Friday, October 30, 2009

A change in culture (corporate control of the commons)

It's all really the same issue:

Private developers shaping the design of our cities,
sprawl-marts, cell-towers, strip mines, water rights, mountaintop removal, or gas drilling.
It's all about about corporate control of The Commons.

And the media impacts all of these issues.
Look at how the media is shaping the health-care debate,
and telling us: Single Payer is off the table.


That's like giving up and saying:
We no longer have a proper-functioning democracy
and there's nothing we can do to fix it.

I believe for all of our activist causes,
we must BEGIN with media reform.

Here again, the corporations have seized control
of our electromagnetic commons:
(the broadcast airwaves).

Let's talk about Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision, and ATT
slinging cables over public rights of way,
and denying the voice of the people equal access,
in terms of signal quality, production facilities,
and the capability to cablecast a live program.

In Binghamton, we have
11 radio stations operated by two corporations,
Clear Channel and Citadel.
I have asked them for a radio show.
They said no,
however I can purchase time as an advertiser(*).

In Binghamton, we have three
full-power commercial television broadcasters.
I have asked them for a show. They said no,
however I can purchase time as an advertiser(*)

(*) Even then: agents of the corporate owners
assert that they have the right of editorial control.
After all, the station license is "their property".

In Binghamton, we have one college radio station
operated by the State University of New York
(SUNY is a land-grant university chartered
as a public service charity
to serve the various citizens of NY state
without discrimination)

They allowed me to do a show for 6 years,
but now they say NO (even though I violated no rules).
They call me persona non grata
and prohibit me from even calling the station
and having my voice on the air.

In Binghamton, we have a non-profit corporation
organized as a public charity
charted by the NY Department of Education
which operates 2 radio streams and now several television streams.
I asked if I could do a show.
They say I can't because I'm not in the union.
This is called "Public Broadcasting".

In Binghamton, Time Warner is given
a very profitable monopoly franchise
to sling cables over public rights of way
to provide cable TV service.
They own and operate production facilities,
a studio, cameras, etc,
but won't give me access
unless I pay rates as an advertiser.

The Local Franchising Authority
(the City of Binghamton municipal government
jointly with the NY Public Service Commission,
both are subdivisions of the State of NY)
both say this is proper!

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals agrees!
Sonia Sotomayor (now a Supreme Court justice) says
it's well settled law that these legal fictions
can harvest the commons for private profits
and deny people access to our own property!!!!


Here's what I will tell you now:
We have to begin with a dream of something better.

Legal fictions,
chartered by state action
have seized and enclosed the commons,
which they harvest and exploit for private profits,
while denying US: WE THE PEOPLE access!?

This is not an inevitable circumstance.

We'll keep trying in the courts.
We'll keep trying in the legislature.
And if that doesn't work, we will take this to the streets.

But for now... 

and ask him or her
to become a co-sponsor of Rep. Baldwin's
Community Access Protection Act of 2009

(H.R. 3745)

And PLEASE ask that provisions be added
(in committee or on the floor)
with guaranteed funding from the franchise fees.

There is not a state-rights issue here
which supersedes the rights of the people!

We have rights of access to our own property!
And the airwaves and public rights of way
ARE our property!

The state is nothing but a vehicle, and abstraction
to exercise the will of the people!

The state has for too long
been enabling this robbery to occur.


Bill Huston          
Binghamton NY             Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Watch for Open-To-Everyone TV!        

No comments: