberal talkers haven't even been given a market opportunity in many markets across the country." okay, fundamentally, this guy's dumb. ever heard of NPR? it's a publicly funded liberally biased radio show. and don't forget air america, which was such a bad business model that they went bankrupt. so you can't say that the liberals haven't been given a chance - the government freaking pays for their station!! tavis smiley, diane rehm, terry gross, christopher o'reilly (not bill), michael krasny, maria hinojosa ... these are not unbiased commentators. they're liberal. so don't try and pretend to be victimized.

"but the american people deserve a voice." they have a voice. it's called a free market economy. if the conservative talk shows didn't reflect a significant view of the american public, the public wouldn't tune in, ratings would drop advertising dollars would vanish, and then the shows would quickly follow. why did air america fail? because the liberal ideology can't stand in a forum faced with logic and rational thought. consistently and constantly, the libs were getting their collective arses handed to them by conservative listeners itching for a fight (i only did it once; it's not all my fault), and the fan base got sick of hearing their viewpoints successfully discredited and bashed and ripped to shreds. so they stopped listening. then the ratings dropped. thent he advertising dollars vanished. and then the shows quickly followed (boy, ain't capitalism grand?).

the fairness doctrine is a fix-all for cry-baby libs. they lack the testicular fortitude to last in the beautiful forum of free speech, so they have to get the government to force those big bad conservatives to share and share alike. seriously, every american should be offended at the concept of the fairness doctrine. it's anything but fair.