Dominos Falling

April 08, 2003

I've added two more dominos to my understanding of the current war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, and the erosion of personal freedoms here in the United States.

The first comes from the Mercury News April 6th edition by way of this posting on kottke.org.

Liberties ebbed and flowed in America's past. Leaders curbed liberties, with the public's often ignorant endorsement, in times of crisis. But the rights tended to come back when the crises ended. The fabled pendulum of liberty may not swing back this time. Why? For one thing, the damage that one evil or deranged person or group can cause has grown. Even if America somehow persuades all Islamic radicals that we are a good and just society, there will still be some evil and deranged people who will try to wreck things and lives in spectacular ways. In other words, the "war on terrorism" can't possibly end. In thinking about this issue and what the U.S. gov't is doing here (whether it's deliberate or not), and I keep coming back to George Orwell. This is straight out of _1984_ . War is peace. If you want a stable country, you limit civil liberties. No freedom, no sudden movements, no free thinking, no chance of things getting out of control. How do you do that? Wage war full time. Too busy fighting to worry about freedom. The few control the many through their own fear and patriotism.


The second from our viewing of last week's NOW with Bill Moyers. He returned to a story line he'd first talked about several weeks ago about the loosening of controls on broadcast media by the FCC. It appears that the Republican majority on the FCC board wants to eliminate controls restricting ownership of television and radio stations to allow large corporations a free hand in taking over and controlling independent TV and radio stations. Already in some market-spaces, Jacksonville FL, for example, the 4 major broadcast stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) are owned by just two corporations. If you watch the local news on NBC or FOX you see the exact same people reporting the exact same news. The corporations call it economizing, and they insist it is the only way they can compete and survive. However, it eliminates the whole many points of view, many different approaches ideal that makes democracy in this country work.

You say you haven't heard anything about this vital shift in FCC regulatory policy? Hmm. Where do you get your news?

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.