Wednesday, February 16, 2011

pssst... WE NEED TO TALK! (at the NCMR!) (was: NJ: Telecommunications deregs out of committee: Bye Bye PEG?

From: William Huston <>
Date: Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 9:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Alliance-public] pssst... WE NEED TO TALK! (at the NCMR!) (was: NJ: Telecommunications deregs out of committee: Bye Bye PEG?
To: Alan Bushong <>
Cc: Dot Grover <>, Cindy Hahn <>, Mauro DePasquale <>, "\" Alliance-Public" <>, Listserv--Alliance <>, MADCoList <>

Alan, very well said.

I don't know others,
but I have not been ranking P above E-or-G.
I have already said I know EG does a public service.

It is only that
Public Access is my sole personal focus,
because for me, it's all about

The broadcast spectrum?
The people should have access to it.

The cable spectrum?
That's OURS!
We should have access to it.

It is solely at the pleasure
that Time Warner, Comcast, et. al.
are able to do business in this community.

But we seem to have a collective amnesia about this!

As Alan Bushong reminds us,
that right of access derives from
The People's Government
leasing the cable co's
our rights-of-way
to lay their cables
(and the opportunity to remove profits from our community.)

So the whole conceptual basis
of that phrase "may require" (*)
from the 1984 Cable Act
can now be seen to be a bit --- wacky.

(* essentially, that the Local Franchising Authority may require PEG channels and facilities)

The 1984 Cable Act gives embodiment to a false concept!
It suggests there exists some municipal authority, which has the right to both,

a) grant privilege to Time Warner, Comcast,, to use our rights of way, and
b) permit Time Warner to exclude the people's voice from their production studios and spectrum.

This is a straw man, a false premise.
There exists no such authority!
There is no excuse.
This present media system
of excluding We the People
from the communications commons
is a perversion of our democracy.

But... there is great hope,
if we examine how this happened....!

As we can see,
the WORD has incredible power!

The problem is conceptual, and therefore,
the solution is also conceptual.

The fact that the phrase "may require"
exists on a false premise
has not stopped millions of people in believing
in this imaginary thing:

(the all powerful municipal LFA
with the right to create media monopolies
and silence the people's voice)

Our BELIEF in this falsehood
(that the LFA has the power to pull the plug on PEG)
has created a media landscape
(closing PEG centers at a staggering rate)
which is indistinguishable from a world
where this falsehood is truth!!

Do you see?
which creates our world.

This is a powerful thing
if we can all embrace this!!!

This is why I say the
most important part of our work
is to change the conceptual framework.

We have been given a false conceptual framework,
within which we cannot win.

So let's change the frame!

And since Time Warner, Comcast, et. al,
are in the business of media production
and distribution, by COMMON CARRIER status
they must give everyone equal rights of passage.

But they don't!
Commercial messages get favorable passage
to a much greater degree than non-commercial ones
and that generates a channel bias.
And it tends to concentrate wealth and power. is called "positive feedback".
It is a very destructive force
which drives systems towards self-destruction.

Here's a video illustrating positive feedback in action:

So these are some of the issues I am eager to
dialogue about in Boston!

Free Press has already promised us some
"breakout session" space for this discussion,
and it's early enough, we might be able to get
this as a real panel.

All the best,

On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM, Alan Bushong <> wrote:

The Alliance's public policy positions have always supported all three,
public educational and government access, have never ranked one over or
under the others. I expect no change.

That said, in general, public access is most at risk, has been the most
damaged in the past six years and will benefit the most from the corrective
action we seek. The most harmed stand to benefit the most from restitution.

However, I can't understand why we'd do a ranking. Local governments,
schools, community organizations and individuals have common cause here. The
truth is that the owners of communications systems--cable, satellite,
telephone and whatever--are in it for the money. Their corporate charters
require them to work on behalf of their shareholders. In the US, the wealth
is in stock, the top one percent of wealth have 47% of the wealth, the top
5% over 80%, so corporations are working on behalf of about 5% of Americans.

I think most of the people that work for these giants care about what they
do, care about the quality of their work; many care about the customer. Some
care about us. They spend their paychecks in our community. Our concern is
not with them.

Our concern is with corporations that are trying to take away from our
communities the tiny portion of their gross receipts that stay, and that
portion is small compared to the value of the use of the public
right-of-way. Every time they take away our community share, that benefits a
few at the top.

We need everyone in this fight. This is David v Goliath. We need
governments, schools, churches, non-profit service organizations and
individuals. We need all, we need them now, we need numbers, volume and

During the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin said,

"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang

During his State of the Union address, President Obama said,

"We will move forward together, or not at all ­ for the challenges we face
are bigger than party, and bigger than politics."

I agree with both. Alan

William Huston  
Binghamton NY             Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

William Huston  
Binghamton NY             Phone: 607-321-7846

Binghamton-area discussion; spirituality topics:
Binghamton Public Access TV is Open-To-Everyone!

No comments: