Political Drift, Questionable Communications Decisions, A Classic Clip, History Online, Seal Snuggles, and Some SciFi Short Goodness

This entry is part 14 of 100 in the series Today's Tidbits

The situation with Cliven Bundy (the man who’s been grazing his cattle illegally for years on federal land) continues to get more surreal. Now that he’s got a speaking stump, all sorts of things are coming out of his mouth that are being made a big deal of. In some cases, like his recent musings on whether blacks were better off as actual slaves than as a bunch of people on public assistance now, possibly more of a big deal than they should be.

The problematic thing is, there seem to be some questions at the root of this story that are very worthy of discussion. Like bringing into question how much “public” land the federal government owns and what can (or should) be allowed to go on with it. Or how we should all feel about federal officials, working well within existing law, can be dissuaded from carrying out their duties by a group of ornery and armed citizens. Or how the media is actually covering this story–what gets hyped where, what details get lost, what words quoted out of context.

All fascinating and important things that will likely be swept away under the torrent of “Crazy Racist Guy Pulls a Gun on the Government” spin. (Well… it’s not completely spin, which is part of the problem with Bundy being at the center of this.)

The other big news is the FCC’s decision to more or less throw the concept of Net Neutrality under the bus. With the potential merger of Comcast and Time-Warner cable providers on the horizon, there’s no more important time to ensure that the Internet stay as low a barrier to entry as possible. With what the FCC just did, though, carriers like Comcast can (and will–it’s already started with Netflix) give preferential treatment to some businesses, putting them in a beneficial spot for getting their content to customers. The new ruling does include provisions that theoretically prevent an actual “fast lane” where data transfer rates could be modified based on business agreements… but those safeguards only work if the FCC enforces them in a meaningful way… and I haven’t seen a lot to indicate the FCC will do anything in a meaningful way when it comes to this issue. This is the second time they’ve dropped the ball–the first being when the poorly worded, but generally accepted, net neutrality ruling failed to be defensible in court because of that poor wording.

Series Navigation<< Nail in the Net Neutrality Coffin, We Can Be Martians, Inside Mummies, American Dream Evaporated, and Pop NightmaresBirds, Bionics, reBoots, Balls, Batgirl, and a Bunch of things that don’t start with B >>
About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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