Saturday, October 24, 2009

Public Option, Net Neutrality, Conservative Media Bias, and H1N1

Quick Hits for October 24, 2009

* Some Democrats are starting to get serious about health care and Democrats are starting to notice. If anyone has any misunderstandings, it should be clear that one of the really key issues for Democrats is health care but specifically a public option. There are few things more important to Democrats than the public option. Any Democrat failing to realize that may feel the recent petition being started whereby many Democrats are refusing to fundraise for ANY DEMOCRAT who votes AGAINST the public option, while supporting those that do, even outside their own states. I have joined it, I hope you do too.

* Apparently, the Republican Party has taken up the agenda of corporations yet again in opposition to net neutrality, a concept whereby the internet remains wide open as it is today for lawful activities. Some would prefer to control what people can and cannot see on their networks charging consumers extra fees to get out to the open internet. In other words, you could reach what your local provider said was acceptable, but if you want access to the full internet that you see today, you would have to pay an additional fee beyond your current services. Net neutrality argues that those extra charges are wrong and limit the freedom of choice of internet users to access the internet, and that it is more like a Chinese policy of censorship to hide content from your eyes, thereby allowing your ISP to control what information you get. Freepress has their own petition supporting net neutrality that I encourage you take a look at and research.

* It is interesting to hear about the "liberal media" when it turns out that the newspaper editorials are heavily balanced in favor of conservatives with 60% of newspaper editorial pages weighted to the right, 20% to the left, and 20% are "evenly" balanced in terms of columnists they carried. It isn't all that surprising, but one more indication of the "liberal media bias" myth is just that... a myth.

* Some are asking why H1N1 is creating such a stir when the flu kills more people every year than H1N1 has killed. And to an extent, I can understand. Our priorities are a little out of whack when we keep things like tobacco legal that kill 400,000 people a year. However, in the case of H1N1, the reason it is such a major concern is simple: It is all about the children. Years ago, someone told me that when it comes to people caring, children dying always outweighs even 100 times more adults dying. There is something special in our hearts for our children. In this case, we have barely started the flu season and more children have died from H1N1 than they do in most full flu seasons. It is serious because, quite simply, it has targeted our children. And there is no sign of it slowing down because of vaccine production taking time to make. I am not worried about myself, but if I had children, I would be concerned for their safety.

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