In my youth I was a registered Republican and true believer. I stayed that way for several years before finally leaving the party for greener pastures 2 years ago.
Please note that I’m not a Democrat. People seem to treat this as an either/or distinction. For my thoughts on what this sort of assumption says about them, see my “people are stupid” post.
The two largest parties are out to keep their hands on the reins and little more, but the smaller political parties tend to be fringe (including the Libertarian Party, which is anarchist) or interested in limited issues (though despite the name, doesn’t as much apply to the Greens). I don’t feel that any party will properly represent my wishes at this point so I am not a member of any of them.
I sit on some weird intersection of Libertarian, Socialist, Fascist, and Conservative ideologies on the political spectrum, and where I land on any issue depends on the exact matter at hand, so maybe I really am a party of one.
That said, few things scare me more right now than the consolidation and deregulation of big media and the content providers (cable, data, etc.) and especially the growing trend to vertical control of the message and the media. The AOL/Time-Warner giant would have been more troubling to me except that the new AOL masters turned out to be clueless in “old media” issues and the company kinda imploded. Comcast’s continued expansion in the cable market coupled with its desire to gobble up Disney is more of a threat, in my opinion.
The government is no help, either. In an odd bit of actually practicing what they preach, the current administration is trying to pull way back from government controls on local media monopoly and media ownership rules in general. The supposedly “small government”-loving Republicans which have actually historically grown the government at almost the same rate as the Democrats are pushing for less government oversight of media ownership. I guess it is just too bad for the rest of us poor schlubs that the free press is one of the only true defenders of the First Amendment.
If that sounds like a paranoid rant, go read this article. Seriously. It is long, but I will wait for you to get back.
Funny thing that Michael Powell (head of the FCC) is acting like Janet Jackson’s nipple is a sign of an impending moral apocalypse, harbinger of the end of family values. Hell, they have boobs on TV in Europe all the time and honestly I don’t know how favorably our values compare to theirs. Is 2 seconds of nipple really that bad when erectile dysfunction, genital herpes, and hemorrhoids and considered suitable for family-hour advertisements?
Large companies like Clear Channel in an all-out grab for control over our “news and views” sources and an administration happy to oblige them. An assault on free speech couched as “protecting the children”. I’m not blowing this out of proportion: this is the powerful seeking more power. If you ever wanted to distract the public, “protecting our youth” is the sound bite to use. Hardly an original trick, though…
Moving on, I have a hard time trusting any administration that within days of taking office decided to virtually pardon one of the most abusive monopolies in recent times: Microsoft. They were FOUND GUILTY, folks, but the Department of Justice let them off with a stern “bad Microsoft” as soon as Bush took office. Note that their behavior since has not indicated much change in their modus operandi. This is the company that has been dictating prices and killing any hope of competition in the PC operating system space for years through ILLEGAL exclusionary contracts with manufacturers. That is my money and yours which has been building up their billions in cash stockpiles, essentially a tax they have levied on every computer made since 1995. This is the company that decided to try to take over the Internet by pushing everyone else out of the client space.
“Bad Microsoft”, indeed. Bad Bush administration for letting them get away with it.
This is not me being anti-corporate. I am no such thing. This is me being anti-people-fucking-me (girlfriends excepted).
At this point we have “media consolidation scares me” which ties in to the FCC assault on free speech and “Microsoft got away with murder(ing Netscape et al.)” as my two big complaints. Both are based upon my unwillingness to watch the powerful try to take further control of my life. Lets add a third, one of the only things that scares me more than media consolidation: loss of my rights.
John Ashcroft (US Attorney General, head of the DoJ) and Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense) seem to be the only two people in America who read George Orwell’s 1984, smacked their foreheads, and yelled “Of course!” If you have never payed any attention to the “Total Information Awareness” project the Defense Department has been working on, go do some research.
Combined with the so-called Patriot Act legislation that keeps being snuck through in pieces this is the be-all, end-all Big Brother scenario. The 9/11 attacks signaled open season on basic rights to privacy. Legislation is already in place giving the FBI and police the rights to demand all sorts of financial information about any citizen without so much as a warrant, and this doesn’t just mean your bank records.
I guess we just get to sit in the dark and trust that our DoJ, FBI, and DoD masters are using all this info for the greater good to fight terrorism and protect puppies and safeguard our youth and all the rest. Fuck oversight: they need this to fight al Qaeda! We all know police forces never abuse their power, right Mr. Hoover?
Hey! Why not ask that Jose Padilla guy? He was held without access to a lawyer as an “enemy combatant”, even though he is a US citizen and was arrested on US soil. If the government is right he was plotting to detonate a “dirty bomb” for al Qaeda which would make him an evil, wretched bastard who deserves to be fucked up the ass by Hitler, using a razor-studded dildo, in Hell for all eternity.
IF the government is right…
Even if they are right about him, though, as an American citizen he is guaranteed due process by the Constitution of the United States of America. Even traitors, murderers, terrorists, and hippies deserve a fair trial.
Big media limiting our access to information, big corporations running roughshod over competition and consumers alike, and most importantly the shredding of rights to privacy, against unreasonable search, and to free speech. What is not to love?
It’s like 9/11 was the government’s carte blanche to throw the Constitution out, and since we all felt scared and vulnerable we have been letting them. Now general apathy is threatening to let this vat of shit-cement solidify around us.
Leading this charge against our rights and freedoms and liberties, supposedly endowed upon us by our Creator: George W. Bush and the so-called neoconservative movement. They have hijacked the Republican party and are trying to take our freedom, our money, our very peace-of-mind. I didn’t leave the party; they stole it from me.
I guess I’ll vote for Kerry, since Nader doesn’t seem to stand much of a chance.