Monday, October 27, 2008

First vs. Fair

Uh huh, okay, so Great Britain released more UFO files and some of the contents sparkle. Naturally, neither GB nor the USA has any additional documentation whatsoever regarding that most-touted military pilot almost-shot-a-UFO-down case from 1957. The specifics and particulars never seem to be in (accessible) government files. We in the states continue to wait for our own government to release an extensive array of UFO files. Hurry up and wait, that's still a favorite phrase in the military.
In the meantime, I've been casting a jaundiced eye toward Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), both of whom currently conspire to reintroduce "The Fairness Doctrine," not only to TV and radio broadcasts, but apparently, as something brand spanking new and probably with a less intimidating name, to the Internet as well.

I must say, where UFOs are concerned we already have a fairness doctrine of sorts because almost every time a UFO researcher or investigator appears on some broadcast to champion the subject, equal time or something beyond equal time is awarded by broadcasters to the skeptics or, more likely, the debunkers so they can jump in to ridicule all things UFO with their generally baseless proclamations and rants. To the dismissive folks, verbalizing the tools of science to destroy that which cries out for science just constitutes another day.
Few seem to notice anymore, but we in the USA have something called the First Amendment. Unlike other nations whose dictators and vicious ruling thugs arbitrarily have people killed merely for speaking the wrong words, Americans are guaranteed the right to speak out about all sides of issues. Need I say, a lot of military people died to assure that right.
That's why I'm more than uncomfortable now watching Congress and the FCC in cahoots with one another to once again make us eat a "Fairness Doctrine," a tidy little agreement to assure that all sides of a subject receive representation on radio, TV and, I presume, the Internet (the FCC chairman himself mentioned the Internet recently). Some polls seem to indicate that most Americans desire significant "fairness" changes in media.
My thinking may be terribly flawed, but last time I looked the First Amendment was still kicking about and there remain all manner of outlets where every side of an issue can be aired. I suspect that much of the opposition comes from people who believe Rush Limbaugh and a stable of conservative talk show hosts grab the microphones and selfishly hide them from others with opposing views. Of course, that's nonsense. Radio listeners and TV viewers themselves decide what mode of entertainment or news they desire and they support the all-important sponsor advertising in kind.
As an independent voter, I used to condemn the conservs heartily for the power I imagined they wielded, especially in radio broadcasts, but eventually I realized that, for better or worse, Limbaugh and the rest really did save AM radio from oblivion. Some of you might not like this, but the truth is that I'm all for saving any and all forms of expression. If we have to put up with Limbaugh and others pushing an agenda 24/7 that's just fine because, if we search around, we can easily find other media avenues which offer opposing views. Substantiation of this recognized freedom will become crystal clear if the Democrats win big on Election Day, thus proving that conservative talk show hosts don't hold that much influence and are not to be feared. But -- restrain, shut them up or choke their voices off via the legislated institution of political gang-mentality "fairness" visions? Never. That's what fascist governments do, and we need to fight the urge of politicians-- they, who allegedly serve us -- who stalk the U.S. Constitution with homicidal "fairness" intentions. The best of intentions.
The political system we once embraced has corrupted beyond our wildest dreams, but beware new horizons. Who can we trust? What do we know? For example, I was throwing the term, greenhouse effect all over the place in the early eighties, but now we're all so concerned with global warming that we aren't even paying necessary attention to the growing list of international scientists telling us we're dead wrong. Is there global warming, or are we experiencing a natural cycle in the earth's climate change? What about the discovery that "global warming" is/was concurrently occurring on Mars, a planet over which humans have no climate influence (oops, that is, not yet)? Do we believe politicians or scientists? I'll choose the latter, thank you, but I'll keep an open mind as the evidence surfaces either way.
The country is in turmoil right now on several fronts. The Fairness Doctrine is one of the most evil tools a free society could ever institute, especially now when we need free, open and unobstructed expression more than ever. I'll even listen to pure crazy on the radio, it can't be any worse than the poop Congress and the President are dragging us through. But for my government to promise legislation to assure "fairness" at this point is nonsense. Our national government as it currently stands has screwed up beyond belief, and we and your offspring will pay the price for generations to come. The nation sizzles, darned nearly a flaming wreck, and all our officials can do is fiddle around and come up with massive economic bailouts and cutesy little adornments such as The Fairness Doctrine. The enforcement of badly required integrity in Washington would carry far more weight than attempts to tell private broadcast companies and individuals how much they can say before it's somebody else's turn and then somebody else's, etc., etc. The USA electronic media ain't European radio or TV, Jack, and I don't want to mirror Chinese, Russian or Venezuelan broadcasts, either. Let us not, in any way, give the old heave-ho to the First Amendment by throwing its very definition into our potential national flaming wreck like an accelerant.
National elections draw near. Maybe you, like me, are an independent voter, or maybe you belong to the Republican Party, the Democrat Party or the Vampire Party (I borrowed that one from NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live" -- maybe I like it because the designation seems to exemplify political affiliations). Whatever your political persuasion, as soon as the games are over and the chosen have assumed or resumed their places in government from coast to coast, I ask that my readers e-mail or, even better, write letters to your own representatives. Tell them, plainly and kindly, that we don't need a fairness doctrine or anything else to interfere with free speech. And, above all, tell 'em to keep their hands off our Internet. Some influential members of Congress are itching to gain more and more control over the Net and, in fact, they've already had many personal wishes granted by allowing the big communications players to assume an uncomfortable level of control. The FCC aims to oblige -- the same FCC whose original responsibilities involved assigning broadcast airwave locations and little more; the same FCC which now enforces broadcast morality and other goals using legal intimidation (however, thankfully, that didn't work out to the commission's benefit when it undertook big-brother tactics in that ridiculous CBS-TV/Janet Jackson fiasco).
And, not to be forgotten. . .later on, send another message to your congressional reps. Remind them that we want the truth about UFOs. If other countries can open their files, so should ours. It's supposed to be a new day dawning after the darkness, isn't it? We'll see.