Thursday, June 09, 2005
Death of the Blogosphere
YOU F****D UP, Dude...
How can you possibly say you "like" blogs, you "like" having a blog, you "enjoy" the blogosphere...
...and you just sit there,
doing NOTHING to DEFEND the blogosphere
from the evil politicians who are
poised to KILL ALL BLOGS ??????
They're going to start with the most "dangerous"
blogs...the citizen journalist blogs.
Then they're coming after you.
I've been warning you that the blogosphere is under attack.
I've been prophesying that the Powers That Pretend To Be will seek to regulate, regiment, and license all bloggers...and FINE and IMPRISON offenders
Let me say that again for you Attention Deficit victims.
They want to...
FINE and IMPRISON "Offenders".
Do "totalitarianism", "mind control",
or "repression" mean anything to you?
Can't you see it coming?
I've been proclaiming the doom that is
coming to blogs and bloggers.
And now it's almost here.
And it's almost too late to stop it.
It will be YOUR fault if it happens.
* * * *
Have you done anything about the
DUMB ASS political fiends
who want to burn down
WHAT have YOU done
to stop this?
* * *
WAKE UP...DO SOMETHING NOW!
If we get up off our lazy asses
and do something...maybe.
Maybe we can stop the assholes.
First, the blogosphere got WIMPY.
The freaking bloggers got weary of "conflict".
They started patting everybody on the back.
They started dreaming of
a delusional blogo-fairyland
where every blogger is "nice" and "charming"...
where every post is flattering and happy...
where every blog comment must "agree" and "support".
No more "flaming".
No more "questioning".
No more "upsetting anybody."
No more "confrontation".
No more "naughty chairs" for anyone.
This disgusts me.
We must "be diplomatic".
Yeah, right. Whatever. Pathetic.
How the Blogosphere Will Be Destroyed Forever
Let me quote an article from Tech Central Station.
from "Internet Utopia" by Ryan Sager
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse --
sorry, that's Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold and Reps. Chris Shays and Marty Meehan, Congress' Dark Knights of Campaign-Finance Reform --
a message for bloggers:
They're not "out to get them."
The scare quotes are theirs.
In comments submitted to the Federal Election Commission last week, as the regulatory body seeks advice on how to apply the McCain-Feingold law to the Internet, the enemies of the First Amendment had to walk a fine line.
On one side, the politicians in them wanted to genuflect to democracy, open debate and all the new citizen journalists who seem to wield so much influence these days.
On the other side, however, the clean-government obsessive-compulsives in them knew that freedom's just another word for something new to regulate.
And, so, the four created an immensely entertaining document for the FEC commissioners -- and for any private citizens who want to see
whether the politicians who are
trying to put a straight-jacket
on the blogosphere even understand what it is.
"All of us were candidates for reelection in 2004," the four write. "We saw firsthand the way the Internet is changing, and in many ways improving, political discourse."
So far, so good.
"The opportunities that the Internet provides for average citizens to participate in political debate are the most significant change in the way that campaigns are conducted since the advent of television. The Commission must tread very carefully in this area so as not to stifle the virtually limitless potential of this exciting medium."
"At the same time…"
"…there is no reason to believe that monied interests will not attempt to use the Internet to influence politics and policy as they attempt to do with other modes of communication. Indeed, there is every reason to expect that they will."
Damn those monied interests, ruining an exciting medium for the rest of us! Damn them all to hell!
Of course, as usual, McCain et al. don't bother to explain just why monied interests shouldn't have every right to try to "influence politics and policy."
But, at least in this debate, that logical leap is beside the point.
The fact is that in the debate over extending campaign-finance regulation to the Internet, the so-called "reform community" -- i.e., the front groups for the eight liberal foundations that have been the money behind the clean-government movement since the 1990s -- has yet to offer a compelling rationale for why money spent on politics online needs to be controlled at all.
That is, even if one accepts the idea that money spent on TV attack ads and the like is somehow corrupting and destructive, there's no reason to believe that the dynamic is (or will be in the future) the same on the Internet.
This isn't because the Internet is some magic place where the rules of the real world don't apply. It's because the Internet is an active medium, whereas most traditional media (at least those which most trouble the reformers) are passive.
In other words, while TV and radio ads bombard average Americans while they go about their daily business, people actually have to seek out content online.
Given that fundamental difference, one is left to wonder just how monied interests would exert their dreaded "influence" on the Web.
Would they buy thousands upon thousands of banner ads? Pop-ups? Pop-unders?
Would they set up gigantic Web sites, so attractive, so sprawling, so enticing that hapless Web surfers would be unable to avoid being drawn to them?
Would they create extra-spiffy Flash animations?
Just how would this influence be wielded?
No doubt, "monied interests," as McCain and Co. so charmingly and anachronistically call American businesses and labor unions and entrepreneurs, could do all of these things. But there's no reason to assume that they would be effective.
The entire point of the Internet -- or at least the reason for its success -- is that it takes money about as far out of the equation as it can get.
Tens of thousands of blogs can reach as many people as are willing to listen for dollars a month.
Sure, not every one of these blogs has the capacity to create fancy videos, animations or other bells and whistles.
But a lot of them do -- and not just those in league with moneyed interests.
coins of the internet realm
In short, money just isn't that big an advantage on the Internet. Credibility, reliability, wit, intellect, populist appeal -- these are the coins of the Internet's realm.
In fact, the Internet resembles in many ways the campaign-finance reformers' long-sought utopia: full public financing of political campaigns.
While the government is of course not financing anyone on the Internet, the outcome is the same: For an absolute pittance, every idea, every political philosophy, every candidate has access to a soap box.
The only limitation is how many people care to listen.
Why, when the free market has gone and created the exact state of affairs the reformers have long claimed to desire, are the McCains of the world looking to crack down?
Because the reform movement has never been about freedom. It has always been about control.
NOTE on AUTHOR of ABOVE ARTICLE: Ryan Sager is a member of the editorial board of The New York Post. He also edits the blog Miscellaneous Objections and can be reached at editor [at] rhsager [dot] com.
Look at my blog right hand column, the "sidebar".
Look for "Death of the Blogosphere" badge (see below also).
Look at that text link "Defend the Blogosphere from Political Censorship".
Click-select that text link, which will take you to a site where you can protest this repression and, if you wish, you may also fill out a survey to Educate the FEC (Federal Election Commission) about the blogosphere.
Do Something Now...or say goodbye to blogging.
It really is that serious. Think.
[EDIT/UPDATE June 10, 2005 9:30 PM]
The National Ledger has a great harshing of the idiots McCain and Feingold, and their hellish attack on the blogosphere.
"Blogs and McCain-Feingold"
Here's an excerpt, the first few paragraphs. Go read the whole thing. Excellant analysis and aggressive defense of the blogosphere...
It has been suggested that certain interpretations of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform could authorize the government to crackdown on bloggers by equating this new form of expression with contributing to a political campaign. This concern shows that this legislation is more about suppressing the free speech of average Americans than about curtailing the influence of big money on the political process.
Despite causing the powerbrokers of the mainstream media to shake in their $500 suits for fear of losing their stranglehold over the flow of information and thus the minds of the public, a personal blog is nothing whatsoever like a campaign contribution. If anything, this new medium is more the electronic equivalent of a sign posted on your front lawn or a bumper sticker plastered across the rear of your car.
Maybe Darth McCain would like to outlaw those forms of communication also while we are at it. While we are at it, why don’t we also outlaw private telephone conversations and individual e-mails of a political nature; wouldn’t want personal relationships to take precedence over the edicts handed down from on high by our glorious leaders.
Michelle Malkin at The Free Republic offers more links dealing with this totalitarian act against blogs.
Here are the titles of the blog posts, plus a comment, as posted at her site:
Update: Lots of buzz about this:
- Steven Bainbridge: "Thank You Senators McCain and Feingold ... you [plural expletive deleted]"
- Pajama Hadin: "The Coming Crackdown on Blogging"
- Rightwing Nuthouse: "BLOGOSPHERE… WE HAVE A PROBLEM"
- Say Anything: "Political Blogging To Be Outlawed?"
- Baronger's Scribblings: "Political Prisoners coming to the United States?"
- Mike Krempasky: "FEC regulating Blogging?"
- Susanna Cornett, "Will blogging be restricted by the government?"
- Hennessy's View: "McCain-Feingold Outlaws Blogging?"
- The Anchoress, "You knew this was coming, and right on time..."
- The invaluable Captain Ed, who has long assailed the back-door First Amendment violations of the McCain-Feingold Act, writes:
Bigger blogs will come under closer scrutiny, which means that any expression of support on CQ with a referential hyperlink may well get valued at more than the $2,000 maximum hard-cash contribution.
In order for me to operate under those conditions, I will need to hire a lawyer and an accountant to guide me through the election laws and calculate my in-kind donations on almost an hourly basis. How many bloggers will put up with that kind of hassle just to speak their minds about candidates and issues?
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
your feedback makes the blogosphere go round
Posted by steven edward streight at 6/09/2005 07:56:00 AM