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The comic about the result of the  Telecommunications Act of 1996
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The Illusion of Choice

media monopolyLast March a class-action lawsuit launched against Comcast by two million current and former customers of the company was thrown out of the Supreme Court before ever coming to trial. That's a lot a people who honestly, and no doubt rightfully, believed they were getting the stinky end of the information stick. And yet, a 5-4 Conservative majority said "Screw all y'all."

Now Comcast has Time Warner Cable in its acquisitive sights which means an even bigger helping of public ankle-grabbing to come. Rates for internet usage continue to rise with alarming speed and service gets no better. (Google Fiber excluded.) Other countries are rapidly out-pacing what our national conglomerates have to offer in both price and service. What was once a Utopia for the sharing of free information is fast becoming a toll-road governed by warlords.

So who do we have left to complain to about this? Thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 your local newspaper, radio, and television stations (and books, and movies, and magazines, and music) are owned by the same global, certainly Conservative, media conglomerates, all six of them, that funnel huge chunks of money into the pockets of not just our Congress but the legal counsels that support the Supreme Court.

Google Fiber is offering an internet product that's very attractive but it's painfully slow in its roll-out. What we desperately need, now, is a sort of Affordable Internet Act, not unlike the Affordable Care Act. A communication service which employs the current internet system, one that requires all Americans to fund, on a tiered scale of course, and one that requires cable companies to either give good service or lose money. It could work.

So who wants to petition the President first?

One last thing... if you haven't seen Network, go watch it. Now.


end rant

The movie Network painted the most vibrant picture of how big business sees the world. It paints, of course, an accurate picture of the world in which we currently live, but that doesn't mean it's the best or only alternative.

Who own the media? Where do we get Duck Dynasty and Jersey Shore? Why, from this dirty half-dozen. (Click image for larger version)
media consolidation chart

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Google Chow (Eat hearty, little Google-bots!)

Offices of Mega Corp
Secretary: Hello, Mega Internet. What? You say your cable bill is too high. I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do for you. I suggest you call your local paper and complain.
Hello, Evening Blab. I suggest you call the TV stations and complain.
Hello, Channel 7. Call Washington and complain.
Hello, Congressman Peters office. Yes, it's me again. Forget the cable bill and thinkabout buying a clue.

Overturn Citizens United