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Goodbye Open Internet? 

Yesterday, the House approved a bill that would allow telecoms to use your privacy data any which way they want and there’s not a thing you can do about it, so there. 

Christopher Ali from UVA’s department for media studies writes in The Conversation this morning:

Is it in the public’s interest to have an internet where ISPs can decide which websites load fastest? Is it in the public interest for AT&T to buy Time Warner, creating an even larger and more powerful media company? Is it in the public interest for incarcerated people and their families to pay exorbitant sums to speak to one another on the phone? Is it in the public interest to retain access to public broadcasting, which brings us everything from “Sherlock” to “Sesame Street”?
Media is more than just our window on the world. It’s how we talk to each other, how we engage with our society and our government. Without a media environment that serves the public’s need to be informed, connected and involved, our democracy and our society will suffer.
As former FCC chairman Nicholas Johnson put it:
“Whatever is your first priority, whether it is women’s rights or saving wildlife, your second priority has to be media reform. With it you at least have a chance of accomplishing your first priority. Without it, you don’t have a prayer.”

If only a few wealthy companies control how Americans communicate with each other, it will be harder for people to talk among ourselves about the kind of society we want to build.

This is why it was so important to vote last November. Now that an aggressive “rule by mob” and big business party is in charge of all three branches of government, it’s going to try to solidify its chokehold on government in perpetuity by 1.) curtailing voting rights to inconvenient citizens and 2.) controlling the message. Goodbye Public Radio, Sesame Street and ad free surfing. Hello monitors and speed lanes.

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37 Responses

  1. This is why it was so important to vote last November.

    –Riverdaughter

    “B-b-b-but E-MAILLLLZZZ!”–many, many morons

    • The only cold comfort I can draw from this debacle is the faint hope that maybe finally, finally, FINALLY enough passive non-deplorables will wake the %$&# up and start making the effort to vote for imperfect but preferable candidates.

  2. Find the most offensive Republican politicians and publish their browsing history.

  3. wow, if this is true, what fuckers they all are knowing how serious this was for the country and, all the while the media beating the “EMAILS” drum everyday. Media failed us, politicians of good faith on both sides failed us.

    • WTF? They’re the ones who gave us Trump???

      • He had lost a lot of momentum after the Access Hollywood tapes. Imagine what would have happened if his mob finances with Russian Oligarchs and whiff of Russian propaganda and fake news to influence the election had come out then. On the other side of the ledger, imagine if Hillary’s emails were treated with the response they deserved (meaning not a big deal) by the media. Lock her up they screamed — such a vulgar display of vileness coupled with stupidity. But everything about him screamed he and his enablers should be in jail.

      • Essentially, yes. Obama thinks he knows what is good for people, for America, and what they need to know versus what he thinks is better for them not to know. He tried to thread the needle, keep the Russian involvement secret, and have Hillary win, anyway. He was wrong in his calculations. Then he blamed Hillary for losing because she was “lazy.” Had Obama done what he should have done, the Russia story would have been all over the airwaves in the Fall of last year, and Hillary would have won. But that would have caused some Republicans to be angry at Obama, who doesn’t like that kind of thing. So now Trump and the social darwinists run the country, and Obama is ranked as a top ten president, in much the same way as he won a Nobel Prize before he even had served a day in office.

        • Good to hear from you William, we’ve been missing you.
          And as always, I totally agree with you.
          The cabaret-mobster government (?) that we have right now is thanks to Obama.

          • Thank you, Bellecat.

            I took a look at Amy Siskind’s feed, and she seems like a committed and caring person. Through her, I looked at Louise Mensch, and I am very impressed by her. She seems very bright, and with a deeper understanding of what is going on with the Russia story than almost anyone. If anyone has given me hope on this score, it is people like her and Malcolm Nance, who will not be deflected, and who almost contemptuously rebut the army of Russian trolls, Trump zealots, and spiteful far Leftists who attempt to dilute what they are saying.

            I am now convinced even further of what I had thought a few months ago; that Russia wasn’t just helping Trump, it was behind the entire candidacy; this was a long game in play even years ago. All those people whom Trump has in his inner circle who are close to Russia, were loaned to him by Russia. There is not a coincidence in any aspect of this. This is a foreign power attempting to seize control of the American government through a greedy and corrupt stooge whom they can totally manipulate.

        • Thanks to the shenanigans of the Democratic nominating process of 2008, we got a Chamberlain when we needed a Churchill. 😡

    • Who knows about this? It could be Comey trying to cover his butt for saying nothing about Russia. He certainly had no problem going against Lynch 11 days before the election.

      • When you have a complicit candidate working with a foreign power it makes it all complicated. I am sympathetic to Comey’s position here, but hasten to say, I am not on his side. If things are to be believed, Weiner was set up by the NY FBI field of and Guiliani and the Russians. Louise Mensch has a nice connecting the dot theory on it and it seems plausible. Russians have in the past dumped incriminating things on victims’ laptops and that is how Hillary’s emails may have ended up in Weiner’s laptop. But they still had to catch him with something for which the laptop would be confiscated and they baited him with his vice. If Comey did not send that letter, it would have been leaked anyway by the Guiliani crowd. Hope it will all come out. Senate hearing yesterday touched on Russians putting things in victims’ laptop, in addition to stealing things from it.

        As I have said many times, previous candidates were normal — they were afraid to do things like sell themselves to a foreign entity and they had boundaries. But we had a rogue candidate here who would do anything, including letting a foreign power use him. The Republican party thought they could use him if they won. Media fucked it up with Hillary with their lame 25 year old meme about her and emails. Media needed to do its job, politicians and institutions needed to be awake but they opted to keep up the appearance and behave as if everything was normal. None of this was/is normal.

  4. Well, they did that. But what to make of people who believed it and believe it still (there are still idiots who think pizzagate is real)? Stupid fuckers!

  5. It’s going to be very interesting when the “tell all” books about being in the Obama White House start coming out and what they will say about this.

    • “This” being what Comey wanted to say about Russian hacking and interference to be more specific than I was above.

  6. protonmail!

  7. http://people.com/politics/sean-spicer-tells-reporter-stop-shaking-your-head/

    Anyone else as mad as hell as I am? When will the reprocussions begin? We are witnessing white supremacy and chauvinism just about everyday in this administration. But wait! Her emails! Thank gawd we’re all saved from that!

  8. WTH, what century are we in? Hope he gets caught and implicated in all of the Russia stuff. But when in US history have you had this type of worst succession, monsters after monsters.

  9. I laugh (derisively) when Susan Hennessey types try to say, ‘he promised us…’ He is a corrupt and crooked (maybe even criminal) mfer and a pathological liar — get that through your thick heads.

    • Instead of ASKING WHY or HOW, just say unequivocally, THIS IS NOT OK and do everything in your power to correct course.

  10. Believe what Trump does, not what he says.

  11. 48″ x 48″ oil painting by artist Michael D’Antuono:

    The Elephant in the Room

  12. Trampanzees, as my hubs like to call them. I plain call them fucking mfers. These fuckers have hijacked this beautiful country.

    • Oh, let us keep these idiot fuckers in and deport two legal/law abiding neurosurgeons because of a snafu in paperwork/dates for which the ICE under Obama was responsible and now Trump mfers are happy to inflict pain, on not just the two doctors but their vast numbers of patients who depend on them.

  13. 30 mil (!) Facebook account data harvested by Trump campaign and may be given to the Russians. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg said there was no fake news epidemic on FB, a clear lie. Why do people still use FB? Why is that mfer Zuckerberg a billionaire for this trash application? Yesterdays development with the browsing history, yeah, the highest bidder will probably be Trump’s cronies Cambridge Analytica who also got the 30 mil FB data, if I am correct. BOYCOTT FACEBOOK!

  14. From Salon:

    Russia’s Cyber-War Against the USA isn’t over. 👿

  15. Today’s Senate hearings: worth listening to and get to know what the Russians have done and how the media fuckers enabled them and now the silence and then coverup from the buffoon and his minions.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?426227-101/senator-rubio-confirms-campaign-staff-targeted-russian-hackers

    • Warner asks about targeting in WI, MI, and PA and how could Russia have done it without help from inside the campaign. I remember that NYT bitch Maggie Haberman tweeting after election when they published a bunch of articles — she casually tweeted ‘oh we didn’t mention in the article Manafort telling Trump to go to MI, WI (and maybe PA) in the last couple of days before the election’ — so Manafort told Trump to campaign in MI, WI…

      • This is interesting that WI, MI and PA are back at the core of the issues.
        Remember that the votes were not recounted, not allowed by the courts with Rep(tilians) appointees.
        Is there more to learn about it?

  16. RD, you know much more about the internet and technology than I do. So I do not know the intricacies of how this would work, but I do believe that we do possess the ability to greatly punish corporations in terms of profits, if we act in concerted effort. No one has tried to organize that yet.

    We know that Amazon is a company which refuses to stop running ads on Breitbart. I thought that Bezos was a HIllary supporter, but i suppose his answer to this would be, “It’s just business.” Well, it’s something that we can react to, by cutting back or even abstaining from Amazon purchases. If companies with an internet presence are now going to buy or use our supposedly private data, we try not to buy from them. No matter how large or powerful the corporations become in this intended dystopia for regular citizens, they cannot force us to buy their products, outside of absolute necessities. And yes, I know all about vertical and horizontal monopolies. But assuming that there are at least a few decent companies out there, we can refuse to support the other ones. Government cannot work without the consent of the governed; and corporations cannot make profits without the “little people” whom they feel contempt for, acquiescing by slavishly purchasing their wares, whatever form they might appear in.

  17. Trump is so so wrong for these times and in the way he is installed as the head of this state by a foreign power.

  18. LOL, we will laugh at him. I certainly don’t want to cry. I didn’t vote for him. Did you all see this? He walked away without signing the EOs. Like a good little errand boy, Pence took it to him. So so wrong.

  19. Mike Pence never dines alone with a woman not his wife, nor does he attends events w alcohol, w/o her by his side. https://t.co/BxfS0JzbAc

    Wasn’t it 2Pence that went though a ‘conversion’ to keep from being gay? Wonder if that’s why he doesn’t trust himself with happy juice or without his wife’s eye on him??

    —-
    ““It[gay conversion therapy] was instrumental in helping me overcoming certain urges,” said the Vice President elect in an interview with Fox News. “With God’s help, and the work of many of his therapists, I was able to seek the straight path when I was a younger man. If it wasn’t for that, I would have never been able to marry.”

    https://www.ncscooper.com/mike-pence-gay-conversion-therapy-saved-my-marriage/

  20. I just thought of something–did Putin meddle in the Democratic nomination process of 2008? Obama was almost as unlikely as Cheetolini. Looking back, Cheetolini is our second Social Media President. Obama was the first one. Maybe Pooty-Poot feared Hillary even then?

    Now that I think about it, Putin probably would have feared the old Cold War hawk McCain more than Obama, too–though given the thorough exposure of the incompetence of the Chimperial Cheney Administration, and the GOP in general, by then, Obama probably didn’t need help in the general election, and so Putin wouldn’t have risked “leaving fingerprints”.

    It would be a huge, if ironic, compliment to Our Hillary if Putin feared her so much that he interfered twice to keep her out of the Oval Office.

    • I am not sure, Dems needed Putin then but who knows. Obama won the nomination through mostly caucus states crowding the young into them and then got the superdelegates to switch. It was very close.

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